• During the Great Fire of New Orleans in 1788, priests refused to allow church bells to be rung as fire alarms because it was Good Friday. As a result, 856 buildings burned during the conflagration.
• Ancient Egyptians believed that men menstruated too and that blood in men’s urine and stool was a positive sign of fertility. Little did they know that parasitic worms were the likely cause.
• It would take less than six months to get to the moon by car at 60 mph.
• It’s not every day that a man in love demonstrates his affection by holding a funeral, but future president Ulysses S. Grant wasn’t every man. When his future wife Julia’s pet canary died, he painstakingly fashioned a small coffin for it, which he painted yellow, then summoned eight of his fellow military officers to Julia’s house, where he conducted a service for the bird.
• Babe Ruth once said he knew he didn’t swing hard enough if “a little poop didn’t come out.”
• August Rodin’s work “The Age of Bronze” was so realistic that some people thought he’d actually sacrificed a real person inside the cast.
• English poet Lord Byron was a student at Cambridge University when he took issue with the ban on keeping dogs as pets, so he came up with a unique way of getting back at the school: Since there was no prohibition in the fine print against bears on campus (probably because they’d never had a pupil quite like Byron before), he not only found a bear to keep as a pet, but also took it for walks around the grounds on a leash.
• Despite being raised and identifying as Jewish, singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen spent five years in seclusion at the Mt. Baldy Zen Center in California and was ordained a Buddhist monk in 1996.
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Thought for the Day: “Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.” — Mark Twain
(c) 2020 King Features Syndicate, Inc.