Truman - Vice President to FDR. Became president after FDR died in April 1945. Had to decide whether or not to use the atomic bomb against Japan, though he previously did not know about the bomb until he became president. He decided on using it against Japan, dropping one over Hiroshima destroying nearly the whole city and killing 70,000 of the population and dropping a second one days later over Nagasaki. The public began to criticize his decision. Created the Truman Doctrine which provided political, military, and economical assistance to all democratic nations under threat from external or internal authoritarian forces.
Martin Luther King Jr - Civil rights activist. His most famous speech “I Have a Dream” of 1963 began by invoking the unfulfilled promise of emancipation. Presented the case for black rights that connected to black experience of the nation. Wanted peaceful civil disobedience rather than violence. Formed the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1956, a coalition of black ministers and civil rights activists to press for desegregation. Called for a “Bill of Rights for the Disadvantaged” in 1964 to mobilize the nation’s resources to abolish economic deprivation. Launched the Chicago Freedom Movement in 1966 with demands to end discrimination by employers and unions, equal access to mortgages, the integration of public housing, and the construction of low income housing scattered throughout the region. In 1967, he condemned the administration’s Vietnam policy as an unconscionable use of violence and for draining resources from the needs at home.
the Marshal Plan - In a speech at Harvard University in June 1947, Secretary of State George C. Marshall pledged the U.S. to contribute billions of dollars to finance the economic recovery of Europe. The Marshall Plan offered a positive vision to go along with containment. Insisted that “Our policy is directed not against any country or doctrine, but against hunger, poverty, desperation, and chaos.” The Marshall Plan proved to be one of the most successful foreign aid programs in history.
the Cold War - Happened after World War II between mainly the U.S. and Soviet Union. It was to dominate international affairs. The first confrontation of the Cold War took place in the middle east when Soviet troops occupied parts of northern Iran, hoping to pressure that country to grant it access to its rich oil fields. During the Cold War the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan had been developed. U.S., Canada, and ten western European nations established the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), pledging mutual defense against any future Soviet attack. Korea had been divided in 1945 into Soviet and American zones: Communist North Korea and anticommunist South Korea.
Watergate - In June 1972, five former employees of Nixon’s reelection committee took part in a break-in at Democratic Party headquarters in the Watergate apartment complex in Washington D.C. The burglars were tried in front of Judge John J. Sirica. In 1973, he determined to find out who had sponsored the break-in. A pair of Washington Post journalists began publishing investigative stories that made it clear that persons close to the president had ordered the burglary and then tried to “cover up” White House involvement. When it became known that Nixon had made tape recordings of conversations in his office, Archibald Cox, a special prosecutor the president appointed to investigate the Watergate affair, demanded the tapes. In October 1973, Nixon proposed to allow Senator John C. Stennis of Mississippi to review the tapes, rather than releasing them. When Cox refused to agree, Nixon fired him. These events were known as the Saturday Night Massacre. The Supreme Court unanimously ordered Nixon to provide the tapes.
Iran-Contra affairs - The Iran-Contra Affairs is the American involvement in Central America that produced the greatest scandal of Reagan’s presidency. In 1984, Congress banned…