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I have received a stern letter from the "government"! They are angry because I didn't pay my "taxes" last year! Well, guess what, government? Last year is now officially non-canon! I got the idea from TV! From now on, whenever something I don't like happens to me, I'll just declare it to be non-canon!

Historical negationism... it's impossible to negate stuff that actually happened, but folks like to try.

Of course, people who engage in historical negationism tend to be criticized for more than their personal take on history.

Subversions occur when newly discovered finds challenge previously conceived notions or historical narratives, which is called (academic) revisionism. Did you know Isaac Newton was a lifelong alchemist, arianist and rabid anti-Papist?

When editing, please be careful to call it "negationism" rather than "revisionism". "Revisionism" is a valid school of history - negationists call themselves revisionists to look better. Also, please be careful to discriminate between things that are actively denied and things that are not widely known. Only the first is discontinuity.


  • It is now believed that The Iliad is an alternate ending to The Trojan War. More recently discovered sources seem to imply that the war dragged on for ten years, resulting in a Mycenean withdrawal.
  • Qin Shi Huang, first emperor of China, destroyed all records of history before his reign. Admittedly, this was a fairly common practice among rulers all over the world back then. According to legend, he did save all the books he destroyed (not only history, but also books written in other types of font and such) in his palace. However, when the rebels came, their leader decided to burn the palace for good. Oops.
  • Several Egyptian Pharaohs did their best to obliterate all records of their immediate predecessor, to the degree that said predecessor was sometimes rediscovered only in the 19th or 20th century by archaeologists. (This had a spiritual, as well as a historical, purpose. The Egyptian afterlife was thought to depend on elaborate funerary artifacts.)
    • Also, where pharaohs didn't outright omit mention of their military defeats, they tended to recast them as victories. A notable example was Rameses II ("the Great") and his largely disastrous campaigns against the Hittites. In some cases, this was done even before the battles recorded took place, adding to the hilarity when they lost.
    • For a while Egyptians believed even speaking the name of Pharaoh Akhenaten would bring upon them a terrible curse. He was the pharaoh who tried to convert Egypt to monotheism, and after he died Egypt quickly reverted back to polytheism. All mention of Akhenaten was banned and he was forgotten, only archeologists rediscovered the pharoah's reign centuries later.
  • The Romans had the practice of damnatio memoriae, in which a person's name was removed from official records and statues of him defaced or altered.
    • Including the only (known) transsexual Emperor (more properly, Empress), Elagabalus.
    • An earlier Greek example: When the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus was destroyed by an arsonist who declared that he did the deed so that he would be remembered forever, the Ephesians made it illegal to write or even mention the perpetrator's name. It didn't work: the name "Herostratus" survives to this day.
  • Until very recently, little was known about early Celtic and Saxon societies in Western Europe that was not from Roman sources, due to the lack of writing and literacy (their traditions being predominantly oral). And the Romans were well-known for vilifying and demonizing their opponents and conquered peoples, to make their campaigns sound more noble and justified. Even though a considerable amount of archeological information has brought to light a considerable amount of information about these cultures, the popular perception is still strongly based on highly biased Roman depictions.
  • Religion example: the Abrahamic faiths are full of this. In ascending order from having the most Canon Dis Continuity to the least, we start out with the Samaritans (yes, of "Good Samaritan" fame, they do still exist) who only accept the first five books of the Bible (the "Torah,") but their Torah is different from the Jewish one in that it alters some locations and the Ten Commandments. Next up, we have the now pretty obscure, but once widespread branch of Karaite Judaism, which accepts the entire Tanakh (what Christians would call the Old Testament: Tanakh is an early anagram standing for Torah, Prophets, and Writings, but it only works in Hebrew), but rejects the Talmud (the book of oral traditions that Rabbinical Judaism uses to interpret the Tanakh). Next, we have mainstream Judaism, which accepts the Tanakh and uses the Talmud to interpret it, but rejects any further revelations after that. Next up, we have Protestant Christianity, which accepts the Tanakh under the name "Old Testament," but adds on a second, New Testament. Next, we have Catholic/Orthodox Christianity, which not only accept the Old/New Testaments, but accepts a number of additional books in the Old Testament considered apocryphal (essentially, fanon) by Protestants, as well as putting great emphasis on canon law and the writings of the Church Fathers. Next, we have the Mormons, who accept the Old and New Testaments, but add the works of Joseph Smith (the Book of Mormon, Doctrine & Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price) as a kind of Third Testament. We also have the Muslims, who view the Old and New Testaments as a sort of corrupted first draft of God's message, which got fixed in their version, the Koran. They do still accept the Old and New Testaments as holy works and honor both Moses and Jesus as prophets, but think that their message got garbled in some sort of divine game of telephone. Finally (for the moment), we have the Baha'is, which accept as canon the Old and New Testaments, the Koran, their own works, including the Kitab al-Aqdas, and claim that all of them share the canon with works tied to Krishna, Buddha and Zoroaster.
  • The Russian chronologist Anatoly Fomenko believes the Middle Ages didn't actually exist, and that this has been kept secret for 500 years.
  • Holocaust denial comes to mind. The millions of victims, mass graves, living inmates, and testimony from Nazis themselves were apparently all fabricated by the Jews. There's also a lesser form that attempts to make the Holocaust out as actually happening, but significantly less widespread than historians believe it to be. Another strand of this centres around absolving Hitler, claiming that the Holocaust took place (to a greater or lesser extent as in the previous sub-example), but that Hitler didn't authorise it or even know that it was going on, on the basis there is no official existing edict ordering the Holocaust. The most horrifying thing about Holocaust denial is the strong overtone that even though the Final Solution never happened, it should have.
    • Same goes for the Armenian genocide. Indeed, most genocides have probably received this treatment at one time or another (including the deniers having a suspiciously strong intolerance for the victimized group to begin with).
    • If you think about it, the Holocaust is probably the least denied of any genocide, mostly because it wasn't possible for Nazi Germany to get away with it in the end as it was for other countries. This has the unfortunate effect of other countries seeing how genocide has gone unpunished in the past and deciding to commit genocide again.
    • 4chan is often known for denying the Holocaust.
  • Stalin had a group of censors editing pictures, specially to remove "enemies" such as Trotsky. After his death, Khrushchev explained in detail how much Stalin sucked.
    • He also gave Ol' Joe a taste of his own medicine, editing Stalin's image out of propaganda films and such. Stalin's deputy and would-be successor Lavrentiy Beria got the same treatment after his execution - state librarians were sent instructions to cut the page with his entry from the official encyclopedias, and paste in a replacement page featuring a similarly-sized article on the Bering Sea.
    • The Nazi-Soviet pact wasn't in Ukrainian history books, or very many of the rest of the Allies'.
  • All historians edit their books in subsequent editions in order to take into account new evidence - this is perfectly normal and not Fanon Discontinuity. However, David Irving, a holocaust denier, went back and edited his book Hitler's War, turning it into a Holocaust denial screed (although the original was pretty dubious anyway). When called out on this by the Jewish-American historian Deborah Lipstadt, he took her to court, where he lost spectacularly, and it was revealed that he had falsified historical evidences, doctored documents and misinterpreted interviewees. For example, he claimed that Hitler had actually told the police to intervene on behalf of the Jews on Kristallnacht (he didn't) and that half a million people died during the bombing of Dresden (actually, it was closer to 25,000). He sealed his fate by accidentally referring to the judge as "Mein Fuehrer," which is possible the only example of a self-Engineered Public Confession.
  • According to the Chinese government, nothing happened in Tiananmen Square in 1989. Nope, no student protests/massacre, no man standing in front of tanks...
    • "On this spot, in 1989, nothing happened."
    • This led to an amusing incident, where a Chinese newspaper printed the ad "In memoriam of Tiananmen Square 1989". The woman in charge of clearing ads for publication apparently thought it was some kind of class-reunion.
  • Average elementary and middle school class program for Mexican History, in Mexico: 2 months about native Mexican cultures, 2 weeks about 300 years of the Colonial Period, 2 weeks about just 10 years of sporadic Independence skirmishes, 2 months about 70 years of post-independent Mexico, 1 month about Porfirio Díaz's "evil dictatorship", 2 months about the Mexican Revolution, and 1 week spanning 1925 to 2008. The whole plan changes radically in high school, but two thirds of the 15+ years old population never went to high school.
    • To that extent, elementary books did not acknowledge the Tlatelolco Massacre until after the one-party-rule ended. After that they just barely talk about it. Jr. High School and High School (and to that extent, universities) talk more in-depth about the protests of 1968. The other massacre, the Corpus Christi Massacre, gets shrouded in mystery on Jr. High School and sometimes High School for being just one incident instead of a series of protests that led to a bloodbath.
    • To be fair, the Tlatelolco massacre was first mentioned in the Mexican History for Sixth Grade books in 1993; however the whole event was crammed into one small paragraph, minimizing the massacre. And of course, none of the guerra sucia (literally, Dirty War) events from the 70's have been mentioned in official textbooks.
    • And let's not talk about our notable Mexicans... Miguel Hidalgo, José María Morelos, Benito Juárez and Francisco I. Madero are portrayed as virtuous national heroes, when it's well known among high-schoolers that they did have their shades of gray.
    • Venezuela is no better, especially regarding Simón Bolivar, who in life received the title of "The Liberator" (which by the way was a self-imposed Badass Boast before the deed was even done) and his legend being snowballing after his death in 1830, overshadowing any other notable Venezuelans. The thing has been so bad, several historians coined the phrase "El Culto a Bolívar" (translated as "cult of Bolívar", "cult" being used in the religious sense sense) for describe how the national historiography is handled. If you went by schoolbooks and pop culture, you'd think that Bolívar was Jesus Christ's second coming and whatever bad decisions or Values Dissonance he had is invariably glossed over.
    • Mexico celebrated its 200 anniversary in 2010. Those who have actually read Mexico's history will notice that the true Declaration of Independence happened in 1821, not 1810, and the original 1810 uprising wasn't even for Mexico's independence at all! The Independence angle to Hidalgo's movement came into existance after Morelos took over. However, acknowledging 1821 as the true Independence Day would require everyone to acknowledge Agustin de Iturbide as a Founding Father, a guy who proclaimed himself Emperor and actually started up the country as the Mexican Empire. The real Mexican Republic was actually founded in 1824, after Iturbide I was ousted.
  • According to Sedevacantist Catholic groups, there hasn't been a pope since Pius XII died. According to other Sedevacantist groups, there hasn't really been a pope since... well, it depends on which group you ask.
  • The Byzantine Empire is an example that actually stuck, as the term was first coined by a 16th century German historian. The inhabitants of said polity knew their state as Basileia Rhōmaiōn until its final collapse in the 1450s, and the rest of the world outside the influence of the Patriarchate of Old Rome (the holder of which started a trend by crowning a Frankish king "Emperor of the Romans" in 800) referred it as the Roman Empire as well. Even the 'Latins' in their contempt called it the Empire of the Greeks before the name of the town upon which Constantinople was built became applied to the place.
    • This fact has also influenced the claims of the Russian Czars (the first of whom to use said title regularly was the grandson of the last Emperor Constantine XI's niece) and the Ottoman Sultans (who presented themselves as the defenders of the local Christians' faith from Latin heresy, and openly titled themselves Kaysar-i-Rum upon taking and starting to rebuild half-ruined Constantinople).
    • On a similar note, "the White House" has only been used as the name of the U.S. president's home since 1901. When discussing the building prior to that, it is almost always retroactively called "the White House". (The term had been used as far back as 1811, but was not the official name until 1901. See this Snopes page for information.)
    • On a similar similar note, the head of the British government was first officially called "Prime Minister" about a hundred years ago. Before that time, the title was never mentioned in official documents: the leader of Her/His Majesty's Government was known by the title of First Lord of the Treasury.
    • This problem tends to make reading a lot of historical tracts difficult since the original sources will always refer to the "Byzantines" as the "Romans". To be fair, most historians discussing the period will point out that the term "Byzantine Empire" is simply a histographical description for the medieval Roman empire which is usually used to distinguish it from the much-larger Greek-Latin superstate of antiquity. There remains the problem of when one "becomes" the other, though, since the crossover is rather blurred. Some historians date it to Emperor Constantine and his turning Byzantium into the new Capital as well as adoption of Christianity, some to the definitive fall of the Western Empire in 476, some to the reign of Heraclius who re-organised the empire and made Greek the official language in the early 7th century, some even date it to 1204 and the fall of Constantinople which ended the continuous Roman state.
  • The Second Sino-Japanese War and its historiography (the history of its history). General Nagano Shigeto, who was appointed justice minister in Japan in 1994 told newspapers that 'the Nanking Massacre and all the rest was just a fabrication'. Over 200,000 civilians were killed during the six-week 'Rape of Nanjing' which, funnily enough, is the world's disowned bastard poster child for atrocities committed against civilians. Including, funnily enough, mass rape and murder.
    • To this day, much of the less pleasant actions of the Japanese military, starting with their rule over Korea as a colony, have been left out of the officially taught history, or glossed over. Many who have grown up since WWII are, if not entirely unaware of the Rape of Nanjing or the bombing of Pearl Harbour, at least not cognisant of the full scale of the events.
    • Pearl Harbor was a sneak attack, but it was basically an extended air-raid on a military installation; it's only on the same level as Nanjing in that it meant war with the USA.
    • Apparently, not even TV Tropes remembers the Bataan Death March or the "comfort women".
  • Anton Schindler, the first man to write a biography of Ludwig van Beethoven, wanted to paint a perfect picture of him in his book, and did so by destroying 264 out of 400 conversation books used by Beethoven after he went completely deaf and altering many others, effectively leaving many aspects of Beethoven's life lost to history.
  • If you ever go to Iceland as a tourist you will probably be told that the country got its name from some explorer, guided by his pet ravens, which he encountered in the sea when he arrived. The truth is almost all of the Norse settlers were wanted criminals and didn't want anyone to find them so the whole "ice" thing was invented so people would avoid the place.
    • The "criminals" were wanted for Treason by the king of Norway because they had defended their ancient freedoms when Tyrant Takes the Helm just like other refugees. King Harald has done his own bit of Historical Revisionism
    • Most people also seem to forget that around 20% of the settlers were Irish slaves and like to imagine an island filled with nothing but Vikings.
    • This may be the idealized images foreigners have, but as Anthony Bourdain found out on his infamous Iceland episode, the Icelandic people are creepily proud of their rapey, slavey past, leading to some wicked Values Dissonance.
    • A similar, also inaccurate story suggests that Greenland, which is pretty icy, was actually called Greenland to attract settlers (also, Iceland had been named already). "Greenland" was actually a quite green and fertile country until the onset of the Little Ice Age around 1350 AD. The retreating glaciers are uncovering thousand-year-old dairy farms.
  • For a long while (it looks as if it's been relaxed slightly), discussing Dungeons and Dragons novels on the official Dungeons and Dragons website's forums was a bannable offense, due to what appears, by reading between what few lines remain, to have been legally actionable statements and an apocalyptic, immense flame war. To this day, the moderators are explicitly forbidden from even hinting at what caused the fracas on pain of firing, and even the posts in question do not exist anymore.
  • In the Anglosphere and in particular it would seem, America, there seems to be a perception that since there were obvious good guys and bad guys in the Second World War, the good guys could do no wrong. The firebombing of Dresden tends to get glossed over, along with the fact that many respected interwar figures in all Western nations were eugenicists. Poland in 1939 is often portrayed as a beacon of liberty, despite having its own issues of antisemitism and being essentially an autocratic state run by the army. Even Stalin sometimes gets off lightly for his mass ethnic cleansings in both Poland and Germany and his earlier co-operation with the Nazis.
    • To elaborate on Dresden: Dresden was a large German city well known for its fine arts. They figured they wouldn't be bombed because they didn't house a lot of soldiers/weapons/etc. In desperation (for they were fresh out of targets, having bombed everything else flat), Britain and America firebombed it, basically killing uncountable innocents and refugees who were no threat.
    • On a similar note, in the U.S. the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are covered pretty thoroughly, but few people seem to know about the incredibly destructive bombing campaigns before them, mostly from November 1944 through July 1945 in and around Tokyo. In particular, very few people have heard of the March 9/10, 1945 firebombing of Tokyo, which was the single deadliest air raid of the entire war, and probably of all time. That's right, conservative estimates of the carnage have it as worse than Dresden, Hiroshima, or Nagasaki. By the time of the Japanese surrender, more than half of Tokyo (one of the biggest cities in the world) had been leveled by air raids, at least 800,000 people were killed, and several million were wounded or made homeless. For comparison's sake, the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki killed around 200,000 people combined.
    • Also often forgotten is the Soviet invasion of Manchuria, which arguably had a greater influence on Japan's surrender than the nukings of Hiroshima and Nagisaki.
    • And to those who don't know the timing of the invasion; AFTER Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It was the A-bomb that led to the heroic Soviet allies joining the war against Japan, not the other way round.
    • The reasons behind Pearl Harbour were not Japan deciding, "Hey, we're bored. Let's bomb some Americans." It was actually caused by a series of disputes over who got to exploit China, which ended in an American oil embargo that would have crippled Japan if they didn't find another source. That other source was the Dutch East Indies, which the Americans weren't going to let Japan have. Rather than taking the East Indies and waiting for the US to attack, Japan decided to eliminate the main American base in the Pacific, hoping that its destruction would keep them distracted long enough to secure the oil.
    • American history books for a long time tended to gloss over the Americans' own Japanese and German interment camps. Though by no means as horrific as the Holocaust, it is a black mark on American history. They did this with the country's less honorable actions in general. Not just the internment camps, but also the wars with the American Indian tribes on the frontiers that basically amounted to genocide (not that the tribes didn't sometimes do horrible things to the settlers, too, but that's beside the point), its brief overseas imperialism period, the complete disenfranchisement anybody who wasn't English experienced at some point, etc. The trend seems to be reversed now, though, and every bad spot in the country's history is painted as an abomination in the world while the legitimately great things the country did are downplayed or not mentioned at all.
    • The "amounted to genocide" charge is one of the pseudo-abominations. Warlike tribes such as the Sioux and Apache were already in the process of driving other, less-aggressive settlers off their land when the Europeans showed up. What happened was a result of one warlike "tribe" with superior technology encountering lots of other, more-or-less warlike tribes with inferior tech.
  • Several Supreme Court decisions in the United States are also now considered discontinuity by most of the legal profession, despite not being explicitly overruled, including
    • Dred Scott v. Sandford, the case that stated slaves were chattel and could never be citizens.
    • Plessy v. Ferguson, the case that gave America the doctrine of "separate but equal". The Supreme Court overturned itself 9-0 in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka when presented with evidence that separate is inherently unequal.
    • Buck v Bell, allowing sterilization without consent (eugenics was big at the time). Known for the famous quote from Oliver Wendall Holmes "three generations of imbeciles is enough."
    • Korematsu v. United States, although it established the "strict scrutiny" test for racial discrimination, was generally regarded as being wrongly decided until the Gitmo controversy brought it up again.
    • Aditionally, Supreme Court decisions in general do this when they strike down laws. Technically the Court issues an injunction preventing the laws from being enforced, but they remain on the books unless repealed by the legislature.
  • The moon landing. For those that don't know, a belief has sprung up that the Apollo missions were faked by the American government to say "Ha! We were there first!" without having to actually do it.
  • The Flat Earth Society is a society of people who are convinced that the Earth is actually flat and that we have all been lied to. They explain that the Earth is disk-shaped and surrounded on all sides by a massive wall of ice (Antarctica) to keep people from going over the edge. Which is especially ironic, considering that the world was considered to be spherical since at least the fourth or fifth century BC, and almost certainly earlier.
  • Not quite the same thing, but Andrea Heins (explicitly inspired by the Dinosaur Comics quote at the top of the page) wrote a song, appropriately titled NonCanon.
  • No one condones the Rape of Nanking, and even in Japan people seem for the most part to have stopped denying it happened, but it's been a constant subject of distortions and exaggerations in both directions. Japanese scholars tend to try to minimize or whitewash it, though that's starting to change. Chinese and some American scholars, on the other hand, present death tolls that are almost certainly wild exaggerations.
  • Many people refuse to believe Elvis died and have incorporated any number of real-life Epileptic Trees on how he somehow faked his death. There are people who still do this with Hitler! The fact he would have to be more than 120 years old doesn't deter them.[1] It should also be noted that most people who believe this prescribe to the Stupid Jetpack Hitler theories. A 120-year-old normal Hitler? Unlikely. A 130-year-old Hitler with a moon colony and a demon army? That quickly gets you a Refuge in Audacity.
  • Some groups in Japan and apologists in other countries attempt to play down their country's record of atrocities (like mass killings and human experimentation), invasions, naked imperialism, clear and intentional Geneva convention violations, etcetera during the mid-20th Century by attempting to paint America as Not So Different with reference to its actions in the previous century, by ignoring the China War, and by outright lying. To put it in perspective: Ask people like them about Unit 731. For the uninitiated, imagine if Josef Mengele were cloned a few hundred times and had a near-endless stream of test subjects. A normal person would say "WHAT THE FUCK THAT'S HORRIBLE!" if you told him about it. The negationist would say anything from "They deserved it" or "It was just experimentation". Of course, there's also the fact that none of the key figures of Unit 731 were ever held accountable. Why, you ask? Because they were given immunity from prosecution in return for their research results. Needless to say, this is another bit of info that doesn't show up until college-level textbooks at the earliest.
  • The American Revolution had various massacres of Tories, lynchings, invasion of the recognized sovereign Iroquois state and whatnot retconned out of the history books below college level. Let's also not forget the Boston "Massacre".
  • In the United States, people can have certain criminal records expunged. Meaning that as far as the law is concerned, the reported crime or arrest never happened. This is actually a fairly common practice in most countries. Most crimes "expire" after a certain while and now technically "no longer happened." The reason for this practice is that if you have a criminal record, it's difficult - if not outright impossible - to find legal employment or get a bank loan, which not only makes your life unjustifiably harder if your crime is a bicycle collision with no lasting injuries caused at the age of 18, but also generates state expenses.
  • The State of California has an interesting take on marijuana convictions with regard to employment eligibility. Essentially, an employer is obligated to ignore any misdemeanor marijuana convictions more than two years old when conducting a background check, despite the fact that such an infraction won't expire off the person's record for another five years. They can see it, they just have to pretend they didn't when it comes to making the hiring decision. Which makes this an enforced Canon Dis Continuity. Mostly because a misdemeanor conviction is along the lines of possession and/or use, and not distribution. Distribution on the other hand...
  • Keith Windschuttle, an Australian historian, is known for this with regard to many atrocities committed against the native Aborigines by white settlers. Former Prime Minister John Howard was of a similar mind, and disapproved of schools teaching a negative history of settler-Aborigine relations. He left office in 2007.
  • Many in the GLB community like to ignore that transgendered people were involved with the Stonewall Riots too and were a big part of organizing afterwards, until they were kicked out to make cis people look better. It makes it easier to justify kicking trans people under the bus today.
    • A similar problem is the tendency to ignore the fact that most of the initial Stonewall rioters were racial minorities, which has led to no small amount of bitterness directed toward gay white men by the rest of the GLBT community. In addition to that, the Compton's Cafeteria riot tends to go unmentioned, even though it predated Stonewall by three years. See the film Screaming Queens for more info.
    • And a smaller subset of the GL community firmly deny the existence of bisexuality, claiming that bisexuals are on their way to being completely gay and are just still in partial denial, attention-grabbers, just can't control their sex drive, or are gay people trying to make themselves more acceptable to straights, among other things. Then there are the really odd ones who refer to themselves as part of the LGBT community, but believe there are No Bisexuals. One assumes they have never had anyone point out the problem with the acronym's B, in that case. One assumes they also have some discontinuity if bisexuals are treated even worse than gays where they are.
  • And the opposite of that, bisexuals claiming that Everyone Is Bi, is just as common.
  • To summarize all of the above: LGBT -> LGB (-> LG/->B). Photos exist of NAMBLA supporters openly marching in early LGBT pride parade. Not so much anymore.
  • Many in the Mormon church insist that nothing happened at Mountain Meadows. There was no massacre of pioneers by Mormons posing as native Americans. The few young surviving children were certainly not abducted by and raised in the culture of the people who murdered their families and friends. It is worth noting that the Mormon church as an organized body officially recognizes and has issued several statements confirming the incidents at Mountain Meadows and has made a point of reaching out to the descendants of the affected families. Any Mormons that continue to deny this incident are in Canon Dis Continuity with church policy and histories and are becoming fewer and fewer in number. Which makes the number who have supposedly never heard of it at all that much more noticeable.
  • There are several people that insist, upon some actually logical evidence, mind you, that Charles the Great never existed and that about 300 years of European history are completely made up.
  • Palestinian leaders often claim that the two Jewish Temples never existed and are a conspiracy theory created by archaeologists to support a Jewish takeover of Israel/Palestine. There's also a lot of Holocaust denial. Likewise, there are a number of Jews and evangelical Christians, particularly in the United States, who claim that Palestinian ethnicity is fictitious. An even more extreme and irrational subset will claim that there never was a place called Palestine in modern history, even though any pre-WWII world atlas will show otherwise.
  • The Turkish government still says that the Armenian genocide was not a genocide but a justified backlash. Most historians would disagree, and the ones that don't have probably been bought off by Turkish lobbyists. Turkey does this to the Armenians a lot, not only with the genocide but to all of their very lengthy history as well, to try to explain why Armenians suddenly don't live in eastern Turkey in great numbers anymore. Azerbaijan and Turkey both like to pretend that Turks and Azeris have lived in the area for thousands of years, when really the Turks and Azeris are descended from invaders who arrived in the 1100's AD.
    • The Cosmos Foundation is an organization of Turkish-run Charter Schools in the U.S. that allegedly teaches American kids that the Armenian Genocide never happened.
    • Wikileaks revealed recently that the Ottoman Empire's archives have indeed been purged of any documents that provide evidence of the genocide. Which is why Turkey so smugly offers to let historians research the archives for proof of the genocide.
  • The vast majority of close elections in America have had charges of voter fraud thrown about by both sides. That being said, another interesting thing that people like to write out of history books is that voter fraud is and has been quite common and is generally practiced by both sides in an election. Of course it doesn't tend to affect elections since both sides practice it and the electoral college limits the effects of massive increases in votes, but it's still very there. (Modern example: in 2007, 105% of eligible voters in Indianapolis/Marion County were registered to vote... though much of that had to do with failing to take dead people off the roles).
  • A sports example (NHL): A lot of fans of both the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Vancouver Canucks have taken to simply pretending legendary Leaf Mats Sundin retired at the age of 36, rather than going on to play half a season with the Canucks. It's understandable - Sundin totalled almost a thousand points over his thirteen years with Toronto, was the captain from 1997 to 2008 (making him the second-longest-serving captain not from North America in NHL history, right after Ottawa's Daniel Alfredsson) and is the team's all-time top point and goal scorer. With Vancouver he made a lot of money and didn't do much else.
  • The NBA pretends that the history involving both the earlier versions of the Baltimore Bullets and the Denver Nuggets shouldn't transfer over to the Washington Wizards (who where known as the Baltimore Bullets for almost a decade) and the "new" Denver Nuggets respectively. For the Denver Nuggets, it's actually understandable when considering how horrible the original team was, but the earlier version of the Baltimore Bullets ended up winning a championship during their 1947-48 debut season.
    • Well, that's because in both cases, they were two entirely different, unrelated teams. The idea of transferring teams' history was invented whole cloth in 1995 as a legal compromise in the wake of the Cleveland Browns' move to Baltimore that year. The NBA subsequently adopted this rule after the Seattle Super Sonics moved to Oklahoma, in the event that another Seattle team should emerge.
    • Speaking of the Washington Wizards, ask any NBA fan and they'll swear that Michael Jordan's tenure with the team after his final retirement from the Bulls was a collective hallucination of the entirety of America. According to them, Jordan never played for any team but the Chicago Bulls. Never ever ever.
  • Major League Baseball and its fans have had a long and tumultuous history regarding their two home run records. Even now, some fans (though this is a minority) still claim that Babe Ruth still holds both the single-season and career Major League records for home runs. This was not helped by the fact that Ford Frick, the Major League Commissioner in 1961, refused to recognize Roger Maris' 61 home runs in a season because he had 8 more games to play than Ruth. More recently, many fans have clamored for steroid-aided records to be stricken from the record, and most of these still recognize Hank Aaron as the career Major League home run record holder, despite Barry Bonds never testing positive for banned substances during his playing days.
  • The city of Baltimore refused to recognize the Indianapolis Colts since they left Baltimore in 1984. To this day, whenever the Colts play against the Ravens in Baltimore, they (the Colts) were referred to as "Indy" on the scoreboard.
  • The famous Indianapolis 500 auto race was decreed to be a part of the Formula One World Championship for 11 years (1950-1960), even though there was zero crossover of drivers or teams between it and the "real F1" races. As a result, many stats efforts don't include those.
  • Some people, against all better judgment and evidence, will still insist that Saddam Hussein never had any WMD whatsoever. Unsurprisingly, remarkably few of these people live in Kurdistan or western Iran. While his capabilities were certainly exaggerated by intelligence estimates, his use of them is all but indisputable, and his possession of them in contravention of the Gulf War ceasefire isn't much better, with multiple degraded samples seized after the 2003 invasion. The main bone of contention is how many he had, and whether the program was still operating after the Gulf War.
    • If it helps any, Saddam himself probably had no idea what he had or didn't have. Creative bookkeeping wasn't exactly rare in the last decade of his reign. As soon as the first Iraq conflict (Desert Storm) got underway, administration officials denied ever being buddy-buddy with Saddam, despite the administration having friendly communications with Saddam up until the moment he invaded Kuwait.
    • Baghdad Bob, the Iraqi Information Minister under Saddam. Best known for his last televised appearances in the streets of Baghdad, in which he declared that there were no US tanks in Baghdad, despite US tanks being clearly visible less than a mile away in the shot!
  • At Disney Theme Parks, people like to pretend there never was a replacement for Main Street Electrical Parade called Light Magic that involved Celtic remixes of Disney songs and stepdancing characters, nor was there a replacement for Journey into Imagination that removed Dreamfinder, reduced Figment to a cameo and insulted the guests' intelligence right at the beginning of the ride.
  • Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper once claimed that Canada "has no history of colonialism." Uh, a few hundred Native American groups might disagree there, bud.
  • Canada was a colony, but by confederation all of the land currently encompassed by Canada had been colonized already. So Canada has no history of colonialism in the sense of colonizing "new" lands. Even that is bullshit; between confederation and today, 3 new colonies were founded, and Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec doubled in size. There was very much colonialism.
  • In addition to calling herself a historian (she's not) Phillipa Gregory insists that the version of events she presents in The Other Boleyn Girl are true- that Mary Boleyn never slept with the French king, or with anyone aside from Henry VIII and her two husbands. I know she's got an ego, but how swelled must your head be to insist that your pulpy novel is more accurate than documented history?
  • Subverted with Indonesia's relationship with Israel. Being adamant supporters of democracy and freedom, the Indonesian government severed all diplomatic ties with Israel for occupying a sovereign nation (Palestine) for decades. However, they're quite happy to keep the Uzis, Galil sniper rifles and A-4 jets. And speaking of occupying sovereign nations... Timor Leste? What are you talking about? [2]
  • For much of the twentieth century, the more unsavory actions of the early IRA (specifically prior to and during the War of Independence) tended to be glossed over, specifically the sectarian violence carried out against many Protestant families in Cork. This tendency is thankfully being reversed, with secondary school history textbooks making reference to these actions.
  • The Texas Board of Education's changes to the state's social studies curriculum to remove references to Thomas Jefferson, the Age of Enlightenment, the separation of church and state, Latino people (in Texas and elsewhere), and to assert that the internment of Japanese American citizens during World War II was not racist, among other things.
  • People often like to "clean up" the images of various presidents in by focusing on the good things he did while ignoring the bad. Take Woodrow Wilson, for example. His Sedition Act, which outlawed any dissent against the government and allowed the Department of Justice to arrest tens of thousands of citizens for no probable cause, nary gets a mention compared to his support of the League of Nations (precursor to the UN) and his progressive reforms. Wilson's support of segregation, and his glowing praise of the pro Ku Klux Klan film The Birth of a Nation tends to get glossed over as well. His reputation outside the USA is extremely patchy.
  • You also rarely hear about how Abraham Lincoln unlawfully imprisoned segregationist state Congressmen in some of the border states in order to force a vote to stay in the Union. Not to mention Camp Douglas, (Andersonville, except without the excuse of blockage-caused shortages), Clement Vallandigham (the first and to the best of history's recollection the only American to be exiled), "Suppression" of newspapers that were too critical, the handling of the New York Draft Riots, and imposing the first income tax. Another aspect of Civil War history you don't often hear talked about is the areas of the South where secession was extremely unpopular, to the point of Southerners refusing to support the Confederate Army and enlisting in the Union Army instead. During the nadir of race relations in the United States (between the end of Reconstruction and the beginning of the Civil Rights movement in the 1950s and 60s), this aspect of Southern history was increasingly glossed over until today most people see the Civil War South as one unified pro-slavery block.
  • Texas War of Independence 1835-36 probably is the most ironic event in the American history. One of the main reasons why english-speaking settlers rebelled against Mexican goverment was Mexico's prohibition of slavery.
  • Downplayed with the German education system. You hear so much about the Holocaust that a lot of students get sick of it, but, for example, the 1904-1907 genocide committed by German colonialists in what is now Namibia never gets mentioned. It's doubt that has anything to do with discontinuity but with time for all the stuff happening in Europe around the same period. World War I and II are just so huge themes - and the Weimar Republik too - that you can barely cover them how they deserve to be treated. And then you get to do divided Germany. Fitting the whole thing into two grades is already tough. Unfortunately, high school doesn't leave enough time to do everything justice. To ultimately clarify, German education system doesn't deny that happened, it just receives limited time compared to the Holocaust.
  • Some people in South America make justifications for the horrible dictatorships that happened in it, attempting to portray every dictator that led them as honorable guardians of democracy (that just happened to destroy it while they were in power). This leads to hilarious notions, such as the Simon Wiesenthal Center denouncing Hugo Chavez as antisemitic, but they never said a thing about a certain Argentinian dictator who openly admired Hitler.
  • It's often taught in American schools that the only French-speaking area of Canada is Quebec, and it's assumed there are no other places that speak French. In fact, there are Francophone communities all over Canada, including in Ontario, Manitoba and the Maritimes, as well as in the United States (particularly Louisiana and Maine).
  • There's a subset of Finnish people who like to claim that current Prime Minister Mari Kiviniemi is the first female Prime Minister.
  • In a bit older news, many Finns tend to fail to remember that their country fought the Soviet Union alongside and with the help of the Nazi Germany in WWII. It was an alliance of necessity and Finland's democratic leaders found the Nazi ideology quite distasteful, but they still decided that Hitler would be the lesser of two evils, as he wasn't the one invading the country at the moment.
    • And on a related theme, many Finns believe that Finland won the Winter War in 1939-1940. While it did inflict huge casualties on the Soviets, Finnish defense was on the verge of breaking, and Finland was only saved because Stalin was in a hurry to finish the whole thing and get whatever he could in order to prepare for a possible war against Germany. So Finland "won" the Winter War only in the sense of not being totally conquered, and still lost a good chunk of its territory.
    • Finland's objective in the Winter War and in the Continuation War was to survive the Second World War as an independent democracy. It did. It's also worth noting its Heel Face Turn in 1944. The Winter War, yes, the Continuation War was more like revenge for the Winter War and an attempt to get the Finnish areas lost in the war back. Also Finland continued the invasion even after reaching its former borders (although it did make strategic sense as cutting the Soviets off of the Kola Peninsula and Karelia would have made the Finnish borders much easier to defend). Also, the Heel Face Turn was made out of necessity to save Finland from Soviet invasion.
    • Also often forgotten is the nationalistic Greater Finland ideology. The supporters wanted to invade unite all the historically Finnic (AND some of the Samic) areas. This would have probably lead to cultural assimilation of the neighbouring Finnic peoples which already happened to some Karelians (refugees in Finland) who Finns still tend to consider Finnish (although, admittedly, the line between Finns and Karelians is a vague one).
    • Also not often mentioned are the Estonians and other Finnic and Uralic people of non-Finnish nationality that were forced to return to the USSR after the war despite the very imminent threat of persecution there. Most, if not all, of those people were executed or imprisoned.
  • Religious sects that follow literalist interpretations of holy books can sometimes end up denying things that have been scientifically and conclusively proven, such as the age of the earth and whether or not salt water and fresh water mix.
  • Christopher Columbus' probable genocide against the Arawak tribe was glossed over for a very long time. Only very recently have history books stopped portraying Columbus as anything less than a pure-hearted hero. On the other hand, hysterical tracts claiming that Columbus was responsible for the death of every Native person in the Western Hemisphere ever have fallen out of favor since their promulgation in the 1990s, and are no longer taken seriously. For a very long time, folk tales such as Columbus trying to prove the world was round and George Washington never telling a lie were presented as pure fact in public schools. You can even catch Schoolhouse Rock propagating the myths.
  • George Washington did not cut down his father's cherry tree with a toy hatchet. Parson Weems invented that story.
  • Historians of countries that were raided by/conquered by/fought with the Mongols during their meteoric rise to power often portrayed Mongol atrocities (specifically body count) as far greater than they actually were. To paraphrase one book on the matter, some of the figures were so high that it would have been impossible for the Mongols to slaughter that number of pigs, who wait passively for their turn to be killed, rather than people, who will struggle. The lowest known estimate is 30,000,000 people (7.5% of the total population at the time). The devastation was so great it led to a population explosion of scavenger species and wild plants because arable land in central Asia was untended for centuries afterwards.
  • Some people still use the name Brontosaurus when the real scientific name is Apatosaurus. Sometimes because they Did Not Do the Research, but sometimes knowingly because they just like the name better (especially the translation - who thinks "Deceptive Lizard" is better than "Thunder Lizard"?). This even extends to some paleontologists, Stephen Jay Gould being a notable example.
  • Some people believe the Titanic didn't actually sink, but that the company switched the name plates with its sister ship, the Olympic, as part of some kind of insurance fraud.
  • The American Civil War. No matter what your historical positions are, it seems clear that just about everyone thinks it to be the most constantly revised aspect of American history.
  • Birthers, birthers, birthers. Even if Obama's shown his birth certificate and two articles in local newspapers from the day he was born, he still had to be born in Kenya. Or Indonesia.
  • Name any genocide in history. It has its deniers. In fact, one of the first spammers, Serdar Argic, built a program to reply to any article mentioning (case-insensitive) "Turkey" or "Armenia" with a mixture of denying the Armenian Genocide and juvenile insults like "gum brain". Nothing made America more aware of the Armenian Genocide than Serdar Argic.
  • The 24 Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a notorious forgery, (which was itself plagiarized from another conspiracy theory, replacing Napoleon III for the Jews) is taught in Saudi schools.
  • Can science do it? The Center for Consumer Freedom wants to tell you that no case of diabetes has ever been caused by being too fat, and that eating too much doesn't cause weight gain to begin with. Conversely, the Physicians' Committee for Responsible Medicine wants to tell you that everything can be cured by going vegan.
  • For some Americans, that one really tall, really famous skyscraper in Chicago is still known as the Sears Tower. It never got its name changed to something like the Willis Tower. It just never did, really.
  • According to a lot of Americans, there never was a French Resistance in World War II. In fact, just about any example in history of the French not being total pussies tends to get glossed over. After the war, most returning GIs wondered why there was a war at all; since, according to the French & Germans, all French were La Résistance and no Germans were Those Wacky Nazis.
  • There are plenty of people who refuse to accept that Pluto is no longer considered a planet.
  • What's that? The Western powers used fascist thugs and war criminals as "stay-behind" armies to cause violence and terror and pin the blame on leftists and communists? That's ridiculous! It never happened! Oh, and the American government smuggled thousands of Nazi war criminals into the US to have them work for it and in the process destroyed their severe criminal records? That is just a crazy conspiracy theory!
  • The religious beliefs of influential people often get this from a few religionists and a few atheists, both of whom like to think any intelligent person would have had their views, or that the others haven't influenced society. Both seem to believe that influential people with well-documented opposing beliefs were only pretending to have these views to avoid being marginalized. In many cases, however, the beliefs in question are not adequately documented, and fruitless discussions based on incomplete evidence circle the internet.
  • Swedes don't particularly like it when you bring up their support of Nazi Germany in WW 2. True, they were never allies, only business partners for things like iron ore and pre-built barracks. Sweden profited greatly from not having anything bombed to bits after the war. On the other hand, a lot of Jewish refugees found safety in Sweden, and they supported Finland in the winter war.
  • Everyone who has heard of Moroccos occupation of Western Sahara, raise your hands. Last time I heard anything about it was when the EU was close to signing a fishing deal which included Western Saharan waters, which would be against international law.
  • Noam Chomsky says the killing fields in Cambodia never happened, despite the piles of skulls and numerous witnesses would say other wise.
    • Due to his commitment to freedom of speech he's defended genocide deniers as having the right to publicly deny anything they want. This is still a bit of a thorny issue in many countries.
      • He's done more than that. He's said that the views of genocide deniers are fully legitimate, honest and sincere views that are not in any way skewed by bigotry, and should be considered in historical debates. For instance, he claims that while holocaust deniers may not necessarily be right, they are not necessarily motivated by anti-semititsm, though careful examination of the ramblings of said deniers would indicate otherwise. Oh, and he has denied many of the events of the killing fields in Cambodia, not just in his defense of freedom of speech.
  • Most people only knew General George A. Custer as an overconfident cavalry officer who brutalized the American Indians and got himselved killed by leading a suicidal attack against an overwhelming force. Fewer people know that he was a hero of the Battle of Gettysburg who played an important role in the Union winning the battle by intercepting Confederate reinforcements that were en route to aid Pickett's Charge.
  • While not ignored so much now, WWII PO Ws in Japan were barely recognized after they came back to the States. Made even worse thanks to the incredibly brutal treatment of the PO Ws, including forced labour, experimentation, and refusal to treat ill prisoners.
  • When people talk about African slavery, they usually refer to the Americans, or Europeans who bought slaves, but hardly talk about the fact that the slaves were sold by various Arab states, and African tribes who conquered various smaller tribes.
  • Those who are against Israel always bring up the attack on the U.S.S. Liberty, but never mention the fact that Israel apologized for the attack, and paid 10 million in reparation for it.
  1. Technically this would be possible at least in a biological sense, as the oldest recorded human being lived to 122 years of age (Jeanne Calment, a Frenchwoman born in 1875 who died in 1997). As of 2011 he would have to be even older than that however, and he suffered from numerous health problems that made him reaching even his 70s (had he not killed himself) very unlikely.
  2. Actually, many, if not most of the Indonesians who know about the invasion condone it and mock the nation for wanting to be free of foreign occupation. And nowadays often mock it for the constant poverty and political instability which Indonesia totally didn't help cause at all.