We all had history lessons in school, and while most of us got by memorizing dates and events and passing tests, very few of us have a full grasp on historical events and what happened when. We say some things happened in the distant past, like “that’s ancient history”. And then there’s just something that happened back in the day, which we usually correlate with like our grandparents, some things are “just a couple of years ago” and some are modern-day. But you’d be surprised how many things we get wrong. And you’ll be even more surprised when you find out how certain things overlapped and we had no idea. Here’s a little list of truly mind-blowing historical facts.
1. Women’s Rights and Space
While women’s rights are still something we talk about to this day, and many countries women and men are still not seen as equals, we like to think that basic human rights have been granted to women a while back. Because it seems like a priority, right? But you’d be wrong. In 1971 the US drove a lunar rover on the moon, it was the third moon landing. But it was also the year Swiss women got the right to vote in the elections.
2. Harvard and Calculus
When you think of Harvard University you probably think of super-smart people doing a lot of calculus, but that’s not actually the case. In fact, Harvard was built way before calculus was even invented. Harvard was built in 1636 and calculus hasn’t been invented for at least 30 years after. So the first students definitely didn’t study calculus at Harvard.
3. Palace Of The Governors and Plymouth Rock
The Plymouth Rock is a historical site that marks where William Bradford and the Mayflower Pilgrims got off the ship and started a colony. It’s one of those founding moments in American history. 1620 was the year it all started in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Meanwhile in New Mexico, they’ve already had the Palace of the Governors for 10 years. They had a governing body when the pilgrims only landed in Plymouth.
4. Queen Elizabeth II and Marilyn Monroe
We think of Marilyn Monroe as a star from the past. Even though we know she died young, it still feels like a very long time ago. But you’ll be surprised to find out that the Hollywood starlet was born the same year as the current Queen of the United Kingdom, who’s 94 at the moment. They even met once at a movie premiere in London when they were both 30 years old.
5. Auschwitz and McDonald’s
You would never see a connection between the two, but McDonald’s was founded in 1940, just days after the first people were sent to Auschwitz. Kind of grim, don’t you think? While people in Europe are being sent to concentration camps, America was enjoying the taste of first McDonald’s burgers.
6. Harriet The Tortoise and Charles Darwin
We know that tortoises live super long lives, but there was a tortoise named Harriet actually got to meet Charles Darwin and it only died in 2006. How freaking cool is that? I mean, it’s a tortoise, so it didn’t know how significant of a meeting it was, but still, it’s pretty impressive.
7. Woolly Mammoth and the Pyramids
Mammoths have died out a very long time ago. When we talk about them we think of it as prehistoric creatures but they were still alive, well, and around when the Egyptians started building the Pyramids. Isn’t that weird? We never think of people and Mammoths being around at the same time.
8. Aztec Empire and Oxford
Which one was around first? You’d probably think that it was the Aztec Empire, it was founded in 1428. But actually, Oxford was already up and thriving for centuries before the Aztec Empire existed. Oxford is one of the oldest universities in the world and it actually doesn’t have a date of founding. But we do know that people were teaching in Oxford already in 1096. It is said that the university actually came to be even earlier than that.
9. Anne Frank and Martin Luther King
It seems like lots of famous people were born the same year. We already know that the Queen of UK and Marilyn Monmore were born the same year. But it turns out that Anne Frank and Martin Luther King were also born the same year. It would definitely be interesting to see what these two would talk about if they ever got to meet.
10. The Guillotine and Star Wars
The guillotine seems like such an archaic method of execution, it inevitably brings up times when people would gather to witness a death penalty. But did you know that it was the only legal execution method in France until 1981 when the death penalty was abolished? To be fair, it was slowly going out of use for a couple of years before that. The last person to be executed by guillotine in France died in 1977. And guess what, that was the year Star Wars came out in the US.