Historical references

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Many references on Lost are made to history and historical figures.

Season 1

"Pilot, Part 2"
Modern backgammon set
A modern backgammon set
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Mesopotamia: Locke mentions that backgammon sets were found in the ruins of ancient Mesopotamia, widely considered the cradle of civilization.

Sir Winston S Churchill
Sir Winston S. Churchill
LionofdharmaAdded by Lionofdharma

Winston Churchill: Lucy shows Charlie a cigarette case that was owned by this noted English statesman, orator and strategist.

"The Greater Good"
Iraqi Republican Guard Symbol.svg
Iraqi Republican Guard symbol
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The Iraqi Republican Guard: The core of the Iraqi military, it was originally formed to be Saddam Hussein's bodyguard, but was expanded into a large military force.

Season 2

Juan Ponce de León
Juan Ponce de León
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Ponce de León: Sawyer calls Ana Lucia "Ponce de León," referring to the Spanish explorer.

The Deluge tablet of the Gilgamesh epic in Akkadian
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The Epic of Gilgamesh: This is an epic poem from Ancient Mesopotamia. While completing a crossword puzzle, Locke, for clue 42 down, "friend of Enkidu," gives the answer "Gilgamesh."

"The Hunting Party"
Daniel Boone
Daniel Boone
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Daniel Boone: Sawyer calls Locke "Daniel Boone," after the American pioneer and hunter whose frontier exploits made him one of the first folk heroes of the United States.

Kennedy assassination
JFK assassination
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John F. Kennedy assassination: After Jack, Locke, and Sawyer hear a gunfight ahead of them, they find three shell casings left behind yet claim to have heard seven shots fired. This is a reference to the Warren Commission for the assassination of American President John F. Kennedy, which concluded that three shots were fired, as three shells were found in the Texas School Book Depository. However, more than three gunshots are audible in video evidence of the event.

Luger P08 pistol
Luger P08 pistol from World War II
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World War II: Tom is using a Luger P08 pistol, which is notorious for its usage by the Nazis during World War II.

Every Man in his Humour
Title page of play that gave rise to phrase "curiosity killed the cat"
LionofdharmaAdded by Lionofdharma

Curiosity killed the cat: "You know the other one about curiosity, don't you Jack?", asks Tom. He is referring to this famous proverb, used to warn against being too inquisitive lest one comes to harm. The earliest printed reference to the origin of this proverb is attributed to British playwright Ben Jonson in his 1598 play, Every Man in His Humour.

"The Long Con"
Tokyo rose
Mugshot of Iva Toguri, the most infamous "Tokyo Rose"
LionofdharmaAdded by Lionofdharma

Tokyo Rose: Sawyer calls Sun "Tokyo Rose," a generic name given by Allied forces in the South Pacific during World War II to any of approximately twenty English-speaking female broadcasters of Japanese propaganda.

Daniel Boone
Daniel Boone
LionofdharmaAdded by Lionofdharma

Daniel Boone: Sawyer calls Jack "Daniel Boone," after the American pioneer and hunter whose frontier exploits made him one of the first folk heroes of the United States.

Season 3

"The Glass Ballerina"

Ben reveals to Jack several news headlines from late 2004:

Christopher reeve
Christopher Reeve
LionofdharmaAdded by Lionofdharma

US pres seal
U.S. Presidential seal
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    • America reelects George W. Bush as President. This actually happened on November 2, 2004.

Red sox
Boston Red Sox cap insignia
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    • The Boston Red Sox win the World Series. This actually happened on October 27, 2004.
"Stranger in a Strange Land"
Eye for eye
The upper part of the stele of Hammurabi's code of laws.
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An eye for an eye: This phrase, said by Alex, is in reference to a law that formed part of the ancient Mesopotamian Hammurabi's Code.

Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong
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Mao Zedong: The text of Jack's tattoo is taken from a poem by this Chinese Marxist military and political leader and philosopher.

Ferdinand Magellan
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Ferdinand Magellan. When sailing from the Hydra island, Sawyer calls Kate "Magellan," after this Portuguese-born maritime explorer (1480-1521).

Season 4

"The Beginning of the End"
Oj simpson
O.J. Simpson
LionofdharmaAdded by Lionofdharma

O.J. Simpson: Jack places a container of orange juice on a table while the TV is visible in the background showing the police chasing Hurley's car. The shot is very similar to shots of the police chasing O.J. Simpson in June 1994.

"The Economist"
Berlin wall
Berlin Wall
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Berlin Wall: The café in which Sayid and Elsa meet is called "Die Mauer" (the wall), a reference to the Berlin Wall.

Montezuma II
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Montezuma: As Hurley flushes the toilet, Sawyer refers to him as "Montezuma," the subdued ruler of the Aztec empire at the beginning of the Spanish conquest of Mexico (1502–1520).

"There's No Place Like Home, Part 2"
Hurley's "Molly Fischer" Fruit Roll-Up
SantaAdded by Santa

Molly Fisher: Hurley is seen opening a Fruit Roll-Up with the words "Molly Fischer" on it where the name of the flavor should be. "Molly Fisher" is the name of a mysterious rock in Kent, Connecticut near a body of water known as the Hatch Pond. It appears to have inscriptions of runes and hieroglyphs that have yet to be deciphered. [1] [2]


Daniel examines Jughead
TheAma1Added by TheAma1

Operation Castle: This was the name of a series of nuclear tests that took place in March/April 1954 in Bikini Atoll. "Jughead" was the code name of one of seven bombs tested in the series.

This episode's "Jughead" appears to be a Mark 16 nuclear bomb. The Mark 16 is more properly designated TX-16/EC-16 as it only existed in Experimental/Emergency Capability versions. Its design yield was 6-8 megatons. Only five units ever manufactured, in January 1954, and deployed in an interim "emergency capability" role with the designation EC-16. By April 1954 they were all retired.

U.S. Army logo
KiwipatAdded by Kiwipat

US Army: The clothing worn by the Others resembles a mid-20th Century US Army or National Guard uniform with nametape. They carry the M1 Garand, the standard infantry rifle issued to US troops from 1936 to 1963 and distributed as surplus to US allies after WWII, suggesting that they took the clothes and weapons of the dead U.S. soldiers.

Death march
Prisoners on the march from Bataan to the prison camp, May 1942.
LionofdharmaAdded by Lionofdharma

The Death March of Bataan: Sawyer points to Daniel Faraday as being "death-marched" into the jungle. This could be a reference to a significant Philippine historical event that was named the "Death March." The Bataan Death March took place in the Philippines in 1942, and was later accounted as a Japanese war crime.

Rome Colosseum inscription 2
Latin inscription in the Roman Colosseum
LionofdharmaAdded by Lionofdharma

Vulgar Latin. The Others speak Vulgar Latin as their common tongue, a language considered dead that has gone into decline since the 9th century to disappear almost completely from the 17th century on.

"This Place Is Death"
Statue of Hannibal at the Louvre
LionofdharmaAdded by Lionofdharma

Hannibal / Carthage: Charlotte remarks that she knows more about Carthage than Hannibal, a war general from Carthage from around 200 BC. He is considered to be one of the greatest military commanders and tacticians through out all of history. Carthage was located in what is modern-day Tunisia, where Charlotte was doing field work before being recruited to the Kahana's mission. Ironically, even though Hannibal is the most famous person associated with Carthage, he only spent one year of his adult life living there. He spent most of his life in Europe and modern day Turkey.

"The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham"
LIFE magazine logo
Life magazine logo
LionofdharmaAdded by Lionofdharma

Life: Caesar finds the April 19, 1954 issue of Life magazine, featuring a cover story about hydrogen bomb testing. This magazine is contemporary with the on-Island events of "Jughead".

The Great Sphinx of Giza
LionofdharmaAdded by Lionofdharma

Great Sphinx of Giza: When Locke visits Hurley at the Santa Rosa Mental Institute, Hurley is seen painting a picture of what is presumably the Great Sphinx of Giza in Cairo, Egypt. It is the largest monolith statue in the world and the oldest known monumental structure.

Sir Winston S Churchill
Sir Winston S. Churchill
LionofdharmaAdded by Lionofdharma

Winston Churchill: Sawyer mentions that this English politician used to read every night before going to bed because it helped him think, even during the Blitz of World War II.

"Some Like It Hoth"
Egyptian Hieroglyphs
LionofdharmaAdded by Lionofdharma

Hieroglyphs: The lesson Jack erases from the classroom board was about Ancient Egypt and hieroglyphs, a writing style used by the Ancient Egyptians, particularly in religious literature. One of the lines that Jack erases translates as "Writing of the words of God."

"The Variable"
U.S. Marines in Seoul during the Korean War
LionofdharmaAdded by Lionofdharma

Korean War: Pierre Chang asks Hurley if he fought in the Korean War, which occurred from 1950 to 1953. Hurley replies that there is no such thing.

Jimmy Carter
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Jimmy Carter: This episode takes place in 1977, and Pierre asks Hurley who the current president of the United States is. Jimmy Carter was president from 1977–1981.

"The Incident, Part 1"
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Taweret: The giant statue on the Island is of Taweret, the ancient Egyptian deity of protection in pregnancy and childbirth.

Egyptian Hieroglyphs
LionofdharmaAdded by Lionofdharma

Hieroglyphs: Jacob's tapestry contains many hieroglyphs, a writing style used by the Ancient Egyptians, particularly in religious literature.

General MacArthur
LionofdharmaAdded by Lionofdharma

General MacArthur: A third phrase on Jacob's tapestry reads, "Only the dead have seen the end of war." This is a quote made famous by General MacArthur, who misattributed it to Plato.

Season 6

"Dr. Linus"
Benjamin Disraeli
LionofdharmaAdded by Lionofdharma

Benjamin Disraeli: A book that Ben finds in Sawyer's stash is titled "Benjamin Disraeli: Justice and Truth in Action." No author's name is shown on the dust jacket. It may be simply a prop, a mock-up, rather than an actual book. Benjamin Disraeli (1804–1881) was a British Prime Minister, parliamentarian, Conservative statesman and literary figure. "Justice is truth in action" is a famous quotation of his. Alice in Wonderland original artist Sir John Tinniel's illustration of the man in white paper in Through the Looking Glass was based on Disraeli.

Napoleon I
LionofdharmaAdded by Lionofdharma

Napoleon Bonaparte: Ben teaches about this military and political leader of France, who was banished to the island Elba in 1814.

Lord Cornwallis
Charles Cornwallis
LionofdharmaAdded by Lionofdharma

Charles Cornwallis: Ben questions Alex about this British Army officer who in 1786 was appointed Governor-General and commander in chief in India. The East India Company Act of 1786 arranged that the powers of the Governor-General be enlarged to empower him, in special cases, to override the majority of his Council and act on his own special responsibility.

British East India Company Flag from Lens
British East India Trading Company flag
LionofdharmaAdded by Lionofdharma

The East India Trading Company: Ben questions Alex about this early English trading company. The company was formed in 1600 AD for pursuing trade with the East Indies, but ended up trading mainly with the Indian subcontinent and China. The Charter Act of 1813 asserted the sovereignty of the British Crown over the Indian territories held by the Company. At the time of the Charter, the East India Trading Company's power extended to all of India, except for the Punjab, Sindh and Nepal.

Vasco da Gama
LionofdharmaAdded by Lionofdharma

Vasco da Gama: A poster of this Portuguese explorer is in Ben's classroom. Vasco da Gama was one of the most successful in the European Age of Discovery and the commander of the first ships to sail directly from Europe to India.

Ridolfo Ghirlandaio Columbus
Christopher Columbus
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Christopher Columbus : A picture of this historical figure is exposed in Ben's classroom. Columbus was a navigator, colonizer, and explorer whose voyages across the Atlantic Ocean led to general European awareness of the American continents in the Western Hemisphere.

Machiavelli's portrait headcrop
Niccolò Machiavelli
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Niccolò Machiavelli: Principal Reynolds compares Ben to this 16th century diplomat and political philosopher, known for his cunning and deceitful manipulations. The Prince, his best known work, describes ways that a ruler can control his people. He recommends, among other things, that the prince should be a public figure above reproach, whilst privately acting amorally to achieve his goals. He also notes that sometimes good outcomes happen even though evil deeds are performed.

Yale University Shield 1.svg
Yale University insignia
LionofdharmaAdded by Lionofdharma

Yale University: In the flash-sideways timeline, Alex Rousseau very much wants to be a college student at this American university, which was established in 1701 in the state of Connecticut. The university was named after Elihu Yale, who was the first major benefactor of the institution. Yale, a successful business man, made his fortune through his work as a representative of The East India Trading Company from 1671 to 1692.

"Ab Aeterno"
The Man in Black's pugio
Scarecrow3000Added by Scarecrow3000

Pugio: The Man in Black's knife is a pugio, a military dagger used as a sidearm by Roman legionaries. On the sheath there is a depiction of the Roman she-wolf suckling Remus and Romulus.

a CGI rendering of the Tenerife collision
LionofdharmaAdded by Lionofdharma

Tenerife Airport Disaster: Richard's home island, Tenerife, was the site of the deadliest plane crash in the history of aviation on March 27th, 1977.

North West Africa 1707
1707 map of northwest Africa showing the fabled island of St. Brendan west of the Canary Islands
LionofdharmaAdded by Lionofdharma

St. Brendan Island: There is a legend in the Canary Islands, which Tenerife is part of, of the existence of an eighth island called St. Brendan Island. Throughout the history of the Canary Islands, only a few have alleged to have seen this phantom island. Stories about it have been told by sailors who claim to have landed on its beaches. There are some ancient maps on which the island is drawn.

"The Package"
Giacomo Casanova
LionofdharmaAdded by Lionofdharma

Giacomo Casanova: Keamy calls Jin "Casanova" in reference to Giacomo Casanova (1725 – 1798), a Venetian adventurer and author. He was so famous as a womanizer that his name remains synonymous with the art of seduction.

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