Top 5 Worst Events in U.S History

Source: CNN

Source: CNN

Luke Denahey, Writer

In this article, we will be looking at the top five worst events in United States history. Now for this list, I chose to only use events strictly in the U.S. I excluded events that led to World War I or World War II as they were not strictly here in the U.S. This is a very sad, painful, and disturbing list but I do appreciate you wanting to read about this. We can’t hide the past or hide from it; we can only confront it and learn more about it. 

Number Five – The Assassination of John F. Kennedy

Source: CNN

On November 22, 1963, President Kennedy was driving in a motorcade on a trip down to Dallas, Texas. President Kennedy was there for political motives and as a Presidential visit. He was in the President’s vehicle, which was a convertible at the time, President Kennedys’ wife Jackie, The Governor of Texas John Connally, and his wife Nellie all sat with Kennedy in the convertible. At approximately 12:30 pm President Kennedy was shot in the head by Lee Harvey Oswald. Kennedy’s last breath was taken at approximately 1:30 pm, 1 full hour after getting shot. Now, so many people have accused others of acting with Oswald to kill Kennedy and that it was a whole plot and Oswald did not act alone. Everybody from his Vice President, Lyndon Johnson to the mafia and then to the KGB. Just maybe it is that easy to strike down the most powerful man in America. What makes this number 5 is how shocking and unreal it is. The President of America, an office that is regarded as not just the most powerful in America but in the World itself, had just been murdered and is gone in a blink of an eye. We wonder is it that easy to knock down a man that powerful in seconds? People still recall the day and where they were and what they were doing 58 years ago at 1:30 pm hearing that the President of the U.S had just been murdered. This was the biggest assassination in the history of America and was one of the darkest days in United States History. 

Number Four – Sandy Hook School Shooting

Photo: Wall Street Journal

On December 14, 2012, nearly 10 years ago, one of the most disturbing events unfolded before the eyes of the world. A 20-year-old man named Adam Lanza drove to Sandy Hook Elementary School and took the lives of 20 six and seven-year-olds and six staff members including teachers, the principal, and the school psychologist. The scary thing is this whole story, but what’s really odd and scary is that the motive was and is unknown why a kid marched in and took the lives of little kids and teachers working to educate these little ones. The shooter is as well believed to have murdered his mother before going to the school. Mrs. Lanza was found with four bullet holes in her head face up on her bed. After all the shooting stopped after only 5 minutes it was discovered that Adam Lanza shot himself in the school’s janitor closet. The motive again for all this is all unknown even after 9 years of pain and agony go by. The sickest part of all of this is that there was a person out there willing to take the lives of 20 innocent and defenseless little children and innocent educators trying to make a difference all for absolutely nothing. Sandy Hook, the town of Newtown, the whole state of Connecticut, and America are to this day shaken to its very core. 

Number Three – The Great Depression

Photo: “The Migrant Mother” – Dorothy Lange

In 1929, the worst financial crisis came upon America, and to this day we have seen nothing that could compare to it. Many might not know that the stock market crash of 1929 was the main cause of the Great Depression but it was also caused by a number of other things including, Debt, Large bank loans, and the Roaring 20s when America had hit its peak and was booming. Then by 1929, the whole peak came crashing to a brutal and abrupt sink. Food became scarce, Money became almost nonexistent, jobs were fought over, and health and well-being were at an all-time low like we never thought imaginable. America was looking like a third-world country and the once “impenetrable” stock market was penetrated and sank like an anchor and took America, jobs, food, and yes people’s lives with it. An estimated amount of 23,000 people committed suicide due to the Great Depression and their bankruptcy. Along with 20,000 who went bankrupt overall. Unemployment at the time was at an unprecedented 25% in America. The only thing that saved America from this terrible financial crisis was FDR’s New Deal. FDR’s New Deal implemented new jobs and new ways to fight the Great Depression. The New Deal was one of the most successful acts by a President we have ever seen. America has yet to reach the heights it did during the Great Depression. However, that does not mean we can never have another Great Depression as the stock market has not had a huge crash since then so who knows as we all know never say never here in America.

Number Two – The Civil War


The worst war in all of American History started in 1861 and ended in 1865 losing god knows how many people. This war was not the most costly in terms of deaths, destruction, or damage but rather brought the country to a moral standstill. It would go on to define the battle of racial justice and overall morals. The south, known as the Confederates, would argue that slavery was what the country needed and that it should be expanded. The Union, which was the north, fought that slavery was wrong in every way possible from morally wrong to constitutionally wrong. The Union fought to keep slavery in the south as that’s what they could only do at the time. A time were putting your life on the line to keep a family locked up in chains just because of the color of their skin was “normal”. An estimated 620,000 people died in the Civil War. About 360,00 Union soldiers and 238,000 Confederate soldiers lost their lives. 360,000 lost for fighting to keep America America and 238,000 died to bring our country to its knees and to bring shame to this great country. The Civil War was a war about a morally corrupt and evil system that was racism and it was a war on ourselves. The war on ourselves is what makes this too so disturbing as our country was nearly ripped apart before even turning 100 years of age. It shows how two very different arguments with strong support on both sides can be deadly and can bring our democracy and country to its bare knees. 

Number One – 9/11

Photo: CNN

Now for unfortunately the worst event in United States history; 9/11. 9/11 was a series of four coordinated terrorist attacks by the Islamist terrorist group al-Qaeda against the United States on the seemingly normal morning of Tuesday, September 11, 2001. On that “normal” morning, four commercial airliners traveling from the northeast over to California were hijacked mid-flight by 19 al-Qaeda terrorists. Their main goal was to hit important and prominent American buildings and they crashed into the two twin towers in New York, the Pentagon, and then one crashed down in Pennsylvania after the passengers successfully reverted the plane which was planned to head to Washington and crash either into the White House or the Capitol. An estimated 2,996 people made up of Civilians, First Responders, and terrorists were among the dead on that fateful and horrid day. When we ask someone who was alive where they were when they heard about it they always tend to know the time and place they were at when they found out. It is something that will never be forgotten even when you and I are both in the ground. Generations upon generations will remember and learn about 9/11. This was the biggest act of terrorism in American History and hopefully, as much as it pains me to say this remains true for a long time. 9/11 changed how America lived and functioned. Airports, government securities, how the Middle East was viewed, and securities overall. The events of 9/11 will forever and always leave a big huge hole in the heart of America.