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Recognizing American heritage

Centra is recognizing American heritage during July. Throughout history, cultures from all over the world have brought their own unique cultures and traditions to America, creating a “cultural mosaic.” As a result, America is one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world. To commemorate this month, we’ve gathered a list of people who have influenced American culture, decades that defined our history, and some interesting fun facts!

Influential People

These influential people have impacted America’s culture in a variety of ways:

  • Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962): As First Lady to President Theodore Roosevelt, Roosevelt used her platform to advocate for civil rights and women’s rights. She also held leadership roles in several organizations, including the League of Women Voters and the Women’s Trade Union League.
  • Steve Jobs (1955-2011): Jobs cofounded Apple Inc. and is considered one of the pioneers of technology and the personal computer era.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968): King  was a leader of the civil rights movement. His efforts were fundamental to ending the legal segregation of African Americans in the United States.
  • Walt Disney (1901-1966): Disney was an American motion-picture and television producer as well as a pioneer in the world of animation who created many loveable characters such as Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Pluto, Donald Duck, Goofy, and many more!
  • Maya Angelou (1928-2014): As an American poet, memoirist, scholar, and civil rights activist, Angelou wrote about hardships of womanhood, finding courage in a male-dominated world, and fighting for what’s right.

Defining decades in our history

  • 1770s: Between the Boston Tea Party, “the shot heard ‘round the world,”, the writing of the Declaration of Independence, and the Revolutionary War, the 1770s was a defining decade for America.
  • 1860s: Almost 100 years after the Revolutionary War, the nation saw the election of President Abraham Lincoln, the separation of our nation into North vs. South and Civil War, the freeing of thousands of enslaved African Americans, and the rejoining of the nation.
  • 1920s: In the ‘20s, women gained the right to vote, the Prohibition Era came and went, Congress granted citizenship to indigenous Americans, and the stock market crash of 1929 sparked the beginning of the Great Depression.
  • 1960s: The 1960s was a time of great change once again with the civil rights movement, the tragic assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr., and the entry of the US into the Vietnam War.
  • 2000s: The 2000s were another trying decade for the United States, where we saw the terrorist attacks of 9/11, the formation of the Department of Homeland Security, the Space Shuttle Columbia tragedy, the US entry into the Iraq war, the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, and the Great Recession.

Interesting fun facts!

  • According to the Census Bureau, there are more than 350 languages spoken in the United States!
  • Baseball, “America’s favorite pastime,” was developed in colonial America and became an official organized sport in the 1800s.
  • A few food staples were created in America, including Buffalo wings, Reuben sandwiches, s’mores, and tater tots!
  • The state of Virginia has produced the most presidents, with 13 hailing from the state. Ohio is second with a total of seven presidents coming from this state.
  • The longest-running newspaper in the United States is the Hartford Courant, originally called the Connecticut Courant, which published its first newspaper in 1764.