We Didn't Start the Fire Super Timeline


House Un-American Committee


(HUAC) was an investigative committee of the United States House of Representatives. It was created in 1938 to investigate alleged disloyalty and subversive activities on the part of private citizens, public employees, and those organizations suspected of having Communist ties.

Tehran Conference


In 1943, Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin met in order to discuss many things. One was a planned invasion of France and a Russian offensive timed to coincide with it. They wanted to defeat Germany in this, and since this would take care of the war in Europe, they needed a way to end the war in the Pacific. They did this by convincing Stalin to declare war on Japan, which would most likely scare them into surrendering. Also, the Declaration of China was discussed, with China declaring that the war with Japan would continue until Japan’s unconditional surrender, all Chinese territories would be returned to China, Korea would become free, and Japan would lose the Pacific islands acquired in 1941. Lastly, they discussed an establishment of the United Nations in order to maintain peace throughout the world. This is important because it shows the countries finally coming together, and the cooperation of Stalin before the Cold War.

Norman Rockwell


Norman Rockwell was a painter and illustrator who often illustrated pictures of everyday American scenarios for magazine covers. He shaped and displayed American culture in this, and even produced Rosie the Riveter, an iconic symbol during the wars. He is important because many of his illustrations not only influenced American life, including encouraging them to participate in the war and buy war bonds, but his work was also displayed in many movies, magazines, and other types of media thereafter.

Poland Issues


At the insistence of Joseph Stalin, the Yalta Conference sanctioned the formation of a new Polish provisional and pro-Communist coalition government in Moscow, which ignored the Polish government-in-exile based in London; a move which angered many Poles who considered it a betrayal by the Allies. In 1944, Stalin had made guarantees to Churchill and Roosevelt that he would maintain Poland's sovereignty and allow democratic elections to take place; however, upon achieving victory in 1945, the occupying Soviet authorities organised an election which constituted nothing more than a sham and was ultimately used to claim the 'legitimacy' of Soviet hegemony over Polish affairs. The Soviet Union instituted a new communist government in Poland, analogous to much of the rest of the Eastern Bloc.

GI Bill


law that provided a range of benefits for returning World War II veterans. Benefits included low-cost mortgages, low-interest loans to start a business or farm, cash payments of tuition and living expenses to attend college, high school or vocational education, as well as one year of unemployment compensation.

Second Red Scare


Americans being afraid of communism again: McCarthy, pumpkin papers, Rosenburg's, containment, chaos.

Credit Cards


The baby boom directly after the war was accompanied by a consumer craze, largely due to the credit card. Between 1945 and 1957, consumer credit soared 800%, and in the 1960’s American families only saved an average of 5% of their income. This showed the change from the age-old Puritan lifestyle against debt to the new debt sunken nation. Credit cards also triggered shopping as becoming a major recreational activity, shaping American society to less family and community to more “stuff”.

Consumer Crazes


After World War II there were consumer crazes because of the baby boom and it resulted in huge debt across the nation. It was also due to the credit card.

Yalta Conference

February 4, 1945

World War II meeting of the heads of government of the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union, represented by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and General Secretary Joseph Stalin, for the purpose of discussing Europe's post-war reorganization.

Potsdam Conference

July 17, 1945

Stalin, Churchill, and Truman gathered to decide how to administer punishment to the defeated Nazi Germany, which had agreed to unconditional surrender nine weeks earlier, on 8 May (V-E Day). The goals of the conference also included the establishment of post-war order, peace treaties issues, and countering the effects of the war. Truman had mentioned an unspecified "powerful new weapon" to Stalin during the conference. Towards the end of the conference, Japan was given an ultimatum to surrender (in the name of the United States, Great Britain and China) or meet "prompt and utter destruction", which did not mention the new bomb.



Television was central to the culture of the postwar era. Commercial television began shortly after WWII. Its growth was very rapid. In 1946, there were 40 million TV sets in use. More people had TVs than refrigerators, a statistic similar to one in the 1920s that had revealed more people owning radios then bathtubs. The TV industry emerged directly out of the radio industry, and all three of the major networks - The National Broadcasting Company, the Columbia Broadcasting System, and the American Broadcasting Company - had started as radio companies. Like radio, the television business was driven by advertising. The impact of TV was rapid and profound. By the late 1950s, television news had replaced newspapers, magazines, and radios as the nation’s most important vehicle of information.

Doctor Benjamin Spock


Benjamin McLane Spock (May 2, 1903 – March 15, 1998) was an American pediatrician whose book Baby and Child Care, published in 1946, is one of the biggest best-sellers of all time.

Jim Crow Laws


Jim Crow Laws mandated de jure racial segregation in all public facilities in Southern states of the former Confederacy, with, starting in 1890, a "separate but equal" status for African Americans. The separation in practice led to conditions for African Americans that tended to be inferior to those provided for white Americans, systematizing a number of economic, educational and social disadvantages. Starting in 1946 the Supreme Court started to rule them unconstitutional.

George Kennan


Kennan was a State Department official who had a philosophy called containment that was displayed in the Truman Doctrine. In a journal entry in the journal Foreign Affairs, Kennan wrote of a concept of “containment” which meant using American power to counter Soviet pressure of creating Communist nations. This is important because it not only lead to the establishment of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 1949 to defend Western Europe against Soviet attack, but the Marshall Plan and the Red Scare of the 1950s.



Containment is using American power to counter Soviet pressure of creating Communist nations.

President's Committee on Civil Rights

December 5, 1946

The committee was instructed to investigate the status of civil rights in the country and propose measures to strengthen and protect them.

Jackie Robinson


During the1940s, the civil rights movement started in an unexpected way: baseball. Jackie Robinson was signed in by the Dodgers. Throughout the first years of his career, he got millions of letters of hate mail, was beaten on by other players, and booed by crowds eventually though; his courage, dedication, and good playing led other teams to sign black players and started a civil rights movement that would soon swoop the nation

Causes of the Civil Right Movement


Five important factors contributed to the rise of African-American protest in these years. 1) The legacy of WWII was important. Millions of black men and women had served in the military of worked in war plants during the war and had derived from the experience a broader view of the world. 2) The urban black middle class was growing; it had been developing for decades but began to flourish after the war. Much of the cause for the civil rights movement came from the leaders of urban black communities. 3) Television and other forms of popular culture were another factor in the rising consciousness of racism among blacks. More than any previous generation, postwar black had constant, vivid reminders of how the white majority lived. 4) In addition to the forces that were inspiring African Americans to mobilize, other forces were at work mobilizing many white Americans to support the movement once it began. Once was the Cold War, which made racial injustice an embarrassment to Americans trying to present their nation as a model to the world. Another was the political mobilization of northern blacks, who were now a substantial voting bloc within the Democratic Party; politicians from northern industrial states could not ignore their views. 5) Labor unions with substantial black memberships also played an important part in supporting and funding the civil rights movement.

Taft-Hartley Act


The Taft-Hartley act was passed in response to the suffering labor units. It banned the closed shop, which was a shop where only union members could be hired, and it permitted a union shop, which newly hired workers were required to join the union. It also had provisions against “unfair” union practices. It also passed regulations in which union leaders had to take oaths saying that they weren’t part of the Communist party. The people thought the bill would further sink labor in American. Truman vetoed the bill, which gained him respect, but it passed over him. It’s important because it shows the problems with unions and labor at the time, and showed the clash between Truman and the Republican congressmen.

Truman Doctrine

March 12, 1947

The Truman Doctrine was written with George Kennan’s philosophy of containment, and was written in reference to Greece and Turkey. The Soviet Union had started morphing all of the nations around it to Socialism, and in order to avoid Greece and Turkey from turning socialist as well, Truman asked Congress to pay $400 million in American advisers and military aid with the Truman Doctrine, saying, “I believe that it must be the policy of the United States to support free peoples who are resisting subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures. It is important because it not only instigated the Red Scare, but was the first of all of the policies passed for decades to come that showed our fear of communism and our new non-isolationist policy after the war.

Pumpkin Papers


The pumpkin papers was a scandal that happened during the Red Scare. Whittaker Chambers, a former Soviet Agent told the House Un-American Activities Committee that Hiss had given him secret documents ten years earlier, when Chambers was spying for the Soviets and Hiss was working in the State Department. Hiss sued for libel and Chambers produced microfilms of the State Department documents that he said Hiss passed to him. He hid them in a pumpkin in Hiss’s house, which is why they became known as the pumpkin papers. Hiss was convicted in 1950 for perjury and lying about espionage. This is important because it shows the scandals that took place during the second Red Scare, and the constant blaming and accusing of innocent people, which would only lead to convictions and blaming of more innocent people. It also triggered McCarthy’s anti-communist

Marshall Plan


American policy makers believed that unless something could be done to strengthen the shaky pro-American governments in Western Europe; they might fall under the control of rapidly growing domestic communist parties. In June of 1947, Secretary of State George Marshall gave a speech announcing a plan to provide economic assistance to all European nations that would join in the drafting a program for recovery. Although Russia quickly rejected the plan, 16 Western European nations eagerly participated. In April, Congress approved the creation of the Economic Cooperation Administration, the agency that would administer the Marshall Plan, as it became known. Over the next 3 years, the Marshall Plan channeled over $12 billion of American aid into Europe, helping to spark an economic revival. By the end of 1950, European industrial production had risen 64%, communist strength in the member nations had declined, and opportunities for American trade had revived.

Dixiecrat/S. Thurmond


In 1948, rebellious southern democrats nominated Strom Thurmond as the head of the Dixiecrats, a new party that sought to draw electoral votes from the Democrats and Republicans so that it ended in a tie and the vote could go to the house of representatives where they could strike a sectional bargain. With the Dixiecrats and the Progressive party tickets, there was a spilt in the Democratic party, and no one thought that Truman would win. Newspapers were even printed before the election saying that Dewey, the republican candidate, beat Truman. Truman, in the end, did win the election in a huge upset.

Dewey Defeats Truman


In the election of 1948, the Progressive and Dixiecrat parties tried to split the vote so that Truman wouldn't be elected president. Most people thought that he would lose the election and newspapers even printed headlines saying "Dewey Defeats Truman" before the actual election. Truman won.

Shelley v. Kramer


Truman was not able to persuade Congress to adopt his civil rights legislation he proposed in 1949, which would have made lynching a federal crime, provided federal protection of black voting rights, abolished the poll tax, and established a new Fair Employment Practices Commission to curb discrimination in hiring. Truman did proceed on his own to battle several forms of racial discrimination. He ordered an end to discrimination in the hiring of government employees. He began to dismantle segregation within the armed forces. And he allowed the Justice Department to become actively involved in court battles against discriminatory statutes. In the meantime, the Supreme Court signaled its own growing awareness of the issue by ruling, in Shelley v. Kramer (1948) that the courts could not be used to enforce private “covenants” meant to bar blacks from residential neighborhoods.

Arab-Israeli Wars


Palestinians protested unfair treatment by the Israelis, and the Palestine-Israeli war started because of this. The US favored Israel.

North Atlantic Treaty Organization


NATO, or the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, was created in 1949. The crisis involving the split dividing East Berlin from West Berlin caused an alliance among the United States and the countries of Western Europe. On April 4, 12 nations signed the agreement, which declared that an armed attack against one member would be considered an attack against all. The NATO countries, moreover, agreed to maintain a standing military force in Europe to defend against what many believed was the threat of a Soviet invasion. The American Senate quickly ratified the treaty. It spurred the Soviet Union to create an alliance of its own with the communist government in Eastern Europe - an alliance formalized in 1955 by the Warsaw Pact.

Payola Scandal


Payola, in the American music industry, is the illegal practice of payment or other inducement by record companies for the broadcast of recordings on music radio in which the song is presented as being part of the normal day's broadcast, created a biased broadcast.

Juvenile Delinquency


During the 1950’s, the children of the baby boom were beginning to become adolescents. Raised in abundance from an early age, the teens had more time and more money than adolescents had ever had. Because of this, juvenile delinquency swooped the nation, with around 1 million teens being arrested in 1956. Most were arrested for car theft. The epidemic was often blamed on a lack of religious education or the growing number of urban slums, encouraging delinquency because of the brutish environment. Others blamed it on the growing popularity of cars, saying they were places in which kids could drink and have sex.

Keynesian Economics


The exciting discovery of the power of the American economic system was a major cause of the confident/arrogant tone of much American political life in the 1950s. During the Depression, politicians, intellectuals, and others had often questioned the viability of capitalism. In the 1950s, this doubt virtually vanished. Two features in particular made the postwar economy a source of national confidence. First was the belief that Keynesian economics made it possible for government to regulate and stabilize the economy without intruding directly into the private sector. By the mid-1950s, Keynesian theory was rapidly becoming a fundamental article of faith - not only among professional economists but among much of the public. The most popular economics textbook of the 1950s and 60s, Paul Samuelson’s Economics, created a generation of college students with Keynesian ideas. Second was the belief in permanent economic growth. As the economy continued to expand far beyond what any observer had predicted was possible only a few years before, more and more Americans assumed that such growth was now without bounds, and that there were few effective limits to the abundance available to the nation.



After the story of the pumpkin papers and the story of Klaus Fuchs passing America’s atomic secret to the Russians, people were in a craze to blame anyone and everyone that seemed like a communist. They believed that anyone could be at this time. Soon, David and Ruth Greenglass were blamed for being spies, but Greenglass testified that he had passed drawings of atomic weapons to his sister and brother in law Julius and Ethel Roseburg. They were arrested and tried in 1951. The Rosenburgs were sentenced to death, but all the other conspirators were simply sentenced to year in jail because they had all agreed to help the prosecution, which the Rosenburgs did not. Eventually it was released that although the Rosenburgs were indeed guilty, they passed not nearly as dangerous notes as Fuchs or other spies, and this showed the unreasonable blame that was going around everywhere at the time.

American Bandstand


The American Bandstand was a music performance show that aired from 1952 to 1989. It featured teenagers dancing to songs in the Top 40s. During this time, a new craze for music, especially rock-n-roll emerged within the teenagers. Many Adult conservatives did not approve of this craze, and believed it was a pagan lifestyle. This is important because it signified the generation gap as well as the emerging importance of music.

Hydrogen Bomb


The hydrogen bomb was developed under the guidance of Dr. William Teller and was many times more powerful than an atomic. The United States exploded the first H-bomb and a few years later the Soviet Union then exploded their version of the bomb, as a part of the arms race.

Checker's Speech

September 23, 1952

The Checkers speech goes down in history as one of the most genius political speeches ever. Given by Nixon, it came in the midst of the Eisenhower campaign in September of 1952. Nixon had been accused of keeping a “secret slush fund” provided by extremely wealthy contributors. The speech saved Nixon’s career and the Republican’s tickets because he essentially said that all they wealthy people had given them was a dog, and his kids loved the dog, and that they would get rid of it if that was what the American people wanted. Of course America’s dog-loving hearts felt sympathetic and apologized for accusing him of having a secret slush fund by voting for him and Eisenhower.

38th Parallel

July 27, 1953

After World War II, North Korea was shortly divided, among the 38th parallel, with Soviet forces establishing a government in the North and the United States establishing a Western style government in the south. At the end of World War II, the Soviets and Americans accepted a proposal to divide Korea among the 38th parallel until steps could be taken to unify the war torn country. But with the cold war, the 38th parallel became more of a dividing line, and it stayed this way, even after the Korean War ended with the Treaty of Panmunjom on July 27, 1953.

Domino Theory


This theory speculated that if one state in a region came under the influence of communism, then the surrounding countries would follow in a domino effect.It was like the sphere of influence.

Army-McCarthy Hearings


The Army-McCarthy hearings finally brought the reign of McCarthy, a reckless accuser of thousands of innocent people as spies and communists, to an end. Many of the government officials were angry with him, realizing the unreliability and inaccuracy of his accusations. When he accused an associate of Joseph Welch, a counsel of the Army, the accusation backfired and ended in Welch accusing him of being cruel and reckless, causing McCarthy to back down. In 1954, McCarthy was overwhelmingly voted to be condemned by the senate, and his political career collapsed, and he died three years later because of alcohol. This shows that some members of the government at least would not be a part of all the conspiracies, and would help people continue to be innocent.

Brown v Board of Education of Topeka


NAACPlawyer Thurgood Marshall challeneged the decision from Plessy v Ferguson. The Court ruled that the separate education facilities were not equal, and they need to be. It also said that states must "integrate with great speed".

Dejure and Defacto Segregation


Starting mostly after Brown v. Board of Education in 1954, the difference between de facto segregation (segregation that existed because of the voluntary associations and neighborhoods) and de jure segregation (segregation that existed because of local laws that mandated the segregation) became important distinctions for court decisions.

Warsaw Pact


The Warsaw Pact, signed in 1955, was a mutual defense treaty between 8 communist states of Central and Eastern Europe. The treaty was established under the initiative of the Soviet Union. It was in part a Soviet military reaction to the integration of West Germany into NATO in 1955. The countries involved were the Soviet Union, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Albania, and East Berlin.

Rosa Parks


Rosa Parks' involvement in the NAACP and the Montgomery Bus Boycott was very important in the civil rights movement.

Martin Luther King Jr.


MLK was a very influential character in the civil rights movement.

Emmitt Till

August 28, 1955

Emmitt Till was an adolescent boy that was kidnapped and beaten to death by white supremacist because he whistled at a woman. This showed how out of hand white supremacists had gotten and it started civil rights movement actions.

Montgomery Bus Boycott

December 5 1955

Starting on December 5, 1955, the Montgomery Bus Boycott was a boycott started by Rosa Parks, a member of the NAACP. Rosa Parks was riding the bus and refused to give up her seat for a white man. She was arrested because of this. Soon after the Montgomery Bus Boycott, led by Martin Luther King Jr., began in which for months African Americans carpooled, hitchhiked, or walked. It proved to be very effective because buses lost money and complained to civic leaders, and eventually a federal case was won rethinking the “separate but equal decision” that was decided in Plessey v Ferguson.

Southern Manifesto


Southern Manifesto was a document written in February and March 1956, in the United States Congress, in opposition to racial integration of public places. The manifesto was signed by 99 politicians (97 Democrats) from Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.The Congressmen drafted the document to counter the landmark Supreme Court 1954 ruling Brown v. Board of Education, which determined that segregation of public schools was unconstitutional.

Suez Crisis


After Britain and the USA withdrew their financial support for the Egyptian Aswan dam project, General Nasser nationalized the important Suez Canal. In fear of communism, Egypt was then invaded by British, French and Israeli forces. Under pressure from the United States the invaders left Egypt and a UN emergency force was sent to Egypt.

Elvis Presley


Singer Elvis Presley became a national phenomenon with such number-one hit songs asHeartbreak Hotel, Don't Be Cruel and Hound Dog. He was called "Elvis the Pelvis" because of the way he shook his hips while dancing. Many religious leaders and school officials banned his songs because of his sex appeal that women loved, which only made them more popular. He later went on to be nicknamed "The King" as the most popular singer ever.

The Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956

June 29, 1956

The Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956, was enacted on June 29, 1956, when Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the bill into law. With an original authorization of 25 billion dollars for the construction of 41,000 miles of the Interstate Highway System supposedly over a 10-year period, it was the largest public works project in American history through that time.

Little Rock Central High School


In September of 1957, the governor of Arkansas called 270 armed men to Little Rock Central High school. Nine black children were attempting to enter the all-white school and their duty was to stop them. A mob was outside the school spitting and cursing at them, and the event was even televised. This prompted President Eisenhower to call out the Federal Army to escort the kids into school. The troops stayed in Little Rock Central High school for the remainder of the year, and eight of the students stayed in school despite the harassment of the white students. This is important because it showed that the civil rights movement was going to need the full force of the federal government to enforce laws that the supreme court had passed.

Malcolm X


Malcolm X was an African-American Muslim minister and human rights activist. To his admirers, he was a courageous advocate for the rights of blacks, a man who indicted white America in the harshest terms for its crimes against black Americans. Detractors accused him of preaching racism, black supremacy, and violence.

Civil Rights Act 1957


This was the first civil rights act passed since Reconstruction, and was passed because although President Eisenhower didn’t believe the schools should be desegregated, he believed that they should have the right to vote. The act, though, had no teeth and depended upon vigorous presidential informed to achieve any tangible results. It did show the improvements being made in the senate though towards African American rights.

Eisenhower Doctrine

January 5 1957

Under the Eisenhower Doctrine, a country could request American economic assistance and/or aid from U.S. military forces if it was being threatened by armed aggression from another state.Eisenhower singled out the Soviet threat in his doctrine by authorizing the commitment of U.S. forces "to secure and protect the territorial integrity and political independence of such nations, requesting such aid against overt armed aggression from any nation controlled by international communism."


August 21, 1957

Intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) were developed after the launch of Sputnik because of the fear of the Soviets being able to hit the Americans. They were important because they were one of the first applications of atomic secrets and important because they were in response to the launch of Sputnik and were part of a new developing defense mechanism. Also, they changed the economy because they were created with a new increased government spending budget.


October 4, 1957

On October 4, 1957, the Soviets launched the first satellite, Sputnik, into space. The importance of this satellite was immense. After the launch, Americans began to panic, thinking that if the Soviets were advanced enough to launch a rocket into space, then they would be advanced enough to hit America with armed missiles. Thus, the space race began. The United States began to increase defense spending, offer NATO allies intermediate range ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and establish a crash program in science education and military research. The launch of Sputnik ultimately released the Sputnik syndrome from 1957 to 1958, increasing the government spending immensely and increasing American fear.

Shuttlesworth v Birmingham


After Brown v. Board of Ed (1954), there was a lot of resistance to the outcome. More than 100 southern members of Congress signed a manifesto in 1956 denouncing the Brown decision and urging their constituents to defy it. Southern governors, mayors, local school boards, and non-government pressure groups (including hundreds of “White Citizens’ Councils”) all words to obstruct desegregation. Many school districts enacted “pupil placement laws” allowing school officials to place students in schools according to their scholastic abilities and social behavior. Such laws were transparent devices for maintaining segregation; but in 1958, the Supreme Court, in Shuttlesworth v. Birmingham Board of Education refused to declare them unconstitutional.

Hula Hoops


Hula Hoops became a national fad among children and adults.

Nikita Khrushchev


Nikita Khrushchev emerged as a leader in the Soviet Union after the death of dictator Josef Stalin. In 1956, he advocated reform and indirectly criticized Stalin and his methods. He became the Premier of the Soviet Union from 1958 to 1974.



In the 1960s, a new philosophy of “black power” came into being. It suggested a move away from interracial cooperation and toward increased awareness of racial distinctiveness. This was creating a rift in the civil rights movement. The NAACP, the Urban League, and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), which MLK was a big part of, all advocated for cooperation with sympathetic whites. The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) had started as relatively moderate, interracial organizations; SNCC, in fact, was originally a student branch of the SCLC. By the mid-1960s, however, this and other groups were calling for more radical and occasionally violent action against white racism. They openly rejected the approaches of older and more established black leaders.

U2 Crisis


The continuing existence of an anticommunist West Berlin inside communist East Germany was irritating and embarrassing to the Soviets. In November 1958, Nikita Khrushchev demanded that the NATO powers abandon the city. The US and its allies refused. Khrushchev then suggested that he and Eisenhower discuss the issue personally, both in visits to each other’s countries and at a meeting in Paris in 1960. The US agreed. Days before the Paris meeting, however, the Soviet Union announced that it had shot down an American U-2, a high-altitude spy plane, over Russian territory. Its pilot was in captivity. Eisenhower responded by at first denying it but then awkwardly admitted that it was true. Khrushchev was angry and broke up the Paris meeting, withdrawing his invitation to Eisenhower to visit the Soviet Union. By the spring of 1960, Khrushchev knew that no agreement was possible on the Berlin issue. The U-2 may have been an excuse to avoid what he believed would be useless negotiations.

Drug Use


As part of the counter culture of the 1960's,people starting experimenting with hardcore drugs more.

Counter Culture


As the 1960s progressed, widespread tensions developed in American society that tended to flow along generational lines regarding the war in Vietnam, race relations, human sexuality, women's rights, traditional modes of authority, experimentation with psychoactive drugs, and differing interpretations of the American Dream. New cultural forms emerged, including the pop music of the British band The Beatles and the concurrent rise of hippie culture, which led to the rapid evolution of a youth subculture that emphasized change and experimentation.

New Frontier


The term "New Frontier" was used by JFK in his in the 1960 United States presidential election to the Democratic National Convention, and used it as his slogan to get votes. The term developed into a label for his administration's domestic and foreign programs. It was important because, like the New Deal, it bettered the nation at the time but also put it in huge debt.

Cesar Chavez


Cesar Chavez was a labor leader who organized the Union Farm Workers (UFW) and helped migratory farm workers gain better pay and working conditions. His tactics included marches in CA and hunger strikes. He was important because he created equality for Mexican Americans.

Chicano Activism


The Chicano Movement was a Mexican American empowerment movement. Younger Mexican Americans were impatient with the MAPA, or Mexican American Political Association, so about 1,500 proclaimed a new term, Chicano, to replace Mexican American, after meeting in Denver. They pressed for bilingual education, among other things

Sexual Revolution


In the 1960's, as part of the counterculture, a sexual revolution started in which it sexual experimentation started, and it was actually ok to talk about sex and have PDA more than it ever was before.

Mapp v Ohio


Mapp v. Ohio was a 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.

Peace Corps

March 1, 1961

The Peace Corps is a volunteer program run by the United States government. The stated mission of the Peace Corps includes three goals: providing technical assistance; helping people outside the United States to understand American culture; and helping Americans to understand the cultures of other countries. The work is generally related to social and economic development. During the 1960s, it was a good way to stop the spread of communism in other countries

Bay of Pigs Invasion

April 17, 1961

The Bay of Pigs Invasion was in response to Fidel Castro becoming the dictator of Cuba, and was a huge disaster. Under the direction of John and Allen Dulles, directors of the CIA, 1,400 poorly trained and unequipped Cubans were sent to the Bay of Pigs, without knowing that Castro was there, but plotting to kill Castro. Castro was on alert because of the air raids, and sent in troops when he saw the men, many of them struggling on the sharp rocks of the bay. 114 Cubans and 4 Americans died during the invasion.

The New Left


This was a radical youth protest movement named by the leader Tom Hayden that replaced the Old Left of the 1930’s. It started with the formation of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), created by Tom Hayden and Al Haber. They both believed that the country was dominated by huge organizations such as the government, corporations, unions, and universities, but sought for more individual freedom for women, Native Americans, Hispanics, African Americans, homosexuals, and students.

James Meridith


James Howard Meredith is an American civil rights movement figure, a writer, and a political adviser. In 1962, he was the first African American student admitted to the segregated University of Mississippi, an event that was a flashpoint in the American civil rights movement. Motivated by President John F. Kennedy's inaugural address, Meredith decided to exercise his constitutional rights and apply to the University of Mississippi. His goal was to put pressure on the Kennedy administration to enforce civil rights for African Americans.

Baker v Carr


The ruling of this case required state legislatures electoral districts so all citizens votes would have equal weight.

Engel v Vitale


Ruled that prayers in public school were unconstitutional.

Cuban Missile Crisis


The Cuban Missile Crisis was an incident where Soviet missiles were placed in Cuba as a response for help. The event greatly increased tensions between the Soviets and the Americans. As a result, a hotline was established between the two nations to avoid any accidents.

Silent Spring


Silent Spring, written in 1962 by biologist writer Rachel Carson, warned of the dangers of pesticides such as DDT. It helped launch the United States environmental protection movement, and was a result of the realization that there wouldn’t be an abundance of fossil fuels and other resources forever.

B. Friedman/ The Feminine Mystique


The Feminine Mystique, published in 1963, was written by Betty Friedan. She wrote that women, after World War II, had in fact lost ground, causing them to move from their wartime jobs to the suburbs. She wrote about the fact that most women were thought to be content in “a world of bedroom, kitchen, sex, babies, and home,” where, in fact, studies showed that most middle class housewives were miserable. After this book and the creation of the National Organization for Women (NOW) which sought to end discrimination of sex in the work force, many women started to liberate themselves, find work, and get rid of the typical housewife.

Feminism/Gender Roles


The role of women as full-time homemakers in industrial society was challenged in 1963, when American feminist Betty Friedan published The Feminine Mystique, giving momentum to the women's movement and influencing what many called Second-wave feminism.

Gideon v Wainwright


The Supreme Court had greatly strengthened the civil rights of criminal defendants and, too many Americans had greatly weakened the power of law enforcement officials to do their jobs. For example, in Gideon v. Wainwright (1963), the Court ruled that every felony defendant was entitled to a lawyer regardless of his or her ability to pay.

Warren Commission


This was the conclusion of a federal commission of the incident chaired by Chief Justice Warren. He was appointed by Lyndon Johnson to investigate the assassination. This conclusion stated that both Oswald and Ruby acted alone, and that no larger conspiracies were true.



Lee Harvey Oswald was the man who assassinated Kennedy. He was arrested later after the assassination. Oswald moved to Russia and lived there until he returned to America with a Russian wife. Later that day, Jack Ruby came into the police station and murdered Oswald. Ruby was a nightclub owner.

JFK Assassination

November 22, 1963

On November 22, 1963, the much loved President JFK was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald. There are many conspiracy theories surrounding his assassination.

Freedom Summer


This was a campaign in the United States launched in June 1964 to attempt to register as many African American voters as possible in Mississippi, which up to that time had almost totally excluded black voters. The project was organized by the Council of Federated Organizations (COFO), a coalition of four established civil rights organizations: the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), with SNCC playing the lead role.

Title VII


Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibited employers from discriminating based on race in their hiring practices, and empowered the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to regulate fair employment

Escobedo v Illinois


In Escobedo v. Illinois (1964), the Court ruled that a defendant must be allowed access to a lawyer before questioning by police. This added to the common thought that the Supreme Court had greatly weakened the power of law enforcement officials to do their jobs.

24th Amendment


The 24th amendment was important to the Civil Rights Movement as it ended mandatory poll taxes that prevented many African Americans.

The War on Poverty


The War on Poverty was initiated by Johnson who was disgusted with the unnoticed issue of poverty in America. Johnson re-opened many New Deal policies to combat poverty.

Great Society


Great Society was a program of Lyndon Johnson’s once he became president after Kennedy’s assassination. This was a major reform program that gained much approval. It worked towards social reforms and the elimination of poverty and racial discrimination. It was similar to Roosevelt’s New Deal.

MLK Assassination

April 4, 1964

Martin Luther King was assinated by James Earl Ray while he was at a hotel in Memphis Tennessee. Many people were deeply saddened by this event, including President Lydon B Johnson.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964

July 2, 1964

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is a landmark piece of civil rights legislation in the United States that outlawed major forms of discrimination against racial, ethnic, national and religious minorities, and women. It ended unequal application of voter registration requirements and racial segregation in schools, at the workplace and by facilities that served the general public

Birth Control


Birth Control became an issue with the advent of the birth control pill. On January 22, 1973, Roe v Wade decided that abortion should be legal.

The Housing and Urban Development Act of 1965


The Housing and Urban Development Act of 1965 provided for the construction of 240,000 houses and $3 million in urban renewal, and a year later a new Department of Housing and Urban Development was created and headed by Robert C. Weaver, the first African American cabinet member.
Immigration Act of 1965- Johnson signed the Immigration and Nationality Services Act of 1965 while saying that the new law would help undo all of the wrong things done to the people from Europe and the developing countries of Asia, Africa, and Latin America. It treated all races equally, but did put some quotas on the amount of people that could be let in.

Griswold v Connecticut


This was a Supreme Court case in 1965 in which a person’s “right to privacy” was established. The case involved a Connecticut law that made the use of any contraceptives illegal.


July 30,1965

Created to replace the American Medical Association, the Medicare and Medicaid programs were passed as part of Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society on July 30, 1965. Medicare serves people over 65 with hospital insurance and a program for the payment of doctor’s bills and drug costs with the government funding half the program. Medicaid gave federal grants to states to help cover medical payments for the poor.

Black Power


Black Power is a political slogan and a name for various associated ideologies aimed at achieving self-determination for people of African/Black descent. In the late 60s it was often violent and often punished. The Black Jaguars were a black power group.

Miranda v Arizona


This ruling confirmed the obligation of authorities to inform a criminal suspect of his or her rights.

National Organization for Women


The National Organization for Women, or NOW, sought to gain rights for women.

Loving v Virginia


Loving v. Virginia was a landmark civil rights decision of the United States Supreme Court which invalidated laws prohibiting interracial marriage.

Thurgood Marshall


Marshall was the first African American Supreme Court Justice.



The American Indian Movement fought for rights for Native Americans.

Tinker v Des Moines


The Verdict reached by the court in Tinker v. Des Moines created a law that gave power to school systems. Known as the tinker test, the ruling offered in Tinker v. Des Moines, allowed individual schools to prohibit students from protesting if the protest has the chance to influence a disruptive response.


August 15 1969

This event was the biggest rock concert ever held, with 600,00 rock fans. It occurred in new York and many counterculture practices occurred there.

Wounded Knee

February 27, 1973

This was an incident on February 27, 1973 that included 200 Oglala Lokata Indians and the followers of the American Indian Movement (AIM). They seized and occupied the town of Wounded Knee, South Dakota, showing the anger of the Indians and the unfair rights on them.