🚨 Warning: This article contains mentions of murder, violence, and other sensitive topics. 🚨
1.The Jacuzzi was invented after Candido Jacuzzi's son was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis as a child. His son contracted arthritis after having strep throat, and suffered from severe joint pain. In order to help alleviate his son's pain, Jacuzzi invented a portable water pump and put it in the bath at their house because his son benefitted from hydrotherapy. By 1968, the Jacuzzi we all know and love was born.
2.In 1972, Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman set out to design a revolutionary running shoe, and used his wife's waffle iron to create a sole that he believed would help runners increase their speed. Nike made 12 versions of the shoe for runners to use in the 1972 Olympic trials.
In 2019, the "waffle shoe" became the most expensive sneaker to ever be sold at auction. Canadian entrepreneur Miles Nadal bought the shoes for $475,000. They were actually part of an auction of the world's rarest 100 sneakers. Nadal ended up purchasing the 99 other shoes for a combined $850,000.
3.H.H. Holmes is considered America's first serial killer. Holmes is believed to have killed 27 people by luring them into his "Murder Castle," which had outfitted with secret passageways, trapdoors, and torture rooms. After killing his victims, Holmes would transport them to his basement using an elaborate elevator system, and then would dissect their bodies.
Holmes, who changed his name to reflect his love of Sherlock Holmes, grew up wealthy and enrolled in medical school around 1880. During his years at school, he was known for criminal activity, and was caught robbing graves to steal cadavers to sell. In the mid-1880s, he abandoned his wife and children and moved to Chicago, where he built his murder castle, just in time for the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition.
Holmes was so charming that he easily could coerce fairgoers to come into his castle, where he would kill them and examine their bodies. In 1894, he was arrested in Boston on suspicion of fraud. The evidence from his arrest linked Holmes to the murder of Benjamin Pitezel, who was one his business associates. Historians have had difficulty determining the exact extent of Holmes' crimes, but it is believed that he is responsible for at least 27 murders. Holmes was found guilty for Pitezel's murder, and was executed in 1896.
4.It's impossible to drink a beer in space. Gravity affects the distribution of the carbonation, resulting in a foamy mess that's undrinkable. So, what happens if an astronaut drinks the foam? The bubbles, which are normally burped out, would go through the astronaut's digestive system, causing some severe pain.
5.In Australia, rabbits are considered pests, so in some places, it's illegal to keep them as pets. The only exceptions are made for people who use the rabbits for public exhibitions, like magic acts, or for scientific use.
6.Some believe that singer Sam Cooke eerily predicted his own death in his song "Frankie and Johnny." The song was a reference to two women, both named Frankie, who killed their husbands in the 1800s. Cooke recorded his own version of the song, which had been around for decades at that point, in 1964. Some of the song's lyrics include, "Frankie reached down in her pocketbook / And up with a long .44 / She shot once, twice, three times / And Johnny fell on the hardwood floor."
A few months later, in December 1964, Cooke had taken a woman back his hotel room. A fight between the two occurred, and the woman took Cooke's clothes and ran out of the room. She would later testify that he had tried to rape her. Cooke, who had been drinking, asked the hotel manager if he could search her office for his clothes. She refused and shot Cooke three times, killing him.
7.After Rosa Parks was robbed and assaulted in her Detroit apartment in 1994, Little Caesars Pizza owner Mike Ilitch decided he was going to step in to ensure the civil rights leader could live safely. He ended up finding her a new place to live, and quietly paid her rent until she died.
8.If you're wondering where Ronald McDonald has been lately, blame the clown scare videos from 2016! After the videos, in which people dressed as clowns creepily stood in roads and parking lots to scare unsuspecting people, went viral, McDonald's began slowing phasing out Ronald. That wasn't the only reason why the restaurant started shifting their marketing away from the once-beloved mascot. Some criticized the fast-food chain for using a mascot to normalize unhealthy eating for young children.
9.In 1945, several crossword puzzles that contained answers that turned out to be the code names for D-Day military operations, appeared in the Telegraph, a British newspaper. Military officials in England began panicking because they were worried that someone had blown their cover and was revealing their missions to enemies through the crossword.
Turns out that Leonard Dawe, the man who wrote the crossword puzzles, was a headmaster at a boarding school adjacent to a military training facility. He would sometimes ask the boys for words to use as crossword puzzle answers, and they would often give him words they heard yelled out from the military trainings. Dawe was arrested, but was found innocent.
10.Turns out binge-watching old episodes of The Office can come in handy! In 2019, Cross Scott, a 21-year-old mechanic from Arizona, saved an unconscious woman's life using CPR he learned while watching the sitcom. Scott sang the Bee Gees' "Stayin' Alive," as seen in the episode, to keep the correct 100 beats per minute tempo for chest compressions.
11.The day before Adolf Hitler died by suicide, he tested the cyanide pills he planned to use on his beloved dog Blondi to make sure they would work. Hitler did not believe that the pills, which were supplied by one of his military officials, would be potent enough to kill him. After ingesting the poison, Blondi died, supposedly leaving Hitler inconsolable. He died by suicide the following day.
12.Before World War II, basketball was a national pastime in Lithuania. After the country became a part of the Soviet Union, many talented Lithuanian players had to play for the Soviet teams. During the 1988 Olympic Games, the Soviet Union won gold, with four of the five starters being Lithuanian. By the 1992 Olympics, Lithuanian players who had found professional success in the NBA wanted to play for their home country, not the Soviet Union. The issue? They didn't have enough money to fund the trip.
After an article about the Olympic hopefuls was published in the San Francisco Chronicle, the Grateful Dead took notice. In fact, Sarunas Marciulionis, one of the Lithuanian players, played for the Golden State Warriors, which was the band's hometown team. The Dead were inspired by the team's story, and decided to fund the team. In addition to paying for the players to compete, they designed red, yellow, and green tie-dye shirts with the band's signature skeleton dunking a basketball for the players to wear during warm-ups. The team ended up defeating Russia to take home the bronze, and wore their warm-ups while accepting their medals. The shirts soon became the must-have souvenir of the games.
13.Sloths may be the only mammals that don’t fart. Their digestive systems are so slow that it takes them days to digest the leaves that they eat. Instead, they breathe out the methane produced by their gut.
14.Unless you have a lot of free time this summer, I'd suggest steering clear of adding Marcel Proust's A la recherche du temps perdu to your summer reading list. According to Guinness World Records, it is believed to be the world's longest book, clocking in at an estimated 9,609,000 characters.
15.Before the 1959 release of Some Like It Hot, all movies had to cooperate with the Hays Code. Some of the code's rules included bans on nudity, profanity, and interracial or gay relationships. Studios had to cooperate with the code to avoid government censorship.
While movies like Gone With the Wind had previously tried to challenge the code, the filmmakers behind Some Like It Hot completely undermined the rules. The film featured LGBTQ+ themes, and showed men wearing dresses and makeup. As a result, the movie did not get the seal of approval for following the code, yet went on to be a box office hit. By 1968, the Hays Code was completely abandoned.
16.About 200 feral cats live at Disneyland. The cats are allowed on-site in order to control rodents from ruining the park experience. While guests are not encouraged to feed or pet the cats, there is a crew of Disney cast members assigned to taking care of them.
17.In 1985, Aretha Franklin was honored by her home state of Michigan when the department of natural resources declared her voice was indeed a natural resource. The announcement was made as part of a state-wide Aretha Franklin Day.
18.The 1984 release of Red Dawn marked the first time a movie hit theaters with a PG-13 rating. The movie, about a group of teens (including Patrick Swayze) fighting against Soviet Union soldiers who invaded their hometown, was released on August 10, and wasn't actually the first to be given the rating. That designation goes to The Flamingo Kid, but Red Dawn beat the movie to theaters.
The MPAA first introduced their rating system in 1968. Movies could be rated G (for all audiences), M (to signify mature content, but all audiences could be admitted), R (only viewers 16 and older could be admitted without an adult), and X (only people 17 and older could be admitted). The M rating was later changed to PG.
19.A proposed 1916 amendment called the Ludlow Act would have put all acts of war to a national vote. Those who voted yes would have to serve in the Army during the conflict. The amendment was supported by about 75% of Americans, but failed when it reached Congress.
20.The hippocampus of birds who store their food actually grows to up to 30% of its natural size for a short period of time each year to allow the birds to recall where they hid their food.
21.President Ronald Reagan was a huge fan of the Beach Boys, and told the band to contact him if they ever needed anything. When band member Dennis Wilson drowned in 1983, the band wanted to honor him by burying him at sea. All sea burials must be approved by admirals or military officials. Reagan approved the burial, and is believed to be the first time a president had become involved in a civilian funeral matter. Wilson was buried at sea in January 1984.
22.And finally, Frances Perkins became the first female Secretary of Labor after witnessing the horrors of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire. Perkins was having tea with friends in New York City when she heard sirens. She followed them to the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, where she witnessed dozens of women jumping out of the building to escape the fire. Soon after, Perkins became dedicated to labor causes, and was hired as the executive secretary of a citizen's safety committee on the recommendation of President Theodore Roosevelt.
Perkins' work on the committee helped create laws that made workplaces safer than ever. By 1928, she served as New York's Industrial Commissioner while Franklin Delano Roosevelt was governor. When Roosevelt was elected president in 1932, he tapped Perkins to become the first female Secretary of Labor. She went on to help develop key elements of Roosevelt's New Deal, and was the nation's longest-serving labor secretary. Perkins was a driving force in getting people back to work after the Great Depression, and even fought for universal healthcare while in office.