Did Paul Revere really cry “The British are coming!” during his famous midnight ride? Were George Washington’s false teeth really made of wood, or were they actually the teeth of enslaved people? Where is the line between myth-making and out-of-date historical interpretations?
American history is filled with powerful stories that become legends in our culture—but many of these tales are centuries-long myths. Some were well-intentioned creations and some have caused, and continue to cause, great confusion and harm. Much like real detectives, good historians are constantly comparing, discovering, and reassessing evidence in order to paint as realistic a picture as possible of our past—warts and all!
What historical myths would you like to see us tackle for kids? Let us know what historical controversies, legends, or common tales we should tackle in the comments below. We’ll sort through the evidence and take you along for the ride, showing you how historians know what they know about America’s past.