Post World War II Washington

US Presidents

Harry S. Truman

1945 - 1953

Dwight D. Eisenhower

1953 - 1961

John F. Kennedy

1961 - 1963

Lyndon B. Johnson

1963 - 1969

Richard M. Nixon

1969 - 1974

Gerald R. Ford

1974 - 1977

James E. Carter

1977 - 1981

Ronald W. Reagan

1981 - 1989

George H. W. Bush

1989 - 1993

William J. Clinton

1993 - 2001

George W. Bush

2001 - 2008

Barack Obama

2008 - 2016

Long-Term Events

The Cold War

1946 - 1991

The Cold War impacted Washington positively because it created many jobs and ended up educating the new generations better because math and science courses became required. Also, there was a negative impact because of the nuclear testing going on at Hanford. Many people who lived downwind from the testing areas got cancer later in life.

The Vietnam War

1955 - 1975

Although the economy was slightly boosted, the Vietnam War was very unpopular and many protests were staged against sending US troops to South Vietnam. Overall, this war had a significant negative effect on Washington due to many large-scale riots in Seattle. After the war ended, unemployment soared in the Puget Sound area.

The Peak of the Civil Rights Movement

1963 - 1972

The Civil Rights Movement exploded when political leaders across America were assassinated. In the end, the movement had a positive effect on Washington because it is a very multicultural state. The movement in Washington slowed down with the passing of the Equal Rights Amendment to the State Constitution.


End of World War II


The end of World War II marked the end of much hardship in Washington. The passing of the G.I. Bill allowed war veterans to meld back into civilian society more easily. This ultimately had a good effect on Washington, because many new things were built and it let many people into college.

First HMO founded in Seattle


Known today as Group Health, the nation's first HMO was founded in Seattle under the name Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound. This made Washington a pioneer in health care across the nation. This event hasn't just impacted Washington, but the entire country.

Interstate Freeways are Built


During this time, most people had enough money to afford a personal automobile. However, it was slow to drive from the suburbs to the cities so the federal government began to build large freeways across America to link the states and improve driving time. Ultimately, this had a positive impact on Washington because it cleared up a lot of traffic and linked Washington to Canada, Oregon, and Idaho even more.

Equal Rights Amendment


With the passing of the Equal Rights Amendment, women and men were finally granted equality. Without this amendment, strikes in favor of feminism may still be occurring.

Expo Spokane '74


The 1974 world's fair was held in Spokane and was the first environmentally themed world's fair. Its projects cleaned up the city and encouraged other cities in Washington to do the same.

The Boldt Decision


This entitled Indians to 50% of all salmon and steelhead that passed through their usual fishing sites. It increased Indian rights, but made non-Indian fishermen protest.

Passing of the Northwest Power Act


This act made it so the needs of the fish were taken into just as much consideration as the needs of power for humans. This impacted Washington by having the management of dams shift focus from extreme power to helping fish through the dam.

Radioactive Material Cleanup at Hanford


This is important because it kick-started a lot of environmental awareness within Washington.

Battle in Seattle


A huge protest occurred when the WTO met in Seattle. Resulting in the calling of the National Guard and the police, this event shows that Seattle citizens are still capable of large scale public riots.