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We Didn't Start the Fire

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BC: "No we didn't light it, but we tried to fight it..."

FC: "WE DIDN'T START THE FIRE" BY STEPHEN GAMBLE

1: The song "We Didn't Start the Fire" by Billy Joel was released on November 1989. In the song, there is a lot of interpretation to be made rather than just viewing a bunch of events and names of famous people. Billy Joel is trying to state that his generation is not solely responsible for all of the world's problems, and that previous generations had already made a mess of things before Billy Joel's generation was even born. Therefore, it would be entirely unfair to dump the blame all upon Billy Joel's generation.

2: John Alvin Ray was born on January 10, 1927 and passed away on February 24, 1990. He was an American songwriter, singer, and pianist. His jazz and blues influenced music and his exhilarating stage presence allowed him to become known as one of the major precursors for what would become rock ‘n roll. In 1949, Johnnie Ray signs his first recording contract with Okeh Records. His first record for Okeh Records, Whiskey and Gin, was a minor hit in 1951.The following year with his double-sided hit single of “Cry” and “The Little White Cloud That Cried” he was able to overpower the charts. Ray quickly became an idol for teens selling over two million copies of the 45 single. Johnnie Ray has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6201 Hollywood Boulevard for his large contribution to the recording industry.

3: The Studebaker Corporation was a United States wagon and automobile manufacturer based in South Bend Indiana. Originally the company was called the Studebaker Brothers Manufacturing Company, and they were the producer of industrial mining wagons. In 1902, Studebaker entered the automotive business with electric vehicles and in 1904 with gasoline-powered ones. However, it was partnered with other builders of gasoline vehicles until 1911, and in 1913, Studebaker created the first gasoline powered automobile under its own name, “Studebaker.” The company became known for making automobile innovations and building solid, distinct-looking cars. 1950 was the company’s best year, but by 1954, Studebaker was in the red and merging with another troubled car manufacturer, Packard. This was only the beginning of the company’s descent into failure. The last car off the line was a turquoise Lark cruiser on March 16, 1966. | Studebaker

4: Joseph McCarthy Joseph Raymond McCarthy served as a Republican United States Senator from the state of Wisconsin from 1947 until his death in 1957. Starting in 1950, McCarthy became the most vivid face in a period of anti-communism. He made claims that there were large numbers of Communists and Soviet spies within the federal government and elsewhere. Unfortunately, his tactics and his inability to substantiate his | claims led to his dishonor and censured by the United States Senate. The term “McCarthyism” was created in reference to all of McCarthy’s false claims and was later implemented for all other anti-communist pursuits.

5: Julius and Ethel Rosenberg | Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were convicted of atomic espionage in the "spy trial of the century." They were later executed in Sing Sing Prison. Julius was a Soviet spy on radar and sonar projects. Ethel was just a housewife who happened to be a member of the Communist Party. They left behind two young sons.

6: The Catcher in the Rye was one of the most famous novels by J.D. Salinger. In 1949, while Salinger was “recovering” in a California sanitorium, he begins writing the novel relating back to three December days in 1948 when he was sixteen. Published in the US in 1951, this novel has been one of the most controversial books of its time due to its vulgar profanity and portrayal of sexuality. So controversial, that in 1960 one teacher was fired for assigning the novel in class, and between 1961 and 1982, The Catcher in the Rye was the most censored novel in high schools and libraries in the United States.

7: To understand Rocky Marciano, all you must know is 49-0. Yes that's right forty-nine fights with forty-nine wins. Also, making him the first person to win become a world champion and be undefeated. Marciano first made an impact on boxing in 1950 when he defeated Roland LaStarza, also an unbeaten heavyweight prospect. Roland was one of the three men to go the distance with Rocky. He then became the heavyweight champion of the world when he defeated Jersey Joe Walcott on September 23, 1952. | Rocky Marciano

8: George Santayana | Santayana taught at Harvard for twenty years, and in 1912 he retired from Harvard and moved to Europe, never to return to the United States. He wrote prolifically and traveled constantly for the next forty years. In 1919, he was traveling heavily again and had established himself a circuit that took him to France, Italy, and Spain. At the outbreak of World War II in 1939, Santayana became trapped within Rome without access to his money in the US. He would live here until his death on September 26, 1952.

9: Malenkov | Malenkov rose to prominence through the party secretariat and was a trusted aide of Joseph Stalin. In 1946, he became a full member of the politburo and a deputy premier. He succeeded Stalin as premier in March of 1953. He was also very briefly first secretary of the Communist party.

10: Roy Campanella | A star with both the bat and glove, Roy Campanella was agile behind the plate, had a rifle arm and was an expert at handling pitchers. He was named National League MVP three times, including a 1953 selection when he set single-season records for catchers with 41 homers and a National League best 142 RBI.

11: Albert Einstein | Albert Einstein is best known for his theory of relativity and specifically mass–energy equivalence, E = mc2. Einstein received the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics "for his services to Theoretical Physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect." Albert Einstein died on April 18,1955.

12: James Dean | Jimmy Byron Dean was a two time Oscar nominated American actor. Dean's status as a cultural icon is best embodied in the title of his most celebrated film, Rebel Without a Cause, in which he starred as troubled high school rebel Jim Stark. On September 30, 1955, James Dean was driving his Porsche 550 Spyder to a morning race in Salinas, California when a man named Donald Turnupseed came over in Dean causing a almost head-on collision. James Dean was pronouced dead on arrival at 5:59PM at Paso Robles War Memorial Hospital.

13: Sputnik | The Sputnik program was a series of robotic space programs established by the Soviet Union. The first program was Sputnik 1 and made it the first man-made object to orbit the Earth. That launch occured on October 4,1957.

14: Buddy Holly Although his success lasted only a year and a half before his death in an airplane crash on February 2, 1959, Holly is described as "the single most influential creative force in early rock and roll." His works and innovations were copied by his contemporaries and later musicians, notably The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, and exerted a profound influence on popular music. In 2004, Rolling Stone Magazine ranked Holly #13 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.

15: Before humans were lauched into space, several monkeys were sent to test the biological effects on them. On May 28, 1959, Miss Baker, a squirrel monkey, and Able, a rhesus monkey became the first living things to successfully return to Earth after traveling in space on board the JUPITER AM-18. | Space Monkey

16: Wheel of Fortune began on September 19, 1983, and has been the most watched syndicated program since May 1984. It is the longest-running game show in American television history. Pat Sajak and Vanna White have hosted the show since its debut, and Charlie O'Donnell has been the show's announcer since early 1989.

17: Buddy Holly, "Ben-Hur", space monkey, Mafia hula hoops, Castro, Edsel is a no go U2, Syngman Rhee, payola and Kennedy Chubby Checker, "Psycho", Belgians in the Congo CHORUS Hemingway, Eichmann, "Stranger in a Strange Land" Dylan, Berlin, Bay of Pigs Invasion "Lawrence of Arabia", British Beatlemania Ole Miss, John Glenn, Liston beats Patterson Pope Paul, Malcolm X, British politician sex JFK, blown away, what else do I have to say CHORUS Birth control, Ho Chi Minh, Richard Nixon, back again Moonshot, Woodstock, Watergate, punk rock Begin, Reagan, Palestine, terror on the airline Ayatollolah's in Iran, Russians in Afghanistan Wheel of Fortune , Sally Ride, heavy metal, suicide Foreign debts, homeless vets, AIDS, Crack, Bernie Goetz Hypodermics on the shores, China's under martial law Rock and Roller Cola Wars, I can't take it anymore CHORUS We didn't start the fire But when we are gone Will it still burn on, and on, and on, and on... | Harry Truman, Doris Day, Red China, Johnnie Ray South Pacific, Walter Winchell, Joe DiMaggio Joe McCarthy, Richard Nixon, Studebaker, television North Korea, South Korea, Marilyn Monroe Rosenbergs, H-Bomb, Sugar Ray, Panmunjom Brando, "The King and I", and "The Catcher in the Rye" Eisenhower, vaccine, England's got a new queen Marciano, Liberace, Santayana goodbye We didn't start the fire It was always burning Since the world's been turning We didn't start the fire No we didn't light it But we tried to fight it Josef Stalin, Malenkov, Nasser and Prokofiev Rockefeller, Campanella, Communist Bloc Roy Cohn, Juan Peron, Toscanini, dacron Dien Bien Phu Falls, "Rock Around the Clock" Einstein, James Dean, Brooklyn's got a winning team Davy Crockett, "Peter Pan", Elvis Presley, Disneyland Bardot, Budapest, Alabama, Khrushchev Princess Grace, "Peyton Place", trouble in the Suez Chorus Little Rock, Pasternak, Mickey Mantle, Kerouac Sputnik, Chou En-Lai, "Bridge on the River Kwai" Lebanon, Charles de Gaulle, California baseball Starkweather, homicide, children of thalidomide

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  • By: Stephen G.
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  • Title: We Didn't Start the Fire
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