10 Things Turning 100 in 2017
Watch the video below of 10 famous things turning 100 this year (full text rundown of the list below the video):
1. Constitution of Mexico (February 5)
The modern Mexican constitution, proclaimed by Mexican President Venustiano Carranza, was a landmark progressive political document promising land restoration to indigenous peoples and broad economic reforms.
2. "Fountain" (April 10)
The porcelain urinal, signed "R.Mutt" was purchased by French sculptor Marcel Duchamp from a New York plumbing supplier and submitted for the exhibition of the Society of Independent Artists at the Grand Central Palace. The piece launched an artistic revolution that continues today.
3. Pulitzer Prize (June 4)
The 100th anniversary of the prestigious arts and journalism award was celebrated in the 2016 documentary The Pulitzer at 100. Journalists Nicholas Kristof and David Remnick, novelists Toni Morrison and Junot Diaz and musicians Wynton Marsalis and David Crosby are all featured in the film. Jean Jules Jusserand, Herbert Bayard Swope, Laura E. Richards and Maud Howe Elliott all won that first year.
4. Espionage Act (June 15)
Increasingly concerned about "warfare by propaganda," the U.S. Congress passed the Espionage Act two months after America entered World War 1. The act criminalized citizens who "willfully make or convey false reports or false statements with intent to interfere with the operation or success of the military or naval forces of the United States or to promote the success of its enemies and whoever when the United States is at war, shall willfully cause or attempt to cause insubordination, disloyalty, mutiny, or refusal of duty, in the military or naval forces of the United States, or shall willfully obstruct the recruiting or enlistment service of the United States, to the injury of the service or of the United States."
The act also stated that guilty individuals would "be punished by a fine of not more than $10,000 or imprisonment for not more than twenty years or both." Many worry that Donald Trump could use the Espionage Act to punish journalists who are critical of him or his administration.
5. Silent Parade (July 28)
Following the East St. Louis riots, W.E.B. Du Bois and the NAACP organized a march through New York City urging President Woodrow Wilson to implement anti-lynching legislation and advocate for African American causes. The 8,000-10,000-person civic action was the first march for black lives in New York.
6. "The Man Without a Country" (Released September 9)
The American silent feature film adaptation of Edward Everett Hale's short story was directed by Ernest C. Warde and released by Thanhouser Film Corporation. The original story was written during the American Civil War and follows an exiled pacifist (Holmes Herbert) who learns to love America.
7. Hewitt-Sperry Automatic Airplane (Final flight September 26)
During World War I, American inventor Elmer Sperry worked with the U.S. Navy with the goal of developing an aerial torpedo, flying bomb or pilotless aircraft. While the first armed drones would not be used until the Iran-Iraq war, the maiden test flight of an autopilot-equipped aircraft was conducted in 1917.
8. Russian Revolution: (March 8 - Nov. 8, 1917)
The proletariats' overthrowing of the imperial government led to the creation of the world's first communist country. The Bolsheviks' uprising inspired proletarian internationalism worldwide as well as America's first red scare.
9. Balfour Declaration (November 2)
Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour's 67-word statement to Baron Lionel Walter Rothschild established a Jewish homeland in Palestine. Having laid the groundwork for Arab-Israeli conflict, the declaration is considered one of the important documents in Middle East history.
10. Toggle light switch (November 27)
America's ubiquitous light switch was patented by New Yorkers William J. Newton and Morris Goldberg and has remained largely unchanged.