The United States of America is more than just a country, because its influence on the world is more than what maybe in some cases an entire continent may fail to produce. The United States of America has ceased to establish itself as a pioneer and a leader in spheres of technology, military, education, social aspects and what not. So when a U.S. court decided to uphold the decision to allow gay marriages, the country took another step towards progress, at a time when most countries have a large amount of apprehension associated with this topic. While general opinion about the country may vary demographically and on an individual basis, the country has always held its ground on its own terms.
So as the country comes together today to celebrate the 239th “Declaration of Independence” since 1776, we take you to a trip down memory lane to 5 incidents that made the United States of America that we see today.
5. Assassinations of John F Kennedy and Abraham Lincoln
While the first similarity between the two for starters was that both of them were holding the presidential office in the U.S.A at the time of their assassination, the circumstances and their repercussion varied greatly.
While John F Kennedy’s assassination was slightly more startling considering the advancement of security for the important people of the state, both of these incidents are equally well etched in the minds of the American citizen.
John F Kennedy’s assassination sent ripples across the world, disturbing the peace in the minds of people as they saw the most protected man on the planet handed his judgment day by Lee Harley Oswald.
When Lincoln who was executed by John Wilkes Booth, a member of a famous acting family in USA in quite dramatic fashion, the nation was stunned. Booth’s reasons were solely based as a true Southerner holding Lincoln responsible for the plight of his fellows.
Both these incidents defined the presidential tenure of these two people and will always be talked and discussed at great length whenever it comes to moments that shaped American history.
4. Manhattan Project
The Manhattan Project was a research and development project that produced the first nuclear weapons during World War II. It was led by the United States with the support of the United Kingdom and Canada.
While it may be incorrect to take pride in the development of these weapons of mass destruction, U.S. will always like to believe that it was done in the best interests of the people of the country. With Japan refusing to give up, the success of the project may have shortened the war by some years but probably in not the best way possible.
A lot of big names had an involvement in the project including Albert Einstein, Robert Oppenheimer and Enrico Fermi. The latter headed the project that would entail destruction on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the use of atomic bombs named Fat Man and Little Boy whose effects are seen today too.
3. Civil War
Thought by many as the first modern war, the Civil War was a time in the history of this country which saw the most amount of polarization among its citizens and a came with a horror no American had seen before.
It started when 7 of the 34 states that existed declared their succession from the United States and went on to from the Confederate State of America. Although the war began from the issue of slavery, the war expanded into something much beyond the issue. After 4 years of Combat, and over 600,00 soldiers dead, the Confederacy collapsed and slavery was abolished.
The day was in some aspects monumental is negating the belief that everybody was not equal with the South thinking of the slaves as sort of subhuman. The constitution was amended and the blacks were given the right to vote.
2. The 9/11 attacks and its aftermath
When on a perfectly normal American morning, a group of extremists hijacked 4 commercial passenger jets and flew them into various American institutions; it sent shock waves across the world. Even for the people who saw the news coverage on television, it’s difficult to get the image of the second plane crashing into the twin towers out of their head, let alone the people who were there to witness it live. While the human damage inflicted in this tragedy was vast, the incident sort of spilled over to cause mental, emotional and physiological damage to the people of the country.
The plane crashes instigated U.S.A’s ultimate aim of crackdown on terrorism which lasted for years and came at a financial cost and strained relationships among communities. It got some sort of a conclusion when U.S. troops completed the mission of the execution of Osama Bin Laden, thought to be the mastermind behind the attacks. It also started the animosity among the country and certain religious institutions.
The incident is probably one of the biggest and the most horrific that the modern world has seen and 14 years on, it still lingers on and affects things around us.
1. Apollo 11
While we reached number 1, we thought it would be a good idea to end this on a good note, after all the talk about assassinations, wars and attacks.
This is about July 20, 1969 where the world set aside its differences and united as humanity to witness one of the most magical things mankind as ever seen.
When Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin set foot on the moon, the pinnacle of human curiosity had been reached at that point in time. It was after a lot of mishaps, the United States of America and NASA finally saw the mission through that trigged another era altogether of space exploration.
This day marked a landmark in the broader canvas of human history and will be celebrated for years and years to come.
As we bring an end to this countdown and wish America in its celebrating the journey through the good and the bad, we leave you with a clip of Apollo 11 landing on the moon as we celebrate the human spirit that eventually triumphs.
Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.