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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 Cartoonist Spoofs Anti-Communist Crusaders

This 1949 Herb Block cartoon highlights the dangers to civil liberty and intellectual freedoms many Americans saw posed by overzealous and anti-Communist crusaders in the early years of the Cold War. Such fears were not unfounded: during the postwar [...]

Item Type: Cartoon
Kennedy Responds to Krushchev's Condemnation of the Bay of Pigs Invasion

President Kennedy wrote this letter to Soviet Chairman Krushchev on the day of the ill-fated Bay of Pigs operation, in which 1,400 U.S.-trained Cuban exiles attempted to invade the island and overthrow Fidel Castro. Responding to an indignant letter [...]

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 [...]

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