January Events that Shaped America

Sat, 01/14/2017 - 4:23pm -- jrusnak

January is a month of new beginnings. Where those who try to better themselves will head to the gym or try and eat better. Finding which path to take can be difficult. My Grandfather used to say, "You may not know where you are going but you should always known where you have been." With America stepping into the new year and so much on its horizon, lets take a look back to see what other events in January took place that shaped this great Nation


Betsy Ross and the making of America 

by Marla Miller

Born January 1, 1752, Betsy Ross would go on to create a flag for General Washington and the continental army. The rest, as they say, is history.

Rise of the Rocket Girls : the Women Who Propelled Us, From Missiles to the Moon to Mars 

by Nathalia Holt

On January 5, 1972 President Nixon Signs a bill to build and test NASA Space Shuttles. But before that there was the Jet Propulsion Lab and the “Rocket Girls”. 

    During World War II, when the newly minted Jet Propulsion Laboratory needed quick-thinking mathematicians to calculate jet velocities and plot missile trajectories, they recruited an elite group of young women--known as human computers--who, with only pencil, paper, and mathematical prowess, transformed rocket design and helped bring about America's first ballistic missiles. But they were never interested in developing weapons--their hearts lay in the dream of space exploration. So when JPL became part of a new agency called NASA, the computers worked on the first probes to the moon, Venus, Mars, and beyond.



The Battle of New Orleans

 by Robert Remini

The War of 1812, sometimes known as the second war of independence was from a tactical standpoint a disaster for the fledgling American Country. That is until a man names Andrew Jackson stood his ground in New Orleans on January 8, 1815 against a large British force and was victorious.

Careless Love : the Unmaking of Elvis Presley 

by Peter Guralnick

Born January 8, 1935 in Tupelo, Mississippi, Elvis Presley is born. He would go on to change the face of music here domestically and internationally.


Alexander Hamilton 

by Ron Chernow

Born in Nevis January 11, 1755, Hamilton would be influential in the founding of America. This biography is a New York Times Bestseller, and the inspiration for the hit Broadway musical Hamilton! Chernow tells the riveting story of a man who overcame all odds to shape, inspire, and scandalize the newborn America.


The Age of Gold : the California Gold Rush and the New American Dream

by H.W. Brands

On January 24, 1848 a carpenter named James Marshall found gold flakes in the American River while working at Sutter’s sawmill. Word would spread quickly and soon hundreds of thousands of people would make the journey to California to try and strike it rich, permanently transforming the territory, and quickening its rise to statehood.


American Caesar, Douglas MacArthur, 1880-1964

by William Manchester

January 26, 1880, the future general, Douglas MacArthur is born on a military base in Arkansas. He would go on to become the Allied general in charge of Pacific operations during World War II. Manchester’s wonderful biography of the man gives insight into the life and times of this great general.


Jackie Robinson : a Biography

 by Arnold Rampersad

Born January 31, 1919 Jackie Robinson would become the first African American to play the professional sport of Major League Baseball. His career with the Dodgers was in a time where racial tension was high but would prove beneficial not only to the game of baseball but to American society.





by Jean Edward Smith

The January 1, 1942 signing of the Declaration of United Nations, The late January meeting with Churchill in Casablanca, and his unprecedented fourth Inauguration on January 20, 1945, are just some of the things that FDR has done in the month of January. But it really all begins on January 30, 1882 when he was born in Hyde Park, New York. He would accomplish much in his life, so much so that historians will rank him as one of the three greatest Presidents along with Washington and Lincoln.