6 Things That Your American History Book Got Wrong

You learned these stories, memorized them, and passed them off as facts on your history midterms, but are they all completely accurate? Here are a few parts of American history your textbook definitely did NOT get right.

1. John Wilkes Booth screamed “Sic semper tyrannis” after shooting Lincoln


Most people think John Wilkes Booth shouted “Sic semper tyrannis” after assassinating Abraham Lincoln. The truth is, that was just a journalistic flourish one tabloid reporter added to the story. In reality, Booth shouted the much less dignified, “Booth: 1. Lincoln: 0.”

2. John Hancock signed the Declaration of Independence larger than everyone else

People mistakenly believe that John Hancock signed his extra-large signature on the Declaration of Independence. In fact, he was practicing his calligraphy on a blank piece of parchment, and several weeks later, to save paper, Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration around it.

3. A cow started the Great Chicago Fire


The legend says that Ms. O’Leary’s cow knocked over the lamp that started the 1871 inferno. In reality, God set Ms. O’Leary’s barn on fire Himself because He hates the Irish.

4. Tony Hawk landed the first-ever 900 at the 1999 Summer X Games

Youtube via XGames

Don’t believe the lies. Archaeological evidence conclusively proves that nomadic tribes skated across the Bering Strait from Siberia over 14,000 years ago and proceeded to lay the groundwork for modern vert ramp culture, with numerous cave etchings depicting tribesmen completing two and a half midair revolutions on their boards millennia before Tony Hawk even learned to ollie.

5. FDR begged to be put on the dime one day


There is no evidence that Franklin D. Roosevelt asked anyone to be put on any coin, despite this “fact” appearing in the vast majority of textbooks.

6. The Bush brothers are the only twins to both be president


While George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush were the most famous twin brothers to both hold the office of the presidency, they were not the only set of twins to do so. Grover Cleveland was the 22nd president, and his twin brother, Grover Cleveland, was the 24th president.

Share This Story