Plaques are all over our built environment, if you’re looking for them: on walls, the sidewalk, or the side of a building, each telling a story about a historical event, person, or place. Some are sobering reminders of tragedies or war, others champion discoveries and inventions, and still more honor everyday people who made a difference in their communities.
Atlas Obscura certainly has its fair share of unique and interesting plaques that run this gamut, but we’ve noticed that a few in our massive collection have another attribute: the ability to make people smile, while also highlighting historical moments.
Visitors to 38 High Street in Essex, England, for example, will surely come across a surprising bronze relief that tells the story of Edward Bright and his notable girth. In Madison, Wisconsin, not far from an automotive store, resides a plaque where it’s said the King himself, Elvis Presley, stopped a fight with a simple karate stance. From the birthplace of the cheeseburger to the “Emperor of the United States,” here are 14 plaques that will surely elicit a few grins.