The United States is one of the countries with the richest histories. Since attaining independence in 1776, the country hasn’t looked back in all aspects – it has since grown into a world superpower. While the majority of the historic events have been positive, some not so much. Either way, they are all part of the nation’s past that can’t be erased. This article highlights some of the most memorable events that shaped American history.

1. The Great Migration

Sometimes referred to as the Black Migration or the Great Northward Migration, the Great Migration often refers to when more than six million African Americans moved from their traditional Southern States to the urban sides.

The majority of the movement happened between 1910 and 1970, with most migrants preferring the northern and western parts. Historic documents attribute the leaderless migrations to poor economic and social conditions prevalent in the southern sides at the time. The Great Migration is a critical part of American history as it shaped the sound of blues music, desegregated sports, and affected major political decisions. Harlem Renaissance was also a result of the migration.

2. Signing of the North Atlantic Treaty

On April 4, 1949, the United States, together with Canada and several other European countries, signed the North Atlantic Treaty. Together, the countries involved shared a similar goal of safeguarding the Allies’ freedom and security, either politically or by military means, more so against the Soviet Union.

The treaty marked the beginning of a new phase, especially for the United States, who had never entered such an agreement before. According to Article 5 of the pact, a military attack against any of the signatories is considered an attack against them all.

3. Approval of the Birth Control

Though often overlooked, the approval of the Birth Control pill on May 9, 1960, has contributed significantly to American history. During the early 1900s, Americans had a different view on sex and contraception. Even though birth control methods had existed for centuries, it was not an acceptable practice in the United States. However, after the FDA approved the first birth control pill, more than 1.2 million women used this form of contraceptive, marking a new beginning.

4. The Signing of the Americans with Disability Act

In an attempt to recognize persons with disability as part of our society, the Americans with Disability Act was signed on July 26, 1990. The move has since been ranked as one of the major achievements of the 20th century.

5. Approval of Same-Sex Marriages

Since the 1990s, Americans have been at the forefront of fighting for gay rights. However, it was not until June 26, 2015, that the Supreme Court lifted all bans in all states that were against same-sex marriages. Although 4 out of nine judges ruled against same-sex marriages in the Obergefell vs Hodges case, the majority carried the day, marking an important day in the country’s history. This also explains why June is usually celebrated as Pride Month.

6. 9/11 Terrorist Attacks

September 11, 2001, is a day Americans will never forget throughout history for all the wrong reasons. The terrorist attacks that claimed the lives of many people were an eye-opener for American forces and administration.

Today, US government bodies, from the Pentagon to the CIA, have enhanced security and privacy, mainly due to the events of that fateful day. On a positive note, the day also showcased people’s humanity as they came together to donate their money and time to those affected.

7. Election of President Barrack Obama

Being the first black president to get into office, Barrack Obama accomplished something millions worldwide never thought possible. In Martin Luther King’s words, it was only a dream. A lot of great things happened when Obama was elected president. According to a study, the historical moment also helped improve the mental health of black men.

8. The Moon Landing

The United States has always been at the forefront of space exploration. So, in 1969, when two American astronauts, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, landed and walked on the moon, it was a great deal. The event was so phenomenal that conspiracy theorists have always claimed it was staged.

9. The Assassination of JF Kennedy

Even though three other American presidents have been assassinated before, none was as significant as JF Kennedy’s. Highlighted as the most notorious political murder of the 20th century, JFKs assassination has lingered in the minds of many Americans since it happened on November 22, 1963.

One of the reasons why Kennedy’s assassination is so famous is because it happened relatively recently. He was also very popular and had a massive following. His death, therefore, changed American history and Presidential security – no other head of state has been assassinated since.

10. The Great Depression

It’s impossible to talk about American history without touching on the Great Depression. What started as a typical recession in the summer of 1929 turned into a 10-year economic crisis. A lot of shocking things happened during this period. Stocks on the New York exchange lost about half their values. Businesses, both big and small, failed drastically. Many people lost their jobs, and the unemployment rate rose drastically. On the contrary, some business moguls, such as Walter Chrysler and William Boeing, made a lot of money at the time. The Great Depression is being discussed today, especially in economic settings, thanks to its lasting impacts.

11. Legalization of Marijuana

Marijuana has been a hot topic of debate not only in the United States but the world at large. So, when recreational use of the drug was legalized in the states of Colorado and Washington, it sparked even further debates. Today, Marijuana is one of the leading industries in America, bringing in an estimated revenue of $3 billion per year. Being the trendsetter it is, the United States significantly altered history. It showed other countries it could be done, with plenty of others following suit.

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Last Update: April 18, 2024