Web Links: Consensus America, 1945-1960

WWII and its Aftermath

US War Department description of the first successful atomic bomb test,
July 1945
US government statement urging Japanese surrender after the dropping of
the atomic bomb
NSA archive of documents on decison to drop the atomic bomb
White House press release on the dropping of the atomic bomb on

Site on the 1945-1949 Nazi Nuremberg War Crime Trials (on the website of the School of Law for the University of Missouri-Kansas City)
Overview of Impact of Women on and by WWII (from Univ of Arizona Women's Studies Dept)
Role of Women in WWII (including posters, audio, and links) (Library of Congress website)




Promotion of products to stock in a nuclear fallout shelter


Cold War Culture

Nuclear Fallout Shelters & the Civil Defense agency
Profile on the cutting-edge TV series "The Twilight Zone" (which got its start
in the late 1950s)
On Eleanor Roosevelt's post-presidency career as a human-rights activist
Profile of Sen. Estes Kefauver's 1951 hearings on the spread of organized crime


Popular Culture Sites

FBI Investigation on Marilyn Monroe (accounts of publicity about Monroe's alleged affairs and speculation about the circumstances surrounding her death)
Lucille Ball-- PBS "American Masters" overview of her career
"I Love Lucy" fan site on its episodes
Museum of Broadcast Communications website on "I Love Lucy" show
Profile on TV's "Father Knows Best" family-oriented 1950s series
Profile on TV's "Leave It to Beaver" family-oriented 1950s sitcom
Fan Site on life of film star James Dean, including biography, timeline of his
life, and film information
Transcript of historians' discussing legacy and importance of G.I. Bill for the
PBS website overview of the late 1950s quiz show phenomenon, which gave
the country the unsettling late 1950s Quiz Show Scandal
PBS website profile of the "$64,000 Question" (which ran from 1955-1958)--
one of the immensely popular game shows, from which the late 1950s Quiz
Show Scandal emerged
PBS website on baseball star Joe DiMaggio
PBS website on Tupperware & its influence on women and 1950s American
popular culture
Life magazine look at the 50th anniversary of the post-WWII Baby Boom
Chapter 1 of Betty Friedan's highly influential look back at women in the late
1950s:  The Feminine Mystique (1963).  The book was an influential
foundation for the women's movement of the 1960s and 1970s
University of Illinois-Chicago website look at Levittown
National Museum of American History's website on the 1950s consumerist
craze of Paint by Numbers (which some critics saw as yet another
indication of the era's conformity and limitations on individual creativity and
Author John Steinbeck's 1959 letter to friend and politician Adlai Stevenson, expressing dismay about the nation's morality following news of the TV quiz show scandals


Emergence of the Cold War: International Developments

Secretary of State George C. Marshall's 1947 speech outlining the Marshall Plan to rebuild Western Europe
A 1946 Chronology of important events escalating the Cold War (with links)
Overview of the creation and history of the National Security Agency
Diplomat George Kennan's influential 1947 essay, "The Sources of Soviet Conflict," which shaped America's early post-war policy to the Soviet Union


Korean War

Truman Library on the Korean War
PBS American Experience website on Gen. Douglas MacArthur (famous
WWII and early Cold War General)
The 1951 highly controversial dismissal of Gen. Douglas MacArthur by President Truman at the height of the Korean War (for publicly opposing official White House policy on the war)

(1) Pres. Harry Truman's announcement of the announcement of the dismissal.
(2) Gen. Douglas MacArthur's famous April 1951 speech to Congress after his
dismissal by President Truman (which included the renowned line, "Old soldiers never die, they just fade away")

Average Americans' responses to the White House denouncing President
Truman's 1951 highly controversial dismissal of Gen. Douglas MacArthur at
the height of the Korean War:
An average American's letter
Another citizen's letter
Telephone messages

Korean War website (joint project of the Truman & Eisenhower presidential


Truman Administration, 1945-1953

White House Website Biography on Harry Truman
Another Overview of the Truman Presidency with a number of links
PBS American Experience Website with a Wide Array on Truman


Official Truman Library website




Eisenhower Administration, 1953-1961

Pres. Eisenhower's famous "Farewell Address," January 1961
PBS website on Eisenhower (including a number of links to documents)
Eisenhower Center site at the University of Kansas
White House website profile of Eisenhower
Richard Nixon's famous September 1952 "Checkers" speech, denying allegations of financial improprieties during his run for the vice presidency
Documents related to the 1960 "U2 crisis" when an American spy plane
crashed in the Soviet Union, spawning the capturing and Soviet show trial of
the surviving American pilot
Eisenhower 1959 State of the Union address (including announcing the new National Goals Commission)

Eisenhower running mate Richard Nixon's famous 1952 "Checkers" speech defending himself from charges of financial improprieties


The Second Red Scare/McCarthyism

A critical look at the career of Sen. Joseph McCarthy (Univ of Wisconsin Oshkosh)
New York Times links to original articles on the Alger Hiss case
site on the Alger Hiss case (on the website of the School of Law for the
University of Missouri-Kansas City)-- including transcripts and video clips
An overview of espionage issues and events during the Second Red Scare
Walt Disney friendly testimony before HUAC, October 24, 1947
Ronald Reagan HUAC testimony, October 23, 1947
site on Rosenbergs trial (on the website of the School of Law for the
University of Missouri-Kansas City)



Race in the Consensus Era

Library of Congress Website on Jackie Robinson
Interview with Brooklyn Dodgers Owner Branch Rickey (who introduced Jackie Robinson into the major leagues)
Jackie Robinson letter written in gratitude to departing Brooklyn Dodgers Owner Branch Rickey (for his role in introducing him into the major leagues in 1947)
Brooklyn Dodgers owner Branch Rickey (in a 1956 speech) discusses the problems he faced in integrating major league baseball.
National Archives documents related to Jackie Robinson
President Truman's 1948 Executive Order on civil rights estabilishing
President's Committee on Equality of Treatment and Opportunity in the
Armed Services
President Truman's Executive Order 9981, which desegregated the U.S.
Armed Forces
1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision, Brown v. Board of Education (which
desegregated the public school system, and overturned the 1896 Plessy
The shocking confession of the white murderers of Emmett Till (his 1955
murder by whites set off a national firestorm over the lingering abuses of the
Jim Crow South-- and thus helped pave the way for early civil rights
movement), as published in Look magazine, January 1956
Extensive site on the Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955-56 (including original news articles, biographies of boycott figures, timelines, and video clips)

Documents relating to the 1957 Little Rock School desegregation crisis
        (including correspondence between Pres. Eisenhower & Arkansas Gov. 





Beat Movement

1947 Letter to Jack Kerouac from Neal Cassady (an inspiration for the spontaneous lifestyle embodied in On the Road)
Some sound clips of Jack Kerouac reading poetry
Gregory Corso 1958 poem, "BOMB"
Gregory Corso poem, "Marriage"
Lawrence Ferlinghetti's Poem No. 20 from  'A Coney Island of the Mind'
Allen Ginsberg's poem "Howl", parts I & II
A Beat Movement novelist (Clellon Holmes) writes a November 1952 New York Times magazine verbal snapshot of the rising Beat Movement