You know American History? doubt it

Oct 2007
My name is Jim and I am a high school American History teacher. I once had a great college professor who said, "If you can listen to We Didn't Start the Fire by Billy Joel and write a paragraph about each event and its impact on American History with dates and historically accurate information (without using any help except your brain), then you can truly say that you know American History from 1949-1989".

So I took this to heart and every year I give the lyrics to the song to my class and ask them to write 2 sentences about each event and every year there is a lack of information for the majority of the topics. This has remained true for my 25 years of teaching.

Now onto a challenge, I would like to see if you can write a paragraph (4-6 sentences) about the topic succeeding the previous topic. Here are the lyrics below, go in order and take the number next to the topic and post it. Then edit your post with your paragraph. This is so we can stay in order. My students and I have a bet that people will not be able to do this but I have my faith.

[FONT=arial, helvetica]1Harry Truman, 2Doris Day, 3Red China, 4Johnny Ray
5South Pacific, 6Walter Winchell, 7Joe DiMaggio

8Joe McCarthy, 9Richard Nixon, 10Studebaker, 11Television
12North Korea, 13South Korea, 14Marilyn Monroe

15Rosenbergs, 16H Bomb, 17Sugar Ray, 18Panmunjom
19Brando, 20The King And I, 21and The Catcher In The Rye

22Eisenhower, 23Vaccine, 24England's got a new queen
25Maciano, 26Liberace, 27Santayana goodbye

28Joseph Stalin, 29Malenkov, 30Nasser and Prokofiev
31Rockefeller, 32Campanella, 33Communist Bloc

34Roy Cohn, 35Juan Peron, 36Toscanini, 37Dacron
38Dien Bien Phu Falls, 39Rock Around the Clock

40Einstein, 41James Dean, 42Brooklyn's got a winning team
43Davy Crockett, 44Peter Pan, 45Elvis Presley, 46Disneyland

[/FONT] 47Bardot, 48Budapest, 49Alabama, 50Khrushchev
51Princess Grace, 52Peyton Place, 53Trouble in the Suez

54Little Rock, Pasternak, 55Mickey Mantle, 56Kerouac
57Sputnik, 58Chou En-Lai, 59Bridge On The River Kwai

60Lebanon, 61Charles de Gaulle, 62California baseball
63Starkwether, 64Homicide, 65Children of Thalidomide
66Buddy Holly, 67Ben Hur, 68Space Monkey, 69Mafia
70Hula Hoops, 71Castro, 72Edsel is a no-go

73U2, 74Syngman Rhee, 75payola and 76Kennedy
77Chubby Checker, 78Psycho, 79Belgians in the Congo

80Hemingway, 81Eichman, 82Stranger in a Strange Land
83Dylan, 84Berlin, 85Bay of Pigs invasion

86Lawrence of Arabia, 87British Beatlemania
88Ole Miss, 89John Glenn, 90Liston beats Patterson

91Pope Paul, 92Malcolm X, 93British Politician sex
94J.F.K. blown away, what else do I have to say

95Birth control, 96Ho Chi Minh, 97Richard Nixon back again
98Moonshot, 99Woodstock, 100Watergate, 101punk rock
102Begin, 103Reagan, 104Palestine, 105Terror on the airline
106Ayatollah's in Iran, 107Russians in Afghanistan

108Wheel of Fortune, 109Sally Ride, 110heavy metal, 111suicide
112Foreign debts, 113homeless Vets, 114AIDS, 115Crack, 116Bernie Goetz
117Hypodermics on the shores, 118China's under martial law
1119Rock and Roller cola wars, I can't take it anymore
Oct 2007

Harry Truman-
Harry S. Truman became our president when Roosevelt died in 1945. The former vice president served as an artillery officer in the First World War. He started his career in politics when he was elected a county judge in Missouri and later became a United States Senator. During Roosevelt’s fourth term he replaced Henry A Wallace with Truman for Vice President. Truman is responsible for dropping the atomic bombs on Japan ending World War II. Truman started the Marshall plan to rebuild Europe after the war, ended segregation in the armed forces, help with the creation of NATO, and was in office for the beginning of the Cold War, and the Korean War.


Historum Emeritas
Jul 2006
Doris Day was a 1950s singer and actress famous for her role in the Western musical Calamity Jane, where she played Wild Bill's girlfriend.
Sep 2006
Korea (but I'm American!)
I'm not going to write a few sentences for each one, but I can't explain 31 of out 119, So I guess I get a C. Though I wouldn't say that all 119 are American History per se. England's got a new queen? Juan Peron? British Politician Sex?


Historum Emeritas
Aug 2006
3. Red China was China after the influx of the Communist rule of Mao.This new china was referred to as the People's Republic of China.


Ad Honorem
Jul 2007
The vast majority of that list isn't about history, but popular culture. The Edsel, Peter Pan (turn of the century! British!) etc. What's the postwar historical signifigance of a failed car model and a turn of the century British story?!


Historum Emeritas
Jul 2006
5 The South Pacific is the sea that separates America from East Asia. There are many islands here.


Forum Staff
Jan 2007
6Walter Winchell

Winchell was a gossip columnist/radio show gossiper from the 1920s to the 1950s. He started getting political in the '30s as a supporter of FDR but changed to McCarthyism afterward. When McCarthy went down, so did Winchell. He did have a distinctive voice, which nowadays is remembered by those of a certain age from his gig as the narrator on The Untouchables TV show.


Historum Emeritas
Jul 2006
7. Joe Dimaggio was a baseball player from California. He played for the Yankees.