Trump Tells False Story about World War I General Pershing

Trump Tells False Story about World War I General Pershing

Trump Tells False Story about World War I General Pershing

On the night before the South Carolina primary, Donald Trump decided to toss some red meat to his storm troopers by relating a little history lesson about General John “Black Jack” Pershing’s dealings with Muslims during World War I.

General Pershing in France during World War I.

Addressing one of his yuuuuge rallies in North Charleston, South Carolina, Trump, in order justify “going much further” than water boarding suspected terrorists, told this story of how Pershing disposed of Muslims in World War I. Trump claimed the general had captured 50 Muslims prisoners, and then had 50 bullets dipped in pigs’ blood.

“And he lined up the 50 people and they shot 49 of those 50 people, and he said to the 50th, you go back to your people and you tell them what happened — and in 25 years there wasn’t a problem,” he told the enraptured crowd. He also told the crowd “you can read it in the history books.”

Only you can’t read it in the history books. Because the story is not true.

It’s an urban legend that originated in 2001, and circulated around the internet. Here’s an example:

Click to enlarge.

David Emery, writing at Urban Legends for, contacted a Pershing expert in 2003. Dr. Frank E. Vandiver, professor of history at Texas A & M and author of the book Black Jack: The Life and Times of John J. Pershing, told Emery through an email, “I never found any indication that it was true in extensive research on his Moro experiences. This kind of thing would have run completely against his character.”

And if you’re wondering if Dr. Vandiver exists, he does. Here’s a link to his bio.

Interesting that at the same rally, Trump ripped Ted Cruz as a man “who lies more than any other human being I have ever seen.” He also told Fox’s Greta Van Susteren that same night that he never, ever lies. “In fact, if anything, you know, I’m so truthful that it gets me in trouble. They say I’m too truthful.”

The only planet on which that would be believed would be Trump’s (no doubt dominated by a gigantic sign proclaiming TRUMP) and populated by his adoring Trumpa-loompas who just might also believe this:


And especially if Trump tells them so, it’s got to be true.

Written by

Kim is a pint-sized patriot who packs some big contradictions. She is a Baby Boomer who never became a hippie, an active Republican who first registered as a Democrat (okay, it was to help a sorority sister's father in his run for sheriff), and a devout Lutheran who practices yoga. Growing up in small-town Indiana, now living in the Kansas City metro, Kim is a conservative Midwestern gal whose heart is also in the Seattle area, where her eldest daughter, son-in-law, and grandson live. Kim is a working speech pathologist who left school system employment behind to subcontract to an agency, and has never looked back. She describes her conservatism as falling in the mold of Russell Kirk's Ten Conservative Principles. Don't know what they are? Google them!

  • Appalled By The World says:

    It’s really a shame that urban legend isn’t official military policy. It would solve a few problems.

  • Art J says:

    Even if a stretch of the truth, or an urban legend, I would fully support the action, and others like it.

  • GWB says:

    This urban legend has been around a lot longer than 2001.
    From what I recall, there was a rumor running around the Philippines that the Americans were coating their bullets in pig lard. But, the rumors centered on a Marine commander, iirc.

    This legend has really long legs. I wouldn’t judge someone too harshly for having believed it. I would judge a presidential candidate who believes it and repeats it in a stump speech.
    The question is “What will The Donald do now?” If he does a mea culpa, that might show some decent character. If he attacks those pointing out the truth, it will be – sadly – Typical Trump.

  • Dannny moto says:

    We should definitely give it a shot…

    on tv like isis does to the world..

    and then as a bonus we can have bacon!

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