The Six Most Unforgettable Betrayals in History

From Cold War spies to Aztec conquerers, these famous betrayals are a reminder that human history isn’t marked solely by acts of good will.

Famous Betrayals

March 15th, better known as the Ides of March, marked the first half of the first month of the year in the Roman Calendar. In 44 BC, it also marked one of history’s most notorious betrayals and brutal political assassinations: that of Julius Caesar by his friend, Brutus. In the spirit of betrayal, we’re looking at a few more shocking betrayals from history in celebration of the Ides: starting, of course, with Brutus and Caesar…

Photo Of The Day: Louisiana’s P.B.S. Pinchback, America’s First African-American Governor — 150 Years Ago

P.b.s. Pinchback

P.B.S. Pinchback. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

It only lasted 15 days. But from December 29, 1872 to January 13, 1873, P.B.S. Pinchback made history.

Somehow, amid the especially brutal racism of the Reconstruction era, and in one of the South’s most staunchly Confederate states (Louisiana), America had its first African-American governor.

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You Only Think You Know The Story Behind History’s Most Infamous Act Of Mass Cannibalism

Donner Party Photo

James Reed, one of the two leaders of the Donner party, with his wife, Margret. Both were among the relatively few lucky survivors. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

On February 19, 1847, the first rescue party reached 45 pioneers stuck in the snowy Sierra Nevada mountains of northeast California. They’d been stranded there with virtually no food or supplies for four months, and lost 36 companions, many of whom they ate in order to stay alive.

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Bass Reeves: The Bullet-Dodging Black Lone Ranger History Almost Forgot

He wrangled thousands of criminals, and left a silver dollar as his calling card. Yet despite being one of the most impressive Wild West figures, Bass Reeves was all but forgotten.

Portrait Bass Reeves

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

“This is a black man in America’s legendary Western history who has been totally overlooked.” — Morgan Freeman

 

Contrary to what classic westerns might have us believe, one in four American cowboys was actually African-American. We don’t necessarily get that reality when the only image we have in our minds is John Wayne or The Lone Ranger. But, in fact, the true inspiration behind The Lone Ranger (and possibly Django from Django Unchained) was real life US Deputy Marshal Bass Reeves, an African-American who fled the Civil War, befriended the Seminole and Creek Indians, and eventually became one of the greatest lawmen of the Wild West.

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