Aside

Top Ten Moments that Define America

Ok, so I was searching the internet for this list a while ago, and became rather frustrated with the results. Primarily because not ONE of the lists I found included the Declaration of Independence, which is the document that literally defined this country as a separate entity from Great Britain. Others left out some that I thought were critical. Still others were longer lists, and had most of the events I was thinking about, but maybe not in the top ten. So here is my own list, for future internet-searchers:

1. Declaration of Independence
Defines USA as: INDEPENDENT
Comment:  literally defined the country

2. Louisiana Purchase
Defines USA as:  AMBITIOUS
Comment: first of many “land grabs”

3. 13th Amendment
Defines USA as: FLAWED
Comment: freed the slaves, belatedly

4. Civil War
Defines USA as: DIFFERING
Comment: convictions to die for

5. World War I
Defines USA as: GLOBAL
Comment: 1st joined international allies

6. Great Depression
Defines USA as: FINANCIAL
Comment: stock market crash of ’29

7. Pearl Harbor
Defines USA as: AUDACIOUS
Comment: reckless, then brave

8. Hiroshima
Defines USA as: MIGHTY
Comment: D-Day, but in small package

9. Man on the Moon
Defines USA as: INGENIOUS
Comment: flag on another frontier

10. September 11
Defines USA as: ENVIED
Comment: a.k.a., “hated”

At first I had World War II as one event on the list, but couldn’t decide on a 10th item and felt the beginning and end of the war for America are both significant enough to be included.

Obviously it’s very hard to narrow US history to 10 moments, and several of the definition terms are represented by many other events. But this is what I came up with. There is a reason I was seeking a top ten, but it is certainly not to minimize any of the other moments that have made America what it is today.

What are your thoughts….?

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A Simple Man

BF

Just this side of the Delaware River, in the heart of Philadelphia, is a rectangular stone slab that marks the grave of its designer–perhaps the simplest thing he ever created during a lifetime noted for historic inventions.

Benjamin
And                  Franklin
Deborah
………..1790

It is remarkable that he made it back to this continent in time to “go to bed,” as he called it, since he spent much of the second half of his life in Europe. But then, after more than 70 years of public service, he still had work left to do in America–a constitution to help write.

His life is presented in 500 pages, in Walter Isaacson’s Benjamin Franklin: An American Life. Continue reading