“History is a pack of lies about events that never happened told by people who weren’t there.”
Which is true, don’t you agree? Starting from personal affairs to financial schemes to events that never happened, the world has been told numerous lies throughout the history. Here you will find 24 facts about the biggest lies in history. So, let’s start with the truth.
1. It Wasn’t the 4th.
On July 2, 1776, the Second Continental Congress, still meeting in Philadelphia, voted unanimously to declare the independence “of the thirteen United States of America.” Two days later, on July 4, Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence.
2. Not Just Black and White
Popular cultures often describe pilgrims as wearing only black and white clothing, with large golden buckles on their shoes and hats and long white collars. This stereotypical Pilgrim, however, is not historically accurate. The Pilgrims, in fact, wore a wide variety of colors. This is known because when a person died, an inventory was made of their estate for the purpose of probate: and often the color of various clothing items was mentioned.
3. They Weren’t Burned
The Salem witch trials were a series of hearings and prosecutions of people accused of witchcraft in colonial Massachusetts between February 1692 and May 1693. The trials resulted in the executions of twenty people, fourteen of them women, and all but one by hanging. Five others (including two infant children) died in prison.
4. The Apple Never Hit Him
The story of how Sir Isaac Newton formed his theory of gravity usually involves an apple falling on his head while he was sitting under a tree. That’s not completely true because he came up with the idea after seeing an apple fall in his mother’s garden, but the part about it hitting him on the head is a myth.
5. The Big Lie
When Hitler rose to power, he created a national sweeping policy to eliminate Jews from the Earth called “The Final Solution.” The origin of the “Final Solution,” the Nazi plan to exterminate the Jewish people, remains uncertain but the genocide of the Jews was the culmination of a decade of Nazi policy, under the rule of Adolf Hitler.
6. Paid Labor
There has long been a belief (maybe even today) that the Egyptian pyramids had been built by slaves (or aliens), but in 2010, archaeologists made a discovery that discredited that myth. Tombs of pyramid builders have been discovered in the backyard of the pyramids, and the way they were buried, and their proximity to the pyramids suggested that they were both paid and respected.
7. Not a Failure After all.
One widely held belief about Einstein is that he failed math as a student. Einstein’s childhood offers history many ironies, but this is not one of them. In 1935, a rabbi in Princeton showed him a clipping of the Ripley’s column with the headline “Greatest living mathematician failed in mathematics.” Einstein laughed. “I never failed in mathematics,” he replied, correctly. “Before I was fifteen I had mastered differential and integral calculus.” In primary school, he was at the top of his class and “far above the school requirements” in math. By age 12, his sister recalled, “he already had a predilection for solving complicated problems in applied arithmetic,” and he decided to see if he could jump ahead by learning geometry and algebra on his own. His parents bought him the textbooks in advance so that he could master them over summer vacation. Not only did he learn the proofs in the books, he also tackled the new theories by trying to prove them on his own. He even came up on his own with a way to prove the Pythagorean theory.\
8. An Ominous Precursor
In 1894 Captain Alfred Dreyfus, a career army officer of Jewish origin, was charged with selling military secrets to the Germans. He was tried and convicted by a court-martial and sentenced to life imprisonment on Devil’s Island off the South American coast. He remained incarcerated there until 1906, when his defenders, led by the author Emile Zola succeeded in exonerating him.
9. Stop Worshiping That!
Napoleon was believed (by some historians) that his soldiers shot off the Great Sphinx’s nose. However, the nose was gone for hundreds of years before he was born. The Egyptian Arab historian al-Maqrīzī in the 15th century wrote that the nose was actually destroyed by a Sufi Muslim named Muhammad Sa’im al-Dahr. Egyptian peasants worshiped the Great Sphinx and made offerings, hoping that the Sphinx would control the flood cycle, and that would result in a successful harvest. Muslim religion prohibits worshiping idols.
10. Not Just a Southern Thing
No matter what is written in the history books, slavery was not distinctive to the American South only. In the period of the 1700s, the colonial North thrived on slavery as well. Unbelievable but true is the fact that in 1740, 1/5 of New York City’s population was slaves. It was only in 1804 that the Northern states abolished slavery, and it did not happen all at once. Almost 40 year later, in 1840, Connecticut still had 17 registered slaves.
11. I’m Her!
The Romanov family ruled Russia for more than 300 years. The last Russian czar, Nicholas II, had been in power for more than 23 years. However, in 1917, Russia’s belief in a ruling czar was well on its way to oblivion. Then a curse was put upon the royal family by Grigori Rasputin, the peasant confidant, mystic, and advisor to the czar. Many Russian people blamed Rasputin for their miseries because of his ill advice to the czar, which included getting their country involved in a bloody world conflict. The entire royal family, along with their servants, were said to have been murdered and dumped in a mass grave. However, the grave wasn’t discovered until some 60 years later. It was always assumed that 11 bodies of the Romanov family and their entourage would be in the same grave. But the remains of only 9 bodies were discovered and Anastasia’s body couldn’t be confirmed. Scientists identified the 2 missing members of the Romanov family as Alexei and either Maria or Anastasia. The fact that Anastasia’s body could not be confirmed conclusively only fueled speculation that she did indeed disappear and not die.
12. Knew He Was Bluffing!
On October 16, 1962, John F. Kennedy and his advisers were stunned to find out that the Soviet Union was, without provocation, installing nuclear-armed medium- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles in Cuba. With these offensive weapons, which represented a new and existential threat to America, Moscow significantly raised the ante in the nuclear rivalry between the superpowers—a strategy that forced the United States and the Soviet Union to the brink of nuclear Armageddon. For 13 days, the world anxiously waited for nuclear war, but thanks to some skilled negotiation on Kennedy’s part, he was able to reach an agreement with the Russians. On October 22, the president, proclaimed publicly that his administration knew of the illegal missiles, and delivered an ultimatum insisting on their removal, announcing an American “quarantine” of Cuba to force compliance with his demands. Thanks to the Kennedy administration’s placid resolve and prudent crisis management—thanks to what Kennedy’s special assistant Arthur Schlesinger Jr. characterized as the president’s “combination of toughness and restraint, of will, nerve, and wisdom, so brilliantly controlled, so matchlessly calibrated, that [it] dazzled the world”—the Soviet leadership blinked: Moscow dismantled the missiles, and a catastrophe was averted.
13. The Unsinkable Ship
The ship constructors Harland and Wolff claimed that they had never advertised ‘Titanic’ to be unsinkable ship. The ‘unsinkable’ myth was the result of people’s interpretations of articles in the Irish News and the Shipbuilder magazine. When the New York office of the White Star Line was alarmed that Titanic was in trouble, White Star Line Vice President P.A.S. Franklin announced” We place absolute confidence in the Titanic. We believe the boat is unsinkable.” But by the time Franklin spoke those words, Titanic was at the bottom of the ocean.
14. He Didn’t Invent Anything
The electric light, one of the everyday conveniences that most affects our lives, was not “invented” in the traditional sense in 1879 by Thomas Alva Edison, although he could be said to have created the first commercially practical incandescent light. He was neither the first nor the only person trying to invent an incandescent light bulb. In fact, some historians claim there were over 20 inventors of incandescent lamps prior to Edison’s version. However, Edison is often credited with the invention because his version was able to outstrip the earlier versions because of a combination of three factors: an effective incandescent material, a higher vacuum than others were able to achieve and a high resistance that made power distribution from a centralized source economically viable.
15. Don’t Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth!
The story of the Trojan war is one of the most well-known stories in the history. The giant wooden horse, which was not more than a myth, was first mentioned in The Odyssey. The war, however is real, and Troy did in fact burn down.
16. Unjustified Credit
The assassination of John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963, changed the whole situation. The new president, Lyndon Johnson, made use of his experience in legislative politics, along with the bully pulpit he wielded as president, in support of the bill. The Civil Rights Act of 1964, is very important because it ended segregation in public places and banned employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin, is considered one of the crowning legislative achievements of the civil rights movement.
Though JFK had introduced his Civil Rights Act, he tried to stop the March on Washington from happening. He met the “Big Six” civil rights leaders and tried to get them to cancel the march. They refused. Seeking compromise, Kennedy successfully imposed limits on the march: He reduced the number of attendees allowed; outlawed any signs not pre-approved; demanded that it take place on a weekday, and that everyone show up in the morning and disperse by nightfall.
Enough reasons why all credits belong to Lyndon B Johnson, don’t you think?
17. Closer to Equality?
In many ways, the story of women’s employment during WWI was repeated during WWII. Stereotypes about women’s capacity and ability to engage in ‘men’s work’ were circulated by the employers and the government. Before the Industrial Revolution, women’s jobs were just an extension of the household, and men and women split the tasks evenly. Great number of women stayed home, but at the turn of the 20th century, women held a quarter of industrial jobs and half of agrarian jobs.
18. He Never Mentioned it.
Albert Goodwill Spalding was an American pitcher, manager and executive in the early years of professional baseball, and the co-founder of A.G. Spalding sporting goods company. In 1903, he set out to prove that baseball had American origins. He called for the commission that investigated the origins of baseball and credited Abner Doubleday with creating the game. He also wrote the first set of official baseball rules. He even claimed to have been in Cooperstown when future Civil War General Abner Doubleday outlined the diamond in the dirt and wrote up the rules for the game, but his close friend AG Mills didn’t remember ever mentioning it, and Doubleday attended Westpoint–not Cooperstown. Actually, Alexander Cartwright was the real inventor, but it’s Doubleday who people remember.
19. Mass Hysteria
The story that mass panic broke out because of an Orson Welles radio show became part of modern folklore. The idea that hysteria swept America on October 30, 1938, when a 62-minute radio dramatisation of The War of the Worlds, remained unchallenged for nearly eight decades. Even those who had never heard Welles reading the HG Wells story about invading Martians wielding deadly heat-rays later claimed to have been terrified. According to popular myth, thousands of New Yorkers fled their homes in panic, with swarms of terrified citizens crowding the streets in different American cities to catch a glimpse of a “real space battle”.
Actually, the fact is that very few people were fooled by the broadcast, and it turned out that not that many people were even listening in the first place, because they were tuned into ventriloquist Edgar Bergen on NBC.
20. I Never Had “Relations” with Her!
The Lewinsky scandal was an American political sex scandal that involved 49-year-old President Bill Clinton and 22-year-old White House intern Monica Lewinsky. The sexual relationship took place between 1995 and 1996 and came to light in 1998. Clinton ended a televised speech with the statement that he “did not have sexual relations” with Lewinsky. Further investigation led to charges of perjury and to the impeachment of President Clinton in 1998 by the U.S. House of Representatives.
21. The Experiment that Never Was
It’s true that in 1752, Franklin proposed an experiment with conductive rods to attract lightning to a leyden jar. Franklin himself is said to have conducted the experiment in June 1752, supposedly on the top of the spire on Christ Church in Philadelphia. He described the experiment in the Pennsylvania Gazette in October 19, 1752, without mentioning that he himself had performed it.
The standard account of Franklin’s experiment is disputed by science historian Tom Tucker in 2003. According to Tucker, Franklin never performed the experiment, and the kite as described is incapable of performing its alleged role.
22. You Can’t Do That Here!
In the 1960’s the phrase “Bra Burning” was well known. People say that very few women actually burned their bras, but many supported those actions. Women burned their bras because they felt that it proved a statement or made a stand for Women’s Rights. Another reason they burned their bras was because it was a symbol that showed independence of men at the time. The ones who did not burn their bras, walked around wearing no bra at all. This was also meant to show independence of men.
23. He Was Never There
Christopher Columbus is credited with discovering America, although he never set a foot on the American soil. There is evidence that a Viking explorer named Leif Erikson was the first European to reach North America in 1000 AD. He was the second son of Erik the Red, who is credited with settling Greenland. For his part, Eriksson is considered by many to be the first European to reach North America.
24. A Looting Gone Wrong
On July 14, French people celebrate a day of independence to mark the storming of the Bastille to free the unfairly imprisoned and to start a revolution. The event occurred in Paris, France, on the afternoon of 14 July 1789. The medieval fortress, armory, and political prison in Paris known as the Bastille represented royal authority in the centre of Paris. But when the revolutionaries got there the Bastille was mostly empty, and they weren’t there for the prisoners–they were there to get more gunpowder. The revolutionaries ended up beheading the prison officers and freeing the remaining prisoners.
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