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1950s & Civil Rights. Purpose: to defy Jim Crow laws, desegregating society and provide equal opportunity to African Americans Blacks had been disenfranchised since the late 1800s, regardless of a Constitutional Amendment allowing them equal rights

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1950s civil rights

1950s & Civil Rights

Purpose: to defy Jim Crow laws, desegregating society and provide equal opportunity to African Americans

Blacks had been disenfranchised since the late 1800s, regardless of a Constitutional Amendment allowing them equal rights

Abuse of federal and state powers allow the continuation for discrimination against blacks

emmett till murder case
Emmett Till Murder case
  • 1955, 14 year old Till was murdered for flirting with a white woman
  • The men indicted for the crime were acquitted on account the jury consisted of all white males
  • Body was found in the Tallahatchie River in Mississippi
  • He was kidnapped, shot and tortured
efforts to progress
Efforts to progress
  • NAACP was an organization responsible for the legal enforcement of African American rights
  • Rosa Parks is arrested for refusing her seat on the bus for a white man
  • This event sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott lead by Martin Luther King Jr.
  • Civil disobedience became the leading philosophy for black civil rights activists
truman congress and eisenhower
Truman, Congress and Eisenhower
  • When Truman became aware of the severity of the situation he ended segregation in the military and caused integration within combat units
  • Congress stubbornly resisted any civil rights legislations
  • Eisenhower did not show any interest in the social issue
brown v board of education
Brown v. Board of Education
  • May 1954, overturned the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson decision “separate but equal” facilities are not unconstitutional
  • B v. B of E decision states segregation within schools is unconstitutional
  • Deep southern states enforced state laws which allowed them to defy federal law
  • Without federal enforcement, segregation would continue
little rock nine integrate at central high school
“Little Rock Nine” integrate at Central High School
  • Eisenhower believed Brown v. Board decision disrupted the “customs and convictions of at least two generations of Americans”
  • “I do not believe that palpably unjustifiable prejudices will succumb to compulsion”
  • September 1957, Governor or Arkansas mobilized the National Guard to prevent 9 black students from integrating Central High School in Little Rock Arkansas
sclc mlk
  • Southern Christian Leadership Conference established by MLK in 1957
  • Purpose: mobilize black churches to enforce civil rights
  • Why churches?
  • The largest black organizations in the country
greensboro sit in
Greensboro “sit-in”
  • Feburary 1, 1960 Greensboro North Carolina
  • Four black college students from NC tech sat at a counter in Woolworth
  • Upon being refused for service, they refused to leave the establishment
  • They returned the next day with 19 other classmates
  • The movement spread throughout the South
  • April 1960, southern black students organized the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee
  • They organized sit-ins and in the future, would be responsible for more radical approaches towards gaining civil rights
  • Known for their practice in civil disobedience but will move towards more militant tactics in the future
  • Ho Chi Minh – leader of Communist North Vietnam
  • 1954, U.S. taxpayers financed 80% of the French colonial Indochinese war
  • Ngo Dinh Diem – leader of pro-western government South Vietnam
  • Vietnamese never held promised elections and Vietnam remained divided
  • Eisenhower promised economic and military aid to Diem’s regime if S. Vietnam undertook social reform
  • Why did the U.S. support the Vietnam War?
  • The French were involved in the Indochinese War. Therefore, the U.S. supported France in order to gain approval to rearm West Germany.
u s european affairs
U.S. & European Affairs
  • West Germany joined NATO and brought 500k troops
  • Warsaw Pact provided a counter military presence in Europe
  • Arms-control agreements were signed in May 1955 and Soviets agreed to end the occupation in Austria
  • U.S. admitted Hungarian refugees after false peace in Europe sprung violent outbreaks
  • Hungarians protested for their independence and the Soviets crushed them with opposition
coup to crush communism
Coup to crush Communism
  • CIA organized a coup in Iran 1953, which would allow control over oil interests for the Western world
  • Installed a young shah as leader of Iran
  • In future endeavors, U.S. would try to overthrow his regime
  • Oil consumption had peaked upon discovery and the U.S. has yet another issue: oil resources
eisenhower doctrine space race
Eisenhower Doctrine & Space Race
  • U.S. provides military and economic aid to Middle Eastern countries threatened by Communist aggression
  • During the Cold War, the U.S. and Soviets had a bitter rivalry with nuclear arms and scientific innovation
  • October 4th 1957, Soviets successfully deploy a satellite, “Sputnik” which orbits the moon
  • NASA was established and U.S. becomes first country to have someone land on the moon
u s vs the world
U.S. vs. the World
  • Environmental issues plague society and the field of science
  • May 1960, U2 spy plane shot down in Russia
  • Fidel Castro started a Cuban revolution in 1959, and U.S. retaliated with an embargo
  • Cuba becomes a economic and military satellite to Russia
  • 1961 U.S. breaks diplomatic ties with Cuba
presidential election
Presidential Election
  • Richard Nixon – R, Vice President to Dwight Eisenhower
  • John F. Kennedy – D, young, attractive and great communication skills
  • Kennedy claimed the Soviets had been given the upper had through nuclear threat and the space race
  • Nixon said the administration had not fallen, but Kennedy was causing it to with unpatriotic rhetoric
presidential debates on tv
Presidential Debates on TV
  • The invention of the TV, for the first time, allowed the America public to be influenced by image
  • Kennedy was young and attractive. He knew how to speak to the American people
  • Nixon appeared older and tired. He slipped up during his debates with Kennedy
  • Vision greatly influenced the outcome of the debate
  • Represents a sexual revolution, civil rights revolution, feminist revolution and the emergence of the “youth culture”
  • Computers were invented, McDonald’s were established, the credit card was made and Disneyland was built
  • Elvis emerges as a rock and sex icon
  • Marilyn Monroe was popularized through her overt sexuality
  • Berlin Wall built in 1961 to divide East Germany and West Germany
  • Represented post WWI division of Europe
u s and foreign issues
U.S. and Foreign Issues
  • Kennedy reduces tariffs and tries to expand American Markets in Europe
  • President of France shows opposition to American influence in Europe and pushes decolonization of European nations
  • Congo gains its independence from Belgium and violence breaks out
  • Kennedy improves military tactics through Secretary of Defense McNamara, increases tactful military spending and the Green Berets emerge
vietnam war
Vietnam War
  • Original intent: to aid social reform in S. Vietnam
  • Anti-Diem agitators threatened to overthrow the pro-American govt. Diem established
  • November 1963, Kennedy encourages a coup against Diem
  • U.S. provided large sums of financing to S. Vietnam. Kennedy’s decision allowed the disintegration of S. Vietnam. It destroyed the original plan in Vietnam
bay of pigs invasion
Bay of Pigs Invasion
  • April 17 1961
  • CIA-backed scheme to overthrow Castro’s regime was implemented
  • 1200 Cuban exiles with weapons supplied by the U.S. invaded Cuba
  • The coup failed and the exiles were jailed
  • The failed attempt to assassinate Castro pushed him further onto the Soviet’s side
cuban missile crisis
Cuban Missile Crisis
  • October 1962, spy plane aerial photos show presence of Soviet missiles on Cuban airfields
  • October 22, 1962 Kennedy orders a naval quarantine of Cuba. Demanded removal of missiles
  • U.S. tells Soviets any Cuban aggression would be seen as Soviet retaliation and would result in nuclear retaliation
  • Soviets agree to remove missiles and the U.S. would remove missiles from Turkey and end quarantine
freedom riders
Freedom Riders
  • Civil Rights group organize a trip through the segregated South
  • Participators would go into segregated bus facilities and defy state segregation laws
  • Groups were met by angry mobs
  • Non violent resistance was used against violent protest
  • Many were brutalized and attacked
kennedy civil rights
Kennedy & Civil Rights
  • In the early days of his administration, Kennedy’s concern was on Soviet Russia, and saw Civil Rights as a nuisance
  • After violence broke out against protesters in the South, his efforts to relieve racial tension began
  • Many did not like Kennedy for his efforts in the Civil Rights Movements
march on washington
March on Washington
  • MLK lead 200k for the March on Washington in 1963 where he gave his famous “I have a Dream” speech
  • Kennedy called racial violence a “moral issue”
  • Civil Rights activist Medgar Evers murdered in Mississippi the same night Kennedy gives his Civil Rights speech
  • September 1963, Baptist Church bombed killing four black girls