Course Calendar

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Weird history facts about WWI and WWII

WWII and M&M's
After Forrest Mars, Sr. witnessed soldiers eating bite-sized chocolates covered in a sugar coating during the Spanish Civil War in the late 1930s, he brought the idea back to the United States and started manufacturing his own version, called M&M's. In 1941, M&M's were included in U.S. soldiers' rations during World War II because they "melt in your mouth, not in your hands" (the tagline didn't actually appear until 1954). Good in nearly any environment, including hot summers, M&M's became very popular. The little candies were sold in tubes until 1948, when the packaging changed to the brown bag that we still see today. The imprint of an "M" on the candies first occurred in 1950.

A Renamed Russian City
Did you know that in 1914, at the beginning of World War I, Russia renamed its capital city St. Petersburg to Petrograd because they thought the name sounded too German? This same city changed name again only ten years later when it was renamed Leningrad after the Russian Revolution. In 1991, the city regained its original name of St. Petersburg.

The French and British originally used flamethrowers to start fires on German soil in WWI
It took years of experimenting for the Germans to design a flamethrower that didn’t set the user on fire and could be carried by just one person.

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History Quotes

We can learn from history how past generations thought and acted, how they responded to the demands of their time and how they solved their problems. We can learn by analogy, not by example, for our circumstances will always be different than theirs were. The main thing history can teach us is that human actions have consequences and that certain choices, once made, cannot be undone. They foreclose the possibility of making other choices and thus they determine future events.
-Gerda Lerner

History, we can confidently assert, is useful in the sense that art and music, poetry and flowers, religion and philosophy are useful. Without it -- as with these -- life would be poorer and meaner; without it we should be denied some of those intellectual and moral experiences which give meaning and richness to life. Surely it is no accident that the study of history has been the solace of many of the noblest minds of every generation.
-Henry Steele Commager

Few will have the greatness to bend history itself; but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation.
-Robert F. Kennedy