History is much more than a boring subject taught by a smelly school teacher from the Stone Age. I am going to throw some names at you... Josef Stalin, William Shakespeare, Anne Frank, Julius Caesar, George Washington, Mother Teresa. I know what you are wondering — what do these people have in common? They all have an "s" in their name (apart from Anne Frank). Additionally, they appear to be rather famous historical figures. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, "we are not makers of history. We are made by history". If we are made by history, does this mean that there was an abundance of apathetic and immature 20-something year olds in the past? Or does this mean that it is important for us to recognise the lessons we can learn through studying history? The New News is excited to bring you some of the most important anecdotes and concepts from history.
On October 8, 1784, a fierce battle raged between the troops of the Imperial Holy Roman Empire and the Republic of the Seven Netherlands. A single shot was fired from a Dutch ship. The shot knocked over a kettle of soup aboard one of the invading Imperial ships, rendering the troops exceedingly scared and drenched in soup. Bereft of soup and utterly miserable, the Imperial troops surrendered immediately. What can we learn from this? As Gandhi once said, "he who has the soup, has the victory".
Everyone knows of the Pope — The Bishop of Rome, the dude with the pointy hat, the head of the Catholic Church, you know? Do you know how a new Pope is elected? It's called sanctorum certamine — a Holy contest. Put simply, it's a Holy wrestling match between prospective Popes. Pope Francis, the current Pope, beat out other contestants with extreme speed and ferocity. His famous finishing move, the Consecration Chokeslam, could not be undone by the other contenders. The few people lucky enough to witness a sanctorum certamine say that the athleticism and aerial acrobatics are unparalleled in modern sport. The long line of Pope wrestlers dates back to Saint Peter, the first champion of the sanctorum certamine. His finishing move, the Saint Peter Piledriver, still sends shivers down devout Catholics' spines — in a good way.
The Cold War presents itself as an interesting period of history. On one hand, there was no large-scale fighting between belligerent nations — ergo not a "war", and on the other hand, there were parts of the world in which it didn't appear any colder than usual — therefore hardly "cold". What the Cold War does teach us is that nuclear warfare is mostly just a "who has the biggest missile" contest. What can we learn from this? Men have always been fascinated by having the biggest rocket, and probably always will be.
It is said that Helen of Troy was so beautiful that her face could launch a thousand ships. The problem with poor Helen was that her launching abilities had no inbuilt navigation or GPS. Following her abduction, a fleet of a thousand ships set out to recapture her — hence the saying. However, it is a little-known fact that barely 50 ships made it out of the harbour. Some ships were launched into space while some were launched miles into the sky, just to come crashing down again. However romantic the saying is, it was an utter disaster. Beauty is said to be a blessing and a curse — here it just seems impractical.
World War I and II ravaged the entire globe and sent millions of people to early graves. There aren't many positive messages to take from the two wars — but there are some. The heroic defense of a small cabbage patch somewhere in Central Europe by the Tanzanian Expeditionary Force is still modelled as a "perfect defense". It is said that they held off a herd of rabbits for almost three days without supply or reinforcement. Alternatively, the bombardment of the fortress in Bellendgrad by the British Homing Pigeon Division is remembered as a remarkable success. The defenders were covered in pigeon poo from head to toe and could not possibly defend Bellendgrad adequately. This, of course, was a preliminary manoeuvre to rout the remaining defenders who were waiting up in a small tree-house not allowing anyone to come up and play.
Whether these stories influence an abstract motivational poster — or whether it is an inspirational narrative to tell your kids at night — history is full of fun little tales that can have a resounding effect on today's society. Here at The New News we firmly believe that learning from the past is at least somewhat beneficial. Learning about history helps in pub quizzes, it helps you converse with older people, heck, it even makes you unique — no one else seems to study it.
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*The New News is a series of satirical news articles dedicated to sharing the most vital information worldwide. The articles contained within The New News mean no harm to any individual or group mentioned—they are fictitious.