My commemorative Hallmark book (for age 50) is divided into sections and I’m using each section to prompt me and anchor a post. (I was born in 1962.) When I was born, IN THE NEWS:
Senator John F. Kennedy, a World War II hero from a large Irish-Catholic family, became the 35th President of the United States.
~ After tens of thousands of East German refugees fled to West Berlin to escape communist rule, the German Democratic Republic erected a wire fence to divide East Berlin from West. This simple fence would later become the 11-foot concrete barrier known as the Berlin Wall.
~ In Alabama, racial violence raged: Freedom Riders were savagely beaten by white mobs in Birmingham, and martial law was declared in Montgomery after a crowd of both adults and children began throwing stones through windows of a church where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was speaking.
~ Fear of nuclear annihilation almost became fact for thirteen very tense days as superpower leaders President John F. Kennedy and Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev negotiated the Cuban Missile Crisis.
I have seen clips of Kennedy’s speech at the Berlin Wall, Ich bin ein Berliner, in 1963. I took this opportunity to watch a longer clip of his visit to Germany. Knowing that this is one of the last times that citizens of another country cheered unreservedly for a United States President is sad. That Donald Trump has “inherited” this lineage is shameful. That he was immediately preceded by President Obama is educational. Many Americans still find “the other” threatening and that other is anyone who isn’t white and conservative. I only hope that we manage to weather this backlash while waiting for the majority of Americans to literally pass beyond it. When Americans become “actual Americans” again, I think the only viable divisions will be Native Americans and all others. All other Americans are, after all, immigrants … Native Americans and Immigrant Americans!