‘America Faces Its Most Momentous Year’

At the close of 1916, George MacAdam predicted that 1917 would be the most important year in American history. Although historians differ on precisely what was the most important year in American history, virtually nobody selects 1917.

Among the most common selections are:

  • 1776, when the Declaration of Independence was signed
  • 1789, when the Constitution and Bill of Rights were were ratified
  • 1861, when the Civil War started
  • 1865, when the Civil War ended, the slaves were freed, and Lincoln was assassinated
  • 1941, when Pearl Harbor was attacked and the U.S. entered World War II
  • 1945, when World War II ended and the U.S. became the first and only country to deploy nuclear weapons
  • 1968, when a bunch of crazy stuff happened
  • 1991, when the Soviet Union collapsed and the U.S. became the world’s one true superpower
  • 2001, when the September 11 attacks occurred

“America Faces Its Most Momentous Year”: President of Princeton University Says Crisis of the Present Day Is Greater Than That of the Revolution or the Civil War

From December 31, 1916

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