Sunday, January 1, 2017

Things To Look Forward to in 2017: Anniversary Watch

We seem to only care about anniversaries that end in 5 or 0.  So, what are the big dates that we will be marking this year besides, of course, Canada being 150 (depending on what you count)?

1917: was kind of a big year as US enters WWI, Bolsheviks seize power in Russia, so 100 years! Woot!
1927: All I can think of are the Yankees with Ruth and Gehrig and Murderer's Row
1937: Lots of stuff along the way to WWII, especially with Japan and China.
1942:  Midway, Stalingrad
1947: Cold War is On with Marshall Plan, Truman Doctrine, House UnAmerican Activities Committee and the Blacklist.  The upside: Jackie Robinson's first year with the Dodgers.  So, 70th anniversary of some cool and some un-cool stuff.
1952: First thermonuclear bomb.  Woot!
1957: 60th anniversary of Sputnik, integration of Little Rock high school with Ike calling out the army.
1962: Cuban Missile Crisis with Magneto and the X-Men.
1967: Biafra secedes, becoming key case in my dissertation.  More importantly, Six-Day War ends with Israel having far more territory, creating the Occupied Territories and generating much angina these days.  Given that anniversaries serve as focal points for those who like to engage in violence, fiftieth anniversary of this war is, um, not good. 
1972: Nixon goes to China, but then Watergate, Munich Olympics
1977: Star Wars!  40th anniversary--Ruby colored lightsabers for everyone!
1982: I got my driver's license (same day as first car date!).  Almost as exciting as Falklands/Malavinas war and Israel invading Lebanon. ERA fails ratification--not great, Bob.
1987: heaps of Iran-Contra aftermath.  So, for 30th anniversary, meh.
1992: My first APSA and ISA! 25 years of drinking and talking with political scientists!!!  Formal break up of Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia, making my dissertation super-hip.  NAFTA signed, to be undone in 2017?  Also, Rodney King-related riots.  [Doing modest research for this reminds me that President Bush pardoned the Iran-Contra schmucks.  Not cool.]  Oh, and Clinton/Gore break 12 years of GOP rule.
1997: 20th anniversary of Heaven's Gate mass suicide.  Um, yuck. 
2002: I move to Canada, start working at McGill. Woot!!! 15th anniversary!!  Time flies.
2007: Iraq surge.  My first sabbatical! Woot!
2012: I move to Ottawa, start working at Carleton. Woot! Five years flies by.  

So, heaps of anniversaries this year to track.  Some may serve as positive focal points, some as negative and some are purely opportunities for me to engage in nostalgia.

It will be interesting to see which ones get noticed.  Once again, happy new year!

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