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Term for making ruthless and unfair charges against opponents, such as those leveled by a red-hunting Wisconsin senator in the 1950s

Brown V. Board of Education

Supreme Court ruling that overturned the old Plessy V. Ferguson principle that black public facilities could be "separate but equal"

Massive Retaliation

The doctrine upon which Eisenhower and Dulles based American nuclear policy in the 1950s


An Asian alliance, set up by Secretary Dulles on the model of NATO, to help support the anti-communist regime in South Vietnam

Suez Canal

The British-and French-owned waterway whose nationalization by Egyptian President Nasser triggered a major Middle East crisis


A soviet scientific achievement that set off a wave of American concern about Soviet superiority in science and education


Major international corporation that symbolized the early computer and "information age"


High-flying American spy plane, whose downing in 1960 destroyed a summit and heightened Cold War tensions

The Feminine Mystique

Betty Friedan's 1963 book that launched a revolution against the suburban "cult of domesticity" that reigned in the 1950s


Latin American nation where a 1959 communist revolution ousted a U.S.-backed dictator

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Soldier who kept the nation at peace for most of his two terms and ended up warning America about the "military-industrial complex"

Joseph R. McCarthy

Reckless and power-hungry demagogue who intimidated even President Eisenhower before his bubble burst

Earl Warren

Controversial jurist who led the Supreme Court into previously off-limits social and racial issues

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Black minister whose 1955 Montgomery bus boycott made him the leader of the civil right movement

Ho Chi Minh

Vietnamese nationalist and communist whose defeat of the French led to calls for American military intervention in Vietnam

Ngo Dinh Diem

Anti-communist leader who set up a Pro-American govt to block Ho Chi Minh's expected takeover of all Vietnam

Betty Friedan

Writer whose 1963 book signaled the beginnings of more extensive feminist protest

Adlai E. Stevenson

Eloquent Democratic presidential candidate who was twice swamped by a popular Republican wear hero

Billy Graham

Popular religious evangelical who effectively used the new medium of tv

James R. Hoffa

Tough Teamster-union boss whose corrupt actions helped lead to passage of the Landrum-Griffin Act

John Foster Dulles

Eisenhower's tough-talking secretary of state who wanted to "roll back" communism

Nikita Khrushchev

Blustery Soviet leader who frequently challenged Eisenhower with both threats and diplomacy

Fidel Castro

Latin American revolutionary who became economically and militarily dependent on the Soviet Union

Richard Nixon

Red-hunter turned world-traveling diplomat who narrowly missed becoming president in 1960

John F. Kennedy

Youthful politician who combined television appeal with traditional big-city Democratic politics to squeak out a victory in 1960

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