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The 1950s: A Decade of Change in Technology, Workforce, Consumer Culture, Civil Rights, and Foreign

Technology and Aerospace

1. Describe the changes in technology and aerospace during the 1950s.

2. Explain the diverging trajectories of the work force and organized labor during the 1950s.

3. What popular 1950s TV shows celebrated the new "cult of domesticity"?

4. In numbers, describe the growing "pink-collar ghetto" of jobs dominated by women.

5. Describe the differing viewpoints on the social and psychological shocks brought on by the explosion of work opportunities for women.

6. Describe changes in consumer culture during the 1950s in the following areas: food, television (& advertising), religion, sports, music, and sex

7. Identify implications of the new consumer lifestyle as portrayed by the works of Riesman, Whyte, Wilson, and Galbraith.

8. Who are the candidates in the 1952 election? What role does television play (be sure to understand the significance of the "Checkers Speech")? What role does the Red Scare play?

9. What finally prompted the armistice in the Korean War? What were the costs of this war: human, monetary, political?

10. Describe the state of Jim Crow in the South during the 1950s. How does voter registration attest to these laws' effectiveness?

11. Explain how Paul Robeson, Josephine Baker, Gunnar Myrdal, and Jackie helped frame the debate about equality for African Americans.

12. Identify the rulings of early Supreme Court victories in the Civil Rights movement.

13. Beyond the integration of Montgomery's busses, why is the bus boycott, prompted by Rosa Parks, so important to the Civil Rights movement in the long term?

14. Explain the ruling of the Warren court's decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas (1955). What finally prompts Eisenhower to move to support the decision?

15. What were the provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1957?

16. Identify the SCLC and The Greensboro Four, and explain how they impacted the civil rights movement.

17. How did "Ike" strive to balance the budget and protect the U.S. from "creeping socialism"?

18. Describe how Mexican immigrants and Native Americans were affected by "Ike's" policies.

19. Despite being an anti New/Fair Dealer, what one project of Eisenhower's dwarfed anything from the aforementioned programs? What were the pros and cons of this investment?

20. Who is John Foster Dulles and how did his version of containment differ from Kennan's?

21. What is the Strategic Air Command and what was its purpose? What airplane (alluded to in the section "Affluence and it's Anxieties) would be the flagship of the SAC, able to blow up a Rock Lobster or even a Loveshack?

Workforce and Organized Labor

22. How did the Hungarian uprising expose the flaw in Dulles' "massive retaliation" doctrine?

23. In a timeline, chronicle the Vietnam nightmare from 1919 through 1956, and including the following topics: self-determination, communism, French colonial war, Dien Bien Phu, Geneva conference, elections that never happened, and Ngo Dinh Diem.

24. What prompts the CIA to engineer a coup in Iran in 1953? Who is put into power and what were the short and long term consequences of this covert US action?

25. Explain the Suez crisis. Why? Who was involved? What was the final outcome?

26. What prompted Congress to pass the Landrum-Griffin Act in 1959? What did this law do?

27. What event launched the Soviets ahead of America on October 4, 1957? What critical questions orbited around this event? How would America thrust back?

28. How does the American education system change as a result of Soviet space success?

29. What progress was made on the subject of nuclear testing in 1958?

30. What developments show promise for a cold war thaw in relations in 1958 and 1959? Also, explain how this hopeful “spirit of Camp David” was blown out of the sky in 1960. (Hint: a "Bonafide” rock band is named after the plane)

31. Provide evidence of souring U.S. - Latin American relations during "Ike's" presidency. Explain the important defeat of the containment policy in the Caribbean.

32. Who are the candidates in the 1960 election? What role does religion play? What role does television play? Who won and what are the many significance of his victory?

33. What stars are added to the flag in 1959?

34. For each of the following artists/authors, know their style/topic and major titles of their works: Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Andy Warhol, Frank Lloyd Wright, I.M. Pei, Norman Mailer, Joseph Heller, Kurt Vonnegut, John Updike, Robert Lowell, Sylvia Plath, Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller, Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, William S. Burroughs, J.D. Salinger, Harper Lee, Richard Wright, James Baldwin, William Faulkner, Robert Penn Warren

35. How do Kennedy’s presidential cabinet and programs demonstrate the “New Frontier” spirit?

36. What setbacks does President Kennedy’s New Frontier program face?

37. What steps does President Kennedy take to expand America’s space exploration?

38. Describe the steps taken by the United States to expand trade with Europe.

39. What special problems stand in the way of U.S. foreign policy?

40. Describe how the United States becomes increasingly involved in South Vietnam from 1961-1963.

41. Describe the Alliance for Progress and its level of success.

42. What was the result of the Bay of Pigs invasion?

43. Describe the Cuban missile crisis and the actions of both Kennedy and Khrushchev. What is the end result of this conflict?

44. What was the goal of the Freedom Riders?

45. Describe the steps taken by the Kennedy administration to support the cause of civil rights in 1962 and 1963.

46. What was the significance of the campaign to end discrimination in Birmingham, Alabama?

47. Why was the summer of 1963 so significant for the civil rights movement?

48. Even as gains were being made, what two events from June-September 1963 demonstrated the violence of southern whites against African Americans?

49. Describe the events of the Kennedy assassination.

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