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Impossible Questions: That Big Year Edition (The Answer)

March 20, 2014

What major national event precedes women’s voting rights in the U.S., the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, France phasing out the guillotine, statehood of four states, the discovery of Pluto, sliced bread, and the demotion of Pluto?

All of those things have happened after the last time the Chicago Cubs won a World Series.

It’s almost opening day of the Major League Baseball season, and with it comes baseball pundits, writers, and fans wondering if this year will finally be year the Cubs can finally win it all…again. In the early 20th century, the Cubs were one of the most dominant teams in the league. From 1906 to 1910, the Cubs appeared in the World Series four times and won twice. The 1908 championship marks the Cubs’ last championship. (The last time they went to a World Series—and lost—was in 1945).

Obviously, in the 105.5 years from then until now, the world has changed a lot. Here are some examples.

  • In 1920, Congress passed the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which gives women the right to vote.
  • The Ottoman Empire disbanded in 1923 after more than 600 years. It’s replaced by modern-day Turkey.
  • In 1977, France executed its last convicted murderer with the guillotine. Four years later, the country abolished the death penalty altogether.
  • When the Cubs won the 1908 World Series, there were 46 states in the Union. New Mexico and Arizona became states in 1912, four years later. Alaska and Hawaii were granted statehood in 1959, more than 50 years later.
  • Packaged, pre-sliced bread was introduced in 1928.
  • Pluto was discovered by astronomers in 1909 and classified as the ninth planet in the Solar System, as well as the smallest and most distant from the sun. In 2006, Pluto was demoted to dwarf-planet in 2006. That means the entire “life cycle” of Pluto has been contained entirely within the Chicago Cubs’ championship drought.
  • Bonus: Since the Cubs won a World Series, 22 other Major League Baseball teams have won a World Series. The New York Yankees have won it 26 times.
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Mark Shoenfelt
Mark Shoenfelt
March 20, 2014 3:05 pm

The question was too ambiguous. They also all happened since the American Revolution, the Civil War, the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and on and on. You were looking for one event when it was not a unique answer to the question. I usually enjoy your impossible questions because they have a real, indisputable answer. This is not one of them.

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