Historical Facts That Might Make You Question Your Perception Of Time

For some people, time is one of the most perplexing and incomprehensible aspects of life. We’re always moving forward, and are usually so caught up in how time is affecting us individually that it’s easy to separate time into periods such as “a long time ago,” “a few weeks ago,” “yesterday,” etc. However, when it comes to history, it can be hard to differentiate how closely together, or far apart, certain events occurred. Here are some facts about history and time that made us stop and think for a moment.

Marilyn Monroe And Queen Elizabeth Were Born In The Same Year

Marilyn and the Queen
ullstein bild via Getty Images
ullstein bild via Getty Images

While most people’s image of Marilyn Monroe is when she was in her youth, and Elizabeth as an elderly queen, the actress and the monarch were both born in the same year–1926.

At the age of 30, both ladies actually met each other at the movie premiere of The Battle of the River Plate in London’s Leicester Square. Monroe was accompanying her husband, Arthur Miller, and even had the opportunity to shake the Queen’s hand.

Woolly Mammoths Existed When The Egyptian Pyramids Were Being Built

Painting of a mammoth
The Print Collector/Getty Images
The Print Collector/Getty Images

Wooly mammoths are considered to be prehistoric creatures by many, considering that we know early humans hunted them long before the establishment of any advanced societies. However, scientists have concluded that the massive beasts were still roaming the Earth until around 1560 BC, with their remains being found off the coast of eastern Russia.

At the same time, the oldest of the Great Pyramids in Egypt, the Pyramid of Djoser, was constructed between 2630 – 2611 BC. This means that while it’s unlikely Egyptians knew of their existence, wooly mammoths were alive and well.

Nintendo Was Founded When Jack The Ripper Was Still On The Loose

Sketch of Jack the Ripper
DeAgostini/Getty Images
DeAgostini/Getty Images

To many, Nintendo is a modern video game company that brought us classics like Mario, Zelda, and the impressive Nintendo Switch, but that’s not what it started as.

Initially, Nintendo made playing cards for a game called hanafuda. The company was founded back in 1889, a time when the notorious Jack the Ripper was still wreaking havoc on London. Today, the identity of the serial killer remains unknown, with the remains of the victim known as “The Pinchin Steet Torso” being discovered just weeks after Nintendo opened its doors.

Star Wars Premiered In The Same Year Of The Last Guillotine Execution In France

On the set of Star Wars
Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images
Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images

Execution by guillotine is a rather barbaric way to die and is heavily associated with the Reign of Terror during the French Revolution in the late 1700s. The first Star Wars premiered on May 25, 1977, and amazed audiences around the world with its futuristic concepts and progressive special effects.

Yet, that same year, a man named Hamida Djandoubi was beheaded by the guillotine for the torture of a young woman. He was the last person to be executed in this manner in France.

It Only Took Us 66 Years To Reach The Moon After The Wright Brothers First Took Flight

Wright Brothers flying
SSPL/Getty Images
SSPL/Getty Images

Orville and Wilbur Wright were two American brothers who are credited with designing, building, and flying the world’s first successful motor-operated airplane. Their first successful flight was with the Wright Flyer on December 17, 1903.

Then, in July 1969, a mere 66 years later, Apollo 11 became the first spaceflight that landed people on the moon. Commander Neil Armstrong became the first person to set foot on the lunar surface, with Aldrin joining 19 minutes later.

Women In Switzerland Got The Right To Vote When The U.S. Drove A Buggy On The Moon

Buggy on the moon
The Print Collector/Print Collector/Getty Images
The Print Collector/Print Collector/Getty Images

Regardless that Switzerland is considered to be one of if not the most progressive nations in the world, they were a bit slow when it came to women’s suffrage. Women attained this right in 1971, a whole 65 years after Finland became the first European country to do so.

By then, the United States had already landed on the moon and in 1971 were successfully driving a buggy on the surface. Yet, since then, Switzerland has made huge improvements regarding the gender gap and is ranked number 11 in the world, with the United States at 45.

Prisoners Arrived At Auschwitz Days After McDonald’s Was Founded

Gates of Auschwitz
Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

McDonald’s restaurant was founded by Richard and Maurice McDonald on May 15, 1940, in San Bernadino, California. While it started off as a regular hamburger stand, the company eventually grew to become one of the largest franchises in the world.

Just days after opening their business, on the other side of the world, far darker things were in the works. Five days later, the first prisoners would arrive at the Auschwitz concentration camp, one of the largest and deadliest sites of the Holocaust.

The Last Widow Of A Civil War Veteran Died In 2008

Picture of Maudie
Stuart Lutz/Gado/Getty Images
Stuart Lutz/Gado/Getty Images

Maudie Hopkins married a Civil War veteran of the Confederate States Army named William M. Cantrell in 1934, when she was just 19 years old. Her husband was 86 at the time they were married, which she claims she agreed to because of her financial situation.

Hopkins passed away in 2008 at the age of 93 in Lexa, Arkansas, making her a Civil War Veteran’s widow who was still alive when Barack Obama became the first African-American to serve as President of the United States.

The Ottoman Empire Was Still In Existence The Second To Last Time The Chicago Cubs Won The World Series.

Ottoman soldiers
SeM/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
SeM/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The Ottoman Empire was founded at the end of the 13th century and was a state and caliphate that controlled much of Southeastern Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa between the 14th through the early 20th century.

Before the Chicago Cubs won the World Series in 2016, they hadn’t been victorious since 1908, a time when the Ottoman Empire was still in existence. However, the empire was dissolved after defeat in World War I and became modern-day Turkey.

The Stegasaurus Is Ancient Compared To T. Rex

Drawing of dinosaurs
Ernest Untermann/Getty Images
Ernest Untermann/Getty Images

Although they were both dinosaurs, the Stegosaurus is ancient in comparison to the Tyrannosaurs rex, by millions of years. The Stegosaurus roamed the Earth during the late Jurassic Period, which was around 156 million and 144 million years ago.

The Tyrannosaurus rex, on the other hand, lived during the Cretaceous period, around 67 to 65 million years ago. So, technically, the T. rex actually lived closer in time to humans than it did to the Stegosaurus.

Cleopatra Was Born Closer To The Television Series Friends Than The Great Pyramids Of Giza

Picture of Cleopatra
Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Cleopatra was born in 69 BC and was the last active ruler of the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt. After being defeated by Octavian at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC, Cleopatra and her lover took their own lives in 30 BC, which was a little more than 2,000 years ago.

The Pyramids of Giza were completed in 2560 BC, making them more than 2,500 years older than Cleopatra. So, in the grand scheme of things, Cleopatra was alive closer to the premiere of Friends in 1994 than the Pyramids of Giza that she once ruled over.

The iPhone Was Released The Same Year As The Final Harry Potter Novel

Steve Jobs introducing the iPhone
David Paul Morris/Getty Images
David Paul Morris/Getty Images

The Harry Potter series began back in 1997 with the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling. The seventh and final installment in the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was finally released on July 21, 2007.

However, this wasn’t the only major cultural phenomenon to occur that year. Almost exactly a month before, on June 29, 2007, Apple unveiled the iPhone, the first smartphone designed and marketed by Apple Inc.

The Brooklyn Bridge Was Under Construction During The Battle Of Little Bighorn

Painting of the battle
GraphicaArtis/Getty Images
GraphicaArtis/Getty Images

Otherwise known as “Custer’s Last Stand,” the Battle of Little Bighorn took place in 1876, and was fought between the Native American forces including the Northern Cheyenne, Lakota, and Arapaho tribes against the United States Army. That same year, the Brooklyn Bridge, the world’s first steel-wire suspension bridge, was under construction.

Although it has undergone some improvements over the years, the bridge stands strong, transporting around 150,000 vehicles including cyclists and pedestrians between Manhattan and Brooklyn each day.

Princess Diana And Mother Teresa Died Days Apart

Diana holding Teresa's hand
Anwar Hussein/WireImage
Anwar Hussein/WireImage

Both iconic historical figures, despite their substantial age difference, Princess Diana and Mother Teresa died just days apart in 1997. Princess Diana was tragically killed in a car crash in Paris on August 31st with Mother Teresa passing away in India on September 5, after years of declining health.

Both of their deaths were mourned by the world, with Mother Teresa receiving a funeral from the Indian government while Princess Diana had an estimated 2.5 billion people watching her funeral worldwide.

A Tortoise That Died In 2006 Had Been Studied By Charles Darwin

Harriet and the Irwins
Pinterest
Pinterest

On his research expedition to the Galapagos Islands in 1836, Charles Darwin collected Harriet the Tortoise. She was then transported to England and finally brought to her final home, Australia, by the retiring captain of the Beagle.

However, some have doubted this story, claiming that Darwin never visited the island that Harriet was originally from. Either way, Harriet died in 2006 at the age of 175 in none other than Steve Irwin’s own zoo.

Pablo Picasso Died The Same Year Pink Floyd Released Dark Side Of The Moon

Picture of Pink Floyd
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Regarded as co-founding the Cubist movement as well as progressing several other styles of art, Pablo Picasso is considered to be one of the most influential artists of the 20th century. Born in 1881, he lived a long and eventful life until his death in 1973.

This was the same year that the psychedelic rock group Pink Floyd released Dark Side of the Moon, one of the most successful and groundbreaking records in the history of music. Today, it is still considered one of the greatest albums of all time.

George Washington Never Knew Dinosaurs Existed

Portrait of George Washington
Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images.
Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images.

Often referred to as the “Father of the United States” by citizens of the country, George Washington was quite accomplished. A farmer, general, statesman, and the first President of the United States, Washington was a learned man, except that he was completely unaware of a major part of the world’s history.

Like everyone else at the time, he had no clue that dinosaurs existed. They weren’t scientifically recognized until 1824 when British naturalist William Buckland first wrote the first full account of a fossil dinosaur, which he named Megalosaurus.

Oxford University Was Around Hundreds Of Years Before The Aztec Empire

Picture of two war chiefs
Werner Forman/Universal Images Group/Getty Images
Werner Forman/Universal Images Group/Getty Images

The Aztec Empire was comprised of three city-states that ruled in and around the Valley of Mexico from 1428 until the Spanish conquistadors essentially eliminated them in 1512. Today, they are considered to be one of the most highly advanced civilizations in history.

Several sources claim there is evidence of teaching at Oxford University dating back to 1096, making it the oldest English-speaking and second oldest university in continuous operation.

Anne Frank And Martin Luther King Jr. Were Born The Same Year

King Giving A Speech
Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Anne Frank is one of the most discussed figures of the Holocaust due to her posthumously-published The Diary of a Young Girl. Unfortunately, the world only knows her as the young girl in the pictures before she was extinguished by the Nazis.

On the other hand, Martin Luther King Jr. is arguably one of the greatest icons of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. Yet, although they represent different portions of world history, both were born in the same year of 1929.

NASA Was Exploring Space When Scientists Were Still Arguing About The Existence Of Plate Techtonics

Photo of Alfred Wegner
ullstein bild/ullstein bild via Getty Images
ullstein bild/ullstein bild via Getty Images

In 1912, Alfred Wegner proposed his theory of continental drift, and his ideas were not taken seriously by many geologists at the time. Those who doubted his beliefs didn’t believe that continental rock could push through the more-dense oceanic crust, which Wegner was unable to prove.

It wasn’t until 1967 that Wegner’s theory of plate tectonics was finally accepted by the scientific community, and by that time, NASA and the Soviets had already left Earth’s crust in order to study space and preparing to land on the moon.