Ah, grade school -- the years of Crayola, Lisa Frank, and expertly crafted tall tales about our world's history. Our modified history lessons often confuse us into the late years of our youth, and you can't blame us. It's as if your whole life you've been told the sky is purple, then suddenly someone is like, "Oh no, they just tell kids that, it's actually blue." Anyways, here's a list of false things learned in grade school that you may have already known or are shocked to discover.
1. Thanksgiving did not honor the pilgrims.
In fact, it was simply a religious observance in 1621 for the pilgrims, causing them to have a feast where the native Americans were present (but were only given servings of plague and disease). Thanksgiving was the celebration of the defeat of the British in Saratoga and had little to do with the Native Americans. The reason these two events are put in the same sentence is because Abraham Lincoln bunched them together in 1863 to help with the fight against slavery.
2. Christopher Columbus was not the first European to discover America.
In fact, Leif Erikson most likely did so some 500 years earlier. So why does he have his own holiday? Good question.
3. Witches weren't burned at the stake during the Salem witch trials.
There is this popular image of witches suffering at a stake during the Salem witch trials throughout books, movies and TV shows. But they were, in fact, hung in the gallows or imprisoned.
4. Jesus Christ was not born on December 25.
While some may have not been taught this, I personally attended a Catholic grade school and believed this for a majority of my life. While there is debate about who Jesus was, there is little debate that the historical figure Jesus was not born on that exact date 2000 years ago.
5. George Washington's teeth were not made of wood.
They were actually made of very precious materials like ivory, bone, brass screws, gold metal wiring, and even the teeth of his own slaves.
I hope you've enjoyed this flashback history lesson. It's certainly strange to think adults have the power to decide what is factual and what the youth will know. It's also equally as strange to consider how well it works. I mean, I'm personally still convinced Santa exists but hey that's just me.