Surprising history quiz: What events happened around the same time?

vintage map with compass
Photo: Andrey Burmakin/Shutterstock

How well do you know history? Test your knowledge by choosing the events that go together on the timeline. 

Question 1 of 14

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fax machine
Karl Baron/flickr
What event happened around the same time that the fax machine was first invented?

Scottish inventor Alexander Bain first began work on the technology underlying the fax machine in the early 1840s, just as homesteaders started heading out West in covered wagons on the Oregon Trail.

Question 2 of 14

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Dark Side of the Moon album
Which famous painter died the same year that Pink Floyd released their "Dark Side of the Moon" album?

Pablo Picasso died in 1973, in the same year "Dark Side of the Moon" was released.

Question 3 of 14

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What pharmaceutical chemical-turned-party drug, was invented in the same year the Titanic sank?

The RMS Titanic sank on April 15, 1912, eight months before Merck chemist Anton Köllisch filed his patent covering the synthesis of MDMA, which later became known as Ecstasy, "X," "E" and Molly.

Question 4 of 14

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London around the time of Jack the Ripper
Which well-known company was founded during the time that Jack the Ripper was terrorizing London?

The Nintendo Corporation was founded in Kyoto, Japan, by Fusajiro Yamauchi in 1889, just a year after Jack the Ripper's murder spree began in London. The company, now known for its video game platform, started out manufacturing playing cards.

Question 5 of 14

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Which actress was born the same year as Queen Elizabeth II?

Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, was born in London on April 21, 1926, just 41 days before Norma Jeane Mortenson was born in Los Angeles, California. Norma Jeane later became better known as Marilyn Monroe.

Question 6 of 14

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Which baseball team last won a World Series championship when the Ottoman Empire existed?

The last time the Cubs won a World Series was in 1908, the first year of the dissolution of the more than 600-year-old Ottoman Empire.

Question 7 of 14

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Chicago Cubs pennant
Ron Cogswell/flickr
Not to pick on the Cubs, but which car was first produced the same year they last won a World Series?

The first Model T rolled out of Henry Ford's factories in 1908, right around the same time of year that the Cubs were winning their last World Series pennant.

Question 8 of 14

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Which movie came out the same year that the last prisoner was executed by guillotine in France?

Hamida Djandoubi, a Tunisian immigrant convicted in the torture and murder of his girlfriend, was the last prisoner to be executed in France using the guillotine. His sentence was carried out in September, 1977, just a few months after "Star Wars: A New Hope," was released in theaters.

Question 9 of 14

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Aztec art
Dennis Jarvis/flickr
Which university was already more than 300 years old when the Aztec Empire was getting started?

While the exact year that Oxford University was founded is unknown, it's generally accepted that it was in operation as a house of education by 1096, 332 years before the Aztec Empire was founded in Mexico.

Question 10 of 14

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Which treasure was constructed when woolly mammoths still walked the Earth?

The Pyramid of Djoser was constructed more than 4,600 years ago near the modern day city of Memphis, Egypt. The last band of mammoths died out on a small island in the Siberian Sea 4,000 years ago.

Question 11 of 14

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To which American president did Karl Marx, the author of the Communist Manifesto, write a letter of admiration?

Abraham Lincoln and Karl Marx actually exchanged a number of letters over the years discussing issues of class and slavery.

Question 12 of 14

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Which famous bridge was under construction the same year George Custer was killed?

New York City's Brooklyn Bridge was still seven years away from opening in 1876 when United States Major General George Custer was killed at the Battle of Little Bighorn.

Question 13 of 14

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Which religious figurehead died right around the same time that Buddha died?

The exact year of the death of Siddhartha Gautama, also known as Buddha, is unknown, but is believed to have been sometime between 486 and 483 B.C. The year of death of Confucius is more solidly known as 479 B.C.

Question 14 of 14

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Which nation finally gave women the right to vote the same year astronauts Alan Shepard and Edgar Mitchell were exploring the moon on a lunar rover?

Shamefully, it wasn't until 1971 that women had the right to vote in Switzerland, the same year the Apollo 14 mission landed Shepard and Mitchell on the moon.

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