History vs. Myth

You don’t need fiction when history provides you with tales as crazy as the ones we’ve collected for you. Read up while your jaw drops.

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10 Real Events That Seem Like Hoaxes

Did you hear the one about Elvis meeting President Nixon to help the youth stay off drugs? Or 50 Cent performing at a bat mitzvah? These may sound like urban legends, but this time the events are all true.

10 of History's Most Torrid Love Affairs

Scarlett and Rhett's relationship drama may seem fit only for fiction, but plenty of real-life couples could go toe-to-toe with them as far as torrid affairs go. Here are 10 historical duos that fit the bill.

Was there a real Atlantis?

The search for the lost city of Atlantis has obsessed scientists and historians for centuries, thanks to Plato's written account of its destruction. But is it real? If so, where is it?

What are the origins of democracy?

Democracy, a system of government that puts power in the hands of the people, is progressive enough to sound decidedly modern. But it's older than you'd expect. How did democracy come to be in the first place?

What was the 20th century's first genocide?

The 20th century was rife with genocide, from the atrocities waged by Nazi Germany to the massacre of Bosnian Muslims in the 1990s. But what was the century's first genocide, and who waged it?

Has torture always been controversial?

Torture -- in all its variations -- has been around for centuries, but has the practice always been as controversial as it is today?

Was there a real Robin Hood?

The legendary outlaw Robin Hood has scraped his way through history, stealing from the rich, giving to the poor and never missing his mark. But was there ever a real Robin Hood, and was he at all like the man in the myth?

Why can't we solve the Amelia Earhart mystery?

Amelia Earhart vanished more than 75 years ago, and her fate still perplexes the world. What happened to this internationally acclaimed pilot? What's keeping us from finding out?

What really happened at Kent State?

The 1970s was a tumultuous era that began with tragedy on Kent State's campus. Four students were killed in the midst of protests against the Vietnam War. But who's to blame is still up for debate.

Did the United States Put Its Own Citizens in Concentration Camps During WWII?

The United States is the land of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. So why were some West Coasters forcibly relocated after the attack on Pearl Harbor?

Did Betsy Ross really make the first American flag?

Its broad stripes and bright stars are up for debate. Classic American lore would have us believe that Betsy Ross made the first U.S. flag, but some historians dismiss this as a campy tale.

Why was Executive Order No. 9981 so important?

When the U.S. president issues an executive order, he means business. These orders call for complete cooperation from federal agencies and officials. What was so remarkable about No. 9981?

Who killed JFK?

The Warren Commission published its findings on President John F. Kennedy's assassination in a report in 1964. So why do people still ask who killed JFK?

Did Cleopatra really lose the Battle of Actium?

In ancient Egypt, the ultimate political power couple was Mark Antony and Cleopatra. Their hopes of building a massive of empire hinged on the fateful Battle of Actium.

Why did ancient Egyptian men wear cosmetics?

We can't quite figure out why rock stars such as Pete Wentz wear eye liner. But ancient Egyptian men had good reason to apply eye makeup, pluck their brows and don hair extensions.

Why did Gandhi march 240 miles for salt?

Before Martin Luther King Jr., another man advocated civil disobedience: Gandhi. When India was under Britain's thumb, Gandhi's salt march became his most successful campaign in history.

Did the Dutch really trade Manhattan for nutmeg?

It's the garnish of choice for eggnog, and some say it's an aphrodisiac. Nutmeg used to be a really hot commodity -- so hot, the Dutch thought it was more valuable than Manhattan.

Were people vying to become slaves in the Ottoman Empire?

You may have heard your parents say, "I know what's best for you." In the 14th century, some Christian parents thought sacrificing their children to slavery was a benevolent measure.

10 of the Biggest Lies in History

You don't look fat in those pants. I didn't copy off his paper. She's a natural blonde. I am not a crook. Lots of us lie, but what are the biggest fibs ever told?

How did a shipwreck double the size of the United States?

Shipwrecks have been known to increase bank accounts. But only one has been known to double the size of an entire country. What happened to El Cazador?

How did an attempt to blind a pope establish the Holy Roman Empire?

A band of men assaulted the pope to force him out. When that failed, the pope sought asylum from the king. How did that form the Holy Roman Empire?

How did a Harvard commencement speech help save Europe after World War II?

Harvard University was poised to bestow an honorary doctorate on George Marshall. He accepted the degree with a little speech about economic recovery.

10 Historically Inaccurate Movies

These films look like blooper reels when you compare them to history books. From anachronisms to flat-out lies, creative license reigns in this list.

Did a U.S. president rewrite the Bible?

Many of the world's people regard the Bible as a sacred text that's integral to their daily lives. So what inspired a U.S. president to cut up a Bible and take out sections he disapproved of?

Was there really a pied piper of Hamelin?

You've heard the fairy tale about the pied piper and how he lures away Hamelin's rats -- and the town's children when the mayor won't pay up. It it true? One thing's for sure: You won't be reading this article to your children as a bedtime story.


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