10 Unlikely Simultaneous Historical Events
10 Unlikely Simultaneous Historical Events

10 Unlikely Simultaneous Historical Events

Khalid Elhassan - March 9, 2018

Every now and then, our perceptions about when some historical events happened in relation to each other can turn out to be completely wrong. For example, one doesn’t need a specialized course of study to know, based on common knowledge and having watched a few movies, that swords and spears were probably invented before guns. On the other hand, were there fax machines back when wagons full of pioneers were crossing the Great Plains? Was Nintendo around back when Jack the Ripper was active? The answers to those questions, and more, might be counterintuitive because some historic events are actually more recent, or far older than most people assume.

Below are ten events from history with a counterintuitive and unlikely relationship to each other.

Could Betty White Possibly Be the Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread?

The American actress and comedian Betty White is an entertainment dynamo or Energizer Bunny, who has been performing for over 70 years. She was a television pioneer, and her accomplishments include being the first woman to produce a sitcom. She is perhaps best known for her Emmy-winning roles as Sue Ann Nivens in the popular and groundbreaking sitcom The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and as Rose Nylund in the even more popular and groundbreaking sitcom, The Golden Girls. As of 2018, her career has spanned 75 years, during which she won a Grammy, 8 Emmy Awards in various categories, 3 Screen Actors Guild Awards, and 3 American Comedy Awards. She is in the Television Hall of Fame and has her own star in the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Today, Betty White holds the record for the longest television career of any female entertainer.

Few celebrities as are as beloved in the US as the last surviving Golden Girl. Something about her upbeat and cheerful grandmotherly presence just puts smiles on faces, and that has made her into America’s sweetheart – one who polls frequently rank as the country’s most popular and trusted celebrity. Everybody, it seems, loves Betty White, and she is sometimes referred to as “the best thing since sliced bread“. However, is that a factually true claim. Is America’s sweetheart actually the best thing since sliced bread?

10 Unlikely Simultaneous Historical Events
Betty White and sliced bread. Over the Pop

The phrase “the greatest thing since sliced bread” dates to 1928, when loaves of bread that had been sliced with a machine, then packaged for convenience, made their first appearance in the US. It began when Otto Frederick Rohwedder (1880 – 1960), an inventor and engineer, created the first automatic bread slicing machine for commercial use. He sold his first machine to the Chillicothe Baking Company of Chillicothe, Missouri, which became the first bakery to sell pre-sliced bread loaves.

The new-fangled sliced bread was advertised as “the greatest forward step in the baking industry since bread was wrapped” – a bold assertion that contrasted greatly with the experience of actual consumers. Among other things, in the days before preservatives, sliced bread went stale faster than its intact counterpart. It had an aesthetic problem as well: customers simply thought the sliced loaves were sloppy-looking. A stop-gap solution was to use pins to hold the sliced loaves together and make them appear intact inside the packaging.

Eventually, improvements to the slicing machine made the loaves appear less sloppy, and sliced bread eventually gained in popularity until it became an American staple. By then, however, the early and over-the-top advertising puffery had caught on with the public, and made the introduction of sliced bread a marker and frame of reference in the popular lexicon for subsequent claims of greatness.

So, could Betty White possibly be the greatest thing since sliced bread? Well, America’s sweetheart and the most beloved grandmotherly icon was born on January 17th, 1922. That was about six and a half years before the Chillicothe Baking Company sold its first loaf of sliced bread, on July 7th, 1928. Since her birth predates sliced bread, it follows that Betty White could not be the best thing sliced bread. Thus, as a matter of straightforward historic fact, the answer must be in the negative: Betty White is not the best thing since sliced bread. However, sliced bread can make the argument that it is the best thing since Betty White.

10 Unlikely Simultaneous Historical Events
The Great Pyramid and woolly mammoths. World Atlas

Woolly Mammoths Still Existed When the Great Pyramids Were Being Built

Woolly mammoths, such as Manny from the Ice Age animated movie franchise, flourished during the Pleistocene epoch. The now extinct pachyderms were roughly the size of modern African elephants, with males reaching shoulder heights greater than 11 feet, and weighing in at around 6 tons. Females reached nearly 10 feet at the shoulder, weighed around 4 tons, and calved newborns that weighed around 200 pounds at birth.

The furry pachyderms are most commonly associated with the ice age. Their shaggy coats, comprised of outer layers of long guard hairs atop a shorter undercoat, made them well adapted to the harsh winter environments of that frozen epoch. Other evolutionary adaptations included short ears and tail, to minimize heat loss and frostbite. That enabled them to thrive in the Mammoth Steppe – the earth’s most extensive biome during the ice age, extending from Canada and across Eurasia to Spain, and from the Arctic Circle to China.

They are one of the better-known extinct species to science. Paleontologists have not only discovered complete woolly mammoth fossils but also recovered entire frozen carcasses in Alaska and Siberia. Some of those frozen finds were remarkably well preserved, despite the passage of thousands of years. That enabled scientists to not only recover woolly mammoth fur, skin, flesh, and stomach contents, but also woolly mammoth DNA. Today, scientists are busily reconstructing woolly mammoth DNA, and have already made great strides in that effort as of early 2018, with an eye towards de-extincting the species. It is quite likely that, within the lifetime of many or perhaps most people alive today, woolly mammoths will once again walk the earth.

But when, actually, did woolly mammoths go extinct? The last ice age ended about twelve thousand years ago, circa 9700 BC. It is widely assumed that woolly mammoths must have gone extinct sometime around then, if not sooner. However, contrary to popular perceptions, woolly mammoths did not vanish that far back. While no man ever saw a live dinosaur, mankind and its hominid ancestors did share the planet with woolly mammoths for hundreds of thousands of years. Woolly mammoths, in fact, were still around while the Ancient Egyptians were busy building the Great Pyramids.

Most woolly mammoths were hunted by humans into extinction and disappeared from the continental mainland of Eurasia and North America between 14,000 and 10,000 years ago. The last mainland population, in the Kyttyk Peninsula in Siberia, vanished about 9650 years ago. However, small populations survived in offshore islands, such as Saint Paul Island in Alaska, where woolly mammoths existed until 5600 years ago. The last known population survived in Wrangel Island, in the Arctic Ocean, until 4000 years ago, or roughly 2000 BC. That was well into the era of human civilization and recorded human history, and centuries after the Great Pyramids of Giza, whose construction concluded around 2560 BC, had been built.

10 Unlikely Simultaneous Historical Events
The fax machine was invented when pioneers were traveling the Oregon Trail in wagons. Pinterest

The Fax Machine Was Patented the Same Year the First Wagon Crossed the Oregon Trail

The Oregon Trail is a roughly 2200 mile long wagon route that connected the Missouri River to Oregon. It began as rough tracks and trails blazed and cleared through the wilderness by fur traders, in progressive stages, between 1811 to 1840, and the segments were initially passable only to travelers on foot or horseback. By 1836, the trail section between Independence, Missouri, and Fort Hall, Idaho, had been cleared to accommodate wagons, and the first migrant wagon train made that journey. Thereafter, wagon trails were gradually cleared westward, until, in 1843, they eventually reached the Willamette Valley in Oregon. From then on, the wagon route came to be known as the Oregon Trail.

The trail became one of the iconic symbols of 19th century America, as it pumped a seemingly inexhaustible torrent of land-hungry migrants from the settled east to the open spaces of the west. Wagon trains of pioneers inexorably pushed the new country’s Frontier ever westward, displacing Native Americans from their ancestral lands, and exploiting the newly seized territories for agricultural and mining usages.

Between the 1830s and 1860s, the Oregon Trail was used by about 400,000 farmers, ranchers, miners, and other settlers and their families, who loaded their goods and hopes upon wagon, and trekked west in pursuit of their dreams. The trail’s use finally went into decline when the first transcontinental railway was completed in 1869, as trains made for a faster, cheaper, and safer journey to the west.

It might seem absurd at first blush, but the fax machine, a ubiquitous presence in modern offices and workplaces, is as old as the Oregon Trail. In 1843, the Oregon Trail was finally completed by an enterprising wagon train of about 1000 migrants. After a difficult trek, they cleared a final segment to make the trail passable by wagon all the way from the Missouri River to Oregon. That same year, a Scottish inventor named Alexander Bains secured a British patent for what he termed the “Electric Printing Telegraph“.

The invention relied on a clock to synch the movement of two pendulums to scan a message line by line. Using a metal pin arrangement in a cylinder, Bain devised a system whereby on-off electric pulses would scan the pins, send a message across wires, and reproduce it at a receiving station far away. That device became the forerunner of the modern fax machine. It eventually led to the first commercially practical telefax service between Paris and Lyon in 1861 – 11 years before the invention of the telephone.

10 Unlikely Simultaneous Historical Events
Death by guillotine and ‘Star Wars’ actually overlapped. Odyssey

France Guillotined Somebody the Same Year Star Wars Was Released

In Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities, the guillotine was transformed into a semi-independent character, who’s ever-present and ominous shadow dominated the tale. Today, mention of the guillotine usually brings to mind images of the French Revolution, its blade chopping through and thinning the ranks of the Ancien Regime’s aristocracy.

In its heyday during the 1790s, it would snip the necks of historic figures such as the ultimate royalists, King Louis XVI and his wife Marie Antoinette. An equal opportunity instrument of death, the guillotine would also chop off the heads of radical republicans who had executed the king and queen. Falling between those political extremes, tens of thousands lost their lives to the guillotine in its the busiest stretch of usage, during the Reign of Terror. So ubiquitous was the instrument during this period, that it became a quasi symbol of Revolutionary France.

So associated is the guillotine with the French Revolution, that it is easy to forget that its use in France continued long after the 1789 upheaval came to an end. Indeed, the instrument, sometimes referred to by the French as “The National Razor”, would continue doing its work well into the modern age. It serviced its last customer during the Age of Disco, and after Star Wars was released on May 25th, 1977. Later that year, on September 10th, Hamida Djandoubi won the distinction of becoming the correct answer to the question: “who was the last person executed by guillotine in France?

Djandoubi was born in Tunis in 1949 and moved to Marseilles in 1968. There, after a series of menial jobs, including a stint as a landscaper that ended when a workplace accident resulted in the amputation of one of his legs, he settled on pimping as a career. He earned a date with “The National Razor” by kidnapping, torturing, and strangling to death a former girlfriend in 1974, after she filed a complaint accusing him of trying to force her into prostitution.

He was tried for torture, murder, rape, and assorted acts of violence, in February of 1974, and was duly convicted and sentenced to death. After exhausting his appeals, and failing to win a reprieve from the French president, Djandoubi went under the guillotine in a Marseilles prison at 4:40 AM, September 10th, 1977. France did not abolish the guillotine and capital punishment until 1981 – the same year MS-DOS 1.0 was released, and Indiana Jones premiered in the US.

10 Unlikely Simultaneous Historical Events
Teruo Nakamura. All That is Interesting

While Disco Was Sweeping the World and the Godfather Part II Was Playing in Theaters, a Japanese Soldier Was Still Fighting WWII

1974 was a good year in film, that saw the release of iconic movies such as Blazing Saddles, The Longest Yard, and The Godfather Part II. It was also the year when Disco entered the mainstream and became the dominant music genre of the mid to late 1970s. While moviegoers were thrilled to Al Pacino’s captivating depiction of Michael Corleone, and partygoers were riding the white horse while dancing to Disco classics such as Karl Douglas’ Kung Fu Fighter, a WWII Japanese soldier was still holding out in the jungles of Indonesia.

Teruo Nakamura was born in the then Japanese possession of Formosa – today’s Taiwan – in an aboriginal tribe in 1919. He was conscripted into a colonial unit in 1943 and posted to Morotai Island in the Dutch East Indies – today’s Indonesia – in 1944. He got there just in time for an American-Australian invasion, which inflicted catastrophic losses upon the Japanese defenders. The survivors fled into the jungle, where most perished from starvation and disease.

At war’s end in 1945, Nakamura was among those presumed dead, and was officially declared so. However, his unit had been ordered to disperse and conduct guerrilla warfare. When Japan surrendered, Nakamura and his comrades were deep in the island’s jungle, cut off from contact, and thus received no official notice that the war was over. The Allied victors airdropped leaflets over the jungle, advising of war’s end, but Nakamura and his comrades dismissed them as fake news and enemy propaganda.

Nakamura’s group dwindled steadily as the years went by. In 1956, he set off on his own, constructed a hut in a small field that he hacked out of the rainforest, and grew tubers and bananas to supplement his diet. Because of his aboriginal tribal upbringing, he was particularly self-sufficient and adept at surviving in the wild. Nakamura stayed in the jungle, isolated and alone until he was spotted by a pilot in 1974. That led to a search mission by the Indonesian military, which eventually tracked down and arrested the holdout on December 28th, 1974.

Unfortunately for Nakamura, Japan did not reciprocate the loyalty he had exhibited by holding out for nearly three decades in obedience to his last orders from Japanese authorities. In contrast to Hiroo Onoda, another holdout who had surrendered a few months earlier and became a national celebrity and nationalist hero, Nakamura attracted little attention in Japan. For one thing, Onoda was an ethnic Japanese citizen, while Nakamura had been a colonial soldier, from what by 1974 was the independent nation of Taiwan. Although he expressed a wish to be repatriated to Japan, Nakamura had no legal right to go there, and so was sent to Taiwan instead.

Worse, as a member of a colonial unit rather than of the Japanese Army, Nakamura was not entitled to a pension and back pay under Japanese law. Whereas Hiroo Onoda had been awarded about U$160,000 by Japan, equivalent to about U$850,000 in 2017 dollars, Nakamura was awarded only U$227, or U$1186 in 2017 dollars, for his three decades-long holdout. He returned to Taiwan, where he died five years later of lung cancer, in 1979.

10 Unlikely Simultaneous Historical Events
Sam Sianis, the nephew of Bill Sianis, attempted to live ‘The Curse of the Billy Goat’ with a billy goat adopted as a Cubs mascot, in the 1984 season opener at Wrigley Field. USA Today

Until 2016, the Chicago Cubs Had Not Won a World Series Since the Days When a Kaiser Ruled Germany

During Game 4 of the 1945 World Series between the Chicago Cubs and Detroit Tigers, tavern owner William “Billy Goat” Sianis, and his actual billy goat, Murphy, were enjoying the game in Wrigley Field. Their joy was interrupted, however, when they were pulled aside by Chicago Cubs officials, who informed them that Murphy would have to leave.

When Sianis showed them a ticket proving that Murphy had actually paid for his seat, and complained that they were discriminating against his friend because he was a goat, he was informed that nothing could be further from the truth. Murphy was being kicked out, not because he was a goat, but because some fans nearby had complained that he stank, and that his odor offended them. So Sianis turned around and issued modern sports’ greatest curse.

Offended on behalf of his billy goat friend, an indignant “Billy Goat” Sianis fired off a telegram to the Chicago Cubs’ team owner Philip K. Wrigley, which stated: “You are going to lose this World Series and you are never going to win another World Series again. You are never going to win a World Series again because you insulted my goat“. The Chicago Cubs, who until then had been leading the World Series 2 to 1, dropped game 4, to even it at 2-2. They then proceeded to lose the best-of-seven series, 4 to 3.

In 1945, the world was in the dawn of the jet age, the rocket age, and the atomic age. By then, the Cubs were already in the midst of a prolonged championship drought: the last time they had won a World Series had been in 1908, almost four decades earlier. At the time, Babe Ruth had still not made his MLB debut. Teddy Roosevelt was still in the White House. Mark Twain was still alive. A Tsar reigned over the Russian Empire. Kaiser Wilhelm II still ran Germany. A sultan still headed the Ottoman Empire. A Hapsburg emperor still ruled the Austro-Hungarian Empire. In Vienna, a young weirdo named Adolf Hitler was chasing his dreams of becoming an artist. Archduke Franz Ferdinand was still alive, and nobody had dreamt of WWI, let alone its sequel, which had concluded only a month before Murphy was kicked out of Wrigley Field.

In short, by 1945, the world had already changed drastically since the Chicago Cubs’ last World Series victory. However, one constant that had remained changeless throughout, was the Cubs’ championship drought. Sianis’ dire warning became known as the “Curse of the Billy Goat”, and it would take the Chicago Cubs’ already long World Series drought, and extend it by another 71 years, until 2016.

10 Unlikely Simultaneous Historical Events
Queen Elizabeth II and Marilyn Monroe at a movie premiere. Houston Chronicle

Queen Elizabeth II and Marilyn Monroe Were Born in the Same Year

As of early 2018, Queen Elizabeth II is the world’s longest-reigning current monarch, the oldest and longest-serving current head of state, and is already the longest-lived and longest-serving monarch in British history. She is also the longest-serving queen in history, and is within striking distance of Louis XIV’s record as longest-reigning monarch of a major state – she just needs to stay alive until 2024.

Her long reign, which began in 1952, witnessed major changes, such as the completion of the decolonization and winding down of the British Empire, once history’s largest empire ever, and one over which the sun literally never sent. Her reign also saw major constitutional changes in the UK, such as the devolution of statutory powers from the Parliament in Westminster to Scotland, Wales, Northern Island, and London.

Today, she is queen and head of state not only of the United Kingdom, but also of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, as well as twelve other countries that became independent after her accession: Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Grenada, Jamaica, Papua New Guinea, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Solomon Islands, and Tuvalu.

Queen Elizabeth has demonstrated that she takes her coronation oath seriously, and has exhibited a strong commitment to her civic and religious duties during her decades on the throne. Although the royal family around her has been engulfed in frequent scandals, providing the tabloids with steady fodder for decades on end, the queen has been not only scandal-free but seemingly free of any hint of frivolity.

While the queen is a cultural icon, she is worlds apart from another cultural icon born the same year as her majesty, in 1926: Marilyn Monroe. The queen was born on April 21st of that year, while Marilyn was born about six weeks later, on June 1st. The two icons lived worlds apart, one in Hollywood, the other in Buckingham Palace. However, the two did meet once on common ground, when the monarch met the movie star at the London premiere of the Battle of the River Platte. Both women were 30 years old at the time, when Monroe waited in a line of guests to shake the queen’s hand. It would be the only time those two different types of royalty – a Hollywood queen and a real-life one – would meet.

10 Unlikely Simultaneous Historical Events
The Wright Brothers’ first powered flight. CNET

Orville Wright Was Still Alive When The Sound Barrier Was Broken

The Wright brothers‘ names are synonymous with aviation, having made the first controlled and sustained powered flight by a heavier than air aircraft. They pulled off that breakthrough, which had eluded everybody else, by not following the herd. Other experimenters had focused on inventing more powerful engines. Wilbur and Orville Wright focused their creative juices on coming up with reliable pilot controls.

Eventually, the brothers invented a practical three-axis control system for up and down (pitch), side to side tilt (roll), and turning (yaw). That control system remains standard on all fixed-wing aircraft to this day. That first powered flight, on December 17th, 1903, a few miles south of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, earned Wilbur and Orville Wright a well-deserved place in the history books.

The Wright brothers’ Kitty Hawk airplane, innovative and revolutionary as it was, was nonetheless a primitive string and canvas contraption, and that looked obsolete within a few years. As the pace of airplane development raced apace, the Wright brothers’ pioneering aircraft, and the Wright brothers themselves, soon seemed to belong to an ancient and largely forgotten era of aviation.

On December 17th, 2003, the centenary of the first heavier than air powered flight, the aviation world’s greatest living pioneers gathered to salute the Wright Brothers, at the site of their 12-second flight into history. Their ranks included Chuck Yeager, a WWII hero and flying ace whose aerial exploits included shooting down 5 German airplanes in a single day. He topped that off by becoming a test pilot after the war and cementing his place in aviation history by becoming the first man to break the sound barrier.

Yeager shared a stage in that 2003 commemoration with other aviation luminaries such as John Glenn, the first American to orbit Earth, and Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, the first men to walk on the moon. It seems incongruous that any of those luminaries of advanced modern flight could have had an in-person interaction with the Wright brothers, but it had happened.

Yeager was one of the few people present who had actually met one of the Wright brothers. Wilbur had died early, in 1912, but Orville lived until 1948, and Yeager recounted an encounter with him at a 1945 air show, where Orville got to see his first jet airplane. It took place two years before Yeager earned his own place in aviation history by breaking the sound barrier, so neither party at the time realized the significance of their encounter.

Not only did Orville Wright live long enough to meet Chuck Yeager, he lived long enough to learn of Yeager’s breaking of the sound barrier in his Bell X-1 airplane, on October 14th, 1947. After describing the meeting to reporters, Yeager continued: “To be part of the Wright brothers’ 100th anniversary, it just makes you feel kind of clamped up inside“.

10 Unlikely Simultaneous Historical Events
Nintendo’s most famous characters. Gamer Link

Nintendo Was Founded When Jack the Ripper Was Still Carving Up Victims

One of the world’s biggest video game companies, the Japanese multinational Nintendo Co., Ltd., is best known as the creator of top-selling video game franchises such as Mario, The Legend of Zelda, and Pokemon. The company is associated with electronics and is known as a pioneer of one of the world’s most modern technologies, that of video game entertainment. However, it was founded over a century ago, during the steam power era, in 1889 – contemporaneous with Jack the Ripper.

Nintendo came into being long before video games were even a theoretical concept. When the company was founded in the nineteenth century, its bread and butter was the production of handmade hanafuda playing cards. In 1956, the company began trying its hand at new ventures to supplement its playing cards business, upon realizing that playing cards had limited growth potential. So Nintendo set up a taxi company, before establishing other divisions such as a TV network, a love motel chain, toys, and a food company specializing in instant rice.

Most of those ventures were unsuccessful, except for toys, and by the 1960s, Nintendo had morphed into a predominate toy company. In 1974, the company got involved in video games for the first time, when it secured the rights to distribute Magnavox’s video game console in Japan. The following year, they moved into arcade games, with some limited success, until 1981, when they released the smash arcade hit Donkey Kong. The rest, was video game history.

However, long before all of that, when Nintendo had been founded in Kyoto by Japanese entrepreneur Fusajiro Yamauchi in 1889, the world was still in the steam power era, and electricity and electronics were considered newfangled inventions. Even street lighting, in those cities that provided it, was usually reliant on gas lamps, instead of electric bulbs. When Yamauchi founded Nintendo, London, half a world away, was still trembling in fear from the depredations of the gruesome serial killer, Jack the Ripper, believed to have between active from 1888 until 1891. Perhaps in a nod to that historic overlap, in 2013 Nintendo 3DS launched Mystery Murders: Jack the Ripper, a game rated M for Mature.

10 Unlikely Simultaneous Historical Events
Maudie Hopkins and William Cantrell. Spyders Den

The Last American Civil War Veteran’s Widow Died the Same Year Barack Obama Was Elected President

The American Civil War, driven primarily by the issue of black chattel slavery, ended in 1865 with a Union victory that put a de facto seal on the demise of slavery. 143 years later, America elected its first black president, Barrack Obama, in 2008. Incongruous as it might seem, a Civil War widow, who had been married to a Confederate soldier, was still alive in 2008.

Maudie White Hopkins (1914 – 2008), born Maudie Cecilia Acklin in Arkansas, grew up in an impoverished family of 10 children during the Great Depression in the hardscrabble Ozarks. To help put food on the table and make ends meet, a teenaged Maudie cleaned house and did laundry for an elderly Civil War veteran, William Cantrell, who had been widowed years earlier.

Cantrell had enlisted in the Confederate army at age 16, in Pikesville, Kentucky. He served in the Army of Tennessee in the Western Theater, where he was captured in 1863, held in a prison camp in Ohio, and eventually released in a prisoner exchange. He returned to civilian life after the war, moved to Arkansas to stay with relatives, eventually started a family, and after a long married life, was widowed in 1929. In 1934, when Cantrell was 86 and Maudie was 19, he offered to leave her his house and land, if she would marry him and take care of him in his later years.

It was not too uncommon for young women in Arkansas at the time to marry Civil War pensioners, so Maudie accepted. For much of her life, she generally kept that marriage a secret, to avoid gossip about her having once married a much older man, and fearing that people would think less of her as a result. In her later years, however, she openly acknowledged the marriage. As she put it in a 2004 Associated Press interview: “After Mr. Cantrell died I took a little old mule he had and plowed me a vegetable garden and had plenty of vegetables to eat. It was hard times; you had to work to eat. … I didn’t do anything wrong. I’ve worked hard my whole life and did what I had to, what I could, to survive. I didn’t want to talk about it for a while because I didn’t want people to gossip about it. I didn’t want people to make it out to be worse than it was“.

He supported her with his Confederate pension of $25 every two or three months. The pension benefits ended upon Cantrell’s death in 1937, but true to his promise, he left her his house and land upon his death. Maudie Hopinks remarried three more times and had three children – two daughters and a son. She died in a nursing home on August 7th, 2008, a month before Obama was elected president.


Where Did We Find This Stuff? Sources & Further Reading

92 Moose FM, February 28th, 2014 – Betty White Is Older Than Sliced Bread! That & Other Fun ‘Time Facts’

All That is Interesting – The Eternal War of the Japanese Holdouts

Mike Dash History – Final Straggler: The Japanese Soldier Who Outlasted Hiroo Onoda

Medium – The Last Japanese Soldier to Surrender

Huffington Post, February 22nd, 2014 – 8 Surprising Historical Facts That Will Change Your Concept of Time Forever

National Geographic, November 1st, 2016 – Here’s What Happened the Last Time the Cubs Won a World Series

National Geographic, July 9th, 2017 – We Could Resurrect the Woolly Mammoth: Here’s How

NBC News, December 17th, 2003 – Aviation Heroes Salute the Wright Brothers

PBS – 8 Things You Didn’t Know About Orville Wright

Public Radio International – What the World Was Like When the Cubs Last Won a World Series

Reddit – What Are Two Events In History That You Never Would’ve Guessed Happened at the Same Time?

Time Magazine, July 7th, 2015 – How Sliced Bread Became ‘The Greatest Thing’

Vanity Fair, June 1st, 2016 – See Rare Footage of Queen Elizabeth II Meeting Marilyn Monroe

Waguespack, Andrea, Houston Chronicle – Historical Events You Had No Idea Happened at Around the Same Time

Wikipedia – Chuck Yeager

Wikipedia – Sliced Bread

World Atlas – Did Woolly Mammoths Still Roam Parts of the Earth When the Great Pyramids Were Built?