Crazy Things the Oldest Woman in the World Experienced

A lot has happened in the last 117 years

Misao Okawa, the oldest person in the world, recently died on April 1, 2015 at the age 117. While she will be missed by her three children, four grandchildren, six great grandchildren, and everyone she has inspired — let's take a minute to celebrate this incredible life. Here are just some of the crazy things Okawa witnessed, both good and bad, since her birthday on March 5, 1898.

01
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Transportation

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Library of Congress

When Okawa was born, cars were too expensive for the average man, but she lived to see commercial planes fly overhead.

  • 1903: The Wright Brothers take flight in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina
  • 1908: The Ford Model-T is built
  • 1944: 40,000 mile highway system is built in America under the Federal-Aid Highway Act 
02
of 06

Wars

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Louis Levy/SuperStock/Getty Images

Before Okawa's first birthday, the Spanish-American War was mainly fought with rifles. Over a century later, she experienced what drone attacks meant for warfare. 

  • 1898: Spanish-American War
  • 1914-1918: World War I
  • 1939-1945: World War II
  • 1955-1975: Vietnam War
  • 2003-2011: Iraq War
03
of 06

People

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Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Okawa learned what humans can achieve... from Bell's first groundbreaking phone call, to MLK Jr.'s leadership, and even Kim Kardashian's Instagram account.

  • 1915: Alexander Graham Bell makes the first transcontinental telephone call
  • 1927: Amelia Earhart is the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean
  • 1930: Mohandas Gandhi leads the salt march to protest the British-imposed Salt Tax
  • 1954: Roger Bannister breaks the four-minute mile
  • 1963: Martin Luther King Jr. Gives the "I Have a Dream" speech
04
of 06

Science/ Medicine

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Central Press/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Some of these discoveries saved lives. Others destroyed them.

  • 1915: Albert Einstein publishes his Theory of Relativity  
  • 1928: Alexander Fleming discovers penicillin
  • 1932: The first atom is split
  • 1953: Jonas Salk announces his polio vaccine
  • 1961: Yuri Gagarin, the Soviet Astronaut, becomes the first man in space 
  • 1990: The Hubble Telescope is launched
05
of 06

Pop Culture

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Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Wonder what Okawa thought of EDM music...

  • 1927: The Jazz Singer, the first "talkie," is released
  • 1929: The first Academy Awards is held
  • 1938: Orson Welles broadcasts "War of the Worlds" 
  • 1953: The first Playboy Magazine is issued
  • 1955: Disneyland opens
  • 1970: The Beatles announce their breakup
06
of 06

Inventions

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Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Yes, Misao Okawa is represented on Facebook... sort of

  • 1902: The first air conditioning system is built
  • 1961: MIT develops the first rudimentary internet
  • 1973: The first wireless phone is demonstrated
  • 1976: Under Apple Inc., Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs create the first consumer computer
  • 2004: Mark Zuckerberg invents Facebook