1. The Tenth President Of The US Was Born In 1790 But Has Two Living Grandchildren
Since the US has had almost 46 presidents already, it's hard to keep track of which person was in office during which time. The tenth president of the United States was John Tyler, who was born in 1790. When he was 63, he had a son, Lyon. Lyon then had a son when he was 63 and another when he was 75, and both of them were still alive this year.
Sadly one of his sons passed away in September 2020, but one of them is still alive, and he is 92 years old. Can you imagine telling people that your grandfather was the tenth president of the United States and fought in the Civil War? That will make you question time.
2. Marilyn Monroe And The Queen Were Both 30 Here
While many people probably wouldn't talk about Marilyn Monroe and Queen Elizabeth in the same sentence, they do have something in common. These two were both born in 1926. Although Marilyn didn't live a long life like the Queen, she left an unforgettable mark on the world.
In 1956 Marilyn and the Queen met at a movie premiere in London. We would love to be a fly on the wall for this interaction because they represent two very different things. We wonder if either of them were starstruck or too famous for caring.
3. Harriet The Tortoise Was So Old That She Met Charles Darwin
According to records, Harriet the Tortoise was collected from the Galapagos Islands in 1837 during Charles Darwin's visit. As the "Father of Evolution," Darwin was fascinated by the species he saw on the islands, and he sent Harriet to England.
After England, Harriet was transported to Australia, where she finally passed away at 175-years-old in Steve Irwin's zoo. There have been some doubts about this story because Darwin never visited the island where Harriet originated; however, neither of them is alive to confirm or deny it.
4. The Pyramids Were Built While Wooly Mammoths Were Still Alive
The Great Pyramids in Egypt are one of the seven wonders of the world, and their construction was incredible for the time period. While these were being constructed in the scorching desert, over in modern-day Russia, wooly mammoths were still hanging out.
Wooly mammoths were alive until 1650 BC, while the pyramids were constructed between 2630 to 2611 BC. Although most people associate wooly mammoths with the Ice Age, it appears the warmth didn't bother them until it got a little too hot, and they went extinct.
5. Oxford University Was Founded Before The Aztec Empire
Oxford is considered one of the top institutions in the world, but few people don't realize how long it has been open. It is said that its first students took classes as early as 1096. About 200 years after that, the Aztec Empire was established, and if that doesn't mess with your mental timeline of the world, we don't know what will.
When people think of the Aztec Empire, they think of ancient times, while Oxford is associated with present times. It's hard to believe that people began learning in universities before most parts of the world had established city-states.
6. George Washington Died Before Fossils Were Discovered
The first president of the United States might have been the original leader of the country, but there were many things he never knew because they hadn't been discovered yet. One perfect example is that he never knew dinosaurs existed because he died in 1799 while fossils weren't discovered until 1824.
Can you imagine living in a world not knowing that these massive creatures once roamed the earth? It's hard to believe, and it seems like those were much simpler times even though the average life expectancy was only 35 years. Therefore, no one really lived long enough to learn everything.
7. Nintendo Was Founded While Jack The Ripper Was On The Run (1889)
For those who are unfamiliar, Jack the Ripper was the first well-known serial killer in England who was never caught because no one could figure out his true identity. While people feared for their lives, Nintendo, the Japanese gaming company, opened to sell Hanafuda cards.
Although Nintendo is best associated with games like Mario, Pokemon, and Zelda, there was a time where they only sold playing cards. Can you imagine some creepy serial killer walking away from one of their victims to go pick up a pack of these cards?
8. Anne Frank And Martin Luther King Jr. Were Born In The Same Year
While these two grew up on opposite ends of the world, their stories share many similarities including the year they were born. Martin Luther King Jr and Anne Frank were both born in 1929, and they are both seen as symbols of resistance during horrific periods in history.
Anne Frank is one of the most discussed victims of the Holocaust because her diary was published after World War II. She was killed for her religion, which she was born into, while Martin Luther King Jr. was killed because of his skin color. He was a leader in the Civil Rights movement and one of the most influential people in modern history.
9. You Can Visit A Tree That Was 1,000 Years Old When Wooly Mammoths Died
You can compare many things to the time when wooly mammoths roamed the earth—apparently, they are a better marker of time. When wooly mammoths were going extinct, the world's oldest non-clonal tree was already 1,000 years old. A bristlecone pine tree in California's White Mountains is around 4,851 years old.
That tree must be getting water from the fountain of youth! How has it stayed alive for so long between the wildfires, droughts, and poor air quality? Maybe we should all take notes to figure out how to live for a couple of thousand more years.
10. Star Wars Came Out The Same Year As The Last Guillotine Execution
While it's hard to imagine that the guillotine was still being used in 1977, it is the truth. Most people were getting excited that year for the first Star Wars release, but in France, they were preparing for what would be the last beheading. Such a medieval practice compared to the futuristic movie plot.
In fact, Hamida "Pimp Killer" Djandoubi, who was beheaded, was the last person in France to be executed by any means. The worst punishment for his crimes was never being able to enjoy the iconic opening credits of Star Wars.
11. When The Pilgrims Came To America, There Was A "Palace Of The Governors" In New Mexico
Contrary to popular belief, the Pilgrims were not the first Europeans to settle in the United States. About a century before they sailed into Plymouth Rock, Spanish explorers conquered the Southwest. In 1610, ten years before the Pilgrims arrived, the Spanish built the Palace of the Governors.
Finally, in 1620, the Pilgrims arrived and changed the course of history. Therefore, next time someone says, "speak English, this is America," you can point out that the Spanish were here first, and didn't speak English.
12. Swiss Women Got The Right To Vote In The Same Year That The A Buggy Drove On The Moon
Most people look to Switzerland as the prime example of a progressive nation. However, when it came to giving women the right to vote, they were behind the times and only granted those rights in 1971. Meanwhile, NASA astronauts had already landed on the moon and were driving a buggy around.
The first country to allow women to vote was Sweden in 1718. So, Switzerland might lead in all other categories when it comes to progressive views, but it took them a while to catch up with women's rights and the gender pay gap, ranking at number 11 worldwide today.
13. The Fax Machine Was Invented When People Began Using The Oregon Trail
As the US was expanding westward, about 1,000 people set off on the Oregon Trail to explore and begin "The Great Migration." In that same year, Scottish inventor Alexander Bain patented the "Electrical Printing Telegraph," which we know as the fax machine.
Back then, the electrical printing telegraph did not look like a modern-day fax machine, and it didn't have the same capabilities. Still, over time it was upgraded with modern technology. Who do you think arrived at their destination first, the telegraph or the horse-drawn wagons?
14. You Could Take The London Underground To The Last Public Execution In The UK
It is bizarre to think that people would attend public executions as an afternoon activity, but it happened in the UK until 1868. Five years prior to the final hanging, the London Underground opened; therefore, people could conveniently travel to see Michael Berret executed.
After 1868, public executions were abolished in the UK, so people had to use the London Underground for normal things like going to visit family or work. It must have been a boring train ride knowing you weren't headed towards a criminal's death.
15. Princess Diana And Mother Theresa Died Within A Few Days Of Each Other In 1997
Princess Diana and Mother Theresa may have been a few decades apart in age, but they died within a few days of each other. Princess Diana was killed in a car crash in Paris, while Mother Theresa passed away from declining health in India. They both left a huge impact on society and culture.
Both Mother Theresa and Princess Diana had massive funerals as thousands of people mourned the loss of these incredible women. In India, Mother Theresa received a state funeral, and she was honored for the work she did with the poor from all religious backgrounds.
16. NASA Was Exploring Space Already When Scientist Figured Out Plate Tectonics
Although Alfred Wegener proposed the theory of continental drift in 1912, it was not taken seriously by scientists until 1967. By this time, NASA said, "screw you guys, we're going to space." Alfred Wegener didn't get vindication until after his death, but we wouldn't have known about plate tectonics without his proposal.
Just two years after they accepted the theory of continental drift, NASA astronauts landed on the moon. Still today, there are plenty of things left to be discovered, and one day people will look back and say, "I can't believe they didn't know this existed, yet they had tiny computers in their pockets."
17. A Few Days After McDonald's Opened Their First Restaurant, Prisoners Arrived At Auschwitz
When people think of McDonald's, they picture children laughing, greasy food, and possibly the obesity epidemic; however, people rarely remember that the first store was opened in 1940, a year after World War II started. Just days after the branch opened, prisoners were sent to Auschwitz.
McDonald's grew to popularity in the '40s because the food was so inexpensive, but things could not have been more different across the ocean. People were starving, and they would have done anything for a hamburger.
18. The Last Widow Of A Civil War Vet Died The Same Year That Obama Was Elected
While the Civil War ended in 1865, the last widow of a Civil War vet lived until 2008, the same year Barak Obama was elected. Maudie Hopkins passed away just a few months short of seeing the first African-American president, which would have blown her husband's mind if he were also alive.
Maudie Hopkins' husband was fighting in a war that nearly tore the country in two and ended with the dissolution of slavery. It is therefore historic justice that the last widow of a soldier would be able to live long enough to see an African-American man ascend to the highest office in the land.
19. Harvard University Was Founded Before Calculus Was Invented
Harvard is another one of the world's top institutions, and it was established in 1636. In the beginning stages, Harvard did not offer calculus courses because it was not invented. Around the same time as Harvard's establishment, Isaac Newton and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibnitz separately published the idea of calculus.
Although calculus elements had appeared centuries before in ancient Greece, China, the Middle East, and medieval Europe, it wasn't recognized until sometime in the 17th century. To think about Harvard without calculus is like imagining the United States without George Washington.
20. Ecstasy Was Invented The Same Year The Titanic Sank
In the same year the "unsinkable" Titanic sunk during its maiden voyage, chemists created MDMA, or ecstasy. Initially, pharmaceutical giant Merk was looking to develop a medication that would stop abnormal bleeding, but the MDMA that their chemist created turned out to be of no use to them.
Can you imagine what it would have been like if people were taking ecstasy while the Titanic was sinking? Maybe that's the secret to why the ship crashed into the iceberg in the first place. Although he went down with the ship, the captain has some explaining to do.
21. Orville Wright Was Still Alive When Hiroshima And Nagasaki Were Bombed
The Wright brothers are credited for the invention of what we know as airplanes around 1903. Although Wilbur Wright passed away in 1912, his brother Orville lived until 1948. During his lifetime, he witnessed the most destructive act known to man, the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
When the Wright brothers were inventing their planes, they hoped it would bring lasting peace to the world. However, planes have been used in every war since their invention, and Orville was disappointed to see that they were used for horrific things.
22. Charlie Chaplin And Hitler Were Born In The Same Year
Believe it or not, the legendary comedic actor Charlie Chaplin was born in the same year as the worst person in the world, Adolf Hitler. While these two stood for completely different things, Charlie Chaplin portrayed Hitler in the 1940 satire, The Great Dictator.
When the movie was released, the United States was still at peace with Germany, but we all know that wouldn't last long. Chaplin and Hitler might have been born in the same year and week, but they could not have been more different. For the record, Chaplin had the mustache first.
23. Van Gogh Painted "Starry Night" The Same Year The Eiffel Tower Was Completed
As one of the most recognizable monuments worldwide, the Eiffel Tower was erected to serve as the Worlds' Fair entrance in 1889 and became a permanent part of the Paris skyline. That same year, Van Gogh painted his most famous art piece, "Starry Night."
It seems that 1889 was a year that produced iconic work. The timing could not be more perfect because French artists always inspired Van Gogh. Also, the tower was supposed to be taken down after the fair, especially because Parisians thought it was an eyesore compared to other city monuments.
24. The Ottoman Empire Existed The Last Time The Chicago Cubs Won The World Series
Although the Chicago Cubs won the world series in 2016, before that, they hadn't won since 1908. In 1908, the Ottoman Empire still existed until it was broken up after World War I. The Cubs don't have a great winning streak, but at least they have won once in each century.
It is insane to think that modern-day Turkey used to cover northern Africa, the Middle East, and parts of Europe. They had so much power in the world, and somehow they were defeated. At least the Ottoman rulers got to see the Cubs win the World Series before defeat.
25. The Colosseum In Rome Was Unveiled When Parts Of The Bible Were Written
In 80 AD, the Roman Colosseum was unveiled to the public, which was around the same time that The Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles in the bible were written. Luke is the longest book in the New Testament, and it was written between 80 to 110 AD. It was revised well into the 2nd century.
It is interesting that the bible was still being written during those times because it seems like it was a text from ancient times long before there were public sporting events. Our view of time is very jumbled at this point.
26. The London Underground Idea Was Thought Up During The Height Of The Civil War In the US
The London Underground was a revolutionary idea that changed day to day travel in London. The idea for the train was thought up in the 1830s, and it officially opened in 1863. In the United States, the Civil War was still going on, and slavery was legal for two more years.
In one country, they had the underground railroad to help slaves get to freedom, while another country had a real underground train that helped people get around the city. On paper, the names sound like they mean the same thing, but they were completely different concepts.
27. Charlie Chaplin Died The Same Year Apple Was Incorporated
Charlie Chaplin was known for his silent black and white films, and when he passed away in 1977, the computer age was just beginning. Apple was incorporated that same year, and it shows how quickly technology developed in just a few decades.
We can imagine a silent film where Charlie Chaplin tries to use a computer for the first time. That would have been a hilarious yet successful ad for Apple. It would have shown that anyone can get the hang of this new technology.
28. "Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows" And The First iPhone Were Released In The Same Year
2007 was a big year for books and technology. The seventh and final installment of Harry Potter was released, and Apple introduced the world to the iPhone. We don't know what people were more excited about, but we know they were spending a lot of money.
Within a few years, iPhones allowed users to read the Harry Potter books on their phones and watch the movies. Sadly, the iPhone killed people's attention spans, and children barely read real books anymore because they are always on their phones.
29. The Brooklyn Bridge Was Built During The Great Sioux War Of 1876
The Brooklyn Bridge is not only an iconic piece of New York, but it was also a revolutionary bridge because it was the first of its kind. It was the world's first steel-wire suspension bridge, and it was under construction during the same period as the Great Sioux War.
The battle was between the Lakota, Northern Cheyenne, and Arapaho tribes and the United States Army. The US was defeated at the Battle of Little Bighorn, which was the most significant event of that war. Still today, people talk more about the Brooklyn Bridge than the Sioux War.
30. Buffalo Bill Was Alive While The Germans Bombed With Zeppelins
While some people might think of Buffalo Bill from Silence of the Lambs, there was actually a famous western showman who went by the same name in the late 1800s. He founded "Buffalo Bill's Wild West," and took the show on tour around America in 1883, and later in Europe and England.
Shortly before his death, Buffalo Bill was sad to find out that there was a new way to fight wars; Germany began dropping bombs from the sky in Zeppelins. It was much different from the cowboys and Native Americans on horseback that Buffalo Bill was used to in his shows.
31. Pink Floyd Released "Dark Side Of The Moon" The Same Year Picasso Died
Sometimes we forget that Picasso was part of the 20th century, but he was still alive well into the '70s. Just one month before he died, Pink Floyd released one of the most groundbreaking albums, "Dark Side of the Moon." We hope Picasso got to listen to this piece of musical art before he passed away.
While Picasso painted some of the most influential pieces of artwork during the 20th Century, Pink Floyd played some of the most influential music for the last portion of the same period. Some people don't realize that they were alive at the same time as Picasso.
32. Microsoft Was Founded While Spain Was Still Under A Dictatorship
While Microsoft was introduced to the world in 1975 by Bill Gates and Paul Allen, over in Spain, Francisco Franco Bahamonde ruled the country as a Fascist dictator. The highly controversial figure would never have wanted to usher in the age of computers, but he died before that could happen.
Franco was keen on the preservation of traditional Spanish culture, and people had mixed views about him. On the one hand, he was anti-communist and had nationalist views, but he lead the country with violence and suppression.
33. Abraham Lincoln Was Killed Before The Secret Service Was Established
Well, this one makes sense. The Secret Service wasn't established until a few months after Abraham Lincoln's assassination, and if they had been around, he might not have been killed. The legislation to create the unit was still on Lincoln's desk the night he died.
Imagine if the Secret Service had been there to protect the Lincoln at the time. The course of history would have been entirely different, and we don't know what the world would have been like if he had lived longer.
34. The Royal Wedding Took Place A Few Days Before Osama Bin Laden Was Killed
Although the Royal wedding doesn't seem like it was that long ago, it did take place within a week of Osama Bin Laden's death. While the newlywed royal couple was celebrating the marriage, the Navy SEALs captured one of the most notorious terrorists of the 21st century.
It is kind of like the end of a Disney movie; the prince and princess got married, the bad guy was killed, and everyone lived happily ever after for a few minutes. Plenty of awful things have taken place since 2011, but there was a moment for people to breathe after his death.
35. Artist Salvador Dali Died The Same Day That Daniel Radcliffe Was Born
Salvidor Dali is best known for his surrealist artwork and truly bizarre paintings. What most people don't know is that he only passed away in 1989. during that same year, Daniel Radcliffe and Hayden Panettiere were born.
Many of Dali's artworks were inspired by Renaissance masters, which is why it is surprising to find out that he was still alive not too long ago. It was also the year the Berlin Wall fell, so you could say it was an eventful time.
36. The Mongols Captured Beijing The Same Year The Magna Carta Was Signed
When we say the Magna Carta, we aren't talking about a Jay-Z album; we are talking about the document from 1215 that promised protection of church rights, protection for the barons from illegal imprisonment, access to swift justice, and more. It influenced the constitutional freedom we have today.
During that same year, there was a battle between the Mongols and the Jurchen Jin dynasty, which controlled northern China. The Mongol troops conquered Beijing and slaughtered the city's inhabitants. While freedom was being created, other people were being over-powered.
37. Yellowstone National Park Was Created One Year After The German States Unified To Become Modern-Day Germany
Yellow Stone National Park was established by President Ulysses S. Grant on March 1, 1872. Just one year before that, Germany unified to become one nation known as the German Reich under Kaiser Wilhelm I.
It is hard to imagine because everything within Yellowstone National Park has been around long before the US's establishment even, but the park itself was not established for a long time. Also, when we think of Germany, we don't picture it being decided into different states.
38. Jewish Prisoners Liberated From "The Death Train"
In this incredible moment, these prisoners were liberated from the death train in 1945. After fearing for their lives, they were free, and the war was over. Throughout that year, people who were imprisoned by the Nazis and survived were set free, but they shouldn't have been imprisoned in the first place.
During that same year, President Roosevelt died from polio, and Harry Truman took over office. This is not surprising because Truman helped end the war when he gave the go-ahead to bomb Japan.
39. One Man Refuses To Do The Nazi Salute
It's a good thing the internet didn't exist in 1936 because this man would have been caught quickly for not doing the Nazi salute. When Hitler was appointed chancellor in 1933, people were required to use the salute during the national anthem.
Obviously, this man did not want to conform with the practices of the horrific dictator, and he must have seen through the propaganda and lies. We wonder what happened to this man and if he ever decided to use the salute.
40. The Day After Sweden Switched From Driving On The Left To The Right Side
In 1967, Sweden changed from driving on the left side of the road to the right because the neighboring countries were already doing it, and they thought it would cause fewer head-on collisions. However, it took some time for people to just to this new way of driving.
It caused one of the biggest traffic jams in the countries history, but people were definitely more cautious while driving. Overall, the number of traffic accidents went down during that year, but it's hard to tell if it was because people were more nervous about driving.