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Cold War, Hot Conflict: America in the 1950s

How did the Soviet Union turn from ally to enemy? Why was everyone so afraid of Joe McCarthy? Did we really think that better kitchens would crush the spirit of the Soviets? During this program we will look at the material culture of the 1950s as it relates to McCarthyism, cultural and technological competition with Russia, containment of the spread of communism through a war in Korea. Air raid drills, Mickey Mouse, and Hawaiian shirts exercised by a youth dominated culture obscured the undercurrent of fear that permeated the “Happy Days” of the 1950s. Not to be forgotten, we will feature valiant county soldiers who endured epidemic hemorrhagic fever, frost bite, Mao Zedong’s army, starvation in prison camps, and introduced the world to the H bomb, interracial fighting forces, napalm, helicopters, body armor, MASH units, jet aircraft and G-suits in a conflict that nearly led to World War III.





Essential Questions:

How did the end of World War II lead to growing economic, political, and ideological tensions between countries deemed super powers?
How and why did the relationship and foreign policies between the U. S. and U.S.S.R. change after World War II?
How did the Allies attempt to contain Soviet power and influence?
Why did the United States and the Soviet Union feel it necessary to excel and compete in science, academics, and technology?
How did the U.S. government attempt to investigate the loyalty of American citizens?
How did U. S. citizens react to the increasing fear of communism on the country?

History Standards:   8.1.A,B,C,D    8.2.12 A,B    8.3.12 A,B,C,D   8.4.12 B,D 

Reading Standards: 1.1.5.A,G   1.2.A  1.3.A,F   1.6.A,B,D,E

“I always love it when you come, because you never know what cool things you have up your sleeve. I really wish you could have more time to talk. I hope you come to visit us more this year!”
         Kristy Z.