• Weird History

Historical Events You Most Want To Go Back and See

List RulesVote up the historical events you'd most like to witness.

Every history buff has considered the historical events they would want to witness—from the construction of the pyramids to the moon landing, the historical milestones on this list would have been amazing to see firsthand. And don't forget, woolly mammoths were still alive when the pyramids were built, though you probably wouldn't spot one in Egypt.

And then there are all the historical mysteries you could solve with a little time travel. Who really shot JFK? Do the Illuminati control the world? And what were the completely naked Ancient Greek Olympic games like?

So if you could go back to a moment in history, which would you choose, and why? Wars and battles might not be the best historical events to witness, but what about Hannibal crossing the Alps or the Gettysburg Address? Or would you choose to party with Marie Antoinette or watch Leonardo paint the Mona Lisa? These are some of the most significant historical events we'd want to go back in time to see in person.

  • Photo: biblevector / flickr / CC-BY 2.0

    What Was It?

    Around the year zero in a manger in Bethlehem, a child was born. Jesus founded one of the most important religions in history, but it started with humble beginnings. As Christians believe, the adult Jesus practiced miracles, died on the cross, and was resurrected. And it all began with the nativity.

    Why It Would've Been Awesome To Experience:

    Admittedly, childbirth isn't typically a spectator event, but all the paintings make the Nativity seem pretty amazing. And many would love to go back in time to meet Jesus, so why not check out his birth?

    Would you want to witness this event?
  • Photo: Anonymous/Library of Congress / Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

    What Was It?

    On December 17, 1903, Orville Wright took flight, coasting at 6.8 miles per hour for about 120 feet. The Wright Brothers made history with their flying machine. It almost happened three days earlier, but Wilbur stalled out and crashed the plane.

    Why It Would've Been Awesome To Experience:

    Fun fact: Wilber and Orville decided who would take the first flight with a coin toss. They managed four flights on that historic day, until a gust of wind tossed their flyer and damaged it. The take off was a major technological achievement in the history of mankind and a historical event worth witnessing first hand.

    Would you want to witness this event?
  • Photo: David Bachrach / Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

    Lincoln's Gettysburg Address

    What Was It?

    Abraham Lincoln's most famous speech was only 272 words long, but it encapsulated America's ideals. The Gettysburg Address was delivered on November 19, 1863 at the site of one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War. Lincoln's powerful address, beginning with "Four score and seven years ago," also introduced generations of schoolchildren to the archaic "score" as a measure of time.

    Why It Would've Been Awesome To Experience:

    The Gettysburg Address is one of the most important speeches in American history, and witnessing it live on a historically significant battlefield would be powerful. Plus, it would settle debates surrounding Lincoln's speaking voice. Was it, in fact, shrill and squeaky, as some have claimed?

    Would you want to witness this event?
  • Photo: dharder9475 / flickr / CC-BY-NC 2.0

    The Signing Of The Declaration of Independence

    What Was It?

    On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence, an aspirational document asserting America's right to choose its own government. The founding document of the United States influenced revolutions around the world, including the French Revolution, and boldly made a case for inalienable rights.

    Why It Would've Been Awesome To Experience:

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal"—the United States might not always live up to Jefferson's lofty goals, but witnessing the moment that the country declared its independence would be pretty amazing.

    Would you want to witness this event?