This list features some of the busiest years in the last 1,000 years. These years are packed full of everything from battles and births- to discoveries, deaths, and disasters. Sounds a lot like 2012 so far to me, but here are our to 10 busiest years in recent history:
10. Big Battles And 1 Big Book in 1066
-The Battle of Hastings and the Norman Conquest of England. Duke William of Normandy Becomes King William I of England.
-The Grenada Massacre
-Hedeby is destroyed by Slavic Army
-Sima Guang completes a large dictionary, which took decades and is an iconic book in Chinese Lexicography.
9. The Beginning of the Cold War – 1204
-Fourth Crusade takes Constantinople and ruins everything there.
-Empire of Nicaea is established.
-Kingdom of Thessalonica is established.
-This marks, better than anything else, the parting of the ways between the Christian East and Christan West, which allowed the Ottoman Empire to become a major international Muslim player in the world. This also lead to the separation between Western Europe and Russia.
8. Rules and Rulers – 1215
-The Magna Carta is sealed.
-Alexander II of Scotland invades Northern England.
-Kublai Khan born.
-Kalnga Magha, the last king to sit in Rajarata, invades Sri Lanka. His rule was so destructive that it led to the loss of the ancient cities into the jungle, which were not rediscovered until the 19th century. The next three centuries were marked by pure anarchy, and Sri Lanka did not regain order until it was colonized by Europe. (Pictured above: Anuradhpura ruins – one of the ancient capitals of Sri Lanka.)
7. The Year of Printing – 1439
-Johannes Gutenberg “invents” the printing press.
-Hua Sui, Chinese Printer, is born. He is the creator of China’s first metal moveable type. He’s most famous for the fact that China had already had a wooden printing press for 300 years, and all he did was make it metal.
-The Hussites are defeated in Poland.
-Plymouth is the first town incorporated by English Parliament.
6. The Year of the Planet – 1492
-Columbus lands in America and discovers that Vikings were already there and that Native Americans had already, in fact, been to Europe.
-Ming Dynasty monetizes the commercial transport of grain to the Northern Border.
-The first surviving globe of Earth is built, the “Erdapfel.” Ironically, because Columbus has not yet returned from the Caribbean, it’s hilariously wrong.
-The Ensisheim meteorite falls.
5. Many ‘Firsts’ and a couple of ‘Lasts’ in 1783
-First flight: in Annony, France by hot air balloon, courtesy of the Montgolfier brothers.
-Second flight: Jacques Charles and Les Freres Robert launch the world’s first hydrogen-filled balloon in Paris.
-First untethered hot air balloon flight: Pilatre de Rozier and Francois Laurent.
-Ireland’s last grey wolf killed.
-Evan William’s whiskey distillery is founded.
-Eruption of Laki, a volcano in Iceland, which will eventually kill 1/3 of Iceland’s population. One of the biggest environmental catastrophes in European History.
-The Great Meteor of 1783 confuses everyone.
-Britain acknowledges US Independence.
-Last celebration of Massacre day in the United States.
-The Treaty of Versailles ends hostilities between the Franco-Spanish Alliance and England.
-Washington Irving, America’s first international best selling author and major advocate for the recognition of writing as a profession, born.
-Simon Bolivar is born.
4. The Year of Communication – 1791
-Claude Chappe and his brothers use telescopes and panels to communicate information faster than a letter can be carried.
-Birth of Samuel Morse.
-The Observer, world’s first Sunday newspaper, is published.
-The first American ship reaches Japan.
-Anne Lister is born, the inventor of “TMI”
-The Bill of Rights is ratified.
3. The Year of Entertainment – 1893
-The first person skis in Antarctica (Carl Anton Larsen).
-Sherlock Holmes is killed for the first time.
-Conrad Veidt (the man who would inspire the batman villain The Joker) is born.
-The Worlds Fair takes place in Chicago.
-The tomato is legally declared a vegetable by the US Supreme Court.
-Lizzie Borden is acquitted of murdering her parents. Her trial is the first “Trial by Media” and the beginning of a fad in the 20th century.
-Thomas Edison builds the first motion picture Studio (the Black Maria, pictured above).
-The first recorded college basketball game.
-US Marines overthrow Hawaiian Government.
2. The Year of the Woman – 1916
-Emma Goldman is arrested for lecturing on Birth Control.
-Margaret Sanger opens the first US Birth Control Clinic.
-Zewditu the I of Ethiopia, the first woman head of an internationally recognized state in Africa, takes power.
-Jeanette Rankin of Montana becomes the first woman elected to US House of Representatives.
1. Human Rights (and Wrongs) in 1948
- Edith Mae Irby is admitted to University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock.
- The State of Israel is formed.
- Universal Declaration of Human Rights by UN.
- Africaner party is formed in Republic of South Africa, instituting Apartheid.
- Baltimore County Medical Society drops its racial bars.
- Shelley V. Kraemer outlaws racially restrictive covenants.
- The Italian Republican Constitution goes into effect.
- Mahatma Gandhi begins a fast in protest of violence during the Partition of India and is assassinated.
- The Soviet Union begins to jam the Voice of America broadcasts.
- Racial Segregation in the US Armed Forces ends.
- The House of Un-American Activities holds its first televised congressional hearing, which will ultimately lead to its disgrace and disbandment.
- 7 Japanese military officials are charged with war crimes and sentenced to death.
3 Bonus Years
1513: All Over the Map: Geography, Mortality, and Machiavelli
-Juan Ponce de Leon becomes the first European to see what is now the United States, when he sees Florida. Ironically, he mistakes it for an island.
-Leo Africanus (inspiration for Othello and one of the first Europeans to accurately describe the geography of the Barbary Coast) visits Timbuktu.
-Hua Sui, Chinese Printer, dies. Hey, remember him?
-The Battle of Flodden Field (the largest ever battle between the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland). James IV is killed in battle, and to date he is the last monarch from the British Isles to die in battle.
-The Prince is published by Machiavelli. No one understands it for several hundred years.
1543: Maybe We’re Not So Special After All
-Copernicus comes up with the idea of the Heliocentric Universe.
-Andreas Vesalius publishes first accurate atlas of the structure of the human body.
-Portuguese ships reach Japan, opening that country to trade with the rest of the world.
1564: Birthdays, Illegal PDA’s… and Rats
- Galileo born.
- Shakespeare born.
- Christopher Marlowe born.
- William Adams (first non-Japanese Samurai) born.
- Naples Passes a law prohibiting kissing in public (under penalty of death).
- Establishment of Charlesfort, the first French attempt to colonize the Americas.
- First Report of a “Rat King” (a bunch of rats stuck together at the tail, commonly seen as a bad omen and a medical phenomenon)
by J.F. Sargent