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World & Church History Events You’ll Be Surprised Happened at the Same Time

World & Church History Events You’ll Be Surprised Happened at the Same Time

From the sinking of the Titanic to the first early morning seminary classes, to various world wars, you might be surprised at what you find when you put world and church events side-by-side. Click here for world and church history events from the 19th Century.

1901

IN THE WORLD: The First Nobel Peace Prize is awarded to Henri Dunant and Frederic Passy in a meeting of the Norwegian Parliament.  

IN THE CHURCH: Heber J. Grant, Louis A. Kelsch, Horace S. Ensign, and Alma Owen Taylor become the first missionaries to serve in Japan. 

1902

IN THE WORLD: The first bones from a T-Rex skeleton are discovered in Montana. The entire skeleton took several years to uncover. 

IN THE CHURCH: The first issue of The Children’s Friend is published by the primary. The 2,000 copies were sent in hand-wrapped, ironed wrapping paper tied with string. 

1903

20th Century World and Church History Connections You Didn't Learn in School
Images retrieved from shriever.af.mil and lds.org.

IN THE WORLD: Orville and Wilbur Wright make history with the flight of the first engine-powered airplane in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. 

IN THE CHURCH: Elder Francis Lyman dedicates the Russian Empire for the preaching of the gospel.  On the other side of the world, the first visitors’ center is completed on Temple Square. 

1905

IN THE WORLD: Albert Einstein develops the world’s most famous scientific equation e=mc2.   
IN THE CHURCH: Under the direction of the First Presidency, Junius Wells purchases the farm in Sharon, Vermont where Joseph Smith was born and erects a monument to the Prophet in time for the 100th anniversary of his birth. 

1912

20th Century World and Church History Connections You Didn't Learn in School
Images retrieved form timesunion.com and mormonnewsroom.com.

IN THE WORLD: One of the most memorable disasters in history occurs when the massive ocean liner Titanic hits an iceberg during its first voyage and sinks. Only around 700 of the over 2,000 passengers survived. 

IN THE CHURCH: The first seminary classes begin in Salt Lake City at Granite High School. These classes were originally held during school hours. 

1914

IN THE WORLD: World War I develops after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. 

IN THE CHURCH: Though the United States remains neutral, missionaries are evacuated from western Europe and the following year an emergency war fund is set up to help the needy European Saints. 

1918

IN THE WORLD: A flu epidemic known as “Spanish Flu” or “La Grippe” kills between 20 and 40 million people, more people than were killed during World War I. 

IN THE CHURCH: Because of the flu epidemic, Spring 1919 general conference is delayed until June to avoid potential spreading of the disease among the congregants. 

1923

IN THE WORLD: The HOLLYWOOD sign is first erected as a real-estate advertisement with the name HOLLYWOODLAND. The “land” part would be dropped in later renovations. 

IN THE CHURCH: Meanwhile, the Church gains some land when Willard and Rebecca Bean, missionaries in Palmyra, purchase the first slice of the Hill Cumorah from James H. Ingles for $13,000. 

1927

IN THE WORLD: Philo T. Farnsworth is credited with designing the first successful electronic television.

IN THE CHURCH: President Thomas S. Monson is born on August 21st in Salt Lake City, Utah. 

1929

20th Century World and Church History Connections You Didn't Learn in School
Images retrieved from britannica.com and mormonnewsroom.com.

IN THE WORLD: The stock market crashes on what is now referred to as “Black Thursday,” and the Great Depression begins. 

IN THE CHURCH: The First Music and the Spoken Word program is broadcast from the Tabernacle. The first announcer, 19-year-old Ted Kimball, sat on a ladder for the program to reach the microphone.  Meanwhile, as the Great Depression worsened, the beginnings of the Church Welfare Program emerge, most notably in 1936. 

1939

IN THE WORLD: Germany invades Poland, beginning World War II. 

IN THE CHURCH: Missionaries are evacuated from Europe in August. By 1940 only missionary work in North and South America is still operating. 

1941 

IN THE WORLD: Pearl Harbor, Hawaii is attacked and the United States enters World War II. 

IN THE CHURCH: Hugh B. Brown is appointed servicemen’s coordinator. He is instrumental in getting the first LDS chaplains appointed. 

1945

20th Century World and Church History Connections You Didn't Learn in School
Images retrieved from cccoe.k12.us and asoftanswer.com.

IN THE WORLD: Atomic bombs devastate Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan. Shortly after, agreements are reached and WWII ends. 

IN THE CHURCH: Not long after the fighting stops, mission presidents and missionaries begin to be called again for areas vacated during war. The Idaho Falls, Idaho Temple is also dedicated this year. 

1946

IN THE WORLD: A war between politics, ideologies, and economies begins to emerge and is now known as the Cold War. Winston Churchill describes Europe at this time as having an impenetrable “Iron Curtain”. 

IN THE CHURCH:  The First Presidency issues a letter to encourage “absolute quiet” during the passing of the sacrament. Up to this point, sermons and music were common background noise during the sacrament service. 

1950

IN THE WORLD: The Korean War begins as a civil war between North and South Korea. It will quickly become an international conflict. 

IN THE CHURCH Six early-morning seminary pilot classes start in California. 

1954

IN THE WORLD: The Vietnam War begins as a conflict between the communist North Vietnam government and the western-allied South Vietnam. 

IN THE CHURCH: On the tail-end of the Korean War, the first official missionaries arrive in Korea. A change is also made in the ages that young men are ordained to the Priesthood. Teachers can be ordained at age 14 and priests at age 16.  

1955

20th Century World and Church History Connections You Didn't Learn in School

IN THE WORLD: The happiest place on earth, Disneyland, officially opens its gates and begins “making dreams come true." 

IN THE CHURCH: BYU-Hawaii, first known as the Church College of Hawaii, opens for classes. 

1956

IN THE WORLD: Elvis Presley reaches national acclaim and releases some of his early hit songs, “Hound Dog”, and “Heartbreak Hotel."

IN THE CHURCH: As other young people are gathering at rock-and-roll concerts, young single adults in Provo gather into the first student stake. 

1962

20th Century World and Church History Connections You Didn't Learn in School
Images retrieved from wikipedia.org and deseretnews.com.

IN THE WORLD: The Beatles begin singing their classic version of “Twist and Shout.”  

IN THE CHURCH: General Conference is first broadcast by shortwave radio. 

1963

IN THE WORLD: Martin Luther King gives his famous “I Have a Dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. 

IN THE CHURCH: The Church embraces diverse cultures with the opening of the Polynesian Cultural Center adjacent to the Church College of Hawaii (later BYU-Hawaii).

1965

20th Century World and Church History Connections You Didn't Learn in School
Images retrieved from bbc.co.uk and deseretbook.com.

IN THE WORLD: Russian Alexei Leonov becomes the first human to walk in space.   Three months later, Ed White becomes the first American to do the same thing. 

IN THE CHURCH: With the encouragement for weekly Family Home Evening comes the first Church-published FHE manuals. These manuals featured weekly lesson ideas and were distributed world-wide. 

1978

IN THE WORLD: Abolitionist Harriet Tubman becomes the first African-American woman to be put on a postage stamp. 

IN THE CHURCH: In a similar vein, President Spencer W. Kimball receives a revelation extending the priesthood to worthy male members of all races. Annual women’s meetings at general conference time are also inaugurated this year. 

1989

20th Century World and Church History Connections You Didn't Learn in School
Images retrieved from theguardian.com and lightplanet.com.

IN THE WORLD: The Berlin Wall, a lingering and dividing reminder of World War II and the Cold War, is pulled down. Citizens swarm to cross into the previously forbidden West Berlin while others enthusiastically chip apart the wall. 

IN THE CHURCH: Metaphorical bridges are also built in another part of the world with the dedication of the BYU Jerusalem Center. 

1995

IN THE WORLD: Toy Story, the first completely computer-generated animated film, is released. 

IN THE CHURCH: Out of concern for the weakening family structure in the world, the First Presidency issues “The Family: A Proclamation to the World.” 

1998

IN THE WORLD: The European Council agrees to create a central monetary system, the Euro. The first Euro coin is minted in France that same year. 

IN THE CHURCH: President Hinckley announces the goal to have 100 operating temples by the year 2000.