Learning that the ampersand is a ligature of the letters E and T ("et" being the latin word for and) used by the Ancient Romans doesn't even begin to touch upon its storied history.
With Roman global expansion, the ampersand made its way around as well, oftentimes adopted by local languages. In the early 1700s, the ampersand was adopted into the English language as the 27th letter, spoken after Z when reciting the alphabet. It was the only letter not to represent a sound but was read "per se and," meaning "by itself and." Over time its usage decreased and its classification changed to that of punctuation. To learn about all that fell in between, head over to Medium.