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U.S. Era 9

Postwar United States (1945 to early 1970s)

Primary Sources

  • Vietnam War: a thorough overview of the war, accompanied by government documents that trace the conflict from the Geneva Peace Accords in 1954 to the Paris Accords in 1973. It also has documents about the Battles of the Ia Drang Valley in 1966 and links to other good websites about Vietnam.
  • Sixties Project: a gateway of online exhibits, personal narratives, poetry, and primary documents from the 1960s.
  • The Avalon Project: The Cold War: a gateway to diplomatic documents from the Cold War era, including collections about the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission’s hearings on J. Robert Oppenheimer, the U-2 Incident, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and many other foreign policy documents.
  • Museum of Broadcast Communications: includes video archives from the Civil Rights era. It also includes three online video documentaries about the desegregation of Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, the economic and moral cost of slums in Montgomery, Alabama, and a 1963 interview of Malcolm X. Note: requires registration (free)
  • Marshall Plan: contains numerous primary sources about Cold War policy, starting with George Marshall’s speech announcing economic aid to the European Recovery Program. It also includes a photo exhibit of postwar reconstruction projects as well as responses to the Marshall Plan from the U.S., the Soviet Union, and Western Europe.
  • Free Speech Movement: a digital archive of video, audio, photographs, and speeches from the student protests at Berkeley in 1964-1965.
  • Vietnam Policy: catalogs official correspondence about Vietnam policy from 1941 to 1975, including The Pentagon Papers, as well as retrospectives after the war in the New York Times and other publications.
  • Vietnam Reflections: a collection of “Galleries” containing imagery, stories, poems, songs, maps, and narratives from or about the Vietnam War era.
  • Postwar Architecture: includes photographs and essays by an art historian about public spaces in postwar urban and suburban America. Image collections include “Atomic Spaces: Living on the Manhattan Project,” “Levittown: Images from a Cultural History,” and “Public Art in Public Spaces: Contests and Spectacles on Block 37 (Chicago).”
  • Rachel Carson: An illustrated biography and bibliography of the ecologist whose 1962 book, Silent Spring, inspired the environmentalism movement.
  • Oak Ridge National Laboratory: an interactive timeline that explains the history of this government laboratory, from the first nuclear reactor in 1940 to electron microscope images of the silicon crystal in 1999.
  • Vietnam, A Different War: catalogs the New York Times’ coverage of the Vietnam War, along with veterans’ memories, maps, timelines, and a series of Times articles from 2000 that discuss the war and its aftermath.

Lesson Plans

  • Competing Voices of the Civil Rights Movement (two lessons)
  • The Origins of the Cold War, 1945-1949 (three lessons)
  • Anticommunism in Postwar America, 1945-54: Witch Hunt or Massacre? (three lessons)
  • The Korean War: ‘Police Action,’ 1950-1953
  • ‘The Missiles of the October’: The Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962
  • Jackie Robinson: Beyond the Playing Field
  • Documents Related to Brown v. Board of Education
  • Photographs and Pamphlets About Nuclear Fallout
  • The War in Vietnam: A Story in Photographs
  • America’s Space Program: Exploring a New Frontier
  • That in the Cold War: Eisenhower and Khrushchev at Gettysburg
  • Brown v. Board: Five Communities that Changed America
  • The Selma to Montgomery Voting Rights March: Shaking the Conscience of the Nation
  • Calisphere’s “Themed Collections” provide digitized photographs, written documents, oral histories, and artifacts which reveal the diverse history and culture of California and its role in national and world history. All collections are accompanied by discussion questions, historical and image overviews, and lesson plan activities that support the California Content Standards in History-Social Sciences and English-Language Arts.
  • The Free Speech Movement
  • Watts
  • Struggles for Social Justice: The Vietnam War
  • The Civil Rights Movement
  • Everyday Life
  • Jackie Steals Home (9-12)
  • From Jim Crow to Linda Brown (9-12)
  • Rounding the Bases: Race and Ethnicity in America (9-12)
  • The Living Room Candidate: Maintained by the Museum of the Moving Image, The Living Room Candidate contains more than 300 television commercials from every presidential election since 1952, including Dwight Eisenhower’s “I Like Ike” cartoon, Lyndon Johnson’s “Daisy” ad that ends in a nuclear explosion. This website also has eight downloadable lessons designed for use by high school teachers and students. Each lesson contains direct links to the relevant television or web ads.
  • Truman Library Archive categories include the Truman Doctrine, the Berlin airlift, the desegregation of the army, and the 1948 presidential campaign.
  • League of Nations Fishbowl Debate
  • Europe and the Cold War
  • The New Deal: Yesterday and Today
  • Truman Doctrine
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Supreme Court Packing Plan
  • Nuclear Age Peace Foundation: to create an “informed citizenry,” this website offers an interactive timeline, an image and audio archive, and texts of nuclear treaties. The Educators page includes lesson plans, study guides, sample syllabi, and recommended resources.