posted on Apr, 4 2006 @ 08:40 AM
History Channel is touting a series to start April 9, which will feature 10 events or dates that were sea changes for America. I don’t know which
10 will be recounted. HC revealed one today, Einstein’s letter to FDR warning that Germany was working on a nuclear bomb. This letter is generally
credited with being the impetus for the Manhattan Project. A public, governmental undertaking, which, by the way, was able to make 3 war winning atom
bombs in barely 4 years! At a cost of $6 billion. Which included the new cities of Oak Ridge, Hanford and Los Alamos. Can you see Halliburton doing
that today? Thank you Leslie R. Groves.
I would be much surprised if the series did not include July 4, 1776. We have a penchant for fixing a date certain to events that often take decades
to come to fruition. The shooting started April 19, 1775, at Concord and Lexington, MA. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow immortalized that event in his
famous poem, ‘The Shot Heard ‘Round the World.’ But did it start there? The 13 colonies were becoming more and more restive over the British
Parliament's acts from the end of the French & Indian War, 1754-1763.
The Civil War started at Fort Sumpter in Charleston harbor, on the night of April 12, 1861. OTOH, South Carolina had already seceded from the Union
in December, 1860, after the election of Abraham Lincoln was certified. Historians say the country passed the point of no return in March, 1857, when
the Supreme Court handed down the Dred Scott case which held no person of color could ever become a citizen of the United States. None. Never. This
was completely unacceptable to the Abolitionists and many others. A decision by the way that relied on the (currently much disputed) doctrine of
‘original intent’ of the Founding Fathers.
I feel sure December 7 will be one of the dates. And, for sure, it is a significant date, but it was not the beginning of the Second World War.
Historians can’t agree when to date that war. How about December 8, 1937 when Japan invaded China proper? Or March 12, 1938, the German annexation
of Austria? The Anschluss. The October, 1938, “peace in our time” give-away of the Czech Sudentland at Munich? The generally accepted start-up
date is September 1, 1939, when Germany invaded Poland. But you see my point.
But why not celebrate the 1952 discovery of the polio vaccine by Jonas Salk? Or June 26, 1945, when 50 nations signed the United Nations Charter in
San Francisco? Or to commemorate the ushering in of the nuclear age, the first sustained chain reaction at the University of Chicago on December 2,
1942? Or the July 16, 1945, test explosion of the first bomb, named “Trinity” - a play on words? - near the small town of Alamogordo, New Mexico?
J. Robert Oppenheimer lamented, “I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.” From Vishnu, speaking in the Hindu's Bhagavad-Gita. Or the 1979
successful eradication (so we thought then) of small pox, the most deadly virus known to man?
So what are the 10 most significant events or dates in American history?
In chronological order, I offer the following.
1. 1619. Introduction of slaves into America at Jamestown VA.
2. 1774. First Continental Congress meets in Philadelphia PA
3. 1865. Assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.
4. 1913. Adoption of the 16th Amendment authorizing the income tax.
5. 1933. The New Deal modernized America’s government.
6. 1941. America enters World War Two.
7. 1954. Brown v. Board of Education recognizing but one class of citizenship in America. Jim Crow is dead!
8. 1965. Medicare made law. Civil rights laws enacted.
9. 1994. NAFTA goes into effect. Globalization is here.
10. 2000. Florida election vote counting process goes awry, a U. S. Supreme Court divided on partisan lines, 5 to 4, decides who is to be the next
president on dubious legal grounds.
[edit on 4/4/2006 by donwhite]