January 6? How About Some Real Dates in American History?

History aficionados enjoy noting the passage of significant dates.

They serve as reminders of important events that have shaped America’s past, contributed to our culture and made our country what it is. Unfortunately these days with the rise of wokism, CRT and other ill-intended progressive-sponsored initiatives, traditional American history is being pushed aside and replaced by fake dates and deceptive milestones. Exhibit A, of course, is the crowd control failure incident at the Capitol on January 6.

What we really need is for Americans to know the dates of some of the most meaningful occurrences in our past and truly understand and appreciate how those incidents affected our development as a country.

What follows is a short (but by no means inclusive!) list of important episodes in American history. Some of these are easily recognized, some far less so, but they are all important and worth knowing.

July 4, 1776

The Declaration of Independence is ratified by the Continental Congress, asserting the independence of the United States from Great Britain. Most younger people know that we observe a holiday on this date; not all of them can explain it, however.

September 3, 1783

Britain formally recognizes the independence of the United States with the signing of the Treaty of Paris. This could be thought of as the day America became an undisputed sovereign country.

April 12, 1861

Confederate artillery fires on Fort Sumter in South Carolina’s Charleston Harbor, signifying the start of the American Civil War.

April 9, 1865

Confederate General Robert E. Lee signs the surrender paper to Union General Ulysses Grant, bringing the deadliest war in American history to a close. In terms of war deaths as a percentage of the country’s population, the four-year Civil War is by far the worst. (The war’s 600,000 deaths were 2% of the total population in the 1860s, the equivalent of more than 6 million people today!) It’s also the most damaging war that America has fought on its home soil in terms of the impact on the economy, and both the country’s physical infrastructure and social order.

February 15, 1898

The U.S. Navy battleship Maine blows up in Cuba’s Havana Harbor. No definitive cause is ever discovered, but an outraged America blames it on Spanish sabotage and the event is a central catalyst to the start of the Spanish-American War. The Maine incident is significant as being perhaps the first perceived foreign terrorist act against American interests and personnel with no known, provable perpetrator—a precursor of events that would become all too frustratingly common a century later.

December 7, 1941

Japan attacks the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor Hawaii, sinking or disabling eight American battleships, killing over 2400 U.S. military and civilian personnel and plunging the U.S. into World War II. The attack is masterminded by the brilliant Japanese admiral Isoroku Yamamoto.

April 18, 1942

Reeling from a series of bloody, humiliating defeats at the hands of the Japanese following Pearl Harbor, Colonel Jimmy Doolittle and President Franklin Roosevelt plan and execute an improbable air counterstrike against Japan by American Army bombers, modified to take off from a Navy aircraft carrier. With only 16 American bombers, the size of the attack is too small to be militarily significant, but the Americans achieve complete surprise, bomb the Japanese capital of Tokyo and send the morale of the American public through the roof. It was an incredible example of American derring-do and courage.

April 18, 1943

The result of amazing intelligence work, meticulous planning and incredible skill and bravery by American pilots, a flight of P-38 Lightning fighter planes, flying at the very limit of their range over the vast expanse of uncharted Pacific Ocean, intercept and shoot down the Japanese planes carrying Admiral Yamamoto, the man behind the Pearl Harbor attack. It’s an incredible psychological triumph for America and a crushing loss for Japan.

August 15, 1945

V-J Day, Victory over Japan Day, ending World War II. When I worked in Rhode Island, V-J Day was recognized as an official State Holiday and all businesses and schools were closed. My younger co-workers had no idea what this was all about. None. When I explained it to them, I was met with blank stares and glazed eyes.

September 30, 1954

The world’s first nuclear-powered submarine, the USS Nautilus, is commissioned into service with the U.S. Navy. Free from the limitations of air-breathing engines and weak rechargeable batteries, the Nautilus ushers in a new era of weaponry that will forever change the nature of international relations and national security.

May 5, 1961

Alan Shepard becomes the first American astronaut in space when he pilots the Mercury capsule he’d named “Freedom Seven” successfully in a non-orbital flight of approximately 15 minutes. America was now psychologically (if not quite technically) “even” in the space race with the Soviet Union, after lagging behind Russian cosmonaut Yuri A. Gagarin, who’d completed an orbital flight around the earth in April of 1961.

July 20, 1969

In the climactic event of the so-called space race, American astronauts make a successful landing on the moon, with Neil Armstrong famously saying, “That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." Viewed in retrospect, using equipment and computers that were absolutely archaic by today’s standards, it was an unfathomably incredible feat.

March 8, 1971

Joe Frazier beats Muhammad Ali in The Fight of the Century. This match epitomized the cultural divide that existed in the country at the time (the Establishment vs. the anti-war hippie generation), and it also heralded in the age of big money sports. Paying each fighter a then-unheard of purse of $2.5 million each (over $18 million today), this fight forever changed the standards and expectations about the role and worth of entertainment and sports in American society.

November 4, 1979

Iranian militants storm the American embassy in Tehran, Iran and take 52 Americans hostage, a crisis that wouldn’t be resolved until January 20, 1981. This action, more than any other, gives rise to the visibility and notion of “Muslim terrorism” in the eyes of the American public.

In marked contrast to the list above—every one of which is a real and consequential event in America’s past—there is one date that is getting a lot of undeserved, totally unmerited attention recently: January 6, 2021. An event that was blatantly fabricated by the Democrats and liberal media for the most disingenuous and risably partisan political reasons imaginable, the completely fake Progressive “insurrection” hoax doesn’t even deserve to be legitimized by any recitation of the dozens of factual counter arguments. Suffice to say, the unfortunate reality that this date is pushed as being “important” while actual important dates like August 15, 1945 or July 20, 1969 fade into non-recognition is an all-too-sad-but-true commentary on where the social awareness and collective conscience of this country is headed.

Image: Pixabay / Pixabay license

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