When we were kids a lot of our time was spent reading and listening about the great historical characters that made the world the way it is. When adulthood came up, we believed there was nothing else to know about people such as Ghandi, Churchill or Lincoln, but that's not necessarily true. Mainstream history tends to conceal certain unfavorable facts about it's heroes in order to create a false sense of perfection. Let me present you some anachronistic PR disasters that may change your mind about three very important historical icons.
Ghandi's Not So Secret Sex Life
There're many widely unknown facts surrounding this great twentieth century icon. For instance, many people are unaware that he disowned his eldest son for not trying to follow his ascetic footsteps (Not so "Mahatma" like huh?), and you won't find any references made in Richard Attenborough's movie about his views on the Indian race supremacy over the black race.
Nonetheless there is one jaw-dropping fact that is certain to knock your socks off: He frequently laid naked with attractive young women, many of whom were underage, related to him, or both. According to official statements, these encounters never led to sex and were conducted with the sole purpose of probing Ghandi's strength against common carnal temptations. Obviously, this didn't sit well with the rest of the movement's leaders, who were very busy at the time building up his "Father of the Nation" image. That's why you won't find many references of this historical fact in mainstream publications.
Churchill's Early Admiration for Hitler
In the early thirties, many prominent English politicians saw Hitler's rise to power with favor (ex prime minister Lloyd George and even the brief English monarch Edward VIII had shown some sympathy towards the leader of the Nazi party at some point), therefore, it shouldn't be surprising that the great English Lion had expressed a few candid lines in favor of his future nemesis:
"I have always said that if Great Britain were defeated in war I hoped we should find a Hitler to lead us back to our rightful position among the nations"
"One may dislike Hitler's system and yet admire his patriotic achievement"
Although those are some regrettable lines viewed from this side of history, it's worth noting that Churchill led the chamber of commons in the right direction many years before it was politically safe to condemn Hitler's actions.
Lincoln's True Stance About Abolition
Thanks to many years of simplified versions of history, many of us left high school believing that an angel called Abe Lincoln descended from heaven to swiftly free all slaves from their evil southern masters. In reality, Lincoln wasn't much of an abolitionist during most of his political career and even went so far as to say:
"My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that"
Although Lincoln opposed slavery throughout his life, abolishing it wasn't exactly his priority. It's widely known among historians that he ran for public office assuring his constituents that he wasn't going to change the situation involving slaves if he was elected
This article shouldn't be viewed as an attempt to undermine the great achievements these historical figures have accomplished. We must remember that greatness and the ability of making mistakes are two non-exclusive human qualities that coexists whitin each of us. The fact that we're not as perfect as Lincoln, Churhill or Ghandi seem to be doesn't mean that we don't have the capacity to rise above ordinariness and achieve greatness.