May 19, 2024

Hankering for History

Hanker: To have a strong, often restless desire, in this case for–you guessed it–history!

History from the Web – Teachers, Snipers, and History Myth Busters

3 min read

History-from-the-WebPart of why I write at Hankering for History is that I love sharing. I don’t just like sharing what I’ve learned, but also what I run across on other websites. Whether it’s a video clip, an article, breaking-news, or someone selling history doodads online, I want you guys to know about it as well. It’s time, for History from the Web!

There is a saying, “Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach.” If you work in the field of history, there is a good chance that you teach; therefore, you really resent this phrase. I don’t even teach, and that expression infuriates me when I hear it.

I ran across an article the other day that offers a shimmer of hope to those burdened with educating the future of America. This article, published by History Channel, is entitled 5 U.S. Presidents Who Taught School. It gives hope to those feeling crushed by the “those who can’t, teach.” If you love history, but you hate teaching, maybe you should think of it as a stepping stone–maybe there is hope for you, yet!

Of the forty-three (43) American presidents, five (5) of them taught school–that is 12%, 14% if you count Barack Obama (some do, some don’t…). Either way, I found the article interesting. Often one assumes that men (or women) worthy of American presidency probably never had a lowly, public servant job like teaching.

Vasily Zaitsev vs. Major Konig

The second story covered in the post is one that sheds light on the shadows and darkness that shrouds the most epic dueling stories in history. The story of Vasily Zaitsev is world-renowned. His sniper feats (and specifically this sniper duel) has led to numerous books, (including his biography: Notes Of A Russian Sniper, by Vassili Zaitsev), and movies (most notably Enemy At The Gates). That being said, there are those that believe that Vasily Zaitsev’s greatest accomplishment might be a myth.

This article covers newly published book, The Stalingrad Cauldron: Inside the Encirclement and Destruction of the 6th Army, by British historian Frank Ellis. The article claims that Ellis “skillfully shoots the story full of holes.” If you aren’t familiar with the duel between Vasily Zaitsev and Major Konig, I highly recommend you check out this article. World War II history has its fair share of interesting war stories, and this ranks at the top of them.

The last article is actually several years old, however, it has recently started circulating again. The 6 Civil War Myths, Busted contains a few common and not so common myths from the American Civil War. While most of the list is serious business–covering race relations and slavery–there was one myth that I found quite humorous.

Child Conceived with Civil War Bullet

One of the stranger stories to come out of the Civil War is that of a young Virginia woman standing on a porch as a battle waged nearby. Allegedly, a stray bullet passed through the scrotum of a soldier and into the young woman’s uterus. She survived, only to give birth to a baby boy with a bullet lodged in his scrotum nine months later.

If it sounds too incredible to be true, it is. The story first appeared in The American Medical Weekly in 1874, according to debunking website Written by an “L.G. Capers,” the article was clearly a joke, as the editor of the journal clarified two weeks later. Nevertheless, the story has spread via outlets as varied as “Dear Abby” and the Fox television show “House.”

5 thoughts on “History from the Web – Teachers, Snipers, and History Myth Busters

  1. That “Those who can…” quote needs to be updated to:

    “Those who can , do; those who can’t post their solutions to every problem on CNN website comment boards.”

    1. Haha, where would we be without the internet comment boards and online forums? It’s the best thing since sliced bread…

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