People Explain Which Historical Inaccuracies Are Still Being Taught Today
If there's one thing we can rely on history for it's that it never changes.
At least that's what we'd like to say. History has a funny way of being understood one way for some while being misunderstood for others. You'd think it be so easy to just write down what happen as fact, and then it never changes for all time. Somewhere in the retelling of historical facts can get changed, meanings can get shifted, and before you know it, you have people who think America won the Vietnam War. Reddit user, Ok-Lingonberry-2079, wanted to know what's often misunderstood about history when they asked:
What historical inaccuracies are still taught?
Let's get the basics out of the way, the things we were most likely taught in school by teachers who perhaps didn't have access to a real history book.
Not Short At All
"That Napoleon was very short."
"He was slightly taller than an average Frenchman of his time. Around 168-170 cm."
"It was English propaganda. He was also often surrounded by his Imperial Guard who used to be a lot taller.
"Still, alot shorter than average Europeans these days."
"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."
Did He Even Sail The Ocean Blue?! These Are The Questions.
"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."
"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."
"Stalin said 'one death is a tragedy but a million deaths is a statistic.'"
Who Actually Built The Pyramids?
"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 voluntarily."
Marie Never Said That
"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."
Sometimes, history changes because we don't want to know the truth. The story behind the fact is a lot more fascinating to hear and easier to swallow.
They All Knew
"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 bullsh*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. T
he 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."
Losing The Most
"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."
"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).
"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."
"The government did not inject men with syphilis, they took men who already had syphilis, and pretended to treat them so they could study how it ravaged the body over time left untreated."
"Still just as cruel though."
He Was A Regular Einstein
"Albert Einstein didnt fail his classes.. He succeeded very well."
"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."
If there's one thing Americans know, it's their own history.
Exploiting A Workforce? America? Really?!
"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."
"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."
America Failed Longer Than We Thought
"The Vietnam War started in the mid-sixties when it started in the fifties."
"Some misinformed people still teach that the USA did not lose the war (by using the red herring of a slow withdrawal) when in reality North Vietnam succeeded in their goal of kicking out the occupying foreigners and reunifying Vietnam."
Maybe The People Shooting Off Fireworks Early Have A Point
"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."
The Wild West Is A Lie
"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."
What Went Down In Salem
"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."
Double-check your sources. Use more than one resource. Try to look for bias in writing. There are lots of ways to learn about history. Don't always accept the first story being told because it's easier to accept.
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We've all made clumsy mistakes that we know could have been avoided had we used a little bit more good judgment and common sense.
Thankfully, these silly mistakes don't usually harm others or ourselves.
This is why it's hard to see people knowingly perform reckless or dangerous activities which they know might have serious consequences.
While we don't usually wish these people ill, we also have a hard time feeling bad for them, as they knew what they were getting themselves in for.
As some people might say, they "f*cked around and found out" or "play stupid games, win stupid prizes."
What is a great example of 'f*ck around and find out'"?
Never Be Afraid To Seek Help
"Hey remember how they said drugs can ruin your f*cking life?"
"Turns out that was true."- WowAPenguin
They Put Up Those Walls For A Reason
"People who die after going over the safety fence at zoo, or basically any safety fence."- Solid_Refrigerator16
They Can't Say They Weren't Warned...
"Those who go deep cave diving and ignore the warning signs."- somekindofmiraclecave GIFGiphy
Never Stand Behind Them...
"Jacka**es who come to the stables I ride at and act weird around horses."
"Those animals play no games."- clem82
Is It Really Worth It?
"Running of the Bulls in Spain."
"The videos each year of the people getting completely annihilated by the bulls is a great example."- getagrooving
Never Get Too Big For Your Britches...
"When I was young I boxed and eventually got into golden gloves."
"I got a few wins under my belt and said I wanted to fight someone legit, someone who would be a real challenge."
"An opportunity came up to fight someone very good, a guy who'd eventually win regional and state and later go pro."
"At this point I'd not lost or even been knocked down, so my confidence was high, that is until he knocked me the hell out very early in the fight and taught me that there are BIG differences in the different talent levels of fighting."-Redditepisode 2 boxing GIF by Archie ComicsGiphy
Sharks might be the least of your problems...
"Go swimming outside the flags in Australia."- d*ckflip1980
"When people were dressing up like clowns to scare people."
"It kinda stopped after one got shot."- BigMaraJeff2
Or With Anything Dangerous...
"Playing with electricity."- tlmega124Jack Nicholson Hair GIF by MOODMANGiphy
They Won't Harm You If You Won't Harm Them...
"People that approach wildlife in state parks."- Rider-of-Rohaan42
Best To Keep Hands And Feet Out Of Moving Vehicles...
"Your boss at the warehouse is constantly telling you to keep your feet within the confines of your vehicle, and not to hang them, and to stay clear when walking, because if you don't, a 6,000 pound+ vehicle impacting a fixed surface will turn your foot into spaghetti sauce."
"Do not f*ck around, ever, with industrial vehicles."
"Follow all guidelines, always."
"A powered ride-on pallet jack weighs as much as 2-3 small cars, when fully loaded."
"It will absolutely ruin you if you don't operate safely."- SpaceCorpse
Still Probably Best Not To Do It At All!
"My uncle was a high-profile defense attorney specializing in folks who were arrested for drug trafficking."
"The greatest advice he ever gave to me was, if you want to smuggle ANYTHING, you can do it one time."
"After that, you will be caught and you will be f*cked."- redoctober2021
Confusing On So Many Levels...
"Trying to armed rob a gun store."- VagabondTexan
You'd Think People Would Have Learned By Now...
"Taking Julius Caesar hostage."- EgoSenatuscaesar GIFGiphy
No One Is Invincible...
"Ye saying he can’t be dropped by Adidas, then immediately getting dropped by Adidas."- Admin_Untold
It's one thing to make a mistake after being a bit too hasty, and not giving something enough thought.
But if you end up in the ER after being urged not to do something, and well aware of what might happen, don't expect too many flowers...
Being horny can lead to some questionable decision-making.
Something happens to the brain when blood is flowing to other regions of the body.
They should discuss this in health class.
It's perfectly normal, but we have to learn how to deal.
Redditor Sir_Baconstrips wanted to see who was willing to discuss actions made while randy, so they asked:
"What's the biggest mistake you've made because you were horny?"
I can't tell you mine, because my mom might read this. But Reddit was more than happy to share.
History HelpHide Reaction GIF by florGiphy
"I browsed porn and then I asked my mom how to delete the history."
What was that?
"Probably my most embarrassing moment. Was on my work computer (family business so nothing locked) and it was a super slow day and I was alone. Anyways was doing a classic 3 min facebook check and scrolled down for a second and saw the news post about Adriana Chechik injuring her back in a foam pool. Figured top comments on that would be golden. Read one funny one that said 'her and her scene with [performer I can’t remember] is still goat.'"
"Never heard of said performer so I got curious and google her. Of course photos never do justice, had to see the performance ya know? So I clicked a random video, quick glance and thought 'meh' and was about to close the tab before I noticed my mouse twitch on the screen… What was that? No.. that wasn’t mouse error, that was someone… then within seconds I realized the accountant who taps in remotely to finish work came in at that exact moment that I had a browser open for less than 60 sec."
"The worst wart was I could have sworn I had all those remote services off, but she tried to tap in for over an hour and must of did something to wake splashtop (probably had it on some type of standby mode). She even called earlier but I saw a random number and was speaking with a client and ignored it."
"Anyways, decision time, do I call her and play it off as nothing or apologize? Naturally as a fearful 28 year old I play off as nothing. I call, no answer… then a few minutes later i get the call back and her words after exchanging 'hellos … are you finished with whatever you were doing…' still burns me."
"Let my (ex) boyfriend dry-hump me for an hour on a bench outside after summer school."
"The bad news: this bench behind our school was also beside a swimming pool. Where parents were taking their children for swim lessons. Eventually a staff member came out and yelled at us for being inappropriate."
"I still have shame flashbacks today, over 10 years later."
"I had a one night stand with a guy who was, in retrospect, seriously self-conscious about his penis size and kept going on about how if it was on the small size it was just because he has to have sex with it a few times and it would gradually get bigger until it was it’s 'true' size. I really didn’t care."
"But then to make himself feel better he turned it around and started talking about how big and wide my vagina was but kept reassuring me that it was ok because he liked the challenge. I wish I had snapped my legs shut and given him the boot right then and there."
In San DiegoNo Money Bangladeshi GIF by GifGariGiphy
"Lost my entire tax refund and got my phone stolen at a strip club in San Diego."
Always check your pockets on the way out.
The RewardHappy We Did It GIF by StoryfulGiphy
"Hooked up with a girl at a party. Just kind of bored, drunk, and horny. Having to go to the doctor for a case of pubic lice was my reward for poor self-control."
"I got my first serious gf in high school. She was two grades below me. So when I finished third year and moved 500 km south we was still a couple. I was so in love (and most of all horny) I commuted every. Single. Weekend. And I was poor. So I took the bus to the nearest station after school. Waited for the long distance bus for 4-5 hours."
"Went to a larger city to hitchhike my way there. I was there Friday night or Saturday morning. Locked ourselves in her bedroom and went at it until Sunday morning. I made my way down to school again and went to class straight from the bus Monday morning. This went on for almost a year…"
I'm OutChris Pratt Running GIF by Parks and RecreationGiphy
"Was trying to get with a girl in college. We were texting and I asked her what she was up to, she said she was training for a marathon and going to the gym and asked if I wanted to come."
"I ended up running 9 miles before I tagged out. So now I know how far I'd go to have sex it's up to 9 miles."
Lord the things people will do when slightly turned on.
Why in this day and age are people still taking nudie pics without triple-checking the recipient?
Why take the gamble?
And half of the time we hit send, mistakes get made.
One minute you're feeling sexy, the next minute grandpa is having a stroke.
Redditor Im_A_Freakin_Joke wanted to hear about the times people have sent photos to the family that left everyone SHOOK, so they asked:
"Redditors who accidental sent a family member a nude, what was the aftermath?"
I have done many things, but I never allow a snapshot.
GrossVacuuming Clean Up GIF by MashedGiphy
"'You should clean your room before you take that.'"
"I meant to send it to someone on WhatsApp that I was dating at the time and didn’t realize I accidentally sent it to my brother, their names were next to each other in my chat list and I chose the wrong one. I frantically called my sister in law and told her what happened and begged her to go into his phone and delete the message with the photo."
"This is before WhatsApp added the functionality to delete your own messages. She was so sweet and understanding and deleted the message. I was so embarrassed. To this day she has kept my secret, this happened five years ago."
"For context, my mom had some life-threatening medical issues when I was a kid, so there were a few month+ long periods where we rarely saw her. One night, I got a text from her that says 'send me a pic of u in bed."
"I thought she wanted a picture of me and my dog snuggling, as he slept with me and was the cutest sleeper. I usually sent her one every few days, even when she was home. It also doubled as her way to make sure I was following my bedtime."
"I was taking the picture, and I get a follow-up 'ignore that' text. At the same time, my dad opens my door so hard the hinges break. He says 'you get a text from mama?' I say yeah, and he says, 'it wasn't meant for you.' And leaves. I felt weird about it for days, even though it was years before I figured it out."
Leave it there...
"I happened to live across the street at the time and a dirty message meant for my now wife was sent to my mother! Luckily for me my mom is notorious for ignoring her phone so I sprinted across the street and said 'hey where is your phone' she told me it was on her desk so I calmly walked over unlocked it and deleted the message. In response to the look of confusion I told her 'deleted a message that was meant for now wife...' And left it at that."
AHHHH!!!! NO!Awkward Episode 1 GIF by HeelsGiphy
"One time my dad accidentally texted me 'sex if the Patriots win' and I still don’t believe I have recovered."
Mom and dad have their own lives.
DisconnectGIF by NETFLIXGiphy
"I didn't accidentally send a nude, but my phone did auto upload ALL my pictures when I connected it to my mom's computer. I'm no longer allowed to connect hardware to my mom's computer."
"I gave my sister my old Iphone (I’m 25, she’s 22). She didn’t realize that her photos were uploading to my cloud and when I went to send a photo to a coworker, at work mind you, I see her pasty a**. I immediately text her and was like STOP TAKING PHOTOS. She called me and asked if I was okay and I told her what was happening. She responded with 'My a** look good though,' and I died laughing. Love my sis, but Christ."
"I didn’t sent a nude. I was in the shower, about age 15, and I heard the phone ring. My best friend had a habit of calling while I was showering. So, I bolted out naked as the day I was born to grab the phone before she hung up. I didn’t realize pretty much my entire dad’s side of the family was visiting my terminally ill mother."
"They saw it all. My aunt jokingly said, 'Well, dang, I didn’t know there was gonna be a show.' And someone said, 'we were just joking when we said you’d grow up to be a stripper.' I had to do a walk of shame back to the bathroom as well."
"It was laughed off and it hasn’t been brought up since."
Let me see...
"Sent a pic of my boobs to my mom. Managed to convince her I was trying to take a pic of what I thought was a lump but ended up dropping my phone and sent it while fumbling. Which has happened before. But then she made me show her where I thought the lump was so that was very awkward."
Recover Modedelete black and white GIFGiphy
"I once sent a pic to a GF in college when we were home for break… only I searched her contact by last name and accidentally sent it to her mom!"
"Thankfully it was late and she was able to sneak into her parents’ room and delete it before they saw."
What have we learned?
At the very least, triple-check who you are sending it to one whichever app you use for that sort of thing.
There is so much to learn in the world, it's impossible for one person to know absolutely everything there is to know.
But there are certain things, like common phrases and idioms, that everyone seems to use that might be a little embarrassing to not understand until later in life.
Redditor Curious-2577 asked:
"What's something you learned 'embarrassingly late' in life?"
"My sister was in her fifties when she found out the meaning of, 'You have an addictive personality.'"
"She thought after all these years of therapy that it meant that people were addicted to her personality."
"We laughed hysterically when we talked about this (in a very sad way)."
"I thought that horses had toes until I was 22. I thought the hoof was a 'horseshoe' and the toes were tucked inside."
"How did I learn how wrong I was, you ask?"
"I was walking past a cavalry museum and saw a horse statue and loudly remarked, 'It must hurt so bad when they fold a horse’s toes to put them into the shoe!'"
"Dozens of horse enthusiasts turned and looked at me with wild bewilderment in their eyes."
"The saying is, in fact, 'Nip it in the bud' and not 'Nip it in the butt.'"
"A few months ago, two of my colleagues both handed in their notice at around the same time."
"I kept reading/hearing the sentence, 'They’re both moving on to pastures new’ being thrown about the office in the weeks leading up to them leaving, and I hadn’t heard this phrase before and thought that was the name of the rival company that they were going to, like, 'Pastures New.'"
"I thought it was weird that nobody was talking about how they were both leaving for the same company."
"I was in the car with one of the two people who were leaving and said, 'So where is it that you and X are going to be working? Is it...’"
"And just before I could embarrass myself and say ‘Pastures New,' they interrupted me and said they’re not going to the same place and asked me where I had heard that."
"I think at that moment, I realized I was stupid and didn’t mention it again."
"I think I was in college when I realized that Mario and Luigi are plumbers. I thought they just went and up down these tubes just because that was the theme of the game."
"That Bonsai are not a species of tree, but a way to grow them. Any tree can be a bonsai."
Houston, We Have a Problem
"Houston is not the name of the guy astronauts talk to."
"I learned that pork and beans are not called 'cowboy beans.' I was 18 and asked a grocery store clerk to help me find the 'cowboy beans.'"
"We were looking everywhere and I was getting frustrated because I know that every store carries these beans. After a while, I picked up a pork and beans can with a picture and said, 'See, they look just like this!'"
"He said, 'You mean pork and beans?'"
"Then I realized that my mom called them that so that I would eat them."
"The look of disappointment from that grocery store clerk haunts me to this day."
"Let me tell you about how I thought you were awarded a 'Pullet Surprise.'"
Rum and Coke
"Not too late in life, but I thought my parents were making 'Roman Cokes' until I went to college."
"Which, I think is a much better name for the drink (Rum and Coke) anyway."
Oh No, Not Acoma!
"That a coma was 'A' coma. Until I was probably 19 or so, I thought it was 'acoma.'"
"I thought you fell into acoma."
It Must Have Been a One-Way Trip
"My parents were divorced the whole time and my mom was not, in fact, taking a vacation, lmao (laughing my a** off)."
"I live near the Hospital for Joint Diseases… when I was a kid, I thought was a special hospital for people who had two or more different diseases at the same time."
"Moving cross-country, driving east to west, and crossing from Idaho to Oregon, I noticed huge fields with signs for the Ore-Ida Potato company."
"So I was in my early 20s when I figured out Ore-Ida wasn’t just a brand name but was because their potatoes came from Oregon and Idaho."
"When I was really young, my sister told me she threw her guts up. So I was really afraid of vomiting my entire insides up for years."
Some of these really had us laughing as we realized the revelations some of these Redditors were having.
But when we're really honest with ourselves, we probably didn't figure out some of these until later, too.