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Looking Back at My Life During My Ninth Decade

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I have experienced much in my lifetime, both personally and universally.  I am grateful to have lived in such an historic time.  Much of the material contained here has been obtained from several sources, such as USA Today, About.com, Infloplease, History.com, and several others.  The decades of my life are as follows:

                                                      

FDR
                                       

                                                                 Franklin D. Roosevelt                                                                                                                                               Wikimedia                                              

1930

Having been born in the 1930s, our family was introduced to the Depression.  However, my father had a government job with the U. S. Customs at the Canadian border, so we did not suffer as so many other families did.  Also, we had a maiden aunt who had a nice job and she liked giving presents to my sister and me, such as buying our Easter outfits.

The school I attended did not have a kindergarten, so I went directly into first grade when I was five years old.  My sister was one year ahead of me.  We walked to school every day because it was just four blocks away, and we walked home for lunch each day which usually consisted of a bowl of oatmeal.

                                                 

Eggs

                                                                     Eggs - Wikimedia

1940s

World War II began during this decade.  I remember ration stamps for meat, butter and other scarce foods.  We collected scrap metal and newspapers for the war effort.  We sometimes gave Savings Stamps for birthday presents.  One of my uncles owned a Butter and Egg business, so we always had real butter and never had to buy that ersatz butter which contained a coloring pill you had to stir into the margarine.  I had seven older cousins who served in the war; they all came home safely.  I entered high school which was an All-girls school, a practice at that time which seemed to work well.  We had to wear a uniform.  I remember it as one of the happiest times of my life.  The atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, bringing a swift end to World War II.

                                                     

Dwight D. Eisenhower

                                                             Dwight D. Eisenhower                                                                                                                                               Wikimedia                           

1950s

I was in college during the 50s; again, I attended an All-girls college.  We rode the bus every day for 45 minutes to get to our college across town.  It was unthinkable at that time to go out of town for one’s college education.  Dwight Eisenhower was President for most of the years of the 50s.  Our family bought our very first television set; it was black and white.  I remember that my parents would invite family members over to watch a boxing match or some other event, and the dining room chairs would be set up in rows in front of the television set in the living room.  Elvis Presley came on the scene during these years.  He and Frank Sinatra, Perry Como, and Bing Crosby were our favorite singers.  In 1954, Brown vs. the Board of Education declared that separate public schools for black and white students were unconstitutional.

                                                    

John F. Kennedy

                                                       John F. Kennedy - Wikimedia

1960s

I was married and had my three children in the 60s.  President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963, a horrible event which had long-standing consequences.  Three years later, Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated also, followed one month later by the assassination of President Kennedy’s brother, Robert Kennedy.  The country was in turmoil during those years.  The country’s involvement in the Vietnam War was opposed by the majority of citizens, particularly the young people.  Plus, a cultural revolution was evolving at this time.  A decay in the social order extended to clothing, music, and sexuality.  The Beatles arrived in America in 1964.  The Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.  Man first set foot on the moon in July 1969.

             

                                                   

Pope John Paul II

                                                        Pope John Paul II - Wikimedia

1970s

In 1971, with the encouragement of my husband, I returned to school part-time to acquire my Master’s Degree and then my Ph.D. Degree.  I started my teaching career in Buffalo Public Schools in 1971.  Our children were well and thriving, and we bought a new home on the shores of Lake Erie which was a great place to raise children.  President Richard Nixon was the first president to be forced to resign because of his abuse of power.  In 1971, the voting age in the United States was lowered from 21 to 18 years of age.  In 1973, Roe vs. Wade legalized abortion in the U.S.  During the same year, the U.S. pulled out of Vietnam.  Pope John Paul II was elected to the Papacy in 1978, the beginning of his 27-year reign.  Email was invented in 1972.  Mass-marketing of the personal computer began in 1977.

                                                        

Prince Charles

                                                               Charles, Prince of Wales                                                                                                                                              Wikimedia

1980s

I received my Ph.D. in 1981 and was promoted to a Supervisory position in Buffalo Public Schools.  In 1982, my husband passed away after a bout with cancer when my three children were still in their teens.  He had fulfilled his plan for me to care for our children financially if anything happened to him.  Advances in technology and globalization were the hallmarks of the 1980s.  Popular actor Ronald Reagan became the President of the United States for eight years during this decade.  The majority of families had Cable Television.  Attempts on the lives of both President Reagan and Pope John Paul II were thwarted.  In 1981, Sandra Day O’Connor was the first woman to be appointed to the Supreme Court.  That same year, Prince Charles of England married Diana Spencer.  In 1985, actor Rock Hudson died of AIDS.  Black Monday occurred in 1987 when the stock markets throughout the world crashed.  The Berlin Wall fell in 1989.  Two of my three children graduated from college during this decade.

                                                    

Nelson Mandela

                                                           Nelson Mandela - Wikimedia

1990s

My oldest daughter was married and had three of her four children during the 90s.  I first became a grandmother in 1993.  I was able to retire from my job in 1995 with a nice pension from Buffalo Public Schools.  In 1999, I published my first book “All the Old Familiar Places - Memories of South Buffalo.”   My youngest child completed her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees during this decade.  A large number of people had personal computers in their homes.  eBay was founded in 1995.  That same year, O.J. Simpson was declared not guilty of murdering his wife and her friend.  The first “Harry Potter” book was released in 1997.  Princess Diana was killed in a car crash in Paris in 1997 when she was 36 years old.  In 1997, Tiger Woods, at age 21, became the first person of color to win the Masters Championship at Augusta, Georgia.  In 1998, President Bill Clinton was impeached and then acquitted of perjury and obstruction of justice.  In 1990, Nelson Mandela was released after serving 27 years in prison. 

                                               

Mark Zuckerberg

                                                        Mark Zuckerberg - Wikimedia

2000s

I began a series of world travels at this time which included England, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and the Holy Land in Israel, as well as a Caribbean Cruise through the Panama Canal.  My youngest daughter was married in 2001.  On September 11, 2001, the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center were attacked along with the Pentagon and United Airlines Flight 93 which crashed in Pennsylvania.  The war in Afghanistan began after the September 11 attacks in 2001.  George W. Bush, the son of President George H. W. Bush, became a two-term president in 2001 after defeating Al Gore in a very close match.  Arnold Schwarzenegger was elected governor of California in 2003.  In 2004, Facebook was launched by Mark Zuckerberg and presently has over 1.65 billion monthly active users.  In 2004, the Boston Red Sox won their first World Series since 1918.  Pope John Paul II passed away in 2005, succeeded by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, and he took the name of Benedict XVI.  In 2005, the costliest hurricane ever, Katrina, wreaked havoc on New Orleans.  In 2005, John Roberts became the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.  In 1908, Fidel Castro retired as Cuba’s head of state and was succeeded by his brother Raul.  In 2008, Barack Obama became the nation’s first African-American president. 

                                                          

Pope Francis

                                                                Pope Francis - Wikimedia

2010-2016

In 2014, I published my second book “Psalms of an 83-year-old Woman” with positive reviews.  I was blessed with two additional grandchildren during this decade, bringing my total to five.  In 2011, I was pronounced cancer-free after undergoing breast surgery.  In 2011, President Obama announced that Osama Bin Laden had been found and killed by US Navy Seals in Abbottabad, Pakistan.  In 2011, Prince William of England married Kate Middleton; the couple met as undergraduates at the University of St. Andrews.  In 2012, Queen Elizabeth marked the 60th anniversary of her accession to the throne of the United Kingdom.  In 2012, Vladimir Putin was re-elected as the Russian president.  That same year, President Barack Obama was elected to a second term.  In 2013, two bombs were exploded at the Boston Marathon, killing 3 people and injuring 264 people.  In 2013, Pope Benedict XVI became the first Pope to resign, citing health issues.  He was succeeded by Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina, who took the name of Pope Francis.  In 2014, The Catholic Church canonized Popes John XXIII and John Paul II.  That same year, President Barack Obama announced the resumption of normal relations between the U.S. and Cuba.  In 2015, Ireland legalized same-sex marriages.  In 2016, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were declared the presumptive candidates for President.  In 2016, a gunman killed 49 people and wounded 53 at a crowded gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

                                                

Hillary Clinton

                                                           Hillary Clinton - Wikimedia

I have loved my life and still maintain a keen interest in the events of the day.  I have confidence in today’s young people who bring a courageous, uplifting attitude toward life which has the potential to turn things in the near future.

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Bibliography

  1. "Decade in Review: 2000-2009." USA Today. 15/06/2016. 15/06/2016 <Web >

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