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What the world was like when the Cubs last won the World Series

The Cubs last won the World Series in 1908. What was the world like then compared to 2016?

The Chicago Cubs enter the postseason as the favorite to win the World Series, something the team hasn't done since 1908. 

The world of baseball is vastly different today than it was in 1908, but so was the world at large. As the Cubs try to end nearly 108 years of futility, we examined how 2016 compares to 1908. 

Graphics by Lindsay Applebaum

Tallest building in the world


Taking flight

1908: Orville Wright builds the first army plane. 

2016: Elon Musk wants to take people to Mars. 



Alexander Hamilton

1908: Alexander Hamilton gets a statue at Columbia University. 

2016: Hamilton wins 11 Tony Awards. 

U.S. President

1908: Theodore Roosevelt

2016: Barack Obama

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Presidential election

1908: William Howard Taft (Republican) d. William Jennings Bryan (Democrat)

2016: Hillary Clinton (Democrat) vs. Donald Trump (Republican)

Number of U.S. states

1908: 46

2016: 50

Cost of a loaf of bread

1908: $0.04

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2016: $2.32

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Leading cause of death

1908: Pneumonia and influenza

2016: Heart disease

Notable weddings


Boston Marathon

1908: Tom Morrissey of New York crosses the finish line in 2:25:43 to win. 

2016: Lemi Berhanu Hayle of Ethiopia crosses the finish line in 2:12:45 to win. 

College football champions

1908: Penn and Harvard finished the season undefeated with one tie. LSU also was undefeated and tied with a weaker opponent. All three were named national champions but only Penn recognizes the title.

2016: Alabama defeated Clemson 45–40 to win the College Football Playoff and the 2015 national championship. The Crimson Tide is aiming for its 17th national title this season. 



Number of no–hitters in baseball

1908: 6

2016: 1

Summer Olympics

1908: In Paris, the United States won 47 medals, including 23 gold. 

2016: In Rio de Janeiro, the United States won 121 medals, including 46 gold. 

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World Series

1908: The Chicago Cubs beat the Detroit Tigers in five games to win the World Series. 

2016: Let's not get ahead of ourselves.