This term was coined by writer Tom Wolfe in August of '76 to describe the 1970's "self-improvement" movement with books on how to live a "better" life. During this time, the interest in secular spiritual movements (called New Age Movement) such as Trascendental Meditation and eastern religions increased. Also, women sought more fulfillment and better income by surging into the workforce. Family sizes became much smaller and divorce rates doubled.
Jimmy Carter Enters Office as 39th President of the United States
Pres. Carter defeated Ford in the 1976 election. He appealed to the public by being a human rights activist and a "Washington outsider" (meaning he was a candidate that represented people and only the people. He did not represent powerful elites from the corporate or state establishments). He helped ease some public distrust after the Watergate Scandal
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Founding of the Moral Majority
In June of 1979, teleavangelist Jerry Falwell founded the Moral Majority in order to support conservative views. This political organization represents the revival of conservatism and fundamentalism.
Iranian Hostage Crisis
This incident is known as President Carter's greatest foreign policy challenge and one of the reasons why he did not win reelection. In 1979, the United States supported Shah of Iran was overthrown in an Islamic revolution that was lead by Ayatollah Khomeini. Islamic revolutionaries took 52 American hostages from the U.S. Embassy and held them for 444 days. Hostages were released on January 20th, 1981.
Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan
In late 1979, Afghanistan was invaded by the Soviet Union. Because of this, President Carter placed an grain embargo on the Soviet Union and ordered the U.S. boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympics.
Ronald Reagan Enters Office as 40th President of the United States
Ronald Reagan became Presidento on January 20th, 1981. He succeeded President Carter and beat him in the reelection. His success can be attributed to the Iranian Hostage Crisis and the resurgance of conservatism.
NASA launches Space Shuttle Columbia
In 1981, NASA launched the first space-worthy space shuttle: Columbia. It returned 2 days after its launch on April 14th, 1981.
Sandra Day O'Connor Becomes the First Female Justice of the Supreme Court
On July 7th, 1981, President Reagan nominated Sandra Day O'Connor as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court as a replacement for the retiring Potter Stewart. She was supported by Pro-choice groups and opposed by Pro-life groups because they both suspected she would not overturn Roe v. Wade. On September 21st, 1981, she was confirmed by the U.S. Senate with a vote of 99 to 0. September 25th was her first day in office.
President Reagan Implements "Supply-Side" Economics AND Deregulation
Early into his presidency, Reagan made various changes in our country's economy. Also known as "trickle-down" economics, "supply-side" economics cut taxes (espcially for the wealthy and the businesses) in order to encourage investing, cut social spending programs, and increased military spending.
Along with "trickle-down", Reagan also started reducing the government rules set on businesses in order to decrease cost and increase profit.
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"Just Say No"
In 1982, Nancy Reagan visited Longfellow Elementary School in Oakland, California. She was asked by a young school girl what she should do if offered drugs. First lady Nancy Reagan responded, "Just say no." So began her "Just Say No" anti-drug campaign. During this time, crack (a concentrated form of cocaine) significantly contributed to rising crime rates and the decline of cities.
Reagan Doctrine is Announced
On this day, President Reagan announced his new plan to build up the military and aid the opposition to communism. This plan was later called "The Reagan Doctrine." Using this plan, the U.S. gave aid to the Mujahadeen (Afghan rebels) that were fighting Soviet invaders and to the Contras who wanted to overthrow the socialist government of Nicaragua.
Members of Reagan's administration (a major one being Colonel Oliver North) sold weapons to Iran in secret in return for the release of U.S. hostages in the Middle East. Money from such sales were given to the Contras even after Congress had forbidden it.
George H.W. Bush Wins 1988 Election
George H.W. Bush won the 1988 election over Democrat Micheal Dukakis. He called for "compassionate conservatism" and "no new taxes" in his domestic policy. He later agreed to impose new taxes after it became necessary because of the federal budget deficit. This played a part in his failure to be reelected in the 1992 election.
Fall of the Berlin Wall
This is the "official" date of the fall of the Berlin Wall. After peaceful revolutions that overthrew the communist governments of the Soviet satellite states, the Berlin Wall was slowly demolished over a course of weeks.
Operation Desert Storm
The U.S. organized a U.N. coalition with the purpose of expeling Iraq from Kuwait in the Persian Gulf War after Sadamm Hussein, Iraq's dictator, invaded earlier that same year. General Norman Schwarzkopf led the war Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Colin Powell, organized it. Iraq was defeated after 100 hours, Kuwait was liberated, but the U.S stopped short of overthrowing Hussein.
The Internet Becomes Publicly Available
The Internet began as project of the Defense Department in 1969; it's purpose was to allow electronic communication between government agencies, defense contractors, and universities. It was later expanded to allow public access.
Bill Clinton Enters Office as 42nd President of U.S.
Clinton wins the 1992 election over Pres. Bush and an independent candidate. He remains in office until 2001.
Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993
Upon being signed into law by President Clinton on February 5th, 1993, this Act gave workers unpaid leave in order to care for sick family members.
North American Free Trade Agreement
NAFTA is an agreement signed by the Canadian, Mexican, and United States governments that established a trilateral trade bloc in North America. The agreement came into effect on January 1st, 1994.
George W. Bush Elected to Presidential Office
George W. Bush won the 2000 election over Democrat Al Gore and Green Party Ralph Nader. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Bush in Gore v. Bush.
Al Qaida Attacks on World Trade Center and Pentagon
This day will forever live on in infamy. On September 11th, 2001, four planes were hijacked in a terrorist attack on the U.S. Two crashed into the World Trade Center, one crashed into the Pentagon, and one crashed into a Pennsylvania field. These events led to the passing of the Patriot Act and the establishment of the Department of Homeland Security.
Beginning of the Iraq War
Believing Iraq to still be capable to producing "weapons of mass destruction" and not complying with U.N. mandates, President George W. Bush ordered the invasion of Iraq. Sadamm Hussein, dictator of Iraq, was overthrown even though such weapons were not found.