Historical Events  General
Historical Events  General
The Storming of the Bastille

How many prisoners released?

MMDE: Hundreds of prisoners freed

Current: 7 prisoners freed

It's a common notion that the French Revolution was started when the angry mob stormed the Bastille, freeing all the prisoners held there by the evil ruling monarchy so they could join their ranks and take over the country. That's partly true - but how many prisoners were freed? The image of thousands swarming out, cheering on the revolutionaries is a popular one, but history is showing this isn't the case, as in fact there were 7.

The Bastille was a large, imposing fortress which was also used as a weapons and ammunition store. This made it a target for the revolutionaries, but it's role as a symbol of the tyrannical royal family, which often imprisoned people there with no trial, was clearly of great importance too.

Historical Events  General
James Bond

How many lines?

MMDE: Always one vertical line

Current: Sometimes two vertical lines

Some are saying it was always written with one vertical line, some with two and some with both.

The origin of the vertical line is an interesting story itself. Originally, the US used Spanish Peso, which was written P with a supercripted "S". Writing PS so many times caused them to merge into the S with a line though.

Sometimes, however, it appears with 2 vertical lines, but there's no doubt the single line one seems dominant - just take a look at your keyboard, for example ;-)

There is a variation of the origin story which is simpler. It just says it originated by writing U directly over S, cutting out the bottom of the U. This would result in two vertical lines. Even more curious is the UK pound symbol is sometimes seen with two horizontal lines, and sometimes with one...

Historical Events  General
Statue of Liberty

On which island?

MMDE: Statue of Liberty is on Ellis Island

Current: Statue of Liberty is on Liberty Island

Even the official, current references to this one are causing confusion.

There are two national monuments right next to each other - one is the Statue of Liberty, the other is Ellis Island. Ellis Island forms part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument.

There is another island next to Ellis Island called Liberty island.

OK so far? The problem is, many swear The Statue of Liberty was on Ellis Island. Some also swear it is in New Jersey - which it is, because the state line runs through the center of New York harbor and Liberty Island just falls on the New Jersey side of it. Clear?

Historical Events  General

Apple Cider Vinegar

MMDE: Bragg's

Current: Bragg

Established in 1912, the popular line of Apple Cider Vinegar has been used variously as a food additive and helped with cleaning products across the globe. Vinegar can also kill bacteria - it's been used for wound cleaning for thousands of years. 

But what exactly is the name of the company? Some are sure it was Bragg's, but all references today show it as the singular Bragg. Are they experiencing an MMDE?  

Reddit is - suprise! - divided.

Historical Events  General

A spicy alternative memory

Some are saying it never existed at all, some are saying it's spelled "tumeric", some are saying it's spelled "turmeric" and to cap it all some are saying it's both, with videos proving it.

Stemming from the Ginger plant family, Turmeric has been used for thousands of years in Southeast Asia as an additive in various foods. It also provides a mean line in face packs, according to a few Google search results.

But how can it be spelled correctly both ways, as in the image? It could be a cultural thing, along the lines of Americans using "color" for the British "colour".

In any case, it seems our sturdy little plant has been around long enough not to really care ;-)

Historical Events  General
USS Akron

Worst airship disaster in history

MMDE: Hindenburg

Current: USS Akron

Ask anyone what was the worst airship disaster in history and they'll most likely say the Hindenburg.

Not only is this incorrect, but chances are they've never even heard of the actual one, which was the USS Akron 4 years earlier.

Operating between September 1931 and April 1933, this was the world's first purpose built flying aircraft carrier. F93 Sparrowhawk fighter planes could actually land and take off from her, albeit in a highly unconventional way, whilst she was in flight.

During a thunderstorm in April 1933, the Akron was destroyed killing 73. By contrast, 36 died in the Hindenburg disaster of 1937. Both ocurred over US soil, although the Hindenburg was a German passenger aircraft.

Could the fact no-one seems to recall the worst of these two be connected with the fact the Hindenburg crash was filmed, and the famous "Oh! The humanity!" footage has been seen many times since, so is ingrained in the public consciousness?

Historical Events  General
Bologna Stopped Clock

The next train will be delayed

MMDE: Bologna station clock stopped for 16 years from 1980

Current: The Bologna station clock worked properly from 1980

A Mandela Effect from the 1980's has been identified.

This is an early example of a scientifically-studied instance of the Mass Memory Discrepancy Effect, of which the Mandela Effect is a sub class.

The background is that after the tragic atrocity of the Bologna Centrale station bombing, the blast stopped the clock at 10.25am on Aug 2nd, 1980. Many photographs were taken of it at this moment and used as a symbol when reporting the story. It was quickly repaired and worked normally from then on. However, it broke in 1996 and, as an act of remembrance, it's hands were set to 10.25am and it was not repaired.

A team of Italian psychologists, Stefania de Vitoa, Roberto Cubellib, and Sergio Della Sala then decided to study the false memory phenomenon and found most people thought the clock had been stopped for the entire 16 years since the explosion. This includes staff actually working at the station during this time, and many travellers would have seen and relied on it daily during this period.

There was no term for the MMDE at this time, but it sounds to many like the early documentation of a Mandela Effect, or large-scale alternative memory situation.