Personal History Project

On September 8th 1990, it was a hot sunny day in the city of Cali, Colombia. Temperature around 88°F with very low humidity, normal for that time of year, since the summer was about to begin. A sky full of altocumulus clouds cooled the estimated population of about 1. 7 million people (“1990 population estimate for Cali, Colombia. “). Among that population there was my mother. Already late for her gynecology appointment, inconveniently causes by a car accident, she would shortly find out when I would be entering the world. The accident turned a 20-minute drive in a 45-minute drive.

Rushing into the clinic, as the doctor’s assistant was calling her name, she rapidly was taken to the back to speak with the provider. When the doctor came into the room he calmly said, “I have good news, and bad news”. My mom’s heart already racing she decided to go with the bad news first. “The probability of being a complicated birth is pretty high, which means the surgical team will have to perform a cesarean section instead of a vaginal birth”. My mother relived thinking it would be something much worse she asked the doctor to go ahead with the good news. The baby will probably be arriving today”. My mom became frantic, “that’s the good news? They might as well both have been bad! My mother panicked, she had nothing ready for the birth, since her first child was not due for another 10 days. Her hormone levels raging at an all time sky high, she shortly began to cry. The doctor and his staff hugged her and reassured her that everything was going to be ok. They quickly rushed her to the hospital where they would have all the equipment in the event that there were any major complications.

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Once she was all settled in, the operating room staff started to prepare for the birth around 3:15 P. M. The staff thought I was ready to come out, however I took another three hours to make my grand appearance. At 6:23 PM I arrived spreading my arms and legs with a frantic cry, weighing in at seven pounds eight ounces and standing tall at 21inches. Little did my mother know that the only thing that would keep me quiet and calm would be a bottle of warm milk in a Gerber bottle, and a warm, snuggly, blue blanket wrapped around me.

As I entered the world there was many thing/events that took take place that would have an unparalleled impact on the era. Little did I know that all these things were taking place during the time I was born until later on. Many authors were writing books, fashion was slowly changing, and music was being produced representing the time period. Although these would be positive cultural changes during the era I was born, there would be also some negative events that would take place and will forever remain in our memories. Among these were the Gulf War and Hurricane Andrew.

In 1990 there where thousands of books published, among those, two books caught my attention. The first piece of literature would be Michael Crichton’s own, Jurassic Park. The movie was about a scientist who retrieved DNA from a pre-historic mosquito trapped in tree sap, in order to try and clone the DNA to create dinosaurs. He opened a park in an island to exhibit these creatures that had been lost in time (Jurassic Park #1). After the success of his first book he was motivated to keep on writing about this adventurous story. Five years later in 1995 he released Jurassic park: The Lost World.

His stories have inspired comic books, video games and most importantly, the three movies that were created. Two of the movies were based of his books. The book was and continues to be very popular, however, the movie in 1993 is what made it as popular as we know it to this day. The movie was directed by one of the, if not the best, director of all times, Steven Spielberg. This movie would revolutionize the special effects of its time. Many critics argued that the acting was not the greatest however the special effects incorporated into the movie during the early 90’s were bluntly incomparable.

This would revolutionize special effects from there on (Jurassic Park). Another book that many of us can make connections to, not only because of the author, but because it speaks to everyone without an age restriction. This inspirational book is Oh The Places You’ll Go, By Dr. Seuss, which talks to students graduating, tries to tell them that there are no limitations and that they will go far and succeed (Dr. Seuss). This book was particularly famous because it was written one year before the great Dr. Seuss passed the way in 1991, making this his last book of 44 that he wrote in 87 years of his life.

There has been over 200 million copies of his books sold and have translated to over 15 different languages. We still continue to incorporate his magical and inspirational stories today and probably for many years to come (Theodor Seuss Geisel – “Dr. Seuss” Biography). Accompanying the books, as another form of art, there was the quickly changing music industry. Mariah Carey released her first album titled Mariah Carey. She produced four no. 1 singles in that album, which lead her to win two Grammys that year, one for Best New Artist and another one for Best Female Pop Vocal Performer.

Since she released her first album she has always had singles that have been at the top of the billboard charts. As model performer she continues to inspire a many young talented singers that want to pursue the same path. She still continues to write her own songs today and continues to be an icon and superstar in the Pop music industry today (Mariah Carey’s Biography). Along with Mariah Carey we also had MC Hammer. Like Mariah he released his first album in 1990. Most famous for his song U Can’t Touch This, which dominated the radio and MTV in 1990, something that very few rap songs had done in the past.

His first album made him viral. Fighting racism and all he still manage to sell 10 million copies making his first album, Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em, the number one album of the year. He would forever revolutionize the rap industry by combining music styles from the famous James Brown, and aiming it towards a young audience, which helped him become very popular. He was a clear example that rap singer could too be at the top of the Billboard charts and win multiple Grammys despite his race (Huey, Steve). In 1990 celebrities drove fashion and attires.

Everyone wanted to wear what the celebrities were wearing. Popular shows like the Fresh Prince, Saved by the Bell, Full House. Celebrities like LL Cool J, Michael Jordan, and Jennifer Aniston also inspired the changes in fashion. People wanted to be popular and be “in” with fashion. Many African Americans began to cut their hair in a flat top mainly inspired by Will Smith and the Fresh Prince, which also inspired a trend to wear baggy clothing. Women began to wear tighter clothes while men began to wear looser fitting clothes..

Among the African Americans there was also a drive to wear Michael Jordan Shoes. Jordan and his shoes continue to make countless amounts of money due to the popularity of his shoes. Today we see many of the “retro” Jordans become re-released with a limited amount of shoes so they can keep up the popularity and the prices of the shoes. My brother is fan of his shoes, his collection adding up to over 30 different styles of the Jordans. The same trend that we saw in the 90’s in which celebrities brought back old styles much like the flannel shirts that we see today.

Much like Rhianna has brought back the short haircut for females in today’s fashion so did Jennifer Anniston in the early 90’s. Much like in the year I was born, the years to follow and even today we continue to see media, celebrities, and advertisement create an immaculate impact on the fashion in America (The Great 90s. “). Everyday we are reminded on how fashion and celebrities’ trends have changed over the years by media, consequently we sometimes tend to forget the catastrophes that we have experienced in the past.

A major event that took place in August 1992, even thought it was not in the year I was born I think this event would have a dramatic impact on Florida until today, hurricane Andrew made landfall in South Florida. It was a category 4 hurricane with winds gusting up to 175 miles per hour. It created a total damage of $26 billion between Florida, Louisiana and the offshore damages that it caused. The impact that this hurricane had on the United States is that it raised awareness about hurricanes. Florida still continues to improve the preparedness standards.

Today Florida has the toughest building code standards in the nation, mainly due to the devastation of hurricane Andrew (Hurricane Andrew). I got to experience hurricane Charley first hand back in 2003. The hurricane made landfall 15 miles north of Naples Florida, where I resided at the time. From my step dads wise words he made sure that he had everything covered and prepared in comparison to Andrew where he just rode out the storm. Today many Floridians continue to make strives in preparation of hurricanes, in order to safeguard their homes and their lives.

As I was ready to enter the world, the United States began to enter a War. This would come to be known as Operation Desert Storm. This war was revolutionary because it showed the capabilities of Air Power, mainly carried through by the US Air Force. They US Military began to shoot down all opposing aircraft down. This was a short-lived war against Iraq, due to the invasion of Kuwait. This war would show the American people the capability and power that the US had in comparison to other nations. This ould bring the nation closer mainly because they could watch the war live from their TVs at home. This War would help mend the wound caused by the War in Vietnam, since only 200 Americans were killed (The Gulf War). This also helped reassure the taxpayers dollars were not going to waste and that indeed the United States’ Air Force dominated the skies. As an Active Duty Military Member of the US Air Force, I take a special pride and honor in recognizing all of those veterans that have fallen for our freedom that some people take for granted every day.

Each day that goes by, there’s no event that takes place that doesn’t help shape History or impact the future of our nation. History has a great deal of interpretation, not all of us are going to agree on how a particular event changed our history. What we can all agree on is that everyone that surrounds us, or has made contact with us, has helped shape the person that we are today. So when you look back at all the names that echo on in history we can agree that they have not reached their fame by just themselves, they have required people like you and me to shape who they are today.

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