History of the World, Part 1

September 14, 2005

Here are some interesting world history facts.  Enjoy!

  • Acupuncture was first used as a medical treatment in 2700 BC by Chinese emperor Shen-Nung.
  • Armored knights raised their visors to identify themselves when they rode past their king. This custom has become the modern military salute.
  • Canada declared national beauty contests canceled as of 1992, claiming they were degrading to women.
  • Captain Cook lost 41 of his 98 crew to scurvy (a lack of vitamin C) on his first voyage to the South Pacific in 1768. By 1795 the importance of eating citrus was realized, and lemon juice was issued on all British Navy ships.
  • Everyone in the Middle Ages believed — as Aristotle had — that the heart was the seat of intelligence.
  • Fourteenth century physicians didn’t know what caused the plague, but they knew it was contagious. As a result they wore an early kind of bioprotective suit which included a large beaked head piece. The beak of the head piece, which made them look like large birds, was filled with vinegar, sweet oils and other strong smelling compounds to counteract the stench of the dead and dying plague victims.
  • From the Middle Ages up until the end of the 19th century, barbers performed a number of medical duties including bloodletting, wound treatment, dentistry, minor operations and bone-setting. The barber’s striped red pole originated in the Middle Ages, when it was a staff the patient would grip while the barber bled the patient.
  • In 1892, Italy raised the minimum age for marriage for girls – to 12.
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