A deed no matter what kind or how big, sometimes can be significant enough to change the course of history. Following is a list of certain such events from ages ago that although were tiny, shaped the major chunks of modern history.
1. Sinking of Titanic could have been prevented if it weren’t for a missing key
To date, there have cropped many theories on how the gigantic vessel sank, but the real key lies with those drowned with it. However, one of such many theories involves one of the few crew members who managed to survive the deadliest commercial peacetime maritime disasters. Fred Fleet was in charge of looking for the icebergs. However, he didn’t have access to the binoculars, as they were locked up and the key didn’t make the journey. Fleet even testified to the senate that if he had the access, he could have seen the impending disaster well in advance to prevent it.
Before the ship set sail, the company made a sudden decision of replacing the second officer of the ship David Blair, with Charles Lightoller. And the key to the locker stayed in the pocket of Blair, who had forgotten to hand it over, as the ship got going.
2. Joseph Stalin’s paranoia caused him death
The death of this dictator has also attracted several conspiracy theories. One of which talks about his strong fear of getting assassinated. His security team too was forbidden from entering his room without permission. So much so that when one day, he didn’t come out from his room to carry on with his routine, the guards didn’t muster the courage to step in and find out why. Because if they entered without permission, they would have been executed. But if Stalin was in fact in a state of emergency, and the guards had stayed out, that too would have made them face the same fate.
They feared the dictator immensely even when they found him helpless inside his room, and the doctors that came to his aid examined him with trembling hands. Four days post the incident, the dictator was dead, allegedly of a major stroke.
3. The Berlin Wall came down because a bureaucrat didn’t read his speech properly
The momentous event wasn’t a conscious decision but, a bureaucratic accident, kind of comical in nature. East Germany had decided to loosen up the travel restrictions. Günter Schabowski, an East Germany politician, was given the charge of bringing the relaxed rules into the information of people of Germany by holding a press conference. On Nov. 9, 1989, Schabowski was given a piece of paper that he didn’t care to read before stepping up the podium. The speech was long and boring, but everyone was at once alerted when he started to talk about relaxation in travel rules between the borders.
Some reporters, after waking up from a long fish snooze thought Schabowski was saying that the travel rules are being dropped completely. So, when some of them asked “When does that go into force?”, Schabowski started to flip pages to find the answer. On realizing that he was making a fool of himself standing before the media unprepared with what he has to convey, he muttered, “Immediately, right away.”
The press got to business soon after and the news that glorified East Germany’s decision to take down the Berlin Wall right away fueled up. Soon, the frenzy at the Berlin Wall had reached to the limit, and to keep the situation curbed from going disastrous, military stayed back, and the wall came down.
4. A wrong turn of the carriage led to Archduke Franz Ferdinand’s assassination, which led to World War I.
While it is a well-known fact that the spark that lit the fire of World War I was the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand of Austria, perhaps not many know of the goof up that led to his assassination, and murder of the world at large.
On a fateful day, two assassination attempts were directed at the Archduke and in both of them, his chauffeur’s role was pivotal. The first attempt failed, thanks to his chauffeur’s success at deflecting the bomb that the assassins had thrown at the Archduke’s carriage. The explosion claimed numerous lives, but the Archduke and the duchess were saved.
The duke later on expressed his desire to meet the victims, and while on the way to the hospital, a wrong turn taken by the chauffeur changed the course of history. The turn led them straight towards one of the assassins, Gavrilo Princip, who had been hiding in a coffee shop when he saw the car approaching. Princip fired two shots- the duke and the duchess dropped dead- World War I set off.
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5. The D-Day (or the German’s loss of Normandy) was a result of a commander who took off to celebrate his wife’s birthday
Erwin Rommel was commanded by Adolf Hitler to defend the coast of France. However, the badass Field Marshal was convinced that an invasion by the enemy troops was still way off, considering the weeks of bad weather, that went without any enemy activity. So, the Marshal flew home to celebrate his wife’s birthday. The other commanding officers were also convinced that the weather wouldn’t allow any invasion, and so they too left to participate in training exercises.
On June 6, 1944 (the same day as her wife’s birthday), the invasion took place and by the time Rommel was back, all five beaches were captured by the allied forces. Now while this was the first goof up, the second followed soon after, although we can’t thank Hitler enough for this one.
The German forces thought that releasing Panzer tanks would have turned the battle in their favour, and so they called up Hitler to take his permission. But the evil dictator was sleeping, and how could anyone wake a ‘Hitler’ up from his sleep?
The D-Day played a pivotal role in ending Hitler’s regime.
6. Thou Shalt (Not) Commit Adultery- The phrase from the Wicked Bible had a missing crucial ‘not’
The Wicked Bible, (also called Adulterous Bible or Sinners’ Bible) is the Bible published by the royal printers from London, Robert Barker and Martin Lucas, in 1631. The Bible was originally meant to be a reprint of the King James Bible. But it became infamous as the Wicked Bible following a silly mistake turned epic. In the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:14), because of a mistake from the printers’ end, the word ‘not’ in the sentence “Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery” was omitted.
A year following the blunder, the printers were fined heavily and were deprived of their publishing licence. The majority of the copies were, with an immediate effect, cancelled and burned.
7. Mars Climate Orbiter disappeared and later disintegrated on Mars because the ground-based computer software worked by the imperial system instead of the metric system
On September 23, 1999, NASA lost communication with the spacecraft, as it went closer into orbital insertion. This was a result of the computer software that produced the output in pound-seconds, instead of the metric units of newton-seconds. The same was even specified in the contract between NASA and Lockheed Martin (American global aerospace), the company which built the jet threshers.
The discrepancy wasn’t reported to the agency, and this caused the spacecraft to come in close proximity of the planet. It went through its upper atmosphere, and consequently, disintegrated.