3 - 1950s Culture and Containment

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1950s Culture & Containment Policy:

1950s Culture & Containment Policy

Do Now:

Do Now If you were employed in the 1950’s after the Great Depression and World War II ended, what items would you have been most likely to buy? Rank the items from 1-10. ___ the latest fashion : poodle skirts and jeans ___ new home ___ new car ___ washer and dryer ___ refrigerator ___ washing machine ___ rock n’ roll records ___ radio ___ television ___ college tuition

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1. The Cold War lasted for decades between the capitalists (mainly U.S.) and the communists (mainly Soviet Union).


2. We used the policy of containment to stop the spread of communism. Notes

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3. In 1950, Senator Joseph McCarthy accused 205 State Department officials of being members of the Communist Party.


4. In 1956, Secretary of State John Foster Dulles announced that United States would go to the brink of war to combat communism. This policy became known as brinksmanship . brink=the edge of something Notes Eisenhower Dulles

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5. America became involved with the following countries to contain communism: A. In 1953 in Iran our CIA helped topple a leader who we thought might seek aid from the Soviets. B. In 1954 in Guatemala our CIA trained an army that succeeded in overthrowing President Jacobo Arbenz Guzman. C. In Egypt we withdrew our aid because we were angry they were close with the Soviet Union. Notes


6. Then, in 1957, the Soviets launched the first satellite, kicking off the SPACE RACE!!! 7. in 1960, the Soviets shot down a U.S. U-2 spy plane flying over the Soviet Union. Notes


8. While the Cold War was going on, the United States was changing in the following ways: A. After the Great Depression and World War II, Americans felt happy and ready to start families. B. The economy was booming (growing). C. People moved away from cities and out into the suburbs. Notes


9. However, in 1957, nearly 1 out of every 5 Americans lived in poverty. 10. In the 1950’s, immigration from Mexico increased and many workers participated in the bracero or temporary worker program. Notes

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How did the Bracero Program affect certain places in America today?


11. President Eisenhower did the following things: A. Tried to contain communism B. Continued many of the New Deal and Fair Deal programs C. Created the interstate highway system Notes

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Important Historic and Cultural Events 1950 - Pres. Harry Truman ( 'til 1952) approves production of the hydrogen bomb and sends air force and navy to Korea in June. 1951 - Transcontinental television begins with a speech by Pres. Truman. 1953 - 1961 Dwight D. Eisenhower is president. 1952 - The Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1952 removes racial and ethnic barriers to becoming a U.S. citizen. 1953 - Julius and Ethel Rosenberg are electrocuted for their part in W.W.II espionage. 1953 - Fighting ends in Korea . 1954 - U. S. Senator Joseph McCarthy begins televised hearings into alleged Communists in the army. 1954 - Racial segregation is ruled unconstitutional in public schools by the U.S. Supreme Court. 1955 - Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat on a public bus in Montgomery, Alabama. 1955 - The American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations merge making the new AFL-CIO an organization with 15 million members. 1955 Dr. Jonas Salk developed a vaccine for  polio 1956 - The Federal Highway Act is signed, marking the beginning of work on the interstate highway system. 1958 - Explorer I , the first U.S. satellite, successfully orbits the earth. 1958 - The first domestic jet-airline passenger service is begun by National Airlines between New York City and Miami. 1959 - Alaska and Hawaii become the forty-ninth and fiftieth states. Document 1

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Document 2 Perhaps one of the things which most characterizes the 1950's was the strong element of conservatism and anticommunist feeling which ran throughout much of society. One of the best indicators of the conservative frame of mind was the addition of the phrase " under God " to the Pledge of Allegiance. Religion was seen as an indicator of anti-communism . Fifties clothing was conservative. Men wore gray flannel suits and women wore dresses with pinched in waists and high heels. Families worked together, played together and vacationed together at family themed entertainment areas like national parks and the new Disneyland . Drive-in movies became popular for families and teens. Cars were seen as an indicator of prosperity and cool-ness. Highways were built to take people quickly from one place to another. Fashion successes were blue jeans , poodle skirts made of felt and decorated with sequins and poodle appliques, pony tails for girls, and flat tops and crew cuts for guys. Teenagers loved rock 'n roll . Popular artists such as Bill Haley , Elvis Presley , and Jerry Lee Lewis were promoted on radio. During the 1950's, television became the dominant mass media as people brought television into their homes in greater numbers of hours per week than ever before.  In the early fifties, the number of hours young people watched TV steadily increased.  What was portrayed on television became accepted as normal .   The ideal family, ideal schools and ideal neighborhoods were seen and copied around the world.

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Document 3 Dwight D. Eisenhower was a general in the military and a World War II hero. In his Army career, he commanded the Allied Forces landing in North Africa in November 1942; on D-Day, 1944, he was Supreme Commander of the troops invading France. When he ran for president, "I like Ike" was an irresistible slogan; Eisenhower won a sweeping victory. As president, he tried to reduce the strains of the Cold War. In 1953, the signing of a truce brought an armed peace along the border of South Korea. Both Russia and the United States had developed hydrogen bombs. Eisenhower concentrated on maintaining world peace. Eisenhower continued most of the New Deal and Fair Deal programs, emphasizing a balanced budget. As desegregation of schools began, he sent troops into Little Rock, Arkansas, to assure compliance with the orders of a Federal court; he also ordered the complete desegregation of the Armed Forces. "There must be no second class citizens in this country," he wrote.

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