Forty one years ago, on January 22-23, three significant events occurred, all of which had a massive effect on the history of the United States!
Lyndon B. Johnson, the architect of the “Great Society” domestic reform programs, the greatest since the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt, died at age 64. Much of his Great Society remains part of our lives today, including:
Civil Rights Act of 1964
Voting Rights Act of 1965
War On Poverty (some elements of the program)
Medicare and Medicaid
Federal Aid to Education
Consumer Protection Laws
National Public Radio and PBS
Additionally, just hours after his death, the Vietnam War came to an end by a peace agreement in Paris, ending the combat role of American troops after twelve years of war under John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Richard Nixon. The war had divided us, and still has an impact on the veterans of that war today, but at least the US now has diplomatic relations and trade with Vietnam, something that seemed impossible to imagine four decades ago, after the loss of 58,000 Americans in that war, and over a million or more in Vietnam itself.
The third event that transformed us was the Supreme Court decision in Roe V. Wade, allowing women control of their reproductive lives and their bodies, in the first two trimesters of pregnancy, as well as promoting contraception to avoid pregnancy.
The so called “Pro Life” movement, really anti abortion, has worked very hard to limit the rights of women, trying to cut the period of allowance of an abortion to as low as six weeks in Arkansas and 12 weeks in North Dakota, as well as 20 weeks in many other states, but thankfully, federal district court and circuit court judges have prevented the enforcement of such illegal limits. But the battle for women’s rights goes on.
So January 22-23, 1973, was indeed a very big day, a moment in history of tremendous significance!