There are just plain coincidences and there are coincidences of the historical variety, but there is no denying that the latter is more interesting of the two. For example, did you know that trains were actually invented before the bicycle? Yeah, shocker, I know. Read on to find out more about twenty-one such historical events that happened pretty much around the same time and which you probably had no idea about.
1. The first bicycle was invented fifteen years after the first trains and eighty-seven years before the first airplane.
The first train was invented in 1801 by Richard Trevithick in the form of a full-sized “steam locomotive” which is the closest relative of the modern-day train. Fifteen years later, in 1816, Baron Karn von Drais invented the very first bicycle. The Wright brothers flew the first airplane on December 13, 1903.(source)
2. When Orville Wright, one of the inventors of the airplane, died in 1948, Neil Armstrong was 17-years-old.
Orville Wright, the youngest of the Wright brothers and co-inventor of the airplane, died on January 30, 1948, at the age of seventy-six. During that time Neil Armstrong, who was born in 1930, was just seventeen years old and had just got his pilot’s license two years before.(source)
3. Less than fifty years separate the first airplane and the first atomic bomb.
The first airplane was flown by Orville and Wilbur Wright on December 17, 1903, near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Exactly 42 years later, in 1945, the first atomic bombs were detonated over Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and August 9 respectively, killing over 300,000 people in both cities and consequently bringing World War II to an end.(1,2)
4. MS-DOS premiered in 1981, the same year that the guillotine stopped being the official method of execution in France.
5. Star Wars also came out the same year that the guillotine was last used.
Despite the official announcement of the discontinuation of the guillotine as a form of capital punishment coming in 1981, the guillotine was last used in September 1977, a day before the premiere of Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope in France.(source)
6. The oldest living tree is over 5,000 years old and was already 1, OOO years old when the last wooly mammoth died.
The oldest tree in the world is a great pine bristlecone located in the White Mountains in California and dates back nearly 5,062 years. This means that this tree existed when the last tiny population of wooly mammoths living off the coast of Siberia went extinct about 4,000 years ago.(1,2)
7. Columbus discovered America forty years after the Fall of Byzantium.
Columbus’s discovery of America came in 1492, forty years after Byzantium (later known as Constantinople, now known as Istanbul) fell on the 29th of May, 1453.(source)