World History Time Line
3050 B.C.- A Sumarian invents the wheel. Within the week, the idea is stolen
and duplicated by other Sumarians, thereby establishing the business ethic
for all times.
2900 B.C.-Wondering why the Egyptians call that new thing a Sphinx becomes the
first of the world's Seven Great Wonders.
1850 B.C.-Britons proclaim Operation Stonehenge a success. They've finally
gotten those boulders arrange in a sufficiently meaningless pattern to confuse
the hell out of scientists for centuries.
1785 B.C.-The first calendar, composed of a year with 354 days, is introduced
by Babylonian scientists.
1768 B.C.-Babylonians realize something is wrong when winter begins in June.
410 B.C.-Rome ends the practice of throwing debtors into slavery, thus
removing the biggest single obstacle to the development of the credit card.
404 B.C.-The Peloponensian war has been going on for 27 years now because
neither side can find a treaty writer who knows how to spell Peloponensian.
214 B.C.-Tens of thousands of Chinese labor for a generation to build the
1,500 mile long Great Wall of China. And after all that, it still doesn't keep
the neighbor's dog out.
1 B.C.-Calendar manufacturers find themselves in total disagreement over what
to call next year.
79 A.D.- Buying property in Pompeii turns out to have been a lousy investment.
432- St. Patrick introduces Christianity to Ireland, thereby giving the
natives something interesting to fight about for the rest of their recorded
1000-Leif Ericsson discovers America, but decides it's not worth mentioning.
1043-Lady Godiva finds a means of demonstrating against high taxes that
immediately makes everyone forget what she is demonstrating against.
1125-Arabic numerals are introduced to Europe, enabling peasants to solve the
most baffling problem that confronts them: How much tax do you owe on
MMMDCCCLX Lira when you're in the XXXVI percent bracket?
1233-The Inquisition is set up to torture and kill anyone who disagrees with
the Law of the Church. However, the practice is so un-Christian that it is
permitted to continue for only 600 years.
1297-The world's first stock exchange opens, but no one has the foresight to
buy IBM or Xerox.
1492- Columbus proves how lost he really is by landing in the Bahamas, naming
the place San Salvador, and calling the people who live there Indians.
1497-Amerigo Vespucci becomes the 7th or 8th explorer to become the new world,
but the first to think of naming it in honor of himself...North and South
1508-Michelangelo finally agrees to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel,
but he still refuses to wash the windows.
1513-Ponce de Leon claims he found the Fountain of Youth, but dies of old age
trying to remember where he found it.
1522-Scientists, who know the world is flat, conclude that Magellan made it
all the way around by crawling across the bottom.
1568-Saddened over the slander of his good name, Ivan the Terrible kills
another 100,000 peasants to make them stop calling him Ivan the Terrible.
1607-The Indians laugh themselves silly as the first European tourist to visit
Virginia tries to register as "John Smith".
1642-Nine students receive the first Bachelor of Arts degrees conferred in
America, and immediately discover there are no jobs open for a kid with a
liberal arts education.
1670-The pilgrims are too busy burning witches to observe the golden
anniversary of their winning religious freedom.
1758- New Jersey is chosen as the site of America's first Indian reservation,
which should have given Indians an idea of the kind of shabby living
conditions they can expect from here on out.
1763-The French and Indian War ends. The French and Indians both lose.
1770-The shooting of three people in the Boston Massacre touches off the
Revolution. Two hundred years later, three shootings in Boston will be
considered just about average for a Saturday Night.
1773-Colonists dump tea into Boston Harbor. British call the act "barbaric",
noting that no one added cream.
1779-John Paul Jones notifies the British, "I have just begun to fight!" and
then feels pretty foolish when he discovers that his ship is sinking.
1793- "Let them eat cake!" becomes the most famous thing Marie Antoinette ever
said. Also, the least diplomatic thing she ever said. Also, the last thing
she ever said.
1799-Translation of the Rosetta Stone finally enables scholars to learn that
Egyptian hieroglyphics don't say anything important. "Dear Ramses, How are
you? I am fine."
1805-Robert Fulton invents the torpedo.
1807-Robert Fulton invents the steamship so he has something to blow up with
1815-Post Office policy is firmly established as Andrew Jackson wins the
Battle of New Orleans a month after he should have received the letter telling
him the War of 1812 is over.
1840-William Henry Harrison is elected president in a landslide, proving that
the campaign motto, "Tippecanoe and Tyler too" is so meaningless that very few
can disagree with it.
1850-Henry Clay announces, "I'd rather be right than president," which gets
quite a laugh, coming from a guy who has run for president five times without
1859- Charles Darwin writes "Origin of the Species". It has the same general
plot as "Planet of the Apes", but fails to gross as much money.
1865-Union Soldiers face their greatest challenge of the war: getting General
Grant sober enough to accept Lee's surrender.
1894-Thomas Edison displays the first motion picture, and everybody likes it
except the first movie critics.
1903- The opening of the Trans-Siberian Railway enables passengers from Moscow
to reach Vladivostok in eight days, which is a lot sooner than most of them
want to get there.
1910- The founding of the Boy Scouts of America comes as bad news to old
ladies who would rather cross the street by themselves.
1911-Amundsen discovers the South Pole and confirms what he's suspected all
along: It looks a helluva lot like the North Pole!
1912-People with reservations for the return voyage of the Titanic get their
1924-Hitler is released from prison four years early, after convincing the
parole board that he is a changed man who won't cause any more trouble.
1928- Herbert Hoover promises "a chicken in every pot and a car in every
garage, but he neglects to add that most Americans will soon be without pots
1933-Hitler establishes the Third Reich, and announces that it will last for a
thousand years. As matters develop, he is only 988 years off.
1934- John Dillinger is gunned down by police as he leaves a Chicago movie
theater. And just to make the evening a complete washout, he didn't enjoy the
1934-As if the Great Depression weren't giving businessmen enough headaches,
Ralph Nader is born.
1938-Great Britain and Germany sign a peace treaty, thereby averting all
possibility of WWII.
1944-Hitler's promise of Volkswagens for all Germans as soon as they've won
the war doesn't prove to be as strong an incentive as he had hoped.