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10 Days That Shaped America (History Channel) Summary

Yannic Tschaitschian January 11, 2008 Mrs. Shelton 4th Block Honors History Ten Days That Shaped America 1) May 26, 1637-The Mystic Massacre of the Pequot War On May 26, 1637, English settlers under Captain John Mason, and Narragansett and Mohegan allies set fire to a Pequot fort near the Mystic River. The fort only had two entrances, and anybody that tried to flee the fort was shot by awaiting enemies. The only Pequots that survived were those who had followed their sachem Sassacus in a raiding party outside the village.

This attack on the fort almost entirely wiped out the Pequot population and resulted in them eventually losing the war. As a result of this the 1638 treaty of Hartford was signed, stating that all remaining Pequots were to be slaves, for the English and other tribes. This could have been the Start of slavery in the united states, and it could have also been an event that led to the enslaving of hundreds of thousands of Africans. This affected the United States greatly because, without this one battle, this country might not be as culturally diverse as it is today. ) January 25, 1787-Shays’ Rebellion Shays’ Rebellion took place in 1787, when Daniel Shays led a rebellion to seize Federal arsenal to protest debtor’s prisons. Daniel Shays proposed a battle to Luke Day of West Springfield Massachusetts, for a battle on January 5th 1787. Day sent a message to Shays that he would not have his army ready by then, and that the battle should take place January 6th instead. The message never reached Shays, and therefore, he and his army attacked the unarmed, and unorganized army of Day on the 5th.

The rebellion shocked and baffled, many U. S. leaders at the time, and eventually led to a few changes to the nations government. It would now become a stronger central government, which was the true basis for what our government is today. 3) January 24, 1848-The beginning of the California Gold Rush. On January 24, 1848, Gold was discovered at Sutter’s Mill In Coloma California. This discovery, immediately spread around the globe. People from all different parts of the world came to California. People called it the place for a new beginning.

California quickly became the most popular state in the United States. Even immigrants from Asia and Europe were coming to California just to get their hands on this precious gold. This also greatly affected the United States as we know it today. Without it, just like the Mystic Massacre, the United States would not be as culturally diverse as it is today. 4) September 17, 1862-The Battle of Antietam The Battle of Antietam was the bloodiest day in the history of America. More people died on this day, than on D-Day or 9/11.

It was also considered the turning point in the war, because although it was actually a draw, it was considered a victory for the Union because it ended General Robert E. Lee’s strategic campaign, and it allowed President Lincoln to issue the Emancipation Proclamation. The Emancipation Proclamation was a legal document stating that all slaves in the confederate states were now free. This affects us today, because it was the first major step in abolishing slavery, which now does not exist anymore in our society. 5) July 6th 1892-The Homestead Strike

On July 6, 1892, the union working at Carnegie Steel Company went on strike because of large pay cuts, and minimum working wages. Before the strike, Andrew Carnegie went on a trip to Scotland, and left the company in the hands of his manager, Henry Clay Frick, who was well-known to be very anti-union. Frick brought in replacement workers and used Pinkerton agents to safeguard their arrival. When the workers attempted to go to work, the strikers and the Pinkerton agents got into a gunfight. Ten people died. Two brigades of Pennsylvania state militia were called out to restore peace.

Anarchist Alexander Berkman tried to murder Frick, but he was unsuccessful, and ended up turning public opinion away from the striking workers. Carnegie Steel Company would go on to resume operations without the union, using mostly unskilled immigrant laborers. Still today we see immigrant workers laboring long and hard for very little money, in some cases even lower than minimum wage. 6) September 6,1901-The Assassination of President William McKinley While attending the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York, President William McKinley was assassinated by Leon Czolgosz (A self proclaimed anarchist) on September 6, 1901.

Doctors were able to remove one of the bullets, but his health declined soon after because the medical practices dealing with intravenous fluids were not as advanced as they are today, and they couldn’t save him. The assassination would bring Theodore Roosevelt into the Presidency. McKinley’s assassination also introduced a fairly new concept to presidency. The every president that was going to be running in office was now closely protected by secret services at all times. This also may have sparked the profession of security/body guard in the United States. ) July 21, 1925-The Infamous Scope Trials July 21, 1925 marked the start of the Scopes Monkey Trial. At issue was the Butler Act, which had been passed a few months earlier by the Tennessee General Assembly. The law said ” It shall be unlawful for any teacher in any of the Universities, Normals and all other public schools of the State which are supported in whole or in part by the public school funds of the State, to teach any theory that denies the story of the Divine Creation of man as taught in the Bible, and to teach instead that man has descended from a lower order of animals”.

This sparked a huge controversy in the United States. There were the people that agreed with the Butler Act, and those who thought it was completely absurd. As a result of this, public school teachers are now not even allowed to discuss religion in the school, except for educational purposes. They are not to allowed to say one religion is bad, nor are they allowed to say that their religion is better than others. This law still stands today. 8) July 16, 1939-Albert Eintstein sends his letter to Franklin D.

Roosevelt urging him to explore nuclear weaponry On July 16, 1939, at the insistence of Leo Szilard and Eugene Wigner, physicist Albert Einstein sent a letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, warning the President of Nazi Germany’s scientific research of the atomic bomb. His letter would acknowledge Roosevelt of the importance and the danger of this type of weapon in the hands of Adolf Hitler. Roosevelt immediately created the Advisory Committee on Uranium.

After some time had passed, Einstein was forced to send another letter to Roosevelt because the government was not fully funding the committee because Leo Szilard and Eugene Wigner were both born outside of the U. S. and were considered possible security risks. Roosevelt immediately ordered the government to give them the needed funds, and this brought about the Manhattan Project. After realizing the bomb would likely be used, Einstein regretted sending the letters to Roosevelt.

Although a pacifist, Einstein never wanted the Nazis to be the ones who had this powerful and dangerous weapon. Without this letter, perhaps there would not have been a Hiroshima bombing, Hitler might have been able to use this type of weapon, and this weapon might not even have existed this very day. 9) September 9, 1956-Elvis Presley appears on the Ed Sullivan show Elvis Presley’s appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show on September 09, 1956 signified a whole new culture that involved teenage independence, sexuality, race relations, and a new form of music.

Elvis did something so unbelievably shocking that day. HE MOVED HIS HIPS!!! At the time people were petrified, they considered it vulgar and demeaning. When it was shown on tv, Elvis the Pelvis was only shown from the waist up, so this hip swinging could not be seen. This may have been the first time anything was censored on tv, and it probably started the whole rating system for pretty much everything. Now thanks to Elvis, we have ratings for everything. From video games to tv shows, and from Internet sites to books. 10) June 21, 1964-Freedom Summer

The murders of three civil rights workers (James Chaney, Andrew Goddman, and Michael Schwerner), part of the Freedom Summer Project, by members of the Ku Klux Klan, spurred Congress to pass the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which made it easier for minorities and poor people to vote. The law would be signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson on August 06, 1965. This was yet another step in the right direction to completely abolish racism, and to give everybody equal rights. Although racism is still prevalent in today’s society, it nowhere near as terrible as it was the.

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