5 Little-Known History Facts

5 Little-Known History Facts

Weird history facts you never learned in school.
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We all studied history in grade school, but did you know any of these weird facts from history?

1. The Olympic Games used to award medals for art.

From 1912-1948, the Olympics had competitions in the fine arts. The projects were required to be related to the games, in the areas of literature, architecture, painting, music, and sculpture. In favor of requiring cities to provide cultural events to accompany the games, the arts medals were removed.

2. President Jefferson embraced a life of leisure.

When president, Jefferson would greet White House guests in his robe and slippers. And while Jefferson didn’t adopt the bisou, he did initiate the custom of shaking hands when meeting people, as opposed to bowing that had been favored by George Washington.

3. Salem, New Jersey, held a trial against tomatoes in 1820.

Believing that the vegetables were poisonous, Robert Johnson bravely proved the general populous wrong. Standing at the front of the courthouse, Johnson ate an entire basket of tomatoes. After staying alive, the court dismissed the trial and stated that tomatoes were safe to eat.

4. Vikings never wore horned helmets.

The idea of Vikings wearing horned helmets came from the myth-making of the 16th and 17th century Europeans, who viewed the vikings as warrior crusaders with wings and horns on their heads.

5. "Witches" were never burned at the stake during the Salem witch trials.

In contrast to popular opinion, supposed witches were never actually burned at the stake. Instead, in accordance with traditional English law, they were hanged or in one case, crushed to death with stones.

So, after learning these, are you more interested to learn about all of the weird facts in history? I know I was, and I was also surprised to know that some things I learned in grade school were incorrect. So remember to always look facts up before believing them.

Cover Image Credit: Molly Sanders

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To The Teacher Who Was So Much More

Thank you for everything
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I think it's fair to say that most people remember at least one teacher who had a lasting impact on them. I have been incredibly lucky to have several teachers who I will never forget, but one individual takes the cake. So here's to you: thank you for all you have done.

Thank you for teaching me lessons not just in the textbook.

Although you taught a great lecture, class was never just limited to the contents of the course. Debates and somewhat heated conversations would arise between classmates over politics and course material, and you always encouraged open discussion. You embraced the idea of always having an opinion, and always making it be heard, because why waste your voice? You taught me to fight for things I believed in, and to hold my ground in an argument. You taught me to always think of others before doing and speaking. You showed me the power of kindness. Thank you for all the important lessons that may not have been included in the curriculum.

Thank you for believing in me.

Especially in my senior year, you believed in me when other teachers didn't. You showed me just what I could accomplish with a positive and strong attitude. Your unwavering support kept me going, especially when I melted into a puddle of tears weekly in your office. You listened to my stupid complaints, understood my overwhelming stress-induced breakdowns, and told me it was going to be okay. Thank you for always being there for me.

Thank you for inspiring me.

You are the epitome of a role model. Not only are you intelligent and respected, but you have a heart of gold and emit beautiful light where ever you go. You showed me that service to others should not be looked at as a chore, but something to enjoy and find yourself in. And I have found myself in giving back to people, thanks to your spark. Thank you for showing me, and so many students, just how incredible one person can be.

Thank you for changing my life.

Without you, I truly would not be where I am today. As cliche as it sounds, you had such a remarkable impact on me and my outlook on life. Just about a year has passed since my graduation, and I'm grateful to still keep in touch. I hope you understand the impact you have made on me, and on so many other students. You are amazing, and I thank you for all you have done.

Cover Image Credit: Amy Aroune

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I Don't Regret Going to Community college

Community college is not a lesser education.

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After going to college for a few years, I have learned somethings along my way. This knowledge I have gained has not always been in the classroom. I have seen the importance of different perspectives, taken chances on new experiences, and understood you decide the path you take while attending college. One thing is for sure though, to some community college is a lesser education. It is a place for dropouts, burnouts, and people who aren't "smart enough" to go to a 4-year university right off the bat.

After going through my local community college and then now attending a 4-year university, I know firsthand that these perceptions about community college are not true. I only attended school at my local community college for one year due to a once in a lifetime opportunity that I don't regret doing, but in the end, I do not regret my choice to attend community college.

It is not just about the financial differences between a 4-year university and a community college.

Yes, attending your local community college can save significant money and reduce student loans for the future, but that is not the only benefit of going to community college. For one, you get to have two different college experiences. From a smaller campus to a large university, you get to meet different people whether students or faculty, unique college cultures, and an overall new experience. Going to a community college first gives you opportunities you may not have at larger universities. In the majority of your classes, you can truly get to know your professors and classmates because of the smaller class sizes. You are not just a number. This aspect of getting to know others around me is very important to me because I come from a small rural community and high school. I wasn't sure how well the transition would go from living in a town of 200 people to attending a campus of over 40,000 people would be.

Attending a community college was a stepping stone for me of a gradual increasing educational system. Not only are the size of classes or the financial savings can be benefits of community college, but you have two extra years to grow older and wiser. You can get a chance to learn more about yourself before venturing off and being on your own. The difference between being 18 and 20 aren't huge numerically, but the personal development you do while in those two years is tremendous. In my opinion, going to a community college first gives students of all backgrounds and career goals an advantage because of financial savings, experiences. and so much more.

Trying to limit people's educational options is hurting different job sectors like the trade industry for instance, but not we are putting an unnecessary burden on students to fit into a certain mold of education. Not everyone is made for a 4-year university, but also just as important, not everyone's career goals align with a 4-year degree. Going to a trade school, getting a certificate, or obtaining an associate's degree does not lessen the person's education they gained. I am proud to have gone to community college to get some of my general education classes because in the end, this was my best decision for me. Whether you attend community college or not, don't undervalue the benefits of these opportunities can bring you.

Do your research, find your passion, and make sure the decisions you make towards your future are the best for you.

Cover Image Credit:

Corrine Harding

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