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America's Greatest Moments

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The Wrath
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Definable events have roots in "gradual periods of time." That is, everything is contextual. Just because certain gradual periods led up to specific, unique climaxes occurring at singular points in time, doesn't erase this fact. That is, events don't occur in a vacuum.

Why not have all of America's greatest achievements, whether they are remembered as singular moments, or gradual periods?

1.) The coalescing of the Founders into a force for freedom.

Edited by Felipe
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  1. October 12, 1492: Columbus concretizes the existence of future America.
  2. July 4, 1776: American Independence.
  3. December 20, 1803: We buy Louisiana
  4. December 10, 1898: Spain capitulates and US becomes a major world power
  5. [Date and month uncertain] 1926: Ayn Rand arrives in the US
  6. April 12, 1945: FDR dies
  7. September 24, 1954: I exist
  8. September 11, 2001: A new era of politics

This is a "for better or worst" list.

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About the moon landing. In my opinion, that will be considered the most notable achievement (and moment) of the 20th century.

Think about it. The first time mankind set foot on another planet. 1000 years from now that will be remembered.

Apparently Neil Armstrong screwed up when he said "One small step for man. One giant leap for mankind." He was supposed to say "One small step for *a* man. One giant leap for mankind."

He left out the 'a', so we know he wasn't a Canadian. :D

An obligatory pic: :)

csp_moon-landing.jpg

Feast your eyes on this. That's mankind achieving, and the American flag adds so much to that scene. America, the first country based on individual rights. America, the land of the free made possible that moment. Sweet.

And, btw, on one of the landings Armstrong, or whomever, is on the moon skipping and singing, while in his bulky space suit, "I was walking through the park on day. In the very merry month of may..." It's one of the happiest scenes I've ever seen.

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...we'd be still writing letters instead of posting on forums...

1) Invention of the printing press.

I'm unclear about its origin, but I'm pretty sure Americans have come up with subsequent, improved versions of the original printing press. And it made Thomans Paine's pamphlet on "Give me liberty or give me death" possible on a wide scale.

In no particular order:

2) Ford's assembly line.

3) Ayn Rand gets Atlas Shrugged published.

4) Edison's work in electricity.

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1) Invention of the printing press.

I'm unclear about its origin, but I'm pretty sure Americans have come up with subsequent, improved versions of the original printing press. And it made Thomans Paine's pamphlet on "Give me liberty or give me death" possible on a wide scale.

Gutenberg invented the printing press. For Thomas Paine, you must be thinking of his "Common Sense," or "Crisis" papers ("These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot . . . ") since "Give me Liberty or give me death" were the immortal words of Patrick Henry.

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Gutenberg invented the printing press.

No. The printing press already existed in his time. What Gutenberg invented was movable type -- small pre-cast blocks with letters or other symbols on them which could quickly be assembled into a die (I am not sure whether "die" is the right word here.) which would be inked and then pressed onto paper. Before his invention, the printer laboriously carved an entire page to make the die. Gutenberg's invention made printing many books, pamphlets, and newspapers PRACTICAL.

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A number of the things listed here I do not think are American moments. The Industrial Revolution for example started in England, and then spread to the Ruhr before reaching the States.

Maybe you might like to know what a non-American thinks of America's greatest moments. I am going to give a short list of moments America and ONLY America has given to the World, that is why the abolition of slavery for example is not listed, because England did that first, and of course it is not really possible for me to give a list of great moments for America itself because I am not an American. If you are not interested in this list, please ignore it, I just thought it might be interesting for someone...

1) Definitely the foundation of a state based on principle, not race, nationality or creed

2) Man on the moon

3) Nuclear power/weapons (although done with foreign brains, this was only acheived/acheivable I feel, in America)

4) The maintenance of sixty years of peace for the Western World after the Second World War

5) Hollywood: this may seem flippant, but the impact this has had on the world is tremendous. It was just as much the image of the free world seen on the silver screen that has helped spread the message of freedom as hard politicking. Bollywood may be bigger, but nothing has had a bigger global impact.

There are a number of other great moments for America, but I would be here all day if I were to list them all.

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  • 6 months later...
While certainly a turning point in world history, I hardly think it qualifies as one of America's "greatest moments." Killing thousands of civilians just doesn't seem all that great to me.

Despite my objections to turning North Korea into a nuclear wasteland tomorrow morning, I have to say that the Hiroshima bombing was actually one of the better ways to go.

Operation Downfall (the invasions of Kyushu and Honshu) would have resulted in many more casualties then D-Day, and since there would also be an assault launched near Tokyo, the civilian casualties would probably have been on the rather high range of civilian estimates.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki were not the be all end all of the war. We were fortunate that the military coup against The Emperor failed, and that the Soviets entered the war, since doing so gave The Emperor the option of surrendering on better terms to the Americans as opposed to terms which they knew would be much worse from the Soviets (the Russians never really forgave them for 1905, and General Zhukov had fought the Japanese before and did very well against them).

It was something of a gamble, but it payed off all for the better. With regards to civilian casualties, there were more people killed by the Tokyo firebombing then from either atomic bomb.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Top Five Moments in the history of mankind as of 2006 (dont know enough American History to make judgements for that country alone)

-The Berlin Wall falls down allowing for the Cold War to end.

-1215 the Magna Carta is written, the first document that restricts the powers of rulers and allows for most of the modern democracy to begin.

-Adam Smith publishes the Wealth of Nations, laying down one of the earliest, if not the first, argument for the Free Market.

-The American Revolution, beginning the first nation founded on an idea, and not defined by nationality, clearly making it the most well poised to lead the world into the future.

-The invention of the Internet. While the exact date is up for grabs and many people would like to claim responsibility for it, the power to share information on a scale never before imagined will be an integral component for how the future of mankind progresses.

Bottom Five Moments.

-A guy called Jesus comes along, replacing Judaism's great respect for learning and justice, with a sissy of a God who only demands obedience and being "nice".

-Emperor Constantine then making Christianity a favored religion in the Empire, laying the foundations for the Church on earth to usher in the Dark Ages.

-Kaiser Wilhelm's idiotic diplomacy plunges Europe into World War One. If Germany had someone who even remotely resembled Bismarck during that era, the next big problem could be averted.

-Lenin leads and intellectualist coup of the Provisional Government, Russia's first chance of Freedom is crushed and the resources of the largest country in the world come under control of Communists.

-Iranian Revolution of 1979 in conjunction with misguided American Foreign Policy in the Middle East. It all goes downhill from there.

-Honorary Runner Up-Mao leads the Cultural Revolution and Chinese society then erases it from memory. While this event does not have as many negative international effects as the past one, the fact that Mao has been absolved for the murder of his own people, by his own people, ranks as one of the lowest levels of mankind. The revisionism of the events of Tiananmen Square of course follows from this.

Top Five "Coolest Moments". Events that do not change the world as much, but were certainly quite amazing and of personal worth to me.

-Bismarck unifies Germany and engages in some of the best diplomacy that has ever been known, possibly surpassing the only other great diplomat before his time, Matternich.

-Apollo 11. The fact this happened just three weeks after the last episode of the original Star Trek was aired, was a great way of confirming our desire to go into space.

-Enrico Fermi starts the first self sustaining nuclear reaction on the grounds of the University of Chicago.

-Apple Computer gets founded, Think Different.

-Ronald D. Moore restarts the Battlestar Galactica franchise, creating a TV series that surpassed the best of Star Trek and Babylon 5 in just one season.

Edited by Strangelove
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It was something of a gamble, but it payed off all for the better. With regards to civilian casualties, there were more people killed by the Tokyo firebombing then from either atomic bomb.

I am not saying that it was a poor military choice. I actually think it was probably the better option. Still, I wouldn't call it one of "America's Greatest Moments" anymore than I would say the firebombings were.

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