"One of the main problems when dealing with history is that most people do not understand what to do with it."
- Charged after World War II with having sold Jan Vermeer’s Woman Taken in Adultery to Herman Göring, the notoriously talented forger Han Van Meegeren avoided conviction by executing a copy of the painting for the court, thus proving that what he had sold to the obese Nazi was his own handiwork.
- In 1829 Ottoman Sultan Mahmud II promoted one Pabuçç Ahmed, until then a petty officer at the naval shipyard at Constantinople, to the rank of pasha and made him minister of marine and grand admiral.
- The only West Point cadet ever awarded the Medal of Honor was Fourth Classman Calvin P. Titus, who was decorated by President Theodore Roosevelt at the Military Academy in July of 1902 for heroism while a corporal in the 14th Infantry during the storming of Peking on August 14, 1900, in the “China Relief Expedition,” and who eventually rose to lieutenant colonel and chaplain.
- At one point early in the Spanish Civil War, a particularly convoluted section of the Franco-Spanish frontier caused Nationalist artillery rounds to pass through French air space during the shelling of Republican forces defending the line of the river Bidasoa, prompting a diplomatic protest from Paris.
- An intact copy of The London Gazette from time of the American Revolution, complete with the infamous “Stamp Act” stamp still attached, today sells for $150, thousands of times its original subscription price, even without accounting for inflation.
- Established in May of 1943 to coordinate anti-submarine operations in the Atlantic under the direct command of Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Ernest J. King, the Tenth Fleet had no ships, no aircraft, and only about 50 personnel.
- Jefferson Davis’ middle name was “Finis,” apparently conferred by his parents to indicate that he would be the last of their children, of whom he was the tenth.
- From about the end of the Sixth Century BC, the Athenians held an annual memorial service for those killed in action, during which ten cypress coffins (one for each Athenian tribe) holding the ashes of the slain were carried to a cemetery in the Keramikos district, just outside the city walls.
- In 1644, England’s Puritan-dominated Parliament ordered that any Catholic found in arms in occupied Ireland be executed, thereby initiating a genocidal campaign against the indigenous people.