WELCOME!!!

WELCOME!!!

Tuesday, January 20

Today in History

I have spent most of the day watching the Presidential Inauguration of President Barak Obama. As I did so, I heard many trivia facts about previous Presidents and their wives. Since I am a history buff, I have enjoyed today immensely.

There's been a few times in my life when I've seen history in the making. When I was in grade eight, our principal announced one November day that President John F. Kennedy had been shot. Our classroom was silent as we awaited news of the President's condition. When the news finally came, it was as bad as it can get... President Kennedy was dead. Even though we were Canadian kids, we were all in shock. We probably knew more about President Kennedy than we did about our own Prime Minister.

In the decade of the 60s, there were two other assasinations...those of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy. Again, the shocks reverberated around the world. Then in 1969, the first landing of man on the moon. I sat in our living room with my six month old daughter on my lap and watched as Neil Armstrong said, That's one small leap for man, one giant step for mankind.


There have been other historical happenings that I've witnessed since then, but none have been quite so glorious as today, when the first African American President was sworn into office. Yes, Barak Obama is now the President of the United States of America. This is a day I never dreamed would happen in my lifetime, but I'm glad it did. What giant steps have been taken in my lifetime. Steps that, as a teen, I thought I would never see.

Let me step back in time for a moment. When I was six years old, my parents took me and my siblings to Niagara Falls. It's the furthest we'd ever been from home. We'd been raised to treat all people with respect and dignity. My father was adamant that all people were created equal and he was the first one to stick up for anyone who wasn't being treated well. Dad taught us right from wrong from the time we were babies, as did Mom.

On this particular trip, my mother took me and my sister to the bathroom near the falls. As we entered, I noticed a sign on the outside of the building that said, Whites Only. Though I was young, I sensed something horribly wrong. Why would only white people be allowed in a bathroom? Then, upon entering, there was an African American woman cleaning the floor. This confused me even more. Why, if whites were the only people allowed in the bathroom, was this lady doing the cleaning? I asked my mother and all she did was hush me and tell me we'd talk about it later.

Through the years, many things happened that shouldn't have happened. I begin to study Black history, including slavery and the Underground Railroad, so much so that it became a passion for me. I dug deep into the history books and have learned a lot from what I've read. I've watched movies and documentaries on the issue of slavery. Once in Niagara Falls, New York, we unknowningly walked into a black restaurant. I couldn't figure out what was wrong with that, as I saw no difference between these people and myself except for the color of their skin.

Through all of this, I never thought that there would ever be an African American President elected during my lifetime. It seemed to be so far away. But we never know what God has planned and in November 2008, Barak Obama was elected as President of the United States...a historic moment in time. Today, I was able to once again watch history in the making as I watched Barak Obama being sworn in as President, his wife, Michelle, holding the Lincoln Bible. I am so glad that I lived to see this historical event and that, as young boys, Brandon and Jordan were able to also witness it also.

President Obama has a tough row to hoe. He has become President at a time when his country is at war and in a deep economic crisis. Please join me in praying that God will guide him along the path that he must lead. History was made today. ~Blessings, Mary~

21 comments:

  1. Powerful post... and Praying hard for our new President and country.

    Love, Jess

    ReplyDelete
  2. mary...lovely post. My prayers are lifted for our country and the courageous men who we know as our leaders!

    ~AirmanMom returning to her blog...

    ReplyDelete
  3. thank you for the memories- I too was- in grade 8 and we had just bought our very first tv and our school gave us days off to witness the history-- I too have studied the history and remember the white only signs - sigh- it was a wonderful day for history- I had to miss some of it today as I had appointment in the city but I was able to listen to his vows on the radio- what a nice way to honor today- hugs from Meme from sunny Alberta

    ReplyDelete
  4. Our president, his family, our country are certainly all in my prayers. The President (wow! how awesome that is!) does indeed have a tough job but I have faith & hope!

    ReplyDelete
  5. He will need much prayer - and one of those for me is that he doesn't keep all of his promises!

    I lived in Arkansas when Governor Faubus was in office - I remember distinctly the day that the brave girl integrated the school in Little Rock. An amazing moment in history. Watching the series "Roots" was so shattering to me.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I enjoyed your thoughts and memories too.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Very nice post. I will praying for the new President. He has a hard job when so many things are wrong it our country. I hope he can keep some of his promises.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Great post Mary! I'm older than you and raised in the south. I've seen the white only signs. And knew the blacks sat in the balcony of the only theater in town and the whites sat on the first floor. The whites used the front door of some establishments and the blacks used the back door. We had different schools all my school years. The bus picked up the white children on my road at their front door. The black children on our road had to walk to the end of the road out to the highway to catch a bus that took them to their school. In the summer we all worked at the tobacco barns together, but there were two water buckets and dippers... one for the whites and one for the blacks. I remember us talking about what we wanted to do when we grew up. I remember one of the black girls saying she would like to work in an office, and I thought, but you can't. Now I have lived long enough to see more black people working in offices, in post offices, and anywhere else whites are employed. And today we have a black president. You can just tell by watching the people today how much that means. At last, every child can believe they can do anything.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Although your president has curly hair, a darker skin and lips showing he smokes by going 'blue', what I have heard from his speech I can assure you- from my daily surroundings- your president does not have the reasoning and behaviour of an African. As someone far on the outside I can see he I an American.

    What 'lucky' children to have you as a grandparent.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thank you neighbors to the North! We are proud and hopeful for our new President...it was with tears and pride that I watched the Inaguration today. We must be about the smae age as I witnessed those same moments in history and also felt much confusion about them. Here's hoping a new day has truly dawned...

    ReplyDelete
  11. What a beautiful post Mary. Thanks so much for sharing about your childhood. My Mom and I were just talking yesterday about the day John F. Kennedy was shot, how old she was, where she was. We also talked about mans first step on the moon.

    I told my son on the way to the bus stop this morning to remember what he did today because one day he would look back when his children ask him about it and want to know what he was doing.

    ReplyDelete
  12. What a day we all had here in America and around the world. It's funny, I KNOW the man and his wife are 'of color'....but I've NEVER thought of it as so significant.

    I was brought up to respect people for just that...who they are, not WHAT they are by color, creed, race, religion...I've had good friends that are Mexican, black, and even walked to school with Pamela Isaacs...Pakistani. I never once thought of them as 'different'. I just wish people would refer to all races as HUMAN beings. I got irritated at the references to 'black' and African American yesterday. I hope his presidency will turn the people around as see him and his wife as AMERICAN instead of by color. It's time.

    Very strong and wonderful post Mary.

    ReplyDelete
  13. We Boomers can look back on a lot of significant history. Hopefully we will remain optimistic for the future and encourage the generations behind us to make wise choices.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Great post Mary about a truly historic moment in time. I was mesmerized by the events yesterday -watching the inauguration and crying through much of it -happy tears really, but in awe of everything this procedure, the words and the music mean to me. I remember exactly where I was when President Kennedy was shot, as well as Dr. King, Bobby Kennedy and the Moon landing too! But would you believe although I worked in Washington, D.C. for 8 years, and during that time, there were two inaugurations -Johnson and Nixon -I have no memory of them at all! Wonder why that is since I was there, working in the city at that time?

    ReplyDelete
  15. A nice personal posting. We lost to assassination others besides the Kennedy's and Dr. King in the decade of the sixties. Two other heros to some who also died were Malcolm X in 1965 and Che Guevara in 1967. It was a decade with a promise for change that had it's leadership killed off.

    Canadians thought of JFK as our president too.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Your beautiful post has brought tears to my eyes once again. So many tears the last couple of days for this incredible historic moment. So much hope and so many prayers for our new President and his family and for the change we so desperately need.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I agree with you, although I am not a USA resident we all need to pray for our leaders. I'm so glad your parents taught you that we are all created equal, such an important thing to remember about all mankind.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Thank you for this post. We were watching a movie recently that took place prior to the 60s. I can't even remember the title but it was a sports one. It showed the white and black water fountains. It was a chance to inform the grands about what that meant. All prejudice makes me sad. God created us all.
    Thanks Mary

    ReplyDelete
  19. My memories are much the same as yours. I can remember the whites only signs, but mostly I remember the blacks in the back and the whites in the front of the bus. We only had one car when I was a child and my mother and I would ride the bus to get to places. I could never understand why I we had to stand up front when there were seats in the back. I also remember the seperate bathrooms. It is all so sad to look back on now how people have been treated. I just hope that President Obama is able to fulfill all of the changes he hopes to bring to our country. We sure need a breath of fresh air.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I have never watched an Inauguration in my life but I did yesterday! There's just something about Obama that makes me believe he has a lot of integrity and I really do think that he will be a good President. He and his wife both seem so down to earth and have a love of people, it was so obvious yesterday.

    Growing up I never did see any white or black signs but if I had, I can tell you right now it would have really upset me! My parents always taught us that we were all equals, no matter what colour our skin was. In fact, my mom's best friend while growing up in the 40's and 50's was a black girl and mom use to fight for her when others would be mean to that girl! lol I'm sure I would have done the same:-)

    Yes, history was made yesterday and I'm so thrilled that I was able to watch it all!! xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  21. I enjoyed your reflections about this truly historical day.

    ReplyDelete