J. Edgar Hoover’s Congressional Testimony

J. Edgar Hoover was the head of the FBI from its inception in 1935 through 1972.

Many of those years were dedicated to rooting out communists in America.

In this testimony before Congress in 1947 Hoover outlines the dangers facing the US during the Cold War.

We have included a copy of the testimony as well as questions and answers.

For more on this era check out our PowerPoints:

US History

World History

The Modern Era: 1945-1970

Simulation games:

Kennedy versus Khrushchev: Cold War Political Cartoon

The Cold War was a terrifying time because of the high stakes involved with new weapons and mutually assured destruction.

Tensions peaked in the early 1960s when JFK and Khrushchev took us to the brink of nuclear war, which would have killed billions and ended human civilization as we know it.

We have included a copy of this political cartoon along with questions and answers.

Check out our PowerPoints on this era:

Check out our simulation games on the Cold War:

President Kennedy’s Ich bin ein Berliner speech, 1963

This quintessential Cold War speech was given in June of 1963 in West Berlin.

We have included a transcript of the speech as well as questions and answers.

For more on this time period check out sample slides of our US History PowerPoints:

and some simulation games:

Gulf of Tonkin Incident, 1964

Few American troops had been sent to Vietnam prior to the Gulf of Tonkin Incident.

The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution had far reaching consequences, not only in Vietnam but for the executive branch since it allowed the president to send troops into combat without an official war declaration.

President Johnson addressed the Congress and we have included a copy of his speech along with questions and answers.

For more on this era please see our US History PowerPoints: Vietnam, Cold War Part I and II; and our World History Modern Era 1945-1970and 1970-2009.

1965 Alabama Literacy Test

literacy test herblockIntimidation was rampant throughout the south the first half of the 20th century to prevent voting by “undesirables”, ie African Americans, Latinos, and poor whites.

Because local governments controlled voting requirements, it varied by locale as well as by the whims of the registrars.

Some discriminatory methods included poll taxes, grandfather clauses, voucher system, and literacy tests.

In Alabama there were many versions of a literacy test which ranged in difficulty. We have included a copy of an impossibly hard exam given in Alabama in 1965.

We have included the questions and answers.

This would be good for an introductory lesson, even for the first day of school, to show in part why learning history and government is so important.

Check out our Civil Right Movement PowerPoint.

Corona, reconnaissance missions during the Cold War

Corona was the nation’s first photo reconnaissance satellite system, operating from August 1960 until May 1972.

The U2 incident contributed to the perceived urgency and necessity of the program.

Although it faced initial problems, the US was able to hide its existence under the umbrella of the space program. Scientists were pushed to improve technology in order to improve results.

It is an interesting look at a reconnaissance program that students would enjoy.

Vintage commercials from the 1950s and 1960s

These commercials can help provide a window into the culture of the two decades.

A fun way of showing images from the decades you are teaching.

Kennedy elected in 1960

This Universal newsreel shows the 1960 presidential election between Kennedy and Nixon. It shows voting by Eisenhower, Nixon, and JFK as well as Nixon’s concession speech.

The election was decided by less than 300,000 votes and remains a controversial outcome.

If you are looking for more information on the 1960s check out our PowerPoint.

Cold War film: Red China, 1964

This Cold War Era film is broken up into 3 parts. It depicts China as a communist leader in world affairs, spreading its “unique brand”. Really great images!

President Eisenhower’s Farewell Address, 1961

Eisenhower's farewell speech

As a Westpoint graduate, army officer, WWII general, NATO Supreme Commander, and president during the Korean Conflict, Eisenhower was well versed in the military strength of the nation over the course of decades and in various situations.

It might be surprising then to learn that in his farewell address he believed that disarmament ought to be a goal for the nation and world at large. He feared a military industrial complex might overpower the nation, since it was the first time in US history that a permanent armament industry existed.

We have included in this post a link to the speech in its entirety as well as a copy of the transcript with questions and answers for students.

Please view our 1950s PowerPoint if you would like a complete exploration of the decade.