12 Historical "Facts" That Simply Aren't True

What do you mean, Lady Godiva didn't ride through Coventry completely naked?!

3rd Rock From The Sun Youre Wrong

Certain things in history are just fact: the Battle of Hastings took place in 1066, President John F Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963, and Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years.

The study of other parts of history can be open to interpretation though. For example, some people argue that King Richard III was an evil tyrant, while other believe he was no better or worse a monarch than any of his predecessors or successors. Alternatively, some historians argue that the Treaty of Versailles and the "failed peace" following the Great War made the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis and the subsequent onset of World War II "inevitable", while others believe the two global conflicts are not as intertwined as this.

But this does not present a problem in itself, because history is a discipline that is intended to forge debate, research, argument and measured reasoning. It is when fact and opinion become blurred, and false "truths" become believed that this becomes a problem. Certain myths and legends - such as Robin Hood and King Arthur - are known to be such, but sometimes historical beliefs are presented as "facts" when they are actually incorrect.

For example, Christopher Columbus didn't set foot in the modern-day United States, Lady Godiva did not ride naked through Coventry on horseback, and Abraham Lincoln did not initiate the US Civil War merely to abolish slavery. So forget all the historical "facts" you previously believed you knew and discover these 12 fallacies that are often misrepresented as the truth...

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NUFC editor for WhatCulture.com/NUFC. History graduate (University of Edinburgh) and NCTJ-trained journalist. I love sports, hopelessly following Newcastle United and Newcastle Falcons. My pastimes include watching and attending sports matches religiously, reading spy books and sampling ales.