It’s been nearly seven decades since the Cleveland Indians won the World Series, and over 100 years since the Chicago Cubs were victorious, yet both teams have a chance to take home a trophy to their long-suffering fans starting Tuesday night.
The best-of-seven series kicks off in Ohio, giving the Indians their first chance since 1997 (they last won in 1948), and the Cubs their first appearance since 1945 (they famously last won way back in 1908). It’s safe to say a lot has happened in the time passed.
We lost one president to an assassination, and now we’re poised to elect either a reality TV alum or a former First Lady. We made it through numerous wars, and invented technology that people couldn’t even dream up.
Here’s all the crazy, significant moments in American history that have happened since either team nabbed the coveted title.
1. The Super Bowl started
When this year’s teams were last at the top of the pack, football was yet to be king. Nineteen years after the Indians took the championship, Super Bowl I was played on January 15, 1967 (although it was then known as the first AFL-NFL Championship Game).
In the face-off, the Green Bay Packers dominated the Kansas City Chiefs an impressive 35-10.
This year’s big game is America’s 51st.
2. We’ve gone through 19 American Presidents since the Cubs Won
We’ll be less than two weeks shy of a new President when either the Cubs or Indians clinch the series. Impressively, the country has been run by 19 different leaders since the Cubs last took the World Series win — including our current President, Barack Obama.
Teddy Roosevelt was in office at the time of Chicago’s victory, and Harry S. Truman was our fearless leader in 1948 when the Indians were crowned kings.
Interesting fact: women didn’t even yet have the right to vote when the Cubs were champs — and wouldn’t for another 12 years..
3. We’ve visited space
On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong famously became the first man to step foot on the moon.
Since then, NASA has successfully launched over 100 manned flights into outer space. Currently, NASA has a Reconnaissance Orbiter on Mars — but the Cubs and Indians haven’t secured the Commissioner’s Trophy in decades.
4. We got the Internet
These days, Americans don’t even have to leave the house to order groceries, go clothes shopping or even pick up dinner — all thanks to the Internet. It’s been 26 years since Tim Berners-Lee formally introduced the World Wide Web (sorry, Al Gore), a game-changing technological advancement 43 years after the Indians last won the Series.
In the time that followed, we’ve been introduced to smartphones, personal computers and (most importantly) Netflix.
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5. Nike, ESPN, Sports Illustrated and more were founded
No network is more synonymous with sports than ESPN, but the global channel didn’t even exist until 40 years after the Indians’ most recent Series win.
Other major athletic publications and brands that weren’t even yet thoughts in 1948? Sports Illustrated, which launched in 1954, and sports gear behemoth Nike, which was founded 10 years later.
Not to mention Adidas (1949), Reebok (1958) and Under Armour (1996).