History occurs every day all over the world but keeping a tab on every single event is a nerve-wracking job. While one part world might be reeling from a political scandal, the other part might be rejoicing in a scientific achievement. But we might not know that most of these are occurring simultaneously. Some of these simultaneous historical events are so amazing that it will leave you with your head spinning time and again. Here are twenty-four such historical date comparisons to change your perception of time.
1. Charles Darwin’s pet tortoise, Harriet, died in 2006 yet Darwin died in 1882. Steve Irwin owned the same tortoise from 1987 until her end.
Harriet was collected from the Galapagos Islands in 1835 by Sir Charles Darwin when she was just the size of a dinner plate. She spent a short time in England with Darwin. Then Harriet was brought to Australia by Darwin’s friend John Wickham.
In 1987 Steve Irwin acquired her from the Queensland reptile and fauna park. She remained with Irwin family until June 23, 2006, when she died.(source)
2. J. R.R Tolkien, Adolf Hitler, and Otto Frank, the father of Anne Frank, were all present as foot soldiers at the battle of the Somme.
The Battle of the Somme which was fought between 1 July and 18 November 1916 was a battle of the First World War. It was fought by the armies of the British and French empires against the German Empire. During this time, two well-known persons who fought side by side in the German army were Adolf Hitler and Otto Frank, the father of Anne Frank. Twenty-eight years later, Hitler’s army arrested Otto Frank and his family and sent them to a concentration camp.
Another well-known person who fought in the same war but on the opposite side was J.R.R. Tolkien, the author of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. He was an officer in the 11th Battalion, Lancashire Fusiliers.(1,2)
3. Pablo Picasso died the year Pink Floyd released Dark Side of the Moon (1973), one year after the birth of Eminem (1972).
The period from 1972-73 was a memorable one in the field of painting and music. On 1 March 1973, Pink Floyd released their eighth album, The Dark Side of the Moon. The album was an immediate commercial and critical success. It topped the Billboard Top LPs & Tapes chart for a week. One month and seven days later world renowned Spanish painter and sculptor, Pablo Picasso, died while he and his wife Jacqueline were entertaining their friends for dinner. Picasso was 92 years old at that time.
About six months earlier on 17 October 1972. Marshall Bruce Mathers III was born whom we know today as Eminem, the famous American rapper. Basically, these six months were a period when all three legends Picasso, Pink Floyd, and Eminem were alive at the same time.(1,2,3)
4. Some of the rings and moons of Saturn are younger than the dinosaurs by approximately 350 million years.
Saturn formed 4.5 billion years ago and first discovered in the 1600s. It was initially believed that Saturn’s rings had existed for as long as the planet. But researchers from the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence Institute (SETI) used data collected by NASA’s Cassini mission to analyse the orbits of Saturn’s moons. This was done in order to find out when the satellites were born. SETI’s researchers have found out that Saturn’s distinctive rings and inner moons were formed a mere 100 million years ago. So, basically, the rings and inner moons of Saturn are younger than most dinosaurs which inhabited our planet 230 to 66 million years ago.(source)
5. Galileo died the same year Newton was born.
Galileo Galilei was an Italian polymath – astronomer, physicist, engineer, philosopher, and mathematician. He is also known as the “father of observational astronomy”, the “father of modern physics”, the “father of the scientific method”, and the “father of science”. His scientific conquests came to an end on 8 January 1642 when he died. Coincidently the same year, just 11 months later, Sir Issac Newton was born. He later became famous for his mathematical description of gravity and numerous other scientific discoveries.(1,2)
6. The Eastern Roman Empire fell only forty years before Columbus discovered America. So, even people who called themselves Romans have heard the news of the discovery of a new continent.
The Byzantine Empire started falling in 476 when the western half of the Roman Empire crumbled. The eastern half survived for 1,000 more years. The Byzantine Empire finally fell in 1453 after an Ottoman army stormed Constantinople during the reign of Constantine XI.
Just about forty years later, Christopher Columbus encountered a new continent – America. It was previously unknown in Europe. But Columbus’s expedition and discovery in 1492 revealed a whole new continent. So, basically, the people who used to call themselves Romans before the fall of Byzantine Empire must have heard about America.(1,2)
7. While Hannibal was crossing the Alps into the Roman Empire in the year 218 BC, the Great Wall of China was in its initial phases of being built.
Hannibal’s crossing of the Alps in 218 BC was one of the major events of the Second Punic War. Also, it is one of the most celebrated achievements of any military force in ancient warfare.By this crossing, Hannibal achieved the of bypassing Roman and allied land garrisons and Roman naval dominance. He managed to lead his Carthaginian army over the Alps and into Italy to take the war directly to the Roman Republic.
At the same time on the other side of the world, a historical border was being created which we now know as the Great Wall of China. This wall was being created by King Zheng of Qin who unified China as the First Emperor of the Qin dynasty in 221 BC. After unifying China, he ordered the destruction of the sections of the walls that divided his empire among the former states. Then he ordered the building of new walls to connect the remaining fortifications along the empire’s northern frontier. There are no surviving historical records indicating the exact length and course of the Qin walls. Most of the ancient walls have eroded away over the centuries and very few sections remain today.(1,2)
8. Prisoners began to arrive in Auschwitz in the same year McDonald’s began serving food.
Nazi Germany invaded Poland in September 1939. On 21 September, the head of Gestapo ordered Polish Jews to be rounded up and concentrated into cities with good rail links. In April 1940, the head of the Schutzstaffel (SS) approved a more permanent site and Auschwitz I started to function as a concentration camp. In the same year, around 300 Jewish residents of Oświęcim were brought in to lay foundations.
While the Gestapo was making new plans of how to starve and kill Jews in Poland, America was watching the initial phase of an iconic fast-food chain, McDonald’s. It was founded in 1940 as a barbeque restaurant operated by Richard and Maurice McDonald at 1398 North E Street near West 14th Street in San Bernardino, California.(1,2)