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Historical Misperceptions Quiz
by Staff
Just because something is written in a history book doesn't make it true. Some of the most recognized names and events in history are exaggerated, glossed over or just plain wrong. Take our quiz to see if you can separate fact from fiction.

True or false: Pocahontas married Capt. John Smith.

  • true
  • false

Why did Paul Revere take his midnight ride?

  • to escape a jail sentence
  • The British were coming.
  • The British were leaving.

Which of these man-made objects can be seen from the moon?

  • Great Wall of China
  • Great Pyramid
  • neither of the above

True or false: Napoleon was really short.

  • true
  • false

Who is said to have uttered, "Let them eat cake"?

  • Marie Antoinette
  • Queen Victoria
  • neither of the above

How many so-called "witches" were killed during the Salem witch trials?

  • seven
  • 20
  • 47

True or false: Ben Franklin probably never did that whole key-kite thing during a lightning storm.

  • true
  • false

What city was destroyed by fire in 64 C.E.?

  • Paris
  • London
  • Rome

What was the emperor doing, according to rumor, as Rome burned?

  • dancing
  • running away
  • playing the fiddle

Why was Lady Godiva said to have ridden naked through the streets?

  • to protest taxes
  • to make her husband mad
  • to attract a new husband

What did Romans do in vomitoriums?

  • vomit
  • attend big events
  • bathe

True or false: The maximum life span for humans has increased dramatically over the past 2,000 years.

  • true
  • false

True or false: Vikings wore horned helmets in battle.

  • true
  • false

True or false: Columbus was brave to set sail across a world that most believed was flat.

  • true
  • false

Where did Columbus actually land when he "discovered" America (a land where millions of people were already living)?

  • Canada
  • North Carolina
  • Caribbean

What were George Washington's false teeth made from?

  • bone
  • ivory
  • wood

When was the Declaration of Independence signed?

  • July 3
  • July 4
  • Aug. 2

What allegedly started the Chicago fire of 1871?

  • No one knows.
  • arsonist
  • cow

True or false: Albert Einstein was a phenomenal student when he was young.

  • true
  • false

True or false: Benjamin Franklin suggested using a turkey on the seal of the United States.

  • true
  • false

What day is Mexican Independence Day?

  • May 5
  • July 4
  • Sept. 16

How many years elapsed between Mexican independence and the first Cinco de Mayo?

  • two
  • 27
  • 52

True or false: Betsy Ross created the first American flag.

  • true
  • false

True or false: George Washington chopped down a cherry tree as a child, but at least he admitted it to his dad.

  • true
  • false

True or false: Vincent van Gogh chopped off his ear.

  • true
  • false

What did van Gogh do with his severed ear?

  • gave it to his mom
  • gave it to a prostitute
  • ate it

True or false: Capt. James Cook discovered Australia.

  • true
  • false

True or false: Thomas Edison invented the world's first light bulb.

  • true
  • false

Who built the Egyptian pyramids?

  • slaves
  • skilled workers
  • aliens

True or false: Lincoln wrote the Gettysburg Address on the back of an envelope.

  • true
  • false