January 2013

The Seniority Report

By T. Myers

2013! Happy New Year!

I received a copy of the AARP Bulletin newsletter and was amazed at what a banner year 2013 is in terms of anniversaries for some really big life-changing events for all of us. I thought that it would be good to share some highlights with all of you.

January marks the 50th anniversary of the first African American admitted to Clemson University.  Harvey Gantt graduated with honors and he got a masters from MIT in 1983 and elected mayor of Charlotte NO CA. Betty Friedan published The Feminine Mystique in Feb of 1963. March saw the Beatles begin their climb to fame when they released Please, Please Me.

Martin Luther King was arrested in April of ‘63 and wrote the famous Letter from a Birmingham Jail to white clergy to get their support. The next month it was all about Dr. No as James Bond hit the big screen and captured American hearts with lead actor Sean Connery!

June saw the Equal Pay Act pass through Congress, Gov. George Wallace tried to stop African Americans from enrolling at U of Alabama and President Kennedy responded with his landmark Civil Rights address that asked congress to grant rights to all Americans. In August the soviets and America signed a nuclear test ban treaty and started a decade of negotiations to come. That same month James Meredith’s university enrollment sparked riots in Mississippi and Martin Luther responded with his “I have a dream” speech on August 28th in front of a quarter million people at the Washington Monument.

The KKK bombed the Baptist Church in September on the 15th and it was rebuilt and became the center for all of the meetings about Civil Rights from then on. On October 1st Lilies of the Field hit the theaters and Americans saw that a black working man was the same as every other working American man. Sydney Poitier won the Academy Award for his portrayal.

The year 1963 ended after the assassination of John Kennedy on November the 22nd. Lyndon Johnson was sworn in on Air Force one and Camelot ended and the beginning of the Johnson Presidency was established quietly and quickly so that America could heal from the wounds of losing their young leader.

Where were you that day? It hardly seems like fifty years gone, but here we are- staring down the barrel of the anniversary year that changed America forever. We lost our innocence and the media started to take on power of the press as the wave of the future.

Something to think about!

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