Timeline Edit Test One: Olympic Games
From the start of the modern Olympic games in 1896, the International Olympic Committee avoided overt links with commercial interests. No advertising was allowed in or around the stadium. Taking advantage of the first Olympics to allow concessions, Coca-Cola set up a kiosk at the 1928 Amsterdam Games. Six waiters introduced the product to unfamiliar customers.
To generate revenue in 1932, the Los Angeles organizers hatched a plan to sell the modest athlete bungalows to domestic and international buyers after the games' conclusion. The structures became guest homes, cottages, and vacation retreats.
In 1932, an industrious Los Angeles baker secured the sole contract to supply bread products to the Games. Not only did he get permission, he also secured the copyrights to use Olympic symbols in advertising. This was the first attempt to copyright these symbols.
He was persuaded by Avery Brundage, head of the IOC, to surrender his copyrights in 1950. Generously, he complied, yet the surviving sign bearing the Olympic association still stands.
From 1952 to 1972, Brundage rejected all attempts to brand Olympic events. Upon his death, the IOC became proudly pro-sponsorship and saw its coffers swell. McDonald's began its first Olympic Sponsorship in 1976, which continues to this day.
In 1984, the corporation was taken by surprise when Russian athletes boycotted the games. Committed to a promotion that rewarded consumers with products when the U.S. won medals, McDonald's ended up giving out millions more fries, drinks, and Big Macs than it had ever anticipated. Still, that didn’t dent a partnership that perseveres—a stalwart among the corporate logos that are now ubiquitous.
Timeline Edit Test Two: RNC
On Monday, the New York Times reported that Donald Trump sees his presidential campaign and this week’s Republican National Convention as the unlikely heir to Richard Nixon’s 1968 convention in Miami Beach. (Not the only thing the Trumps “borrowed” this week.)
Like Nixon, Trump faces an electorate that’s fearful of terrorism and divided by deep racial and economic strife. And, as in Nixon's year, the mood at the RNC in Cleveland is tense. Yet, it’s worth remembering that not everything was doom and gloom back in ‘68. Despite the protests and fearmongering, attendees then still managed to make the proceedings feel like a party. That's something Trump may not be able to copy so easily.
Timeline Edit Test Three: European Terrorism
From the Bataclan massacre and Charlie Hebdo shootings in Paris, to the suicide bombings in Brussels, to the devastating truck attack in Nice, ISIS and its followers have terrorized Europe.
The unremitting violence recalls the 1970’s-era Red Brigades, a left-wing paramilitary group that menaced Italy. Modeled partly on Latin American guerillas, the Red Brigades sought to turn the country into a “revolutionary state” and force it out of NATO. Before the group’s gradual dissolution in the late ‘80’s, it killed more than 75 people, committed more than 14,000 acts of violence, and was responsible for untold numbers of kidnappings and robberies. In 1978, the group famously kidnapped and murdered former Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro.
While the RB and ISIS have different purposes and ideologies, both groups waged terror on Europe. Both used propaganda and press to spread their message. These images are reminders of the cyclical and chilling violence of groups driven by single-minded ideological obsession.