1900

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The Century That Was

As we look back, we see images through a broken mirror. The beauty can be breathtaking, but ugly mosaics of monstrous proportion draw our attention away. I'm willing to praise the praiseworthy and condemn the guilty, but I am not the final judge. Here we go. [1]

  • Thomas Jefferson is President. DuPont's powder mill is a booming success. The US buys the Louisiana Territory and Louis and Clarke set out to discover what Jefferson bought. The USS Philadelphia burns as the long fight with Arab states begins. Napoleon imposes the Napoleonic Code on Europe. He is defeated at Waterloo, but his code remains because it makes too much sense.
  • Mr. Madison starts the War of 1812 over a misunderstanding, so the British make themselves understood by burning down Washington D.C..
  • There is the Panic of 1819, 1825, 1837, 1857, Black Friday, and the First Great Depression. (I think I missed one.)
  • The Missouri Compromise establishes an uncomfortable truce between slave and non-slave states.
  • Religion undergoes a second revolution. The Mormons are persecuted. The Jews are freed. The YMCA brings the Bible to the young working man.
  • Charles Babbage designs the 1st computer. The DC motor, sewing machines, and the raincoat are invented.
  • The Texas Revolution begins. Remember the Alamo.
  • Samuel Colt patents his revolver. (Some assembly required.)
  • There are telegraph wires across the Atlantic... and then... no wires at all.
  • The Supreme Court decides that slaves are not people. Ex-slaves ARE people, but not equal people. Then they are equal people, but only as SEPARATE people. Also, tomatoes are a vegetable. No word yet on whether ex-slaves are tomatoes.
  • In a Trail of Tears, the Indians are forced out of Georgia. Custer is massacred. The Indians are massacred, but they can still join Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show. Tickets on sale now. (Dear God, I wish I was kidding, but its true.)
  • The commercialization of Santa begins. Groundhog Day. Labor Day. Thanksgiving, and just when you thought it couldn't get any worse... here comes the Polka.
  • The California Gold Rush begins.
  • "Uncle Tom's Cabin" portrays slave owners as Christ-killers. The "Christ-killers" get upset. Senator Sumner is beaten with a cane. Abraham Lincoln wins the election. The South secedes from the Union. It's war. Grant wins at Shiloh. Sherman marches through Georgia. He is sick of war. Gettysburg is awash in tears. "Four score and seven years ago..." and then Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrenders. It takes longer for the rest of the South to surrender. Lincoln is shot and a cycle of renewal is cut short. We are lost.
  • Darwin's "Origin of Species" makes a big impact. The Suez Canal is built. The Planet Vulcan is discovered. The safety elevator, escalator and linoleum are invented. So is the Gatling Gun. It is supposed to end all fighting. It certainly does that for anyone standing in front of it.
  • Alaska is going, going... SOLD! It is now a US territory.
  • President Andrew Johnson is impeached for firing one of his cabinet members.
  • The transcontinental railroad is finished. Standard Oil is established. Adolf Coors buys the formula for a Pilsner beer and Budweiser is a hit.
  • Alexander Graham Bell invents the telephone.
  • Mutual Benefit Societies are established.
  • Edison invents the phonograph, the light bulb and he is promoting DC current.
  • P.T. Barnum starts a circus.
  • The 4-stroke engine is introduced. The first automobile is built. Dunlop pneumatic tires, the Bosch ignition system and the Diesel engine are invented.
  • The second scientific revolution begins when it is proven that there is no "ether" carrying light waves along.
  • George Eastman introduces the "Kodak" box camera and roll-up film. The film industry is born.
  • The Plague bacillus is discovered, and heavier-than-air flight is proven impossible.

Now it is a race between the Europeans and the United States to scoop up all the territories from the lesser people... just to help them out, you see. Everyone seems to be walking through dreamland, and it is going to take a "War of the Worlds" event to wake everyone up. It's coming. It's coming.

The entire world is changing... again.

In Other News

  • The Galveston Hurricane hits hard. There are not enough people left to bury the dead so they start cremation. [2]
  • Sigmund Freud publishes "The Interpretation of Dreams". Interpreting dreams can be tricky because "...sometimes a cigar is just a cigar." [3]
  • Max Planck formulates quantum theory. This is the idea that an electron exists within zones of probability. It's complicated. [4]
  • Albert Einstein is working in a patent office. He is also working on his PhD. thesis. [3]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1900, Wikipedia.

See Also

References

  1. Alex Shrugged notes: I am making reference to the New Testament quote from 1 Corinthians, chapter 13, "For now we see through a glass, darkly." I am not a Christian, but it is a great line. I had to use it.
  2. 1900 Galveston hurricane - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  3. 3.0 3.1 Garson O'Toole (November 17, 2016). Sometimes a Cigar Is Just a Cigar. http://quoteinvestigator.com/2011/08/12/just-a-cigar/. Retrieved on November 17, 2016. “Based on the “thirty years” time span indicated by Wheelis the comment by Freud would have been made in 1920. Yet, no evidence for an earlier statement has been uncovered to date. Freud lived from 1856 to 1939. This lack of documentation is particularly odd because of the assertion that the saying was “famous” in 1950.”
  4. Grun, Bernard. The Timetables of History: A Horizontal Linkage of People and Events. Simon and Schuster, 452-453. 

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