Untold History: 25 Historical Facts You Might Not Know 2

11Japanese POWs

Japanese POWs

Japanese POWs provided a vast wealth of information during World War 2. This was because most Japanese soldiers were unaware of the rights they retained as prisoners under the Geneva convention. Many also felt indebted to American troops for the courteous treatment they received.

12Dagen H

Dagen H

Sweden switched their entire traffic system from the left side of the road to the right side in a single day in 1967 called “Dagen H”, the most logistically complex event in Sweden’s history.

13Robert Liston

Robert Liston

Robert Liston is the only surgeon in history to have performed an operation with a 300% mortality rate, losing his patient to infection, accidentally amputating his assistant's fingers, who also died of infection, and slashing a spectator who died from shock.

14Charles Coward

Charles Coward

One of the most inaccurately named men in history was Charles Coward. While in German captivity, he traded clothes with a Jewish inmate so he could report to the British on what was happening in Auschwitz. He later testified in Nuremberg.

15Smiling in Photos

Smiling in Photos

For most of history, smiling in a painting or photo was considered radical, and even Mark Twain once wrote, "A photograph is a most important document, and there is nothing more damning to go down to posterity than a silly, foolish smile caught and fixed forever"

16Isaac Newton

Isaac Newton

Isaac Newton studied alchemy, tried to put all the world's religious histories together into one timeline, thought Atlantis was real, associated with secret societies like the Freemasons, and predicted the end of the world in 2060.



Subotai was the primary General of Genghis Khan during the Mongolian conquest of Asia. He directed more than twenty campaigns in which he conquered 32 nations and won 65 pitched battles, during which he conquered or overran more territory than any other commander in history.

18North Carolina Coup

North Carolina Coup

The only coup in US history occurred in North Carolina in 1898. A mob of white supremacists armed with rifles and pistols marched on City Hall in Wilmington and overthrew the local government, forcing both black and white officials to resign. The leader of the mob was later elected as mayor.

19Hakkoda Mountains Incident

Hakkoda Mountains Incident

On January 23, 1902, 210 Japanese soldiers got caught in a blizzard on the Hakkoda Mountains in Aomori prefecture. A total of 199 of them died during the ascent making it the most lethal disaster in the history of mountaineering.

20Holy Roman Empire

Holy Roman Empire

Voltaire's joke that the Holy Roman Empire (HRE) was "neither holy, nor Roman, nor an empire" was mostly true. The center of the Church at the time was actually the Vatican, the HRE's people were mostly Germanic and not Roman, and the nation was never truly unified at any point in its history.