Essay on 1954, the Year of Firsts

Essay on 1954, the Year of Firsts

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The year 1954 is not one that comes to mind frequently unless one actually lived during that time. Even though this year was not the most memorable, many remarkable events in American history occurred during this time. Numerous other events also happened in 1954, but four best represent the amazing capabilities Americans have to change the world. The first kidney was successfully transplanted; the verdict on the Brown V. Board of Education was declared; Texas Instruments invented the first practical transistor radio that changed the electronic industry; and the first nuclear powered submarine was completed.
Today, transplants are common practice in hospitals for trauma patients. With the numbers of those with cancer on the rise, the need for organs for transplants have skyrocketed. Imagine a world where only skin transplants were common, and a kidney transplant was a last - ditch effort. This was the story in the first half of the 20th century. In the 1950s, a kidney transplant was only attempted if death was the other option for the patient. The medical background on transplants was not very vast and led to a few problems. Doctors did not know that only certain blood types could accept certain kidneys, so most transplants were unsuccessful. This was because the immune system of the patient fought against the foreign organ, thinking it was under attack. Doctors combated this problem by using radiation to stop a patient’s immune system so the body would succumb to the transplant. This worked too effectively, and most patients died from radiation or because their immune system was no longer functioning (Timeline). The first transplant was successful, because the patient who needed a kidney got it from his twin brother....

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...d of Education I (1954)." Civil Rights: Brown v. Board of Education I (1954). N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2014.
"History of Brown v. Board of Education." USCOURTSGOV RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Apr. 2014.
Linder, Douglas O. "Brown v Board of Education of Topeka: An Account." Brown v Board of Education of Topeka: An Account. N.p., 2011. Web. 30 Apr. 2014.
McBride, Alec. "Expanding Civil Rights." PBS. PBS, n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2014.
PBS. PBS, n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2014.
Reagle, Jason. "The First ICEX." Undersea Warfare. U.S. Submarine Force, n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2014.
Shoenher, Steven E. "Transistor Radio." Transistor Radio. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2014.
"Submarine Force Museum Home of Historic Ship Nautilus." About the Submarine Force Library & Museum. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2014.
"A Timeline of Kidney Transplantation." : Overcoming the Rejection Factor. MUSC, n.d. Web. 30 Apr. 2014.

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