Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation (January 1): Considered by some to be the most radical document since the Declaration of Independence, the Emancipation Proclamation marked the beginning of the end of slavery in the United States.
Dred Scott's Case for Freedom (March 6): Dred Scott filed a lawsuit stating that because they lived in a free territory, he and his wife Harriet should be free. His case made it to the Supreme Court, where pro-slavery justices gave a ruling which inflamed tensions leading to the Civil War.
Anniversary of Apollo 13 Moon Mission (April 11 - 17): In one of the most dramatic space flights ever, an explosion crippled a spacecraft intended to land on the moon. Faced with daunting odds, the crew became an inspiring model of teamwork, patience, and resilience.
American Friends Service Committee Founding (April 30): Founded by Quakers during World War I to give young conscientious objectors ways to serve without joining the military or taking lives, the AFSC continues work of compassion and peacemaking.
Kent State Shootings Remembrance Day (May 4): In 1970 at Kent State University, students peacefully demonstrating against the Vietnam War were shot — four killed — by the Ohio national guard. The shootings set off a national discussion about response to protesters.
Remembrance Day for Carrie Nation (June 2): Carrie Nation's personal efforts — questionably zealous — helped pave the way for the 18th and 19th amendments to the U.S. Constitution: prohibition and women's right to vote.
Anniversary of the Battle of Little Bighorn (June 25): Although at first seen as victory for indigenous people, this battle had a dire longer-term consequence as the U.S. government increased its efforts to confine tribes to reservations.
Anniversary of the First Lunar Landing (July 20): On this date in 1969, Neil A. Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first human beings to land on another celestial body. The occasion was celebrated by a pause to give thanks.
Anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment (August 18): This amendment gave U.S. women the right to vote, ending a legal challange that lasted seven decades. It opened opportunity for female leadership at all levels and wedged a foot in the door of universal suffrage.
Memorial Day for Sacco and Vanzetti (August 23): This controversial case signaled America's growing gap between the privileged and the powerless, as two Italian immigrants who were radical anarchists were executed after an unfair trial.