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TV mystery series ‘Columbo’ was so popular in Romania that when the show was cancelled the Romanian gov’t feared riots, so they had the US State Dept. ask Peter Falk to record a video message to the Romanian people, which he did by reading it phonetically into the camera (Source)
Treadmills used to be used as punishment for prisoners in the 1800’s. The treadmills powered grain mills (hence the name treadmill) and pump water. (Source)
So many British men died in World War I that young women were warned that only 10% would marry. Newspapers discussed the country’s “Surplus Two Million” women. (Source)
The Soviet launch of Sputnik, the first artificial satellite, was such a shocking event that at least one theater manager stopped the movie to announce it. The movie was _Earth vs. the Flying Saucers_, and in the audience was a young Stephen King. (Source)
Polish soldiers used a bear named Wojtek to help them carry ammunition during the battle of Monte Cassino. He was also officially enlisted as a soldier with the rank of Private, and subsequently became a Corporal. (Source)
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