26 Surprising History Facts for Kids

1. Cleopatra, the famous Egyptian queen, lived closer in time to the moon landing than she did to the construction of the Great Pyramids.

2. Ancient Romans used urine as a mouthwash due to its natural cleaning properties.

3. The world’s oldest known song dates back over 3,400 years and is a hymn from ancient Sumer, modern day Iraq.

4. The wheel was not invented in Europe but rather in Mesopotamia around 3,500 BC.

5. Vincent van Gogh only sold one painting during his lifetime – “The Red Vineyard.”

6. The shortest war in history took place between the UK and Zanzibar on August 27, 1896 – it lasted only 38 minutes!

7. Albert Einstein was offered the presidency of Israel in 1952, but he declined.

8. Before alarm clocks were invented, people called “knocker-uppers” would go around waking people up by knocking their doors or windows with sticks.

9. Ancient Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun’s tomb was discovered intact with all its treasures on November 4, 1922 by Howard Carter.

10. Over one million soldiers of different nationalities fought in World War I at any given time – making it one of the largest and most diverse fights ever recorded in history.

11. In ancient Mayan civilization, playing ball games was not only for fun but also had religious significance.

12. Native American women played a significant role in society as leaders and warriors alongside men during conflicts and important matters.

13. The shortest-serving US president was William Henry Harrison, who died only 31 days after taking office from pneumonia.

14. The first woman to run for US president was Victoria Woodhull in 1872 – almost 50 years before women even had the right to vote.

15. There is no known photograph of famous composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, as photography wasn’t invented until after his death.

16. During the American Revolutionary War, some soldiers wore paper uniforms when materials for proper clothing were scarce.

17. Thomas Edison’s invention of the lightbulb took over 1,000 tries before he achieved success.

18. The Aztecs considered chocolate as a gift from the gods and used it in religious rituals.

19. The Great Wall of China is not visible from space with the naked eye, contrary to popular belief.

20. During the Middle Ages, animals could be put on trial and sentenced for crimes alongside humans.

21. The Eiffel Tower in Paris was originally intended as a temporary structure and was almost torn down after the 1889 World Exposition.

22. Shakespeare created over 1,700 new words in English, many of which are still used today.

23. Leonardo da Vinci was not only a famous artist but also an inventor, scientist, and musician!

24. Napoleon Bonaparte was once attacked by a swarm of rabbits during a hunting trip.

25. The iconic swimming pool scene of Marilyn Monroe in her movie “Something’s Got to Give” was actually never finished – she died before completing the film.

26. Sir Isaac Newton is credited with inventing the cat door because his cat kept interrupting his work by scratching at his study door.

Now you have 26 surprising history facts to amaze your friends! History is full of interesting stories and events that continue to shape our world today. Enjoy learning more about our fascinating past!

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