by John Hawkins | March 1, 2006 9:15 am
Thanks to RWN’s readers for helping put together a list of the 25 worst moments in American history.
1804: Aaron Burr kills one of the greatest figures in American history, Alexander Hamilton, in a duel.
1814: British forces burn down the White House during the War of 1812.
1838: The Trail of Tears. 4000 Cherokees die during a forced relocation to the West.
1857: The Dred Scott Decision. The Supreme Court essentially rules that black people are nothing more than property like a chair or couch.
1861: The bombardment of Fort Sumter was the beginning engagement of the Civil War.
1862: The battle of Antietam was the single bloodiest day in American history with 25,000 soldiers killed, wounded, or missing.
1865: Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. One of our greatest Presidents, if not our greatest President, was murdered soon after the beginning of his second term.
1900: A hurricane strikes Galveston, Texas killing 6000 in the worst disaster in American history.
1917: The Zimmerman Telegraph. Germany’s Foreign Secretary Arthur Zimmermann sends a telegram to Mexico encouraging them to attack the United States. The British intercepted the telegram and sent it to the United States where it led to America’s entry into WW1.
1918: The influenza pandemic begins at Fort Riley, Kansas. By the time it was over, 25% of the US population would become sick and by some estimates, well over half a million Americans died as result.
1929: A massive drop in value of the stock market helped trigger the Great Depression which lasted until the increased economic activity spurred by WW2 got us going back in the right direction.
1941: Pearl Harbor. “A date which will live in infamy” indeed.
1942: The US government came to the conclusion that interning Japanese-American citizens was the best of a number of bad options. Roughly a hundred thousand Japanese-Americans ended up in camps.
1949: The Soviet Union tests an atomic bomb. For the next 50 years, Americans fear the Cold War will end in a nuclear holocaust.
1950: As American and Rok forces appear poised to finish off the Norks and reunite Korea, a Chinese offensive caught them completely by surprise and drove them back, nearly into the sea before they regrouped, pushed back, and managed to fight them to a stalemate.
1961: The Bay of Pigs invasion. Kennedy’s decision to go forward with the invasion and then deny them air support doomed the entire enterprise to failure. Today, 44 years later, Fidel Castro, a diehard enemy of the United States, is still in power.
1963: In an event that scarred the American psyche and produced countless conspiracy theories, John F. Kennedy is assassinated.
1968: The Tet Offensive was a crushing defeat for North Vietnamese forces but was incorrectly portrayed as a huge victory for them by the American media. This was a key event in destroying the American public’s support for the war.
1968: America’s greatest civil rights leader, Martin Luther King, is assassinated.
1973: The Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision leads to the legalization of abortion nation wide and the deaths of countless millions of innocent children.
1974: Richard Nixon resigns after being disgraced by Watergate, a scandal which shook American faith in the government.
1975: After the Democrats in Congress cut off aid and promised air support, South Vietnam was doomed. When Saigon actually fell, that symbolized what a disaster the Vietnam War turned out to be.
1977: Jimmy Carter hands over control of the Panama Canal to Panama mainly because they asked for it.
1995: Oklahoma City Bombing. 168 people die as the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building is destroyed by domestic terrorists.
2001: 9/11. Terrorist madmen attack the Twin Towers and Pentagon, kill nearly 3000 Americans, and set off a war on terrorism.
You can see “The 25 Greatest Moments In American History” here.
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