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Here’s What Happened the Last Time the Cubs Won the World Series

Henry Ford introduced the Model T, Butch Cassidy died in a shootout, and more.

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In 1908, the Ford Motor Company assembled the first Model T.


This week, the Chicago Cubs won Major League Baseball’s World Series. As Cubs fans know, this was a long time coming: Chicago hadn’t won the title since 1908.

To give you some historical perspective of just how long ago that victory was, we’ve compiled a list of what happened the last time the Cubs won a World Series. (And after that, stick around to see what happened in 1948, the last time their competitor, the Cleveland Indians, won the title.)

In 1908 …

The United States had no income tax (that would come five years later). Turkey was still part of the Ottoman Empire, and writers Mark Twain and Leo Tolstoy were still alive. The tragedy of the Titanic and the devastation of World War I were still a few years away. Here’s what else was going on.

  • Workers assembled the First Model T Ford at the Piquette plant in Detroit on September 27.
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China’s last emperor, Puyi, was only two years old when he took the throne in 1908. In this picture, the toddler emperor stands beside his father, Prince Chun, who is holding Puyi’s younger brother in his lap.


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In 1908, Tsar Ferdinand I declared Bosnia’s independence from the Ottoman Empire, and Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph annexed Bosnia-Herzegovina. In this illustration, Ferdinand and Franz Joseph are shown “seizing” these lands from the Ottoman Turks.


  • Outlaws Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid were killed in a shootout with Bolivian troops on November 6. (Or were they?)
  • The privately-owned Congo Free State became the Belgian Congo on November 15. Although it was no longer under the sole control of Belgium’s King Leopold II, the region remained a Belgian colony until 1960.

And finally: In 1908, Arizona, New Mexico, Hawaii, and Alaska were not states. In 2001, the Arizona Diamonds won the World Series—which means that the last time the Cubs won the title, the state of a future title winner didn’t even exist.

In 1948 …

World War II was only three years in the past. In Southeast Asia, people were transitioning from wartime Japanese rule. Some regions were establishing themselves as new nations, while others would remain European colonies into the 1950s. In Europe, countries were trying to rebuild from the war’s destruction. And in the United States, WWII veterans were buying homes and going to college thanks to the GI Bill. Also that year:

  • Mohandas Gandhi, an activist for Indian independence from Britain, died on January 30 in Delhi. Gandhi had been on his way to a prayer meeting when an assassin shot him.
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People gather around the body of Mohandas Gandhi at his funeral in Delhi. He was assassinated in 1948.


  • The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) held its first race on Daytona Beach, Florida, on February 15.
  • President Harry S. Truman signed the Marshall Plan on April 3. The plan, nicknamed after Secretary of State George C. Marshall, would eventually provide $12 billion to war-ravaged Western Europe.

WATCH: Die-hard baseball enthusiasts resurrect America's national pastime the way it used to be played.

This story was updated on November 3 to reflect that the Cubs won.

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