Fast facts about famous people
In the West the most popular male names are James and John. The most popular female name is Mary.
The name Wendy was first used in JM Barrie’s Peter Pan.
There are about 5,000 prince and princesses in each Saudi Arabian royal.
Merit-Ptah (2700 BC) of Ancient Egypt is the world’s first known female physician.
The 16th century Escorial palace of King Phillip II of Spain had 1,200 doors.
Adriaan van der Donck was the first and only lawyer in New York City in 1653.
A Duke is the highest rank you can achieve without being a king or a prince.
The British royal family changed their surname (last name) from Saxe-Coburg-Gotha to Windsor, the name of their castle, in 1917.
Before writing 007 novels, Ian Fleming studied languages at Munich and Geneva universities, worked with Reuters in Moscow, and then became a banker and stockbroker.
Julius Caesar was known as a great swimmer.
When Alexander Graham Bell passed away in 1922, every telephone served by the Bell system in the USA and Canada was silent for one minute.
The people killed most often during bank robberies are the robbers.
Orville Wright numbered the eggs that his chickens produced so he could eat them in the order they were laid.
On New Year’s Day, 1907, Theodore Roosevelt shook hands with 8,513 people.
The oldest person on record is Methuselah (969 years old).
An exocannibal eats only enemies. An indocannibal eats only friends.
Alexander Graham Bell never phoned his wife or mother because they were deaf.
Burt Reynold’s father was the chief of police in West Palm Beach, Florida.
On 5th October 1974, four years, three months and sixteen days after Dave Kunste set out from Minnesota, he became the first man to walk around the world, having taken more than 20 million steps.
English sailors came to be called Limeys after using lime juice to combat scurvy.
English soldiers were called Tommies because the example name on the soldier forms was Thomas Atkins. (The example name on US forms is John Smith.)
The word “Machiavellian” is named after Niccolo Machiavelli, who was friends with Leonardo da Vinci.
The US has the highest documented per capita rate of imprisonment of any country in the world. About 2% of white males, 4% of Hispanic males and 10% of black males are incarcerated. There are more black males in prison than in colleges in the US.
Queen Isabella of Castile, who dispatched Christopher Columbus to find the Americas, boasted that she had only two baths in her life – at her birth and before she got married.
Leonardo da Vinci could write with the one hand and draw with the other simultaneously.
Until he was 18, Woody Allen read virtually nothing but comic books but did show his writing skills. He sold one-liners for ten cents each to gossip columnists.
In the 18th century Dr Monsey of Chelsea, England tied a piece of catgut around a patient’s tooth, threaded the other through a hole drilled in a bullet, loaded the bullet into his revolver and pulled the trigger.
Thomas Jefferson wrote his own epitaph without mentioning that he was US President.
Winston Churchill was a stutterer. As a child, one of his teachers warned, “Because of his stuttering he should be discouraged from following in his father’s political footsteps.”
The 17th-century French Cardinal Mazarin never traveled without his personal chocolate-maker.
King Louis XIV of France established in his court the position of “Royal Chocolate Maker to the King.”
The word “electric” was first used in 1600 by William Gilbert, a doctor to Queen Elizabeth I.
In 1973, Swedish confectionery salesman Roland Ohisson was buried in a coffin made entirely of chocolate.
There are four types of marriages: monogamy, polygyny (polygymy), polyandry, and group marriage. Monogamy is one wife, one husband. Polygyny is one husband, several wives. Polyandry is one wife, several husbands. Group marriage is by far the rarest and has never been the prevailing form of marriage in any known society. Also see: Choosing a mate for life