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His/135

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Most Significant Events
The decades of the 50’s, 60’s 70’s 80’s and 90’s had many significant events that shaped America into the nation that it is today. The events of these decades shaped the United States into the nation that it is today. This paper will discuss issues that are relevant to each period in history beginning in the 1950’s and ending in the 1990’s. Exploring each period with due appreciation of what happened and what it accomplished in relation to the United States. It is written to awaken your thoughts of our past history. 1950’s Rosa Parks
On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks (the "mother of the Civil Rights Movement") refused to get up out of her seat on a public bus to make room for a white passenger.
Parks was arrested, tried, and convicted for disorderly conduct and violating a local ordinance. After word of this incident reached the black community, 50 African-
American leaders gathered and organized the Montgomery Bus Boycott to protest the segregation of blacks and whites on public buses. With the support of most of
Montgomery's 50,000 blacks, the boycott lasted for 381 days until the local laws segregating African-Americans and whites on public buses was lifted. Ninety percent of
African Americans in Montgomery took part in the boycotts, which reduced bus revenue by 80%. A federal court ordered Montgomery's buses desegregated in November 1956, and the boycott ended in triumph. A young Baptist minister named Martin Luther King,
Jr., was president of the Montgomery Improvement Association, the organization that directed the boycott. The protest made King a national figure. A Baptist minister, King became a civil rights activist early in his career. He led the Montgomery Bus Boycott and helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (1957), serving as its first president. His efforts led to the 1963 March on Washington, where King delivered his “I
Have a Dream” speech. 1960’s Martin Luther King Jr March on Washington Martin Luther King, Jr. was an American activist, and prominent leader in the African American civil rights movement. He is best known for being an iconic figure in the advancement of civil rights in the United States and around the world, using nonviolent methods following the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi. King is often presented as a heroic leader in the history of modern American liberalism. He led the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott and helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Confrence in 1957, serving as its first president. His efforts led to the 1963March On Washington where he delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech. There, he expanded American values to include the vision of a color blind society, and established his reputation as one of the greatest orators in American history. In 1964, King became the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for his work to end racial segregation and racial discrimination. By the time of his death in 1968, he had refocused his efforts on ending poverty and stopping the Vietnam War.
Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968, in Memphis Tennessee. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was established as a United States national holiday in 1986. The march originally was made as an event to state the desperate condition of blacks in the south of the United States and a very public opportunity to place organizers' concerns and grievances squarely before the seat of power in the nation's capital. The march made specific demands and to end racial segregation in public schools; meaningful civil rights legislation, including a law prohibiting racial discrimination in employment; protection of civil rights workers from police brutality. More than a quarter million people of diverse ethnicities attended the event, sprawling from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial onto the National Mall and around the reflecting pool. At the time, it was the largest gathering of protesters in Washington's history. Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech electrified the crowd. It is regarded, along with Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Adress and Franklin D Roosevelt’s Infamy Speech, as one of the finest speeches in the history of American oratory (Wikipedia Martin Luther King, Jr., 2010). The March, and especially King's speech, helped put civil rights at the very top the liberal political aganda in the United States and facilitated passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. 1970’s Watergate Scandal
The term water is a term a term that is used to describe a complex web of political scandals between 1972 and 1974. The word specifically refers to the Watergate Hotel in
Washington D.C. on June of 1972 burglars broke into the Democratic National
Headquarters to bug their telephones. These men were members of the ‘Plumbers’, a group of anti-Castro Cuban refugees, former FBI agents and former CIA agents among others. The group was strongly Republican. The place they broke into was The Watergate
Hotel. In the early 1970’s the United States was still reeling from the troubles times of the 1960’s.
One of the biggest issues that had started in the 60’s and carried over to the
70’s was the war in Vietnam. But many people’s opinions of the war had changed from the 60’s to the 70’s, Daniel Ellsberg was one of these individuals. He was a former defense department analyst, and his thoughts on the war had turned and in 1971 he turned over a secret Pentagon report concerning the history of the war to the New York Times. The Times immediately began to publish what would later become known as the
“Pentagon Papers” which greatly angered many people in charge of the country including
President Nixon. When Nixon became unable to stop the publication of the papers through legal channels, he turned in another direction for help. The Plumbers were a ‘secret’ unit created and maintained by the White House with the expressed purpose of ‘fixing leaks’ in the administration. The Plumbers were immediately charged with going after Ellsberg. The thought was that if the papers publication could not be stopped, the next step would be to discredit the man who provided those papers. This included breaking into Ellsberg’s psychiatrist’s office to dig up what they could. They worked tirelessly at their goal and were soon rewarded with another job in the following election year: derailing the Democratic ticket. On June 17,
1972 a group of men broke into the DNC Headquarters to find what they could and to bug the offices. An alert security guard noticed the break in and called the police who took the burglars into custody. Over the next few days and months, amazing insights into these men came out. One of the burglars used to be a GOP security aide, another was found to have a 25,000$ check that was supposed to have gone to Nixon’s re-election campaign. In fact, it turned out that all of the burglars were on the payroll of the
Committee to Re-Elect the President (C.R.E.E.P.).
As the connection between these burglars and the Republican White House grew stronger, several White House staffers were forced to resign and White House Chief Counsel John Dean resigned. Rumors swirled about the break-in, the similar events that many believed had also occurred and Nixon’s involvement in it all. The investigation by the Senate continued to move forward and continued to be bad for the president as John Dean admitted under oath that he had discussions with the President concerning Watergate and how to cover it up. In July things got worse for the president when it came out that had a sophisticated taping system set up in the Oval Office with which he had taped all of his conversations. The Senate Committee and Special Prosecutor Cox immediately requested that Nixon hand the tapes over. Citing everything from National Security to Executive Privilege, Nixon refused to hand over the tapes and on August 8, 1974 Richard M. Nixon became the first United States President to resign. 1980’s Reaganomics The term Reaganomics refers to former president Ronald Reagan’s policies to change the course of the U.S. economic policy. Reagan’s program which he started in 1981 had four major objectives: reduce the growth of government spending, reduce the marginal tax rates on income from both labor and capital, reduce regulation, and reduce inflation by controlling the growth of the money supply. These major policy changes, in turn, were expected to increase saving and investment, increase economic growth, balance the budget, restore healthy financial markets, and reduce inflation and interest rates. The
Reagan era was marked by cuts to social programs, and large-scale deficit spending on the military. Reaganomics had its roots in two of his campaign promises: lower taxes and a smaller government. He reduced income tax rates, with the largest rate reductions on the highest incomes; in a time of battling inflation, he also raised deficit spending to its highest level since World War II.

1990’s Collapse of the Soviet Union The collapse of the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics radically changed the world's economic and political environment. No other conflict of interest dominated the post World War Two world like the cold war did. One man is credited with ending the cold war, Mikhail Gorbachev. This however was not the biggest event Gorbachev was responsible for. The end of the cold war was just a by-product of the other major event he was involved with. That is the fall of communism in the USSR and the collapse of the USSR itself. Gorbachev a communist reformer was appointed General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in 1985. His appointment followed the death of three previous Soviet leaders in three years.
Leonid Brezhnev was first to go followed by Yuri Andropov and Konstantin Chernenko. Not being able to afford another short term leader the old guard appointed the youthful 56 year old Mikhial Gorbachev as General Secretary.From the outside it seemed as if this great superpower self destructed in only three months. The USSR's demise is of course more complicated than this. The break up of the USSR can be traced back to Gorbachevs appointment and his early reforms. Gorbachev introduced a wide ranging program of reform. His major reforms were glasnost, perestroika and democratisation. These reforms allowed the problems of the USSR to be uncovered and become public knowledge.Ethnic unrest, economic inefficiency and historical atrocities were the major challenges Gorbachev faced. How he dealt with these challenges and how successful he was is examined in this report
Conclusion
With my conclusion I would like to predict that in the next ten years America will see itself out of the down times and recession that we seem to be in. The current war in Iraq will be over but the war on terrorism will still be going on. We will take all of the jobs that were created for the war and start a new age in which unemployment will be down, spending will be down, and a bright and new future will loom on the horizon as we as a country will start taking care of our problems here at home before we start other problems abroad.…...

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