10 Times When History Repeated Itself but No One Realized It (You Might Want to Check Your Textbooks After Reading This)

Scientists say that history goes in circles. So the events we observe now, have already appeared in the past and are likely to come up in the future. This theory is known as historical recurrence.

We at Bright Side got сurious with the theme and did our own research. As a result, we gathered 10 examples of history repeating itself in a most strange and unexpected way.

1. Lincoln and Kennedy assassinations

Even though there is almost a century between the 2 crimes (1865 and 1963), scientists and others interested in this have found a number of similarities. Both presidents were killed by a gunshot to the head. The killings were in public, for Lincoln it happened in the Ford Theatre and for Kennedy it happened in a car. Interestingly, Kennedy took his last trip in a Lincoln limousine. Both shootings happened on a Friday. Both killings are believed to have had a political undertone. In both cases the alleged criminal (a solo gunman) was caught and their name was released. The conspiracy theories around these 2 assassinations never stop growing and developing.

2. 2 remarkable Queens, Victoria and Elizabeth II

The British often compare these 2 queens. The first similarity is their remarkably long reign. Victoria ruled for over 63 years and was the longest reigning British monarch before September 2015, when Elizabeth II broke her record. Despite their long reign, both ladies are known for their interest in modern technologies. Both become queens at an early age, Victoria 18 and Elizabeth 25. Both were happily married for a long time and both had more than one child. They are said to have been strict mothers and the actual heads of their families. Both queens were once attacked by a gunman during a ride near Buckingham palace. And on a lighter note, both queens absolutely enjoy the love and respect of their nation.

3. Women warriors, Joan of Arc and Emilia Plater

These 2 young ladies led parts of their national armies and fought the enemy for the independence of their motherlands. Joan of Arc was a hero of the French struggle against the British empire in the 1420s. Emilia Plater led Polish troops against the Russian Empire during the uprising of 1830. Both women were first rejected by army officials and had to try hard to get in the military. Both came from noble, but not super-rich families. Both wore male clothes to be an active part of the fighting. Also, both were an important motivating role for troops and were considered a symbol of the rebellion. Unfortunately, both heroines died young. They have been commemorated by their nations and are even remembered today.

4. Josef Stalin and Genghis Khan

These 2 well-known men ruled the largest countries of their times, the USSR and the Mongol Kingdom. Both Josef Stalin and Genghis Khan were known for their cruelty and at the same time initiated significant reforms in their countries. Under Kahn’s rule the territories of the Mongol empire imposed a legal code (for the very first time), named Yassa. Their personal life holds a number of similarities as well. Both spent their childhood in poverty and experienced the early death of their father. Both men took a pseudonym, describing their specific features: Stalin meaning “man of steel and Genghis Khan meaning “the great ruler.” Both lived a long life, more than 60 years, and were married several times. Finally, the death of both rulers are full of rumors, mysteries, and conspiracy theories.

5. Napoleon and Charles XIV John of Sweden

If you consider someone an inspiration, you might try repeating their life story. Jean Bernadotte was born to a middle-class family and reached his top career point through army service. At the beginning, he was a fan of another talented military man, Napoleon Bonaparte, who was also self-made. Later on they both became friends for a while. Both men reached top governmental positions without being royal by birth or blood. Napoleon became the French emperor after a revolution. Bernadotte was adopted by a Swedish king and ended up Charles XIV John, a king of Sweden. Both rulers introduced important reforms and changes in their countries and started a new dynasty.

6. The Titanic and The Vasa tragedies

Many people around the world recall the Titanic as a ship that sank during her maiden voyage. However, if they are Swedish, they’d definitely remember the Vasa. The fact that they sank is only one of a number of similarities between these 2 catastrophes. In both cases the sinking was allegedly caused by construction issues. The issues were believed to have been because of the ships’ modernity and size. Also, both ships sank in good weather conditions and the deaths of the passengers were caused by the lack of safety boats and a poorly organized rescue process. By the way, both ships were filled with very festive passengers who were relaxed and celebrating and both tragedies were a huge shock as there was so much excitement centered around these ships.

7. The Great Depression and The Great Recession

The Great Depression and the Great Recession are the 2 biggest economic downfalls of their time. Both crises began in the U.S. and later spread to the rest of the world. They caused a great number of problems in different spheres internationally (like the tension between Greece and the EU, or the rise of the Nazi regime). In the 1920s stock market imploded due to the massive sales of overpriced shares which caused the Great Depression in 1929. The Great Recession is attributed to the high-risk loan (aka, mortgage) crisis. The Depression happened so long ago that there has been more than enough time to analyze it. Yet historians and economists alike are still asking new questions. The study of the Great Recession is ongoing and will need much more time to be properly analyzed.

8. The mysteries of the Dyatlov Pass and Andrée’s Arctic balloon expeditions

In 1959 a group of students traveled to the Ural mountains (USSR) for a 2-week expedition and they never returned. Another group, who were led by S.S. Andree (Sweden), was trying to reach the North Pole in 1897, only to die on the way. It’s likely that the members of these 2 expeditions had never even heard about each other and it’s the mysterious deaths of the expeditions’ members that unite these 2 stories. Both groups consisted of amateurs but despite that they were very well-prepared. They carried enough warm clothes, matches, etc. to survive for a long time. The weather conditions were reported to be suitable for the journeys. Scientists and amateurs are still studying photos, DNA samples, and other materials searching for the cause of these tragedies.

9.The Erdington Murders

2 20-year-old women were murdered in Erdington, a suburb of Birmingham, England on the 27th of May at night. Mary Ashford and Barbara Forrest had both been drowned at a local pool. Both bodies had bruises, showed signs of rape, and both girls had been out dancing the previous night. The only difference is that there are 157 years between these cases. Mary was murdered in 1817 and Barbara in 1974. In both cases the investigators never found the murderer, even though there were many suspects who were released by the court due to a lack of evidence. The siblings of both victims tried to appeal the court decision and failed and the mysteries are still well-remembered in the neighborhood.

10. Chaplin and Distracted Boyfriend

A meme known as Distracted Boyfriend appeared on the internet in the 2010s. It is believed to have first been introduced on Facebook by an unknown user. The image shows a young man turning to look at another woman while holding hands with his girlfriend. This situation often appears today in real life and it also happened in the Chaplin-era of cinema. A poster from 1922 shows a Charlie Chaplin film called “Pay Day” that looks incredibly close to this meme. We can see the main hero, his wife, and the lady attracting his attention. Obviously this was long before the internet era, but the similarity is striking!

Do you have any more examples of history repeating itself? Which of these stories seems the most striking to you? Please share your thoughts in the comments!