10 Facts About Outstanding People That They Probably Didn’t Teach You in School (You May See the Past in a Whole New Light After This)
Famous people have their own oddities and skeletons in their closets just like we do. Over the years, myths about famous people and their personalities have spread. For example, the ugliest woman in history appeared to be a rather pretty lady of strong character. Another strong woman, The Queen of the United Kingdom, loved her friend very much and requested to build a statue in his honor.
Bright Side has found some interesting stories about famous people’s lives, from members of Royal families to famous people who lived in the 20th century.
Countess Margarete Maultasch wasn’t the ugliest woman in the world.
There’s a belief that the Countess of Tyrol and the Duchess of Bavaria, Margarete Maultasch who lived in the 14th century was the ugliest woman in history. Her portrait (as you can see in the picture above) and nickname serve as proof: Maultasch resembles the German word, “maultasche” which literally means “bag mouth”.
However, some researchers think that “maultasch” wasn’t actually referring to the dutches’ appearance but instead was referring to the name of a castle in Tyrol. As for the portrait, it was painted by Flemish artist, Quentin Matsys in the 16th century and was intended to be a caricature.
If we take a look at Margarete’s other images (including the image in her seal stamp), we can see a rather pretty woman.
But how did the myth start? The thing is, Margarete forced her husband that she married as an 11-year-old girl to leave her so she could then marry the man she really loved. As you probably know, in the past, this was an impudent action.
Margarete didn’t let her first husband John Henry (on the left) in when he came home from hunting. Apparently, the citizens of Tyrol didn’t like him either and they refused to give him shelter.
He finally was taken in as a refugee by the Aquileia patriarch and as a result, Margarete and her new husband Louis, The Duke of Bavaria (on the right), were excommunicated from the church which resulted in many silly rumors.
Marie Antoinette requested to build a village where she could live as an ordinary person.
Versailles’ gorgeous atmosphere and strict etiquette exhausted The Queen and she requested to build a small village near the Petit Trianon with a farm, a mill, a dovecote, a pond, and a house that was way cozier than the castle. The atmosphere reminded Marie of her childhood where she’d spent time playing with her family and pets in the garden.
In her own village, The Queen enjoyed dressing as a young shepherdess or milkmaid and taking strolls with her children and closest friends. We presume this made her really happy. After the French Revolution, the village was abandoned. Today, it is renovated and open to the public.
Abraham Lincoln gave such an impressive speech that reporters neglected to take notes.
On May 29, 1856, in Bloomington, Illinois, Abraham Lincoln gave a speech that is believed to have been lost because all reporters were literally hypnotized by the words of the then-future president and forgot to write down any notes. We’re sure that Lincoln was really talented but have to admit that the story sounds rather strange.
There’s also another theory that claims the text was deliberately lost due to its impassioned condemnation of slavery. Nevertheless, Lincoln’s lost speech had a great influence on people and a memorial plaque devoted to this event was later installed.
Groom John Brown was Queen Victoria’s best friend.
Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom is an exception to the rule according to the traditions of that time because she married Prince Albert, a man she actually loved and continued to love all his life. Of course, his untimely death was an awful tragedy for the Queen.
And who knows what would have happened to her if it wasn’t for her best friend’s support. John Brown, a groom, as well as his relatives, was a servant at Balmoral Castle. John talked to Victoria a lot and helped her overcome the shock of her husband’s death, though she never fully recovered.
Of course, people started to tell stories indicating that there was something improper about their relationship, though Victoria said that their friendship was warm and loving. Even sarcastic pictures (one of them you can see above) started to appear and sometimes the Queen was referred to as Mrs. Brown.
Nevertheless, Victoria was very devoted to John Brown and appreciated him a lot — she even requested the installation of a statue of Brown. It’s also said that The Queen commissioned to be buried with a portrait of her husband Albert in one hand and a portrait of her friend John in the other one.
As expected, this friendship was criticized and condemned, though all letters from The Queen to the man were signed, “From your loving mother.”
Composer Arnold Schoenberg was so afraid of the number 13 that he called it “12a”. He died on July 13, 13 minutes before midnight.
The leader of the Second Viennese School, Arnold Schoenberg (shown in the picture above with his wife Gertrud and their daughter Nuria) had triskaidekaphobia, a rare fear of the number 13. Schoenberg was born on the 13th of September and always considered this number to be a bad sign.
Arnold also had to rename his opera, Moses und Aaron (in the picture below). He called it, Moses und Aron so that the number of letters wouldn’t equal 13.
In the end, Arnold died on the 13th of July, 1951. He spent all day lying in bed and waiting for death to come. His wife tried to convince him to get up but he refused to and died at 11:37 PM saying, “harmony”.
Winston Churchill loved animals, and one of his pets was a lion.
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom liked animals a lot (in the picture, he’s petting Field Marshal Montgomery’s spaniel). He had many pets including his bulldog Dodo, his poodle Rufus, and cats named Nelson and Jock. He also had pigs, butterflies, fish, cows, swans, and more.
But one of the most extraordinary pets presented to the Prime Minister was a lion named Rota. The lion was sent to the London zoo where he later became a father of 4 kittens. Churchill used to visit the lion and would feed him all the time.
Pablo Escobar took a picture near the White House.
Drug lord, Pablo Escobar used to be an ordinary man. In 1981, he visited the USA with his wife and even took a picture of him and their son, Juan Pablo Escobar in front of the White House. Later, Juan Pablo Escobar changed his name to Sebastian Marroquin and moved to Argentina. There’s also a film called Sins of My Father based on his son Juan’s book.
Steve Jobs thought he didn’t need to take showers as often because of his diet. He was mistaken.
All people have their own oddities and famous people aren’t an exception to the rule. Steve Job’s colleagues from Atari say that he believed that if he ate only fruit he would eliminate all mucus from his body and would not need to shower anymore. But it didn’t work. He was even moved to the night shift where his smell would be less irritating to his fellow colleagues.
Princess Diana quit wearing Chanel after her divorce for personal reasons.
Designer, Jayson Brunsdon says that after her divorce, Lady Di refused to put Chanel shoes on as the Chanel logo reminded her of her unfaithful husband and rival, Camilla Parker Bowles.
The Chanel logo’s letters, CC (initially standing for Coco Chanel) stood for Camilla & Charles in Diana’s mind. It’s unknown whether she changed her mind or not, but Brundson says that she only hated the letters and had nothing against the brand itself.
Woody Harrelson’s father was a killer.
Famous people usually have famous parents, but not all of them were well-known for doing good things. Charles Voyde Harrelson, the father of actor, Woody Harrelson, was convicted of assassinating the federal judge, John Wood and was sentenced to 2 life sentences.
Woody visited his father regularly in federal prison and said he was an articulate and well-read person. He even tried to appeal the court’s decision but wasn’t successful.
An interesting fact: Charles Harrelson claimed that he was involved in the assassination of Kennedy but took back his words later. Conspiracy theorists believe that Charles Harrelson was actually one of the strange men arrested right after the assassination, but this is just speculation.
Did you know any of these facts? Share your impression with us in the comments.
Preview photo credit Quentin Matsys / National Gallery / Wikipedia Commons