By: Franklin D. Roosevelt
Date: January 6, 1941
Source: Roosevelt, Franklin D. "The Four Freedoms." State of the Union speech, January 6, 1941. Available at the Institute for the Study of Civic Values online at ; website home page: http://www.libertynet.org (accessed August 28, 2002).
About the Author: Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882–1945), born in Hyde Park, New York, served as the thirty-second president of the United States, from 1933 to 1945. He became the only person in the nation's history to be elected to the presidency four times. Roosevelt is best remembered for leading the nation through two of its greatest challenges, the Great Depression and World War II (1939–1945). He died in office in April 1945.
When President Roosevelt made his State of the Union address to Congress on January 6, 1941, he did not know that within the year Japan would attack Pearl Harbor and the United States would be drawn into World War II. He considered the nation in a state of emergency nonetheless. He spoke of national defense and the support of U.S. allies but focused mainly on a broader picture. Roosevelt believed that democracy was in danger not only from military power but also from...
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"Franklin D. Roosevelt's Pearl Harbor Speech"
By: Franklin D. Roosevelt
Date: December 8, 1941
Source: Roosevelt, Franklin D. "Franklin D. Roosevelt's Pearl Harbor Speech." December 8, 1941. Available at the Boulder Community Network Government/Political Center online at http://bcn.boulder.co.us/government/national/speeches/spch2... ; website home page http://bcn.boulder.co.us (accessed March 14, 2003).
About the Author: Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882–1945), born in Hyde Park, New York, served as the thirty-second president of the United States, from 1933 to 1945. The only person in the nation's history to be elected to the presidency four times, he is best remembered for leading the nation through two of its greatest challenges: the Great Depression and World War II (1939–1945). He died in office in April 1945.
Even as World War II flared overseas, the United States government adopted a policy of nonintervention and chose to stay out of the conflict as long as possible. For the most part, this policy corresponded to the mainstream public desire to avoid the casualties and hardships of another conflict like World War I (1914–1918). By 1941,...
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Letter from James Y. Sakamoto to President Franklin D. Roosevelt
By: James Y. Sakamoto
Date: March 23, 1942
Source: Sakamoto, James Y."Letter from James Y. Sakamoto of the Emergency Defense Council Seattle Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League dated March 23, 1942. Emergency Defense Council of the Seattle Chapter, Japanese American Citizens League. March 23, 1942. Camp Harmony Exhibit. University of Washington. Available online at http://www.lib.washington.edu/exhibits/harmony/Documents/fd... ; website home page http://www.lib.washington.edu (accessed March 19, 2003).
About the Author: James Y. Sakamoto (1903–1955) was an American by birth and a leader in the Seattle and national Japanese American community. He founded the first English-language newspaper for Japanese Americans, the Japanese American Courier, in 1928. He also founded the Japanese American Citizen's League and served as its second national president. At the time he wrote to President Roosevelt, Sakamoto was a member of the Emergency Defense Council of the Seattle Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League. He was one of many Japanese American leaders who urged the U.S. government to rethink its violations of Japanese Americans' civil...
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By: Rose Wilder Lane
Source: Lane, Rose Wilder. The Discovery of Freedom: Man's Struggle Against Authority. Fiftieth Anniversary Edition. San Francisco: Fox & Wilkes, 1993.
About the Author: Rose Wilder Lane (1886–1968) was the first child of Almanzo and Laura Ingalls Wilder. Her family later became famous thanks to the Little House children's book series written by her mother, which Lane herself edited and heavily modified. As a columnist and author in her own right, Lane explored ideas about individual rights and international affairs and was one of a handful of highly visible U.S. women political commentators in the first half of the twentieth century.
The Discovery of Freedom: Man's Struggle Against Authority served as Rose Wilder Lane's personal manifesto, an explanation of a political philosophy built over a lifetime of travel and publication. Years of writing for popular newspapers and magazines established Lane as a respected journalist. Novels such as Diverging Roads and nonfiction books such as The Making of Herbert Hoover added to her reputation. Her time as a reporter for the American Red Cross brought her face-to-face with the aftermath of World...
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"Letters from Los Alamos"
By: Phyllis Fisher
Date: November 1944, August 1945
Source: Fisher, Phyllis. "Letters from Los Alamos." November 1944, August 1945. Reprinted in America Firsthand, edited by Robert D. Marcus and David Burner, vol. 2, Readings from Reconstruction to the Present, 4th ed. Boston: Bedford Books, 1997.
About the Author: Phyllis Fisher and her son moved to Los Alamos, New Mexico, in 1944. Her husband, physicist Leon Fisher, was sent to Los Alamos to work on developing the first nuclear bomb for the United States government through the so-called Manhattan Project. The entire project was classified, so the Fishers could not tell family or friends where they were going or why. After August 6, 1945, when the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, the entire world learned what had been done in Los Alamos. Phyllis Fisher then could write to her loved ones and discuss life on a secret military base and her reaction to the product of her husband's work.
In 1939, the U.S. government organized a project with scientists—many them refugees from enemy nations—to explore how it could use the newly discovered fission process for military purposes. These scientists, working with the armed forces, sought...
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The Road to Serfdom
By: Friedrich A. Hayek
Source: Hayek, Friedrich A. The Road to Serfdom: A Classic Warning Against the Dangers to Freedom Inherent in Social Planning. Reprint edition. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1976.
About the Author: Friedrich A. Hayek (1899–1992), an Austrian economist, served as the Took Professor of Economic Science and Statistics at the University of London from 1931 to 1950. In 1950, he became Professor of Social and Moral Science at the University of Chicago. He taught at the University of Freiburg, Germany, from 1962 to 1967. Hayek received the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1974.
As the 1940s began, Keynesian economic theory was the primary guide of U.S. public policy. This theory took its name from its founder, English economist, journalist, and financier John Maynard Keynes. In his influential work The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money (1935–1936), Keynes suggested that a government-sponsored policy of full employment would solve the problems of economic recession. This kind of centralized economic planning formed the basis of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal and President Harry S. Truman's Fair Deal programs. Roosevelt (served...
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"Serve Your Country in the WAVES"
By: U.S. Navy
Source: "Serve your country in the WAVES." 1944. Navy Historical Center. Department of the Navy. Available online at ; website home page http://www.history.navy.mil/index.html (accessed March 17, 2003).
About the Organization: Throughout World War II (1939–1945), the U.S. government recruited men into national service, urged citizens to ration scarce resources such as food and gasoline, warned Americans against sharing confidential military information, and encouraged people to buy war bonds. It also conducted campaigns to draw women into the military. The U.S. Navy, for example, advertised on behalf of its female corps, the WAVES. Such advertisements reinforced the notion of U.S. servicewomen as patriots and as inspirational role models for the next generation of Americans.
The U.S. Navy formed the WAVES, or Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service, as a military unit on July 30, 1942. The WAVES immediately became a popular choice, drawing approximately 100,000 women during World War II. These servicewomen filled a number of different roles within the United States, from clerical workers to instructors for male pilots during flight...
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"Charter of the United Nations Preamble"
By: Representatives of the Governments of the United Nations
Date: June 26, 1945
Source: "Charter of the United Nations Preamble." June 26, 1945. Available at the University of Minnesota Human Rights Library online at http://www1.umn.edu/humanrts/instree/preamble.html; website home page http://www1.umn.edu/humanrts/index.html (accessed March 19, 2003).
About the Organization: Although the United Nations Charter had no one single author, the so-called "Big Three" nations—the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union—took the lead in establishing the organization. The charter itself resulted primarily from international wartime conferences held in Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, D.C.; Yalta, Crimea; and San Francisco, California.
The name "United Nations" (UN)...
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"President Harry S. Truman's Address Before a Joint Session of Congress, March 12, 1947"
By: Harry S. Truman
Date: March 12, 1947
Source: Truman, Harry S. "President Harry S. Truman's Address Before a Joint Session of Congress, March 12, 1947." The Avalon Project at the Yale Law School. Available online at http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/trudoc.htm; website home page http://www.yale.edu (accessed March 18, 2003).
About the Author: Harry S. Truman (1884–1972) was president of the United States from 1945 to 1953. Born in Missouri, he held a seat in the U.S. Senate before becoming vice president during the last term of President Franklin D. Roosevelt (served 1933–1945). When Roosevelt died suddenly in 1945, Truman became the thirty-third president of the United States. He remained in the White House until 1953. Truman is best remembered for his decision to use the atomic bomb against the Japanese in World War II (1939–1945), his opposition to Soviet expansionism across the globe, and his precedent-setting Truman Doctrine.
On March 12, 1947, President Harry S. Truman addressed a joint session of Congress to request immediate economic and military aid for the governments of Greece and Turkey. At the time the...
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The Testimony of J. Edgar Hoover Before the House Un-American Activities Committee
By: J. Edgar Hoover
Date: March 26, 1947
Source: "The Testimony of J. Edgar Hoover Before the House Un-American Activities Committee." March 26, 1947. Reprinted in Cold War. Cable News Network. Available at CNN online at ; website home page http://www.cnn.com (accessed March 17, 2003).
About the Author: J[ohn] Edgar Hoover (1895–1977) served as the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation from 1924 until his death. The size and scope of the FBI expanded greatly under his controversial leadership. He is best known for his aggressive investigation of communists both inside and outside of the U.S. government, his surveillance of so-called "political radicals" from Ku Klux Klan members to Martin Luther King, Jr., and his toleration of Mafia activity in the United States.
After the World War II alliance between the United States and the Soviet Union ended, American anticommunist sentiment exceeded its pre-war level because the chief communist power, the Soviet Union, was the sole superpower competing with the United States. Its political system of centralized planning and government ownership was in opposition to the U.S. political system of democratic elections and...
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"Address by General George C. Marshall Secretary of State of the United States at Harvard University, June 5, 1947"
By: George C. Marshall
Date: June 5, 1947
Source: "Address by General George C. Marshall Secretary of State of the United States at Harvard University." June 5, 1947. Available at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development online at http://www.oecd.org/EN/document/0,,EN-document-0-nodirector... ; website home page http://www.oecd.org (accessed March 17, 2003).
About the Author: General George C. Marshall (1880–1959) served as U.S. Army chief of staff during World War II (1939–1945) and later as secretary of state (1947–1949) and secretary of defense (1950–1951). He is best remembered for the European Recovery Program he proposed in 1947, which became known as the Marshall Plan. In 1953 he received the Nobel Prize for Peace.
World War II dealt a harsh blow to the economies of many European nations. It also left the democratic United States vying with the communist Soviet Union for influence across the globe. In an address at Harvard University in 1947, U.S. Secretary of State George Marshall suggested the idea of a European self-help program, financed by the United...
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"Dewey Defeats Truman"
By: Frank Cancellare
Date: November 4, 1948
Source: "Dewey Defeats Truman." Photograph. November 4, 1948. United Press International.
About the Publication: The editors of the Chicago Daily Tribune were not alone in assuming that President Harry S. Truman (served 1945–1953) could not win the 1948 U.S. presidential election. Most polls and political analysts predicted a victory by his Republican opponent, Thomas E. Dewey. Truman did win the race, however, thanks to aggressive personal campaigning across the country and his strategy of attacking the Republican Congress instead of the Republican presidential candidate. Papers with partisan Republican leanings, such as the Chicago Daily Tribune, pictured below, were anxious to report the defeat of the Democrat Truman. The Chicago Daily Tribune 's error is best remembered because of the famous photograph of President Truman posing with its mistaken headline that Dewey, not Truman, won the election of 1948.
Vice President Harry S. Truman, a former senator from Missouri, became president of the United States on April 12, 1945, after Franklin D. Roosevelt (served 1933–1945) died in office. He agreed with Roosevelt's New Deal policy, which was based...
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"Communists Should Not Teach in American Colleges"
By: Raymond B. Allen
Date: May 1949
Source: Allen, Raymond B. "Communists Should Not Teach in American Colleges." Educational Forum, vol. 13, no. 4, May 1949. Available online at http://www.english.upenn.edu/~afilreis/50s/raymond-allen.ht... (accessed March 17, 2003).
About the Author: Raymond B. Allen (1902–1986) was a physician who worked as a professor and administrator in several medical schools before rising to the presidency of the University of Washington at Seattle in 1946. Two years later, he was responsible for the controversial dismissal of three professors who allegedly held communist sympathies. In 1949, he published an article, "Communists Should Not Teach in American Colleges," in the journal Educational Forum. Allen left the university in 1951 and served as chancellor of the University of California at Los Angeles from 1952 to 1959.
Like many other U.S. groups, the academic world fell prey to the so-called "Red Scare" in the early years of the Cold War. Anticommunism in the United States was as old as communism itself; panic about the communist threat against democracy had surfaced as early as the opening...
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"Wipe Out Discrimination"
By: Committee for Industrial Organization (CIO)
Source: "Wipe Out Discrimination." Poster. 1949. Reprinted in Boyer, Paul S., et al. The Enduring Vision. Second edition. Lexington, Mass.: D.C. Heath and Company, 1993.
About the Organization: Public-service announcements on posters and in other media not only reflected social trends and movements by expressing popular sentiments but also allowed organizations to advertise themselves by linking their names with successful ideas. In this case, the Committee for Industrial Organization (CIO), a labor union, sought to link its agenda with the growing emphasis on civil rights. Despite this and other efforts to revitalize itself, the CIO did not thrive. In 1955, it joined the American Federation of Labor (AFL) to form the AFL-CIO. The AFL-CIO had internal problems as well, however, and its membership decreased over time.
Civil rights became a more visible issue during the Truman administration for several reasons. First, increased racial violence in the South made the problem difficult to ignore. Second, leaders of the Soviet Union focused much of their anti-U.S. rhetoric on the U.S. mistreatment of blacks. In part this was a response to U.S. criticisms of...
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By: Felix S. Cohen
Source: Cohen, Felix S. "Indian Self-Government." American Indian, 1949. Reprinted In Red Power: The American Indians' Fight for Freedom, second edition. Edited by Josephy, Alvin M., Jr., et al. Lincoln, Neb.: University of Nebraska Press, 1999, 69–72.
About the Author: Felix S. Cohen (1907–1953) was a distinguished legal theorist and an activist for Native American rights. From 1933 to 1948 he served as an assistant solicitor with the U.S. Department of the Interior, where he worked on American Indian issues. He later entered private practice and taught law at the City College of New York and Yale Law School. As an attorney and author he worked with the Association on American Indian Affairs until his death in 1953. He is best known for his influential book Handbook of Federal Indian Law (1942).
As early as President Thomas Jefferson's so-called "Indian Civilization Campaign" in the early nineteenth century, political thinkers and legal theorists—not to mention Native American leaders—have called for more opportunities for American Indians to enjoy self-rule, or sovereignty. The U.S. government's forced removal of native nations in the mid- to late nineteenth...
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