Famous Historical Events You Learnt About That Never Really Happened

You were taught how Isaac Newton discovered gravity, you were taught about the destruction of Troy but did you know that many of the events that you were taught about in history class did not happen the way they’ve been told they did. Many of the most historical events were filled with rumors and false information to make them seem larger than life.


We’ve gathered a few historical events with what you’ve heard and what the real truth or the reality of the event actually was.

1The Trojan horse

When the Greeks were unable to take the city of Troy even after a 10-year long siege, they constructed a huge wooden horse and hid inside it. When the Trojans pulled the horse into their city thinking it was a peace offering to the Gods, the Greeks crept out from the inside of it at night and burned the entire city. The truth is that there was no real hollow horse; it might have been a battering ram or a siege engine that resembled a horse.

The Trojan horse

Image Source: voanews.com

2The War of the Worlds hysteria

In 1938, young Orson Welles made a radio adaption of H.G. Wells’s ‘The War of the Worlds’. It was so convincing that it caused mass panic among the public. This was actually the newspaper’s false headlines. The print media was trying to make the slowly progressing radio look bad and printed headlines detailing how the radio drama caused mass hysteria when it actually did not. It has been reported that very few people even heard the radio drama as they were not that cheap.

The War of the Worlds hysteria

Image Source: onebauer.media

3Walt Disney’s body

As the story goes after the passing of the world’s most famous animator, Walt Disney, his friends and family, and even co-workers cryogenically froze his body. This was to keep it from decomposing so that when technology allows us to bring people back from the dead, he can be brought back. This claim was however proven false by the animator’s daughter who said her father was cremated.

Walt Disney’s body

Image Source: d23.com

4The great Chicago Fire was not started by a cow

The story that everyone heard was that when Catherine O’Leary was milking her cow it hit a lantern that resulted in the Great Chicago Fire that lasted for 2 whole days in 1871. The truth of the matter according to O’Leary herself was that she was not milking her cow that day. She did not know how the fire got started or who caused it. She was deemed a liar until several reporters admitted they had made a false story.

The great Chicago Fire was not started by a cow

Image Source: orangebeanindiana.com

5Nero playing his fiddle while Rome burnt was fake

According to legend the Roman Emperor, Nero did not like how Rome looked. So, one night he got his men to burn the city down so he could rebuild it how he pleased. While the city burned and smoke filled the sky, Nero watched while playing his fiddle. This was just made up as the fiddle was not even invented at that time and Nero helped save the city by coordinating with firefighters and sheltering the people who survived.

Nero playing his fiddle while Rome burnt was fake

Image Source: thumbs.com


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