January: The American Dream
The end of World War II brought millions of young servicemen and women back to America to restart their lives at home and to start new families. New neighborhoods of clapboard homes with white picket fences filled the suburban landscape. Spurred by an unprecedented infusion of energy, American industry expanded anew to meet peacetime needs. Americans began buying goods that had been rationed during the war, fueling corporate expansion and creating jobs. Growth was everywhere – even inside the home, where the “baby boom” was underway. Our “Greatest Generation” was pursuing the American Dream.
February: Puttin' on the Ritz
The 20th century found America growing into an industrial giant, a world leader in many categories within a cultural melting pot. Cities and suburbs grew in all directions, encroaching on agricultural America. Immigrants flocked to our shores. Women fought for – and won – their rights. Activists convinced lawmakers to prohibit the sale of alcohol which subsequently gave rise to the speakeasies that played a profound role in the evolution of Jazz music. Gangsters, the automobile, talking pictures and the phonograph were changing the face – and the sounds – of an America in transition from the Victorian era to a modern one.
March: The Space Race
Manned flights into space during the 1950s and 1960s were rooted in adventure and exploration, and as the race to the moon progressed, pop culture responded with the fantasy of Star Trek and 2001: A Space Odyssey. With “one giant leap for mankind,” Americans did finally set foot on the moon in 1969, followed by the successful Space Shuttle program. But by 2011, our nation acknowledged the end of the Space Age. While we did not colonize new planets, the Space Age was hugely successful on earth where telecommunications, weather forecasting, agriculture, forestry and even the search for minerals were revolutionized by its technologies. Together we celebrate the men and women of our aerospace industry for their achievements.
In April we celebrate: A Nation United
In May we celebrate: The Greatest Generation
They grew up during the Great Depression, when what once had been the land of opportunity became a land of despair. Americans questioned everything they had come to believe in – democracy, capitalism, individualism. But unlike other developed countries in Europe that were suffering from the effects of the same economic crisis, the United States survived with both its Constitution and its resilience intact. They grew up listening to the radio, dancing to the Big Bands and playing family games, and when history called them to fight “the great war,” they rose to the challenge and became “The Greatest Generation.”
Our Legacy program will promote a Living History Fair, while our Great Debate group will discuss the concept of “duty”. Join us as Brookdale Celebrates: The History of a Nation and honor The Greatest Generation.
In June we celebrate: The Age of Technology
While many of our residents were born in homes with limited electricity, no phones, primitive radios and no refrigerators, they put the great American work ethic into practice. Working in private industry, they invented and created – and with their ingenuity and skills they laid the foundation for the technology we enjoy today – from the World Wide Web, and cell phones, to email, online shopping, live microwaves, and much more. We celebrate their industriousness and the astounding technological advances our own residents helped create and have then witnessed during their lifetimes. Our American History 101 program will teach all the unique characteristics of the “Me” generation. Our walking club Historic Steps will share the fun facts surrounding the birth of Silicon Valley. Join us as Brookdale Celebrates: The History of a Nation and honor The Age of Technology.
In July we celebrate: Birth of a Nation
In 1763, the British government not only levied a series of harsh taxes on American colonies, but also outlawed any settlement west of the Appalachian Mountains. In 1772, the Founding Fathers gathered with other colonists to create a framework for colonial governance. The subsequent actions of this group eventually led to the American Revolution, the Declaration of Independence (1776), the ratification of the Constitution of the United States (1788), the election of our first President (1789) and our Bill of Rights (1791). A new nation was born. This month we celebrate the United States of America and its 237th birthday. Our residents will perform several famous speeches and poetry from our founding fathers during American Expressions. Our Mix and Mingle is always a great social gathering, this month featuring the Liberty Cocktail. Join us as Brookdale Celebrates: The History of a Nation and honor the Birth of a Nation.
In August we celebrate: The Great Frontier
Settlers seeking to live the essential life migrated westward with their families, typically settling along rivers. Even before there were organized cities and towns, there was a strong sense of cooperation and community, with settler families meeting regularly to participate in sports, hold fairs and join in “hoedowns.” In truth, life in the West was rough with only a sprinkling of elegance. Hollywood’s fictional depictions of the Wild West notwithstanding, there were veins of raw truth in the stories of outlaws, hardship, drought, famine and even success. Fortunes were made and transferred and lives lost on a whim. This month we celebrate the fortitude of the pioneers who sacrificed life and health to settle the frontier west of the Appalachian Mountains. Our Great Debate group will consider the price of the pursuit of happiness, considering all that we gained, lost, and achieved during this time. And we will serve up a western favorite in our Cooking Demo – peach cobbler! Join us as Brookdale Celebrates: The History of a Nation and honor The Great Frontier.
In September we celebrate: The Industrial Age
On a continent seemingly blessed with unlimited natural resources with millions of immigrants ready to work, the Industrial Revolution changed American society, culture and the economy. Mechanization, transportation, the harnessing of electricity, and marketing were the keys to success: companies able to mass-produce products and convince people to buy them accumulated enormous wealth. The names Bell, Carnegie, Vanderbilt, Rockefeller, Edison, Ford, Wright, Diesel and Tesla are today more recognizable than those of presidents of their time: Harrison, Arthur, Garfield, Hayes and Cleveland. The Age of Invention was testimony to the work ethic, creativity and intelligence of the America of the era, as well the foundation for its rise to world power. We celebrate a generation of American ingenuity. Our American History 101 program will take a deep dive into the American ingenuity that has made us who we are today. Our intergenerational program Legacy will promote an Invention convention. Join us as Brookdale Celebrates: The History of a Nation and honor The Industrial Age.
In Ocotber we celebrate: A Generation Rises Up
As a world leader, America emerged from the Cold War and entered an unpopular foreign conflict, while a current of “underground revolution” erupted on the home front. The movement away from conservative roots changed the cultural fabric of American life. We witnessed on television the deaths of heroes: men, women, college students and children on our own streets and in the villages and jungles of Southeast Asia. The catharsis of the generation was expressed in the music that moved our spirits and eased our pain. Through the journey, it was the American spirit and leadership of “The Greatest Generation” that carried us through the storm and landed us on the moon. Our resident performers will have the opportunity to sing songs and recite poems born from the Age of Aquarius in our American Expressions troupe. The walking club Historic Steps will enjoy all the trivia and intriguing facts around the legendary Woodstock. Our Cooking demo will be serving Hippie Cheesecake just for the smiles! Join us as Brookdale Celebrates: The History of a Nation and remember how A Generation Rises Up.
In November we celebrate: Discovering the New World
Early explorers searching for a route to the riches of the Far East happened upon a land of plenty, soon to be called “America.” Over a century after “discovering” the New World, the first settlers planted roots in Jamestown, Virginia, and then Plymouth, Massachusetts. What type of explorer would leave Europe in a small wooden ship to sail across the ocean with no idea where they were going or what they might find along the way? Men like Erickson, Columbus, Cabot, Drake, Cartier, Marquette and Joliet, and Hudson. Remember, too, the Native Americans who had discovered this land centuries before as we celebrate the courage and strength of these early explorers and native peoples who planted the seeds of our new nation. Our intergenerational program Legacy is sure to bring many smiles as they promote a presentation of the Pilgrim Play. The American History 101 class is filled with the richness of information surrounding the beginnings of American. Join us as Brookdale Celebrates: The History of a Nation and our moment of Discovering the New World.
In December we celebrate: The Global Age
Although still a comparatively young nation, America has risen through the past half millennium from an unsettled land mass to become the leader of the free world. The first 12 years of “The New Millennium” are perhaps a microcosm of our history. Through the turmoil of this 21st century, America has rediscovered heroes willing to run into burning buildings to save their neighbors, to volunteer to preserve our freedom in the face of terrorism and to rush to help their fellow Americans who suffered from natural and economic disasters. The suffering and losses may have brought out the best of us along with a newborn respect and appreciation of our American way of life. This month we celebrate America in the Global Age – its people, its cultures and the values we hold dear and those we share. “We are the World” is one group song option for our resident performers in our American Expressions group. Our Historic Steps walking club will have the opportunity to walk and talk as they discuss the real meaning and location of Cyberspace! Join us as Brookdale Celebrates: The History of a Nation and honor The Global Age.