15 History Facts You Don’t Learn from School

It is mind-blowing to realize how much we believed in aren’t true. Furthermore, it’s surprising to find out how much history we were never taught in school.

As we grow up and learn the aspects of history in school, some things stay imprinted on our minds. However, there are many things that we were never taught in school. There is also a lot of inaccurate information told in school. 

Take the following as examples. 

1. Boy Soldier in the American Civil War

During the civil war, many soldiers were between the ages of 18 and 39 years old. However, there were over 100,000 that were under the age of 15 because they lied about their age. 

When the death rate continued to rise, many recruiters didn’t dwell on the age of the recruitments. The youngest soldier during the civil war was a Union soldier named Edward Black. He was 8 years old and enlisted in the 21st Indiana volunteers as a drummer boy.

2. Capture of Caesar

Cilician pirates captured Julius Caesar when he was 25 and held him for ransom. They asked for 20 talents and offended Caesar. He then demanded they ask for 50. 

Caesar told the pirates that he would kill them all upon his release, and the pirates laughed. Well, he made good on his word, and with a naval army captured the pirates. He imprisoned them first but later crucified them.

3. The fascination of Polar Bears

During the 1st Century A.D., the Romans had polar bears and seals fight in the Roman Amphitheaters.

polar bearSource: Shutterstock
Source: Shutterstock

When the amphitheaters flooded with water, Early Norwegian and Egyptian kings were first to capture polar bears and keep them as pets.

4. The Presidential Executioner

Before becoming the 22nd president, Grover Cleveland had another job. At age 25, he became the executioner when he was the sheriff for Erie County. “Big Steve” — according to residents— executed two prisoners when he was there. During his run for the presidency, his opponents called him “Buffalo Hangman.”

5. Where Teddy Bear Came From

The word teddy bear came about in 1902 when President Roosevelt was hunting. When the other hunters captured a bear, and he refused to kill it, cartoons about Teddy and the bear spread. A man named Morris Michtom created stuffed bears and named them teddy bears.

6. Self-Poisoning of Emperors

Since the 1st-century, emperors of ancient Rome poisoned themselves with small amounts daily. The emperors believed that this would make them immune to death and poisoning later in life.

7. Einstein Could Have Been Israel’s President

In 1952 Chaim Weizmann offered Albert Einstein the president of Israel. Einstein declined.

8. Oldest Parliament in History

Although many believe that the British Parliament is the oldest in history, it is not. In 930 A.D., Iceland established the Althingi in Reykjavik, making it the first parliament created in history.

9. Strange Burial

The Mexican President Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna ordered a full military burial for his amputated leg. There is also a monument for the built.

10. The Spread of the Plague

Pope Gregory IX believed that cats were evil and had them exterminated. It was a papal bull called Vox in Rama. The Romans brought cats from Egypt to Europe to help clear vermin from farms and food storages.

bubonic plague historySource: Shutterstock
Source: Shutterstock

The Pope’s papal bull decreased the ability to control vermin, resulting in the spread of the Bubonic plague, which originated from rats.

11. Worship the Turkey

Although Americans see Turkey as the best part of Thanksgiving, they were more than that in the past. Ancient Mayans worshipped turkeys as gods in the 4th century B.C.

12. Poisoning of Alcohol

During the prohibition, law officers poisoned alcohol manufactured in the country, killing around 10,000 people.

13. Ketchup Was Medicine

A physician from Ohio named John Cook claimed ketchup cured indigestion, Jaundice, and diarrhea. Ketchup was medication from the 1830s until it became a condiment in the late 1800s.

14. The Real Independence Day

Although the United States celebrates Independence Day on July 4th, it wasn’t really the day of independence. Most members didn’t sign the Declaration of Independence until August. The group decided to become independent on July 2nd, 1776. 

On July 4th, the Continental Congress approved the final wording of the Declaration of Independence. 

15. Cowboys Didn’t Wear Cowboy Hats

Many people associate icons like Wyatt Earp and Billy the Kid with large Stetson cowboy hats. However, most cowboys in the 19th century wore bowler hats instead. Some would wear sombreros or top hats as well.

History happens every day. Hundreds of civilizations and groups of people have contributed to history. Some, we may never know until we are older. But let’s not forget, there is always something more to remember when it comes to history.


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