What are some ridiculous or weird large scale projects that were planned but never carried out or completed?

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The Cross Florida Barge Canal.

Was the idea to connect the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic. FDR actually started the construction on it, and JFK later got congress to dedicate even more funds to the project. Was discontinued by Nixon and eventually completely cancelled in 1990.


Atlantropa. The plan to dam up and drain the Mediterranean Sea back in the 1920’s. Was proposed with lots of ideas how, but of course, never saw implementation.


EPCOT as originally planned by Walt Disney was pretty bananas. It was conceived as a planned city (Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow). Obviously didn’t pan out.


In the 1960s a proposal to develop a “Mid-Canada” gained some traction.

Canada is primarily developed near the United States border, and this was a proposal to build series of infrastructure (rail lines, highways, towns, power lines, etc) through “mid-Canada” and essentially see a second Canada built in top of the existing one.

It was an ambitious project that would have seen Canada’s population hit 70 million or so by 2016 and have a GDP rivalling the United Kingdom.

Millions would settle, resources would be developed, metropolises would grow, and eventually a hearty, winter-loving “mid-Canadian” identity would develop.

Ahead of their time, aboriginal consultations were even at the forefront of the project. This would be a national, unifying project that would have even ended the rise of Québécois nationalism!

Skeptics pointed out it would simply result in some mining of resources until they ran out and then ghost towns and abandoned rails would be left behind.

Sure would have been interesting to see though.


Google attempting to bring fiber internet to the country and deciding to just stop doing that in 2016.


Simple/Short/Silly History Questions Saturday, September 25, 2021

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The agricultural revolution caused population growth. But was this because women gave birth more often or were they instead able to keep more kids alive to maturity, birthrate being the same?


Ok, I’ve got something silly….Where on earth would you have settled or startet a family to withstand the test of time, say, approximately before the Bronze Age collapse? Specifically where would have been the safest spot to settle a home and continue your lineage undisputed for the next 3500 years?

I wanted to ask that question for a very long time now. Please help…

Edit: Region or place should be economically and technologically prosperous.


Back in high school, my history teacher told me Louis XIV not only suffered from halitosis due to poor dental hygiene, but also would occasionally soil his pants. He explained the monarch flatly could not afford to breach etiquette by interrupting the often lengthy royal ceremonies that spread across everything from getting out of and into bed. Due to this, my teacher argued, Louis would always stride in a slow, dignified manner – even if he was busily undergoing a rectal ragnarök.

Is there any truth to this, or was this just a gifted teacher trying to splice up otherwise dry history lessons with a bit of humor? I know it sounds ridiculous, but I also know people often spent (and spend) equally ridiculous amounts of effort upon upholding proper ceremonial standards.


Why do the Roses of York and Lancaster look nothing like Roses, Roses have significantly more than 5 petals and the petals are far more dense. Were Roses selectively bred to look different since then or is it a stylistic choice?


What did flat Earth believers (Medieval or otherwise) think happened to the water at the edge of the Earth?


The Other Slavery: Smithsonian Virtual Symposium on Native American Slavery, Free Access From Sept. 24-27

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We learned a lot about this in school (Canada) when I was young (many moons ago). We learned that they would kill the men of the neighboring bands and take the women and children as slaves. I remember hearing the Haidas were the most fierce (although my memory is fading, so could be wrong). Most certainly good hunters.

Our education involved visiting these tribes and having potlatches, learned about their culture, it was really interesting to me as a kid. Particularly their artwork, especially their masks.

This was 40 years ago. So much has changed. I doubt the kids these days have the wonderful opportunity to do the same… but again, could be wrong.


Interesting. When I read the headline I mistakenly thought this was a symposium on the slave trade amongst various Native American groups, which is arguably a more interesting topic.


Presented by the Smithsonian Latino Center, the National Museum of the American Indian, and the National Museum of African American History and Culture in association with the Smithsonian’s initiative, *Our Shared Future: Reckoning with Our Racial Past.*

Native American slavery was pervasive in the New World, from the very beginning of contact through to the early 20th century. Scholars in the field have studied the disastrous effects of the indigenous slave trade for decades, but the story of Native American slavery remains largely untold in the public consciousness. This symposium brings some of the greats in the field together to discuss the history and legacy of the Native American slave trade.

Free access available on demand from 12:01 AM ET, September 24, 2021, to 11:59 PM ET, September 27, 2021.

Check it out, share with history friends, and let’s talk about it.


How about one on indentured servitude. These people had no value and contemporary sources say they were treated worse than animals


The ‘other slavery’ is the shittiest title I’ve ever seen for a group that revolves around history. This presents the situation as black slavery in the us south and oh look at the only other example of slavery we have: native americans. When in fact slavery has happened for millennia and has happened to every group of people. It even still continues in some countries.


Bookclub Wednesday, September 22, 2021

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Finished yesterday **Empires of the Sea: The Final Battle for the Mediterranean 1521-1580, by Roger Crowley**

4.75/5 highly recommend.

Covers the Ottomans vs Christians in the 16th century Mediterranean. Split into three parts with lots of smaller chapters. Part 1 covers the fall of Rhodes, Barbary pirates and the period of Ottoman naval supremacy up until 1560. Part 2 covers the siege of Malta and is the highlight of the book for me. Part 3 covers the lead up to and the battle of Lepanto then the aftermath and consequences of it. The writing is really good and accessible. I don’t know much about the 16th century outside of England and I found it very easy to follow. Crowley does a good job of painting what the world was like at the time as well.


Two years ago I started Decline and Fall by Gibbon. When the book started “In the Age of the Antonines” I knew I was in trouble. I didn’t know who the Antonines were, or what age they lived. This was not a good book for a beginner.

Since then, I have completed Theodore Mommsen’s History of Rome (5 Volumes), Dynasty by Tom Holland, Augustus by Adrian Goldsworthy, and four Teaching Company courses going from 750BC to Theodosius, 395AD.

I’m now on my third chapter of Decline and Fall and I have the biggest grin reading it, as I understand all the references. It’s such a cool feeling.


Just finished William Manchester’s biography of General Douglas MacArthur, “American Caesar”.

Quite enjoyed it. It’s a long book, but some sections felt too glossed over. For example, the last 10 years of his life was about 10 pages. Which is understandable I guess since he was retired by then. Manchester does a good job at attempting to portray things in a balanced light, and I think presents the complex figure that is Douglas MacArthur quite well. He was a man of many talents and many shortcomings and I think that both of these things are given fairly equal weight.

I don’t have much to compare it to as it’s the first biography I’ve read of MacArthur, so I’d be interested if there were more modern ones written – Manchester’s was published in 1978. That isn’t a bad thing in of itself, and it still comes highly recommended.

One thing I know for certain and that’s that Dan Carlin was spot on when he called MacArthur “The Situation” (like the guy from Jersey Shore): Everywhere he goes, he’s the situation.


Just finished “Heart of Europe: A History of the Holy Roman Empire” by Peter H. Wilson. I really didn’t know a whole lot about HRE so I found it very interesting. I did rush the last third because I am leaving for Germany in the morning and didn’t want to take it with me.


Reading *Rogue Diplomats: The Proud Tradition of Disobedience in American Foreign Policy* by Seth Jacobs. Really feels weird that such a key aspect of American history has been neglected due attention until now.

Also reading *Six Frigates: The Epic History of the Founding of the U.S. Navy* by Ian Toll. Not sure how Toll is perceived by most historians, but I’m surprised how much detail he’s crammed into the book in just the first couple of chapters.