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10 Obscure History Facts Left Out of the Classroom

Obscure History Facts

It’s an old saying: history is often told from the perspective of the winners. Understandably, some interesting facts have slipped through the cracks along the way. Here are many obscure  history facts left out of the classroom:

1 Christopher Columbus is famously portrayed in a much too positive light in history books. Truthfully, he treated Native Americans in brutal fashion, immediately enslaving them.

2 American dehumanization propaganda proved effective enough that soldiers would even take body parts of fallen Japanese as human trophies.

3 Over 127,000 U.S. citizens were imprisoned by their own government during World War 2 in Japanese internment camps simply because of their heritage.

4 Colonial settlers were known to purposefully gift Native Americans blankets contaminated with smallpox.

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5 The confessional booth was initially implemented to prevent sexual acts between priests and confessors.

6 The man who shot John Wilkes Boothe was rather insane; years prior he’d castrated himself with a pair of scissors.

7 Anne Frank’s diary was edited by her father; her original version talked at length about masturbation and menstruation.

8 The Rape of Nanking was such a brutal war crime against the Chinese people, many textbooks don’t even mention the event where hundreds of thousands were murdered at the hands of the Japanese.

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9 Thomas Edison once electrocuted an elephant in a propaganda effort to display the dangers of Tesla’s alternating current methods.

10 The Romans used the plant Silphium as a contraceptive, but used it so frequently it went extinct. The seed of the plant is where the modern day symbol of the heart comes from.

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11. Sen. Joseph McCarthy is well known for his witch-hunt like attitude towards American communists throughout the 1950s. The period became known as the Red Scare. What’s lesser known is that he took the same attitude towards homosexuals, dubbed the Lavender Scare. He believed gay people were weak-willed and prone to giving up United States intelligence, and most people who lost their jobs due to his accusations were accused of homosexuality rather than communism.

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