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Whats Cooler than being Cool? Cold War!

Name: _____________________________________

Period: _____

The Aftermath of WWII

After Hitlers defeat in Europe, two superpowers emerged. The Soviet Union and the United
States were clearly the two most powerful countries in the world. Without Hitler as a common
enemy, there was no reason for the U.S. and Soviet Union to remain allies. Adding to an already
tense political climate was the new existence of nuclear weapons. Both sides wanted to
outmaneuver the other for political and economic control throughout the world, but also desired
to avoid actually fighting one another for fear of risking nuclear war and the end of the world.

Required Information
It is essential to identify the answers to the typical historical questions. (Who? What? Where?
When? Why? How?) Everybody will fill in a table identifying this general information for each
Note: The general questions are only there to make sure that everybody explains some of the
most important material. Successful presentations will go much deeper, and may include:
Interesting quotes, a clear timeline of events, numbers that stand out (such as casualties or
important dates), how specific countries or groups reacted, and any other significant details

This assignment is worth 80 points. Points will be earned in six categories:
(10)Space Race
o Completeness (2)
o Neatness (2)
o General Question Table (2)
o Essential Question Answered (4)
(15)Europe Post WW II
o Completeness (3)
o Neatness (3)
o General Question Table (3)
o Essential Question Answered (6)
(15) Korean War
o Completeness (3)
o Neatness (3)
o General Question Table (3)
o Essential Question Answered (6)
(15) Berlin Wall
o Completeness (3)
o Neatness (3)
o General Question Table (3)

o Essential Question Answered (6)

(10)Cuban Missile Crisis
o Completeness (2)
o Neatness (2)
o General Question Table (2)
o Essential Question Answered (4)
(15)Vietnam War
o Completeness (3)
o Neatness (3)
o General Question Table (3)
o Essential Question Answered (6)

Event: _________________________________________ Name:_________________________

General Questions Table







Europe Post World War II



Nikita Khrushchev and John F. Kennedy in an arms race.

Korean War
In 1949 China became a communist country under the control of dictator Mao Zedong. Maos
victory was an immense shock to America. Not only was China under the control of sworn
enemies of the United States, but communist regimes controlled about one fourth of the worlds
landmass and one third of its population.
Korea had been divided into two independent countries by the United States and Soviet Union
after World War II. In North Korea, the Soviets installed a communist government and equipped
its armed forces. The United States provided smaller amounts of aid to noncommunist South
On June 25, 1950, North Korean forces attacked across the South Korean border (38th parallel).
The 90,000 North Korean troops were armed with powerful tanks and other Soviet weapons.
Within days, the northerners overtook South Koreas capital, Seoul, and perused the retreating
South Korean army.
President Truman remembered how the policy of appeasement had failed to check the German
aggression that sparked World War II. Determined that history would not repeat itself, he
announced that the United State would aid South Korea. The U.N. Security Council unanimously
voted to support Trumans recommendation (the Soviet Union was not present for the vote).
Truman did not ask Congress for a formal declaration of war, as required by the Constitution. He
sent U.S. occupational forces in Japan to Korea. The occupational troops were not properly
trained for combat. Soon U.S. troops joined their South Korean allies in retreat to the southern
corner of the Korean peninsula.

World War II hero, General Douglas MacArthur, had a bold plan to drive the invaders from
South Korea. Figuring North Korean supply lines to be weak, he decided on a surprise attack on
the port city of Inchon, well behind enemy lines. Because Inchon was such a poor landing site,
with swift currents and treacherous tides, MacArthur knew that the enemy would not expect an
attack there.
MacArthurs bold gamble paid off handsomely. Marines landed at Inchon and launched an attack
into the rear guard of the North Koreans. Communist forces began fleeing for the North Korean
border. By October 1950, the North Koreans had been driven north of the 38th parallel.
President Truman was concerned about the actions of communist China if the U.S. pushed the
war into North Korea. Chinese leaders publicly warned the Americans not to advance near its
borders. But MacArthur did not take this warning seriously. He assured Truman that China
would not intervene in the war. Based on this advice, the United State pushed a resolution
through the U.N., calling for a unified, independent, and democratic Korea.
When U.S. troops reached the Chinese border some 300,000 Chinese soldiers attacked South
Korean and U.S. positions. Badly outnumbered, the U.N. troops were forced back. With China
now in the war, the U.S. confronted a major land war in Asia. It was possible that this war could
not be won without huge commitments of troops and even nuclear weapons.
MacArthur wanted to invade China, but President Truman refused. Enraged at the presidents
decision, MacArthur wrote a letter to the House Republican leader attacking Trumans policies.
When the letter became public, Truman fired MacArthur for insubordination.
After three years of bloody fighting, under the threats of nuclear weapons and increased
casualties, the two sides signed a cease-fire. The cease-fire is still in effect today. In the end,
North Korea remained communist and an ally to China and the Soviet Union, and South Korea
remained a democracy and an ally to the U.S.

Red Scare
The Cold War influenced many aspects of American life. Popular culture reflected an us-versusthem attitudedemocrats versus totalitarians, capitalists versus communists, the West versus the
East. In the end, the Cold War was turning out to be every bit as global and as encompassing as
World War II had been.
The fear that communists both outside and inside America were working to destroy American
life created a reaction known as the Red Scare. President Trumans attorney general, J. Howard
McGrath declared communists are everywherein factories, offices, butcher stores, on street
corners, and private businesses. And each carries in himself the death of our society.

The spread of communism into Eastern Europe and Asia raised concerns that American
communists, some in influential government positions, were working for the enemy. In truth,
some American communists were agents of the Soviet Union, and a handful of them held high
positions in government. However, overwhelmingly, other government officials were loyal to the
United States.
Freedom of speech was no longer a guarantee in America. Americans lost their jobs because they
had belonged to or contributed to an organization on the Attorney Generals list. Others were
fired for associating with people who were known communists or for making remarks that were
considered disloyal. The effort to root out communist influence from American life cut across
many levels of society. Communists were exposed and blacklisted.
Nothing created more concerns about internal security than the charge that some Americans had
helped the Soviets build an atomic bomb. The case began when a scientist was charged with
sending atomic secrets to the Soviet Union. The investigation ultimately led to the arrest of Ethel
and Julius Rosenberg in 1950. The Rosenbergs were charged with conspiring to pass secret
information about nuclear science to Soviet agents. The Rosenberg trial created controversy
around the world. After spending 26 months on death row, the Rosenbergs were electrocuted in
Joseph McCarthy, a senator from Wisconsin, became Americas most famous anticommunist.
Between 1950 and 1954, McCarthy was perhaps the most powerful politician in America, piling
baseless accusations on top of charges that could not be proven. Merely being accused by
McCarthy caused people to lose their jobs and destroy their reputations.
McCarthy attacked former Secretary of State George Marshall, a national hero and author of the
Marshall Plan. Even other senators came to fear McCarthy. They worried that he would brand
them communist sympathizers.
The Senate decided to hold televised hearings to sort out the allegations. For weeks, Americans
were riveted to their televisions sets. Most were horrified by McCarthys bullying tactics. For the
first time, the public saw McCarthy badger witnesses, twist the truth, and snicker at the suffering
of others. By the time the hearings ended, McCarthy had lost most of his strong supporters.
Constantly being warned of communist spies and attacks created hysteria in America. Fathers
built bomb shelters in backyards, mothers stocked survival kits in basements, and children
practiced ducking under their school desks. Across the nation, Americans prepared for the
possibility that the Soviet Union might launch nuclear weapons against American cities.

Senator Joseph McCarthy

Berlin Wall
At the end of World War II, the Allied powers divided conquered Germany into four zones, each
occupied by either the United States, Great Britain, France, or the Soviet Union. The same was

done with Germany's capital city, Berlin. In 1949, democratic West Germany and communist
East Germany were formed. Since the city of Berlin had been situated entirely within the Soviet
zone of occupation, West Berlin became an island of democracy within communist East
Within a short period of time after the war, living conditions in West Germany and East Germany
became distinctly different. With the help and support of its occupying powers, West Germany
set up a capitalist society and experienced such a rapid growth of their economy that it became
known as the "economic miracle." With hard work, individuals living in West Germany were
able to live well, buy gadgets and appliances, and to travel as they wished. Nearly the opposite
was true in East Germany. Since the Soviet Union had viewed their zone as a spoil of war, the
Soviets pilfered factory equipment and other valuable assets from their zone and shipped them
back to the Soviet Union. When East Germany became its own country, it was under the direct
influence of the Soviet Union and thus a Communist society was established. In East Germany,
the economy dragged and individual freedoms were severely restricted.
By the late 1950s, many people living in East Germany wanted out. No longer able to stand the
repressive living conditions of East Germany, they would pack up their bags and head to West
Berlin. By the early 1960s, East Germany was rapidly losing both its labor force and its
population. Having already lost 2.5 million people by 1961, East Germany desperately needed to
stop this mass exodus. Desperate to keep its citizens, East Germany decided to build a wall to
prevent them from crossing the border.
Just past midnight on the night of August 12-13, 1961, trucks with soldiers and construction
workers rumbled through East Berlin. While most Berliners were sleeping, these crews began
tearing up streets that entered into West Berlin, dug holes to put up concrete posts, and strung
barbed wire all across the border between East and West Berlin. Berliners were shocked when
they woke up that morning. What had once been a very fluid border was now rigid. No longer
could East Berliners cross the border for operas, plays, soccer games, etc. No longer could the
approximately 60,000 commuters head to West Berlin for well-paying jobs. No longer could
families, friends, and lovers cross the border to meet their loved ones. Whichever side of the
border one went to sleep on during the night of August 12, they were stuck on that side for
The Berlin Wall stretched over a hundred miles. It ran not only through the center of Berlin, but
also wrapped around West Berlin, entirely cutting West Berlin off from the rest of East Germany.
The wall itself went through four major transformations during its 28-year history. It began as a
simple fence but evolved over time into a complex deterrent system. By the time the Berlin Wall
fell in 1989, there was a 300-foot No-Man's-Land, an additional inner wall, soldiers patrolling
with dogs, a raked ground that showed footprints, anti-vehicle trenches, electric fences, massive
light systems, watchtowers, bunkers, and minefields. The first two versions of the wall (barbed
wire and concrete blocks) were replaced by the third version of the Berlin Wall in 1965. This
version consisted of a concrete wall, supported by steel girders.

Despite the various security measures enforced, escape attempts were common, especially in the
early years when there was still a fighting chance of making it across alive. Climbing was the
obvious way to go and some 5,000 were said to have reached the other side. However in its thirty
year history 100 people were shot dead, most famously the eighteen year old Peter Fetcher, who,
after he was hit in the hip, was left to bleed to death in no-mans land as the worlds media
watched on. As security tightened, more creative escape plans became the order of the day.
Tunnels and jumping from bordering buildings, and even a hot air balloon were successfully
used to escape to the west.

The Bay of Pigs/Cuban Missile Crisis

The Bay of Pigs Invasion was an unsuccessful attempt by United States-backed Cuban exiles to
overthrow the government of the Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. Increasing friction between the
U.S. government and Castro's leftist regime led President Dwight D. Eisenhower to break off
diplomatic relations with Cuba in January 1961. Even before that, however, the Central

Intelligence Agency had been training anti-revolutionary Cuban exiles for a possible invasion of
the island. The invasion plan was approved by Eisenhower's successor, John F. Kennedy.
On April 17, 1961 about 1300 exiles, armed with U.S. weapons, landed at the Baha de Cochinos
(Bay of Pigs) on the southern coast of Cuba. Hoping to find support from the local population,
they intended to cross the island to Havana. It was evident from the first hours of fighting,
however, that the exiles were likely to lose. President Kennedy had the option of using the U.S.
Air Force against the Cubans but decided against it. Consequently, the invasion was stopped by
Castro's army. By the time the fighting ended on April 19, 90 exiles had been killed and the rest
had been taken as prisoners.
The failure of the invasion seriously embarrassed the young Kennedy administration. Some
critics blamed Kennedy for not giving it adequate support and others for allowing it to take place
at all. The captured exiles were later ransomed by private groups in the U.S.
The attempted invasion solidified Castros leadership in Cuba. Additionally, the invasion made
Castro wary of the U.S. He was convinced that the Americans would try to take over the island
again. From the Bay of Pigs on, Castro had an increased fear of a U.S. incursion on Cuban soil.
In 1962, the Soviet Union was desperately behind the United States in the arms race. Soviet
missiles were only powerful enough to be launched against Europe but U.S. missiles were
capable of striking the entire Soviet Union. In late April 1962, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev
conceived the idea of placing intermediate-range missiles in Cuba. A deployment in Cuba would
double the Soviet strategic arsenal and provide a real deterrent to a potential U.S. attack against
the Soviet Union.
Meanwhile, Fidel Castro was looking for a way to defend his island nation from an attack by the
U.S. Ever since the failed Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961, Castro felt a second attack was
inevitable. Consequently, he approved of Khrushchev's plan to place missiles on the island. In
the summer of 1962 the Soviet Union worked quickly and secretly to build its missile
installations in Cuba.
For the United States, the crisis began on October 15, 1962 when reconnaissance photographs
revealed Soviet missiles under construction in Cuba. Early the next day, President John Kennedy
was informed of the missile installations. Kennedy immediately organized the Executive
Committee of the National Security Council (EX-COMM), a group of his twelve most important
advisors to handle the crisis. After seven days of guarded and intense debate within the upper
echelons of government, Kennedy decided to impose a naval quarantine around Cuba. He
wanted to prevent the arrival of more Soviet offensive weapons on the island. On October 22,
Kennedy, in a televised address, announced the discovery of the missile installations to the public

and his decision to quarantine the island. He also proclaimed that any nuclear missile launched
from Cuba would be regarded as an attack on the United States by the Soviet Union and
demanded that the Soviets remove all of their offensive weapons from Cuba.
During the public phase of the Crisis, tensions began to build on both sides. Kennedy eventually
ordered low-level reconnaissance missions once every two hours. On the 25th Kennedy pulled
the quarantine line back and raised military readiness to DEFCON 2. Then on the 26th EXCOMM heard from Khrushchev in an impassioned letter. He proposed removing Soviet missiles
and personnel if the U.S. would guarantee not to invade Cuba. October 27 was the worst day of
the crisis. A U-2 was shot down over Cuba and EX-COMM received a second letter from
Khrushchev demanding the removal of U.S. missiles in Turkey in exchange for Soviet missiles in
Tensions finally began to ease on October 28 when Khrushchev announced that he would
dismantle the installations and return the missiles to the Soviet Union, expressing his trust that
the United States would not invade Cuba. Further negotiations were held to implement the
October 28 agreement, including a United States demand that Soviet light bombers be removed
from Cuba, and specifying the exact form and conditions of United States assurances not to
invade Cuba.
As a result of the Cuban Missile Crisis a teletype "Hotline" between the Kremlin and the White
House was established. In the spring of 1963 the U.S. quietly removed the missiles from Turkey,
that equally threatened the Soviet Union, and the Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty was signed on
July 25, 1963. Negotiated by the US, USSR, and UK, it prohibited tests of nuclear devices in the
atmosphere, in outer space, and underwater.

The Vietnam War

The Vietnam War occurred in present-day Vietnam, Southeast Asia. It represented a successful
attempt on the part of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam, DRV) and the
National Front for the Liberation of Vietnam (Viet Cong) to unite and impose a communist

system over the entire nation. Opposing the DRV was the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam,
RVN), backed by the United States in an attempt to stop the spread of communism (U.S. policy
called the Domino Theory). The Domino Theory was the speculation that if one state in a region
came under the influence of communism, then the surrounding countries would follow in a
domino effect. The war in Vietnam occurred during the Cold War, and is generally viewed as an
indirect conflict between the United States and Soviet Union. The Soviets and their allies
supported the communists, while the U.S. and its allies supported the non-communist South
Causes of Conflict: The United States had given the French economic assistance in the region
until their defeat by Ho Chi Minhs (Viet Minh) forces at Dien Bien Phu in 1954. The Vietnam
War first began in 1959, five years after the division of the country by the Geneva Accords.
Vietnam had been split into two, with a communist government in the north under Ho Chi Minh
and a democratic government in the south under Ngo Dinh Diem. Ho launched a guerilla
campaign in South Vietnam, led by Viet Cong units, with the goal of uniting the country under
communist rule. The United States, seeking to stop the spread of communism, trained the Army
of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) and provided military advisors to help combat the guerillas.
Americanization: In August 1964, a US warship was attacked by North Vietnamese torpedo
boats in the Gulf of Tonkin. Following this attack, Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin
Resolution, which allowed President Lyndon Johnson to conduct military operations in the
region without a declaration of war. On March 2, 1965, US aircraft began bombing targets in
Vietnam and the first troops arrived. Commanded by General William Westmoreland, US troops
won victories over Viet Cong and North Vietnamese forces around Chu Lai and in the Ia Drang
Valley that year.
Following these defeats, the North Vietnamese avoided fighting conventional battles and focused
on engaging US troops in guerilla warfare in the jungles of South Vietnam. In January 1968, the
North Vietnamese and the Viet Cong launched the massive Tet Offensive. Beginning with an
assault on US Marines at Khe Sanh, the offensive included attacks by the Viet Cong on every
major city throughout South Vietnam. Though the North Vietnamese were beaten back with
heavy casualties, Tet shook the confidence of the American people and media who had thought
the war was going well.
Vietnamization: As a result of Tet, President Lyndon Johnson opted not to run for reelection and
was succeeded by Richard Nixon. Nixon's plan for ending US involvement was to build up the
ARVN so that they could fight the war themselves. As this process of Vietnamization began,
US troops started to return home. The mistrust of the government that had begun after Tet
worsened with the release of news about US soldiers massacring civilians at My Lai (1969), the
invasion of Cambodia (1970), and the leaking of the Pentagon Papers (1971).
The End of the War & the Fall of Saigon
The withdrawal of US troops continued and more responsibility was passed to the ARVN, which
continued to prove ineffective in combat, often relying on American support to stave off defeat.
On January 27, 1974, a peace accord was signed in Paris ending the conflict. By March of that
year, American combat troops had left the country. After a brief period of peace, North Vietnam
recommenced hostilities in late 1974. Pushing through ARVN forces with ease, they captured

Saigon on April 30, 1975, forcing South Vietnams surrender and reuniting the country under
communist leadership.

The Space Race

The space race was partially a competition for national security advancement, since dominating
space could lead to military advantages. It was also seen as a symbolic competition to show
which side was truly superior: the side that could dominate space with new technology was
obviously the better ideology. The competition led to a race to achieve firsts in such areas as
artificial satellites, human space flight, space walking, and sending men to the moon. Here is a
timeline of important events:

Oct. 4 - USSR launches Sputnik 1, the first artificial satellite.

Nov. 3 - USSR launches Sputnik 2 which carried a small dog named Laika into



Jan. 31 - Explorer 1, the first American satellite to reach orbit, is launched. It

carried scientific equipment that lead to the discovery of the Van Allen
radiation belt.
Jan. 2 - Luna 1 is launched by the USSR. It is the first man made object to orbit
the Sun.
Oct. 4 - Luna 3 orbits the Moon and photographs 70% of its surface.


Apr. 1 - Tiros 1, the first successful weather satellite, is launched.

Aug. 18 - The US launches Discoverer XIV, its first camera equipped spy


Apr. 12 - Yuri Gagarin orbits the Earth once and becomes the first man in space.
May 5 - Alan B. Shepard becomes the first American in space.
May 25 - President John F. Kennedy addresses Congress and challenges the
nation to go to the Moon before the end of the decade.


Jun. 16 - Cosmonaut Valentia Tereshkova becomes the first woman in space.


Mar. 18 - Alexei Leonov spends 12 minutes outside of his Voskhod spacecraft

performing the first spacewalk.
Jun. 3 - Ed White performs America's first spacewalk. Jim McDivitt remains in
the Gemini capsule.


Feb. 3 - Luna 9 becomes the first spacecraft to soft-land on the Moon.

Apr. 3 - Luna 10 becomes the first satellite to orbit the Moon.
Jun. 2 - Surveyor 1 soft-lands on the Moon.
Aug. 14 - Lunar Orbiter 1 enters orbit around the Moon and takes the first picture
of the Earth from that distance.


Jul. 20 - Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin become the first men to walk
on the Moon while crewmate Michael Collins orbits around the Moon

Name: _____________________________________

Period: _____

DUE DATE: _________________________
Space Race: ___________/10

Europe Post WW II: _______________/15

Korean War: _______________/15
Berlin Wall: _______________/15
Cuban Missile Crisis: _______________/10
Vietnam War: _______________/15
Total: ____________/80