15 Historic Events We Want to Relive

Ali Vs. Frazier 1975

Ali Vs. Frazier 1975 by Unknown author (None)

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Ali Vs. Frazier 1975
Ali Vs. Frazier 1975 by Unknown author (None)

History Flashbacks

History is full of crucial moments (and cool inventions) whose significance can sometimes be impossible to fully grasp in the moment, but that doesn't stop people from trying through war reenactments, nonfiction entertainment, and more. Below are some moments from recent history many people want to relive (or experience for the first time).

First Man on the Moon 1969
Courtesy of wikipedia.org

Man Sets Foot on the Moon, 1969

In a survey asking 2,000 Americans what they'd pay to relive certain moments, witnessing the world's first manned mission to the moon topped the list for historic moments at $39,334, second only to witnessing the birth of one's first child ($100,622). Unfortunately, the Apollo 11 launch site in Cape Canaveral is now an Air Force outpost with no visitor facilities, so interested parties can instead see moon rocks and hear the story of America's moon landing recounted at the nearby Kennedy Space Center.

March on Washington 1963
Courtesy of wikipedia.org

The March on Washington, 1963

The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom flooded the National Mall in Washington, DC, with more than 200,000 supporters on August 28, 1963 and spawned Martin Luther King, Jr.'s most famous moment of oratory. The words of his "I Have a Dream" speech are now engraved on the spot he spoke in front of the Lincoln Memorial. Even if King's life came to a tragic end, the rally remains a watershed moment of hope in American history — one we'd pay approximately $28,676 to relive.

Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook
Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook by Elaine Chan and Priscilla Chan (CC BY)

Mark Zuckerberg Launches Facebook, 2004

In postwar history, the next most sought-after moment was, surprisingly, Mark Zuckerberg launching Facebook with a few fellow Harvard students and roommates in February 2004, for which respondents would pay $14,579 to relive.

Graumann's Chinese Theater - movie premiere of Star Wars, May 1977
Graumann's Chinese Theater - movie premiere of Star Wars, May 1977 by iMaculate (CC BY-NC-ND)

Premiere of Star Wars, 1977

When it comes to pop culture events, the release of the first film transporting audiences to "a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away" was worth more to re-experience than any other — $11,757, to be precise. Star Wars was considered a potential dud upon its release on Memorial Day weekend in 1977, but the film's success changed how movies were released and marketed, with nationwide releases replacing limited runs in select cities by the time of Empire Strikes Back. Today, there are plenty of places to get your Star Wars fix around the world, in addition to rewatching the movies and patiently waiting for the follow-up films. 

Fall of Berlin Wall 1989
Courtesy of wikipedia.org

Fall of the Berlin Wall, 1989

Respondents said they would pay an average of $11,613 to be there when the Berlin Wall fell on November 9, 1989, precipitating the formal reunification of Germany in '90 and the demise of the Soviet Union in '91. The euphoric occasion lasted for several weeks with participants throwing chocolates in guards' faces and chipping away pieces of the wall as souvenirs.

Photo taken near Woodstock on August 18, 1969
Photo taken near Woodstock on August 18, 1969 by Ric Manning (CC BY)

Woodstock, 1969

For musical events, those surveyed would pay most ($11,110) to re-experience Woodstock, the "three days of peace and music" attended by more than 400,000 at the cost of just $6.50 per ticket, or $18 for all three days in advance and $24 at the gate — that is, until the fences were torn down and it was declared a free event on the first day. The festival that epitomized our romantic conception of the 1960s counterculture is preserved at its original site by the Museum at Bethel Woods, offering short films, interactive exhibits, and even intimate concerts designed to convey the history and "key ideals" of the 1960s.

The Beatles 1964
Courtesy of wikipedia.org

The Beatles' First World Tour, 1964

After Woodstock, the moment in musical history we'd pay most ($10,564) to relive was the Fab Four's first-ever world tour, which brought the Liverpool quartet to America for the first time. Many of the venues they played, like the Washington Coliseum and Carnegie Hall, still host events today, albeit with significantly improved sound systems since the Beatles' days.

L-R: Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford, Joey Bishop
L-R: Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford, Joey Bishop by inkknife_2000 (7.5 million views +) (CC BY-SA)

A Night Out With the Rat Pack

Survey respondents said they'd pay $7,823 to enjoy a night out with Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Joey Bishop, and other members of the Rat Pack. Though Vegas has changed considerably since, fans can still find remnants of Sinatra's old haunts at Caesars Palace or the Golden Steer Steakhouse, among others.

Prince Charles and Princess Diana
Friends Finale
FRIENDS (TV Show)/facebook.com

On-Set for the Friends Finale, 2004

After Star Wars, the non-musical pop culture event survey respondents said they'd pay most to see was the cast and crew of NBC's Friends filming their final episode, which aired in 2004 to 52.5 million viewers, the fourth largest audience ever for any series finale. The filming was an emotional occasion with tears flowing for much of the cast.

Marilyn Monroe's Happy Birthday Mr. President Dress
Courtesy of thevintagenews.com

Marilyn Monroe Singing "Happy Birthday Mr. President," 1962

Perhaps one of the most specific moments survey respondents said they'd pay to relive ($5,340) was actress Marilyn Monroe singing her sultry version of "Happy Birthday" at President John F. Kennedy's 45th birthday celebration. It makes more sense when one realizes this Democratic fundraising gala was also among Monroe's last public appearances before her death less than three months later.

Ali Vs. Frazier 1975
Ali Vs. Frazier 1975 by Unknown author (None)

Ali Vs. Frazier, 1975

The "Thrilla in Manila" was an easy winner for sporting events. Survey respondents said they'd pay $5,114 to see this third and final boxing match for title of heavyweight champion between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier, watched by a record global TV audience estimated at 300 million at the time — with many more listening intently on the radio. Today, enthusiasts can re-watch the fight free online or visit the Araneta Coliseum in Cubao where the fight took place.

V-E Day 1945
Courtesy of wikipedia.org

V-E Day, 1945

One of the most celebratory occasions of the past 75 years the survey's respondents (or perhaps its architects) forgot to mention was the resolution of World War II in Europe on May 8, 1945. Nazi Germany's final surrender terms were signed in Berlin, but far more famous are the celebrations that erupted for the occasion, with millions rejoicing in the streets.

The NeXTcube used by Tim Berners-Lee at CERN became the first Web server.
The NeXTcube used by Tim Berners-Lee at CERN became the first Web server. by Tim Berners-Lee at CERN became the first Web server. (CC BY-SA)

Launch of the World Wide Web, 1991

A watershed moment of recent history that didn't make the list was computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee launching the first ever (mostly informative) online site in a CERN office near the French-Swiss border. Perhaps it's less exciting instance than some of its competition, but the internet's invention still ranks as one of the most formative moments of modern history.

Election of Obama
Wikimedia Commons

Election of Obama, 2008

Maybe this occasion was just too recent or politically-charged for some survey respondents, but the 2008 election of Barack Obama as President is nonetheless an important moment in America's history. The nation's first African American president gave his acceptance speech just before midnight in Chicago, setting off street celebrations in cities from Detroit and Atlanta to Nairobi, Rio de Janeiro, and (get this) Obama, Japan.