Most overrated historical event?

Two words: Punxsutawney Phil.

This is why they hate us.

Serious answer - I have heard opinions (and I kinda accept them) that the dropping of the atomic bombs on Japan did not necessarily “end” WWII, but only hastened it’s already expected outcome (that even if the bombs were never dropped, Japan would have been defeated shortly thereafter, anyway).

I don’t think there’s any debate that the war would have been over within some number of months whether the bombs had been used or not. Japan had been pushed back to the home islands and it was just a matter of grinding out a foothold and killing or capturing enough of the command structure.

There are speculations that an extended battle for Japan would have ended up involving the Soviets, and the early stages of Cold War confrontation could have turned into an extended war in Japan/China/Russia. I have heard it said, and never found a good refutation for the claim that Hiroshima was the last bomb of WWII; Nagasaki was the first (and maybe only) bomb of WWIII. Giving the Soviets pause was perhaps as important in the long run as was getting the Japanese to throw in the towel.

However, I think there’s little debate that the bombs saved lives, both American and Japanese. An invasion of the islands would have been catastrophic.

There are those who debate this, but I’m not among them. I should have thrown this in to save time.

I think that’s the winner. It happened a hundred years ago. It should have been forgotten like many other disasters but for some reason it didn’t. Most likely because the story of the unsinkable ship going down on it’s maiden voyage is just a good story. But it really has very little historical significance.

It probably saved mine. My father was a Marine who was training to get ready for the invasion of Japan. Instead he spent the rest of his enlistment at 8th and I.

The first use of an atomic weapon in a war can never be an overrated historical event. While I do agree that the defeat of Japan was inevitable, the actual use of a nuclear weapon in a war, where the aftermath of that war shaped international diplomacy for 50 years, is not overrated.

Is the sinking of the Titanic considered a major historical event? Obviously, it made a major movie, but does any history book give it more than a sentence or two? The sinking of the Lusitania is more significant to history. That was a major World War I event.

Yes, but it isn’t as if, if only we hadn’t spent all that money on the Apollo missions, we would have plowed it into sustainable manned spaceflight. Instead the money would have been used to drop more bombs on Vietnam.

Of course all these rocket launches had the secondary purpose of technology development for ICBMs, even in the 60s we were still relying heavily on bombers to penetrate soviet air defenses if we wanted to nuke Russia.

I don’t agree that we’d be farther along to luxury hotels in Luna City if we hadn’t wasted all that money on the Apollo Program. It turns out that getting to the moon is really hard and takes an insane amount of money and manpower, it isn’t just a matter of a few boy scouts tinkering with an old mail rocket. The cost and difficulty of getting to the Moon are imposed by the laws of physics, not by the fact that NASA is staffed by a bunch of pussies.

What Deeg said. The predictions were a minimum of 500,000 Allied casualties in an invasion of Japan. As for Japanese civilian casualties, one should remember the suicide cliffs on Saipan. Truman’s advisers did. They would have been much higher than from the bombings.

Oh, other than Jesse Owens at the 36 Olympics (which turned out to be a political thing more than an athletic thing), the outcome of ANY sporting event/contest really doesn’t amount to much years after the fact.

As for the sinking of the Titanic, well, it was the impetus for the creation of the modern Coast Guard. As a former Coastie, I think that’s a pretty important thing.

The “Miracle On Ice”. I was in high school at the time, and never heard of it until years later.

The OJ trials. When the Oklahoma City bombing happened, my first thought was, “So, how long will this dislodge OJ from the top of the news?” The answer? Two days. :smack: Around this time, Newsweek said that the sequestered jurors had all media censored to remove references to him, and a letter writer asked where he could subscribe to this service. :stuck_out_tongue:

The implosion of the marriages of Lance Armstrong and Tiger Woods. C’mon, Mrs. Armstrong and Mrs. Woods, how could you not have had some vague idea what you were potentially getting yourselves into? I found out recently that the ex-Mrs. Armstrong speaks at Christian women’s conferences about forgiveness, and probably makes boo-koo bucks doing so.

Remember when that American woman soccer player took her shirt off and ran around the field in her bra after the United States won the women’s version of the World Cup, and it was hailed as a victory for women everywhere? It didn’t affect my life at all.

The sinking of the Titanic is a huge historical event. I remember studying it in depth when I was in grade school. Learning about all the different compartments and how they flooded and why it sank despite the thinking that it never could. I’m pretty sure there were entire exams over the Titanic.

Yes, it’s extremely overrated.

Vesuvius is another. A bunch of people died in a natural disaster. Big fucking woop.

England winning the World Cup in 1966.

Get over it, already!

Okay, people. Tabloid stories about celebrities are not historic events.
I think the landing of the Mayflower is perhaps a little over-hyped, considering the fact that colonies had already been established on North American soil at that point.

I disagree about Vesuvius and Pompeii. Its not the fact that there was a natural disaster and people died. Its that the town was preserved and became a time capsule of Roman life at the time. Rome is extremely important historically and Pompeii (and Herculaneum) is important as a window to that time.

So were any assassinations major historical events? Or would the event they supposedly caused happened anyway? For example the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria which supposedly led to World War I.

I don’t get the hate for the Titanic. Its sinking did lead to some significant changes in maritime passenger safety regulations. Maybe a bit overrated because it is a compelling story, but whatever.

Vesuvius is important not because of its historical impact, but because it gave us a couple very well preserved roman-era cities that hadn’t been disturbed/built over.

I’d vote for various “trigger” events of wars: sinking of the Maine, assassination of Ferdinand, Bombardment of Fort Sumter, etc. All those wars were going to happen. It doesn’t really matter what specifically started them.

Vesuvius is rather like King Tut’s tomb. Neither Pompeii nor King Tutankhamun were that importent, but what was left behind, forgotten, is more complete than others we have found.

My vote is for Oak Island. Yep, it sure looks like folks spent a lot of time building something there, but historically, we know nothing. Yet still, it gets attention over and over. This one’s only quasi-historical, since it’s a lot more about treasure hunting.

Thomas Edison inventing the light bulb. The world was on the cusp of the discovery; it was only a matter of time. Sure, most scientific achievements are like that (decades or even centuries of hard work which leads up to one guy who gets all the credit) but the light bulb more so than others. On the other hand, he did a very good job packaging it into a usable thing, not just some piece of useless equipment, but again, it was bound to happen sometime. Edison was a very, very, very smart person, but the kind of genius the world hails him as? Nah.

Also, I’ll throw in the American Revolution, not because of its impact (it was very important) but because the amount of emphasis placed on it in US schools outweighs what it really was. EVERY SINGLE YEAR from 1st to 7th grade (with the exception of 6th grade) all we learned about in History was the Revolution. Every. Single. Year. Over and over again. Sure, it was an interesting war, but there’s a lot more history out there.

The Big Bang.

That was the direct result of the East Germans screwing up and more or less saying the border was open, which made what was happening visual.

I’m going with the Titanic. It’s not just that the boat sank - some of the 1% sank with it, which turned it from an inconvenience to a tragedy.

Or, to stir up trouble, I can go with the birth of Jesus. It did happen, even if not like the myths say. Yes, it is significant in a sense - but significant enough so that the economies of most Western nations rest on celebrating it?