History seems to get lost in time as well as in translation. What most people believe now about history facts is actually untrue. Here are 16 historical facts that will totally make you rethink everything.
#1. Medieval Europeans didn’t think the Earth was flat. From the time of the ancient Greek philosphers like Plato and Aristotle, most European intellectuals accepted the spherical Earth theory.
#2. Marie Antoinette did not say “Let them eat cake.” when she found out the French peasantry was starving. Rousseau published the quote when she was only ten. It was either made up by Rosseau himself or said by someone like the king’s wife.
#3. Iron maidens were not invented during the Medieval period. They weren’t used for torture. They were created in the 18th century and were pieced together from artifacts in museums to attract more visitors.
#4. George Washington’s teeth were not made of wood; they were made of gold, ivory, lead, human teeth, donkey teeth and horse teeth.
#5. Albert Einstein didn’t fail math in school, it was a false claim published by Ripley’s. Before he was 15, he mastered differential and integral calculus.
#6. The US Declaration of Independence was not signed on July 4, 1776. It was approved by Congress on that day and signed on August 2, 1776.
#7. Cinco de Mayo isn’t Mexico’s Independence Day, as some believe. (Their independence from Spain is celebrated on 9/16.) It celebrates their victory against the French in the Battle of Puebla.
#8. Christopher Columbus didn’t discover the mainland US. In fact, he never even found it. The closest he got was the Caribbean islands.
#9. Chastity belts were invented in the 18th century to prevent teenagers from masturbating (which they thought led to insanity). It wasn’t to prevent pregnancy in the Middle Ages.
#10. Benjamin Franklin didn’t propose the wild turkey as a symbol for the United States. He wrote a private letter to his daughter, expressing the fact that he didn’t like the eagle and preferred the turkey.
#11. The Vikings didn’t have horns on their helmets. That image originated in a popular opera by Richard Wagner in 1876.
#12. Today’s popular image of Santa Claus was not created by Coca-Cola. The current iteration of Saint Nick had already been created before Coke used it.
#13. No one was burned at the stake during the Salem witch trials. The accused died in prison or were hanged.
#14. In Rome, vomitoriums weren’t used for vomiting, they actually were the entrances and exists Romans used in stadiums. Romans also didn’t throw up between courses or meals.
#15. Pilgrims didn’t have buckles on their hats or wear the same dark clothing. Three centuries after the pilgrims, the popular image was created when buckles were a symbol of quaintness.
#16. Napoleon Bonaparte was not short; he was 5’7”. That was slightly taller than average for a Frenchman at the time.