Truth is stranger than fiction. That’s what they say. While history can be boring sometimes, there are some events in history that beggar belief.
The thing is, reality is sometimes crazier than works of fiction, and here are some historical events to prove this:
President Teddy Roosevelt Shot in the Chest, Calmly Finishes His Speech
“I don’t know whether you fully understand that I have just been shot,” was Theodore Roosevelt’s second line on October 14, 1912, in Milwaukee after John Flammang Schrank shot him during his campaign speech.
The audience was horrified to see his bloodstained shirt after unbuttoning his vest. “It takes more than that to kill a bull moose,” he assured them. And then, he reached into his coat pocket to show his bullet-riddled, 50-page thick speech. He continued, “Fortunately, I had my manuscript, so you see, I was going to make a long speech, and there is a bullet—there is where the bullet went through—and it probably saved me from it going into my heart. The bullet is in me now, so I cannot make a very long speech, but I will try my best.”
Just after he was shot, a mob of the angry crowd shouted to the shooter, “Kill him!” However, Roosevelt was calm about it, “Don’t hurt him. Bring him here. I want to see him… What did you do it for?” When he did not get any response, he said, “Oh, what’s the use? Turn him over to the police.”
Even though his voice weakened and his breath shortened, he continued his speech. His nervous aides were on the side, begging him to stop speaking and have himself checked in the hospital instead. Finally, he completed his speech and had a doctor check the bullet that lodged in his muscles, where the doctor decided that it would be better to leave the shot there instead of trying to remove it.
Russian and German Soldiers Fight Off a Huge Pack of Wolves
…was the title of the newspaper article published by Oklahoma City Times on February 15, 1917. What’s more terrifying than being wounded in the middle of a conflict as you fight against your enemy nations? Probably being attacked by a pack of wolves. That’s what happened in an encounter during World War I. The Russian and German forces were battling in German territory. Suddenly, a massive pack of wolves began running onto the battlefields and going after the dead and the wounded soldiers.
A dispatch from Berlin reported that the wolves were from the forests in Lithuania and Volhynia. They had been driven away from their hunting territories due to the war and forced to enter nearby populated areas. The opposing forces, probably stunned at first, ceased fire and, for a few minutes, worked together to shoot the ravenous and aggressive wolves, killing about 50 of them.
Napoleon Was Swarmed by a Bunch of Bunny Rabbits
It was July 1807, and Napoleon Bonaparte had just signed the Treaties of Tilsit all while in a raft, officially ending the war between France and Russia. To celebrate his victory, he asked his chief of staff, Alexandre Berthier, to organize a rabbit hunt for him and his men. Berthier obliged, purchased thousands of rabbits, and placed them in cages around a field. Then, when Napoleon’s group was ready, he released the bunnies, expecting them to run away in panic while the hunters chased after them while applying their hunting skills.
At least, that’s what they thought. As it turned out, Berthier bought these rabbits from farmers, and they were not afraid of humans. They expect humans to feed them because they were used to that while on the farm. When the rabbits were released from their cages, they swarmed the emperor and his men, basically hunting them instead of being tracked. As French General Baron Paul Charles Thiebault said,
All those rabbits, which should have tried in vain, even by scattering themselves, to escape the shots which the august hand destined for them, suddenly collected, first in knots, then in a body; instead of having recourse to a useless flight, they all faced about, and in an instant the whole phalanx flung itself upon Napoleon.
Napoleon had no choice but to flee in his carriage, but the rabbits were not to give up easily. The flood of bunnies chased and leaped into the carriage, demanding their food.