The First National Museum For African Americans Opened Up Only in 2016

Black people have a long history in America that reaches back hundreds of years into the past. They have provided the cheap labor that this country needed in its early days to rise above other countries and become a world power. They have fought in all of our wars. Their cultural presence has seeped into the cultural fabric of our nation on many different levels.

During the the 1960s and 1970s, the Civil Rights and Black Power movements, as well as a general change in American culture, awoke Americans to the plight of Black people. Black people, themselves became empowered. Ever since then, a lot of attention has been put on how society can help Black people and fix the wrongs that have been imposed on them by slavery and racism.

You would think that after all of this, there would have been a national museum dedicated toward African Americans decades ago. If you thought this, you were wrong. In fact, a national museum showcasing this subject only came about a year ago, in 2016.

In 2016, the National Museum of African American History and Culture opened its doors for the first time. Since this was a historic event, there was a dedication by President Barack Obama and a three-day celebration.

The idea for this museum first came about in the early 1900s when a group of Black people who had served in the Civil War advocated for such a place. A number of decades later, there was a group of congressmen who pushed for 15 years to have a museum about African Americans built, thought they were never successful.

Government officials did not think that it was an important priority to build an African American museum. Politicians complained that it would be too expensive to build. Others said that if the African Americans got their way, the government would probably be forced into paying large sums of money for museums about other racial minorities. Some politicians expressed very obvious bigotry in their explanations.

In 2003, George Bush signed into law the National Museum of African American History and Culture Act, which established the plan to build the museum. The government, various charitable organizations and the Black community funded the construction of the museum.

Important Eras and Events in American History

When compared to powerhouses like France and Britain, the United States comes out as a very young nation. But since it was founded in 1776, the United States has gone on to make vital developments that have led to it becoming an important global leader. Its history can be divided into various eras. The following are some of the periods that helped shape the modern-day America.

Exploration Age

It is an age that lasted between the 15th and 17th centuries. The exploration era took place at a time when the Europeans were orbiting the globe in search of natural resources and new trade routes. The exploration age led to the Spanish, British, and French forming numerous colonies all over North America.

Colonial Era and Federalist Period

The colonial era is one of the most fascination in American history. It started when the European powerhouses created colonies in the North American region to when America attained her independence from the colonial masters. It primarily focusses on the 13 British colonies.

The federalist period occurred when John Adams and George Washington were the presidents. Both were Federalist party members. But Washington later included members from the Anti-Federalist party in the government.

The Age of Jackson

It is an era that occurred between 1815 and 1840. This was when the American people started taking part in elections. Presidential powers were also greatly increased during this period, which paved the way for the powerful presidential office in use even now. Even with the increasing democratization of the nation, the American president still enjoys enormous powers.

The Cocoanut Grove Disaster that Shaped the History of Boston

A 15 minutes disaster that happened in Boston 75 years ago and people seems to forget. A rapid inferno consumed an entire nightclub, Cocoanut Grove with people inside. The 1942 disaster is the second deadliest building fire in the American history. Well, the dust has settled, and hardly can people remember the exact location of the night-club. Today, the area is filled with Bay Village apartments. The sands of time have covered an event of utmost importance locally and internationally. The inferno consumed 492 people (mostly young adults), and an additional 400 were hospitalized. Reports show that the names of the deceased filled 11 pages. It’s the second worst disaster after Chicago’s Iroquois Theatre blaze that claimed 602 lives. Worst of all it was a non-natural disaster.

How it happened

Cocoanut Grove was among the largest nightclubs in Boston at the time. On that particular night, it was estimated to hold more than 1,000 people. However, its legal capacity was 460. According to the Globe, a busy boy had lit a match with an attempt to find the socket. The fire spread through the basement along the ceiling. Within minutes, the fire had spread through the first floor. Everyone panicked and rushed to the doors. However, most of them were closed to prevent people from skipping with their bills. Most of the survivors were in the lower basement. The club burned so fast that there is only one picture of the raging flames.

The Silver Lining

The quick spread of the fire was as a result of an extremely flammable gas that leaked from an air conditioning system. As a result, it was passed that buildings should have automatic sprinklers and illuminated exit signs. Revolving doors were banned. However, their use would comprise of an additional two doors adjacent to them. The two doors should open on the outside. Medical response to burn victims revolutionized.
On Saturday, over 400 people attended the 75th-anniversary event. Marshall, a local surgeon and the Coconut Grove Memorial Committee chairman, hopes to have a free-standing memorial built in the nearby Statler Park. This history is far too significant to get lost.

Forbes Contributer Discusses Retirment Crisis In American History

In a financial article recently published by Forbes Magazine, contributor Ed Swindle discussed several of America’s most famous retirement emergencies and how they correlate to modern hardships. According to the Forbes article, the United States retirement system is set to collapse within the next two decades or so, placing the security of many seniors in jeopardy. For decades, politicians have argued about the necessary steps to implement to ensure that seniors who have paid into the retirement system are able to receive financial benefits during their elder years. This has been to no avail, however, as partisan politics have continued and no long term solution has been implemented.

Several times in American history have made a significant impact on the future of the national retirement system. In the early 1940s, the 401K plan was introduced as a suitable alternative to the traditional pension plans that were in place for the average American worker. Because 401K plans were funded by the employer while pension plans were funded by the employer, these plans became attractive to large corporations and employers. Slowly but surly, 401K plans began to replace traditional pension plans in almost every major American industry. By the time the 1962 fiscal year ended, only 20 percent of the American public was still enrolled in an employer funded retirement pension fund. The majority of the country had moved to 401K plans.

As a result of the combination of a national move to personally funded 401K plans and the ill supported social security system implemented by the federal government in the 1960s, financial predictors began to predict a large scale failure of the American retirement system. Right on schedule, American politicians and legislatures began to attempt to divert the blame for this coming crisis onto the opposite political party, when the fact remains that the last 8 congressional bi-partisan groups have made little to no effort to divert the coming disaster. Ed Swindle, the author of the Forbes article, suggests that families prepare individually for the retirement crisis because reliance on the government, at this stage, would be detrimental.

Forbes Discusses Biggest Money Crisis Events In American History

In a recently published article on the history of American finance, Forbes Magazine discussed the top 10 largest financial crisis events associated with large and small corporate business failures. Because the popular magazine focuses on the areas of business and finance, the leadership staff believes that lessons in business failures can help readers to avoid mistakes that are obvious in retrospect. Included in this list of the largest fiscal failures in American history are notorious events like the Enron Corporation failure, the Madoff fiasco, the Lehman Brothers failure, the CUC International bankruptcy, the MF Global failure, the failure of World Com International were all discussed in detail. These terrible occurrences led to some of the largest economic disasters in local American economic systems and can offer valuable lessons to new business owners and consumers alike.

One of the most significant financial failures to make the list in the article was the infamous collapse of the World Com Corporation. Toward the end of the 1990s, the company was known as the largest producer of local and long distance telephone services in the world. The large corporation was responsible for the careers and well being of more than 20,000 employees and had a corporate presence in countries around the world. In the beginning of 2002, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and liquidated numerous assets. Following the bankruptcy, one of the company’s controlling officers, Scott Sullivan was fired and was convinced to testify against Bernie Ebbers for a reduced jail sentence. The improper and illegal operation of the company lead to a huge recession in the local economy and the loss of 20,000 in less than one month.

According to the Forbes article, investors and company operators can learn about the consequences of corporate greed and implement honest business and financial tactics to ensure that their businesses last. Although dishonesty and self centered financial practices can lead to destruction, many American business leaders have built effective and profitable businesses by providing great services and treating employees well.

Passing A Milestone Anniversary In UFO History

Say the name “Roswell” and people immediately think of UFOs. The obscure town in New Mexico made a name for itself just over 70 years ago when the local newspaper reported on scraps of a UFO being found in the area. The Huffington Post covered the story of how a small town newspaper ended up printing one of the most iconic headlines in American history.

A local rancher in the Roswell area is the one who got this story kicked off. He stated that he had discovered debris of an unidentified flying object on his property and reported it to the Roswell Army Air Field. A major from the Army come onto the rancher’s property and recovered a “saucer-like object” which was taken back to headquarters. That object was never returned. The official story from the military was that it was nothing more than a downed weather balloon, but that story does not satisfy the curiosity of many.

The rancher’s son later told the press that his father showed him the materials before they were taken away. His statement is that the pieces did not appear to be a weather balloon to him. He reported strange markings and writing on the materials.

These statements and the strange circumstances around the whole case fuel the fire for those who want to believe that this is a case of an unidentified flying object being covered up by the U.S. Government. It is also possible that the official story is accurate or that the object was some kind of military experiment (either U.S. military or that of a foreign power). In any case, the government has kept a tight lid on this story since it very first happened. They do not appear to be any more willing these days to talk about it than they were back when it all took place.

American History: Actor Tom Receives a Prestigious History Award

Actor, director, writer, narrator and producer Tom Hanks ranks as a superstar in the U.S. film industry. With an impressive body of creative works to his credit, he has developed immediate name recognition in the United States and internationally. For instance, the left-wing Buzzfeed website recently listed his name as one of the answers in a movie trivia quiz. (Spoiler alert for Question #8: Yes, Tom Hanks starred in these four films: Toy Story 3(2010), The Polar Express (2004), Bridge of Spies(2015) and Apollo 13(1995).)

Works Offering Insight Into U.S. History

Many of Tom Hanks’ films relate to significant historical topics. For example, he has contributed to films and documentaries about the sacrifices made by American military personnel during the Second World War (Saving Private Ryan(1998), Band of Brothers(2001), The Pacific(2010)). He has also been involved in cinematic productions relating to the space program (Apollo 13(1995)) and the tense Cold War Era (Bridge of Spies(2015)).

This July, the National Archives Foundation decided to recognize his contributions to films addressing U.S. history by honoring Tom Hanks with its annual Records of Achievement Award. He will appear at the nonprofit organization’s award ceremony on October 21st at the National Archives Museum in Washington, D.C.

A Great Honor

The 61-year old actor has won numerous honors during his career. He has accepted Oscar Awards from film industry peers twice. He also received the 2016 Presidential Medal of Freedom Award.

Tom Hanks issued a statement expressing his appreciation for the Records of Achievement Award. He described himself as “dazzled” to participate in the awards ceremony this autumn. Previous recipients include producer Steven Spielberg and historian Ron Chernow.

Colonel Robert Gould Shaw Long Lost Sword Is Found in An Attic In Boston

The Civil War is still a topic of conversation. People want to know about relatives who fought in that devastating time in American History. Once people find out about their relatives, and how they had to live, history becomes a sad place to be, especially in 1861 through 1865. Both sides went through extraordinary circumstances. One man continues to be a topic of conversations. His name is, Colonel Robert Gould Shaw. Hollywood even put Shaw’s story on the big screen in the movie, Glory.

Colonel Shaw’s memory is alive once more, thanks to a recent discovery in an attic in Boston. Shaw’s Union sword was sitting in a distant relative’s attic. The Massachusetts Historical Society has the sword now. And the society will put it on display to commemorate the anniversary of Shaw’s death. He died during a battle outside of Charlestown, South Carolina in 1863.

Shaw was a 25-year-old white officer when he got the news he would be the commanding officer of an all-black unit. White officers usually were in charge of black troops during the war. Shaw’s sword became a Confederate soldier’s trophy after the battle. But two years later the sword found its way back to Boston and Shaw’s parents. But the sword went to Robert’s sister, Susanna Minturn because Shaw didn’t have kids. No one knew where the sword went when Susanna died. The Massachusetts Historical Society knew the sword could still be in Boston, but the society had no clue where it was until one Minturn’s relative’s found it in their mother’s attic in 2017.

The Union’s attack on the Confederate fort outside of Charleston was a miserable defeat, but the memory of Shaw and the 600 black Union soldiers that lost their lives in that battle are an important part of American History. The Civil War gave black men the opportunity to show they had the fortitude to do what white soldiers could do, and in many cases, they did it better, according to historical accounts given by men who were still around when the shooting stopped.

Black And White Need To Unite

Given the recent KKK rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, during which questionable police action was involved and two articles relative to nooses being found in our nation’s capital, many people including educators are suggesting that emphasizing African-American culture and historic figures during Black History Month celebrated in February each year is not enough. Not only do students appear not to receive enough information, but many white adults seem to be lacking as well. Both blacks and whites pledge allegiance to the same flag, but are we truly one nation?

During his presidential campaign, Donald Trump’s theme revolved around the need to “Make America Great Again;” however, in a recent interview the only Black American history figure he appeared to be somewhat knowledgeable about was Fredrick Douglass. Perusing a brief article entitled “White Children Need To Know More Black History” penned by Huffington Post contributor Justin Cohen is worth the time as well as perhaps reading at least one of the literary references suggested in the College Student/Adult reading category.

The discovery of two nooses being found in and around the area of the Smithsonian devoted to African-American history was cited in the Huffington Post and other new media sources around the country, After a few days, this news was quickly relegated to the back-burner in the minds of most people despite reassurance by Smithsonian associate David Skorton relative to the importance of maintaining and fostering American values including diversity.

Reading the acticle entitled “Learning Black History Is Learning American History” is a good test tool to assess your personal knowledge regardless of whether you are a black or white American.

American History: The Devastating 2010 Gulf Oil Spill Still Impacts U.S. Coastal Waters

Tourism and maritime activities along the U.S. Gulf Coast underwent a significant jolt on April 10, 2010. Barely more than seven years ago, an explosion and fire caused an offshore British Petroleum pipeline to spew an estimated 4.9 million barrels of crude oil into U.S. coastal waters for 87 days.


Ongoing Damage


The horrific disaster killed 11 people. It damaged numerous businesses in the region, too. Estimates of environmental losses included the deaths of thousands of marine mammals. Over 1,000,000 birds died as a result of the catastrophe.


Now a study conducted by Jeffrey Short, an environmental consultant from Juneau, Alaska, has provided evidence of ongoing negative impacts on fish in the area. The report could hold significant implications for the recovery of damaged U.S. coastal fishing industries.


Creating Ecological Imbalances


The new study suggests the oil spill created severe imbalances in maritime ecosystems. The loss of so many predators caused some fish populations to explode soon afterwards and exceed population carrying capacity in the severely damaged local environment. Some fish species actually began starving. Without natural controls on population expansion, some maritime species experienced stress. Jeffrey Short has concluded the herring population across a wide swathe of water from Alabama to Texas may never fully recover from the tragedy. He believes the spill in the Gulf Coast may have cause irreversible ecological damage to sensitive marine environments in the region.


Another study mentioned in the article published on the Huffington Post website reportedly appeared in the Social Science Society of America Journal. It detailed findings by crop researchers sponsored by the American Society of Agronomy. That study also concludes the oil spill possibly produced long term harm.