Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Until 120

The Scotsman has an article about Henry Allingham who at 113 is now the world's oldest living man (following the death of Tomoji Tanabe who held the title until his death in his home in Japan).

Predictable the article points out that "[Henry] once attributed his grand age to "cigarettes, whisky and wild, wild women".

What I found interesting was at the end of the article there is a list of some of the key events in Henry's life.
If you had to make a list of key events in world (or Scottish) history over the past 113 years, would your list look anything like the following:
1896: Born.
1901: Queen Victoria dies.
1912: Titanic sinks.
1919: End of Spanish flu pandemic, which killed up to 100 million people.
1924: James Ramsay MacDonald becomes prime minister.
1925: John Logie Baird invents his mechanical television system.
1928: Alexander Fleming discovers penicillin.
1930: Planet Pluto discovered.
1940: Winston Churchill becomes prime minister.
1945: Adolf Hitler commits suicide. Atomic bombs dropped on Japan.
1946: Nazi leaders are sentenced at Nuremberg. Mr Allingham celebrates his 50th birthday.
1948: NHS launched.
1954: First successful organ transplant.
1961: East Germany begins building Berlin Wall. Mr Allingham retires, aged 65.
1963: JFK assassinated. Sir Alec Douglas-Home becomes prime minister.
1967: Floppy disk invented.
1973: Three-day working week ordered by government to save electricity.
1977: Elvis dies.
1983: First commercial mobile phones available.
1986: Chernobyl power station explodes.
1996: Dolly the sheep born. Dunblane massacre. Mr Allingham turns 100.
1997: Diana, Princess of Wales, killed in car crash.
2001: Terrorist attacks on New York World Trade Centre and Pentagon.
2009: 65th anniversary of D-Day.
Amazing that they missed trivial events like:
- both World Wars (WWI is missing altogether, WWII is hinted at with references to Hitler's suicide, Nuremberg trials)
- Russian Revolution - rise and fall of communism
- Coronation of queen Elizabeth
- Moon landing
- Creation of the EU

I guess they didn't have room for these events as they were saving space for the Death of Elvis and Dianna, and the birth of Dolly.

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