Photo Galleries (4)
Korean War(15 Photos)
On June 25, 1950, the Korean War began when communist North Korea invaded South Korea. The United States, fighting under United Nations command, would lose more than 36,000 soldiers in one of the first clashes of the Cold War.
Cold War: American Leaders
Cold War: American Leaders(13 Photos)
From 1945 until the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, U.S. presidents and politicians developed strategies to limit the spread of communism.
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower(19 Photos)
See pictures from the life and presidency of Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman(19 Photos)
See pictures from the life and presidency of Harry S. Truman.
Cold WarVideo Clip (2:31)
Video Clip (2:31)
The Cold War is over, but what it left behind may surprise you.
Eisenhower Leads America
Eisenhower Leads AmericaVideo Clip (3:21)
Video Clip (3:21)
This five-star general and 34th U.S. president launched the Space Race and created the federal interstate highway system.
The Checkers Speech
The Checkers SpeechVideo Clip (3:34)
Video Clip (3:34)
On September 23, 1952 Richard Nixon, mired in a scandal involving bribary and campaign funds, went on television and saved his political career.
Little Rock Nine
Little Rock NineVideo Clip (2:28)
Video Clip (2:28)
Led by civil rights pioneer Daisy Bates, these nine brave Arkansas teenagers broke through racial barriers to become the first black students to attend Little Rock High School.
Separate But Not Equal
Separate But Not EqualVideo Clip (2:21)
Video Clip (2:21)
In 1954, the Supreme Court unanimously strikes down segregation in public schools, sparking the Civil Rights movement.
Blacks in the Military
Blacks in the MilitaryVideo Clip (3:12)
Video Clip (3:12)
Learn how blacks serving in WWII helped forward the Civil Rights Movement.
Jackie Robinson Breaks Barriers
Jackie Robinson Breaks BarriersVideo Clip (3:06)
Video Clip (3:06)
Jackie Robinson's accomplishments on and off the field opens doors for all African Americans.
Douglas MacArthurVideo Clip (3:27)
Video Clip (3:27)
The general gains fame in World War II, then infamy when he is removed from his command in the Korean War.
Space Race: Cold War Front
Space Race: Cold War FrontVideo Clip (4:21)
Video Clip (4:21)
A brief look at the Space Race, set to "Magic Carpet Ride" by Steppenwolf.
Keep it Moving
Keep it MovingVideo Clip (1:50)
Video Clip (1:50)
The Interstate System in the United States stretches 46,876miles in total and carries nearly one quarter of the nation's highway traffic.
Castro and the Cuban Revolution
Castro and the Cuban RevolutionVideo Clip (3:39)
Video Clip (3:39)
In 1950s Cuba, government corruption led to Fidel Castro's violent rise to power.
Lake Pontchartrain Causeway
Lake Pontchartrain CausewayVideo Clip (3:21)
Video Clip (3:21)
In the land of voodoo and Mardi Gras, Louisiana's Lake Pontchartrain Causeway consists of two parallel bridges, one of which is the world's longest over water. How was the project built differently from others?
Mackinac Bridge Connects Michigan
Mackinac Bridge Connects MichiganVideo Clip (4:02)
Video Clip (4:02)
The Mackinac Bridge, which opened in 1957, has withstood some of the most extreme weather in the U.S. How did harsh conditions impact the bridge's construction, and what does Mackinac mean?
Campaign Spot: Ike For President (1952)
Campaign Spot: Ike For President (1952)Video Clip (1:03)
Video Clip (1:03)
Up until Eisenhower, presidential candidates used tv for 30-minute speeches only. The idea for the celebrated WWII generals spots came from Madison Avenue ad exec Rossier Reeves, who had created M&Ms Melts in your mouth, not in your hands campaign. Reeves convinced Eisenhower that short spots placed before or after popular tv shows, such as I Love Lucy, would reach more viewers.
Inaugural Address: Dwight D. Eisenhower
Inaugural Address: Dwight D. EisenhowerVideo Clip (0:49)
Video Clip (0:49)
Excerpts from Dwight D, Eisenhower's first inaugural address on Tuesday, January 20, 1953.
Alaska Becomes 49th State
Alaska Becomes 49th StateVideo Clip (1:06)
Video Clip (1:06)
In a History Rewind video, Alaska celebrates the long awaited grant of statehood with an enthusiastic celebration. Alaska will become the nation's forty-ninth state and, by far, the largest.
Hawaii Becomes 50th State
Hawaii Becomes 50th StateVideo Clip (1:33)
Video Clip (1:33)
In a History Rewind video, in 1959, Hawaii's half century-old request for statehood is granted as it is welcomed as the fiftieth state of America by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Hawaii is now the nation's southern-most state.
1950sVideo Clip (2:42)
Video Clip (2:42)
The 1950s were about more than just poodle skirts and rock and roll.
The Great Communicator
The Great CommunicatorVideo Clip (4:18)
Video Clip (4:18)
Ronald Reagan galvanized the American public through his famous speeches that helped redefine American politics in the 1980s.
Speeches & Audio (9)
Eisenhower's Farewell Address
Eisenhower's Farewell AddressAudio Clip (9:56)
Audio Clip (9:56)
On January 17, 1961, in a national broadcast, Dwight D. Eisenhower speaks to the American people for the last time as president and famously warns about the growing influence of the "military-industrial complex."
MacArthur Gives Farewell Address
MacArthur Gives Farewell AddressAudio Clip (5:02)
Audio Clip (5:02)
On April 11, 1951, President Harry Truman relieved Gen. Douglas MacArthur of his command due to their disagreement over the handling of the Korean War. On April 19, 1951, after 52 years of military service, Gen. Douglas MacArthur delivers a farewell address to Congress, setting off a controversy among congressional members over whether or not the Joint Chiefs of Staff had approved the MacArthur plan for operations.
Truman Removes MacArthur From Command
Truman Removes MacArthur From CommandAudio Clip (0:21)
Audio Clip (0:21)
Because Gen. Douglas MacArthur's desire to expand the Korean War conflicted with the nation's foreign policy, President Truman felt he had no alternative but to replace MacArthur. On April 11, 1951, Truman relieves MacArthur of his command and informs the American public of his decision in a radio report that same day.
Brown v. Board of Education Ruling
Brown v. Board of Education RulingAudio Clip (1:02)
Audio Clip (1:02)
On May 17, 1954, U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren delivered the unanimous ruling against the "separate but equal" mandate and demanded desegregation of schools. Outside the courtroom, the attorneys who argued the Brown v. Board of Education case, James Nabrit Jr., Thurgood Marshall and George Hayes, give a press conference.
Brown v. Board of Education Ruling
Brown v. Board of Education RulingAudio Clip (2:32)
Audio Clip (2:32)
On May 17, 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously that racial segregation in public schools was unconstitutional. A commentary on the ruling explores the differing theories on integration at the time.
Dwight D. Eisenhower on the Middle East
Dwight D. Eisenhower on the Middle EastAudio Clip (2:04)
Audio Clip (2:04)
On February 20, 1957, U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower appeared before his nation to discuss the on-going crisis in the Middle East and to win popular support for the Eisenhower Doctrine, a congressional bill that would authorize the deployment of U.S. military forces to any Middle East nation seeking aid against Communist aggression. Four months earlier, the latest crisis in the troubled region began when Israeli, British, and French forces invaded Egypt and occupied the Suez Canal Zone in retaliation for Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser's nationalization of the waterway. The United Nations, the U.S., and the U.S.S.R. all expressed outrage at the hostilities, and Britain, France, and Israel agreed to withdraw from the Suez as a U.N. emergency force was sent to the area. Although the superpowers presented a facade of unity during the Suez Canal Crisis, both were primarily motivated by their ambition to gain influence with Arab states in the Middle East.
Eisenhower Announces Korean War Armistice
Eisenhower Announces Korean War ArmisticeAudio Clip (0:46)
Audio Clip (0:46)
On July 27, 1953, the Korean War armistice was signed, ending three years of fighting that involved two dozen nations. In his public statement delivered an hour after the signing, President Eisenhower commemorates those who fought to keep freedom alive.
Eisenhower on the Salk Polio Vaccine
Eisenhower on the Salk Polio VaccineAudio Clip (2:44)
Audio Clip (2:44)
Two years after American medical researcher Jonas Salk reported that he had successfully tested a vaccine against poliomyelitis, polio vaccinations were still not widely available in the United States. To assuage the public's concerns, President Eisenhower holds a press conference on May 4, 1955, and explains the need for further testing.
Eisenhower on the Suez Canal Crisis
Eisenhower on the Suez Canal CrisisAudio Clip (4:03)
Audio Clip (4:03)
In October 1956, Britain and France entered into a coalition with Israel, and the three nations launched a military attack against Egyptian forces in the Suez Canal. On October 31, in a speech to the nation, President Eisenhower expresses the United States' opposition to the military action.
Most Popular Videos on History.com
Read More about The 1950s
The 1950s were an era of optimism and prosperity in the United States, but also one of great conflict.Go
Keep up with the latest History shows, online features, special offers and more.Sign up