Untitled timeline

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1950s Counter Culture

Television

1925

The most powerful medium of mass communication. 1920’s = early experimentation of picture and sound together. Commercial television began after WWII- Growth = very rapid. 1946- 17,000 tv sets in US. 1957- 40 million sets. By 1950s, tv news had replaced newspapers, magazines, and radios as nation’s most important vehicle information.

Penicillin

1928

Penicillin was accidentally discovered by Alexander Fleming. 1941 for the first human trials of the new drug. In 1948 it became widely available to doctors and hospitals around the world.

GI Bill

1944

The Serviceman’s Readjustment Act, better known as the GI Bill of Rights, provided economic and educational assistance to veterans, increasing government spending and further preventing an economic collapse after WWII ended.

Fair Deal

September 1945

Truman’s 21-point plan for US domestic policy. It included the expansion of social security benefits, the raising of legal minimum wage, federal spending and investment to ensure full employment, a permanent Fair employment Practices Act, public housing and slum clearance, and government promotion of scientific research. Later he added the proposal of national health insurance. It was rejected by the same public and congressional conservatism as the New Deal.

Operation Dixie

1946

A major organizing drive in the south launched by the CIO. Mostly targeted poorly paid workers in textile mills. Operation was a failure, as were most organizing drives for at least 30 years after the war.

Dr. Benjamin Spock

1946

Wrote the book Baby and Child Care. His approach to raising children was child centered, as opposed to parent centered. he believed a mothers purpose was to help the child learn, grow, and realize their potential. everything else, including the physical and emotional requirements of the mother, should be subordinated to the needs of the child.

J. Lewis and United Mine Workers

April 1946

John L. Lewis was the leader of the United Mine Workers, a labor union of miners. It held a strike in April 1946, shutting down the coal fields for 40 days. Truman forced the miners to return to work by ordering government seizure of the mines. He pressured mine owners to grant the union its demands.

Taft-Hartley Act

1947

The Labor-Management Relations Act of 1947 made the closed shop illegal. It also empowered the President to call for a “cooling-off” period before a strike by issuing an injunction against work stoppage that endangered national safety or health. It resulted from conservative dissatisfaction with the powers legislation had granted unions, making it’s way all the way back to the Wagner Act of 1935. It was vetoed by Truman but overruled by a Republican congress.

Credit Cards

1950

Consumer credit increased by 800% between 1945 and 1957 because of Credit cards, revolving charge accounts, and payment plans.

Beatniks

1950

A group of young poets, writers, and artists. They wrote harsh critiques of what they considered the conformity of American life, the meaninglessness of American politics, and the banality of pop culture.

American Bandstand

1950

One of most popular television programs among younger people. combined new popularity of television with new popularity of rock ‘n’ roll.

Checkers Speech

1952

Speech given by Vice President candidate Richard Nixon when he was accused of money laundering. The speech was about his daughters dog, and through the influences of radio and TV was able to reach many Americans.

AFL-CIO

1955

American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations end a 22 year rivalry and merge into one company; the AFL-CIO. George Meany was leader of organization. In first years of operating as one organization, AFL was dominating partnership. However, tension gradually subsided.

Federal Highway Act

1956

Eisenhower authorize $25 billion to build 40,000 miles of interstate highways over 10 years. Largest public works project in history. Funded by highway “trust fund” made from new taxes on fuels, cars, trucks and tires.

Sun Belt

1970

Huge migration to Southeast, (Florida), and Southwest, (Texas and California). Population exceeded that of North and East. Return to conservative politics, small government and few regulations, in South, and “rugged individualism” in West. Continued well throughout the 1980s.

1960s Counter Culture

War on Poverty

1960

Kennedy and then Johnson’s plan to reduce poverty in the United States. Johnson coined the name “war on poverty” for this assault on poverty. The centerpiece was the Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO) which created new educational, employment, housing and health-care programs. It was controversial because of its commitment to “Community Action” which involved members of poor communities themselves in planning and administration of programs designed to help them.

The New Left

1960

A large, diverse group of men and women energized by the polarizing developments of their time. They embraced the cause of African Americans and other minorities, although the group was mainly white. Some members of the New Left had radical parents who were part of the Old Left in the 30s and 40s.

Peace Corps

1961

Begun by Kennedy to promote international peace through these American "peacekeepers", and stop the spread of communism by this.

Port Huron Statement

1962

A group of students, most from prestigious universities, gathered in Michigan to form organization to give voice to their demands. It was called Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). The Port Huron Statement was their declaration of beliefs. It expressed their disillusionment with the society they had inherited and their determination to build a new politics.

The Silent Spring

September 1962

Silent Spring, a novel by Rachel Carson, began the environmental movement in the US. It told of the negative side effects of pesticides on the environment, as well as increasing pollution.

The Feminine Mystique

1963

Betty Friedan wrote the book “The Feminine Mystique” to support women in the workforce and restart the women’s rights movement. The book became incredibly popular among women, and Friedan went on to form and the National Organization for Women.

UC Berkeley Activists

1964

Dispute over rights of students to engage in political activities on campus gained national attention. This was known as the Free Speech Movement. It created turmoil at Berkeley- students challenged campus police, occupied administrative offices, and produced a strike where almost ¾ of students participated. Immediate issue was the right of students to pass out literature and recruit volunteers for political causes on campus.
1969- Berkeley became scene of most prolonged and traumatic conflict of any college campus in the 60s. There was a battle over efforts of a few students to build a “People’s Park” on a vacant lot that was planned to be used as a parking garage. People’s Park battle lasted over a week. Result = 85% of students voted to leave park alone.

Title VII

July 2, 1964

Part of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that forbade discrimination against ethnic, racial, national, and religious minorities, including women. Although its power was weak at first, Congress began to sufficiently fund and push the Civil Rights Act in voting, schools, and the workplace.

Medicare-Medicaid

1965

Medicare is a program to provide federal aid to the elderly for medical expenses. It avoided the stigma of “welfare” by making benefits available to all elderly Americans regardless of need. It shifted the responsibility for paying normal doctor fees from the patient to the government. Medicaid extended federal medical assistance to welfare recipients and other poor people of all ages.

Griswold v. Connecticut

1965

Supreme Court Case, under the Warren Court, which allowed for the use of contraceptives by women by declaring a Connecticut law unconstitutional. This was followed by Roe v. Wade, a similar type of case, several years later.

Immigration Act

1965

Maintained a strict limit on the number of newcomers admitted to the country each year (170,000) but it eliminated the “national origins” system established in 1920 (which gave preference to immigrants from northern Europe). It allowed people from all parts of Europe, Asia and Africa to enter the United States.

HUD

1966

The Department of Housing and Urban Development was created in 1966 after the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1965. It provided revitalization of dying areas by offering grants to cities for the development of middle-income housing. Rent supplements for low-income families also became available.

Stonewall Riot

January 28, 1969

A series of violent uprisings by the gay community in New York against police raids. Started when the New York Police raided the Stonewall Inn in the early hours of Jan. 28, 1969. Policeman were forced to call in reinforcements to subdue the mob.

Earth Day

April 22, 1970

Gaylord Nelson, a US senator from Wisconsin, created Earth Day after he witnessed the massive destruction of an oil spill the previous year. Earth Day became very popular, especially with the support of the environmental movement. The first day consisted of 20 million young Americans protesting and rallying.

Equal Rights Amendment

1972

The Equal Rights Amendment was first presented to Congress, as written by Alice Paul, in 1923. It was then presented again in 1972, where it passed both houses but failed to get enough state ratifications to pass, and then expired in 1982. It was pushed to Congress by the National Organization for Women.

Sandra Day O'Connor

1981

Became the first female Supreme Court Judge in 1981, under Reagan. Ruth Ginsburg, the first Jewish women, joined her in 1993. O’Connor was a conservative judge.

Cold War Beginnings

House Un-American Committee

1938

Government agency originally created to investigate the disloyalty and actions of people accused of having communist ties. The HUAC was very important in the 1950s during the time of McCarthyism.

Teheran Conference

November 28, 1943 - December 1, 1943

Roosevelt and Churchill’s first meeting with Stalin. Stalin reaffirmed the Soviet commitment to enter the war against Japan and discussed coordination of the Soviet offensive with the Allied invasion of France.

Dumbarton Oaks Conference

August 21, 1944 - October 7, 1944

A conference at which delegates from the US, GB, Soviet Union and China met to discuss and formulate the United Nations.

Zones of Occupation

1945

At the Yalta Conference, it was decided that Germany would be divided into 4 “zones of occupation” and that the US, GB, France and the Soviet Union would each have a zone to control. Berlin was inside the Soviet zone but because of it’s importance would be divided into 4 sectors as well.

Yalta Conference

February 4, 1945 - February 11, 1945

Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin met. Stalin said the Soviet Union would enter the Pacific war 3 months after Germany surrendered. A plan for the new United Nations was developed, including the Security Council with US, GB, Soviet Union, France and China as permanent members. Germany was divided into 4 occupation zones, controlled by US, France, GB and the Soviet Union.

Potsdam Conference

July 17, 1945 - August 2, 1945

Truman, Stalin Churchill and later Clement Atlee (new prime minister of GB) met. Truman told Stalin about the atomic bomb. Stalin had been spying on the US and already knew about the bomb, but pretended he didn’t. He promised to declare war on Japan.

National Security Act

1947

Reshaped the nation’s military and diplomatic institutions. Created the Department of Defense to oversee all branches of the armed services, National Security Council operating out of the White House to govern foreign and military policy, and the CIA.

CIA

1947

Central Intelligence Agency, created by the National Security Act. It would replace the Office of Strategic Services and would be responsible for collecting information through both open and covert methods. It engaged secretly in political and military operations during the during the Cold War.

Truman Doctrine

March 12, 1947

Proposed on March 12, 1947- Truman’s foreign policy, based on the idea of containment, which said, “it must be the policy of the United States to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures.” This shaped America’s foreign policy for decades to come.

Berlin Airlift

1948 - 1949

After Stalin imposed a blockade around the western sectors of Berlin on June 24, 1948, Truman responded by ordering the Berlin Airlift to supply west Berlin with food and supplies. 2.5 million tons of material was sent, keeping a city of 2 million people alive. In the spring of 1949, Stalin lifted the blockade because the airlift had made it ineffective.

West German Republic

1948

Truman reached an agreement with GB and France to merge the three western zones of occupation in Germany into the West German Republic which included the American, British and French sectors of Berlin, though Berlin itself was in the Soviet zone.

NATO

April 4, 1949

Established April 4, 1949- an agreement between 12 nations establishing the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and declaring that an armed attack against one member would be considered an attack against all.

Syngman Rhee

1950

The first president of the South Korea, and was president for the entirety of the Korean War. Regarded as a strong anti-communist and overall a strong president in South Korea, though very dictatorial

McCarran Internal Security Act

1950

Act requiring all communist organizations to register with the Attorney General, and also created the Subversive Activities Control Board, which investigated those participating in “un-American” activities.

NSC-68

1950

A report from the National Security Council which outlined a shift in the american foreign policy. It said that America could not rely on the initiative of other nations in resisting communism, but must establish firm and active leadership of the noncommunist world. It also said America must move to stop communist expansion anywhere it occurred, regardless of strategic or economic factors. It expanded American military power by calling for a defense budget 4 times the previously proposed size.

Martin Letter

April 16, 1963

Letter written by Martin Luther King Jr. while he was in jail. It supported the non-violent protest that had ended with him being jail, with him saying that immoral laws must be broken.

Cold War Under Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson

Arab-Israeli Wars

May 14, 1948

UN declared Israel independent for the Jewish people which caused problems with the Palestinian Arabs whose land was partially given to the Jews. US supported Israel.

Hydrogen Bomb

1952

Unlike plutonium and uranium bombs that were developed during WWII, hydrogen bomb derives power from fusion, not fission. it is capable of producing explosions of vastly greater power that the earlier fission bombs.

Iran

1953

Military coup organized by CIA to replace Mossadegh with Pahlevi in order to get a shah who would support American business interests in the region.

Army-McCarthy Hearings

1954

McCarthy attacked Secretary of Army Robert Stevens accused him of being a communist. These congressional hearings were the first to be televised and made many Americans very upset with the realization of what had been occurring. TV host Murrow began to disclose the fallacies in the hearings in his program. Led to December 1954 vote in Senate 67 to 22 to condemn McCarthy for bad conduct as a senator. He died 3 years later.

Guatemala

1954

Military coup sponsored by CIA to replace leftist Jacobo Guzmán because of threats to United Fruit Company involvement in Guatemala.

Geneva Accords

1954

UN conference establishing Vietnam as two countries, (south and north). Marked end of France in Vietnam and beginning of US intervention.

Egypt

1956

President Nasser established trade with USSR and in response, in 1956, US pulled out of assistance in building Aswan Dam across the Nile.

Hungarian Revolution

1956

Hungarian revolt against for democratic reforms put down by Soviets supporting the current regime.

Suez Crisis

October 1956

Nasser responded to US actions by seizing control of Suez Canal from British arguing it would use it to fund building of canal on its own. October 29 Israelis invaded Egypt followed by British and French. US thought invasion would turn Middle East towards supporting USSR and joined UN condemnation of the invasion, pressuring British and French withdrawal and Israeli-Egyptian truce.

Cuba

January 1, 1959

Fidel Castro seized control over Batista government (US instated leader of Cuba in 1952 in support of American business), and kicked American corporations out of Cuba. Began accepting Soviet assistance 1960 led to 1961 Eisenhower stopping US-Cuba diplomatic relations

U-2 Crisis

May 1, 1960

An American U-2 spy plane was shot down over the Soviet Union and pilot Francis Gary Powers was captured. Eisenhower took responsibility for the spy plane and Soviet leader Khrushchev called of a diplomacy conference that was to take place in a few days.

Bay of Pigs Invasion

April 17, 1961

2000 armed anti-Castro Cuban exiles landed at the Bay of Pigs in Cuba to overthrow Castro. They expected first American air support and then an uprising of Cuban people in Cuba against Castro. However, Kennedy withdrew air support at the last minute because it was clear that things were going badly and he didn’t want to involve the United States too directly in the invasion. The expected uprising did not occur. Instead, Castro’s forces crushed the invaders. The entire mission collapsed and was considered a failure.

Cuban Missile Crisis

October 1962

On October 14, aerial photos produced evidence that the Soviets were constructing sites on Cuba for offensive nuclear weapons. Kennedy saw this as an act of aggression towards the United States because missiles in Cuba could attack Washington D.C. On October 22, Kennedy ordered a naval and air blockade around Cuba. America was preparing for an air attack on the missile sites when Khrushchev agreed to remove missile bases in Cuba in exchange for Americans removing missile bases in Turkey, which were in range of Moscow.

JFK Assassination

November 22, 1963

Kennedy was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas, Texas. Oswald was arrested for the crime and then killed point blank by Jack Ruby, a strip club owner with Mafia ties.

Warren Commission

November 29, 1963

A federal commission chaired by Chief Justice Earl Warren to investigate Kennedy’s assassination. It released a report that said both Oswald and Ruby had acted alone and were not part of a wider conspiracy. However, in later years Americans came to believe that the Warren Report ignored evidence of wider conspiracies and gave an inaccurate report.

1940s and 50s Civil Rights Movement

Migrant Farmworkers

1940

a group concentrated especially in west and southwest. It contained many Mexican-American and Asian-American workers who sometimes lived in dire circumstances. In rural areas without much commercial agriculture, whole communities lived in desperate poverty, increasingly cut off from market economy. All of those groups were vulnerable to malnutrition and starvation.

Jim Crow Laws

1940

1870s-1965 laws that mandated segregation in public facilities, defended through Plessy v. Ferguson “separate but equal” in 1896. Replaced Black Codes. Began to unravel with Brown v Board.

Civil Rights Movement Causes

1940

participated in WWII and therefore saw themselves as equals and deserving of the same rights as others because they fought alongside them for their country during the war.
growing urban black middle class was a result of more becoming involved in education and professions in city settings where they became more aware of the discrimination against that stifled their opportunities for advancement. Many leaders of the movement came from these areas.
television enabled the movement to gain national attention and inspired other blacks to join in or begin their own protests similar to those that they could see on tv. Also racism in popular culture which was spread and depicted over tv.
Cold War- US couldn’t promote themselves as a perfect model country when they had discrimination against such a large group. Whites who recognized the hypocrisy supported the movement.
Democratic Party- More blacks joined the political party and began to make up such a large part that it became impossible for the party to ignore their demands without losing their support.
(Labor Unions)- growing African American membership resulted in support from many labor unions towards promoting the movement.

Shelley v. Kramer

1947

Court case involving restrictive covenants, which prevented blacks from living in certain neighborhoods. These covenants were declared unconstitutional by the Vinson court.

Jackie Robinson

1947

Joined Brooklyn Dodgers, breaking color barriers in Major League baseball.

Dixiecrats

1948

Also known as the States’ Rights Democratic Party, the Dixiecrats ran Strom Thurmond as their political candidate, opposing Truman, in 1948. The platform was segregation and states rights.

National Housing Act

1949

A part of the Fair Deal, this act increased the role of government in mortgage assistance and increased the production of public housing.

Brown v. Board

1954

Unanimous Supreme Court decision that overrode “separate but equal”/segregation in schools. NAACP lawyer Thurgood Marshall argued the case.

Brown II

1955

Provided that schools must be desegregated with “all deliberate speed”which was vague and led to many future problems. Both Brown decisions occurred in the Warren Court.

Montgomery Bus Boycott

December 1955 - December 1956

Began with Rosa Parks refusal to leave seat on bus staged by NAACP. Her arrest led to the bus boycott which people attempted to prevent by not insuring black peoples’ cars and making carpooling laws. Almost put bus system out of business until Supreme Court ruled segregation in public transportation illegal in 1956.

Little Rock Central High School

1957

The first test of the Brown v. Board decision and meaning of “with all deliberate speed”. 9 black students agreed to attend Central HS in Little Rock Arkansas. Were barred from entering by Arkansas Nat’l Guard and only able to attend school starting the second day with the constant protection of the 101st Airborne division sent out by Eisenhower.

Civil Rights Act

1957

Bill signed by President Eisenhower to delegate federal power to protect African Americans who wanted to register to vote. Passed by Democratic Congress without much support from the White House and therefore was too weak to be effective. However it signaled the beginning of the executive and legislative branches to begin working on protections for blacks.

Shuttlesworth v. Birmingham

1958

Refusal to declare “pupil placement laws” unconstitutional. (attempts to avoid integration in schools by admitting students according to scholastic abilities and behavior). Promoted continuation of efforts to maintain segregation in schools.

Greensboro Sit Ins

1960

Student nonviolent protests in which blacks would go sit in a public place and not move unless they were forcibly moved, which spurred a national movement of sit-ins.

1960s Civil RIghts

Chicano Activism

1960

Mexican American activists began calling themselves Chicanos as a way of emphasizing the shared culture of Spanish speaking Americans.

De jure and De facto Segregation

1960

De jure segregation was segregation by law and de facto was segregation in practice, as through residential patterns. By the mid 1960’s, the battle against school desegregation had moved to attack de facto segregation.

SNCC and SCLC

1960

SNCC was the Student Nonviolent Coordination Committee, a group composed of black students who aimed to end segregation in public accommodations. It was formed by some students who staged a sit-in at a lunch counter in North Carolina after being denied service. The SCLC was the Southern Christian Leadership Conference which created citizen-education and other programs to mobilize black workers, farmers, housewives and others to challenge segregation, disenfranchisement and discrimination. Ella Baker was an important leader.

Causes of Civil Rights Movement

1960

participated in WWII and therefore saw themselves as equals and deserving of the same rights as others because they fought alongside them for their country during the war.
growing urban black middle class was a result of more becoming involved in education and professions in city settings where they became more aware of the discrimination against that stifled their opportunities for advancement. Many leaders of the movement came from these areas.
television enabled the movement to gain national attention and inspired other blacks to join in or begin their own protests similar to those that they could see on tv. Also racism in popular culture which was spread and depicted over tv.
Cold War- US couldn’t promote themselves as a perfect model country when they had discrimination against such a large group. Whites who recognized the hypocrisy supported the movement.
Democratic Party- More blacks joined the political party and began to make up such a large part that it became impossible for the party to ignore their demands without losing their support.
(Labor Unions)- growing African American membership resulted in support from many labor unions towards promoting the movement.

Declaration of Indian Purpose

1961

Over 400 of 67 different tribes met in Chicago to discuss ways to bring Indians together in effort to redress common wrongs. They issued the Declaration of Indian Purpose which stressed the “right to choose our own way of life”.

24th Amendment

1964

Ended the poll tax as a means of discrimination at the polls against blacks, but didn't elmiminate other forms such as grandfather clauses and literacy tests.

Freedom Summer

1964

The campaign of thousands of civil rights workers to work on the behalf of black voter registration and participation in the South. It met a violent response from Southern whites.

Cesar Chavez

1965

Created United Farm Workers (UFW), largely Mexican organization. It launched a prolonged strike against growers to demand recognition of their union and increased wages and benefits. When employers resisted, Chavez enlisted the cooperation of college students, churches, and civil rights groups and organized a nationwide boycott, first grapes, then lettuce. 1968- Chavez campaigned openly for Robert Kennedy. 2 years later, he won substantial victory when the growers of half of California’s table grapes signed contracts with his union.

Malcolm X

1965

Was a leader of the Civil Rights Movement, a member of the Nation of Islam, and promoted violence rather than peaceful protest until right before he was killed in 1965.

Voting Rights Act

1965

Eliminated all other forms of discrimination against blacks at the polls like grandfather clauses and literacy tests, and provided some protections for them.

National Organization for Women

1966

Begun by Betty Friedman and others and advocated for the passage of the ERA.

Thurgood Marshall

1967

The first black justice on the Supreme Court, appointed by LBJ in 1967.

Riots

1967 - 1968

The riots of 1967 and 1968 were race riots between whites and blacks. The most notable was a racial class in Detroit in 1967 in which 43 people were killed.

AIM

1968

A group of young militant Indians established the American Indian Movement (AIM), which drew its greatest support from those Indians who lived in urban areas but soon established a significant presence on reservations as well. result = Indian Civil Rights Act- 1968- recognized legitimacy of tribal laws within reservations.

Wounded Knee

February 1973

Protest at Wounded Knee, South Dakota. Members of AIM seized and occupied town for 2 months, demanding radical changes in administration of reservation and insisting that the govt honor its long-forgotten treaty obligations.

Warren Court

Shelley v. Kramer

1947

Court case involving restrictive covenants, which prevented blacks from living in certain neighborhoods. These covenants were declared unconstitutional by the Vinson court.

Brown v. Board of Education

1954

Unanimous decision that overrode “separate but equal”/segregation in schools. NAACP lawyer Thurgood Marshall argued the case.

Engle v. Vitale

1962

No prayer in public schools; violates separation of church and state

Baker v. Carr

1962

State legislatures have to apportion electoral districts so all votes have an equal weight. Strengthened value of many Hispanic and African American votes. (Previously areas with white populations were given more electoral votes)

Giddeon v. Wainwright

1963

Every defendant is entitled to a lawyer and, if they cannot afford one, the government will provide one.

Escobedo v. Illinois

1964

Defendant must be allowed to access a lawyer before police questioning.

Griswold v. Connecticut

1965

Supreme Court Case, under the Warren Court, which allowed for the use of contraceptives by women by declaring a Connecticut law unconstitutional. This was followed by Roe v. Wade, a similar type of case, several years later.

Miranda v. Arizona

1966

Authorities must inform a suspect of their rights when arrested

Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District

1969

Upheld student's first amendment rights in public schools unless the administration provided validity for specific regulations. In response to black armbands worn to school to protest Vietnam.

Brandenburg v. Ohio

1969

The government can't punish speech unless it directly will cause lawless actions.