Historical Events  General
Historical Events  General
Library of Alexandria

How many books were lost when it was destroyed?

MMDE: Thousands

Current: None

It was a noble goal - to house a copy of every book in the world in one place. That was the vision of the rulers of Alexandria 2,300 years ago. They built a library with huge storage areas to house the scrolls, and it attracted scholars the world over to study and contribute.

However, in the year 5 BC it was said to be destroyed in a catastrophic fire. The legend is this was a disaster for all mankind, and the loss of such irretrievable knowledge "set mankind back 1000 years". Many people have been led to believe this, and it comes as such a shock to them to hear no books or scrolls were lost, that it's being pointed to as a Mandela Effect.

Historical Events  General
Olympic Flame Relay

Who started the Olympic flame relay?

MMDE: Ancient Greeks

Current: Nazi Germany

We're all familiar with the origin of the Olympic games.

Starting in ancient Greece from the 8th century BC, in the city which bears it's name, Olympia, they ran until the 4th century AD before being started again in the modern era with the first being held in Athens in 1896. Of great significance is the opening ceremony, for which in turn the famous Olympic Torch plays a huge role.

Just as well known is the relay the torch is carried through, traditionally starting from Olympia, before lighting the cauldron during the opening ceremony and finally being extinguished at the closing ceremony. What surprises many people is that this relay only began with the Nazis introducing it for propaganda purposes when Germany hosted the Olympics in 1936, since they were sure it had been a feature of the Olympics all along.

Historical Events  General
9/11 Twin Towers

9/11: How many buildings collapsed?

MMDE: 3

Current: 7

As if the 9/11 attack isn't controversial enough, it seems to now be the subject of a Mandela Effect.

Everyone knows the Twin Towers were destroyed on September 11, 2001, and many know that WTC 7 was lost too. Most people believe 3 buildings collapsed, and remember that's the way it was reported at the time. So they are surprised to hear that today the figure is 7, and that doesn't count buildings demolished in the weeks following due to damage received on the day, such as the Deutsche Bank Building,

Wilipedia:

The collapse of the Twin Towers destroyed the rest of the complex, and debris from the collapsing towers severely damaged or destroyed more than a dozen other adjacent and nearby structures. Other buildings destroyed include St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, Marriott World Trade Center (Marriott Hotel 3 WTC), South Plaza (4 WTC), and U.S. Customs (6 WTC).

The Verizon Building was also extensively damaged but was successfully restored later.

Historical Events  General
Titanic

Did it break during the launch ceremony or stay intact?

MMDE: It bounced and didn't break, which meant bad luck

Current: There was no champagne bottle

There's a mystery around the Christening of the Titanic. Many people remember the story of how the champagne bottle didn't break during the launch ceremony. This was significant because traditionally, it meant bad luck, which considering what happened to the Titanic is putting it mildly.

The problem is the story cannot be true because the White Star line, the owners of the ship, did not use champage bottles during the launch ceremony, and in fact the Titanic was never christened at all.

Those who remember the champagne bottle story may be experiencing a Mandela Effect.

Historical Events  General
Nigerian Prince Scam

First appeared?

MMDE: 1980's

Current: 1830's

By now, most people who've been using email for any length of time are aware it can be used as part of a scam attempt to make money. Many of these are in the form of some individual claiming to be able to access a large amount with just a little help from someone on the outside.

They are not addressed to individuals at the start, because they are send in bulk in the hope someone believes them and follows up. At that point, they are personalised because the scammer then develops the con further with their potential victim, leading up to the inevitable point where they ask for money up front so they can get more back.

These are popularly known as the "Nigerian Prince Scam" and are seen as a modern phenomenom, but they actually first appeared in the 1830's.

Historical Events  General
Guillotine

When was it last used?

MMDE: 1877

Current: 1977

Along with the rack, thumbscrews and burning at the stake, people associate the guillotine with medeival punishment and execution methods. Most famously, the guillotine was used in the French Revolution to dispose of that countries monarchy. So when most people are asked to date the last time it was officially used, they come up with years in the 1700 - 1900 range, with a few being aware it was used during the second world war.

The actual year of 1977 comes a such a shock that it's being classed as an MMDE, because the feeling is this is exactly the kind of thing which should be more widely known.

Historical Events  General
Traffic light

When did the first traffic light appear?

MMDE: 1908

Current: 1868

Everybody seems to think it's obvious traffic lights must have appeared after cars, but not so fast. In another "Tech before it's time" instance, it turns out the first working traffic light actually hit the road, so to speak, in 1868 outside the Houses of Parliament in London. It was gas lit, and operated manually by a policeman standing next to it. The trick is to realise there were many horses and carts on the roads then, which had exactly the same needs as motorised vehicles when it came to keeping what had become busy traffic moving.

The first traffic management system, to get technical, was in the form of three policemen standing by the road waving the carriages through. This was in 1722, again in London but this time on London Bridge.