Post World War II

Civil Rights

Committee of Civil Rights


The committee was instructed to investigate the status of civil rights in the country and propose measures to strengthen and protect them. After the committee submitted a report of its findings to President Truman, it disbanded in December 1947.

Integration of Military

1/1/47 - 1/2/47




Jackie Robinson was the first African American baseball player, set an example of integration.



The Truman Doctrine was a policy set forth by the U.S. President Harry Truman in a speech on March 12, 1947 stating that the U.S. would support Greece and Turkey with economic and military aid to prevent their falling into the Soviet sphere


1/1/1950 - 1/1/1965

A United States youth subculture of the 1950s; rejected possessions or regular work or traditional dress; for communal living and psychedelic drugs and anarchism; favored modern forms of jazz

Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka

1/1/1954 - 1/1/1957

Court declared state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students unconstitutional. The decision overturned the Plessy v. Ferguson decision of 1896 which allowed state-sponsored segregation.

Montgomery, AL


The Montgomery Bus Boycott officially started on December 1, 1955. That was the day when the blacks of Montgomery, Alabama, decided that they would boycott the city buses until they could sit anywhere they wanted, instead of being relegated to the back when a white boarded.

Greensboro, NC

1/1/1957 - 1/1/1960

The Greensboro sit-ins were a series of nonviolent protests in 1960 which led to the Woolworth's department store chain reversing its policy of racial segregation in the Southern United States


1/1/1957 - 1/1/1960

Eisenhower had not been known for his support of the civil rights movement. Rather than lead the country on the issue, he had to respond to problems such as in Little Rock. He never publicly gave support to the civil rights movement believing that you could not force people to change their beliefs; such changes had to come from the heart of the people involved, not as the result of legislation from Washington.


1/1/1960 - 1/1/1970

One of the organizations of the American Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. It emerged from a series of student meetings led by Ella Baker held at Shaw University in April 1960. SNCC grew into a large organization with many supporters in the North who helped raise funds to support SNCC's work in the South, allowing full-time SNCC workers to have a $10 per week salary



Several attempts at convening a summit conference were made. The final attempt failed in 1960 when Nikita Khrushchev withdrew following the shooting down of an American U-2 spy plane over the Soviet Union. Eisenhower at first said that his administration had not been spying on the Soviet Union; when the Soviets produced the pilot, who had lived after his plane went down, the Americans were caught misleading the public, and the incident resulted in international embarrassment. During the Paris Summit in 1960, President Eisenhower accused Khrushchev "of sabotaging this meeting, on which so much of the hopes of the world have rested."

Mapp v. Ohio

1/1/1961 - 1/1/1970

Landmark case in criminal procedure, in which the United States Supreme Court decided that evidence obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment, which protects against "unreasonable searches and seizures," may not be used in state law criminal prosecutions in state courts, as well, as had previously been the law, as in federal criminal law prosecutions in federal courts.


1/1/1962 - 1/1/1963

The Ole Miss riot of 1962 was fought between Southern segregationist civilians and federal and state forces as a result of the forced enrollment of black student James Meredith at the University of Mississippi (known affectionately as Ole Miss) at Oxford, Mississippi.

March on Washington

1/1/1963 - 1/2/1963

One of the largest political rallies for human rights in United States history and called for civil and economic rights for African Americans. It took place in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, August 28, 1963.

Feminine Mystique


Nonfiction book by Betty Friedan first published in 1963. It is widely credited with sparking the beginning of second-wave feminism in the United States.

Gideon v. Wainwright


In the case, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that state courts are required under the Fourteenth Amendment to provide counsel in criminal cases for defendants who are unable to afford to pay their own attorneys, extending the identical requirement made on the federal government under the Sixth Amendment.



16th Street Baptist Church Bombing

24th Amendment


Prohibits both Congress and the states from conditioning the right to vote in federal elections on payment of a poll tax or other types of tax. The amendment was proposed by Congress to the states on August 27, 1962, and was ratified by the states on January 23, 1964.

Civil Rights Act


A landmark piece of legislation in the United States that outlawed major forms of discrimination against racial, ethnic, national and religious minorities, and women

Escobedo v. Illinois


United States Supreme Court case holding that criminal suspects have a right to counsel during police interrogations under the Sixth Amendment.

Civil Rights Act


A landmark piece of national legislation in the United States that outlawed discriminatory voting practices that had been responsible for the widespread disenfranchisement of African Americans in the U.S.

Cold War



reactivated to find Communists. Investigated government officials and looked for communist influence in organizations

Atomic Weapons

1945 - 1949

US was the only nation to have an atomic bomb.

Containment Policy


United States policy using numerous strategies to prevent the spread of communism

Defense Policy


Not official date. International security and military and comprises the measures and initiatives that governments do or do not take in relation to decision-making and strategic goals

National Security Act


realigned and reorganized the U.S. Armed Forces, foreign policy, and Intelligence Community apparatus in the aftermath of World War II

Truman Doctrine

3/12/1947 - 3/13/1947

Truman's policy of international relations. The US would support Greece and Turkey with economic and military aid against the Soviet Union.

Berlin Airlift

6/27/1948 - 12/1949

Truman rejected using force to open roads to Berlin from Soviet Union. He ordered US planes to fly in supplies to the people until Soviets opened up highways to Berlin



alliance between US and Europe countries to promote democracy and fulfill peace in desputes

Joseph McCarthy

1950 - 1954

used concern of Communism in reelection campaign. Was favored by many but in 1954, televised hearing ruined his career

Effects of T v. M


Americans favored MacArthur's statement better than the president's containment policy. Truman and Democrats were viewed by many as appeasers for not trying to destroy communism in Asia

Rosenberg Case

1951 - 1953

Rosenbergs found guilty of treason and executed for crime

Second Red Scare


Truman administration's tendency to see a Communist conspiracy behind civil wars in Europe and Asia contributed to the belief that there were also Communist conspirators and spies in the US State Department, the military, and all institutions

Truman v. MacArthur


MacArthur made public statements that suggested criticism of official US policy. Truman recalled MacArthur for insubordination


October 4, 1957

-First artificial satellite
-Began Space Age and triggered the Space Race
-Soviet Union launched it into orbit

U-2 Incident

May 1, 1960

-US U-2 spy plane was shot down
-Plane was shot down over airspace of Soviet Union

Bay of Pigs

April 17, 1961

-Unsuccessful invasion of Cuba by the US
-Trying to stop Communist roots from being placed in Cuba

Berlin Wall

August 13, 1961

-Cut off West Berlin from East Berlin
-Separated East and West Germany
-Berlin Airlift Crisis

Cuban Missile Crisis

October 1962

-Confrontation with Soviet Union over supposed missiles in Cuba
-Missiles placed to stop US invasion
-Agreement that Soviet Union would remove missiles; US wouldn’t invade

Tonkin Gulf Resolution


Authorized President to do whatever necessary in order to assist “any member or protocol state of the Southeast Asia Collective Defense Treaty”


1965 - 1968

Slowly added more troops to the War



“expand, equip, and train South Vietnam’s forces and assign to them an ever-increasing combat role, at the same time steadily reducing the number of U.S. combat troops.”

Tet Offensive


Campaign of surprise attacks that were launched against military and civilian command; changed opinion of the Vietnamese

1968 Election


Richard Nixon won over Hubert Humphrey


1972 - 1979

A series of talks between United States and Soviet negotiators which sought to curtail the manufacture of strategic nuclear weapons

Star Wars


an ambitious plan for building high-tech system of lasers and particle beams to destroy enemy missiles before they could reach the US



Called for increased openness and transparency in government institutions and activities in the Soviet Union


1985 - 1991

General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union; ended Cold War

Eastern Europe


Communists were forced out of power; two Germanys finally reunited with NATO and the Soviet Union

Tiananmen Square

6/3/1989 - 6/4/1989

Troops with assault rifles and tanks inflicted thousands of casualties on unarmed civilians trying to block the military’s advance on Tiananmen Square in the heart of Beijing