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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You've likely heard tales about the automobile all your life, including pearls of wisdom about maintenance and even best color choice. But not everything you think you know about cars is true.

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

If you can see the writing on the wall and know that all roads lead to Rome, you're using some expressions that are more than 2,000 years old. Where did they come from and why have they survived?

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

With all of myths about the Pilgrims, the notion that a beer shortage led to the Mayflower's landing seems ludicrous at best. Read on for the truth.

By Laurie L. Dove

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If you think Newton discovered gravity when an apple fell on his head or Napoleon was extremely short, you may need a history refresher. These 10 “facts” are really fiction.

By Dave Roos

Sixty-one percent of Americans think others beside Lee Harvey Oswald were involved in JFK's murder, according to a 2013 Gallup poll. While this is the lowest percentage in nearly 50 years, it's still very high. What are the leading conspiracy theories?

By Patrick J. Kiger

We use the term "suckers" lightly -- even experts have been fooled by some of the faux antiques on this list. How can a painting, sculpture or sacred document carry a false identity for so long, and what happens when the ruse is revealed?

By Maria Trimarchi

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.

By Julia Layton

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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.

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

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?

By Josh Clark

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?

By Jessika Toothman

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?

By Jessika Toothman

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

By Jessika Toothman

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?

By Jessika Toothman

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?

By Josh Clark & Chris Opfer

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.

By Jane McGrath

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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?

By Jane McGrath

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 just a tale.

By Jane McGrath & Kathryn Whitbourne

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?

By Jane McGrath

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?

By Jonathan Strickland

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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.

By Cristen Conger

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.

By Cristen Conger

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.

By Jane McGrath

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.

By Jane McGrath

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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.

By Jane McGrath

You don't look fat in those pants. I didn't copy off his paper. I am not a crook. I never met her. Lots of us lie, but some lies are more detrimental than others. What are some of the biggest whoppers ever told?

By Alia Hoyt & Jane McGrath