A. Bootleggers, despite only poorly making alcohol, was the door to government crack-down on crime and death. At the end of the Prohibition, over 50,000 people died of drinking tainted alcohol. Moonshiners made it nearly impossible for Prohibition Bureau enforce the Volstead Act, the act that made distributing alcohol illegal. Though not told in this article, bootleggers are also the confirmed creators of NASCAR, a national stock-car racing organization. Bootleggers were also a huge contributor to the rise of organized crime, a fairly new concept to the U.S. government. B. Though I have no bootleggers in my bloodline, my grandfather (according to my mother) made moonshine and sold it illegally (due to the FDA and regulations) to farmers around their area. My father was also a HUGE fan of NASCAR. I practically grew up hearing about how moonshiners created it due to them using their supped up cars to run from the law and racing each other. C. Organized crime of other illegal substances still exists, though is now on an international level in some cases. Bootleggers are often credited with the popularization of organized crime. NASCAR is still a popular stock car racing competition with over 3 billion dollars in sponsor ships coming in every year.
A. Bikini Atoll was the location of the first nuclear bomb testing since World War II. It took place on July 1, 1946. Prior to the testings, the only major use of nuclear weapons by the U.S. was with Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of the war. Though Truman only gave the green light to drop the bombs on account of the immense amount of men dying, the use was still very destructive though effective. Bikini Atoll was a new concept to the world and thus resulted in mistakes (an example would be sending Marines to clean the decks of the ships exposed to the blast due to an unawareness of the damages of radiation). It would also lead to the joint effort of the U.S. and Soviet Union to test nuclear bombs several hundred times more. B. I have always had an interest in nuclear bombs purely because of the many destructive connotations surrounding it. Also, many times I simply research things out of curiosity. I'm not usually attached to something when I research it. I'm the type of person who has a natural want to learn things about the world. This topic is especially interesting to me since I have a natural draw to things are destructive. I want to learn these things so if I'm ever given a position where I have to make a decision that could result in a similar situation occurring, I want to know what choice to make. C. Currently, Bikini Atoll is still uninhabitable. The effects of the first test and the consecutive ones later had major, lasting effects that effected not only Bikini Atoll by the surrounding Marshall Islands. The Bikini islanders and their descendants are still living in exile.
A. Upton Sinclair was an activist writer whose works, including 'The Jungle' and 'Boston,' often uncovered social injustices. He won a Pulitzer Prize for his book 'Dragon's Teeth' in 1943. He also attempted to, and failed, to hold a political office. His most noted book is 'The Jungle," and it discusses the harsh realities for workers in the meatpacking industry. The novel became a best-sellinger and was published in 1906. B. Seeing and attempting to correct injustices in the world is a very dear concept to me. I try to do my best to practice it every day, and it's refreshing to see someone do the same at a time where it appeared that Laissez-Faire capitalism ruled all. I don't appreciate his later attempts to become a politician. I think he could have done more impact work with his writing rather than his political prowess. He could have brought light to other injustices similar to John Steinbeck, a famous author. C. Sinclair's novel led to federal food safety laws. His work also influenced Teddy Roosevelt to create the FDA, a federal organization still in effect today.
A. The sinking of the Titanic, which was thought of as an unsinkable ship, led to a huge reform of ship safety and the creation of am International Ice Patrol. The Titanic was also one of the most luxurious ocean liners ever built, and due to its ability to have 4 of it 16 compartments flooded and still remain afloat, it was thought of as unsinkable. It's sinking killed more than 1,500 people. One factor credited to such a high death toll was the lack of lifeboats on the ship. Only 700 people, mostly women and children, survived. It brought together Europe and North America at the time to consider how and why the sinking occurred and how to prevent it. B. When I was a little girl, my favorite movie was "Titanic," partially because my love of cinematography was born from a very young age and mostly because it focused things that I didn't understand yet fascinated me- death and disasters(I swear I'm not insane, I have always just been a little odd when it comes to my interests). This interest led me to read a LOT of books about Titanic. It has always been a point of interest for me since I was around five, so it is very important to me and helped shaped the way I view the world drastically. C. As I've previously mentioned, there was a movie based off of the sinking, and many stories and movies are still based off of the sinking of an "unsinkable" sink. Though not as present, in 1985, a U.S-French expedition found and investigated the Titanic wreck.
A. President William McKinley, a famous Republican who favored the Gold Standard, was shot by Leon Czolgosz, an anarchist, in 1901 at the Pan-American Exposition. After dying from blood poisoning and gangrene, Europe and America ground to a halt. Monarchs in Europe declared periods of mourning and whole cities went to pay their respects as the former president's funeral train passed by on September 17, 1901. McKinley's death also resulted in the presidency of former Vice President Theodore Roosevelt, one the most well known presidents in history. The man who killed him, Czolgosz was sentenced to death by electric chair for the murder of the president. B. To me, it's interesting to read about a man who was an enemy in the eyes of certain people we studied in history. Personally, I didn't believe McKinley should have won the election in 1896 though the Silver Standard might have lead to a huge economic depression. It's ironic how he was killed by an anarchist, and without the anarchist, Theodore Roosevelt wouldn't be a famous president or perhaps had ever had the presidency in the first place. Though I have the gift of foresight, it's easy to see that perhaps "everything happens for a reason." C. As I said previously, McKinley's assassination brought forth everything after. Additionally, McKinley's memorial still stands and it now part of a museum in Canton, Ohio. McKinley's beliefs about the Gold Standard are no longer in effect as there is no asset backing the U.S. dollar. One could argue Leon Czolgosz's link to the anarchist/socialist movement and his actions because of such beliefs were successful.
A. The stock market crash in October 1929 helped accelerate the inevitable Great Depression, which resulted in over 30% of the workforce being unemployed and tons of banks to fail. The crash itself was also inevitable as the price of stocks had begun to decline in September. Black Tuesday, the day the New York Stock Exchange fully crashed after over 16 million shares were traded, was the day in which stock prices collapsed completely due the fact that stock tickers ran behind because machinery could not handle the tremendous amount of trading. It recovered quite nicely following October 29th, but stock during the Great Depression was only about 20% of the value they had been summer of 1929. B. I have heard of a variety of different New York Stock Exchange crashes, such as the one in 2008, and I never fully understood how they occur. I still fully don't, but they interest me. I wanted to learn about the crash that contributed greatly to the Great Depression. Overall, I don't fully understand the stock market, and though I've decided it's too complicated and stereo-typically sleazy that I will never get involved in that realm of business, I feel it's good to at least be aware as to why the crashes have occurred with them so when one happens, you might be more capable to understand why and how it happened. C. The most recent stock market crash, the crash of 2008-09, is regarded as being of similar degree of devastation as the crash of 1929. Often, people look to the crash of 1929 as a way to prevent another crash from occurring.
A. The Spanish Flu killed more people than World War I, and it is the world's most devastating recorded pandemic. When the Influenza Pandemic first rose, WWI was dying down in 1918. Two years later and almost a fifth of the world's population is inflected. It is said that around 43,000 servicemen died of influenza. The flu spread and turned into pneumonia so quickly that people would get what they assume is the common cold and hours later they would die with the worst case of pneumonia. WWI is credited with contributing to the spread of the virus though the origin of it is unknown. Some believe that it was a form of biological warfare used by the Germans or that is was a result of trench warfare. It is also thought to have originated in China though modern medicine has now risen suspicion that it resulted in U.S. involvement in the war as deadly influenza was a problem at the time. This moment is pivotal due to its relation with the Great War (or WWI). Due to the war, the virus spread faster and in more areas, turning it into the deadliest pandemic. The war also caused facilities to be unable to support the sick. Overall, it's a huge reminder of the deadliness of war though no one seemed to listen as less than 30 years later, the second world war began. B. Similarly to a lot of the pivotal moments on my list, this topic isn't connected to me in any way other than I was simply curious. I'm not going to become a doctor due to learning of the Spanish Flu, but I'd like to think I'm more aware of our world than I was before. Though the war ended shortly after the flu started spreading so rapidly, neither side learned a lesson. C. To this day, the world is still unaware how the pandemic began though there is major speculation. We are also in the middle of a severe flu season with our vaccine only around 10% effective.
A. Carry Nation is famous for her smashing of saloons and speakeasies during the time before and during Prohibition after claiming that God had told her to go to Kiowa, Kansas. In Kansas, she created her own chapter of the Woman's Christian Temperance Movement (WCTU) that passed a Prohibition law in Kansas. She also had a career of charity that included helping those in prison. B. Mother Nation is one of my favorite people from history. She fulfills a role in history that often thought of as a myth (such as cowboys of the West). She was insane, and though she was an activist, she's an example for me as to what NOT to do when expressing your side of the argument. I also read about her at a time that was kind of rough, and her story made me laugh until my stomach hurt. C. Though Carrie Nation's work helped lead to Prohibition and the right for women to vote, her actions never lived beyond the bars she destroyed. Her work connects to the modern Women's Movement, though no one has followed her precedent and destroyed bars to encourage feminism.
A. Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow had far much more impact on the nation in myth than they did in actuality. The pair were thought of as a headstone for the 30's- a couple with a vast crime spree that broke the convention of society and challenged the status quo. In actuality, they robbed grocery stores rather than banks, Bonnie didn't challenge the anti-feminism associated with women smoking cigars, they weren't cruel and heartless, and they pair never wanted to be criminals. They were major influences on pop culture at the time. B. I've heard of "Bonnie and Clyde" as this couple who had an ending similar to Romeo and Juliet. I'd always figured that their story was more myth than truth, and it's important to me that they weren't comparable to fictional swashbucklers but rather average people whose lives didn't go the way they anticipated. C. Bonnie and Clyde are still referenced regularly and still thought of as a romanticized version of what they really are. People continue to make movies documenting the mystery surrounding them, writers of literature and music still refer to them when discussing love, and people still see them as the people the myth painted- people outside of convention.
A. Georgia Douglas Johnson, a poet that took part in the Harlem Renaissance Movement, is one of the most accomplished African American woman apart of the movement. She wrote four volumes of poetry and several plays. She hosted open houses on Saturday nights that notable people from the Renaissance attended. These open houses she later documented in a manuscript. She has an honorary doctorate from Atlantic University and was written post-humorously into the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame. B. I didn't know much about Georgia Douglas Johnson prior to the project, but I love poetry. Her poems appear to be full of symbolism and inspiration taken from her own life. She didn't have it easy and further proves my idea that most great art and literature doesn't come from living a rich lifestyle with no strife. It makes me appreciate my life more, in a sense. C. Her poems still exist today and influence other poets and writers. Her influence isn't great, but it's meant for those to find and use.