3 Strange Coincidences in History

A young woman is shocked to read strange coincidences on her laptop.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels

Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines a coincidence as “the occurrence of events that happen at the same time by accident but seem to have some connection.” We often witness such instances in our daily lives. Maybe you keep hearing a loved one’s name everywhere you go, or you recently thought of someone you know and then suddenly serendipitously meet with them. Strange coincidences have also occurred in modern history. Let us look at a few examples.

Coincidence #1

Halley’s Comet garnered its name and fame when astronomer Edmond Halley first deduced that comets could pass through Earth’s skies more than once. On average, Halley’s Comet’s orbit is 76 Earth years, so most people will see it soar through the sky once in their lifetimes or not see it at all. What is the strange coincidence with this celestial composition of rocks and ice? Did you know that famous novelist Mark Twain’s birth and death coincided with the appearance of Halley’s Comet in the Earth’s sky? Mark Twain, whose real name was Samuel Langhorne Clemens, was born in Florida, Missouri, two weeks after Halley’s Comet appeared. Many years later, Twain acknowledged the bizarre celestial occurrence before his birth and believed he would exit this world when Halley’s Comet appeared again. His words came to fruition. The notable writer passed away at 74 on April 21, 1910, one day after Halley’s Comet’s subsequent appearance and seemingly a bookend to his time on Earth.

Coincidence #2

You may already know that on August 2, 1776, 56 Second Continental Congress delegates signed the Declaration of Independence. But, on July 4, 1776, “the Second Continental Congress officially agreed upon the final revision and adopted the Declaration of Independence.” Did you know that three Presidents of the United States of America passed away on July 4? Two of those U.S. presidents died on the Jubilee (50th anniversary) of American independence on July 4, 1826, within hours of each other. The second president of the country, Thomas Jefferson, left this Earth at the age of 83 at his home in Monticello, Virginia just after noon. His longtime friend and former rival, the third president of the USA, John Adams, passed away at 90 in Quincy, Massachusetts, a few hours later. Another strange coincidence occurred moments before John Adams’ death. The news did not travel fast in those days, so in his final living moments, John Adams, unaware of his friend’s passing, reportedly said, “Jefferson still lives.” Five years later, President James Monroe died at 73. The fifth president died in his son-in-law’s home in New York City on July 4, 1831.

Coincidence #3

Our final look into strange coincidences involves a man who cheated death twice. In retaliation for attacking Pearl Harbor, the United States of America dropped two atomic bombs over Japan during World War II. The first nuclear blast occurred on August 6, 1945, in Hiroshima, Japan, and the second took place in Nagasaki, Japan on August 9, 1945. In 2009, the Japanese government announced that Tsutomu Yamaguchi survived both atomic blasts. Yamaguchi was visiting Hiroshima while on a business trip when the first nuclear bomb detonated. He recalled seeing a flash in the sky and being blown over by the blast. He miraculously survived the day and returned home to Nagasaki, where a second bomb dropping occurred. History records that nearly 90,000 people either died from the two nuclear bombs or the effects of radiation poisoning in the coming years. Yamaguchi lived to the age of 93 before passing away from stomach cancer in 2010.

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About Joey Hinojosa

Joey Hinojosa graduated with a bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism and a master's degree in mass communications. He began working at Empower Brokerage in early 2022 and enjoys being creative in his writing, photography, videography, and other projects.

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