Why soccer balls are black and whiteVictor Prado for Reader's Digest
Turns out the sports staple was made for TV. For the 1970 World Cup in Mexico—the first of its kind to be broadcast live on television—Adidas created the iconic black-and-white paneled ball, intended to catch the eyes of viewers better than a single-colored one would as it moved across black-and-white TV screens. The black pentagons also helped players and referees recognize the swerve and flight of the ball. Did you know these weird sports used to be in the Olympics?
Why the Purple Heart is purpleVictor Prado for Reader's Digest
When the Continental Congress forbade George Washington from promoting soldiers during the American Revolution, the revered general got crafty. On August 7, 1782, he established the Badge of Military Merit: a purple cloth or silk heart to be worn over a soldier’s left breast and signify an elevated status. (Check out more mind-blowing facts about George Washington.) While it’s hard to know why Washington opted for that hue, the history behind the color purple’s regal reputation dates back to the 15th century BC, when ancient Mediterranean clothiers created the shade from sea snail secretions in a long and expensive process. The result: Only royalty could afford purple clothes.