50 Common Myths, Busted

EtiAmmos/iStock via Getty Images
EtiAmmos/iStock via Getty Images

It's time to check our beliefs for a few happy falsehoods. In other words: get ready to be the most popular person at the party when you correct everyone for claiming that dogs can't look up.

Here are 50 myths we're busting.

1. Most vikings never wore horns on their helmets.

Viking helmet on fjord shore, Norway
Anetlanda/iStock via Getty Images

Some warriors may have had horns affixed to their gear, but they mostly had normal metal helmets. Wagner's 1876 opera The Ring of Nibelung inserted the false, mythic image into our minds. (You may remember it from when Elmer Fudd sang it.)

2. Iron maidens weren't used to torture people.

We've imagined them for thousands of years, but the idea that they were in use in Medieval Europe was essentially 18th century slander against a time thought as barbaric.

3. Marie Antoinette never said "let them eat cake."

Firstly, the original claim was that she said the peasants should eat brioche. Secondly, there's zero evidence that she ever said it or something like it, but there are examples from earlier folklore where oblivious aristocrats show their ignorance by telling the starving poor to simply eat rich luxurious cake.

4. Anne Boleyn probably did not have 11 fingers.

While we're on the topic of French royal women who were forcibly separated from their heads: Anne Boleyn did not have 11 fingers. That description comes from Catholic writer Nicholas Sander. One problem: He never saw her in person. Oh, and he hated her family.

5. The American Declaration Of Independence was not signed on July 4th.

Congress approved the Declaration of Independence language on the 4th, but the document wasn't signed until August 2, 1776.

6. The United States Constitution was not written on hemp paper.

Copy of the United States Constitution close up.
giftlegacy iStock via Getty Images

Also, not to harsh on your buzz, but the U.S. Constitution was not written on hemp paper. Tons of documents were, but the Constitution was written on parchment.

7. Napoleon didn't have a Napoleon complex.

Napoleon was 5'7", which was actually slightly above average height for people of his time. His nickname was "The Little Corporal," and his enemies spread propaganda saying he was tiny.

8. Albert Einstein did not fail math at school.

Einstein
Hulton Archive, Getty Images

This has spread as a lesson in perseverance, but it's not true. Einstein was obviously fantastically intelligent, reading college-level physics books at age 11. He did, however, fail an entrance exam to Zurich Polytechnic ... but that was only because it was in French, which he didn't speak.

9. John F. Kennedy wasn't saying he was a donut.

The confusion, as with so many things, stems from German grammar. Although "eine Berliner" is a type of donut, when JFK said "Ich bin eine Berliner" at the climax of his immortal anti-communist speech in West Berlin, he was saying the phrase correctly. You only say "Ich bin Berliner" to mean "I'm a Berliner," if you were born in Berlin. Plus, no one there was confused (and JFK thoroughly checked the speech with a translator).

10. Sushi does not mean "raw fish."

It means "sour rice."

11. Placing metal in a microwave doesn't ruin the microwave.

A microwave oven with an object on fire inside.
Jaroslav74/iStock via Getty Images

I mean, it's a bad idea. You shouldn't do it. But the microwave itself will survive.

12. The word crap doesn't come from where you think it does.

The word crap is not derived from the great Thomas Crapper, who innovated the field of indoor plumbing. Crap just comes from Latin, like every other word.

13. 420 is not the Los Angeles police code for marijuana possession.

The slang term beloved by marijuana enthusiasts got started by high school smokers in San Rafael, California when they'd meet at 4:20 p.m. to get high at a statue of Louis Pasteur.

14. The Great Wall Of China is not the only man-made object that's visible from space.

The Great Wall of China
rabbit75_ist/iStock via Getty Images

For one thing, many man-made objects are visible from space. For another thing, the Great Wall of China is not one of them.

15. There's no such thing as an elephant graveyard.

When elephants want to die, they just lie down and do it. The idea that there's a place where older elephants go to die isn't so much a sweet sentiment about our pachyderm friends, but an El Dorado-like story about a massive pile of valuable ivory just lying around for the taking.

16. Sharks can get cancer.

A great white shark breaching the water at sunrise.
USO/iStock via Getty Images

The 1992 book Sharks Don't Get Cancer led to a huge increase in people using ground-up shark cartilage to treat cancer. That doesn't work. Also, sharks get cancer.

17. Chameleons changing color isn't really about camouflage.

It helps them regulate their temperature, and also it's a way of communicating. They're like, "Hey there, you're pretty attractive, but I don't know how to talk, so I'm just going to turn red." Chameleons are super fast, so they're more likely to run if a predator is around.

18. Throwing rice at weddings doesn't make birds explode.

Wedding guests throw rice at a newly married couple
santypan/iStock via Getty Images

Birds eating your symbolically-tossed rice only to have it expand in their stomachs and blow up? It's just not a thing. And it's even been tested scientifically. Plus, birds eat rice all the time in the wild.

19. An earthworm does not become two earthworms when you cut it in half.

Worms don't work like that, people! If it's lucky, the part with the mouth survives, and you're left with one smaller earthworm; but in all likelihood, you're left with one dead earthworm in two pieces.

20. Humans have more than five senses.

That includes a sense of time, acceleration, limb position ... the five senses were made up by Aristotle. We probably have between 14 and 20.

21. Shaving does not make hair grow back thicker or coarser.

A young woman contemplates shaving her face with a razor.
Denis Valakhanovich iStock via Getty Images

No matter what part of your body you're shaving.

22. Your fingernails don't keep growing after you die.

They appear to keep growing because your skin recedes. You stop making glucose, you stop growing fingernails.

23. Gum doesn't take seven years to digest.

If you swallow your gum, it will not stick in your stomach for seven years. It goes through your body just the same as anything else that you eat, except batteries. If you take one thing away from this article: DON'T EAT BATTERIES.

24. People use more than 10 percent of their brains.

Model of a brain
imaginima/iStock via Getty Images

A misquote of William James seems to have coined this one. We don't have 90 percent spare capacity lying around waiting to be used on kung fu.

25. You can't catch warts from toads.

But you can catch warts from other people. Which is why we always say: only socialize with toads.

26. A penny dropped from the Empire State Building will not kill someone if it lands on their head.

New York skyline on a sunny day with the Empire State Building centered.
Ultima_Gaina/iStock via Getty Images

The terminal velocity of a penny is between 30 and 50 miles per hour, which is not fast enough to kill anyone—especially with the wind slowing it down. Also, if you drop a penny from the top of the Empire State Building, it will probably land three stories below you, because of the building's shape.

27. Abner Doubleday did not invent baseball.

Abner Doubleday never even claimed to have invented baseball. The game was evolving from cricket and rounders long before the Civil War hero was born.

28. The Caesar salad is not named for Julius Caesar.

A Caesar salad in a white ceramic bowl
monkeybusinessimages/iStock via Getty Images

The exact origin is slightly fuzzy, but it was named after Caesar Cardini, who invented the salad in Tijuana, Mexico, in 1924.

29. Puff The Magic Dragon is not about marijuana.

The poem's author, Leonard Lipton, does not think writing a children's poem about smoking marijuana would be a good idea. He credits a New York newspaper columnist with inventing the myth, but thinks if she hadn't done it, someone else would have.

30. Sherlock Holmes never said, "Elementary, my dear Watson" in the books.

Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch star in 'Sherlock'
BBC

Basil Rathbone said it in 1929's The Return of Sherlock Holmes, but the myth that it was a catchphrase from the books was already pervasive then.

31. No one says, "Play it again, Sam" in Casablanca.

Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman) says, "Play it once, Sam, for old times' sake," when asking the piano man to play As Time Goes By.

32. Sarah Palin never said, "I can see Russia from my house."

A globe with Alaska and the Bering Strait centered.
fpdress iStock via Getty Images

It was part of the Tina Fey SNL sketch. But it did get entered into the Congressional record when a representative read the script for it on the House floor.

33. Al Gore never said, "I invented the internet."

He never said it, and he should get a little credit for the internet's existence.

34. Danishes are not from Denmark.

They were brought by Austrian bakers who crossed picket lines in Denmark during a baking strike in 1850. That's why they're called "Viennese" in Denmark.

35. Humans didn't evolve from chimps.

A pair of young chimps
boriail/iStock via Getty Images

We share a common ancestor (from 6 to 7 million years ago). We did evolve, though!

36. You pronounce Don Juan correctly, but Lord Byron didn't.

The Italian libertine is Don Juan, but in Byron's epic poem, "Don Juan" [jew-an] rhymes with "true one."

37. You would not explode in the vacuum of space.

Computer Generated art rendering of an astronaut floating in space above the earth.
lexaarts iStock via Getty Images

But you would almost definitely die. Just to be safe, the first thing you should do is exhale (or the air in your lungs would expand in a way that you will not appreciate).

38. No one was burned at the stake during the Salem Witch Trials.

People were hanged, and one was crushed with stones, but no burning!

39. Fortune cookies are not Chinese.

Fortune cookies on a napkin
jirkaejc/iStock via Getty Images

They're Californian.

40. Redheads are not about to go extinct.

They're rare, but the MC1R gene mutation isn't going anywhere.

41. Blondes aren't going extinct either.

Marilyn Monroe
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Even though claims that they are have popped up from time to time since the 19th century.

42. No one died during the chariot race in Ben-Hur.

Since no one died, they definitely didn't include the death in the final cut of the film as the double dose myth suggests. Stuntperson Joe Canutt flipped off a chariot, and everyone (including his father Yak, who was directing the stunt sequence) thought he'd died, but he'd only cut himself. That scene was left in.

43. Mussolini did not make the trains run on time.

A modern train travels out of a cliffside tunnel in Italy
Elijah-Lovkoff iStock via Getty Images

So really no good qualities then.

44. Storing batteries in the freezer does not improve their performance.

Room temperature is best. Extremes in cold or heat aren't good for batteries. And, seriously, don't eat them.

45. You don't need to refrigerate peanut butter.

Spoon with peanut butter on top of a jar surrounded by peanuts.
sergoua/iStock via Getty Images

And speaking of unnecessary cooling: there is never a need to refrigerate peanut butter.

46. Walt Disney is not cryogenically frozen.

He is also not peanut butter.

47. Walt Disney's will does not demand that all the studio's movies be remade every 10 years.

Walt Disney trying to coax a penguin into performing for the camera, for a 'Silly Symphony' entitled 'Peculiar Penguins'.
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

It just feels that way. Turns out the remakes are largely popular, and the studio likes making money. It's true, however, that a man once got stuck on the It's a Small World ride and had to listen to the song for half an hour.

48. There are more than three states of matter.

If you think everything is just solids, liquids, and gasses, you're forgetting about plasma and the scientist-made Bose-Einstein condensate.

49. Fidel Castro wasn't almost a New York Yankee.

Fidel Castro surrounded by four women
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

It's possible that he went to an open tryout with the Washington Senators, but he was never scouted by any team.

50. Toilets flush in both directions in both hemispheres.

Sorry. Really. So, so sorry. Toilets and tornadoes tend to have a preference depending on which side of the equator they're spinning, but they can go either way.

Watch our full video on 50 Common Misconceptions, Busted below. For more videos like this, subscribe to our YouTube channel here.

11 Fascinating Facts About Mad Max

Mel Gibson stars in George Miller's Mad Max (1979).
Mel Gibson stars in George Miller's Mad Max (1979).
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.

What began as director George Miller's ambitious action film about a solitary cop (Mel Gibson) on a mission to take down a violent biker gang has evolved into a post-apocalyptic sensory overload of a franchise that now has four films to its credit—Mad Max (1979), The Road Warrior (1981), Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985), and Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)—and additional sequels in the works. So let's obsess over Miller’s masterpieces even more with these 11 things you might not know about the franchise.

1. Director George Miller worked as a doctor to raise money for Mad Max.

Mel Gibson in Mad Max (1979)
Mel Gibson in Mad Max (1979).
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.

Since the film only had a budget of $350,000, Miller scraped together extra money as an emergency room doctor to keep the movie going. “It was very low budget and we ran out of money for editing and post-production, so I spent a year editing the film by myself in our kitchen, while Byron Kennedy did the sound,” Miller told CraveOnline. “And then working as an emergency doctor on the weekends to earn money to keep going. I’d got my best friend, and friends of friends of friends of his, and Byron ditto, and I thought, ‘Oh my God, we made a film and it won’t cut together and we’re going to lose all their money.’”

Miller’s medical training is all over the film: Max Rockatansky is named after physician Carl von Rokitansky, a pathologist who created the Rokitansky procedure, a method for removing organs in an autopsy.

2. Mel Gibson went to the Mad Max audition to accompany his friend, not for the part.

Gibson was black and blue after a recent brawl with “half a rugby team” when his friend asked him to drop him off at his Mad Max audition. Because the agency was also casting “freaks,” they took pictures of Gibson, who was simply waiting around, and asked him to come back when he healed. When he did, Miller gave him the role on the spot. In a clip for Scream Factory, Gibson recalled the moment: “It was real weird. [Miller] said, ‘Can you memorize this?’ and it was like two pages of dialogue with a big speech and stuff. I was like, ‘Yeah, sure.’ I went into the other room and just got a gist of what it was and I came out and just ad-libbed what I could remember. I guess they bought it.”

3. George Miller paid Mad Max crew members in beer.

With barely enough money to finish the original film, Miller offered to pay ambulance drivers, a tractor driver, and some of the bikers on set with “slabs” (Australian for a case of 24 cans) of beer, according to The Guardian.

4. Real-life motorcycle club the Vigilanties played Toecutter’s gang for Mad Max.

Forget the money required to train stuntmen; Miller and crew hired real bikers to professionally ride into production. In an interview with Motorcyclist Online, actor Tim Burns said about working with them: “[The Vigilanties] all wanted to ride the bikes as fast as possible, as often as possible, by their nature. Their riding was individually and collectively superb.” Additionally, stuntman Dale Bensch, a member of The Vigilanties, recalled seeing the ad for the shoot at a local bike shop, and took a moment to clarify a mishap that had happened during production. Bensch said, “There’s an urban myth that a stuntman was killed, and that was me. The scariest thing was dropping the bike on that bridge. They took the speedo and tach off because they didn’t want to damage more than they had to. They wet the surface to make it easier, but I hung onto the bike too long and it flipped me over with it; that’s why it looked bad. But it’s a famous scene, so it worked out all right!”

5. Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior was inspired by the oil crises of the 1970s.

During an interview with The Daily Beast, Miller discussed the making of The Road Warrior. Of its inspiration, he said, “I’d lived in a very lovely and sedate city in Melbourne, and during OPEC and the extreme oil crisis—where the only people who could get any gas were emergency workers, firemen, hospital staff, and police—it took 10 days in this really peaceful city for the first shot to be fired, so I thought, ‘What if this happened over 10 years?’”

6. Mel Gibson only had 16 lines of dialogue in The Road Warrior.

Upon Fury Road’s release in 2015, social media lit up with complaints that Tom Hardy was underutilized, only there to grunt and utter a couple of one-liners. But just to remind you, in Mad Max 2, Mel Gibson only has 16 lines of dialogue in The Road Warrior.

On his use of sparse dialogue, Miller told The New York Times, “Hitchcock had this wonderful saying: ‘I try to make films where they don’t have to read the subtitles in Japan.’ And that was what I tried to do in Mad Max 1, and I’m still trying to do that three decades later with Fury Road.”

7. Mel Gibson says The Road Warrior is his favorite movie in the original trilogy.

Once upon a time Mel Gibson enthusiastically spoke about Beyond Thunderdome, telling Rolling Stone, "[The films are] a sort of cinematic equivalent to rock music. It's something to do with the nihilistic sentiments of the music of the ’80s—which can't continue. I say, let's get back to romanticism. And this film [Thunderdome] is actually doing that. It's using that nihilism as a vehicle, I think, to get back to romance.”

Years later, he told Playboy what he really thought of the films, namely that The Road Warrior was his favorite. “It still holds up because it’s so basic,” Gibson said. “It’s about energy—it didn’t spare anyone: people flying under wheels, a girl gets it, a dog gets it, everybody gets it. It was the first Mad Max, but done better. The third one didn’t work at all.”

8. Beyond Thunderdome was inspired by Lord Of The Flies.

Mel Gibson and Tina Turner in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985).
Mel Gibson and Tina Turner in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985).
Warner Home Video

Even though Miller and his producers were on the fence about a third Mad Max, they couldn’t help but give in. "George was sitting and talking to me about … quantum mechanics, I think," Miller’s co-writer Terry Hayes recalled to Rolling Stone. "The theory of the oscillating universe. You could say he's got a broad range of interests. And I said something about ‘Well, if there was ever a Mad Max III ...' And he said, 'Well, if there was ...'"

In a 1985 interview with Time Out, Miller recalled the story himself. “We were talking one day and Terry Hayes started talking about mythology and how where people are short on knowledge, they tend to be very big on belief. In other words, they take a few fragments of knowledge and, if you take like the Aboriginal tribes of Australia, they just take simple empirical information and using those little bits of the jigsaw construct very elaborate mythological beliefs, which explain the whole universe,” Miller said. “Terry was saying if you had a tribe of kids after the apocalypse who had only a few fragments of knowledge, [they would construct] a mythological belief as to what was before. And what would happen if Max or someone like that [came in] ... and it kicked off the idea of kids who were Lord of the Flies-type kids, and that led to this story.”

9. Tina Turner was cast in Beyond Thunderdome because of her positive persona.

According to Rolling Stone, Tina Turner beat out Jane Fonda and Lindsay Wagner for the role of Aunty Entity. On her casting, Miller told Time Out, “One of the main reasons we cast Tina Turner is that she’s perceived as being a fairly positive persona. You don’t think of Tina Turner as someone dark. You think of the core of Tina Turner being basically a positive thing. And that’s what we wanted. We felt that she might be more tragic in that sense. But more importantly [when] we actually wrote the character, as a shorthand way of describing the character we said someone ‘like Tina Turner’—without even thinking of casting her. We wanted a woman ... we wanted someone who had a lot of power, charisma, someone who would hold a place like that together—or build it in the first place. And we wanted someone who was a survivor.”

10. Mad Max characters’ names hint at their backstories.

One of the most peculiar quirks of Miller’s franchise has to be his bizarre character names. In an interview with Fandango, Miller explained exactly how he comes up with them: “One of the things is that everything in the story has to have some sort of underlying backstory. Not just every character, but every vehicle, every weapon, every costume—and the same with the language. So [the concept] was always found objects, repurposed. Immortan Joe is a slight adjustment to the word 'immortal.' The character Nux says 'mcfeasting' instead of using the word 'feasting,’” Miller explained, adding that his favorite name of all is Fury Road’s The Dag (played by Abbey Lee). “In Australia, the dag is sort of a goofball-type.”

11. George Miller is a proud feminist.

Director George Miller, recipient of the Feature Film Nomination Plaque for “Mad Max: Fury Road," poses in the press room during the 68th Annual Directors Guild Of America Awards at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza on February 6, 2016 in Los Angeles
George Miller poses with the Feature Film Nomination Plaque for Mad Max: Fury Road during the 68th annual Directors Guild Of America Awards in 2016.
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Perhaps evidenced by Charlize Theron’s scene-stealing role as Imperator Furiosa, Miller is a proud, outspoken feminist. He told Vanity Fair, “I’ve gone from being very male dominant to being surrounded by magnificent women. I can’t help but be a feminist.” That female influence even stretched behind the scenes, with Miller asking his wife Margaret Sixel to edit Fury Road. “I said, ‘You have to edit this movie, because it won’t look like every other action movie,” Miller recalled. Moreover, feminist activist Eve Ensler also consulted on the film to offer, according to Ensler herself, “perspective on violence against women around the world, particularly in war zones.”

10 Trailblazing Facts About Susan B. Anthony

Scewing, Wikimedia Commons // Public domain
Scewing, Wikimedia Commons // Public domain

When people think of the suffrage movement, Susan B. Anthony is one of the names that immediately comes to mind. Although she didn't live long enough to vote (legally, at least), her contributions to women’s rights were part of a chain of events that culminated in the Nineteenth Amendment. On the occasion of her 200th birthday on February 15, 2020, here are a few facts you might not know about Anthony’s life and legacy.

1. Susan B. Anthony was born into a family of abolitionists.

A large house
Susan B. Anthony's childhood home, photographed in 1897.
Internet Archive Book Images, Wikimedia Commons // No known copyright restrictions

Susan Brownell Anthony was born into a Quaker family in Adams, Massachusetts, on February 15, 1820. She was the second of seven children, and her entire family was full of activists. Anti-slavery meetings were eventually held at their farm every Sunday, and her father became friends with prominent abolitionists such as Frederick Douglass and William Lloyd Garrison. These experiences shaped her views on equality, and some of her earliest activist work was in support of the abolitionist movement.

2. Susan B. Anthony was a teacher for 10 years.

Susan B. Anthony in her younger years
Susan B. Anthony in her younger years
Wikimedia/NYPL Digital Gallery // Public Domain

Teaching was one of the few professions open to women of Anthony's era. She taught from 1839 to 1849, eventually becoming principal of the girls' department at Canajoharie Academy in upstate New York. During her decade as a teacher, she spoke publicly about the need for higher pay for female teachers, as well as more professional opportunities for women.

3. Susan B. Anthony was BFFs with Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony
Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony in 1870

A mutual acquaintance, Amelia Bloomer, introduced Anthony to Elizabeth Cady Stanton in 1851. You could say it was friendship at first sight. Stanton later said of her first impression of Anthony, "I liked her thoroughly, and why I did not at once invite her home with me to dinner, I do not know." More than pals, they were also close collaborators with similar views. Together, they would eventually found the National Woman Suffrage Association and also start up a women's rights newspaper called The Revolution. Although their personal lives were very different, they found a way to use it to their advantage. Anthony, who never married or had children, was free to attend rallies and speaking engagements across the country. Stanton had seven children, so she wrote from home as a means of influencing the movement.

4. Susan B. Anthony's first public speech was about the dangers of alcohol.

Susan B. Anthony
Library of Congress/Wikimedia // No known restrictions

Anthony didn’t attend her first women's rights convention until she was in her thirties. Before that, she was active in the temperance movement, which advocated stronger liquor laws and preached the dangers of heavy drinking. She gave her first public speech at a Daughters of Temperance event, but when she was denied the right to speak at a Sons of Temperance convention a few years later, she and Stanton decided to form their own Women's State Temperance Society. They launched a petition to get the state legislature to limit the sale of liquor, but it was revoked because most of the signers were women and children. Anthony and Stanton realized they’d never be taken seriously until women gained the right to vote, so their priorities started to shift around this time.

5. Susan B. Anthony cut her hair and dressed differently to prove a point.

Amelia Bloomer in the outfit she designed, with
Amelia Bloomer in the outfit she designed, with "bloomers"
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Many activists and suffragists argued that women should be free to wear less restrictive clothes than the corsets and heavy underskirts that dominated in those days. To prove their point, many women wore trouser-like bloomers (named for Amelia Bloomer, who advocated them) under their skirts. Following in the footsteps of Stanton, Anthony cut her long, brown hair and started wearing bloomers, albeit somewhat reluctantly. She was ridiculed for her new look, and ultimately decided that the negative attention detracted from the message she wanted to convey. She reverted to her old ways after a year.

6. Susan B. Anthony believed that riding bicycles was one of the best ways to fight the patriarchy.

Women cyclists
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Bicycles were kind of a big deal for women in the 19th century. The machines gave women a sense of independence and mobility that they hadn't enjoyed before, allowing them to leave their houses without having to ask their husbands for a ride. As Anthony once put it, "I think [bicycling] has done more to emancipate women than any one thing in the world. I rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a wheel. It gives her a feeling of self-reliance and independence the moment she takes her seat; and away she goes, the picture of untrammeled womanhood."

7. Susan B. Anthony opposed the Fifteenth amendment.

Susan B. Anthony
Susan B. Anthony circa 1890
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

One of the biggest criticisms lobbed against Anthony and Stanton is that they didn’t support the Fifteenth Amendment, which gave black men the right to vote. The pair were upset that the amendment didn't include women, so they splintered from other suffragist groups and formed their own National Woman Suffrage Association. "There was a battle among abolitionists … between having a Fifteenth Amendment that gave black men the vote or holding out for a suffrage amendment that granted the vote to all adult Americans," Lori D. Ginzberg, author of a biography about Stanton, told NPR. Anthony and Stanton opted for the latter, and their decision has been the subject of controversy ever since.

8. Susan B. Anthony was jailed for voting.

A monument at the site where Anthony voted, illegally, in the 1872 election
A monument at the site where Anthony voted, illegally, in the 1872 election

Anthony and 15 other women showed up at the polls to vote in the presidential election of 1872, which pitted Horace Greeley against the incumbent, Ulysses S. Grant. Considering that women were barred from voting at the time, this was a symbolic gesture as well as an act of civil disobedience. (But for what it's worth, Anthony voted for President Grant.) When Anthony was later politely asked by an officer to come down to the precinct to face arrest, she demanded that she be "arrested properly" in the same way a man would be arrested. This request was granted, but her trial wasn’t exactly fair. She wasn't permitted to testify, and the judge instructed the jury to find her guilty. Anthony was ultimately handed a fine of $100, which she refused to pay. Although her actions greatly influenced the suffrage movement, she never did have the chance to vote legally. The Nineteenth Amendment passed 13 years after her death.

9. Susan B. Anthony's face was almost carved into Mount Rushmore.

Workers construct George Washington's image on Mount Rushmore
Rise Studio, Rapid City, S. Dak, Wikimedia Commons // Public domain

In 1937 Congress considered adding Anthony's face to the famed mountain after the Washington and Jefferson portions were completed. However, that idea was scrapped after the House Appropriations Committee said the funds must only be used to complete the sculptures that were already underway (which, at that time, included the Lincoln and Roosevelt sections).

10. Susan B. Anthony was the first woman to appear on circulating U.S. currency.

Susan B. Anthony on the one-dollar coin
Alex Bergin, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The U.S. Treasury Department decided to set a new precedent by putting Anthony's face on a one-dollar coin starting in 1979. However, it looked a little too much like a quarter and cash registers didn’t have a designated space for them, so the coin wasn't widely circulated. Anthony may get a second chance, though, when she appears on the back of the redesigned $10 bill. (The timeline for the redesign, announced in 2016, is currently unclear.) Other influential women expected to appear on the redesigned $10 include Stanton, Lucretia Mott, Sojourner Truth, and Alice Paul.

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