In an effort to preserve (forever) some of my weirdness on the internet, I thought I would snag a few posts from my other blog and put them up here, starting with this one.
American History: What I've Learned
As I am officially done for the semester after taking my history 102 final this morning, I thought I would take this opportunity to share what I've learned. My professor handed out a list of key terms that we would need to know about for a study guide, and I have "elaborated" on those terms here so that you can see what your tax dollars buy in the way of an education these days. Enjoy!
William McKinley - 25th President of the United States, known best for his previous routing of the English army at Stirling Bridge and Falkirk.
NAACP - The first in a series of films from Spike Lee's production company showing life in the inner city.
Eugene Debs - Commie.
Ellis Island - Importation point by which American officials could change the ridiculously hard-to-pronounce Eastern European names to something much easier to read and say by adding, get this, vowels. Novel concept, to be sure. I mean really, Czolgosz? What the hell is that??
Fourteen Points - President Woodrow Wilson's ideas for Europe after the end of World War I. Was originally fifteen points, but his ideas about a Russian mail-order bride system was not seen as the progressive idea that we all know it is today. The man was way ahead of his time.
Zimmerman Telegram - Germany's attempt to convince the Mexican government to attack the U.S. The Mexican government declined, opting instead for their "100 year" plan, whereby they would infiltrate the United States slowly by "taking jobs that Americans won't do."
Emma Goldman - Jailed multiple times for conspiratorial and anarchist dealings, she was eventually deported and later became president of France. Commie.
Teapot Dome, Wyoming - Two lonely sheep-herders find sanctuary in the arms of one another in this cold and lonely frontier.
Prohibition - The first cooperation between Hollywood and the U.S. Government to provide numerous resources for motion picture plot-lines. Although very successful at first, was repealed after the whole "Al Capone" character became really played out.
Marcus Garvey - Invented Reggae in this decade and used it as a launching platform for civil rights activism. Historians debate whether or not it worked, but generally agree that Exodus by Bob Marley was a damn fine album.
Calvin Coolidge - 30th President of the United States, Coolidge was mostly ignored by history until many years later when he was immortalized in a cartoon about his childhood antics with his stuffed tiger.
Social Security - Set up as a debate platform for Democrats and Republicans so that they could have something to "debate" for control over old-people votes.
Spanish Civil War - Umm, dude. This is American History, ok?
Eleanor Roosevelt - Stunningly beautiful woman, known as the "super-model" of first ladies, FDR could never even look at other women as taking his eyes off of Eleanor was next to impossible... wait, what? No? Ok, skip this one.
Appeasement - The attempt by Neville Chamberlain's government in Great Britain to "appease" Adolf Hitler's Germany instead of deal with it militarily. Widely successful. Hitler relinquished power in 1935 to follow up on his dreams to graduate art school instead of the "ruthless dictator" route which many historians believe he would have pursued if not for Chamberlain's wisdom.
Berlin - Rated as 3rd on Lonely Planet's guide to "Top Ten Vacation Spots of 1947" right behind Stalingrad and Nagasaki.
Iron Curtain - Mistakenly thought to be a term describing the division between Eastern and Western Europe, it was actually a phrase Winston Churchill used to summarize the reaction he received when he tried to "get some" from Mrs. Churchill.
Marshall Plan - Send... money... to... Europe. Communism = bad.
J. Strom Thurmond - The guy who wouldn't die. Seriously. Served as a Senator from 1954 until 2003. Holy crap. Was governor of South Carolina before that. Fought in WWII before that. Was a judge before that? Sure, why not. I believe he was Captain of either the Nina or the Pinta before that.
38th Parallel - Dividing line between North and South Korea. Would become a favorite hang-out for American service members for several generations.
Duck and Cover - Yeah, right.
Kitchen Debate - Impromptu meeting between VP Richard Nixon and Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev after the latter challenged "Tricky Dick" to a cook-off. Several KGB officers were subsequently executed for the intelligence failure of not knowing about Nixon's wicked omelet-making skills.
Sputnik - The Soviet Union's first, and thankfully last, attempt to break into the adult film industry.
Baby Boom - Truck loads of babies were blown up, apparently for the joy of money-grubbing Republicans. Seriously though, service members returned from over seas by the boat-load and started breeding like rabbits. Thanks to that, we have our parents.
Hotline - Developed after the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 so that the U.S. leaders could chat with Soviet leaders about interns.
Gulf of Tonkin Resolution - As a result of SecDef McNamara's testimony, Congress passed a joint around the room and got baked. Oh wait, they passed a joint "resolution." Apparently that's different, although I'm not sure how.
Apollo 11 - One of many successful endeavors by Hollywood studios to con the American public by staging a "moon landing" with "astronauts" Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and some guy history has already forgotten. I think he was the stunt man. See also "Barbara Streisand" and "The Clinton Administration" for other ruses pulled off by Hollywood.
Watts Riot - Rodney King's first run-in with the LAPD resulted in 34 dead, and 35 million injured. Which seems high, so I'll check my facts later on that one.
Napalm - Jellied gasoline used to clear out large areas of downtown Los Angeles.
Kent State University - May 4, 1970. Dirty hippies thought they were soooo smart, what with their long hair and their "protests." Non-violence, yeah that paid off well for 'em.
Cambodia - Dude, I say again, American history. Sheesh.
Ms. Magazine - Founded by Gloria Steinem as a much needed venue to discuss orgasms.
Gerald Ford - Heck of a President, I say. Well ok, maybe not. But he was the 38th one. And he granted some famous guy a pardon. I think it was an actor.
Iran Hostage Crisis - Current leader of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmanidejad, takes American hostages in the U.S. embassy in Tehran. Attempt to rescue hostages, led by up-and-coming action hero Chuck Norris fails miserably. Hostages later released on the day Ronald Reagan is sworn into office. Chickens.
CREEP - Codename for Nixon's operation where he told some people to break into Democratic Party headquarters and steal some stuff. Then Dustin Hoffman and Robert Redford got famous for catching them.
As you can all see, that was money well spent on this semester. Learning is fun!!!