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United States History AP Review

VIEWS: 16 PAGES: 126

									United States History AP Review

  The Cold War to the New Millennium
                  Harry S. Truman – 33rd
                 Democrat – 1945 to 1953
1915 – postmaster, Grandview, Missouri
1922-4 – Jackson County, Missouri judge
1926-34 – Jackson County, Missouri presiding
1934-45 – Missouri member of the U.S. Senate
1945 – vice president of the United States
1945-53 – president of the United States

Main events during his presidency:
        Potsdam Conference
        Dropping of atomic bombs
        The “fall” of China
        The National Security Act
        Berlin Airlift/NATO
        Marshall Plan
        Kennan’s containment policy
        Korean War
             Potsdam Conference (1945)
                                                          On 17 July 1945, meeting in the suburb
                                                          of Berlin, the Big Three (with Prime
                                                          Minister Churchill replaced halfway
                                                          through by Clement Attlee and Harry
                                                          Truman sitting in for the deceased
                                                          Franklin Roosevelt) met to discuss the
                                                          treatment and administration of
                                                          Germany. Additionally, they discussed
                                                          the strategy for finishing off Japan. It
                                                          was decided that Germany would be
                                                          sectioned off into four sections – one
UK Prime Minister Clement Attlee, US President Harry S.   for each Allied country. It was during
       Truman and Soviet Premier Josef Stalin.
                                                          this meeting when Josef Stalin made a
                                                          point of telling his democratic allies to
                                                          stay out of his affairs in Eastern Europe.
International Monetary Fund (IMF)

               The International Monetary Fund (IMF)
               was a part of the original charter of the
               United Nations in 1945 and today,
               provides billions of dollars in funding to
               developing and defaulting countries. IMF
               funds were offered to Greece in 2010 as
               the country neared financial ruin.
              Nationalists (Kuomintang)

 The government that came out of the Chinese dynastic rule in 1911, it was first headed up
   by Sun Yat-sen. After the death of its first ruler, western-educated Chiang Kai-shek took
   control of the party and worked hard to wipe out communist presence in China. At the
  point of Japanese entrance into Manchuria in 1931, the Kuomintang (KMT) continued to
  pursue the communists as the Japanese grew stronger to the north. Once the Japanese
  conducted a full invasion in 1937, the KMT and communists, led by Mao Zedong, worked
together to defeat the Japanese. After the Japanese defeat in 1945, the civil war continued
 with the communists enjoying the upper hand and taking the country completely in 1947.
         The remnants of the KMT escaped to Taiwan to set up its own government.
            Iron Curtain speech (1946)

At Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, former British Prime Minister Winston
Churchill spoke at a graduation commencement and warned that an “iron curtain”
had fallen over Europe, splitting the continent in half. The phrase would soon fall
      into common use to describe the, seemingly, irreversible split and the
  incompatibility between the communist and democratic systems. Because of
these conditions, the prime minister called for an alliance of democracies to repel
                              the communist spread.
                 satellite countries
  In the aftermath of World War II, the Soviet Union kept a firm
hand over the “liberated” countries of Eastern Europe. In fact, the
 Russians created puppet governments in most of the region and
  used the countries as a launching point of espionage on and a
buffer against the democracies of Western Europe. These satellite
  countries included East Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia and
    Hungary. With the fall of the Soviet Union, many of these
countries renounced communism and developed various types of
     democratic governments. However, the length of Soviet
 domination over the region hindered the growth of the former
  satellite countries once it was freed from communist control.
Today, their biggest challenges rest in their ability to economically
compete with the more established market and mixed economies
                        of Western Europe.
       National Security Act (1947)
     As passed in 1947, the National Security Act constituted a
reorganization and streamlining of the U.S. military. It created the
National Security Council, which advises the president on matters
     of national security and military matters. As a part of this
measure, it also created the Department of Defense and its head,
   the Secretary of Defense. Additionally, it created the Central
 Intelligence Agency to coordinate intelligence relative to national
security and gave the Air Force equal states to the other branches
 of the military. A later addendum to the act institutionalized the
                         Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Department of Defense (1947)
              After World War II, the U.S. Congress
              created the new department headed
                up by civilian leadership and the
               Department of Defense coordinated
              the activities of all military branches.
              The Secretary of Defense is a member
                   of the president’s cabinet.

               Robert Gates of Kansas is the current
               Secretary of Defense under President
              Barack Obama and a holdover from the
                       Bush Administration.
Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
                The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the
                  former Office of Strategic Services, is
                  responsible for intelligence gathering
                  outside of the United States. The CIA
               analyzes said information and presents it to
                   the president, who uses the data to
               formulate foreign policy. It was signed into
                 existence by President Harry S. Truman.
Truman Doctrine (1947)
             In 1947, President Harry S. Truman
             declared his doctrine in which it
             would be the policy of the U.S. to
             fund peoples seeking to prevent
             the spread of communism into
             their country. Initially, the
             president’s speech was designed
             to assist Turkey and Greece. The
             congressional measures and
             money worked. For the duration
             of the Cold War, the idea of
             containment as stated within the
             Truman Doctrine, would dictate
             American foreign policy.
                                  Marshall Plan
                                           In the wake of World War II, the U.S. was
                                           confronted by two major problems – one, the
                                           destruction of western Europe’s economy
                                           prevented the much needed trade for the U.S.
                                           and two, the growing poverty in the same
                                           region was encouraging the growth of
                                           communist tendencies. Therefore, Secretary of
                                           State George Marshall, as part of the European
                                           Recovery Plan, loaned some $13b dollars to
                                           seventeen countries. The same offer was made
                                           to the eastern European countries and Russia
                                           but, predictably, they refused. The loans turned
                                           around the European economy and created an
                                           economic boom in the form of jobs and wealth-
A poster sponsored by the Marshall Plan,   creation.
  advocating the importance of sticking
House Un-American Activities
    Committee (HUAC)

             Created in 1939 to seek out Nazis who
             had infiltrated into the United States, it
             took on a new directive after the Second
             World War – seek out communists. It
             first came to prominent attention with
             the questioning of American communist
             Whittaker Chambers on the issue of a
             State Department official who allegedly
             leaked information to the Soviets. One
             member of the committee who would
             later rise to national prominence was a
             young representative from California,
             Richard M. Nixon.
George Keenan and the containment policy

               The policy of containment, first espoused by
               President Harry S. Truman as a part of his Truman
               Doctrine, was created by State Department analyst,
               George Kennan. Within the policy was the
               realization that the U.S. could do nothing about
               where communism currently was. Therefore, it was
               the responsibility and in the best interest of the
               country to keep it from spreading. The policy would
               serve as the U.S. stance throughout the whole of
               the Cold War and proved, with some notable
               exceptions (China and Cuba), successful.
                         Berlin Airlift (1948-9)

                                                                     In response to a Soviet-led
                                                                    blockade of West Berlin, the
                                                                Americans and British initiated the
                                                                  Berlin Airlift that flew in supplies
                                                                 into the besieged city for nearly a
                                                                 year before the Soviets retracted
                                                                their forces and opened the city to
                                                                 resupply. The incident convinced
Planes line up to fly into West Berlin in an effort to supply     the western democracies of the
                           the city.                              need of a military alliance – later
                                                                   called the North Atlantic Treaty
                                                                        Organization (NATO).
North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)

              Borne out of the Berlin airlift and in an attempt to
              coordinate action and response against Soviet
              aggression, the countries of western Europe,
              Canada and the U.S. formulated the NATO. The
              group served as a military alliance. The Soviets
              responded with a like organization, the Warsaw
Fair Deal (1949)
  Put forth by President Harry S. Truman (1945-
  1953), the Fair Deal was the president’s 21-point
  program to convert the American economy from a
  wartime to a peacetime one. The series of
  programs also consisted of the Full Employment
  Act that was geared towards veterans returning
  from Europe and Asia. After winning election on
  his own in 1948, he announced additional
  measures to protect the civil rights of blacks and
  called for additional spending on, among others,
  education, public housing and assistance towards
  under-developing countries.
    Julius and Ethel Rosenberg (1950)
Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were long time
members of the Communist Party when
they began selling secrets to the Soviet
Union regarding the construction of the
atomic bomb in New Mexico. Their
information came largely from Ethel’s
brother, a member of the U.S. Army working
as a machinist on the atomic project. In
1950, all of them were arrested and while
the brother received life in prison, the
Rosenbergs received the death penalty and
were executed in Sing Sing Prison in 1953.
The execution was carried out in the midst
of an international protest for clemency.
Some objections to it in the U.S. were not
based on the crime but the fact that their
execution would orphan two young boys. In
the early 1990s, the Soviet Union’s release
of documentation verified the Rosenbergs’
involvement in espionage.
McCarthyism (early 1950s)
            Sen. Joseph McCarthy (R-WI) was in the
            Senate from 1946 until 1954 but it was a
            1950 speech in Wheeling, WV that led to
            his erratic and unconstitutional search for
            communists within the U.S. government
            and American society. He led the charge
            that was echoed by many alongside of him
            and the many before him – seeking out the
            dangerous communist elements within the
            U.S. He enjoyed large public support until
            he attempted to point a finger of blame at
            the U.S. Army. The McCarthy-Army
            hearings were televised and many
            Americans saw the senator for what he was
            – a bully. His popularity dwindled
            significantly and was eventually censured
            by the Senate and then voted out of office.
               Dwight D. Eisenhower – 34th
                Republican – 1953 to 1961
1942 – Allied Commander-in-Chief in North Africa
1943-5 – Supreme Commander of all Allied forces
1948-50 – President of Columbia University
1950-52 – Supreme Commander of NATO forces.
1953-61 – President of the United States

Main events during his presidency:
        Korean War
        Official end to segregation
        Rising civil rights crisis
        Foreign issues in Viet Nam, Hungary,
                   Iran and Egypt
        Rise of Castro in Cuba
        U2 spy plane incident (Gary Powers)
              The Eisenhower Doctrine
The Eisenhower Doctrine was an
extension of the Truman variety
in that it authorized military and
  economic aid to prevent the
  spread of communism in the
            Middle East.
                             Nikita Khrushchev
                                                      The leader of the Soviet Union from 1953
                                                      until 1964 when he was replaced by
                                                      Leonid Brezhnev. His beginning years as
                                                      premier was characterized by reforming
                                                      some of Josef Stalin’s more brutal
                                                      practices and programs. Additionally, he
                                                      made moves to improve relations with
                                                      the United States until the 1960 U-2 spy
                                                      plane incident sent both countries in
                                                      opposite diplomatic directions. Mr.
                                                      Khrushchev grew increasingly belligerent
                                                      and hostile in the years following,
                                                      highlighted with an alliance with Cuba
  In a dramatic gesture during a speech before the
  United Nations, Premier Khrushchev took off his     and the placement of nuclear missiles on
   shoe, pounded it upon the lectern and declared     the island. His failure in that move and
that the Soviet Union would bury the United States.
                                                      other foreign policy disasters led to his
                                                      removal in 1964.
          domino theory (1950s)

     Devised by U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower as an
addendum to President Harry S. Truman’s policy of containment
 during the Cold War, the theory suggested that if one country
was allowed to succumb to communism, neighboring countries
     would potentially do the same. In an effort to contain
   communism where it was, this possibility motivated the
        Americans to act in South Korea and Viet Nam.
         massive retaliation (1950s)
 In the Eisenhower administration, Secretary of State John F. Dulles
sought a way to eliminate the countless small engagements around
   the world, perpetrated by the Soviet Union and costing the U.S.
 millions to settle. Secretary Dulles suggested that any wrong step
by the Soviets would result in a massive display of nuclear weapons
  to end the issue once and for all. Needless to say, the frightened
    many people on both the American and Soviet side and had a
    certain draconian element to it. It created increased tensions
     between the two superpowers and was reversed under the
                       Kennedy administration.
38th Parallel
      In 1950, the North Korean military
      stormed across the 38th Parallel, the
      stated and understood border between
      it and South Korea. This violation
      resulted in the Korean War. At the
      conclusion of the war, the division
      between North and South Korea was
      established along this line of latitude.
      Along this line, the two countries would
      observe a demilitarize zone that would
      be heavily observed and regulated by
      soldiers of the two countries. President
      Bill Clinton called it the most dangerous
      place in the world.
   Alger Hiss
  An assistant to President Franklin D. Roosevelt
  during the Yalta Conference, Alger Hiss was
  accused of leaking information to the Soviets.
  While he denied any wrong doing or knowledge of
  anyone doing the same, he was convicted and
  imprisoned on charges of perjury for saying, under
  oath, that he had never been a member of the
  Communist Party.

Alger Hiss testifies in front of HUAC.
                 Martin Luther King, Jr.

A Harvard-educated minister from
Georgia, he entered the civil rights fray
with his participation in the Montgomery,
Alabama bus boycott. Challenging the
segregation laws as one of the leaders of
the Southern Christian Leadership
Conference, he championed the concepts
of civil disobedience and non-violent
resistance. He made large advances,
mainly through his appeals to and support
from whites. In 1968, he was assassinated
in Memphis, Tennessee, while in town to
support a garbage collectors’ strike.
Warren Court

     The Warren Court is considered the most
     liberal in U.S. history. One of its landmark
     cases was Brown v. Board of Education of
     Topeka, Kansas (1954). It not only struck
     down the inherent inequalities of
     “separate but equal” as put forth by Plessy
     v. Ferguson (1896) but throughout the
     1950s and 1960s, it struck down one
     segregation law after another as
     unconstitutional. It declared that
     desegregation should be initiated
     throughout the U.S. with “all deliberate
 Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka,
             Kansas (1954)

Based on the lawsuit of a young Topeka girl who sought to attend a nearby, white
school, Brown v. Board of Education forbade segregation in public schools based
  on the psychological damage it inflicted upon black children as well as being
unconstitutional. While some school districts took to heart the Supreme Court’s
   demand that this be done at all possible speed, others would not reverse
                           segregation until the 1970s.
     Dienbienphu, Viet Nam (1954)
  Dienbienphu was a former French military base in northern Viet
  Nam, not far from the Laotian border. In 1954, Ho Chi Minh and
 his Viet Minh forces attacked the French at Dienbienphu and the
      resulting French defeat served as their Waterloo (no pun
  intended…ok, maybe a little). General Vo Nguyen Giap chose to
 engage the French when the French attempted to draw them out
into the open. General Giap chose instead to lay siege to the base.
     Though the French desperately asked the U.S. for help, the
Americans chose not to get directly involved. On 7 May, after a 56-
day siege, the French surrendered and, in effect, ended the French
                     presence in Southeast Asia.
            Geneva Conference (1954)

   The Geneva Conference established
    countries out of the former French
  colonial territory to include Cambodia,
 Laos and a divided Viet Nam. North Viet
Nam would be led by the communists and
Ho Chi Minh and Ngo Dinh Diem and the
  anti-communists would oversee South
   Viet Nam. As part of the convention
 agreement, an election would be held in
 1956 to determine a united government
                 in Viet Nam.
                  Warsaw Pact (1955)

  In response to the creation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization by the
 western democracies, the Soviet Union and its Eastern European allies created
the Warsaw Pact in 1955. It was a military defense alliance to safeguard against
 the actions of NATO in general and Western Europe and the U.S. in particular.
     Southeast Asian Treaty Organization

Made up of the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Pakistan, Thailand, the
 Philippines, Australia and New Zealand, the Southeast Asian Treaty Organization
  (SEATO) was designed by President Eisenhower’s Secretary of State, John Foster
   Dulles, for the purpose of preventing any future manifestation of the “domino
theory” and additionally, it was meant to support the anti-communist government
 of Ngo Dinh Diem in South Viet Nam. It was one of several new military alliances
 created by the U.S. and meant to mimic the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in
                              structure and objectives.
  Jonas Salk and the polio vaccine (1955)
Native New Yorker Jonas Salk spent
his entire career in medical
research, first with the Army where
he worked on a vaccine for influenza
and later and more famously, his
work on a vaccine for “infantile
paralysis” or polio. In 1955, Dr. Salk
made a breakthrough ahead of
many doctors for the first polio

                                         “This won’t hurt a bit.”
         Rosa Parks
Montgomery Bus Boycott (1955-6)
            Rosa Parks was a member of the local chapter
            of the NAACP in Montgomery, Alabama. On 11
            December 1955, she refused to give up her
            seat to a white man on a city bus, sparking
            boycott by the black community against the
            city bus system. She was arrested and fined
            but the subsequent bus boycott crippled the
            city’s mass transit system. For nearly a year,
            the black community walked, car pooled or
            biked to their destinations while the white
            community attempted to keep the bus
            company operational. The boycott ended
            when the bus company and the city agreed to
            the integration of city buses, compelled by a
            federal court decision. The bus boycott kick
            started the Civil Rights Movement.
                    Aswan Dam (1956)
The Egyptians built the Aswan Dam near the southern Egyptian city of the
same name in 1956. It was originally funded in part by the United States
and the United Kingdom in hopes of
securing the support of Egyptian
President Abdul Nasser.
However, discovering that Mr.
Nasser was using the two
countries to play off the Soviet
Union, the two democracies to
withdraw its support. The
Soviets took over funding until
the completion of the dam.
         National Highway Act (1956)
Created and signed into law during the Eisenhower administration, the act
created the interstate highway system. The subsequent construction created
some 42,000 miles of roads but had intentions beyond quick destination routes.
It was also designed with national defense in mind. The interstate system
would allow for quick evacuation of major urban areas, the emergency landing
of planes (regular intervals of the interstate system was straight to allow for the
                                               landing of planes) and the
                                               transport of military equipment. In
                                               case you are wondering, the
                                               interstate numbers are even going
                                               east to west (numerically up from
                                               south to north) and are odd going
                                               north to south (numerically up
                                               from west to east). Now, isn’t that
                          Sputnik (1957)
In 1957, the Soviet Union sent the first
satellite into space, Sputnik, and the feat
was followed by the Soviets sending the
first living creature into space (a dog
named Laika) though the dog didn’t make
it. It created a sense of fear in the U.S.
and other democracies that the Soviet
Union could militarize space and spy on its
enemies. The subsequent fear placed on
the Americans led to various responses
including the creation of the National
Aeronautical and Space Administration,
the National Defense Education Act
(placed emphasis on science, math and
foreign languages in schools) and a push
to technologically surpass the Russians.
                                              The Sputnik satellite
            Civil Rights Act (1957)
     The Civil Rights Act of 1957 was the first of its kind since
 Reconstruction in the 1870s. It established the Department of
 Justice as the agency responsible for protecting blacks’ right to
   vote. The Eisenhower administration fought bitterly against
     southern Congressmen but received large help from key
  Democrats like Sen. Lyndon B. Johnson (D-TX). While the law
   and the corresponding Civil Rights Committee were slow to
  develop to any kind of strength, especially in the Deep South,
the law set the precedent that future laws would be built upon.
     Little Rock Nine (1957)
In 1957, nine black students volunteered to enter Central High
School in Little Rock, Arkansas – to desegregate the school. In
                            response to Brown v. Board of Education
                            of Topeka, Kansas (1954), the Little Rock
                            school board thought to desegregate
                            quietly with nine students but it did not
                            work. Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus
                            sent in the state national guard to
                            support a large crowd of white protestors
                            to prevent the entry of the black
                            students. President Eisenhower
                            responded by sending in the U.S. Army’s
                            101st Airborne Unit to protect the
students in entering and remaining within the school. However,
over the following year, the students received an unprecedented
amount of abuse and torment yet all but one remained.
National Aeronautics and Space
     Administration (1958)
              Created in 1958 under the Eisenhower
              administration, NASA is an independent
              government agency tasked with all things
              relative to aeronautics and space
              exploration. The main reason for it
              creation was the Soviet launching of
              Sputnik and the fear that their arch
              nemesis were gaining superiority in the
              field of technology and exploration. By
              1961, President John F. Kennedy vowed
              to put a man on the moon by the end of
              the decade. Over the subsequent
              decades, NASA has launched many
              manned and unmanned flights, began the
              space shuttle launches and in recent
              years, established a international space
  beatniks (late 1950s and 1960s)
 A term that stemmed from a book by Jack Kerouac and based
 on a persona largely created by those who considered them a
threat, the beatniks were those who tended to fall on the non-
 conventional side, objecting to American values and ideas as
    inherently self-serving and not in the interest of those it
                       purported to serve.
                            Fidel Castro

   Fidel Castro was a lawyer turned
revolutionary who led a coup against
  Cuban leader Fulgencio Batista in
1959. From 1959 until 2008, he was
 the undisputed leader of the island
and withstood an attempted invasion
 by the U.S., a missile blockade and
     decades of punitive economic
      sanctions by the U.S. for its
communist leanings and abuse of its
 citizens. In 2008, Mr. Castro turned
    control of the island over to his
             brother Raul.
Student Non-Violent Coordinating
   Committee or SNCC (1960)
                                       Originally established in 1960 to help
                                       coordinate lunch counter sit-ins,
                                       SNCC re-oriented itself to focus on
                                       the activities of on-campus and
                                       community actions. It was known
                                       for working in the toughest areas of
                                       the South to fight segregation,
                                       namely the registering of black
                                       voters in the South. The emergence
                                       of black power and the presidency of
                                       Stokely Carmichael dramatically
                                       changed the group as it grew more
Some of the founding members of SNCC   militant and it purposefully excluded
                                       many of the whites and diminished
                                       the role of many of the women who
                                       started the organization.
        Election of 1960 – Kennedy v. Nixon
                                                 Sen. John F. Kennedy (D-MA) was a surprise
                                                 candidate, more for his youth than his views.
                                                 Vice President Richard Nixon (CA) was the
                                                 experienced candidate with a strong history
                                                 of anti-communism. The election was known
                                                 for being the first to have one of the
                                                 presidential debates televised in which those
                                                 who watched it felt Mr. Kennedy won while
                                                 those who heard it felt Mr. Nixon won. The
                                                 race was extremely close with rumored voter
                                                 irregularities in Illinois and Texas. However,
The 1960 debate between VP Richard Nixon and     Mr. Kennedy won the closest victory margin
  Sen. John F. Kennedy was the first televised   in U.S. history at that time. Many feel that
              presidential debate.
                                                 Mr. Kennedy’s selection of Sen. Lyndon B.
                                                 Johnson of Texas was key to his victory.
John Fitzgerald Kennedy – 35th
  Democrat – 1961 to 1963
             1941-3 – member of the U.S. Navy
             1946-52 – Massachusetts member of the
                     House of Representatives
             1952-61 – Massachusetts member of the
             1961-3 – President of the United States

             His presidency is characterized by the Bay of
             Pigs, Cuban Missile Crisis, the Berlin Wall
             construction, Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty, Peace
             Corps and the Alliance for Progress. He was
             assassinated in Dallas, Texas in 1963.
                 New Frontier (1961)
When Sen. John F. Kennedy accepted the
Democratic nomination for president, he
 spoke of the new frontier the U.S. now
  faced. He further explained that the
  challenges of the new frontier would
 require each American to do their part
     to successfully overcome those
obstacles. Once president, Mr. Kennedy
 put into place various programs labeled
   New Frontier programs such as the
Peace Corps, the Alliance for Progress, a
       federal housing measure and
redevelopment of rural regions. Most of
 the programs and measures sought by
    the president was taken up by his
     successor – Lyndon B. Johnson.
Bay of Pigs (1961)
           The Bay of Pigs refers to an attempted
          coup of the Castro government in Cuba
          by Cuban exiles with American support
                in 1961. Roughly 1,400 exiles
           parachuted at the Bay of Pigs, an inlet
            along the southwestern coast of the
           island. The invasion was a disaster, in
          part due to President John F. Kennedy’s
          decision to back away from the assault
         before the force could gain a foothold on
                         the island.
            Freedom Summer (1961)

  The Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) spent the summer of 1961 traveling on
   integrated buses throughout the South in protest of the segregation laws on
  interstate and intrastate transportation. In Alabama, the buses and “freedom
riders” were bombed and smoked out as well as beaten while state troopers and
  other police stood by and watched. Attorney General Robert Kennedy sent in
federal marshals to protect the buses and riders. Their insistence on pressing on
                constituted a victory by CORE and their supporters.
                    Peace Corps (1961)

                                 Established by President John F. Kennedy as a part
                                 of his New Frontier programs, the Peace Corps
                                 sends volunteers throughout the world to help in
                                 development efforts in areas like agriculture,
                                 sanitation, health and education. Volunteers are
                                 expected to live the life of their neighbors, speak
                                 the language and represent the U.S. The program
                                 highlighted Mr. Kennedy’s desire to have
Peace Corps members in Panama,
     working with children
                                 Americans not look to the government for help
                                 but to step forward and assist the U.S. and others.
                 Berlin Wall (1961-89)

Between 1949 and 1961, over 2.5m East
Germans escaped into West Germany. In
response, the East German government
erected a wall to separate East and West
Berlin, beginning in 1961 with a collection
of barbed wire and watchtowers. The wall
was added over the subsequent years. It
was torn down in 1989 as part of a wave of
democracy that swept Eastern Europe after
the fall of the Soviet Union.
                                              The wall shortly after its construction.
      Port Huron Statement (1962)
      In 1962, Tom Hayden led the formation of the Student
  Democratic Society in Port Huron, Michigan. The organization
 insisted on a greater voice for young people and it also created
   what would later be called the “new left.” The organization,
though labeled the new left, explicitly broke from the communist
  system, saying it has failed in every instance it has been tried.
     Additionally, the group announced itself as democrat in
     orientation because of their belief in “basic liberties and
        freedoms” not seen within the communist system.
            Cuban Missile Crisis (1962)
   The Cuban Missile Crisis was a
  conflict between the U.S. and the
 Soviet Union in October 1962 over
  the placement of nuclear missiles
 in Cuba. John F. Kennedy placed a
  blockade on the island for several
    days before Nikita Khrushchev
   backed down when nuclear war
     seemed imminent. The deal
 included the Soviet withdrawal of
the missiles in exchange for the U.S.
    withdrawing its missiles from
    Turkey and promised never to
      invade Cuba in the future.

                                        This photograph was one of many shot by a U-2 spy plane that
                                            first informed the U.S. of missiles being placed in Cuba.
                        red phone
In the wake of the close call that was the Cuban Missile Crisis, both
     leaders of the United States and the Soviet Union saw the
 advantage of being able to directly communicate. Beginning with
 John F. Kennedy, the presidents of the U.S. have had such a direct
line of communication with the Soviet premier to prevent the type
  of miscommunication that caused many of the difficulties of the
                            missile crisis.
Letter from a Birmingham jail (1963)

             Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was jailed by
             Birmingham police for his part in a peaceful
             protest against segregation. While in jail, Dr.
             King wrote a letter to other ministers in
             which he urged pro-active measures and
             emphasized that members of the movement
             must adhere to civil disobedience against
             unjust laws.
Kennedy assassination (1963)
              On 22 November 1963, while visiting
              Dallas, Texas in advance of the 1964
              general election, President John F.
              Kennedy was assassinated by Lee Harvey
              Oswald. The apparent motivation
              stemmed from the president’s foreign
              policies, in particular with Cuba. Oswald
              was killed while in custody by Dallas
              nightclub owner, Jack Ruby before any
              salient information could be obtained.
              The lack of such information has since
              cast this horrific moment into the
              ridiculous world of conspiracy theorists
              and hucksters.
                  Lyndon B. Johnson – 36th
                  Democrat – 1963 to 1969
1935-7 – Texas director of the National Youth
1937-49 – Texas member of the U.S. House of
1949-61 – Texas member of the U.S. Senate
          51-3 – Senate minority leader
          55-61 – Senate majority leader
1961-3 – Vice President of the United States
1963-9 – President of the United States

Main events during his presidency:
        Viet Nam conflict
        Great Society
        Growing political unrest at home
       Warren Commission (1963-4)
    Appointed by President Lyndon B. Johnson to investigate the
 assassination of President John F. Kennedy, it was chaired by Chief
Justice Earl Warren and included two senators, two representatives
and to former public officials. Its official conclusion stated that the
president was killed by two shots from Lee Harvey Oswald and that
 the assassin’s death at the hands of Jack Ruby was not connected
 to any grand conspiracy. However, in the subsequent years, much
has been made of various conspiracies have been offered. In 1979,
  a new congressional committee was convened to investigate the
       various theories but concluded there was no evidence
                     substantiating such claims.
        The Feminine Mystique (1963)
  Published in 1963, Betty Friedan’s The Feminine
  Mystique enumerated the many problems facing
 women in society, in particular those who were in
 the home and not allowed to exercise their talent
and skills in the work force. The book is considered
  the first salvo of the 1960s woman’s movement.
   Indeed, Ms. Friedan would be an omnipresent
    voice throughout the 1960s and 1970s in the
 promotion of her ideas regarding women’s rights.
            Civil Rights Act (1964)
   The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was a strong blow by the U.S.
 Congress against discrimination in hotels, public schools and
 health care facilities. Any discrimination on the basis of race,
 color of skin, national origin, religion and, added as a joke to
     defeat the bill, gender. In short, the bill desegregated
  American society and no establishment was allowed to bar
anyone for any of the ascribed characteristics. President John
   F. Kennedy introduced the bill but it wasn’t until after his
assassination that President Lyndon B. Johnson was able to get
                       the measure passed.
  Twenty-Fourth Amendment (1964)
The Twenty-Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution stated that
 no one could place conditions on the right to vote, including poll
    taxes or literacy tests. This was in response to actions taken
 throughout the South to prevent blacks from voting or otherwise
                 exercising their constitutional rights.
      Gulf of Tonkin Resolution (1964)
     In response to an attack by a North
     Vietnamese gun boat on American
  destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin, the U.S.
  Congress gave the president authority to
 wage war without the official declaration
    required by the Congress. President
Johnson said that the resolution was like his
   grandmother’s night shirt – it covered
        Berkeley Free Speech Movement
During the fall of 1964 and spring of 1965,
students had the University of California at
Berkeley began a protest against a campus
ban of on-campus political activities.
Student leaders like Mario Savio and Jackie
Goldberg were some of those who
organized and directed the efforts. The
efforts began a near six year trend at
Berkeley of political activism that
characterized the school in the decades

                                               Mario Savio led a rally at Cal-Berkeley in 1964.
           Voting Rights Act (1965)
  The Voting Rights Act of 1965 made illegal all tests and polls in
order to prevent some from exercising their constitutional right to
  vote. In particular, it was meant to protect and guarantee the
               right to vote for blacks in the South.
              Great Society (1965)
The Great Society was a program initiated by President Lyndon B.
 Johnson wherein the government would extend civil rights and
 fight poverty in the United States through a series of programs
 and agencies. Influenced greatly by Michael Harrington’s book
 The Other America, the president created programs such as the
Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO), Medicare, Medicaid, Head
 Start and the Department of Housing and Urban Development
            among others to address a variety of issues.
                        “War on poverty”

    As a part of President Lyndon B.
Johnson’s Great Society programs, the
 president sought to wipe out poverty
in the United States. These programs
   not only sought to fund, directly,
various welfare services on a local and
  federal level, it also funded job skill
 training and creating affordable and
           improved housing.
                                               President Lyndon B. Johnson visited Tom Fletcher on his
                                             front porch in Kentucky. The visit was considered by many
                                            as the opening salvo of President Johnson’s war on poverty.
          Immigration Act (1965)
     Immigration and Control Act (1986)
Repealing the immigration and quota restrictions from the 1920s, the
 Immigration Act of 1965 implemented a first-come, first-serve entry
policy into the United States. The law allowed a large influx of Asian
     and Latin American immigrants in the subsequent four decades
which altered American demographics permanently. However, illegal
 immigration became a serious issue by the 1980s. In 1986, the U.S.
  Congress passed the Immigration and Control Act. It was aimed at
  illegal crossings along the southwestern border with Mexico but by
   the first decade of the twenty-first century, undocumented aliens
                         numbered close to 15m.
Department of Housing and Urban
      Development (1966)

             This department is responsible for
             providing low-cost housing to qualified
             applicants and using federal funds to
             improve poor, urban areas. It was founded
             in 1966 under the Johnson administration
             and was a part of his Great Society
             programs. Shaun Donovan of New York is
             the current Secretary of Housing and
             Urban Development under President
             Barack Obama.
  Office of Equal Opportunity (1966)
A part of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society program, the
Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO) provided job training in the inner
  cities and in rural regions. The OEO was also responsible for the
Head Start program, which provided free or cheap pre-schooling for
economically disadvantaged (read: poor) children in preparation for
                           elementary school.
                        white flight
  As a result of Brown v. Board of Education, Topeka, Kansas (1954),
  many whites perceived an end to their present existence with the
 integration of blacks. To avoid the cultural and social ramifications
 they perceived, some whites moved away from areas now open to
  blacks to create more homogenous suburbia regions. The effect,
   seen in real terms by the late 1960s, was not only a removal of
people but of money as well. The subsequent poverty of the region
    trapped minorities in areas that whites would not go to or do
                            business with.
    Malcolm X and the Nation of Islam
The Nation of Islam was founded in 1931, a mixture of black nationalism and Islam.
The founder, Wallace Fard, and his assistant, Elijah Muhammad, emphasized the
superiority of blacks and implored the community to renounce Christianity as the
faith of its oppressors. The group grew
quickly after World War II and
reached its zenith with the works of
Malcolm X, a former petty thief who
converted to Islam while in prison.
Malcolm X grew to differ from his
teacher and after his compulsory
visit to Mecca, he renounced many
of Elijah Muhammad’s teachings. He
focused on the universality of Islam.
However, his message drew the ire of
the traditionalists who assassinated him
during a sermon in 1965. The group
continued until the 1980s when its
                                                  Elijah Muhammad speaks quietly with Malcolm X
leader, Wallace Muhammad, disbanded
the organization and implored his followers to take up orthodox Islam. A splinter
group headed up by Louis Farrakhan continues today.
          Black Panthers (1966-1980s)
The Black Panthers were a paramilitary organization formed in 1966 by Huey
Newton and Bobby Seale in Oakland,
California. The purpose of the Panthers
were to protest against police brutality.
Over time, the Panthers evolved into a
more communist revolutionary group
that called for black retaliation against
whites, exemption from the draft, the
release of all black prisoners and
reparations by the government for the
centuries of exploitation and abuse
suffered by the black people in America.
Conflicts with police and extreme pressure from the Federal Bureau of
Investigations led to the demise of the organization as did the fact that the
Panthers loss support from mainstream black leaders. By the 1980s, the
group had devolved into neighborhood activists, providing social services.
Stokely Carmichael

        Stokely Carmichael was an American social
        activist who worked as a field organizer for
           the Student Nonviolent Coordinating
         Committee. As head of SNCC in 1966, he
        expelled moderate members and took the
           organization towards a militant path,
       including black nationalism and separatism.
       He later emigrated to Guinea and spent the
       rest of his life on the political hinterlands of
                     revolutionary ideas.
National Organization for Women (1966)
Established in 1966 by Betty Friedan, it was organized to promote equal
rights for women through intensive lobbying and challenges within the court
system. The organization reached its zenith in the early 1970s and since
then, is more relegated to activism on the state levels. It’s major push was
for the passage of the Equal Rights        A NOW rally in New York City in 1970 down Fifth Avenue
Amendment. Though it passed through
the Congress (unlike the same measure
introduced in the 1920s), it failed to
receive enough support from state
legislatures to become an official part of
the Constitution.

When U.S. and South Vietnamese forces
(Army of the Republic of Viet Nam or
ARVN) took to the battlefield, they were
either fighting the North Vietnamese
Army (NVA) or their southern allies, the
Vietcong. The Vietcong was a guerrilla
force that often operated out of a series
of tunnels that allowed them to move
about with a minimum chance of
detection. While initially widely
supported by the South Vietnamese in
                                            One of the skills the Vietcong possessed was the
some sectors, their increasingly brutal       ability to move quietly and largely unseen.
tactics that did not discriminate between
Americans and civilians led to an eroding
of support.
                     Ho Chi Minh Trail

The Ho Chi Minh Trail was used by the North
Vietnamese Army (NVA) to bring supplies to
the Viet Cong in the South by way of Laos and
outside the line of sight of American bombers
and fighters.
         Kerner Commission (1967)
Appointed by President Lyndon B. Johnson in the wake of the riots
 that struck several large cities throughout the country during the
  summer of 1968. The commission concluded that many of the
riots were borne of a seemingly inescapable cycle of poverty and a
  general lack of economic opportunity . The group said that two
  Americas had developed over the previous decades – one white
                            and one black.
                                                                       The Tet Offensive hit the
 Tet Offensive (1968)                                                  Americans on an important
                                                                       Vietnamese holiday, Tet (the
                                                                       Lunar New Year), and at a time
                                                                       when American military leaders
                                                                       often said the enemy was
                                                                       defeated, demoralized and
                                                                       unorganized. It was a
                                                                       coordinated attack that took
                                                                       place throughout the country
                                                                       and was a military and
                                                                       psychologically shocking event
                                                                       that dispelled the American
                                                                       public opinion that the war was
                                                                       nearly finished. While the
                                                                       Americans won the fight, it
American soldiers in the thick of it in Hue, Viet Nam during the Tet   changed the course of the war.
                             Offensive.                                Protest to get out of Viet Nam
                                                                       increased throughout the U.S.
                                                                       though it was largely contained
                                                                       on college campuses.
              My Lai massacre (1968)
                                               On 16 March 1968, a group of American
                                               soldiers walked into the village of My Lai
                                               in search for Viet Cong soldiers but found
                                               nothing but a village of women, children
                                               and old men. Frustrated with not finding
                                               the enemy and the constant attacks they
                                               had received prior, the soldiers went on a
                                               killing spree of nearly everyone in the
                                               village, including the rape of several of the
Only a small portion of the some 500 killed by girls. Another group of American soldiers
   American soldiers in My Lai, Viet Nam       arrived and threatened to kill any
 American who continued shooting the civilians. Lt. William Calley was largely
 held responsible in the subsequent trial that the army originally attempted to
 cover up. Lt. Calley was the only one convicted but after three years in
 prison, he was pardoned by President Richard Nixon. The massacre further
 divided an already divided country and heightened tensions of an issue that
 had already brought the country unprecedented civil disturbance.
                     U.S.S. Pueblo (1968)
                                       In January 1968, the U.S.S. Pueblo was
                                       operating in international waters off the coast
                                       of North Korea. It was conducting surveillance
                                       operations on the communist country when it
                                       was surrounded by North Korean naval forces.
                                       When the Pueblo attempted to escape, it was
                                       fired upon, leading to the death of one sailor. It
                                       was captured, as was the 82-member crew. The
                                       North Koreans stated the ship was in its waters
                                       though the Navy has always stated it was in
                                       international waters. The crew was held captive
                                       for eleven months, in horrible conditions,
                                       before their release in November. The ship, on
                                       display for decades in the ports of Wonsan and
                                       Hungham, is now a part of a museum in
    Commander Lloyd Bucher
Commanding Officer of the USS Pueblo   Pyongyang, North Korea.
  American Independent Party (1968)
Founded by Gov. George Wallace (D-AL) to unite his presidential
candidacy in 1968, the American Independent Party focused on
    an end to racial integration, a push for states’ rights and a
 stronger line against North Viet Nam – both diplomatically and
    militarily. The party’s greatest support stemmed from the
    working-class whites of the deep South and the industrial
  regions of the upper Midwest and Northeast. Gov. Wallace’s
1972 decision to enter the presidential ring with the Democrats
                          ended the party.
               Richard Milhous Nixon – 37th
                Republican – 1969 to 1974
1942-5 – served in U.S. Navy
1946-50 – California member of the U.S. House of
1950-3 – California member of the U.S. Senate
1953-61 – Vice President of the United States
1969-74 – President of the United States

A brilliant and savvy politician with a keen interest
and talent for foreign policy, he will likely always be
remembered for his role with the Watergate
scandal. He is best known for closing out U.S.
participation in the Viet Nam conflict.
Henry Kissinger

        Secretary of State under Richard
        Nixon, Henry Kissinger was
        responsible for the foreign policy
        stance of the U.S. during the Viet Nam
        War, pursuing a policy of realpolitik
        and Vietnamization. He met secretly
        with the North Vietnamese in hopes
        of securing an end to the war. Mr.
        Kissinger’s efforts, along with those of
        his boss, President Nixon, brought to
        fruition a period of détente with
        regards to the relations between the
        U.S. and the Soviet Union.
    Upon the election of Richard Nixon, the president and his
 Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, placed in motion a plan of
Vietnamization. As a part of this plan, the U.S. would withdraw
  its soldiers and advisors and over a period of time, have the
South Vietnamese take over the more responsibility in fighting
   the north and its allies. Over the course of three years, the
     number of American soldiers in Viet Nam dropped from
            500,000 in 1969 to under 30,000 in 1972.
     Woodstock Music Festival (1969)
                                                  Taking place over three days in Bethel, New
                                                  York on 15 August 1969 with nearly a half a
                                                  million people in attendance, the
                                                  Woodstock Music and Art Fair is considered
                                                  the high-water mark of the “peace and
                                                  love” movement. The success of the
                                                  concert was in spite of suffering over-
                                                  crowding, shortages of just about
                                                  everything, drugs and bad weather. The
                                                  concert itself included some of the biggest
                                                  names in rock and folk.
An iconic photograph of a young, amorous couple
                 at Woodstock.
     Organization of Petroleum Exporting
          Countries (1960-present)

The Organization of Petroleum
Exporting Countries (OPEC) is an oil
cartel that regulates the amount of oil
in the world markets and as a result,
regulates world oil prices. After the
Yom Kippur War, OPEC placed an
embargo on the U.S. and Israel’s
European allies, leading to an energy
crisis that produced long gas lines and
prices that doubled. As a result of the
embargo, the U.S. spiraled into a deep
The bane of the U.S. economy for much of the 1970s, stagflation is
 when both inflation and unemployment are high. Normally, this
 does not happen because the two have an inverse relation. The
measures to deal with one generally causes the other. Therefore, it
                  was extremely difficult to fix.
                Pentagon Papers (1971)
                                       In 1971, The New York Times published a series of
                                       articles based on secret documents that detailed
                                       the U.S. role in Indochina from World War II until
                                       1968. These papers were provided by a member
                                       of the research team who worked on compiling
                                       the documents – Daniel Ellsberg. The Justice
                                       Department, claiming an infringement upon
                                       national security, temporarily halted the
                                       publication. The Supreme Court, in New York
                                       Times v. United States, ruled that the government
                                       failed to show how the release and publication of
                                       the papers constituted a threat to national
The man at the center of the storm –   security. Subsequently, the papers became a
          Daniel Ellsberg              major talking point in U.S. participation in Viet
 Committee to Reelect the President
The Committee to Reelect the President (CREEP) was a group
whose job it was to raise money for and promote for president
  the candidacy of the Richard Nixon administration in 1972.
  The group was infamous for its direct role in the Watergate
  Scandal. The group, among its crimes, included paying the
legal defense for those who took part in Watergate and illegal
   intelligence gathering to discredit opponents of the Nixon
      Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) of
   Proposed twice to the U.S. Congress and rejected both times, the
    Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) sought to overturn all state and
   federal laws that discriminated against women or provided them
 extra legal latitude not afforded to men. Its first introduction was in
     1923 but it was not until 1972 that the U.S. Senate approved
 legislation. However, only 30 of the 50 state legislatures ratified the
     document and its path towards the Constitution ended there.
Opponents were concerned that women would lose certain privileges
 and protections currently enjoyed, such as military draft exemption,
   while supporters suggested that the current system kept women
                  dependent, economic and otherwise.
                Watergate scandal (1972-4)
In June 1972, five men connected to the Nixon administration broke into the Democratic
national headquarters at the Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C. in an attempt to
ascertain the party’s strategy during the general election. They were quickly arrested as
were two members of the administration: a White House aid and G. Gordon Liddy, a
lawyer with CREEP. As the trial proceeded,
members of the administration, including H.
Robert Haldeman, John Dean and John
Ehrlichman were arrested for their part in the
subsequent cover-up. The trial turned
sensational when it was disclosed by a
low-level White House lawyer that the
president taped all conversations within the
Oval Office. The Senate investigative committee
asked for them but the president refused. The
Supreme Court ordered the release of the tapes
but when they were, large portions of the tape
and transcript was deleted and blacked out. As the Senate inched closer to the truth and
the president’s role in approving of the cover-up (gleaned from the tapes), increased
pressure was placed on the president to resign before impeachment proceedings could be
complete. Richard M. Nixon became the first president to leave office on 8 August 1974,
admitting to nothing and placing his vice-president, Gerald Ford into the Oval Office.
             War Powers Act (1973)
   Passed by the U.S. Congress in 1973 over a presidential veto by
Richard Nixon, it set out to repeal the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution. The
  law sought to restrict the president’s ability to wage war without
 consultation and permission from the Congress. It was hoped that
the law would prevent any “future” Viet Nams but it has been largely
 ignored or dismissed by future presidents on the basis that it is “an
      unconstitutional usurpation of their executive authority.”
                 Yom Kippur War (1973)

                                                     During the most sacred of Jewish
                                                     holidays in October 1973, Syria and
                                                     Egypt attacked Israel. The Arab
                                                     countries hoped to re-take land they
                                                     lost in a war with Israel in 1967.
                                                     However, U.S. military allowed Israel to
                                                     defeat the combine forces in quick

Moshe Dayan and his merry band of soldiers share a
              victorious moment.
                          Roe v. Wade (1973)
                                          The case originated in Dallas County, Texas, when
                                          single mother Norma McCorvey (known in the case
                                          as Jane Roe) sought an abortion against the state
                                          law prohibiting them. She pushed her case to the
                                          Supreme Court where the it ruled, 7 to 2, in favor of
                                          Roe. The decision allowed for abortions in the U.S.
                                          although, subsequent Supreme Court cases and
                                          state laws have limited federal funding for such
                                          procedures as well as limiting when one can have
                                          an abortion.

Norma McCorvey was the plaintiff in the
 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court case. She
 now tours the country in opposition to
 Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT)
              – 1973; 1979

In 1973, the U.S. and Soviet Union agreed to limit the total amount
     of nuclear weapons they had as part of the Strategic Arms
  Limitation Treaty (SALT). In 1977, President Jimmy Carter began
 negotiations with the U.S.S.R. to re-charter the agreement but in
 1979, the Russians invaded Afghanistan. In response to what the
Carter administration and most observers thought was a prelude to
grabbing Middle Eastern oil, the U.S. backed away from SALT II – an
agreement that had already been in made in principle before being
                   Gerald Ford – 38th
                Republican – 1974 to 1977
1949-73 – Michigan member of the U.S. House of
         65-73 – House minority leader
1973-4 – Vice President of the United States
1974-77 – President of the United States

Main events during his presidency:
        Pardon of Richard Nixon and Viet Nam
        End of American presence in Viet Nam
        Mayaguez incident
        Assassination attempt
                        Mao Zedong
The head of the Chinese Communist Party
(CCP) in the wake of the Long March, Mao
led a civil war against the Kuomintang and
     Chiang Kai-shek, creating a communist
  China in 1949. China became the largest
    communist country and Mao created a
   five-year plan to increase industrial and
       agricultural output. This Great Leap
   Forward did not work as there was little
        incentive to do well and production
 actually decreased. Mao later introduced
 the Cultural Revolution to restore loyalty;
             the Red Guards, mostly young
      people, enforced loyalty to the state,
    leading many Chinese into jails, torture
 chambers or the grave. Mao remained in
             power until his death in 1976.
  Jimmy Carter – 39th
Democrat – 1977 to 1981
          1955-62 – chair of Sumter County, Georgia Board
                   of Education
          1963-6 – member of the George State Senate
          1971-5 – governor of Georgia
          1977-81 – President of the United States

          Main events during his presidency:
                  Energy crisis
                  Camp David Accords
                  Three Mile Island incident
                  Iranian Revolution
                  American hostages in Iran
                  SALT talks
Drive 55 (1977)

     In response to a renewed energy crisis and at
     the behest of the newly created Department
      of Energy, President Jimmy Carter endorsed
      and signed into law the “Drive 55” rule to be
           applied on all federal highways and
        interstates. The lower speed limit would
          reduce the amount of gas used by the
      individual consumer and therefore, prevent
       the U.S. from being at the mercy of other
      countries’ policies – especially the oil-laden
         ones that made up the Organization of
         Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
          Camp David Accords (1978)
The Camp David Accords were
a pair of agreements towards
     peace between Israel’s
Menachem Begin and Egypt’s
    Anwar el-Sadat with U.S.
     President Jimmy Carter
   serving as a mediator and
 broker of the peace treaties.
  The accords normalized the
relationship between the two
    countries and led to the
 return of the Sinai Peninsula
 to Egypt, who lost the region
 during the 1967 Six Day War.
                                 President Jimmy Carter oversees a historic handshake between Anwar
                                      el-Sadat of Egypt (left) and Menachem Begin of Israel (right).
                 Three Mile Island (1979)
It was the worst nuclear disaster in U.S.
history. In 1979, the Three Mile Island
Nuclear Power Plant released a cloud of
radioactive gas as a partial meltdown of
one of the reactor core. The resulting
week sent the state and the region into
a fright as people flooded out of the
area. The power company responsible
for Three Mile Island, Metropolitan
Edison (MetEd), faced incredibly hard
and frantic questions over the state of
the nuclear facility and the potential
danger to the public. In a week’s time,
                                            If not for the little thing about nuclear smoke stacks, the
the officials were able to cool the           island, sitting on the Susquehanna River, looks almost
reactor and the following week, the                                   picturesque.
state announced the crisis over but it
caused huge fears over the usage of
nuclear power.
Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini
            Previously exiled in France during the
            rule of the Shah of Iran, the 1979 Islamic
            student revolution allowed him to return
            to lead the movement and create the
            Islamic Republic of Iran, a theocracy
            based on the Sharia law. Additionally, he
            cut off oil to OPEC, causing a spike in the
            price of oil. As dictatorial and secular as
            the Shah was, Ruhollah Khomeini was
            equally so on behalf of the principles of
            Islam. In the wake of the lengthening
            hostage crisis, he became a vocal critic
            of American foreign policy and, to many
            Americans, the epitome of an
            increasingly anti-American sentiment
            seen in the wake of what many felt was
            a weak Carter administration.
                  Ronald W. Reagan – 40th
                 Republican – 1981 to 1989
1947-52; 1959-60 – President of the Screen
         Actors Guild
1967-75 – Governor of California
1981-1989 – President of the United States

Main events during his presidency:
        Civil war in Central America
        Large peacetime econ. expansion
        Emergence of AIDS as a major crisis
        Strike against Quadaffi in Libya
        Attack on marines in Beirut
        Deterioration of the Soviet Union
        Iran-Contra scandal
The Reagan Revolution (1980s)
         President Ronald Reagan is considered the most popular
         conservative presidents in U.S. history. His electoral
         victories brought many likeminded politicians into
         Congress. His ideas were at the heart of the American
         conservative movement, including smaller government,
         reduced regulation, reduced taxes, reduced government
         spending, tax breaks for job creators and increased
         funding of the military. He was anti-communist, declaring
         it an evil in the world. His policies won over many
         Democrats, leading to their moniker of Reagan Democrats.
         Since his presidency, many have sought to emulate his
         policies and be seen as carrying on his tradition. Few have
         succeeded in the eyes of his admirers.
Sandinistas and Contras (1980s)

                                          The Sandinistas were supporters of left-wing
                                          insurgent leader Augusto Cesar Sandino. In
                                          1979, they launched an offensive against
                                          Nicaraguan leader Anastasio Somoza
                                          Debayle from bases in Costa Rica and
                                          Honduras. Setting up their government,
                                          they began to drift towards communism.
                                          Contras, a group of U.S.-backed guerrillas,
                                          began a opposition war with the Sandinistas.
                                          The U.S. supported the Contras though the
                                          opposition were responsible for some
                                          egregious crimes against some of the
Contras drill and practice in Nicaragua
                                          population. The support by members of the
                                          Reagan administration went against explicit
                                          orders by the U.S. Congress not to and was
                                          at the core of the Iran-Contra Scandal.
Acquired Immune Deficiency
    Syndrome (1980s)

         Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is
          a disease caused by human immunodeficiency
          virus (HIV) and emerged in the American public
           conscious in the early 1980s with the death of
         actor Rock Hudson. It was mis-contributed as to
         the cause and the vector but through the 1980s,
              President Ronald Reagan began the first
         government-sponsored research towards a cure
                              for AIDS.
    glasnost and perestroika (1980s)
 Glasnost was a Russian word for openness and referred to a Soviet
    reform initiated by Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev. It was
designed to abolish the totalitarian state created by Josef Stalin and
         bestowing certain freedoms to the Russian people.

Perestroika was initiated by Mr. Gorbachev in 1985 to restructure
the Soviet economy from a closed or demand economy to include
more free market elements in order to rebuild the tattered Soviet
                  Star Wars (1980s)
    Officially called the Strategic Defense Initiative, the Star Wars
    program was supported by President Ronald Reagan and was
intended to use satellites to shoot down potentially Russian nuclear
    missiles before reaching U.S. air space and causing American
    casualties. While opponents felt the SDI was ineffective and
 impractical, the president felt it could be used as a scare tactic and
in accordance to released documentation after the fall of the Soviet
                   Union, it appeared to have worked.
     Iran-Contra Scandal (mid-1980s)
The scandal was borne out of the
discovery that the U.S. secretly sold
weapons to Iran in exchange for
American hostages and then, took
the profits and bought weapons to
give to the Contras in Nicaragua – an
act expressly forbidden by the U.S.
Congress. The scandal resulted in a
dramatic, televised trial. President
Ronald Reagan consistently denied
any knowledge of the dealings and a
subsequent investigation cleared
him of any wrong doing.
                                           Colonel Oliver North (USMC) testified in front of
                                        Congress regarding his role in organizing and managing
                                                 the transfer of funds and weapons.
                                                  Challenger (1986)

                                                  On 28 January 1986, the U.S. Space Shuttle
                                               Challenger took off for space and included the
                                               first civilian into space, a schoolteacher named
                                                Christa McAuliffe. Seventy three seconds into
The astronauts of the Spaceship Challenger
 and the horrific end to a promising story.   the flight, a faulty gasket broke apart, leading to
                                               a leakage of rocket fuel. When the Challenger
                                                  turned on its rocket boosters, it ignited the
                                                  leaking fuel and exploded , killing everyone
                                               aboard – live on television with Ms. McAuliffe’s
                                               parents on the ground watching. NASA would
                                                   not make another attempt for three years.
George Herbert Walker Bush – 41st
   Republican – 1989 to 1993
            1966-71 – Texas member of the U.S. House of
            1972-80 – various posts including U.S. ambassador to
                     the U.N., chairman of the Republican National
                     Committee and director of the Central
                     Intelligence Agency (CIA).
            1981-89 – Vice President of the United States
            1989-93 – President of the United States

            The major events that occurred during his presidency
            included a continuation of his predecessor’s policies and
            the first Persian Gulf War.

            1992 – Mr. Bush lost re-election to newcomer, Bill
            Clinton. He was seen as out of step with the economic
            realities and he broke a major campaign promise when
            he raised taxes.
                           Saddam Hussein

The leader of Iraq from the late 1960s until
2004, Saddam Hussein first became an integral
part of U.S. foreign policy when he received
American military aid in his war against Iran
during the 1980s. However, when he invaded
Kuwait in 1991, he was challenged and pushed
back by a joint U.N. force. In 2003, in the
aftermath of September 11th, President George
W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair
and other world leaders grew convinced that
Mr. Hussein possessed weapons of mass
destruction and posed an imminent threat to
the region and the world. The U.S. led a
coalition of forces, without U.N. approval, in an
invasion of Iraq. Mr. Hussein was later
captured and executed by Iraqi forces.
 Commonwealth of Independent States
    In December 1991, Russia, Ukraine and Belarus created the
Commonwealth of Independent States to loosely unite the former
Soviet republics. The transition from the Soviet Union represented
   the last move away from the former communist government.
 Formally, the Commonwealth is meant to coordinate the member
republics’ economies, foreign policy, defense, immigration policies,
          environmental protection and law enforcement.
     Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty
           (START) – 1991; 2010
In 1991, President George H.W. Bush and Russian President Boris
 Yeltsin agreed to a reduction of nuclear weapons as part of the
Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START). In April 2010, President
 Barack Obama signed START II with President Dmitry Medvedev.
William Jefferson Clinton – 42nd
  Democrat – 1993 to 2001
               1976-8 – Arkansas Attorney General
               1978-80 ; 1982-92 – Governor of
               1993-2001 – President of the United States

               Main events during his presidency: the
               ratification of the North American Free
               Trade Agreement, a failed attempt at
               nationalized health care, the controversial
               “don’t ask, don’t tell” military policy
               regarding gays and lesbians, American
               troops in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo
               and Somalia and becoming the second
               American president to be impeached.
North American Free Trade Agreement (1992)

                  Signed by President Bill Clinton, the North
                  American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
                  eliminated all tariffs and obstacles to free
                  trade between the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
                  Large opposition predicted a loss of jobs in
                  the U.S. in favor of cheaper labor in Mexico
                  as well as a compromise to international
Timothy McVeigh and the Oklahoma
    City terrorist attack (1995)
             On 19 April 1995, Timothy McVeigh parked a
             truck filled with explosives outside the Murrah
             Federal Building in Oklahoma City and
             detonated it, killing 168 people, including 19
             children. He was an army veteran who told
             officials that he was angry at government
             actions in Ruby Ridge, Idaho (a raid on a group
             of white separatists) and in Waco, Texas (the
             investigation of the Branch Davidian cult and
             the raid on its compound). In 1997, he was
             sentenced to die and was executed in 2001.
                Proposition 209 (1996)
    In 1996, California placed on the ballot Proposition
  209 which would end all affirmative action programs
       in the state. Though challenged by a coalition of
 various groups including blacks, Hispanics and female
  activists, the citizens of California passed it with 55%
  of the vote. Immediately, opponents received a stay
  prohibiting Governor Gray Davis and his government
 from implementing the law. A trial judge justified his
         actions based on the strong likelihood that the
 measure was unconstitutional. However, in 1997, the
 Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the most liberal of the
circuit districts, overturned the trial judge, stating that
    the elimination of affirmative action programs was
    constitutional. Shortly after the successful passage
 and with the support of many from the first, the state
          passed Proposition 227 which ended bilingual
                                                              A student protest poster at UC Berkeley
                                   education in California.
                      Monica Lewinksy

Recently graduated from college, Monica
Lewinsky took a job as an intern in the White
House in 1995. It was while in this capacity that
she met and began a sexual relationship with
President Bill Clinton. Because the president
lied about his relationship with her under oath,
when he finally admitted the affair, the House of
Representatives impeached him on charges of
obstructing justice and perjury. While the
Senate acquitted the president, the affair and
the fall out from the same marred and pre-
occupied the final years of his presidency.
       Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda
Osama bin Laden, a Saudi national, is the
  leader of an assortment of fighters and
terrorists collectively known as al-Qaeda.
The first major attack the group was able
 to make on the United States was on the
  World Trade Center in New York City in
1993. The damage was minimal but killed
     six people. However, their second
  attempt on 11 September 2001 proved
  catastrophic in both the loss of life and
      altering American foreign policy.
  George W. Bush – 43rd
Republican – 2001 to 2009
          1994-01 – Governor of Texas
          2001-09 – President of the United States

          Main events during his presidency:
                  No Child Left Behind
                  September 11th attacks
                  Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq
                  Patriot Act
                  Panic of 2008
                        September 11, 2001
                                                         On 11 September 2001, a coordinated
                                                         attack of airplanes piloted by al-Qaeda
                                                         operatives crashed into the World Trade
                                                         Center buildings in New York City and the
                                                         Pentagon in the capital in a terrorist
                                                         attack designed to kill as many people as
                                                         possible. Another flight rumored to have
                                                         been headed towards the White House
                                                         was commandeered by the passengers
                                                         and crashed into a Pennsylvania field
                                                         before reaching its intended target. With
                                                         nearly 3,000 dead, the U.S. embarked on a
                                                         set of new policies that included the
                                                         Patriot Act on the domestic front and
United Flight 175 strikes the South Tower of the World   eventual operations in Afghanistan and
                     Trade Center.
                              “War on terror”

                                                  Initiated by President George W. Bush in
                                                  the aftermath of the September 11th
                                                  attacks, the policy was designed by the
                                                  Americans, and its allies such as the British,
                                                  to wipe international terrorist cells and
President George W. Bush makes an address to      operations. The new foreign policy
 a joint session of Congress following the 9-11
                     attacks.                     approach led to the U.S. and its allies taking
                                                  harder stances against Iraq’s obdurate
                                                  position on allowing U.N. weapons
                                                  inspectors unfettered access in the country.
                                                  It also directed coalition efforts in the
                                                  aforementioned Iraq and Afghanistan.
                   Patriot Act (2001)
  Introduced in the wake of the September 11th attacks, the Patriot
Act was designed to give law enforcement officials at all levels more
 power to combat international and domestic terrorism. It primarily
       allowed federal agencies more latitude in surveillance and
  investigative powers in pursuit of potential threats to the country.
   However, it also extended the definition of crimes that could be
  persecuted under the federal authority. It was widely opposed by
 libertarians and privacy advocates who felt it gave the government
     too much power to monitor the private behavior of American
citizens. Since its initial passage, it has been modified and ratified by
                  U.S. Congress on several occasions.
                                                       The Taliban name comes from the Arabic
                                                       talib meaning “one who is seeking”
                                                       (unless, of course, you are a female and
                                                       what you are seeking is an education). It
                                                       was originally comprised of religious
                                                       students and was borne out of the
                                                       withdraw of the Soviets from Afghanistan
                                                       in 1989. It was the ruling government of
                                                       Afghanistan beginning in 1995 and very
                                                       sympathetic towards al-Qaeda, providing
                                                       it a safe haven. In the aftermath of the
                                                       September 11th attacks, the U.S.
                                                       successfully removed it from power and
“Then you screw this on just like so, and Bob’s your   helped create a coalition government in
uncle. Now…did everyone get that because I don’t       its place.
        want to have to explain it again.”
  Barack Obama – 44th
Democrat – 2009 to present
            1996-05 – member of Illinois State Senate
            2005-09 – Illinois member of the U.S. Senate
            2009-present – President of the United States

            Main events during his presidency:
                    Government bailouts
                    End to “don’t ask, don’t tell”
                    Passage of nationalized health care
                    Middle East uprisings of 2011
                    Earthquake, tsunami and nuclear
                               disaster in Japan
                    The death of Osama bid Laden

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