We sometimes try to see things from the past’s point of view. So, we tend to divide things into “old times” and “modern times” most of the time. The main reason is that our brains always mix up how we see time. We don’t know what “a hundred years ago” means because no one has lived that long.
But things that happened in the past could be relevant to the present, even if they happened a long time ago or the other way around.
The great thing about it is that it surprises us and makes us rethink how we usually think about time.
We have put together a list of interesting facts about amazing things that happened in history. These might be very interesting coincidences. This will also change the way you think about the past.
#1 John Tyler, the 10th President of the United States, was born in 1790. He has two grandchildren still alive. This means…
#2 Queen Elizabeth and Marilyn Monroe were both born in the same year. Here, they meet at a movie premiere in London. Both of them were 30 at the time. In October of 1956, Marilyn Monroe and Queen Elizabeth
Both were born in 1926 and met at the opening of The Battle of the River Plate in London’s Leicester Square. Monroe was there with Arthur Miller, her husband at the time. Here, you can see her in the line of people waiting to shake the hand of the young Queen.
#3 Harriet the Tortoise, who died in 2006, had met Charles Darwin in person.
Harriet the tortoise may have been picked up by Charles Darwin in 1835 when he went to the Galápagos Islands for his round-the-world survey voyage. She was taken to England, and then a retiring captain of the Beagle brought her to her final home, Australia. The fact that Darwin had never been to the island where Harriet was born made some people question this story. She was probably 175 years old when she died at Steve Irwin’s zoo.
#4: Woolly mammoths were still alive in 2660 BCE, when the Egyptians built the pyramids.
Scientists have found that wooly mammoths were still around until about 1650 BC. At that time, the big animals could be found on an island off the coast of eastern Russia. The oldest of the “Great Pyramids” in Egypt, the Pyramid of Djoser, was built between 2630 BC and 2611 BC. This means that while people were building some of the most amazing things ever made, wooly mammoths were still going about their business.
#5: Oxford University was around for a long time before the Aztec Empire was created in 1428.
Three Nahua altepetl city-states joined to form the Aztec Empire’s first part. From 1428 to 1521, these three city-states ruled the area in and around the Valley of Mexico. They were defeated by Hernán Cortés and his army of Spanish conquerors and local allies. The religious and mythological beliefs of the Aztecs were deep and complicated, and their architecture and art were also very impressive. In England, meanwhile, Oxford University was already well known. It is not known when it was founded, but there is proof that classes were held as early as 1096. This makes it the oldest university in the English-speaking world and the second-oldest university in the world that is still running. It grew quickly after Henry II told English students they couldn’t go to the University of Paris in 1167. Wikipedia (1,2) is the source.
#6 In 1799, George Washington died. In 1824, the first fossil of a dinosaur was found. George Washington had never heard of dinosaurs.
On December 14, 1799, when he was 67, George Washington died peacefully at home. People in his country called him the “Father of His Country” because he was a fighter, farmer, statesman, and the first President of the United States under the U.S. Constitution. At the time, he and everyone else didn’t know that dinosaurs existed, because scientists didn’t identify them as such until 1824, when a British naturalist named Megalosaurus, which is now thought to be the first dinosaur to be named by scientists.
#7 In 1889, Nintendo began when Jack the Ripper was still on the loose.
Nintendo, the Japanese game company known for Mario, Donkey Kong, Zelda, and the Pokemon figures, has existed long before video games were popular. They used to make hanafuda, which are Japanese playing cards. The company was started in 1889, when Jack the Ripper was causing trouble on the streets of London. The real name of the Ripper has never been found, but he was the most likely person to have killed the unidentified woman known as “The Pinchin Street Torso,” since that was all that was left of her. This happened just a few weeks before Nintendo was made.
#8 In 1929, both Anne Frank and Martin Luther King Jr. were born.
Anne Frank became one of the most talked about Jewish victims of the Holocaust after her diary, The Diary of a Young Girl, was published after her death. In it, she wrote about her life in hiding from 1942 to 1944, when the Germans occupied the Netherlands during World War II. It is one of the most well-known stories in the world, and several plays and movies have been based on it. Martin Luther King Jr. was an American Baptist preacher and activist. From 1954 until his death in 1968, he was the most well-known voice and leader of the civil rights movement. King is best known for advancing civil rights through nonviolence and civil disobedience. These methods were inspired by his Christian views and the nonviolent activism of Mahatma Gandhi. Both of these people who stood up against injustice were born in 1929. Wikipedia (1,2) is the source.
#9 When the last wooly mammoth died, the Bristlecone Pine, that is the oldest living tree today was already 1,000 years old.
Would you like to see something that was still alive when wooly mammoths were around? It turns out that, yes, you actually can! The oldest tree in the world is a Great Basin bristlecone pine in California’s White Mountains. It is 5067 years old. To give you an idea of how long ago that was, the last wooly mammoths on Wrangel Island died about 4,000 years ago. The small island in the Arctic Ocean was a safe place for the big animals after people and climate change drove them off the mainland.
#10: Star Wars came out in 1977, the same year that France’s last execution by guillotine took place.
On May 25, 1977, Star Wars opened in the United States. At the same time that this futuristic sci-fi was wowing crowds all over the world, Hamida “Pimp Killer” Djandoubi was beheaded for torturing and killing a young woman in France, where the medieval practice of death by guillotine was still going on. This was the last time the guillotine was used in France. Since then, no one has been killed in any way.
#11 By the time the Pilgrims reached Plymouth Rock, New Mexico already had a “Palace of the Governors.”
People often think that the pilgrims, who came from England in 1620 and landed at Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts, were the first Europeans to live in the United States. But by that time, Spanish travelers had been in the Southwest for almost a century. In 1610, they started building the “Palace of the Governors” in Santa Fe, a busy town. So when people say stupid things like “Speak English, this is America,” remind them of this.
#12: The same year, Swiss women got the right to vote, In 1971, the US sent a buggy to the moon.
People often consider Switzerland one of the most progressive countries, if not the most progressive. So, it’s strange that women didn’t get the right to vote until 1971, 65 years after Finland was the first country in Europe to give them that right. NASA had already landed on the moon and was driving in a moon buggy. In the meantime, Switzerland has made much progress regarding women’s rights and the gap between men and women. It now ranks 11th, a long way ahead of the United States, which is ranked 45th.
#13: Someone made the fax machine. The first wagon crossed the Oregon Trail in the same year, 1843.
The first fax machine, called the “Electric Printing Telegraph,” was invented by a Scottish man named Alexander Bain. It was registered in 1843, the same year a large wagon train of about 1,000 people headed west to Oregon on what is now called the “Oregon Trail.” This set the stage for the US to move west, which is the start of the “Great Migration.”
14: You could get to the last public hanging in the UK (1868) by taking the London Underground.
In the UK, hanging was a popular way to punish people until 1868, when it was stopped. Micheal Barrett was the last person to be put to death in this way. He was put to death in London’s Newgate prison in front of a big crowd. In 1863, five years before the first trip on the London Underground, the first trip was made. Since there is a stop near the Newgate prison, it is possible that a lot of Londoners would take the tube to go see someone get hanged.
#15: Princess Diana and Mother Teresa died in 1997, but on different days.
In 1997, Princess Diana and Mother Teresa both died within a few days of each other. On August 31, Princess Diana was killed in a car accident in Paris. On September 5, Mother Teresa died after a long battle with her health. She died in India, and the Indian government gave her a state funeral as a thank-you for all her help to the country’s poor people of all religions.
16: When scientists agreed on plate tectonics in 1967, NASA was already exploring space.
Alfred Wegener’s theory of continental drift was first put forward in 1912. However, many scientists did not take his ideas seriously because there seemed to be no way for continents to move. In particular, they didn’t see how continental rock could break through marine crust made of much denser rock. Wegener couldn’t explain what made the continents move, and he wasn’t proven right until he died in 1930. The scientific community didn’t agree with the theory of plate tectonics until 1967. By that time, NASA and the Soviet Union had already gone far beyond the Earth’s surface. They were sending rockets into space and preparing to land on the moon.
#17: People were sent to Auschwitz just days after McDonald’s opened in 1940.
McDonald’s is usually linked with the good times and wealth of the 1950s in America, but the first restaurant opened on May 15, 1940, much earlier than that. The first people were sent to the Auschwitz death camp in what is now Poland just 5 days later.
#18: Maudie Hopkins, the last known widow of a Civil War veteran, died in 2008. This picture was taken at her home in Lexa, Ark., in 2004 when she was 89 years old. In that same year, Barack Obama won his first election for president.
When she was 19, Maudie Hopkins married William M. Cantrell, who had fought in the Civil War. She says she married the 86-year-old former Confederate fighter because she was poor. At the time, he had served in the Confederate States Army. Hopkins died in 2008 at the age of 93 in Lexa, Arkansas. This meant that a Civil War veteran’s wife was still alive when Obama became the first African-American President.
#19: The first few years after Harvard University opened, the school didn’t have calculus classes because calculus hadn’t been invented yet.
Isaac Newton and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz developed modern calculus independently around the same time in the 1700s in Europe. However, parts of calculus had already been used in ancient Greece, China, and the Middle East, as well as in medieval Europe and India. Harvard was founded in 1636 and named after the first person to give money to the school, the priest John Harvard. Harvard is the oldest college in the United States, and its long past, power, and wealth have made it one of the most prestigious universities in the world. Calculus wasn’t taught for the first few years because it had yet to be invented! Wikipedia (1,2) is the source.
20. Ecstasy was made in 1912, the same year that the Titanic sank.
The “unsinkable” Titanic sank in 1912, four days into its first trip from Southampton to New York City. It went down in the North Atlantic Ocean. In the same year, the drug company Merck was looking for ways to stop abnormal bleeding, and one of its scientists, Anton Kollisch, made MDMA to get around a patent from a competitor, Bayer. Merck didn’t care much about the drug at the time, and they didn’t do much study on it for the next few years either. It wasn’t until 1975 that the drug’s psychoactive effects were taken seriously. After that, psychotherapists, psychologists, people who use psychedelics, and yuppies all used it for fun. Wikipedia is a source.