What Queen Elizabeth and Marilyn Monroe Have In Common—and 19 Other Surprising Historical Connections
Sometimes history plays funny tricks on us. Some animals we think of as prehistoric lived long enough to have their picture drawn and some “modern” inventions are much older than we think. Prepare to have your mind blown.
Women in France cast their first votes the day before Hitler died
French women were not given the right to vote until April 29, 1945, one day before Adolf Hitler committed suicide in Berlin. Here are 14 iconic feminist quotes that still resonate today.
Woolly mammoths lived at the time of the pyramids
When construction of the Great Pyramids began 4,500 years ago, there were still wooly mammoths living on Wrangel Island, off the coast of Siberia. Although, most woolly mammoths died out by 10,000 years ago, a small group of 500 to 1,000 survived there until 1650 BC. Find out what the pyramid means on dollar bills.
There were books 600 years before the Gutenberg Bible
The Gutenberg Bible became the first mass-produced book in Europe in 1455. Butt he earliest woodblock-printed paper book is the Chinese book Diamond Sutra, which was created in 868, almost 600 years before Gutenberg. Find out the 12 common phrases you never knew came from the Bible.
Cars, airplanes, and the telegraph were all introduced within 18 years of each other
The Benz Patent-Motorwagen was built in 1885, and is widely regarded as the world’s first automobile to be propelled by an internal combustion engine. Nine years later in 1894, Guglielmo Marconi built the first commercially successful wireless telegraph system. In nine more years the Wright Brothers made their first flight at Kitty Hawk. Flying has changed a lot since then, but here are eight things you can still get for free on a flight.
Dodo bird became extinct just four years before Bach was born
When Dutch settlers moved to their island, Mauritius, the dodo’s nests were destroyed by the monkeys, pigs, and cats the Dutch brought with them. The last of the 3-foot-tall birds died in 1681. Johann Sebastian Bach was born just four years later in 1685.
Barack Obama is related to Jefferson Davis
In his 1995 memoir, Dreams From My Father, our 44th President wrote, “While one of my great-great-grandfathers, Christopher Columbus Clark, had been a decorated Union soldier, his wife’s mother was rumored to have been a second cousin to Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederacy.” Here’s other surprising presidential trivia.
Orville Wright almost lived to see space flight
Wright, who with his brother Wilbur made the first powered flight, died in 1948, just 13 years before Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space on April 12, 1961.
The first fax service was invented in the same year the Civil War ended
Italian physicist Giovanni Caselli introduced the Pantelegraph, the first commercial telefax service between Paris and Lyon in 1865. This was just 11 years before the telephone was invented. Here’s why we say, “Hello,” when we answer the phone.
November 22, 1963 was a cursed day
President John F. Kennedy and novelists C.S. Lewis and Aldous Huxley all died on the same day: November 22, 1963. As Huxley, the author of Brave New World, lay dying, he asked his wife to give him a dose of LSD. These JFK quotes will make you want to be a better person.
The Brooklyn Bridge is older than the London Bridge
The landmark Brooklyn Bridge was built 11 years before the current Tower Bridge in London, which was built in 1894. Check out these iconic American landmarks that almost weren’t.