Weird History 101

My Dinner with Attila the Hun, I Started World War I,
Watching Custer's Last Stand,
and Other Tales of Intrigue, Mayhem and Outrageous Behavior


John Richard Stephens


Weird History 101 cover

Adams Media, Holbrook, MA (now Simon & Schuster), 1997, softcover.


Weird History 101
                    cover

Barnes & Noble Publishing, New York City, 2006, hardcover.

Weird History 101
                          cover

Adams Media (F+W Publications, now Simon & Schuster), New York City, 2009, softcover.


"We heard shooting. We hid in the brush. The sounds of the shooting multiplied--pop--pop--pop--pop--pop--pop! We heard women and children screaming. Old men were calling the young warriors to battle. Young men were singing their war songs as they responded to the call. We peeped out. Throngs of Sioux men on horses were racing toward the skirt of timber just south of the Uncpapa camp circle, where the guns were clattering. The horsemen warriors were dodging through a mass of women, children and old people hurrying afoot to the benchland hills west of the camps."

The Native American woman who wrote this was experiencing the beginning of an event that would become legendary in American history. She was about to be one of the few eyewitnesses to Custer's Last Stand.

Thought history was dull and boring? That's because you were never taught any of the really interesting stuff. In this book, John Richard Stephens brings together striking firsthand accounts, rare documents, and weird and unusual information to reveal the flip side of "official" history. This is the sort of stuff they wouldn't dare teach you in school.


bullet A spy explains how easy it was to steal CIA secrets and sell them to the KGB.

bullet In 1957 the U.S. Air Force accidentally dropped a hydrogen bomb on Arizona. Then in 1966 they dropped three on Spain.

bullet Houdini's secrets revealed! Discover how he survived being buried alive and how he escaped from a locked safe.

bullet An official government pamphlet claims nuclear warfare isn't really that harmful to your health.

bullet A firsthand account by a man who was standing on the Titanic when it went underwater.

bullet A doctor tells his famous patients to drink a glass of water containing fifty live millipedes twice a day to aid digestion.

bullet Find out about the foreign invaders who actually destroyed the White House.

Can you guess which American presidents said:

bullet "Things are more like they are now than they have ever been."

bullet "Oftentimes...I don't seem to grasp that I am President."

bullet "I have opinions of my own--strong opinions--but I don't always agree with them."

Find the answers in Weird History 101. You'll wish this book had been your history class textbook!

This is a collection of unusual odds and ends of the past, with selections like "Eyewitness to Custer's Last Stand," "Dinner with Attila the Hun," "Wyatt Earp Tells of the Shootout at O.K. Corral," "Unintelligible Quotations of U.S. Presidents," "The Sacking of the White House," "Take Some Lice and Call Me in the Morning," and "Unusual Uses for Mummies."

This is history as entertainment. You may be surprised, amused, infuriated, and perhaps even offended, but you won't be bored! You're not used to seeing history like this. The kind that is often censored, covered up, ignored or white washed. They don't teach you this stuff in college.