When is a Fact not a Fact? Well, sometimes, could it be when the teacher tells you something that isn’t true?
Kardtects can be used to build a variety of things besides card houses. They can be used to build rocket ships, battleships, even robots. All it takes is imagination, and that’s a fact. Yet all facts aren’t that simple. As many ‘facts’ just depend on perspective. For example, to one person a stack of cards may look like a dragon, but to someone else, they just look like a stack of cards.
What is more interesting about facts is when they are just simply wrong, and even better are if they are said by teachers and you get to tell them they are wrong.
One of the most common facts told by American school teachers to their pupils, is that the White House, the residence of the President of the United States, is painted white because of it being badly burnt by the British in 1814; and because of this, it was quickly painted white to cover the heavy scorch marks.
Although it is true it was torched, and it was painted white afterwards, it was white before this event. The Presidential residence was first painted white in 1798 soon after its walls were finished, in the common act of protecting the porous stone from freezing. Indeed, the building was even called the ‘White House’, before its burning in 1814, as a Congressman Abijah Bigelow wrote to a colleague on March 18, 1812;
“There is much trouble at the White House, as we call it, I mean the President’s” (quoted in W. B. Bryan, “The Name White House,” Records of the Columbia Historical Society 34-35 : 308).
So, feel free to ask your teacher if she/he knows why the White House is called the White House. If they say it was because it was painted white after the British burned it, then they are wrong. It was called the White House at least two years before then.