A M E R I C A N C E N T U R Y E X P E R I E N C E
The SIR American Century Experience (Timeline) page was revised on Saturday, March 17, 2007.
Copyright © 1994-2007 Systems Information Resources. All rights reserved.
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1900: As we turn the corner and enter into this new century, the Library of Congress is 100 years old on April 24th. This is a picture of the LOC. By the late 1990s, the LOC will contain the finest library holdings in the World. There are 45 stars on the American Flag, and on April 30th, Hawaii is granted territorial status by Congress. Interestingly, the Hawaiian alphabet contains only 12 letters, the smallest in the World (a, e, i, o, u, h, k, l, m, n, p, and w). Almost no one in the World has visited these islands, but by end of the century, Hawaii will become one of the World's favorite tourist attraction. In May, Carrie Nation (1846-1911) leads women through Kansas destroying saloons using a hatchet, which is her symbol. Her first husband, an alcoholic, biased her against alcohol, and eventually she would be arrested more than 30 times. "Hot dogs" are invented on the opening day of this baseball season at the Polo Grounds in New York. "Editorial cartoonist Tad Dorgan is credited with coining the term "hot dog." The story goes that Dorgan, uncertain as to the spelling of "dachshund" sausages -- the name used by New York Polo Ground vendors -- simplified it to "hot dogs," and so the name was born." However, both Germany and Austria claim to be the birthplace for the hot dog concept more than 500 years ago. W. Edwards Deming is born and Al Capone is one year old. Like every other baby in the World, neither knows anything about crime, engineering, gangs, hate, murder, quality control, revenge, or science. Yet each will become famous for very opposite reasons. Capone will become America's most notorious gangland criminal, and responsible for the 1929 Saint Valentine Day's Massacre, whereas Deming will publish Out of the Crisis (which contains his 14 points for Management), and become America's most famous quality control expert and be draped in honors from around the world. The Nation has 76 million people, and the average life expectancy is 47 years. That is mainly because so many babies die. By 1990, the life expectancy will be about 75 years due to a number of factors, such as better hygiene, medical advances, and access to them (e.g., better education, more phones and cars). For example, there are only 150 miles of paved roads for our 8,000 cars. People are moving west. After the fare for a train ticket from the Mississippi Valley to the Pacific dropped to $25.00, the populations in Los Angeles and San Diego explode. This year the population in Los Angeles is 100,000 [Source]. Frank L. Baum (1856-1919) publishes The Wonderful Wizard of Oz in May. It started as a story being told to his children in 1898, yet will become one of the most popular stories in children's literature. Disney will create the movie in 1939. There are 15,900 newspapers with a circulation of 15.1 million which is phenomenal growth when considering the population size and contrasted with the 235 newspapers in 1800. Unlike all other nations, our First Amendment encouraged the growth of newspapers. Surprisingly, the year in this Century with the largest number of newspapers (17,000) will be 1909 (Grant, 1996). After 1909, the number of newspapers will decline slowly to 12,200 in 1995, after which time many newspapers will be available on the World Wide Web---a concept inconceivable at this time. The twelfth U.S. census is taken. "All persons in each household are listed by name. All dwellings in each census district were given a number. Each family was also assigned an identification number. Each census sheet lists the county as well as town or township. Many new questions were asked this census year!" The second largest group in the population and work force of all developed countries at this time consists of live-in servants. They are considered as much a law of nature as farmers are. "Census categories of the time defined 'lower middle class' households as one that employed fewer than three servants..." (Drucker, 1994).
1901: The first U.S. president of this century is William J. McKinley (1843-1901). On May 20th, Vice-President Theodore Roosevelt leads the procession into the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York, a major event for this Nation. On September 5th President McKinley makes a speech at the Exposition. McKinley serves as President from 1897 until he is assassinated one day after that speech by Leon Czolgosc who wears a bandage on one hand to conceal a gun. Later Leon says, "I done my duty. I don't believe one man should have so much service and another man should have none." (Rubel, 1994). McKinley is the third President to be assassinated. Czolgosc is executed at Auburn Prison, in what may be the first execution on film. To obtain a time perspective, President McKinley was 18 years old when the Civil War broke out in 1861, and he enlisted two months later. As president, he always wears a red carnation in his lapel for good luck. The Underwood No. 5 typewriter begins production, sets the trend, and will become the most popular typewriter in the World until the 1961 IBM Selectric. By the 1920s, every typewriter company will imitate this design that allowed typists to see what they typed, as well as provide 84 keys, four banks (also called rows), and a single shift. Moreover, millions of these machines will be "used by secretaries, journalists, government officials, and writers throughout the first half of the twentieth century." After assuming office, President Roosevelt invites black leader Booker T. Washington to the White House, and the South reacts with violence against blacks. Political cartoons are alive and well. On November 21st, the War Department authorizes creation of the Army War College to instruct commissioned officers. It will be built in Leavenworth, Kansas. The first U.S. motorcycle is created by "engineering wizard Carl Oscar Hedstrom and bicycle enthusiast George Hendee." In 1923 they will change their name to the Indian Motorcycle company, and their Scout and Chief models will become famous. Indian will survive the Great Depression (with Harley) [see 1965], but then go out of business in 1953.
1902: President Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919), our 26th President, is aggressive in his effort to control the excesses of big business, and will become known for his Latin American policy of "Speak softly and carry a big stick," which leads to the construction of the Panama Canal. Journalist Ida Tarbell (1857-1944) publishes an expose about the Standard Oil Company in McClure's Magazine two years before publishing it as a book. This is but one of several well researched published investigative reports at this time, including The Octopus, The Pit, The Iron Heel, and The Shame of the Cities. By 1906 when Upton Sinclair publishes The Jungle, which exposes the filth in the meat-packing plants, Americans will be so outraged that Congress will pass The Pure Food and Drug Act to protect meat and other foods. One of every 920 Americans lives in an almshouse for the poor (Beito, 1995). Carrie Catt is elected president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, and in her address states, "The question of woman suffrage is a very simple one....Woman suffrage must meet precisely the same objections which have been urged against man suffrage, but in addition, it must combat sex-prejudice, the oldest, the most unreasoning, the most stubborn of all human idiosyncrasies." On March 6th, the Census is established under the Department of the Interior. Prior to now, the censuses were made by U.S. Marshalls using temporary staff. In 1994, the 32nd director will remind us that the "first" director of the census was Thomas Jefferson. Newspaper artist (no news photographers at this time) Clifford Berryman draws a sketch for the Washington Post of President Roosevelt refusing to shoot a small bear that was captured for him to shoot during his hunting trip (Severin, 1995), and this launches the later widely popular Teddy Bear craze. In practice, but not in name, small cloth (felt) bears have been made by the Steiff family in Germany since 1892. But after that drawing appears, numerous rumors and stories about "Teddy's bear" capture the imagination of the public. Shortly thereafter Morris and Rose Michtom, Russian immigrants, who run a stationary store in Brooklyn, put a copy of the drawing in their window next to a toy bear, and it sells. In 1907 they will start the Ideal Novelty and Toy Company, and will be the only company in the U.S. making the toy bears. But, by 1910 even catalogues will carry cloth "Teddy Bears" in various sizes, ranging in price from 59 cents to $1.75 or more. In the 1990s such collectibles are unusually valuable; for example, in "1989, a 1926 Steiff brought $86,350 at auction, setting a new high price that shook the teddy bear community - but has since been surpassed more than once." In 1947 Smokey the Bear will caution us, "Remember, only YOU can prevent forest fires."
1903: On May 23rd, Wisconsin becomes the first state to adopt direct primary elections. By 1948 all states will have them. Ford Motor Company starts on June 16, 1903, by Henry Ford and 11 associates in Lansing, Michigan. Although Ford was not first, few technologies will grow as fast or have the impact on the world as the automobiles created here. The flight at Kitty Hawk takes place on December 17th, and the Wright Brothers flight lasts 12 seconds, and flies 120 feet. The plane has a four-cylinder, 200 pound, gasoline engine that generates 12 horsepower. Only one photographer is there to record this significant event in aviation history. Sixty-six years later, two astronauts will walk on the moon. Still later, on "the eve of the 93rd anniversary of the Wright Brothers' flight, the Air Force named its newest stealth bomber the Spirit of Kitty Hawk...in ceremonies at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base. A full-size model of the original Wright Brothers flyer was dwarfed by the giant B-2 bomber outside a hanger at the air base. The wingspan of the B-2 is longer than the entire flight first made by the Wright Brothers." After being told by metallurgists that putting a sharp blade on thin inexpensive sheet metal was impossible, King Camp Gillette finds a way, and sells a razor and 20 blades for $5.00 (Stuller, 1995). The first baseball World Series is played at the Boston Huntington Avenue Baseball Grounds--now the site of Northeastern University. The Boston Americans beat the Pittsburgh Nationals 5 to 3 in the best of a nine game series. Pride and illogic will cancel the following World Series game in 1904, but they will resume in 1905 and continue until 1995 when a baseball strike would again cancel the game for similar reasons. Actuality films reach their peak. Such films included "local actualities (for example, scenes of the local fire department in action), [and] were popular, as were topical, news, travel, sports, comedies, and trick films. Films depicting current events such as the Spanish-American War or the Boer War fascinated viewers, as did films featuring notable world leaders, such as William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt." New York City is the Nation's new metropolis, and one of its biggest problems is garbage. The problem was addressed with an "army" of broom sweepers called the White Wings who parade proudly while an Edison cameraman is there to film them. On August 31st, "a Packard automobile ended a 52 day journey from San Francisco to New York, the first time an automobile crossed the continent under its own power" [Source].
1904: Interestingly, Berea College, founded in 1855, was the first interracial college in the South, and also was coeducational long before most of higher education understood that value. This year the College is compelled by the passage of a Kentucky "state law, the Day Law, to forego interracial education." After the Day Law is upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, the College trustees raise $400,000 "to endow a new school for Black students, Lincoln Institute, located near Louisville. When the Day Law was amended in 1950 to allow integration above the high school level, Berea College again opened its doors to Black students." The topic of race is notorious throughout this American Ledger, and useful background reading can be found in the November, 1994 issue of Discover magazine. On May 14th, the U.S. wins 21 events at the Olympic Games, part of the St. Louis Exposition and World' Fair. It is the third modern Olympiad. On October 27th, the first section of New York City's subway opens between City Hall and West 145th Street. By 1997 there will be 468 subway stations. This subway preceded busses because the first bus route will be opened on July 13, 1907, and uses the "first gasoline-powered bus, an open-top double-decker." Phone service is no simple matter. Most of the Nation lives in the country (rural areas); not in cities. Moreover, more than half of the 1,051 incorporated towns and cities have more than one phone company (Friedlander, 1995), most likely accounting for the fact that approximately only three percent of calls are long distance. Not until 1920 will we become a Nation with more of its population in the cities than in rural areas. New York State passes the first automobile speed law: 10 mph in the cities, 15 mph in small towns, and 20 mph in the country.
1905: During the 57 public hearings about the insurance scandal, many of the Nation's most wealthy men are found to be involved. Albert Einstein, during an incredibly productive time, discusses or invents the law of mass-energy, Brownian theory of motion (a good example of parallel discovery), and the photon theory of light. John Harris and Harry Davis introduce the first Nickelodeon (movie theater) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. On December 30th an ex-governor and bank president Frank Steunenberg is murdered in cold blood as he opens the front gate to his yard in Caldwell, Idaho (Busch, 1992). This crime has many components, including an enduring labor union dispute, Federal intervention and strike breaking, martial law, revenge, the successful use of a booby-trap, search and seizure, an inter-state legal dispute, a famous attorney (Clarence Darrow), bold legal strategy, religious conversion, and an escape to Russia, most of which serve to signal similar events throughout the following century. The Niagara Movement is founded by W. E. B. Du Bois in Niagara Falls to promote an assertive focus for black rights. Later its principles would form the foundation of the NAACP. Neon light signs appear.
1906: The Pure Food and Drug Law is passed to protect the populace from medical quackery, a practice at least as old as recorded history. Moreover, "until its enactment, it was possible to buy, in stores or by mail order medicines containing morphine, cocaine, or heroin, and without their being so labeled." Oliver Wendell Holmes, physician, poet, and inventor of the stereoscope, said, "There is nothing people will not do, there is nothing they have not done, to recover their health and save their lives. They have submitted to be half drowned in water, half cooked with gases, to be buried up to their chins in earth, to be seared with hot irons likes slaves, to be crimped with knives, like codfish, to have needles thrust into their flesh, and bonfires kindled on their skin, to swallow all sorts of abominations, and to pay for all this, as if to be singed and scaled were a costly privilege, as if blisters were a blessing and leeches were a luxury." (Trachtman, 1994). It is the dawn of the FDA. The Department of Agriculture was created in 1862 and gained Cabinet status in 1889, and it is noteworthy that prior to World War I, "farmers composed the largest single group in every country." By 1990, productive farmers in the U.S. will make up about two percent of the work force. (Drucker, 1994). The San Francisco earthquake takes a 270 mile section of land and moves it north by 20 feet. At 5:12 a.m. on April 18th, San Francisco is "struck by an 8.3 magnitude earthquake. With thousands of un-reinforced brick buildings and closely-spaced wooden Victorian dwellings, the city was poorly prepared for a major earthquake. Collapsed buildings, broken chimneys, and a shortage of water due to broken mains led to several large fires that soon coalesced into a city-wide holocaust." An estimated 3,000 people die. A brief eyewitness account survives. Susan B. Anthony, leader of the American woman suffrage movement dies. At her death only four states allow women to vote. Later she will be honored on October 10, 1978 by President Jimmy Carter who will sign into law the Susan B, Anthony Dollar Act which creates a dollar coin. Alfred C. Fuller starts the Fuller Brush Company. Their motto is "Every product is designed to work, and crafted to last." Door to door sales are big because only the largest cities have stores, most of the Nation lives in rural communities, and distribution is difficult. From a one-man fiber suitcase filled with unique custom-made brushes, the company has expanded to a wide selection of home/business and personal care products. Fuller Brush is an early direct marketing company, and will become World famous with others such as Amway, Avon, Mary Kay, and Tupperware by popularizing multilevel marketing [MLM].
1907: Oklahoma becomes the 46th state. The first comic strip called Mr. Mutt, later Mutt and Jeff, by Bud Fisher appears in San Francisco. However, comic books have been available since at least 1896. Ninety years after Mr. Mutt, in 1997, hundreds of comics will be available on the InterNet. The Government starts numbering Presidential Orders, beginning with documents issued in 1862 [see 1948 and 1950]. The Panic of 1907 starts with the failure of the United Copper Company. When many depositors start withdrawing funds from the Knickerbocker Trust Company (associated with the Copper Company), the bank closes its doors, initiating a full financial panic. This event serves as the basis for the Federal Reserve System, and the "Challenge of Central Banking" continue into the late 1990s. Plastic is invented by Leo Baekeland. "For centuries, ivory had been the standard for everything from knife handles to billiard balls. In the 1880s, a dwindling supply of tusks and a billiard boom conjoined to create a crisis." Fortunately, Leo "hit upon the right combo of phenols and formaldehyde....Bakelite" (Life, Fall, 1997).
1908: The FBI is created by "Attorney General Bonaparte who applied a Progressive philosophy to the Department of Justice by creating a corps of Special Agents. It had neither a name nor an officially designated leader other than the Attorney General. Yet, these former detectives and Secret Service men were the forerunners of the FBI." Between now and 1995, 44 agents will die fighting corruption, terrorism, organized crime, espionage, and other crimes. The organization will gain fame during the `30s tracking and arresting gangsters. It will gain notoriety during the early 90s for mistakes in Idaho and Texas. Henry Ford produces the first Model-T car. His ingenuity and mass production skills are well known; however, it was the Duryea brothers who built the first "car" or horseless carriage in September of 1893. It had no brakes, no steering wheel, and the transmission belt kept slipping, but it ran an estimated eight miles an hour. (Clancy, 1994). Nevertheless, the automobile will bring extraordinary change to the U.S. and the World. It will cause or pave the way for unprecedented advances or changes in vacations, tourism, suburbs, highways, marketing, product distribution, etc. President Roosevelt, demonstrating insight and wisdom, says, "We should exercise foresight in conserving and wisely using the property which contains the assurance of well-being for us and our children." Julia Ward Howe, the author of the "Battle Hymn of the Republic," is elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. The song, "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" is written by Albert Von Tilzer and Jack Norworth, well known Tin Pan Alley musicians. Albert wrote the music and had never been to a baseball game.
1909: On February 22nd, in the last few days of President Theodore Roosevelt's term of office, the Great White Fleet of 16 battleships returns after two years of visits to South America, Australia, and Japan. Many nations start to recognize the importance of the United States in World affairs. President Taft (1857-1930), our 27th President, never wanted to be President. Instead his fondest ambition is a seat on the Supreme Court. Consequently, he is not as effective as he should be, and thus will be defeated in his bid for re-election in 1912. Eventually (1921) he will become Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. New York City residents view their newest skycraper, the 700-foot-tall Metropolitan Life Insurance Tower. "This 50-story tower is a copy on a grand scale of a European work, the Campanile in the Piazza San Marco in Venice, which collapsed in 1902. Pundits and wags thought they saw a parallel between the Campanile's fall and the much larger Tower's rise; between the two events, Met Life president John Hegeman had been indicted for unethical business practices, but was cleared of all charges." [source]. On June 1st, Harvard educated W. E. B. Du Bois, Oswald Garrison Villard, and liberal whites establish the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People to promote economic and intellectual equal opportunity for blacks. The group directly opposes Booker T. Washington's policy of restraint. Movie stars are born when film makers produce the first close-up shots of actors. The Biograph girl, unnamed at first, was known by a huge audience, and when Biograph Studios issued a statement that Florence Lawrence had not been killed in a streetcar accident (the first movie publicity stunt because no one had suggested that she had), she achieved stardom. Both Florence and Mary Pickford perform in this year's film Two Memories (American Biograph, Directed by D.W. Griffith), yet it is Mary who will achieve enduring fame.
1910: William Boyce borrows an idea from the English Boy Scouts, and charters the Boy Scouts of America on February 6th. On June 25th, Congress passes the Mann Act which prohibits the import of girls to work in houses of ill-repute (or bordellos). It also prohibits taking women across state lines for immoral reasons. The issues both before and after the Mann Act are compelling. The pending return of Halley's comet causes thousands to believe that the world is coming to an end. Comet pills are sold to protect the users, and some miners refuse to enter the mines on May 18th, the predicted date. Many workers stay home "to be with their families while others hid in tornado cellars or caves....Chicago, not to mention Paris, Bermuda, Johannesburg, and much of the rest of the world, was worried. In fact, reported The Times, Chicago was terrified. Especially, one is forced to conclude, the women." Daily reports from this time, reprinted in The New York Times Guide to the Return of Halley's Comet (1985), are worth reading. The comet will not reappear again until 1985-6. Its return, however, will be a minor event relative to the 1997 comet Hale-Bopp, independently discovered by two amateur astronomers which will be called the "Comet of the Century." Bayer aspirin is practically a house hold name, and physicians worldwide prescribe it for a wide range of human ailments such as fever, gonorrhea, gout, inflammation, pleurisy, tonsillitis, and tuberculosis. Bayer is a German company, and in 1897 one of their chemists, Felix Hoffmann, was searching for pain relief for his father who suffered from rheumatism. The rest is history. Bayer aspirin debuted in 1899, and in 1900 became the first major drug marketed as a convenience tablet. By 1997, approximately 25 million tablets will be consumed in the U.S. each year. Joyce C. Hall's hobby is picture postcards, and he transforms it into a greeting card business. By 1998, Hallmark will have grown into a $3 billion corporation, and become "the undisputed leader of its industry," having its headquarters in Kansas City, Mo. It will publish greeting cards in more than 30 languages and distribute them in more than 100 countries [Source].
1911: Marie Curie becomes the only woman to win two Nobel Prizes; the first in 1903 for physics, and the second this year for chemistry. Andrew Carnegie establishes the Carnegie Corporation of New York with $125 million "to promote the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding." It is the first prominent foundation for scholarly and charitable works. During fiscal year 1996, the Corporation will make 343 grants and appropriations totaling approximately $59 million. In a wider view of 1996, 40,000 philanthropic foundations will contribute $11 billion to the arts and other projects ranging from support for school vouchers to environmental issues. After four years, President Roosevelt (now deceased) prevails and on May 5th the Supreme Court orders Standard Oil Company dissolved, under the 1890 Antitrust Act, because it controls about 85% of the domestic oil. Oil is one of the indispensable sagas of the Twentieth Century, and the public TV video called "The Prize" must be viewed for a basic understanding its role in this American epic. The Mona Lisa is removed from the Louvre by an Italian who believed that it belonged back home. Less than eight years after the Wright Brothers famous flight at Kitty Hawk, Cal Rodgers becomes "the first pilot to fly coast-to-coast. On September 17th Rodgers started from Sheepshead Bay, New York in a competition to win a $50,000 prize offered by William Randolph Hearst to anyone who could fly coast-to-coast in 30 days or less. No one won the prize but Rodgers was the only pilot to complete the flight which lasted 49 days and ended at Pasadena at 4:08 p.m. on November 5, 1911." The distance, as the crow flies, is 2447 miles (3938 km), with an initial bearing of 274. Frederick W. Taylor, the Father of Scientific Management, publishes The Principles of Scientific Management. So bold are his ideas about how to manage workers that he is invited by Congress to discuss them. Later, in 1924, Ida Tarbell will state that, "No man in the history of American industry has made a larger contribution to genuine cooperation and juster human relations than did Frederick Winslow Taylor by his Principles of Scientific Management. He is one of the few - very few - creative geniuses of our times." (Saturday Review of Literature, October 25, 1924).
1912: New Mexico is granted statehood on January 6, 1912. On August 22, 1911, President Taft vetoed statehood for Arizona because it permited the recall of judges. Subsequently, Arizona is granted statehood this year on February 14, after it quietly lifts that provision. However, later it will re-adopt the recall of judges. On April 14-15 the British ship Titanic sinks and 1,513 people drown. However, it is the wireless telegraph that manages to save hundreds of lives. This event is important because the Titanic was billed as unsinkable. Jim Thorpe, arguably America's greatest athlete, wins both the pentathlon and decathlon in the Olympics Games at Stockholm. Hitler, who attended, is notably disturbed. Thorpe's medals will be taken back after the discovery of his playing semiprofessional baseball in 1909. Not until January 18, 1983, fifty years after his death, were those medals restored to his daughter. Casimar Funk learns that by giving rice hulls to sick pigeons he can cure them from the disease Beriberi. He calls the unknown ingredient "vitamine." A few years later the Wisconsin nutritionist Elmer McCullum identifies and names those ingredients as Vitamin A and Vitamin B. China sends some cherry trees to Washington, D.C. as a goodwill gesture. Eventually, each Spring, they will become a predominate tourist attraction. Carl Laemmle establishes Universal Studios movie company, and Paramount Pictures initiates the star system of producing movies. Eventually all of the major movie studios (MGM, Paramount, United Artists, Universal, and Warner Brothers) will use the same system wherein 10-20 "names," (famous actors and actresses) work under tight contract and become studio "property." Later, during America's 1930s depression, economic suffering would reach world wide, but not in Hollywood where everyone worked and each studio cranked out approximately 52 films a year, using 8 three-hour shifts. Some people will later report that they worked 50 years without a day off. The most important year for film quality during the star system will be 1939 when more excellent movies are made than any other year. The first successful parachute jump occurs nine years after the first successful flight. Former President Theodore Roosevelt is shot point-blank in Milwaukee on his way to make a speech. The bullet, however, passes through a folded hour-long speech and his eye glass case, saving his life. Virginia Park, 13 1/2 years old, records her "Great Train Ride."
1913: President Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924), our 28th President's nickname is "The Professor." His earliest memory, as a very young boy in Georgia, is hearing that Lincoln won the Presidency, and so there will be a war between the states. Although he works to establish a Federal Reserve and to improve conditions for workers, the Nation is not ready for his vision about a League of Nations for the prevention of future wars. The 17th Amendment provides for the popular election of Senators. Previously, they were chosen by the state legislatures, and were unresponsive to the people. Originally, the Apollo Theater, in Harlem, provided burlesque shows for white audiences only. The Post Office establishes Parcel Post package delivery. That will pave the way for the catalog sales industry that will thrive throughout this century. The first movie cowboy hero is Gilbert M. "Broncho Billy" Anderson who built his own movie company together with George K. Spoor. Broncho Billy's 1913 movie, The Making of Broncho Billy, is a silent film. Eventually, he would direct and star in more than one hundred one and two reel films. The Met Life Tower in New York City is replaced as World's Tallest Building by the elegant 792-foot-tall Woolworth Building at 233 Broadway. This Gothic-style, 60-story "skyscraper resembles a medieval cathedral stretched heavenward." Woolworth is setting retail trends and for much of this century will become a household word. But in 1997 they will close the doors of all of its stores due to an inability to face competition from Target and Wal-Mart discount stores. The first crossword puzzle in an American newspaper appears in the New York Sunday World on December 21st. Trees, the famous poem by Joyce Kilmer, is written and published in Poetry magazine. It begins, "I think that I shall never see, A poem lovely as a tree." The Department of Labor is formed on March 4, by President William Howard Taft, just hours before Woodrow Wilson takes office. "A Federal Department was the direct product of a half-century campaign by organized labor for a "Voice in the Cabinet." Also, the Department was an indirect product of the Progressive Movement of the early 1900s which promoted the achievement of better working conditions, conservation of natural resources and a host of other goals through both private and government action. In the words of the organic act establishing the Department of Labor, its main purpose is "to foster, promote and develop the welfare of working people, to improve their working conditions, and to enhance their opportunities for profitable employment.""
1914: The first feature-length comedy movie is Tillie's Punctured Romance, staring Charlie Chaplin (Seymore, 1994). Carl Wickman, an immigrant from Sweden, starts the company that will become Greyhound Lines, "when he began transporting miners between the villages of Hibbing and Alice, Minnesota, for 15 cents one-way or 25 cents round-trip on his seven-seat Hupmobile." By 1921 the first true intercity bus routes will be established, and in 1930 the company will officially be called the Greyhound Corporation, and will display a running dog for its trademark [see 1995]. In January, the Ford Motor Company Board of Directors makes a press announcement that hereafter the work day will consist of 8 hours, that the factory will convert to three daily shifts instead of two, and that pay will increase to $5.00 an hour. These events, shared World wide, cause strong discontent among Ford's fellow capitalists, but Ford's vision is much wider. He institutes profit sharing (guaranteeing a stable labor force) and schools for immigrants. These schools do not just teach English, they teach the American way of life to thousands of immigrants. Curtis (1987) argues persuasively that Berry Gordy will use that school model in 1959 when he designs his own school for Motown performers.
1915: Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) publishes a little known paper titled, "The Unconscious." That paper together with his seminal 1900 book, The Interpretation of Dreams signals a momentous shift in the way we think about ourselves. Henceforth at least some of our behavior is understood as unconscious or not under our direct control, and consequently both the concept of neurosis and psychoanalysis will become dominant forces this century in the treatment of abnormal human behavior. By the late 1980s, diverse examples of false and repressed memory will contribute to numerous divided communities, court cases, and controversy (e.g., Loftus, 1997). Moreover, it has been suggested that Freud spawned the "self-absorption" movement, and there is little doubt that many if not most self-help books and popular magazines in the second half of this century reflect that theme. Downs (1983) will identify Freud's Interpretation of Dreams as one of 27 Books That Changed The World. Combining the Revenue Cutter Service (1790) with the Life Saving Service, Congress establishes the U.S. Coast Guard on January 28th, and places it under the Treasury Department, except for times of war. In 1939 it will absorb the Lighthouse Service. Taxicabs, with drivers called "hackers" in the east and "cabbies" in the midwest become popular when car owners discover that people are willing to pay a nickel (a jitney) for a short ride. These short rides serve as the foundation for the future intercity bus routes, such as Greyhound and Trailways. The U.S. Marines land in Haiti on July 29th, one week after the assassination of their president. Booker T. Washington, the most influential black American in the world at this time, dies on November 14th. He was born a slave in 1856, acquired his own education, and organized Tuskegee Institute, a prominent school for blacks. On December 10th, the one millionth Model T car rolls off Ford's production line. The popular Touring model costs $440 which is almost half of what it cost in 1909. By 1997, that same car, restored of course, will cost more than $18,000. The very popular poet Robert Frost writes The Road Not Taken." It ends, "Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference." Thomas Edison, one of America's great inventors, influences three major events this year---the phone, the phonograph, and the Navy. First, on March 10, 1876 Edison invented the phone, and his first words were "Come here, I want you." This year, the first trans-continental phone call, between New York and San Francisco, occurs on January 25th between Alexander Graham Bell and Dr. Thomas A. Watson. Second, Edison invented a hand-cranked phonograph that recorded sound on grooved metal cylinders in 1877. He shouted verses of "Mary Had a Little Lamb" into the machine, which played back his voice. It was the first recording of a human voice, and the first phonograph. By 1903 opera recordings were sold; but it took another decade to produce an orchestra recording. This year the Victor Talking Machine Company creates a phonograph called the Victrola, a name that soon becomes generic and known throughout the World. (By 1919 there will be "nearly 200 phonograph manufacturers in the U.S. Throughout the 1910s demand for phonographs and records actually exceeded supply. Many new companies entered this lucrative field as basic phonograph patents held by Victor, Columbia, and Edison were expiring" [Source]). Third, this year Edison suggests that the U.S. create a Naval Research Lab. (see 1920).
1916: Visionary President Wilson establishes the National Park Service. At this time there are 14 National parks, 21 monuments, and one reserve. By 1994, there will be 51 National Parks, 102 Monuments and Memorials, 108 historic sites and historic parks, 24 National battlefields and military parks, 18 recreational areas, 14 National seashores and lake shores, etc. Eighty million acres would seem sufficient; however, 75 years after its establishment, the Nations Parks are under a "visitor siege." For example, Yosemite Valley has 4,600 parking spaces for many times that number of daily visitors. Adolph Weinman, a German immigrant, designs two U.S. coins that will become exceptionally popular, the Liberty Walking half dollar, and the Mercury dime. The Mercury dime is 17.9 mm in diameter, weighs 2.5 grams, and contains 90 percent silver and 10 percent copper. It will be issued until 1945, but will become part of the silver meltdown during 1979-80. The first "supermarket," called Piggly Wiggly opens in Memphis, and astounds customers with its open aisles and customer baskets. Race movies mature. Movies by blacks about blacks began in 1910 in Chicago and were exceptionally popular, but were slap stick or comedic. This year Lincoln Pictures produces the first serious dramatic race movie called The Realization of a Negro's Ambition, and it becomes a box office hit in the major northern cities. In a way it is a reaction to Birth of a Nation, a 3-hour, fifteen reel 1915 film that was hailed by President Wilson and white Americans, yet despised by almost all blacks for its sanctioning of the KKK and its stereotype after stereotype. "Based on the novel The Clansman by Thomas Dixon, the Civil War Reconstruction epic, known as The Birth of a Nation (1915) became a landmark in American filmmaking, both for its artistic merits and for its unprecedented use of such innovative techniques as flashbacks, fade-outs, and close-ups. The film was harshly condemned, however, for its racial bias and glorification of the Ku Klux Klan; several subsequent lynchings were blamed on the film. In response to this criticism, Griffith made what many consider his finest film, Intolerance (1916) in which the evils of intolerance were depicted in four parallel stories--a framework that required a scope of vision and production never before approached." Norman Rockwell (1894-1978) creates his first of 322 covers for the Saturday Evening Post on the May 20th edition. The Post is an illustrated weekly that sells for 5 cents. Rockwell's covers will become famous for his depictions of typical American life. This cover called the "The Baby Carriage" shows a neatly dressed frowning boy pushing a baby carriage while two other boys in baseball uniforms gloat. It is in black and red, the two colors typically used for duotone. The common use of full color and photographs is still years away. Rockwell is different than other illustrators in that, for example, he uses real boys as models, and his artistic renderings are anatomically correct (he studied human anatomy such as face muscles and motions) [Image source]. The Post, founded by Benjamin Franklin, traces its history back to 1728, and will cease publication in 1969 after 147 years. Nineteen months later it will reopen with a new owner in another city, Indianapolis, Indiana.
1917: President Woodrow Wilson calls for war against Germany on April 15th in one of the most famous speeches of this Century. In it he states, "The world must be made safe for democracy." He also states that, "we have no quarrel with the German people....We fight without rancor and without selfish object." (Garraty, 1991). Denmark sells the Virgin Islands for $25 million. Joseph Pulitzer, an immigrant, owned and published the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and later the New York World. Later, in 1912 he founded the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University. This year, on June 4th, the first Pulitzer Prizes are awarded in the areas of biography, history, and journalism. Next year, the first award for Public Service will be made to the New York Times for their reports about the war in Europe, and a glance at the yearly Pulitzer Public Service Award will identify many of the perennial issues found in this Timeline. By 1997, a 19-member board will make 14 awards in Journalism and 7 awards in Letters, Drama, and Music. George M. Cohan's patriotic war song "Over There" is sung for the first time in New York where the crowd exhibits strong excitement. Later he will receive the Congressional Medal of Honor for writing it. On December 12th, Father Flanagan opens the door of a modest house in Omaha, Nebraska for about a half-dozen boys, and Boys Town begins a long useful journey. It is a residential facility for boys, and will develop a "long history of offering help, hope and healing to abused, abandoned, neglected, handicapped or otherwise troubled children. In fact, our mission is to change the way America cares for her at-risk children." The 1938 MGM movie Boys Town starring Mickey Rooney and Spencer Tracy will bring them National attention. Their slogan, "He ain't heavy, Father ... he's m' brother" will become equally famous. Boys Town will produce "doctors, lawyers, judges, state senators, military leaders, professional football players and founders and owners of major businesses around the country." Walter Scott retires as the creator of the first roadside diner. He started in 1872 roving about Providence, Rhode Island in a small horse-drawn cart selling homemade food and hot drinks to workers late at night when nothing else was open. Walter's diner was a covered freight wagon. Later, diners will become stationary with stools inside. (Offitzer, K. Diners, 1997. NY: Todtri).
1918: Many consider World War I (WW I) to be the bloodiest war in history. According to Guinness, an estimated 54.8 million people lose their lives in WW I, and Poland suffers most, losing 6 million or 17.2 percent of its people. Although the U.S. entered the war quite late, we lose 116,000 killed in action, 200,000 wounded, and 106,000 psychiatric casualties (Naval Institute Proceedings, November, 1994). Overall, 4.7 million men and women contributed in some way and 2 million of them reached France. It is impossible to record casualties accurately, especially when civilians are included. Another set of statistics is provided here, with pictures that should remind us once again about the appalling cost of war. WW I marks a transition in warfare for two reasons. First, unlike most previous wars that consisted of aggression between two or three nations, this war is worldwide. Second, unlike all previous wars (from the powerful Assyrians in 700 BC until now) that used horses, mules, and carts pulled by them, this war also uses motor driven vehicles, including motorcycles (Thompson, J., The Lifeblood of War, 1991). Outbreaks of the influenza virus occur about every two years and have been recorded since the 1500s, yet the flu eruption during this bitter winter causes the most harm. This letter provides a rare medical description. Some people wear masks to protect themselves, and even risk fines or jail for not doing so, but to no avail. An estimated 21 million people worldwide die, with 600,000 deaths in the U.S alone. Interestingly, this influenza virus will kill more Americans in three months than World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and Vietnam combined, but no one discusses it, and most know nothing about it, even in the following decades [see 1945]. Less serious pandemics will occur in 1957, 1968, and 1977. On November 21st, the President passes the Wartime Prohibition Act, which bans the making or sale of liquor except for export, and until demobilization. The Marine Corps prints its Hymn for the first time; the first stanza is printed first in The Quantico Leatherneck, and then later the entire song. William Strunk (1869-1946) publishes a small volume called The Elements of Style. Later he will be joined by co-author E.B. White, and this book will be revised several times. It will have a profound influence on all future academic generations, and serve as a required text in almost all college introductory English courses, among others. The value in The Elements is clear and concise writing. Executives from 12 fund-raising federations meet in Chicago and form the American Association for Community Organizations (AACO), the first National center for local charity organizations. Later they will use the name Community Chests, numbering 39 in 1919 and 353 in 1929. These local organizations reflect the widespread American spirit of giving to the less fortunate. Later they will form the United Way of America, and in 1974 raise $1 million for the first time. In 1981, the United Ways will raise "$1.68 billion, a 10 percent increase over the previous year" [Source], but in 1992 the United Way of America will be rocked by a scandal. The 1996-97 United Way Campaigns will raise a record $3.25 Billion.
1919: The Prohibition Amendment (18th) prohibits the transportation and sale of alcoholic beverages. It is the first amendment to have a ratification time limit (7 years), and it will become the only one to be repealed. The Volstead Act was passed by Congress ten months later (October 28th) over the President's veto, and defined intoxicating liquor as containing at least one half of one percent alcohol. F.W. Woolworth dies. His very successful five and dime chain has 1,081 stores and sales of $119 million. He built his first successful store in 1879 at Lancaster, PA where everything was priced at either a nickel or a dime. It was a six-story building with ornate stone work, two minarets, and a splendid garden on the roof. For close to half a century after Woolworth's death the chain excels, but then falters for several reasons. From 1992 until 1997, the company will go from 1,465 general merchandise stores to 400, and in 1997 will close all of its remaining 400 stores [see 1913]. Cher Ami is an American carrier pigeon, "one of 600 birds owned and flown by the U.S. Army Signal Corps" which is carrying messages during the World War I in Europe. Today we take telephones and satellite communications for granted, but communication has always been critical, and the carrier pigeon has been used for centuries. The magazine True Story makes it debut by Bernarr Macfadden (1868-1955), the father of physical culture. True Story is the original confession magazine, and is based on the popularity of articles such as, "I taught my wife to drink," that were published in his earlier Physical Culture magazine. The first issue cover stories included, "A Wife Who Awoke in Time," "An Ex-Convict's Climb to Millions," and "How I learned to Hate My Parents." He sells it for 20 cents, twice the going rate for magazines, and it is successful. The secret of success consists of, "first-person accounts, written in an untutored but clear style, of sin and redemption. The sin, usually carnal, was described in some detail; but the actual consummation nearly always seemed to take place between paragraphs, and it was invariably dressed up in a moral lesson (American Heritage, December, 1981). He then started its own competition, True Romances, and True Experiences, yet others would eventually release similar publications using every possible combination of the words, true, confessions, love, romance, and story. In 1941 the stockholders will force him to resign as President, yet by 1981 Macfadden Publications will sell 2.5 million such magazines a year. Confessions date back to at least Saint Augustine in 397 A.D., and combined with the public's seemingly insatiable curiosity [see 1903, 1933, 1956, 1967, and 1986 ], symbolize a perennial and powerful cultural force.
1920: This is the first year that the US urban population exceeds the rural population We now are a Nation of cities. Ratification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution (Woman's suffrage and their right to vote) represents the culmination of one of the oldest and most furiously fought social battles of all times. And no person will be given more credit than Susan B. Anthony, who will be honored by being placed on the 1979 and 1980 U.S. dollar coin. Nevertheless, relatively few women will actually vote in pending elections. The U.S. Senate votes against joining the newly formed League of Nations. On April 15th, a Braintree, MA manufacturer paymaster and a guard are attacked and killed by two men who steal the weekly payroll of $15,000. Later, a jury for the Sacco-Vanzetti case finds the defendants guilty of first degree murder in a quite ordinary trial. However, this trial will be called, "the most celebrated case in American judicial history (Busch, 1992). The reason for the fame, and one which will repeat itself, is because the defendants are radicals, and likely anarchists, and many believe that they were tried and convicted solely for that reason. After their execution, popular and distinguished people such as Edna St. Vincent Millay and John Dos Passos will be arrested during a protest. On the other hand, this case is unprecedented in the extremity, legal and otherwise, in support for the defendants. Ambassadors or consulates in France, Switzerland, England, Uruguay, Buenos Aires, Mexico, etc. were either threatened or terrorized, in addition to protests and riots in Lisbon, Rotterdam, Brussels, Stockholm, Sofia, Prague, Athens, Morocco, Sydney, and Lima. Even President Coolidge was threatened, and the judge's home was bombed and destroyed. However, theNew York Times stated that, "Human law can do no more," and the Philadelphia Inquirer was more specific, "No men, convicted by due process, ever had greater consideration." From Busch's account, apparently accurate, this case appears to represent an ignoble and too common example of human passion over reason. Houdini, the World famous magician exposes "psychic fraud, including slate writing, spirit photographs, "finger printing a spirit," and trumpet mediums." His greatest challenge is a medium known as Margery, and his most important legacy, too often unrecognized is a healthy skepticism about the supernatural. "On Election Day, Pittsburgh radio station KDKA and Detroit's WWJ broadcast results of the presidential race between Warren Harding and James Cox, ushering in the age of electronic media in national politics." By the 1930s, Franklin Roosevelt will be "addressing the Nation weekly by radio, inviting the country to the White House for fireside chats with the president. Roosevelt's voice, projected into the living rooms of America, narrowed the gap between the president and his constituency, helping him expand his electoral base and win more presidential campaigns than any candidate in American history." Based on Edison's 1915 suggestion, the Navy builds a modern research laboratory that will pioneer work in radio and sound technology. Progressive Education advances when Helen Parkhurst (1887-1973) starts Dalton School. She states that "there is no such thing as a subject on the Dalton Plan. With us it is living on the Dalton Plan." In 1922, she will put forth her educational philosophy in Education on the Dalton Plan." An "agricultural education instructor from Blacksburg, Va., organizes the Future Farmers of Virginia for boys in agriculture classes." Soon similar groups will form across the Nation, and in 1928 during "the National Livestock Judging Contests, 33 students from 18 states establish the Future Farmers of America to provide leadership training for farm boys. During this first annual convention, Leslie Applegate of Freehold, N.J., is elected president and dues are set at 10 cents annually. The convention is still held in Kansas City today." Girls will be admitted in 1969.
1921: President William G. Harding (1865-1923), our 29th President, promised voters a "return to normalcy" last year in reaction to President Wilson's idealism. He was politically neutral during the campaign about the League of Nations, but shortly after being elected announces that he will not support joining that organization. His administration will be responsible for scandals (Teapot Dome and the Veteran's Bureau) at the Presidential level unparalleled since the Whiskey Ring in 1875, and until President Nixon's Watergate scandal in 1971. President Harding is unfit for the position he holds, and he knows it. "`I am not fit for this office,' he once told a White House visitor, `and should never have been here.'" He will die in office during a train trip to "assure the American people that he was an honest man." However, more than 700 academics and historians will rate him as the worst President in the history of the U.S. (Ridings & McIver, 1997). KDKA in Pittsburgh provides first regular radio broadcast. Shortly thereafter, in what has been described as the "Battle of the Century" Julius Hopp persuades KDKA and WJZ to broadcast for the first time the World Heavyweight Championship bout "pitting American Jack Dempsey, the champion, against France's Georges Carpentier, on July 2, 1921." Dempsey wins in the fourth round. At this time only amature radio operators and theaters have radios (receivers), so the estimated radio audience is perhaps 35,000 people. Later, WJZ in Newark, New Jersey carries the first World Series broadcast on October 5th. On September 8th, [or 14th] the first Miss America, 16 year old Margaret Gorman from Washington, D.C., is crowned in Atlantic City, NJ. She is the "daughter of the executive clerk to the Secretary of Agriculture at Washington....The judges declared her to be one of the most beautiful girls in America. They presented her with the $1500 trophy, the chief prize of the Pageant, a golden mermaid." Apparently, this first pageant is "a comparatively modest affair. A promotional gimmick devised to keep tourists in Atlantic City after Labor Day, the customary end of the seaside resort's summer season, the original Miss America competition had only eight sponsoring newspapers and a corresponding number of contestants." [Source]. "Swimsuits have been a part of the Miss America pageant since the first [when it was called the] "bathers review"....women paraded on the beach between the Garden and Steel piers. Almost everyone involved in the competition -- the mayor, pageant band and even city policemen -- donned bathing suits." Margaret will die in 1995 at the age of 90, bored by it all, as indicated in her last interview in 1980, "I never cared to be Miss America. It wasn't my idea. I am so bored by it all. I really want to forget the whole thing." On November 5th, President Harding declares that November 11th will be a National holiday called Armistice Day to honor the military who fought in WW I. It is generally known that on November 11, 1918 a treaty with Germany was signed; what is not generally known is that the clerk who typed the treaty at 5 p.m. inadvertently put the carbon paper in the typewriter backwards, and that shortly thereafter the most powerful military leaders in the World sign blank pages. "The World War One Unknown [soldier] was transported to the United States aboard the U.S.S. Olympia, a cruiser which was the flag ship of Admiral Dewey during the Battle of Manila Bay. The U.S.S Olympia's own flag ship was the destroyer U.S.S Reuban James, which was the first ship sunk in World War II. The World War One Unknown arrived in Washington D.C. on the 9th of November 1921 and the interment of the Unknown took place on the 11th of November 1921" Thomas Hunt Morgan puts forth the chromosome theory of heredity. White Castle hamburgers are born when a fry cook and a real estate developer borrow $700 to go into the "hamburger-stand business." They call their five-seat, cinder-block diner "White Castle," and sell square burgers called slyders (steamed flatten meat in a bed of water and onions that is slid onto a heated bun to retain the juices) for a nickle. By 1930 there will be 300 White Castles, and in 1961 it will be the number one burger chain [Source ]. But soon McDonalds (Ray Kroc will open his first McDonald's in Des Plaines, Illinois in April 1955), will take the lead in the hamburger fast food industry, and by April 1997, there will be more than 21,000 McDonalds' arches in over 100 countries. The Tulsa, Oklahoma race riot exemplifies both the worst side of human behavior, as well as the too typical attitude about race in many communities during this time.
1922: The U.S. Postal Service burns 500 copies of the book, Ulysses. Restricting speech and behavior is universal, only the boundaries of censorship are in question, and this topic will arise again with each new technology and shift in culture. In February, Readers Digest begins publication, of what founder, DeWitt Wallace, calls his "Little Magazine." By 1997, their 75th anniversary, they will publish 48 editions in 19 languages reaching 100 million readers around the world each month, and be on line as Reader's Digest Interactive. In September, "Cannonball" Baker sets "a new transcontinental speed record with a time of 6 days, 22 hours, and six minutes to cover the 3,332 miles (5,365km) from Los Angeles to New York" on an Ace motorcycle. Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922) dies. He was born in Scotland, educated in England, taught speech at Boston University, and demonstrated the first telephone, shown here, in 1876. "Bell lacked the electrical knowledge and expertise of other multiple telegraph inventors like Edison and Gray. But he did posses a unique area of expertise. He was a teacher of the deaf....Bell's interest in teaching the deaf kindled his interest in devices used to visualize sound." This invention, sending sound through electric wires, will affect every home and business during this century.
1923: During the Veteran's Bureau's scandal, President Harding asks a close friend to the Attorney General to leave Washington. Worse, Charles Forbes, head of the Veterans Bureau will be forced to resign, and his assistant will commit suicide. President Harding dies, most historians believe, from natural causes (Rubel, 1994). President Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933), our 30th President, learns that he is President while visiting his family in Vermont. This is the desk he uses to sign the Oath of Office. He is a strong supporter of commercial aviation, and business in general. He once said, "The chief business of America is business." President Coolidge will become popular enough, partly by cutting taxes, that he can refuse to run for a third term. "The National Woman's Party first proposes the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) to eliminate discrimination on the basis of gender." As of 1997, it has never been ratified. Freud publishes The Ego and the Id, the most formal presentation of his personality theory. It describes the three parts of his personality theory---the id, the ego, and the superego (Fine, 1973). The id represents our instincts---the source of all basic drives. When human life begins, there is only the id. Later, after they develop, the ego deals with reality, and the superego contains the rules and prohibitions that we use to live socially. It is poignantly intriguing to consider that, in 1993, a computer game company called id will release a 3-D game called "DOOM" wherein the primary focus is to destroy almost all of everything you meet before they destroy you. After releasing a series of free and commercial games, they will claim that more than 15 million copies have been distributed free (many to children), and that millions are able to link to their games over the InterNet. The traffic light is patented by Garrett Augustus Morgan (1877-1963) on November 20th. Earlier he "witnessed a traffic crash between an automobile and a horse-drawn carriage [and] was so distressed by this collision that he went home and immediately began work on his next invention" [Source].
1924: On April 26, newly formed MGM dedicates its studio in Culver City with all of the magnificence and ceremony that will mark much of later Hollywood. John Gilbert, Lon Chaney, and even Will Rodgers attend. At this time, Louis B. Mayer's assets (Samuel Goldwyn had left) are approximately $100,000. On June 12, the Newton Boys steal $3 million at Rondout, Illinois. Before that they had robbed more than 60 banks and 6 trains during fours years. Most significantly, they avoided hurting anyone, and even canceled a robbery when someone showed up unexpectedly at the last minute. (Stanush, 1994). The Teapot Dome scandal implicates the Mammoth Oil company, and results in the conviction of Albert B. Fall, the first Cabinet member (Secretary of the Interior) to go to jail. Ralph C. Smedley moves to Santa Ana, CA and founds Toastmasters. By 1994 it will have 170,000 members in 8,100 chapters in 51 countries. Women, who were excluded for the first 50 years, make up half of the membership. The Ford Motor company builds its 10 millionth car on June 15th, at a cost of $290 without a self-starter (the cost of a Model-T in 1909 was $950). J. Edgar Hoover is appointed as the FBI's (then Bureau of Investigation) director. During his long tenure he will become known for (a) fingerprint files. (b) compilations of Nation wide crime statistics, (c) the DNA laboratory, (d) the training academy in Quantico, Virginia, and (e) the National Crime Information Center (in 1967). There are 2.5 million radios in the U.S. The Loeb-Leopold legal trial captures the interest of the world. The last American whaler leaves port and is grounded on Cuttyhunk Island the next day [Source]. Whaling was critical in previous centuries because whale oil was used to create light after sunset (especially important in northern locations with shorter daylight hours), heating, lubrication, soap, paint, etc. Two technology changes saved the whales---first the switch to kerosene lamps (invented by Dr. Abraham Gesner, a Canadian geologist, in 1849, and second, electric lights . The mutual fund is invented by Massachusetts Investors Trust in Boston. "By year's end [it] had attracted 200 investors and $392,000. Today, its 222,120 shareholders own $4.5 billion of assets (as of June 30, 1997)" [Source]. Mutual funds are focused solely on the short term, and investors typically expect larger returns than is feasible. The long-term financial return from the stock market varies widely, but by 1997 will average close to 11 percent per year. Employees at Macy's Department store in New York City decide to celebrate the beginning of the holiday season with a parade. They march from 145th Street down to 34th Street dressed as clowns, cowboys, knights and sheiks. In 1997, more than four thousand Macy's employees will participate in the two and a half mile parade which will consists of "17 giant balloons, 18 novelty balloons, 21 floats, 6 toy floats, 7 falloons, 14 marching bands, 44 Clown units, and many stars from stage, screen, and television" (CNN report, November 27, 1997).
1925: New Yorker magazine is founded on February 21st. It contains 32 pages and sells for fifteen cents. After seven decades of esteemed publication, its 70th anniversary issue will be edited by Nina Brown, the fourth editor, who took over two years previously. It will be losing millions each year, advertising down, yet paid circulation rising. On August 8th, the Ku Klux Klan holds the largest Klan parade on record. Approximately 40,000 white-robed and hoodless Klansmen and Klanswomen march down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington. Edna Ferber publishes So Big, a Pulitzer Prize winning novel. The first TV is very crude and human figures are barely recognizable. "It was said that in the ancient universities the view of television, when it was first presented to the public, was that little good could come of an invention the name of which was half in Latin and half in Greek" (Nature, December 6, 1924; see also: Gratzer & Gould, 1997). Statistician R. A. Fisher solves the perennial problem of Induction. For centuries, philosophers and scientists have pursued a seemingly futile quest for making inductions (e.g., Swan 1 is white, Swan 2 is white, Swan 3 is white, therefore all swans are white), and this year Fisher publishes Statistical Methods for Research Workers which for the first time provides a rigorous methodology for making scientific inductions. Although British, within a few years, Fisher's statistical methods will be used and taught, more or less accurately, at every U.S. university. Unfortunately, as late as the 1970s and beyond too frequently it will be misunderstood and misapplied in practice. (Seymour, 1978).
1926: Route 66 is named this Summer, and is "a highway spawned by the demands of a rapidly changing America....Route 66 did not follow a traditionally linear course. Its diagonal course linked hundreds of predominately rural communities in Illinois, Missouri, and Kansas to Chicago; thus enabling farmers to transport grain and produce for redistribution. The diagonal configuration of Route 66 was particularly significant to the trucking industry, which by 1930 had come to rival the railroad for preeminence in the American shipping industry. The abbreviated route between Chicago and the Pacific coast traversed essentially flat prairie lands and enjoyed a more temperate climate than northern highways, which made it especially appealing to truckers....In his famous social commentary, The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck proclaimed U. S. Highway 66 the "Mother Road." Steinbeck's classic 1939 novel, combined with the 1940 film recreation of the epic odyssey, served to immortalize Route 66 in the American consciousness. An estimated 210,000 people migrated to California to escape the despair of the Dust Bowl." Cyrus Stevens Avery, the "Father of Route 66" and long-term resident of Tulsa, Oklahoma, was appointed as a consultant to the US Government to direct the development of this Nation's first highway system. He is credited with naming the road "66," and then toiling tirelessly to pave and promote it. Route 66 was to become an American icon which, after WW II, crossed 8 states and three time zones. One of its most famous landmarks, outside Armadillo, TX, remains the Cadillac Ranch. This is the mystery novel's "Golden Age," and one of its great influential authors is S. S. van Dine who publishes The Bensen Murder Case this year. Although the first fiction detective appeared in Edgar Allan Poe's 1841 story, The Murders in the Rue Morgue, and has been popular since then, the Golden Age is marked by maturity. The stories are more literate and believable, with an emphasis on character rather than some clever puzzle (Pearsall, J. Mystery & Crime: The New York Public Library Book of Answers, 1995).
1927: On May 20 Charles Lindbergh, age 25, is first to fly non-stop solo across the Atlantic Ocean from New York to Paris. The flight takes 33.5 hours, and he is received by 100,000 people. President Coolidge sends a Navy cruiser to bring him home, and an estimated 4 million people are on hand for his ticker-tape parade. Yet his life would take a dark turn on March 1, 1932 when his twenty-month-old son will be kidnapped from their New Jersey home. The Nation loves this couple and their child, and when the case goes to trial three years later, every newspaper and radio in the Country will cover this tragic event. Mount Rushmore, in South Dakota, is but a conception about a 500 foot sculpture of the busts of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt [see 1939]. On November 13th, the Holland Tunnel becomes the first underwater motor vehicle tunnel in the U.S. During the early 1920s Hollywood was rocked by scandal, including the, "murder of director William Desmond Taylor; the death of young starlet, Virginia Rappe, after a wild party in a hotel room occupied by star comedian Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle; and the death of matinee idol Wallace Reid, caused by heavy drinking and addiction to morphine." (Video Yesteryear, 1994). Consequently, Hollywood pressures its movie makers to produce both wholesome films and those cautioning the public about the profane lifestyle. Sometimes, a film, such as The Street of Forgotten Women (1927), would exploit that philosophy. On September 30th at Yankee Stadium, Babe Ruth hits his 60th home run of the season to set a World Record that will stand until long after his death. But perhaps more remarkably, he will average 50 home runs a year from 1926 through 1931 (Creamer, 1995). His statistics are, like the Babe himself, majestic. He will be "one of the first five elected to the Hall of Fame in 1936, receiving 95% of the vote (215 out of 226)." The movie King of Kings rises to the N.Y. Times Top 10 Film List and becomes an epic. It tells the story of Christ, but deviates in important ways from the biblical version. The Model A Ford is introduced as the successor to the Model T, and the price of a Model A roadster is $395. A unique form of advertising starts this year that targets people who are driving. Burma Shave starts putting simple signs along the Nation's roads and highways. The "signs were placed along the right side of the road spaced far enough apart for the traveler to read them with ease while driving at 50 mph. The series usually consisted of six signs in sequence with the last sign sporting the company logo....At their peak, some 35,000 signs dotted the nation but by 1963 when the Burma-Vita company sold out to Philip Morris, the decision was made to scrap the campaign. Cars were going too fast to read the signs and freeways were replacing the winding old interstate highways." A typical sequence of six signs from 1950 will be: "His cheek / Was rough / His chick vamoosed / And now she won't / Come home to roost / Burma-Shave." People look forward to each new sign and usually someone in the car reads them aloud [Source].
1928: Mickey and Minnie Mouse are created by Walt Disney on November 28th. Both appear in the first animated cartoon titled Steamboat Willie. Other sources report that the first cartoon was Plane Crazy, and that Steamboat Willie was the first sound cartoon. Alexander Fleming discovers penicillin. Doctors are making house calls; nevertheless many many people die from a great assortment of causes. Buck Rogers is introduced in the August issue of Amazing Stories by Philip Francis Nowlan, who, incidentally, coins the word "zap" to "simulate the sound emitted by a 'paralysis gun'" (Safire, 1988). TV (Station WGY) is created in Schenectady, New York on May 11th with a three inch screen by what is now called Channel 6. Later, that station will serve the city of Hudson during Leonard Eron's 1960 study which will find a correlation between TV violence and aggression among school aged children. It is the first such study to measure the effects of TV on children in real life. And TV will be criticized again [see 1961].
1929: President Herbert Clark Hoover (1874-1964) is our 31st President, and a self-made millionaire. His successful food operations that benefited starving people in Europe during the war, made him an ideal choice for this office, and during his campaign he promised, "We shall soon with the help of God be in sight of the day when poverty will be banished from this nation." For such reasons he is uncommonly popular---that is, until the Great Depression wears the Nation down. In a few years, during the depths of the Depression, no one will work harder than Hoover, sometimes 18 hours a day, but the task is too great. By 1932 shantytowns will be called "Hoovervilles," and the newspapers that people use for blankets will be called "Hoover blankets." On September 3rd, the stock market reaches its highest level ever. However, on October 29, also called Black Tuesday, a record 16,410,030 shares are traded, and on December 1, the market loses $26 billion. The stock market crash "was astonishing---a sum approaching the national cost of fighting World War I" (Chiles, J. "Bang went the doors of every bank in America. Smithsonian, April, 1997). Yet, this stock market "crash" and the subsequent "Great Depression" do not look serious at first to the average citizen who holds no stocks and who sees the trains run on time and the friendly milkman delivering milk and eggs each day. The first serious signs of the Depression are the bank closings, the property foreclosures, and the loss of work. By 1932 one-fourth of American workers will lose their jobs, and in places like the steeltown of Donora, PA (population, 14,000), only 277 people will have jobs. "Sawmill workers were making 5 cents an hour and were lucky to get it," a sharp contrast to the $5 an hour wages Ford started paying his workers in 1914. The Depression will not turn around until a new President takes office in 1932, and then after he closes all of the Nation's 18,000 banks for a few days. Crime is rampant in many large cities. Between 1920 and 1927, about 250 persons were murdered in gang warfare. Yet, the most notorious occurrs this year on February 14th when five members of Al Capone's gang ambush and murder seven members of a rival gang in Chicago using machine guns. Capone has been collecting $100 million per year in bootlegging (during prohibition 1920-1933), gambling, and prostitution. But, after the public outrage to the massacre, he is convicted of income tax evasion and sent to Alcatraze prison. Astronomer Edwin Hubble discovers that the universe is expanding, leading to the Big Bang hypothesis and an enduring controversy about the age of the universe. Philadelphia physicians (Arthur Light and Edward Torrance) study the physiological correlates of morphine addiction withdrawal. The topic will be just as controversial in the late 1990s. Wyatt Earp (1848-1929) dies in Los Angeles, and Tom Mix, a pall bearer, cries. Earp is America's most famous frontiersman and law enforcement officer. He was born in his aunt's home on March 19th in Monmouth, Illinois, and in 1876 became chief deputy marshal of Dodge City, Kansas when it was part of the untamed west. In 1879 he moved to Tombstone, Arizona where he, three of his brothers, and Doc Holliday, engaged in the famous O.K. Corral gunfight (1881) killing several suspected cattle rustlers. On September 6, 1955, The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp will become the first adult western on TV, beating "Gunsmoke" by four days.
1930: On March 13th, the planet Pluto is identified in a photograph at Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona. Mathematical astronomers are pleased because they had earlier predicted its existence. On June 17th, President Hoover signs the Hawley-Smoot Tariff Act which supports public sentiment about increasing duty taxes on imports. Economists, however, are against it stating that it will lead other countries to do likewise. Sixty-four years later, Treasury Secretary Benson will state on TV that this Act contributed substantially to the severe economic Depression at that time. The travel trailer is born in Detriot, Michigan. Bacteriologist, Arthur G. Sherman's "idea for a travel trailer grew out of an unsatisfactory experience with a tent trailer during a family camping trip in 1926. Sherman resolved to design a better camper for his family, and his children dubbed it "the covered wagon" after prairie wagons of old." His prototype is demonstrated at a car show this year to "enthusiastic reception....[and by] the spring of 1936, production was running at the level of 1,000 units per month." Prices for Covered Wagon travel trailers will range from $395 to more than $1,200 for the Deluxe models [Source]. Later this century they will be called RVs (recreation vehicles), and their production rates will be relatively constant across the decades.
1931: Francis Scott Key's song becomes the National Anthem when signed into law by President Hoover on March 3rd. This is how the U.S. Flag looked to Key as he wrote it while a prisoner during the War in 1812 aboard a British ship, although not necessarily during a battle as tradition indicates. The Empire State building is dedicated on May 1st, and will remain the World's largest building until the 1970s. Thomas Alva Edison dies October 18 at age eighty-four. During his life he would patent 1,093 inventions, including the first practical incandescent electric lamp (1879) and his system to make electricity and distribute it to many places at the same time, and the earliest surviving copyrighted motion picture. It was of a sneeze. The George Washington Bridge is completed at a cost of $59 million, and is opened to traffic on October 25th. It crosses the Hudson River between New Jersey and New York, and represents a marvel of construction at this time. It was designed by Othmar H. Ammann who is the Port Authority's Chief Engineer. "Ground was broken for the original six-lane bridge in October 1927" [Source].
1932: Hattie W. Caraway is appointed Senator from Arkansas to fill her husband's seat when he dies. Later she becomes the first woman elected to the Senate. This event signals a significant change for society which has come a long way from ex-President Grover Cleveland's comment on April 18, 1910 that, "Sensible and responsible women do not want to vote. The relative positions to be assumed by man and women in the working out of our civilization were assigned long ago by a higher intelligence." (Schlesinger, 1993). The movie Little Women is produced. The book's author, Lousia Mae Alcott, was born in Germantown, PA in 1832 and wrote the book in 1868. It tells the story of four young sisters who love and learn during financial hardships. The film will be remade in 1949, but the 1994 version will entice 70,000 viewers a day. During her youth Lousia read many fairy tales. She will die at the age of 55 from lingering poor health, and waiting for her prince charming who never comes. Psychologist Rensis Likert publishes a paper titled, "A Technique for the Measurement of Attitudes" in the Archives of Psychology. Although he is not first to measure attitudes, his method, called Likert scales, will become the most widely used method for measuring what people say they think and believe, a concept that will open up unprecedented lines of attitude research and measurement controversy during the next half century.
1933: Two Amendments to the Constitution become law. The 20th Amendment abolishes the Congressional lame-duck session and moves the date for Presidential inauguration to January 20th. The 21st Amendment repeals prohibition, and was fostered mainly when John D. Rockefeller spoke last year for repeal of the Volstead Act. The 21st Amendment becomes effective on December 5th when Utah ratifies it. On March 31st, Congress passes the Reforestation Relief Act which creates the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). Critics pointed to the presumed similarities with Hitler's Youth Corps; however by 1942 when funding is stopped, 48,854 bridges, 3,116 fire lookout towers, and 318,076 check dams will have been built, in addition to 33,087 miles of terracing. More importantly, 2.9 million of this Nation's youth had served and benefited during its nine years, a wise investment (Smithsonian, December, 1994). Moreover they planted some 200,000,000 trees to restore 17 million acres of forest. On March 4th, during his Inaugural address, President Roosevelt confronts two great National problems--the Depression and despair. He promises to cut government spending and balance the Federal budget. He will do neither, but is long remembered for saying, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself--nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance." The Banking Act is passed by Congress which establishes the Federal Bank Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). The first US Aircraft Carrier, the Ranger, is launched. It is named after the ship commanded by John Paul Jones. Almost unobserved in the U.S., the Nazis arise, in part, because two years earlier German millionaire Hugenberg agrees to support the 800,000 members of that party. Others, like Kirdorf and Schroder will follow Hugenberg's lead. But the Nazis were generally popular also; ninety-two percent of the German electorate votes for them. Frances Perkins is appointed as the first woman Cabinet member--Secretary of Labor, and is successful dispite misgivings. The New York Daily News initiates a crusade to raise funds to build a swimming pool for the White House because FDR, who has Polio, often benefits by exercise in a pool. Mostly groups of school children collectively send in their pennies as contributions, and an indoor pool is built. Oxydol laundry soap, made by Proctor & Gamble, is not selling well. Last year P&G introduced "The Puddle Family" on radio, and this year "Ma Perkins" starts at WLW in Cincinnati. Four months later it airs nationally five days a week, and the fifteen minute show mentions Oxydol 20-25 time per show (Swasy, A. Soap Opera, 1993. NY: Times Books). Listeners complain but soon sales rise and then double in one year. These shows are the start of "washboard weepers" (soap operas). Ma Perkins (Virginia Payne) will become famous as America's "mother of the air," and fans will write asking for all kinds of advice [see 1956]. Later P&G will conduct one of the first market research efforts by offering listeners a packet of flower seeds for 10 cents and one Oxydol boxtop. "More than a million boxtops flooded P&G headquarters. The show helped sell 3 billion boxes of Oxydol before it was finally canceled in 1960, with Ms. Payne, by then fifty, still in the title role." A few months earlier, however, CBS introduces the "soap that really shook up the genre...."The Romance of Helen Trent" [which] took its listeners into the world of fantasy and excitement." For 27 years the 35 year old Mrs. Trent "proved that living and loving can go on even though she might be approaching the onset of her "changes."" The first TV soap will not appear until 1946 when "Big Sister" airs for 15 minutes. (Groves, S. 1995. The Ultimate Soap Opera Guide. Detroit: Stern Publishers).
1934: Girl Scouts sell cookies for the first time. A total of 114,000 boxes are sold. By 1994, 1 million, of the 2.6 million, girl scouts will sell 166 million boxes of cookies at an average cost of $2.50 each. Thin Mints will be the best sellers (U.S. News and World Report, January 9, 1995). For decades many of those cookies would be sold door to door. When author, speaker, and clinical psychologist Mary Pipher speaks to 4,000 women in San Diego in 1997, one of her first comments will be that she won first prize for Girl Scout cookie sales as a young girl in a small Nebraska town of 420. When she mentions that she sold them door to door, it is reasonable to wondered how many mothers there that evening would permit that. Her book, The Shelter of Each Other: Rebuilding Our Families is highly recommended. Likewise, in 1996, both first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and Michael Gurian will publish books that point to the critical need to reform the way we think about children. Hillary will publish, It Takes A Village, and Michael will publish, The Wonder of Boys, both of which also stir us to realize that each child requires the attention of the family, the school, and the community. The last camel in America dies. Camels were imported into the U.S. 137 years earlier by Jefferson Davis, then U.S. Secretary of the War, to evaluate their military usefulness. Many camels were released after the Civil War, and survived in the West until it was opened by trains and roads (Sunday Morning TV show, February 20, 1995). Gene Autry becomes the second singing cowboy in movies. Ken Maynard was the first, and "had already been a silent film cowboy for six years before Universal Studios came up with its daring experiment of combining country music with cowboy movies." The Communications Act of 1934 creates the FCC. The regulation of telecommunications and radio was quite novel at the time. Terry and the Pirates, written and drawn by cartoonist Milton Caniff, is the first "great war" comic. It traces the "adventures of the teenage title character, Terry Lee, and his older, more stereotypically heroic friend Pat Ryan on various exploits in southeastern Asia." Caniff's innovative methods revolutionized comic art. Moreover, "The most famous strip in the series' history, and one of the most influential strips in the history of comics, depicted a colonel's speech to Terry Lee soon after the character became a fighter pilot." That one comic strip, about the value of the men who work on the planes, printed on October 17, 1942, will be "read into the Congressional Record the following day and re-run in editorial pages around the country. For that moment, and for the entirety of the War, Milton Caniff held the ear of America as well as any artist ever has." [Source].
1935: On August 14th, 1935 the Social Security Act is signed by President Roosevelt to manage old age benefit payments. This Act is one of the most significant pieces of legislature in the history of the World. In addition to Social Security, it provides for welfare (designed as a small program for widows with children), and will have direct ties to President Johnson's 1964 Equal Opportunity Act and Head Start, OEO, and CDGM; the Model Cities program, CRLA and VISTA in 1966;, and NWRO in 1968, among others. On May 24, 1935 the first major league night baseball game is played in Cincinnati, Ohio. A.A. (Alcoholics Anonymous) starts in Akron, Ohio when Bill W., a New York stockbroker, and Dr. Bob S., an Akron surgeon meet. Both were "hopeless alcoholics." Later, on June 10th, Alcoholics Anonymous is founded in New York City. Alcohol attacks the liver, and according to the American Liver Foundation, by 1994, some 25,000 Americans will die each year from chronic liver disease and cirrhosis. By 1996 membership in A.A. will swell to 2 million. The Daughters of the American Revolution and the American Legion press state governments to pass legislation requiring teachers to take a loyalty oath. Eventually 19 states would pass such laws. The Rural Electrification Administration is established to provide electricity to rural areas not served by the power companies. The New York Times best-seller list begins. Howard "Buster" Johnson franchises his name to a former schoolmate who opens the now famous twenty-eight flavors orange roof restaurant, called Howard Johnson. The Disney movie Three Orphan Kittens wins an Academy Award. It is Walt Disney's first attempt at animation, and he had three kittens brought into the studio where their actions at play were studied and sketched. The Disney artist's animation skill will culminate in the 1955 movie Lady and the Tramp. Swing arrives. Most music at this time is slow and sweet. But on August 21st at the Los Angeles Palomar Ballroom, orchestra leader Benny Goodman (1909-1986), "fed up with the sweet charts, boldly called for Henderson's flag-wavers. The crowd was wildly enthusiastic. As much as any single event could have, this performance marked the advent of the Swing Era" [Source]. Goodman, known as the "King of Swing," is a master clarinet player, and some of his most famous songs are "Sing Sing Sing," "Let's Dance," "Don't Be that Way," "More Than You Know" and "Blue Skies." But later one fan will write about the song "Sing, Sing, Sing. There is something about this time period of swing music which reminds me of trains. In Sing, no matter which recording, this train effect is particularly noticeable. There is something about Sing that is so stirring and exciting. A physical and emotional rush. The opening drum solo is a call to rise. An impulsive and explosive desire for motion." The Lindy Hop will become the dance rage for this style of music, and eventually evolve into Rock and Roll. An instructive interview with Goodman can be found in the October/November 1981issue of the American Heritage magazine.
1936: From January 11th to February 3rd, workers at the Flint, Michigan General Motors plant stage the first major worker's strike in the Nation. They occupy the plant for 3 weeks, and just as the National Guard is prepared to clear the building, management recognizes the union (United Automobile Workers). In the Consumers Union's first edition of Consumer Reports (May), Lifebuoy soap is criticized for its smell. Also evaluated are cereal, stockings, milk, and toothbrushes. Dale Carnegie publishes How to Win Friends and Influence People. In a paper, genius Alan Turing discusses a "computing machine" which can do anything that logic can do. Later, in 1950 he will describe his famous "Touring Test" of computer intelligence which often will be misunderstood. Lion Manufacturing, a small company in Chicago, introduces a pinball game called "Ballyhoo." It is the first of its kind and is named for a popular comic page icon. Two years later, it will begin to develop the forerunner of today's slot-style gambling machines, and later it will become the Bally Manufacturing company. Hans Selye (1907-1983) defines psychological stress in a scientific paper and no one believes him. The concept that stress can cause disease simply is not feasible. The main causes of death about this time are bacteria and viruses (flu), and cancer is so rare that, for example, the entire 1920 medical school class at one university was taken to the clinic to see an example of lung cancer [see 1971 ]. What will happen over the next several decades is that we will conquer, for the most part, polio, flu, small pox, etc.; however, a new set of diseases, mostly related to stress will appear. It will become widely recognized that stress causes or contributes to heart disease, hypertension, depression, anxiety, cancer, arthritis, gastrointestinal disorders, skin problems, and a host of infections and immune system disorders. The June 6, 1983 Time magazine cover story will refer to stress as "The Epidemic of the 80's," and stress will become the major cause of human disease in the U.S. Life magazine makes its debut, and is based on the recent development of a portable 35 mm camera that can take pictures of practically anything. Before this time cameras are big bulky items that are not purchased by the public. When people want a picture, they put on their very best clothes and head for a photographer. It is a rare event. But after cameras become small and inexpensive enough, almost every family will own one, and by 1997 46.6 million photos will be taken in the U.S. each day (Life, October, 1997). Nevertheless, Life magazine serves on paper the same curiosity that Actuality Movies did in 1903. Henry R. Luce writes this mission statement, "To see life; to see the world; to eyewitness great events; to watch the faces of the poor and the gestures of the proud; to see strange things -- machines, armies, multitudes, shadows in the jungle and on the moon; to see man's work -- his paintings, towers and discoveries; to see things thousands of miles away, things hidden behind walls and within rooms, things dangerous to come to; the women men love and many children; to see and to take pleasure in seeing; to see and be amazed; to see and be instructed...." For the next 37 years many children and adults will learn much about the World from the weekly pages of this pioneer in photo-essays. For those who can afford it and the camera, Kodak introduces its Kodachrome film. It is the first commercially successful amateur color film, and last year it was introduced in 16 mm for motion pictures; this year in 35 mm slides and 8 mm home movies.
1937: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the first full-length animated feature film, is created on December 21st, and is called "Disney's Folly" because the press thinks that the concept will never work. Instead, it becomes "the most revered of all Disney films." From its release, it remains the top grossing film until Gone With The Wind is released in 1939. Moreover, it is the first film whose songs (record album) is developed directly from the film. Interestingly, Snow White is a classic tale of good, evil, and love, and how the collective good is necessary to prevail over evil. When it is released on video for the first time in October, 1994 it will lead in video sales for all times, with orders for 27 million copies that year alone. A copy of the 84 minute video will be purchased for less than $16.00 in 1995, and thereafter many WWW sites will provide the storyline, including the original Brothers Grimm version. A Federal Court legalizes contraception. In 1913, Margaret Sanger wrote a series of articles titled, "What Every Girl Should Know" that not only shocked her contemporaries, but were illegal. For the next 24 years she works tirelessly in support of allowing women to have birth control information and options, notwithstanding being arrested 8 times. Later she forms the foundation for Planned Parenthood. The Golden Gate bridge is opened to traffic on May 29th. It is one of the world's longest single-span suspension bridges, and reflects the era's affluent art deco taste. A walkway offers a strikingly visual stroll across the bridge, fog permitting. On July 2, Amelia Earhart (1897-1937?) flies from the island of New Guinea in her Lockheed Electra in a quest to become the first person to circumnavigate the World at its widest point and the first woman pilot to circle the globe. She was never seen again. "Flying made her famous. Disappearing made her legendary" (Morell, 1997).
1938: Orson Welles' CBS Halloween eve radio broadcast of H.G. Wells' "The War of the Worlds" causes enormous panic. It depicts the invasion by Martians at Grovers Mill, NJ which spreads rapidly. Ask your parents about this radio show; they may have listened or know something about it. But be certain to see the movie about it. Fifty-six years later CBS TV will air its counterpart, "Without Warning," a plot about three asteroids that strike Earth and cause chaos at each location. The U.S. oil industry makes a major shift from the old to the new. Oil from Mexico ceases as that country nationalizes all oil properties from all nations. But oil is discovered by the U.S. in Saudia Arabia. Kate Smith sings "God Bless America," which becomes an instant success. It was written by Irving Berlin in 1917 for a musical, but not used and reserved for some later use. Kate asks him for a patriotic song. Berlin will assign the royalties to a fund that supports the Boy and Girl Scout organizations. Thornton Wilder writes his most famous play, Our Town, a play about finding value in daily life. In 1997, Postmaster General Marvin Runyon will identify Wilder as, "one of the most celebrated writers of our time" during a dedication of a stamp in his honor. Wilder's Pulitzer Prize winning play, The Skin of Our Teeth is recommended also. Ballpoint pens are created. Dr. Raymond Pearl, from Johns Hopkins University, concludes a five year study about the influence of tobacco use on human longevity, and concludes that, "tobacco significantly shortened the lives of every person who used it. Among moderate smokers, the percentage of excess deaths above those of non-smokers was 14 percent. Heavy smokers died at a 61 percent higher rate than non-smokers." He tries to interest the press but they fear loss of advertising dollars, and do not carry the report. Scientific American carries Pearl's report in its May issue. [Source] [see 1964].
1939: All four faces on the World's greatest mountain carving, Mount Rushmore, are completed by Gutzon Borglum, who labored just as hard before he started as he did after. The "60-foot high faces, 500-feet up, look out over a setting of pine, spruce, birch, and aspen in the clear western air. Sculptor Gutzon Borglum began drilling into the 6,200-foot mountain in 1927. Creation of the Shrine to Democracy took 14 years and cost a mere $1 million, though it's now deemed priceless." Shortly after Germany's invasion of Poland, she invaded Norway, Denmark, Belgium, Holland, and France. In 1939 the U.S. population of approximately 130 million people wanted no part of that war in Europe. By the end of the war, in 1945, 13 million, or one-tenth of the entire population, was part of the military. But 1939 is also known as the year that Hollywood produced its best crop of films, including Babes in Arms, Birth of a Nation, Golden Boy, Gone with the Wind, Goodbye Mr. Chips, Gunga Din, Hunchback of Notre Dame, Of Mice and Men, Stage Coach, Union, Withering Heights, and the Wizard of Oz. Gone With The Wind will become the all time box office leader (adjusted for inflation). Hollywood in the 30s and 40s was a factory wherein each studio produced 100-200 films a year, much like a production line. By the mid 40s some 90 million people a week would attend the movies. The House Un-American Activities Committee (known as the Dies Committee) discredits the Consumers Union (see 1936) as a subversive organization. Bob Kane, a teenager, creates Batman (or as he was called then, The Bat-Man) for DC Comics which first appears in May in the "Case of the Chemical Syndicate." A drawing by Leonardo Da Vinci called the "Ornithopter" serves as the model for a new comic book hero. Batman will make two transitions with technology. First, the TV series will air for three seasons starting January 12, 1966. Second, the movie will be released August 3, that same year. And then, fifty years after creation, Batman, the movie, will draw huge crowds. The Ink Spots record their first million-selling record, If I Didn't Care, a song which will become their biggest hit, eventually selling 19 million copies. In 1989 they will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The Mayo brothers, William and Charles, die within a few months of each other. The Mayo Clinic they founded will become famous as an internationally renown medical center. They initiated a new idea in American medicine -- the multi-specialty group practice, and for more than 40 years many people will consider it to be the "hospital of last resort." Ironically, in 1986 the Mayo Clinic will tell Greg Smith that he has an inoperable brain tumor and but a few months to live. Smith and his friend Steven Naifeh will seek alternative information and subsequently write a series of books called "Best Doctors" that identifies the "best" 30,000 physicians in every specialty. Eleven years after his fatal diagnosis, Greg will be living, and an active partner in the Best Doctors Care Access Network, a referral service that will have been used by 3,000 of the most hopeless medical cases in the Nation [Source]. Clinton E. Riggs, an Oklahoma state trouper, invents the "keystone" Yield sign to regulate traffic less rigidly than stop signs and traffic lights, but it will not be displayed until 1950 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, nor become widely used until after the United Nations adopts the now familiar triangular-shaped version.
1940: Clare Boothe Luce (1903-1987) writes, Europe in the Spring, her war time account of a four month visit to "a world where men have decided to die together because they are unable to find a way to live together." It is a call to end our isolationism. [Source]. In the early 1900s, Sir Albert Howard started a program of composting and organic farming that culminates in the publication this year of his book, An Agricultural Testament. Pinocchio, the classic theme of love, family, and friendship, is released by Disney on February 7th. According to the Los Angeles Times, it remains the most perfect Disney animated feature. It will win two Academy Awards, one for best score and one for best song (When You Wish Upon A Star). A major source for Disney's success is their philosophy about animation, which as later recalled by two of the original group, is profound: "Disney animation makes audiences really believe in...characters, whose adventures and misfortunes make people laugh and even cry. There is a special ingredient in our type of animation that produces drawing that appear to think and make decisions and act of their own volition; it is what creates the illusion of life." (Thomas & Johnson, 1981). Moreover movie experts consider Pinocchio on laserdisc, "The pinnacle. There's simply no animated movie that can match its obsessively detailed craftsmanship." And the video version is rated number two in children's animated movies. "In fact, the sensibility lurking beneath the happy-go-lucky score is so serious, it would be wise to set aside post movie family time to answer kids' inevitable questions: [such as] What's a conscience?" (Seymore, 1994). Nine months later, on November 13th, Fantasia opens at the Broadway Theater in New York City, the same theater where Steamboat Willie (the first Mickey Mouse movie) was released 12 years earlier.
1941: During his State of the Union speech on January 6, 1941, President Roosevelt states that we look forward to a world "founded upon four essential freedoms." These are (a) speech and expression, (b) worship, (c) from want, and (d) from fear. However recent events in Asia and Europe have been difficult for even an isolationist Nation to ignore. Then all of these freedoms are called into question on December 7, 1941 when Japan attacks Pearl Harbor and takes 2,300 lives, sinks or damages 18 ships, and destroys 340 aircraft. Only 3 of those ships will not be raised later. The next day President Roosevelt makes his famous Infamy Speech, and in response Congress declares war. It has done so only five times since we proclaimed ourselves free from Britain in 1776. Congress declared war in 1812 (against Britain), in 1846 (against Mexico), in 1898 (against Spain), in 1917 (against Germany and Austria-Hungary), and in 1941-2 (against Japan, Germany, Italy, Bulgaria, Hungary, and Rumania). Later "military actions" such as Korea and Vietnam will not be considered official wars. President Harry Truman will send troops to Korea based on a U.N. decision. Later, Lyndon Johnson will escalate the Vietnam "war" based on the very weak Tonkin Gulf Resolution. "In 1939, the first of a new class of insecticides--Chlorinated Hydrocarbons--was developed as a perfect insecticide. That is, one that was toxic to the most insect species but cause little or no damage to plants and warm-blooded animals" [Source]. Thus, Paul Muller, from Switzerland, invents DDT and calls it "Gesarol," and this year it is put in powder form as a method to kill human lice. In 1948 he will win the Nobel Prize for Medicine. Yet, years later many will recognize that DDT also kills peregrine falcons, brown pelicans, sea lions, ladybugs, salmon, etc. Disney's movie, Dumbo, is released on October 23rd. Dumbo speaks not one word in the film. "The Flying Tigers, also known as the AVG (American Volunteer Group), operated from December 1941 to July 1942. They were officially absorbed into the US Army Air Corps on July 5th, 1942 and assigned to the 14th Air Force, 23rd Fighter Group" [Source]. Later, ABC will host a TV series called, Tales of the Gold Monkeyz, in which the year is 1938 and Jake Cutter is an ex-Flying Tiger who saw service in China in 1937. It will air from September 22, 1982 until July 6, 1983. Orsen Welles directs and stars in the movie, Citizen Kane, generally regarded by movie critics and directors alike as the best film ever made [ see 1992 ]. "After its initial release and run, it showed on the RKO books at a loss of more than $150,000."
1942: On February 20th, President Roosevelt authorizes a program to remove Japanese-Americans from their homes and place them in internment camps in Colorado, Utah, Arkansas, etc. Americans make only minor comment as 100,000 Japanese are moved, most of them in March. However, the public is never made aware of the formal Government kidnapping, hostage taking, and cover up associated with the removal of thousands of German, Japanese, and other nationalities from South America to prisons such as Crystal City in Texas during the War. General George Marshall supervises the plan and every South American nation cooperates. Many of those forcefully removed will be later placed on exchange ships against their will and sent to Germany, including likely Jewish-Germans (Dateline, November 30, 1994). Bambi is released on August 13th; it will be the last famous Disney film until 1950. On June 13th, the Office of Strategic Services is established, and William Donovan becomes its director. Later, after the war, it will become known as the CIA. Casablanca, starring Humphry Bogart, will eventually be considered by many as the greatest love story ever put on film. It is made using the classic "Hollywood" style, including six writers and camera techniques so refined that they became a set of rules. Bogart, who had been billed as a gangster in his previous films eventually made his mark in romantic films after the studio send word to "undo Bogart as a gangster and sell Bogart as a romantic." Indeed, he last scene between Rick and Ilsa is powerful [MOV video]. Bogart earns $36,667 for his role in the film. Frank Sinatra, who began his singing career in 1939 with Glenn Miller and Columbia Records, decides to go it alone. In December he sings at the Paramount Theater and the enthusiastic crowds (some say pandemonium) define the new "bobby socker" era. Little Golden Books publishes The Poky Little Puppy as one of its first 12 books. It will become one of its most successful books, printing more than 13 million copies. Gustaf Tenggren, born in Magra, Sweden in 1896, after working for a while at Disney, illustrates this, his most successful, book, as well as many others. The Atomic Age is born when University of Chicago scientists demonstrate the first self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction in a laboratory underneath the stands of the football stadium.
1943: On April 13, 1943 President Roosevelt dedicates the Jefferson Memorial. On May 27th, President Roosevelt forbids racial discrimination in industries that work on Government war contracts. On the third of February, the War Department bans hard liquor from all U.S. Army establishments. The Corning Glass Works is created, later called Dow Corning. Its "only mission has been to find new applications for silicone, which is derived from silicon and is one of the most useful substances ever created. This it had done with great success, generating $2.2 billion in annual sales by 1994 and churning out some 8,700 silicone products. Its medical-devices division alone makes everything from pacemaker parts to shunts for relieving water on the brain. (Breast implants occupied a small and not especially profitable corner of the company.) Over time the company culture had instilled in its employees an almost childlike awe at the wonders of silicone" (Fortune, October 16, 1995). In 1992 the FDA will ban their breast implants, and in 1995 Dow will file for bankruptcy because of what is called "fatal litigation." The Pentagon is completed during the middle of World War II at a cost of $50 million. It is one of the largest office buildings in the World, and serves as headquarters for the U.S. military. By the late 1990s, 23,000 civilian and military personnel will work in its five sections that incorporate 131 stairways, 19 escalators within 3,705,793 square feet of office space. "While in the building, they tell time by 4,200 clocks, drink from 691 water fountains, utilize 284 rest rooms, consume 4,500 cups of coffee, 1,700 pints of milk and 6,800 soft drinks prepared or served by a restaurant staff of 230 persons and dispensed in 1 dining room, 2 cafeterias, 6 snack bars, and an outdoor snack bar" [Source ].
1944: June 6, (D-Day) is the day allies invade Normandy which becomes the climatic battle of World War II. Today, there are 9,386 white tombstones in a graveyard above Omaha Beach in France. Every stone faces west toward America to remind us of the sacrifice that young Americans made so that the world could be free to defend and support democracy. That was a bloody beach on that day, and every citizen of democracy should pay tribute by at least understanding what happened and why. Special editions of U.S. News & World Report (May 23, 1994), Newsweek (May 23, 1994) and the San Diego Union Parade (May 29, 1994) featured D-Day. The G.I. Bill of Rights (also known as the Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944 or Public Law 346) is signed by President Roosevelt on June 22nd. "Out of 14 million eligibles, 2.2 million veterans jump at the chance to attend college. At a cost of $5.5 billion, this first G.I. Bill turns out 450,000 engineers, 240,000 accountants, 238,000 teachers, 91,000 scientists, 67,000 doctors, 22,000 dentists, 17,000 writers and editors, and thousands of other professionals (Kiester, 1994). Seven hundred delegates from around the world meet at Breton Woods, NH and establish the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (the World Bank). Its loans, to governments only, will rise from $1.3 billion in 1949 to $22 billion in 1992 (1992 dollars). "Of the more than 6,000 projects proposed by staff in the past 50 years, not one has ever been rejected by the Bank's board." (French, 1994). William Christensen and the San Francisco Ballet perform the first full length American production of "The Nutcracker." Christensen had never seen it performed, but creatively wrote to the Library of Congress, and received advice from two people who were present at the 1892 premiere in St. Petersburg. "The story of Nutcracker is based on "Der Nussknacker und der Mäusekönig" ("The Nutcracker and the Mouse King") a tale written by E.T.A. Hoffmann in 1816." It will become the World's most popular ballet and a holiday season tradition. The synthetic chemical Americium (Am: atomic number 95) is artificially produced from plutonium-239 by Glenn T. Seaborg, Ralph A. James, Leon O. Morgan, and Albert Ghiorso in a nuclear reactor. The metal is silvery white and tarnishes slowly in dry air at room temperature. The isotope americium-241 will become the most important because of its availability--it will be prepared in kilogram amounts from plutonium and used industrially in fluid-density gauges. Am's half-life is 458 years. Dr. Seaborg will become the only person ever to hold a patent on a chemical element. In 1994, "Element 106, which was created at LBL in 1974...has been named "seaborgium" in honor of Nobel Laureate and LBL Associate Director-at-Large Glenn T. Seaborg. It is the first time an element has been named for a living person. In response he will say, "This is the greatest honor ever bestowed upon me--even better, I think, than winning the Nobel Prize," and "Future students of chemistry, in learning about the periodic table, may have reason to ask why the element was named for me, and thereby learn more about my work."
1945: In April, General Eisenhower is pestered into visiting the prison camp called Ohrdruf, yet he is in high spirits. "Earlier in the day, he had wisecracked with his companions, Gens. Omar Bradley and George Patton. But as the three trudged past 3,200 corpses lying in shallow graves and looked at the SS's instruments of torture, their buoyant mood evaporated. Bradley was so shocked he could not speak. Patton refused to go into a room piled high with the dead, saying it would make him sick; he ducked behind a barracks and vomited anyway. Later, his he-man persona restored, Patton climbed on a jeep and barked: "See what these sons of bitches did. See what these bastards did. I don't want you to take a prisoner." Eisenhower then sends a cable to Army Chief of Staff George Marshall: "The things I saw beggared description." He orders aides to ensure that as many GIs as possible see the camps: "We are told that the American soldier does not know what he is fighting for. Now, at least, he will know what he is fighting against." Later, May 7th, is victory in Europe (VE) Day, a very commanding day around the World. " Then, on August 6th, the U.S. drops the World's first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan and another one on Nagasaki, three days later. The Hiroshima bomb weighs only 400 pounds yet kills more than 100,000 people including the entire Second Japanese Army. It also levels 4 square miles of the city and all who live there. With those two nuclear bombs World War II comes to an end. Overall, the War's sacrifice is an estimated 35 million lives, plus 10 million in Nazi concentration camps. If WW I was the bloodiest war, then WW II is the deadliest as seen in this table.
1946: The United Nations holds its first General Assembly on January 7th, in London; New York City would be identified as its future home. That is because on February 14th, John D. Rockefeller, Jr. donates $8.5 million for the future site of the United Nations. On February 15th, ENIAC, the Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer, is presented in the Moore School of Electrical Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. It was designed by Dr. John W. Mauchy and J. Presper Eckert, Jr. ENIAC contains more than 18,000 vacuum tubes, occupies a 30' by 50' room, and weights some thirty tons. It takes 150,000 watts of power to run, and has more than 500,000 soldered connections. It has no memory for instructions, and has to be rewired (up to 6,000 switches) for each task. Moreover, the ENIAC "sped along at a gargantuan 5,000 operations a second in fixed point only. It is roughly comparable to an HP45 calculator." But great minds coexist. In July of 1947, the "Advisory Committee of the Applied Mathematics Department...consisting of Albert Einstein, Hans Kramer, Robert Oppenheimer, John von Neumann and Abram Pais, recommend that the [Weitzmann] Institute build an electronic digital computer" (Ariav & Goodman, 1994). Dr. Benjamin Spock publishes his first book, The Commonsense Book of Baby and Child Care. It is the first of 17 books he will write, and as some will later say, represents the start of the "permissive" movement. In 1994, at the age of 91 he will state in his "last" book that values for children and the family are our most important goals. We need families that work, marriages that work, and jobs should be third in importance. Finally, he argues that parents do not realize that children are watching them, always watching and learning. "By far the most celebrated of the early [Las Vegas] resorts was the Flamingo Hotel, built by mobster Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel, a member of the Meyer Lansky crime organization. The Flamingo with a giant pink neon sign and replicas of pink flamingos on the lawn," opens on New Year's Eve. Six months later, Siegel will be "murdered by an unknown gunman who fired a shotgun blast as Siegel sat in the living room of the Beverly Hills, Calif., home of his girlfriend, Virginia Hill." ROI is a serious matter in the underworld. During World War II, Winston Churchill, Great Britain's Prime Minister, had an excellent perspective about Europe. After the War, and no longer Prime Minister, he visits Westminister College in Fulton, Missouri this year on March 5th and makes the following comment, "From Stertin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the continent. Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of central and eastern Europe. Warsaw, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest, and Sofia, all these famous cities and the populations around them lie in what I might call the Soviet sphere, and all are subject, in one form or another, not only to Soviet influence but to a very high and in some cases increasing measure of control from Moscow." (Funk, 1993). It can be argued that his speech signals the start of the "Cold War" which would influence much of our next three decades, including the arms and space races. After the War, the "Baby Boomer" generation starts, which will have immense implications regarding health care, housing, etc.
1947: On April 9 or 11 (depending on your source) Jackie Robinson (1919-1972) signs with the Brooklyn Dodgers to become the first black major league baseball player. On the 15th, opening day, he takes the field at Ebbits Field in Brooklyn, New York where more than half the fans are black. For years he would quietly suffer endless racial comment and indignity while playing baseball. "There were threats to shoot him from the stands, warnings that his wife and son would be killed if he dared keep playing. Pitchers threw at him--he was hit nine times his first season. Hotels that took in his teammates refused to house him." A good report is provided in the August 29-September 5 edition of U.S. News & World Report. In 1994, Spike Lee will agree to make a movie about him with the cooperation of Mrs. Robinson, Jackie's wife, who will say, "He was never a victim." The U.S. post war Baby Boom (1947-1961) will surprise many demographers, and results from the perception of economic opportunity (The Atlantic Monthly, December, 1994). The transistor is invented at Bell Laboratory. On June 11th, sugar is removed from rationing, the last WWII commodity to be rationed. The National Security Act creates the Air Force as a separate armed service. A Private First Class (E-2 in any U.S. military service) with less than 3 years is earning $80.00 a month [Source]. The National Training Laboratory (NTL), the first laboratory for group development, is established in this summer in Bethel, Maine. The movie Bill and Coo wins an Honorary Oscar for "artistry and patience blended in a novel and entertaining use of film." The whole film is performed by birds which build houses, sell ice cream, push baby carriages, etc. Ella Jean Fitzgerald, widely acknowledged as the first lady of jazz, performs her hit song, How High the Moon, which together with Lady Be Good, establishes her as the Scat Master. The first UFO is reported on June 25th over Mt. Rainier in Washington. On July 4th, a United Airlines crew reports being passed by nine flying discs. In July, at Roswell, New Mexico, a series of events take place that will explode in the imagination of large numbers of people for more than 50 years when Mr. & Mrs. Dan Wilmot report oval-shaped UFO moving NW, toward a weather balloon crash site.
1948: On June 24th, President Truman signs the Selective Service Act which requires all males between the ages of 18 and 25 to register for service in the military. In February, Truman introduces a Civil Rights package to Congress. On July 14th, during the Democratic National Convention, Hubert Humphrey, Mayor of Minneapolis and Senate hopeful, proposes an appeal for civil rights, "The time has arrived for the Democratic party to get out of the shadow of states' rights and walk forthrightly into the bright sunshine of human rights." Southern Democrats walk out of the Convention because of the civil rights issues, and they form the States Rights Party. Not having much luck with Congress, on July 26th, Truman bars segregation by executive order in the U.S. armed services and in Federal employment. Columbia Records introduces the 33 1/3 rpm (LP) long playing record--LP (#4001) featuring violinist Yehudi Menuhin. Earlier, in 1926, Edison had announced a long-playing, 12 inch disk capable of holding 20 minutes of music per side, but it was not a commercial success. . The Boston Public Library (BPL), the first large free municipal library in the United States, is 100 years old. By 1997 it will house 6.1 million books, over 1.2 million rare books and manuscripts, and a wealth of maps, musical scores and prints. "Among its large collections, the BPL holds several first edition folios by William Shakespeare, original music scores from Mozart to Prokofiev's "Peter and the Wolf;" and, in its rare book collection, the personal library of John Adams." NMR describes "the physics experiment that revolutionized chemistry." Russell Varian obtains a U.S. patent for his and Stanford Professors' Felix Bloch, William Hansen, et al earlier contributions to nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). "Prior to the use of NMR and other less powerful analytical techniques, you could spend literally months and years trying to determine the structure of a molecule. With NMR, infrared, mass spectroscopy, and other such tools, the same poblems can often be solved in hours, and the whole field of chemistry has been able to undergo a much more rapid advance and expansion" [Source ].
1949: The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is formed on April 4th when 12 nations sign the document in Washington D.C. These nations are Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, and the U.S.A. General Motors' reports net earnings for this year equal to $656 million, the largest corporate income ever reported. On April 5th RCA Victor (founded in 1901) introduces the first 45 RPM (7 inch) record, together with a special record changer that costs $12.50. This new speed is soon followed by Columbia (1885), Decca (1934), and Capitol (1942). In 1951, AMI will introduce the first jukebox designed to play 45 RPM records. By 1956 all record companies will be producing 45 RPM records, and this is the way music is purchased and listened to during the early years of Rock and Roll music (1954-1959).
1950: On February 7th, Senator Joseph McCarthy speaks at a Wisconsin Women's Club and accuses the State Department of sheltering Communists. Later, in West Virginia, he will wave a list of 205 names of "known communists" who are shaping the policy of the State Department. His supporters (Portland Press Herald, November, 1954) are quite proactive, and this visible reign of "McCarthyism" will last until December, 1954 (almost five years) when a few of his Senate peers will condemn his actions. However, these events are not new. In 1947 attorney Bartley Crum, a "man of honor," defends those accused of communism; unfortunately, that act will destroy both him and his family. Eventually, Crum will commit suicide in 1959. Disney releases the movie Cinderella on February 15th. Cinderella is the second Disney movie based on a classic fairy tale, the first being Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs thirteen years before. Cinderella will be reissued to theaters five times after that in 1957, 1965, 1973, 1981 and 1987. It will become Disney's biggest moneymaker to that time, eclipsing even Snow White. The story is known to have about 500 variants in Europe, and the most famous early version dates back to 1697 when Charles Perrault (1628-1703), included it in his collection Tales from Mother Goose [Source]. In Disney's movie, the "voices of both Gus and Jag, the mice, and Bruno, the hound, were provided by veteran Disney soundman Jimmy Macdonald. Macdonald achieved the distinctive voices by experimenting with different speed playbacks of his recorded voice. Jimmy was also the official voice of another mouse - Mickey - from 1947 to 1983....In many written versions of the Cinderella tale, including the Brothers Grimm account, one of the stepsisters is so determined to fit the slipper that she cuts off her toes to do so!...Cinderella's Prince is the only Disney prince to bear the official name of Prince Charming. Snow White's prince is just "The Prince", although when Snow White tells the dwarfs of her dream Prince, she does say "Anyone could see that the Prince was charming." Prince Phillip is the beau of Sleeping Beauty (a.k.a. Princess Aurora, a.k.a. Briar Rose). Ariel (The Little Mermaid) had Prince Eric, Princess Jasmine had Prince Ali (Aladdin in disguise), and Beauty and the Beast, Belle had the Prince." President Truman's Proclamation 2914 states, "World conquest by communist imperialism is the goal of the forces of aggression that have been loosed upon the world," and he embarks upon the Korean War. For the U.S., it starts on June 27th, in response to the June 25th invasion of South Korea by North Korean Soviet-built tanks. That conflict, with its policy of a "limited war" and an ambiguous outcome, will become perplexing at best for Americans to understand, and that Presidential Order exists, with untold others from eight following Presidents, in limbo 45 years later. (Common Cause, Spring, 1994). On October 2nd, Charles "Sparky" Schulz publishes the first Peanuts comic. It will become "history's most successful comic strip" running in more than 2,000 newspapers, 68 countries, translated into 26 languages, including Latin, and the subject of 1,000 books, 30 TV specials, and 4 feature films (Johnson, 1989). Schulz coins the definition, "Happiness is a warm puppy," and he, like his characters, is gentle, although Lucy sometimes becomes bellicose. Diners Club introduces the credit card, a novel idea at the time. Yet by 1994, during one week (Nov. 29-Dec 3), $5.9 billion will be charged on VISA cards alone, the largest amount in history. The famous "Touring Test" of computer intelligence is proposed by Alan Touring. In brief, if given only five minutes interaction with an unseen entity wherein you ask any question at all and you are not greater than 70% certain that it is a computer, then you must conclude that it has intelligence. The average annual income for every man, women, and child in the U.S. is $1, 436 (Daniel, 1995).
1951: Prior to World War I, workers "received no pensions, no paid vacation, no overtime pay, no extra pay for Sunday or night work, no health or old-age insurance (except in Germany), no unemployment compensation (except after 1911, in Britain); they had no job security whatever. Fifty years later, in the 1950s, industrial workers had become the largest single group in every developed country, and unionized industrial workers in mass-production industry...had attained upper-middle class income levels. They have extensive job security, pensions, long paid vacations, and comprehensive unemployment insurance or 'lifetime employment.'" Above all, they have achieved political power (Drucker, 1994). Alice in Wonderland is released on July 28th, based on the very popular book by Louis Carroll. After 90 cadets at West Point are expelled for cheating, the West Point Society of New York will report in their history log that, "In 1951, following an honor scandal, the support and loyalty of the Society were reflected in its heartfelt "Resolution" endorsing of the Honor Code of West Point and in the telegrams that were sent by the Board of Governors to the Secretary of Defense and Secretary of the Army supporting the action taken by then Superintendent Major General Frederick A. Irving, Apr 17, during that period of dismay and shock." The Honor Code as developed by midshipmen at the United States Naval Academy "represents the minimal standards by which each midshipman should live. The foundation of the honor code should help midshipmen make the difficult decisions they will face on a daily basis.... For the midshipmen of the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps, the Code states, A midshipman does not lie, cheat, or steal." A code of honor has been rare yet perennial. For a specific topic, the concept dates back to Item 8 in the Hippocratic Oath. Yet the real American foundation for an Honor Code dates to our 56 Founding Fathers, each of whom signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776. Its final sentence reads, "And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor." Given the "honor scandal" this year, and the many subsequent ones at all of the military academies and services (e.g., 1965, 1976, 1991, 1992, 1997, etc.), the Honor concept has been lost by too many too often. Apparently the military academies which embraced that responsibility have been unable to tutor and teach that a Code of Honor supersedes personal motivations, and that sometimes Honor does not come without personal cost and accountability (e.g., Gantar & Patten, 1996). This Nation should expect no less from it premier military institutions. There are 10 computers in the U.S., and almost no one has any idea about what they are. Only a few scientists, major universities, and Government laboratories know anything about them. That will change next year during the presidential election. Nevertheless, no one can imagine, much less predict, the pending computer growth rate. By 1971 there will be 75,000 computers in the U.S. (Lubar, 1993).
1952: On April 8th, to prevent a strike, President Truman orders a Federal takeover of the Youngstown, Ohio steelmills. On June 2nd, the Supreme Court ruling in Youngstown Sheet and Tube v. Sawyer is a major limitation on presidential powers, and states that the Federal takeover of the steel mills is unconstitutional. On September 23rd, Richard Nixon is pressured to step down as Eisenhower's Vice Presidential candidate related to charges that he had a "secret slush fund." He denies everything, and says he will never give up his dog, Checkers, a gift. The Seeburg Model M100C jukebox is introduced and is the first to play 45 r.p.m. records. The computer becomes widely known after CBS borrows a UNIVAC to predict the presidential election on November 4th. At 8 p.m. one of the announcers (Walter Cronkite and Charles Collingwood) asks the computer, for the first time anywhere, if it has any election prediction and gets no answer. The reason is that the computer earlier had predicted that Eisenhower would win by a landslide, but no one believed it. Thus, the results based on a five percent return were withheld from the public. The next day, after the landslide is obvious, CBS confesses, and that confession appears in the headlines of every major newspaper. One of the most popular board games of all time, Scrabble, is introduced, and starts selling in large numbers. Sales will soar next year. "During the Great Depression in the 1930s, Alfred M. Butts, an out-of-work architect from Poughkeepsie, New York, decided to invent a board game. Analyzing games, he found they fell into three categories: number games, such as dice and bingo; move games, such as chess and checkers; and word games, such as anagrams. Mr. Butts, attempting to create a game that would use both chance and skill, combined features of anagrams and the crossword puzzle-and called his new game "Criss Cross Words." In this 1983 picture at the National Scrabble Championship he ponders his invention. Alfred will die in 1993 at the age of 93. [Source]. Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (1922 - ) publishes his first book, Player Paino, and because it is classified as science fiction it is "virtually ignored by critics." Eventually, Vonnegut will be recognized as one of our greatest social critics, and a full ten years ahead of others who join him in using a dark humorous style. As one commentator will say, "Vonnegut seems pre-occupied with genuine human questions, about war, peace, technology, human happiness. He is even bitterly anti-machine, antitechnology, anti-science" [Source].
1953: Television comes of age. On January 20, 1953 the first presidential inauguration takes place. Interestingly, on the previous night the "I Love Lucy" TV show ("Lucy Goes to the Hospital" episode to deliver little Ricky) attracts a record forty million viewers, twice the number of the following night inauguration. Further, Lucy is the first pregnant woman to appear on TV, although that word was not allowed at the time. And Desi, Jr. was seen on the first issue of TV Guide, dated April 3-9, 1953. On April 1st, the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare is established, which includes the Social Security Administration, the Office of Education, and the Food and Drug Administration. On May 28th, President Eisenhower turns over $80 million of National oil and gas reserves to the oil companies. Later, a former administration official will state that it was, "the largest wholesale looting of National assets in history." Peter Pan is released by Disney on February 5th; it is based on the play by Sir James M. Barrie. Edward R. Murrow, a famous radio newscaster, commences his TV series and becomes the first in a long line of celebrity journalists. "The first pre-recorded reel-to-reel tape (at 7 1/2 ips) is offered for sale."
1954: On May 17th, the Supreme Court unanimously rules in Brown v. The Board of Education of Topeka that racial segregation in public schools is a violation of the 14th Amendment. Chief Justice Earl Warren states, "the doctrine of `separate but equal' has no place." Seventeen states are segregated by law, and four others by school district. The court's ruling will have a major impact, not only in Kansas where Linda Brown had been denied entry, but also in South Carolina, Delaware, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. The South, for the most part, refuses to comply. Last March Dr. Jonas Salk announced his vaccine for polio, a dreaded disease. Between 1942 and this year an epidemic of poliomyelitis forced the closing of swimming pools and movie theaters, and last year there were more than 33,000 cases of polio in the U.S. Mass inoculations start this year when Dr. Salk starts inoculating school children in Pittsburgh, PA. Ellis Island closes on November 12. When it opened on January 1, 1892, 700 immigrants passed through the 27 acre island. Since then close to 17 million immigrants were processed there. The daily record occurred on April 17, 1907 when 11,747 immigrants entered this Country. J.R.R. Tolkien publishes the first two volumes of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. It tells the story of life, in a distant and fantasy format, and includes many characters that provides a rich analogy to contemporary events. Frederick Wertham publishes Seduction of the Innocent which accuses comic books of causing juvenile delinquency leading Congress to investigate the claim. On October 27th, Disneyland the Series debuts on T.V. There are only three channels and none of them have color. Walt Disney needs $17 million to build Disneyland, and when no one lends it to him he thought about T.V. ABC agrees to help finance the venture. Walt also has the foresight to film his shows in color, even though all TV is black in white. But he will be ready when his first color broadcast goes on the air on September 24, 1961. Eventually, 100 million viewers will watch the show each week and derive at least some of their values from Walt's family philosophy. The Hamilton Watch Company joins "forces with National Carbon Company (later Union Carbide) in 1954 to develop a battery for Hamilton's first electric watch, the Ventura." Later, the very precise quartz watch will be invented and shown at the Basel Watch Fair by the Swiss in 1967, but will not be sold until 1970. Then in 1972, the first digital watch, the Pulsar, will be sold in the U.S. for about "$2100 (roughly the same price as a Chevrolet Vega in those years), the costly Pulsar was one of the earliest consumer products of the microelectronics revolution."
1955: For many, the song, Rock Around the Clock, signals the start of the "Rock and Roll" era. Practically everyone, from any generation, can recognize the rock era musical heroes such as Elvis [see 1956]; nevertheless as discussed cogently by Curtis (1987) few recognize that the popularity of rock could never have taken place without technology. Without "a complex network or recording studios, pressing plants, radio stations, and sound reproduction equipment," as well as TV and retail outlets, this new music era would have been much different. Moreover, the rock stars, according to Curtis, are not only in the right place at the right time, but also understand intuitively how to make that technology work for them. On December 1st, an elderly black woman, Rosa Parks, refuses to give up her seat to a white man and move to the back of the bus and is arrested. That initiates a monumental boycott of the bus system, led by Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. It is considered by many as the inception of the black civil rights movement. Lady and the Tramp is released by Disney on June 22nd. It will be considered by many to represent the culmination of Disney animation which started in 1935. On July 17th Disneyland opens after one year of construction at a cost of $17 million. It is broadcast live and hosted by Art Linkletter who is joined by his friends Bob Cummings and Ronald Reagan, who assist him. Today, that opening day is considered "Black Sunday" because almost nothing goes right. The crowds are bigger than expected, the heat is unbearable, and some of the equipment is not ready. Regardless, by 1995 more than 350 million visitors will have entered Disneyland, truly the happiest place on earth. As Walt liked to say, "It all started with a mouse." On October 3rd, the Mickey Mouse Club premiered on TV, and Annette Funicello is the 24th and last Mouseketeer to be cast. The National illegitimacy ratio (proportion of out-of-wedlock births to total births) is less than 4.5 percent. By 1991 it will be 29.5 percent (San Diego Union-Tribune, January 1, 1995, p. G-3). William Faulkner (1897-1962) wins both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award for his allegorical World War I novel called A Fable. He "spent more than ten years writing this complex novel and considered it to be his masterpiece."
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1956: On April 21st, a ten year old boy wins $100,000 on a quiz show and amazes TV audiences. On January 9th, the San Francisco Chronicle prints the first Dear Abby column. It is Abigail Van Buren's (born Pauline Ester "Popo" Friedman) response to her twin sister's "Dear Ann Landers" (born Esther Pauline "Eppie" Friedman) column which was first printed on October 16, 1955 in Chicago. These columns, found in practically every major newspaper in the Nation, will be described as popular because of their liberal politics and conservative morals. The cost of a first class letter to Dear Abby is three cents, a postal rate in effect from 1932 until 1958. In early 1990s, she will state that the "question from Abby to her readers has sparked the greatest response...[was] "Where were you when President John F. Kennedy was shot?" The question will be asked on October 16, 1992 and will result in 300,000 responses; later in 1993 she will publish many of those responses in a book. Elvis Presley had been in Memphis, the right talent at the right place for a change in American music. Now, two days after his 21st birthday, he records for RCA in Nashville. The first two songs are "I Got A Woman" and then "Heartbreak Hotel." On April 3rd, he sings "Heartbreak Hotel" on the Milton Berle show to what has been estimated as one-fourth the American population, and 18 days later it becomes his first number 1 hit song (Bronson, 1985). For the next 21 years he will have at least one hit song each year, and as many as 8 in a year. Leon Festinger (with Riecken & Schacter) publish When Prophecy Fails, a psychological theory of Cognitive Dissonance that together with his 1957 publication of the Theory of the Cognitive Dissonance will have a profound effect on all social psychological research for more than 15 years. In essence, Dissonance Theory states that two logically incompatible ideas or beliefs cause mental dissonance, an unpleasant feeling, which must be resolved by changing either one of them or by integrating them somehow. This theory will stimulate enormous amounts of published research, and explain large amounts of human behavior, including smoking in the face of strong evidence about its harm, and why some students will eat grasshoppers. Dick Clark's TV debut on "Bandstand," a Philadelphia teen-based music show, is so popular that next year it will be syndicated Nationally by ABC. He will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993, and in 1996 the show will celebrate its 40th anniversary. Where were you in 1956? San Francisco attorney and economist, Dr. Louis O. Kelso, designs the Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) which allows employees to own their company because he believes "that unless more people owned significant amounts of capital, many economic and social problems would prove intractable, making an expansion of government's role in the economy [Source]. By 1990, more than 10,000 companies will be owned, in part totally, by their employees. The United Airlines ESOP will become one of the most famous examples.
1957: On February 25th, the Supreme Court, in its first obscenity opinion, Butler v. Michigan, rules that banning sales of materials to the general public that might corrupt minors is unconstitutional. On August 29th, President Eisenhower signs the Civil Rights Act of 1957. The next day, Senator Strom Thurmond speaks for 24 hours, 27 minutes to set a new filibuster record. He speaks against civil rights legislation. On September 25th, President Eisenhower orders U.S. troops into Little Rock, Arkansas to escort nine black student to Central High School. This event signals the turning point for desegregation in the South. Russia's Sputnik I satellite is launched on October 4th (the same day Leave It to Beaver first airs on CBS). Sputnik, which weighs 184 pounds cannot take pictures or do anything but "beep." But that is enough. The military and science communities know about it, but the civilian and media communities are shocked. For centuries two great oceans have kept us isolated and thus protected, and now an "enemy" satellite, which everyone can see and hear, passes overhead regularly. President Eisenhower attempts to inform the public that it is no real threat; however on November 3, Sputnik II is launched successfully, and then on December 6th our first space effort, the Vanguard missile, blows up on launch as dismayed citizens watch it on TV. There are three primary reactions to this combination of events. First, we pour millions of dollars into a great variety of programs, many of which would never have been funded under more rational times, second, our K-12 education system, especially science and math, is examined and found deficient because they consist mostly of rote learning. Consequently, new physics and chemistry programs will be built that enhance science learning for all students. Third, we will enter the space race, which can be considered one of the most significant and impressive of human explorations and achievements. Jane Goodall meets anthropologist Dr. Louis Leakey, and that meeting will have profound impacts on both her life (in 1960 she will start her study of the chimpanzees in Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzani) and our subsequent understanding of wild chimpanzees. Thus, years later when she describes chimps using tools, it shocks the World. After she sends a telegram to "Louis Leakey about seeing David Greybeard using grasses to fish for termites, he made the now-famous remark, ha-ha, now we must redefine man, redefine tools, or accept chimpanzees as humans." In 1993 she will publish a book, Visions of Caliban: On Chimpanzees and People that points to the lack of human compassion in our relations with the non-human world. Still later she will reflect on her mistakes (giving bananas to wild chimpanzees) and defend her "unscientific" interventions, such as during a polio epidemic (Scientific American, October 1997). Publication of The Cat in the Hat by Theodor "Dr. Seuss" Geisel will dramatically change the way children learn to read. Until this book, almost all children's books were related to the "Dick and Jane and Spot" type. But Geisel wants to sustain interest and use uncomplicated words. Its 223 simple rhyming words achieved instant success. Wake Up Little Susie, a song by the Everly Brothers is number one on the popular music charts for four weeks. It tells the story of a young couple who went to a drive-in movie and fell asleep---until 3 a.m. Because of the lyrics, the song is banished from many radio stations. Like Dave Marsh, the author of The Heart of Rock & Soul, people tend to believe the lyrics until they become parents. The first group meeting of Gamblers Anonymous is held on Friday, September 13th, in Los Angeles, California [see 1996].
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1958: On July 29th, NASA is established to direct and coordinate space exploration. On September 12th, because the Supreme Court refused Arkansas more time to integrate its schools, Govenor Faubus closes all of Little Rock's high schools. Classes are given by TV. In December, the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare will report that an estimated one million student days were lost in 1958 due to school closings to prevent integration. Van Cliburn becomes the first person to record a classical LP record that sells one million copies. Dr. William Schutz (1966) publishes the original version of a book that describes the FIRO-B, a tridimensional theory of interpersonal behavior. Basically, it states that people are guided by the dimensions of (a) Control, wanted and expressed, (b) Inclusion, wanted and expressed, and (c) Affection, wanted and expressed, thereby providing six measures for each person. The theory is well grounded, both theoretically and empirically. Although it captures many if not most of the themes described herein, it never gains a solid place in the social disciplines. Charlie Starkweather kills 11 people bringing mass murder to the Nation's attention. "Standing at five feet two inches, Charles Starkweather hated everyone he saw. Everyone except his fourteen year old girlfriend Caril Ann. On January 21, 1958, Charlie got into an argument with Caril's parents and settled it the only way he knew -- shooting her mother and stepfather....After eluding a two-hundred member posse chasing them through Nebraska, they were captured in Wyoming where they turned on each other." The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) is formed, and becomes remarkably successful. By 1997 they will have 32 million members, approximately one half of everyone in the U.S. who is eligible (those 50 years old or older), and thus represent one of the most powerful lobbies in Washington D.C. In 1903 the first box of Crayola crayons sold for five cents. It had eight colors: blue, brown, black, red, orange, yellow, green, and violet. This year Binney & Smith introduces the first box of 64 colors. In 1990 they will, for the first time, retire eight colors (green blue, raw umber, orange yellow, violet blue, maize, lemon yellow, blue gray, and orange red). In 1996, the one hundredth billion crayon will be made, and by 1997 they will be making more than 2 billion crayons each year, an average of 5 million crayons each day. "The average North American uses up 730 crayons by age 10.... Most kids spend an average of almost half an hour a day coloring. We think that's a lot better than watching TV!" [Source].
1959: Alaska is inducted into the Union on January 3, 1959, primarily through the efforts of Senator Edward Lewis "Bob" Bartlett. "The statehood movement achieved increased national visibility through the efforts of novelist Edna Ferber, whom one critic called the "Harriet Beecher Stowe of the twentieth century." Ferber's Ice Palace (1958) powerfully dramatized the Alaskan situation and spread a pro-statehood message among thousands of readers in the "lower 48" states." Hawaii is admitted as the 50th state on August 21st, and the 27th flag of the United States will become the Official U.S. Flag on July 4th, 1960. After 51 years of prohibition (since 1908), Oklahoma by a close vote, permits liquor. After years of failure, Ruth Handler finally prevails and the first Barbie Doll is introduced on February 13th. It is the first teenage doll; yet eventually will become an industry leader, selling more than 500 million Barbies (including friends). Peter Drucker coins the term "knowledge worker" in his book, Landmarks of Tomorrow. Sleeping Beauty is released by Disney on January 29th. On June 11th, the Postmaster General bans the book, Lady Chatterley's Lover, from the mail system, and declares the book an, "obscene and filthy work." The music company, Motown, is created by Berry Gordy with $800 borrowed dollars. String players, members of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, balked when asked to play strange or dissonant sounds, "This is wrong, this is never done," they complained, but the music is successful. Berry is also a genius concerning his performers and institutes Motown like a Detroit factory [see 1914]. He owns the performers and insists that they attend high pressure schooling. The training begins "with grooming, etiquette, diction, elocution, table manners, and personal hygiene" (Curtis, 1987). During the four years starting in 1961, these Motown groups each had at least three top twenty hits: "Miracles, Marvelettes, Mary Wells, Martha and the Vandellas, Marvin Gaye, and the Supremes." Motown will become the only record company with an anthem ("Hitsville" written by Smokey Robinson) that is sung at the end of meetings. In 1981 Berry will sell Motown to MCA Records for $61 million, and move to Hollywood. The computer ERMA (Electronic Recording Method of Accounting) is completed by General Electric and announced by movie star Ronald Reagan. ERMA was commissioned by the Bank of America because, as the world's largest bank, they were processing 12 million checks a day, almost all by female high school graduates. The job was so unpleasant that the turnover rate was high, and B of A estimated that in five years they would have to hire one-third of all of California's high school graduates just to process checks. ERMA is a huge success; whereas an experienced bookkeeper is able to sort and post 250 checks an hour, ERMA does the same for 500 checks an hour. Two years from now, Bank of America will stop hiring bookkeepers because ERMA has replaced 2,332 of them. Although people became alarmed, by 1967 ninety-five percent of the banks in the U.S. would be using computers in their checking operations. The Diary of Anne Frank is the first movie with a Holocaust theme, and it awakens the public, much like Generals Eisenhower, Omar Bradley and George Patton were astonished in April of 1945. For decades to come, the horror is so unimaginable that many people will refuse to believe it happened. Amway is created as a privately held company by Jay Van Andel and Rich DeVos in Ada, Michigan. It will be come one of the largest direct sales businesses the world. By 1997 it will have more than 3 million independent distributors who sell Amway products on a person-to-person basis in more than 75 countries and territories. [Source].
1960: The Nixon - Kennedy Presidential debates have been classed as a major turning point in American politics. Before them, TV had no impact on politics, yet more than 100 million people will tune in to watch them. After the four debates, a new era in electronic politics is identified, and henceforth no National politician can ignore the TV camera. On May 19th the disc jockey Alan Freed and others are arrested for commercial bribery. Earlier, Dick Clark had testified that he had never taken payola. On October 17th, college professor and esteemed personality Charles Van Doren and 13 others were arrested on charges of perjury related to the TV quiz show scandal. Patty Duke eventually tells the truth in this matter. In January, Control Data Corp. announces the CDC 1604 computer. At 0.2 MHz, it is the fastest computer in the World. The first sale is to the Navy Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA. Seymour Cray, with a minimal budget, designed it using the poorest quality transistors available and a design that made the overall computer faster and more reliable. Until the 1604, IBM had been "King" of the computer industry. For example, between 1954 and 1961 the U.S. Government's Livermore radiation lab purchased twenty computers, nineteen of which were IBMs. Their 1962 purchase of a CDC 1604 will break that cycle and is noticed in the still small computing industry. (Murray, 1997). Hugh Hefner opens the first Playboy club in Chicago. By 1972, there will be 22 clubs supporting approximately one million men. The last club will be closed on July 31, 1988. During the 40 years of the Playboy magazine (first issue was November 1, 1953), there have been 489 centerfolds, and at the peak, 5 million readers. Hefner epitomized male self-indulgence and hedonism. Moreover, many believe that this magazine depicts adult nudity for adults. Professor Judith A. Reisman describes a much different account. By 1994, Hefner will have come full circle and state that he is enjoying a monogamous married family life with children. Yet during that time he misled countless people (readers and magazine participants) and transmitted values inconsistent both with his current life style and family values. Leonard Eron studies all 875 third grade children in Hudson, New York (see 1928) concerning aggression, violence, and bullies. He throws in some filler questions about TV, and inadvertently discovers the first "real world" evidence for the adverse effects of TV on children's aggression. He will return to Hudson when those same kids are 19 and 30, and draw similar conclusions. Chubby Checker (born Ernest Evans) sings and dances the "Twist" on American Bandstand, and it eventually becomes the most popular (#1 single) in the U.S. from 1954-1993 (Dave McAleer, The All Music Book of Hit Singles). Woolworth become part of the civil rights movement on February 1st in Greensboro, North Carolina when four black college students enter the Woolworth 5 & 10 store, sit at the segregated lunch counter and order lunch. That sit-in sparks a 50-city protest which initiates a series of sit-ins throughout the South at hotels, beaches, theaters, churches and amusement parks that forced Woolworth to change its policy toward blacks. By 1994, that lunch counter will belong to the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. The movie Psycho by Alfred Hitchcock marks a transition point, and the beginning of the age of sensation over sentiment (Seymore, 1994).
1961: President John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) is our 35th and youngest President. During his inaugural address he issues a call to Americans to serve with the words, "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." Jackie Kennedy, with a strong academic and cultural background will start to transform the Whitehouse into a more appealing home. Her value of history will underscore the museum she creates there, and on February 14th next year she will lead a TV tour of the Whitehouse for 47 million viewers. This is the first time that Americans see the inside of the White House, and the first time cameras are allowed into the Lincoln and Monroe rooms. On April 12, Russia puts a man in orbit, a feat that starts the largest competition in world history. The following September (12th) at Rice University, President John F. Kennedy announces his intention to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade. In the meanwhile, on May 5th, Navy Commander Alan B. Shepard Jr. (the "ice commander") is the first American in space aboard "Freedom Seven." Ten years later, during the Apollo 14 mission in 1971, Shepard will gain attention for his golf shot on the moon (using a makeshift 6 iron). In 1994, Shepard will state that Walt Disney was a "visionary" because his "Tomorrowland" TV series was years ahead of everyone in its portrayal of space flight. In fact, President Eisenhower watched that series and asked to borrow it to show it to the "pig heads" at the Pentagon. Richard Gordon, a Navy test pilot flies the F4H Phantom jet from Los Angeles to New York City in record time (2 hours and 47 minutes), at an average speed of 879 miles an hour. Years later, with Alan Bean and Charles Conrad, he will be a part of the second Lunar landing in November, 1969, as pilot of the command module. On May 9th, Newton N. Minow, chair of the Federal Communication Commission, makes his now famous statement about TV in front of the National Association of Broadcasters saying, "I invite you to sit down in front of your television set...and keep your eyes glued to that set until the station signs off. I can assure you that you will observe a vast wasteland." Twenty five years later on Nightline (TV show: May 9, 1986) he will say, "When television is good, nothing is better. When it's bad, nothing is worse." In 1991 he will be invited to "analyze the thirty years of television that had passed since ...[his] first speech to the nation's broadcasters as a young FCC chairman" (Minow & LaMay, 1995). Still later, in 1994 he will tell Frontline that TV is worse now than it was before ("Does TV Kill" show, aired January 10, 1995). Bank of America orders a General Electric computer named IRMA to process their 9 million checks a day. The computer will process 550 checks a minute instead of 250 checks an hour the old way. For these tasks, the computers are faster and more accurate than humans. On January 28th, the State Department reveals plans for President Kennedy's Peace Corps, which is officially established on March 1st. Last year, on October 14th, President Kennedy, at an impromptu address to students at the University of Michigan, challenged them to give two years of their lives to help people in countries of the developing world. By mid 1997, more than 150,000 volunteers and trainees will have served in 132 countries bringing good will to millions. A profile of the volunteers is: 92% will be single, 57% will be female, minorities will comprise 13% , and the average age will be 29. Service, other than to ourself, has value. On March 18th, President Kennedy signs Executive Order 10927 which creates the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC). Charity fund raising in the U.S. Government has been a hodgepodge of policies and procedures. This order consolidated the various efforts into the start of a coherent system. By 1964, "the first "combined" campaigns, officially called "Combined Federal Campaigns, or CFC" were conducted as experiments in six cities, consolidating all drives into one. The result was a substantial increase in contributions, ranging from 20% to 125%, and a highly favorable response within the federal community:" Contributions will grow from $12.9 million in 1964 to $82.8 million in 1979. The average annual gift in San Diego County in 1996 will be $87.28.
1962: AT&T's experimental communication satellite, Telstar, is placed in orbit on July 10th, and captures the imagination of a Nation. Earlier, on February 20th, John Glenn becomes the first American to orbit the Earth. Consequently, for the typical citizen, this is the start of the Space Age. Later, starting in 1974, he will become one of the most respected Senators in the U.S. Congress. Mississippi Governor Barnett denies admission at the University of Mississippi to black student Meredith, but the U.S. Court of Appeals finds the Governor guilty of civil contempt, and on September 30th 3,000 soldiers suppress riots as Meredith attends the University. Rachel Carson publishes Silent Spring, the powerful book that provides an influential description of environmental destruction by chemical fertilizers. This book will initiate immense change, including the formation of the EPA (1970), Earth Day (1970), The Clean Air Act (1963), the Clean Water Act (1970), and the ban on DDT (1972). Downs (1983) will identify Carson's Silent Spring as one of 27 Books That Changed The World. Billy Sol Estes, a 37 year old Texas businessman, is sentenced to eight years in prison. His association with the Department of Agriculture creates a scandal for that organization because at the time the story breaks, the DOA knows about it. Nevertheless DOA Secretary Orville Freeman renames Estes to the National Cotton Advisory Committee justifying the appointment because Estes "made large cash contributions to Texas Democratic senator Ralph W. Yarborough, for instance, and to Vice President Lyndon Johnson" (Garment, 1991). Johnny Carson replaces Jack Parr as host of the NBC "Tonight Show," which will become the late evening TV hit show for much of America. The biggest anti-trust case in history requires E. I. du Pont to sell 63 million shares of General Motors. The Supreme Court, in Engel v. Vitale, rules that prayers, even nondenominational, in public schools violates both the 1st and 14th Amendments. Next year they will extend the ruling to cover any prayer or Bible reading. SPACEWAR!, is "written on DEC's PDP-1 by MIT students.... [and] is considered the first interactive computer game." Singer Tony Bennett (1926 - ), also known as "Mr. Cool," sings his most famous song, "I Left My Heart in San Francisco." When Rock and Roll music took the industry by storm, his style remained singularly constant--just singing great songs, jazz, Broadway hits, etc. In the early 1990s he will tell his son that today's teens will appreciate his music if only he can get on MTV. It works, and in 1995, he will cap "his long-lived career with a Grammy for best pop vocal album for MTV Unplugged." [Source].
1963: On June 17th, the Supreme Court, in Murray v. Curlett, one of the most significant decisions of this century, rules by a vote of 8 to 1 that Bible verses in public schools are unconstitutional (a year earlier, on June 25th, the Supreme Court ruled in Engel v. Vitale, that reading prayers in New York public schools was unconstitutional). The decision this year was brought to the court by Mrs. Madalyn Murray and her 17 year old son, William, both proclaimed atheists. However, by 1994 he will have become an evangelistic preacher, led there from alcoholism. Moreover, he and his mother will not have spoken to each other during the preceding 17 years. Also at that time, the topic of optional school prayer will have arisen again when the new Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich (Republican from Georgia), vows to put the topic before Congress. Martin Luther King, Jr. makes his most famous speech in the mall between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial on August 28th: "I have a dream that one day this Nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: `We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal.'...I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today." That speech, to 200,000 Americans, resulted in a march on Washington D.C. about jobs and freedom. The November 22nd assassination of President Kennedy in Dallas, Texas stuns the Nation, and is widely and vividly remembered, often with disbelief. Moreover, the Kennedy assassination will become the most examined death in the history of the world. Yet two other less famous people die on this day: author Aldous Huxley at age 69 from cancer while exploring LSD, and Christian author, C. S. Lewis. Betty Friedan publishes The Feminine Mystique and it changes the fabric of society. Yet, readers often contribute substantially to their interpretation of the book. A good balance can be obtained by reading her 1993 book, The Fountain of Age. The Post Office introduces the ZIP code to speed mail delivery. Audry Hepburn stars in the movie Charade, a romantic comic mystery which includes four ghastly murders, kidnapping, deception, etc. Yet it is one of the last family movies in that such events are secondary to a sensitive relationship and engaging humor. It also addresses the perennial question of who can you trust. The World's first super computer, the CDC 6600, is unveiled to the press in August. It sells for $8 million, and operates at 3 million instructions per second. It is "super" in more than computing because it prompts a sharp internal memo by IBM's President, is blocked from export by the U.S. State Department, and sales will exceed anyone's expectations (Murray, 1997). Thanksgiving is 100 years old in November. Although this event has been celebrated since the Pilgrims, it was President Abraham Lincoln who declared it a National holiday in 1863 (for the second time).
1964: On January 11th, Dr. Luther Terry, Surgeon General, releases a report on Smoking and Health, stating "that cigarette smoking is a cause of cancer and other serious diseases." Approximately 146,000 Americans will die of "lung cancer in 1992, and 90 percent of these deaths were caused by cigarette smoking. Smoking is responsible for about 30 percent of all cancer deaths annually in the United States -- more than 155,000 each year." [Source]. On Good Friday, March 27th, at 5:37 p.m. a huge (some say 9.2) earthquake and tidal wave strike south central Alaska. The fourth and largest wave crests at 35 feet above the mean low tide level, leaving unparalleled destruction. One extimate is that it lasts four minutes and sucks the harbor dry, releasing the equivalent of 50,000 Hiroshima atomic bombs. On August 1, the action figure, GI Joe, is released, accumulating sales of 250 million since then. Some Hasbro Company leaders fear that a doll for boys will fail, but its initial 2 million unit sales can be compared with Barbie's first year sales of 351,000 dolls. It costs $4 but will appreciate in value to $18 by 1994, a 350% increase. GI Joe is named for the 1945 movie, "The Story of G.I. Joe," staring Robert Mitchum. Marshall McLuhan's book, Understanding Media, electrifies many as it defines and describes the process and effects of modern communication systems (media). Moreover, most of us have yet to realize that our typical daily focus is more like Plato's cave dwellers than Socrates' "examined life." We have yet to learn that there is no reasoned alternative to a strong family environment, an enduring liberal education, hard work, and informed political activity. The legislative War on Poverty dates to 1935. However, in the early 1960s, President Kennedy was impressed with Michael Harrington's 1962 book titled, The Other America: Poverty in the United States. The President initiates efforts to assist the poor in Appalachia, but is assassinated before he can accomplish much in that direction. President Johnson, however, picks up the torch and claims it for his own. On August 20, President Johnson signs the Equal Opportunity Act. It contains no welfare, no jobs, and is very conservative, but is based on the President's philosophy of the "Great Society" wherein there is no poverty, no racial bias, and no injustice. Interestingly, Crawford (1994) will argue that the inclusion of no sexual discrimination in the bill was inadvertent and designed by an anti-civil rights senator to make the bill so "unpalatable" that it would fail. Nevertheless, it created the little known CRS (Community Relations Service) that for 30 years has been a significant force for reason and transition. The movie My Fair Lady, staring Audry Hepburn and Rex Harrison, wins 8 Oscars at the Academy Awards ceremony including best picture, actor, director, and cinematography. This production epitomizes the best of Hollywood. Never again will we see such quality in costumes and sets as during this era. The book, Fade Out, by Peter Bart depicts the later fall of MGM, and explains why. Yet, thirty years later, at a cost of $.75 million and one year's effort, My Fair Lady will arise again fully restored from neglect and abandonment. Head Start begins as part of the Economic Opportunity Program, a multi-million dollar program to aid the Nation's poor and indigent children. Of the 30 million people in poverty, 13 million are children. The President calls on Sargent Shriver to head the new program and he is sworn in on February 18th. Johnson's only mandate is "no cash handouts." Its objective is to "free 30 million Americans from poverty." Other programs in this year are the Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO), and CDGM (Child Development Group of Mississippi), an unusually successful program for poor and black children in that state. On April 7th, IBM announces the IBM 360 series computer which denotes the arrival of the mature computer industry, and a shift from transistors to integrated circuits. Based on an initial investment of $5 billion, it is a bold and effective move because within a few years practically every university and large business would operate an IBM 360 as sales reached 1,000 per month.
1965: The Three Degree Hypothesis (3° HO) is put forth as the result of an accidental discovery at Bell Labs, and later serves as evidence for the concept of an historical universe. The Hypothesis of "relic radiation" would be confirmed by the 1989 COBE spacecraft, and called the "discovery of the century" by Stephen W. Hawking, author of the future best seller, A Brief History of Time. On June 3rd, Edward White II makes the first U.S. space walk from the Gemini 4 space craft. He spends 22 minutes alone in the Universe. The Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act requires that a warning be printed on each pack of cigarettes stating, "Caution: Cigarette smoking may be hazardous to your health." This Act resulted from the review by Surgeon General Luther Terry who accepted responsibility for reviewing the more than 8,000 studies that had been done about smoking. On February 3rd, 105 Army Military Academy cadets resign for cheating on examinations. Four more resign later because they knew but did not report it. The Guaranteed Student Load program enables students of all incomes to obtain loans for post-secondary education. It is extremely popular, and by 1994 will have secured about $300 billion for more than 200 million students. Unfortunately, a default rate of 17 percent will cost taxpayers $67 billion (Government Executive, October, 1994). Hippies are defined in a San Francisco Examiner article. Ralph Nader publishes Unsafe at Any Speed, a book that leads directly to enactment of the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act in 1966. He will become the leading force and advocate for public issues, and when asked 30 years later what his greatest accomplishment was will reply the establishment of frontiers for a democratic society. He also mentions notable events such as seat belts, air bags, freedom of information, and better food. National Geographic debuts on TV. This year people will see the first film from the world's highest summit, Mt. Everest, and watch chimpanzees learn to trust Jane Goodall. Such viewing was unimaginable for the average citizen even 20 years ago. Between now and 1995, 114 National Geographic specials will air on TV, and clips from 70 of them will be presented in a 1995 special titled "30 Years of National Geographic Specials." In 1997 they will issue a set of 30 CD-ROMs that includes every article, photograph and map published from 1888 to 1996. "The 9,000 articles or 185,000 pages from 1,245 issues, are fully indexed and searchable by date, issue, cover, subject, writer and photographer. All advertisements, which are excellent entertainment in themselves, are also included." The Electra Glide is released by Harley Davidson motorcycle company. Harley was formed in 1903 in a wooden shack in Milwaukee, Wisconsin at a time when motorcycles were becoming popular. At the peak there were more than 250 motorcycles companies in the U.S. with names like Indian, Excelsior (the two most famous besides Harley), Yale, Cyclone, Flying Merkel, Ace, Curtiss, Henderson, Ariel, Marvel, etc. But the Great Depression killed most of the motorcycle industry. Only Indian and Harley lasted until 1953, the year Indian went out of business. Harley's greatest machine is the Electra Glide, a 1208.19 cc, 60 horsepower (at 5,400 rpm) 4 speed, 100 mph, chain driven, 783 pound wonder that costs $1,595 when it comes out this year. It has a 12 volt electric starter, quite unusual, and continues the dual suspension. The movie "Electra Glide in Blue" will be released in 1973, and tell the story of a motorcycle police officer. By 1997 a fully restored, mint condition, 1967 Electra Glide will sell for $13,500, at a time when Harley will own 39% of the $2.1 billion street bike market (touring bikes, cruisers, etc.) (Inc. magazine, November, 1997).
1966: Most people cite 1969 as the beginning of the Internet. That is true if the physical connection is most important. However, if the idea, the vision, and the first step are important, than 1966 is the date. In February, Robert Taylor (and J. C. R. Licklider) ask the U.S. ARPA (Advanced Research Projects Agency) director for funding to link computers, and receive $1 million. Two years later, on November 21, 1968, the first test, between UCLA's Boeltner Hall and Doug Engelbart's lab at the Stanford Research Institute, will be successful. By 1971 there were nearly two dozen sites on the InterNET. (Newsweek, August 8, 1994). On June 13th a close ruling by the Supreme Court (5-4) requires that an accused person must be appraised of his or her rights before interrogation. On July 1st, Medicare for the elderly is started and covers the cost of care in hospitals. The Department of Transportation is created on October 15th. Star Trek airs on NBC for the first time. It will remain on TV until 1969, never win an Emmy, yet became the most famous science-fiction series in history. Indeed, at the 1994 annual convention of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), founded in 1848, there will be a daylong seminar titled, "The Science in Star Trek: Bringing Science to a Different Public" (Smithsonian, June, 1994). The California Rural Legal Association (CRLA) is created. During the first half of this century, two groups in particular are associated with poverty: the coal miners in the east and farm hands in California. The CRLA is designed to assist those farm workers who did not have a Federal right to a union. Psychologist Jack Bhrem publishes "A theory of Psychological Reactance" that has momentous implications for almost all human behavior. In particular, the economists tell us that people maximize their outcomes, but everyone knows that too often people make choices or decisions that are not in their best interests. Reactance Theory may explain much if not most of that perplexing behavior, and it is conceptually tied to one dimension in the FIRO-B theory [see 1958]. Nevertheless, Reactance Theory will remain generally unrecognized in all but name by both psychologists and reporters despite its wide explanatory potential. Walt Disney dies in December, and thus never gets to see his dream "Disney World" become a reality. Its design and construction are truly marvels of creativity, construction, finance, and imagination [Source]. Walt's brother, Roy, takes charge and "Walt Disney World" will open in October, 1971.
1967: On February 10th, the 25th Amendment is ratified. It defines the succession rules for the U.S. Presidency, and what to do if the President becomes unable to lead the Nation. In 1994 President Carter will propose that this Amendment be modified to include a team of physicians. On June 2nd, a race riot breaks out in Boston's black district. It will soon be followed by others in Tampa, Cincinnati, Buffalo, Atlanta, Newark, and Detroit (the worst in U.S. history, killing 43 people in 5 days). Such riots occur in more than 100 cities in the U.S. this year. The one in Newark, New Jersey erupts on July 12th and last five days. Twenty six people die, and mothers do not let children out doors during the five day spree of destruction and looting. The immediate reactions are quite varied. Black school children think, okay, now things will change and the other kids will treat me as a person. But instead the City gives up and will sink into decades long dispair. Newark's population will decline by 150,000 as both blacks and white flee. Not until the late 1990s and the construction of the Performing Arts Center will hopes rise. On June 30th, after four years of negotiation, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade is signed by 46 nations, including the U.S. November 7th, is the beginning of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, created by Congress. From that will follow both PBS in 1969 and NPR in 1970. The "Monkees Revolt" occurs when a rock group by that name tells the press that they are phonies and selling a product. In fact, their music publisher released a record under their name without telling them. AT&T introduces the toll-free 800 number. Three Apollo I astronauts are killed in a fire during ground testing in Complex 34 at Cape Canaveral. They are Gus Grissom, Edward White, and Roger Chaffee. House of Representatives member Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., Chairman of the Committee on Education and Labor in the 89th Congress, is found guilty of deceiving "House authorities as to travel expenses...[who] also noted strong evidence that the chairman had directed certain illegal salary payments to his wife." He will be excluded from the 90th Congress, and denied his seniority and fined in the 91st Congress. Phil Donahue's daytime talk show on TV starts an exploding National trend. By the 1994-5 season there will be 21 syndicated talk shows, the most popular of which will be Oprah (see 1986), and the fastest growing will be The Ricki Lake show. Every conceivable topic from hate groups to sex of every sort, including sexploitation, will be discussed on TV. Apparently a large segment of the viewing public has preferences along those lines. Super Bowl I is played on January 15th. Green Bay Packers wide receiver Max McGee collects a 37 yard pass from quarterback Bart Star and scores the first touchdown in Super Bowl history. The Packers win 35 to 10 over the Kansas City Chiefs.
1968: On April 3rd, Martin Luther King addresses 15,000 people at the Masonic Temple in Memphis. The following night as he leaves the Lorraine Motel and steps onto the balcony, he is shot by James Earl Ray with a Remington 30.06. The CRS (see 1964) may be credited with the "deceptive calm" that occurs at the time (Common Cause Magazine, Spring, 1994). King won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 for his endless efforts at nonviolent and passive support of desegregation. Stewart Brand creates the counter-culture and popular Whole Earth Catalog. It "pushes" ham radios and solar electric, as well as organic gardening and hand grain-grinders (U.S. & News Report, November 14, 1994). This hippie "Sears catalog" costs $1 and is printed on shaggy newsprint and promotes self-reliance. Looking back 45 years later (in 1994 from his Pacific coast refurbished tugboat) Brand will say, "Everything...failed. Communes failed, dope failed, politics failed. The main thing that survived and thrived was the computer....The computer nerds were the ones who came closest to carving out the counter-cultural agenda" (San Diego Union-Tribune, January 10, 1995). In 1994, the $30 Millennium Whole Earth Catalog will be edited by Howard Rheingold, and encounter the new computer and communication technologies. In December, aboard Apollo 8, William Anders, James Lovell and mission commander Frank Borman become the first humans to see the entire Earth all at once, and the first to fly to the Moon, which they circled 10 times in twenty hours, 69 miles above the surface, before heading back to Earth. The view of Earth from space is one of the wonders this century. Arthur C. Clarke's movie, 2001, opens and will become one of the most famous space and science fiction movies of all times. It features the HAL 9000 computer which says, "I am a HAL Nine Thousand computer, Production Number 3. I became operational at the HAL plant in Urbana, Illinois on January 12, 1997." The movie recounts the struggle of control but between humans and a computer. Explanations about the film's meaning will proliferate, including one using cognitive dissonance. Clark's earlier 1945 concept of a geostationary orbit serves as the basis for satellite communication., and will result in many honors. The National Welfare Rights Organization (NWRO) is formed by mothers frustrated by welfare, and consists of 300 national groups, headquartered in New York that believes, "Welfare is a right, not a privilege." They attempt to recruit all poor people and teach them how to apply for welfare. Their goal is an adequate income for all Americans, which they define as $5,500. The welfare rolls increase by 20% this year. Garrett Hardin publishes The Tragedy of the Commons, the first book of its kind. The commons represent those National and local resources that everyone can use. Hardin demonstrates the "flaw of freedom in the commons: all participants must agree to conserve the commons, but any one can force the destruction of the commons. Thus, as long as we are free to exploit the commons, we are locked into a paradoxical struggle against ourselves-a terrible struggle that must end in universal ruin." [Source]. Apparently, we must learn to act collectively for the common good--not an easy task. Frank Serpico is an undercover police detective in New York City who is unsuccessful in his efforts to rid the department of serious criminal activity. Next year he and David Dirk will visit David Burnham at the The New York Times which will break the story on April 25, 1970 about decades of police owned and operated gambling, bribes at the highest levels and drugs. Eventually, after the Knapp Commission, the Police Commissioner will resign and the reputation of police everywhere will suffer. Twenty five years later in 1997, Serpico, at 61, will testify again about police crime [Source].
1969: On July 16th, Neal A. Armstrong, Col. Buzz Aldrin, and LtCol. Mike Collins depart Pad 39 at Cape Kennedy aboard Apollo 11 for the moon. It is astonishing to reflect that Buck Rogers was invented only 41 years earlier, in 1928, at a time prior to TV. [Other news on this July day: Egypt and Israel are at war, the Vietnam war is still being fought, President Nixon is heading for the All-Star game, Atlanta beats the Padres 10-0, and hearings are being held for Senator Edward Kennedy concerning the car accident at Chappaquiddick Island that killed 28-year old Mary Jo Kopechne.] Some 218,000 miles later, on July 20th, at 3:23 an astronaut speaks the first words by a human on another world, "Houston, Tranquillity Base here. The Eagle has landed." The lunar module christened "The Eagle" will be honored symbolically by being placed on the back of the 1979-1980 Susan B. Anthony dollar. The flight takes 102 hours. Later that day Neal and Buzz walk on the moon, at what they called "Tranquillity Base," thereby describing a new place in a new world. The first meal on the moon consists of roasted turkey from foil packets. Mike remains 60 miles above. This moment is the crowning glory of American science and technology, and it is shared around the World. Nothing like this will happen again this century. Each of us should ask ourselves why. Neal, the only civilian, is earning $30,000/year; Buzz is earning $20,000/year, and Mike is earning $17,000 per year. Good reviews can be found in the July 11, 1994 issue of the U.S. News & World Report, and the July, 1994 issue of Discover. Earlier, on Apollo IX, the song "Happy Birthday" was sung in space on March 8, 1969. On August 15, 16, and 17, in upstate New York close to half a million people attend (but only 100,000 pay to attend) the first "peace, love, and music festival" for the new age children. Amid unlimited drugs, rain, and mud, two of the bands that rocketed to stardom following their appearances at Woodstock, The Who and Santana, now have quite differing views about that event. Nevertheless, it was the beginning of the end for many, such as innocence for the young. But this event does signal two growing perceptions, first, an untapped market for big business, and second, a practically universal need for people to get together. Renown journalist Seymour Hersh finds it difficult to publish his story about My Lai to Life, Look, and other periodicals (refer to Hersh's speech given in December, 1994 at Tulane University). However, on November 16th, reports about the massacre in March of 1968 at My Lai 4, a village in South Vietnam, are reported and indicate that 450 men, women, and children were shot by U.S. Infantrymen. In 1970, Lt. Calley will be court-martialed for the deaths of 102 civilians, and on March 21, 1971 he, alone, will be convicted for the deaths of 22 innocent people. This year is the first year worldwide with no reported deaths for polio. In 1988, with 35,000 cases worldwide, the World Health Assembly will pass a resolution to eradicate poliomyelitis from the globe by the year 2000. By 1996, statistics will indicate that great progress will have been made. Intel creates the MPU (microprocessing unit), the first general purpose computer chip. The Intel 4004 chip will be used first in the Busicom calculator. When in 1971, Bowmar Instrument will produce the first hand-held calculator, which sells for $169, the visionaries at Texas Instrument will set a goal to sell four-function calculators for under $10.00. Understandably, the design team has problems with that (Upside, November, 1994). The Chicago 7 (including Jerry Rubin and Abbie Hoffman, co-founders of the Yippies: Youth International Party) anti-Vietnam War trial starts in September when Judge Julius Hoffman separates Black Panther leader Bobbie Seale's case from the others. All 7 were acquitted of conspiracy to incite violence charges, yet all but two were convicted of intent to riot charges. Furthermore, they and their attorneys were cited for close to 200 counts of contempt of court: all but fifteen of which were dropped. Hoffman will commit suicide in 1989, and Rubin (most recently a Wall Street venture capitalist) will die of cardiac arrest in 1994. Unix is born in New Jersey's "muggy summer." It is the first computer operating system that is portable, machine-independent, and affordable. The fascinating Unix story is about an open system and user cooperation (Salus, 1994). Elsewhere, on the West coast the Internet begins and crashes for the first time as UCLA graduate students attempt to "log" onto the computer at Stanford. They get to the letter "G" before the crash, but this is the birth of the InterNet. The Experimental Lakes Area (ELA) project begins with Lake 227 and is the first time an entire lake is used to test hypotheses about the environmental impact of certain chemicals. The most famous experiment will occur somewhat later on Lake 226 when the addition of phosphorus demonstrates a negative impact. Although these lakes are in Canada, their scientific findings will have major impacts on laws and companies in the US. Time magazine names Margaret Mead Mother of the Year. Later, in 1984 we will learn that her daughter, Mary, was the first Dr. Spock baby. The Saturday Evening Post ceases publication after 147 years. The cover art by Norman Rockwell is exceptionally popular.
1970: One of the measurable and notable positive impacts since the first Earth Day this year is the development of the "Carbon Efficiency" Index (Wiley, 1993), but it is Jacques Cousteau who is considered the "father of the modern humane movement." Coincidentally, President Nixon signs a bill on April 1st that will ban cigarette ads on radio and TV starting next year. Common Cause, a non-partisan citizens' lobbying group, is started by John Gardner, former Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare. The Elvis-Nixon meeting takes place in the Oval Office on Monday, December 21st. Elvis has just flown into D.C., and hand delivers a hand written note to the White House asking to see the President. His goal is to obtain a Federal Narcotics badge to add to his collection of badges. After President Nixon offers a gift, Elvis impulsively hugs the President. OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, is created. With striking logic, it will state that, "safety in the American work place has not improved greatly in the past twenty-five years." (Drucker, 1995) The TV show 60 Minutes airs on CBS TV for the first time and is considered a risky venture. Yet, it will become the most popular network program of all time, and by its January 29, 1995 anniversary show, 2300 stories will have been aired during 1,300 hours of air time. Don Hewit, the founder has no college degree, and was kicked off the previous shows. He takes the idea from Life magazine [see 1936]. The show's powerful influence will be felt from the halls of Congress, and the legal system, to the California vineyards. For example, the show titled the "French Paradox" provided some evidence in favor of drinking wine, and sales of wine increased in the U.S. by 21 million gallons the following year. Dave Thomas creates the first Wendy's drive-in, a hamburger shop, in Columbus, Ohio. It is named after his daughter, and by 1995 there will be more than 4,000 such stores world-wide, and she will own two of them. Dave was born out of wedlock and was dirt poor when he married in 1952. At the age of 62 he will own a 63' boat, four homes, and an impressive customized bus. In 1992 he will found the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. Unsustainable ocean fishing begins about this time. For centuries, people from every nation with an ocean border fished, and everyone believed that the world's fish supply was unlimited. However, between now and the 1990s, the World's industrial fishing fleets will double and become both exceptionally technical and ruthless. Accordingly by 1995 the "UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), after long promoting large-scale industrial fishing..." will announce, "that fishing at current rates cannot be sustained." In March 1995, they will say, "that 70% of world fish stocks are now either 'fully exploited, overfished, depleted or rebuilding from previous overfishing'" [source]. This is an excellent example of the Commons Tradegy (see 1968).
1972: On June 17th, police arrest five men at the Democratic National Headquarters in the Watergate hotel. This event, eventually called the Watergate Scandal, will lead to the resignation of President Nixon, and represents a National political disaster because those involved attempted to subvert both the Constitution and the laws of this Nation. At first few pay attention to the apparent robbery, but the Washington Post does, and with the assistance of Deep Throat who says, "follow the money," they drag the Nation out of its slumber and into awareness about one of the most egregious abuses of political power in this Nation's history. In 1974 seven former aides of the president will be indicted for conspiring to hinder the Watergate investigation, and five will be sent to prison. The abuse of power in this Nation has never been clearer, and provides yet another example of both (a) the supreme influence of leadership on an organization, and (b) the too frequent inability of a citizenry to address its political agenda. The Consumer Product Safety Commission is established with authority to impose mandatory safety standards for products. It will grow to 900 people, but then would be cut to half that size after 1975. Of the two dozen Federal agencies with some product jurisdiction, the CPSC has the greatest responsibility as more than 28 million Americans are injured, and another 21,000 killed, by products (not counting cars) each year (Consumer Reports, November, 1994). The Apollo 17 space flight, is the last time humans walk, or drive, across the surface of the moon. Interestingly, the Lunar Roving Vehicle, used during the last three flights, has a top speed of 10 mph (see 1904). What makes the Apollo flights different from all previous human explorations, too numerous to mention, is television. For the first time in history, viewers can watch the explorers. On this flight, Harrison "Jack" Schmitt, the first and only scientist to walk on the moon, gains fame by "skiing" downhill toward the LRV (Chaikin, 1994). The Apollo program cost $24 billion and required the coordinated efforts of 400,000 people; it has been estimated that approximately one-fourth of the work was voluntary (unpaid). The last three scheduled flights to the moon are canceled for political reasons. DDT is banned. Both Rachel Carson's 1962 book Silent Spring, and the Disney organization play no small roles. Disney's documentary film The Living Desert focuses public attention toward the seriously declining levels of many animal populations due indirectly to DDT. Ben Johnson wins an Oscar in The Last Picture Show. Ben is a cowboy hero who came to Hollywood in the 1940s, and worked mostly with John Ford. He is, "honest, strong, independent. And moral. At a time when movies began shocking audiences with four-letter words, Ben refused to cave in. In fact, he turned down his role in The Last Picture Show until director Peter Bogdanovich allowed him to rewrite his lines and expurge the foul language." (Trimble, 1997). In a remarkably uncommon event, IBM settles out of court with CDC. In essence, IBM had marketed "phantom" computers, and would have sold that model 360-90 at a loss to beat its competitor (Murray, 1997). DARPA, the Government funding source behind the InterNet decides to demonstrate ARPANET (what the InterNet is called at this time) to the public and let them use it. Although AT&T is skeptical, the demonstration at the Washington Hilton Hotel is an eventful success. Professor Jay Forrester at MIT publishes The Limits to Growth, a systematic analysis of global systems. The book is essentially pessimistic in its outlook for the future. Later, other books will provide more optimistic visions for the future of Earth, including Daly and Cobb's (1989) award winning For the Common Good, which will argue that we already reached our limits, and the third edition of Tietenberg's (1992) Environmental And Natural Resource Economics. Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 states that "no person in the U.S. shall, on the basis of sex be excluded from participation in, or denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving federal aid." This topic primarily is about gender equality in sports, and will have enormous implications during the next quarter century. For example, in November 1997, Boston University will end its 90 year old football program amid strong controversy. The top secret Corona project ends. During the peak of the Cold War when the two most powerful nations on Earth stand at the brink of atomic holocaust, and after we lost our "eyes" on May 1, 1960 when Francis Gary Powers was shot down, the Corona project provided important satellite imagery. Corona was the World's first reconnaissance satellite, and since its first successful launch on August 18, 1960, until the program ended this May, it acquired images of about 700 million nm2 of the Earth's surface (McDonald, 1997).
1973: In Roe v. Wade the Supreme Court permits voluntary abortion during the first trimester of pregnancy. This ruling will have immense repercussions as abortion opponents grow. Starting in the mid-1980s, Joe Scheindler and Randall Terry will meet in Pensacola to start "Operation Rescue." Scheidler does not condone violence, however other more radical groups are responsible for at least "153 actual or attempted arsons and bombings [during the following] decade," and close to $13 million in damages. The most exorbitant crimes will be committed in Mesquite, TX (1985: $1.5 million), Bakersfield, CA (1993: $1.4 million), and Kalamazoo, MI (1986: $.75 million), all of which remain unsolved (U.S. News & World Report, November 14, 1994). According to a 1997 CDC report, the year with the largest number of abortions in the U.S. will be 1990 (1.4 million). Congress approves the War Powers Act which requires the President to obtain Congressional approval within 90 days after deploying military troops. The War Powers Act is vetoed by Nixon and will be denounced by every President after him. Stewart Brand, the originator of the Whole Earth Catalogue, publishes a book titled, Two Cybernetic Frontiers, in which he states, "Ready or not, computers are coming to the people...a personal computer, the size of a breadbox, can do real-time animation of sketches like the Saturday morning cartoons on TV." (Barnett, 1994). Federal Express was conceived in a term paper by Fred Smith at Yale, for which he received a grade of "C." Nevertheless, he forms his company which begins service on March 12th. Initially it is a disaster because at the end of 1972 the company owes $21.7 million, and its operating loss for the year is $927,845. A total of six packages are handled that evening (Allen, O. 1995). Author Thomas Fleming in 1994 will state that, "The most important change in this country in the last 40 years took place in 1973, when the upheaval of Watergate triggered a shift from presidential to congressional government" (San Diego Union-Tribune, January 1, 1995, p. G-3). The Hershey Chocolate World visitors center opens on June 30th. Founder M.S. Hershey began marketing milk chocolate bars in 1900, and later they moved from Lancaster to the village of Derry Church, Pennsylvania., which was renamed Hershey in 1906. In 1909, "M. S. and Catherine Hershey [will] create the Deed of Trust establishing Hershey Industrial School for orphan boys, and nine years later Mr. Hershey will donate $60 million in Hershey Chocolate Company stock, to that School. He will die at the age of 88 in 1945, long after having introduced such favorites as Kisses (1907), Mr. Goodbar (1925), and Hershey's Miniatures (1939) [Source ]. The movie, The Sting opens and signals the appreciation of both the power of deception over brute force and the revival of Ragtime music. Ragtime music was created by Scott Joplin (1868-1917) in 1897 when the song "Maple Leaf Rag" became the first hit song in the U.S. by selling over one million copies. It took the County by storm with its combination of march and syncopation, and this type of music ruled for decades until the Blues and Jazz appeared, followed by Rock and Roll. But after this year's revival of Ragtime music, yearly festivals will appear like the one in Sedalia, MO, the place Scott refined his musical style in local saloons.
Maple Leaf Rag Mid file.
1974: On July 24th, the Supreme Court unanimously decides, in the United States v. Nixon, that President Nixon must provide the subpoenaed tapes to the special prosecutor. It is the first time the Supreme Court has made a ruling in a Presidential criminal misconduct case. The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) becomes law. Prior to the Act, employers were not required to finance pension plans, or invest those funds wisely, and no one was guaranteed a pension. On August 9th, President Nixon resigns. Vice President Gerald R. Ford is sworn in at 12:03 by Chief Justice Warren Burger. Ford will nominate Nelson Rockefeller as Vice-President. Congress passes the Freedom of Information Act on November 21st despite President Ford's veto. The Freedom of Information Act was originally passed in 1966, but this year it gains strength. This legislation signals a sharp shift in the way our Government views its relationship with citizens. At this time, and long into the future, many if not most elected officials do not support the tenets of FOIA, the noteworthy exception being President Carter in 1977. Little League Baseball opens its playing fields to girls. The Campaign Reform Law is signed, but it is just one of many such attempts to correct the serious deficiencies in running for political office that have plagued this Nation for two centuries. In 1985, David Ogilvy will say, "There is one category of advertising which is totally uncontrolled and flagrantly dishonest: the television commercials for candidates in Presidential elections." (David Ogilvy on Advertising, 1985, New York: Vintage Books, p. 209).
1975: On July 17th, three Americans and two Soviets join 140 miles above the Earth in a rare and scientific venture of cooperation. In September there will be two separate attempts on the life of President Ford; one by Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme in Sacramento, CA and the other by Sara Jane Moore in San Francisco. In 1994 they will be serving life sentences in Florida and California, respectively. The Altair 8800 computer is on the cover of Popular Electronics and excites the build-it-yourself market. Some consider this to be the first "personal computer" because it has 64K of memory and sells for $297, or $395 with a case. Others point to the Commodore PET (Personal Electronic Transactor) in 1977 as the first personal computers because it will be fully assembled and straightforward to operate. Bill Gates and Paul Allen, two college students, form Microsoft in Gates' dorm room by writing the first software for a microcomputer. In 1995 Gates will say, "Communication was simple: just Paul and me talking over Cokes and pizza. Nobody else cared much about our opinion." (Ask Bill, a new column carried by the San Diego Union-Tribune, January 10, 1995). Less than 20 years later, in 1994, Microsoft, headquartered in Redmond, Washington, will post revenues of $4.65 billion and show a net income of $1.15 billion and employ 15,000 people. IBM fails in its early effort at a personal computer. The model 5100 is called a portable, weights 30 pounds, has a five inch screen, and costs $5,000 out of the box. The useable cost is closer to $9,000. William S. Paley establishes the Museum of Television & Radio in New York City. By 1994 it will house more than 60,000 TV and radio shows and 10,000 commercials. A few years ago California Governor Ronald Reagan took an idea to Washington, and this year President Ford launches the Earned Income Tax Credit. Unlike all other welfare packages, this one is administered by the IRS and low income recipients must be working to take advantage of it. For that reason, it becomes one of the most popular low-income programs--three Presidents and the majority of Congress will support it. By 1997 it will cost $25 billion per year and provide support for 18 million families and individuals.
1976: Near the end of April, rampant cheating is reported at West Point Military Academy. Approximately 700 cadets are implicated for violations of the Honor Code. This is the first year that the military academies admit women. The Air Force Academy admits 155 women, and West Point admits 109 women. Of those, 109, 52 will graduate four years later, and by 1994, close to 1,600 women will have graduated from West Point. Cybill Shepherd stars in Martin Scorsese's movie Taxi Driver where Robert De Niro is the seriously deranged New York taxi driver. But more than twenty years later Cybill has never seen the entire movie because she hates the violence in it. When asked in a 1997 radio interview she admits that it is "disturbing" to act in a movie that she will not watch. She says she needed the work. Both Stanley Kubrick (Clockwork Orange) and Scorsese will be repulsed when they learn that their films drove others to commit violent acts. Yet it is surprising how many movie critics laud this film. The typical U.S. refrigerator uses "an average of 1800 kilowatt-hours per year way more than any other appliance in the home....nearly four times the consumption of 1950-vintage models, which used about 500 kilowatt-hours a year and had their motors on top." But California leads the way by requiring, "18-cubic-foot fridges sold in the state to use no more than 1400 kilowatt-hours per year. Producers met the standard easily, and on time. Because California represented such a large share of the market, and the necessary improvements were so minimal, they applied that standard to their entire line. Since then, the criteria have been tightened three times. California set a new ceiling of 950 for 1987. Then federal standards took over" [Source]. However, this is an example of where the free-market economy serves neither the individual nor the Nation, primarily because of a lack of appropriate feedback--a seemingly unrecognized Governmental role.
1977: President Jimmy Carter (1924 - ), our 39th President is the first President born in a hospital. His "quick rise from relative political obscurity to the presidency in 1976 has been described as a miracle" [Source]. President Carter's major challenges will occur in 1979 with the energy crisis and the Iranian hostages. After leaving office he will form the Carter Center, and become the most socially active of all our Presidents. The Apple Computer Company starts in Steve Jobs' garage where the first product, an Apple II, is shipped in this year. It will become the fastest growing company in history. Apple will go public in 1980, providing both of its founders with $100 million. At the same time 80 employees become instant millionaires. By September 24, 1982 Apple income will reach $61.3 million. But by 1997 they will lose so much market share that they will sell part of their company to arch rival Microsoft. Both Babe Ruth and Elvis die on August 16th. Both are preeminent in their careers, yet only the musical entertainer will endure Nationally. Later the venerable Smithsonian will say that Elvis may be the single most important event in 200 years of American music. In any event, no one else will sell one billion records, have 17 number 1 hits, and record 114 hit songs. His reign is hard for many to understand because music for adults in the `40s and `50s was mostly innocent and sweet (e.g., Tony Bennett, Gogi Grant, and Sinatra). But Elvis sang to a different group---the kids who were the first to have economic power, and who rebelled, not only in music, but in clothes, dances, and clothing. Elvis changed radio forever. In 1986 he will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (their first year), and by 1997, the twentieth anniversary of his death, the income his name will generate, $250 million a year, is much more than he earned while alive. Close to 700,000 dedicated fans will tour Graceland each year---more than any other home in the U.S., except for the White House (by the late 1990s, approximately 1.5 million visitors tour the White House annually). The combination of his songs and style have yet to be challenged; he is The King. On October 31st, former CIA Director Richard Helms pleads no contest to charges that he failed to testify completely and fully before Congress. The Department of Energy is created on August 4th. It becomes the 12 Cabinet-level Executive Branch Department in the Federal Government, and the only one since 1966. Voyagers I and II are launched, and are considered the most successful non-maned space program effort. The Voyager tours of the planets are the direct result of 4000 IBM cards fed into an IBM 1790 computer to test the "Gravity Boost" hypothesis. When Voyager II is launched on August 20th, it carries a 12 inch copper phonograph record of earth sounds and greetings. Twenty years later, on May 23rd, 1997, Voyager 2 will be 4.76 billion miles from Earth, well beyond the orbit of Pluto. It will be leaving the solar system at 36,000 miles per hour, which is 3.2 Astronomical Units per year. On that same date, the light travel time from Voyager 2 to Earth will be 7 hours, 6 minutes. Data are returned from the spacecraft at 160 bits per second, using a transmitter with about 25 watts of power. One of the best (and Oscar-winning) documentary films, Harlan County, USA, is produced and depicts the 1973-4 coal miners' strike in Kentucky. United Mine Workers union presidential candidate Joseph Yablonski was assassinated during the filming (Seymore, 1994). The Alaskan oil pipeline begins on June 20th, and will serve as the primary source of income for Alaska during the next two decades. By, 1997, the state will have a $20 billion reserve, obtain 85% of its annual revenues from oil, have no sales or state income tax, and provide each resident with an annual oil dividend ($1,130 in 1996). Cincinnati attorney Stanley Chesley will devise a theory in tort litigation that will make him both rich and infamous. "Created by an act of Congress, class-action suits were initially intended to allow large numbers of people to redress a fundamentally similar "harm," such as price rigging, or civil rights violations. Chesley, however, was the first to adapt class-action suits to complicated tort cases; in so doing, one legal publication later wrote, he "revolutionized tort law." [Source]. In 1992 he will pursue Dow Corning [see 1943] in one of the most controversial suits ever imagined.
Mystery Train Mid file.
1978: President Carter signs a bill to loan New York City $1.6 billion to avoid bankruptcy. Earlier a similar measure was passed in the Ford administration. On the 6th of October, Congress extends the deadline for ratification of the ERA Amendment until 1982. Since it was passed in 1972, all but three of the required 38 states have ratified the measure. This is the first extension of a proposed Constitutional Amendment since 1917 when the seven year limit was passed. On November 18, religious leader Jim Jones causes the mass suicide and murders of 911 men, women, and children at the People's Temple in Guyana. More than 200 innocent children die. On December 16th Cleveland, Ohio becomes the first U.S. city to default since the great depression; the City Council and the Mayor are at odds. The Navy proposed a Global Positioning System (GPS) in 1964 to assist with navigation on the high seas, and the first working prototype is launched by the Air Force this year. The key features for using satellites to locate any position on the Earth are triangulation and very accurate measurements of time. "The more precise the clock, the more precise the positioning. An error of a billionth of a second in time corresponds to an error in location of 1 foot" [Source].
1979: During a series of oil price increases by OPEC, the price raises to 50 percent higher than one year ago. Long lines at all gas stations signal a serious energy crisis. On September 27, Congress approves President Carter's establishment of the Department of Education, strongly favored by the National Education Association. On December 19th, Congress will approve a $1.5 billion loan following the July announcement that Chrysler lost $200,000,000 in the second quarter. The price of gold jumps from $225 to $525 per ounce, a 233 percent increase. Preacher Jim Bakker, head of the very popular Praise the Lord (PTL) radio and TV shows, dedicates the opening of the "2,200-acre Heritage USA Retreat Center in Fort Mill, South Carolina. At the ground breaking of what he envisioned as a "total Christian community," Bakker offered this prayer during the ceremony: "God, I dedicate this property to You today. If it is ever used for anything other than the gospel of Jesus Christ, let it be accursed." [Source]. But in 1987 a scandal of financial corruption and sexual encounter will send Jim Bakker to prison in 1988, and the entire dominion will fall. On November 4th, 3,000 militants attack the U.S. Embassy in Iran's capital city of Teheran. They capture 54 embassy staff members and hold them hostage. Iran's new religious leader is the recently freed from exile Muslim Ayatollah Khomeini, who praises their actions. The hostages will be released in 1981, on President Ronald Reagan's inauguration day, 444 days after they were captured [Source]. When they are released the National Christmas Tree is fully lighted. "In 1979 and in 1980, only the main ornament was lighted because of the American hostages in Iran." The tree will be "fully lighted on Inaugural Day,..Jan. 20 1981, when the hostages were released and their homebound aircraft had cleared Iranian airspace."
1980: On May 3rd, 13 year old Cari Lightner is struck from behind while walking down a quiet street in Fair Oaks, CA. The driver, Clarence W. Busch, hits her with such force it throws her 125 feet, and she is dead when she lands. When Cari's mother, Candy Lightner, learns that he has previous drunk driving convictions yet is likely to serve more than a little time, she forms Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD). And MADD has been exceptionally effective: In 1980, 25,000 people are killed by drunk drivers. But by 1992, only 17,700 will be killed. Interestingly, Candy recently left MADD and joined an organization that is fighting the MADD .08 blood alcohol legislation. Federal agents posing as Arab businessmen give bribes to 31 public officials, including a Senator and 7 Congressmen. Later 5 Congressmen will be indicted. President Carter deregulates the banks on March 31st, and increases the limit of insurance on accounts from $40,000 to $100,000. September 1st is the first 24 hours per day broadcast for ESPN, the sports cable network. ESPN, created by Bill Rasmussen, was open for business on September 7, 1979, and the first words spoken on that day were, "If you love sports, if you really love sports, you'll think you've died and gone to heaven." Rasmussen originally called it the E.S.P. Network, but the printer returned the stationary with ESPN Network. By 1984 it will become the largest cable network (34 million subscribers) and be sold to ABC for $237 million. By 1992 ESPN will earn more than its parent (San Diego Union-Tribune, November 28, 1994). The Mercury dime, minted from 1916-1945 and containing 90 percent silver, is part of the 1979-1980 silver boon. In January, 1979, silver was trading for $7.94 an ounce. By December it was up to $20, and each Mercury dime was worth about $3.00. Millions of dimes were melted for their silver. The "silver rush" peaks on January 18th when silver sells for $50.35 an ounce. But by April, the price drops to $20, and by 1994 silver will trade for about $3 per ounce. Using modern computers, the Mandelbrot Set is defined at IBM on March 1st. Its simple formulation (Z=z2+c) belies abundant physical shapes in nature, and exemplifies infinity as never before. Unlike Einstein's E=mc2 which relates physical matter, the Mandelbrot equation relates numbers as coordinates on a plane. On May 18th, Mount Saint Helens, in Washington State, erupts with tremendous force, and devastates "more than 150 square miles of forest and recreation area, killed countless animals, and left about 60 persons dead or missing." On February 22nd, the U.S. Olympic hockey team stuns the World first by beating Russia, and then by winning their first hockey gold medal at Lake Placid, New York [2.7 MB Movie]. In March, President Carter informs the World that we will boycott the Summer Olympics in Russia because of the Afghanistan invasion.
1981: President Reagan's Economic Recovery Tax Act (ERTA) is passed. It represents Part I of the President's two-part economic plan which will contribute to large losses of Federal revenues. Part II, mammoth cuts in Federal spending, will never be fulfilled. Later, Budget Director Stockman would say that the net result was, "an unintended exercise in free-lunch economics." That coupled with enormous defense spending, high interest rates on the debt, and the savings and loan bailout will raise the Federal deficit from $645 billion in 1979 to $4.6 trillion in 1994. MGM and UA (United Artists) movie companies merge in May under the direction of Kirk Kerkorian. He pays $380 million for UA and acquires UA's valuable library of close to 900 films. That collection, together with MGM's films, creates a huge library of more than 4,100 films. However, see 1989 for more details. On August 1, MTV makes its presence known, and airs with only 13 advertisers, 2.1 million households, and 125 videos. But eventually it will supplant, to a large extent, together with cartoons, comics, computer games, and videos, the home and school as the primary cultural and value transmitters. On March 30th, John Hinckley shoots President Reagan, and is confined to a mental hospital in Washington D.C. Three others are shot also, James S. Brady, the President's press secretary, Secret Service agent Timothy J. McCarthy, and policeman Thomas K. Delahanty. All four men live. Hinkley says that he shot the President to get the attention of movie star Jodie Foster, a freshman at Yale. His lawyers plead not guilty by reason of insanity, and this will become the most famous use of NGRI plea which dates back to 1843 [Source]. In March Disneyland suffers its first homicide. Two men scuffle over a discussion concerning one of their girlfriends, and an 18 year old is stabbed. Disneyland is found negligent in the amount of $600,000. Bill Ury and Roger Fisher publish Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In. It asserts that the traditional method of bargaining, stating a position (sometimes extreme) and then slowly giving in, does not work. By 1997 more than two million copies will be sold in 21 languages, and it will become a favorite tool for many, including notables like President Carter and Ann Landers (Smithsonian, November, 1997).
1982: On June 8th, after an 8 year anti-trust suit by the Justice Department, AT&T agrees to release 22 Bell Telephone systems. Twelve years later, the CEO of AirTouch, will state that the 1982 Anti-Trust case MFJ (modified final judgment) issued by Judge Greene has, "enacted a heavy toll on customers in the form of higher prices, multiple bills, mind-numbing complexity and reduced or delayed services. The MFJ has also imposed a heavy burden on Telcom companies and their shareholders" (Wall Street Journal, October 4, 1994, A18). Sometime between September 20-October 2, cyanide is placed in Tylenol capsules which cause the death of 7 people in the Chicago area. No one was ever found guilty for that crime. Steven Spielberg's movie, E.T., introduces the most successful nonhuman movie star since Mickey Mouse. The storyline is not unique however; it begins with Homer's Ulysses and embraces the perennial theme of getting back home. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall is dedicated on Veteran's Day in Washington, D.C., and contains 57,939 names. The Wall was designed last year by 21 year old Maya Yang Lin, an architecture undergraduate student at Yale, during a nationwide contest. She and the design are denigrated by the Reagan administration and Pat Buchanan, and the President does not attend the opening ceremonies. She says that the Monument is about the cost of the War---the lives that were lost---not politics. Nevertheless, it will become one of the most visited sites in the city, and the number and variety of things that people will leave there is astonishing (Allen, L., 1995). Later 237 names will be added bringing the total to 58,196. On November 5th, the unemployment rate reaches 10.4 percent, the highest level since 1940. Betty Ford, previous First Lady, opens a drug treatment center in Rancho Mirage, California, and comes forth with her own substance abuse problem. The Betty Ford Center, a licensed 80-bed chemical dependency recovery hospital offering both inpatient and outpatient treatment for alcohol and other addictions, is known mainly for its very famous clients, such as Elizabeth Taylor. But the vast majority of its 35,000 patients between now and 1997, from almost every state and 80 nations, will be non-celebrities.
1983: On August 21, a group of computer hackers from Milwaukee makes the first major invasion of the InterNet by entering twenty major computer systems, including the Los Alamos National Laboratory. On December 28th, the U.S. leaves UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) claiming that it is mismanaged and too political. On April 18th, the Disney Channel airs for the first time, running 16 hours a day. President Reagan's National Commission on Excellence in Education produces the report titled, "A Nation at Risk." Unlike previous reports about academic decline, this report gets the attention of the media and the public, "The educational foundations of our society are presently being eroded by a rising tide of mediocrity that threatens our very future as a Nation and a people." On February 28th the final episode of M*A*S*H airs in a two and a half hour special asserting its popularity with an unprecedented Nielsen rating. The show, a "serious comedy" about a Korean War U.S. medical unit, staring Alan Alda and Mike Farrell lasted eleven seasons, and won numerous awards. Domain Names are created for connecting computers on the InterNet. Previously, each computer's "address" was a long series of numbers, which was difficult to remember. The top level domains in the U.S. are com (for commercial), edu (education), gov (government), net (network), mil (military), and org (organization). Elsewhere in the world, each country uses two letters, such as jp (Japan). Starting at 12:01 a.m. on September 14, 1995, the InterNIC announced "a $50 annual fee has been imposed on all five top-level domains: commercial, educational, government, network and non-profit organization (.com, .edu, .gov, .net, . org) domain name registrations. Until now, the National Science Foundation (NSF) has subsidized these registrations, which total more than 110,000 domain names. [Source] [Also, see 1997].
1984: According to Safire (1988), "sex disappeared" at the Democratic convention this year. Presumably, the word "gender" takes its place. On January 24th, during the Super Bowl, Apple Computer Company introduces the revolutionary MacIntosh computer in a sixty second intensely creative commercial. It is the first WYSIWYG (pronounced "whizzy wig") (What You See Is What You Get) computer. Back in 1979 Steve Jobs visited Xerox-PARC and was astonished at what he saw---easy to use computer software which served as the basis for the new computer. During the MacIntosh commercial, which lasts only one week, Jobs plays the "Big Brother" video and says IBM wants it all. Will "Big Blue" dominate? The MAC defines a new era in personal computing. A mouse interface with pictures and icons on the screen presents a much more familiar world to users compared to the PC cryptic command lines such as "copy A:\foo.*" IBM introduces its PC AT model, a major advancement over previous models. It contains the 80286 chip rated at 6 MHz and is about 2.5 times faster than the older PC. It comes with 256 KB of RAM that is expandable to 3 MB using 5 expansion cards. A 20 MB hard drive and a color graphics card are optional, and the system costs $6,600. Byte (October, 1994) computer magazine is impressed. In September, Michael Eisner takes over as head of Disney, a $1.7 billion corporation. Ten years later he will publish this letter, explaining that Disney is now a $10 billion international corporation, with "close to 350 Disney stores in nine countries, [and publishes] many dozens of books and magazines around the world." The Viewers for Quality Television (VQT) begins as a "viewer organization with no agenda other than influencing the commercial networks to retain their critically-acclaimed quality series rather than canceling them because of insufficient Nielsen numbers."
1985: The Gramm-Rudman bill is designed to eliminate the great Federal deficit by 1991. Social Security, interest on the National debt, and selected programs for the poor are spared. Two weeks later the most expensive farm bill in history is passed. The reason the U.S. advances for withdrawing from the World Court is its excessive and dysfunctional focus on politics. However, the great afflictions and disorders of this Nation are related precisely to dysfunctional politics. In May, a conglomerate group of talented musicians, called USA for Africa, reaches number 1 on the pop charts with Lionel Richie and Michael Jackson's song, We Are The World. That song sells more than 4 million copies in one month, and the album eventually will go triple platinum. 1985 is called the "Year of the Spies." John Walker is the most famous of three significant spies caught this year, all of whom had security clearances at one time. Moreover, in this year Aldrich Ames, a CIA Chief of Soviet Counter-intelligence, will make his decision to release top secrets to Russia. He will not be caught until the 1994 CIA criticism. A Houston jury decides that Texaco must pay $10.5 billion, the largest U.S. damage award in history, to Pennzoil for Texaco's acquisition of Getty Oil last year.
1986: On January 28th, 1986 the NASA space shuttle Challenger explodes on take-off from Cape Canaveral, Florida. All seven crew members die instantly. Subsequent investigation will reveal that the accident is an obvious failure of management and organizational communication. On February 26th, Robert Penn Warren becomes the first official Poet Laureate of the U.S. The Librarian of Congress makes the appointment. The Wedtech company's corruption including greed and criminality, that reaches Congress and the U.S. Attorney General's office, has been described as the worst Government scandal since Teapot Dome (Thompson, 1990). In Meritor v. Vinson, the Supreme Court rules, among other things, that sexual behavior that creates a hostile environment is unlawful under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. It is their first sexual harassment case. Oprah Winfrey begins her TV talk show which will include every possible topic, and become the most popular TV talk show in history. By 1995 she will own her own show, be worth an estimated $250 million, and become the most powerful woman on daytime TV. Interesting, over time her format will change and she starts taking the "high road" saying that, for example, she is "tired of battered women who won't take responsibility for themselves" (Day1 TV show, January 5, 1995). Her new mission will be for the good of souls. Computer viruses are first detected, and eight strains are identified this year. By 1994 an estimated 5,000 strains, up from 3,187 last year, will be identified and travel throughout the computers in ten countries. . On July 27th, "cyclist Greg LeMond becomes the first American to win the Tour de France, and he is surprised by the "emotions" [2.0 MB movie]. Between January and April the price of crude oil plummets from $26 a barrel to less than $10 a barrel, and the U.S. oil industry, especially in Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana, falls into the "pits." During the next few years the oil industry will lose more than 500,000 jobs, "more than the entire labor force of the automotive industry" (Cheney, American Scientist, September-October, 1997).
1987: The Clean Water Act is vetoed by President Reagan but is overridden by Congress on February 4th. On October 19, the biggest stock market crash in history occurs as the Dow Jones index falls 508 points, losing close to 23 percent of its value. That is approximately double the 1929 decline. Disneyland's exceptionally popular "Star Tours" attraction opens on January 12th. Barney, the dinosaur, is created by 34 year old Sheryl Leach. Discouraged by her inability to find a video for her 2-year-old son, Patrick, she writes some scripts about a teddy bear who comes to life. But Patrick loves the Tyrannosaurus rex, and the bear becomes a dinosaur. The videos become best sellers, and in 1992 Barney & Friends will air on TV, and become the most watched children's program on public TV. Barney's purple and green outfit weighs 60 pounds.
1988: In "Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier," the Supreme Court rules that school authorities can censor a high school newspaper. According to Kendall and Hammen (1995), alcohol abuse in 1988 costs the Nation $85.5 billion, and drug abuse costs another $58.3 billion. The U.S. Department of Agriculture initiates program LISA (Low-Input Sustainable Agriculture), designed to lower costs while protecting health and the environment. There is a "Renaissance in the Arts." For example, "New York's Broadway Theater at Broadway and Fifty-third Street sells more tickets than either the Giants or the Jets" (baseball and football teams). (Naisbitt & Aburdene, 1990). SETI the (Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence) project, is funded by NASA. Like Voyager II, this project serves as an explicit recognition that we on Earth may not be alone in the Universe. Moreover, many people will misunderstand this project before its funding is canceled four years later, but this is a project about how physics, engineering, and computers can extend our knowledge of the Universe. Its great risk derives from the lack of feedback. In other words, in the absence of any findings, there is no way to determine if its systems work or not. Campaign finance reform, especially in the U.S. Congress, has a long history of unfilled promise. Early this year the spectacle in the Senate underscores both partisan passions and the perversion of process, the basis of which is described on February 25th, when Senator Boren says, "Not only is too much money going into campaigns but it is also coming from the wrong places." After a Republican filibuster starts, Senate Majority leader Robert Byrd (D-WV) says, "Madame President, I move that the Seargent-at-Arms (sic) be instructed to arrest absent senators and bring them to the floor." Jackie Joiner-Kersee, named after Jackie Kennedy, wins the heptathlon world record in Seoul "with a score of 7291 points - a stunning 394 ahead of the second-place finisher - despite a strained left patellar tendon." She is the World's greatest female athelete.
1989: In Texas v. Johnson the U.S. Supreme Court rules in favor of Gregory Johnson, who had been convicted of violating a Texas law by burning a U.S. Flag. This is a first Amendment issue that will be raised by Congress in 1995, and the vote will narrowly fail to amend the Constitution. On August 24th, Pete Rose is removed from Baseball's Hall of Fame for gambling. The once mighty MGM/UA movie empires dissolves. MGM's two greatest movies, Gone With The Wind (1939) and Rain Man (1988) more or less define the time and noble boundaries of the MGM empire. Box office receipts for Rain Man exceeded a phenomenal $155 million in the first five months. Fade Out, by Peter Bart should be read by anyone interested in the decline and fall of these two great movie companies. NASA's COBE satellite is launched on November 18th from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Year long data from the COBE (Cosmic Background Explorer) spacecraft will be called "the discovery of the Century" by noted physicist Stephen Hawking, and provide imposing evidence in favor of the Big Bang cosmic theory. The data also support a universe "dominated by dark matter" (Smoot, 1993). The Little Mermaid is released by Disney on November 17th, and later wins two Academy Awards for Best Score and Best song "Under the Sea." Interestingly, Disney thought about making this Hans Christian Andersen classic in the 1930s, and even had someone make designs for the characters at that time. The arts boon reaches all parts of the U.S. For example, attendance at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival grew from 3,000 in 1972 to 300,000 this year. On March 24th, the Exxon Valdez, an American oil tanker runs "aground on a reef in Prince William Sound, Alaska....[and releases] over 10 million gallons of oil." This is the worst oil spill in U.S. history.
1990: The United States population reaches 250,000,000. We have grown considerably since our 76 million in 1900. By 1994 there will be 210 cities with a population of 100,000 or more inhabitants. November 21st is an important day for everyone. On that day 34 nations of Europe and North America (including the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, Poland, and Hungary) sign the "Charter of Paris for a New Europe" which signals the end of the Cold War and the start or renewal of democracy for one billion people.
1992: On December 13, 1992, while studying for EE311 (a renown and exceptionally difficult electrical engineering course exam) at the Naval Academy, groups of students are given or see or study copies of that exam. The "test spread like a virus." During the exam on the 14th, not one midshipman says a word, but there is concern about cheating. After the Christmas break, Superintendent Admiral Lynch assembles the entire Academy and asks those guilty of cheating to come forward; only two students do. Eventually, after an 8 month Navy Inspector General investigation that named 133 students, 88 were found guilty of an honor code violation, 24 of whom were expelled, and 64 given lessor sentences. Many believe that numerous students who took that exam and graduated from the Academy do not deserve to. Unfortunately, this was not the first such cheating incident. In May, 1974, 900 midshipmen were ordered to retake an exam following disclosure of cheating. General Motors (GM) suffers a $23.5 billion loss, the largest corporate loss on record (the PBS video "The Heartbeat of America" is strongly recommended). The United Way of America, one of this Nation's largest and most respected charity organizations is rocked by a scandal that results in UWA president William Aramony's resignation and sentence to 7 years in prison. "The news that Aramony and two executives had defrauded the national charity of more than $1 million was a low point" [Source]. Sight and Sound magazine asks three prominent film critics to pick their 10 best films of all time. Among the thirty choices there are no duplicates. That selection is part of the magazine's larger 1992 poll of approximately 100 critics who "are asked to list, in no particular order, what they think are the ten greatest films." The movie, "Citizen Kane," by Orson Welles made in 1941 receives 43 votes and wins. Directors also choose that film.
1993: The Federal debt at $4.3 trillion is enormous. Almost no one can imagine a trillion of anything. Imagine a stack of $1000 dollar bills, not end to end, but rather lying flat on the table. Now put one $1,000 bill on top of another. Repeat that, and that stack would have to be 67 miles high to equal $1 trillion. The stack would have to be 4.3 times that large to equal the National debt this year. On March 7, 1993 the Undersecretary of Defense, John Deutch, signs an order that bans indoor smoking for all 3 million DoD military and civilian personnel in all workplaces. "According to a worldwide survey, 37 percent of soldiers, 37 percent of sailors, 29 percent of Air Force, and 39 percent of Marines smoke....For comparison, only 28 percent of the general population smoked in 1988...." The FBI is strongly criticized for its April 19th fiery raid on the Branch Davidian compound where 82 men, women, and children die at the Mt. Carmel Center near Waco, Texas. Politics plays its role. Toni Morrison wins the Nobel Prize in Literature for her 1987 novel, Beloved, the story of a slave girl set during the Civil War. Although prolific, she will not revisit that theme until her 1997 novel, Paradise. Violent crime (rape, robbery, aggravated assault, and homicide) in the U.S. reaches a staggering 4.2 million cases this year, and arrests for such crimes average less than one-fourth the crime rate [see 1929]. Wilson and Herrnstein (1985), point to three trends associated with crime: (a) shifts in age structure affecting the proportion of younger males, (b) changes in the benefits and costs of crime, and (c) society's investment "(via families, schools, churches, and the mass media) in inculcating an internalized commitment to self-control," and it can be added, a personal code of honor (see 1951). This is a mature motif (see 1900, 1934) that this Nation has yet to take seriously. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) becomes law amid great controversy. The NAFTA treaty among the United States, Canada, and Mexico will take "effect on January 1, 1994, after a prolonged debate and narrow approval by Congress....[T]he largest trade relationship within NAFTA is by far the one between the United States and Canada (Canada is, in fact, the United States' largest trading partner, followed by Japan)." [Source]. In 1997 President Clinton will attempt to expand NAFTA, and the strong debate will continue.
1994: In October, 1994, the largest congregations of the white and black Pentecostal Churches meet in Memphis to unify again after more than five decades of racial intolerance. Travel is America's second-largest industry...last year Americans took slightly more than a billion trips, for business and pleasure (Atlantic Monthly, November, 1994). The Rev. Benjamin Chavis Jr., Executive Director of the NAACP, is removed amid allegations that he secretly agreed to pay $332,000 to a former employee to avoid a sexual harassment lawsuit. Moreover, the organization posts a $3.5 million budget deficit. The Russian Century, published by Random House, includes 320 rare pictures about Russia that counter the fictional and official Russian history that ignored and suppressed reality. It is a triumph of truth over politics and human prejudice. Heather Whitestone, 21 and deaf, becomes the first Miss America to have a significant disability. Susan Smith of Union, South Carolina stuns the Nation in November when she confesses to murdering her two children, ages three and fourteen months. For nine days her town, the police, the FBI, the media, and President Clinton believe her plea for the car-jacker to return them. She was voted most friendly at school and was described by her friends as a devoted mother and having a great personality. The CIA is this Nation's leading information collection agency with an annual budget of $3 billion. Yet it is under attack by several sources for incompetence and fraud (U.S. News & World Report, July 4, 1994). A CIA Section Chief is caught selling secrets to Russia. For eight years his betrayal of 50 compromised operations cost the lives of 15 agents. Incredibly, his total salary for those eight years was $336,000, yet he deposited vast sums after each trip overseas, and purchased a $540,000 home with cash, spent $99,000 on home improvements, and made $455,000 in credit card payments. No one noticed. The 124-nation General Agreement on Tariffs and Trades (GATT) is a two volume 6,000 page international agreement to slash tariffs an average of 38 percent. Prior to the Senate's approval (76-24) on December 1st, James Miller, budget director for President Reagan, produces a letter signed by all eleven previous OMB directors in support of the Treaty. Only 36 other nations have signed it, but most of the others are waiting to see what the U.S. will do. Andy Rooney, of "60 Minutes", determines that GATT will take approximately 150 hours to read. In August, a computer called Genius 2 defeats Russian grandmaster Garry Kasparov, the reigning world champion in a game of chess. The computer's Pentium microprocessor executes 166 million instructions per second. Later in the tournament Genius 2 is defeated by Indian grandmaster Vishy Anand (Discover, January, 1995). However, on "May 11, 1997, at the conclusion of a closely-matched six-game series, IBM's Deep Blue supercomputer defeated world champion Garry Kasparov, who is commonly considered the best chess player of all time. This marked the first time a computer had beaten a champion, and the first time Kasparov lost a match in his career." [Source]. Clemintine, an unmanned spacecraft, is sent to the moon with two missions at a cost of $80 million. It meets one of those missions. On April 14th, top executives from seven tobacco companies swear under oath before Congress that nicotine isn't addictive and deny allegations that they manipulate nicotine levels in cigarettes. Although definitions are important, later, such testimony will be proved incorrect. A Federal District Court awards $4.25 billion in the largest product liability settlement to women with silicone breast implants [see: 1943 & 1977]. Although recognized almost nowhere, this National stigma is a simple function of the Nation's academic and scientific institutions inability to teach science. Disney has four of the five best selling videos: Snow White (27 million), Aladdin (24 million), Beauty and the Beast (22 million), Jurassic Park (21 million), and 101 Dalmatians (15.9 million). The first IMAX movie was created in 1970 and titled, Tiger Child. IMAX is the largest movie screen in North America and the largest 3D screen in the world. The screen is 77 feet tall and 101 feet wide. The first IMAX 3-D movie, titled Transitions, is created this year, and each movie uses two reels, one for each eye. In 1997 the IMAX 3-D version of "The Nutcracker" will be released [see 1944], and is 40 minutes long. By 1998 there will be 75 IMAX theaters in the U.S. This ACE Timeline is initiated as a generic educational tool. As of July 11th, 1994 there are 2,000 days until the year 2000 A.D. Not much time when you think about it. What are your plans for those days, and what will your life be like then?
1995: On April 19th in Oklahoma city, "the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history [takes place as a] massive bomb in a truck parked in front of the Alfred Murrah Federal Building [explodes and rips] its nine floors away, killing 168 people and injuring more than 500 others." [Source]. The bomb explodes on the second anniversary of the fire that destroyed the 1993 Branch Davidian compound in Mount Carmel, Texas. Within one hour of the first newscast, Morris Dees, Jr. calls the Justice Department which explains that they are looking for "Arab terrorists." (Modern Maturity, 1997, p. 79). On October 3rd, the jury returns a verdict of "not guilty" on all counts in the murder trial of defendant O.J. Simpson, in what will become the "trial of the century." TV Guide (1996) will identify the verdict as the seventh most memorable moment in TV history. Prosecutor Marsha Clark's May 9, 1997 interview on the TV show 20/20 will explain much about the current justice system. Complete transcripts and publicly released sidebars can be found here, which includes, "Kato, Marcia, Johnnie, Rosa, Lance,...coroner's reports, Mark Fuhrman's lawsuit against The New Yorker, and the defense request for football star Marcus Allen to appear as a witness." The movie, How To Make an American Quilt is released and movie reviewers, and psychologist Mary Pipher, wonder how some of the best actresses working in film today (e.g., Anne Bancroft, Ellen Burstyn, Winona Ryder, Jean Simmons, etc.) could participate in "this experiment in filmmaking gone terribly wrong." Siskel & Ebert give it two thumbs down. The Greyhound bus company, which started in 1914, now provides "244 million miles of regularly scheduled service in 48 contiguous states and three Canadian provinces, to more than 2,400 destinations. By comparison, fewer than half that many U.S. locations are served by the airlines and Amtrak." The major league baseball strike ends after it "wiped out the final 52 days and 669 games of the 1994 season and forced the cancellation of the World Series for the first time since 1904. It also wiped out the first 252 games of this season, raising the total of games lost to 921." Robert McNamara, Secretary of Defense during the Vietnam War, publishes, In Retrospect: The Tragedy and Lessons of Vietnam. In the Preface he writes, "We of the Kennedy and Johnson administrations who participated in the decisions on Vietnam acted according to what we thought were the principles and traditions of this nation. We made our decisions in light of those values. Yet we were wrong, terribly wrong. We owe it to future generations to explain why." It can be argued that you owe it to this democratic republic to understand why.
1996: The explosion and crash of TWA Flight 800 on July 17th, killing all 212 passengers and 18 crew members is so shocking that for weeks relatives and friends sustain hope for survivors. "`While all the evidence is not yet in, early signs clearly point to a possibility of terrorism,' said Rep. Benjamin Gilman, R-N.Y., chairman of the House International Relations Committee." And the FBI clearly entertains that hypothesis for months. One year later almost everyone will agree that mechanical failure was the cause. Americans spend $20 billion on their pets. On April 11th, representatives from the five military academies meet at the Naval Academy to discuss the honor system [see 1951]. Some of the reasons for this meeting were the misconduct at the Naval academy in 1989, when eight male midshipmen handcuffed a female midshipman to a urinal, and then in 1992, when 71 students cheated on an engineering exam. But problems have been evident at all of the Academies. Next year, a midshipman will be sentenced to four months in jail and be "given a dishonorable discharge in the first court-martial involving a drug distribution ring discovered this fall at the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis. A total of 24 midshipmen will be accused of using or distributing marijuana and LSD at the Academy, and five others will face possible court-martial. Eighteen will be charged with lesser offenses." Gaming, or as it was once called, gambling, is flourishing in the United States. Not long ago, casinos could be found only in Nevada and New Jersey. Today, every "state but Utah and Hawaii allows some form of legal gambling" (CNN Interactive, July 18, 1996). Gambling casinos can be found in 24 states, and 36 states, in addition to the Nations's Capital, have legalized lotteries. Moreover, 37 states permit horse racing, and 17 permit betting at the dog tracks. The amount spent on gambling in 1994 was twice that of the previous year, and Andy Rooney (60 Minutes, November 6th, 1994) makes the point that encouraging luck over work is counter productive. This Nation has a long history of gambling, including the riverboats and the untamed west. The legal gambling industry grew from $17 billion in 1976 to $480 billion last year. By this year, there are at least 450 gaming-related sites on the InterNet, and the evidence for compulsive gambling will be powerful. Proponents point to the tax revenues and job creation. Opponents argue that very few win, while too many wager with money better spent on health, education, and family. A functional line of reasoning is that the state should not support behavior counter to its own best interests---i.e., citizens who believe that creativity and labor are the best and highest sources of income, not luck. Michael Gurian, author of six books on relationships, a therapist, educator, and recognized expert in family systems, publishes The Wonder of Boys: What Parents, Mentors, and Educators Can Do to Shape Young Boys Into Exceptional Men. He will be accused of both fostering a maladaptive "boys will be boys" attitude and ignoring girls, neither of which is correct. His focus is an explicit recognition that men have important roles to play in the healthy development of teen boys, and that society will benefit from an explicit recognition that we live in extended family environments (nourished by the media), often neither of which are helpful. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Donna E. Shalala initiated an anti-fraud initiative called "Operation Restore Trust" in 1995 to address widespread corruption and fraud in Medicare and Medicaid programs. This year she announces that although only five states have been targeted, they "have already produced $42.3 million in recoveries. This constitutes a return of $10 in recoveries for every $1 spent on the project" [Source].
1997: The movie, The Lost World, the sequel to Jurassic Park, opens on May 23rd and breaks all attendance records, earning more than $80 million during the first weekend. Given that we know all of the dinosaurs, why is this movie scarier than it predecessor? Because Spielberg understands the public's need to be scared in a safe environment, and includes all of the elements. The plot pits the business community against the environmentalists, and raises important questions about the limits of human-based change. Taxes are a perennial issue in this Nation. This year the typical worker will work until July 9th to pay all taxes. In other words, that worker will work 189 days paying various taxes, leaving only 176 days of income for personal use (20/20, April 15th). Risky driving (speeding, tail-gating, and improper lane changes) on the Nation's highways kills 40,000 people each year, many of them innocent (PrimeTime Live, July 16, 1997). F.W. Woolworth, the famous five and dime store, closes all 400 stores after 117 years. Woolworth stores at one time were a part of practically every downtown and small town across America, however it could not compete with more modern budget retail stores such as Wal-Mart and K-Mart. Approximately 9,200 employees are affected by the closing. Growth of the InterNet is phenomenal. On Thursday, March 6th, at 12:07:51 p.m. the LaBlances entered the annals of Internet history when they registered bonnyview.com as the one millionth active domain name. Also, according to the July BoardwatcH Magazine, the average 50 MB download time across 29 backbone providers, from 27 cities, 24 hours a day, over 1 month, totaling 1,747,323 test downloads is 9.928 sec. Thus, on the average the InterNet rate today, which varies greatly, is about 5 Kbps. And there are slightly more than 4,000 InterNet Service Providers in the United States and Canada which average 3,028 subscribers. California has the most ISPs with 527. California enforces Proposition 209, the controversial non-discrimination initiative. Many blacks in particular see it as another way to discriminate against them whereas many whites see it not as discrimination, but rather a greater focus on ability and skill for selection processes. Some blacks, notably, Ward Connelly, is strongly criticized and called an "Uncle Tom" and an "Oreo" by blacks for his opinions. Bank robberies are rampant in the U.S. as losses total $60 million per year. Los Angeles is the bank robbery capital, and eighty percent of them are motivated by drugs. The average heist is $2,500, and one-third are armed (48 Hours: season opening TV show). The Army is embarrassed by its worst sex scandal. Early in May, the Army's highest-ranking enlisted man, Sergeant Major of the Army, is charged with sexual misconduct. Also in May, an Army drill sergeant is sentenced to 25 years imprisonment "after being found guilty of 18 of 19 counts of rape and other charges of misconduct at the end of a three-week military court martial at Aberdeen." Then on May 26th, a 39 year old Master Sgt. is convicted on 15 of the 17 charges he faced for attacks reported by three women, and is sentenced to 30 years in prison. By September, when the longest (10 months) and largest Army investigation of sexual harassment report is released it finds that, "Sexual harassment and discrimination are pervasive throughout the U.S. Army, cutting across lines of rank, race and gender." At Aberdeen, "Career-ending" letters of reprimand or lesser admonishment are given to eight officers and enlisted leaders, including Maj. Gen. Robert Shadley, former commander of the scandal-plagued Aberdeen training school.
1998: An ice storm sweeps across the north east, including Canada, and 11 deaths are attributed to its severity. It is the worst ice storm this century. On April 3rd, 1996, Theodore Kaczynski, the suspected Unabomber, was apprehended at his home outside Lincoln, Montana after murdering 3 people and injuring many others by sending bombs through the mail. "A day after FBI agents captured Kaczynski at his primitive Montana cabin, publisher Gina Centrello of Simon & Schuster's Pocket Books contacted former FBI agent John Douglas and novelist Mark Olshaker in hopes of producing the first "instant" book on the case. According to The Wall Street Journal, the authors worked 21 hours a day to finish "Unabomber: On the Trail of America's Most-Wanted Serial Killer." [Source]. On January 23, Kaczynski pleads guilty, in return for a life in prison sentence. His brother, David Kaczynski, who turned him in, says, he feels that ''though [Theodore] has done evil things, he is not an evil person.''
Selected Bibliography & References
1776: Hypertext Declaration of Independence August 17, 1997.
1900: Library of Congress September 6, 1997 | Frank L. Baum | Oz text | Other Baum books | Oz links November 14, 1997.
1901: McKinley's Museum | Rock | Last Days July 13, 1997.
1902: Teddy Bear History | Collecting September 14, 1997.
1903: Wright Brothers | Actuality films July 18, 1997.
1905: Einstein Online | biography July 18, 1997 | Impact September 1, 1997 | Timeline September 6, 1997.
1906: Events in the History of Drugs July 18, 1997
1913: Department of Labor October 28, 1997.
1915: Psychoanalysis July 22, 1997.
1916: US Coins July 24, 1997.
1917: World War I October 5, 1997.
1918: Flu Description | Prevention | Origin 1 | Origin 2 | Photo of students | Spread September 29, 1997.
1919: Prohibition July 13, 1997 | History of Alcohol Prohibition July 27, 1997.
1921: Radio: Boxing and an Alternate view July 20, 1997 | White Castle December 7, 1997.
1923: Suffrage July 18, 1997.
1926: Route 66 July 17, 1997.
1929: Wyatt Earp Brothers | in Pella February 14, 1998.
1933: Soap Operas: P&G | Commentary September 21, 1997.
1937: Amelia Earhart January 16, 1998.
1938: War of the Worlds Study Guide and text. July 13, 1997.
1939: Mount Rushmore. July 21, 1997.
1942: Casablanca | Images August 17, 1997.
1943: Dow Corning Pro | Con November 4, 1997. | Jefferson Memorial November 8, 1997.
1944: Nutcracker: History July 27, 1997
1945: World War II July 19, 1997 | Phil's WW II page September 20, 1997 | Piece of Paper September 27, 1997 | Lest We Forget November 7, 1997.
1946: Las Vegas History and Chronology. July 20, 1997
1947: Air Force: Aircraft November 9, 1997 | Roswell 50th Anniversary | Yahoo Links. August 17, 1997.
1949: NATO Cinderella June 6, 1997.
1951: Honor Code: Hiram Johnson High School Cadets | Air Force Academy | Norwich Academy | USC ROTC Cadet Wing | Florida Air Academy | Ramona High School MCJROTC | Texas A&M University | Military Academy Prep School | VMI | West Point | BU Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps | Coeur d'Alene Composite Squadron. Complete relevant search results from Momma using "lie cheat steal nor tolerate" on August 5, 1997.
1956: ESOP NCEO | Statistics | Opposing view November 11, 1997.
1961: Alan Shephard September 21, 1997.
1964 Earthquake Images | Report September 29, 1997.
1966: Batman August 7, 1997.
1968: 2001: 30 years on | MIT August 29, 1997.
1969: Apollo 11 images August 29, 1997 | ELA Home Page July 6, 1997.
1972: Title IX: Civil Rights Office | Brown Univeristy | Suit November 10, 1997.
1973: Ragtime mids September 28, 1997.
1974: Watergate: Information | Pro Nixon | 25 years after | Newseum 25 year interview September 6, 1997.
1977: Voyager's Information and Greeting July 23, 1997. Elvis August 16, 1997.
1980: Mt. St. Helens January 31, 1998.
1986: Challenger October 5, 1997.
1989: Exxon Valdez oil spill July 28, 1997 | Flag burning November 14, 1997.
1994: IMAX January 3, 1998.
1995: Bombing: Sounds & comment September 6, 1997 | Jim Gilligan's Bus Spot August 3, 1997.
1997: The Lost World July 17, 1997. | Proposition 209: US News | AAD | Ward Connerly August 2, 1997 | WC November 2, 1997.
1998: Unabomber January 24, 1998.
Abuse of Power: Above the Law | Police Corruption September 27, 1997.
Advertising: Burma Shave December 27, 1997.
All-Time Movie Box-Office Leaders (Adjusted for Inflation). July 20, 1997.
An Abridged History of the U.S. November 14, 1997.
American Memory July 18, 1997.
Americana September 21, 1997.
Aviation History August 31, 1997 | Pictures | Pictures September 1, 1997.
Banking: Central November 5, 1997.
Books: Authors On the Web | Literary Web | Nobels in Literature January 11, 1998.
Censorship: Banned books November 17, 1997 | Folklore November 25, 1997 | Grounds for December 13, 1997.
Computers: Adventure games | Chess January 21, 1998 | Interviews | Early models September 1, 1997.
Current National Debt August 1, 1997 | Population August 5, 1997.
Cool Beginnings September 14, 1997.
Disasters: Volcanos September 1, 1997.
Disney Pictures by Aaron August 24, 1997 | Cheryl's Disney Page November 2, 1997.
Earth Day November 9, 1997.
Educational diversity January 3, 1998.
Espionage: John E. Taylor collected books on espionage and intelligence November 14, 1997.
1950's: Cars, Music, Movies, etc. at: Dale's November 23, 1997.
Flight Milestones October 4, 1997 | Amelia's flight in 1997 December 30, 1997.
Financial Scandals August 11, 1997.
Freedom of Information 1 | 2 | 3 | states | NFOIC August 29, 1997.
Freedoms: Press December 12, 1997.
Folklore: Aesop's Fables | Cinderella | Grimm's | Hans Christian Andersen | Mother Goose | Urban legends | Various links | November 25, 1997 1996 November 27, 1997.
History of Computing August 2, 1997.
House of Representatives: Ethics Manual November 15, 1997.
Library of Congress. August 17, 1997.
InterNet: History September 1, 1997.
Libraries and Teaching: Table of Contents September 6, 1997.
Machine That Changed the World August 15, 1997.
Macy's Parade December 8, 1997.
Manuscripts: Karpeles December 7, 1997.
Miss America | Swimsuits September 9, 1997.
Modern Wonders of the World September 20, 1997.
Motorcycles: First | Excelsior | Harley history | Harley timeline November 19, 1997 | Indian history | NSU | Restoration of a 1948 Indian Roadster November 20, 1997.
Multilevel Marketing Companies January 1, 1998.
Museums: AMNH September 1, 1997.
Music documents: 45 RPM | Phonograph Timeline | Sound Timeline September 1, 1997.
Music songs: Runaway Train November 22, 1997.
Mystery novels: History November 30, 1997.
NAFTA: Fast Track November 13, 1997.
National Christmas Tree History | Lightings. November 7, 1997.
Nobel Prizes: Chemistry | Literature | Peace | Physiology & Medicine September 7, 1997 | History of Nobel Prize January 11, 1998.
Olympian Greats September 12, 1997.
Photography: Eastman September 1, 1997.
Popular Music September 12, 1997.
Presidents: Elections: 1948-96 September 19, 1997. | Hall | Scandals | Sketches August 16, 1997 | Timeline July 26, 1997 | First ladies September 12, 1997 | Inaugural addresses | From Delaware January 8, 1998.
Quotes: Advertising September 28, 1997 | Notable September 6, 1997.
Radio: Orsen Wells January 10, 1998.
Recording Technology August 5, 1997.
Research Online text August 30, 1997.
Scholarly Societies November 29, 1997.
Social Psychology: Topics August 31, 1997 | Texts September 2, 1997.
Smoking: History 1 | History 2 | News Suppression | Tobacco Wars October 5, 1997.
U.S. Flags | Flag Page July 27, 1997.
U.S. Government Information September 12, 1997.
U.S. Constitution November 14, 1997.
U.S. Historic Documents September 11, 1997.
Unsustainable Fishing: Cousteau Watch | Inc. | WWF | World Watch August 28, 1997 | Opposing view September 19, 1997.
Visionaries: Utne, 1995 September 19, 1997.
Women in Education August 8, 1997.
The SIR American Century Experience (Timeline) page [ http://www.2-sir.com/ACE/ ] was revised on Sunday, April 8, 2007.