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7 Random Facts You've Probably Never Heard Before

One of the first Memorial Days was organized by recently-freed slaves.

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Conversations are hard. Each week, two-time Jeopardy! winner and awkward silence warrior Terri Pous makes small talk a little easier by giving you random things to blurt out when you don’t know what else to say. Catch up on last week's here.

1. T-shirts were originally marketed to unmarried men who didn't know how to sew buttons back on collared shirts by themselves.

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When the T-shirts were invented in the late 19th century as an undergarment, some cities tried to make it illegal to wear them in public because they were thought of as underwear. The Cooper Underwear Company helped make them popular everyday wear by calling them "bachelor undershirts." The tagline? "No safety pins — no buttons — no needle — no thread." AKA, you don't need a woman to fix your falling-apart shirt, wear this buttonless one instead! Needless to say, the marketing worked.

2. Prior to the 20th century, squirrels were one of America's most popular pets.

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Squirrel this tidbit away for later: In the 18th and 19th centuries, squirrels were sold in pet shops, kept on leashes, and were a preferred pet among the wealthy. As with other wild animals, their untrainable nature eventually won out and by the 20th century, they were seen more like pests than pets.

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3. One of the first Memorial Day commemorations was organized by recently-freed slaves.

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One of the earliest Memorial Days was held right after the end of the Civil War, on May 1, 1865, when more than 1,000 recently-freed slaves and Colored Troops sang hymns and distributed flowers at a new cemetery for deceased Union soldiers. The day didn't become a national holiday until 1971.

4. All colors of Froot Loops have the same flavor.

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Even though your mind may trick you into thinking the red, green, purple, yellow, and blue loops taste different, according to Kellogg's, they all have the same "fruit blend" flavor, no matter which one you eat.

5. April 18, 1930 was such a slow news day, at 6:30 PM, the BBC's radio announcer said, “There is no news."

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Slow news days have nothing on that spring day in 1930, when piano music filled the rest of the news segment. To top it off, the next segment was just a broadcast of the Wagner opera "Parsifal" being performed at a London concert hall.

6. Before the 1800s, people had "first" and "second sleep." They would sleep 3-4 hours, wake up for 2-3 hours to do some type of activity, then go back to sleep until morning.

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In the 15th and 16th centuries, two sleeps were all the rage. People would go to sleep when they ran out of work to do, often at sundown, and then would wake up from this "first sleep" around midnight to do things like pray, write, or visit neighbors. Some doctors even thought the best time to conceive was during the mid-sleep break. They'd then go right back to sleep and wake up at dawn. The two sleeps became less popular in the late 17th century, and by the 1920s, people stopped doing it altogether.

7. Cows have "best friends" and get stressed when separated.

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Cows: They're just like us! A 2011 study looked at the stress levels of cows when they were penned alone and with their bovine besties. Turns out, being alone made cows stressed out and put them in a very bad moo-d. Sorry.

  1. DON'T LEAVE ME YET!! Which one of these facts did you find the most interesting?

    The T-shirt one.
    Squirrels?!?!
    The first Memorial Day.
    Froot Loops are a lie.
    That slow news day.
    Two sleeps!!!
    COWS!!!!!

7 Random Facts You've Probably Never Heard Before

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DON'T LEAVE ME YET!! Which one of these facts did you find the most interesting?
  1.  
    vote votes
    The T-shirt one.
  2.  
    vote votes
    Squirrels?!?!
  3.  
    vote votes
    The first Memorial Day.
  4.  
    vote votes
    Froot Loops are a lie.
  5.  
    vote votes
    That slow news day.
  6.  
    vote votes
    Two sleeps!!!
  7.  
    vote votes
    COWS!!!!!

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