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Forrest Gump Timeline
Transcript of Forrest Gump Timeline
Forrest Gump Timeline
Civil Rights Movement
During his time in Washington, DC after being reunited with Jenny, Forrest wound up at a Black Panther meeting.
The Black Panthers were extremists in Civil Rights, believing blacks to be the superior race and encouraging "Black Power". The Civil Rights movement happened between 1954 to 1968. Although blacks had been given rights in amendments, many places did not allow them their freedoms and blacks still faced aggressive racism and segregation. The Civil Rights movement was for equality among whites and blacks. Perhaps the two most major players in the movement were Malcom X and Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
The director of Forrest Gump had intended to include a scene where Forrest played fetch with a group of dogs threatening Martin Luther King, Jr. and his supporters.
Martin (Michael) Luther King, Jr. was a pastor born in 1929 in Atlanta, GA. He married Coretta Scott and had two children from the marriage. In 1955, he and others held a 382 day boycott on the segregated buses. From there, he became the most prominent nonviolent Civil Rights activist leader. In 1963, he wrote the famous Letter from Birmingham Jail. His most famous speech, titled "I Have a Dream" was delivered in Washington, DC on August 23, 1963.
George Wallace of Alabama
While attending the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa, Forrest ran into the governor (quite literally).
George Wallace was the governor of Alabama for four terms. He was extremely racist, saying, "In the name of the greatest people that have ever trod this earth, I draw the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny, and I say segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever." In 1963, Vivian Malone and James Hood attempted to enroll at the University of Alabama. Wallace stood in front of the auditorium in an attempt to stop them. Wallace also tried to stop elementary school black students from enrolling. Wallace criticized Kennedy for his sympathy toward Civil Rights.
Assassination of Robert Kennedy
Although John Kennedy was actually pictured in the movie, Forrest does mention in the narration that his brother (Robert) had been killed as well).
The Space Race
Lieutenant Dan gets a prosthetic leg made out of a titanium alloy, "the same stuff they make the space shuttle out of".
After graduating from UA, Forrest gets approached by a recruiting officer about joining the Army and is shipped off to Vietnam to fight.
Jenny, Forrest's love interest, quit her job as a stripper and became a hippie. Forrest was exposed to hippie life due to her.
The Murder of Emmett Till
In the beginning of Forrest's story, he says that he was named after Nathan Bedford Forrest, who was a member of the KKK.
The KKK were mainly responsible for the murder of Emmett Till. 14-year-old Till had whistled at a white woman who worked in a store in 1955. The woman's husband, Roy Bryant, and J.W. Milam, both KKK members, beat Till to death. He was so savagely beaten that he was unrecognizable. His murder sparked Civil Rights activism.
While in DC accepting a medal of honor, Forrest found himself onstage speaking at a war protest.
While getting recognized for his accomplishments in Ping Pong, Forrest stayed in the Watergate Hotel.
Robert Kennedy was born in 1925 in Massachusetts. RFK was a member of the Naval Reserves and a graduate of Harvard. He served as the 64th Attorney General under his brother, JFK, and Lyndon Johnson from 1961-1964. He was a senator of New York after the assassination of his brother. Robert ran for president on the Democratic ticket in 1968. He was deeply involved in Civil Rights and became popular among minority voters. He was shot and killed in 1968 by Sirhan Sirhan.
The Space Race started in 1957 and lasted until ~1972. It was essentially a competition between the USSR and the United States to see who had the most advanced technology. During the Cold War, it was important to both sides to be seen as the #1 World Power. In 1957, the USSR launched the Sputnik, the first satellite to go into orbit. The US attempted to copy them, but many of their first attempts blew up (oops). Finally, in 1960, the US showed the USSR their own technological advancements by putting two men-Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin-on the moon.
The war in Vietnam was a landmark war in US history. First of all, the Vietnam War was incredible because it was never declared. It was a war on communism but also a way for the USSR and US to fight without entering each others' countries. The US supplied South Vietnam and the USSR supplied the Viet Cong to topple the democratic government and strengthen northern communism. The Vietnam War was the first to be televised. The war was spread out over three presidents (Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon) from 1959 to 1975. The war also sparked many anti-war movements (thank you, hippies!)
Hippie lifestyle evolved out of the 1970s largely because of the war in Vietnam. The hippies, as seen in the movie, were antiwar, had vans to transport groups of them, played music (Jenny's guitar) and sported long and flowy hair and clothing. The hippies considered themselves to be "in touch with the Earth" and were not big into religion but instead the spirit of the planet. They were pro-peace. They kept this peaceful nature through a plethora of drugs such as shrooms, LSD, and marijuana.
American support for the war in Vietnam did not have a strong base to begin with, as it was mainly seen as a war on communism. As the years went on, support quickly dwindled. Hippies, a prominent group of protestors, were far from the only ones. Many families of soldiers protested the war because of the death counts in Vietnam. Three presidents directed the war and all tactics seemed to fail. Eventually, the cause of the war was not great enough for the people to support it and they began to protest. Protests of the war were also driven by the fact that Americans could view the war on their home televisions for the first time and were horrified by what they saw.
Watergate was perhaps the biggest presidential scandal of all time. In 1972, a break-in occurred at the Watergate complex; it was discovered that phone wires were tapped to seek out enemies of the Nixon administration. At first, no one thought that Nixon was involved because of his astonishment at the actions of his administration. However, he was forced to released the Watergate tapes and support quickly fell as he seemed more and more guilty. The "Smoking Gun" tape was finally released 2 years after the initial break-in that proved Nixon's involvement since day one. He became the first and only president to resign (so far) so he could keep retirement benefits.
As a fellow football player, Forrest takes some of his money and invests it in various NFL teams. He visits the San Francisco 49ers in the early 90s to watch a game with his son. The two sit in the best seats of the stadium, right next to OJ Simpson, cheering on his old team. In 1994, OJ is charged with the murder of his wife, Nicole. Forrest watches part of the trial on TV and remembers sitting next to Simpson, who is not convicted of murder.
War in Afghanistan/President Obama
By the late 2000s, Little Forrest is grown up and ready for a career. Just as his father fought in Vietnam, Little Forrest decides to fight for freedom in the War on Terrorism. He fights in the war and has a finger blown off in an IED. When President Obama calls back the American troops from Afghanistan, Little Forrest is sent back home and given a purple heart in a special ceremony that he and his father attend. They both meet the first black president of the United States.
In the 1980s, HIV and AIDS became a really big deal. A lot of people were scared of the disease and associated it with homosexually, even giving it the name GRID (Gay Related Immune Deficiency).
Jenny died of a virus, but the movie never clarified which virus. In Forrest Gump II, it is discovered that she died of HIV/AIDS and passed it on to Forrest. Jenny contracted the virus through needles she used to do drugs during her hippie days. Although the "AIDS Epidemic" is associated with the '80s, treatments are associated with the 1990s. These treatments came with a huge price tag. Forrest lives with HIV/AIDS but only because he has a ton of money and can afford the treatments. The entire situation is kept quiet (this is important because people with HIV/AIDS were heavily discriminated and we wouldn't want that to happen to Forrest or his son!)
OJ Simpson Trial