Section 8 - The Famous Quotes
Fasttrack to America's Past
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The quotes, top to bottom:

1.  "I have a dream that..."

   This is a passage from Rev. Martin Luther King's famous "I Have a Dream" speech.  It electrified the crowd of blacks and whites at the 1963 March on Washington, and remains a powerful call for racial justice even today.

2.  "I am woman, hear me roar!"

   This famous line was part of the lyrics of a popular song of the early 1970s, "I Am Woman," that expressed the growing strength of the feminist movement.  It became a number one hit song in 1972.

3.  "That's one small step..."

   These words were radioed back to Earth by Neil Armstrong as he stepped out of the lunar lander in 1969 and became the first man to set foot on the moon.  The landing was a historic accomplishment watched around the world by hundreds of millions of people.  Some debate continues about whether Armstrong actually said "small step for a man" or "small step for man," but the astronaut always insisted that he said "small step for a man."

4.  "After these four decades..."  These words are from the famous speech in which President Ronald Reagan in 1987 challenged the Russian leader of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, to tear down the Berlin Wall.  The wall was built in 1961 by communist East Germany (backed by the Soviet Union) to stop East Germans from escaping to freedom in West Germany (supported by the U.S.).
   The wall became a symbol of the tensions of the Cold War.  In the late 1980s, however, Gorbachev was trying to push for reforms in the Soviet Union and a loosening of some of the restrictions there on citizens' lives.  Gorbachev hoped these changes would keep communism a workable system.
   President Reagan's bold speech at the wall, however, highlighted the fact that by every measure, the communist system had proven to be a failure. 
   The Berlin Wall was torn down in 1989 as a rising tide of discontent led the East German people themselves to attack it with sledgehammers and bare hands.  It was a clear sign that the Soviet Union and communism itself were starting to collapse.


The pictures, top to bottom:

1. Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., the great civil rights leader who helped break down the walls of racial segregation in America.  He emerged as a leader during the 1950s, as the first big cracks began appearing in the racial divide.  In the early 1960s, he led Americans of both races past the sometimes violent confrontations that accompanied the struggle.

2.  A married couple looking at a suburban house that they plan to make their home.  The decade after World War II saw a big jump marriages and birth rates.  The growing prosperity of the time made it possible for many more American families to afford a home of their own.  Millions of new houses were built, many of them just outside cities where land was less expensive.

3.  A woman operating a desktop computer typical of those developed in the 1980s and 1990s.  In the 1960s, computers were so large and expensive that only government agencies, very large businesses, and universities had them.  Starting in the mid-1970s, smaller computers were developed, and by the mid-1980s, these new "personal computers" were affordable even to small businesses and middle class families.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright 2015 by David Burns.  All rights reserved.  Illustrations and reading selections appearing in this work are taken from sources in the public domain and from private collections used by permission.  Sources include: the Dover Pictorial Archive, the Library of Congress, The National Archives, The Hart Publishing Co., Corel Corporation and its licensors, Nova Development Corporation and its licensors, and others.  Maps were created or adapted by the author using reference maps from the United States Geological Survey and Cartesia Software.  Please see the home page for this title for more information.