It turns out that a lot of what you were reading in history textbooks was wrong, and some of the things you believe are either skewed by false information passed down through the generations or were just flat out made up.
History teachers try hard to educate, and really it’s not their fault that throughout time people have been prone to hyperbole, lies, and a total lack of fact-checking. Half of what we learn seems to be based on rumors and gossip, which brings with it the horrifying implications that in a thousand years the history books may be based on things reported by TMZ.
15Marie Antoinette Never Said “Let Them Eat Cake”
Despite the popular opinion, Marie Antoinette’s famous line was actually written by Jean-Jacques Rousseau in a book when Antoinette was only 10 years old.
14Vikings Never Wore Horned Helmets
The Vikings are pretty much synonymous with horned helmets, but there’s never been a shred of evidence they ever wore them, and it was an artistic embellishment over the years.
13American Independence Was Actually Declared on July 2
The American colonies declared independence on July 2, and not July 4 – it just took them a couple of days for Thomas Jefferson to edit the documents and make it official.
12Slaves Didn’t Build the Pyramids of Egypt
Paid builders, and not slaves, built the pyramids – and further, the myth that they were Jewish slaves has been debunked by no less than the Hebrew University of Jerusalem since Jews didn’t even exist then.
11Witches Were Never Burned at the Stake in Salem
The common myth is that the Salem witches were burned at the stake, but not a single one was executed that way, with hangings being the actual method used.
10Thomas Edison Did Not Invent Electric Light
Sorry, Mr. Edison, but you were an out and out thief here, stealing your idea from a guy named Sir Humphry Davy, who invented the first electric light bulb in 1809.
9Captain Cook Did Not Discover Australia
Captain James Cook is thought of as the guy who discovered Australia, but in reality, he wasn’t even the first European, as it had been visited nearly 200 years before he got there.
8Betsy Ross Did Not Design the American Flag
Betsy Ross is remembered as the creator of the original American flag, but there’s absolutely no evidence to support it, and the legend was invented by her grandson and the lie endured.
7The Plymouth Pilgrims Didn’t Celebrate The First Thanksgiving
Pilgrims are credited with celebrating the first Thanksgiving but it turns out there’d been a similar feast in St. Augustine, Florida in 1565 with Spanish explorer Pedro Menendez de Aviles.
6Henry Ford Did Not Invent The Assembly Line
Henry Ford is credited with inventing the assembly line, but it was actually a guy named Ransom Eli Olds who came up with the idea around the turn of the 20th century.
5The Nursery Rhyme “Ring Around The Rosie” is Not About The Plague
It’s believed this kid’s rhyme is about the black plague, but in reality, it’s kind of like footloose – Protestants banned dancing in the 19th century so rhymes were created to circumvent that ban.
4Paul Revere Never Said ”The British Are Coming”
The famous “midnight ride” of Paul Revere was primarily an invention of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, though Revere did spread the word – only he was one of about 40 guys doing it.
3There Were Actually Survivors at The Alamo
Despite what movies and legend have taught you, not everyone at the Alamo was killed, as there were many women and children there whose lives were spared, in addition to some soldiers.
2Roman Vomitoriums Weren’t Used For Vomiting
When you hear “vomitorium” you probably associate it with puking, but in reality, it actually means “passageway” and refers to where you basically went in and out of buildings like the Coliseum.
1Feminist Never Burned Beas For Women’s Liberation
The women’s liberation was believed to involve women burning bras, but the truth is when draft cards were burned, some bras were thrown into the fire and somehow the two became entwined.