1 Million BC Cave men discover that chewing tree sap is more fun than chewing stones, and better for their teeth (first health claim for chewing gum).
1214 BC Pyramid builder Seth Amon drops giant stone on a snack stand, flattens dates (and stand owner). Amon quickly wraps the dates in papyrus and presents them to Pharaoh Ramses as “date gum to chew on”.
1212 BC Pharaoh Ramses is buried in his pyramid. Among his treasures are one hundred packs of date gum, protected from theft by a Royal Curse.
430 AD Roman engineers use the aqueducts to send giant balls of gum to all corners of the Empire.
1270 Church officials declare chewing gum to be a Gift From God.
1271 Church officials find old gum under church seats, declare gum to be Work of the Devil.
Leonardo da Vinci invents the gum ball.
He also invents the gum ball machine, but the design is lost for 450 years.
1525 Chewing gum becomes popular with royalty.
Astrologer Nostradamus predicts that the weight of discarded chewing gum will cause the Earth to tilt in 2012.
Nostradamus also predicts that bubble gum will drive evil men mad, but nobody knows what he means by this.
1599 Shakespeare finds used gum under a seat in the new Globe theater, shouts “Out, out, dammed spot!”
1791 Queen Marie Antoinette hears her subjects are starving, says, “Let them chew gum.” Angry peasants exchange gum balls for cannon balls, begin French Revolution.
1896 American food zealot Titus Q. Bosworth claims chewing gum releases “health saliva” that cures fourteen diseases. Bosworth later forms the Salivation Army to spread his message.
1912 Lookouts on RMS Titanic hold bubble-blowing contest, fail to see iceberg.
1924 Archeaologist Milton Carson opens Ramses' tomb, defies curse, tries date gum, is run over by dump truck from Ramses Trucking.
1937 Crewman drops used gum onto safety valve in airship Hindenberg. Tank explodes when valve can't open.
1939 Adolph Hitler bans bubble gum when he finds it sticks to mustaches. Still angry, Hitler decides to invade Poland.
1941 Humphrey Bogart steps in gum during filming of The Maltese Falcon, becomes first gumshoe detective.
1952 FBI investigates rumors that red-colored gum is part of secret Soviet plot to undermine health and morality of American youth. Meanwhile, KGB investigates rumors that American gum is part of secret plot to undermine health and morality of Soviet youth.
1963 CIA tries to send bubble gum to Fidel Castro. Castro refuses the gift, saying, “Everyone knows what gum does to facial hairs.” A calm Castro decides not to invade Florida.
1970 Spacecraft builder accidentally drops used gum onto safety valve in Apollo 13 service module. Oxygen tank explodes when valve can't open.
1971 NASA secretly asks gum makers to create non-sticking gum, say it's for denture wearers.
1980 American Dental Association votes the jawbreaker “number one tooth breaker” for third straight year.
1990 The Emir of Kuwait sends Saddam Hussein a large box of bubble gum. Saddam bans the gum when he finds it sticks to mustaches. Still angry, Saddam decides to invade Kuwait.
2002 American TSA bans chewing gum (both in-mouth and wrapped) as a “potentially dangerous substance.” Passengers are encouraged to chew tobacco instead.
2003 American airlines report 37% drop in revenue from gum-chewers who now travel by car or bus.
NEXT: 35 Uses for Old Gum