Misc. Fun Stories


Making the Bed
South African leader Nelson Mandela was known for many things, not the least of which was his humility even after he became famous around the world. Mandela always made his own bed, no matter where he traveled. One time, he was visiting Shanghai, where he stayed in a very fancy hotel. Chinese hospitality requires that you allow the maid to clean your room. Doing it yourself can be regarded as an insult.

An aide tried to explain this to Mandela. In response, the leader asked for his maids to be sent up to his room. The aide talked to the hotel manager, and soon Mandela was speaking to the staff. He explained that he always made his own bed wherever he was, and the maids agreed.

“He never really cared about what great big people think of him,” the aide wrote later, “but he did care about what small people thought of him.”

Act of Forgiveness
During World War II, only one Japanese pilot managed to drop a bomb on the U.S. mainland. He was Nobuo Fujita, and he flew a long-range bomber across the Pacific to Oregon, where he dropped his payload over the city of Brookings and then returned successfully home.

Years later, Fujita traveled back to Brookings to apologize, giving the city his family’s sword as a way of asking forgiveness. Not only did the town leaders forgive him, they made him an honorary citizen.

Punctuation Is Powerful
Maria Feodorovna, the wife of Tsar Alexander III of Russia, was known for her charitable works. According to one story, she once saved a condemned man from exile in Siberia by moving a single comma in the warrant signed by her husband.

The original document read: “Pardon impossible, to be sent to Siberia.” The Empress moved the comma, so the warrant read: “Pardon, impossible to be sent to Siberia.” The man was saved and released.

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