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We Didn't Start the Fire: A History Lesson

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Mara Tharp

on 25 May 2013

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Transcript of We Didn't Start the Fire: A History Lesson

1949 Harry Truman

Harry S. Truman (The “S” not standing for anything, just an S) was the 33rd President of the United States after Franklin D. Roosevelt died in office on April 12th, 1945. His two terms included the end of World War II and the beginning of the Cold War with the Soviet Union involving Communism. Doris Day Doris Day is one of the most popular singer/actresses of the 20th century, starring in everything from Pillow Talk to Romance on the High Seas and recording over 650 songs in her long relationship with Columbia Records. She was known as the “Good Girl” of Hollywood, which eventually led to the end of her film career when people got tired of her squeaky clean image. A popular nearly deaf singer of the 1940s. His most popular single is "Cry". South Pacific A musical that opened on Broadway in 1949, it was based on the novel “Tales of the South Pacific” by James A. Michener. It focuses on an American nurse who falls in love with various men, but has a hard time accepting their mixed race children. The musical was controversial because it brought to light the amount of racial prejudice Americans had. Winchell was a radio broadcaster that came to fame because of his controversial topics. Starting with a 15 minute plug about business news, he gathered a following and earned a spot to cover Entertainment news. He was popular because of his bright, cheerful host who brought up interesting topics and changed the way radio talk shows worked. Walter Winchell "Communism is not love! Communism is a hammer we use to destroy our enemies." - Mao Tse-tsung Joe McCarthy was a nasty politician who used lies and dirty campaigning to gain fame. He was originally a supporter of Franklin Roosevelt, but since the Democratic Party did not support him he switched gears and joined the Republicans. His lies and harassment led to the defamation of many reputations, and even to the suicide of Robert La Follette, whose image was tarnished by McCarthy. 37th President The Studebaker Car Company runs into financial issues. North Korea and South Korea The Korean War was a war influenced by the Communist movement. Korea’s two halves were fighting about the separation of the country, and the United States supported South Korea and its’ non-Communist politics. The war ended in 1953. Possibly the most recognizable a face of the 1900s, Marilyn Monroe was (and still is) a symbol around the world for numerous things: promiscuity, beauty, scandal, talent, and fame. Born Norma Jean Mortenson, Monroe started her career in modeling after being discovered from a terrible childhood. She later starred in blockbuster films like “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” and “The Seven Year Itch”. Marilyn passed away of a drug overdose at age 36 in her hometown of Los Angeles. 1950 1951 Rosenbergs Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were convicted of passing Atomic secrets to the Soviet Union. An H-Bomb is a thermonuclear weapon that was developed during Harry Truman's presidency. It is powered by heat generated by a fission bomb to help it go into a nuclear fission stage. This bomb is deadly and a highly controversial weapon. "H-Bomb" Panmunjom Panmunjom is a village in North Korea. During the Korean War, truce talks were initiated in this area. It was abandoned during the war and is considered to be on the "de facto" border of North and South Korea. Marlon Brando was born in Omaha, NE in 1924 and grew up to be a tremendous actor who changed the acting scene for years to come. He starred in The Godfather, A Streetcar Named Desire, and Superman. Marlon gathered 33 awards in his acting career, two of them being Academy Awards for Best Actor. Marlon Brando Eisenhower Dwight D. Eisenhower was elected president in 1952, winning by a landslide margin of 442 to 89 electoral votes. "England's got a new queen!" Queen Elizabeth II is the leader of the Common- wealth Realms after the death of her father, King George VI , on June 2nd. Liberace was born in Wisconsin in 1919, and grew up playing musical instruments. He had a fixation with flamboyant costumes and created an intriguing stage presence much unlike any artist at the time. Later in life, he hosted his own variety television show called "The Liberace Show" and appeared in several feature films. Liberace 1952 Joseph Stalin was the de facto leader of the Soviet Union starting in the 1920s until his death on March 5th. He was a communist leader who established the Socialist economy of Russia and succeeded in killing multiple people who opposed his radical ways. Joseph Stalin Following the death of Joseph Stalin, Georgi Malenkov is given the rule of the Soviet Union. This power lasts for six months until Nikita Khrushchev takes his place. Malenkov Nasser Gamar Abdel Nasser was born in Alexandria, Egypt in 1918. He was educated at the Cairo Military Academy where he developed Republican views and secretly recruited officers known as the Free Officers Movement. When the event in Palestine reinforced Nasser's opinion on his government of Farouk I, he set his sights on being the President of Egypt, which he achieved later in his career. Rockefeller Winthrop Rockefeller and his wife go through a highly publicized divorce, which ends in a settlement of $5.5 million. Communist Bloc A group of Communist nations ruled by the Soviet Union are responsible for the Uprising of East Germany. 1953 Roy Cohn Roy Cohn resigns as Joseph McCarthy's chief counsel and enters private practice following the outing of McCarthy's crazy political movements. He later prosecutes the Rosenbergs. Toscanini was a popular conductor, regularly on NBC radio. Dacron A fabric similar to polyester. Dien Bien Phu Falls A North Vietnamese village falls to forces led by Vo Nguyen Giap. North Vietnam and South Vietnam become separate states. 1954 James Dean James Dean had just started his way into the A-List of Hollywood after receiving critical acclaim for his work in East of Eden and Rebel Without a Cause when he died tragically in a car crash on September 30th. "Brooklyn's got a winning team!" The Brooklyn Dodgers win their first and only World Series for New York against the New York Yankees. 1955 Peter Pan Because of Disney's success with the cartoon version, a musical is created inspired by the tale of Peter Pan and broadcast in Technicolor on March 7th. Davy Crockett Davy Crockett was a television show produced by Disney that highlighted the life of the famous frontiersman, which started the "coonskin cap" fad that young boys became infatuated with in the 50's. Disneyland Disneyland is Walt Disney's first theme park, residing in Anaheim, CA. It is the only Walt Disney theme park that was built under the supervision and creative leadership of Walt Disney himself. Elvis Presley The Rock and Roll legend Elvis Presley was born in 1935 in Mississippi. He grew up to be one of the most famed rockers of all time; his songs, looks, and moves alike being copied worldwide. Some of his most famous songs are Heartbreak Hotel and Jailhouse Rock. Bardot Brigitte Bardot starred in her first world famous film "And God Created Woman" in 1956. She creates an international reputation as a blonde bombshell, even more risque than the other blonde idol at the time, Marilyn Monroe. Budapest Budapest, Hungary is the site of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution. This revolution was caused by Hungarian hate towards the increasingly Soviet-friendly government. They were afraid that they, too, would fall under the rule of the USSR. Alabama
The Montgomery Bus Boycott reaches a boiling point and leads to the removal of the last race laws in the United States. Khrushchev Nikita Khrushchev makes his famous Secret Speech denouncing Stalin's "cult of personality" on February 23rd. Peyton Place The best-selling novel by Grace Metalious is published in 1956. Though mild compared to today's literature, it shocked the society of the 1950s. "Trouble in the Suez" The Suez Crisis boils as Egypt nationalizes the Suez Canal on October 9th. 1956 Little Rock In Little Rock, Arkansas in 1957 Governor Orval Faubus stops the Little Rock Nine from attending Little Rock Central High School. President Dwight D. Eisenhower deployed the 101st Airborne Division to undermine Faubus. Pasternak Mickey Mantle Mickey Mantle was a very talented baseball player who reached the height of his fame in 1957 as the New York Yankees outfielder. Chou En-Lai The Premier of the People's Republic of China is attacked on the plane Kashmir Princess, but survives the assassination attempt. 1957 Lebanon The country goes through a religious and political crisis so extreme that the United States has to intervene. Charles de Gaulle Charles de Gaulle is elected first president of the French Fifth Republic after the Algerian Crisis. "California Baseball" The Western movement of baseball begins in 1958 as the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants move to California to become the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants. They are the first major league teams west of Kansas City, Missouri. Starkweather Homicides Children of Thalidomide A drug called Thalidomide that was used to treat pregnant women for morning sickness and sleeping issues is connected to many children having birth defects. 1958 Buddy Holly The famous Rock and Roller dies in a plane crash on February 3rd with Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper, in a day that had a devastating impact on the country and our culture. Space Monkey Able and Miss Barker return to Earth from space aboard the flight Jupiter AM-18. Mafia The Mafia are the center of attention for the FBI and public attention builds to this organized crime society with a historically Sicilian-American origin. Castro Fidel comes to power after a revolution in Cuba and visits the United States later that year on an unofficial twelve-day tour. Edsel is a no-go: Production of this car marque ends after only three years due to poor sales. 1959 U-2 An American U-2 spy plane piloted by Francis Gary Powers was shot down over the Soviet Union, causing the U-2 Crisis of 1960. Syngman Rhee Syngman Rhee was the leader of South Korea who had to be rescued by the CIA when he was accused of fixing the election to have him win leadership of South Korea. Payola "Payola" in the music industry is characterized as illegal payments for radio broadcasting of songs. Dick Clark famously accused Alan Freed of doing this. Kennedy Chubby Checker Chubby Checker was an African American singer whose performance on "American Bandstand" made his version of Hank Ballard's "The Twist" a classic. 1960 "Belgians in the Congo" The Republic of the Congo (Leopoldville) was declared independent of Belgium on June 30th. Hemingway Ernest Hemingway, a famed Nobel-Prize winning American author, committed suicide in Idaho after a lifetime battle with depression. Eichmann Adolf Eichmann was the world's "most wanted" Nazi war criminal, who was found hiding out in Argentina and captured by the Mossad. He was later hanged in Israel. Dylan After Robert Shelton reviewed him positively in the New York Times, Bob Dylan was signed to Columbia Records. His hit songs include "Like a Rolling Stone" and "Times are A-Changing". He was the voice of the new, open minded "Baby Boomer" generation. 1961 Berlin The Berlin wall was an attempt by the USSR to keep their communist side of Berlin, the Eastern side, from escaping to the American-controlled West side. Bay of Pigs Invasion The United States trained 1,400 Cuban exiles to overthrow Fidel Castro, but the attempt failed. 1962 "The chickens have come home to roost."- Malcolm X Ole' Miss The University of Mississippi integrates James Meredith, an African American, into their classes. This leads to deadly riots. John Glenn He flew the first American manned orbital mission named "Friendship 7" on February 20th. Pope Paul Cardinal Giovanni Montini is elected to the papacy. "British politician sex." The British Secretary of State for War, John Profumo, has an affair with a showgirl (which he then lies about in the House of Commons). The Prime Minister loses his credibility because of this. "JFK Blown Away!" President John F. Kennedy is assassinated on November 22nd while riding in a Ford convertible through Dallas by Lee Harvey Oswald. 1963 Birth Control There is controversy over artificial contraception, leading to court cases and Catholic debate. Ho Chi Minh Ho Chi Minh was a Vietnamese communist, who served as President of Vietnam from 1954-1969. On March 8th, the first U.S combat troops, 3,500 marines, land in South Vietnam. This is the beginning of the Vietnam War. 1
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5 "Richard Nixon Back Again." Former Vice President Richard Nixon is elected in the 1968 presidential election of the United States of America. 1968 Watergate One of the biggest political scandals in the history of the United States was Watergate, which involved Richard Nixon and the Republican party. He was accused of withholding information regarding the break in at a Democratic headquarters. Nixon became the first president to resign. Punk Rock 1974 1969 Woodstock Moonshot 1977 Menachem Begin He becomes Prime Minister of Israel in 1977 and negotiates the Camp David Accords with Egypt's president in 1978. 1976 Palestine A United Nations resolution that calls for an independent Palestinian state and to end the Israeli occupation. "Terror on the Airline." Aircraft hijacking becomes the main form of attack for terrorists, happening in many occasions like Palestinian hijack of Air France Flight 139. 1979 "Ayatollah's in Iran." During the Iranian Revolution of 1979, the West-backed and secular Shah is overthrown as the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini gains power after years in exile and forces Islamic law. "Russians in Afghanistan." Following their move into Afghanistan, Soviet forces fight a ten-year war, from 1979-1989. 1983 Sally Ride "Heavy Metal Suicide" Ozzy Osbourne and the bands Judas Priest and Metallica were brought into court by parents who accused the musical celebrities of sending pro-suicide messages in their music. Foreign Debts Persistent U.S. trade deficits. Homeless Vets Veterans of the Vietnam War, including many disabled ex-military, are reported to be left homeless and impoverished. AIDS A collection of symptoms and infections in humans resulting from the specific damage to the immune system caused by infection with the human immune deficiency virus (HIV). Crack The increase of usage of Crack cocaine causes public panic in the 1980s. Bernie Goetz On December 22nd, Goetz shot four men who he said were threatening him on a New York City subway. Goetz was charged with attempted murder but was later acquitted of all charges. 1984 "Hypodermics on the Shore." Medical waste was found washed up on beaches in New Jersey after being illegally dumped at sea. 1988 "China's under martial law" On May 20th, China declares martial law, enabling them to use force of arms against protesting students to end the Tienanmen Square protests. 1989 WE DIDN'T START THE FIRE A History Lesson We Didn't Start the Fire By Billy Joel
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