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FAMOUS PEOPLE

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Rosa Parks is widely known as the African-American woman who refused to get off her seat on a bus. She did not want to forfeit her seat in order for a white individual to replace her. She was arrested and taken into custody against her will, just because she felt the need to stay on the seat she felt she rightfully deserved. On December 1st, 1955, according to history, Rosa Parks was tired and exhausted from a long day of work. In fact, under different circumstances, she would have probably given up her seat willingly to a child or elderly person. But at this point in history, Parks was tired of the treatment she and other African-Americans received everyday of their lives. This included racism, segregation, prejudice and the Jim Crow laws of the time. After she took a stance, Americans seemed to notice and the laws and regulations of the time were questioned and subsequently, revised. Before her arrest, Parks had the fire inside of her to change what was wrong with things that were unjust. She served as secretary of the NAACP and later an adviser to the NAACP Youth Council and tried to register to vote on many occasions when it was basically impossible to do so. Not only was Parks a legitimate figure in the African-American community, but also she initiated change without really realizing so. After the bus incident, the establishment of the Montgomery Improvement Association was implemented, led by a young pastor named Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The world today is clearly different all because of Rosa Parks refusing to give her seat up. Her action lead to reaction, which is the most important part in establishing change. Her act of defiance began a movement that ended legal segregation in America. This meant that people of different color could finally start drinking from the same water fountain, restrooms were not designated “colored” and “white,” and one of the most important things was that schools started desegregating, which meant black and white children could attend the same schools. This last item was finally implemented by the passing of the Brown v. Board of Education law, but it would not have been able to happen if Rosa Parks had gotten up from her seat. Had she done that, our future as Americans would have been compromised and the laws that are active today might have been something African-Americans would still be fighting for. Her courageous act did change the world, because to this day, it still affects us and our rights as citizens. She made the world a different place by defying what she thought was wrong, which is something all prominent historical and present figures continue to do to this day.
     William H. Gates is the chairman and chief software architect for the Microsoft Corporation. Microsoft is the worldwide leader in software, services, and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential. One of the richest men in America and also the world, Gates’ company had revenues of $36 billion for the fiscal year ending in June 2004 and employs more than 55,000 people in 85 countries and regions. Gates grew up in Seattle, Washington and started Harvard University in 1973, where he met Paul Allen. Gates and Allen worked on a version of the programming language BASIC, which was the basis for the MITS Altair, which was the first microcomputer available. He left Harvard his junior year to dedicate himself to Microsoft, a company he had begun in 1975 with Allen. Even back then, Gates and Allen believed that the computer would be a priceless device on every office desktop and home. They began developing software for personal computers. Under Gates’ leadership, Microsoft’s mission has been to consistently advance and improve software technology, and to make it easier, more cost-effective and more enjoyable for people to use computers.
     Bill Gates has been able to provide the essential use of computers to the nation and beyond. Although he has seen great success, Gates has been criticized for aggressive business tactics. The Microsoft monopoly has dominated every market it has entered through acquisitions and as mentioned above, aggressive business tactics. It has prevented other up-and-coming computer software entrepreneurs to rethink their approaches. Because of his ambitiousness, Gates has been able to keep his hold on the computer software industry by not letting other companies grab hold of what he worked so long and hard to create and establish. Gates changed the world positively and negatively. On the positive aspect, he has helped regular, working-class people use a basic computer. Even if you are not in a working environment, you can still manage to use the computer with general knowledge of the Microsoft programs. Negatively, he has contributed to the laziness of people. Now, with a click of a button, you can access everything from Microsoft Word to Microsoft Internet Explorer without having to leave the comfort of your own home or office. Actual books and journals have taken a back seat to the convenience of double clicking. Regardless of the influence Gates has had positively and negatively, one cannot ignore the fact that he has changed our world. Through his company, he has managed to revitalize people and their view of computers. Without Gates, the world would be extremely different because I would not be writing this paper right now. We live in such a fast-paced world that we are always looking to minimize our efforts and time management skills. Gates has single-handedly created a second world in the eyes of many people; he has affected our world by making it easily accessible and comprehensible.
     Osama Bin Laden was an unknown person before September 11, 2001. Bin Laden masterminded and financed several of the past decade's most barbaric acts of terrorism. His worldwide terrorist network, Al-Qaeda, played a central role in the September 11, 2001 multiple plane hijackings and coordinated attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Bin Laden tops the FBI's most wanted terrorist list. Until recently, he has been living in exile under the protection of Afghanistan's Taliban regime. Since the collapse of the Taliban regime, he has been in hiding. Bin Laden has made no secret of his anti-American, anti-Western and anti-Israel sentiments. In fact, he has been outspoken on these topics, calling for Muslims to attack Americans and threatening terrorism against related targets.
     Bin Laden formed the Al-Qaeda organization in 1988 and it is believed to have operatives in as many as twenty countries. His power as a supposed “businessman” as influenced many Saudis and has impacted the way Saudis view western civilizations. After the September 11 attacks on New York City’s World Trade Center, the entire world has obviously been a different place to live. The general public was astonished and confused as to why such a massive display of hatred was shown towards the United States. Osama Bin Laden’s disgust for the US triggered a public outcry for something to be done to stop such a dominant figure in terrorism.
     Without Osama Bin Laden, the state of the country would probably be as it was a few years back. The country was living in what was thought of as a peaceful environment and something to this degree never crossed their minds. With the attacks, the world went into mourning and this somber period reflected a turning point for the United States. Osama Bin Laden negatively affected this world because of the way things turned out. He made us all believe that one day, anything could happen that could wipe away our view of the world. Positively, there is not much that can be said. He killed innocent human beings and created turmoil and more chaos than anyone could have ever imagined. There are no words to describe the emotional roller coaster American citizens and the world beyond felt the days following the now infamous attacks. The world as we knew it was shaken up and verified our belief in that true evil lies all around us. As of right now, his whereabouts are unknown, however, the one thing that remains is that when he is found, Americans will feel vindicated knowing that he has been captured and maybe someday, our lives can feel safer than what they have felt in the subsequent years after the attacks.

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