History Perspective

Living in the past is not especially healthy but studying it can be interesting. Sometimes timelines can provide perspective or at least lead to "wow, I didn't know that."

Here are a few timelines I find fascinating:

The USA only had 48 states when most boomers were born. Hawaii became the 50th state in 1960. Alaska became the 49th state in 1959.

More geopolitical timelines: two of my favorite states to visit didn't become states till the early 1900s ... Arizona and New Mexico both in early 1912.

Women could not vote in the United States till 1920.

Media timelines: commercial radio began in 1920 (KDKA, Pittsburg, which still exists).     Commercial Television is more ambiguous; an experimental licensed station began in 1928. More realistically, there was a TV station in New York in 1941 which is credited with the first TV commercial.

When the Internet became a public thing depends on how you define it. Domain names started in 1985, www started in 1991. Mosaic, the first browser I heard of, came out in 1993. Netscape, WebCrawler and Lycos were born in the mid 1990s, Google in 1998.

The Star Spangled Banner wasn't our official National Anthem until 1931, even though the original poem was written by Francis Scott Key in 1814.

The words "under God" were not part of the original Pledge of Allegiance. They were added in 1954.

The study of history is more significant and complex than the listing of facts, but these dates are a good starting point for further exploration. They also might help if you’re ever on Jeopardy.