By Eliana Dockterman
May 18, 2015

Over the course of seven seasons, Mad Men—which came to a close on Sunday night—followed Don, Peggy and the rest of Sterling Cooper through a raucous decade. But, though its meticulous attention to period detail has often been praised, the show has always been more about character than events: Assassinations were met with quiet crying scenes; characters’ politics changed slowly over time; entire years were skipped.

And yet some pivotal historical moments did have an impact. Here’s how the show wove real-world story lines into the lives of its fictional characters.

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