People Share The 'Crazy' Historical Figures Everyone Thought Were Wrong But Were Actually Right

Julie Nixon Eisenhower with Martha Mitchell
Wikimedia Commons | Unknown author or not provided

Sometimes, it takes a long time for the world to catch up to someone's ideas. Sometimes, it isn't until after a person's death that the world recognizes their brilliance.

A thread on r/AskReddit asked which historical figures were 'crazy' in their time, but have since been acknowledged to be correct. It's a fascinating rabbit hole to fall into.

Britney Spears

Britney Spears
Wikimedia Commons | Glenn Francis

"Craig Ferguson siding with Spears during her run-ins with the tabloids in the 2000s, and his defense of her behavior instead of humiliating her, made me even more admirable of him."


"I sometimes think about how long she was controlled for and wonder how many times she must have convinced herself something was wrong just to cope."


Jose Canseco

Jose Canseco
Wikimedia Commons | Bryan Horowitz

"Jose Canseco named several MLB players who were doping and talked about how prevalent it was and nobody wanted to believe him because he himself was taking steroids. Quintessential case of you’re [a jerk] but you’re not wrong."


Courtney Love

Courtney Love
Wikimedia Commons | Manfred Werner

"When asked if she had any advice young actresses, she said: 'If Harvey Weinstein invites you to a party at the Four Seasons, don't go.'

She was immediately banned by the biggest Hollywood agencies…. A lot of them who today talk about being all about #metoo but helped Harvey Weinstein keep up his sexual predation back then."


Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton ("A dingo ate my baby")

Lindy Chamberlain
Wikipedia | ABC

"I'm 53 and I remember that. In the late 1980s, before Azaria's baby clothes were found, many people were absolutely convinced she had murdered the baby.

So it was a combination of media hype and public opinion that doomed her, sadly."


John Lydon (Johnny Rotten)

John Lydon (Johnny Rotten)
Wikimedia Commons | Shell Smith

"John Lydon. Told a BBC interviewer in 1978 that Jimmy Savile was into 'all kinds of seediness' and that the BBC probably wouldn’t air him saying that. He was right on both counts."


"I'm American and I'd never even heard of Jimmy Savile until his crimes became international news. But watching that documentary, he left SO MANY CLUES that people just willingly overlooked."


Jean Seberg

Jean Seberg
Wikimedia Commons | Carravone

"She most likely died from the torture [the FBI] did on her. She lost a child because of this and she probably attempted suicide again on the anniversary of the death of that child ( premature baby that died two days after birth)."


Heinrich Schliemann

Heinrich Schliemann
Wikimedia Commons | Ed. Schultze Hofphotograph Heidelberg Plöckstrasse 79

"He 100% believed that ancient Troy had really existed. So he armed himself with a copy of the Iliad, and actually managed to find and excavate the city. He'd told everyone and their sister that Troy was a real place for 40 years before he found it, and everyone thought he was cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs. Not so much, it turns out."


John Brown

John Brown
Wikimedia Commons | Augustus Washington

"John Brown was seen as a radical, but he knew that the United States would never give up the institution of slavery without bloodshed."


"He WAS a radical by definition, but the radical position is not always the wrong one."


Dwight Eisenhower

Dwight Eisenhower
Wikimedia Commons | White House

"Eisenhower. Re: The military–industrial complex

'In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.'"


Gregor Mendel

Gregor Mendel
Wikimedia Commons | Bateson, William

"Gregor Mendel, he invented modern day genetics, but people back when he was alive, close to 1890s, thought he was wrong, only to be proven way later on. I found out about this in my 7th grade science class awhile back."


Martha Mitchell

Julie Nixon Eisenhower with Martha Mitchell
Wikimedia Commons | Unknown author or not provided

"She was like part of the reason why it was discovered that Nixon was involved in Watergate. Her husband was part of the Nixon group so she got some inside details. When she wanted to tell the news about the whole scandal, her husband and Nixon men put her in a hotel and restrained her from having any contact with anyone. She was seen as an insane person her husband and Nixon's men even managed to convince the psychiatrists that she was out of her mind."


Alfred Wegener

Alfred Wegener
Wikimedia Commons | Unknown

"Alfred Wegener figured out continental drift in 1912, but nobody would buy it until research in oceanography and geology proved it in the early 1960's."


"The problem was, again, that there was no clear causative means of it happening."


Rutherford B. Hayes

Rutherford B. Hayes
Wikimedia Commons | Matthew Brady

"Not necessarily viewed as crazy, but largely viewed as a bad or useless president.

'This is a government of the people, by the people, and for the people no longer. It is a government of corporations, by corporations, and for corporations.'

Said that in the late 1800's."


John Maynard Keynes

John Maynard Keynes, 1st Baron Keynes of Tilton; Lydia Lopokova
Wikimedia Commons | Walter Benington

"He strongly argued against imposing harsh crippling penalties and even did the math showing that it was physically impossible for Germany to fulfil the obligations that were being proposed, even warning about the inevitable revanchism and pretty much predicting (in broad strokes) what would happen over the next 25 years. His concerns were unheeded, so he quit the talks before they were over, and we know how it turned out."


Margaret Dunbar

The discovered child, originally believed to be Bobby Dunbar, but proven in 2004, through DNA testing, not to be related to the Dunbar family, beside a car with unidentified people
Wikimedia Commons | Unknown author / public domain

"Margaret Dunbar. Her four-year-old son went missing and one day the cops found him and brought him home. Except it wasn’t her son and everyone tried to gaslight her into believing it was. Well she was right and no one knows what happened to the real Bobby Dunbar to this day."


Lord Kitchener (Horacio Herbert Kitchener)

Lord Kitchener
Wikimedia Commons | Duffus Bros

"At the onset of WW1, everyone thought the war would end very quickly, either going one way or the other. Kitchener was one of the few people to envision a long war, and to prepare accordingly, even though the British government actively hampered many of his efforts (even though he was a war hero)."


Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway
Wikimedia Commons | Ermeni Studios

"Hemingway talked about the FBI following him prior to his suicide. They thought he was paranoid. Decades later some papers get released, turns out the FBI was following him."


"If I recall correctly, when his wife sent him to have electroshock therapy, the doctor performing the process was actually a member of the FBI."


Ignaz Semmelweis

Ignaz Semmelweis
Wikimedia Commons | Eugen Doby

"Anyone prior to Louis Pasteur who advocated for germ theory. People like Ignaz Semmelweis were openly mocked for suggestions that doctors should wash their hands before assisting with a birth, as he noted that maternal death was significantly lower when midwives washed their hands. He died in an asylum after suffering a nervous breakdown, and was only vindicated decades after his death when Pasteur and his contemporaries work on germ theory gained traction over the prevailing 'miasma' theory."



Wikimedia Commons | Hakjosef

"Early in 1616, Galileo was accused of being a heretic, a person who opposed Church teachings. Heresy was a crime for which people were sometimes sentenced to death. Galileo was cleared of charges of heresy, but was told that he should no longer publicly state his belief that Earth moved around the Sun."



Bust of Democritus
Wikimedia Commons | Unidentified engraver

"Everyone said his theory was wrong about the atomic theory of the universe. Aristotle said 'everything is made of four elements, earth, water, air, and fire.' Guess he saw Avatar early, but then years upon years later Lecretius revived the atomic theory."