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If we can put this tremendous machine of ours, which has made this victory possible, to work for peach, we can look forward to the greatest age in the history of mankind. Before the war, almost half of all college students were women, more than half during the war.
Russia’s expansionism timetable called for dividing Europe in two, swallowing first one half, then the other.
Already an iron curtain had dropped around Poland, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria. Since the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, we’d been a divided mind about the USSR.
A democracy sacrificed to preserve peace in our time.
In 1948, Czechoslovakia, although allied by treaty with Russia, was again free and democratic.
The anxiety it created symbolized in that cloud and this sign — the sign of a fallout shelter. Me, I graduated from high school, put away my band uniform, went off to college, married, finished graduate school, and wound up working in Washington with an up and coming senator from Texas, a man named Johnson. Do you remember where you were then, those many years ago? BILL MOYERS: Obviously, some of us had different jobs back then, as the war came to a close. Kennedy was a freshman congressman in 1946, and so was the man on the right, Richard Nixon. Major John Glenn, in 1957, setting a new speed record. Got yourself a good job, preferably with a big company. “Life will not be a burden for me at 35, because I will be securely anchored in my family. She will also be centered in the home, a housewife.
Lyndon Johnson was in the House of Representatives preparing to run for the Senate, a race he’d win by 87 votes. It’s surprising, looking back, how so many of us admired the same heroes and shared the same assumptions, took similar things for granted, and held a common vision of the course a life should run. Bachelors were thought of as eccentric, career girls an exception, homosexuals people with an ugly secret. Perhaps at 45 with the children grow up, she will go in for hospital work and so on.” The sociologist David Riesman looked closely and saw a generation that was other directed.
We understood the implications that World War III might not be very far behind. We had such great expectations in 1945, for the peaceful enjoyment of a prosperous life. Many people were doing then what they would be doing later on. You wanted a car and, of course, a home of your own. But it was a time of standardized appetites and dreams.
Through the Great Depression and then through war, we had deferred those hopes. But the postwar period turned out to be something called the Cold War. Almost all of today’s adults were alive then, at least as infants. Billy Martin, as a Yankee, helped win the World Series. For nice girls, everything would come in its season, including children. BILL MOYERS: Here’s how a senior in Princeton saw his future. She will be the Grace Kelly, camel’s hair coat type, feet on the ground and not an empty shell or a fake.
The 1950s in America were a time of nostalgia and neurosis. But the 50’s also saw the Iron Curtain in Europe, the entrenchment of Communism in China, and a Red Scare that divided Americans at home.
believed that it could politically, culturally and militarily lead the world.