Mandela Daze
27 Aug 2020
Historical Events  Music
Jingle Bells

Alternate:
Jingle Bells was always meant as a Christmas song

Current:
Jingle Bells was not always meant as a Christmas song

Oh what fun

Ever noticed that the lyrics to Jingle Bells don't contain any mention of Christmas?

There is dispute over precisely when it was written, but it's generally accepted it was in Massachusetts. The first claim is it was written for a thanksgiving service, first performed in Boston on September 15, 1857. The second is in a bar in Medford in a tavern, by none other than the uncle of JP Morgan, James Lord Pierpont.

Whichever it is, the idea it was initially written as a Christmas song is incorrect. It only became associated with Christmas many years later.

Historical Events  Religion
Witch

Alternate:
Last witchcraft trial in England was in 1744

Current:
Last witchcraft trial in England was in 1944

A bad spell

The idea of witches goes back thousands of years the world over, and has gone by many names.

One who seems to process supernatural powers, is some kind of outcast, or even, more often, is just on the wrong side of a superstitious mob, can be classed as a witch. Modern society tends to scoff at witchcraft as a mere historical quirk, but in fact it's seen as a real issue in several countries today.

The term "witch" over a thousand  years old and came from England. It comes from the even older "wicca", and originally described men - a far cry from the hooded black flying female figure on a broomstick.

It's this idea that it's all from the middle ages that causes many to be shocked when they hear the last official trial for witchcraft took place in 1944 in England.

Historical Events  Art
Colossus of Rhodes

Alternate:
The Colossus of Rhodes statue straddled the harbour

Current:
The Colossus of Rhodes statue did not straddle the harbour

One of the 7th wonders of the world

It's one of the 7th wonders of the ancient world, but unfortunately doesn't exist any more. Even worse, there's no definitive evidence of specifically were it was located in Rhodes, although its is certain it actually did exist because it is well documented in many surviving separate sources.

It is said the statue was destroyed by an earthquake 56 years after it was built, and its destroyed remains were left on the ground for many years in tribute.

However, the popular idea that it was so big that ships could sail between its legs as they passed the harbour is now being seriously doubted. This is due to the engineering and logistical problems that would have to be overcome, combined with the total lack of evidence this was how it appeared.

Historical Events  People
Michael Jackson

Alternate:
Michael Jackson wore a white glove on his right hand

Current:
Michael Jackson wore a white glove on his left hand

Diamond White - but on which hand?

Michael Jackson certainly didn't need any trademark gimmicks to get ahead in his stellar musical career. However, one thing he was well known for from the early days was his wearing of a single white glove on one hand. He said of it “I felt one glove was cool. Wearing two seemed so ordinary."

That's the subject of a Mandela Effect now, because whereas all the videos and photographs today show he only ever wore it on his left hand, there are some who are sure they remember it on his right. It's been that way since he played Billie Jean on TV in 1983 during the Motown 25th anniversary special. It was sold for £85,000 at auction in 2020 to an anonymous bidder in Texas.

Historical Events  People
George W Bush

Alternate:
George W Bush was reading 'The Pet Duck' when he heard of the 9/11 attacks

Current:
George W Bush was reading 'The Pet Goat' when he heard of the 9/11 attacks

Bleating or Quacking?

The image of George W Bush sitting in front of a classroom full of children reading a book, when an aide whispered news of the 9./11 attacks, is one of the iconic images from those tragic events on September 11, 2001.

There are some who are sure the book was titled "My Pet Duck", whereas all references today show it as "My Pet Goat", even the false photoshopped ones which claim to show he was reading it upside down. None, however, can forget the shocked expression on the President's face as he heard the news.

Historical Events  People
Abner Doubleday

Alternate:
Abner Doubleday invented baseball

Current:
Abner Doubleday did not invented baseball

Strike!

Officially, the first baseball game took place in 1846 between the Knickerbockers and the New York Nine's.

It's classed as official because that's when the first written set of rules were used, which have been refined ever since into the ones we see today. However, the origin is largely credited to Abner Doubleday, including the word "baseball" itself, and that's what many people believe. It's not true through. Doubleday never mentioned in it any of his letters or documents, he was never made a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame and baseball wasn't even mentioned in his obituary when he died.

The truth is baseball was probably adapted by English settlers who played the earlier variation known as rounders, and added elements of Cricket to it.

Historical Events  People
Napoleon

Alternate:
Napoleon only had one hand

Current:
Napoleon had two hands

Hidden hand or missing hand?

The popular image of Napolean today is from the many paintings done of him when he was a General.

There's something about them, however, which has led many to believe that he was missing a hand, and it's all down to a fashion trend he was following in those portaits. 

The idea is people are sure he was missing a hand because he is mostly seen with his right arm tucked into the middle of his shirt. Since his hand is never seen, it is assumed he either didn't have one, or the one he had was deformed and this was his way of hiding it.

In fact it turns out he was blessed with two hands but was always seen hiding one because of a tradition going back to the ancient Greeks, where it was seen as "more stately" to not have a free hand, since it prevents one from flailing it about and makes the subject appear more dignified and refined.