Washington, D.C.--A group of the world's leading historians gathered in Washington today to announce that the excessively-burdened and contradictory narrative of human history was to be retconned immediately "in order to make grasping human history easier for the average reader."
An exhaustive five-year review of the canon of human history was concluded this past April, and following the report's release next week, all preexisting historical texts will become redundant.
Said project head Dorothy Brown, Professor Emeritus of History at Georgetown University. "I understand this may come as a shock to some of our loyal fans. We're just simplifying things because there are only so many complex timelines you can squeeze into a certain narrative before the reader starts to lose his suspension of disbelief."
Brown noted that in addition to the entirety of Egyptian history being compressed into an 800-year period, the United Kingdom will have always existed, and Jack the Ripper would be the first ever serial killer.
"And we're getting rid of every Crusade after the third one. We figured nobody would really miss those," Brown added. "Also, we're saying that Abraham Lincoln's body vanished after he died so we can explore the possibility of bringing him back for our upcoming Civil War II saga. Likewise, the Rolling Stones' album Their Satanic Majesties Request is struck from their catalog, as is the song "Party Rock Anthem" by LMFAO."
The move is the first major retroactive continuity action since the Council of Nicaea declared in 325 that the God of Abraham and his son Jesus Christ had always existed.
T. Bentley Duncan of Chicago University sought to assuage fears from followers that human history would be detrimentally altered. "This is still the human race our readers have come to know and love," said Duncan. "The pettiness, brutality, and struggle to survive are all there. All the major characters you're currently following won't disappear. We only want to make the universe we live as smooth and easy to understand as possible."
The announcement was met with mixed reviews in some corners, with many praising the change, while various fans complained about alterations to their beloved stories.
"I'm pretty disappointed with some of the moves," said Christian Monaghan, a self-described "history buff." "For one, the Spanish-American War was one of my favorite storylines, and I feel like all Cuba-U.S. relations will be hard to understand without that. And eliminating the Siege of Leningrad? Get real." Monaghan did note that he was pleased with the Bill of Rights being adopted simultaneously with the Declaration of Independence, as well as Les Misérables now being about the French Revolution of 1789.
"I mean, who saw that play and was like, 'Oh, that's clearly the June Rebellion'? Nobody," said Monaghan.
One fan, Gene Rosenberry of Charleston, South Carolina offered praise for many of the alterations. "I can't say I'm a huge fan of retcons in general, but having Rome as an empire from the start is a great move; I can't say I cared much for the Republic. And giving Bismarck regenerating powers from birth, rather than acquiring them as a young man was definitely the right call."
In addition, several notable plot holes and unanswered questions will be tied up, from the unexplained similarities between Jesus and the pagan god Horus, the 2000 Presidential election, and the Kennedy assassination.
"We're not perfect; we've gotten sloppy with our work sometimes," admitted Duncan. "What writer doesn't lose track of the bigger picture occasionally? You do what seems fun and exciting at the time, and suddenly Europe is fiscally united and at peace for 70 years. The point is, we've never stopped caring about our fans, and that's what really matters here."
Though the changes will not take effect until next Friday, a statement released by the group noted that anybody who makes a living studying the Stone Age "better find a new past time right fucking quick."