History can be the driest, mind numbing, and boring topic known to mankind. Its no wonder that no one remembers historic events since you're only taught names and dates rather than why such an event occurred or what else was going on during that period.
The Missing Link
In 1907 some laborers who were digging in a gravel pit near Piltdown, England found a few pieces of bone. Charles Dawson, an amature archaeologist, verified the antiquity of the bones and said they were part of a skull and possibly human. Further digging around the site surfaced a jawbone in 1912. Arthur Woodward of the British Museum verified that the bones were ancient with the skull of a human and the jaw of an ape. The evolutionary link between man and the apes had been discovered. The fossils became known as the Dawn Man.
It wasn't until 1953 that the " Piltdown Man" was exposed as a forgery when scientists performed X-ray analysis on the site specimens and revealed that the missing link artifacts had been planted in the excavated area.
The White House was not always "white". The original building, built at the end o the 18th century was brownstone and called the Presidential Palace. However, our British friends across the pond set fire to it during the War of 1812. During restoration, they needed to cover up the burn marks on the building. White paint was used for this purpose and people began referring to it as the White House. Teddy Roosevelt made this name official.