APUSH SUPER timeline


1950s Culture

House Un-American Activities Committee

1938 - 1975

Investigated potential Communists or those suspected of having Communist ties

Railroad Strike


Almost simultaneous w/ coal strike, the nation’s railroads were completely shut down because two major unions went on strike. By threatening to use the army to run the trains, Truman pressured the workers back to work after only a few days.

Coal Strike


John L. Lewis led United Mine Workers out on strike, shutting down coal fields for 40 days. Led to fear of nation failing without coal supplies.

Federal Highway Act


The Federal Highway Act is signed, marking the beginning of work on the interstate highway system.

Operation Dixie

1946 - 1953

The Operation was when the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) tried to unionize industrial workers (especially textiles) in the South, but failed due to the prevalence of Jim Crow Laws in the South, demonstrating the obstacles desegregation efforts would have to overcome. The CIO’s failure here helped convince it to merge with the AFL.



During the 2nd Red Scare, Republican Senator Joseph McCarthy rose to power using people’s fear. During this time, people would accuse most anyone of having Communist connections, thereby heightening suspicions. Trials took place. McCarthy lost his influence, however, when he went after the Army.

Hollywood Ten/Blacklist

November 25, 1947

It prevented many in Hollywood (writers, actors, directors, etc.) from getting work based on their political beliefs, real or suspected. The first systematic Hollywood blacklist followed after 10 writers and directors refused to testify before the HUAC, they became known as the Hollywood Ten.

Alger Hiss Convicted


Alger Hiss – the president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in 1947, Whittaker Chambers claimed that Hiss had been a Communist in the 1930’s, and had given him classified documents to pass on to Moscow. In 1948: a hearing before the HUAC took place. Chambers produced microfilm copies of stolen State Dept. documents he claimed Hiss had given him and he had hidden in a pumpkin in his garden (the Pumpkin Papers). Hiss charged Chambers for libel, but failed. Hiss was inducted for perjury (he lied to a congressional committee by claiming innocence). Tried/convicted January 1950, sentenced to 5 yrs in prison, served 3 (released 1954).



Transcontinental television begins with a speech by Pres. Truman

Checkers Speech

September 23, 1952

The speech allowed VP Nixon to explain away allegations of accepting bribes (having a fund for campaign backers), such as Checkers the dog. The scandal should have served as a warning to the public but they still elected Nixon for President later.

Julius and Ethel Rosenburg Executed


Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were United States citizens convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage during a time of war, and executed. Their charges were related to the passing of information about the atomic bomb to the Soviet Union. Ethel’s brother, David Greenglass (who himself had been identified by Harry Gold), had been a part of the Manhattan Project and named his sister, though she claimed that she did not know what he and her husband were doing, only that it was likely illegal.

McCarth Hearings


U. S. Senator Joseph McCarthy begins televised hearings into alleged Communists in the army



The American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations merge making the new AFL-CIO an organization with 15 million members.

Polio Vaccine


Dr. Jonas Salk developed a vaccine for polio

Alaska & Hawaii


Alaska and Hawaii become the forty-ninth and fiftieth states.

1960s Counter Culture

Televised Presidential Debates


JFK and Nixon debated on national television. Nixon had been in the hospaital for 2 weeks, and looked disheveled, whereas JFK was a "Stone Cold Fox".

Declaration of Indian Purpose


Written at the American Indian Chicago Conference. The policy outlined many solutions to the problems of termination and given to JFK by the National Congress of American Indians (it said that the natives had the right to choose their ways of life and still have a claim to their inheritance).

The New Left


1962, a group of students gathered in Michigan to form an organization to give voice to their demands: Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), a student radicalism organization determined to build a new politics. It protested the war and promoted reforms. It demonstrates the nation’s general dissatisfaction and the increased vocalization of said dissatisfaction.

Silent Spring


Book written by Rachel Carson discussing the problems with DDT

United Farm Works


Cesar Chavez created the United Farm Works (UFW) in 1962 to protect its members, mainly Mexican-Americans in California and Florida (fruit). He was a Latino civil rights activist (non-violent but aggressive), largest effort to organize Mexicans in America.

Port Huron Statement

June 1962

The declaration of the SDS’s/New Left’s beliefs.

War on Poverty


Kennedy had been planning it in the last months of his life. Johnson launched it weeks after taking office. Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO), created an array of new educational, employment, housing, and health care programs. Controversial from the start because of its commitment to the idea of “Community Action”, which involved members of poor communities in the planning and administration of the programs designed to help them. OEO spent nearly $3 billion during its first 2 years of existence.

The Rise of the West


The Rise of the West explores human history in terms of the effect of different world civilizations on one another.

The Feminine Mystique


Book published by Betty Friedan discussing the roles of women in modern society.

Military Draft

1964 - 1973

1.8 million men were drafted, it was very unpopular, so people found ways to avoid the draft.



LBJ's programs to help the elderly and poor to pay for medical expenses.

Star Trek


The television show Star Trek gains fame.

1968 Democrat Convention/Election-


LBJ doesn’t run again because there would’ve been no way he would’ve won. Robert F. Kennedy was going to be nominated as the candidate, but he was assassinated in the summer before the DNC in August.
This led to the DNC Chicago Riot: police brutality towards the protesters, leading the protesters to yell “the whole world is watching.”
The convention ended up nominating Hubert Humphrey; with no way that he’d win (even Democrats were protesting the convention!) As a result, Nixon wins the Presidency, promising to withdraw troops but with no plans to continue LBJ’s “Great Society.”

American Indian Movement


A group of young Native Americans who protested government policies and injustices. In 1973, the AIM organized the occupation of Wounded Knee, SD to bring attention to Indian rights.

The Stonewall Riot


Stonewall Riot-(June 28, 1969) spontaneous and violent demonstrations by the gay community against the police raid that took place early in the morning at the Stonewall Inn (known gay bar), NYC. They are widely considered to be the single most important event leading to the gay liberation movement (aimed at “liberating” them from social/political/economic oppression) and the modern fight for gay and lesbian rights in the US.

Cold War Beginnings

Tehran Conference - Poland Issues

November 1943

At the Tehran Conference. Roosevelt and Churchill supported the claims of the Polish government-in-exile that had been functioning in London since 1940. Stalin wanted to install another pro-communist exiled government that had spent the war time in the Soviet Union. Did not come to an agreement

Dumbarton Oakes Conference

August 21, 1944 - October 7, 1944

Also the Washington Conversations on International Peace and Security Organization was an international conference at which the United Nations was formulated and negotiated among international leaders. The conference held at Dumbarton Oaks, a building on Harvard Campus.

Truman Doctrine

1945 - 1953

"Policy of the united States to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures.”

Yalta Conference & Zones of Occupation

February 1945

peace conference between FDR, Churchill and Stalin in Soviet city Yalta. For soviets entering the Pacific War, FDR agreed to return some territory lost in the Russo-Japanese war. Also planned out what would become the United Nations. However, Stalin had already installed pro-communist government in Poland. No agreement as to the future of Germany. At the end of the war, US, GB, France, and the Soviet Union would hold their own “zone of occupation” in Germany.

Potsdam Conference

July 1945

Truman, Churchill, and Stalin met in Potsdam, Russian Occupied Germany. Truman reluctantly accepted the adjustments of the Polish-German border that Stalin demanded, but refused to permit Russians to claim any reparations from the American, French, and British zones of Germany. Divided Germany into Western Zones and Eastern Zone.

Atomic Energy Commission


A supervisory body charged with overseeing all nuclear research, civilian and military alike.



Central Intelligence Agency. Replaced wartime Office of Strategic Services. Responsible for collecting info through open and convert methods. Very busy trying to spy on the Soviets during the Cold War. Created by the National Security Act

National Security Act


Reshaped the nation’s major military and diplomatic institutions. New Department of Defense, which combined former Army and Navy departments.

Marshall Plan - Soviet Rejection

June 1947

Sec. of State George C. Marshall announced plan to provide economic assistance to all European nations that would join in drafting a program for recovery, Russia and eastern satellites rejected, but 16 western European nations joined.

West German Republic


The merged military zones of occupation in Germany by France, US, and Britain into one large West German Republic. Included the American, British, and French sectors of Berlin that lay within the Soviet Zone.

Berlin Airlift

June 24 1948 - 1949

Stalin blockade West Berlin on June 24, 1948. Truman ordered massive airlift to supply the city with food, fuel, and other needed goods. Continued for 10 months, and nearly 2.5 million tons of material transported, keeping 2 million people alive. Stalin lifted the blockade in spring of 1949.


April 4 1949

12 nations signed agreement creating North Atlantic Treaty Organization, declaring that an armed attack against one member would be considered an attack against all. Supposed to defend from soviet invasion.



National Security Council report issued in 1950. Outlined a shift in the American position.Called on America to share the burden of containment with its allies, but also said America could no longer rely on other nations to take initiative in resisting communism. Must move to stop expansion of communism.

Office of Defense Mobilization


Intended to plan, coordinate, direct and control all wartime mobilization activities of the federal government, including manpower, economic stabilization, and transport operations. It was very powerful for a few years.

Warsaw Pact


Alliance between communist governments of Eastern Europe and Soviet Union. Like NATO.

Cold War Under Eisenhower/Kennedy and Johnson

Containment Doctrine

1946 - 1991

Developed by senator Kennan. Was the idea that Communism needed to be contained.

Korean War Ends

July 1953

Korean War ends

Hungarian Revolution


Hungarians in 1956 began an uprising demanding democratic reforms. Within one month, Soviets crushed the uprising and restored a pro-Soviet regime. US refused to intervene but showed many people in America that Soviet policies hadn’t softened.


October 4, 1957

Russians launch the first satellite into orbit around the US

Fidel Castro

January 1, 1959

Fidel Castro - Established a new government on January 1, 1959. He began implementing policies of land reform and getting rid of foreign-owned businesses and resources so American relations deteriorated. When Castro began communicating with the Soviets in 1960 the US cut back the amount of sugar Cuba could export to America at a favored price. Early in 1961 as one of his last acts, Eisenhower severed diplomatic relations with Castro which led Cuba to cement an alliance with the Soviet Union

U-2 Crisis


U-2 Crisis – Khrushchev suggested that Eisenhower and he meet in the US, Soviet Union, and Paris to discuss the removal of NATO forces from West Berlin. Khrushchev came to the US, but then after he went back to the Soviet Union, announced that a U-2 high-altitude American spy plane had been shot down over Russian Territory, and that its pilot Francis Gary Powers was in captivity, He canceled the Paris meeting and withdrew his invitation to Eisenhower to come to the Soviet Union.

Alliance for Progress


Alliance for Progress – Kennedy’s plan to repair America’s relationship with Latin America. A series of projects for peaceful development and stabilization of nations of the region. Also developed Agency for International Development to coordinate foreign aid, an established the Peace Corps.

Bay of Pigs Invasion

April 17, 1961

Anti-Castro Cuban forces had been collected prior to Kennedy taking office. On April 17, 1961 2000 armed exiles landed at the Bay of Pigs in Cuba, expecting first American air support, then a spontaneous uprising by the Cuban people in their behalf. Didn’t happen: boats got stuck on the rocks, and they were shot at and captured by the officials (including Castro) vacationing there. US tried to deny their support.

Berlin Wall

August 17 1961

Construction of Berlin Wall begins



US involvement increases after French are ousted.

Cuban Missile Crisis

October 14, 1962 - October 27, 1962

Cuban Missile Crisis – Summer of 1962. October 14 aerial photos showed construction of Soviet Missile sites on Cuba. Kennedy ordered a naval and air blockade around Cuba on Oct. 22. Oct 26, Kennedy received word that the Soviet Ships carrying the missiles would turn around in exchange for the removal of American Missiles from turkey and an agreement not to invade Cuba.

Gulf of Tonkin Resolution


Following the attack of US naval destroyers by N. Vietnamese armed fishing ships in the Gulf of Tonkin, which was considered an “unprovoked” act of war, LBJ asked Congress for a resolution giving him authority to repel armed attacks on US forces.
Only 2 senators voted against it. LBJ called it “Grandma’s night shirt – it covered everything.”

Dominican Republic Intervention


In spring 1965 a conservative military regime began to collapse in the face of a revolt by a broad range of groups on behalf of the left-wing nationalist Juan Bosch. LBJ argued that Bosch intended to establish a pro-Castro government (No Evidence!) and sent 30,000 American troops to make sure that didn’t happen. Withdrew the forces after Bosch was defeated in a 1966 election.

Tet Offensive


On Tet, a Vietnamese holiday, the North Vietnamese surprise attack major cities and US military bases. It revealed the full extent to which the Viet Cong had infiltrated South Vietnam, previously unbeknownst to the US.

Apollo 11

July 20, 1969

Lands on the moon

1940s and 50s Civil Rights Movement

Jim Crow Laws

1865 - 1965

Laws targeting African Americans

Executive Order 8802

June 25, 1941

Roosevelt issues Executive Order 8802 on June 25, prohibiting racial discrimination in hiring by federal departments and defense contractors and establishing a Fair Employment Practice Committee (FEPC) to monitor compliance with the order. Randolph announces postponement of the march on June 28.

Congress of Racial Equality Founded


Founded in Chicago by James Farmer. Dedicated to the use of nonviolent direct action, CORE initially sought to promote better race relations and end racial discrimination in the United States. It first focused on activities directed toward the desegregation of public accommodations in Chicago, later expanding its program of nonviolent sit-ins to the South.

Harlem Race Riots

June 1,1943 - June 2, 1943

6 people killed

Detroit Race Riot

June 20, 1943 - June 23, 1943

34 people are killed

Jakie Robinson


The first African-American to be signed into Major League Baseball. In 1947 the Brooklyn Dodgers signed him.

Shelly v. Kramer


The Shelley family had moved into a house in St. Louis that had an old covenant on it that African Americans couldn’t inhabit it. A neighbor, Kramer (Kraemer) sued them. The Supreme Court case established that racial covenants on real estate were unconstitutional based on the 14th Amendment, therefore taking strides to decrease discrimination allowed for by laws

Strom Thurmond/ Dixiecrats


Dixiecrats were pro-segregation democrats. Strom Thurmond ran as the Presidential Candidate for the Dixiecrats.

Executive Order 9981

July 26, 1948

Truman signs Executive Order 9981, which states, "It is hereby declared to be the policy of the President that there shall be equality of treatment and opportunity for all persons in the armed services without regard to race, color, religion, or national origin."

National Housing Act


Provided for the construction of 810,000 units of low income housing accompanied by long term rent subsidies.

Emmett Till

August 1955

Fourteen-year-old Chicagoan Emmett Till is visiting family in Mississippi when he is kidnapped, brutally beaten, shot, and dumped in the Tallahatchie River for allegedly whistling at a white woman. Two white men, J. W. Milam and Roy Bryant, are arrested for the murder and acquitted by an all-white jury. They later boast about committing the murder in a Look magazine interview. The case becomes a cause célèbre of the civil rights movement.

Montgomery Bus Boycott

December, 1955 - December, 1956

After Rosa Parks was arrested because she refused to move from her bus seat to the back of the bus the blacks in Montgomery began a year-long boycott. The boycott helped spur the court case that declared segregation in public transportation illegal. Also helped bring martin Luther King to the forefront of the civil rights movement.

Southern Christian Leadership Conference Formed

January 1957 - February 1957

Southern Christian Leadership Conference, of which King is made the first president. The SCLC becomes a major force in organizing the civil rights movement and bases its principles on nonviolence and civil disobedience. According to King, it is essential that the civil rights movement not sink to the level of the racists and hatemongers who oppose them: "We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline," he urges.

Civil Rights Act of 1957


Provided federal protection for blacks who wanted to register to vote. It was passed without active support from the White House by a Democratic Congress and was a weak bill with little methods of enforcement.

Little Rock Nine

September 1957

9 African American Students chose to enroll in Central High School - a school that was all white.

1960s Civil Rights

Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee


Formed after a staged sit-in in Greensboro, NC at segregated Woolworth’s lunch counter. Worked to keep the spirit of resistance alive.

Ol' Miss

October 1, 1960

James Meredith becomes the first black student to enroll at the University of Mississippi. Violence and riots surrounding the incident cause President Kennedy to send 5,000 federal troops

Letter from Birmingham Jail

April 16, 1963

While jailed for leading anti-segregation protests in Birmingham, King wrote this letter arguing that individuals have the moral duty to disobey unjust laws.

Medgar Evers

June 12, 1963

(Jackson, Miss.) Mississippi's NAACP field secretary, 37-year-old Medgar Evers, is murdered outside his home. Byron De La Beckwith is tried twice in 1964, both trials resulting in hung juries. Thirty years later he is convicted for murdering Evers

Martin Luther King delivers "I Have A Dream" Speech

August 28 1963

In his speech, King called for the end to racial segregation and descrimination.

March on Washington

August 28, 1963

Civil Rights march

Civil Rights Act of 1964


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.

24th Amendment

January 23, 1964

The 24th Amendment abolishes the poll tax, which originally had been instituted in 11 southern states after Reconstruction to make it difficult for poor blacks to vote.

Freedom Summer

June 1964

Thousands of civil rights workers, black and white, spread though out the south, but primarily in Mississippi, to work on behalf of black voter registration and participation. First 3 workers to arrive in Mississippi, Andrew Goodman (w) Michael Schwerner (w) and James Chaney (b) were brutally murdered by the KKK w/ support of local police. Also produced the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, which was an integrated alternative to the regular state party organization.

Malcom X Assassinated

February 21, 1965

Malcolm X shot to death

Voting Rights Act of 1965

August 10, 1965

Congress passes the Voting Rights Act of 1965, making it easier for Southern blacks to register to vote. Literacy tests, poll taxes, and other such requirements that were used to restrict black voting are made illegal

Watts Race Riots

August 11 1965 - August 17, 1965

(Watts, Calif.) Race riots erupt in a black section of Los Angeles

Executive Order 11246

Sept. 24, 1965

Asserting that civil rights laws alone are not enough to remedy discrimination, President Johnson issues Executive Order 11246, which enforces affirmative action for the first time. It requires government contractors to "take affirmative action" toward prospective minority employees in all aspects of hiring and employment

Riots of 1967 & 68


Riots of 1967 & 68 – 1967: 8 major outbreaks, largest in Detroit, in which 43 people (33 of them black) died.

Commission on Civil Disorders


Created by the president, recommended massive spending to try to fix the black ghettoes.

Warren Court 1953-1969

Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka

May 17, 1954

Declared "separate but equal" facilities inherently unequal and therefore unconstitutional.

Brown II

May 31, 1955

Case that provided rules for implementing the Brown decision and decided that the desegregation of schools should occur with ‘all deliberate speed’

Mapp v. Ohio

June 19, 1961

Seach and Seizure without a warrant was declared unconstitutional.

Baker v. Carr


Required state legislatures to apportion electoral districts so all citizens’ votes would have equal weight
Prevented disproportionate representation being given to rural areas and made that equal to population.

Engle v. Vitale


Supreme Court ruled that prayers in public schools were unconstitutional
Families in New York said the voluntary prayer written by the board went against their religious beliefs

Gideon v. Wainwright


Court ruled that every felony defendant was entitled to a lawyer regardless of his or her ability to pay

Shuttlesworth v. Birmingham

November 15, 1965

Case where the court failed to declare “pupil placement laws”, which allowed placement be determined by scholastic ability and behavior, which maintained segregation unconstitutional.

Miranda v. Arizona


Court confirmed the obligation of authorities to inform a criminal suspect of his or her rights

Escobedo v. Illinois


Court ruled that a defendant must be allowed access to a lawyer before questioning by police

Bakke v. Board of Regents of the University of California


Imposed limitations on affirmative action
Use of rigid quotas for applicants based on race was not permissible
Affirmative action is unfair if it leads to reverse discrimination