Monday, September 3, 2012

Happy 100th Birthday Max Dickerman!

So today, September 3rd, 2012 my step-grandfather Max (Mac) Dickerman turns a whopping 100.  That is so incredibly awesome!  To put that in to a bit of perspective, it's time for me to whip out my history teacher hat.  Here's a bit of what has happened since he was born: 
  • He has lived through 25 presidential elections (this November will be # 26).
  • When he was born, William Taft was our nation's 27th president.  Currently, Obama is our 44th.
  • He's lived through 2 World Wars, the Cold War, and the U.S.'s wars in Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq twice.  Not to mention all the other little conflicts where our soldiers have been deployed.
  • When he was born, he was one of about 1.65 billion people on the planet.  Now he's one of over 7 billion.
  • In the U.S. there was about 96 million people when he was born, now there are over 314 million Americans.
  • He saw the Soviet Union both form and cease to exist (1922-1991).
  • 132 new nations have joined the maps of the globe (most had been former colonies or territories held by other nations) by gaining their independence.
  • The 16th through 27th Amendments to the Constitution were enacted, including the following changes:  direct election of Senators, prohibition of alcohol as well as its repeal, two-term limit for Presidents, lowering of the voting age to 18, women getting the right to vote, poll taxes become outlawed, and the federal government being able to collect an income tax.
  • The year he was born saw the U.S. go from 46 to 48 states with the addition of New Mexico and Arizona to the union.  He went almost half of his life (47 years) before the U.S. had 50 states with the additions of Alaska and Hawaii in 1959.
  • He was almost 8 years old when the U.S. heard it's first radio news broadcast (8/31/1920).  He was 15 when the television as we know it was invented by Philo Farnsworth in 1927, but he would have to wait until after World War 2 for the invention to really catch on.
  • He was 65 years old when Apple began selling its Apple II home computers, just in time for his retirement, but he would be 81 before the first web browser, Mosiac, would be released, allowing access to the world wide web.
  • He has seen the betamax, VHS videocassette, laserdisc, HDDVD, tape cassette, 8-track, compact disc, record player and both 5 1/4" and 3 1/2" floppy disks all come and go.
  • He was 60 when the first videogame, Pong, was released, so he's seen the creation (and/or implosion) of every videogame company.
  • The Ford Model T had only been on the roads for four years at the time he was born.
Obviously this list only scratches the surface of all the amazing changes that my grandfather has witnessed in his life.  He's an awesome man that I love very much, and today I salute him.  Happy Birthday Mac!

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