What Great Event In History Would You Witness If You Could Go Back In Time?

Maybe for the sake of gaining knowledge or insight for your own preparedness, while there are plenty of books and documentaries having to do with historical times – what great event would you like to witness in history if you could go back in time?

The time machine enables you to ‘witness only’ (no interaction to change history), and it also gets you back to the present…

(thought this might be a fun post for Sunday)

H/T to “Who Knows” for submitting the idea.

It’s notable that most people do not have an interest to look back into the past – to look back through history – although there are many lessons to be learned there for our own future.

While history may not exactly repeat itself, it often rhymes…

1. Which great event?
2. Why that one?

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98 Comments

  1. I would love to go back to JFK’s assassination in 1963 and do whatever I could to stop it. Our country’s decline began in earnest after that under LBJ and Ted Kennedy.

    1. LOL… sounds like the plot of Stephen King’s “11/22/63″… it didn’t turn out quite the way he was expecting.

    2. I heard from his brother in law (he was friends with one of my college professors) that he probably wouldn’t have been around that much longer anyway because of medical issues. He was on some pretty heavy meds. most of the time just to keep the pain manageable.

  2. The signing of The Declaration of Independence.
    I would love to see the men who were so inspired, courageous and determined to create this Blessed Nation.
    Blessings.

  3. Where to start. VJ day 1945, signing of the Declaration of Independence, and more. On a lighter side, how about sports, Jesse Owens showing up Hitler, Jordon coming out of retirement, Mazedoskie’s home run, you get the idea.

    1. Definitely spending time with Jesus would be the most satisfying personally; and if I were the only one who had the opportunity, I would take it. But if many people could do this, I would trust that someone else would, and I would choose something much more obscure and less well documented, something that is only hinted at in our history; the end of Atlantis is the first thing that comes to my mind. Really, the collapse of almost any previous civilization would be of interest, there are at least 24 to choose from, and so few of them are reasonably well documented, Rome being a notable exception.

  4. The time period would be about 250 million years ago around the time of the Permian-Triassic extinction event where scientist believe an asteroid caused the extinction of over 90% of all species. I would like to see what kind of animals roamed during that time as well as to see the event to remind myself of how Mother nature is the one truly in control.

        1. It could be both but, since God created man on day six, we would have to cram billions of years into the first 5 days. Not that God couldn’t do it, it just doesn’t seem likely.

          1. A matter of interpretation, but as I understand it the original Hebrew scriptures don’t use the word “day,” they use “time” or “period.” Since “time is measured only unto man” that makes more sense to me.

          2. There is some debate about whether the 6 days of creation are literal but, when Moses uses them as the basis for resting on the Sabbath (Exodus 20) he’s clearly referring to a weekly observance. Again, it’s possible God could have used several billion years in creation but it seems more appropriate that he caused billions of years of formation to occur in just 6 days.

          3. When it comes down to this issue, we technically do not know the amount of time Adam and Eve were around in the time before the fall, and considering at that time they were basically immortal, it’s probable that they may have been there for a long time. At the same time, the age of the Earth is a highly debated issue with many evidences to either side, and since the Bible generally keeps it at a younger time, I’m going to go with that over a secular scientist that says the universe came from nothing (which inherently breaks the first law of thermodynamics).

  5. December 7, 1941 at Pearl Harbor… the impact of this event, and how it will change lives and the world, in the next few years.

  6. Without any doubt, Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. Second place would go for Jesus’ revealing Himself to His disciples after His resurrection.

    1. Dennis, my thought also ” Second place would go for Jesus’ revealing Himself to His disciples after His resurrection.” but why would a person need faith if they had proof like that?

      1. Who Knows,

        Agreed. As Jesus admonished Thomas, “you believe because you have seen, blessed are those who believe, yet have not seen”.

  7. I wouldn’t want to “witness” an event in time, unless I could change the outcome.

    Suppose I could go back to June 6, 1944 and calm the weather so that so many American soldiers wouldn’t drown in the rough seas and so that the pilots (one of whom was my father) could see where they were bombing and not bomb too far inland.

    They were supposed to bomb the beaches to hit the Germans where they were entrenched, and as a side effect, also “dig” out foxholes for our boys to keep away from the line of fire, but they couldn’t see and were afraid of hitting the ships carrying their own men.

    So we spent way too much time invading Normandy, resulting in many extra deaths, allowing Hitler to make a last stand at the Battle of the Bulge, and delaying the end of the war in Europe and our switch to the war in the Pacific.

    With better weather, we could have saved thousands of lives, not only lives of Allied soldiers and French and Polish civilians, but the lives of prisoners of war and prisoners in the Nazi death camps who could have been rescued sooner. We could have gotten to Berlin before the Russians and perhaps kept the Soviet Union from occupying so much of Eastern Europe. In the Pacific, more of Allied POWs could have been rescued sooner, saving lives, and maybe we could have won the war before the Atomic bomb was developed.

    Think about how THAT would have changed history!

  8. Since I couldn’t change historic events I would want to see Jesus raising people from the dead or making the blind to see. I would love to hear Him preach, but would have to study ancient Hebrew first, just observing and understanding His words.

  9. I would go back in time to Roman Alexandria Egypt, early Third Century, and walk about the city, seeing the sights, and prowling around the various locations of the Great Library of Alexandria…before it is finally destroyed. I would also try to visit Hypatia, and possibly, Synesius of Cyrene. Naturally, I would be sure to bring a fully charged smart phone to take pictures and recordings.

    1. Ancient Egypt. I would like to go back even further than that. I would like to see who actually commissioned the building of the great pyramids, why were they built and how were they built.

      Current theories are all conjecture and assumptions built on assumptions.

      Famous Egyptian archaeologist, Zahi Hawass offers the most consistent answer. When asked who built the pyramids he simply answers – “Egyptians”. He offers no opinion on exactly which Egyptians, how, why or when.

  10. There are several memorable events that would have been thrilling to witness . The signing of the Declaration of Independence comes to mind but the best for me would have been to walk around with Jesus, before and after His resurrection .

      1. NRP,

        Some folks think that it would have been forces inevitably coming together out of chaos, and by chance, resulting in order out of chaos, purely by chance. Others believe that during that minute before, the words “Let there be….” would be heard to the reaches of infinity.

      2. I’m with you NRP. Creation. Scientists say they are all looking for the “Singularity” that created the Big Bang. I, myself, with no scientific background whosoever other than a keen interest, think It was the THOUGHT of God that brought it all into existence. There is your Singularity! Yeah, I would like to have seen that!

        1. What’s that old bumper sticker? Something like…I believe in the Big Bang theory. God said it and BANG! it happened.

  11. Excellent thought Ken.

    Jesus, JFK, signing of the Declaration of Independence, Ben Franklin discovering electricity, the lunar landing, etc. all great choices. How about the beginning of time!

    Now on the other hand if you could stop something from happening before it did would it be Obama or Hillary from getting into office???

    1. Retroactive abortion since they love it so much. It would be like the terminator movie. Lol

      1. Certain people/organizations have already said that abortion should be allowed until the age of “full socialization,” which they are currently setting at age 5. After all, the mother’s life is affected at least that long. What they don’t seem to get is that once you set an age on “life” it only takes an act of legislation to take THEIR lives as well. Once you set an age limit on life, life no longer has value.

  12. The first thing that popped to mind was the Wright brothers first flight at Kitty Hawk. Although I wouldn’t want to change anything, I’d like to tell them what their invention would bring about.

    I agree with others, seeing Jesus would be wonderful, but I’ll be seeing him before too long anyway.

  13. I would go back and see the sermon at the mount. Then, the resurrection of Jesus. We need his help and guidance now more than ever.

    Bless You my Friends….Doc

  14. Besides being able to witness the Resurrection, the Halifax Explosion, ahead of time, to try to prevent that tragedy!

  15. I would like to go forward about 50 yrs to see what it would be like. To see if TEOTWAWKI will happen in my or my children’s lie time and what preps are needed.

      1. Bill, that’s really funny coming from you!!! Rofl!!!

        I bet when Chelsea was born, he said I did not have sex with that woman!!! Lol

    1. Nero,
      C4 was not available then, you would have had to go hands on, which would have also been morally rewarding historically.

  16. I would like to see Jesus, at any time of his life on Earth. But like Ozark Tom wrote, I’ll get to see Him soon.

    Other than that would like to be at Gettysburg to hear Lincoln speak, and to observe the signing of the Declaration of Independence. I’d like to visit some of my ancestors, but I doubt that meets the definition of ‘great events in history’, only my own lol.

  17. Wow!
    So many choices, and a lot of good choices.
    But I would pick the signing of The Declaration of Independence.
    To just be there.

  18. It’s funny that you posed this question because I often ponder it myself. There are so many possibilities it is kind of daunting, especially if you have an interest in history or evolution. I definitely wouldn’t gamble it on mythology, however. No doubt whatever the choice of event, historical or otherwise, it would depart to some degree from the ”current truth”.

  19. The OK Corral.
    There have been lots of stories from survivors and witnesses, but who can say for sure. I would like to see exactly how it all started. Who threw the first insult? Who drew first? Who was shot first? Who died first? Who panicked? Who was cool under pressure? Etc.

    Actually, I’d like to see pretty much any moment in history without someone else’s bias. They say history is told by the victors. I’d like to see it as it actually happened. So many great battles where history takes the side of the victor. I think knowing how the losers lost is just as important as knowing how the winners won. Most think that the losers lost because the winners won, but there is often so much more to it than that. Sometimes losers beat themselves.

    Then maybe go hang out over the shoulder of all the great philosophers and inventors.

  20. I would go back to the time Jesus Christ began His public life. I would follow behind Him and listen. If I had the chance, I would ask Him to lay His hands on me and bless me.

  21. Knowing the names of my grt. grt. grand parents in Berlin Germany(1800-1860) before many of those records were destroyed.

    My great grandfathers brothers and sisters, he was one of 13. What happened to the businesses that they owned outside of Berlin since one of them was my grand mothers inheritance. My grandmother figured it was destroyed during WW1 or WWII before she passed. I found where her aunts home was but now it is rows upon rows of apartment housing.

  22. They may one day come up with some kind of quantum effect detector that might allow one to observe light waves from the past. No way you would be able to change the past events, which is what was set down at the beginning of this post. How about what really happened when Vince Foster ” committed suicide ” in the early part of Bubba C.s administration.

  23. I would love to witness the formation and writing of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, what I consider the two most important documents ever written by man. Every country since has attempted to copy it with no success and it fundamentally changed the dreams of the citizens everywhere by giving them rights and privileges never seen anywhere before and desired ever since.

    I think it was a very big deal and to have a document such as this so radical for the time come from the men at the Continental and agreed to by these men is amazing and fortuitous for the rest of us.

  24. I would go back to 1492 when Columbus landed in the caribbean and do what ever it took to stop him from coming here.

  25. I too also immediately thought of the first flight of the Wright brothers. What an historic event that portent the future of man’s flight. Man could now fly as the birds and soar and as we know now to great height that eventually landed man on the Moon. Gettsburg, JFK assasination, too much gore! Let’s focus on man’s achievements, not his foibles and misteps.

  26. The burning of Alexandria, so much history lost. And to those of you wanting to see/hear Jesus…hope you also wish to learn Aramaic and are ok with the the historical Jesus being a dark skinned middle eastern looking guy…

  27. Lord Snow,

    You said; “And to those of you wanting to see/hear Jesus…hope you also wish to learn Aramaic and are ok with the the historical Jesus being a dark skinned middle eastern looking guy…”

    I’m not sure, but I perceive you are trying to make fun of Christians. As a Christian, I would respond to you by citing the book of Acts, Chapter 2. To give a short explanation of events described in this passage of the New Testament;…. once they were filled with the Holy Spirit of God, everyone heard what was being said and heard by those attending was heard in their own language, even though the words were being spoken in a language different than their own.

    That said, if I were transported back in time to witness Jesus’ ministry, and I was unable to understand His words, I would then question my own faith/salvation, not the validity of the Son of God or the message from God the Father.

    As for Jesus’ ethnicity, that seems to be be a stumbling block, not for believers, but non-believers. Of course many non-believers falsely seem to think that Christians are a bunch of bigoted white supremacists. This makes them feel superior to Christians, or in other words, themselves bigots.

    Good luck as you travel through life. I wish you no harm. That trip will be less bumpy if you resist the urges to make fun of those who are, in your opinion, less enlightened than yourself.

    1. I have no problem with any religion or ethnicity, simply stating anecdotal (Catholic grade school & high school) evidence of how many Christians view the historical Jesus as the commonly depicted white guy with a beard. Doesn’t matter to me if he spoke COBAL or his skin was Mossy Oak.

        1. Good point! Too many people get caught up in the “church” version of things. I’m pretty sure back in His day there was no English language. In fact I believe the English language wasn’t created until the 5th century A.D. If one were to be observant, they would notice the region from where Jesus was from and take into consideration that today there has been a lot more cultural/ethnic “blending” which could lead to the “church’s” view of Christ. Either way it doesn’t matter what he looked like or how he spoke. ALL that matters is that He was given to mankind as a gift and His words were that of God to educate the ignorant. Unfortunately, His word isn’t being heard as much as it should be. I welcome the Second coming so that ALL can hear and listen. Instead of a thousand years peace, I’d like an eternity of peace on Earth. Now that would be something to see!!!!

  28. The year 1928 October to 1929 October. The Great Depression was one of the most studied events of the modern economic world. The causes of it are still purely speculative. If you want to see an arguement ensue, stick 2 economists in the same room. Location: New York City.

  29. The Transfiguration of Jesus Christ.

    That would answer the most important question that has ever faced mankind.

    Is GOD real?

  30. I would like to say all the cool stuff of seeing Jesus descend into heaven, which I would love to do. Or the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Or find out the truth about who shot Kennedy. But honestly, I want to see my Grandpa one more time. I want to walk beside him and hear a few more stories. Just be near him.

  31. Prior to the death of my Grandpa–
    I would go back and spend a lot more time talking with him and asking advice.
    He was a WW1 vet, served in the trenches in France.
    He, along with his wife and his brother farmed in Pennsylvania, mined coal, cut timber, and raised his children.
    What a wealth of information not realized.
    Hindsight is 20-20

  32. I have always said I would walk with Jesus. But now that I think about it I have faith and that is just fine by me. Then I could go fight by my fathers side in Viet Nam or my uncles in Korea or their uncle in WW2. But what I really would like to see us my mom and dad married.I have no memory of this and really never knew my mom. But then maybe I could save a friend or two I lost along the way.

    Heck who am I kidding I would give myself some future lotto numbers.?

  33. Go back in time to witness Jesus.
    People associate the scary traveler as a demon, with Jesus.
    People crucify Jesus.

    Welp. That could have gone better…

  34. The answer is Dinosaurs.
    The answer is always Dinosaurs.

    Also, as a two for one, being in the dead center of the incoming meteor. Just imagine the sight and feeling of that thing.

  35. February 10, 1690 Schenectady, New York. It was two days after the French and Indians massacred almost everyone except one family and a few men, and the men they took as slaves to Canada. My many great grandmother was 10 years old at the time and survived. We only know her name and that she was a slave, but not a slave to the family that was saved. Ten years later she married an English soldier sent to Albany and Schenectady to protect them from any more attacks. They started my mothers line in America. Later half of her family members fought for Independence and the other for the British. I would like to know what she was like and how she lived.

  36. As usual, I’m getting into the conversation late. All the really good events have been covered but I thought of a couple others that might be of interest:

    Roswell – Go back and see what the government really cleaned up out in the desert.

    Gettysburg Address – Go back and listen to Abe recite it himself.

    Birth Date – Go back and watch myself be born. I’m not being narcissistic, I just thought that would be really freaky and therefore of interest.

  37. Only one that jumped to the front of idea’s:
    The Gettysburg Address by Abraham Lincoln, much simpler times.

    All assuming the event couldn’t be changed, we couldn’t affect history.

  38. Id go back to the week i spent with that Swedish girl from Britain, Now THAT was memorable!

  39. The day in 1945 my grand father got the letters telling him his younger brothers were out of combat and coming home.

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