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Alexander Graham Bell refused to have a phone in his study. The ringing drove him nuts.
Construction workers in Brazil cemented a car on a pavement after its driver refused to move it.
The Beatles refused to play in front of segregated audiences in America.
U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant’s parents refused to attend his wedding because his fiance’s family owned slaves.
The Soviet Union refused to host the 1980 Paralympics, stating that none of their citizens had disabilities.
A priest on the Titanic refused to board a lifeboat twice. Instead, he stayed behind to hear confessions and give absolution to the people left on the ship.
Before the Holocaust, Hitler gave the U.S., Great Britain, and many other nations a chance to take in Jewish refugees. They refused.
In 1988, a customer closed out his million-dollar account after his bank refused to validate a 50¢ parking ticket.
During WW1, Marie Curie attempted to donate her Gold Nobel Prize medals for the war effort but the French National Bank refused to accept them.
During WW2, Canada gave out buttons to people who tried to enlist but were refused due to medical reasons to show their willingness to fight.
Bob Marley could have halted the spred of his cancer but refused to have his toe amputated for religious reasons.
United Artists offered Stallone up to US$340,000 to sell them the rights to the screenplay of Rocky if he agreed to not star in the movie. He refused.
The White House Correspondent’s Dinner was men-only until 1962, when JFK refused to attend unless women did.
Vasili Arkhipov, a senior officer on a Soviet submarine, refused to launch a nuclear torpedo in October 1962, perhaps preventing WW3.
During WW2, Hajimi Fuji volunteered for the kamikaze but was refused because he had a wife and two children. His wife then drowned her two young girls and herself.
Albert Einstein cheated on his wife, belittled her scientific achievements, and refused to help out around the house and made her sign a contract in which she would agree to leave the room or stop talking if he told her to.
When Michelangelo was first offered the job of painting the Sistine Chapel he refused, considering himself a sculptor rather than an artist.
Vermont first tried to become part of Quebec, but Quebec refused so it joined the United States instead.
Wyoming granted women’s suffrage 50 years before the 19th amendment, and refused to join the Union without maintaining their women’s right to vote.
A white American became a Japanese citizen, and successfully sued a business that refused entry to non-Japanese for racial discrimination in 2001, winning US$25,000 in damages.