Monday, February 28, 2011


Apparently, the last surviving US veteran of World War I died last night. He was 110 years old and joined the army when he was just 16. Being something of an amateur historian on World War I, I find the idea that there was someone who was in WWI to still be alive to be fascinating in itself.

Just think how much the world has changed since that man was born in 1901. Basically every facet of life is radically different today. In the year he was born:
Lightbulbs had just been invented.
Queen Victoria dies.
The American League declared itself a "Major League."
President William McKinley was assasinated.
The first Nobel prize was awarded.
Marconi sends the first trans-Atlantic radio signal.

If that doesn't blow your mind, here is some further food for thought about what happened in this man's lifetime since 1901:

Functional automobiles and airplannes that run on gasoline largely come into existence.
The entire rise and fall of Soviet Communism in Russia.
Penicillin wouldn't be invented for another 28 years.
Radio, TV, telephone, satellite, and wifi-communication all invented.
Nuclear technology? 40+ years.
The interstate highway system? another 50+ years.
First automatic coffee pot? 51 years.
Man on the Moon? 68 years.
Personal computers and the internet? Basically another 80 or 90 years, depending on how you calculate it.

One wonders what the world will be like if I live to be 110 years old.

I doubt it will be anywhere near this incredible.

1 comment:

d.mystigue said...

The rate of man's knowledge doubles in shorter and shorter time spans. It is rather scary when you think about it.