When I was little I thought that the First World War was at the beginning of time and all the history one learned at school (1066, Tudors etc.) was later. I also believed that one of the main changes over the course of history was that men's hair got shorter and shorter (this was the early 1960s)
I used to believe that President Ford invented the automobile.
I was 6 when the Chernobil reactor blew. I remember watching the news, and they of course refered to to it as 'The Plant'. For about a year I believed that there was this humongous green plant growing in Russia, and poisening everyone that came near.
When I was in kindergarten our class learned the song Rudolph the Red nosed Reindeer - and the line about him going down in history confused me, so I asked mum what HISTORY was. She told me it was all about old men and women and buildings. So for the longest time I imagined this giant hole (kind of like a swirling black hole) that sucked old people and buildings in - since Rudolph was going to go down into it.
For no readily apparent reason I used to think the history of the world was in my great-grandads long beard.
I was a kid in the 60's, and used to believe that, because male hippies had long hair, all female hippies must have short hair. I just thought the whole point of being a hippie was to be contrary.
I used to think that the Elgin Marbles were actually the kind of marbles we used to play in the street with, and not great big statues. I couldn't understand what all the fuss was about and why they wanted them back.
I once read a book about a young woman growing up in the Victorian era, and at one point she talked about having to sew darts into her bodice. I figured that was how women defended themselves back then, by keeping sharp objects known as "darts" hidden in their bodices.
well, this belief persisted into high school, until I was humiliatingly corrected in a history class, but since I'm STILL a kid I think it counts... I used to believe that Walt Whitman (poet) and Charles Whitman (guy who shot people from the tower in Austin TX) were the same guy, that later in life Walt Whitman went nuts and went up in that tower and shot everybody, and that this tower was called the ALAMO, and that's why they said "remember the Alamo", like "remember that time Walt Whitman went up in that tower and shot all those people?"
I used to believe (and still do) that my history teacher came from another era and travelled through time to teach us our lessons, then go back to whatever era he was supposed to be in.
My father believed that President Lincoln was famous for freeing the sleighs. Dad hypothesized they must have gotten stuck in a snow drift, and Lincoln went out and got them unstuck. Really.
when i was little, for some reason i was convinced that vincent van gogh cut off his ear because he didn't want to hear the traffic outside because he thought it was distracting. it didn;t occur to me until much later that he lived long before cars were invented.
From when I was five until I was about seven, I thought humans had evolved from bears, not apes.
I used to believe that until gravity was invented, people used to just float around!
I had a very foggy understanding of evolution. Reading the Declaration of Independence, I was shocked that monkeys could write.
I thought Marco Polo was Irish.
I used to believe the “Great Depression" was a weather-related occurrence. All the pictures I'd seen were of terribly unhappy-looking people taken in shades of grey. Being aware that I was happier on sunny days than on cloudy ones and having a working knowledge of the effect of light on photography, I put two and two together and assumed that the sky had been overcast for so long that large numbers of people became depressed. At some point I was educated on the economic application of the word “depression” and also learned that the photos I’d seen had been taken with black & white film. I was more amazed by the fact that there hadn’t always been color film than I was by the economic ramifications of the stock market crash. I didn’t understand why my grandparents complained about getting paid a few dollars a week. The pay sounded great – but not having color film? Now THERE was a real hardship . . .
I used to think that the evolution of species included the transition from the "big, fancy white hair" of Federalist justices/presidents/etc. (pre-Jefferson) to our current bald, sometimes dark-haired politicians. I thought it had become genetically impossible to have those luxurious white locks.
When I was 9 years old, I heard my dad listening to something on the Discovery Channel about the Great Depression. Using my warped information, I concluded that the Great Depression was caused by large numbers of people jumping off of tall buildings and creating a huge hole (or depression) in the street.
I used to believe when i was about 4 (now 15) that dinosours died because they didn't brush their teeth