Five Strange Historical Facts

August 9, 2012

Sati funeral practice in India



Up until 1869, some areas of India practiced Sati, a funerary ritual in which a recent widow would burn herself on the pyre with her deceased husband. The act is believed to have been inspired from the legend of goddess Sati who burnt herself alive to save her father the humiliation that her living husband caused. The British eventually abolished the practice, though bride burning still occurs in some areas of India.





A battle of… wood?



The Toltecs were an indigenous civilization who gained power in the seventh century and remained dominant throughout 300-year reign in areas including modern day Mexico. Their ascension to power was the result of a successful military campaign that utilized a powerful army to annex neighboring societies. Their reign was also marred with various military campaigns and, thus, under their reign, militarism became a main component of society. Bizarrely enough, they had a very surprising fighting technique. Apparently, tribes would go into battle with the wooden swords so as to spare their enemies from death.

George Washington was a pothead



The first president of the United States, George Washington, was actually a marijuana farmer and heavily advocated its use during his presidency. He owned a hemp farm in Virginia where he would trade seeds and plants with other farmers. He also promoted its growth – first as a soil stabilizer and later as a recreational activity.



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