Russia’s beard tax

Europe was quickly modernizing in the late 17th century, and Emperor Peter I of Russia thought that his nation was falling behind. In order to try and expedite the modernization process, Peter implemented a beard tax in 1698. Under the tax, any citizens who wanted to have a beard needed to pay for a beard token. The token states that …

Japanese Emperors: 2675 years and counting

The imperial house of Japan is the longest hereditary monarchy in the World with traditionally 125 monarchs in succession and counting since Emperor Jimmu in 711 BC. According to legend, Jimmu directly descended from the sun goddess Amaterasu and founded Japan.

Anti-Tank Dogs

In one of the more bizarre episodes of World War 2, the Soviets trained dogs to go under German tanks with explosives strapped to their bodies. More than 40’000 dogs were used by the Soviet military and the plan was to use all of them to seriously impede the German advance.

The Moral Dangers of Pinball

Believe it or not, pinball machines were declared illegal in many cities across America in the 1940’s. Not only were the games seen as dangerous gambling devices, but there was also a fear that they would tempt children into a future of indiscriminate gambling. It wasn’t until 1976 that the law was overturned in New York City. Many cities still …