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ARTICLES AND THINKPIECES

GREAT AMERICAN MOMENTS

Given the events of November 4, 2008, I have been thinking about the great moments in American history. Not the "Important" moments, but, rather the great ones; the ones that move this nation further on its path toward enlightenment and toward that "more perfect union." Here's my list:

Date Event Comment
July 4, 1776 The Birth of a Nation 'Nuff Said
September 17, 1787 Adoption of the Constitution A living document, still in use today. The oldest written constitution still in operation today, it adapts remarkably to the times.
March 4,1789 Commencement of government under new Constitution The beginning of a bold experiment.
December 15, 1791 Bill of Rights ratified by Virginia enacts them into law The cornerstone of individual rights in the United States
March 4, 1797 Peaceful transition of power Underappreciated. Taken for granted today, but not at all a given at the time.
1803 The Louisiana Purchase Grew our country, gave us the port of New Orleans, expanded the national character
1862-3 The Emancipation Proclamation The beginning of the end of slavery in the United States
1865-9 Drafting and adoption of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments 13 – culmination of Abolitionist movement in abolition of slavery;

14—application of 5th Amendment due process rights to the States

15 – universal suffrage (sort of); race not a bar to right to vote
August 18, 1920 19th Amendment Culmination of women's suffrage movement in the woman's right to vote
April 15, 1947 Jackie Robinson plays for the Brooklyn Dodgers The mixing of races on a highly public, uniquely American stage. It's not just baseball.
May 17, 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas A 9-0 decision by the US Supreme Court said that "separate but equal is NOT equal." Paved the way for integration and empowered the civil rights movement.
July 2, 1964 Civil Rights Act of 1964 Outlawed racial segregation in schools, public places, and employment.
July 20, 1969 Man walks on the moon One of the great moments in the history of mankind; a massive achievement of science and cooperation; inspired dreams of the whole world, and engineered by the United States.
November 4, 2008 Barack Obama elected president of the U.S. Anyone in this nation can be anything they want. Prejudice is no longer a limit.


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