The United States: 1997-2015

Between 1997 (year I was born) and 2015 (current year) America changed a lot, however America also remained the same in some ways. Within this time frame culturally, America was devastated a lot (OJ Simpson and 9/11). We still held our politics and power stayed mostly the same (NASA constellation cancellation), however we edited them and used them accordingly (after Hurricane Katrina).  America advanced a lot, we created synthetic life and cars that communicate to each other! We've started to create a bill that entitles allowing more immigrants into America, which means we're helping out the rest of the world by balancing out or decreasing their population. The Food Bank of America donated an amazing amount of food to third-world countries in 2013-2014. America has changed, for the better (Food Banks, and some may argue the imigration bill)- but America has also stood her ground (Hurricane Katrina and NASA) and kept some things the same.


Source: B. Drummond Ayres Jr., Feb, 11th, 1997. Jury Decides Simpson Must Pay $25 Million in Punitive Award/Serial: Newspaper- New York Times/Culture/year of birth (1997). Link to primary source.

He [OJ Simpson] pleaded in court that he was more than $850,000 in debt. But the plaintiff families argued that he was worth more than $15 million, taking into consideration his possible future earnings, a permissible legal factor. They also pointed out that he still lived in a mansion, still had household servants, still drove expensive imported cars and, as a self-described golf addict, still spent much of his time on the links...After last Tuesday's $8.5 million verdict, which the jury of six men and six women agreed upon unanimously, the families expressed great satisfaction, noting that the award could not have been made had not the panel first determined that Mr. Simpson, more likely than not, was the person who fatally slashed his former wife and her friend. After today's verdict was announced, the families again expressed satisfaction. But that satisfaction, great as it was because of the punishing size of the award, nevertheless loses a bit of its impact because in the two votes required to reach the $25 million figure, the panel first split 11 to 1 and then 10 to 2... Regarding the 10-to-2 vote, one of the dissenting jurors, No. 294, Lisa Theriot, who is in her 20's, said she thought the punitive damages should have been some millions less because she did not believe Mr. Simpson had $25 million. But she agreed with the other jurors that he should be punished severely in terms of money. ''We all felt that he has the potential to make a lot of money,'' she said. ''We didn't take the defense's argument that he was washed up.'' In order for Mr. Simpson to appeal the awards, he must first come up with a bond that equals 150 percent of them, a huge monetary challenge, however much his future earning potential. If he can't produce such a bond, his next best hope is that Judge Fujisaki trims the awards... ''The size of this award seems to be very, very large by any standard,'' said Michael Rustad, a professor of law and specialist in suit damages at Suffolk University in Boston. ''It seems to be a symbolic award. My best guess is that the appeals court or the trial judge is likely to reduce the amount."...Vivian Berger, a professor of law at Columbia, agreed. ''This is as close as a civil jury can come,'' she said, ''to declaring him a murderer.''

Historical Context: In 1997- the world focused on the OJ Simpson case. OJ was being accused of murder, and that's all everyone talked about- especially in February of 1997. Mostly in February because that's the month OJ was convicted and had to pay $25 million dollars. However, in March 1997: 39 people were found dead at Rancho Santa Fe, California, in a carefully orchestrated group suicide. The Heaven's Gate cult was made up of Web developers who used their site to recruit new members. They believed that the comet Hale-Bopp was being trailed by a spaceship that would transport them to a higher state of existence when they left their earthly bodies. Leader Marshall Applewhite, known as "Do," and his followers swallowed a lethal mixture of vodka and phenobarbital.

Purpose: This document serves to provide clear cut facts about the final conviction of OJ Simpson within his murder case- which was very popular in the year 1997, the year in which I happened to be given birth to.

Theme: The OJ Simpson case affected people in America culturally. It's all the United States was talking about, all over the nation. In fact, it's still talked about today. People still wonder if he really did it, and if he did- why was there so little evidence? The case also helped to boost the Kardashians ratings due to the fact that OJ claimed he was Khloe Kardashians biological father.  


Source: *No Author Provided, except staff* 2009. Hurricane Katrina/Serial: Article/Politics and Power/year after birth to the end of elementary school (1998-2009). Link to primary source

Early in the morning on August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast of the United States. When the storm made landfall, it had a Category 3 rating on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale–it brought sustained winds of 100–140 miles per hour–and stretched some 400 miles across. The storm itself did a great deal of damage, but its aftermath was catastrophic. Levee breaches led to massive flooding, and many people charged that the federal government was slow to meet the needs of the people affected by the storm. Hundreds of thousands of people in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama were displaced from their homes, and experts estimate that Katrina caused more than $100 billion in damage.... The day before Katrina hit, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin issued the city’s first-ever mandatory evacuation order. He also declared that the Superdome, a stadium located on relatively high ground near downtown, would serve as a “shelter of last resort” for people who could not leave the city. (For example, some 112,000 of New Orleans’ nearly 500,000 people did not have access to a car.) By nightfall, almost 80 percent of the city’s population had evacuated. Some 10,000 had sought shelter in the Superdome, while tens of thousands of others chose to wait out the storm at home.

Historical Context: On October 8th 2005 the Kashmir earthquake hit parts of northern South Asia at 03:50 UTC.

Purpose: The purpose of this document is to inform the audience of the natural tragedy of Hurricane Katrina.  

Theme: Hurricane Katrina affected the world within Politics and Power. This is because many organizations chipped in (mostly Walmart) in order to help repair and support the city and the citizens within the city. Also, the government had to pitch in a lot of money- as well as address their power in order to return the city back to normal (which took years, and is probably still slightly going on).


Source: Jennie Wood, 2007. How we've changed since 9/11/Serial: Article/Culture. Link to primary source.

...The most obvious changes Americans have faced after September 11 have been at the airport. Travelers must check in at least two hours before their flight takes off. There are restrictions on what travelers can bring. Liquids and toiletries have to be a certain size and placed in clear, sealed bags. No food or bottled water is allowed through security. Passengers are selected at random for more intense screenings. Over the decade, airport security has tried different types of searches and screenings, introducing new equipment. The extra security protocol means longer lines. Ten years later, the lines move a little faster, mostly because travelers have become accustomed to the post-9/11 restrictions. We've become so familiar with the new procedures that seeing a pre-2001 movie where someone waits for a loved one at an airport gate seems dated, even strange. Airplanes are also more secure after 9/11. Every large U.S. passenger aircraft has been equipped with hardened cockpit doors. Thousands of federal air marshals are assigned to flights to guard against terrorist acts. The No Fly List existed before 9/11, but the list has grown substantially since the attacks. We now have thousands—some claim millions—of names on the list. For almost nine years after September 11, a color-coded threat system informed travelers when the country was at risk of another terrorist attack. In April 2011, that color-coded advisory system was replaced by the National Terror Advisory System that focuses on specific threats in geographical areas....

Historical Context: Within 2007 on February 12th- A gunman released fire within a mall in Salt Lake City and killed five people in the Trolley Square shooting. Also, on April 16th there was a massacre at Virginia Tech. It was the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history. The gunman, Seung-Hui Cho, killed 32 people and injured 23 others before committing suicide.

Purpose: The purpose of this document is to explain to people what has occurred within airports due to the September 11th terrorist attack on the Twin Towers and Pentagon.

Theme: The effects of the September 11th terrorist attack in 2001 was within the American culture. This is because Americans now have to adjust their lives and go through amazingly long security within our airports to make sure we're all safe. The attack has also effected how we (as frightened American citizens) view Muslims and Arabs- because we generalize them as terrorists and frighten ourselves even more while discriminating them.


Source: Nancy Atkinson, February, 1st, 2010. NASA Budget Details: Constellation Cancelled, But Where To Next?/Serial: Article/Politics and Power/ Middle school (2010-2012) Link to primary source.

With the US facing a federal deficit of $1.26 trillion in 2011, Obama federal budget proposal puts a three-year freeze on most non-defense discretionary spending after 2011, which the president believes will save $250 billion over the next 10 years. So, giving NASA the $6 billion over the next five year is a way to circumvent that freeze for NASA.  The budget proposal also includes: $183 million to extend operations of the ISS past its previously planned retirement date of 2016. NASA will deploy new research facilities to conduct scientific research and test technologies in space. New capabilities could include a centrifuge to support research into human physiology, inflatable space habitats, and a program to continuously upgrade Space Station capabilities. $600 million to complete the final five shuttle missions, allowing for a safe and orderly retirement of the Space Shuttle program even if its schedule slips into Fiscal Year 2011. $1.2 billion for transformative research in exploration technology that will involve NASA, private industry, and academia, sparking spin-off technologies and potentially entire new industries. $150 million to accelerate the development of new satellites for Earth Science priorities. $170 million to develop and fly a replacement of the Orbiting Carbon Observatory, a mission to identify global carbon sources and sinks that was lost when its launch vehicle failed in 2009. $500 million to contract with industry to provide astronaut transportation to the ISS, reducing the sole reliance on foreign crew transports and catalyzing new businesses and significant new jobs. Increases Scientific Understanding of the Solar System and Universe. $3.2 billion for science research grants and dozens of missions and telescopes studying the planets and stars – including new missions such as the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope, missions to study the Moon, and two Mars exploration missions. $14 million ($420 million over five years) for a mission to the Sun, flying through its outer atmosphere to better understand how it is heated and how it ejects the stream of charged particles known as the solar wind. Increase funding to detect asteroids that could potentially pose a hazard to the Earth. Increase annually the percentage of NASA higher education program student participants employed by NASA, aerospace contractors, universities, and other educational institutions.

Historical Context: On March, 9th, 2011- The Space Shuttle "Discovery" makes its final landing after 39 flights. On July, 21st, 2011- NASA's Space Shuttle program ends with the landing of Space Shuttle Atlantis on mission STS-135.

Purpose: This document serves to provide the reasons as to why the Constellation plan was canceled.

Theme: The Constellation cancellation affected the Politics and Power within the world. This is because it involved the governments involvement with NASA and government funding to NASA.


Source: Bruce Sterling, May, 20th, 2010. Scientists Create First Self-Replicating Synthetic Life/Serial: Image/Work, exchnage and technology/Middle school (2010-2012). Link to primary source.

Historical Context: In 2010, researchers sequenced the Neandertal genome from the bones of three female Neandertals who lived in Croatia sometime between 38,000 and 44,000 years ago.

Purpose: The purpose of this document is to show how scientists successfully created synthetic life.

Theme: This document relates to Work, Exchange, and Technology. I say this due to the fact that America exceeded the expectation based upon life using technology and science.


Source: Olivia Marcus. March, 4th, 2015. Car-to-Car Communication May Hit the Roads Soon/Serial: U.S News & World Report News Article/Work, Exchange and Technology/ Current year (2015) Link to primary source.

The MIT Technology Review named V2V one of the biggest tech breakthroughs of 2015, predicting that it will become widely available as soon as next year. General Motors was the first major car company to commit, announcing in September that it would release a V2V-equipped Cadillac by 2017. “I hear estimates all the time on people rolling it out,” said Debra Bezzina, senior project manager for the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute. “It is very close to being production ready.” The technology has been in the works for more than a decade, but a recent pilot program has brought it closer to deployment than ever....After analyzing data from the pilot program, NHTSA estimated that V2V technology could prevent more than half a million accidents and save more than 1,000 lives each year if implemented across the United States.

Historical Context: The 2014 Mercedes-Benz S550 is capable of steering itself.

Purpose: This document serves to provide information and estimations upon cars communicating to each other in 2015-2017.

Theme: This document relates to work, exchange, and technology due to the fact that it is the enhancement of vehicle technology within the United States.


Source: *No author or date provided* Immigration Reform 2013-2014/Serial: Article/America in the world/High school (2013-2014) Link to primary source

On January 28, 2013, a bipartisan group of U.S. senators unveiled a framework for a future bill that, if enacted, would modernize our current immigration system as well as create a process for those living in the U.S. without authorization to apply to become U.S. citizens. The framework contains four basic pillars, which would put in place a new system for future immigration while addressing the needs of immigrants currently within the country.

Historical Context: Within 2013, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University hosts a conference (that happens every year) that explores the role of gender in a significant aspect of the human experience. This year’s conference is titled “Crossing Borders: Immigration and Gender in the Americas.” Academics, practitioners, and artists from across all fields will investigate changing immigration trends and examine how gender, race, and social class shape the experience of immigrants and their children in the Americas.

Purpose: The purpose of this document is to elaborate what the Immigration Bill was, and why it should be passed as well as what would happen if and when it did pass.

Theme: The theme this document relates to is America in the world due to the fact that it's about allowing immigrants into America- which will decrease or balance the population in the countries that the immigrants are coming from.


Source: Hank Parret (President & CEO) and Mike Tomsu (2013-2014 Board Chairman). End of 2014. 2013-2014 Annual Report/Manuscript and/or Archival Material; Organization Records/America in the world/High school (2013-2014). Link to primary source

Historical Context: Within 2013-2014, many organization stepping stones have been walked on. With the help of Veteran donation organizations, over 3.8 million veterans were receiving disability help as of March in 2014.

Purpose: This document is to record how the Food Bank of America helped the world within 2013-2014. The document has how much the Food Bank spent as well as how much food was donated.

Theme: This document related to America in the world due to the fact that it's an organization in America that is donating food and resources to other countries (less forunate countries, such as Africa).

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