Tag: America in the 20th Century

The Korean War Redux: Hot Front in a Cold War

Korean War: 3rd platoon of D Co, 2nd Bn, 5th marines muster

June 1950: The Korean War Communist forces of North Korea ignited the Korean War in June 1950 by invading South Korea across the 38th parallel. The attack escalated the Cold War. It challenged the United States and its Western Allies. And it tested the resolve of the newly formed United Nations. The subsequent war was a

Looking Back at the Fourteen Points

Woodrow Wilson Fourteen Points Address to Congress

One century ago, on January 8, 1918, President Woodrow Wilson stood before a joint session of Congress to outline his “Fourteen Points” for a postwar peace. Nine months before, the United States had entered World War I, despite the president’s great efforts to find a peaceful resolution to the conflict. In his address, Wilson presented

Marshall Plan

Marshall Plan

Marshall Plan Washington DC 03 April 1948 In the immediate post-World War II period, Europe remained ravaged by war and thus susceptible to exploitation by both internal and external communist threats. In a June 5, 1947, speech to the graduating class at Harvard University, Secretary of State George C. Marshall issued a call for a

Brown v. Board of Education

Brown v. Board of Education telegram

Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka Supreme Court of the United States Washington DC 17 May 1954 The Louisiana Purchase has been described as the greatest real estate deal in history. In 1803 the United States paid France $15 million for the Louisiana Territory—some 828,000 square miles of land west of the Mississippi River.

Civil Rights Act (1964)

President Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Civil Rights Act of 1964 signed Washington DC 02 July 1964 The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was the most sweeping civil rights legislation enacted since Reconstruction. Championed by President Johnson, and passed largely along sectional lines (only eight southern representatives and senators combined voted in favor of the original versions of the bill) the

Emancipation Proclamation

Black man reading newspaper by candlelight Man reading a newspaper with headline, "Presidential Proclamation, Slavery," which refers to the Jan. 1863 Emancipation Proclamation. drawing : watercolor.

Emancipation Proclamation President Abraham Lincoln Washington D.C. 01 January 1863 Initially, the Civil War between North and South was fought by the North to prevent the secession of the Southern states and preserve the Union. Even though sectional conflicts over slavery had been a major cause of the war, ending slavery was not a goal

Zimmermann Telegram

Zimmermann headline

In 1916 Woodrow Wilson won a second term as president, in part because he promised to keep America out of the growing war in Europe. Within months, Wilson—with the support of an overwhelming majority of Americans—would renege on that pledge.  In January 1917, British code-breakers deciphered a secret telegram sent to Mexico by German Foreign Minister, Arthur

Ronald Reagan: The Evil Empire Speech

Ronald Reagan Evil Empire Speech

Speaking at the National Association of Evangelicals convention in Orlando, Florida, President Reagan lowered the temperature in the Cold War several degrees when he branded the Soviet Union an “evil empire.” The term was coined by Reagan’s chief speechwriter Anthony Dolan and represented the rhetorical side of the escalation in the geopolitical conflict. President Ronald Reagan: Evil

Franklin Roosevelt: D-Day Prayer

FDR - D-Day Appointment

On the night of June 6, 1944, President Roosevelt delivered a national radio address to the nation on the Allied invasion of Western Europe. The date and timing of the amphibious landing—the opening of the  long-awaited second front—had been top secret. Now, he acknowledged “success thus far” and urged the people to “devote themselves in a continuance of

Franklin Roosevelt: Annual Message to Congress on the State of the Union, 1941

Franklin Roosevelt, Four Freedoms

In January 1941, as the German Army advanced through Europe, many Americans continued to believed the United States should stay out of the war. As he stepped to the lectern in the U.S. Capitol building, President Roosevelt understood Britain’s need for American support. What followed was an eloquent and urgent appeal for continued aid to Great