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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Fast Facts

  • Suttee, the immolation of a widow on her husband’s funeral pyre, existed in India as a pious custom for centuries. Thousands of women “”volunteered”” to be burned every year. In the 19th century, the British imposed stiff penalties for those who participated in the rite and eventually suppressed it.
  • The palace where the king of Egypt lived was the per-o, “”the big house.”” When the Egyptians began referring to their king by his place of residence, “”pharaoh”” (for per-o) came into the language. It would be as though Jimmy Carter were called “”whitey”” for living in the White House.
  • About 1,500 years after they occupied parts of Spain, the Vandals, a German tribe, are still present in name: The region in the south known as Andalusia is merely “”Vandalusia”” with the initial letter missing.
  • In 1935, “”Iran”” became the new name for what had been Persia, which was the new name for what had earlier been Iran.
  • Margaret Sanger was jailed for a month in a workhouse for founding a birth-control clinic in 1917.
  • Dorothea Dix, the 19th-century educator and first superintendent of U.S. Army nurses, recommended as nurses only women who were strong and not too good-looking.
  • In rain forests near the border of Brazil and Venezuela, the Yanomamo tribe had a unique practice: Until a woman gave birth to a son, she killed her female infants, and she could do away with all unwanted children, regardless of sex, once the first son was born.
  • The phrase “”What a guy!”” is a cry of derision in Great Britain and a cry of admiration in the United States.
  • The word curfew is derived from an old French word that meant “”cover fire.”” In Europe during the Middle Ages, a curfew was a metal cone or shield that was used to put out the hearth fire in the evening. The word “”curfew”” came to mean the end of the day’s activities.
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