Historical Events in Forrest Gump That Happened in Real Life
Historical Events In Forrest Gump
The movie Forrest Gump presents some very accurate historical events that really happened. Three events that were in the movie Forrest Gump and also happened in real life: The Vietnam War, the integration at the University of Alabama, and Hurricane Carmen.
There are a lot of smaller historical events in Forrest Gump that really happened in real life, but these are three of the major ones.
Almost Like Little Rock Nine
Event 1: University of Alabama Integration
University of Alabama integration: The movie shows the integration at the University of Alabama, where Forrest plays football, in 1963 where the governor of Alabama, George Wallace, was trying to prevent two black students from enrolling. President Kennedy sent federal troops to make sure they were enrolled.
Accuracy of movie: The movie is pretty descriptive about the event. However, some of the white students and people in the background do not really seem to be concerned about what is going on, when in reality the white students were furious that the school was being integrated. However the movie does mention that military force was used to get them in and you can see the guards that were assigned to be with the students. A tiny detail is also added: In the movie, one of the black girls drops her book, and this actually happened, just not in the same place the movie scene took place.
Good to know: What Happened At Little Rock Nine: On September 23, 1957 there were nine black students admitted at Little Rock Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. Outside the Arkansas school there were mobs of white students who were protesting and ready to use violence in order to prevent the black students from being integrated to the high school. White students standing outside beat up black reporters because they didn’t want them near the school. The black students had to use the rear entrance and exit so they wouldn’t get hurt. To make sure that the nine students completed a successful day, Eisenhower ordered Gov. Faubus to stop interfering with the court order, and so Faubus was forced to remove the federal troops at the entrance of the school and let the blacks in, as the crowd outside chanted “Two, four, six, eight, we ain’t gonna integrate!” Each student had their own patroller to walk with them, but the white students still beat and harassed the nine black students.
Event 2: Hurricane Carmen
Summary: The hurricane hit the Atlantic Coast on August 29 and lasted until September 10th, in 1974. It hit Louisiana mainly and was a category 4 hurricane with winds at 150 mph. United States damage was estimated at $150 million. The storm inundated a total of 2,380,500 acres and brought salt water into the marshes which caused stress on the fish and shrimp in the area and caused minor ecological effects.
Accuracy of movie: Overall the movie did a moderately good job on portraying the hurricane; they hit some good points. The hurricane hit the coast of Louisiana, and the hurricane scene in the movie was shot in South Carolina. The movie was correct though when it showed the shrimping industry damaged. Many boats were actually damaged. However, in reality that is not what hurt the industry the most. The ecological effects that Carmen caused on the environment caused a short-time depletion of shrimp due to stress of the new water consistency, and that was what caused damage to the industry, not the actual damaged boats. Finally, the Bubbagump Shrimp Co. was indeed a shrimping company that was established around the time that the hurricane hit.
The Vietnam War
Event 3: The Vietnam War:
Summary: After Vietnam gained their independence from France the country split into an anti-Communist South and a Communist North. The United States backed South Vietnam and sent in 2,000 military advisors. This grew to 16,300 by 1963. In 1965 Johnson escalated the war and commanded air strikes on North Vietnam. The Tet Offensive began turning many Americans against the war. Nixon advocated “Vietnamization” and started withdrawing troops. In January 1973, an agreement reached and U.S. forces were withdrawn from Vietnam and U.S. prisoners of war were released. South Vietnam was defeated and surrendered to the North. 58,193 U.S. soldiers died, and 350,000 were injured. 2 million Vietnamese citizens died. It was the longest war in American history and the most unpopular American war of the twentieth century.
Accuracy of movie: Somehow the movie manages to portray the war as not-so-serious, and almost like any other war, when in fact it was the longest war in U.S. History, and many soldiers didn’t even know what they were fighting for. However, the movie was correct when they mentioned the heavy rains in Vietnam. There were indeed lots of ambushes too, like the one in the film that Forrest Gump is a part of. The word “humping” is mentioned in the movie, and this was actually a very common word that was used in the war, and meant “to walk or march”. A small “taste” of what the casualties were, was accurate. Forrest Gump alone in one ambush had to save about 8 of his fellow soldiers because of injuries. Since there were a lot of ambushes and fights, it’s easy to see how easily the death rate could rise.
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