The second half of the 20th century was dominated by the world's two remaining superpowers facing each other down. The rest of the world rallied behind one or the other as Soviet and American forces started in on spying and covert warring. There were good guys and bad guys, and it was all bullshit. For instance ...
5"Ich bin ein Berliner"
It was the culmination of Kennedy's remarks in West Germany at one of the most volatile points in the Cold War. The speech was a hugely important, brilliantly scripted rallying cry for democracy, but there's a reason people still repeat to this day.
See, while Kennedy confidently delivered his kicker, "Ich bin ein Berliner" and prepared to drop the mic and walk offstage, the Germans were laughing their asses off. Because the phrase that Kennedy thought meant "I am a Berliner" actually translated to "I am a jelly-filled doughnut!"
"This comedian is terrible. Bring on David Hasselhoff!"
Why It's Bullshit:
According to German professor Reinhold Aman in his epic volume Maledicta, "No intelligent native speaker of German tittered in Berlin when JFK spoke." Despite the BBC, The Guardian, MSNBC, CNN, Time magazine and The New York Times reporting otherwise, Aman says, "'Ich bin (ein) Berliner' means 'I am a Berliner' ... and absolutely nothing else!"
"I am neither delicious nor fattening" has a special word in 36 languages.
The pedantic jack offs who still repeat this anecdote claim the use of the word "ein" is what screwed Kennedy. They point out that "Ich bin Berliner" means "I am from Berlin," and that adding the "ein" changes the meaning. Both facts are true. A rough English equivalent of what Kennedy said was "I am a New Yorker," whereas the phrase the pedantic jack offs claim he should have said translates to "I am from New York." The jelly doughnut myth is like claiming that an audience in Manhattan heard a politician say "I am a New Yorker" and took him to mean "I am a New Yorker magazine." Saying "I am a New Yorker" makes more sense as a symbolic statement of solidarity, and it's the same in German. Which is why people who speak German generally compliment Kennedy's choice as being the more nuanced, conversational phrasing.
Because Germans are absolutely not known for being brazen and awkward.
There's also the fact that people who are actually from Berlin don't call that particular pastry a Berliner, since that would turn every day of their lives into an Abbott and Costello routine.
So why have smug people been making this claim for the past 20 years? The earliest reference anyone's been able to come up with is the 1983 spy novel Berlin Game. A fictional character claims that Kennedy said he was a doughnut. In reviewing the novel, The New York Times treated it as a reference to an amusing fact, rather than a reference to a completely made-up fact, and to this day, you can't say "Ich bin ein Berliner" in a room full of educated people without having them shout something about a jelly doughnut at you.
Get better friends, dude.