In an op-ed in Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal, Senator Tom Coburn labeled 2013 as “one of the worst [years] for the republic.” The Oklahoma Republican cites examples such as the issues around the launch of Obamacare and Harry Reid invoking ++the so-called “nuclear option”++ to reform the filibuster in November. However, there are a number of other years that arguably have been just bad for the United States, although none of them were marred by significant changes to the procedural rules of the Senate. Here are few possibilities of years that may be worse and the events that made them so.
1780: British capture Charleston, South Carolina, taking over much of the South while Benedict Arnold defects.
1798: Alien and Sedition Acts passed.
1814: British burn Washington, D.C. during the War of 1812
1857:Dred Scott decision by Supreme Court upholding slavery.
1861-1865: The Civil War (NOTE: All years prior to 1865 also qualify on their own because of slavery)
1871: Great Chicago Fire
1906: San Francisco Earthquake
1920: Palmer Raids
1929: Stock market crashes
1929-1940: Great Depression
1941: Pearl Harbor
1963: Assassination of JFK
1972-1974: Watergate break-in, ensuing cover-up, Nixon resignation
1980: Iran Hostage Crisis
2001: September 11
2005: Hurricane Katrina
2008: Financial crisis and onset of Great recession.