They say history is written by the victors and history can be very entertaining... especially once you get into its more retaliatory moments. Remember, history isn't just about random happenings––it's about people. And people have all sorts of motivations, some more messed up or graceful than others.
After Redditor Nazamroth asked the online community, "What is the classiest 'f*** you' in history?" the history nerds came out in full force. Read on! You might learn something new.
"A group of blackmailers..."alfred hitchcock art GIF by hoppipGiphy
A group of blackmailers managed to get hold of a love letter that Oscar Wilde wrote to Lord Alfred Douglas in the late 1800s, when gay sex was still illegal and severely punished. Wilde realized that the letter was missing, hastily turned it into a poem, and published the poem. When the blackmailers came to try to collect money from him, he told them that they could show the letter to anyone they liked, as he would just explain that it was the rough draft of his poem, now published for everyone to see. The blackmailers gave up and refused to come back and try again, saying that Wilde only taunted them.
Louis Pasteur, instructing in his writings on sterilization, that they never be translated into German, because he'd been screwed over by beer companies.
"They originally didn't..."
The Gettysburg Address.
They originally didn't plan to have Lincoln speak at this event, I think he was invited as a formality and they didn't expect/want him to come. He came anyway and they told him he only had the time for an extremely short speech. Basically, they let him speak because if the President comes to your event, he has to have some time, right?
He delivered such an excellent speech that no one remembers the other people who spoke that day.
Jordan Anderson's letter to his former master. Basically Anderson's former master wrote to him after the Civil War and asked Anderson to come back and work. Anderson responded with some very over the top thankfulness that the north hadn't hung his former master and praise for the master's good character. Anderson then went on to request his back wages for his time as a slave as proof that his former master recognized that slavery was wrong.
"This sent Enzo Ferrari..."
Lamborghini was originally a tractor manufacturer. The owner bought a Ferrari and discovered that they had clutch problems due to some design flaw, so he sent a letter to Enzo Ferrari explaining who he was and how his mechanic and him figured out a simple design-fix to remedy the problem.
This sent Enzo Ferrari over the edge and he answered back with a huge "go f*** yourself" letter saying that he "didn't know jack s***" about cars and that he was "just a tractor manufacturer" and told him to go pound sand.
Lamborghini responded by designing some of the most advanced cars ever made and eventually knocked Ferrari from their #1 position in the racing world by smoking them at the track.
"He openly opposed 'greenback'...
Putting Andrew Jackson on the twenty dollar bill. Jackson was openly against the centralized bank, and for the gold standard. He openly opposed "greenbacks" (paper money). He was also known to duel anyone who opposed him politically. He was basically U.S. history's biggest bully. They waited several decades after his death to put him on the twenty note. Some think it was a blatant "f**** you."
"The judge that sentenced..."
The judge that sentenced Kevin Tunnell to write a $1 check every week for eighteen years to the parents of the girl he killed in a drunk driving accident so that he wouldn't forget what he'd done.
"While not against the law..."
Gaius Julius Caesar was in in senate listening to one of his rivals (Cato the Younger) drone on about how one of Caesar's was a member of a conspiracy to destroy Rome (Cato did this a lot by the way and no one really believed him this time) when a messenger brought him a letter. He decided to read it.
While not against the law, it was both rude and against custom to not only have letters delivered, but also to read them openly while someone else was speaking.
It was a mild f*** you because everyone knew Cato had no evidence and the accusation was baseless.
His opponent demanded that Caesar read the letter, to which Caesar declined, claiming it was personal. Cato became furious and claimed the letter was from another conspirator, to which Caesar handed it to him and rather calmly said, "fine, you read it."
Cato did, out loud.
It turned out to be a salacious love letter from Cato's own sister to Caesar, who she was madly in love with. It went into rather graphic detail and due to not only the nature of Roman Latin, but also Cato's fury he read out loud far more of the letter than he should have. (As a point, Romans did not use punctuation, lower case letters, or spaces so letters were often hard to read out loud and due to sentence structure it's easy to speak it in such a way that you only realize what you read once the entire sentence is finished. This is even more true when using poetic language you would find in a dirty letter).
"After the English Civil War..."angry vikings GIFGiphy
After the English Civil War, during the trial of Charles I for treason, Charles refused to defend himself before Parliament, claiming that they have no authority by which to charge him or punish him as long as he is king. To which Cromwell counters:
"We will cut off his head with the crown upon it."
A pirate known as Jean Lafitte had a bounty of $500 put on him by a governor. So he put a $5000 bounty on the Governor.
"Stop sending people to kill me! We've already captured five of them, one of them with a bomb and another with a rifle... If you don't stop sending killers, I'll send a very fast working one to Moscow and I certainly won't have to send another."
Tito to Joseph Stalin.
Julius Caesar crucifying the pirates that captured him.
In his defense, the Pirates had only captured a low ranking Senator from a minor family. Caesar was a Patrician to start with, from a very old and well respected family, was related to at least one of the two most recent dictators, was starting his career in the public sector and wanted some fame/clout, and was honestly worth more than original offer.
Plus, he could brag about that back in Rome that not only were the pirates foolish for undervaluing him, he also made sure they knew his full value (with the undertone of also having them crucified).
So it was all braggadocio. It was also good degree of pride, correct knowledge of his social caste, as well as a degree of political showmanship.
"Otto von Bismarck..."
When Otto von Bismarck was about 50, he was walking down a street when a man ran up to him and shot him five times. Otto then turned around and began to beat the absolute crap out of him until some armed guards come to help him. When they inspected Otto for wounds, they found that all 5 hit, but they all either just grazed him or bounced off his ribs. Literally the iron chancellor.
"Remain Yours Faithfully..."
25 July 1938
20 Northmoor Road, Oxford
Thank you for your letter. I regret that I am not clear as to what you intend by arisch. I am not of Aryan extraction: that is Indo-Iranian; as far as I am aware none of my ancestors spoke Hindustani, Persian, Gypsy, or any related dialects. But if I am to understand that you are enquiring whether I am of Jewish origin, I can only reply that I regret that I appear to have no ancestors of that gifted people. My great-great-grandfather came to England in the eighteenth century from Germany: the main part of my descent is therefore purely English, and I am an English subject — which should be sufficient. I have been accustomed, nonetheless, to regard my German name with pride, and continued to do so throughout the period of the late regrettable war, in which I served in the English army. I cannot, however, forbear to comment that if impertinent and irrelevant inquiries of this sort are to become the rule in matters of literature, then the time is not far distant when a German name will no longer be a source of pride.
Your enquiry is doubtless made in order to comply with the laws of your own country, but that this should be held to apply to the subjects of another state would be improper, even if it had (as it has not) any bearing whatsoever on the merits of my work or its sustainability for publication, of which you appear to have satisfied yourselves without reference to my Abstammung.
I trust you will find this reply satisfactory, and
remain yours faithfully,
J. R. R. Tolkien Adderbane
Richard Lawrence attempted to kill president Andrew Jackson. His pistol misfired. Jackson beat the sh!t out of him with his cane.
"So Many Words..."
"There are approximately 1,010,300 words in the English language, but I could never string enough words together to properly explain how much I want to hit you with a chair." Alexander Hamilton.
Was just reading up on Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr... apparently much later in Burr's life he remarried but it didn't last because he was spending up all his wife's money trying to reignite his political plans.
So four months after they wed she filed for divorce. The real kick in the pants is that the she got Alexander Hamilton Jr. as her divorce attorney. Talk about never escaping a shadow.
"Fast Burn..."Las Vegas Nhra GIF by Don Schumacher RacingGiphy
Ford beating Ferrari in lemans after Enzo screwed Ford.
Although credit to Ford I believe they won five years on the bounce too.
General Anthony McAuliffe's famous "nuts" quote.
The 101st Airborne Division was encircled by Nazis in Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge and were sent an ultimatum by the Germans calling for their "honorable surrender."
Gen. McAuliffe sent back the message:
"To the German Commander:
-The American Commander"
The 101st then dug in and withstood the German attack until the 4th Armored Division was able to reinforce them 5 days later.
For further context, in 1944, "nuts to you" basically meant "F you" or "go to hell."
A prominent example involves Philip II of Macedon. After invading southern Greece and receiving the submission of other key city-states, he turned his attention to Sparta and asked menacingly whether he should come as friend or foe. The reply was "Neither."
Losing patience, he sent the message:
You are advised to submit without further delay, for if I bring my army into your land, I will destroy your farms, slay your people, and raze your city.
The Spartan ephors again replied with a single word:
Subsequently, neither Philip nor his son Alexander the Great attempted to capture the city.
How about the time Arnold Schwarzenegger cleverly put "F" you in one of his veto letters.
"11 November 1919..."
Hitler invading the Czechoslovakia after signing the Munich Agreement.
It had been in a museum after WW1, but Hitler had it moved back to the exact location were the Armistice of 11 November 1919 was signed.
The US made Japan sign its surrender on a battleship parked in Tokyo Bay.
Said Battleship is now moored basically right next to the resting place of a battleship that was sunk when Japan started the war.
"Oh Will..."william shakespeare GIF by will herringGiphy
"I do wish we were better strangers."
- William Shakespeare spikywindowcleanser
When a Russian officer was talking to Napoleon Bonaparte, he said: "We Russians fight for honor, you French fight only for gain!" To which Napoleon replied saying "You are quite right, each fights for that which he does not possess."
"Henry to the Pope..."
Henry VIII wrote and sent the Pope a counter-tract against Martin Luther, The Defense of the Seven Sacraments. Luther snapped back, casting doubt that Henry had written the tract himself as was claimed (and Henry was rather proud of it), calling out Henry for being a usurper with a false lineage tying him to the throne, and calling Henry a strumpet. An excerpt:
Then let not King Henry impute it to me but to himself if he meets with rough and harsh treatment at my hands. He does not come forth to battle with a royal mind, or with any drop of royal blood, but with a slavish and impudent and strumpet-like insolence and silliness, proving nothing by argument but only by cursings. And what is more disgraceful in a man, and especially in a man in the highest position, than openly and deliberately to be, so that you can recognize him as a Sophist [one who knowingly uses false arguments], a creature of ignorance and virulence?
So when France exiles Napoleon Bonaparte (the first time), they didn't think to change out military personnel. So he basically rolls up to the first French outpost he gets to, says "sup" and begins reassembling an army. By the time he gets to Paris, he's got enough forces that France is like "well. Welcome back."
"Signed Off..."signed andy murray GIFGiphy
John Hancock making his signature giant on the Declaration of Independence for King George to read loud and clear.
"To this time [c. 1912] belongs a well-known story of Winston Churchill and Nancy. It sounds like an invention but is well authenticated. He and the Astors were staying with Churchill's cousin, the Duke of Marlborough, at Blenheim Palace. Nancy and Churchill argued ferociously throughout the weekend. At breakfast one morning Nancy said to him, 'Winston, if I was married to you, I'd put poison in your coffee.' Winston Churchill replied: 'Nancy, if I was married to you, I'd drink it.'"
President John Quincy Adams said Democrat Major General Andrew Jackson was a "barbarian who couldn't write a sentence of grammar, and can hardly spell his own name." Jackson replied saying: "it's a damn poor mind indeed that can't think of at least two ways to spell a word." Jackson was elected President later that year.
"Tanked..."Jump Jumping GIF by WorldofTanksGiphy
Probably The Australians stealing a tank from no mans land in WW1 just because they could.
"Bye bye Boris..."
Boris Johnson promised a political rival a good place in Johnson's future Prime Ministerial cabinet IF the political rival supported him.
Political rival asked his wife's opinion about this. She "accidentally" SMS'd the entire SMS chain plus her answer of "Get it in writing, or he'll deny he ever said that." .... to her entire contact list. Including other MP's, journalists, her entire social circle.....
That completely blew up Johnson's credibility and his first attempt to become Prime Minister.
"X marks the Spot"
"If I had any ammo left, you wouldn't be here"
Pedro María Anaya, a Mexican General during the Mexican-American War while surrendering.
"great leap forward"
A few that I can remember
- Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin which obviously led to the south's rise in economic power. He didn't make a penny off of any of this though, as his invention was copies and southern courts ruled against him. He did end up becoming wealthy though, as he later went on to invent inter-changeble parts which definitely played a roll in the Norths victory of the South in the civil war.
- France helping out the American colonies during the American Revolution after centuries of wars in Europe.
- During china's "great leap forward" they had a few, I think 4 pest control campaigns. One of them was against Sparrows. Order was to practically make Sparrows extinct because they ate planted crop seeds. Well the campaign worked a little too well, as crops began having locust infestations, and with no natural predators, the crops ended up being f*cked leading to a massive famine.
- South Korea blasting k-pop across North Korean boarder lol
- Some emu's told the Australian military to screw off once. formerlyDylan
"Dressed to Kill..."princess diana royalty GIFGiphy
Princess Diana's "Revenge Dress" when Prince Charles confessed on national television that he had been unfaithful to her.
Probably the time when someone challenged Beethoven to a contest on who was the better musician and, after the challenger finished playing one of his own works, Beethoven took the sheet music, flipped it upside down, and played it that way.
"Wasn't Me..."bull picasso GIFGiphy
While Picasso was living in Nazi-occupied Paris during World War II, one German officer allegedly asked him, upon seeing a photo of Guernica in his apartment, "Did you do that?" Picasso responded, "No, you did."
The Sony Playstation started as an add on CD drive for the Super Nintendo - until Nintendo backed out of their agreement with Sony, somewhat angering the Tokyo company and making them determined to take on Nintendo at their own game. pardon the pun.
Three years afterwards, Sony launched the original Playstation, and here we are today.
In 1744, the collective chiefs of the Native American nations met to discuss a letter that was sent to them by the College of William and Mary. The letter suggested that they send 12 of their men to the college so that they could learn how to read and write. The Native American chiefs sent the following reply:
"We know that you highly esteem the type of leaning found in colleges, and that the maintenance of our young men while with you would be very expensive to you.
We are convinced therefore, that you meant to do us good by your proposal and we thank you hardily. However, you that are wise must know that different nations have different conceptions of things, and you will not take it amiss if our ideas about education of this kind happen to not be the same as yours. We have some experience with it, as some of our boys have been to the colleges of the northern provinces.
They were instructed about all of your sciences, but when they came back to us they were bad runners, ignorant of every means of living in the woods, unable to bear either cold or hunger, did not know how to build a cabin or take a deer, kill an enemy, spoke our languages imperfectly, and therefore were neither fit to be hunters, warriors, or councilors.
They were in effect, good for nothing. We are however, not the less obliged to your kind offer though we decline accepting it. To show our gratefulness, if the gentleman of Virginia will send us a dozen of their sons, we will take care of their education. We will instruct them in all that we know, and make men of them."
Beethoven really hated this one singer. one thing that she did was bend over on low notes and throw her head up on high ones. he wrote a song for her to sing that went up and down constantly. she must've looked like a chicken pecking.
Giles Corey refused to plead for practicing witchcraft in the late 1600s. As a result of his refusal to plead, on September 17, Corey was subjected to the pressing procedure by Sheriff George Corwin, but he was steadfast in that refusal, nor did he cry out in pain as the rocks were placed on the boards. After two days, Corey was asked three times to enter a plea, but each time he replied, "More weight," and the sheriff complied.
"Hail Me"bow down taylor swift GIFGiphy
Mikhail the Brave forcing an invading Turkish general to pay tribute as ransom for his life. The general and his army were basically sent to collect tribute.
"2 for 1"
When Henry the VIII executed Anne Boleyn (and went wife-hunting after losing Lady Jane Seymour), he approached the then-duchess Christina of Denmark and asked for her hand in marriage.
Christina responded by quipping: "If I had two heads, I would happily put one at the disposal of the King of England."
WW1. Serbian army, government officials and monarch left Serbia and continued fighting even though the country was occupied (didn't capitulate since only the king/minister can sign it). Even a tea party isn't that much "screw you".
"So say the Queen..."
Classiest? Queen ElizabethII to a Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia who was visiting at Balmoral. At the time the issue of Women not being allowed to drive was a hot topic and this prince had repeated the standard lines of women being too hysterical and incapable to drive, it was immodest, wouldn't be safe etc.
After lunch the Queen asked the prince if he would like to view the estates, he agreed and the staff lined up the range rovers to take a tour (it's a big estate). Crown prince and his interpreter got in, then a minute later the Queen comes out, takes the drivers seat herself and spends two hours showing off both the estate and her driving skills (she was trained by the army as a driver when she was young). She never said a word about women drivers, was impeccable as always in her official role, all the while clearly pointing out with actions that he was a freaking idiot.
"Revenge in Paint"
Michelangelo from the renaissance was interrupted while painting by a guy named Biagio de Cesena, who complained about the nudity in his paintings. Mike says he wouldn't change anything, and the minister (Cesena was a minister btw) left angry. To get back at him, Mike painted the minister in hell with his testicles getting bit off by a snake.
"America says No..."
In World War 1 when Americans joined the war they brought shotguns, Germans did not like, asked America to stop, America says no. Those caught with shotgun shells or a shotgun will be executed, said the Germans who use poisonous gasses and flamethrowers.
"Stay Drunk"my upload marilyn monroe GIFGiphy
When Churchill was accused of being drunk his reply to the lady was, 'My dear, you are ugly, and what's more, you are disgustingly ugly. But tomorrow I shall be sober and you will still be disgustingly ugly.'