Texas governor and presidential hopeful Rick Perry had a little historical hiccup last night, following the GOP debate at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire. Really—we need to be fair. It could’ve happened to any of us, so we all need to put on our empathy helmets and be forgiving.
Empathy does not make it any less funny, though. While talking to the press after the debate, Perry made mention of the American Revolution…but…he got his dates mixed up. Here is the full quote:
“Our Founding Fathers never meant for Washington, D.C. to be the fount of all wisdom. As a matter of fact, they were very much afraid of that because they’d just had this experience with this far-away government that had centralized thought process and planning and what have you, and then it was actually the reason that we fought the revolution in the 16th century…was to get away from that kind of onerous crown, if you will.”
Yes, you read that correctly. The American Revolution, according to the Perry Book of American History, actually happened two hundred years earlier than we all thought…in 1576…before England had even started colonizing America.
Naturally, the good folks on Twitter weren’t going to let this slide, and the feeds immediately lit up with the new hashtag #PerryHistory. The concept of the hashtag: history according to Rick Perry. Here is a small sampling of the #PerryHistory tweets:
“Ronald Reagan traveled back in time 6,000 yrs and slayed the dinosaurs in order to make America safe for Jesus.” --@StopBeck
“Moses helped to defeat the communists who were forcing us to build their pyramids with King John.” --@Summerseale
“In 1776, Alexander Graham Bell invented the iPhone.” --@FenrisDesigns
“General Custer & troops didn’t have to die. If only the tank got there sooner.” --@cheetapizza
“Who can forget when Harriet Tubman and Doc Brown invented the flux capacitor to shepherd all those slaves to safety.” --@MindfulJogger
“Ben Franklin was electrocuted by lightning as a sign from God that energy sources other than fossil fuels are satanic.” --@Samosata
“Washington chopped down the cherry tree to clear the area for experimental oil drilling to save the nation from the terrorists.” --@Amaeryllis
And my favorite:
“Rick Perry’s favorite movie: 1801, a Space Odyssey.” --@KagroX
Some may remember a similar flub made by Sarah Palin over the summer when she claimed that Paul Revere’s Midnight Ride was a warning to the British:
“He who warned, uh, the … the British that they weren’t gonna be takin’ away our arms, uh, by ringin’ those bells and, um, by makin’ sure that as he’s ridin’ his horse through town to send those warnin’ shots and bells that, uh, we were gonna be secure and we were gonna be free … and we were gonna be armed.”
This would be the Disney version of Paul Revere’s Midnight Ride. In reality, there were no bells or warning shots—and most people with a basic knowledge of history know that Revere wasn’t warning the British. The gaffe led to the creation of #AccordingtoPalin, which quickly went viral. The Daily Show tweeted: "As George Washington said, 'No government health care, thanks, I'll make my own teeth from small-town American wood!'"