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menuAmerican Social History Project  ·    Center for Media and Learning

  • Historical Eras > Postwar America (1946-1975) (x)

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Security Handbook for Freedom Summer Workers

A copy of the Security Handbook given to participants in the "Freedom Summer" campaign in Mississippi in 1964 highlights the dangers that young civil rights workers were exposed to. Tragically, the precautions suggested by the handbook proved [...]

A U.S. Diplomat Writes a "Long Telegram"

The famous "Long Telegram" was a message sent by George F. Kennan, a high-ranking diplomat at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, that provided an assessment of the Soviet Union at the beginning of the Cold War. In February 1946, the United States Treasury [...]

Tags: Cold War
The Hickenlooper Amendment Limits U.S. Aid to Latin America

In 1962, the U.S. Congress passed an amendment to the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 named for the Republican Senator from Iowa, Bourke B. Hickenlooper, who proposed it. The law not only restricted aid to communist countries, but to any country that [...]

Tags: Cold War
The CIA Proposes a Covert Operation to Overthrow Fidel Castro

Following the Cuban Revolution of 1959 that brought Fidel Castro to power, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency proposed several plans of action to President Eisenhower. Because the covert operation would take several months to bring about, both [...]

Robert F. Kennedy Defends the Bay of Pigs Invasion

Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy released the following statement three days after the launch of the Bay of Pigs invasion. The CIA-backed invasion force consisted of 1,511 Cuban exiles whose objective was to spark a popular uprising against the [...]

A U.S. Diplomat Expresses Misgivings About the Bay of Pigs Invasion

In this memo to Kennedy's Secretary of State Dean Rusk, Under Secretary of State Chester Bowles expresses his opposition to the planned Bay of Pigs invasion. Bowles cites as his reasons for concern the invasion's apparent violation of international [...]

U.S. Military Pocket Cards Describe the Rules of War

Throughout the war, the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (MACV) distributed information on the treatment of civilians to American soldiers serving in Vietnam. Officers and enlisted personnel received a wallet-sized card entitled "Nine Rules for [...]

A Military Journalist Describes My Lai "Action" in Army Press Release

Sergeant Jay Roberts was a reporter with the Public Information Department of the 11th Brigade. He accompanied Charlie Company during the assault on My Lai and witnessed the killings, but after the incident on March 18, 1968, he wrote a press [...]

A Pentagon Official Observes the Situation in South Vietnam

John T. McNaughton was Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs. He was considered McNamara's heir apparent as Secretary of Defense, but died in a plane crash with his wife and son on a commercial domestic flight in July [...]

John Kerry Testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee

On April 22, 1971, John Kerry, representing Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW), testified before the Foreign Relations Committee of the U.S. Senate. The following day, April 23, 1971, Kerry and hundreds of other VVAW veterans threw medals, [...]

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