We all know how history works.
When we’re kids, we’re taught the very good (and some of the very bad) things. All the victories. All the kings, the rulers, the presidents, the leaders small and large who changed and shaped the modern world, paving the way for the supposed equality of all its people. We learn to praise these people, these movements that were unequivocally good and fair and glorious.
On the other hand, we learn about history’s and mankind’s greatest disasters and faults. We learn about the Holocaust. The World Wars and all the millions who died. Monuments, cities, and civilizations destroyed. Genocide. Hate. We learn to say #NeverAgain.
But as we know, history has a funny way of repeating itself, often due to the selfishness of man. As we grow older, we begin to see history (and our present day) in a different light, a shifted paradigm that allows us to accept more truths without having to filter out the bad. We remove our rose-colored glasses and learn that some of our heroes and bravest leaders had their own faults. And why shouldn’t they? No one is perfect, not even history’s champions. Of course, our textbooks and documentaries often try to hide that fact.
Though we’re not trying to vilify anyone here, we think it’s important to take a step aside and look at the full truth, accepting that some of our heroes and favorite historical figures had their secrets and dark sides as well. Some of these facts are just fun and revealing truths that in no way affect these figures’ characters. After all, if we can accept the entirety of these people for who they truly were, the better we can appreciate— or at least try to understand them.
Separate and Unequal
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.
Edit: Here’s a BBC article about the book by two South Africans on the matter. It seems that Gandhi was younger and had different views than the Gandhi most people know.
It should be known as well that a university in Ghana want to remove a statue of his given his past views. (ThisAfricanboy)
Oh the Cheats You Can Cheat
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. (—saki—)
The worst part is her suicide letter to him.
“Dear Ted, What has happened to us? I don’t know. I feel myself in a spiral, going down down down, into a black hole from which there is no escape, no brightness. And loud in my ears from every side I hear, ‘failure, failure, failure…’ I love you so much … I am too old and enmeshed in everything you do and are, that I cannot conceive of life without you … My going will leave quite a rumor but you can say I was overworked and overwrought. Your reputation with your friends and fans will not be harmed … Sometimes think of the fun we had all thru the years …” (icy_zebra)
I Had Someone Else’s Dream
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 too much of a sh*tstorm to enforce their cheating policy and strip him of his doctorate. (prezuiwf)