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 Posted: Sat Mar 18th, 2006 01:52 pm
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javal1
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Folks,

We're proud to announce that Civil War Interactive is the National Partner for the Antietam episode of History Channel's upcoming "10 Days That Unexpectedly Changed America" We have been busy reviewing all 10 hours of this extravaganza, and I have to say it's been fun. The reviews will be posted soon.

The concept of 10 Days in intriguing. Get together a panel of well-respected historians and decide which 10 events, from the 1600's to today, could be said to have had the most profound and long-lasting effect on the course of American history. Then take the 10 chosen events and assign each a director and producer of eminent  stature, with many being Oscar, Emmy, Peabody and Sundance winners, and put them to work creating a one hour show about each.

Of course this guarantees hours worth of arguments over which shouldn't have been chosen, and which should have been. I believe History Channel knew this going in, and expects it. Personally, I found most of the choices brilliant, and only one or two that I had some qualms about. But I can tell you this - ALL of them are top-notch entertainment. And unlike a series such as Civil War Journal or others, each of the 10 episodes is a completely different experience, made in a totally different way. It makes for great viewing.

What I'd like to do is start a discussion on which choices you agree or disagree with, and what you think should be there that isn't. Two caveats though:

1) It's obvious that the creators wanted to avoid "obvious" choices (the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Pearl Harbor, etc), instead taking what I feel is a broader view.

2) Adhering to the principle that more recent events cannot be put into proper historical perspective, things like 9/11 are not included. The most recent event is in the 1960's.

So I'll start with mine, and hope everyone will contribute their opinion. First go to http://www.historychannel.com/10days/ and click on "the Series" to read about each episode (scroll down the Antietam page to see CWi's listing as a National Partner :shock: !)

Actually only two episodes that I would not have included.

First - the Gold Rush. I understand their reasons for picking it, but since there's two events I think should have been included that weren't, the Gold Rush is one of the two I'd throw out.

Second - When America Rocked. Just don't think R&R changed the course of America enough to be included.

Two that I would have included:

First - the birth of the principle of Manifest Destiny. A simple declaration that I believe had a profound effect right up to this day.

Second - the development of the Interstate Highway system. Some may disagree, but I see it's development as more far-reaching than the birth of Rock and Roll.

Look forward to hearing others.

Last edited on Sat Mar 18th, 2006 02:52 pm by javal1



 Posted: Sat Mar 18th, 2006 02:46 pm
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Cap
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WOW - looking forward to the viewing of the episodes. Congratulations on being named a National Partner... that is great.

I personally would have included an episode on the building of the Transcontinental Railroad (specifically the day the golden spike joined the two lines). I can certainly see where this could generate some conversation and look forward as well to reading others comments.

 

Cap

Last edited on Sun Mar 19th, 2006 05:37 am by Cap



 Posted: Sun Mar 19th, 2006 03:49 am
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Basecat
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Evening all.

A lot of good choices to be made.  Personally, I wish they would delve into one of the most seminal dates in American History...July 8, 1963.  A famous American was born that day. :)

Seriously, the event that sticks out with me from when I was a kid is July 20, 1969, when those famous words of Neill Armstrong were etched into American History.   It's one of the earliest events in my life where the whole world seemed to be focused on the same event.

Hope all are well.

Regards from the Garden State,

Steve Basic, the Famous American. ;)



 Posted: Mon Mar 20th, 2006 04:32 am
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Hellcat
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javal1 wrote:
2) Adhering to the principle that more recent events cannot be put into proper historical perspective, things like 9/11 are not included. The most recent event is in the 1960's.


 

I have to disagree with this as it seems to me that we've had events since the 1960s that can be put into a proper historical perspective. Imagine what history would have been like if Watergate had never occured and Nixon had not resigned.  Yes, computers exsisted before 1970s, but it was during the '70s that they really started to be introduced into the home. Like the computer, the internet exsisted long before the boom of the 1990s. But since that boom our world has become considerably smaller. And if we look any of us can find more items to add.



 Posted: Mon Mar 20th, 2006 04:11 pm
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David White
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I think I have a hard time with many of the items on their list.  Here are mine.  Mine are pretty technology-centric but technology is what has made America different driven by our freedoms, too bad the technology is all going to China and India now.  Here are seven days I think they missed:

1. Dropping the Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima (although I guess their Einstein's Letter is intended to capture that concept)

2. Gulf of Tonkin Resoulution, Vietnam still hangs over this country with an extremely dark cloud, every war is/or is going to be a "Vietnam," when in reality we'll never have another "Vietnam."

3. The Day the Model T rolled off the assembly line (kind of like Javal's IH episode but without this day, who needs an IH system?).

4. Wright Brother's First Powered Flight.

5. Eli Whitney conceives the Cotton Gin.  Makes large scale cotton production possible, increases importance of slavery and whether you want to admit it or not gives us the sore spot needed to launch the Civil War.

6. Samuel Colt invents the revolving pistol.

7. Jack Kilby invents the semiconductor, or if you prefer, on a related note William Shockly invents the transistor.  Transistors and semiconductors give us the electronics industry and technology we enjoy today.

To round out my top ten, I'll just steal what I think are the History Channel's top three (excluding Einstein's letter):

8. Massacre at Mystic

9. Murder at the Fair

10. Scope's Monkey Trial

Last edited on Mon Mar 20th, 2006 04:17 pm by David White



 Posted: Mon Mar 20th, 2006 10:19 pm
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javal1
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Interesting replies so far, and I hope more will contribute theirs. I like this kind of back and forth, because there's no right and no wrong. If you picked a million people at random, I doubt anyone's list would exactly match. My thoughts on some of the opinions so far:

Basecat: I would probably ask how the moon landing actually changed America. Understanding that the achievement was wonderous and incredible, did it actually change the course of our history? I also admit that I'm a 100% skeptic on space exploration to begin with. Since Laurie's 100% for it, you can imagine the interesting converstions around here :P

Hellcat: Not sure I disagree with you on Watergate, for the simple reason that I believe it did change the way we look at the President and the office. Don't know if I'd list it as a top 10, but I can understand those who would. As for the "50 year rule" regarding giving time for events to be seen in perspective, it's not my rule (every historian I've ever heard expresses some thought resembling that), but I do agree with it.

David: Can see your reasoning in all your choices. I wonder if Caps Trans-Continental RR, your Model T and Wright Bros., and my Interstate couldn't have been combined as one episode on development of the combustion engine ;). Hard to argue with your #7. As for your #2, although I disagree, I'll refrain from saying why lest this thread degenirate into one that belongs under a different category :P

In short, good answers from all so far....

Last edited on Mon Mar 20th, 2006 10:20 pm by javal1



 Posted: Tue Mar 21st, 2006 04:52 am
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Basecat
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Basecat: I would probably ask how the moon landing actually changed America. Understanding that the achievement was wonderous and incredible, did it actually change the course of our history? I also admit that I'm a 100% skeptic on space exploration to begin with. Since Laurie's 100% for it, you can imagine the interesting converstions around here :P


Javal,

In terms of science and technological advances, in that way it did change the course of our history.  As for being a skeptic, and I'm one as well, that skepticism went out the window when Challenger blew up 20 years ago.

Regards from the Garden State,

Steve



 Posted: Tue Mar 21st, 2006 10:32 am
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Any list of only 10  is always a hard thing to do.  Even combining still makes it a hard list to come up with only ten.  I also looked at the title  Unexpected   would seem to be a key word but then most major events have unexpected results coming out of them.   The second part is it says Day.  That changes any list I would make as I was listing in my head Westward movement, Civil War , Great Depression /Dust Bowl and the programs of the New Deal.  But then I looked at the title again and it said DAY .  Each of those events did have one day that the event started but I am back to another list.

I have to admit I didn't know aout Massacre at Mystic but after reading about it I would put it on the list.  It does lead to Custer and on into the 20th and now 21st century. So that would be number 1 as the first event.

2.  I remember studying Shay's Rebellion .  It is one of those events we glossed over in American history 101.  Battle of Jenkn's Ear  Whiskey Rebellion .  Never sticking where or when just names of "minor" events in American history.  Then I read what it says on the History Channel list and I agree this was an event that changed American history. 

3.  I want to blend together the Day the Model T rolled off the asembly line and the opening of the Interstate Highway system together under heading of Transportation changes in American history . The Model T though rolling off the assembly line has more wide ranging effects than just transportation.  It embraces how things will be made from now on.  The Assembly line , no more the craftsman making one item at a time.  Still the Interstate allows those goods to be hauled from California to the East coast or East Coast to California  so  I still join them together .

4.  The passage of the 19th ammendment .  Don't you fellows think giving us women the right to vote changed the face of politics? 

5. Again I am combining .  The invention of the motion picture and the invention of the television.  If I had to choose one I would say the invention of the Television.   I have been reading several books on the Lincoln Assassination recently.  When I compare the number of people that witness the event and the events of the following days .  How long it took to spread the word and the following manhunt .  Then compare it with Kennedy .  Actually seeing the motorcade and the shooting.  Jackie crawling out the back of the limo.  Then that Sunday moring actually seeing in real time Ruby shot Oswald .  Can you imagine a TV camera crew as Boston Corbett drew bead on Booth? 

6.  The changes in Medicine.  Being a child of the 50's I am always so thankful for Jonas Salk.  So I put the invention of the polio vaccine high up on any list.  I knew children that had had polio. I will never forget the day my mother and her best friend loaded all six of us in the car and drove to the Health department in our town to get the free polio shots.  We went three times to make sure we got all the shots.  That first shot though stands out clearly to this day.   Iron lungs are now things of the past.

7.  Antietam I agree.  Can you imagine the futures that were lost on that one day.  The poets, the artist, the leaders  explorers that were to never be?

8. The next one is personal in many ways as my father was one of the men who build the dams .  So my number 8 is the building of Boulder Dam.  Sorry that is the name I heard it called my whole life.  NEVER Hoover Dam.   The reunions were called the Builders of Boulder Dam too.  The building of these huge dams lead to the controling of the waterways.  Although we can see the water many times still wins in the end.  But Boulder provides still hydro electic power to light up the cities as do the other dams.   So it is my number 8.

9.  The arrival of the Battleson Bidwell party in California or the Applegate wagon train into Oregon is the next great day on my list  These two wagon trains led to all the other migrations into the west.   I would guess you could add the migrants on the Mother Road Route 66 to these early wagons trains.  They connect together.  Moving west for a better life. 

10.  The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire.  This fire lead to the development of safety standards and better working conditions in factories.  Also to the growth of unions. 

 

Well there is my list.  Not sure they are THE top ten but to me they all seem to be inmportant in themselves and to have long ranging impact on other events following them.   Looking forward to reading others comments on them.

 



 Posted: Tue Mar 21st, 2006 12:46 pm
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Ten days, not a long time, particularly when you consider that for every day you include, you exclude nearly 40 years.

From a distance one could be easily mistaken in believing that nothing that America did in any way affected her relationship to the rest of the world

I find this hard to believe, hence the few dates that I have culled together look as much outward. As I believe the current list looks inward.
 

While to some the dates and their inherent even may seem the work of a foreigner, let me for a moment remind you all that I am probably at this point of time your most southern, Southerner.
  

October 28, 1886, Unveiling of the Statue of Liberty.
 

And all it has come to represent to the vast millions and their descendants who flooded to America in the hope and faith of a new beginning.

 

 
Saturday, March 4, 1933 Franklyn D Roosevelt's first inaugural address. And those immortal words:
 

"So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance...."

 

June 5, 1947, Secretary of State, George Marshall's speech at the Harvard commencement. (The European Recovery Act - The Marshall Plan)
 

In a speech that calls upon America to help a desperate and starving Europe recover from World War II, the European Recovery Act (The Marshall plan) is born.
Who won the Second World War, is an argument raised perennially on those dates of it cessation. But for this observer what is more important is who won the peace. For me it is the Marshall Plan, one of the most unselfish acts of modern times..


 

Bill Wyndham

Melbourne (Not the Florida one)

Oz (not the Dorothy one either)

 



 Posted: Tue Mar 21st, 2006 03:43 pm
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David White
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Javal:

Since the steam engine was an English invention and the internal combustion engine was a German invention we couldn't include those.  I still like mine the best because it leads to yours and was akin to the Indian getting the horse (hey maybe that should be added to the list of things that changed America ;)).  It changed the life of average Americans and effected his mobility, caused people to leave home and not stay in their neighborhood, things as innoucuous as fast food came from that mobility (has that not made us all fat), so many things came from Americans having affordabale automobiles it had tremendous effect.

Re: Vietnam do you not like that event as a changing one or my editorial comments about it?  If the former I would say that Vietnam changed attitudes of mistrust about government long before Watergate and every military action or threat of military action since has been compared to Vietnam and as long as the fourth estate is spinning it, everyone will be too. 

Susan, good call on the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, I bump the Scopes Monkey Trial off mine and steal that one from you.

Last edited on Tue Mar 21st, 2006 03:49 pm by David White



 Posted: Tue Mar 21st, 2006 05:34 pm
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javal1
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David -

As for the combustion engine  - good point. Would be hard to combine. Ya know the other one I would have a hard time dicounting.... believe it or not - refrigeration/air conditioning. Think of life without the two.

As for 'Nam, well we both know what I think of your editorial commentary :P As for being one of the 10, I have to admit to a bit of fence-straddling on it. Just not sure. In my mind, Vietnam proved to the American public that their gov't could, even with "good intentions", make horrible, tragic decisions. Watergate on the other hand, proved that the gov't. didn't always have "good intentions" and could in fact deliberately lie and mislead them. While more may see Nam as a deliberate lie now, it wasn't as obvious to the collective public as Watergate at the time. But that's what I love about this ... there's no right or wrong.

Susan and Bill - great choices re. Marshall Plan and Triangle Shirt factory. Maybe the producers thought the MP changed Europe more than America. As for the TSF, my guess is that they used the Homestead Strike as the symbolic episode for all workers rights issues. Like your thinking on them though.

Last edited on Tue Mar 21st, 2006 05:38 pm by javal1



 Posted: Tue Mar 21st, 2006 05:56 pm
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David White
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I like that thought Javal but refrigeration is a Scottish invention and A/C goes to a Brit, however freon is a good old American invention and according to environmentalists has changed the world for the negative, despite its many positives.  It certainly changed the south if not the entire US and made it habitable didn't it? 



 Posted: Thu Mar 23rd, 2006 03:30 am
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David and Joe thanks for the compliment.  I think most of the choices are good.  I  like the choice of  the Indians getting the horse as another good choice although it seems the list starts with the coming of the white man to America. 

Maybe the problem is there are not just 10 most important.  That all the events we have listed are important . It would be a different place without any one of them.   We are the country we are today because all of these events took place. 

I watched the Greatest American with a friend as they counted down to the top five.  It was a peoples choice type vote.  I was embarassed the low ranking some of the greatest thinkers and leaders of our country received .  The actors, and musicians and recent politicians were ranked higher than they were.   



 Posted: Fri Mar 24th, 2006 12:25 pm
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javal1
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Folks,

Wanted to use this post to let you know that we have now posted our "10 Days" sub-section on CWi. It includes our reviews of all 10 episodes. As you'll see, being a National Partner didn't stop us from presenting honest reviews. I'm sure some of them are not as filled with praise as HC would have liked. On the other hand, none are outright negative, since none of the episodes were outright bad.

Also a good time to introduce the newest member of our small staff here. Seven of the 10 Days reviews were written David Chambliss, our son. He's busy picking colleges, preparing for his ACT, and all that fun stuff, but he took the time to help us with this project. Some of you from the chat room may remember him as "Sox". All the reviews with the exeption of Antietam and Freedom Summer (written by me) and When America Rocked (Written by Xan) were done by Dave. Enjoy, and all feedback is welcome.



 Posted: Sat Mar 25th, 2006 05:06 am
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Cap
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Great job with the  reviews.....read them all. Guess you could say "Sox" is a chip off the old "blox" with his knack for writing. Well done and I wish him the best. I work with some folks that brag about having a college education that can barely spell their name.

All of the reviews set the episodes up for me very well and I am looking forward to watching them all. Thanks again.

 

Cap



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