What if The Onion had always existed? And what if ironic news headlines were always a thing? For one, maybe people would have laughed a little bit more rather than killing each other, but unfortunately there is no way to figure that out. Rather, we are going to go back in time and assume that The Onion was always there! What would the headline have been when the Spartans routed the Persians? What would the headline have been when Caesar was brutally assassinated? Those events by themselves were of course nothing to laugh about. They shaped our history and were the result of much blood, sweat, and tears. However, it seems as though enough time has passed for the satirical headlines to do their job of making us laugh. More than that, expect to learn a thing or two today.
This is basically a lesson in history disguised as a big piece of satire. It’s interesting what you can learn, even from the silliest articles. So, whether you are an avid satire reader, a history buff, or just dropping by to see what all the commotion is about, these are 25 Satirical Headlines That Describe Real Historical Events Perfectly.
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Austrian Army Attacks Itself, Loses
The Battle of Karánsebes was a shameful day for the Austrians. On September 17th, 1788 the Austrian army was scouting for Ottoman forces when two Austrian regiments mistook each other for the enemy and attacked. The Ottomans allegedly showed up on the scene two days later to find 10,000 dead Austrian soldiers.
Note: our sources concerning this battle are anecdotal
Cleopatra Brought Rolled Up in a Rug To Julius Caesar. Egypt And Rome Are Now Allied.
After Julius Caesar seized Egypt, the empire’s former ruler, Cleopatra (who had previously fled Egypt due to an uprising), saw a chance to stage a comeback by ingratiating herself with the new ruler. The problem was that Julius was a hard man to get to with numerous body guards. Her plan was as ridiculous as it was simple…she would be brought to him rolled up in a rug. It worked, Julius fell in love with her and reinstated her as Queen.
Man Wears Shiny New Hat, Incites Riot
John Hetherington, the inventor of the top hat, is said to have caused a riot when he first wore it.
British Officer Takes On Nazi Army with Longbow, Wins
Lieutenant-Colonel Jack Churchill was well known for fighting nearly the entirety of World War II with a longbow, bagpipes, and a Scottish broadsword. His companions even called him “Mad Jack.” He was popular for his personal motto, “Any officer who goes into action without his sword is improperly dressed.”
Driver Takes Wrong Turn, Global War Ensues
When Archduke Franz Ferdinand (the heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary) visited Sarajevo, he survived an assassination attempt wherein several Bosnian revolutionaries threw a grenade towards his motorcade. After returning from visiting the survivors at the local hospital, Franz’s driver took a wrong turn and incidentally, one of the revolutionaries, Gavrilo Princip, was standing right there on the street corner. Gavrilo, who was disappointed that they had failed in their initial assassination attempt, couldn’t believe his luck. He pulled out his pistol, shot the Archduke and his wife, and caused an international political crisis. Within a few days Austria-Hungary had declared war on Serbia and the rest, as they say, is history.