Top Ten Events

AP US Government and Politics

Please name the 10 historic events that occurred in YOUR lifetime that you think have had the greatest impact on the country. This could be one specific event, a series of related events or any other historic development or change that had an important impact on the nation.

Pew Research Center

AP US Government and Politics

  1. What generation are you a part of?

  2. Which generation was your list of the 10 most important events the most similar to?

  3. What generation was your list the most different from?

  4. Overall, what surprised you most about these lists?

  5. Overall, what do these lists tell us about the US?

  6. What is the biggest generational difference these lists reveal?

  7. Of all the historical events listed on all these lists, explain which event, 50 years from now, will not still be on any list?

  8. In the long run, do you believe that September 11 will end up being more historically significant to our country than WWII?

  9. How different do you think this list would be for someone from Africa OR A PERSON FROM ASIA?

  10. Respondents were asked to include only events from their lifetime. If you were allowed to add any event which has occurred since 1901 to your list, how would your list change? 

  11. What do you think the generation that included the Framers of the Constitution would have listed as their top events?

  12. Explain how different these lists would be for a conservative and a liberal of the same generation*:

  13. Describe How race and ethnicity impacts these lists*?

  14. Obama's election was ranked 2nd on the list for the most recent generations, and near the top for all the generations. Explain what was so important about Obama's election?

  15. This question was asked before Trump's election. How do you think Trump's election will rank on the list of the 10 historic events that occurred in YOUR lifetime that you think have had the greatest impact on the country.

  16. Let's call the generation born after 1998 (that's you) the igeneration. Explain the main way your generation is different from the Millennial Generation:

  17. Now that fake news makes such an impact on society, and people have difficulty distinguishing real from made-up events, explain whether we will have fake history, and thus very different lists of important events in the future:

Learning Extension

Read the Pew Research Center report on each generation's most important events.

Action Extension

After you make your list, share it with friends in person or online and ask them for their own list of top 10 events. From that data, compile a list of the most important events for your generation to share in class or online.


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