Top 10: Most Important Moments in History

wmmattler February 4, 2010 9

There are many things in history that shape our views and values for generations, if not centuries ahead. Looking back here a few instances of things that have made a lasting impact on our culture and lifestyle of today. This is a peek in on the beginning of some of the things we take for granted every day.

History is bound to repeat itself we’re told. Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat is. The list of this sort of thinking goes on and on without any apparent end; all spins on the same premise, What we’ve done here on TT10 is come up with several historical moments not likely to be repeated any time soon…

10. The Magna Carta

Simply stated, the Magna Carta was a document written in 1215 that did not limit the King of England’s powers, but instead made him accountable to the law. This is one of the first examples of government, particularly a monarchy, being held to a standard by the people. Without this document, habeas corpus would not have come about. This is what only keeps me in jail over the weekend and not indefinitely without charges.

9. Communism in China

In 1927 the Chinese Communist Party was founded. How does this affect us today? I dunno, how about 1.3 Billion (yeah with a capitol “B”) all under one flag? That’s pretty impressive when you consider my family of 6 can’t decide on dinner some nights.

8. The Treaty of Paris

The American Revolution marked the beginning of the end of imperialism in the world. Though it could be argued that imperialistic government reigned another 100 years or so, this is monumental is size and scope.

7. The Printing of the Gutenberg Bible

Before 1452 all print presses were painstaking affairs and just not practical. Most books were hand copied and thus vulnerable to mistakes being made. Books were rare, but the invention of the print press with movable type by Gutenberg changed that and the Bible he printed helped spread Christianity even further.

6. The Invention of Plumbing

The Romans might have conquered a vast portion of the world, but it was their need for cleanliness and order that left their marks on the these times. The roads have faded, and a majority of their far flung monuments have long since vanished, but fittingly enough, their cisterns and aqueducts remain.

5. Penicillin

November 26, 1941, penicillin was perfected. By the time the war was in full swing prices dropped form $20 a dose to $.20 a dose. With a viable way to fight infection, millions of lives were saved.

4. First Written Text

The Sumerians from ca. 3000 BCE are credited with the first standardized written language. The idea was to help in government and with keeping tally on the public coffers and with tribute. So yes, wealth is the root of all evil, but most likely the root of writing as well. Oddly enough, this form of writing looks a lot like my own handwriting. Hmm. Maybe I am a Sumarien! I’d rather be a Cimmerian, but never mind.

3. Flight

The first manned flight was reported to have taken place in Paris in Paris by Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier and François Laurent d’Arlandes in 1783. Another 120 years passed before the Wright brother, Orville and Wilbur made their historical heavier than air powered flight in Kittyhawk, NC.

2. The Bombing of Hiroshima & Nagasaki

On August 6, 1945 the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima and August 9th on Nagasaki. The first nuclear test was held months before the first bomb was dropped on human beings. This was the first use of a true “super weapon” and forever changed how we view ourselves and each other.

1. The Invention of the Telephone

It puts the “tele” in telecommunications. Telephones, and consequently telephone lines have no doubt established more to bring the world together than anything else. Why? Without it we’d still be getting mail 3 weeks late , but we also would most likely get through eating diner without interruptions. So there is some good with the bad.


  1. MattII February 10, 2010 at 6:48 pm -

    What about the Battle of Hastings, the second Battle of El Alamein, the Assassination of Julius Ceaser, The Battles of Crecy and Agincourt, the development of the Smallpox Vaccine, the discovery of X-Rays, the First practical steam enginem etc. If you’re going to claim the most important moments in history, at least have the decency to do research on what the most important moments actually do some research to find out which moments actually might be most important (as opposed to just being end points for already more-or-less decided issues).

  2. Bruce Evans March 11, 2010 at 10:48 am -

    Indeed some remarkable moments and achievements. They definitely belong in the top 100 of all time, but the top 10? I would have thought that indeed the battle of Hastings would have a place here, or the discovery of America. The creation of the USSR in 1917, the erection of the iron curtain. Or earlier, the invention of the wheel. The invention of the steam engine or just after that the introduction of rail roads.

  3. wmmattler March 24, 2010 at 5:53 pm -

    We tried to limit it to events that still affect us all today. Communism was a red herring… railroads opened the west but aren’t really in use… you following me?
    My favorite moment in history was in the fall of 1987 and literally involved a haystack and a girl 3 years older than I… I left that one out as well…

  4. WMMattler March 25, 2010 at 9:31 pm -

    While I’m thinking about it, I’m calling you out Matt. There’s a button in the top left hand side of this page it says “submit a list”; use it. We’ll most likely post is then Bruce Evans can comment on it.

  5. tony July 10, 2010 at 9:27 am -

    public access to the WWW has to be up there or at least mentioned in “The Invention of the Telephone”??
    Great site btw, keep’em coming!

  6. Nawid October 23, 2010 at 7:17 pm -

    The terrorist attacks of 911 have single-handedly shaped the history of the 21st century; the war in Afghanistan and Iraq owe their origins to what happened in New York and Washington DC on that fateful day. The way Muslims and Islam has come to be perceived by the global community has been indelibly shaped by 911.
    The threat of modern terrorism was brought to the world’s attention on September 11. It is without a doubt the most horrific act of terror in the history of mankind. I was expecting 911 to be no.1 on this list for sure!

    • Travis July 17, 2012 at 1:09 am -

      Not even top 100 in all of history… definitely for the 21st century. But not all time.

  7. Sarah November 3, 2011 at 9:04 am -

    How does imperialism still affect us today?

  8. Travis July 17, 2012 at 1:07 am -

    What about the birth of Christ? It split time in two. What about the formation of Islam? It has created of vacuum of power in religion that has lasted since 610ad. What about man walking on the moon?