Fact: May 20, 1873, is the “birthday” of blue jeans
According to the Levi Strauss website, this was the day that Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis, the innovators behind the sturdy blue jeans we all love, got a patent on the process of adding metal rivets to men’s denim work pants for the first time in history. The pants were called waist overalls until 1960 when baby boomers began calling them jeans.
Fact: 170-year-old bottles of champagne were found at the bottom of the Baltic Sea
The bottles of bubbly are estimated to have been traveling from Germany to Russia during the 1800s when they sank to the bottom of the sea, says New Scientist. Turns out that the bottom of the sea, where temps are between two and four degrees Celsius, is a great place for wine aging. Oenologists, people who study wine and winemaking, sampled the champagne and described it as, “sometimes cheesy,” with “animal notes,” and that it had elements of “wet hair.”
Fact: The MGM lion roar is trademarked
At the start of any movie made by the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studio, there’s the iconic lion that roars at the audience. While MGM has gone through several iterations of lion mascots, the sound of the roar is always the same. The company trademarked the “sound mark” with the United States Patent and Trademark Office in the ’80s.
Fact: Neil Armstrong’s hair was sold in 2004 for $3,000
The lucky buyer, John Reznikoff, holds the Guinness World Record for the largest collection of hair from historical celebrities, reports NBC. The not-so-lucky barber Marx Sizemore, who cut Armstrong’s hair, received threats of being sued by Armstrong’s lawyers who said he violated an Ohio law that protects the rights of famous people. Sizemore said he wouldn’t pay, and Reznikoff said he wouldn’t give back the hair but that he’d donate $3,000 to charity.
Fact: Irish bars used to be closed on St. Patrick’s Day
You might associate St. Patrick’s Day with wearing green and drinking so much you think you actually see leprechauns. However, until 1961, there were laws in Ireland that banned bars to be open on March 17. Since the holiday falls during the period of Lent in the heavily Catholic country, the idea of binge drinking seemed a bit immoral.
Fact: Nikola Tesla hated pearls
Tesla was a European electrical engineer who paved the way for current system generators and motors. The way electricity gets transmitted and converted to mechanical power is thanks to his inventions. However, despite experimenting with electricity, he despised being in the presence of pearls. One day when his secretary wore pearl jewelry, he made her go home.
Fact: Thomas Edison is the reason you love cat videos
Thanks to Edison’s invention of the Kinetograph in 1892, he was able to record and watch moving images for the first time. He filmed short clips in his studio named Black Maria. Some of his shorts feature famous people like Annie Oakley and Buffalo Bill, but the real stars are The Boxing Cats. Check out the video Edison captured of adorable cats in a boxing ring circa 1894.
Fact: Brad Pitt suffered an ironic injury on a film set
During Pitt’s prime acting career, he filmed Troy, based on Homer’s Illiad. He played the brave, and buff, Greek hero Achilles. Legend has it that Achilles could not be defeated unless hit in his Achilles heel. While filming an epic battle scene, Pitt ironically hurt his Achilles tendon that put him back two months.
Fact: Pregnancy tests date back to 1350 BCE
Based on an ancient papyrus document, Egyptian women urinated on wheat and barley seeds to determine if they were pregnant or not, according to the Office of History in the National Institutes of Health. If wheat grew, it predicted a female baby. If barley grew, it predicted a male baby. The woman was not pregnant if nothing grew. Experimenting with this seed theory in 1963 proved it was accurate 70 percent of the time.
Fact: Martin Luther King Jr. got a C in public speaking
Everyone remembers Dr. King as a leader of the Civil Rights Movement and often quotes his “I Have a Dream” speech that he delivered in 1963. However, over a decade before his legendary speech, while attending Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania, he earned a C in public speaking during his first and second term.
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