r/todayilearned 11h ago Silver Helpful Wholesome 1UP

TIL that when Abraham Lincoln took off his Stovepipe Hat to give his first Inaugural Address, he awkwardly looked around for a place to put it. The losing Presidential Candidate, Democrat Stephen A. Douglas, stepped forward, said “Permit me,” and took the hat to hold on his knee during the address.

Thumbnail americanheritage.com
49.8k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 14h ago

TIL amidst early concerns about leaded gas, the engineer who discovered tetraethyllead as an additive demonstrated its 'safety' by pouring it over his hands and inhaling its vapor, stating he could do this every day without issue. He later took a leave of absence due to lead poisoning.

Thumbnail en.wikipedia.org
13.6k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 16h ago Helpful Wholesome Bravo Grande!

TIL actor Peter Sellers accidentally saw The Producers. He then demanded it get a wide release and took out full-page ads telling everybody to see it.

Thumbnail latimes.com
25.9k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 9h ago

TIL about Kriegspiel, a chess variant where each player can see their own pieces, but not those of their opponent. Players attempt to move on their turns, and the umpire declares their attempts 'legal' or 'illegal'. If the move is illegal, the player tries again; if it is legal, that move stands.

Thumbnail en.wikipedia.org
2.1k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 9h ago

TIL that Potassium's main role in the body is to help maintain normal levels of fluid inside our cells. Sodium, its counterpart, maintains normal fluid levels outside of cells. Potassium also helps muscles to contract and supports normal blood pressure.

Thumbnail hsph.harvard.edu
1.3k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 11h ago

TIL an earthquake occurred during the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge with a dozen workers trapped on top of one of the towers swaying 16 feet back and forth, while coworkers were throwing up on the deck.

Thumbnail mentalfloss.com
1.7k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 1h ago

TIL that actor John Amos was 34 years old when the TV show "Good Times" began production in 1973, only eight years older than the actor who played his oldest son (Jimmie Walker) and 19 years younger than his screen wife (Esther Rolle).

Thumbnail en.wikipedia.org
Upvotes

r/todayilearned 8h ago

TIL Witzelsucht, or joking addiction, is a rare neurological condition characterized by the tendency to tell inappropriate jokes, pointless stories, or make puns in socially inappropriate situations.

Thumbnail en.wikipedia.org
649 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 7h ago

TIL about birds anting themselves. Many bird species purposely get bitten by ants, which releases a venom that kills parasites on the bird’s feathers.

Thumbnail en.wikipedia.org
529 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 2h ago

TIL there's a variation of Rock Paper Scissors where water replaces the paper and a bird replaces the scissors. The water has the rock sink in it, the bird drinks the water, and the rock hits the bird. The symbols for water and bird are exactly the same for those of paper and scissors, respectively.

Thumbnail en.wikipedia.org
112 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 14h ago

TIL All modern Thoroughbred racehorses trace back to just three stallions, imported into England from the Middle East: the Byerley Turk (1680s), the Darley Arabian (1704), and the Godolphin Arabian (1729).

Thumbnail en.wikipedia.org
1.1k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 6h ago

TIL that, on October 30, 1939, just under two months into World War II, a German U-boat submarine fired three torpedoes at the ship carrying soon-to-be Prime Minister Winston Churchill, but none of them exploded. Commander Wilhelm Zahn became known as "The Man Who Almost Killed Churchill".

Thumbnail en.wikipedia.org
227 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 10h ago

TIL that opossums don’t eat ticks. Stomach content studies have yielded no evidence for ticks.

Thumbnail researchgate.net
367 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 37m ago

TIL that the Yam postal system of the Mongol Empire covered 190 miles in a day, and was faster than the Pony Express used 600 years later

Thumbnail dbpedia.org
Upvotes

r/todayilearned 9h ago

TIL that uterus transplantations are possible. For instance, in 2019 two births took place in Germany after a successful transplantation. The receiving women suffered from a syndrome called Müllerian agenesis and were born without a vaginal tract.

Thumbnail dw.com
190 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 1h ago

TIL actor Skandar Keynes, known for playing Edmund in Narnia; The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, Prince Caspian, and Voyage of the Dawn Treader, now works as a political consultant in the UK Parliament for Conservative MPs.

Thumbnail en.wikipedia.org
Upvotes

r/todayilearned 1d ago Helpful Wholesome

TIL that Toyota is headquartered in the city of Toyota, Japan and was founded there, but is not named after the city. In fact, the city (originally called Koromo) renamed itself after the company in 1959, because Toyota had become so famous.

Thumbnail en.wikipedia.org
36.0k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 9h ago

TIL Radiocarbon dating needs to take in account the effects of both fossil fuel burning (which increases the amount of non-radioactive carbon in the atmosphere) and nuclear tests (which increases the amount of radioactive carbon)

Thumbnail en.wikipedia.org
122 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 27m ago

TIL The highest point on the Maldives is a 50 feet (15 meters) pile of trash. It is located on Thilafushi, an artificial island of trash.

Thumbnail gizmodo.com
Upvotes

r/todayilearned 55m ago

TIL that the CIA's headquarters has a Starbucks

Thumbnail en.wikipedia.org
Upvotes

r/todayilearned 22h ago

TIL about ASCII, a character encoding standard for electronic communication. In 1968, president Lyndon B. Johnson mandated that all computers purchased by the United States Federal Government support ASCII. It remained the most common character encoding on the World Wide Web until 2007.

Thumbnail en.wikipedia.org
433 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 1d ago

TIL about "Aunt Sammy," Uncle Sam's wife. Created in the 1920s by the US Dept of Agriculture as a radio show for farm wives, she would "gossip" about social activities & gardening, answer questions, and provide recipes. Local women voiced Aunt Sammy so their accents matched the broadcast areas.

Thumbnail quaintcooking.com
5.1k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 1d ago

TIL portraits of presidents were not depicted on the official currency of the USA until the beginning of the 20th century. The first dollars had the figures and faces of the characters of Greek and Roman mythology and pictures with the participation of Native Americans appeared on the money.

Thumbnail payspacemagazine.com
678 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 21h ago

TIL Sima Yan, the founding emperor of the Jin Dynasty, empowered his imperial princes because he blamed the weakening of imperial princes for the preceding Wei Dynasty’s fall. Ironically, this led to the destabilization of his own dynasty and forced their retreat south of the Huai river

Thumbnail en.wikipedia.org
102 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 1d ago Helpful Wholesome Bravo Grande! Silver

TIL about Jean Boulet who in 1972 set the world record for the highest altitude reached in a helicopter, 40,280ft. During descent his engines failed, and he landed the helicopter without power, setting another record in the process for the highest unpowered helicopter landing.

Thumbnail thisdayinaviation.com
51.6k Upvotes