10 Key Moments In American History That Define The Nation

American History
Credit: Wilbur F. Gordy, Copyright 1920 by Charles Scribner's Sons of New York / WikiCommons

There are many events in American history that will never be forgotten. These events have shaped the country into what it is, and will continue to define its future:

And even though change takes place over decades, certain moments are part of a country’s DNA. So regardless of new generations and education, these events in history will forever define the country.

Here are the 10 moments that will define American history forever:

Declaration of Independence (1776)

The Declaration of Independence in 1776 was central to the development of the United States of America.

It will forever remain a defining moment in history for America and American democracy because it established the ideals of the country.

This founding document of America’s experiment in democracy was marked by many significant milestones from the Boston Tea Party to Washington’s Crossing of Delaware and the Valley Forge winter.

The day on which the Declaration of Independence was adopted, 4th of July, 1776, has since then been celebrated across the United States as the greatest national holiday, the Independence Day for a democratic America.

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Battle of Gettysburg (1863)

The Battle of Gettysburg was fought from July 1st, to the 3rd in 1863. It is considered another great defining moment in American history:

This is because the Battle of Gettysburg was the turning point of the Civil War. The battle witnessed the failure of Robert E. Lee’s plan to invade the North.

It was such a devastating defeat that it ultimately went on to seal the fate of the Confederacy and its plans. Within two years of this battle, the war came to an end.

Had this battle not been won, the United States would have been forced to make peace with the Confederate States of America.

The Sinking of the Lusitania (1915)

Not only was the sinking of the Lusitania an important event in U.S. history, but it was a vital point in World War I:

As World War I continued to ravage through Europe, most Americans at this point were determined to avoid any involvement and remained committed to a neutral stance.

The sinking of the unarmed British ocean liner, the Lusitania, by a German submarine on May 7, 1915, killed 128 Americans and many others.

This event prompted the U.S. to go ahead and join the war to support the Allies. The entry of Americans into the war eventually turned the tide in favor of the Allies.

Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (1945)

The U.S. detonated two atomic bombs over the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945.

It killed over 210,000 people, including men, women, and children.

This event marked the entry of the U.S. into World War II, again on the side of the Allies. The bombing was a retaliatory move after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941.

This event is also a history-defining moment because it ushered in the nuclear era.

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The Moon Landing (1969)

The moon landing has been etched in the world’s history as one of the most important moments that will be remembered for generations to come.

The famous Apollo 11 moon landing astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin in 1969 is a significant moment that defined American history:

It was indeed a small step for a man but one giant leap for all mankind. Not only did American astronauts become the first souls to ever traverse the surface of the moon, but the moon landing was also a big boost to advance science and U.S. prowess in the field of technology.

It will forever remain a huge milestone in U.S. and world history.

JFK’s Assassination (1963)

The assassination of the 35th president of the United States, John F. Kennedy, on November 22, 1963, as he rode in a motorcade was another defining moment in American history.

He was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald, an ex-Marine who defected to the Soviet Union. Even today, the incident remains the subject of widespread speculation, with many believing that the assassination was part of a bigger conspiracy.

The Vietnam War (1955-1975)

The Vietnam War remains a long, costly, and divisive conflict that is forever etched in American history.

The war saw the communist government of North Vietnam fight against South Vietnam and its main ally – the United States.

Over three million people were killed in the war, out of which 58,000 were American soldiers.

The Tech Revolution (The 19th Century)

The U.S. has made rapid strides in technological advancements. And the tech revolution saw the U.S. emerge as one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world.

This witnessed the U.S. become the birthplace of many great inventions, including the airplane, internet, laser, cellphone, refrigerator, email, microwave, the personal computer, light-emitting diode technology, liquid-crystal display, and many more.

September 11, 2001 Attacks

The September 11 attacks of 2001, also known as the 9/11 attacks, have been etched in the memories of people throughout the world.

Islamist terrorists crashed hijacked airplanes into the World Trade Center in New York City, the Pennsylvania countryside, and the Pentagon in Washington D.C. The attacks resulted in the deaths of over 3,000 people.

After the attacks, the country changed its foreign policy and launched its War on Terror.

Election of Donald Trump (2016)

Whether you voted for former-President Donald Trump or not, no one can deny his election changed the United States:

From that moment in 2016, the country split. And depending upon which side of the election you stood, families, friendships, work colleagues, and more became fractured.

The Republican-Democrat split had never been so severe:

It was so bad that facts became weapons, lies became mainstream, and people were pushed to their limits.

The big question is, how will the country come back together after four-years of polar opposites?

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