American author and filmmaker Michael Crichton once said: "If you don't know history, then you don't know anything. You are a leaf that doesn't know it is part of a tree." So let's take a look back at what events and people have 'planted' and 'grown' this tree we're all a part of called the present, shall we?

But since it's Friday, I think we can agree that something more refreshing than a textbook is needed. Luckily, we have just the thing. Two, actually.

Bored Panda decided to put together a follow-up collection to our earlier article and compile the best posts the subreddit r/HistoryMemes and Instagram account HistoryInMemes have recently released.

From making fun of the British Museum's never-ending thirst for artifacts to corrupt Presidents, continue scrolling, check them out, and upvote your favorites!

#1

A True Hero

A True Hero

Willem Arondeus was a moderately successful painter and writer living in the Netherlands. However, at the time his career began to improve, the Nazis had occupied his nation, and he decided to sacrifice personal success and wealth for the greater good, joining the Dutch resistance. Arondeus's skill as an artist allowed him to make fake ID cards, allowing Jewish refugees to hide more easily. However, the Nazi's Municipal Office for Population Registration made this far more difficult, as they kept exact records. With his resistance team, Arondeus devised a plan to bomb the office, which went off successfully. By doing so, they were able to steal a number of blank ID cards, and destroy enough records that any Jewish refugees could believably pretend to have had their files destroyed.
 
However, Arondeus was betrayed and captured. He refused to give information on his co-conspirators under torture, but after his home was raided, they found evidence that linked him to his allies. Arondeus then took full credit for the entire plan, allowing two of his friends to escape execution. His last words were "Let it be known that homosexuals are not cowards".

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Auntriarch
Community Member
1 month ago

There isn't a salute emoji, but I am saluting

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#2

Sad But True

Sad But True

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Mazer
Community Member
1 month ago

Love this.

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Contrary to what some might think, memes aren't just for the internet. Historian, college administrator, amateur homesteader, and writer Joshua Wilkey, for example, quite often uses them in teaching. "I even sometimes assign my students to use memes as a way to present what they are learning in the classroom," he told Bored Panda.

They've been around in some form or another for thousands of years, too.

In 2016, archeologists uncovered a mosaic from the 3rd century B.C. in what was the ancient city of Antiocheia. The piece has three frames and seems to depict a bathing scene. The first frame is of a servant preparing a bath; the second frame, a young man running away from taking the bath, being pursued by an older servant who is unable to catch him; the last scene, a “reckless” but seemingly happy skeleton of the young man is sitting casually with a jug of wine.

The inscription below him reads: "Be cheerful and live your life." So you could say it's the original YOLO.

#3

History Ain’t Pretty

History Ain’t Pretty

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Caro Caro
Community Member
1 month ago

I love this one !

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#4

Sacrifice Sacrifice

Sacrifice Sacrifice

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Kate Tora
Community Member
1 month ago

Can we... get back to that?

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#5

It Really Do Be Like That

It Really Do Be Like That

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Otter
Community Member
1 month ago

Joanna Lumley, of all people, worked tirelessly to get the Indian soldiers British army pensions, decades later after they fought for the British Empire. Yay, Lumley!

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But why bother with history in the first place? Well, Joshua Wilkey said that "as an academic pursuit, history teaches important skills like critical reading and analysis. For the average person, though, history is an important way of understanding the context of what is happening in the present."

"I do not buy the argument that history repeats itself - and I think few professional historians would say that it does. It does, though, as Mark Twain once said, rhyme a lot. When one looks at the world as it is today, one cannot fully understand it absent knowledge of history," Wilkey explained. "One cannot, for example, understand the Black Lives Matter movement without understanding the long history of civil rights activism in the United States. One cannot understand what is happening in Afghanistan without understanding the long history of that particular part of the world, specifically through the lens of imperialism. Current events do not happen in a vacuum. Trying to understand or react to them absent an understanding of the history is detrimental at best."

#6

Hah Get It

Hah Get It

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Mazer
Community Member
1 month ago

Nice one. Top of the pun chart

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#7

Game Changer

Game Changer

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Blobban
Community Member
1 month ago

Bravo, bravo

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#8

Elvis' Chance Of Getting Polio Has Left The Building; Thank You And Good Night!

Elvis' Chance Of Getting Polio Has Left The Building; Thank You And Good Night!

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Sue Hazlewood
Community Member
1 month ago

HHHMMM Murica needs another Elvis

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#9

Typical

Typical

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Robert T
Community Member
1 month ago

Good one!

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Of course, that doesn't mean that you have to be familiar with every period of every civilization. "One of my favorite TV shows growing up was The Andy Griffith Show, and in one episode, Aunt Bee remarked that history must be harder to learn in the present because there's more and more of it being made every day," Wilkey recalled. "However, there are some good strategies to employ to learn the depth of history in a way that is useful for the present."

"Rather than broad surveys of history, whereby one attempts to learn the entire breadth of history for a given place, I think deeper dives are more useful. I prefer to study history topically rather than by place. For example, one can study the history of conflict, the history of racial inequality, the history of capitalism, or the history of imperialism, and follow the threads of those themes through both time and place, for a more comprehensive look at why things are the way they are."

The historian said that understanding how themes like economic inequality or political power have played out at multiple times and places is more useful for the average human than to learn facts about the history of a given place. "Ultimately, the goal should not be to learn history for the sake of being good at Jeopardy!, but for the sake of developing a more meaningful understanding of why things happened," Wilkey explained, adding that it's much more valuable than simply knowing what happened.

And it makes sense. You start making connections and developing ideas rather than just working on your memory. You start thinking.

#10

Thank You Very Much

Thank You Very Much

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PANAGIOTIS KATCHIOTOUDIS
Community Member
1 month ago

To decorate the Greek stolen antiquities...

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#11

Dirty Dog

Dirty Dog

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Lauren Caswell
Community Member
1 month ago

Lol yeah, like Hera was Heracles loving mother. And Zeus had self restraint. That movie didn't do Greek myths any favours!

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#12

Mad Respec

Mad Respec

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KJ
Community Member
1 month ago

Got to make cash when you can.

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#13

I Am Confusion

I Am Confusion

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Caro Caro
Community Member
1 month ago

Ouch.

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Once you decide on a topic you want to dig into, you need to start collecting sources. "At the risk of having my professional historian card revoked, Wikipedia is a great place to go to learn the basics of a given event," Joshua Wilkey said. "At this point, it's rather more accurate than most easily accessible sources, including most online encyclopedias."

"Apart from that, I am a big fan of podcasts. Dan Carlin's Hardcore History is great for those who can devote substantial time to listening. Slow Burn is also fantastic, as is the podcast that accompanies the 1619 Project. This Land is wonderful for those who are interested in indigenous history. I could go on for days with podcast recommendations, but there are so many good ones out there, the possibilities are limitless. For print readers, ProPublica also has a wonderful deep dive into many important topics. I especially enjoyed their piece a few years ago titled 'Firestone and the Warlord' about the history of the rubber industry in Africa."

#14

There Goes Buck Franklin, The Impeccably Well Dressed Lawyer Who Practices Law Out Of A Tent

There Goes Buck Franklin, The Impeccably Well Dressed Lawyer Who Practices Law Out Of A Tent

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Andy Acceber
Community Member
1 month ago

Not enough people know about Oklahoma Black Wall Street and the Tulsa Race Massacre. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tulsa_race_massacre

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#15

This Happened To My Grandfather When He Was Teaching Second Grade. The Kids Were So Traumatized By What They Saw A Lot Of Parents Had To Come Pick Them Up From School

This Happened To My Grandfather When He Was Teaching Second Grade. The Kids Were So Traumatized By What They Saw A Lot Of Parents Had To Come Pick Them Up From School

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KJ
Community Member
1 month ago

Bad day at work for grandpa.

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#16

Uhh Sir?

Uhh Sir?

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Andy Acceber
Community Member
1 month ago

Accurate and hilarious. Ryan Stiles is so quick!

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#17

200 Iq

200 Iq

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Mazer
Community Member
1 month ago

Touché

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As for sourcing accurate materials, Wilkey said it's important to employ information literacy skills to vet any potential source.

"While there's much to be said about the elitist and often-problematic nature of academic gatekeeping, the solution is not for anyone to publish anything they want, but rather, for us to engage with the public as much or more than we engage with each other as academics."

The historian likes to tell his students that if they are not engaging members of the general public with their work, then the public will be engaged by idiots, liars, and fear-mongers. "The average reader should make it a point to ask why they should believe any given source (including academic literature!). The fact that they found it via social media is often an argument against believing it," he said.

However, if it's more memes that you're after, check out our piece on History Memes Explained, a cool social media project that not only collects but also dissects the best memes about our past.

#18

Yoink

Yoink

historyinmemes Report

Lauren Caswell
Community Member
1 month ago

I like this a lot more than the usual holding up the tower pose

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#19

Trying To Get Rid Of The Evidence? Not On Mr Eisenhower's Watch!

Trying To Get Rid Of The Evidence? Not On Mr Eisenhower's Watch!

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Vorknkx
Community Member
1 month ago

And then, some cowardly troll on the internet nowadays: "It's a cOnSpIrAcY."

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#20

You Can Always Rely On The Wise Words Of Captain Holt

You Can Always Rely On The Wise Words Of Captain Holt

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Andy Acceber
Community Member
1 month ago

Brooklyn Nine Nine was a fantastic show and one of those rare gems that only got better in later seasons. I'm so sad this show ended.

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#21

Money Money Money Moneyyy

Money Money Money Moneyyy

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mcborge1
Community Member
1 month ago

Lol.

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#22

It Do Be Like That

It Do Be Like That

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Sue Hazlewood
Community Member
1 month ago

Causes some international conflict

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#23

Damn Son

Damn Son

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Andy Acceber
Community Member
1 month ago

Same, Karl. Same.

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#24

Any Great Historical Figure Would Be Honoured To Be Played By Cillian Murphy, I'm Sure

Any Great Historical Figure Would Be Honoured To Be Played By Cillian Murphy, I'm Sure

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KJ
Community Member
1 month ago

Great show.

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#25

Uhh Excuse Me

Uhh Excuse Me

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mcborge1
Community Member
1 month ago

Ha ha.

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#26

Feels Bad Man

Feels Bad Man

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Liam Farranree
Community Member
1 month ago

This must be a reference to the famous Greek hero Homercles, like Pythagorous, "Homercles cares not for beans"

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#27

If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It

If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It

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Andy Acceber
Community Member
1 month ago

I seriously think one of the arguments some Americans have against adding Puerto Rico and Washington DC as states is that they don't want to add more stars to the flag. (It's not a good argument.)

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#28

Pain

Pain

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Andy Acceber
Community Member
1 month ago

Cultural genocide, plain and simple. It's devastating.

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#29

Gotta Do Whatcha Gotta Do

Gotta Do Whatcha Gotta Do

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ZAPanda
Community Member
1 month ago

that's all very well but that shows seven women leaders. As a percentage of male leaders (something like 2000 or so worldwide in the same time period ... the first picture being cleopatra I believe) ... means that the chances of a woman starting a war is quite a lot lower. What we'd really need to know is the base rate of women leaders vs women leaders who started wars. I am pretty sure these seven are not the only women leaders in the last 2000 years...

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#30

Must’ve Been Sloppy

Must’ve Been Sloppy

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Laura1985
Community Member
1 month ago

Lesser known fact: Just over a century later, a young writer named Ernest Hemigway used this document as a literary inspiration. ;)

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#31

I Think We Can All Agree On This One

I Think We Can All Agree On This One

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Community Member
1 month ago

European history goes far deeper in time. There is simply more of it.

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#32

'man, I Love This Skirt! Also, You Heard Khomeini's Latest Speech? That Guy Sure Is Whacky, Huh?'

'man, I Love This Skirt! Also, You Heard Khomeini's Latest Speech? That Guy Sure Is Whacky, Huh?'

johnlen1n Report

Caro Caro
Community Member
1 month ago

This the sad and angry part of history.

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#33

"If There Was An Allied Hero Who Deserved To Be Remembered And Celebrated, This Was A Person With Few Peers"

"If There Was An Allied Hero Who Deserved To Be Remembered And Celebrated, This Was A Person With Few Peers"

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Vorknkx
Community Member
1 month ago

Does this guy have a name, by any chance?

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#34

Feels Bad Man

Feels Bad Man

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S.
Community Member
1 month ago

For Chrome — press Ctrl + Shift + T to restore deleted windows/tabs! Or e Right-click a blank space on the tab bar at the top of the window and choose "Reopen closed tab."

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#35

Abc News Called It "The Poster Child Of Excessive Lawsuits" But Most People Don't Believe That Anymore

Abc News Called It "The Poster Child Of Excessive Lawsuits" But Most People Don't Believe That Anymore

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James016
Community Member
1 month ago

I'm glad I finally know the truth about this case. McDonalds did a great job on burying the details

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#36

No Fair

No Fair

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Mazer
Community Member
1 month ago

Sounds reasonable, that boy was wicked with a quill

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#37

Don’t Give Into Peer Pressure

Don’t Give Into Peer Pressure

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Petra, princess of Brigid
Community Member
1 month ago

Okay but the gun aside, the dog is adorable!

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#38

Does Mythology Count?

Does Mythology Count?

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Andy Acceber
Community Member
1 month ago

"Who's a good boy?!?" *happy leg thumping*

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#39

Dammit, Marilyn! Not In Front Of The Democratic Party!

Dammit, Marilyn! Not In Front Of The Democratic Party!

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sofacushionfort
Community Member
1 month ago

A woman exploited since childhood self-destructs in front of millions while they laugh. Wonderful that we’re so far beyond that today

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#40

Greek Fire Was An Incendiary Substance Developed By The Byzantine Empire Around 666 Ad. It Would Mainly Be Used In Naval Battles, And Would Be Sprayed From A Nozzle Onto Nearby Enemy Ships

Greek Fire Was An Incendiary Substance Developed By The Byzantine Empire Around 666 Ad. It Would Mainly Be Used In Naval Battles, And Would Be Sprayed From A Nozzle Onto Nearby Enemy Ships

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Otter
Community Member
1 month ago

Ever see that Game of Thrones meme that came out after Tyrion used the wildfire to incinerate Stannis's whole fleet? "NUKE YOUR ENEMIES WITH MEDIEVAL TECHNOLOGY", it said.

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Note: this post originally had 119 images. It’s been shortened to the top 40 images based on user votes.