Historical Lies That Will Make You Rethink Your Entire Education

October 1, 2019 0 By Ronny Jaskolski


It’s not easy being a teacher these days. Low salaries, long hours, and overcrowded
classrooms are just the start of the challenges faced by educators, who often have to deal
with outdated and incorrect textbooks as well. So it’s no wonder that sometimes things slip
through the cracks. Here’s a look at some especially persistent
false historical facts that are kids are still being taught in schools. Einstein failed math For decades, teachers and parents have tried
to inspire kids who don’t quite excel in school with a historical fun fact: “Even Einstein
failed math as a kid.” As a message of encouragement to late bloomers,
it’s great. As history, though, it gets an “F.” In 1984,
a Princeton University team led by Dr. John Stachel discovered that Einstein was actually
a kid genius who had conquered college-level physics by age 11 and was fluent in Latin
and Greek. The reason people thought he had failed math
was simply due to people misunderstanding the grading scale on his report card. “Way to go, Einstein!” So was Einstein actually bad at any subjects? Just French. French is hard. Pilgrims dressed in black and white Learning about the Pilgrims and their role
in the European colonization of America is a major part of any American’s elementary
school education. Also a part of school: plays in which kids
dress up like Pilgrims and re-enact the first Thanksgiving. Invariably, the costumes are ill-fitting black
and white garments topped with big, black hats, which fits with the idea of the Pilgrims
as strict, simple people. But according to Pilgrim expert Caleb Johnson,
the Pilgrims actually wore clothes that were all kinds of styles and colors. The idea that they dressed in severe black
and white outfits comes from paintings done in the 1800s, when all people actually tended
to dress in darker, more drab styles. The more you know. The U.S. declared independence on July 4 Fireworks, flag cakes, and barbecues — your
Fourth of July activities to celebrate American independence from Mother England are a lie. The Second Continental Congress convened in
Philadelphia on July 1, 1776, and the next day — July 2nd, not July 4th — representatives
from the 13 colonies overwhelmingly approved a motion to declare independence. It took them two days to agree on the wording
of the Declaration of Independence, however, so it wasn’t until the fourth that they ratified
it. Since that date was on the top of the document,
it’s the one that stuck in everyone’s minds. But the whole process took a long time. Members of Congress didn’t actually begin
signing the Declaration until August 2, and King George the Third didn’t get wind of it
until October. These days, of course, you could do the whole
thing instantly with a simple Facebook post. Abner Doubleday invented baseball In 1903, Baseball Guide editor Henry Chadwick
wrote about how baseball had evolved from the British games of cricket and rounders. The magazine’s publisher, sporting goods kingpin
Albert Spalding, responded by forming a commission to prove baseball actually had American origins. The commission’s report, issued in 1907, was
based mainly on a letter from a man named Abner Graves. He claimed to have been in Cooperstown, New
York, in 1839 when future Civil War general Abner Doubleday outlined a diamond in the
dirt and wrote up rules for a game called “Base Ball.” Spalding took that assertion for fact. To do so, he ignored two actual facts: first,
commission member A.G. Mills, who was close friends with Doubleday, couldn’t remember
Doubleday ever mentioning baseball. And second, in 1839 Doubleday was a cadet
at West Point, not in Cooperstown. These days, historians think baseball is one
of several sports derived from stoolball, which was played in England as far back as
the 15th century. Sorry, America! Columbus had to prove the world was round While few still think Christopher Columbus
actually discovered America, many believe the explorer’s voyage was important because
it proved the world was round. But this was not the case. In fact, people knew the Earth was round as
far back as ancient Greece. In the 19th century, however, writers like
Washington Irving used the Columbus story to take potshots at the Catholic Church, claiming
the explorer had to convince superstitious clergymen that the Earth wasn’t flat like
they thought. The idea caught on with the general public,
just another testament to the power of fake news. ‘War of the Worlds’ caused mass hysteria The textbook definition of “mass hysteria”
is probably the October 1938 chaos that resulted from Orson Welles’ radio adaptation of H.G.
Wells’ The War of the Worlds. Welles and the Mercury Theatre on the Air
radio program presented the terrifying story of a New Jersey alien invasion as breaking
news, with on-the-scene reports so convincing that hordes fled their homes in terror. We know that really happened, because the
newspapers of the day said so! Unfortunately, the creative license hadn’t
ended with the radio program. According to History.com, newspaper publishers
took what few reports there were of people panicking and built it up to create a story
of far-reaching mania over War of the Worlds and to make radio look bad. Gotta watch out for those emerging technologies. In fact, relatively few people were “fooled”
by The War of the Worlds. Just in case anybody tuned in late, CBS Radio
aired multiple disclaimers reassuring listeners that the broadcast was fictional. Also, there couldn’t have been widespread
panic…because not very many people were even listening in the first place. Ratings reports from the time found that only
2 percent of respondents tuned in to The War of the Worlds because it aired opposite NBC’s
popular Chase and Sanborn Hour, which featured ventriloquist Edgar Bergen. So 1930s Americans didn’t believe aliens were
landing. But they thought a ventriloquist they couldn’t
actually see was somehow really entertaining. You can decide for yourself which is crazier. Thanks for watching! Click the Grunge icon to subscribe to our
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