Last week we continued a journey through a growth period of our great nation as it would have appeared during the lifetime of one individual.  We began the journey in 1883 and are now at a time in the countries’ history that the United States would become the leader of the free world and would ultimately to be the leader of the world.

In 1936 Fields was selected by the F.D. Roosevelt administration to become the Federal District Attorney for the Western Region of Louisiana.  That same year the Spanish Civil War began and Germany secretly sent aid to Spain and used the experience to train German pilots.  America also sent volunteers to aid the Spanish government and one of the volunteers was Ernest Hemmingway who later wrote a novel about the war.

Up until 1937 there was no plastic.  Dow Chemical changed that and in 1937 plastic was invented.  Today it would be unimaginable living in a world with no plastic.  Louisiana continued to slowly pave its’ state roads.  In 1928 when Long became governor there were less than 100 miles of paved roads in the state.

In 1939 World War II began.  Germany invaded Poland and while German tanks rolled through the streets of Warsaw, the federal government was building a case that would ultimately be known as the Louisiana scandal and lead to convicting approximately 200 individuals to include the governor of Louisiana and the president of Louisiana State University.  Two men committed suicide and the remnants of the Long administration went to prison.

On December 7th, 1941 the United States began a journey that would make it the military leader of the world.  Japan attacked the American fleet at Pearl Harbor and the United States entered World War II.  America slugged its’ way across the Pacific and landed at Normandy in Europe as it provided resources required to do its’ part to win the World War.  In 1942, the American Navajo Indians, a tribe that had been brutally oppressed, sent warriors to fight as American Marines and helped to win the war by transmitting information in Navaho; a language never understood by the Japanese.  The Wind Talkers became a part of American history. This generation of Americans was referred to as the greatest generation of America but it was the parents and grandparents of this generation that molded the men and women that made the generation so great.

In 1945, the theory that was developed by a German scientist in the early part of the 1900s came to be a proven fact.  America dropped the first nuclear bomb and the world changed forever.  In 1949 the Soviet Union developed its’ version of the Atomic Bomb.  Although the weapon threatened to destroy the world, it probably also kept the world free as the two superpowers that would have ultimately used this weapon realized the total destructive power.  Neither country wanted to see the world destroyed.

The world quickly changed following the end of World War II.  The United Nations was formed in 1945 and in 1947 British India was set free and split into India and Pakistan.  This break-up continued as England and France gave up claim to a large part of the world.  Imperial rule was ending and the world was filling with sovereign countries.   Israel became a nation in 1948.  Union Parish was also seeing growth as it became one of the first parishes to have all of its’ state roads paved in the early 1950s.

Following the war science turned to creating unique inventions instead of mass produced war machines.  In 1947 Bell labs invented the transistor and thus the miniature radio could be invented and ultimately the computer.  In the early 1950 the DNA code was cracked and the study of life took on a new meaning that is only today being fully realized.

Our subject, Harvey Fields was no longer in politics but had relegated to be a small town lawyer in the deep south but he not oblivious to what was happening around him.  In 1954 television was blooming and radio started broadcasting music.  The world was changing at an alarming pace.  In 1954 the USS Nautilus was launched and nuclear energy now powered a submarine that carried 12 nuclear warheads.  The space race was launched when Russia launched Sputnick and America jumped in a contest for domination of space.

Our story ends in 1961, Harvey Fields died.  The day he went to heaven the United States went to space as Allen Shepard became the first American to leave earth’s gravity in a manned space capsule.

Fields life saw so much.  From commuting by buggy to the introduction of the Corvette on the American road.  From a flight of less than a minute at Kitty Hawk to flying in space.  From the Winchester repeating rifle to the atomic bomb.  From the first lighting by electricity to air conditioning, to radio and television and brightly lit streets.  From a country reeling by a civil war to the mightiest country in the history of the world.  This one life span saw more growth and enginuity than any other.

Since the birth of Jesus there have been approximately 40 generations and 20 life spans.  This life span is probably the finest hour for the history of the world.


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