By Kristin Milks, librarian and Collection Development Analyst with OverDrive

This St. Patrick’s Day we were struck dumb when we found out most of our traditions and thoughts about St. Pat’s Day are myth. Did you know St. Patrick wasn’t even Irish!? He was kidnapped when he was younger by Irish raiders and then years later he served as a missionary. Oh and he definitely did not drive the snakes from Ireland because there never were snakes there!

We got to wondering, what other lies have we taken for fact over the years?

  1. benBenjamin Franklin discovered electricity by flying a kite in a storm.NOPE! People already knew electricity was out there. What Franky my boy was trying to unravel was if lightening was a form of electricity. Yes he tested his theory with a kite and a key, but if that bad boy actually got struck by lightening, there would not have been a Ben Franklin anymore.
  2. The Napolean ComplexTurns out standards of measurement were not so standard once upon a time. History says Napolean was 5 foot 2 inches, but that was French measurements. Turns out Bonaparte was more like 5 feet 7 inches. Pretty average for the time.
  3. Using the CrapperThomas Crapper is often attributed to inventing the modern flush toilet, but sadly it is not true. Although he was a plumber and manufacturer of the devices, the invention is credited to Sir John Harington who installed one for Queen Elizabeth in the 16th century.

There are a lot more out there, so we suggest you do some research of your own. Try taking a look at our Lies My Teacher Told Me for other history fun.