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menuAmerican Social History Project  ·    Center for Media and Learning

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

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A Postal Worker Testifies Before the Loyalty-Security Program

Executive Order 9835, signed by President Truman on March 21, 1947, established a loyalty-security program for the executive branch of the federal government. Federal employees were required to take a political test to identify "subversive" [...]

National Security Council Report 68 (Excerpt)

This National Security Council Report from April 1950 outlines the U.S. Government's response to the challenges presented by the Cold War, including the policy of "containment" that sought to limit Soviet expansion "by all means short of war." The [...]

Tags: Cold War
The U.S. Government Reports on "Soviet Intentions and Capabilities"

This U.S. government intelligence report from 1950 attempts to assess the U.S.S.R.'s military and economic capabilities, while warning that the Soviet Union's avowed intentions include the destruction and/or capitulation of the United States. The [...]

Tags: Cold War
The FBI Sets Goals for COINTELPRO

Under Director J. Edgar Hoover, the FBI's COINTELPRO (Counterintelligence Program) was aimed at investigating and disrupting dissident political groups within the United States. In the 1960's, COINTELPRO's targets frequently included civil rights [...]

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

On December 10, 1948 the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Following this historic act, the Assembly called upon all member countries to publicize the text of the Declaration and [...]

"I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-to-Die-Rag"

In 1959, at the age of seventeen, Joe McDonald joined the Navy. After his discharge three years later, he enrolled in a Los Angeles college where he became involved in the Civil Rights Movement. In 1965, McDonald moved to Berkeley, California just [...]

"Song of the Coats"

Support for the communist Viet Cong was strong among many ordinary South Vietnamese people. This song describes one way civilians on the homefront supported V.C. against U.S.-led forces during the Vietnam War. The song was collected and published by [...]

Item Type: Music/Song
Birmingham, Alabama Issues Racial Segregation Ordinances

This selection of city ordinances from Birmingham, Alabama, highlights the often absurd lengths to which local leaders in the Deep South were willing to go in order to maintain the strict separation of races. These "Jim Crow" laws, passed by [...]

Item Type: Laws/Court Cases
Illustration of bus where Rosa Parks sat, December 1, 1955

The diagram below shows where Rosa Parks sat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, on December 1, 1955. At the time, the first ten seats on Montgomery buses were reserved for white passengers only. Parks was sitting in the eleventh row. When the bus [...]

Tags: Boycotts
Item Type: Laws/Court Cases
An Army Journalist Testifies Before the Peers Commission

Peers Commission investigators asked Jay Roberts, an Army journalist who accompanied photographer Ronald Haeberle on the My Lai operation, to explain why the massacre had occurred. Roberts was a veteran journalist, and My Lai was not his first [...]

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