Gratitude · In History · In Life · In Memories · Motivation

C’est La Vie Sunday: Imagine…a Life of 116 Years

Personally, I find human beings to be fascinating. We’re not good or perfect people, but the things we see, the events we make it through, make life hard, yet beautiful & intriguing.

The average life expectancy in the US- for women is 81 years old and for men it is 76 years old. That’s a lot of time. Compared to most other countries, that’s an incredible life. A person can get a lot done & see a lot of things in 81 or 76 years…but can you imagine 116 years?

th (2)For one woman that was just the case: Susannah Mushatt Jones,
born July 6, 1899- the last
American alive that was born in the 1800s. I personally find her story to be absolutely fascinating. Unfortunately she passed away this past Thursday, May 12th. But can you imagine the life in between those two dates? She was born a little more than 30 years after the end of the American Civil War- her parents saw it, one of her grandparents was actually an ex-slave. Think about what she witnessed in her lifetime:

  • The turn of 2 centuries- 1900 & 2000
  • Invention of the first escalator
  • 1st successful radio transmission in 1901
  • Creation of the first teddy bear & crayons…seriously…can you imagine childhood without those?
  • First offshore oil well drilled
  • The invention & successful (yet short) flight of the first airplane
  • Albert Einstein’s publication of the Theory of Relativity
  • Panama Canal was constructed
  • The Model T was invented
  • 1st Talking Motion Picture by Thomas Edison
  • The sinking of the Titanic
  • Bras were invented (Praise the Lord!)
  • The creation of the first crossword puzzles
  • The beginning…and end…of World War I
  • The Russian Revolutions & the start of the USSR
  • Women get the right to vote in the US (except not her…because many African Americans were still blocked by Jim Crow laws, poll taxes, & more.)
  • Invention of the Band-Aid
  • She was PART of the Harlem Renaissance in NYC
  • King Tut’s tomb was opened in Egypt
  • Hitler’s Mein Kampf was published in Germany
  • The Scopes Monkey Trial was carried out in Tennessee
  • Publication of the 1st ‘Winnie the Pooh‘ stories
  • Lindbergh made his first solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean
  • Pez Candy & Bubble Gum were invented
  • Penicillinย  was discovered
  • The Stock Market crash of 1929 & the beginning of the Great Depression
  • Invention of the Yo-Yo
  • Invention of Scotch-Tape
  • Sliced Bread…seriously…she could literally say “This is the best thing since sliced bread” and mean it if she wanted.
  • The Empire State Building was completed & opened in NYC
  • FM Radios are invented
  • FDR proposed his New Deal & later signed the Social Security Act
  • Hitler comes to power in Germany
  • Orson Wells “War of the Worlds” broadcast was done
  • Nylon (and panty-hose–ewww– were invented)
  • African American, Jesse Owens wins golds, defeats German runners, in the German Olympics
  • First jet engine is built
  • The beginning & end of WWII/the Holocaust and all the major events in between
  • Invention of the slinky
  • Regular TV broadcasting begins
  • First development & use of the atomic bomb
  • The beginning of the Cold War between the US & USSR
  • Microwave oven invented
  • The Frisbee & velcro were invented
  • Jackie Robinson breaks the color barrier in American baseball
  • Berlin Blockade & airlift
  • Jukebox invented
  • Boxed cake mix invented
  • Communist China is formed
  • Korean War begins & first military advisory group was sent to Vietnam
  • DNA is discovered
  • Mr. Potato Head is invented
  • Lord of the Rings is published by JRR Tolkien
  • The Vietnam War officially begins
  • Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat on a bus
  • The first McDonald’s opens
  • Sputnik I & II are launched into space by the USSR
  • Alaska & Hawai’I are admitted into the US as states
  • Barbie Doll was invented
  • Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho” is released
  • The 1st manned space flight
  • The Cuban Missile Crisis occurs
  • Berlin Wall is built
  • JFK is assassinated
  • Martin Luther King gives his “I Have a Dream” Speech
  • The Beatles storm the US
  • Congress passed the Civil Rights Act
  • 1st handheld calculators are invented
  • Martin Luther King & Robert Kennedy are assassinated
  • Neil Armstrong walked on the moon
  • The video game, Pong, is invented
  • Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision is made
  • Watergate goes down & President Nixon resigned
  • The Rubik’s Cube is invented
  • Viking I & II land on Mars
  • First test-tube baby was born.
  • Margaret Thatcher becomes the first female Prime Minister of Great Britain
  • John Lennon is killed
  • AIDS is identified
  • First artificial heart was implanted.
  • 1st Compact Disk invented
  • Halley’s Comet flies by
  • Glasnost is implemented by leader, Gorbachev, in the USSR
  • Shuttle Challenger explodes
  • The internet is created
  • Hubble Telescope is launched
  • USSR collapses
  • Apartheid ends in South Africa
  • Beanie Babies are invented
  • Nelson Mandela is elected president in South Africa
  • Sheep are successfully cloned
  • Mother Theresa & Princess Diana die
  • 1st Smartphone was invented
  • September 11th, 2001 in the US occurs
  • 1st iPod was released
  • The global “War on Terror” begins
  • 1st African-American President is elected in the US
  • The Arab Spring occurs
  • Syrian civil war began
  • September 11, 2012- US Embassy in Benghazi is attacked
  • And so much moreโ€ฆ

Think about all of that…landmark events of World History- the pictures & stories we’re fascinated by in our History books…the stories our grandparents tell us, things we are so accustomed to in our daily lives, things we couldn’t imagine living without…that was her life, it was just another day for her.

It goes to show you, we are living History. What is normal for us, will one day be strange, will one day be in a History book. Don’t take your days, don’t take the daily events for granted. It’s your life.

It’s your History. Watch it, appreciate it, take it all in, & truly live it.

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