The Dancing Dates are obviously and deliberately not chronological. Nor, equally obviously, do they cover all of human history or do anything like exhaust the tally of significant dates. They are included simply to prompt an interest in history. How many dates do you recognise? What would you add?

A note on styling: All Dates are cited in the increasingly used international calendar in which BCE = before the Common Era (equivalent to BC) and CE = in the Common Era (equivalent to AD).

c.13-15 billion years ago
Estimated Origin of this Universe
c.2551 BCEBuilding of the Great Pyramid (also known as Pyramid of Cheops/Khufu) at Giza, Egypt
480 BCEBattle of Thermopylae between the Persian Empire of Xerxes I and an alliance of the Greek city-states
220-206 BCEBuilding of Great Wall of China by China’s first Emperor, on the site of older defences
33Crucifixion of Jesus Christ
476Fall of the Roman Empire in the West – when the last emperor, Romulus Augustus, was forced to abdicate by the German chieftain Odoacer. (Various other dates are also cited for the Roman Empire’s slow decline)
622Muhammad’s Flight to Mecca (the Hegira)
1066Norman invasion of England
1348Black Death (plague) in Europe
1453Fall of Constantinople, the last redoubt of the Byzantine or Eastern Roman Empire, to the Turks
1492Voyage of Christopher Columbus to what later became known as the American continent
1517Martin Luther’s 95 Theses at Wittenberg, Germany, launching the Protestant Reformation
1520Death of Montezuma (also given as Moctezuma, Motecuhzoma), presaging defeat of the Aztec Empire by Spain
1688Exile of James II and start of the ‘Glorious Revolution’ in Britain
1776United States Declaration of Independence from Britain
1789French Revolution
1815Battle of Waterloo, when Napoleon, returning from exile in Elba, was defeated by the coalition armies of Britain, Prussia and other European allies
1868The Meiji Restoration in Japan, ending the Tokugawa era
1914Start of World War I
1917Russian Revolution
1939Start of World War II
1945Atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan
1947 Independence of India and Pakistan from the British Empire
1969First Man on Moon
Note: the science fiction guru Arthur C. Clarke once remarked that: ‘Apollo [the American lunar programme] may be the only achievement by which our age is remembered a thousand years from now’. Yet how many today remember this date?
11/9/2001European-style dating of the American ‘9/11’ Destruction of New York’s Twin Towers by al-Qaeda