Moments of Impact: Ten Days that altered the Twentieth Century 

The concept of a moment of impact can relate to how the past alters the future. One choice of an individual, or a group of people, can alter the future for decades to come. And these actions over a century in time, influence social change. The twentieth century is a great example of constant change. One day, one event, one moment of impact altered this century to feel happiness and achievement, and to feel sadness and weakness. These ten photographs showcase ten decades of moments that defined the future, as people fought, people died and people rebuilt. Technology boomed and exploded, while discoveries occurred and inventions were made. War raged throughout the whole century from one place to another and yet peace always found a way back in. And while millions of people died, millions were born. This century saw an explosion of power, intelligence, and success, which shaped the twenty-first century that was to follow. 

1900s Guglielmo Marconi had an interest in experimenting with wireless telegraphy. Marconi discovered a way to set up an antenna on Signal Hill in St. Johns to send signals to ships at sea. He gained success on December 12th, 1901 when the first signal was received from 1700 miles away. His creation allowed for transatlantic communication across to Europe. This would alter the way news and information would spread across the world.
1910s This photo was taken on August 3rd, 1914 of a crowd at Buckingham Palace awaiting the news of war. On August 4th, 1914, Britain declared war on Germany and began their fight in World War I. Britain had to protect its land and the English Channel. And so they entered the war as a sea power and in doing so they protected the North Sea from the Germans allowing trade to continue between countries and providing a mass army to fight with.
1920s This decade brought on immense change for societies everywhere. People began to live more urban lives and for the young a new culture was born. Political changes for women continued to happen and they gained more of a voice in many places. A consumer society became a popular way of life, which provided products for everyone anywhere to buy. By the end of the twenties people were accustomed to this new way of life. So when the stock market crashed on October 28th, 1929, the world was sent into a Great Depression which no one was prepared for.
1930s On January 30th, 1933, Adolf Hitler became the new Chancellor of a coalition government. At this time the Nazis gained a third of the government seats in the Reichstag. However by March the Enabling Act was passed and Hitler gained legislative power. This gave him the power to abolish all other parties and so the Nazi’s became the ruling government. These events lead to the future of Germany going to war and caused the mass killings of over 11 million Jewish people during the Holocaust and an estimated 60 million people in total during the battle of World War II.
1940s On December 7th, 1941 the Japanese bombed the American naval base at Pearl Harbor which was located near Honolulu, Hawaii. They attacked unexpectedly in the morning and killed over 2000 men and injured a 1000 more. The bombing almost destroyed 20 navy vessels and 300 airplanes. President Roosevelt declared war on Japan on December 8th, 1941. And so within three days the Japanese allies Germany and Italy declared war back. The Americans entered World War II on this day
1950s In 1953, James Watson, Francis Crick, Maurice Wilkins, and Rosalind Franklin worked together to discover DNA and its defining make-up. The use of new technology, findings and experiments led to the discovery of DNA's structure. The importance of discovering this would lead to the ability to genetically modify DNA to gain new products, and create a new world of medicine.
1960s Martin Luther King was a civil rights activist and a minister. He started to lead others in the pursuit of civil rights in 1955 during the bus boycotting walk. By August 28, 1963, he had gained a following for his activism. On this day, he made his speech, “I have a Dream,” and 200,000 people marched to Lincoln Memorial in Washington to support him. In 1964 a civil rights act was passed. Luther was killed by a sniper on April 4th, 1968. He is still to this day one of most widely known leaders of his time.
1970s In 1976, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak founded the Apply Company. This photo here shows Steve Jobs sitting with the Apple II which was sold in 1977. It was one of the first computer systems to be sold as a home based computer for anyone to use. It was in this decade that Apple was the first leader to personalize computers. Apple today still leads in the innovation of its products across the world and has continued to promote its personalized uses.
1980s After World War II ended Germany was split between the Soviet Union and the other Allies. As tension built the Soviets attempted to gain more of German land but were unsuccessful. By the end of the 1950's, people left the East for the West to flee the Soviets. In order to stop this from happening, the wall was built. It controlled the border and only provided three checkpoints to cross at. On November 9th, 1989, the GDR decided that the people of both East and West Germany could freely cross the wall.
1990s The Cold War began to end on December 8, 1987 when the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty was signed in Washington by President Ronald Reagan and Soviet Leader Mikhail Gorbachev. This would mark the end of an era that some generations were born into. The Cold War lasted from 1947 until 1991. It created the atomic age, and the race for space. It would be marked by the fall of the Berlin Wall and the change of the Soviet Unions government to a non-communist one.
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