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Penelope J. Corfield

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KEY TO DANCING DATES FILM

The Dancing Dates are obviously and deliberately not chronological. Nor, equally obviously, do they cover all of human history or do anything like exhaust the tally of significant dates. They are included simply to prompt an interest in history. How many dates do you recognise? What would you add?

A note on styling: All Dates are cited in the increasingly used international calendar in which BCE = before the Common Era (equivalent to BC) and CE = in the Common Era (equivalent to AD).
c.13-15 billion years ago Estimated Origin of this Universe
c.2551 BCE
Building of the Great Pyramid (also known as Pyramid of Cheops/Khufu) at Giza, Egypt
480 BCE
Battle of Thermopylae between the Persian Empire of Xerxes I and an alliance of the Greek city-states
220-206 BCE
Building of Great Wall of China by China's first Emperor, on the site of older defences
33
Crucifixion of Jesus Christ
476
Fall of the Roman Empire in the West - when the last emperor, Romulus Augustus, was forced to abdicate by the German chieftain Odoacer. (Various other dates are also cited for the Roman Empire's slow decline)
622
Muhammad's Flight to Mecca (the Hegira)
1066
Norman invasion of England
1348
Black Death (plague) in Europe
1453
Fall of Constantinople, the last redoubt of the Byzantine or Eastern Roman Empire, to the Turks
1492
Voyage of Christopher Columbus to what later became known as the American continent
1517
Martin Luther's 95 Theses at Wittenberg, Germany, launching the Protestant Reformation
1520
Death of Montezuma (also given as Moctezuma, Motecuhzoma), presaging defeat of the Aztec Empire by Spain
1688
Exile of James II and start of the 'Glorious Revolution' in Britain
1776
United States Declaration of Independence from Britain
1789
French Revolution
1815
Battle of Waterloo, when Napoleon, returning from exile in Elba, was defeated by the coalition armies of Britain, Prussia and other European allies
1868
The Meiji Restoration in Japan, ending the Tokugawa era
1914
Start of World War I
1917
Russian Revolution
1939
Start of World War II
1945
Atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan
1947
Independence of India and Pakistan from the British Empire
1969
First Man on Moon
 
Note: the science fiction guru Arthur C. Clarke once remarked that: 'Apollo [the American lunar programme] may be the only achievement by which our age is remembered a thousand years from now'. Yet how many today remember this date?
11/9/2001
European-style dating of the American '9/11' Destruction of New York's Twin Towers by al-Qaeda
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