Open to Growth in America
Beginning in 1931 the idea of being open to growth has blossomed into a large amount of literature through the experiences of the following times, the 1930’s with the Great Depression, the 1940’s and with World War II, and the 2000’s with 9/11. During the Great Depression, our country was in poverty. In October of 1929, known as Black Thursday, the stock market crashed. The mass destruction of chaos led to stock brokers jumping out of the investment buildings where they worked. This caused a recession that lasted for ten years.
The catalyst for the stock market crash was president Herbert Hoover. Rising unemployment rates led to hoovervilles or shanty houses being built across the United States . World War II is unfortunately responsible for bringing America out of our economic crash. It created tons of factory jobs for the people not serving. On September 11, a major setback took place in America. The tragedy was responsible for 2,996 people losing their lives, and inevitably led this country into war.
Through all of these years America went to war with a group named Al Qaeda, the same people responsible for the attack of 9/11. This group was led by a man named Osama Bin Laden, this makes a connection, throughout America’s history; problems with awful dictators always seem to come into play. Hitler who ran the Nazi’s, or Benito Mussolini who ran the fascists party, or Joseph Stalin who killed millions of his own people. These dictators prove why America, a capitalist nation is the greatest country in the world.
Thursday, October 24, 1929, on a day called “Black Thursday” the stock market crashed do to 12.9 million shares of stock being sold by panicked shareholders. Just five days after this, on “Black Tuesday” 16 million shares were traded do to another phase of panic from Wall Street. In the year 1933, the lowest point in the recession, nearly 25% of the Nations workforce was unemployed. This adds up to 12,830,000 people who were unemployed in America.
Overall, the average wage income for the employed Americans fell by 43%. Farm prices dropped to low, causing farmers to go broke, having to leave their houses and land (Sahoboss). The U.S. was a mess. This depression is true American poverty and proved to socialists that capitalism is capable of failing, however it is also the best type of government of choice when given a strong economy.
On December 7, 1941, Japan bombed one of America’s naval bases, in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. After the attack, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, declared war on Japan. The war had initially began in 1939; however, the U.S. was neglecting the war in an attempt to avoid it. However, if another country or group of people bomb or terrorize a piece of American property, they wrote themselves a death sentence, and have declared war with the last country they wanted as an enemy. This attack brought the U.S. united into one. Men were proud to serve for there country. When America joined the war, the economy went up do to a rise in factory production, and of course a rise in factory jobs is an effect to that. Also, 16 million men enlisted into the military, this is 11% of what the population was at the time at 140 million people. Outside of the U.S. was war and chaos, inside the U.S. was economic prosperity.
A 26 year old man named Desmond Doss was an unarmed medic during the World War II. He was a pacifist, so he did not accept to use a gun. He served with the 307th infantry, in April of 1945 Doss’ battalion was called to help fight near Urasoe Mura, Okinawa, one of the last and biggest battles in the Pacific. To get to the Enemy, Doss and his battalion had to climb a 400 foot tall cliff nicknamed Hacksaw Ridge. On top of the cliff were millions of armed Japanese soldiers. Doss is responsible for saving 75 of his own men, he saved some men directly in front of the enemy. For hours, Doss patched up every man the best he could, then lowered the men down the cliff with a rope sling.
Doss quoted “Dear God, let me get just one more man.” after each successful time of lowering an injured man down the cliff. A few days after this, as the U.S. was slowly advancing on the Japanese, Doss was injured in his leg from a grenade. He waited five hours waiting for help, in the meantime he patched himself up as best he could. When help arrived, he was put on a stretcher and was carried back to an aid house. While he and his crew were on the way to this aid house they were attacked, and Doss insisted one of the injured soldiers take his stretcher. After he gave away his stretcher, like a true man for others, Doss was sniped in the arm, shattering it. Blown up, attacked, and sniped all in the same day; Doss was one tough sucker(Lange).
Desmond Doss, based on his true military heroism, was a true man for others. He was brought back to the states in October of 1945, about a month after the war had ended, he went into surgery, then was immediately brought to Washington DC to meet President Harry S. Truman and received the Medal of Honor. Doss was also awarded the Purple Heart and a Bronze Star(Lange). The fact that Doss was able to receive three awards from the U.S. military without having to kill one single person is magnificent. Desmond Doss’ story is very inspiring to a lot of people (hence why their is a movie named Hacksaw Ridge about his story).
A novel call Lord of the Flies, written by William Golding and publish in 1954 makes a connection in this era. The story is about a group of young men who crash land on an island. They have to learn how to survive with each other. All-in-all utter chaos breaks loose and the boys start to form Anarchy based governments against each other and begin to kill one another. This story can make a connection.
In America as the country took a devastating fall, just like the boys in the story, we also went through a deadly war, just like the boys in the Book; However America stayed stronger as a unit through the whole crisis. The boys in the story began to kill each other. Unity that is chosen and not forced upon people is capable of winning. The boys in the novel did not choose to crash land on an island survive until help was found, in a way the unity of them being on the island was forced on them.
Martin Luther King Jr., a civil Rights leader within the 1950s and 1960s. King was a pacifist, just like Desmond Doss. His main goal was to receive equal rights for African Americans. He did this through peaceful boycotts, protests and marches. Kings strategy proved to be effective as legislatures started to pass more civil rights laws. King was Open to Growth for the equality of all people. In 1963, King led a march in Washington D.C. of more than 200,000 people.
These people were marching for the rights and equality of all workers within the workforce and for all teachers and students within the schools. This March led to King’s famous “I Have A Dream” speech. This speech had a huge emotional impact on the many many people in D.C. watching King give the speech, or the millions of others Americans watching him from the television. This speech made America Open to the Growth of racial equality.
Martin Luther King Junior was assassinated in Memphis Tennessee on April 4, 1968 at the age of 39. His killer was James Earl Ray who killed King from a building across the street while King was standing on a second floor balcony of a motel. Ray died in prison in 1998. He died from kidney failure, that he had been treating for years. Kings death dramatically affected the nation. Infact, even 50 years later, there is still a national holiday named after him. Martin Luther King Jr. led Americans to become racially Open to Growth well after his death.
In July of 1969 mankind had its greatest accomplishment. Neil Armstrong took his very first step on the moon claiming “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” Only greatness defines a country that can go from an economic depression, to a war, to now a moon landing. This moon landing gives hope for us people in the present for the future. It makes humans remember that greatness still has yet to come. It makes us remain open to growth of scientific research and the advancing in technology.
The Eagle Has Landed, Written by Jack Higgins and published in 1975, can relate to the 1960’s. For starters, the name of the novel being ‘The Eagle Has Landed’, ties into the actual moon landing. Infact, when Apollo 11 actually landed on the moon, this is was Neil Armstrong said. This Novel was about World War II with the Nazi’s and the British. Dr. Martin Luther King was a civil rights leader and he preached about equality of all people. King obviously lived through the war, but Hitler, the man responsible for the slaughtering of millions of Jews, was against everything King stood for. He went out of his way to kill only one select group of people, just for their Religious beliefs.
In 1975, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak set up shot in Jobs parents garage to start a company named Apple. Together, the two built a smaller sized PC called the Apple I. The sales of this product gave the two money for the release of the Apple II, which included a color screen and a keyboard. This all happened in 1977, with only one year after the release of the Apple II the generated $3 million and only two years after that, they generated a whopping $200 million. This was the start of Apple. Apple has become the largest company in the world currently, people have a sense of loyalty to the company.
The company continued to grow throughout the 90’s and finally really took off in the mid 2000’s with the release of the Iphone and Ipod. basically the first portable computer, giving a person access to other people or the internet, a camera, etc. Jobs unfortunately died October 5, 2011, however our memories in his innovation in technology. Jobs Opened up the peoples minds of the wonders of technology. Who would have know that a person would be able to call someone, google something, or take a photo of something all on the same device. Jobs creative innovation keep the American people Open to the Growth of more innovations that have yet to come.
On September 11th, 2001 an attack was performed to American citizens through the act of flying two planes through two of the tallest buildings in the world, the Twin Towers, or the World Trade Center. The attack overall ended up killing 2,996 overall people, this includes the death of 19 hijackers. This attack affected the whole world, not just America. With the attack killing 78 different people from different countries, this attack angered many other countries loyal to the U.S., nothing about this attack is good except for the unity it brought Americans. Americans became more patriotic and empathetic for each other. Infact, on the day of the attack politicians, Democrats and Republicans joined hands in a message for the country to come together and mourn for our losses(History.com editors).
Leaders all over the world had something to say about the attack, including Vladimir Putin saying, “a blatant challenge to humanity,” the leader of Germany, Gerhard Schroeder claimed, “not only attacks on the people in the United States our friends in America, but also against the entire civilized world, against our own freedom, against our own values which we share with the American people.” This attack caused unity between countries, which is not always good looking back on what happened in World War I. However this form of unity was good. America declared war on the group responsible for the attack, Al Qaeda. Osama Bin Laden, being the leader of the group was the man to go after. Fast forward 11 years later, under the President Barack Obama, Osama Bin Laden had been tracked down and killed by America’s elite SEAL Team 6.
This news brought great relief to the U.S., to know the enemy is gone and can no longer cause harm is a relief. This 11 year long journey of tracking down Bin Laden had finally ended. As a matter of fact, there is a movie about the tracking down and killing of Osama Bin Laden, called Zero Dark Thirty. The attack brought America united and Bin Laden’s death brought Americans relief of it being over. People stayed Open to Growth in having faith in the capture of this man.