Continuity and Change in the United States 1998-2015

Although environmental factors such as Hurricane Katrina reflected continuity in the United States from 1998-2015, the events within this time period fostered change to a greater extent than it maintained continuity. Change came politically breaking history in political leadership, economically with advancements in technology , in America in the World following the events of terrorist attacks, and culturally after gaining worldwide sensations.

Document A:

Source: ITN, January 26, 1998

"How Bill Clinton's Presidency was Rocked by the Monica Lewinsky Affair"/Video/Politics and Power/Year of Birth

How Bill Clinton's Presidency was Rocked by the Monica Lewinsky Affair

Historical Context: The Monica Lewinsky Scandal in 1998 during Bill Clinton's presidency relates to the United States 1990's boom in which the American economy recovered from a recession, internet began to evolve, and Clinton hoped to reform the healthcare system. This particular incident was a downfall in Clinton's public appeal, representing the debate over his presidential stance and possible persecutions of perjury and obstruction of justice.

Intended Audience: The intended audience of the Monica Lewinsky affair video was for the people of the United States. The intent was to make the public aware of the President's severe, and sinful actions, not only by having an affair but by willingly telling an untruth to the public.

Reflection: The source reflects Politics and Power by expressing how political values for the president affected American ideals and leading to ideological clashes. Clinton's public denial took a serious tole on Americans and this influenced his impeachment as president. Historians might find this source significant in the future because it was a very important issue that occurred in 1998 and many people might find this video useful in order to understand the affects of such actions.

Document B:

Source: 90s411, 1998

"The Late 1990's Y2K Panic - Get Your Beef Jerky Ready"/Political Cartoon/Work, Exchange and Technology/Year after Birth

The Late 1990's Y2K Panic - Get Your Beef Jerky Ready

Historical Context: The Y2K panic relates to the Year 2000 Problem period because it brought a lot of attention to digital and non digital documentation along with other data storage situations as a result of changing the year 1999 to 2000. Clinton spent much time before December of 1999 attempting to fix computer systems before time ran out. Many feared that when the clock struck midnight in the year 2000, many computers would be affected by using the incorrect date and potentially have widespread chaos.

Purpose: The purpose for The Late 1990's Y2K panic political cartoon was to show how the change in the year of 2000 would supposedly lead to computer and hardware failures and thus fail to operate.

Reflection: The source reflects Work, Exchange, and Technology because it expresses how changes in technology influenced society. This Y2k problem caused business and government technology teams to attempt to check software and fix systems before December 1999. President Bill Clinton signed the Year 200 Information and Readiness Disclosures Act as well. As a result, an estimated 300 billion was spent to upgrade computers and applicant programs to be Y2K-compliant.

Document C:

Source: New York City Fireman Ronald T. Coyne, September 2001

"A Fireman's Story"/Letter/America in the World/Year after Birth

A Fireman's Story

"At 0900 hours, my Partner Trihn Dihn (trin-din) had just come out of Kings County Hospital. I could hear screaming coming over the radio for back up units forthwith. As soon as I made our unit available, we heard the dispatcher tell us to switch to citywide frequency and report to the World Trade Center. I heard on the radio that there was some sort of plane accident, which would not have been the first I have ever done...

There were some police officers and I breaking windows to check for children or unconscious adults. That's when I hear this loud clap of thunder. I saw a tidal wave of cement and smoke coming directly towards me. All I could do was run as fast as I could. I kept repeating to my self Psalm 23; “The Lord is my Shepherd: I shall not want, He maketh me lie down in green pastures; He leadeth me beside the still waters.”

Historical Context: The Fireman's Story relates to this time period of 2001 because it was during the time in which the US became the target for terrorist attacks from Al-Qaeda. The US and Al-Qaeda have been an ongoing battle years before the terrorist attack of 9/11 occurred. Between 1991 and 2001, 74 terrorist incidents were recorded in the United States.

Intended Audience: The intended audience was for the general public. The document was created to help others understand the attack from first hand accounts, allow others to relate to the tragic incident whom of which may have also experienced it them self or know of others who have, and to possibly gain sympathy towards those who have suffered.

Reflection: The source reflects America in the World because it explains how US military involvement in the developing world and terrorism have changed US foreign policy goals. In this case, Al-Qaeda did not have the capacity to destroy the entire US military, so they decided to chose symbolic targets: the Twin Towers. As a result, the US have built a 9/11 memorial and 9/11 memorial museum to honor the victims. In addition, the US made goals to create better national security. An example is evident through airline security in which there are certain restrictions  to what items can be brought in. The US also made plans to defeat the leader Osama Bin Laden, which successfully occurred in 2011. Historians might find this source significant because it can be used as a primary source since it describes a first hand account of the incident 9/11.

Document D:

Source: Adam Nagourney, November 4, 2008

"Obama Wins Election; McCain Loses as Bush Legacy is Rejected"/Periodical: Journal/Politics and Power/Middle School

Obama Wins Election; McCain Loses as Bush Legacy is Rejected

Barack Hussein Obama was elected the 44th president of the United States on Tuesday, sweeping away the last racial barrier in American politics with ease as the country chose him as its first black chief executive.

Mr. Obama’s election amounted to a national catharsis — a repudiation of a historically unpopular Republican president and his economic and foreign policies, and an embrace of Mr. Obama’s call for a change in the direction and the tone of the country. But it was just as much a strikingly symbolic moment in the evolution of the nation’s fraught racial history, a breakthrough that would have seemed unthinkable just two years ago.

Historical Context: The 2006 mid-term elections set the stage for the 2008 presidential election. The "war on terror" in Iraq, Bush's poor job approval ratings, economic unease, high gas prices, and more had caused Republicans to lose their advantage. On the other hand, the primaries showed that voter turnout was in the case for Democrats, breaking all records. In addition, Obama's desire for change and the influence of race along with redefining American politics had drastically influenced his  win.

Point of View: The point of view of Adam Nagourney, the creator of "Obama Wins Election; McCain Loses as Bush Legacy is Rejected" article is a supporter of Barack Obama during the 2008 presidential election.

Reflection: The source reflects Politics and Power because it expresses how political values have changed over time. This election marked a significant turning point in history, marking Barack Obama as the first black president of the United States. This moment was a national breakthrough in racial history, one of which will be remembered for the rest of time. Historians might find this source significant when looking up information about this historical event. Future historians can look back and fully understand the results of the election and how far we've come in history.

Document E:

Source: CBS News, May 2, 2011

"Osama Bin Laden is Dead"/Periodical: Journal/America in the World/Middle School

Osama Bin Laden is Dead

WASHINGTON - Osama bin Laden, the face of global terrorism and architect of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, was killed in a firefight with elite American forces Monday, then quickly buried at sea in a stunning finale to a furtive decade on the run.

Long believed to be hiding in caves, bin Laden was tracked down in a costly, custom-built hideout not far from a Pakistani military academy.

"Justice has been done," President Barack Obama said in a dramatic announcement at the White House while a crowd cheered outside and hundreds more gathered at ground zero in Manhattan to celebrate the news.

The military operation took mere minutes.

U.S. helicopters ferrying elite counter-terrorism troops into the compound identified by the CIA as bin Laden's hideout -- and back out again in less than 40 minutes. Bin Laden was shot in the head, officials said, after he and his bodyguards resisted the assault.

Historical Context: After 9/11, President Bush made it a mission to track down Osama Bin Laden. In 2005, the CIA announced that they have attempted to track Bin Laden for over a decade and have continued to make it a high priority. Following that in Barack Obama's 2008 presidential debate, he stated, "We will kill Bin Laden; we will crush Al-Qaeda." The terrorist attack caused the US government to make the death of Osama Bin Laden the biggest national security priority.

Purpose: The purpose of the "Osama Bin Laden is Dead" article was to inform the public of the the current status regarding the mission of killing Osama Bin Laden. This moment brought psychological triumph to Americans from the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.

Reflection: The source reflects America in the World because it focuses on the issue of terrorism and how it changed US foreign policy goals. The killing of Osama Bin Laden was a major goal for US military following the event of 9/11. Once the operation was successful, America felt a sense of relief and victory. The US government still continues to be more cautious when dealing with any terror threats and have overall created better national security since then. Historians might find this source significant because it describes the death of a global terrorist leader Osama Bin Laden, marking a significant turning point in history. Others who might be doing research on this event might find this source useful.

Document F:

Source: Justin Louis, November 1, 2012

"A Sandy Survivor Leaves A Heartbreaking Goodbye Note at the Jersey Shore [Interview]"/Note/Work, Exchange and Technology/High School

A Sandy Survivor Leaves A Heartbreaking Goodbye Note at the Jersey Shore

"Who ever reads this I’m DIEING – I’m 28 yrs old my name is Mike. I had to break in to your house. I took blankets off the couch. I have hypothermia. I didn’t take any thing. A wave thru me our of my house down the block. I don’t think I’m going to make it. The water outside is 10ft deep at least. There’s no res[c]ue. Tell my dad I love him and I tryed get[t]ing out. His number is ###-###-#### his name is Tony. I hope u can read this I’m in the dark. I took a black jacket too. Goodbye. God all mighty help me."

Historical Context: The origin of Hurricane Sandy began when it first developed as a tropical wave on October 19th, 2012. It quickly intensified, becoming a tropical depression and then a tropical storm within six hours. Sandy tore through the Caribbean, made its way in Jamaica, hit Cuba, swept across the Bahamas, and lastly toward the US East Coast.

Purpose: The purpose of the goodbye note of the Sandy survivor, Mike, was to inform someone of his current status being swept across the waves during Hurricane Sandy. This natural disaster affected him greatly, even to the point of believing his death was near. Mike wanted to tell his father his goodbyes before all hope was lost.

Reflection: The source reflects Work, Exchange and Technology because this natural disaster has changed the role of federal government in regulating economic life. Following the after math, Sandy became the nation's most expensive storm since Hurricane Katrina, causing $128 billion in damage. The government wants to prevent future disasters from storms by having electrical transformers in commercial buildings hauled to upper floors, the ability to shutter upper tunnels, airports and subways, and more.

Document G:

Source: Park Jae-Sang, July 15, 2012

"PSY- GANGNAM STYLE"/Music/Culture/High School

Historical Context: Previously, cultural breakthroughs began in the 1970's with comedian Bob Hope, gaining 60% of television audience. In 1980, a record was broken after the finale of M*A*S*H, gaining 77% of television audience. In more modern times, Rebecca's Black Friday video became the most viral hit of 2011, viewed 160 million times. Many YouTube hits such as the Old Spice commercials, the double rainbow guy, and more had become popular but eventually lost its spark. Gangnam Style, however, became the nations most viral music sensation of 2012, with more than 1 billion views and counting.

Purpose: Korean Singer Psy created the song Gangnam Style with subversive message about South Korea's culture of conspicuous consumption and growing economic equality. In the process, Psy gained fame as Gangnam Style became a world phenomenon in the United States as the most viewed YouTube video.

Reflection: The source reflects Culture because Gangnam Style has affected American society in 2012. This music video was admired for its catchy beat and amusing dance moves, has been performed at various places around the world, was recognized by the Guinness World Records, won Best Video at the MTV Europe Music Awards and became a source of parodies for many organizations. President Barack Obama even cited the success of the Gangnam Style and how people around the world are being swept up by the Korean Wave of culture. Historians might find this source significant when comparing the history of popular culture and analyzing the change in US overtime. This was the first time in history that YouTube reached over 1 billion views, proving a worldwide sensation that occurred in 2012.

Document H:

Source: The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, April 2 2015

"Evolution of Mom Dancing Part 2"/Video/Culture/Current Year 2015

Historical Context: Childhood obesity rates in America have tripled over the past 3 decades. Statistics show that one third of all children born in 2000 or later will suffer from diabetes or other chronic related obesity health problems. The "Let's Move!" Campaign, founded by First Lady Michelle Obama, was created to raise a healthier generation of kids. This movement, created in 2010, hopes to prevent childhood obesity by eating healthy, getting active, and taking action. This year, "Let's Move!" celebrates its 5 year anniversary.

Intended Audience: The intended audience of "Evolution of Mom Dancing Part 2" was towards many parents of children along with the children themselves. The intent was to celebrate the fifth year anniversary of the "Let's Move!" Campaign and to continue to promote the need to be active and have a healthier living.

Reflection: The source reflects Culture by showing us how popular culture has impacted American politics and society in 2015. The popular late night talk show hosted by Jimmy Fallon invited First Lady Michelle Obama to partake in the "Evolution of Mom Dancing" routine. As a result, this event promoted the need for children to get active along with having parent support.  Historians would find this source significant because it is a representation of Michelle Obama's active role in society and what she has done to influence the need for change regarding childhood obesity.

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