Hair In History

By: Jayel Aheram

Most people (especially historians) underestimate the importance of facial hair in history. For instance, Hitler’s mustache allowed him to conquer most of Europe, while the hairless Winston Churchill didn’t even try. Of course, Stalin’s far-bushier mustache struck terror into the hearts of German soldiers, who turn and ran. Stalin’s stache terrified Russian citizens as well, especially when it held chunks of food, allowing him to stay in power for years.

If Hitler had had a full beard, everything would’ve turned out differently.

I thought of this while reading an obituary for Zvonko Busic, a Croatian nationalist who highjacked a jetliner in 1976 and demanded Croatia’s independence from Yugoslavia. Like all highjackers, he was caught (highjackers seem to overlook the fact that you can’t hide inside a plane and they contain very little food, especially if its an American airline). Zvonko was jailed.

But get this — Zvonko escaped from a federal prison. He placed a dummy in his bed while he dug under the fence. And guess what he used to camouflage the dummy to perfection? Yup, he shaved off his beard and glued it to the dummy’s head!

Total genius maneuver. But it gets better. Four years after the Great Facial Hair Escape, Croatia was granted independence from Yugoslavia. The Yugoslav leaders realized they were up against and unstoppable beard.

Never underestimate the power of facial hair. Lincoln had a full on beard, while Jefferson Davis (the Confederate leader) was clean-shaven. Lincoln won. Coincidence? I think not.

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6 thoughts on “Hair In History”

  1. I love the scientific analysis that leads to the conclusion that lots of hair = lots of power. Does it have to facial hair or can it be on one’s head? If that is so, I am the ruler of the whole freaking world!

    1. You’d have to fight me for the title.

      I inherited my father’s Southern Italian hair. It isn’t curly, but it’s thick, full, coarse and luxurious. Hairdressers despair when they see it, because they know it will be extra work to get it into shape.

      It also grows at the speed of light. Right now, it’s pretty short, but it wouldn’t take me very long to get it back down to the middle of my back.

      So if applications are being taken for Hair Queen of the World, I nominate myself.

    2. Pretty sure only facial hair bestows power. Ever notice how dictators never have afroes? Though Margaret Thatchers hair was pretty big, so maybe head-hair is the female equivalent to male facial hair. More study needed.

  2. If you ever want to not have a passport issued, try growing a really long, ridiculous beard that Gandalf would be proud of. It works every time and you don’t get to travel!

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