Each time I’m prepping for a trip to the east coast (like the one I’ll take next week to run my client Brian Sims’ first NYC Holiday Reception), I tend think a lot about the similarities between politics, pop culture and corporate America. I’m fortunate to assist Troup clients working in each of these industries with branding and marketing strategies. And as I travel around the country, I’m consistently amazed by how closely these worlds resemble one another when you get up close and personal.
When thinking about topics for this week’s blog, I spent some time on the New York Times’ daily history website. I was struck by how many major events related to politics, pop culture and corporate America have taken place on December 5 throughout history. What follows are some of the most influential and important events accompanied by a short commentary delivered in my signature style….enjoy!
Dec. 5, 1782: Martin Van Buren was born in Kinderhook, New York. Van Buren went on to become the 8th U.S. President and the very first to be born after the country was formed. Though often overlooked, President Van Buren was one of the founders of the Democratic Party in America, and he is largely responsible for instituting a competitive, two-party system. He was also the first U.S. President not of British or Scots-Irish descent – his ancestors were Dutch.
Dec. 5, 1792: George Washington and John Adams were re-elected as President and Vice-President of the U.S., respectively. Arguably the most influential one-two punch in the history of U.S. politics, Washington and Adams were a dynamic duo that built the infrastructure to enable our country and its earliest citizens to prosper.
Dec. 5, 1901: Walt Disney was born – his work developing animation and theme parks revolutionized the entertainment industry. I can’t think of an entertainment company with a more consistently successful track record than Disney. They’ve been ahead of every technological innovation in animation throughout history – setting new trends and breaking box office records along the way. It was Walt Disney’s refusal to rest on his laurels that is largely responsible for his company’s ongoing evolution.
Dec. 5, 1933: Prohibition in the U.S. officially came to an end when Utah became the 36th state to ratify the 21st Amendment to the Constitution, which repealed the 18th Amendment. Can you imagine what business networking and holiday parties would be like without cocktails? A big thank-you to Utah for officially putting an end to Prohibition!
Dec. 5, 2002: Then Senate Republican leader Trent Lott committed political suicide by openly commending Strom Thurmond’s 1948 presidential campaign, which was built on a pro-segregation platform. The outrage over his comments led to Lott’s resignation from Senate leadership. Who would have thought that the likes of Lott and Thurmond would inspire an entire generation of new, ultra-conservative Republicans – what we now refer to as the Tea Party.
Dec. 5, 2008: A judge in Las Vegas sentenced O.J. Simpson to 33 years in prison (with eligibility for parole after nine) for an armed robbery at a hotel room. How does that saying go, “what goes around comes around?” Roughly 13 years after being (inexplicably) found not guilty in the murder of his ex-wife Nicole and her friend Ron Goldman, years of bad behavior finally caught up with O.J. This time around, no amount of celebrity or any ill-fitting glove would be enough to keep him from getting locked up.
TROUP there it is!