History or Myth?

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shammydodger | 21:16 Fri 16th Jun 2006 | History
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Which historical "fact", which in reality is a myth, is guaranteed to get you arguing in your local after a few Babychams, should you hear someone spouting it as truth? Mine, at the moment, is the myth that "American Pie" was the name of the aeroplane that Buddy Holly et al died in.


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I heard that and I believed it, but

Dwyer Flying Service got the charter. $36 per person for a single engine Beechcraft Bonanza.

No, the plane wasn't named American Pie. It only had serial numbers, N3794N

Oh well The arguments I have is that Marilyn Monroe was murdered by the secret service. Not babychams but pints of cider!


"The Magna Carta was signed by King John". No it wasn't; it was sealed with his royal seal. In fact there is no historical fact that he could even write!

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Hmm Big Al1st. The Monroe industry is right up there with JFK and Jack the Ripper for making money on the back of nonsense passed off as fact.
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Okay, I'll post another. The myth is that the Titanic sent the first SOS distress signal.

Hi Shammy, Dont go with the Titanic. I compile quizzes for charities and that was a question I asked, from a quiz book with the answer as the Titanic. Half the answers I got stated Titanic and the others named anyone of four ships so I spent hours Googling.

If you are interested I will tell you what I got and see what u got. I was surprised as being an ex Radio Officer I was certain it was the Titanic Rgds Al

Shammy, On the same subject fact or fiction SOS means "Save Our Souls" and the English invented it?
It's often stated as fact that the actress, Jayne Mansfield was decapitated in a car crash. The poor woman received appalling head injuries, but her head was not removed.

Drusilla Hi

I always thought she was decapitated. This thread could throw out some interesting facts here! That two things I thought I knew shot down in flames. Rgds Al

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Big Al1st

As far as I am aware, the first SOS distress signal was transmitted by the SS Slavonia on June 10th 1909, when it was wrecked near the Azores. Does that agree with your research?

The question crops up quite regularly in pub quizzes, and the quizmaster invariably gives the answer as Titanic. It's one of those that everybody is sure of the answer, except that it's not the answer!

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......and wasn't SOS used because of the unambiguity of the signal, in the sense that even the rankest amateur could remember it, send it and recognise it? So, yes, it has nothing to do with "Save Our Souls."

Shammy Top of the class. Come and collect your lollipop. Below is the explanation I gave to the question

Question 29. The Titanic was not the first ship to use SOS. The first ship was the Cunard Liner SS Slavonia in June 1909. The Arapaphoe sent out an SOS distress in August 1909. The Titanic sunk in April 1912.

What about the meaning of SOS as in my other post.

Any ideas for two lollipops Rgds Al

Shammy Crossed your post there.

Another lollipop. Before SOS the distress signal was CQD which means CQ=All stations/ships D=Distress. As you state it was decided that SOS was easier to remember in Morse Code

SOS was invented by the Germans and does not mean "Save Our Souls". However the reason why it took so long for the majority of ships, particularly British Ships, to use SOS was that at that time we did not like the Germans and wanted nothing to do with it. Indeed the Titanic sent out CQD as well as SOS. The Californian Radio Officer went to bed at 1145 just before the first CQD

1912 it was decreed that there should always be a 24 hour radio watch when at sea.

The Roman Emperor, Caligula did not make his horse, Incitatus a Consul of Rome, nor did Catherine the Great of Russia have intimate relations with horses. She didn't die underneath one, either.

The Bible.

King Charles walked and talked half an hour after his head was cut off. But a comma might make it true.

Hi Drusilla, You should not have posted that answer. You may have opened up a can of worms here. Suggest you start tracing you family lol

Later in the year Caligula's favorite sister, Drusilla, died; he had been so close to her that there were rumors of incest.

Hi Brionon, Can you expand a bit more about King Charles. Sun has made a bit thick and dont quite understand. Sorry Al

Hi Big Al1st. I chose the name Drusilla because my brother used to wear little boots when we were children and he was nicknamed Caligula. As I like to think I'm his favourite sister, I decided to choose it as a user name.

There have been a number of revisions about Caligula by historians and the latest thinking is he was not mad, but had a poor PR agent.

That the shooting of Archduke Franz Ferdinand started the First World War.
Not a myth that it happened but ridiculous to suggest it was the cause of the war.
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I liked that one!

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.....and another:

Was in the 19th hole the other day, when somebody came out with the old chestnut that the word "golf" originated as an acronym for "gentlemen only, ladies forbidden." It's a good job I'd put my niblick away, otherwise the said fellow might now be walking around with a crevice in his skull!

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