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A monumental oversight

Over at Joust The Facts last week, Giacomo linked to this article seeking the 7 Wonders of the Modern World. I don't know enough to discuss the merits of most of them, but I was sorely offended by the sole American representative on the list -- the Statue of Liberty. Of all the wondrous man-made things in America, they chose a statue built and presented by the French as a sop for siding with the Confederacy during our Civil War.

I took that as a challenge, and started wondering about what American icon should be on that list. My first thought was to get snarky about plastic surgery, and mention Pamela Anderson, Joan Rivers, Michael Jackson, or Cher. But I thought better of it, and instead came up with three that I think will stand the test of time.

1) The Hoover Dam.

2) Mount Rushmore.

3) The Apollo 11 Lunar Module.

My criteria were historical significance, sheer magnificence, and iconic status. Tourist appeal would also be nice. (Granted, we can't expect much of a tourism boost on that last one...)

So, what would you like to see as America's contribution to a Seven Wonders Of The Modern World?


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Comments (39)

Internet.... (Below threshold)

Internet.

I would add the Niagara pow... (Below threshold)
chsw10605:

I would add the Niagara power stations, still in use today, which were the first large-scale hydroelectric
facilities. These pre-date Hoover Dam by about 40 years.

I would also add Disney World, which represents American commercialization of mass culture.

Lastly, I would add the Flatiron Building in New York City as it was the first "skyscraper" with steel frame/curtain wall construction and high speed elevators

The pyramids are a wonder o... (Below threshold)
engineer:

The pyramids are a wonder of the 'ancient' world, why include them in the 'modern' world? In fact, several of the items really don't apply to the 'modern' world. I think there needs to a specific time that differentiates between 'ancient' and 'modern'.

I like Hoover Dam and Mr. R... (Below threshold)

I like Hoover Dam and Mr. Rushmore, but I'm more of a traditionalist - major construction/architecture - for these things.

I'd have put the World Trade Center on the list - an amazing engineering feat. A host of bridges could qualify - maybe this one. Or this one. But not this one. And definitely not this one.

Let's see what everyone comes up with.

Golden Gate BridgeTh... (Below threshold)
dom:

Golden Gate Bridge
The White House
Cap Canaveral

First thing that popped int... (Below threshold)
914:

First thing that popped into My head was "Internet" but I see Stephen beat Me to it.

The U.S. Highway system is a massive achievement that allows for the whole country to run 24/7 everyday of the year.

pretty impressive

Atomic and then Nuclear Ene... (Below threshold)
willy:

Atomic and then Nuclear Energy

I hate the French worse tha... (Below threshold)
Kirk:

I hate the French worse than I hate the terrorists.

Hoover Dam gets my vote. A... (Below threshold)
Luke:

Hoover Dam gets my vote. Awesome feat for th 1930s.

How about the Empire State ... (Below threshold)
David:

How about the Empire State Building.

Just to date me, Route 66, changed the face of America. Pick you favorite Aircraft Carrier.

Just read the original stor... (Below threshold)
gregory:

Just read the original story, it amazes me that St Peters Basilica in Rome is not on that list.

Hoover DamThe Gold... (Below threshold)
Hermie:

Hoover Dam

The Golden Gate Bridge

Mount Rushmore

Empire State Building

The Pentagon Building

The Boeing 747


Phone systemThe wo... (Below threshold)
yetanotherjohn:

Phone system

The worlds largest machine which is literally physically connected around the globe with copper wire. An american invention and so reliable people don't even realize it is there until a natural disaster takes it away.

Crazy Horse Monument. Much ... (Below threshold)
Mike Boelter:

Crazy Horse Monument. Much larger in size than Mount Rushmore and totaly constructed to date with private funds on Indian property donated by the Indian tribes.

Notice NO GOVERNMENT MONEY i.e. your tax dollars were not spent on this effort.

For other US Wonders how about the St. Louis Arch?

Crazy Horse monument... (Below threshold)

Crazy Horse monument
Stone Mountain
Mt. Rushmore
Brooklyn Bridge - setting the example for dreaming and building big.
Erie Canal

Independence Hall, PA... (Below threshold)
PSGInfinity:

Independence Hall, PA
The Panama Canal
The transcontinental railroad
The clipper ship
The Model T

Seconded:
Hoover Dam
The phone system
The internet

The Panama Canal.... (Below threshold)
Scott:

The Panama Canal.

Another vote for the Inters... (Below threshold)
Arthur:

Another vote for the Interstate Highway System.

I assume PSGInfinity means ... (Below threshold)
David:

I assume PSGInfinity means the Yankee Clipper, not just any clipper ship design.

1) The Big Dig<br /... (Below threshold)
robert:


1) The Big Dig
2) Nobel Peace Prize for Yasser Arafat
3) Giving away the Panama Canal
4) Spandex
5) Who shot JFK?
6) French Diplomacy
7) 56 games

Empire State Building... (Below threshold)
Kristian:

Empire State Building
Pentagon
Manhattan Project
Invasion of Normandy
Apollo Space Program
SR-71 Black Bird

Note, all of these were conztructed/completed in frankly stunningly short time from start of program (design to completion).

Also,
Panama Canal

Don't forget the Colossus o... (Below threshold)

Don't forget the Colossus of Ted Kennedy's Head and the Political Seven Wonders of the World:

http://www.rightlinx.com/?p=434

The Wright flyer. ... (Below threshold)

The Wright flyer.

Gateway Arch, St Lou... (Below threshold)
Imhotep:


Gateway Arch, St Louis, Missouri.....home of the 2006 World Champions.

The constitution of the uni... (Below threshold)
dave:

The constitution of the united states and the bill of rights.

The arch itself is not terr... (Below threshold)

The arch itself is not terribly remarkable. However, the elevator that goes up one leg and down the other is really a marvel.

BTW, does Pam Anderson count as one wonder or two?

Seconded or thirded - The G... (Below threshold)
JD:

Seconded or thirded - The Golden Gate Bridge. Difficult to construct, breathtaking in scope, and just fargin' beatiful to behold.

Submitted for your consideration: USS Nautilus. Or, USS Nimitz and its follow-on sister ships in that classification.

I vote for the Internet. </... (Below threshold)
RK:

I vote for the Internet.

Nitromethane, baby!... (Below threshold)
YFS:

Nitromethane, baby!

Their list is simple - noth... (Below threshold)
JAT:

Their list is simple - nothing in America will be included in the final list.

Missing: Arlington Cemetery - final resting place of those who helped free Europe from Nazi Germany, and helped free peoples from tyranny in so many different lands and wars.

Sad...

Ken McCracken. Not so fast,... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Ken McCracken. Not so fast, today is the hundredth anniversary of Santos Dumont's a Brazilian's inaugural flight. From Wikipedia.. (Santos Dumont)"finally achieved his dream of flying on an airplane in October 23 of 1906, when, piloting the 14 Bis before a large crowd of witnesses, he flew a distance of 60 metres (197 ft) at a height of 2-3 m. This well-documented event was the first flight verified by the Aero-Club De France of a powered heavier-than-air machine in Europe, and the first public demonstration in the world of an aircraft taking off from an ordinary airstrip with a non-detachable landing gear and on its own power (self-propelled)"

You're wrong on the Statue ... (Below threshold)

You're wrong on the Statue of Liberty. That statue was originally intended for the Suez Canal, but that failed, so the french sent it to us.
For arcitecture and structural marvels...yea I would say Mount Rushmore (you say Crazy Horse had no government funding whatsoever, well maybe not directly, damn near everything at that size has government subsidization on some level). Modern Aircraft Carriers (or modern nuclear submarines), modern freeway systems, modern railroad, modern aircraft, for high-speed, think the X-43a, recorded @ Mach 9.8 (NASA SCRAMJet project), San Fransisco Bay Bridge (crosses Treasure Island), for pure release (controlled or uncontrolled) of power: Nuclear Fusion/Fission, what else did I leave out?

"BTW, does Pam Anderson cou... (Below threshold)
Faith+1:

"BTW, does Pam Anderson count as one wonder or two?"

She would have to be the Canadian submission.

* Internal combustion engin... (Below threshold)
Dave A.:

* Internal combustion engine
* Atom bomb
* Duck tape

I am not a New Yorker nor e... (Below threshold)
kbiel:

I am not a New Yorker nor even a fan of the city, but I would have to nominate the whole of Manhattan has a wonder of the world.

Golden Gate Bridge, an incr... (Below threshold)
Corky Boyd:

Golden Gate Bridge, an incredible engineering feat, crowned by its sheer beauty.

The Internet, the most profound communications, educational and societal development since the invention of movable type.

SR-71, still the most advanced aircraft in the world, after 40 years.

If it can be anything, then... (Below threshold)

If it can be anything, then it has to be the Space Shuttle. I know it's outdated, but it's still the most complex piece of machinery on the planet.

If it must be an engineering feat, then it's the Panama Canal. I know it's not exactly here, but we built it -- after it claimed the lives of over 20,000 Frenchmen (and locals laborers). We came in and drained the swamps, built cities and infrastructure, and built the canal. We can brag about carving some heads on a mountain, but the Panama Canal changed the world.

So, what would you like ... (Below threshold)
Veeshir:

So, what would you like to see as America's contribution to a Seven Wonders Of The Modern World?

How about America itself? By far the greatest wonder of the modern world.

The Apollo Program blows th... (Below threshold)
charles:

The Apollo Program blows them all out of the water. Greater than the Manhattan Project and the Panama Canal combined. Greater than the pyrimids were for the egyptians. Cost America more than 200$(1960s) from every man, woman and child in the USA. The Saturn V was a 36 story skyscraper tuned more precisly than a swiss watch. Do you realise we couldn't get to the moon today if we wanted to. Honestly, nothing else is even close.




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