Socially, economically and, politically, the 1950's were the "happy days." The 1950's were marked with many historical events, positive and negative. The decade had its downfalls, but they were nothing compared to the improvement of life in all aspects. The economy was booming, making families feel more financially stable than they had in years. There was an "explosion of science and technology"(Brinkley 803). Medical advances, at this time, included the polio vaccination. Unemployment was down, the economy was up, and family life showed the morale of the American people was much higher than it had been in many years.
In the first few years of the fifties while Harry Truman was still President, the United States and the U.S.S.R. were rivals. The American people and the government feared communism; espionage was a high priority to the government. Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin made a claim during a 1950 speech that led to congressional investigations into the accused communists.
McCarthy claimed to "hold in [his] hand a list of 205 known communists currently working in the American State Department" (Brinkley 794). These claims were taken seriously by Congress because that same year, the McCarran Internal Security Act was passed. This act required "all communist organizations to register with the government and to publish their records" (Brinkley 793).
Dwight D. Eisenhower was elected President in 1952, ending the dismal Truman Administration. It was during Eisenhower's two terms in office that the modern Civil Rights Movement really began. In 1954, the Supreme Court voted that racial segregation in schools was unconstitutional in the famous case of Brown vs. The Board of Education in Topeka, Kansas. The next year, they handed down a second part to the previous ruling with possible ways to integrate. It wasn't until 1957, however, that black students were able...