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Historical Events in Forrest Gump That Happened in Real Life

Updated on January 6, 2014

Forrest Gump

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.

Areas Impacted

Hurricane Carmen

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.

School segregation banned
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  • profile image

    Ambro Organisers 

    3 years ago

    Nice article.

  • profile image

    Daniel andersen 

    6 years ago

    I watched forest gump thougt it was fact eccept the part about the apple computer when I seen him in v et nam incredible soulder because he had dissabilities like his ping pong title t the frustrating is I thought movie was true story like you forest

  • Aaron Sparks profile image

    Aaron Sparks 

    6 years ago

    Very interesting hub! thanks for the post.

    i think that the movie was great!

  • Londonlady profile imageAUTHOR

    Laura Writes 

    7 years ago

    Oh wow. Thank you for that correction, I didn't even notice that I switched the two numbers around.

  • profile image

    Carmen 74 

    7 years ago

    Carmen was in 1974.

  • Schatzie Speaks profile image

    Schatzie Speaks 

    8 years ago

    this is so interesting! ive seen forest gump about 100 times but never really stopped to think about it critically from a historical perspective. makes me want to watch it again, it's been awhile. :)

  • profile image


    8 years ago

    Very interesting article! However you haven't mentioned some events, such as the tennis table team that actually went to China or the watergate affair.

  • profile image


    8 years ago

    i did not know forrest gump is fake i love that movie

  • TheMonk profile image


    9 years ago from Brazil

    I loved to read your hub. I like that film a lot. I have seen it at least 10 times!

  • Londonlady profile imageAUTHOR

    Laura Writes 

    9 years ago

    You're right ruffridyer! It's cool to see the differences in the movie and in real life :)

  • profile image


    9 years ago from Dayton, ohio

    I noticed the year of the hurricane was off, in the movie it happened after forrest returned from vietnam.

  • flying_fish profile image


    9 years ago from GTA

    Very nicely done! Like so many others, I loved the movie, (and like TOO many others, I haven't read the book...)

    Thanks Londonlady, I enjoyed it!

  • luckycharmz profile image


    9 years ago from Washington

    my all time favorite movie is Forrest Gump. Thanks for doing a hub on this. I enjoyed reading about the events. We all know that Hollywood sometimes has to embellish the stories to make the movies more interesting.

  • ashumann profile image


    9 years ago from Dhaka

    I have known something new here.

  • Londonlady profile imageAUTHOR

    Laura Writes 

    9 years ago

    Actually, we're both right. It was called Little Rock Central High School. My apologies, thanks for the point out :)

  • profile image


    9 years ago

    It was Central High School, Not "Little Rock High School" There is no such school in Arkansas.

  • profile image


    9 years ago

    I've written about my personal experience with Hurricane Carmen. You can read them at

  • DjBryle profile image


    10 years ago from Somewhere in the LINES of your MIND, and HOPEFULLY at the RIPPLES of your HEART. =)

    Very amusing hub. =) Two thumbs up for my friend... wayyyy up up!

  • Winsome profile image


    10 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas

    Thank you for the accuracy briefing LL, Forest was such an inspiring character. You could base lots of hubs on his homespun philosophy and the images he projected. I didn't know there was an actual Bubba Gump shrimp company. I wonder if they own the restaurants. =:)


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