Ruining History for Everyone 2

I couldn’t just stop with Davy Crockett. I’m on a roll now, so watch out.

Some more historical debunking:

1. Paul Revere didn’t finish his famous ride. He ran into a British patrol and had to stop and explain what he was doing out at night, riding a horse, yelling and waking people up. A couple of other guys who were doing the same thing that night got through and finished the job. The thing was, Paul Revere’s name was easy to fit into a poem, which is what Henry Wadsworth Longfellow did. This was great PR, and Paul Revere became a legend even though he actually got caught by the people he was trying to warn everyone else about.

NOT one of General Washington's dinner guests
NOT one of General Washington’s dinner guests
2. George Washington didn’t live in a hut with his men at Valley Forge. He was the General, so he lived in a comfortable, warm house, within view of the soldiers who were living in huts. They still thought he was a hero and they didn’t see anything wrong with this, which just goes to show you something, although I don’t know what.

3. Catherine the Great did not die from trying to have sex with a horse. She died of a stroke, because she was an old lady. People who didn’t like her thought it would be great fun to make up a scandalous story so they could laugh at her. Catherine already had a juicy reputation for dalliances with men and everyone knew all the stories, so it took a tall tale like this to even make people pay attention.

4. Vikings did not wear horned helmets. They didn’t have to. They were frightening enough without them.

5. Marie Antoinette never said, “Let them eat cake.” Even if she wanted to say it, nobody asked her.

6. Most educated people in the Middle Ages knew that the earth was round, and nobody really thought that Columbus was going to fall off the edge of the earth, although it might have been better for a lot of Native Americans if he had.

7. This has not been proved for sure, but there is a good chance that Columbus was not Italian. He might have told everyone that he came from Genoa to hide his real identity, for fear of winding up in jail or dead. Apparently, he had a past that the King and Queen of Spain would not have found funny. I hope if they do finally prove that he wasn’t Italian they won’t tell anyone. Italian-Americans would have to find another hero to celebrate once a year, and Lee Iacocca Day just doesn’t have the same kind of punch.

8. Speaking of Italians, opera legend Enrico Caruso did not die onstage in New York City in the middle of a performance. He died in Italy, where he had traveled, hoping to recover from surgery on an abscessed lung. Instead, he caught a fresh infection and died – in bed – at the age of 48.

I’ll shut up now.

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