Forrest Gump vs. History

Matthew McClellan

Forrest Gump Plot

Forrest Gump is a movie about a boy that, despite many obstacles, manages to do the impossible time and time again. Throughout the movie he achieves many goals most people only dream of including: playing football in college, meeting the president, being a millionaire, receiving the medal of honor. and many more amazing things. A day in the life of this man is never dull.

Forrest Gump refers to past events very often, but how accurate is the information?

Throughout the movie we see many important events take place.

  • Watergate scandal
  • Assassination of JFK
  • Shooting of George Wallace
  • War in Vietnam
  • Hurricane Carmen

Watergate Scandal

The Watergate Scandal referred to in Forrest Gump, and it was very accurate for the most part. When the spies broke into the democratic HQ they were caught in the act, however they were not discovered by a person staying at the hotel. They were actually caught by a security guard after leaving tape on the lock of the doors.

Forrest Gump also references a lot of famous people.

The king of pop himself even makes an appearance in the movie. Elvis Presley stays at Forrest Gump's house for a while. In the movie Forrest says, "He sang himself to many songs, had a heart attack or something". Elvis did indeed die from a heart attack on August 16, 1977.

The movie also channels the culture of each time period throughout the movie.

When Forrest Gump was a boy the doctor said he had scoliosis and gave him "magic shoes". Doctors during that time (early 1950's) used leg braces because the believed they would align the hips and straighten the persons back.

George Wallace

George Wallace was the governor of Alabama. He is most known for his role in the civil rights movement, however it wasn't a very positive role. George Wallace made the decision to try and prevent two African American students from enrolling at the University of Alabama. He stood in front of the door into to the school and wouldn't let the students pass. President John F Kennedy sent in the national guard to be sure the students were able to attend the school.
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George Wallace

After his standoff at the University of Alabama Wallace decided to run for presidency. The standoff defiantly had an effect on his reputation, but he was still in the running for presidency. A man by the name of Arthur Bremer shot Wallace four times, and this left him paralyzed from the waist down. Nobody knows the true meaning behind the assassination attempt, but one could only believe it was because of his views on African Americans.


In the movie Jenny dies of a unknown virus. During that time, the 1980's, AIDS was a becoming a more recognized disease by doctors, however they knew very little about it. Jenny died in 1982 and and doctors identified the disease in 1983.

The Black Panters

Jenny takes Forrest Gump to a "Black Panther party" in Washington D.C. At the party all the Black Panther members were wearing military like clothing, and the leader was yelling a lot and barking orders. The Black Panthers are known for fighting for equal right, but most people don't know they took they job very serious. The Black Panthers had a strong military posture, and it is pro-trade in the movie very well.

Run Forrest! Run!

While Forrest was running we see him inspire some products that rise quickly in popularity. He see him inspire the bumper stick that say, "S*** Happenes" and the well known smiley face that we send on snapchat everyday. The smiley face was actually invented in the 1970's

The Ping Pong Diplomancy

Forrest become a very good ping pong player and and travels to china. A man on the US table tennis team, Glenn Cowan, missed the US bus to the ping pong world championship. He then had to take a bus with China's team, where he talked to a man named Zhuang Zhedong. This lead to the agreement for the US team to travel to China and play ping pong as a foreign affair.

Historical Rating: 4

"Life is like a box of chocolates"