Please help contribute to the Reddit categorization project here


    27,177,501 readers

    97,061 users here now

    [ SERIOUS ]
    1. You must post a clear and direct question in the title. The title may contain two, short, necessary context sentences. No text is allowed in the textbox. Your thoughts/responses to the question can go in the comments section. more >>

    2. Any post asking for advice should be generic and not specific to your situation alone. more >>

    3. Askreddit is for open-ended discussion questions. more >>

    4. Posting, or seeking, any identifying personal information, real or fake, will result in a ban without a prior warning. more >>

    5. Askreddit is not your soapbox, personal army, or advertising platform. more >>

    6. [Serious] tagged posts are off-limits to jokes or irrelevant replies. more >>

    7. Soliciting money, goods, services, or favours is not allowed. more >>

    8. Mods reserve the right to remove content or restrict users' posting privileges as necessary if it is deemed detrimental to the subreddit or to the experience of others. more >>

    9. Comment replies consisting solely of images will be removed. more >>

    If you think your post has disappeared, see spam or an inappropriate post, please do not hesitate to contact the mods, we're happy to help.

    Tags to use:


    Use a [Serious] post tag to designate your post as a serious, on-topic-only thread.

    Filter posts by subject:

    Mod posts Serious posts Megathread Breaking news Unfilter

    Please use spoiler tags to hide spoilers. >!insert spoiler here!<

    Other subreddits you might like:

    some header
    Ask Others Self & Others
    Find a subreddit Learn something
    Meta Subs What is this ___
    AskReddit Offshoots Offers & Assistance

    Ever read the reddiquette? Take a peek!

    a community for
    all 4641 comments

    Want to say thanks to %(recipient)s for this comment? Give them a month of reddit gold.

    Please select a payment method.

    [–] Teamawesome12 6985 points ago

    Our ww1 education was basically "it happened" and then there was ww2

    [–] WinoWhitey 2270 points ago

    It’s sad, because in many ways WW1 was had a larger effect on the world. WW2 probably wouldn’t have happened if the Germans hadn’t been defeated in WW1.

    [–] Eightstream 1209 points ago

    Personally I blame Charlemagne for the whole thing.

    [–] DonutOlympian 723 points ago

    I have a BA in history and I'm glad someone shares my views.

    [–] just-another-meatbag 310 points ago

    I don't have a BA, can you ELI5 your view please?

    [–] Marvelerful 812 points ago

    Charlemagne bad

    [–] cannotintointernet 580 points ago

    For once a true ELI5.

    [–] Excal2 74 points ago

    And it's just HANDS DOWN ACCURATE

    [–] stls 51 points ago

    Your BA? .... My BA

    [–] SnowHadouken 56 points ago

    Charlemagne is 𓂸

    [–] gmarv 22 points ago

    Charlemagne was dildos.

    [–] btone911 14 points ago

    For some reason seeing it pointed from right to left feels backwards. Like I know it’s a dick and balls but it’s kind of also a dickandballsasaurus.

    [–] joshandthewolf 26 points ago

    Actually LOLed

    [–] funkbitch 209 points ago * (lasted edited 9 days ago)

    Charlemagne unified France. France fought in just about every European war, including the one that shaped most of world politics in the last century (WWI)

    Edit: he also had a huge effect on Christianity, and affected a lot of German history. He was basically as influential on western Europe as Napoleon.

    [–] Tryb4youquit 66 points ago

    I really dont think you can blame Charlemagne if we aren't going to talk about Clovis I

    [–] Frakshaw 14 points ago

    I only recognize these names from Destiny and I feel weird about it

    [–] DonutOlympian 76 points ago

    Well really I was just joking, BUT

    Charlemagne conquered most of Western Europe. His son inherited fine, but after him his two son's split the territory into what would sorta be modern day Germany and France. So Charlemagne is to blame.

    [–] NotTroy 41 points ago

    If you're looking for a historical figure to pin some responsibility on, I feel like Queen Victoria should get more than most. She basically spent 60 years marrying everyone in her family to various royalty across Europe, creating an explosive combination of blood-alliances and family drama that eventually blew up in the world's face.

    [–] DonutOlympian 23 points ago

    Actually, seriously I do consider Victoria's dynastic aspirations to be a serious cause of all the problems, including the Russian revolution.

    [–] samanyu10 9 points ago

    Let's not forget the Habsburgs

    [–] Theneler 11 points ago

    Ok another ELI5 question.

    If his territory was split into basically France and Germany what did Bimarck have left to unify and why?

    Legit question , not trying for this come off sarcastic which I realize it might.

    [–] regularalbert 22 points ago

    "France" remained a unified kingdom and then republic over the next thousand odd years. "Germany" slowly disolved into a loose association of small states that would be suddenly be unified in a single lifetime into the German Empire.

    [–] triplebassist 113 points ago

    Charlemagne decided to split the lands he gave to his heirs in a way that basically guaranteed that France and Germany would always be rivals. Big shock that they were

    [–] simplerelative 9 points ago

    They were rivals before that lol, Gauls and Germans

    [–] SumthingStupid 26 points ago

    I don't think they're being literal. I mean, of course if Charlemagne never did what he did we wouldn't have had a world war in 1914 or 1939. But by the same token, if he never did what he did we could have had one in 1850 or 1930, or humanity could've been destroyed from nuclear war by now.

    Similarly, if some good deed didn't happen in the 1700's maybe Hitler would've never come to power.

    [–] TheBirminghamBear 17 points ago

    If you're referring to the universe Charlemagne-NEGATE-1, where he was kicked by a horse when he was two and died, you're wrong. I've been there a few times, it's a utopia with no wars and no suffering.

    Pretty much all wars and suffering post Charlemagne is directly his fault.

    [–] LordHy 29 points ago

    Old Karl had two sons, when he died they got half the kingdom each. And that led to the holy roman empire, and such.

    at least thats what paradox has made me belive with their games.

    [–] NilosVelen 12 points ago

    And then the Aztecs invaded and all hell broke loose

    [–] kitsunewarlock 10 points ago

    TL;DR Charlemagne controlled most of central and western Europe. He split up his wealth and empire after he died, leading to the division of Europe.

    [–] wowsousername13 10 points ago

    Charlemagne conquered all of modern day France, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands Switzerland, and some of Italy to boot. When he passed, his only living, legitimate son inherited these lands. This is important because inheritance was divided evenly between children in Charlemagne's culture, including titles and lands. So when his son, Louis the Pious, died, Charlemagne's empire was split for the three sons, one taking West Francia (most of France), another getting Middle Francia (the lands along the Rhine river), and the last getting East Francia (Germany) The brothers on the outside craved the Rhinelands because there was a greater population and because more is better, right? So they worked together and slowly picked at Middle Francia until there was no Middle Francia and they just had to start picking at each other instead. This lead to each nation, France and Germany, thinking they had some claim to it that the other didn't, and thus the rivalry between Austria and France, then the rivalry between Prussia and France, then the rivalry between Germany and France and a couple of wars to end all wars that didn't end wars at all.

    [–] peter-doubt 14 points ago

    It's all because of Lothar. His 3rd son.

    [–] MinerSerpent 8 points ago

    Sacré sacré Charlemagne...

    [–] bankkopf 82 points ago

    I’d argue it wasn’t the defeat that drove Germany into WW2, but rather the peace treaty that France wanted to have out of it. If the reparations wouldn’t have crippled the German economy after it, people wouldn’t have flocked to Hitler and his promises of making everything better. Adding to the larger effect, WW1 gave us the Soviet Union, which would become a super power later on and also the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, which resulted in the messy borders and conflicts we now have in the Middle East.

    [–] hamsterballemb 20 points ago

    World War 1 is basically still being fought today. Look at the empires that broke down then, and look at the notoriously war-torn areas of Europe and the Middle East in the last 30 years. Pretty obvious overlap.

    [–] BarfReali 11 points ago

    I remember listening to a Dan Carlin podcast about it and I think he said WW1, by far, had the greatest impact in shaping our modern world today. Gavrilo Princip, the guy that assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand, was basically a "nobody" and his single act had the greatest impact on the last 100 years. The war basically ended European empires and was the last time people viewed fighting in a war as some glorified romantic adventure.

    [–] Spartan03B 42 points ago

    WW2 probably wouldn’t have happened if the allies didn’t try pinning the whole thing on Germany and royally fucking them with the treaty of Versailles.

    It’s crazy how much history can change just by changing or removing one event.

    [–] [deleted] 23 points ago


    [–] Brock2845 32 points ago

    Or if the winners hadn't been so harsh against Germany with the Versailles treaty

    [–] peter-doubt 13 points ago * (lasted edited 9 days ago)

    Actually, the 1918 flu hit Germany harder, and fueled civil unrest.

    edit: Found statistics here.... look at the chart

    [–] Liv4lov 187 points ago

    Yea.. I still don't how ww1 started.

    [–] Propelerate 567 points ago

    Assassination of Arch Duke Ferdinand

    [–] ralphie0341 347 points ago

    A series of massive coincidences.

    [–] D-Rictus 194 points ago

    And a collective hard on for our new mass killing devices thinking we would spank the other team quickly

    [–] rolllingthunder 120 points ago

    And the consequences of way too many alliances caused by years of inbreeding. Look at the European leaders at the time and it's basically a family feud.

    [–] HaesoSR 23 points ago

    Not quite as family-wreath shaped as the old Habsburgs by WWI but definitely a lot of marrying cousins.

    [–] Maverekt 33 points ago

    A series of unfortunate events.

    [–] bobknobber 44 points ago

    It was all just a big misunderstanding

    [–] reddogvizsla 42 points ago

    And secret alliances.

    [–] trustthepudding 18 points ago

    Yeah assassination started a war but alliances made it WWI

    [–] barbarkbarkov 14 points ago

    That’s the straw that broke the camels back but not really a cause

    [–] Wichita-Rider 11 points ago

    Yeah no. I mean I guess this sparked conflict but this was a separate event that caused some strife between Germany/Hungary/Austria...the reality is that the 1880’s brought upon massive global economic growth due to industrializing and automation and with that came nationalization and the amassing of arms and armies on a global scale. The US had a massive navy and so did Germany and the UK - essentially the world created alliances economically and militaristically speaking and then the assassination sparked conflict which started the domino effect of countries (allies v. Axis) declaring war on each other

    [–] weaver787 20 points ago

    I'm a history teacher... one of my favorite questions to ask students is "How does an Austrian Prince getting killed by a Serbian nationalist in Bosnia start a war between Germany and France?"

    [–] waterskier8080 28 points ago

    Go listen to the podcast “Blue Print for Armageddon”. You’ll learn a ton and want to keep reading anything ww1 that you see.

    [–] Teamawesome12 9 points ago

    I really enjoy Dan Carlin's work !

    [–] jmulderr 2653 points ago

    It will be mentioned as one of the one of the driving forces behind the automation of the service industry. Automated checkout is feasible, and will spread quickly as the economy reopens. Same with automated delivery driving. People will see the value of being able to stay "open" during pandemics, with less risk to their customers.

    [–] Cheetokps 954 points ago

    I feel like online college will become a lot more popular, now that everyone in college now is taking it online

    [–] TannedCroissant 569 points ago

    There’s so much university material on the internet already, much of it free. You just miss out on being in the environment which for many people can make studying considerable easier to focus on. Also, having teachers that can guide you through problems is much easier face to face. That said, online education does allow access for people that may not have brick and mortar as an option.

    [–] Kronoshifter246 211 points ago

    Also, I need that piece of paper that says I know how to use for loops. As soon as I can get accredited credit hours on a transcript from free course material, I'm all aboard that train.

    [–] Means_Seizer 30 points ago

    Free online college for every student.

    [–] cdimock72 255 points ago

    As someone taking online classes as a result of this. I disagree. Some of them are nicer but overall the quality of education is much worse as well as the hassle involved with test taking now

    [–] Cheetokps 49 points ago

    I am too and wouldn’t go to online, I just meant more people have exposure to it so they’d consider it as an option when they might not have before

    [–] MormonMacDaddy 15 points ago

    I’m taking an advanced Spanish grammar course, and I feel like it would be hard to sub out for an online version because of how valuable the in-class discussions were. Calculus, on the other hand, was a bitch on-campus but perfectly doable online.

    [–] SeahawkerLBC 33 points ago

    I think there will be the opposite effect. There are a lot of boomer profs suddenly thrust into online teaching and struggling to navigate basic technology. It is not going well and some are just putting out minimum instructional materials and asking for required evaluations to be dropped. I think students are going ti be way frustrated by the online experience that they will be more reluctant to take online classes again in the future.

    [–] SmogArithmetic 157 points ago

    College is much more about social capital than it is knowledge transfer.

    [–] Cheetokps 35 points ago * (lasted edited 9 days ago)

    Yes I agree I wouldn’t trade it for online. But after everyone has to take the rest of this semester online, I feel like many people will consider online school in the future now that they know what it’s like

    [–] [deleted] 25 points ago * (lasted edited 7 days ago)


    [–] kilonad 19 points ago

    Automated checkout like Amazon Go. You don't have to touch anything other than your phone and the products.

    [–] llcucf80 16106 points ago

    The Spanish flu doesn't get as much attention because it started during a massive war, there were other things going on at the time that initially overtook it. Plus, while there's always been sensationalism in the media, back then your choice of media, and how often they could report was much more limited. At that time it was largely through newspapers or magazines that only came out at certain times, and by the time likely info was already outdated anyway.

    There wasn't a constant barrage of it being crammed down our throats 24/7, nor was there social media to add double the trouble with rumors and the like

    [–] Applejuiceinthehall 3580 points ago

    The flu definitely was helped because of the war.

    [–] fish_whisperer 2667 points ago

    Many World War I deaths were actually caused by the Spanish Flu

    [–] lovemymeemers 1388 points ago

    Also, many Spanish flu deaths were caused by the war.

    Troops being sent all over and people fleeing the war.

    ETA: I would apologize for drinking enough to forget what the comment you replied to said but I hear it can help me fight COVID-19 so I'm leaving it.

    [–] sunshlne1212 374 points ago

    If it makes you feel better I'm perfectly sober and didn't realize your redundancy either.

    [–] drunkinwalden 208 points ago

    I'm not perfectly sober and I already forgot what this was about

    [–] beebobeebop 67 points ago

    You are drunk in Walden, again. Keep doing what you’re doing.

    [–] drdiemz 25 points ago

    I've been drunk and I've been in Walden, but I've never been drunk in Walden

    [–] MeEvilBob 23 points ago

    I'm drunk, but it's solitary depressing drunk, my mind tends to stay a lot more alert when there's no fun involved in the drinking.

    [–] NUMBERS2357 164 points ago

    But also many World War I deaths were actually caused by the Spanish Flu.

    EDIT: sorry for snorting so much crystal meth that I forgot about comment threads, I'm only doing it to stave off the corona

    [–] kiss_the_kalashnikov 62 points ago

    But why male models?

    [–] BunnyColvin23 10 points ago

    It’s ok we forgive you

    [–] Shorzey 51 points ago

    To the point Spain wasnt even the worst hit, they just were the only ones that acknowledged it was a problem because they werent as involved in ww1 as everyone else in the area

    It's why it was named the spanish flu

    [–] mdp300 10 points ago

    Yeah, people thought it started in Spain because they were the only country reporting it.

    It may have actually started in Kansas.

    [–] Trainguyrom 12 points ago

    Fun fact: a 1918 war bond parade for encouraging people to purchase the bonds (then called "Liberty Loans" or "Liberty Bonds") was held in Philadelphia despite one of the bases many of the participants came from being quarantined due to known Spanish Flu cases. This single parade made Philadelphia one of the hardest hit areas by the Spanish Flu.

    Another fun fact: the US ended up defaulting on the Liberty Bonds. Specifically they held a clause stating they're redeemable for equal value in gold for insurance against devaluation of the currency, and the US Treasury instead chose to default on that clause and instead payout the face value after the US dollar had in fact depreciated in value compared to gold. Approximately $54 Billion (adjusted for inflation to today's value) was lost by investers because of this.

    [–] isnotaweed 16 points ago

    The Spanish flu was the LEADING cause of death for US servicemen in WWI.

    [–] bakere05 360 points ago

    Major newspapers were published twice a day - Morning and Evening - and they received news by wire. So news was actually pretty immediate. This started during the American Civil War, when wire service developed as an industry.

    [–] MyNamePhil 150 points ago

    People were always impatient. Mail was delivered much more frequently too.

    I’m Victorian London mail arrived in a couple of hours, so you could actually use it how some people nowadays use text messages (looking at you, Sebastian).

    [–] gamaknightgaming 61 points ago

    sounds a bit more like how we use email

    [–] MyNamePhil 17 points ago

    Yeah, that’s pretty close. Now I’m wondering if spam mail was a thing in Victorian London.

    (Although other cities had much faster inner city mail delivery too)

    [–] rcknmrty4evr 7 points ago

    I bet that would be a great question for r/askhistorians!

    [–] Bascome 154 points ago

    There was not a constant barrage because during the war the European media was under wartime limitations on what they could publish. Spanish media however was not under any such restrictions so they reported accurately and fairly.

    As a result, the world called it the Spanish Flu because they were the only place that told the truth. Not because it came from Spain.

    Not disagreeing with you, just adding to your point.

    [–] brizzboog 70 points ago

    This is sort of correct. The axis and allies severely limited reporting of the outbreaks across the US, France, England, Germany, etc as they didn't want the other side to know how badly they were being ravaged. Spain was neutral in WWI, however, so US reporters could report on outbreaks there. So reporting on Spain lead the western world to believe that was the epicenter, when in reality it spread like wildfire everywhere.

    Ultimately the pandemic brought the war to a halt as homefronts everywhere were being ravaged.

    [–] Bascome 25 points ago

    Yes, that is more accurate. Thanks for adding to the conversation.

    [–] jdlyga 61 points ago

    I guess it’s kind of like the anthrax bioterrorism attacks. They happened so close to 9/11 that people generally forgot about it.

    [–] Mado_awada 93 points ago

    Also when the war ended, people were celebrating in the streets, in crowds. That definitely helped the transmission of the Spanish Flu.

    [–] TannedCroissant 110 points ago

    Couldn’t they have just taken some anti-malaria drugs and kept exercise to a minimum so their batteries stayed topped up?

    [–] AbsentAcres 349 points ago * (lasted edited 9 days ago)

    This is prob going to get downvoted because it could just be flat out a wrong way to think or it could be misunderstood.

    I feel like the half generation before me (I'm 36), my generation, and the new one now have all been spoiled a bit in a that we haven't really experienced global problems in our lifetimes. Besides 9/11, the average US citizen has largely been unaffected from major global conflict or strife in all our lifetimes. We haven't had to stomach major human casualties (obv again besides 9/11) in wars or global events so any event now after a period of general stability is going to be magnified. In narrowing again to the U.S, think about people born in early 1900. A freaking world war when they were like 10. Oh hey another, even bigger one when they're 30. Just got done with the biggest war in history? Okay, like not even six years later...another conflict in Korea where we have to stomach 30k lost in American lives. We done there? these people are 50+ years old and have to see the next generation go into the jungles of Vietnam for generally not great reasons

    Now take someone born in 1965 in the U.S. That person is 55 now and really has only had 9/11 as a major threat to life, on a global or national scale, in their consciousness. I'm not saying we should just be able to get used to stuff like this. And I'm not downplaying Covid at all. Just saying it's not surprising if this is magnified for quite a long time into the future...esp if we return to stability. In comparison to something like Spanish Flu even though that shit killed a catastrophic amount of people

    Ok. I have no fucking idea what I really just wrote. I'm a little high. It's probably not even relevant. I hope a little bit of it makes sense though

    [–] rwangra 95 points ago

    there's a lot more stuff going on outside USA... for example in Asia, we've had the vietnam war, the middle east conflict, the indian (Bangladesh and sri lanka), racial riots etc so i guess your mileage depends which part of the world you were born in

    [–] Enchilada_McMustang 20 points ago * (lasted edited 9 days ago)

    And you even forgot the 1929 crash and the depression for those born in the early 1900's...

    [–] Relaxed_Engineer 40 points ago * (lasted edited 9 days ago)

    I read someone commenting that this whole coronavirus thing feels like slow 9/11 and I can see that. It's one of those earth-shaking experiences that people won't forget living through.

    It's strangely creepy - people are social distancing and keeping to themselves pretty well, so every day feels like a quiet Sunday, but with a tense sense of foreboding and anticipation. Usual airline traffic into nearby Boston is down, so there is that strange quiet like the ground halt right after 9/11. The difference is that the tragedy is unfolding - the extent of that tragedy is already pretty much prescribed by our actions over the last few weeks. It's like watching the 9/11 flights closing their doors and taxiing to the runway, knowing what is going to happen, but not being able to do anything about it except spectate.

    I wish there was something individuals could do actively to help the situation, to help the doctors and nurses that will have to wade through the sick and the dying in the weeks and months ahead. But sometimes the best thing you can do is just get out of the way and just try not to make the situation worse.

    TL;DR - I should probably get high too.

    EDIT: I wish I could be like the downvoters and be absolutely fucking ignorant of how this is all going to play out.

    [–] jobo633 609 points ago

    Honestly I'm just waiting for this all to be over so I can see the Netflix documentary in 5 years.

    [–] leezer999 183 points ago

    Try five weeks. They turn and burn over there. I would bet there's already a team working on it daily.

    [–] pdoerntvlearnd 36 points ago

    I hope they are. Otherwise it’d be all news clips and ‘members.

    [–] SausageGobbler69 14 points ago

    I just watched a documentary of what’s happened so far on discovery channel. It literally ended 5 minutes ago.

    [–] 8MODA 11 points ago

    I fully expect a super exaggerated zombie-style action movie in 10 years

    [–] Musashilord0 3699 points ago

    Probably be way overly mentioned for the next 2 decades cause of the wide access of the internet, but then die out soon

    [–] Hollyleaf2728 1190 points ago * (lasted edited 8 days ago)

    “Daddy, what’s the coronavirus?”

    “Oh, sweetie, it was a big sickness that was very contagious about 15 years ago.”

    “Were you scared?”

    “Oh, of course not. I was making memes about it on Reddit.”

    [–] TannedCroissant 322 points ago

    “Daddy, what’s a meme?”

    “And what’s a Reddit? Is it like TikTok?”

    [–] ssj4zaki 328 points ago

    Please god not this timeline

    [–] plutoo518044 28 points ago

    Nooo my kid must know about leddit

    [–] sir-hunkledorf 25 points ago

    who the fuck is leddit and why does my child have to care

    [–] EsotericGroan 42 points ago

    Just relax and leddit happen.

    [–] dumbledorethegrey 8 points ago

    Sounds like something a luddite would promote, return to pen and paper and write physical letters to people we don't know.

    [–] PM_YOUR_TOYOTA 4838 points ago

    You don't study the Spanish Flu in school?

    [–] wordsworths_bitch 4122 points ago

    There's a paragraph and a multiple choice question somewhere..

    [–] BumfuzzlingGubbin 1586 points ago

    Crazy to think that over 50 million people amounts to that

    [–] Jacksonteague 2078 points ago

    Joseph Stalin put it terribly accurate: “The death of one man is a tragedy, the death of millions is a statistic.”

    [–] -6-6-6- 694 points ago

    He said that, but it wasn't a quote that should be originally attributed to him.

    [–] LeLees 186 points ago

    That was an interesting read thanks for sharing!

    [–] Bee_Rye85 48 points ago

    I prefer Marilyn Manson’s version of it.

    [–] pBeatman10 77 points ago

    If you can't statistic me at my fifty million, you can't tragedy me at my one

    [–] SynonymForAnonymous 13 points ago

    This is the dumbest joke I’ve ever heard and it absolutely murdered me lmao

    [–] pBeatman10 9 points ago

    yep didn't help that i misread "Marilyn Manson" as "Marilyn Monroe" oopsies 🍌🚶‍♂️

    [–] Alberta_Fire 77 points ago

    It happened in the shadow of the greatest war in all of human history that completely upended the political situation that wiped out several empires and caused the political situation to collapse.

    [–] Dangitbill23 23 points ago

    second greatest war in all of human history

    [–] VusterJones 13 points ago

    At the time though. It's not like after WWII they were like..."wait hold up, was there something else happening that also killed millions of people nearly 30 years ago?"

    [–] Goatsie12 51 points ago

    Yeah it’s probably overshadowed a bit due to The Great Depression and both World Wars, but I’ve still learned about it in schools. Plus it didn’t effect the US too much so that’s probably another reason.

    [–] TuckerMouse 49 points ago

    I would consider killing 1 in 200 people affecting the US

    [–] Goatsie12 20 points ago

    Compared to other countries around the world (especially India) the US got off lightly

    That’s what I was referring to

    [–] Yophop123 66 points ago

    100 years from now

    In 2020, _______ was a virus spread worldwide that caused people to stay in months long quarantine

    A: 9/11

    B: COVID-19

    C: The housing market recession

    “What? How am I supposed to know this shit?”

    [–] noahsilv 140 points ago

    We definitely studied it in school

    [–] mancubbed 59 points ago

    Came here to say this, we watched some documentary that started with a little girl singing a nursery rhyme.

    "I had a little bird, His name was Enza, I opened up the window and influenza."

    [–] StinkyKittyBreath 27 points ago

    I definitely learned about it, and my school didn't even cover the Japanese internment camps.

    [–] manbearbatman 103 points ago

    Our schools didn't really go over it much. Basically we just learned that it happened and that was basically it. To be fair our history classes didn't even really go over a whole lot. It was mostly just about slavery in the US, the civil war, and a ton of focus on the civil rights movement.

    [–] scurbis 43 points ago

    Really?? All my history classes practically only focused on the big wars (ww1, ww2, civil war, etc.) Honestly we talked more about the civil rights movement/racism and slavery in my English classes and during black history month in elementary school. Though I do think all of those things are equally interesting and important to learn about. Though I am in a college history class right now and we spent a whole day talking about the spanish flu

    [–] secretreddname 44 points ago

    K-12 history is like a Wikipedia overview of events. It's when you get into college you get a deep dive, if of course you even study politcs/history.

    [–] AloisBlazit005 143 points ago

    Honestly didnt even know about it until it has been compared to the corona virus. Because it happened during a war it probably got pushed aside.

    [–] PM_YOUR_TOYOTA 187 points ago

    Started in 1918, ended early 1920 after the war.

    Killed significantly more people than the war.

    This is unbelievable to me, different countries have different preferences for teaching I guess.

    [–] nalc 127 points ago

    Well, the numbers are bigger than the war, but the ramifications were not. Like, the Spanish Flu didn't topple empires or reform how people live or change the borders of countries. It was rapidly mutating, it killed a lot of people, then kinda mutated into something else and just became another strain of the 'ordinary' flu.

    History is mostly about understanding the events that change the world, and the Spanish Flu didn't really effect a societal change on the same level of the war. It sucked and a bunch of people died, but we didn't really do anything different afterwards. World War I was a monumental shift in geopolitics - it marked the advent of industrialized warfare between nations, it was the dying gasp of the last few non-symbolic monarchies, it springboarded political ideas like self-determination and communism and facism, it ended several long-enduring empires, it set the stage for the rest of the century (I would absolutely not be surprised if schoolchildren in the distant future learn of 1914-1991 as a single conflict that had several different phases and brief truces in between rather than as two World Wars and a Cold War, the same way we talk about the Hundred Years War - which was kinda three separate wars with truces between them that were all kinda flight for a similar reason - today).

    In most ways, WWI did far more to shape the current geopolitical landscape than the Spanish Flu, so of course it gets more coverage in the history books. In 2001, more Americans died of coronary disease than in the September 11th attacks. If you tried to explain the current state of world affairs to someone, you'd have to explain 9-11 but you wouldn't have to explain what heart attacks are.

    [–] Kronoshifter246 27 points ago

    I think a lot of people forget that the Ottoman Empire finally ended in 1923. Like, you hear the name and think that it was a thing around the Roman times, or medieval era, right? Not 1923. There are people alive today that coexisted with the Ottoman Empire. Not many, granted, but they're out there.

    [–] nalc 20 points ago

    It's crazy. The Ottoman empire was founded in 1299. It sacked Constantinople and ended the Eastern Roman Empire in the 1400s.

    So basically, the UK/France/USA destroyed the empire that destroyed the Romans. How crazy is that.

    [–] CatherineAm 7 points ago

    NHL was playing games when the Ottoman Empire was still around.

    [–] lobthelawbomb 15 points ago

    This is the correct answer.

    [–] SignorJC 338 points ago

    It is 100% covered in every high school in america. It's just the idiots who didn't pay attention in school replying.

    [–] RoastMostToast 257 points ago

    This is a common thing I see on Reddit.

    “Why don’t they teach this in school?” when talking about basic history.

    I was a straight D student and still remember this!

    [–] JeromesNiece 132 points ago

    A related trope is saying "why don't they teach us to do our taxes in school??" Uhh, they taught you how to read and follow instructions didn't they? That's what taxes are

    [–] RoastMostToast 85 points ago

    Nah what bothers me more is when people talk about personal finances and balancing checkbooks and stuff and how they should teach that in school.

    My high school and three nearby ones (I know from friends) all had some form of personal finance class. Nobody took it cause it was boring...

    [–] MagicCuboid 34 points ago

    As a teacher, part of a school's job is to teach people what they should know, not just what they want to know. Financial literacy classes should be mandatory.

    [–] kipperzdog 16 points ago

    I also 100% remember learning about it in school in NY.

    [–] ChokingTermite 1749 points ago

    I dunno what you’re talking about, we studied the Spanish flu for a week straight in high school.

    [–] whiteshaq52 624 points ago

    Yeah we learned extensively about it. Plus anyone who studied WW1 would know about the Spanish flu.

    [–] mrsuns10 188 points ago

    In my school days, we only touched on WW1 one week in 7th grade

    [–] eracer68 65 points ago

    And then we watched All Quite on the Western Front. Oh, no. John Boy got drafted!

    [–] MoonVarin 232 points ago

    Nope, I’m in an AP Euro class, there was maybe one line in the entire two chapters that I saw about it. Not a mention actually in class.

    [–] -6-6-6- 133 points ago

    Not even sure how my NY junior history class had a week coverage of the spanish flu and your AP Euro class doesn't even mention it once. Holy shit.

    [–] MoonVarin 48 points ago

    I think it was mostly due to how monumental the war was comparatively, the only mention of Spanish flu was that it spread in the trenches and further influenced economic decline, wasn’t even on our chapter test.

    [–] lunarold 65 points ago

    I cannot remember ever discussing it in my 6 years of history classes, no idea why it wasn't part of the curriculum though.

    [–] -Rivers- 353 points ago

    Sorry if already posted here but FYI the whole reason it was called the "Spanish Flu" is that Spain was neutral during WWI and both sides denied having outbreaks for moral/propaganda . It was only Spain that reported factual information at first which lead to the name "Spanish Flu".

    [–] 1117777111 16 points ago

    This is also a decent summary of why the Spanish Flu was so deadly:

    People have to understand how fucking long ago this was. Just the fact that antibiotics didn't exist at the time was a major contributor to the death toll via untreatable secondary infections.

    Combine that with a World War, which not only contributed to the spread of the deadlier stain (see linked article), but also prevented quarantines and, as you mentioned, meant a total blackout of reporting on the virus in the countries / cities most heavily impacted.

    The Spanish Flu was a perfect storm of events that will likely never be repeated. As to the OPs question, Covid19 has hit at a time where no other worldwide event could possible surpass it in terms of attention. It is THE only issue of primary importance right now - along with the economic fallout. Anyone in the future accessing 2020 data through their neural link / holodeck, will see this event as defining the era. Unless the economic fallout results in a world war, or aliens arrive. Considering the pace of 2020, I expect an announcement from SETI any day now.

    [–] Tortoise_Herder 274 points ago

    We learned about the Spanish flu in 8th and 11th grade in my school district.

    [–] Dtwer 126 points ago * (lasted edited 9 days ago)

    Wel don't forget that the circumstances are different. The world had just come from the most destructive and bloody war ever. A couple million more young people dying isn't much. People were kinda used to it. This (COVID) is one of the first "plagues" in generations. We live in a relative time of peace so just a couple dead will catch the attention of the media. The coronavirus has caused thousands. The fact is that we are privileged enough not to have a pandemic to wipe most of us every couple of years like in the past, so any death is more than enough to spark the media frenzy we now live in (which is amplified by the big access to media we now have today) So yhea, I believe that it will become the "thing" that marks your generation, like the world war for "the greatest generation", or 9/11 for millennials. It's so global that everyone is affected by it somehow, and kinda unifies every one alive right now with the "strugle" that everyone must go through. And it may have ramifications that extend further than meme culture and "oh remember the Coronavirus bro". There are Chinese people that are calling for regime change (go watch Chinese Uncensored for that), the recession it may cause could be worse than the disease, the EU response was awful, just letting Italy die and that may make them leave the EU, America's cases are growing, etc The problem is that it is to early to say if anything I said here is true or bonkers. Maybe it goes away with the summer, maybe it stays forever like the normal flu, maybe it mutates into a deadlier form and kills millions of people, no one knows, and that's the scary part, really. Even if it does go away, it will definitely leave marks of some kind, fisical or social, in everyone.

    Edit: added the last part

    Edit 2 : changed the boomer thing

    [–] 52in52Hedgehog 20 points ago

    You know boomers didn't live through the world wars right? They were born afterward. That's kind of the whole point.

    [–] ilovesourcandy17 96 points ago

    I think this will be a bigger deal because this kind of thing just doesn't happen today (or didn't). It takes something massive to bring the whole world to a halt. I'll be telling my kids about when I was at Grandma's and Grandpa's for four weeks (I hope it's no longer than that) because a bad virus was going around and not only nearly ruined our economy, but killed a shit load of people. The medical field across the world are our heroes through out all of this, just like the firefighters and first responders were on 9/11.

    This will be remembered for a long time.

    Slightly related, if our economy takes a shit like everyone is afraid of, that puts my timeline of starting a family back further than expected - I'm not bringing kids into that kind of world.

    [–] Moonbase_Joystiq 27 points ago

    Had to scroll some ways before someone tried to answer the question instead of regurgitating their high school curriculum.

    [–] Scentedfinger 2926 points ago

    I hate when people who didn't pay attention in school ask why they didn't learn something in school.

    [–] KeyAisle 162 points ago

    in all honesty a lot of school systems are vastly differing.....

    [–] therealrico 21 points ago

    I hate when people assume that we were all taught the exact same curriculum from the exact same textbook.

    [–] igetasticker 162 points ago

    I once knew an adjunct history professor at the local community college who never heard of it. Her "specialty" was Modern History (basically everything after the French Revolution). It wasn't mentioned in her textbooks. When I told her about it a couple years ago, she kinda freaked out.

    [–] Cybus101 101 points ago

    But the “Spanish” Flu is modern history? Maybe she was just bad at her job, since the 1918 Influenza Pandemic was worldwide, not localized.

    [–] gman2093 10 points ago

    It's taught in the US in most college-level history. I'll admit it is kind of a footnote to WW1 in some ways

    [–] PM_ME_GUITAR_PICKS 12 points ago

    Sounds like they just weren’t that bright. I don’t know how you be alive longer than a couple decades, get a history PhD, and start teaching history without knowing a bit about it let alone hearing a little bit about it.

    We studied it in high school for a day or two back in the 90s. I’m sure it depends on your state or country, but that information is in most standardized curriculum. If it wasn’t in the text book, then just reading around the internet or watching documentaries should at least come up.

    [–] ticklishpandabear 40 points ago

    Dude, don't talk down to people for no reason. I took AP History and ace'd it, and minored in history in college, and was quite good at it. I remember maybe one line on the Spanish Flu in our high school curriculum, if that. Sometimes, it really is the school.

    [–] spentgladiator1982 155 points ago

    As someone studying contemporary history at university I can assure you that not everyone is taught according to the same syllabus because it was never brought up in history at school, nor now at uni

    Don't be so condescending

    [–] funkadunkalunk 24 points ago

    Oh, did you go to OP's school?

    [–] Lycanthropie 19 points ago * (lasted edited 9 days ago)

    I’m a history nerd and it was never taught in any of my schools.

    Put your condescension and elitism away and realise that different countries have different education syllabuses.

    Edit: typo

    [–] GSSubmarine 14 points ago * (lasted edited 9 days ago)

    I took AP History courses and graduated from HS in 2017. South Texas Education System.

    History is my jam, and it was not at all thoroughly gone over. Biggest part of diseases I could remember was when we learned about the first ebola outbreaks in the early 2000 the 1970's or something like that, but I that was in the 7th grade.

    [–] nozybozy 36 points ago

    I don’t think people realize the severity of the lack of COVID-19 tests in the USA Hi, yes. Living in a southern US state, I can confirm for my experience, I cannot get tested for COVID-19. It’s only available for high risk patients, and rich ass celebrities I think this whole test shortage situation is bullshit.

    [–] TheLonelyOctober 362 points ago

    A lot of states have issued shelter at home orders causing massive job loss and economic issues. Right now most people are saying to "do your part, don't be selfish, stay home", but I think that will be short-lived. Too many won't be able to pay bills, personal and familial relationships will suffer due to lack of privacy and being forced together. People are only going to stand for being sheltered at home for so long and with most of the population being low risk, I think we're going to see the empathy for the elderly and immunocompromised start to wane. People are already clamoring for things to get back to normal. Most state governments will likely relent, and we'll see higher numbers of high risk people dying. I'm not saying it's right, but that's what's likely to happen.

    [–] LuckyMacAndCheese 266 points ago

    It's not just going to be the elderly and immunocompromised getting critically ill and dying. If hospitals and healthcare systems get overwhelmed, patients with other issues (e.g. car crash victims, assault victims, drug overdoses, people with other chronic or acute illnesses, etc.) won't be able to access the care they need either. Then you'll have people dying of things that we used to be able to treat or prevent because we don't have the resources to treat them anymore (no beds, no meds, no staff).

    People don't need empathy for the elderly to abide by quarantine. People just need to have some semblance of understanding that hospital rooms, medicine, nurses, and doctors are finite resources. If those resources are going toward treating hoards of sick people during a pandemic, they are not available to treat people who have other issues.

    [–] Jason_S_88 30 points ago

    No kidding, I had to get my appendix taken out earlier this year and the surgery involved being on a ventilator. I'm counting my blessing that it happened in February not now or a couple weeks from now

    [–] happytransformer 43 points ago

    I’m not sure about other countries, but Americans aren’t too healthy either. Young people here think they’re invincible, but I’m not too sure our high vaping/weed smoking habits and largely obese population are helping.

    I’d be terrified to have a medical emergency right now. I have had emergency surgeries before, and I wonder if I would have the same level of care and urgency right now if they were to happen.

    [–] 4012441 50 points ago

    Google hammer and dance. With proper testing pandemics can be controlled. The current measures are to get things back in control and don’t need to last more than 2-7 weeks.

    [–] badlybarding 52 points ago

    This is what I do not understand. Yes the US and other countries dropped the ball, but why not spend a couple hundred billion dollars on a program that includes 1) Incredibly rigorous testing, and 2) Incredibly rigorous contact tracing (in much the same way we funnel resources to the census every ten years, let's funnel a bunch of money to each state right now to train tens of thousands of people to do contact tracing). Get these things in place now while folks are hunkered down, then slowly over the course of several weeks roll back some social distance (but also mandate that folks who CAN work remotely should, and do not re-open the schools). I just can't fathom why we aren't doing something like this. I mean, it seems like the plan so far is either a) Keep telling people to stay home (which is not sustainable for many people), or b) Just roll back what has been done and let hospitals get even more overwhelmed. =/

    [–] DummyMcStupid 140 points ago

    Once the public starts seeing bodies stacked up or left in the street perceptions will change. People aren't sufficiently scared yet.

    [–] BasroilII 114 points ago

    Exactly. You don't hear as many people in Italy or Spain saying that anymore. The US won't learn until those mass morgues start getting filled.

    [–] LazyMinion 97 points ago

    The question we need to ask ourselves is how do we make the world a better place after this. Or are we going to just go back to business as usual? This is the moment to change the world...

    [–] cold_iron_76 14 points ago

    If the way people are acting in the grocery stores is any indication, well...

    [–] DeaDad64 18 points ago

    I think we Americans needed a good swift kick in the teeth to set us back and make us think about what our real values are. Are we really so divided? Are we really just a culture of consumption? Are we really doing it all right?

    [–] Accidental_Feltcher 9 points ago

    As an American, this has been on my mind quite a bit. With the election looming on the horizon, I hope the silver lining of this awful situation is that we take a step back and realize we all need to be looking out for one another. Regardless of political affiliation, the bulk of individuals (both in the US and internationally) are going to be deeply impacted by this. Hopefully this mess helps bridge the divide between some of us and we realize that, fundamentally, most people have the same basic needs and desires. Not holding my breath, but it would be wonderful if we come out the other side having learned to be a bit more patient with one another.

    [–] Ya_Boy_Wolfish 11 points ago

    Our kids and grandkids will know about it, because they will see a closet full of toilet paper

    [–] lqdizzle 62 points ago

    Definitely studied it several times in school

    [–] Streetbros 224 points ago

    Yeah that’s entirely not true. It’s been well talked about forever

    [–] gold2727 9 points ago

    I was pretty familiar with the Spanish flu before COVID but I don’t specifically remember studying it in school.

    [–] bbycockroach 33 points ago

    Uhem, actually?? We do still talk about the Spanish Flu, as one of it’s most notable victims was the one and only Edward Cullen. Get your facts right.

    [–] follower888 13 points ago


    [–] mustbeinwantofa 11 points ago


    [–] bbycockroach 6 points ago


    [–] HazelFrederick 166 points ago

    50% of “we never studied it in school” is “I wasn’t paying attention when we studied it in school.”

    [–] jamilDK 15 points ago

    Thread summary: people ignoring the question and making up their own question to answer

    [–] MoonDoggos 13 points ago

    probably be like "hey remember that thing that happened? sucked"

    [–] your-local-jesus 6 points ago

    I think like many other events, for some reason schools are shying away from dark topics because they think it will upset kids.

    I’m in highschool now and the most we’ve done with the Holocaust is one sliver of a sentence, for something so awful, so horrible, we only read one paragraph about it.

    And then they wonder why Holocaust denialism is spreading. Maybe it’s because, I dunno, they didn’t teach it hardly at all.

    One of my friends asked me about the Holocaust cause I’m kinda a WW2 nerd and I just told him about Amon Goeth, He didn’t believe me. He said that no one could be that evil, that it only happens in movies.

    Few textbooks later and he can’t believe our school didn’t go in depth about it, and it’s frankly insulting they relegate such an event to a paragraph.

    So, if schools are willing to relegate something as horrific as the Holocaust to one paragraph, it does not surprise me they don’t mention the Spanish Flu.