A state of political and military tension after World War II between powers in the Western Bloc and powers in the Eastern Bloc. Historians do not fully agree on the dates, but 1947-91 is common.
A form of government characterized by strong central power and limited political freedoms.
A political system focused on creating a socioeconomic order structured upon the common ownership of the means of production and the absence of social classes, money, and the state. Purists of the communist movement also advocated for a violent overthrow of the upper class by the lower classes in order to create such a society.
A system in which the prices for goods and services are set freely by consent between vendors and consumers, in which the laws and forces of supply and demand are free from any intervention by a government, price-setting monopoly, or other authority.
A type of coalition building strategy in which a group of nations agrees not to attack each other and to defend each other against an attack from one of the others, if such an attack is made.
A French term often used in reference to the general easing of the geo-political tensions between the Soviet Union and the United States which began in 1969, as a foreign policy of U.S. presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford called détente; a "thawing out" or "un-freezing" at a period roughly in the middle of the Cold War.
Inter-continental Ballistic Missile - a ballistic missile with a minimum range of more than 5,500 kilometers (3,400 mi) primarily designed for nuclear weapons delivery (delivering one or more nuclear warheads).
Two rounds of bilateral conferences and corresponding international treaties involving the United States and the Soviet Union—the Cold War superpowers—on the issue of armament control. The two rounds of talks and agreements were SALT I and SALT II.
One of the largest military campaigns of the Vietnam War, launched on January 30, 1968, by forces of the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese People's Army of Vietnam against the forces of the South Vietnamese Army of the Republic of Vietnam, the United States, and their allies. A campaign of surprise attacks against military and civilian commands and control centers throughout South Vietnam
Students for a Democratic Society (SDS)
A student activist movement in the United States that was one of the main representations of the New Left. The organization developed and expanded rapidly in the mid-1960s before dissolving at its last convention in 1969.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
An American Baptist minister, activist, humanitarian, and leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement.
The practice of achieving goals such as social change through symbolic protests, civil disobedience, economic or political noncooperation, satyagraha, or other methods, without using violence. Common examples: Boycotts, Sit-ins
To withdraw from commercial or social relations with (a country, organization, or person) as a punishment or protest.
A form of direct action that involves one or more people occupying an area for a protest, often to promote political, social, or economic change.
Executive Order 9981
Issued by President Harry S. Truman on July 26, 1948. It abolished racial discrimination in the United States Armed Forces and eventually led to the end of segregation in the services.
Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas (1954, Warren)
Unanimous decision declaring the "separate but equal" clause of the Plessy v. Ferguson ruling unconstitutional.
Civil Rights Act of 1964
A landmark piece of civil rights legislation in the United States that outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
The Great Society
A set of domestic programs in the United States launched by Democratic President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964-65. The main goal was the elimination of poverty and racial injustice.
The Baby Boom
(1946-1964) The period of time when the number of annual births exceeded 2 per 100 women (or approximately 1% of the total population size) in the United States.
The movement of individuals, families, households, or other categories of people within or between layers or tiers in an open system of social stratification.
A residential area or a mixed use area, either existing as part of a city or urban area or as a separate residential community within commuting distance of a city.
A region of the United States generally considered to stretch across the Southeast and Southwest (the geographic southern United States). Another rough boundary of the region is the area south of the 36th parallel, north latitude.
A subculture whose values and norms of behavior differ substantially from those of mainstream society, often in opposition to mainstream cultural mores. Such opinions became more visible and popular, especially in the 1960s and early 1970s in response to the Vietnam War.
Gideon v. Wainwright (1963)
Extends to the defendant the right of counsel in all state and federal criminal trials regardless of their ability to pay.
Escobedo v. Illinois (1964)
Ruled that a defendant must be allowed access to a lawyer before questioning by police.
Miranda v. Arizona (1966)
The court ruled that those subjected to in-custody interrogation be advised of their constitutional right to an attorney and their right to remain silent.
Roe v. Wade (1973)
The court legalized abortion by ruling that state laws could not restrict it during the first three months of pregnancy. Based on 4th Amendment rights of a person to be secure in their persons.
Dwight D. Eisenhower
A World War II hero and former supreme commander of NATO who became U.S. president in 1953 after easily defeating Democratic opponent Adlai E. Stevenson.
Conservative southern Democrats who objected to President Truman's strong push for civil-rights legislation. Southern Democrats who broke from the party in 1948 over the issue of civil rights and ran a presidential ticket as the States' Rights Democrats with J. Strom Thurmond of South Carolina as a canidate.
President Truman's policy of providing economic and military aid to any country threatened by communism or totalitarian ideology; mainly helped Greece and Turkey.
A plan that the US came up with to revive war-torn economies of Europe and encourage loyalty and friendliness to the United States and democracy (instead of influence from the Soviet Union). This plan offered $13 billion in aid to western and Southern Europe.
The senator of Wisconsin; he charged 205 State Department employees, and accused them of being communist party members, but they were never proven. Eventually he came across as a bully, and his popularity plunged.
A Communist nation, consisting of Russia and 14 other states, that existed from 1922 to 1991.
A U.S. foreign policy adopted by President Harry Truman in the late 1940s, in which the United States tried to stop the spread of communism by creating alliances and helping weak countries to resist Soviet advances.
A National Security Council document, approved by President Truman in 1950, developed in response to the Soviet Union's growing influence and nuclear capability; it called for an increase in the US conventional and nuclear forces to carry out the policy of containment.
A theory that if one nation comes under Communist control, then neighboring nations will also come under Communist control.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
U.S. Baptist minister and civil rights leader. A noted orator, he opposed discrimination against blacks by organizing nonviolent resistance and peaceful mass demonstrations. He was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee. Nobel Peace Prize (1964)
Minister of the Nation of Islam, urged blacks to claim their rights by any means necessary, more radical than other civil rights leaders of the time.
Little Rock Nine
In September 1957 the school board in Little rock, Arkansas, won a court order to admit nine African American students to Central High a school with 2,000 white students. The governor ordered troops from Arkansas National Guard to prevent the nine from entering the school. The next day as the National Guard troops surrounded the school, an angry white mob joined the troops to protest the integration plan and to intimidate the AA students trying to register. The mob violence pushed Eisenhower's patience to the breaking point. He immediately ordered the US Army to send troops to Little Rock to protect and escort them for the full school year.
Voting Rights Act of 1965
A law designed to help end formal and informal barriers to African American suffrage. Under the law, hundreds of thousands of African Americans were registered and the number of African American elected officials increased dramatically.
First artificial Earth satellite, it was launched by Moscow in 1957 and sparked U.S. fears of Soviet dominance in technology and outer space. It led to the creation of NASA and the space race.
John F. Kennedy
35th President of the United States 35th President of the United States; only president to have won a Pulitzer Prize; events during his administration include the Bay of Pigs Invasion, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the building of the Berlin Wall, the Space Race, the African American Civil Rights Movement and early events of the Vietnam War; assassinated in Dallas, TX in 1963
Election of 1960
Brought about the era of political television. Between Kennedy and Nixon. Issues centered around the Cold War and economy. Kennedy argued that the nation faces serious threats from the soviets. Nixon countered that the US was on the right track under the current administration. Kennedy won by a narrow margin.
Kent State Shootings
Incident in which National Guard troops fired at a group of students during an antiwar protest at Kent State University in Ohio, killing four people.
Golf of Tonkin Resolution
Bill passed in 1964 that gave President Johnson authority to take "all necessary measures to repel any armed attack against forces of the U.S." after an alleged attack on a naval vessel off the coast of Vietnam. It gave Johnson the ability to send over a large amount of combat troops to Vietnam.
War Powers Act
1973. A resolution of Congress that stated the President can only send troops into action abroad by authorization of Congress or if America is already under attack or serious threat.
Elected President in 1968 and 1972 representing the Republican party. He was responsible for getting the United States out of the Vietnam War by using "Vietnamization", which was the withdrawal of 540,000 troops from South Vietnam for an extended period. He was responsible for the Nixon Doctrine. Was the first President to ever resign, due to the Watergate scandal.
This mostly republican political movement started as a reaction to the New Deal policies of the 1930's. Its goal was to reduce the role of government.
A term popularized by British Prime Minister Winston Churchill to describe the Soviet Union's policy of isolation during the Cold War. The barrier isolated Eastern Europe from the rest of the world.
An economic extension of the New Deal proposed by Harry Truman that called for higher minimum wage, housing and full employment. It led only to the Housing Act of 1949 and the Social Security Act of 1950 due to opposition in congress.
The controversial 1951 trial of two Americans, Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, charged with passing atomic secrets to the Soviet Union; the two were sentenced to death and executed in 1953, making them the only American civilians to be put to death for spying during the Cold War.
A strategy that called for liberating countries that were under Soviet dominion.
House Un-American Activities Committee
The House of Representatives established the Committee on Un-American Activities, popularly known as "HUAC," in order to investigate "subversion." Represented the political group associated with McCarthy's anti-communism.
The largest public works project in the US history in acted during the Eisenhower administration it was designed for military and economic purposes.
Nasser took over the Suez Canal to show separation of Egypt from the West, but Israel, the British, Iraq, and France were all against Nasser's action. The U.S. stepped in before too much serious fighting began.
The "new look" defense policy of the Eisenhower administration of the 1950's was to threaten "massive retaliation" with nuclear weapons in response to any act of aggression by a potential enemy.
The incident when an American U-2 spy plane was shot down over the Soviet Union. The U.S. denied the true purpose of the plane at first, but was forced to when the U.S.S.R. produced the living pilot and the largely intact plane to validate their claim of being spied on aerially. The incident worsened East-West relations during the Cold War and was a great embarrassment for the United States.
Post-WWII Suburban areas that were practically factory made and then put together which each house look the same.
Program which apprehended and returned some one million illegal immigrants to Mexico - end of the Braceros program started during WWII.
Term used by economist John Kenneth Galbraith to describe the American economy in the 1950s, during which time many Americans joined the middle class and became enraptured with appliances and homes in the suburbs.
Young people, many of whom were writers and artists, who discussed their dissatisfaction with the American society of the 1950s.
Members of the youthful counterculture that dominated many college campuses in the 1960s; rather than promoting a political agenda, they challenged conventional sexual standards, rejected traditional economic values, and encouraged the use of drugs.
Author of The Feminine Mystique (1963) she spoke out against women seeking fulfillment solely as wives and mothers and wanted women to "establish goals that will permit them to find their own identity."
The Supreme Court during the period when Earl Warren was chief justice, noted for its activism in the areas of civil rights and free speech.
Congress of Racial Equality, and organization founded in 1942 that worked for black civil rights.
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, founded in 1909 to abolish segregation and discrimination, to oppose racism and to gain civil rights for African Americans, got Supreme Court to declare grandfather clause unconstitutional.
The Southern Christian Leadership Conference is an African-American civil rights organization. SCLC, which is closely associated with its first president, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., had a large role in the American Civil Rights Movement.
1961 event organized by CORE and SNCC in which an interracial group of civil rights activists tested southern states' compliance to the Supreme Court ban of segregation on interstate buses.
(Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee) a group established in 1960 to promote and use non-violent means to protest racial discrimination; they were the ones primarily responsible for creating the sit-in movement.
March on Washington
In August 1963, civil rights leaders organized a massive rally in Washington to urge passage of President Kennedy's civil rights bill. The high point came when MLK Jr., gave his "I Have a Dream" speech to more than 200,000 marchers in front of the Lincoln Memorial.
A slogan used to reflect solidarity and racial consciousness, used by Malcolm X. It meant that equality could not be given, but had to be seized by a powerful, organized Black community.
A black political organization that was against peaceful protest and for violence if needed. The organization marked a shift in policy of the black movement, favoring militant ideals rather than peaceful protest.
Non-violent leader of the United Farm Workers from 1963-1970. Organized laborers in California and in the Southwest to strike against fruit and vegetable growers. Unionized Mexican-American farm workers.
1950s; a symbol of the rock-and-roll movement of the 50s when teenagers began to form their own subculture, dismaying to conservative parents; created a youth culture that ridiculed phony and pretentious middle-class Americans, celebrated uninhibited sexuality and spontaneity; foreshadowed the coming counterculture of the 1960s.
Equal Rights Amendment
A constitutional amendment originally introduced in Congress in 1923 and passed by Congress in 1972, stating that "equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex." Despite public support, the amendment failed to acquire the necessary support from three-fourths of the state legislatures.
A book written (Rachel Carson) to voice the concerns of environmentalists. Launched the environmentalist movement by pointing out the effects of civilization development.