Here Are The Most Unbelievably Shocking Facts About History's Most Famous People.

In history class, we're taught bland and simplistic facts about the narrative of our world. These barren accounts often do not fully portray our favourite individuals throughout history.

Here, people share facts about history's most famous people that you would be shocked to learn.

1/29. Joseph Kennedy, father of President John Kennedy, and Senators Robert and Ted, had his oldest daughter Rosemary lobotomized to cure her mood swings and rebellion upon reaching adulthood. Joseph did not tell his daughter that he was going to have the procedure performed. After the procedure, it was apparent that Rosemary's abilities were now that of a toddler and she was put in an institution where she was not visited by her parents. While running for president, John explained his sister's absence by saying she was just a recluse.


2/29. Behind the scenes, John Lennon was actually quite a prick. Evidence; In 1980 he admitted in a Playboy interview that he abused his wife and although he said this caused him to later preach love the fact is he still did it. His son, Julian has claimed that John Lennon was so insensitive and emotionally abusive that it not only put him off having children but also caused a large riff with him and half-brother, Sean. In that same Playboy interview John referred to Julian as an unplanned child "born out of a bottle of whisky". Although many children are, that's still a pretty crappy thing to say about your own kid. He almost beat a man to death. A good friend of 'The Beatles' once jokingly said that John Lennon and Brian Epstein were in a homosexual relationship. John became enraged and beat him so badly he had to be rushed to hospital. The 1960s TV show 'It Was Alright' John Lennon publicly and openly mocked the disabled.

I feel like I'm giving more than one fact but I'm just giving the reasons as to how/why "John Lennon was a prick" is a fact.


3/29. Beethoven hated giving piano lessons unless they were for exceptionally talented students or attractive young women.


4/29. Edgar Allen Poe was actually allergic to alcohol and didn't drink often. His obituary was written by his rival Rufus Griswold, who used this as an opportunity to paint Poe as an alcoholic as one final "screw you."

Another fun fact: It's actually unclear what exactly killed Poe, and it's possible he was forced to drink too much alcohol after being abducted, drugged, and forced to illegally vote for president multiple times at multiple polling stations as someone he wasn't (a practice that was apparently super common in the 1800's--after voting you got a drink, and his captors would have made him drink it to keep up the pretense not knowing he was allergic). It's not confirmed and probably never will be, but people have theorized this might have been what killed Poe.


5/29. Martin Luther King Jr. plagiarized significant portions of his doctoral dissertation. Boston University, where he received his doctorate, allowed him to keep his title of "Dr." because the plagiarism wasn't discovered until 1993, and BU figured it would cause way too much of a controversy to enforce their cheating policy and strip him of his doctorate.


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6/29. Dr Seuss had an affair while his wife suffered from cancer and depression. She killed herself and he married his mistress a few months later.


7/29. Winston Churchill hated the Russians. So much so, that when it came time to open up a second front in World War II, he advised that they go through Greece, up into the Balkans, and then into Germany just so the Russians couldn't take control of the Balkans. This maneuver would have probably extended the war another 3 years and Churchill didn't care.


8/29. Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, was rumoured to be a lesbian. She was very close with Amelia Earhart, and even once snuck out of the White House to go partying with her.

Eleanor also had a long relationship with another woman, reporter and out-lesbian Lorena Hickok, had a long relationship and wrote letters to one another saying how much they wanted to "kiss and hold" one another.


9/29. Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, one of Lee's best generals, was against slavery. Before the war he opposed slavery and opened an illegal school for Black children.


10/29. Mr. Rogers was red-green color blind, didn't drink alcohol and was also a vegetarian. When asked why he was a vegetarian he would say, 'I don't want to eat anything that has a mother."

So basically, he really was a Saint.


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11/29. When Gandhi was still in South Africa, he didn't fight for equality of races but rather that Indians were superior to blacks and that they deserved better treatment.

Not only that, but he denied his wife treatment when she was ill, saying she should not succumb to using modern medicine. She ended up dying because he would not let her get an injection on penicillin.


12/29. George Washington had over 300 personal slaves, and grew his own marijuana.

Interestingly, he wrote in his will upon his wife's death all his slaves would be freed. Seeing the obvious flaw in this plan, Martha released all the slaves upon Washington's death, to basically avoid potentially being murdered. I always thought that was such a badly though out provision to his will for someone who had planned out war tactics to not see the problem with this is really mind blowing.


13/29. Former president of the United States, Andrew Jackson, was so vulgar that his parrot had to be removed from his funeral.


14/29. Albert Einstein left his first wife to marry his first cousin.


15/29. The older I get, the more creepy the "cult of Feynman" gets in my mind.

Richard Feynman is an (in)famous physicist because he published lively memoirs that detail stuff like living in Brazil and playing the drums. He was pretty upfront in them too about going to topless bars and targeting the wives of grad students, among other things, in his memoirs. But the guy also got divorced from his second wife because he'd fly into a rage and attack her for interrupting him while doing calculus in his head.

Good scientist, sure, but I think the worship of him in physics departments is pretty weird today.


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16/29. Harrison Ford had a three-month long affair with Carrie Fisher when filming one of the Star Wars films. Ford was married with two kids at the time.

Carrie Fisher just revealed this in her own autobiography.


17/29. Gustov Adulphus, King of Sweden during the thirty years war sometimes adopted the identity of Captain Gars to mingle with and fight along side his troops.

Forgot to add how that was negative. He could have gotten himself killed and changed the course of the war.


18/29. John C. Calhoun fell off of his horse.That's how Calhoun Falls S.C. got it's name, there are no waterfalls in Calhoun Falls.


19/29. Muhammad Ali called his rival, Joe Frazier, an 'Uncle Tom'; a Black person who works for the enemy. Joe Frazier received a lot of (death) threats and his kids were bullied on school.

The worst part about it is that Frazier financially supported Ali when he was on trial because he did not want to fight in Vietnam.


20/29. Charlie Chaplin seduced 15-year old Lita Grey and then married her after she became pregnant because her mother said she would report him to authorities if he didn't (He was 35 at the time).


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21/29. Mother Theresa faced a number of criticisms, accusations and objections about finances and other practices of her order, quality of medical care, encouragement of baptism of the dying and being an image of colonialism and racism.


22/29. Thomas Edison hired Nikola Tesla and offered him a $50,000 bonus if he could improve his DC power generation and transmission systems. Tesla's work resulted in 19 patents for Edison that improved his generator designs. When Tesla asked him about the bonus, he laughed at him and refused to pay it. Tesla left Edison's company and was eventually hired by George Westinghouse, where he began working on AC power systems.

This began whats referred to as the "Current Wars" between Edison and Tesla/Westinghouse. Edison used smear tactics to try and prove Tesla's AC system was dangerous compared to his, which included electrocuting animals using AC power, and he also convinced the state of New York to use AC power in their first death by electric chair.

Tesla and Westinghouse beat out Edison in a bid to electrically light up the 1893 Chicago World's fair, a first for it's time. Edison then refused to let the worlds fair use his lightbulb design, so Tesla had to redesign the lightbulb to get around Edison's patent.

History remembers Edison as the inventor of the lightbulb and father of our modern electrical world, but in reality Tesla invented the AC induction motor, transformer, and AC power generator. Everything used in our modern electrical grid. Edison fought him every step of the way. In fact all the legal feuding caused Westinghouse to hemorrhage money, and Tesla gave up his royalties Westinghouse owed him to keep them from going under. Tesla is the founder of our modern electrical powered world, not Edison.


23/29. Edward VIII was extremely racist and was suspected to be a Nazi sympathizer and fascist. He was appointed Governor of the Bahamas during World War II ostensibly to keep him out of the way.


24/29. John Adams was a pretty terrible president. One of his worst moments was passing the Sedition Act which made it illegal for the press, or any person for that matter, to speak badly of the president or congress.


25/29. After JFK was killed, Jackie Kennedy sat down for a long taped interview. Apparently, some of the things she said about her time in the White House were so shocking that she demanded the tapes not be released until 50 years after both of her children have passed.


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26/29. FDR wanted to sterilize Puerto Rican women so that they couldn't reproduce an 'inferior race'.


27/29. General Ulysses S. Grant drank a lot. Some historians think it made him a better leader because he didn't have a good reputation to maintain.

This is only slightly true, however. The earliest historians exaggerated his drunkenness to tell a good story.

Grant actually only drank on rare occasions, mostly when his wife wasn't in camp. He was desperately lonely and depressed without family around. But when he did drink, he got incredibly drunk.


28/29. Pavlov didn't just ring a bell and watch a dog salivate. He surgically implanted spigots into the sides of the dogs' mouths to measure the amount of saliva.

...Also his experiments were also performed on children who were strapped down. It's generally thought that the children were street urchins.


29/29. Ronald Reagan vetoed the Civil Rights Restoration act of 1988. It was overturned by congress. Being the poster child for the Republican Party, he opposed numerous civil rights legislation acts. But all modern day republicans remember him as a saint, and not the inherent racist that he was.



"It wasn't me!"

There's not much you can do when the righteous fist of the law comes down on you. Call it a mix-up, or call it a mistake, if someone's pegged you at the scene of a crime there's not much you can do but trust the justice system to prove you innocent. However, that's a gamble, and just because you've been given a "not guilty" doesn't mean the effects won't follow you for the rest of your life.

Reddit user, u/danbrownskin, wanted to hear about the times when it wasn't you, seriously, it was someone else, when they asked:

Redditors who were once considered suspect of a crime they did not commit, what's it like being held under suspicion and how did it affect your life?

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