The Great Years 1945 1965

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Information about The Great Years 1945 1965
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Published on December 28, 2007

Author: Rafael

Source: authorstream.com

America in Transition: 1945-1965:  America in Transition: 1945-1965 Exhibit Credits:  Exhibit Credits Special thanks to students of my MCS 233 class (Spring 2004) for information on the Mansfield Schools of Texas and the public schools of Delaware: Kiley Hyland, Tara Rosenow, Kate Howard, Nicholle Breikjern, Theresa Nygaard, Teresa Sachow, Tyson Zitzow, Melissa Doll. Something for the Victors:  Something for the Victors In order to give the American military veterans a financial boost, Congress passed the “GI Bill of Rights,” a program that would provide grants and low-cost loans to veterans for education, housing, and other needs. The bill was made law in June 1944. The Great Years:  The Great Years Gross Domestic Product (the measure of individual economic health) rose consistently for over 25 years. And prices remained relatively low, providing unprecedented buying power. Victory and Prosperity:  Victory and Prosperity Despite fears that the postwar era may begin with financial problems, the demand for new housing, new appliances, and all the other needs for new families fueled an economic boom. The standard of living grew more than 35% by 1960 The Television Revolution:  The Television Revolution Television, perfected during the war, would change everything from the way Americans acted at home to the way they received information. There just over 1 million televisions in American homes, and 46 million in 1960. The television became the centerpiece of the American living room. The Nuclear Family:  The Nuclear Family Television began to affect the way Americans saw family life. Because so much of early television focused on the “single-family unit” of mother, father, and children, the view grew that this type of family (white, middle-class, living in the suburbs, with mom at home and dad earning money with a “professional” job) was the way “it ought to be.” Right – the Donna Reed Show, 1958-1966 Baby Boomers:  Baby Boomers Taken on the front steps of a married-student housing apartment at Moorhead State Teachers College, in about 1949-1950. Because so many ex-servicemen, with young wives and children, lived in this housing from 1947-1952, the place became known as “fertile acres.” Creating Highways:  Creating Highways The Interstate Highway plan of 1954 provided Federal funding for building the 4-lane highways. The project was approved by Congress as a measure for “national defense.” Air Travel:  Air Travel The growth of the airplane industry in World War II set the stage for a vast increase in consumer air travel. The world was “getting smaller.” Most Were Satisfied:  Most Were Satisfied Most were quite satisfied with the situation in the 1950s, when American was not at war Work was available to almost everyone Incomes were higher than ever There was more leisure time than ever before But there was a major shift coming – as the largest generation ever began to come of age. The Cold War:  The Cold War The Korean war had briefly raised the possibility of an all-out Atomic war with Russia, but after the Korean cease fire in 1953, the two “super powers” engaged in a “cold war” rivalry. Containment:  Containment The basic American strategy followed during much of the Cold War was “containment.” Devised in part by George Kennan, an expert on Russian culture in the State Department, containment involved the American government using military alliances, foreign aid, a limited military action to “contain” the expansion of communism and Soviet influence. Spies at Home:  Spies at Home One aspect of the Cold war was the fear of Soviet agents in America. Alger Hiss, a young advisor of the State Department was accused of giving diplomatic secrets to the Russians. Julius and Ethel Rosenberg (above) were executed for Treason in 1953, after a court found them guilty of giving Atomic research to a Russian agent. McCarthyism:  McCarthyism Republican Senator Joseph R. McCarthy (right), of Wisconsin, raised the anti-communist fever to such a high-pitched campaign of demagoguery that “red-baiting” has been known since as “McCarthyism.” Beginning in February 1950 McCarthy made a series of unsubstantiated charges, using guilt by association, lies, and documentation taken out of context to accuse people at all levels of government of communism. For all his effort, McCarthy never found proof that any individual he investigated was a Russian agent. When he tried to attack the US Army for “harboring communists,” he was ruined. Who Was Unhappy:  Who Was Unhappy Minorities who wanted greater equality Women who chafed at the restrictions imposed on their opportunities. Intellectuals who disliked restrictions on their creativity, or who disliked society as too conformist (writers, musicians, artists, etc.). Brown Vs. Board of Education:  Brown Vs. Board of Education The Supreme Court ruled in 1954 that “separate but equal” schools was not constitutional. But in would take several more years (and court cases, argued by civil rights lawyer Thurgood Marshall (right) and others) before most American schools were desegregated. Why Brown Was Decided:  Why Brown Was Decided 1890s Supreme Court Decision, that “separate but equal” facilities were acceptable was never carried out – “separate” was never made “equal.” Funding for black schools generally 40-50% less than white schools of same size Black teachers paid about two-thirds of white teachers’ salaries. Texts in black schools generally 10-15 years out of date. The Court ordered desegregation “will all deliberate speed.” That mean more lawsuits and more controversy. The Story of Mansfield, Texas, 1955:  The Story of Mansfield, Texas, 1955 Terrant county Texas Segregated school system, providing no bus transportation for black students to their segregated school. T.M. Moody- the active president of region’s NAACP helped to pay for lawsuits. I.M. Terrel High School for African American students. Landmark integration case in the state of Texas Events in the Desegregation Process:  Events in the Desegregation Process I.M. Terrel School was a black-only high school – under funded and poorly staffed. Black community frequently requested improvements – no result. 1955 --Three I.M. Terrel School students attempted in Mansfield public school, and turned away. Lawyer for students files suit on Oct. 7, the case would begin Nov. 7. Ruled in favor of the defendant. After school district loses appeals to higher courts, the school board determined that the school would be integrated the following school year, 1956-1957. Community Reaction to Desegregation :  Community Reaction to Desegregation The announcement for integration was not released until August 27, two weeks be fore school began. White organizations expressed fear that desegregation would lead to a “mixed race” in the future. Parents of black students from the I.M. Terrel school worried that their children would have difficulty being accepted into the new school system, might be subject to violence. Additional police added to school area to prevent violence. Evans Vs. Buchanan:  1956 Evans Vs. Buchanan Evans Vs. Buchanan:  Background Information 1956 saw a series of lawsuit in Delaware regarding segregated schools in the state. All lawsuits were consolidated and heard as Evans vs. Buchanan. Delaware had been a slave state in 1860 and indeed did not end slavery until 1864 (13th Amendment). One national publication termed Delaware’s segregation as “worse than the deep south.” Evans Vs. Buchanan Court Actions:  No black children were being admitted into white schools In 1955, 9 year-old Brenda Evans was 1st plaintiff to file suit against the town of Clayton, DE. Evans’ attorney was Louis L. Redding, prominent civil rights attorney. In 1956 Federal District Court found that Delaware had done little to obey Brown decision and eliminate “separate but equal” schools. The Court ordered Delaware to come up with a desegregation plan Court Actions Attempts to Delay Implementation:  In response to Federal order, Delaware state board of education developed a plan- one-grade-a-year basis (i.e. desegregate kindergarten the first year, 1st grade the second year, etc.) Black community returned to court, arguing plan is an attempt to delay. Public opinion in white communities – mixed schools were “unnatural” and “dangerous.” Court actions continued into 1959 before state made real efforts to comply. Attempts to Delay Implementation Long and Difficult Process – Two County Experiences:  Long and Difficult Process – Two County Experiences 1961- Public schools in Kent & Sussex counties were partially desegregated. Desegregation occurred under a “freedom-of-choice” plan Plan allowed students of both races to attend any school within geographical district. Attempts to intimidate black students to opt for old schools did occur. -Still considerable amount of racial mixing. -Delaware’s Board of Education was not satisfied with plan. Delaware’s last all black school was closed in 1967. Various court cases continue until 1993 to eliminate differences in funding, etc. Enrollments by Race, Kent & Sussex Counties, 1963-1964:  White Black Kent County 19 school buildings with black & white 5 school buildings with only white 7 school buildings with only black Sussex County 11 school buildings with black & white 9 school buildings with only white 24 school buildings with only black 8,209 1,689 326 ---- ---- 260 ---- 2,898 2,440 ---- 3,871 213 Totals 8,535 1,949 Totals 6,311 2,898 Source: Delaware Dept. of Public Instruction, Annual Report (1963-1964), 60. Enrollments by Race, Kent & Sussex Counties, 1963-1964 Sparking a Civil Rights Movement:  Sparking a Civil Rights Movement Although school desegregation progressed slowly, the mere fact that it happened encouraged the NAACP and other African-American groups to press for the end of other forms of segregation – in public transportation, stores, restaurants, etc. Violent Reactions to Civil Rights:  Violent Reactions to Civil Rights The desegregation movement created a violent backlash in the South. In 1955, a 14 year old from Chicago, was murdered in Mississippi for “fresh-talking” a white women. Local courts refused to convict the murderers, who openly bragged about “beating the boy to death.” King and the SCLC:  King and the SCLC Many men and women played leading roles in the civil rights movement of the 1950s. But as the decade continued, Martin Luther King, a young minister and head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, began to emerge as the most prominent “face” of the movement. His speaking skill, coupled with his belief in non-violent protest, made him acceptable to many white supporters of the efforts to end desegregation. Civil Rights Progress:  Civil Rights Progress The civil rights movement took another step forward in 1957, when Congress passed the first Civil Rights Act since the 1800s. The 1957 act created a Civil Rights Division in the Department of Justice. But a section of the bill, allowing the Federal government to file suit in Federal courts, but blocked in the US Senate. Television Racism:  Television Racism Although it had high ratings (an used real African-American actors, unlike the radio show), “Amos ‘n Andy” was cancelled after viewers protested its portrayal of Black life in America. Kennedy’s Election:  Kennedy’s Election In 1960, John F. Kennedy (whose civil rights record was not impressive, used connections to King and other black leaders to win election. He would have only limited impact on civil rights, largely because his main interest was the Cold War. Kennedy Takes Office:  Inaugural Address Kennedy’s Advisors Focused on change Strong anti-Communist tone Did not specify his domestic policy goals because so much division existed over domestic issues Gathered a group some called “the best and the brightest” as his advisors Most of Kennedy’s advisors were young. Closest advisor was his brother, Robert (“Bobby”) Kennedy Cabinet members had less influence than White House advisors. Kennedy Takes Office Bay of Pigs Invasion:  Bay of Pigs Invasion The Invasion Bay of Pigs invasion failed. Information was leaked early. Air strikes failed. Castro prepared for a land attack. Invaders were captured and ransomed back to United States. Strengthened Castro’s ties to the Soviet Union The Cuban Missile Crises:  The Cuban Missile Crises Buildup Crisis Begins The Cuban missile crisis in 1962 brought on near-nuclear war. Although Kennedy was perceived as the victor in this crisis, in reality he made a deal with the Soviet Union. Kennedy Foreign Policy and the Cold War:  Kennedy Foreign Policy and the Cold War Kennedy also followed the Cold War policies of his predecessors. He continued the nuclear arms buildup begun by Eisenhower. He continued to follow Truman’s practice of containment. He developed the strategy of flexible response. Strengthening conventional American forces so the nation would have other options than nuclear weapons in times of crisis The Space Program:  The Space Program While seen as a triumph of American technology, the “space race” was fueled by the quest for a more accurate, powerful missile to use in defense. Vietnam:  Vietnam Kennedy also committed larger numbers of US troops to Vietnam. In mid-1963, he permitted the CIA to “participate” in the overthrow of the South Vietnamese government March on Washington :  March on Washington Also in 1963, the NAACP, SCLC, Urban League, and other organizations staged the great gathering in Washington, to publicize the need for a stronger civil rights bill from Congress. Kennedy wanted to prevent the “march,” for fear of violence. It became the setting for the most important speech of King’s career. Assassination :  Assassination How Kennedy may have resolved his Cold War and civil rights challenges is unknown. Murdered in Dallas in November 1963, his policies became the problem of Lyndon Johnson.

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