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View Full Version : Most shocking event in the last 100 years of American history?



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Cachoo
03-27-2012, 01:17 AM
Think of the traditional American family of some time ago. Mom, Dad and children. Often the grandparents are near or live with you. Dad earns the paycheck. Now think of one of every three Dad's out of work and nothing coming in for all of those women, children, elderly. Also no social security checks, medicare anything. Charitable institutions are overwhelmed. Bloated bellies, malnutrition, starvation, homelessness follow.

Now if that isn't a shock to the system I don't know what is...

danceronice
03-27-2012, 01:28 AM
I'd say the Challenger explosion should be on the list. Not that I'd vote for it as most shocking, but I'd have it in the top ten at least.

I was thinking of this, and the Columbia, though at the time with Columbia I wasn't really shocked, just pissed off as I was old enough to understand WHY it happened. (Neither one was especially unpredictable, which is the real tragedy.)

JFK I wasn't born for, and while I wouldn't say no one in my family cared at ALL, no one was really TRAUMATIZED by it. (Mom was studying for a college Latin exam, and kept studying because like she said, there was still going to be a test. Dad's kind of vague but he thinks he was going to work. It was more a work deal for him and in a sad way it was good, since JFK dying gave a big kick to the space program and Dad was an aerospace engineer at the time.)

9/11 I can't really view fairly as I was VERY near the Pentagon (I lived right across the freeway on the south side so I heard the whole thing and could see the burning wall from the end of my street) and with the whole second-plane question I wasn't really focused on the big picture for a while. The fact someone would DO it didn't really surprise me, more like no one thought of it before? (Except Tom Clancy.)

Buzz
03-27-2012, 01:07 PM
My vote went to the Great Depression as well. A lot of events stemmed from that one short period in time. Would have liked to see prohibition make that list as well. LOL

aliceanne
03-27-2012, 04:56 PM
9/11 I can't really view fairly as I was VERY near the Pentagon (I lived right across the freeway on the south side so I heard the whole thing and could see the burning wall from the end of my street) and with the whole second-plane question I wasn't really focused on the big picture for a while. The fact someone would DO it didn't really surprise me, more like no one thought of it before? (Except Tom Clancy.)

Sadly, this was my reaction too, not surprised that it happened but that it hadn't happened before, and I was nearby as well.

The events of the 60's probably affected me more because I was a child/teen and it was my first time living through tragic events or being directly affected by them.

I wonder what my parents and grandparents would have chosen?

PDilemma
03-27-2012, 05:21 PM
The definition of "shock" is specifically a "sudden" or "unexpected" event. Prohibition had been campaigned for for decades and the passage of a constitutional amendment is not in any way a "sudden" occurrence. Likewise, the Depression was not particularly "sudden". Primarily agricultural areas had been in a severe economic recession for the better part of the 1920s. Unemployment did not reach high levels overnight after the crash. The average for 1929 was under 4% and for 1930 was 8.67%. It doubled in again in 1931 (over 15%). The high for the 1930s was just under 25% in 1933. As you can see, those numbers indicate gradual increases in unemployment (albeit at ridiculously high numbers) not overnight unemployment commencing on October 30, 1929. The October crash was devastating and shocking to some who were severely and immediately impacted, but also not necessarily unexpected as the market had been volatile for some time leading up to it.

I don't think the period can be designated as a "shock".

ilovesalchows
03-27-2012, 05:22 PM
I was in 5th grade and we were watching the Challenger Liftoff on TV in class. I will never forget that day.

But I had to choose Black Friday 1929. The worldwide depression contributed to WW2.

merrywidow
03-27-2012, 05:30 PM
I lived through all of these events too with the exception of the Great Depression. I'd choose 9/11 because it was such a shock that another country would attack us on our own soil & cause so many deaths. TV coverage added to the impact & horror of the event. My 2nd choice would be the attack on Pearl Harbor for much the same reason minus the TV coverage. I don't feel an attack on an individual has the same impact. WW2 had a greater impact on more Americans than the assassination of JFK, for instance IMO.