55 People Share What Historical Facts Many People Believe To Be True Are Actually 100% Fake

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55 People Share What Historical Facts Many People Believe To Be True Are Actually 100% Fake That Native Americans were one homogenous group who all agreed upon who could live on which bit of land and always had peaceful arrangements with one another before the Europeans arrived. In actuality, there was tribal warfare often. Culturally, there was so much variety. People should learn more about the Cahokians who were unique in that they built a city rather than just a village or being nomads.

Snooberry62 , Polina Chistyakova Report

55 People Share What Historical Facts Many People Believe To Be True Are Actually 100% Fake In New Zealand, they sometimes seem to be taught that they had the highest casualty rate in both World Wars. I worked with a New Zealander who got genuinely angry when I said that it wasn’t even close to being true. I put it down to him being misinformed, but then I saw another NZer making the same claim on the Guardian website.

CookinFrenchToast4ya

They got confused.. They had the highest rate of deaths per 1 million people in the commonwealth (not the world). “Post-war calculations indicated that New Zealand’s ratio of killed per million of population (at 6684) was the highest in the Commonwealth (with Britain at 5123 and Australia, 3232).”

jwelshuk , Diego González Report

That only Europeans were colonizers or imperialists.

anon Report

55 People Share What Historical Facts Many People Believe To Be True Are Actually 100% Fake I don´t know if this is still up-to-date, but my history teacher always pointed out it was often falsely taught that the pyramids and temples of the ancient egyptian period were build by slaves. They were build by respected people that helped voluntrily.

WattIsPhysik , Joshua Michaels Report

55 People Share What Historical Facts Many People Believe To Be True Are Actually 100% Fake My mother and all her siblings were taught at a Catholic school that men have one less rib than women and that’s to origin of the Adam and Eve story. Completely untrue. Men and women have the same number of ribs.

Iloveargyll , Feliphe Schiarolli Report

55 People Share What Historical Facts Many People Believe To Be True Are Actually 100% Fake Albert Einstein didn’t fail his classes.. He succeeded very well.

TerribleAttitude:

Sometimes it’s repeated by adults trying to uplift younger kids who struggle in school. 3rd grader having trouble with long division and is crying because he thinks he’s stupid? “Aw, don’t worry, even Einstein failed math. Math is hard. You’re smart you just need to keep at it.” The “keep at it” part being the point (because in this legend, Einstein eventually stopped being bad at math).” But yes, that is something that older kids take and run with to argue that their crap grades are in fact evidence that they are brilliant geniuses, and it’s the school’s fault for not challenging their genius.

Featurx , pingnews.com Report

55 People Share What Historical Facts Many People Believe To Be True Are Actually 100% Fake Cortes and 500 Spaniards conquered the Aztec empire. It’s true that he only had a few hundred Spanish soldiers but he had tens of thousands indigenous allies who did most of the fighting.

jorgespinosa , Carolina Munemasa Report

55 People Share What Historical Facts Many People Believe To Be True Are Actually 100% Fake There’s definitely this thought process that normal Germans (and Poles, Austrians, Hungarians, etc) didn’t know about the camps at all during the holocaust that gets pushed as fact in schools, which is b******t. The concept of the goings on at a KZ was absolutely something people knew. When my grandfather was growing up it was normal to ‘hire’ people from Dachau satellite camps to build fences or work in fields or whatever. The industrialization process and scale of it was news to them, for sure, but if something happened to you and you were sent to a KZ, everyone knew it was a death sentence, and you were going to be forced into labor until you died. By the time 1944 rolled around they were pretty aware of the gas chambers too, though most people didn’t believe it.

Apprrr16 , Pixabay Report

For some reason, people still seem to think that Marie Antoinette said, “Let them eat cake,” when she said no such thing. History has not treated her well.

TheVoicesAreMine Report

So many!

The Titanic disaster has rooted itself firmly in pop culture as one of those things we think we know the general story of, but the history is quite different. A few-

-Titanic wasn’t speeding

-The fourth funnel wasn’t “fake” or “a dummy”, it just served a different purpose than the other three. It was *not* purely aesthetic.

-Titanic didn’t go out with too little lifeboats… by 1912 standards. She actually had more than she was legally required to take, and was designed to take many, many more. The idea they were so sure of her reliability they cut on safety is very false. Also, no one ended up dying due to lack of boats, but lack of time. Titanic sank before she could launch all 20. While yes, it was inevitable that people would die due to lack of boats, they hadn’t reached that point by the final moments. The idea of people trapped on board waiting to die with no way off isn’t *quite* true. They were still trying to launch them within the last 5 minutes.

-Third class were not purposefully locked below and certainly not because of classism. This one requires a bit of a lengthy response but the short version is, it seemed to be all simply a matter of confusion and/or miscommunication. There was no active attempt to hold back passengers according to ticket- in fact, it was the exact opposite.

-There was no 300 foot gash. The damage was made along *roughly* 300 feet but it was a series of incredibly small indents and holes.

-Lack of binoculars- There was no such thing as “no binoculars”. They had plenty – I think we have three sets from the wreck alone. While it’s true that a last minute staffing change didn’t give the crows nest access to a pair, it’s incredibly important to understand it didn’t matter match. Binoculars were not favored especially high, and were not required. The closest thing we can get to blaming them is testimony that states that binoculars *maybe* would have been just enough to avoid the collision. Maybe- but certainly not for sure. Titanic was almost on top of the iceberg by the time it was sighted, binoculars would have done nothing to see it earlier. A reading of the testimony shows us wishful thinking and hypothesized hindsight, not blame or condemnation.

All of these are centered around the theme that Titanic was the victim of hubris. The history, however, shows that that narrative is a consequence of post tragedy press and not reality. Titanic was an incredibly safe and advanced ship with some absolutely horrible luck. It’s easy to nitpick to try and find reasons “why”, but the reality is Titanic was very safe on a normal, boring (albeit famous) and over cautionary sailing.

I’ve tried to hit some of the bigger, famous ones here. The more nerdy you get and down the rabbit hole you go, the more there is to unpack 🙂

YourlocalTitanicguy Report

55 People Share What Historical Facts Many People Believe To Be True Are Actually 100% Fake I always seem to see some school teachers talking about Pearl Harbor, and some of them say that thats how WW2 started, I remember when I corrected them once, then i got to sit in the timeout corner.

EingestricheneOktave:

Man, that must have been frustrating.

To be fair, that’s how WW2 started for the americans, but yes, it was already in full swing in other parts of the world.

There’s this ubiquitous photo of german soldiers removing the barrier that marked the german-polish border in 1939. It’s everywhere. It’s in documentaries, it’s shown in schools, it’s in history books etc. etc. and, correctly so, always in connection with the beginning of the war.

Almost every german has this photo drilled into their brain, and that it was taken in 1939, when the war started.

anon , Specna Arms Report

55 People Share What Historical Facts Many People Believe To Be True Are Actually 100% Fake “Only 8 percent of U.S. high school seniors can identify slavery as the central cause of the Civil War.” So 92% of students are taught an inaccurate account of one of the most critical and defining parts of US history.

RyzenRaider , Pixabay Report

55 People Share What Historical Facts Many People Believe To Be True Are Actually 100% Fake Corsets aren’t meant to be painful and tight lacing was only practiced by a few people.

Corsets originated as “stays” or “a pair of bodies” (sometimes “bodice”, though that word is used for other types of tops as well). They were originally basically like wearing a camisole with a built in bra. They were made of stiff canvas and has baleen (whale teeth) used to give them shape. I haven’t worn any with whale teeth but I have worn some with the plastic alternative that is said to be very close to the baleen. If they’re made correctly, they are snug but not tight. Your body heat will actually slightly melt the baleen or plastic into place and if you don’t gain or lose too much weight they become like memory foam after a while.

The reason we think of corsets and tight lacing is because a few women did it in the late Victorian and early Edwardian eras (late 1800s/early 1900s). But for most of the time that corsets were popular, the goal wasn’t to have a tiny waist, it was to have an hour glass figure. So you just padded out your bust and hips and bam! There were some women (and men) who hurt themselves achieving some impossible idea of beauty but a good modern equivalent would be: most women aren’t out here trying to look like Kim Kardashian. If they are then most of them are using non-invasive ways to look like her (like make up, hair dye, clothing). Some women are getting plastic surgery to look like her (butt implants, etc). But the women getting surgery to look like her are the minority.

Mehhhhhhhjay , cottonbro studio Report

The myth of the Alamo and birth of Texas vs the real story of why Mexican army attacked. All the illegal immigrants from the US breaking laws on Mexican land (Texas), not paying taxes, and still pushing things like slavery even though it was against Mexican law. 

martineden1234 Report

r/askhistorians can teach you a lot more about these, but one thing that seems to be kind of implicitly taught is that since medieval Europeans were white, therefore they never saw or interacted with anyone who wasn’t. I’m not saying there were a *lot* of people of colour in Europe at the time (there weren’t) but Europeans did travel to other continents and had contact with Africans and Asians going back to the classical era and before.

Also foreigners did travel to Europe sometimes and there were the Romani people (who are from India) living all over Europe. The Mongols invaded Europe in the 13th century or so, and the Arabs once colonized Spain. So a work about the Vikings or something that has a few people of colour in it wouldn’t necessarily be inaccurate.

vayyiqra Report

Generally when it comes to the slave movement in the United States most people have the impression that slavers just went over and kidnapped the natives, which although did happen, wasn’t the only way slaves were acquired. Quite a lot of slaves were actually bought from African chiefs, who’d sell their own and captured people to the Slavers.

AugustineBlackwater Report

55 People Share What Historical Facts Many People Believe To Be True Are Actually 100% Fake This one is actually a common one: England’s king Ethelred was not nicknamed “Ethelred the Unready” because he wasn’t ready for a viking attack. His nickname was “Ethelred Unred”. Unred translates to ill-advised, while his name means well-advised. Nice one. It was mistranslated by some historians and stuck around.

cappikirkoway , Dmitry Sidorov Report

55 People Share What Historical Facts Many People Believe To Be True Are Actually 100% Fake I don’t think it’s taught but the general American seem to believe that cowboys were mostly White people. When in actuality it was Mexicans and even Black people after they were freed. It was considered a lowly position in the Wild West. If a cowboy was White, he was a very poor White. White people were on the frontier farming and such. Asians (the Chinese) did laundry and were cooks. That’s where a lot of Chinese-American foods originated from. People also seem to forget that this time period, which was maybe only 30-50 years, had three pinnacle events unfold in US history—the Transcontinental Railroad was completed, The Chinese Exclusion Act went into law, and slavery was abolished. I may be wrong but I believe in that order too.

AsianHawke , Brett Sayles Report

No so much inaccurate but heavily downplayed. The American labor movement from 1880 – 1920’s was so bloody that my Anthropology professor referred to it as the second civil war.

InvertedReflexes:

The Battle of Blair Mountain, over 1,000,000 rounds were fired in a battle with workers who’d been fed up with 14 hour days in coal mines and living in tents and being brutalized by “private investigators,” thugs hired the Capitalists.” “Lots of good music came from it too. The IWW, communist Party, socialist party, and so on feature heavily here.” “The National Guard was called in by the Capitalists, who shot or imprisoned anyone who didn’t immediately get back in the mines.”

Lyn1987 Report

That the loss of the American colonies was a devastating blow to the British. As an American, I was taught this multiple times. In reality, the loss of the Revolutionary War was a minor blip in British history. The loss of India and Singapore after WW2 was a devastating blow. But the British didn’t and still don’t care about the loss of the 13 colonies.

anon Report

55 People Share What Historical Facts Many People Believe To Be True Are Actually 100% Fake The Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, 1776. No, it was signed on July 2, it wasn’t announced until July 4 but regardless even Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, and others, wrote that they expected July 2 would be the date that would be celebrated with great festivities. That got lost to history.

llcucf80 , John-Mark Smith Report

That Frankenstein is the monster, but in actuality Frankenstein is the doctor not the monster. The monster is actually called Frankenstein’s monster.

alemar2142 Report

I don’t know if it’s still taught, but I know that a commonly held belief is that the whole world thought that the Earth was flat except for Columbus. In actuality it was well known that the Earth was round as early as the 6th century BC.

Muroid:

Yep. Columbus’s actual big innovation was that he believed the circumference of the Earth was smaller than was generally believed at the time.” It turned out that he was absolutely wrong about that, but luckily for him he ran into a whole unexpected continent that was sitting right in the middle of his route, because otherwise his miscalculation would have meant he was super screwed.

Random_And_Confused Report

The people affected by the mass hysteria of The Salem witch trial were Christians and people were horrified during and after it. It ended in 1693 and the first apology and day of fast was issued in 1696.

TheMightyGoatMan:

Also, no one was burnt at the stake at Salem.

In fact comparatively few ‘witches’ were ever burnt – the standard punishment for witchcraft all through the witch hysteria in Europe was hanging. Burning at the stake was mostly reserved for heretics.

lolalynna Report

Marsha P Johnson did not throw the first brick at the Stonewall riots. You’ll often hear variations of “a black trans woman started Stonewall/pride” and while she was a prolific activist, she did not start it, she came later. That’s not to diminish her accomplishments and role in the riots, she was still there just not the one who started it, she came later when she heard people were rioting.

welp-here-we-are Report

That William Wallace was a poor uneducated farmer that grew up in some small village and not a literal nobleman and that Robert the Bruce betrayed him. See tbh a lot of braveheart is complete hollywood b******t which is sad since we don’t get taught much of our own history in scotland my only memory of studying it in school was literally being made to watch that stupid movie and take notes.

BushyAbsolutely Report

An American professor taught that King Henry only had 5 wives. The thing is that my family are British so we knew that wasn’t right. But he wouldn’t hear otherwise. Prat is probably still teaching that he only had 5 wives.

SnowyMuscles Report

The British who conducted the dambusters missions(Operation Chastise) who dropped the bouncing bombs on German dams. There is a massive misconception that the bombs were spherical in shape which I was taught in school, they were actually barrel shape. This is because in the dambusters film they were spherical as at the time of making in 1955 any details on the actual bomb were still highly classified.

OctaneTroopers Report

That the Wright Brothers were first in flight.

anon Report

Growing up in America, we’re taught that George Washington free all the slaves working for him when he died. Not exactly. He owned less than half the slaves working for him; others were owned by his wife or in the possession of his wife but to be given to her son upon her death. Even those slaves Washington did own, they were not freed upon his death. His will only said they should be freed after *his wife’s* death. The slaves were freed before her death though, but only because the wife, Martha, was scared they would kill her for their freedom. Also, most the people enslaved at Washington’s plantation continued to be enslaved.

DrHydrate Report

55 People Share What Historical Facts Many People Believe To Be True Are Actually 100% Fake That Napoleon’s invasion of Russia failed because of the Russian winter.

The invasion started in the summer and most of the French casualties happened before winter set in. The winter finished them off as they retreated, but they lost long before that.

scannon , Rahib Yaqubov Report

That the Soviet Pepsi trade happened and made Pepsi the 6th largest navy in the world (17 submarines,1 frigate, 1 cruiser and 1 destroyer). It would have made Pepsi the 6th largest submarine navy but not even in the top 30 worldwide. And the trade never happened, it was a suggestion but it never happened.

SamWigglesworth Report

Men have not always had the enforced right to vote. At the time of the American Revolution, it was given to white, male property owners—about 6% of the population (150,000 people). A century later, all men were given it but, of course, it wasn’t enforced for male minorities. In 1919, women got it, but same deal with female minorities. With the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965, everyone was (supposedly) given the *right* to vote. However, this is still not true of all men today. In some states, Selective Service registration is still a prerequisite. Thus, if you’re a man, you still don’t necessarily have the *right* to vote in America; it may actually be a privilege for you. TL;DR: All women have had the enforced right to vote for 56 years this year; there has not been one point where all men have.

jeff_the_nurse Report

It might be stupid to y’all, but in schools teachers pretty often try to brush off the fact that Russian Empire decided to support the future US to fight the Brits and Russia even sent their navy fleet in order to support americans.

KozziNaki Report

Not entirely an inaccuracy, but most people associate Shakespeare with Elizabeth I when he was actually more of a Jacobean writer than an Elizabethan one. Shakespeare *began* his career during the reign of Elizabeth I but she was quite old by then and he did most of his writing during the reign of her successor King James.

SomeWomanFromEngland Report

In Egypt, people are taught that Egypt won the Yum Kippur war, and that Egypt got Sinai after militarily wrestling it away from Israeli control. Usually war recounts and reenactments focus on the first day, when Egypt really did defeat Israel in combat and made it all the way to Gaza, but it conveniently ignores what happened in the following 2 days of the war, how Israel retaliated, or the real reasons why the war ended and Camp David agreement ended up the way it is.

I guess you could technically see it as an Egyptian victory since the goal was to get Sinai in the first place. But it’s more of a strategic/political victory, and certainly wasn’t a military one.

ahtemsah Report

The US “won” the Space Race.

The USSR actually outclassed the US in every category except going to the moon: first satellite in space, first woman in space, first animal in space, first probe to reach another planet, etc.

That’s not to say that getting to the moon wasn’t a major accomplishment, but a) it was after the USSR had outdone us repeatedly in every way for over a decade leading up to it, and b) it wasn’t an “American” accomplishment, but a *human* one. Space and the moon belongs to everyone.

anon Report

The one that really chaps my a*s is how “ridiculous” old times warfare was. To be fair, parts of it were ridiculous, like the wigs, the duels, the weird sense of chivalry between aristocrats who had just condemned hundreds of “lower class” human beings to painful inglorious death, that part is ridiculous for sure.

However, especially in American classrooms, we hear that battles were set with agreed upon locations and times (very very rare), we hear that the Birts fought in straight lines only because it was the gentlemanly way (and not, say, the easiest way to order, maneuver and direct a horde of armed, drunken murderers), that American minutemen won because we didn’t engage in their old fashion ways by hiding behind rocks and trees (which works a treat as long as everyone remains within shouting distance of the one guy in charge and also if the enemy doesn’t have cavalry because if they do you are *f****d*), s**t like that. We are raised to believe that wars were fought in certain ways because it was traditional and backwards, not because controlling an army is extremely difficult and pre-modern/trench/linear/pike and shot/medieval/ancient warfare methods were dumb and stupid even for their day. Ancient generals and leaders on the whole weren’t stupid, but merely making the best with what they had. Pike formations crawling slowly across battlefields seem silly until you consider what terrible things happen to infantry caught in the open by cavalry. Lining ships up side-by-side for broadsides seems dumb until you realize that it’s actually a hard tactic to beat until you can make ironclad warships with turrets for less money than exists in all the world. Having soldiers dress in bright uniforms that offer no camouflage seems idiotic until you realize that being able to recognize friends is much more important than hiding from the enemy in this era before long range communication and easy access to officers that could think, walk and listen all at the same time.

CaptValentine Report

Canada won the war of 1812, because we stopped manifest destiny, although this is subjective. The truth is more complicated. My history teacher said it was the greatest war of all time because every side thinks they won….except the First Nations.

Learner4life-8 Report

It does seem to still be often believed by people that the medieval Catholic Church was anti-reason. That’s the same Enlightenment bs that said the Middle Ages were a dark age, which thankfully much has been done in recent decades to present a realistic picture

Nicophoros4862 Report

That the Wright brothers first took off in North Carolina, which is actually where the first landed, the started in Dayton, Ohio.

MyLillyRose Report

The pilgrims and thanksgiving in the United States. Especially in elementary school.

Batichica007 Report

That the Me262 was the first jet aircraft ever produced. In reality it was the Heinkel He178 was the first jet and it flew aleardy in 1939. Not that big of a deal and most probably don’t care, nevertheless it always was something that bothered me

Scroch65 Report

In Canada, they still teach that Roy Brown killed the Red Baron, when in fact it was a gunner on the ground that got the lucky shot.

TheRedManfred Report

The official narrative of the Son of Sam murders as well as the Manson Family Tate/LaBianca murders doesn’t fit the latest findings.

It is highly likely the Son of Sam wasn’t just Berkowitz but rather a few people. The Netflix documentary Sons of Sam covers this pretty well.

Also the Helter Skelter motive being the reason for the Tate/LaBianca murders as told by Vincent Bugliosi. The Journalist Tom O‘Neill researched the case since 1999 and published the book Chaos 20 years later in 2019. What he discovered is just mind blowing and there seems to be a lot more to it than just Helter Skelter.

galvingreen Report

George Washington chopping down the cherry tree with the hatchet he received for his birthday. This is generally believed to be anecdotal at best nowadays, but is still often taught in lower grades.

Azraelasitgets Report

55 People Share What Historical Facts Many People Believe To Be True Are Actually 100% Fake Watch any kind of medieval docco or book on brewing and they will likely trot out that the people drank small ale because the water was not safe.

This idea was printed in some woman’s book published in the 70’s and everyone just kept repeating it and still do, it was never true.

misterschmoo , Timothy Dykes Report

That the reason Americans even have summer vacation is because families that owned farms needed extra help in the summer. This isn’t true at all. Farmers don’t really do much in the summer. The real reason summer vacation exists at all is because air conditioning didn’t exist, and classrooms would get so incredibly hot that rich families would pull their kids out of school for months and take them to the countryside

cornshartz Report


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