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Defining Moments In American History Essay

1935 words - 8 pages

Defining Moments in American History
(missing works cited)

American history has had many defining moments over the last five decades which has helped America to develop to the way it is today. Each decade holding many life changing events and discoveries in them it would take a long time to cover each and every one of these so I have chosen a major event that I find to be of great worth to Americans today. We can all learn from the past events and work together to make American a safer and better place to live, and one way to do so is by learning from the past. Starting in the 1950’s we will discuss the most life changing and breath taking moments from each decade that this great county has seen through the 90’s and discover why they are all of significant value to the America we all live in today.

The 1950’s with Martin Luther King Jr.

While there were many significant events in the 1950’s, a movement in civil rights stands out the most in my mind. In America during the 1950’s there was a large disturbance and a great desire for African Americans to actually become Americans. Meaning that they could vote, not be segregated, and have all the other rights that other Americans had. While there are many great African Americans like Rosa Parks and attorney Thurgood Marshall that had a part in the civil rights movement of the 1950’s, Dr. Martin Luther King unarguably had the greatest impact. Dr. King felt that in order for the civil rights movement to be successful that, “We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline”. (Civil Rights Timeline, 2007) Based off this statement and belief, Dr. King lead many successful peace marches and even delivered the world famous “I Have a Dream” speech. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “If a man hasn't discovered something that he will die for, he isn't fit to live” (Robinson,2001). This statement clearly demonstrates Kings true conviction to his beliefs that all Americans should have equal rights, even if it meant a man had to die for those beliefs. Although African Americans continued to fight for equal rights into the 1960’s and in some parts of America are still fighting today. This movement was sparked in the 1950’s and stands as the most significant event of that time.

The 1960’s with the Vietnam War

Moving from the 1950’s to the 1960’s events changed from having problems at home to once again having problems abroad. I found the Vietnam War to be the most significant event of the 1960’s because it consumed upward to half the decade and even into the 1970’s. The Vietnam War stands as the United States longest military conflict in History. According to a website dedicated to the Vietnam War, “The hostilities in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia claimed the lives of more than 58,000 Americans. Another 304,000 were wounded.” (The Ultimate Resource for the Vietnam War. 2007). This war had a great impact on many Americans especially for the ones who...

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