Having read online about Queen Elizabeth and Marilyn Monroe, we were surprised to find out that these two icons share the same birth year. Inspired, we went on to search for other incredible historical parallels.
Today we present you with a selection of well-known historical events. The reason we’ve put them in pairs is — and we bet you haven’t heard of this before — they happened practically at the same time!
1. Vincent van Gogh’s The Starry Night / The Eiffel Tower
Compared to other tourist attractions, the Eiffel Tower is quite “young.” However, it firmly holds the title of being the most visited edifice in the world. Initially, the tower wasn’t meant to grace the city’s skyline for long: it was built so that its ground level arch could serve as the entrance to the 1889 Paris World’s Fair. But, as we all know, there is nothing more permanent than something temporary! Vincent van Gogh created The Starry Night around the same time as engineer Gustave Eiffel finished his work.
2. Touchpad invented / Planet Earth becomes Person of the Year according to TIME
In 1988, the world was presented with the first version of the touchpad. Invented by George Gerpheide, the technology quickly and decisively pushed aside trackballs and joysticks, becoming the most popular cursor control system for laptops. In the same year, Earth became Person of the Year according to TIME Magazine because of the danger of our planet’s destruction by nuclear war.
3. The sinking of the Titanic / The discovery of vitamins
Prior to 1912, the concept of “vitamins” did not exist. It was first proposed by Polish scientist Casimir Funk. Of course, people have been aware of the importance of eating certain types of food to prevent diseases as far back as Ancient Egypt. But science only caught up with the fact in the early 20th century. In the same year, the famous ship Titanic embarked on its first and last voyage.
4. The opening of the London Underground / The abolition of slavery in the USA
The first proposals for the construction of the London Underground appeared in the 1830s. In 1855, the work on building the then-called “Metropolitan Railway” began in earnest. The first underground line was opened on January 10, 1863. At that time, the Civil War was still raging in the United States. In December 1865, the famous Thirteenth Amendment to the US Constitution was adopted, signaling the abolition of slavery.
5. The Periodic Table created / The Heinz trademark set up
The history of the creation of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements is long and complex, but the crucial development came in 1869, when Dmitri Mendeleev established that the properties of elements depend on their atomic weight. At the same time, on the other side of the globe, entrepreneur Heinz decided to sell grated horseradish, made from his mom’s recipes. The world-famous Heinz ketchup didn’t appear in shops until 7 years later.
6. Marilyn Monroe / Queen Elizabeth
The sex symbol of the 1950s and the Queen of Great Britain were born in the same year. But they are not the only celebrities who came into the world in 1926. That year also gave us Hugh Hefner, the founder of Playboy magazine, and Fidel Castro, the leader of the Cuban revolution.
7. Serfdom abolished in the Russian Empire / World’s first color photograph made in Britain
In 1861, a momentous event occurred in the Russian Empire: the Peasant Reform, which abolished serfdom in that giant Eastern European state. That same year, British physicist James Clerk Maxwell made the world’s first color photograph, which became known as “The Tartan Ribbon.”
8. The first iPhone / The 7th book in the Harry Potter series
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was published in the summer of 2007, an event that coincided with the release of the first iPhone model. Due to an online store security lapse, a pirated version of the book appeared on the Internet and was promptly translated into several languages 5 days before the official sales were about to begin. However, this didn’t prevent the final chapter in the young wizard’s adventures from selling 8.3 million copies on the first day of hitting the stores. The arrival of the iPhone caused its share of scandals, as well: it soon became apparent that the gadget couldn’t support 3G and MMS, causing a barrage of criticism from consumers.
9. Harriet the tortoise / Charles Darwin
The famous Galapagos tortoise was born circa 1830. When the great scientist took Harriet to England, she was the size of a plate. Over the years, the tortoise had lived in different places. In 1987, Harriet became the responsibility of Steve Irwin, who cared for her until her death of heart failure in 2006. Until recently, this amazing creature was providing us all with an opportunity to look into the eyes of someone who’d seen Charles Darwin in person!
10. The guillotine abolished in France / Indiana Jones premieres in the USA
Beheading by guillotine continued to be the main method of capital punishment in France until it was abolished in 1981. That same year, Steven Spielberg directed Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, which heralded the beginning of an epic adventure trilogy.