1661 to 2002: Palindromes Through the Years

In 2112, if man is still alive, it’ll be the first time the world has seen a year palindrome year since 2002. An odd observation for sure, but considering each year has some sort of historical significance, it’s important to look at what each palindrome year gave to the world and how it has benefited mankind.

1661: England had quite a number of important events take place during this year. One of the biggest involved not the living figure, but the corpse of military and political leader, Oliver Cromwell. The highly controversial figure was beheaded, even though he died and was buried two years earlier. The reason? Royalist tradition. Once the monarchy, led by Charles II, came into power during England’s Restoration Period, the Royalists beheaded to symbolize the end of the past dictatorship on the land.

Science also saw major breakthroughs, as it saw the publication of “Fumifugium,” a pamphlet published describing the problem of air pollution, one of the earliest known works about a subject that’s still debated and talked about by environmentalists today. In addition, Isaac Newton began studying at Trinity College, Cambridge, where his knowledge and craft would lead to the foundation of classical mechanics, the laws of motion, and much more.

1771: Going back to Great Britain, again, the country saw both the finished publication of the first edition of Encyclopedia Britannica, and one of the first factory complexes, founded by Richard Arkwright, developing cotton mills at Cromford.

Meanwhile, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart continued to work, and developed Symphony No. 12, 13, and 14.

The decade was also defined by a very common sickness known as the bubonic plague, and in Moscow, the Plague Riot was born. When the illness became an epidemic in the spring of that year, fear and anger grew. Most were sick, causing the economy to paralyze, food shortages to incrase, and living conditions to deteriorate, causing the entire city to go into complete chaos. Quarantine zones were destroyed, the monastery was captured, and the archbishop was killed as a result of it all. On September 17th, the army was able to disperse the crowd and end the rioting, and 300 people were brought to trial. The government offered citizens work and food in an attempt to calm the city. The outbreak had eventually disappeared once the cold weather set in.

1881: With President James A. Garfield inaugurated into office, America began the year with a collaboration with Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell, as the two established the Oriental Telephone Company. The year also saw the formation of the American Red Cross, the United States Tennis Association, Spelman College, Tuskegee University, and Sand Covent of the Sacred Heart, the first independent all-girls school. It also saw the death of, funny enough, President James A. Garfield. On July 2, the President was shot by lawyer Charles J. Guiteau, and died from an infection in the wound 11 weeks later. He was later succeeded by Chester A. Arthur.

Outside of America, the first episode of “The Adventures of Pinocchio” was published on July 7, and within the Jewish community, Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, a driving force behind the revival of the Hebrew language, began one of the first conversations in modern Hebrew in Paris, circa October. Along with the births of Alexander Fleming and Cecil B. Demille, and the death of William Boeing, 1881 was overall a massively important year in history.

1991: The most important event in this year was the end of the decades-long Cold War, as the USSR dissolved into the Commonwealth of Independent States, concluding a long series of nuclear testing, space races, and constant threats from both sides. But while 1991 saw the end of one war, another began, as Operation Desert Storm continued the Gulf War from the previous year. In this combat phase, the United States led themselves and 34 other nations against Iraq after their invasion of Kuwait, and while the battle ended in February, it would begin the US military’s intervention of the Middle East, which still persists and continues today.

That year a black taxi driver named Rodney King was videotaped being beaten by police officers, leading to the infamous Los Angeles riots the following year. This was a precursor to the discussion of police brutality that is still occurring today. Mike Tyson would later be acquitted of rape and Magic Johnson revealed he had HIV, ending his basketball career. In addition, figures like Dr. Seuss, Miles Davis, and Freddie Mercury all passed away on this year.

But the year wasn’t all doom and gloom. Not only did the year see the birth of Ed Sheeran, Tyler the Creator, Shailene Woodley, and Louis Tomlinson, but the year also saw the release of the Super Nintendo, the birth of “Sonic the Hedgehog”, the debut of Comedy Central, and the premieres of movies like “Silence of the Lambs,” “Beauty and the Beast,” and “Terminator 2,” and TV shows like “Home Improvement,” “Rugrats,” and “Darkwing Duck.”

A definite mixed bag, but there was still plenty to appreciate in such a crazy year.

2002: A year after the devastating World Trade Center attacks, U2 performed at the Super Bowl halftime show, dedicating the show and paying tribute to the victims who perished on September 11, 2001. The U.S. would also get wrapped up in military conflict yet again, when the Afghanistan invasion began. The same year also saw President George W. Bush creating the US Department of Homeland Security to help ensure the safety of the American people. The year also saw the passing of Peggy Lee, Dudley Moore, Richard Harris, and James Coburn.

In the case of pop culture, quite a number of important events occurred in those 365 days. The big-screen debut of Spider-Man released in May, redefining the comic book genre and setting the course for the most successful genre in today’s Hollywood system. American Idol was also born this year, showing reality programs were here to stay, as the series would later become one of, if not the biggest phenomenon in television history. Eminem hit it big with his album “The Eminem Show” and the movie “8 Mile,” while Alicia Keys won 5 Grammys, including Best New Artist and Song of the Year. Add on the second-generation iPod, and it seemed America’s post-9/11 society was going to be okay, minus a few bumps in the road.

Nobody knows what 2112 will bring. Within that 95-year timespan, mankind might not even be on Earth, either from an extinction or by traveling to another planet. But as the past few years have shown, the future will have quite a lengthy number of interesting events take place, and while I will be long gone by the time 2112 happens (Unless cryogenic freezing happens soon. Scientists, get on that!), I at least hope the world is at the utopian future we all want it to be at.

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