All good things come to an end

3 Oct

As many of you know, my grandmother passed away in her sleep on Saturday night/Sunday morning. My grandma didn’t have a terminal illness, just died of old age (and a failing body). Born in 1917, she lived 93 (almost 94) years on this earth. And, even though the day came for her to take her last breath, my family and I must realize how much of a life she did live and all that she has seen in her lifetime. Let’s take a look:


  • The U.S. military forces had over one million troops in Europe fighting in World War I.
  • The influenza epidemic “Spanish Flu” spans the globe, killing over 20 million worldwide and 500,048 people in the U.S.


  • Prohibition becomes the law of the land. It would remain illegal to consume and sell alcoholic beverages in the United States until passage of the 21st Amendment, repealing the 18th, on December 5, 1933.
  • The Treaty of Versailles is signed, ending World War I


  • The American Professional Football League is formed with eleven teams. It would change its name to the National Football League in 1922.
  • Women are given the right to vote when the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution grants universal women’s suffrage.


  • The first Miss America pageant is held in Atlantic City, New Jersey.


  • The first Winter Olympic Games are held in the French Alps in Chamonix, France.


  • Charles Lindbergh leaves Roosevelt Field, New York on the first non-stop transatlantic flight in history. He would reach Paris 33 ½ hours later in the Spirit of St. Louis.
  • Work on Mount Rushmore began


  • Amelia Earhart becomes the first woman to fly over the Atlantic Ocean


  • The Stock Market crashes with a loss of an estimated $50 billion and started the worst American depression in the nation’s history.


  • President Hoover and Congress approve the Star-Spangled Banner as the national anthem.
  • Nevada legalizes gambling
  • Construction is completed on the Empire State Building in NYC and it opens for business.


  • President Franklin D. Roosevelt is inaugurated for the first time. His speech with its hallmark phrase, “We have nothing to fear, but fear itself” begins to rally the public and Congress to deal with the great depression issues.
  • The Century of Progress World’s Fair opens in Chicago, Illinois.


  • The Master’s golf tournament is held for the first time at Augusta National Golf Club.


  • The Summer Olympic Games open in Berlin, Germany under the watchful eye of German leader Adolph Hitler.


  • The Golden Gate Bridge opens to pedestrian traffic


  • The U.S. declares its neutrality in the European war after Germany invaded Poland, effectively beginning World War II after a year or European attempts to appease Hitler and the aims of expansionist Nazi Germany.


  • The attack on Pear Harbor, Hawaii, commences at 7:55 a.m. when Japanese fighter planes launch a surprise attack on US soil, destroying the U.S. Pacific Fleet docked at the base. One day later, the US declares war on Japan, officially entering WWII.
  • The U.S. declares war on Germany and Italy, responding to their declaration of war against America.


  • The Normandy Invasion, D-Day, occurs when 155,000 Allied troops, stormed the beaches of France to begin the WWII invasion of Europe.


  • President Harry S. Truman gives the go-ahead for the use of the atomic bomb with the bombing of Hiroshima. Three days later, the second bomb is dropped on Nagasaki, Japan.


  • The first meeting of the United Nations general assembly occurs
  • The Basketball Association of America (known as the NBA) is founded


  • Jackie Robinson breaks Major League Baseball’s barrier against colored players when he debuts at first base for the Brooklyn Dodgers.


  • Racial segregation in public schools is declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in Brown vs. the Board of Education


  • Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat on the bus to a white man


  • The construction of the Berlin Wall begins by the Soviet block, segregating the German city. The wall would last for 28 years.


  • The Civil Rights march on Washington, D.C. for Jobs and Freedom culminated with Dr. Martin Luther King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
  • President John F. Kennedy is assassinated


  • Beatlemania hits the shores of the US with the release of  “I Want to Hold Your Hand”
  • Muhammed Ali wins the World Heavyweight Championship in Boxing.


  • President Lyndon B. Johnson orders the continuous bombing of North Vietnam below the 20th parallel.


  • Martin Luther King is assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee while standing on a motel balcony by James Earl Ray.
  • Robert F. Kennedy is shot at a campaign victory celebration in Los Angeles.


  • Neil Armstrong becomes the first man to set foot on the moon


  • The voting age is lowered from 21 to 18
  • Walt Disney World opens in Orlando, Florida


  • The Watergate crisis begins when four men are arrested for breaking into the Democratic National Committee headquarters in the Watergate office building in D.C. on the same day that Okinawa is returned from U.S. control back to Japan.


  • The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Roe vs. Wade that a woman can not be prevented by a state in having an abortion during the first six months of pregnancy.


  • Microsoft becomes a registered trademark


  • President Ronald Reagan withstands an assassination attempt, shot in the chest while walking to his limo in Washington, D.C.
  • Sandra Day O’Connor is approved unanimously, 99-0, by the U.S. Senate to become the first female Supreme Court justice in history.


  • The Exxon Valdez crashed into the Bligh Reef in Alaska’s Prince William Sound, causing the largest oil spill in American history.
  • The Berlin wall begins to come down


  • O.J. Simpson is arrested under suspicion for killing Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman


  • Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols explode a bomb outside the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people.


  • The Monica Lewinsky scandal begins


  • World Trade Center attack
  • Anthrax attacks by mail
  • The U.S. military commence the first attack in the War on Terrorism.


  • A tragedy at NASA occurs when the Space Shuttle Columbia explodes upon reentry over Texas. All 7 astronauts are killed.
  • Saddam Hussein is captured


  • The Southeast Asian tsunami occurs following a 9.3 earthquake in the Indian Ocean. 290,000 people die from Sri Lanka to Indonesia.


  • American cyclist Lance Armstrong wins his record 7th straight Tour de France
  • Hurricane Katrina strikes the Gulf Coast.


  • Michael Phelps wins his 8th gold medal of the Beijing Summer Olympic Games.
  • Barack Obama becomes the first African-American President of the United States.


  • The H1N1 Virus, Swine Flu, is deemed a global pandemic.


  • Osama Bin Laden is killed.

And aren’t you all amazed that I remembered all of this from all those years of sleeping paying complete attention in my history classes? Anyway, it’s pretty unbelievable to see how much my grandma actually lived through. Makes me wonder what kind of events I am going to live through. Hopefully many more to come.

Also, I don’t think many of you know how much of an advocate my grandmother was about me going on Semester at Sea. She truly wanted me to be able to see the world and would do anything to help me achieve those dreams. Think about it, if it weren’t for her I probably would’ve never gone on Semester at Sea, which means I would’ve never met Joachim in Thailand, which means I wouldn’t be living in Sweden working as a copywriter right now. Isn’t it crazy how one decision can change your whole life?

I love you grandma and I know you will still guide me through the rest of my life!!


One Response to “All good things come to an end”

  1. Mom October 5, 2011 at 10:53 pm #

    Had–finally got to open this. What a wonderful tribute to Gma. She would have loved this. Thank u so much for doing this. Have
    U had many comments? Luv ya

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