Historical Event You Wish You Could Have Seen
Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
United States
New Orleans
Louisiana
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Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Erin go Bragh! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
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Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
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One of my favorite questions to ask people is what historical event they would have liked to have been present at and why. Recently I read that when Hegel gazed upon Napoleon after his victory at Jena he declared that he had seen world history ride passed him. We rarely get to say that, but it does happen.

For this list I'll just start it all off with mine and then everyone else can add what they please.
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51. Board Game: Defining a Nation: India on the Eve of Independence, 1945 [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
David Lai
United States
Lexington
Kentucky
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This was partially covered with the "I Have a Dream" speech, but I think it would have been pretty fantastic observing Gandhi's Salt March in 1930 (among his other protests). Getting the chance to see him and the other members of his ashram surrounded by thousands upon thousands of other Indian citizens would have been pretty incredible. It may have been rather inconclusive in terms of short-term tangible results, but it still represents an iconic nonviolent moment that did have significant long-term ramifications.

I'll add a wikipedia link for more info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salt_Satyagraha
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52. Board Game: Hamburgum Expansion: Lisboa [Average Rating:7.66 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.66 Unranked]
Zé Mário
Portugal
Porto
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1755's earthquake and following tsunami in Lisbon must have been an astonishing thing. Pompeii too.

Less gruesome: Paris was (and still is) a cool place to live for many decade. If you had money. Come on: Toulouse-Lautrec, Hemingway, Frida, Sartre, Picasso, Anaïs and Henry Miller? Boris Vian? Monet and Chagal, even Kandinsky? surprise

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53. Board Game: The Modern Orchestra Game [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
David Kennedy
France
Annecy
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Premiere performance of Handel's Messiah:

13 April 1742 at the Music Hall in Dublin. This is one of my favorite pieces of music, premiered in one of my favorite cities. I would also take seeing it the next year, when King George II rose during the Hallelujah Chorus, causing everyone else to also stand.
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54. Board Game: Onward, Christian Soldiers [Average Rating:6.62 Overall Rank:3060]
Gert Corthout
Belgium
Lille
Antwerpen
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Antioch, june 28 1098.

First crusade.
The crusaders finally arrived at the gates of Antioch after a gruelling march through Antiochia in horrible weather conditions.
The crusaders then spent an entire year besieging the enormous walls of Antioch, virtually unsupplied, before they finally took the city through betrayal.
When they take the city they notice that there is absolutely nothing to eat and soon after learn of a huge muslem force led by Kerbogha which was on its way to recapture the city.
They are famished and weakened. Their armour is rusty at best. Their prized warhorses have died from disease or have been eaten to survive. Many desert the cruader cause before the muslem army arrives.

On june 5th Kerbogha arrived and laid siege to the city.

On June 10 a poor and insignificant monk by the name of Peter Bartholomew came forward claiming to have had visions of St. Andrew, who told him that the Holy Lance was inside the city. The starving crusaders were prone to visions and hallucinations.
On june 15th Peter and some other crusaders dug in the cathedral and found a lance, which they proclaimed was the holy lance, the spear of destiny.
Despite the leaders being sceptical it raised morale enough to make a sortie on june 28th after 5 days of fasting (they had nothing to eat anyway).
The weakened crusaders saddled up on whatever they could find (there were claims of some crusaders charging out on mules!) and sallied out of the gates with Raymond of Aguilers carrying the Holy Lance before them. The weakened crusaders were disadvantaged at all fronts except sheer determination. Initially, the Turks inflicted many casualties, including Adhemar's (the arch bishop) standard-bearer, and Kerbogha set fire to the grass between his position and the crusaders, but this did not deter them: they had visions of three saints riding along with them, led by St. George, St. Demetrius, and St. Maurice. The battle was short and the turks were soundly beaten.

Was the lance planted?
Was it all a ploy to rescue crusader morale?
How did the rivalling crusader factions (there was no real leader amongst the crusader) agree to this desperate charge?
...

The first battle at ascalon is interesting too. And the battle of Montgisard of course.
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55. Board Game: Close Action [Average Rating:7.82 Overall Rank:1318]
Mike Windsor
United States
Fort Worth
Texas
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I'd like to have had a good vantage point for the Battle of Trafalgar. I think of the feeling you get when the really loud firework goes off, and then multiply that by several hundred over the course of a few hours.
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56. Board Game: Napoleon at Bay: Defend the Gates of Paris [Average Rating:7.64 Overall Rank:3716]
Jon
Canada
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I thought of another one while mulling it over for some time.

In 1814, Napoleon's farewell address to the Imperial Guard at Fontainebleau after his first abdication. Might help if I could speak French though...
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57. Board Game: Hastings, 1066 [Average Rating:6.45 Overall Rank:5589]
Tommy Liles
United States
Fredericksburg
Virginia
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Check out my gaming blog! www.playingitwrong.blogspot.com
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A turning point in English history. I'd like to ask King Harold why, after so many wise decisions throughout 1066, is he marching everyone down to die? Why throw it all away?

First post on the geek, and happy to be here!
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58. Board Game: Thebes [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:265]
Runcible Spoon
United States
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Since I was a kid I have been fascinated with all 5 of the civilizations/regions/cultures that appear in this game, but if I had to choose one I suppose seeing Athens at its height of intellectual power would have been neat.

Although I must admit the island of Crete during the time of the Minoan Civilization and its cities Knossos and Phaistos would have been neat too visit as well.

Thanks for the great list idea and thanks to all the contributors, I certainly spent too much time browsing this one.
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59. Board Game: BuddhaWheel [Average Rating:5.75 Unranked]
Calavera Soñando
United States
Tucson
Arizona
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Jesus is already on this list, and I agree, he'd be damn interesting to speak with, but for some reason talking with the first Buddha somehow trumps that, at least for me. India in 500 BCE (roughly) would already be fascinating, but to meet Siddhārtha Gautama, age 29, as he leaves his life of wealth and power behind to become Bodhisattva... I can't think of any more interesting moment in terms of the possibility of being a human.

Otherwise, Themistocles is an historic favorite of mine. I am convinced there would be no Athenian democracy were it not for his political machinations leading up to the buildup of the Athenian navy for the second Persian invasion. How kick ass would it be to watch the Battle of Salamis? And I suspect had they lost Salamis and Palatea, there would probably be no western civilization...

Otherwise, I think India in the 1930's would have been damn fascinating. I think Ghandi's Salt March, watching the Brits arrest 60,000 people, all that upheaval and none of it really violent. Talk about human accomplishment...
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60. Board Game: Passion [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
Blake Morris
United States
Henrico
Virginia
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This size viola da gamba is like a cello with frets. I started playing at age 48.
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The first performance of J. S. Bach's St. Matthew Passion in 1727.  I would be enthralled, not only because it was the birth of an undying masterpiece, but because I could also learn about things like the size of the choir and the style of the ornamentation.
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61. Board Game: 300: The Board Game [Average Rating:6.16 Overall Rank:5105]
David Henry
United States
Anaheim
California
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Give me a parch with a good view on the cliffs of Thermopylae.
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62. Board Game: Unhappy King Charles! [Average Rating:7.71 Overall Rank:784]
Phil McDonald
England
Staffordshire
UK
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1. The trial of Charles I (and the New Model Army in action)

2. Senlac Hill 1066. I would love to have been one of Harolds Huskarls... OK so I'd be dead.. but I could have said that maybe it's not such a good idea to charge down the hill

3. Gettysburg.

4. Normandy June 6th 1944.

5. At the building of the final stage of Stonehenge. Why did they REALLY build it. Too many guesses, few facts.

6. Issus.

7. Troy or whatever battle that the legend was actually based upon, not the Helen myth. Hisalic in Turkey seems to be the favoured place for 'Troy', but it also seems far too small for an imperial city, and it seems to have gone into decline through a series of eathquakes rather than a siege. Much of the evidence was destroyed by the 'excavations' of Heinrich Schlieman a century or so ago.
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63. Board Game: Zulu: Rorke's Drift [Average Rating:5.00 Unranked]
Herb Finkel
United States
Arvada
Colorado
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139 British troops (mostly Welshmen) against about 4,500 Zulus.

This was after the 1st Battalion, 24th Foot was wiped out by the hills of Isandlwana (the advanced camp for Lord Chelmsford).

And yes, a great movie with a very young Michael Caine as Lieutenant Gronville Bromhead. It would be interesting to see what the movie got right, and what they "embellished".
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64. Board Game: WWF Wrestling Challenge [Average Rating:5.18 Unranked]
Kevin Chevalier
United States
Rochester
Minnesota
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This isn't a very deep entry, in terms of changing the world, but most of the good moments are already posted. So I'll post an event that I would love to have been at.

Wrestlemania III - March 29, 1987 - Pontiac Silverdome
Andre the Giant had betrayed his ally Hulk Hogan. Hulkamania was running wild, and over one million people watched at closed circuit locations around the country as Hogan bodyslammed the huge mass of a man.

This really was the peak of wrestling popularity in the 80s, and the largest indoor crowd ever to watch a sporting event in North America was electric. Since I have a time machine, I assume I could get ringside seats.

Also, it's fun listening to Hogan exaggerate the story nowadays. "Brother, Andre was 795 lbs that day, and I tore both biceps and a tricep slamming him, brother."
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65. Board Game: Spot the difference lotto [Average Rating:5.00 Unranked]
Martin Windischer
Austria
Innsbruck
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I would travel back in time about 10,000 years, be there for a second and come back.

Then I would look how the civilization has changed because of my visit. Other languages, other cities, other inventions, other boardgames , other music. Nothing would be the same
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66. Board Game: Frankenstein [Average Rating:5.88 Overall Rank:8285]
Conrad Lumm
United States
Brooklyn
New York
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Who is bought and sold? Who is beyond the law? Who is free to choose? Who follows orders? Who salutes longest? Who prays loudest? Who dies first? Who laughs last? -Barbara Kruger
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"Now a question of etiquette: as I pass, do I give you the ass or the crotch?"
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July, 1816: Lake Geneva, Switzerland

Percy Bysshe Shelley, Mary Shelley, Lord Byron, John Polidori and Claire Clairmont go on a European vacation. Mount Tambora has just exploded, ejecting so much ash into the air that there is literally no summer in 1816. The four retreat to Byron's manse and have a contest to tell each other the scariest tale they can. Polidori writes The Vampyre; Mary Shelley writes Frankenstein.

There would've been plenty of awkwardness, to be sure - Percy had just knocked up Claire. But it still would've been fun to be there, and to listen.

Runners up: The Paris Commune; the burning of the Library of Alexandria, with a fire extinguisher handy.
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67. Board Game: Don [Average Rating:6.20 Overall Rank:2174]
Matthew Barratt
United Kingdom
Royal Leamington Spa
Warwickshire
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Don Bradman scoring 309* on the first day of the 1930 Headingley test, the only time a player has scored a test-triple century in one day.

Runner-up, Jim Laker taking 10 for 53 and 9 for 37 against Australia in '56.
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68. Board Game: High Voltage [Average Rating:6.28 Overall Rank:7762]
Jeff Inks
United States
Fayetteville
North Carolina
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Anything associated with Tesla.

Aside from getting the chance to work with him for most of his life I would have loved to have seen...

Chicago being lit at the World's Fair...

The illumiation of light bulbs using nothing but the Earth as a conductor...

Tesla powering and driving the Arrow with the mysterious black box...

and a hundred other narly things he did with electricty.


Seeing the parting of the Red Sea would be way cool as well.

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69. Board Game: Age of Bismarck: The Unifications of Italy and Germany 1859-1871 [Average Rating:8.00 Unranked]
Tim Parker
United States
Richmond
Virginia
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Greatest one shot panel ever! The Amazing Spider Man Number 33
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I thought about this for a long time and I while I know it is not a single event, to watch Bismarck in action throughout his career would have been quite the sight. He truly was the master of realpolitik, a man who understood how war served the political agenda carved by statesmen. It is regrettable that the incredible skill the Bismarck possessed and displayed has been simplified by the idea of the war mongering Germans thanks to the German leaders who unleashed WWI and WWII. After the Franco-Prussian War, Bismarck worked to consilidate Germant and make sure that no powerful alliance ever formed against Germany. On an interesting note, Bismarck was acutally not highly regarded by the Nazi leaders (for this see Pflanze's materful (and VERY detailed three volume biography on OVB).

If I had to pick one event though, I would pick the time when Bismarck clashed with von Moltke after the Battle of Koniggratz. Von Moltke, like most military leaders wanted to finish Austria off, but Bismarck fought against this notion since he understood that defeating Austria had achieved his political goal and cushing them totally did not serve any useful political purpose. If ever there was a politican that really appreciated what war could do to accomplish political goals, it was Bismarck. Not only that, but Bismarck was remarkably skillful in creating the international framework in which to unleash his wars. By skillfully playing his opponents strengths, weaknesses, goals, and visions to achieve his own ends, Bismarck isolated each opponent before unleashing the Dogs of War! A good article to read on this is a recent issue of International Security that describes how Bismarck kept Russia, France, and Great Britain out of the Danish War.

How many politicans today could juggle a multipolar system the wat Bismarck did? Not many, I'd guess and no German leader could given what happened to Germany after Wilhelm II dismissed Bismarck in 1890.
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70. Board Game: Napoleon's Triumph [Average Rating:7.98 Overall Rank:193]
Patiently waiting for the zombie apocalypse...
United States
Colorado Springs
Colorado
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December 2, 1805

The Battle of Austerlitz. The Battle of the Three Emperors. Whatever you want to call it...

I would love to be a witness of this titanic clash between three major European powers. Watch from afar Napoleon at his best. Watch St. Hilaire's division as they emerge from the fog at approximately 9:00 in the morning surprising the Austrian and Russian commanders and seizing control of the crucial Pratzen Heights. Watch the emergence of Davout's III Corps from the south and hammering into the Allies's left flank and the subsequent rout of Allied forces.

The Battle of Austerlitz is the battle that cemented Napoleon's myth and legend. Being one who loves Napoleonic warfare and history... yeah, I would love to have seen this one.
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71. Board Game: Embrace An Angry Wind [Average Rating:6.74 Overall Rank:5462]
Elwyn Darden
United States
Richmond
Virginia
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John Bell Hoods's tent the night before the Battle of Franklin with a lead pipe, a 2x4, or at least a very big rock.
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72. Board Game: Salamis [Average Rating:6.93 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.93 Unranked]
Elwyn Darden
United States
Richmond
Virginia
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Seriously, Salamis was one of the greatest spectacles ever. And it was one of the few of the great decisive battles of history that could actually be seen in its entirety from one vantage point.
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73. Board Game: Take 12 [Average Rating:6.25 Unranked]
Robert Rossney
United States
San Francisco
California [CA]
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Salzburg, 15 September 1945

I'd like to put my hand on PFC Bell's shoulder and tell him, "That man's simply stepping out of his house to smoke a cigar. His name's Anton Webern. You'll have a much better life if you don't shoot him."
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74. Board Game: Airships [Average Rating:6.44 Overall Rank:1214]
Michael Vinarcik
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Riding on the Graf Zeppelin's round-the-world trip. The passengers got to see some amazing sights.
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75. Board Game: Age of Empires III: The Age of Discovery [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:81]
A C
United States
Ewa Beach
Hawaii
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1. Christ. Obviously the resurrection, but even just any random day in His adult life just to observe Him.

2. The real battle of the 300.

3. The siege of Troy.

4. Watching Washington lead from the front in the battle of Trenton.

5. Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

6. A Roman gladitorial fight.

7. The extinction of the dinosaurs.

8. The events of Genesis.

9. The Big Bang

10. The birth of my sons. I was there then, but I would give anything to get to enjoy it again
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