These are the 50 most amazing moments of the past 100 years

Web Team | 3rd June 2019

The end of World War II, the first man on the moon and the first organ transplant are among the most amazing moments of the past 100 years, according to a major international poll.


Researchers polled adults from the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, UAE and Russia to identify the key historical moments, most incredible human feats, medical marvels and technological breakthroughs.


Other extraordinary events to appear in the top 50 include the demolition of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the first colour television in 1926 and the first email to be sent in 1971.


Martin Luther King’s ‘I have a dream’ speech from 1963 also made the cut, along with the first movie to have sound – 1927’s ‘The Jazz Singer’ – and the first cloned mammal, Dolly the Sheep, in 1996.


The research of 8,000 adults was commissioned by Hilton to mark 100 years since the hotel company was founded.


The invention of the World Wide Web by Sir Tim Berners-Lee in 1989 and the first commercial jet flight which took place in 1952, travelling between London and Johannesburg, also featured.


The first mobile phone conversation in 1973, Nelson Mandela’s release from prison in 1990 and UK women gaining the right to vote in 1928.


Louise Brown, the first ‘test tube baby’ to be conceived using in vitro fertilisation (IVF) in 1978 made the top 50 too, along with the first video to ever be uploaded to YouTube on 23 April 2005.


Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat in protest of racial inequality in 1955 made the list, joined by Argentina’s Isabel Martínez de Perón becoming the world’s first female President in 1974.


The first person to reach the North Pole, Roald Amundsen, in 1926 was voted a landmark moment too – in addition to the invention of digital cameras in 1975 and the first World Cup in 1930.


The Hilton research carried out through also identified the greatest moments among those polled.


Having their first child came top – followed by purchasing their first house and getting married.


The research also hailed Hilton being the first hotel to install TVs in guest rooms in 1947 and the first to popularise room service.


Simon Vincent OBE, executive vice president and president of Europe, Middle East and Africa, Hilton, said: “Our founder Conrad Hilton believed in the power of international travel to foster world peace and encourage human connection.


“For the past 100 years, our hotels have been the stage for some of the world’s most iconic events, from the first ‘Bed-in for peace’ which took place at Hilton Amsterdam 50 years ago, to the world’s first mobile phone call that took place in front of The New York Hilton Midtown in 1973.


“Hilton is woven into the fabric of the communities in which we operate, and over the past century, we have welcomed 3 billion guests through our doors, employing 10 million Team Members and contributing $1 trillion in economic impact.”




1. The end of WWII (1945)
2. The first organ transplant (1954)
3. First heart transplant (Louis Washkansky, 1967)
4. Penicillin successfully used to treat a first patient for septicaemia or blood poisoning (1942)
5. First man on the moon (Neil Armstrong, 20 July 1969)
6. The demolition of the Berlin wall (1989)
7. First human in space (Yuri Gagarin, 1961)
8. Vaccine for tuberculosis (1927)
9. Creation of the first artificial heart (2015)
10. First chemotherapy treatment (1956)
11. Discovery of treatment for AIDS (1987)
12. Pacemaker invented (1958)
13. Women gain the right to vote in the UK (1928)
14. Colour television (1926)
15. First efibrillator (1947)
16. Programmable computer (1936)
17. Satellite sent into orbit (Sputnik 1, 1957)
18. Development of the contraceptive pill (1960)
19. Laser eye surgery for vision correction (1983)
20. First dialysis machine created (1943)
21. First ‘test tube baby’ conceived using IVF (1978)
22. First mobile phone conversation (1973)
23. MRI scan of a human being (1977)
24. First black US President (Barack Obama, 2008)
25. Martin Luther King’s ‘I have a dream’ speech (1963)
26. The first blood bank opened (1937)
27. First email sent (1971)
28. Scientist Tim Berners-Lee invents the World Wide Web (1989)
29. Nelson Mandela released from prison (1990)
30. Photographs sent from Mars (1976)
31. Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat in protest of racial inequality (USA, 1955)
32. Invention of GPS (Roger L. Easton, 1974)
33. First cloned mammal (Dolly the sheep, 1996)
34. First text message sent (1992)
35. First racially desegregated school in the US (1957)
36. Digital camera (1975)
37. Movie with sound (‘The Jazz Singer’, 1927)
38. Women gain the right to vote in Germany
39. The moment Alan Turing broke the Enigma code (1945)
40. First female President (Marma Estela ‘Isabel’ Martinez Cartas de Peron, Argentina, 1974)
41. Roald Amundsen reaching the North Poll (1926)
42. First supersonic Concorde flight (1969)
43. First woman to pilot a solo transatlantic flight (Amelia Earhart, 1932)
44. Invention of the Compact Disc (1980)
45. Instant-colour camera film (1963)
46. First video to be uploaded to YouTube (2005)
47. Invention of the world’s first video game (a game that inspired the 1970s classic, Pong) (1958)
48. First commercial jet flight (between London and Johannesburg) (1952)
49. Inaugural football world cup (Uruguay, 1930)
50. Live Aid concert (London, 1985)