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Topic: The most influential person of the last 1000 years . . .

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Subject: The most influential person of the last 1000 years . . .
Date Posted: 11/5/2008 6:26 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2008
Posts: 1,976
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Back at the turn of the century (that sounds so strange) the history channel did a multi part series on the 100 most influential people in the last millenium. Each night as they counted down thru the 100 I kept trying to figure out who would be in the top 10. I was utterly facinated. I wanted to discuss it with my co-workers, but they just looked at me like I was nuts. They just didn't care, how sad.

I realize it's not fiction but I thought it would make a good topic for a new thread.  According to the History Channel the person in the last 1,000 years whose contribution most influenced the world today was .............................................................................................................................................


are you ready?



Now, what do you think? Remember it's the last millenium - that leaves out Jesus, any of the apostles, Caesar etc.

Last Edited on: 11/5/08 9:11 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/5/2008 7:21 PM ET
Member Since: 3/6/2006
Posts: 3,070
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Ooooh that would have been a show I would have loved to watch!  Interesting choice for #1.  Is there somewhere that has their "top ten" most influentual?

Date Posted: 11/5/2008 7:42 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2008
Posts: 1,976
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At the time there was a forum on the History Channel, but it was 8 years ago.  What I can remember of the top 10 (not in order):  Guttenberg, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Hitler, Franklin Roosevelt.  I can't remember any more.  It was so facinating and I couldn't get any one at work to discuss it.  So who do think belongs in the top 100?

Last Edited on: 11/5/08 9:10 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/5/2008 8:23 PM ET
Member Since: 9/23/2006
Posts: 6,362
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How about someone like Singer? He didn't really invent the sewing machine but he certainly marketed it.  Ford or someone along those lines for mass production? 

I suppose I have no idea who's top 10 though!  I'm not sure there should be 3 US Presidents there, but those lists always show the makers' biases.

Date Posted: 11/6/2008 9:23 AM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2006
Posts: 1,930
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Winston Churchill



Alexander Graham Bell




Joan of Arc

Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Thomas Edison

Jonas Salk


Queen Elizabeth I

Queen Victoria


Mao Zedong

Henry Ford


That's all I can think of right now! I will have to look up that program - sounds like it would be interesting. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.


Date Posted: 11/6/2008 11:07 AM ET
Member Since: 8/30/2007
Posts: 3,237
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I remember watching that! I think Gutenberg was an interesting choice...however, I have to think that someone would have come along with the technology for mass printing at some point, anyway.

I think Martin Luther should definitely be near the top of the list.

Date Posted: 11/7/2008 10:05 AM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2008
Posts: 1,356
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Karl Marx

Isabella and Ferdinand--no new world w/o their patronage

Henry 8--we'd all still be Roman Catholic w/o him

Marie Curie

agree on Edison, Jefferson, Hitler, Lincoln, Ford


I do hope you can find it, Sheila, I would love to 'watch' it now or see the list--fascinating. I think I agree w/ Gutenburg as #1 choice--accessible literacy has provided the foundation for many of the individuals whom we also named--without it, we'd all still be waiting for our priests/ministers to tell us what to think, right?

Date Posted: 11/7/2008 2:42 PM ET
Member Since: 9/23/2006
Posts: 6,362
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The sewing machine gets no respect.  Try sewing a shirt by hand and then you'll have second thoughts ;-)

ETA:  I think it's the British Library where you can look at ancient books that were done by hand, includling the illuminations.  It's mind-boggling - well for short-attention span types anyway.

Last Edited on: 11/7/08 2:46 PM ET - Total times edited: 1