Topics

Understanding our world and that of our enemies

Joseph Stalin

Josef Vissarionovich Djugashvili, born in December 1878 in Georgia, assumed the name Stalin (man of steel) in his 30s. Growing up the poor, only child of a shoemaker and laundress, he attended a Georgian Orthodox seminary as a young man. Inspired by the works of Karl...

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Hitler’s Normal Voice

Adolf Hitler speaking with Carl Gustaf Mannerheim on a private train in Finland in 1942.   So accustomed to the usual ranting nature of Adolf Hitler's speeches, we find it difficult to imagine his normal conversational tone. This is purported to be the only known...

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Interstate Bus Segregation

In June 1946 the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Virginia law requiring racial segregation on commercial interstate buses as a violation of the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution. The appellant Irene Morgan, riding an interstate Greyhound bus in 1944 had been...

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Chinese Civil War Resumes

The civil war between Chinese Nationalists and Communists, begun in 1927, was put on hold during the fight against Imperial Japan in WWII.  After the Japanese surrender in August 1945, the Chinese Communist Party and the Nationalists agreed to peace talks and a...

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Life in Postwar America

Cost of Living 1946 Average Cost of new house $5,600.00 Average wages per year $2,500.00 Cost of a gallon of Gas 15 cents Average Cost of a new car $1,120.00 Worlds First Electric Blanket $39.50 Men's Ties $1.50 Watermans Pen $8.75 Chicken 41 cents per pound ...

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America in 1950

I have begun collecting images for my next book about the Korean War. (I'm jumping my own timeline here - we'll get back to 1946 with the next post) Check out my PINTEREST board ~ America in 1950 Any corrections (sometimes it's hard to pinpoint 1950 exactly since most...

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Philippine Independence

The Philippines was colonized by Spain in the 16th century. In 1898 Filipino rebels led by Emilio Aguinaldo and U.S. troops ousted the Spanish in the Spanish-American War. However, Philippine independence was thwarted when the U.S. formally annexed the country as part...

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Bikini Bathing Suit

  In the 1930s, European women wore two-piece bathing suits consisting of a halter top and shorts with some midriff visible -- the navel was always hidden.   On Jul 5,1946  the bikini bathing suit, created by former civil engineer Louis Reard, made its debut during a...

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Bikini Atoll Atomic Bomb

On 1 July 1946, the United States conducted Operation Crossroads Test Able, the first of a series of 67 American nuclear tests after WWII. The explosion took place at the Bikini Atoll lagoon, situated in the Marshall Islands in the Pacific Ocean.   The bomb, almost...

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Harry Truman

  Harry S. Truman (1884 – 1972) was the 33rd President of the United States from 1945–1953. A WWI veteran, Truman assumed the presidency upon the death of Franklin Roosevelt in April 1945. Some of his accomplishments include implementing the Marshall Plan to rebuild...

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Dr. Benjamin Spock

Although apparently narrated by a robot, this video neatly summarizes the essence of Dr. Benjamin Spock's advice to post-WWII parents.     The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care, published in 1946, sold over 50 million copies by the time of Spock's death in...

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North & South Korea

This rapid-fire video is an excellent summary of Korean history since the 19th century. The division of Korea between North and South occurred after WWII, ending the Empire of Japan's 35-year rule over Korea in 1945. The United States and the Soviet Union occupied two...

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Cannes Film Festival

  Although originally scheduled to be held in Cannes in 1939, the outbreak of WWII delayed the opening of the first International Film Festival until September 1946 when twenty-one countries presented their films. Held on the French Riviera, the festival was designed...

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 Ho Chi Minh

Ho Chi Minh, born in 1880 into the family of a poor country scholar as Nguyen Sinh Cung (also called Nguyen Tat Thanh or Nguyen Ai Quoc) attended grammar school in Hue, taught school in Phan Thiet, and was apprenticed at a technical institute in Saigon.   In 1911 Ho...

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An Artist of the Floating World

An Artist of the Floating World by Kazuo Ishiguro presents the viewpoint of an elderly artist Masuji Ono in postwar Japan. His wife and son have been killed in the war, and many young people blame their elders for leading the country into disaster. As Ono recalls his...

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Soviet Propaganda

This quirky, undated Soviet propaganda film reflects the Communist view of Western imperialism during the Cold War.

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He May Be a Communist

While a bit over-the-top (Jack Webb?), this U.S. Army film made in 1950 reflects the post-WWII Cold War mentality.

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Marshall Plan

Named after United States Secretary of State George Marshall (U.S. Army Chief of Staff during WWII), the Marshall Plan (European Recovery Program)  had bipartisan support in Washington. An American initiative to assist Western Europe with recovery after WWII, the...

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Baby Boom

We were the War Children 1945 When all the soldiers came marching home Love looks in their eye                -Van Morrison Almost exactly nine months after World War II ended, “the cry of the baby was heard across the land,” as historian Landon Jones later described...

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Hawaiian Tsunami

In April 1946 two large undersea earthquakes occurred off the Alaskan coast and a tidal wave, nearly 100 feet high, crashed onto the shore at Unimak Island, Alaska. A lighthouse located 30 feet above sea level, was smashed to pieces, killing five people. Five hours...

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Post-War Christmas

Christmas in America after WWII reflected a period of peace, productivity, and prosperity.  ...

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Japanese Women Vote

In the April 1946 Japanese elections, women had the right to vote for the first time. 39 women were elected to office. After WWII, the Imperial Rule Assistance Association caucus broke up and three major political parties emerged: Liberal Party - right-wing, founded...

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Kim Il-sung

From the Korean Movie: 백두산 전편 (Mount Paektu - First part) The words in the film are from the North Korean poet Cho Ki-chon's epic poem Mt. Paektu written in 1947. The poem relates the (possibly exaggerated?) story of the guerilla fighter Kim Il sung in the 1937 Battle...

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Hermes Rocket Project

The American Hermes Missile Project began in 1944 in response to Germany's rocket attacks in Europe. After the war, with the help of captured German rocket scientists, General Electric assembled V-2 rockets at the White Sands, New Mexico Proving Grounds. The first...

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The Rescued Film Project

The Rescued Film Project recovers unclaimed rolls of film from the 1930s to 1990s. These recently-discovered photos from an unknown WWII soldier show every day events that may give you a sense of time and place: The Rescued Film Project In what year and to where do...

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