101 terrific history truths

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Terrific History Truths

The past actually happened but history is only what someone wrote down.
The word ‘thug' comes from ‘Thuggees', who were an Indian cult – sometimes described as the world's first mafia – who used to trick and murder people as human sacrifices to their goddess Kali.

Theban king Mithradites (132–63 BCE) took small doses of poison regularly to develop immunity and protect himself from poisoners. When he later wanted to kill himself, the poison he took did not kill him.

To make violin strings, the gut of a sheep – which could be 30 metres long (over 98 feet) in length – was removed intact. The blood, flesh and fat were then scraped off the outside, the halfdigested grass was squeezed out and it was washed out carefully. The wider end was used as sausage skins, the rest for violin strings.

Toad-eaters were people employed by men selling medicine at fairs and markets.The toad-eater had to swallow a toad – supposed to be deadly poisonous – and then take the medicine.Their survival encouraged people to buy the medicine.They may or may not have actually swallowed the toads…

Uruguay's rugby team was stranded in the Andes in South America after a plane crash in 1979. It took seventy days for them to be rescued, and they had to eat the other passengers who had died in the crash.

Victorian child chimney sweeps sometimes had to crawl through chimneys as narrow as 18 centimetres (7 inches). If they didn't go quickly enough, their bare feet were pricked with burning straws.

Vikings used rancid butter to style and dress their hair.

Vlad the Impaler, ruler of Transylvania, had over 20,000 enemies impaled on spikes between 1456 and 1476.

When Sir Walter Ralegh was executed in 1618, his wife had his head embalmed. She carried it around with her for 29 years, until her own death.

Wig-makers suffered during times of plague as people thought the disease could be caught from wigs made of human hair. So many second-hand wigs were infested with fleas that they were probably right!

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