The worst sports disaster ever recorded took place in 29 AD in a cheap wooden stadium in Fidenae, 8 miles north of Rome. It collapsed during a crowded gladiator game and killed at least 20,000 people. The Roman Senate responded by requiring future stadiums to be inspected and certified.
A Vietnam War POW named Doug Hegdahl pretended to be illiterate to fool his captors, who believed him to be so stupid that they gave him almost free rein of the camp. He was able to secretly memorize the details of about 256 POWs to the tune of "Old MacDonald," which he still remembers.