11 Times People Disregarded Orders And Changed History

Ephraim Obare
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What’s more thrilling than a historical yarn about rebellion and defiance? When someone steps back, squints at the orders they’ve been given, and with a shrug, says, “Nah.” Buckle up, dear reader, because we’re about to analyze 11 instances where individuals tossed the rule book out the window and, in doing so, rewrote history itself.

Who knew disobedience could be so impactful, right? Let’s embark on this unconventional journey of the stalwart contrarians who didn’t just break the rules—they made new ones.

Rosa Parks

Rosa Parks
The Plain Dealer via Wikimedia Commons

In 1955, Parks, a black seamstress, refused to give up her seat to a white man on a Montgomery, Alabama, city bus. Parks’ act of defiance sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott and accelerated the Civil Rights Movement.

The Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA) orchestrated the boycott, propelling its president, Martin Luther King, Jr., into the spotlight as in the civil rights movement, capturing the attention of the world.

Henry David Thoreau

Henry David Thoreau
Geo. F. Parlow via Wikimedia Commons

Thoreau didn’t take kindly to the U.S. government’s decision to wage war against Mexico and its endorsement of slavery, so he simply refused to pay his taxes.

This act of civil disobedience inspired his writing, “Civil Disobedience,” influencing future figures like Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.

Vasili Arkhipov

Vasili Arkhipov
Olga Arkhipova via Wikimedia Commons

As second-in-command aboard a Soviet submarine during the Cuban Missile Crisis, Arkhipov voted against launching a nuclear torpedo at U.S. warships, potentially preventing nuclear war.

Albert Einstein

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Orren Jack Turner//Wikimedia Commons

Despite being a patent examiner, Einstein continued to work on theoretical physics, eventually developing his theory of relativity despite no formal mandate or direction. His theories revolutionized our understanding of the fundamental laws of the universe.

Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman
Library of Congress CALL NUMBER: Illus. in JK1881 .N357 sec. 16, No. 9 NAWSA Coll [Rare Book RR] via Wikimedia Commons
Despite the grave risks, Tubman led countless enslaved people to freedom via the Underground Railroad, changing the course of history in the process.

Christopher Columbus

Portrait of a Man, Said to be Christopher Columbus via WikiCommons
Portrait of a Man, Said to be Christopher Columbus via WikiCommons

Despite orders to find a route to the East Indies by sailing around Africa, Christopher Columbus instead sailed west, accidentally stumbling upon the Americas and forever changing the course of history.

Stanislav Petrov

Stanislav Petrov
Stanislav Petrov’s Personal Photo Archive via Wikimedia Commons

In 1983, Petrov, a lieutenant colonel in the Soviet Air Defense Forces, disobeyed protocol and didn’t report a false alarm for incoming U.S. nuclear missiles, potentially preventing a catastrophic retaliation.

Mahatma Gandhi

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Elliott & Fry//Wikimedia Commons

Gandhi’s philosophy of peaceful resistance led India to independence and inspired movements for civil rights and freedom worldwide.

Alan Turing

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Thmahe//Wikimedia commons

Despite orders to divide his work among his team during World War II, Turing continued his work on the Bomba, a machine used to decipher the Enigma-encrypted messages of the Germans, significantly aiding the war effort.

Raoul Wallenberg

Raoul Wallenberg
Wikimedia Commons

Disobeying orders and risking his life, Swedish diplomat Wallenberg issued protective passports and sheltered Jews in buildings designated as Swedish territory, saving tens of thousands of lives during the Holocaust.

Nelson Mandela

12 Influential Politicians and Their Secret Lives
Kingkongphoto & www.celebrity-photos.com from Laurel//Wikimedia Commons

Despite being imprisoned for 27 years, Mandela continued his fight against apartheid in South Africa. His resilience led to his eventual release and election as the country’s first black head of state.

Source: 

Ranker – 11 Times People Disregarded Orders And Changed History

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Bryan Ledgard//Wikimedia Commons

Live television can be unpredictable; sometimes, this unpredictability leads to controversies that leave a lasting impression. From stunts gone wrong to unexpected outbursts, live TV has seen its fair share of moments we can’t forget – no matter how hard we try.

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Photo: © canva.com

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Author

  • Ephraim Obare

    Ephraim Obare is a versatile member of the Frenz Hub writing team, bringing a rich background in economics to his work. An avid swimmer, reader, and cyclist, Ephraim blends analytical insights with his diverse interests.

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