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What one event in history would you like to be a silent, invisible, incorporeal observer?

Originally published on HistoryNet.com. Published Online: October 30, 2010 
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What one event in history would you like to be a silent, invisible, incorporeal observer?


66 Responses to “What one event in history would you like to be a silent, invisible, incorporeal observer?”


  1. 1
    garyh10 says:

    I would like to have witnessed the meeting of John Kennedy and his advisers concerning how we would deal with the Cuban Missile Crisis.

    • 1.1
      Brave Bear says:

      In 1985, my first professor in Grad School at NYU was McGeorge Bundy; the course he taught was Political Decisions Regarding Nuclear Weapons. He spent two classes on the Cuban Missile Crisis, and it was the most riveting class I have ever attended.
      Sometimes a seemingly impossible wish is granted us.

      • 1.1.1
        Jenny says:

        I was in 2nd grade during the Cuban Missile Crisis. I remember being taught to duck under the desk (duck & cover), the worried discussions of my parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, neighbors, etc. Frightening is my memory, I'd be glad to exchange it with you for "riveting".
        There is a book by Neil Shute called "on The Beach" that sums up what was the feeling of how the world might end in those days. Read it.

  2. 2
    Chuck says:

    I would like to have been in the room when Truman was first told of the Atomic Bomb.

    Chuck in Montana

  3. 3
    Joe Tiernan says:

    I would have loved to be a witness of Jesus' Sermon on the Mount.

  4. 4
    John van der Vuurst says:

    I would like to witness the so-called UFO crash in New Mexico, and see what is true of the conspiracies around area 51…

  5. 5
    Mike H. says:

    Hitler in the bunker on April 30, 1945. I'd like to know whether Hitler really had the stones to do himself in, or, if the rodent somehow really got away.

  6. 6
    Eric says:

    I'd like to watch the Bolivian natives constructing Tiahuanaco and Puma Punka. How did they move the gigantic stones without knowledge of the wheel, how did they achieve such amazingly precise and complex stone cutting?

  7. 7
    richard says:

    the fall of constantanople

  8. 8
    Rick Bragg says:

    at the little big horn with custer

  9. 9
    Elijah says:

    I agree with Joe Tiernan about hte Sermon on the Mount.
    But, to pick something different, I would want to watch Pickett's Charge at the Battle of Gettysburg and see the expressions on the men's faces as they marched to their deaths.

  10. 10
    Julie says:

    I would love to be a fly on the wall at the continental congress..

  11. 11
    Fiona Webster says:

    I would like to have been present at a party when Oscar Wilde was at his most brilliant–except actually I wouldn't want to be a fly on the wall, I'd want to be there in person, so I could participate in the repartee. =grin=

    For a fly-on-the-wall event, I'd like to have been present to observe the last few days of Edgar Allan Poe's life–so I could return from my time trip to resolve the mystery surrounding it. (I'm a doctor, so I might be able to see things & hear things that would lead to an accurate diagnosis.)

  12. 12
    cmhicksusmc says:

    The moon landing because ill do anything to go to space! or even better the actual view of "The pale blue dot" from the edge of our Solar system.

  13. 13
    James Bruce says:

    General von Paulus in the days his army was encircled and during his encirclement at Stalingrad.

    During the making of Stonehenge.

  14. 14
    Vol Williams says:

    I would choose to witness the event when the Atlantic Ocean broke over the strait of Gibralter and filled the Mediterranean Sea. Wow!

  15. 15
    Dennis Hammons says:

    I would have loved to witness the Battle of Chancellorsville to see "Lee's Greatest Victory!"

  16. 16
    Jim Cantino says:

    I would like to have been present at the breakfast between John B. Hood and his Generals the morning after the debacle at Spring Hill prior to the Battle of Franklin. Hood was in such a wrath that Gen N.B. Forrest supposedly told him that if he (Hood) was half a man he would whip him to an inch of his life. That must have been one hell of a breakfast.

  17. 17
    Rudy says:

    There are so many discoveries throughout history I would love to be a witness to. It is difficult to pick a single discovery. Perhaps Wilhelm Roentgen and discovery of radioactivity, we call today x-rays which is another form of light. And Romer's discovery in the fifteenth century that light has speed, and estimated light took 22 minutes to travel a distance equal to the diameter of Earth's orbit. It took two centuries to accept and proved his theory.

  18. 18
    Anna says:

    to be in the boarding house room where Lincoln was taken after he was shot, to witness the whole night…

  19. 19
    Dennis Gleason says:

    I would love to witness the Battle of Waterloo from beginning to end, just to see that sawed off Anti Christ get his butt booted back across the French border.

  20. 20
    Thomas P Harry says:

    I would liked to have been present at the battle of Tours in France-better yet Long live Charles Martel !

  21. 21
    Becca says:

    It's so hard to choose just one! I think it would be awesome to watch exactly how the Egyptians built the pyramids, though.

  22. 22
    Alice Sims says:

    To be in the audience at the very first production of a new Shakespeare play would fulfill the dream of a lifetime. Where is that time machine?!

  23. 23
    Forrest says:

    The battle of San Jacinto. Watching the brillance of Sam Houston.

  24. 24
    Dylan says:

    Ooohh… Now this is a hard decision, but I would have to choose either living through the life of Shakespeare and his master pieces or the creation of some of Egypt's great monuments.

  25. 25
    Jim C. says:

    Frankly, I'm surprised that none of the 24 above mentioned this.

    I would like to be behind the fence on the grassy knoll in Dealy Plaza in Dallas at the moment President Kennedy was shot – to see if another gunman was somewhere in this area. At the same time, I would like to focus binoculars on the 6th Floor window of the School Book Depository, to try to see (a) whether someone actually shot from this location; and (b) whether it was Lee Harvey Oswald.

    Of course, if I was incorporeal, a pair of binoculars floating in midair might cause some comment. Small price to pay, though!

  26. 26
    scott says:

    i would like to see mexico city befor cortez.

  27. 27
    andrew nelson says:

    I would love to have been at the treaty signing that created the U.S.

  28. 28
    John Brophy says:

    I would have loved to be in the room at Appomattox when Lee surrendered to Grant. To look at these two great generals faces – Lee’s with dignity & Grant’s with humility & hear the exact words of the conversation – it would be awesome.

    • 28.1
      Curt says:

      It would have also been something to actually witness the salute given to the Confederate soldiers as they marched in for the formal surrender.

  29. 29
    WSDennis says:

    Lindisfarne, on that fatal day in 793 A.D.

  30. 30
    JoseFish says:

    I would like to have been present at the battle of Austerlitz.

  31. 31
    Jeff says:

    Kitty Hawk – first flight

    • 31.1
      Robin says:

      At last someone I share the same dream with. It has to be that windy day at Kill Devil Hill :)

  32. 32
    keith says:

    Too many to choose from! Patton's drive across Europe, Gettysburg, Pearl Harbor, first car coming down the lane, first steps on the moon, Lindberg's arrival in France, can't decide, just too many more!

  33. 33
    No Secrets says:

    Just think. Someday we will all know everything. Nothing hidden from us. Nobody will have more knowledge or be smarter than anyone else, no matter how many degrees or experiences one obtains in life. We will know all and everybody and why. It's called heaven. Lots to see and do there. No pain, bodies restored to perfection God intended. To join in, the one main event I'd like to know now, is what the heck happened in that Garden of Eden, what the devil did to Eve and how Adam joined the party. That is the event that changed the world. Devil dinged Eve's eggs so that future generations would have various IQ's, most would be able to use only a part of their brains, etc. He did a number on us for sure. Seems he was attacking God since God created us not to be his servants but to be like Him… i.e., made us Gods too… but thanks to Satan we were damaged even before conceived. That's why Bible tells that God protected one egg/seed from damage and that one became Mary, the woman who replaced Eve. Anyway, don't regret not knowing or seeing history, you will see and understand it all in eternity with God.

  34. 34
    Abeykey says:

    Nothing but watch the World War I & II from begining to the end.

  35. 35
    Larry says:

    The Lewis and Clark expedition.

    I would also like to look around the POW camp at Andersonville, Ga while it was active to see if it was as bad as historians say it was.

  36. 36
    Dr. Paul says:

    I could only come up with a top 10 and these are in no particular order 1. Jesus tomb on the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th day
    2. Watch Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig take bp
    3. Titanic from a hotair balloon
    4. Amelia Earhart's last ride
    5. Pearl Harbor
    6. Hindenburg Disaster
    7. 1982 Cal-Stanford or Auburn-Alabama Game
    8. Hiroshima or Nagasaki
    9. JFK assassination from the Book Depository Window
    10. United 93 on 9/11 or 9/11 from the White House

    If I could place myself in one place, at one time for one event with no impact on the event, just a window to view and to listen to the events surrounding it…..I think I would love to sit with Truman when they were first telling him about the bomb….I dont know if their was a moment at which he was completely unaware of its existence

  37. 37
    Connie Jones says:

    I would like to see the signing of the Declaration of Independence

  38. 38
    Rick Luster says:

    None- I would want to be in the moment -as a participant!

  39. 39
    Rhet says:

    I agree with Rick Bragg. I would want to be at the Little Bighorn with Custer.

  40. 40
    Jenny says:

    I would like to meet and talk to the librarian at the Library at Alexandria in Egypt, and spend a month in the library reading. Of course, I'd have a fabulous knowledge of all ancient languages! It is said that if a ship docked it was inspected for scrolls or books, and if the library didn't have
    it, the ship had to stay while it was being copied. That's how it became so famous and such a huge library.

  41. 41
    Nora says:

    I would like to be with the Romanovs from the beginning of World War I until their deaths. In particular, I would love to watch Rasputin as he dealt with the Tzarina and her son Alexi. Was he really able to help the boy with his hemophilia.

  42. 42
    ronnie says:

    Lou Gehrig's farewell speech.

  43. 43
    chad says:

    one word: Cannae

  44. 44
    Akhsar says:

    Atlantic city conference 5/1944 and Bretton woods conference 5/1944. I just want to know whether FDR sold Poland and eastern europe to stalin in exchange of IMF and post war US superiority and eventual victory in the already developing Cold war

  45. 45
    Akhsar says:

    sorry, a typo. Bretton woods was in 6/1944

  46. 46
    william hart says:

    the crucifixion of christ

  47. 47
    Jim Ross says:

    To be able to follow Jesus into Jerusalem prior to his crucifixion.

  48. 48
    Shooter1001 says:

    Difficult to pick one event so I'll mention a few;

    1- meet Imhotep and Hatshepsut.
    2- Watch Pythagoras realize A2 + B2 = C2 ( I realize that was known long before him).
    3- Thermopylae and Salamis
    4- Choronea and Gaugemela
    5- Meet Cleopatra before Caesar.
    6- Caesar at Allysium
    7- The Last Supper thru The Resurrection.

  49. 49
    lyndon says:

    crucifixion

  50. 50
    rjhyden says:

    Next to David Crockett at the Alamo on the morning of March 6, 1836.

  51. 51
    Tina says:

    So many I would want to witness
    1. The Big Bang.
    2. Stonehendge.
    3. Jerusalem the week of Easter.
    4. Machu Pichu.
    5. Be present for the first quipu knots.
    6. Tiahuanaco.
    7. The Nazca Lines.
    8. Some time with Da Vinci

  52. 52
    matthew says:

    battle of trafalger, to see nelsons last glorious action

  53. 53
    Lucas says:

    Battle of Cannae, obviously

  54. 54
    Shooter1001 says:

    Leonidas at Thermopylae and Themistocles at Salamis without which it would probably be a much different world.

  55. 55
    Jim Ross says:

    I would like to see the American West before the white man came.

  56. 56
    Melusina says:

    I would love to be present in the tower when the York prince's where there to see what really happened to them. Did Richard order their deaths or was Henry Tudor and/or Buckingham behind their disappearance?

    Ooooh, I would love to be with Stalin to see his face when Hitler invaded. And I would want to be beside Isabella of Spain when she was in armour. Oh, and, I would love to be in the San Juan islands for the Pig War to see if there really was a pig which was shot.

    Come one someone, build a time machine! LOL!

    • 56.1
      Silver620 says:

      Oh, Melusina, the Princes! And what really happened to Edward II? And was Perkin Warbeck really an imposter?

  57. 57
    Shooter1001 says:

    Stalin should not have been surprised at Hitler's invasion. Stalin had just purged the most qualified military officers in his armed fores making the USSR extremely vulnerable. Hitler held Slavs in general and Bolsheviks with the same contempt that he had for Jews. Its hard to believe that Stalin, with few scruples himself, considered Hitler a man of honor who would abide by their non-aggression pact.
    He had to know a German invasion was coming. He just needed enough time to arm and mobilize to meet it.

  58. 58
    Jim Ross says:

    Following the three years of the ministry of Jesus Christ.

  59. 59
    David Nimmo says:

    So many to choose from it's hard to just pick one. But being a civil war fan, I would have wanted to be with Lincoln on his walk thru Richmond, following the confederates evacuation of Petersburg. And to have witnessed his visit to Gen. Pickett's home, and the conversation between him and Mrs. Pickett. Maybe not as historically significant as the other events mentioned. But his intentional visit to Pickett's home, I think shows how badly Lincoln wanted to heal the nations wounds. All of the them, large and small.

  60. 60
    Silver620 says:

    Every race that Man O' War ran. And every single Kentucky Derby.

  61. 61
    hunter santistevan says:

    world war 2



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