ElMehdi El Azhary

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, this monarch sired the highest number of progeny ever recorded in history

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Sultan Ismail of Morocco’s harem—Pinterest

Moulay Ismail was born in Sijilmassa, Morocco, around 1645. He was the second ruler of the Alaouite Dynasty, the royal house still ruling Morocco to date. Seventh of fifteen sons, he was governor of the Kingdom of Fez and the north of Morocco from 1667 up until his half-brother’s death in 1672.

He was infamously ruthless, his reign supposedly began with the display of 400 rebel heads on the walls of Fez, as he was contending to the throne against his nephew before being proclaimed Sultan at Fez in 1687 to begin a rule that would last 55 years, the longest of any Sultan in Morocco. …


The one about French writer Victor Hugo is the best tidbit of knowledge I know

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Photo by Giammarco Boscaro on Unsplash

History is filled with weird, unexplainable, and even unbelievable stories. Not all historical events make it to the headlines, some are swept under the rug to make room for the bigger ones. Yet, it is important to know not just the big names and events of history but also the little details that give much more context about a specific era or period.

These tidbits of history can be anything: shocking facts to make us rethink conventional wisdom, funny anecdotes that could have made history class a bit more interesting, or even gruesome happenings that have shocked the world yet have somehow been forgotten. By the end of it, we will find out that our generation is perhaps not the weirdest (nor the scariest) in history. …


And how we are probably witnessing the end of the world’s largest democracy

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Narendra Modi, India’s Prime Minister—The Economist

In early November, India was swept away by the controversy of Arnab Goswami, a prominent journalist who, according to an Indian friend, is the equivalent of Fox News’ Tucker Carlson.

Goswami was dragged from his home and then thrown into jail, pushing government officials to denounce a blatant assault on free speech and demanding that the journalist be granted bail.

To government critics, Goswami’s case was a test of BJP’s (Bharatiya Janata Party, India’s ruling party) power rather than one of freedom of speech. They argue that the defendant has pioneered an extremely aggressive style of journalism. …


And yet had nine!

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Queen Victoria’s family—Pinterest

She is the grandmother of Europe and the most famous single mother in the world, yet Queen Victoria’s most-debated role, which has constantly fed her mystique over time, is perhaps that of a mother.

She lived one of the most passionate but also tragic love stories in history, gave birth to nine kids who would go on to unify multiple European royal families, and was known for being a decisive and assertive ruler.

Much of what we know about Queen Victoria as a mother came from her own correspondence, letters she exchanged with multiple men in her life, other noblewomen, and most notably her daughters once they grew up. …


Based on Michael Hart best-seller “the 100: a Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History”

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Photo by Liam Arning on Unsplash

In 1978, Michael H. Hart, an astrophysicist, and author published what would be an evergreen best-selling book: The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History. The book compiled a list of people who, according to him, have had the most influence over humanity.

The book got a huge success and was translated into many languages. In 1992, Hart printed the second edition which included many revisions. While this list is, at the end of the day, the opinion of one man, many people tend to agree with Hart’s assessment. …


And how they influenced today’s society

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Photo by Emiliano Vittoriosi on Unsplash

Getting married was extremely simple in medieval England specifically and Western Europe in general. Some of the practices and rituals that characterized marriages and relationships at the time are still very much present now.

What was more complicated, though, was proving your marriage. There were so many ways to marry someone that it wasn’t uncommon to find yourself married to someone without your knowledge (think of it as a modern Vegas, but less flashy and with more blood).

You could marry anywhere

Although it was the church that practically created and enforced marriage law in medieval Europe, you could get married wherever you wanted. In a pub, down the road, in bed, or at a friend’s house. …


A list of wars not mentioned in history books

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Photo by Birmingham Museums Trust on Unsplash

The United States’ history is filled with secret wars and operations that barely make it to the footnotes of history books. Most people know about World War II, in which 401,317 Americans lost their lives.

But what the 5.8 million who fought in the Forgotten War against North Korea. Here are five forgotten wars from American history.

The Philippine-American War


The firsts that marked the changing of a nation

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The White House—NY Times

The US Presidential Election has seen many developments since it came to be. The landscape of the election, in general, is very different from where it was when George Washington took the presidency in charge.

Some firsts are trivial, fun to know. First to die in office? William Henry Harrison (W-Ohio). First to serve two non-consecutive terms? Grover Cleveland (D-New York), the 22nd and 24th President of the States. Strangely, Harrison’s grandson Benjamin Harrison (R-Indiana)defeated Cleveland in 1888 but lost to Grover in 1892.

Other firsts mark the beginning of new eras, the changing of a nation, and the shift of ideologies. …


The 7–18-year-old kids who revolutionized the Civil Rights movement in Birmingham, Alabama

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Children’s Crusade protests—Tolerance

In April 1963, the Civil Rights movement under the leadership of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. faced an unexpected turn of events in Birmingham, Alabama. The movement had very minimal support and the number of volunteers was constantly shrinking. The movement’s campaign to end segregationist policies was on the verge of failure.

But, when a member of the SCLC, James Bevel, came up with the unorthodox idea to recruit black children for protests, the movement got revived. The fight for racial equality was once again revived in Birmingham in what has come to be known as the Children’s Crusade. …


In 1968, the House of Representatives voted for an amendment to move from an Electoral College to a popular vote

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Birch Bayh, the Senator behind the amendment to abolish the Electoral College—NY Times

It was the 18th of September 1969. On the floor of the House of Representatives, members had just voted to send a constitutional amendment to the Senate, one that would have dismantled the Electoral College as a system. It was the only time in American history that a chamber of Congress approved an amendment to abolish the Electoral College.

The vote came in special circumstances. …

About

ElMehdi El Azhary

Storyteller. Mental health activist. History buff. This is your daily dose of unconventional writing. elmehdielazhary4@gmail.com

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