They Didn’t Change People’s Names At Ellis Island

The folks at Ellis Island were responsible for checking ship manifests. They didn’t have any paperwork to change people’s names, nor did were there any laws requiring anybody to do so. At the time, people in New York could legally change the spelling of their name just by using a new spelling though, which probably helps account for all the name changes that happened.

The only time names ever really changed at Ellis Island is if the immigrant decided to change their name to fit in with American society or the local community to which they were moving. Sometimes, they changed their name before even getting on the ship to come to America. There was no requirement to immigrants to use their real last name when coming to America. They could give themselves any name they liked. As long as the name they gave matched up with the answers they gave according to their profile on the ship’s manifest, they were good to enter the nation and use the name they chose.

Pyramids Weren’t Built by Slaves

The ancient Greek historian Herodotus described the people who built the pyramids as slaves, and Hollywood really ran with the idea. In reality, the pyramids were built by poor people who came from the north and south of Egypt and were paid. Also they were respected for doing their work, and workers who died during construction were buried in tombs near the sacred pyramids.

Pocahontas and John Smith Were Not a Couple

This was some made up nonsense for a Disney movie. In reality, Pocahontas was just 11 or 12 years old when Smith showed up. And while she may have saved him from being killed by her powerful father, there’s no evidence that the two fell in love or lived happily ever after. The real story is far less Disney-friendly. First, she was held captive by the English for some time. Then, she converted to Christianity, changed her name to Rebecca, and, when she turned 17, married a tobacco planter named John Rolfe. The two had a son and eventually traveled to England, where Pocahontas died when she was about 20 or 21 years old.

The Pilgrims Didn’t Land at Plymouth Rock

No one really knows where they landed. Even in William Bradford book he never mentioned Plymouth rock, where if that’s where they had landed pretty sure he would have mentioned it. The whole Plymouth Rock thing didn’t even become part of history until 112 years after the Pilgrims has landed. A young boy apparently overheard 95-year-old Thomas Faunce (who was born 17 years after they landed) relate that his father, who came to Plymouth three years AFTER the Mayflower, told him he’d heard from unnamed persons that the landing occurred there.

George Washington Wasn’t Really The First President.

We wasn’t even the first President Post Declaration of Independence. It’s just, we sort of just started counting with him for some reason. During the American Revolution, several presidents were elected by the Continental Congress, the first being Peyton Randolph, who created the Continental Army. Thomas Mifflin, who was president between 1783 and 1784, oversaw the ratification of the Treaty of Paris. John Hancock, who became more famous for signing the Declaration of Independence, was the president between 1785 and 1786. Technically speaking, he was our 15th president.

William Taft Never Got Stuck in a Bathtub

Taft was a giant fatass, clocking in around 350lbs. But the whole getting stuck in the bathtub at the White House never happened. In fact, when Taft moved into the White House he special ordered a giant bathtub that was big enough to fit 4 men. The best guess where this story came from was after he was out The White House, is in 1913 The Philadelphia Inquirer had a story about how Taft was Staying at a hotel in New Jersey, and the tub in his room to overflowed, leading to leakage in the first-floor dining room

The Liberty Bell Didn’t Crack on July 4th, 1776

The Liberty Bell was a piece of crap from Day 1. From the time it was test run in 1752 it’s had problems from it’s shitty craftmanship. IT has to be recast twice because the metal was too weak and brittle. But as far as the giant ass crack in it, it was well after 1776 that the crack appeared. Even the name has nothing to do with 4th of July. It wasn’t until the 1830’s when an abolitionist group used it for their symbol and called it the Liberty Bell. But as far as the crack goes. No one is really 100% sure because it wasn’t during some specials monumental moment. Also it didn’t happen all at once. It happened over time at some point between 1835 and 1846.

The Supreme Court Doesn’t Have to Have 9 Judges

Actually the number of judges has fluctuated over the years. 6, 7, 10, 9. There’s no hard number. But if you want to get really technical, the way it’s supposed to be is there is supposed to be one justice appointed from each of the circuit courts. So right now, there are 12 circuit courts so there should really be twelve justices. Also they are supposed to be appointed out of each of those circuits. Not just at Random like they are now days

The Tune to Star Spangled Banner Was Straight Up Stolen.

Francis Scott Key wrote the words to the Star Spangled Banner. It was originally about Fort McHenry in Baltimore, which successfully fought off the British navy in 1814. But the music—the notes we all know by heart, even if you don’t quite remember the words —was originally an old 18th century British drinking song called “To Anacreon in Heav’n,” about a men’s social club called the Anacreontic Society where there was a lot of booze and fiddle-playing

The Wild West Was Not Some Lawless Shithole

Everyone has learned about the Wild West, and seem movies about the lawlessness and the open frontier. It was billed with gun fights, and bank robberies, and murder everywhere you went. Well, not so much. Between 1859 and 1900, there were an estimated 12 bank robberies in the entirety of the so-called “Wild West.” And the grand total of gun-related murders in frontier towns came to about 1.5 per year. Yes. YEAR The infamous 1881 shootout at the OK Corral in Tombstone, Arizona, in which the Earp brothers exchanged gunfire with the Clanton-McLaury gang, had a body count of exactly three.