Which events of the past 50 years will be remembered in 100 years?

Inspired by the McKinley assassination thread and some talks with frienda about JFK, MLK, & RFK’s assassinations. I think all three of them will be minor memories in 100 years, more like McKinley & Garfield’s than Lincoln’s assassinations.

So what will be remembered?

I can’t get behind that - it seems like every town in America has a school named after JFK and a street named after MLK. Their accomplishments are easy to articulate and point out, and idle speculation on what they could have accomplished is easy to ponder. Not so for McKinley.

Moved Cafe Society --> IMHO.

The moon landing in 1969 and the Sept 11 2001 WTC attack, certainly.

The manned Moon landings.

<edit> Bah, ninjaed!

Martin Luther King, yes, he was a figure of genuine historical significance.

John Kennedy? Not so much, in my opinion. A really charismatic guy but there wasn’t a lot of substance underneath. He deserves credit for handling the Cuban Missile Crisis well but after that it’s a short list.

The fall of the Berlin Wall.

The oil crisis of 1973.

The Kyoto protocol and the ensuing failures.

The GATT and WTO accords.

The rise of China as a superpower.

The development of the Internet.

Corporations becoming increasingly independent of nation-states.

The Arab spring

For comparison, how many events can you remember between 1860 and 1910? I suspect most people’s lists goes something like:

  • American Civil War
  • Abraham Lincoln is assassinated
  • Uh…

OK, not that bad, but I looked on wikipedia, and there were things that I knew happened, but could have told you whether it was before or after 1850, so I didn’t think I could count them.

I think “cold war” and “first people in space/on the moon” are way up there. MLK seems to have a reasonable chance, as he’s already a byword even by people who don’t know anything else about the period.

I’m not sure even 9/11 will be that obvious: can you name the worst terrorist atrocity <i>before</i> 9/11? Will 2060 really be that different, even if you attribute all of the current wars, wars on terror, and anti-Islam sentiment to 9/11?

clinton’s impeachment will be a factoid, but probably not universally known - like andrew johnson’s.

USSR breaking up
iraqi/afghan war(s)

i wonder how many sports figures will be remembered. Jordan? Tiger Woods? Phelps? Bolt?
politicians? putin? QE2? princess di?

I think you’re either giving people not enough credit, or you’re taking this to mean universally known. Very few things will be UNIVERSALLY known, but certainly if you polled reasonably educated people… they would know

seward’s folly
suez canal
bell invents telephone
edison invents light bulb
jim crow
panama canal
custard’s last stand

as well as certain buzzwords like:
teapot dome
druyfess affair
chief joseph

Custer, not Custard.

I don’t know, *was *there one, on anything near the same magnitude as 9/11?

You’re also forgetting just how much a part the media played in making 9/11 so memorable. Every part of it was recorded and broadcast as it was happening, from many many different sources & angles. By professional videographers and just regular people on the street. (Hell, even footage I shot has been used in some documentaries.) And then played over and over and over on TV in the years since. You can’t really compare something like that to events that happened before video.

Only one person has mentioned the breakup of the Soviet Union, but that will be seen as significant as Waterloo. I suspect that will be #1. If the US is going downhill as I think, I think Dubya will be known as the architect of that decline. “If”, I said. The internet, computers, and all that.

You seem to have a big “it was this way in the past so it will work that way in the future” thing which frankly just doesn’t hold up at all. 9/11 won’t be “that obvious?” You kidding me?

The “biggies” will include:

man on the moon in 69
60s “cultural revolution”
fall of USSR
JFK assassination (despite him being a so-so president)
Middle East wars/“conflicts”
current economic crises, which I fear will get worse before they get better and could ultimately have quite a severe impact world-wide

custard’s last stand. pudding has dominated ever since. :wink:

Happily, sports and other media celebs will be little more than a footnote, if that. Which frankly is more than most deserve (and I’m a big sports fan).

I submit Martin Luther King will be remembered 100 years from now. We have a national holiday to observe his birthday, after all. Even if it doesn’t fall on the exact date every year.

end of the Cold War

one thing that is a factor is that there is so much more to know. in 100 years there will be so much more history that lots will be discarded.

in Waterworld there may no longer be books, only verbal stories passed on.

What has happened in China, in the past 50 years? That’s what’ll be remembered.