Do you like trivia? I do! But what is it?
The ancient Romans did not have radio, TV or the internet. If they wanted news from some place, then they had to ask someone that had just come from there. And the best news was to be had could only be found where three roads came together.
So you had to go to the three-road place to get the best news. Say it in Latin like they did. “Tri-via!”
The above is a perfect little nugget of what I love about most trivia. A short little story that entertains and informs, even though the knowledge gained is hardly useful except to win a bar bet or two. It also doesn’t hurt that most trivia is historical in nature, and I love history.
I came across a Youtube video channel that I find really interesting. It is called The History Guy, and the videos are short snippets where an incident from the past is briefly explored.
Want an example? Howsabout this. The people who live in the city of Toronto, Canada are known for the great pride they take in battling corruption, but it wasn’t always that way. Toronto in the 19th Century was known for being a rough and violent frontier town, where local government was dominated by an all-powerful political machine. If you were in with the bosses, you could literally get away with murder. But it all changed because a circus clown and a volunteer fireman walked in to a brothel.
1920’s Chicago was hardly known for being a safe place, but an actual war broke out between famed taxi firms the Yellow Cab Company and Checkered Cabs in that city. The war started out with fisticuffs, and eventually moved to drive-by shootings and murder in the streets.
An incident that is well known in the United Kingdom but virtually forgotten in the United States, a crazed gunman attempted to kidnap Princess Anne almost within sight of Buckingham Palace in 1976. He shot four men and was only stopped when a former heavyweight boxer nicknamed “The Geezer”, who only happened to be walking by, punched the crazy man in the face.
I don’t know the name of the author of the videos, but it seems obvious to me that he is a history teacher or professor. The way that he arranges the details, and the way that he presents it, would be perfect to keep the attention of bored students.
If this kind of thing appeals to you, then give it a look. Subscribe to the channel to access videos that are twice the length.