The way we remember history can get a little skewed sometimes. In our minds, we place historical events in a certain time period and we tend not to think of them in relation to other events going on in some other part of the world. This can create scenarios where two things we would think of as being decades, even centuries apart actually took place around the same time. Here are some examples.
1. Birth of Nintendo/Inauguration of the Eiffel Tower
We’ve already mentioned that Nintendo is far older than most of us would expect. Most people assume it’s a company from the 80s and they would be partially right…the 1880s. 1889, more precisely, is the year that Nintendo was founded, the same year as the inauguration of the Eiffel Tower for the Paris World’s Fair. Obviously, Nintendo didn’t make video game consoles back then, but rather Hanafuda playing cards.
Incidentally, 1889 is also the birth year of several notable historical figures such as Charlie Chaplin, Edwin Hubble and Hitler.
2. Unification of Germany/Major League Baseball
We tend to think of European countries as being really old, but the fact is that, for the most part, they consisted of various kingdoms, duchies and states that might have been culturally united, but not administratively or politically.
Take Germany, for example. It wasn’t unified into a nation state until 1871 under Wilhelm I of Prussia. That makes it the same age as Major League Baseball. In 1871, the first Major League game of the National Association was played between the Cleveland Forest Cities and the Ft. Wayne Kekiongas.
3. Spanish Inquisition/Computer
How could these two possibly coexist? It’s because the Spanish Inquisition lasted far longer than most would expect. It was created in the 15th century and became infamous during the 16th century, but it stuck around until the 19th century when it was definitively abolished in 1834. By that time Charles Babbage, the “father of the computer”, already built the difference engine, the first mechanical computer, and was already working on the analytical engine.
4. Chicago Cubs’ Last Championship/Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid
Cubs’ fans know just how true and painful this one is. Everyone else might not be aware that the Chicago Cubs currently hold the record for the longest championship drought of any sports team in North America. Last time they won the World Series was in 1908. That is the same time that infamous Wild West outlaws Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid were gunned down in Bolivia.
On an international scale, that is also the same year that the Young Turk Revolution happened, triggering the downfall of the Ottoman Empire.
5. Picasso/Dark Side of the Moon
People who know absolutely nothing about art will still recognize a few names like Rembrandt, Da Vinci, Picasso and Michelangelo. They are, undoubtedly, among the greatest artists of all time, but Picasso came way later than the rest. While most of them thrived during the Renaissance, Pablo Picasso was actually a contemporary of many people still alive today. He was born in 1881 and enjoyed a long, 91-year old life. Picasso died in 1973 which is the same year that Pink Floyd released “Dark Side of the Moon”. I guess we simply expect all of the greatest painters to be historical, not someone alive during our lifetimes.