DOCUMENTS DEPICTING THE 1950s: A Decade of Conformity and Dissent

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One of the most significant decades in United States history, the 1950s represented a time of continuity and dissent. How Americans reacted to these growing pains presents historians with a wealth of information with which to dissect the times and better understand the momentous events that occurred between 1950 and 1959. This book is an edited compilation of first-person accounts consisting of valuable primary source material. The work analyzes important roles played by various individuals, especially political and social leaders.


“The authors of the collection burrowed deep to discover original sources. Some of the richest offerings were found in the record of congressional hearings and often from the Congressional Record. The editors captured the tone, the style, and the voice given to the most significant issues of the day.” - Dr. William C. Binning, Emeritus Professor, Political Science, Youngstown State University

“[The editors] have compiled a wonderful collection of documents that weave politics with the social culture of an influential decade. . . . Subjects covered range from the most obvious of the era; civil rights, foreign policy, and segregation; as well as lesser known issues such as public library funding, conservation of natural resources and the employment of homosexuals. . . . A fascinating read for anyone who loves history.” - Maria McLane, Library Division Manager, Akron-Summit County Public Library

Table of Contents

A Selection Foreword
Documents 1950-1959

Marshall Plan Assistance – Arthur H. Vandenberg
Address of Foreign Policy – Harry S. Truman
The Civil Rights Issue Must Not Be a Political Football – Vito A. Marcantonio
Employment of Homosexuals and other Sex Perverts in Government – Senate Investigations Suncommittee Report

Letter to an American Mother – Sigmund Freud
Introducing a Civil Rights Legislative Program – Hubert H. Humphrey
The Fight Against Communism – Pat McCarran

The Way to Freedom – John Foster Dulles
America the Beautiful – Ronald Reagan
Daft of Report to President Truman – Eleanor Roosevelt

The Bricker Amendment – John W. Bricker
Inauguration Address – Dwight D. Eisenhower
Civil Rights Legislation – Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.

Last Chance in Indochina – Mary McLeod Bethune
Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka – Earl Warren
Senate Condemnation of Senator Joseph R. McCarthy – Sam Ervin, Arthur Watkins, Bourke Hickenlooper

Court Order Can’t Make Races Mix – Zora Neale Hurston
Time, Chance, and an Appointment with History - Rosa Parks

Medical Research - Margaret Chase Smith
Southern Manifesto - Ninety-six Politicians
Federal Aid Highway Act - Prescott S. Bush
The Power of Propaganda in Southeast Asia - Thomas A. Dooley

1957 Smoking and Health - Leroy E. Burney, Calvin T. Klopp, Wallace F. Bennett
Civil Rights and Legislative Constitutional Responsibility - Richard B. Russell
Federal Assistance to Education - George S. McGovern
Loving Your Enemies - Martin Luther King, Jr.

United Nations Security Council Speech on Lebanon - Henry Cabot Lodge
United States Military Power - John F. Kennedy
School Integration at Little Rock - Orval E. Faubus
National Defense Education Act - Edwin K. Thomson

Commission to Study Problems of Alcoholism - Olin D. T. Johnston
Economic Assistance to Native Americans - William Langer
Responsibility of the Individual Senator: The Caucus - William Proxmire
The Massive Irresponsibility of the Spenders - Barry M. Goldwater
Defense Appropriations - Gerald R. Ford

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