Time To Know The Truth: 10 Historical False Stories - History Key

Time To Know The Truth: 10 Historical False Stories

False stories and myths will always exist, and many times would go down in history as genuine episodes. If a story is good, would be even better if some alterations would be added to it, but some of them went too far, so we decided to break those fake myths and tell you the truth.

Probably you have heard some of them, and probably you believed that are actually true.

10. Cleopatra was not Egyptian

Sound incredible but that’s the truth. In fact, Queen Cleopatra was related to the Ptolemaic dynasty, which was an important family with Greek roots. They ruled Egypt after Alexander the Great.

Cleopatra was the first member of her family who learned Egyptian, while all the other members of the family totally refused and banned Egyptian language.

Representation of Cleopatra
Representation of Cleopatra © Pinterest.com


9. Jewish slaves and the pyramids

A sort of common belief is related to the fact that Jewish slaves were involved in the pyramids construction, but this is also a false myth. It was generated by affirmations made by the Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin in 1977, during one of his visits to Egypt.

But Amihai Mazar, a professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, have a totally different opinion, stating that:

“No Jews built the pyramids because Jews didn’t exist at the period when the pyramids were built”

Another statement coming from Dieter Wildung, the former director of the Egyptian Museum in Berlin, would consolidate Mazar’s affirmation:

“The myth of the slaves building pyramids is only the stuff of tabloids and Hollywood. The world simply could not believe the pyramids were built without oppression and forced labor, but out of loyalty to the pharaohs”

The truth is simpler: the Egyptians built the pyramids, and that is a fact confirmed by recent archaeological discoveries.

Great Pyramids of Giza
Great Pyramids of Giza © Wikipedia.org

8. Napoleon wasn’t short

We have been taught to believe that Napoleon was almost a midget, without questioning if the affirmation was true or not. In reality, his height was 163 cm (5’6’’), which above the average male height in France. Napoleon was nicknamed “The little Corporal” more likely as a sign of affection, but until today the term of “Napoleon Complex” is related to frustrations of someone’s height.

Napoleon © napoleon.org

7. Suicides on Wall Street after the 1929 market crash

Yes, that was a very hard moment for many people, and yes, some of them committed suicide following the market crash, which eventually led to the Great Depression. The myth is related to the fact that many “Wall Streeters” jumped out of the windows, but the real story is slightly different.

The president of Rochester Gas and Electric and the head of County Trust Co. both committed suicide, but using guns and not by jumping from a window.

6. The Spanish Influenza Pandemic didn’t start in Spain

Around 50 million people died in 1918 from what it was initially called “the three-day flu”. The disease spreading was related to Spain because there were reported the very first cases of infection but there are solid arguments in order to relate the outbreak of the disease to Spain.

Eventually, the spot of the influenza outbreak was located in Haskell County, Kansas, where the very first cases were reported.

Soldiers from Fort Riley, Kansas, ill with Spanish influenza at a hospital ward at Camp Funston
Soldiers from Fort Riley, Kansas, ill with Spanish influenza at a hospital ward at Camp Funston © Wikipedia.org

5. Albert Einstein never failed in maths

The alteration of some facts could be derived from modern situations, for example, a TV show or an online show. That was the context for the affirmation related to the fact that Albert Einstein was not able to solve some math problems. Everything started with the show “Ripley’s Believe it or Not”, where it was suggested that Einstein was not that good in math.

In fact, Albert Einstein was very good in math since a very young age, managing to conclude his algebra and geometry studies with the highest marks, at the age of 17.

Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein © wikipedia.org

4. Paul Revere yelling “The British are coming”

Probably a detail added in order to present the story in a more colorful manner, but that never happened. Revere had to keep the Britsh arrival on a low note, for sure without putting everything in the highlight by such an affirmation.

Revere did something in that direction, very probably told to the people that the “regulars” are coming, and the regulars back then were intended as colonists, meaning British soldiers.

3. George Washington and the wooden teeth

We could say that it is well known that Washington had some serious dental problems and very bad teeth, using several dentures during his life. Some of them were made out of gold, ivory and even lead (probably back when they were not aware of lead toxicity) but there are no reports related to wooden dentures.

The myth is more likely associated with Washington’s habit of drinking port, which very probably stained his teeth, making them look similar to wood.

2. North America wasn’t discovered by Christopher Columbus

Could sound strange for you, but this is the truth. Columbus touched ground in the Caribbean and managed to explore parts of Central and South America, but he never reached North America. Even so, every year the Americans celebrate Columbus Day.

Cristopher Columbus
Cristopher Columbus © The Daily Beast

1. The Great Chicago Fire wasn’t caused by a kicking cow

The tragedy from 1871 related to the deaths of hundreds of people, causing also the burning of more than 3 square miles was started in an alley by unknown causes. A journalist invented the story of Mrs. O’Leary’s cow in order to obtain more sensational news.

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