History! For many of you, it was probably the second most boring class in school -- beaten only by math. If you didn't have a satisfying history education, it's not because the past was boring. Your teachers -- and generations of their predecessors -- have conspired for years to keep all the REALLY fun stuff out of your textbooks. It's total bullshit, and Cracked has spent years fighting to bring the balls-out insanity of our shared past to light. Collected below are the craziest examples of hidden history we've found so far. It's time to get re-educated.
44Ancient Christians Weren't Biblical Literalists
Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Ah, creationism! The age-old belief that everything in the Bible is literal, up to and especially Genesis. Its believers insist that God created the world literally in seven days, about 6,000 to 10,000 years ago. As such, things that don't fit the idea -- like evolution and dinosaur bones and tons of scientific proof -- can freely and vigorously suck it.
Scott Olson/Getty Images News/Getty Images
"You're just putting random bones together to make random bullshit. I can do that with LEGOs."
The rabid anti-evolutionary school of religious thought that most people picture when they think of creationism is actually a recent and radical subset called Young Earth Creationism. Based on a long-standing fringe theory about the Earth being merely a few thousand years old, the idea of a "young Earth" was popularized in the early 20th century by a man called George McCready Price, a Canadian wannabe geologist and anti-evolutionist who made up for his total lack of scientific training with an unbridled enthusiasm for ignorance. Seriously, he was proud of the fact that he never caught "the disease of Universityitis."
Even in ancient times, Christian scholars didn't buy that bunk. Take St. Augustine of Hippo, who was extremely clear that no one should view the Book of Genesis as a documentary. St. Augustine, it should be mentioned, lived in the 5th century. For centuries, it was understood that the Genesis was an allegory: The "days" of creation weren't actual 24-hour periods, but metaphors for a really long time, which in the eyes of an eternal, omnipotent, time-transcendent God just seemed like an average work week. That's not just the stance of one surprisingly progressive Hippo; this very view was and remains the Vatican's (and therefore the Catholic Church's) official stance on the subject.
43If the Nazis Had Just _________, Germany Would Have Won the War
Just about everybody.
The idea is that Nazi Germany was a military juggernaut for a brief period in the '40s, and that the entire planet would have collapsed if it wasn't for one or two minor blunders.
If only he remembered to put oxygen in that helmet ...
Why It's Bullshit:
To say that Hitler sleeping late decided the war ignores the fact that he needed supernatural good luck to do as well as he did in the first place. For instance, it was blind luck that he avoided assassination in 1938, before he could even get his war plans off the ground. And it's a pretty safe bet he never would have gotten very far if his father hadn't changed his name from the far less catchy Schicklgruber.
But the major reason Hitler was never this close to making your grandparents goose-step through Times Square: the Soviet Union. Today, it's widely believed that Hitler's, or really anyone's, chances of winning a war against the Soviet Union were on par with a snowball in a cage match with a chainsaw-wielding Mike Tyson in hell.
What 11 time zones of Joseph Stalin looks like.
Yes, Hitler plowed through Europe and had the U.K. on the ropes, and could have done more. It didn't matter. Stalin was waiting on the other side, and Hitler was never going to win that war. It was just a matter of how much of Europe he would control at the moment Stalin eventually crushed him.
But had it been through a nuclear bombardment of Berlin or through a continued war of attrition, Stalin was going to be in the winner's corner of WWII, no matter what.
Behind all those trucks is a battalion of motorcycles to ramp them.
If all of this makes it sound like we think Hitler was kind of an idiot, well, that brings us to our next myth ...