America's Top Ten
by Jules Peterson
Louisiana Purchase - April 30, 1803
On April 30, 1803 the United States concluded negotiations with Napoleonic France regarding the Louisiana Purchase. The Louisiana Territory 828,000 square miles west of the Mississippi River which the U.S. bought for $15 million doubling the size of the United States.
New Deal - 1932 to 1940
Upon Franklin Roosevelt's election to office he swiftly began to take measures to attempt to stabilize the economy and provide jobs. Between the years 1932-1940 the federal government launched acts as well as experimental projects and programs known as the New Deal. These included the Banking Act of 1933 which established the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the 21st amendment, ending prohibition, the Social Security Act, and more... The New Deal was extremely successful in that it saved many from starvation by providing for them government checks which they could earn by working for agencies like the Civilian Conservation Corps and Works Progress Administration. It also provided citizens with a security against the unpredictable turns of the market.
Martin Luther King Jr.'s Movement and Assassination - 1955-1968
Martin Luther King Jr. was one of the biggest advocates for non-violent protest. He helped to found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and served as its first president. He headed many nonviolent movements such as the Montgomery Bus Boycott, protests in Birmingham, Alabama which attracted a lot of media because of the police response, and the March on Washington where he delivered the "I Have a Dream" speech. Because of his nonviolent protest King won the Nobel Peace Prize on October 14, 1964. King's vision for the right of African Americans to vote, desegregation, and labor rights were legally accomplish in the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. King's assassination on April 4, 1968 led to a period of national mourning and his followers pushed for a national holiday in his honor.
13th Amendment - January 31, 1865
The 13th Amendment passed on January 31 and ratified December 6, 1865 abolished slavery and involuntary servitude. This was the greatest accomplishment made by the Civil War. Following the war Abraham Lincoln felt that making the amendment was necessary to ensure the end of slavery. When Georgia Ratified it on December 6, 1865, slavery ceased to exist in the United States. The amendment laid the ground work for equality and freedom to continue to grow in our nation.
Pearl Harbor - December 7, 1941
The Attack on Pearl Harbor was a military attack by the Imperial Japanese Navy on the U.S. naval base in the territory of Hawaii. It was intended to be a preventative action to keep the U.S. Pacific Fleet from interfering with the military actions of Japan. In the attack 18 American ships and 300 airplane were destroyed. 2500 were killed and 1000 more were injured. The attack led to U.S. entry into WWII.
Election of Barrack Obama - November 4, 2008
Barack Obama was elected the 44th president of the United States on November 4, 2008 and again on November 6, 2012. Obama was the first African American president of the United States. His election represented a huge step in the continuation of equality in America.
19th Amendment - August 18. 1920
In the early 20th century women's role in society began to change. They worked more, learned more, and had fewer children, several states even authorized women's suffrage. The 19th Amendment passed August 18, 1920 gave women the right to vote. The amendment was a huge success in the women's suffragist movement that had been going on since mid-19th century, especially following the 15th amendment which allowed African American men to vote but failed to extend the same rights to women.
Abraham Lincoln Assassinated - April 15, 1865
Abe Lincoln was assassinated on April 15, 1865 at Ford's Theater by John Wilkes Booth. He was killed only five days after the Civil War ended. The assassination was a part of a bigger plan to also kill Secretary of State William H. Seward and Vice President Andrew Johnson in an attempt to start a confederate uprising and end the continuity of the government, however these other attempts failed. Lincoln was the first president to be successfully assassinated and his death was a test of the U.S. government and the strength of the constitutional plan of succession. When Andrew Johnson received the presidency it showed the legitimacy of our countries government to other countries.
Osama bin Laden Executed by the United States - May 2, 2011
Osama bin Laden, leader of the terrorist group, al Qaeda, that was responsible for the 9/11 attacks, was executed on May 2, 2011 by the U.S. The capture of Osama bin Laden was led by the CIA in an attack code- named operation Neptune Spear. The execution of bin Laden had a 90% approval rate in the U.S. and was supported by NATO. His execution represented a victory in the United States War on Terror launched by George W. Bush. It also increased a sense of security among U.S. citizens because the leader of our biggest terrorist threat was dead.
Landing a Man on the Moon - July 20, 1969
Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon in Apollo 11 on July 20, 1969 ten years after the Soviet Union landed the unmanned Luna 2 on the moon. This accomplishment represented a major in the Moon Race against Russia. The technological superiority represented national security and was a symbol of ideological superiority. It also finished off a rough patch in the United States History on a high note, as it followed the both world wars, the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights fight, and Kennedy's death. Furthermore it opened the door for five more moon landings which expanded and opened the doors for continued knowledge as displayed by Neil Armstrong's famous words "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."