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20+ Historical Facts That Will Make You Doubt How You Perceive Time

Published 9 months ago

When you think about the guillotine, you probably think it was used as a form of capital punishment sometime in the middle ages. What if we told you the last time it was actually used was the same year Star Wars came out?

Bored Panda has created a list of historic events who took place at the same time and seeing them compared might change the way you see history. You’ll find out what Marilyn Monroe and Queen Elizabeth have in common and many more historic coincidences – check them out in the gallery below!


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#1 John Tyler, America’s Tenth President, Was Born In 1790. He Has Two Living Grandchildren. So This Means…

Image source: MattSmethurst

#2 Marilyn Monroe And Queen Elizabeth Were Born In The Same Year. Here They (Both 30 At The Time) Meet At A Movie Premier In London In October 1956

The two were both born in 1926 and once met each other, at the premiere of The Battle of the River Plate in London’s Leicester Square. Monroe was there to accompany her then husband Arthur Miller. You can see her here in the receiving line of guests waiting to shake the young Queen’s hand.

Image source: kirbyfood

#3 Woolly Mammoths Were Still Alive While Egyptians Were Building The Pyramids (2660 BCE)

Scientists have determined that wooly mammoths were still roaming the Earth until about 1650 BC, the giant creatures could be found on an island off the coast of eastern Russia at the time. Meanwhile, the oldest of the ‘Great Pyramids’ in Egypt, the Pyramid of Djoser was constructed between 2630 BC–2611 BC, meaning that while man was busy building some of the most incredible structures ever made, wooly mammoths were still doing their thing.

Image source: Ricardo Liberato

#4 Harriet The Tortoise, Who Died In 2006, Had Seen Charles Darwin In Person

Harriet the tortoise was reportedly collected by Charles Darwin during his 1835 visit to the Galápagos Islands as part of his round-the-world survey expedition, transported to England, and then brought to her final home, Australia, by a retiring captain of the Beagle. However, some doubt was cast on this story by the fact that Darwin had never visited the island that Harriet originally came from. She had an estimated age of 175 by the time she finally died at Steve Irwin’s zoo!

Image source: J. Cameron

#5 Oxford University Existed For Hundreds Of Years Before The Aztec Empire Was Founded (1428)

The Aztec Empire, began as an alliance of three Nahua altepetl city-states. These three city-states ruled the area in and around the Valley of Mexico from 1428 until the combined forces of the Spanish conquistadores and their native allies under Hernán Cortés defeated them in 1521. Aztec culture had rich and complex mythological and religious traditions, as well as achieving remarkable architectural and artistic accomplishments.

Meanwhile in England, Oxford University was already well-established. It has no known date of foundation, but there is evidence of teaching as far back as 1096, making it the oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world’s second-oldest university in continuous operation. It grew rapidly from 1167 when Henry II banned English students from attending the University of Paris.

Source: Wikipedia (1,2)

Image source: jjnanni

#6 George Washington Died In 1799. The First Dinosaur Fossil Was Discovered In 1824. George Washington Never Knew Dinosaurs Existed

George Washington died peacefully at home on December 14, 1799, aged 67 years old. A soldier, farmer, and statesman, as well as the first President of the United States under the U.S. Constitution, Washington was commonly referred to as the “Father of His Country” by his compatriots. He, like anyone else at the time, didn’t know that dinosaurs existed because they were not scientifically recognized as such until 1824, when British naturalist William Buckland first described Megalosaurus, now regarded to be the first dinosaur to be scientifically named.

Image source: Gilbert Stuart

#7 Nintendo Was Founded When Jack The Ripper Was Still On The Loose (1889)

Nintendo, the Japanese gaming company associated with video game legends such as Mario, Donkey Kong, Zelda and the Pokemon characters is actually much older than the video game era. They originally made playing cards called hanafuda, and the company was founded way back in 1889, when the infamous Jack the Ripper was creating havoc on the streets of London. The true identity of the Ripper has never been discovered, and he was a prime suspect in the murder of the unidentified woman known as ‘The Pinchin Street Torso,’ because that is all that remained of her. This happened only weeks before Nintendo came into existence.

#8 Today’s Oldest Living Tree (A Bristlecone Pine) Was Already 1,000 Years Old When The Last Wooly Mammoth Died

Would you like to visit a living thing, still alive today, that was around in the time of wooly mammoths? It turns out that actually you can! The world’s oldest tree is a Great Basin bristlecone pine located in White Mountains, California, and is dated at 5067 years old.

To put that into perspective, isolated populations of wooly mammoths on Wrangel Island didn’t finally go extinct until 4,000 years ago, with the small island in the Arctic Ocean serving as a santuary for the great beasts, forced from the mainland by humans and climate change long before.

Image source: Dcrjsr

#9 Star Wars Came Out The Same Year As The Last Guillotine Execution In France (1977)

Star Wars premiered in the U.S. on May 25th 1977. At the same time this futuristic sci-fi was wowing audiences around the world, the medieval practice of death by guillotine was still taking place in France, where Hamida “Pimp Killer” Djandoubi was beheaded for the torture and murder of a young woman. This was the last use of the guillotine in France, nobody else has been executed using any means since.

Image source: Johann Jaritz

#10 Anne Frank And Martin Luther King Junior Were Born In The Same Year (1929)

One of the most discussed Jewish victims of the Holocaust, Anne Frank gained fame posthumously with the publication of The Diary of a Young Girl, in which she documents her life in hiding from 1942 to 1944, during the German occupation of the Netherlands in World War II. It is one of the world’s most widely known books and has been the basis for several plays and films.

Martin Luther King Jr. was an American Baptist minister and activist who became the most visible spokesperson and leader in the civil rights movement from 1954 until his death in 1968. King is best known for advancing civil rights through nonviolence and civil disobedience, tactics his Christian beliefs and the nonviolent activism of Mahatma Gandhi helped inspire. Both of these symbols of resistance were born in the same year, 1929.

Source: Wikipedia (1,2)

Image source: Dick DeMarsico

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