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martin luther king jr/ souther christian leadership council
An Atlanta-born Baptist minister, he earned a Ph.D. at Boston University. The leader of the Civil Rights Movement and President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (coalition of churches and Christians organizations who met to discuss civil rights), he was assassinated outside his hotel room.
Dr. Benjamin spock
an American pediatrician whose book Baby and Child Care, published in 1946, is one of the biggest best-sellers of all time. Its revolutionary message to mothers was that "you know more than you think you do." Spock was the first pediatrician to study psychoanalysis to try to understand children's needs and family dynamics. His ideas about childcare influenced several generations of parents to be more flexible and affectionate with their children, and to treat them as individuals, whereas the previous conventional wisdom had been that child rearing should focus on building discipline, and that, e.g., babies should not be "spoiled" by picking them up when they cried.
international business machines
Remington Rand had limited success in marketing UNIVAC, but in the mid- 1950's the IBM introduced its first major data- processing computers and began to find a wide market for them among businesses in the US and abroad.
father knows best view of family
most programming of the 40's and 60's created a common image of American life, one that was white, middle class, suburban, and that was epitomized by the popular situation comedies, which showed families in which most women were mothers and housewives striving to serve their children and please husbands.
gamal abdel nasser/ suez canal crisis
Egypt's dictator, Abdul Gamal Nasser, a former army officer who had led the coup that overthrew King Farouk, nationalized the Suez Canal in 1956, and was attacked by British, French and Israeli forces. The U.S. intervened on behalf of Egypt. Damaged Britain and France's standing as world powers.
joseph mcarthy/ army-mcarthy hearings
McCarthy Hearings- there began to be a demise of McCarthyism in the US, but even during the first year of the Eisenhower administration, McCarty operated with impunity. But in 1954, he attacked Secretary of the Army Robert Stevens and the armed services in general. Influential members of Congress organized a special investigation of the charges.
earl warren
chief justice during the Brown case, he explained the unanimous opinion of his colleagues, the separate but equal doctrine has no place, and that separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.
american bandstand/ dick clark
televised showcase for rock n roll hits in which a live audience danced to recorded music. The program helped spread the popularity of rock, and made its host, Clark, one of the best-known figures among young Americans.
payola scandals
secret payments made by record promoters to disk jockeys or station owners to get their songs on the air, these payola payments produced a sensational series of scandals when they were exposed in the late 50's.
AFL CIO/ George Meany
By the mid 1950's factory wages in all industries had risen substantially, to an average of $ 80 per week. In December 1955, the AFL and the Congress of Industrial Organizations ended their twenty- year rivalry and merged to create the AFL- CIO.
john glenn/ gemini program
on February 2, 1962, John Glenn became the first American to orbit the globe. NASA later introduced the Gemini program, whose spacecraft could carry 2 astronauts at once.
alan shepard/ mercury program
In 1959, Sheppard was one of 110 military test pilots invited by the newly formed National Aeronautics and Space Administration to volunteer for the first manned space flight program. Following a grueling series of tests, Sheppard became one of the original group of seven Mercury astronauts.
intercontinental ballistic missiles
long-range nuclear missiles capable of being fired at targets on the other side of the globe. The reason behind the Cuban Missile Crisis -- Russia was threatening the U.S. by building launch sites for ICBM's in Cuba.
rosa parks/ montogomery bus boycott
Rosa Parks a seamstress and a secretary for the Montgomery chapter of the NAACP, was known as the "mother of the civil rights movement." In December of 1955, Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white rider. She was jailed and fined $14 for the offense. This led to Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Montgomery Bus Boycott.
jonas salk
an American biologist and physician best known for the research and development of the first effective polio vaccine, the eponymous Salk vaccine.
david riesman/ the lonely crowd
Riesman's 1950 book, The Lonely Crowd, deals with modern sociology. In it Riesman wrote of the 'inner-directed' and 'other-directed' personalities. Riesman argues that the character of post WWII American society impels individuals to "other-directedness", the premier example being modern suburbia, where individuals seek their neighbors approval and fear being outcast from their community. This lifestyle has a coercive effect, which compels people to abandon "inner-direction" of their lives, and induces them to take on the goals, ideology, likes and dislikes of their community. Ironically, this creates a tightly grouped crowd of people that is yet incapable of truly fulfilling each other's desire for companionship. The book is considered a landmark study of American character.
little rock central high school
Governor Faubus sent the Arkansas National Guard to prevent nine Black students from entering Little Rock Central High School. Eisenhower sent in U.S. paratroopers to ensure the students could attend class.
william whyte/ the organization man
early graduate of St. Andrew's School in Middletown, Delaware, he graduated from Princeton University and then served in Marine Corps. In 1946 he joined Fortune magazine. Whyte wrote a 1956 bestseller titled The Organization Man after Fortune Magazine sponsored him to do extensive interviews on the CEOs of corporations such as General Electric and Ford.
albert sabin
was a renowned American medical researcher of Jewish ancestry who is best-known for having developed the hugely successful oral vaccine for polio. His product, prepared with cultures of attenuated polio viruses, could be taken orally, and prevented the actual contraction of the disease. It was this vaccine which effectively eliminated polio from the United States.
the beat
the most derisive critics of bureaucracy, and of middle class society generally, were a group of young poets, writers, and artists known as the beatniks. They wrote harsh critiques of what they considered the sterility and conformity of American life, the meaninglessness of American politics and the banality of popular culture.
john foster dulles/ massive retaliation/ brinkmanship
As Secretary of State. he viewed the struggle against Communism as a classic conflict between good and evil. Believed in containment and the Eisenhower doctrine. In the 1950's after Stalin died, Dulles and Eisenhower warned the Soviets that if aggression was undertaken, the U.S. would retaliate with its full nuclear arsenal against the Soviet Union itself. However, the U.S. would not start conflicts. The idea of brinkmanship, (used both by the USSR and US) was the principle of not backing down in a crisis, even if it meant taking the country to the brink of war.
federal highway act of 1956
popularly known as the National Interstate and Defense Highways Act (Public Law 84-627), was enacted on June 29, 1956, when Dwight D. Eisenhower signed this bill into law. Appropriating $25 billion for the construction of 40,000 miles (64,000 km) of interstate highways over a 10-year period, it was the largest public works project in American history to that point.
jack kerouac/ on the road
produced the most popular document of the Beat Generation in his novel, which was an account of a cross-country automobile trip that depicted the rootless, iconoclastic lifestyle of Kerouac and his friends.
echo park/ bernard devoto
DeVoto, a well- known writer and a great champion of the American West wrote an essay entitled "shall we let them ruin our national parks?" It had a sensational impact, arousing opposition to the Echo Valley dam from many areas of the country. By the mid 1950's a large coalition of environmentalist, naturalist, and wilderness vacationers mobilized in opposition to a dam at Echo Valley, and Congress, bowing to public pressure, blocked the project and preserved Echo Park in its natural state.
Yuri gagarin
Hero of the Soviet Union, was a Soviet cosmonaut. On 12 April 1961, he became the first human in space and the first to orbit the Earth. He received many medals from different countries for his pioneering tour in space.
massive resistance/ white citizens councils
strong opposition to desegregation arose in many areas, where governors, mayors, local school boards, and nongovernmental pressure groups all worked to obstruct desegregation.
alexander flemming/ peniscilin
Scottish biologist and pharmacologist. Fleming published many articles on bacteriology, immunology, and chemotherapy. His best-known achievements are the discovery of the enzyme lysozyme in 1922 and, along with Australian Howard Florey, discovery of the antibiotic substance penicillin from the fungus Penicillium notatum in 1928, for which he shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1945 with Florey and Chain.
edward jenner
an English scientist who studied his natural surroundings in Berkeley, Gloucestershire, England. He is famous as the first doctor to introduce and study the smallpox vaccine, although Benjamin Jesty, a farmer, earlier had vaccinated with cowpox to induce immunity to smallpox. It is believed that Jenner discovered it independently.
michael harrington/ the other america
socialist writer, wrote this celebrated book, chronicling the continuing existence of poverty in the US.
the mickey mouse club impact
long-running American variety television show that began in 1955, produced by Walt Disney Productions and televised by the American Broadcasting Company, featuring a regular but ever-changing cast of teenage performers. The Mickey Mouse Club was created by Walt Disney. The series has been revived, reformatted and reimagined several times since its initial 1955-1959 run on ABC. The TV show created a national demand for related products, and helped produce the stunning success of Disneyland.
mohammed mossadegh/ the shah of iran
the nationalist prime minister of Iran, when Mossadegh resisted the presence of western corporations in his nation the CIA joined with the Iranian military to stage a coup and drive Mossadegh from office, replacing him with Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, who could create a constitutional monarchy.
geneva accords/ 17th parallel
French wanted out of Vietnam, the agreement signed by Ho Chi Minh France divided Vietnam on the 17th parallel, confining Minh's government to the North. In the South, an independent government was headed by Diem.
sputnik/ explorer I
the Soviet Union announced that they had launched an earth orbiting satellite into outer space, Americans panicked, more science programs were created and especially in the field of exploring space, eventually we launched our own first satellite, Explorer I, in January 1958.
ngo diem
strong anti-communist, proclaimed South Vietnam a republic on Oct. 26, 1956 and became its first president. He was formerly the Premier of Vietnam. He was assassinated by a millitary coup d'etat.
Berry Gordy/ Motown records
Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Chubby Checker, the Temptations and others recorded with this black producer, the founder of Motown Records in Detroit, developing significant multiracial audiences.
ho chi minh
North Vietnamese leader who had lead the resistance against the Japanese during WW II and at the end of the war had led the uprising against the French Colonial government. He had traveled in Europe, educated in Moscow, and was an ardent Communist. Became President of the North Vietnamese government established after the French withdrawal. Often called the George Washington of North Vietnam.
Teamsters Union/ david beck/ jimmy hoffa
in 1957 the powerful Teamsters union became the subject of a congressional investigation, and its president, David Beck, was charged with the misappropriation of union funds. Beck ultimately stepped down to be replaced by Hoffa, who government investigators pursued for nearly a decade before finally winning a conviction against him.
apollo program/ neil armstrong/ edwin aldrin/ michael collins
followed the Mercury and Gemini programs, whose purpose was to land men on the moon. It had some setbacks, most notably a fire that killed three astronauts during training. But on July 20, 1969 the men above successfully traveled in a space capsule into orbit around the moon. Armstrong and Aldrin then detached a smaller craft and became the first men to walk on the moon.
brown v. board
The case brought before the Supreme Court in May 1954 in which the Court ruled that segregation of races in public schools was unconstitutional.
nikita khrushchev
Stalin's successor, wanted peaceful coexistence with the U.S. Eisenhower agreed to a summit conference with Khrushchev, France and Great Britain in Geneva, Switzerland in July, 1955 to discuss how peaceful coexistence could be achieved.
adlai stevenson
ran against Eisenhower again in 1956, and even though Eisenhower had recently suffered a major heart attack, he still won by a landslide.
universal automatic computer (UNIVAC)/ Remington rand company
the first significant computer of the 1950's was the UNIVAC, which was developed initially for the US Bureau of the Census by the Remington Rand Company. It was the first computer to handle both alphabetical and numerical information easily.
blackboard jungle
1955 social commentary film about teachers in an inner-city school. It is based on the novel of the same name by Evan Hunter. The film has also been credited with sparking the Rock and Roll revolution by featuring Comets' Rock Around the Clock, initially a B-side, over the film's opening credits, establishing that song as an instant classic.
brown II
another case issued by the Supreme Court, implementing the order from 1954, ruling that communities must work to desegregate their schools with all deliberate speed, but set no timetable and left specific decisions up to lower courts.
francis gary powers/ U2
Under Eisenhower administration just before the "summit conference" in Paris scheduled for May 1960, the American U-2 spy plane was shot down over Russia. Eisenhower was forced to step up and assume personal responsibility for the incident. Francis Gary Powers was the pilot that was captured by the Russians but returned. Incident kept Khrushchev from meeting with Eisenhower.
JD salinger
wrote in the Catcher in the Rye of a prep school student, Holden Caulfield who was unable to find any are of society—school, family, friends, city - in which he could feel secure or committed.
james dean/ rebel without a cause
Dean's popularity in this movie was a vivid sign of youth culture in the 1950's. Both in the roles he played (moody, alienated teenagers and young men with a streak of self- destructive violence) and in the way he lived his own life, he became an icon of the unfocused rebelliousness of American youth.
william levitt/ levittowns
the real-estate developer widely credited as the father of modern American suburbia. He certainly did not invent the building of communities of affordable single-family homes within driving distance of major areas of employment; yet his innovations in providing affordable housing (Levittowns) popularized this type of planned community in the years following World War II.[
an international political movement that originally supported the reestablishment of a homeland for the Jewish People in Palestine, and continues primarily as support for the modern state of Israel.[1]
sam phillips/ BBking/Buddy Holly/Bill Haley/ Chuck Berry/ Little Richard
- the 1950's produced growth in the popularity of African American bands and singers among both black and white audiences like these.
DDT/ paul muller
Swiss chemist and winner of the 1948 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his 1939 discovery of DDT as an insecticide useful in the control of malaria, yellow fever and many other insect-vector diseases.
allen ginsberg howl
the dark, bitter poem, decried the Robot apartments, invincible suburbs, skeleton treasuries, blind capitals, and demonic industries of modern life.
David Sarnoff laboratories
in the late 1950's, scientists at RCA's lab in New Jersey developed technology for color television, which first became widely available in the early 1960's.
fulgenico batista/fidel castro
Batista, the Cuban ruler had ruled as a military dictator since 1952, when with American assistance he had toppled a more moderate government. in 1957, a popular movement of resistance to the Batista regime began to gather strength under the leadership of Fidel Castro. On January 1, 1959, with Batista having fled to exile in Spain, Castro marched into Havana and established a new government.

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