10 History Myths You Probably Still Believe

1. Kennedy’s faux pas in Germany


An amusing anecdote has it that John F. Kennedy once sent the citizens of Berlin into a fit of giggles by telling them that he was a doughnut. Purely by accident, of course: he said, “Ich bin ein Berliner” meaning “I am a Berliner”, but the indefinite article “ein” made it sound like he meant a jelly doughnut.

Funny as it is, this is just one of the more recent history myths. In fact, Berliner doughnuts are not even called that in Berlin: they are known as Pfannküchen. And anyway, upon hearing Kennedy’s words most people would have understood the intended meaning without an immediate association with doughnuts. Because, you know, most people expect a foreigner to make small mistakes in their language.

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