The saying "Skeleton in the Closet" is an urban myth that came from
England well over a hundred years old. The story goes that a recently widowed
woman went to work as a housekeeper for a married couple. Upon opening one of
the closets she discovered a skeleton hanging on a hook. Shocked, she mentioned
it to the lady of the house. The younger woman told her that it was the remains
of a former lover whom her husband found out about and killed. For punishment he
put the man's remains in his wife's closet as a reminder to her of her
The housekeeper had a son in the English army overseas in India and wrote to him to tell him what happened. He wrote back and said: " Don't worry mother, I'm sure that there are lots of people with a skeleton in their closet".
In 13th century Portugal King Ferrard and Queen Jeanne held a game of chess in which the queen won. The king was so upset that he punched her in the face. The queen was even more upset.
Sometime later, in 1213 when Portugal was at war with Turkey, King Ferrard was captured. Rather than pay his ransom, the queen let her husband stay in prison. Ferrard was released thirteen years later in 1226.
World War One. On June 10, 1916, two French infantry batallions moved into position in trenches on the slopes of a ravine a few miles north of Verdun, France. For the next day and a half they were under constant heavy fire from the Germans and they lost more than half their men in killed and wounded. Their rifles were jammed with dirt, so they fixed bayonets and waited for the enemy to arrive.
When the Germans assaulted, on the morning of the 12th, many of the French soldiers had been buried alive by flying dirt from German shells. Only their bayonets could be seen protruding from the soft earth. Out of 1,000 men only 250 survived.
The French did not dig out their dead but left them where they stood. The battlefield was preserved just as it was found and the bayonets were left sticking out of the ground. After world war one the French government erected a monument over the site to the heroism of the men who would not abandon their post.
In the 16th century a potter, who worked for the Chinese emperor Chia Ching, was so distraught over the inferior pottery he made that he committed suicide by jumping into the blazing kiln.
It was later discovered, by his fellow potters, that the bone ash of his remains had improved the paste and had prevented it from cracking in the firing. Ever since bone ash has been added to the mix to make bone china.
In March 1945 Allied Intelligence received reports that the Nazis had built a huge underground fortress on the border of Austria and Germany. Armaments were being manufactured in bomb-proof factories, food and equipment were stored away in large tunnels and a big army was waiting there to liberate Germany. When news was given to the Supreme Allied Commander, General Eisenhower, he ordered some allied divisions to attack the fortress. But the complex did not exist. It was a hoax perpetrated by Germany's propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels. This wasteful advance slowed down the British and Americans and helped the Russians to be the first to enter Berlin.