In case you missed yesterday’s post, my grandfather was 103 years old when he passed away last week. Just stop to think for 5 seconds about everything that has happened in America in 103 years. Right?? Well you don’t have to think too much because I supplied a few noteworthy events below.
Beginning with the year of this birth: 1909
- Theodore Roosevelt was still in office. THEODORE ROOSEVELT!!
- The NAACP was formed.
- The 16th Amendment was approved, granting the power to tax incomes.
- The U.S. issued the first Lincoln penny. WOW!
- Colored moving pictures were demonstrated at Madison Square Garden.
1912 – New Mexico and Arizona are admitted to the Union.
1915 – First long distance telephone service between New York and San Francisco is demonstrated.
1917 – U.S. entered World War I; Blacks began migrating to the North and out West.
1919 – Prohibition begins.
1920 – Women are granted the right to vote.
1928 – First regularly scheduled television service in the U.S. begins.
1929 – Stock Market crashed, the Great Depression begins.
1931 – The Star-Spangled Banner is adopted as the National Anthem.
1935 – Social Security Act provides retirement insurance.
1941 – U.S. enters World War II.
1950 – Korean War.
1954 – Supreme Court rules that racial segregation in schools is unconstitutional; Montgomery Bus Boycott begins.
1959 – Alaska and Hawaii become part of the United States.
1961 – “Freedom Riders” began traveling on buses in the South protesting segregated interstate bus facilities.
1963 – MLK delivers his “I Have A Dream Speech” during the March On Washington; JFK is assassinated in Dallas, TX.
1964 – Civil Rights Act of 1964 passes prohibiting segregation and discrimination in public accommodations. It also forbids discrimination against minorities by employers.
1964 – 24th Amendment passes, prohibiting states from charging people to vote.
1965 – Voting Rights Act passes, guarantees that no one can be denied the right to vote based on race. Ended literacy tests and allowed for the U.S. Attorney General the right to intervene on behalf of those who had been discriminated against.
1965 – U.S. planes begin bombing raids of North Vietnam.
1967 – Thurgood Marshall becomes a Supreme Court Justice; Countertop microwave ovens go on the market.
1968 – MLK is assassinated in Memphis, TN; RFK is assassinated in Los Angeles, CA.
1969 – Moon landing.
1980 – the “Walkman” was introduced in the U.S.
1983 – the first cell phone was commercially available.
1990 – Persian Gulf War.
2000 – The Supreme Court declares George Bush the President of the United States.
2001 – The World Trade Center and the Pentagon are attacked by terrorists; War against Afghanistan begins.
2003 – War against Iraq begins.
2008 – Barack Obama is elected as the first African-American President of the United States of America. (My grandfather didn’t believe he had really won at first. He thought he was being lied to until he confirmed it with one of his sons.)
Clearly this list is not exhaustive, I simply wanted to highlight a few key advancements in our laws and our culture that transpired in the lifetime of my Grandfather. Unfortunately some of those key advancements are being deliberately undermined in this current political climate – specifically with regard to women’s right and voting rights.
Remember, countless people fought, marched and died trying to gain equal rights for all American citizens. We owe it to ourselves as well as previous generations to continue fighting.