25 Defining Images in Baby Boomer History

25 Defining Images in Baby Boomer History
25 Defining Images in Baby Boomer History
As baby boomers begin the next state of their lives, we take a look back at some of the most defining images from their history. Can you recognize these iconic photographs?
"I Have a Dream" speech: Influential civil rights and social leader Martin Luther King, Jr., gave his iconic "I Have a Dream" speech on August 28, 1963, at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. The speech expressed faith in a future America where segregation and racial violence would no longer exist.
LBJ being sworn in as president, with Jackie Kennedy: People around the world were stunned when President John F. Kennedy was shot and killed while he rode in a motorcade in Dallas, TX, on November 22, 1963. Then Vice-President Lyndon B. Johnson had to be sworn in as President of the United States on Air Force One before it left Dallas-Fort Worth, as barely grieving former First Lady Jackie Kennedy stood by his side.
Beatles arrive in America: The classic music of the Beatles and the new songs from surviving members like Sir Paul McCartney are still immensely popular, but when the Beatles arrived in the United States on February 7, 1964, they began what is now known as the British Invasion of pop music. During their trip, the Beatles — whose song "I Want to Hold Your Hand" had already sold over 2 million copies in the U.S. — visited The Ed Sullivan Show twice and performed at Washington Coliseum and Carnegie Hall.
Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr.: Malcolm X was another important leader during the Civil Rights movement, but unlike Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X was a more controversial figure who approved of violent protests in the name of self-defense. This photo was taken on March 26, 1964, in Washington, D.C., when the Civil Rights bill was being debated in the Senate. It was the only day the two men ever met.
Assassination of Robert F. Kennedy: When Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated June 5, 1968, at The Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles after giving a speech during the presidential primaries, Americans were devastated. Even those who did not support Kennedy’s liberal political and social campaigns felt hopeless after half a decade of assassinations, including Robert’s brother John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr., who was assassinated on April 4, 1968.
Neil Armonstrong, first man on the moon: Americans — led by Walter Cronkite — watched as Neil Armstrong became the first human to set foot on the moon, on July 21, 1969. His famous declaration "That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind" was transmitted around the world to 450 million viewers and radio listeners.
Kent State shootings: This Pultizer-Prize winning photo — shot by John Filo — depicts the surprise, horror and chaos at the May 4, 1970 massacre at Kent State University in Kent, OH. Students had gathered to protest President Nixon’s order to invade Cambodia, and the Ohio National Guard opened fire. Four students were killed, and nine were wounded. The students had refused to dissipate, but no students at the protest had been armed.
Nixon’s V for Victory sign: President Richard Nixon is known for his role in the Vietnam War, progressive dealings with China, and major advancements in civil rights, but Watergate is the scandal that destroyed his reputation and legacy. Nixon delivered his famous resignation speech on August 8, 1974, and this V-for-victory sign was given as he left the White House and the office of the presidency.
Evacuation of Saigon: On April 30, 1975, the North Vietnamese captured South Vietnamese capital Saigon. Earlier that month, two evacuations of Vietnamese children and refugees were organized by President Gerald Ford, as well as regular evacuations of Americans and other Vietnamese in the area. This photograph was taken during Operation Frequent Wind, the day before the end of the Vietnam War.
Dan White protestors: San Francisco politician and community leader Harvey Milk was also well-known for his major role in promoting gay rights in California and in the United States. He was assassinated on November 27, 1978, by fellow politician Dan White, who was only sentenced to seven and two-thirds years in prison. This photograph shows Milk supporters protesting White’s soft sentencing.
Loss of the Challenger: In the 1980s, the American space program enjoyed major successes, but on January 28, 1986, the Challenger space shuttle exploded just 73 seconds into its flight. Every person on board the spacecraft was killed.
Chernobyl: This picture depicts that nuclear meltdown of the Chernnobyl Nuclear Power Plant in the Ukraine, on April 16, 1986. It is the highest ranked incident on the International Nuclear Event Scale (a seven), and it emitted radioactive explosions and fallout across the region and a radioactive cloud that could be seen all over Europe.
Reagan and Gorbachev talks: During the Cold War, American leaders struggled with their approach of issues involving the Eastern bloc and the Soviet Union, but in the mid-1980s, Ronald Reagan met with Mikhail Gorbachev to discuss nuclear disarmament, signaling a new era in American-Soviet relations.
Tiananmen Square protests: When students and intellectuals protested communism in Beijing in the spring and summer of 1989, the tensions and violence culminated on June 4 and 5. Government tanks rolled over people, and other protesters were shot by soldiers, even if they were running away. The Chinese government still denies that anyone was killed inside the square. The man in the photograph was named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the 20th century.
Fall of the Berlin Wall: When the Berlin Wall began to come down on November 9, 1989, it signaled a dramatic change in the politics and social structure in Eastern Europe. Germans were free to travel between what had been known as East and West Germany, and Soviet power was effectively weakened.
Gulf War: This photograph was taken on Thanksgiving Day, 1990, when President George H.W. Bush visited troops in Saudi Arabia during the Gulf War, against Saddam Hussein. He is accompanied by "Stormin’ Norman" General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, Commander of U.S. Central Command and commander of the Coalition Forces in the Gulf War of 1991.
Oslo Accords: The decades-old conflict between the Arabs and Israelis was temporarily alleviated on September 13, 1993, when President Bill Clinton brought together PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. The Accords set up a Palestinian National Authority and required the withdrawal of Israeli Defense Forces from certain areas of the Gaza Strip and West Bank.
Rwandan genocide: From April to July 1994, the Hutu — one of the largest ethnic groups in Rwanda and Burundi — slaughtered over half a million Rwandans, including children and those who sought refuge at churches and schools.
Oklahoma City: On April 19, 1995, the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City, in what was then regarded as the worst terrorist attack on American soil, and on the second anniversary of the Waco Siege. The official death toll was recorded at 168, including babies, children and three pregnant women.
Columbine High School shootings: When two teenage students at Columbine High School in Littleton, CO, terrorized their school by going on a shooting rampage on April 20, 1999, it was one of the most horrifying tragedies in American history. School shootings were at that time almost nonexistent, but after twelve students and one teacher were killed in the incident, gun control, violence in entertainment, and adolescent psychology became headlines, just as more school shootings occurred over the next decade.
Terrorist attacks, September 11, 2001: Americans were enjoying a time of relative peace and prosperity when members of the terrorist group al-Qaeda, led by Osama bin Laden, hijacked commercial airplanes and crashed into the World Trade Towers and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. Besides being an image that conveys tragedy and loss, this photograph of the smoking New York City skyline introduces the next era of war and conflict between the U.S. and the Middle East.
Steve Jobs and Bill Gates: This photograph portrays two of the most important figures in science, technology and modern culture during the Baby Boomer era. Steve Jobs and Bill Gates invented and developed many of the computers, Internet applications, mobile devices and software that were almost inconceivable when Baby Boomers were born but that now run business, the economy, education, and virtually every other aspect of our now-globalized worlds.
Fall of Saddam Hussein: After President George W. Bush invaded Iraq to find weapons of mass destruction, he was criticized for finding any excuse to go after Saddam Hussein. Regardless of the controversy, the United States helped Iraq form its own governing council and eventual government, without Saddam Hussein. This statue was pulled down on April 9, 2003, and is one of the clearest depictions of Iraqi independence from its terrorist leader.
Bernie Madoff: This U.S. Department of Justice photograph was taken in 2008, the year that signaled the beginning the Great Recession. Madoff was found guilty of securities fraud, money laundering and other federal offenses as he coordinated the largest Ponzi scheme ever, robbing many Americans of their retirement funds and savings. Banks, financial directors and even the government experienced major backlash for the housing crisis, automobile troubles and general economic disaster.
Swearing in of Barack Obama: President Barack Obama became the first African American President in U.S. history when he was sworn in on inauguration day on January 20, 2009.

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