17 Historical 'Facts' (That Are False)

Listen up, kids: Don't believe everything your history teacher tells you. Many commonly held historical "facts" are actually incorrect. Keep reading for new reasons to interrupt your teacher during class.

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BELIEF: Cowboy hats were worn in beginning of the Western American frontier. TRUTH: The cowboy hat didn't become popular until after the American CiviSource: National Cowboy Museum

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BELIEF: Women were burned at the stake during the Salem Witch Trials. TRUTH: The accused died in prison, were hanged, or, in one case, were pressed toSource: History

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BELIEF: Many stock brokers jumped out of windows when the market collapsed. TRUTH: There were two jumping suicides between the crash and 1929. The mytRead More: 6 Ridiculous History Myths You Probably Think Are True

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a2+b = c2 t BELIEF: The Pythagorean theorem was discovered by Pythagoras. TRUTH: The theorem was used centuries before Pythagoras was born. Little is Source: Maths History

14

BELIEF: Benjamin Franklin proposed a wild turkey be the official symbol of the U.S., instead of the bald eagle. TRUTH: Ben Franklin, in a private lettSource: American Heraldry

13

BELIEF: Immigrants' last names were Americanized at Ellis Island. TRUTH: The inspectors never even wrote down the names of the immigrants but checked Source: New York Public Library

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BELIEF: Albert Einstein failed math classes. TRUTH: Einstein confirmed he never failed math and was at the top of his class. CRACKED.COM Source: TIME

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atLe BELIEF: Coca-Cola invented Santa Claus as we know him. TRUTH: In 1836, illustrator Thomas Nast originated the classic imagery of Santa Claus in aSource: Coca-Cola

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BELIEF: The Great Wall of China is visible from space. TRUTH: The Wall isn't visible with the naked eye while an astronaut is in low orbit, but you caSource: NASA

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BELIEF: George Washington Carver invented peanut butter. TRUTH: Carver invented lots of uses for peanuts and was way ahead of his time in his holisticSource: Smithsonian Magazine

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BELIEF: Henry Ford invented the automobile and/or the assembly line. TRUTH: Henry Ford didn't invent either. However, the Ford Company developed the mSource: Henry Ford

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BELIEF: Pilgrims wore all black and buckle hats. TRUTH: Pilgrims dressed mostly in earth tones and would wear hats but without buckles. The fashion stSource: Smithsonian Magazine

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BELIEF: George Washington had wooden teeth. TRUTH: Washington had bad teeth and wore dentures made of human and animal teeth and alloys. His dentures Source: Mount Vernon

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BELIEF: Classical statues were white. TRUTH: Ancient Roman and Greek statues used to painted bright colors but have faded over time. CRACKED.COM Source: New Yorker

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BELIEF: Vikings wore horned hats. TRUTH: They either wore no hats or simple hats of iron or leather. The horned hat imagery was invented in the 1800s.Source: History Channel

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BELIEF: Medieval Europeans believed the Earth was flat. TRUTH: People knew the Earth was round by sixth century BC. The myth was started by people in Source: Washington Post

2

IL Fiw Hls wel shs ore phrle d heme Randhen hn HlanG inhani i- er oedHoreve BELIEF: July 4th was the day the US declared independence from Great BritaSource: Constitution Center

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