About the Project

A collaborative project in which a select group of designers, illustrators, and artists create visual interpretations of the most defining moments in United States history as a way of informing others of our proud, yet sometimes troubled and forgotten past.

Contributors hail from around the globe as the most defining moments in United States history have often had a radical effect on the world abroad.
See the full roster.

Additional Information

Created by Evan Stremke, Associate Creative Director at Modern Climate in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Follow along on Twitter with #MomentusProject

The Boston Massacre

Seen as one of a handful of tipping points in the tumultuous relationship between the colonists and the British, the incident known as the Boston Massacre initially started out as a shouting contest between Boston colonists and British sentries who were sent to Boston to enforce the Townshend Acts passed by British Parliament a few years prior. The episode quickly escalated after colonists began throwing rocks and snowballs at British Private Hugh White and his fellow men. With more civilians joining the fight, the British soldiers opened fire, killing five men including Crispus Attucks who became known as the first martyr of the American Revolution.

Designed by

Chris DeLorenzo

The Boston Tea Party

Passed by British Parliament in early 1773, the Tea Act had seen great opposition from Colonists because many believed it violated their rights to be taxed only by officials they had elected. As a display of of discontent, many colonists had successfully prevented the East India company from unloading tea shipments in their respective harbors. But in December of 1773, Boston colonists took it one step further and boarded ships containing the taxed tea, destroying all of it by throwing the loads overboard. This particular protest led to the 1774 Coercive Acts which shut down the East India Company until Britain was repaid for the destroyed tea. In response, colonists founded the First Continental Congress, the first step in the American Revolution.

Designed by

Jeff Finley

The Revolutionary War

Considered by many to be the spark that ignited the tinder of American independence, the Revolutionary war was fought between the Kingdom of Great Britain and the thirteen British colonies in North America that opposed the Stamp Act of 1765. Eventually the formation of the Continental Congress provided Americans the capacity with which to organize the Boston Tea Party in 1773. British General Thomas Gage took notice, and two years later sent waves of troops to fight the battles of Lexington and Concord in which the Americans reigned victorious. The Americans finally cut all ties and any chance of reconciliation when, in 1776, they formed a new nation: The United States of America.

Designed by

Jon Contino

The Declaration of Independence

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” This, the second line of the United States Declaration of Independence, is considered one of the most well-known sentences in the English Language, but it took the Continental Congress nearly an entire month to draft and ultimately agree upon their intentions for the new nation before fifty-six delegates finally signed off on the document. A moment that occurred on July 4, 1776, marking the United States’ official separation from Great Britain. A day that we celebrate and know now as our Independence Day.

Designed by

Ellis Latham-Brown

The Ratification of the Constitution

The Continental Congress, responsible for drafting the United States Constitution, failed to realize they didn’t actually have the authority to impose it. Because of this, the Constitution needed to be ratified. In September of 1787 the Continental Congress debated over the Constitution before submitting it to the original thirteen colonies, nine of which would need to vote in favor of it if it were to pass. A handful of ratifications were approved almost immediately, but Massachusetts required further clarification. This debate eventually gave way to the first ten amendments, or what we know to be our Bill of Rights. The final document was approved by all colonies nearly one year later in July of 1788.

Designed by

Erik Hamline

The Louisiana Purchase

As the ink on the United States Constitution was drying, the young nation was experiencing somewhat of a growth spurt. As settlers expanded Westward, it was imperative that the United States maintained control over land that was vital to international trade. This included what is now the state of Louisiana, as well as fourteen other states. The only thing standing in their way was the fact that there were no provisions set forth in the Constitution outlining the acquisition of territory. Also, French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. Unable to defend the territory during his war with Great Britain, he sold the land for 15 million dollars. In the end, the United States more than doubled in size.

Designed by

Emory Allen

The Lewis & Clark Expedition

With their eyes set on the Pacific Coast, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark were commissioned by then President Thomas Jefferson to set out on what has become perhaps the most influential American-led expedition in the history of the United States. Their objectives were to study plant and animal life, the geography and topography of the land, and how the region could be exploited for economic purposes. Wanting to open up a trade route with Asia, Lewis and Clark headed toward what is now Fort Clatsop National Memorial in Oregon, all the while accompanied by a fifteen year-old Shoshone Indian, Sacajawea, who served as a translator for the various Native American tribes they would encounter along the way.

Designed by

Blake Suarez

The Burning of Washington

At the height of the War of 1812, the United Kingdom of Great Britain, along with Ireland, retaliated when the United States raided and ransacked the town of York (now Toronto) during the Battle of York in 1813. After looting and burning a number of estates including the Governor’s mansion, the United States saw themselves on the receiving end of an attack. On August 24, 1814, General Robert Ross gave British forces orders to begin occupying and burning public buildings and facilities throughout Washington, D.C. including the White House, marking the first and only time since the Revolutionary War that foreign powers had taken control of the United States Capitol.

Designed by

The Heads of State

The Trail of Tears

In an act that many modern historians have described as genocide, the Trail of Tears was the massive forcible relocation of several Native American nations from their native lands in the southeastern region of the United States. Because of Andrew Jackson’s commitment to these efforts, nearly 50,000 Native Americans were removed from their homes over a period of six years, in which time over 4,000 died from disease and starvation. As slavery became a booming industry in the South, white settlers felt the need to expand their operations. It's because of this necessity that the newly formed boundaries of these Native American nations were continually subject to rezoning and cession.

Designed by

Matt Riley

The Battle of the Alamo

Lasting for two weeks in the winter of 1836, the Battle of the Alamo was perhaps the most defining moment of the Texas Revolution. On February 23 nearly 1,500 Mexican troops, led by President General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, rushed the Alamo mission in what is now modern-day San Antonio in an attempt to reclaim Texas as part of Mexico. Knowing he didn’t have sufficient forces to fend off the Mexicans, Alamo commander William B. Travis requested additional troops, but fewer than 100 arrived. In the end, all but two Texian troops were killed. After hearing about the defeat, the rest of Texian army rallied and defeated the Mexicans at the battle at San Jacinto on April 21.

Designed by

Matt Goold

The Dred Scott Case

Born into slavery in the late 18th century, Dred Scott was eventually purchased by Army Major John Emerson who later died in 1843, leaving Scott in the care of Emerson’s widow Eliza Emerson. In 1846, Scott sued Eliza Emerson for his freedom, but the suit was dismissed because Scott was unable to prove that he was in fact a slave. Scott was granted a new trial which began in 1850, this time against his new owner John Sanford. Again, the court ruled against Scott, and in 1857 the Supreme Court ruled that slaves were not to be considered citizens, had no rights, and were not protected by the Constitution. To this day the Supreme Court has yet to officially overturn the Dred Scott case, but parts have been overruled by the Fourteenth Amendment.

Designed by

Jay Schaul

The Battle of Antietam

The bloodiest single-day battle in American history was fought on September 17, 1862. Taking place on Northern soil during the Civil War, the Battle of Antietam resulted in a total of roughly 23,000 casualties from both the Confederate and Union Armies. After tracking Confederate General Robert E. Lee into Maryland, Union General George B. McClellan launched the first attack at 5:30a, and both sides continued to battle until 5:30p that night. On the morning of September 18, a truce was reached between both sides, and Lee withdrew his troops back to Virginia, a tactical error in that most historians recognize this as the technical definition of losing a battle.

Designed by

Glenn Thomas

The Emancipation Proclamation

Less than a week after the Battle of Antietam, the bloodiest day on American soil, President Abraham Lincoln issued The Emancipation Proclamation. Lincoln used his authority as Commander in Chief to suspend civil law in states that had rebelled against the Union, allowing the executive order to proclaim the formal emancipation of all slaves throughout the Confederate States of America that did not voluntarily return to the Union by January of 1863. Once issued by Lincoln, the Emancipation Proclamation was never challenged in court, and upon implementation the proclamation granted immediate freedom to 50,000 slaves, with 3.1 million of the nation’s 4 million slaves soon following.

Designed by

Richard Perez

The Last Spike

Also known as The Golden Spike, the last spike driven in Promontory, Utah by Leland Stanford joined together the Union Pacific and Central Pacific rails completing the First Transcontinental Railroad. The Last Spike was made gold, an idea conceived by David Hewes, a contractor working in San Francisco at the time. Manufactured by the William T. Garratt Foundry, the spike was engraved on each side with the names of the respective names of each rail’s officers. The date of the scheduled completion (May 8, 1869) was engraved on the spike as well, but the event was postponed two days due to inclement weather.

Designed by

Eric Nyffeler

The Birth of the National Parks

Triggered by westward expansion, the national parks idea began picking up steam in 1864 when several California state leaders dedicated themselves to protecting the natural wonder known as Yosemite Valley. Shortly after acquiring the valley as a state park, more parks began taking shape across the nation. In Wyoming, Yellowstone became the first national park when it was established by the United States Congress and signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant in 1872. Since that time, the National Parks Service has grown to maintain over 84.4 million acres across 450 specially designated areas including parks, monuments, memorials, recreational areas, military parks, and more.

Designed by

Dan Cassaro

The Wright Brothers Take Flight

Born just four years apart, Wilbur and Orville Wright grew up building bicycles before testing a series of kites and gliders they had designed in the early 20th century to test the limits of human flight. Many of their gliders failed to meet the Wright brothers’ expectations, and each model began performing more and more poorly as the years went on. Faced with a harsh reality, the Wrights constructed their own wind tunnel for researching airfoils as well as measuring lift and drag, and were able to correct earlier miscalculations. And on December 17, 1903, Orville Wright piloted the brothers’ new glider model which flew 120 feet in 12 seconds in what is considered the first sustained flight of a manned aircraft.

Designed by

Nate Utesch

The Industrial Revolution

Planting its roots firmly in the United States during the 18th and 19th centuries, the Industrial Revolution introduced a number of new technologies improving manufacturing, and transportation. Advancements in steam and water power allowed manufacturers to move away from traditional animal-power which not only drastically reduced production costs, but was significantly faster and safer. The development of canals, roads, and railways exploded as more and more vessels and vehicles were produced and maintained much more efficiently. Thanks to the furtherance of these technologies, the average household income and national population grew substantially worldwide during what is considered to be the greatest technological leap forward in history.

Designed by

Tyler Thompson

The Women's Suffrage Movement

As early as 1848, women began campaigning for equal rights on the political landscape during the Seneca Falls Convention. When black men were granted the right to vote by the passing of the Fifteenth Amendment, women’s suffrage advocates such as Susan B. Anthony began campaigning on a federal level with the National American Woman Suffrage Association. After a suffrage bill was defeated in the House of Representatives in 1915, Anthony pushed harder to get it passed before the election of 1920. Because of this pressure, President Woodrow Wilson called a special session of Congress, and on August 18, 1920, the Nineteenth Amendment was ratified, making it a law throughout the United States.

Designed by

Kristina Collantes

The Prohibition Era

Mandated by the Eighteenth Amendment in 1917, Prohibition (Also known as the Noble Experiment), was a nation-wide ban on the production and sale of alcohol that lasted from 1920–1933. Initially the United States Congress had passed a temporary ban on drinks with an alcohol content greater than 2.75% as a way of conserving valuable grains during wartime. Congress eventually passed the Volstead Act which established what types of beverages were still legal. As tensions began rising during the Great Depression, the illegal production and sale of alcohol via the organized crime scene became such a menace that Congress eventually ratified the Twenty-first Amendment officially repealing the Eighteenth Amendment.

Designed by

Cory Loven

The Stock Market Crash

In an era when it seemed like the United States could do no wrong, a small number of red flags had popped up, yet had subsequently been ignored by experts as well as the general public, warning of a potential stock market crash. Despite a period of declining real estate values, many speculated that the market could sustain higher price levels for various goods. And on October 24, 1929 (also known as “Black Thursday”), the New York Stock Exchange collapsed as stock prices plummeted and continued to do so for over a month. It remains the most devastating stock market crash in United States history as it acted as the genesis of the Great Depression, with the market finally recovering after World War II.

Designed by

Alex Perez

The New Deal

Shortly after the stock market crash of 1929 sunk the United States economy into its worst depression in history, Democratic President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the largely democratic US Congress passed a series of economic programs seeking to focus on providing “relief, recovery, and reform.” Together, these programs became known as the New Deal. Over the course of several years, many of the New Deal’s policies were called into question by a number of republicans who saw it as an inhibitor of economic growth. After regaining control of the Congress in 1938, Republicans began shutting down New Deal programs left and right. To this day, the FDIC, FCIC, FHA, TVA, SSA, and SEC are still intact.

Designed by

Daniel Kent

The Attack on Pearl Harbor

Known as The Hawaii Operation to the Japanese, the attack on Pearl Harbor became the catalyst for World War II, the most widespread war in recorded history. The surprise military attack took place on December 7, 1941 as a preventative measure to keep the United States from interfering with Japanese military exercises in Southeast Asia. Launched in two waves, over 350 Japanese fighters sunk four US Navy battleships, three cruisers, three destroyers, destroyed 188 US aircraft, killing 2,402 men and wounding 1,282 others. Historians speculate that an aborted third Japanese wave could have crushed all hopes of a counter attack by the United States in the Pacific theater. The following day, the United States declared war on Japan.

Designed by

John Soat

The Creation of WWII Internment Camps

Shortly after the United States declared war on the Empire of Japan, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066, resulting in over 110,000 Japanese and Japanese Americans who lived on the western coast of the United States to be excluded from the states of California, Oregon, and Washington, except those moved to “War Relocation Camps”, because of their possible ties to a war enemy. Camps were surrounded by armed guards who had the power to shoot anyone who attempted to leave an exclusion zone. In January of 1945, the order was rescinded, and internees began to leave the camps immediately. In 1988, President Ronald Reagan issued a formal apology on behalf of the United States Government.

Designed by

Christopher Haines

The Invasion of Normandy

In what is considered the height of World War II, Allied forces (including those from the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Poland, Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Norway, Czechoslovakia, and Greece), invaded Normandy beginning on June 6, 1944 as part of Operation Overlord, the largest amphibious military operation in history. Aided by parachute drops and air assaults primarily from the United States’ allies the night before, waves of American, Canadian, and British troops landed on five major Normandy beaches codenamed Juno, Gold, Omaha, Utah, and Sword in what has become known as “D-Day”. It’s estimated that Axis forces suffered nearly 450,000 causalities in perhaps the most decisive Allied victory of the war.

Designed by

Adam Grason

The Bombing of Hiroshima

For more than six months in the latter stages of World War II, the United States and its allies had continuously fire-bombed sixty-seven Japanese cities in an attempt to force a surrender as outlined in the Potsdam Declaration. However, the Empire of Japan stood strong and ignored the ultimatum, leaving President Harry S. Truman with only one device: dropping a nuclear bomb known as “Little Boy” on the city of Hiroshima. Over 166,000 people died as a result of the bombing, with more than half being killed immediately from severe nuclear burns. In the following months, tens of thousands succumbed to radiation poisoning. Nine days after the initial bombing, Japan announced its surrender to the allies, officially ending World War II.

Designed by

Chaz Russo

The Marshall Plan

Named after then Secretary of State George Marshall, the Marshall Plan (officially known as the European Recovery Program), was an aid program which sent monetary support to European economies to help slow the spread of Communism after World War II. Over the course of four years, $13 billion was given to those countries that had joined the Organization for European Economic Co-Operation on top of the $12 billion given to Europe between the end of the war and the beginning of the Marshall Plan. Within four years, the economy of every European country to receive funding had surpassed pre-war levels. The initiative was offered to the Soviet Union as well, but they refused to accept it.

Designed by

Matt Braun

The McCarthyism Movement

In the post-World War II United States, Wisconsin Republican Senator Joseph McCarthy lead the charge in accusing thousands of Americans of being communists, or communist sympathizers for well over a decade. These Americans became the subjects of highly aggressive, and often times illegal and unwarranted investigations into their loyalty toward the United States. The majority of these citizens were government employees and politicians, as well as those in the entertainment industry. Many were wrongfully imprisoned and had their professional careers tarnished. To this day, the term “McCarthyism” is used to describe any unsubstantiated accusations of disloyalty toward the United States.

Designed by

Matt Lehman

The Bay of Pigs

Within three months of the Kennedy presidency, a CIA-trained force of Cuban exiles was sent to invade and overthrow the Cuban government and their leader Fidel Castro. Prior to the invasion, rumors of the attack circulated not only through Cuba, but throughout the world, and only three days after launching the invasion Cuban armed forces defeated the exile forces and took many of them prisoner. JFK disavowed any US involvement in training the exiles, and refused to take any action that would result in their release until a deal was struck with the Cuban government years later. Many prisoners were so desperate to get word to their families that they released messages in bottles in hopes that they would reach the US shore.

Designed by

Scotty Reifsnyder

The Civil Rights Movement

The African-American Civil Rights Movement began to pick up steam in 1955 as it set its sights on restoring voting rights in Southern states, as well as seeking to desegregate much of the nation’s public services. Through the efforts of eminent advocates such as Malcolm X, Rosa Parks, and Martin Luther King, Jr., the Civil Rights Movement became less about political equality, and more about freedom and dignity. In what is perhaps the most famous Civil Rights protest, nearly 300,000 demonstrators marched on Washington to hear Martin Luther King, Jr. deliver his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. Less than a year later, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed, banning discrimination based on “race, color, religion, or national origin.”

Designed by

Jon Ashcroft

The Assassination of JFK

On November 22, 1963, while traveling in a motorcade through the streets of downtown Dallas, Texas, President John F. Kennedy was shot and fatally wounded by an assassin later believed to be Lee Harvey Oswald. The assassination lead to a ten-month investigation by the Warren Commission which concluded that Oswald acted alone in the killing, a fact contested by a vast majority of Americans since 1966. A funeral was held three days later on John F. Kennedy, Jr.’s third birthday, in which representatives from over 90 countries attended, including the Soviet Union with whom the United States was at odds with during the Cold War. Kennedy’s death has been the subject of much controversy and debate ever since.

Designed by

Evan Stremke

The Vietnam War

The Vietnam War saw heightened involvement from the United States in the mid 1960s as the US government viewed participation in the conflict as a way to prevent the spread of communism throughout the world, specifically to South Vietnam regarded at the time as a US puppet state. United States troop levels tripled twice over in as many years with total troop numbers reaching over half a million throughout the duration of the war. US forces were finally withdrawn in 1968 after the Tet Offensive, a successful, yet ultimately disappointing attack which stunned the United States Military. The war officially ended with the North Vietnamese army captured Saigon, and both North and South Vietnam were reunified one year later.

Designed by

Tim Boelaars

The Moon Landing

In a 1961 address to the United States Congress, then President John F. Kennedy expressed his desire for landing men on the moon saying “I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth.” And though the President didn’t live to see his dream realized, NASA’s Apollo program, with Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Buzz Aldrin crewing the Apollo 11 lunar mission, fulfilled Kennedy’s wish by being the first humans to set foot on the surface of the moon on July 21, 1969. Since then only five Apollo missions have landed men on the Moon, the last being in 1972.

Designed by

Mark Weaver

The Watergate Scandal

On June 17, 1972, five men broke into, and stole money from the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate complex in Washington, D.C. A federal investigation by the FBI connected the burglars to a slush fund for the 1972 Committee to Re-elect the President. Through a series of interviews with Nixon staffers and members of his administration conducted by the Senate Watergate Committee, it was discovered that a tape recording system in Nixon’s office captured audio of his attempts to cover up the scandal. Though he fought to keep the tapes a secret, the US Supreme Court ruled that he must hand them over. Facing impeachment, Nixon became the first and only president to voluntarily resign.

Designed by

Shed Labs

The Invention of the Internet

Beginning with point-to-point communication between mainframes, the Internet dates back as far as the 1950s with the development of computers. Several decades later in 1982, the Internet Protocol Suite was launched, introducing a world-wide network of fully interconnected networks. In the early 1990s, commercial service providers allowed public access to the Internet as restrictions on the use of network traffic were lifted. Since that time, the Internet has had a radical effect on global cultural, economical, and political landscapes alike. It’s estimated that in 1993, the Internet transmitted only 1% of all telecommunications information, a figure which had grown to more than 97% by 2007.

Designed by

Bobby McKenna

The Challenger Disaster

On an uncharacteristically frigid Florida morning in January, 1986, seven NASA crew members boarded Space Shuttle Challenger on Launching Pad LC-39B at the Kennedy Space Center. As Challenger was jettisoned from the earth, soaring over the Atlantic Ocean, a series of structural failures (most specifically a failed O-ring seal), led to an explosion seventy-three seconds into the flight causing a near-complete disintegration of the craft. While a few crew members were known to have survived the initial explosion, they did not survive the impact with the ocean surface. The Challenger disaster resulted in a 32-month suspension of NASA’s shuttle program while the Rogers Commission investigated the accident.

Designed by

Alex Griendling

The Fall of the Berlin Wall

Constructed in August of 1961, the 96-mile long Berlin Wall began cutting off access between West Berlin and East Berlin. Claiming that the wall was constructed to protect its people from fascists, the heavily Soviet-populated regions of the Eastern Bloc saw the Berlin Wall as a preventative measure against the defeat of communism. Twenty-two months after the completion of the wall, President Kennedy spoke out in support of West Germany during a 1963 speech in which he is quoted as saying “Ich bin ein Berliner” (“I am a Berliner”). Making clear its stance on the spread of communism, the United States continued to fight for West Germany until the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, marking the end of the Cold War.

Designed by

Cory Schmitz

The Launch of the Hubble Telescope

Funded in the 1970s, NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, named after astronomer Edwin Hubble, launched in 1990 as one of the largest and most powerful space research tools ever conceived. The initial launch date was scheduled for 1983, but technical and budgetary issues, coupled with the Challenger disaster, delayed the launch by several years. A flawed mirror severely handicapped the telescope’s abilities, but was fixed after a simple servicing mission. Since then, the Hubble has had a profound impact on astronomy with discoveries such as determining the rate of expansion of the universe, as well as capturing images of new galaxies being both born and destroyed. Hubble is set to be replaced by the James Webb Space Telescope in 2018.

Designed by

Ryan Brinkerhoff

The Los Angeles Race Riots

On April 29, 1992, four California Highway Patrol officers involved in the 1991 beating of Rodney King after a high-speed chase were acquitted on all charges of police brutality. Within hours of the verdict announcement, protesters gathered outside the Los Angeles County Courthouse and quickly outnumbered law enforcement officers at the scene. The number of protesters swelled, and riots broke out across the city lasting for a total of six days. Despite over 4,000 National Guard troops patrolling the streets, the riots resulted in over $1 Billion in property damage, 53 deaths, and thousands of injuries and arrests.

Designed by

Matt Stevens

The Oklahoma City Bombing

Just over an hour after an explosion at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building claimed the lives 168 American citizens, Timothy McVeigh was stopped by an Oklahoma State Trooper for driving without a license plate, and unlawful possession of a weapon. What quickly became the largest criminal investigation in US history eventually concluded that McVeigh and his accomplice Terry Nichols did in fact carry out an American attack on American soil when they were tried and convicted in 1997. McVeigh admitted to timing the explosion to go off on the second anniversary of what he believed to be the US government’s “mishandling” of the Waco Siege. Six years after the bombing, McVeigh was executed by lethal injection.

Designed by

Scott Hill

The Y2K Scare

For decades, digital and non-digital data storage systems abbreviated years by using only the last two digits. An oversight failed to recognize that as a result of this practice, rolling over from 1999 to 2000 might create an invalid entry and confuse systems beyond repair. Many thought the error would have potential to bring down the world’s financial system and would be so detrimental that they had even installed bomb shelters in their backyards. In the end, the United States spent over $300 million dollars on preparation costs, and the most notable glitch was seen in the US Naval Observatory’s clock, the master clock that keeps the country’s official date and time. The date had read Jan. 1, 19100.

Designed by

Riley Cran

The 2000 Presidential Election

As President Clinton finished serving his two terms as Commander in Chief, republican candidate George W. Bush (son of former President George H.W. Bush as well as then Governor of Texas), and Democratic candidate Al Gore (Vice President in the Clinton administration), squared off in what was the closest and subsequently the most contested election in United States history. Due to several logistical errors in the Florida voting process, the outcome of the election was not known until a month later due to pressure from the Democratic party for a recount. In the end, George W. Bush was declared victorious, marking only the fourth time in United States history when the electoral vote did not reflect the outcome of the popular vote.

Designed by

Tad Carpenter

The Attacks of September 11, 2001

On the morning of September 11, 2001, nineteen al-Qaeda terrorists hijacked four commercial jets, crashing two of them into both Twin Towers at World Trade Center, and another into the Pentagon while the fourth failed to hit its target (presumably the Capitol Building or White House), and crashed into a field in Pennsylvania when passengers attempted to regain control of the plane. Nearly 3,000 lives were lost that day including all hijackers and passengers, 343 firefighters and 60 police officers from the city of New York, as well as 184 Pentagon employees, making it the deadliest attack on United States soil and serving as the catalyst for the War on Terror.

Designed by

Ted Quinn

The Authorization of the Patriot Act

Just days after the attacks of September 11, 2001, President George W. Bush broke ground on what would become one of the most controversial Congressional acts in history. The USA Patriot (“Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism”) Act granted the United States government unprecedented and unrestricted access to telephone records, emails, and personal medical and financial records of those thought to be a threat to national security. Opponents to the Patriot Act have accused the bill of being unconstitutional, and an invasion of privacy, stating that “communications of law-abiding American citizens might be intercepted incidentally.”

Designed by

Adam R Garcia

The Invasion of Iraq

Considered by many to be the continuation of the Gulf War, the United States led the charge in a shock and awe military attack on Iraq on March 19, 2003—the first step toward an invasion and subsequently what has become one of the most protested and controversial wars in US history. Joined by the United Kingdom, Australia, and Poland, the attacks on Saddam Hussein’s regime lasted for 21 days until the fall of Baghdad. Meant to uncover what the were believed to have been weapons of mass destruction that Hussein agreed to give up in early 90s, the United States ultimately captured Hussein, but learned that there were in fact no WMDs to be found. The war continues to be fought to this day.

Designed by

Two Arms

The Capture of Saddam Hussein

Shortly after the fall of Baghdad in the Spring of 2003, Iraq’s embattled President Saddam Hussein, wanted internationally for crimes against humanity and the perceived possession of weapons of mass destruction, went into hiding. A number of sightings and various tapes Hussein recorded in an attempt to build resistance to the invasion provided the United States military with enough information to hone in on his location. On December 13, 2003, the 4th Infantry Division searched sites “Wolverine 1” and “Wolverine 2” in Operation Red Dawn. Hussein was eventually found between the two sites in a spider hole. After being held captive for nearly three years, Hussein was sentenced to death by hanging in December of 2006.

Designed by

Craig Henry

The Hurricane Katrina Disaster

In August of 2005, the twelfth tropical depression of the summer had formed over the southeastern Bahamas, and was upgraded to a tropical storm just one day later, at which point it was given the name Katrina. The storm continued to move toward Florida and only became a hurricane just two days before making landfall in the United States, and had grown from a category 3 to a category 5 in under nine hours. Throughout the disaster, both local governments and the national government were criticized for their preparation, response, and overall involvement in relief efforts. In the end, over $80 billion in damage was done, leaving over 1,800 confirmed dead.

Designed by

Kendrick Kidd

The LGBT Movement

With gay rights organizations popping up in the United States as early as the turn of the 20th century, the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) movement has continued to pick up steam ever since. Despite countless tragedies and outward discrimination against gay individuals over the span of several decades, the LGBT community has slowly but surely been gaining the support of the general public. States allowing gay marriage are on the rise, and the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” has reinforced the belief that all United States citizens, regardless of race, gender, and religious or sexual orientation, deserve equal access to the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Designed by

David Sizemore

The Election of Barack Obama

With domestic policy and the economy at the epicenter of each campaign, Democratic Senator Barack Obama from Illinois, and Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona both ran on a platform devoted to change in Washington. Despite several unique aspects to the 2008 election, including the first Republican nomination of a female for Vice President, the first time two sitting senators ran against each other, and the first time an incumbent President or Vice President did not seek election, perhaps the most significant was that it was the first time an African American had received a nomination. Voter turnout for the 2008 election was the highest in 40 years, providing Barack Obama with more votes than any candidate in United States history.

Designed by

Tymn Armstrong

The Assassination of Osama bin Laden

As the founder of al-Qaeda, a jihadist group which took responsibility for the attacks of September 11, 2001, along with other civilian attacks around the world, Osama bin Laden went into hiding for nearly a decade with a $25 million bounty on his head before a US Navy SEALs team raided his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan on May 2, 2011, and killed him in what was known as Operation Neptune Spear. A simple message “Geronimo EKIA” (Enemy Killed In Action) was sent to President Obama to confirm bin Laden’s death. Geronimo was the controversial codename some had given to bin Laden referring to the historical Native American figure who evaded the US Government in the late 19th Century.

Designed by

Brian Lindstrom

The End of the NASA Shuttle Program

Introduced in 1981, NASA’s space shuttle program (officially known as the Space Transportation System) began transporting crews of astronauts to space to assist in the launch of satellites and to build the International Space Station over a period of time. Despite the losses of Challenger in 1986, and Columbia in 2003, NASA’s shuttle program launched 135 missions that were responsible for countless scientific discoveries. In 2004, President Bush outlined his Vision for Space Exploration in which he announced the retirement of the program, and on July 8, 2011, Atlantis became the last shuttle of the program to leave Earth. However, on September 14, 2011, NASA announced the design of a new space launch system that will take astronauts farther into space than ever before.

Designed by

Parliament of Owls