Image by Dariusz Sankowski from Pixabay

What our history teachers tell us isn't always accurate. For example, I remember being told that Henry VIII executed all of his wives. Now, I've seen Six the Musical and know better, and while that show SLAPS, it's sad when I learn more from Broadway musicals than I did in history class. Looking at you, Hamilton.

Whether by pop culture, the media, or just our own research, sometimes we learn that our school curriculum was kind of BS. Here are some tales from history class.

U/info_cellar asked: What did you learn about history that turned out to be a complete lie?

​Let’s start out with some more weird ones, shall we?

That was a good Simpsons episode.

That Edison was a brilliant inventor.

Edison was a cheat, a thief and a con and TESLA DESERVES JUSTICE.

BellaBourgeois

And took credit for Homer Simpson's automated hammer.

VirtuousDangerNoodle

Australia is wack, man.

emus GIF Giphy

The Great Emu War wasn't the only war that Australia lost to the Emus.

They also lost the Second Great Emu War.

B_ootay_ful

​Ok, now that we got our token ​Simpsons ​reference out of the way, let’s get angry.

That does get played down a lot.

That "The Japanese mistreatment of POWs was exaggerated, what it is that they fed them the same ration their own soldiers got and that was not an adequate diet for the larger Americans."

I had a teacher in highschool who actually said that! Tell that to the guys who somehow survived captivity by the Japanese! The guys marched for hours in sweltering heat and marched right past wells that they were forbidden to drink from and were beheaded on the spot if they drank from them anyway.

BTW, they did not feed the POWs the same ration their own men got, not even close!

WF6i

Sooo many kids were misinformed.

That Christopher Columbus discovered America. How the hell do you "discover" a place that already has over six million people living there?

CustardPaws

I'm not sure if the lie about Columbus "discovering" America is worse or is it the sanitization of Columbus' monstrosity. We start our children out with these lies and complete fabrications around the first Thanksgiving and Columbus and it makes it easier for them to fall for lies about slavery, American empire, the purpose behind wars, ongoing racial issues, etc..

Matt_minderbinder

My teachers definitely said this.

Martin Luther King Jr Mlk GIF by Identity Giphy

That Martin Luther King ended racism in America.

ZeD00m

"Once upon a time white people were awful to black people for hundreds of years, and then one day MLK gave his 'I Have a Dream' speech and was shot, and then there was no more racism.

Bluecatcollege

Nope.

The freed slaves in America were given 40 acres of land and a mule. No, they did not. But it's still talked about as if it happened...

Sfswine

Those were white freed slaves in states with a charter. Virginia and Pennsylvania are two of them. The slaves were transported criminals and indentured servants who were sold to colonists for a fixed period of time. When that time was up they were granted "40 acres and a mule".

That charter did not extend to black slaves.

Howwasthatdoneagain

No, we definitely existed.

LGBT+ people are a new thing and didn't exist in history. (they absolutely did exist, but homophobic/transphobic historians do all in their power to cover it up).

BuggyCurry

I remember watching a documentary on Pompeii. If I remember correctly, the queen had these bath house things where massive bisexual orgies would take place.

"Homosexuality is a modern 'issue'". Tell that to a kinky queen who lived almost 2,000 years ago.

Screech32210

​A lot of these cases, however, are just plain misinformed.

You mean Hamilton lied to me?

King George Broadway GIF by Hamilton: An American Musical Giphy

This is a fact that a lot of us Americans like to deny, King George didn't tax us just to be an a**hole. We technically were at least one of the reasons the French and Indian war and by extension at least part of the 7 years war happened. King George put taxes on us because he wanted the people who caused the war to pay their debts.

Also George Washington's army was not completely made up of white people, native americans and free black men were a part of the army too and the guy who turned George Washington's ragtag group into an effective fighting force was a gay man. Also only 1/3rd of the colonists actually wanted independence, the rest were either loyalists or didn't care. Also we would not have won the war without help from the French and the Spanish.

Dragonsbreath67

Very similar to recent events.

Ronald Reagan.

Although I consider myself a liberal I actually grew up in a conservative family and I was taught growing up that Reagan was one of the greatest presidents America ever had. As I grew older and did more research on him I came to realize how destructive his policies were and how much damage he did to liberal ideology. He pushed the Republicans to the far right and the Democrats pushed themselves further right as a result.

He also had the most corrupt administration in US History. 138 people were either indicted, convicted or had to resign due to involvement in one of the many scandals his administration had. That's right his administration was more corrupt than the GW Bush or Trump administration.

Tuxedo_Mask_matters

All notable tidbits.

Native people couldn't build boats, and the underestimation of the trade network between them. If they were just like us who says that they couldn't do those things? Polynesian artifacts have been found in California.

And this isn't a lie but there was a Chinese voyage that basically described the coast of California and the local flora and fauna. There's also those Japsnese people that sailed to South America after a volcano erupted, seriously, there's genetic evidence.

And speaking of Asian people, Asians were present in the west when it was a Mexican territory. There was a Filipino presence as well. They all just didn't show up when we needed people to build the railroad.

There is, or there was, I don't know if they're still there, a noticable Jewish population in Charleston. The oldest synagogue in America is there I think. I don't know why they chose Charleston though, but hey.

HH_Homely27

​It’s amazing how much actual history is neglected in history class.

Not how that works.

Oh My God Omg GIF by CBC Giphy

That lack of sunlight is why humans in Europe developed white skin, blonde hair and blue eyes.

One, all those things developed at different time periods for different reasons

Two, sunlight or lack thereof had nothing to do with skins turning white. Europeans were still mostly black / dark skinned in 10,000 B.C....this is after they had already been living in Europe and its lower sunlight levels for 35,000 years.

PhillipLlerenas

Interesting.

That the parties in the USA switched.

People portray it as the Republicans becoming evil and the Democrats becoming the good guys, but it was more of a relative switch. The Republican positions basically stayed consistent in absolute terms and the Democrats finally got over the Civil War and went really far to leave their past behind. It's an unpopular opinion, but just look at the platforms now vs. today. Some examples:

Republicans back then: free trade, small government, and cut taxes (Coolidge), segregation is bad, women and minorities should vote, buy American (Mckinley's protectionist tariffs), National Parks & strong military (Teddy Roosevelt). Those are all still pillars of the Republican party today.


Democrats back then: segregation is good, states rights from federal power, and the KKK. Compared to the nowadays Democratic party that favors a bigger federal government over state powers, seeks out voter suppression like a hawk, and is largely supported by minorities.

I'm no Republican, but you'd have to be trying not to notice that one party was more consistent while the other just changed a lot from it's awful past. This isn't to mention issues that both parties moved on like prohibition and gay marriage, for example.

Foreigner4ever

Yikes.

Not sure if this counts because I already knew the correct version of history when she tried it, but my 10th grade world history teacher gave a long winded presentation about how the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor.

It was about how no matter what it looked like, it was actually the Germans who were 100% to blame for the tragedy. It was a confusing week for my entire graduating class.

Regrettably a few of them weren't quite as capable of agency as others and took her misgivings for facts and the rest is small mid-west town history.

Metalfriends

Ummm who is teaching this?

horrible histories gym GIF by CBBC Giphy

Cavemen had to fight dinosaurs.

I was 10 when I found out dinosaurs were long gone when the cavemen arrived.

Zeldacraft_64

Well, I hope you all learned something today. And hopefully in the future we won't get all of our historical facts from Hamilton.

Goes to show that a lot of school curriculums are really misguided, and hopefully with future generations of teachers, that will be fixed.

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