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Cheat Sheet


Table of contents
  1. Lecture 2: WWII and the New World Order
  2. Lecture 3: The Struggle for Civil Rights to 1961
  3. Lecture 4: Prosperity, Consumierms, and Environment
  4. Lecture 5: Critique, Discontent, and Alternatives
  5. Lecture 6: Kennedy and the Cold War
  6. Lecture 7: Civil Rights – Policy and Activism During 1964 and 1965
  7. Lecture 8: The Great Society
  8. Lecture 9: The Vietnam War – In Country (1964 - 1965)
  9. Lecture 10: The Rise of Black Power
  10. Lecture 11: New Left, New Right
  11. Lecture 12: Counterculture and Dropping Out
  12. Lecture 13: The Vietnam War – 1966 to 1967
  13. Lecture 14: 1968, Part 1 – Things Fall Apart…
  14. Lecture 15: 1968, Part 2 – Global and National Changes
  15. Lecture 16: Sexual Revolution
  16. Lecture 17: “They’re Selling Hippie Wigs in Woolworth’s Man”
  17. Lecture 18: A New Environmentalism
  18. Lecture 19: Out of the Quagmire
  19. Lecture 20: The Fallout from the 1960s

Lecture 2: WWII and the New World Order

World War II brought a sense that global order was needed to stave off another great conflagration in the future, but the emergence of the United States and the Soviet Union as two great competing forces introduced a new destabilizing conflict

Bretton Woods conference1944 conference in which world leaders got together to discuss economics post-WWII: creation of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund to help contries after the war. Plays into a sense of global recovery.
United Nations1945, New York – established with the mission to collective keep peace, to create a body which would solve problems before they arise. However, with the establishment of the UN, many countries began pointing at the US’ poor Civil Rights record. A strong push for Civil Rights comes with Cold War criticism from foreign countries.
Marshall IslandsChosen by the atomic energy commission for tests; in 1946 the Baker Test at Bikini Atoll is done. Part of an attempt to understand the new-found power of atomic energy.
Long TelegramWritten by diplomat George Kennan, the 1946 telegram reports to the US state government what is happening in the Soviet Union, and recommends the US formally reocgnize the USSR as an enemy and begin strategic planning.
Truman Doctrine1947: Lending large amounts of money to places in the world so they don’t fall under the influecne of the Soviet Union, and providing military aid, such as to Turkey and Greece. Truman wanted to see Germany unified. A belief that there were two worlds – one free, one not – and that one needed to show the goodness of freedom.
Castle Bravo Test1954 test in the Marshall Islands, in which the released power exceeded the projection by 2505x, and was 1000x larger than the Hiroshima bomb. Illustrates the extent to which scientists were still uanware of the full extent of the nuclear technologies thye were developing.
DecolonizationThe end of WWII marked a beginning of a chain of decolonization efforts. The US had given the Phillippines Independence in 1946, and pressured Great Britain to give up their colonies as well, emphasizing a belief in the self-determination of nations.
The “loss” of ChinaCommunists in China win the Civil War in 1949; although the US had never possessed China, they perceived it as a ‘loss’ to Communism – illustrative of the zero-sum game with which the battle against Communism was perceived. This “loss” would put presure on Truman to adopt foreign policy which would mitigate other countries from following a similar path.
Iran, Guatemala, Cuba, Vietnam…The US provides aid to Iran, Saudi Arabia, and many South-East Asian nations out of fear of Communism in the 1950s. There is a concern domestically if the US becomes a garrison state which raises taxes, has a global military presence, and becomes almost totalarian in its defense of formal freedom.
NSC-681950 US Policy statement that the Cold War is an epic struggle between freedom and the slavery and grim oligarchy of communism, and that foreign policy would be the site at which this struggle was waged. The need for containment mired the US in wars. This means that American taxpayers have a hefty bill to pay.
Nationalization of ResourcesIn 1953, Iran accepts Mohammed Mossadegh’s nationalization of Iranian oil as opposed to giving it to other foreign companies (Anglo-Iranian oil company). In 1956 the Egyptian president Nasser wants to nationalize the Suez Canal in Egypt for Egyptions. Likewise with land in Guatemala. The west opposed the nationalization of resources in such nations by military or political force.
Oil for SecurityA 1945 agreement with Saudi Arabia to provide oil agreements, which America needed to suppoprt its heavily mechanized armies as well as its growing consumer product industries.
Korean War1948 - 1950: The Korean War becomes a test of US containment policy and a focal point of the early Cold War. Kim Il Sung (communist) agianst Syngman Rhee (anti-communist authoritarian). A battleground between major powers waged over Korea: the United States against the Chinese- and USSR-supported Communist Korean forces.
The “Iron Curtain”1946: A claim of post-WWII territory by the Soviet Union – an iron curtain has descended across the European continent. Further entrenched the zero-sum logic of the cold war by demarcating areas ‘not open to the free world’.
McCarthyismFrom the late 1940s to the mid 1950s, Senator Joseph McCarthy made himself well known by suggesting that the US political structure was riddled with communist subversives.
Garrison StateThe concern that the United States was becoming a military state which continually needed American taxes to fund its military endeavors, which it justified in the name of freedom and containment abroad.
Hydrogen Bomb1952 development of fusion bombs which were much more powerful than atomic bombs. Something poetic that the most inocuous element, hydrogen, is at the center of this massively destructive technology. Robert Oppenheimer and others voice opposition to the hydrogen bomb. These new technologies of mass destruction open up metaphysical questions of existence, purpose, and (the end of) history.
Kitchen Debates1959 – meeting between Chairman Khushchev and Vice President Nixon at the opening of the American National Exhibit. Demonstrates the tensions present during this time, ideologically, culturally, and politically. That part of the debate took place in a simulacra of an American Kitchen also demonstrates a greater awareness that the domestic is political.
Mutually Assured DestructionA new logic of weapons of mass destruction in which the goal was to not need to use weapons – the function of a nuclear weapon is to sit there and wait, and emenates pure deterrent forces. There is an investment purely into image and negativity. A free soceity builds large nuclear stockpiles and takes large taxes, but using them is to lose. A new logic in the technological era.

Lecture 3: The Struggle for Civil Rights to 1961

WWII changed the conversation over civil rights by placing the United States in a struggle for human freedom. The war’s outcome and the meanings of the Cold War empowered new leaders, spurred new efforts, led to new tactics that advanced civil rights in America.

A. Philip RandolphIn 1941, Randolph conceived of a March on Washington as the US is entering WWII; under Randolph’s pressure, Roosevelt had to make important policy concessions. Represented a major push to unify Black Americans.
Executive Order 88021941 prohibition of discrimination in the defense industries, a result of Randolph’s threats.
The Bracero Program1942 to 1964. Bracero – means ‘labor / worker’ in Spanish. An invitation for Mexicans to come and work in the US until 1964, where there is a large change in immigration policy. A result of large changes in American agriculture. Similarly, many Black people are moving from rural to urban settings, shifting from agricultural to industrial work. Demonstrates changing economic situations and human movement post-WWII, an opening up.
Rosie the RiveterRosie the Riveter is white, but black women also served in the same industrial defense jobs during WWII.
Redlining and Racial covenantsInstitutional and structural restrictions put on people of color – where you can live, insurance, real estate, banks, etc. Present even in places like Seattle. Few Black people are able to buy a home, and are unable to use this home as capital. Demonstration of systematic ‘on-the-books-off-the-book’ systematic discrimination, even post-WWII, which many black people served in.
Jackie Robinson1947 – was a lietenant in the army, but goes on to become an important Civil Rights leader. Was tried for insubordination, and practiced bus sit-ins. Another demonstration of Civil Rights resistance post-WWII.
Black InternationalismAn intellectual movement linking global colonialism to Black disenfranchisement. Alternatively known as pan-Africanism. Asserts the plight of people of African descent, whereever they are. Franz Fanon, Du Bois, Robeson. Highlights colonial relationships and tensions in the US.
Human RightsEleanor Roosevelt’s 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights – equal in dignity, without distinction of any kind. The irony is that the US will not sign it because of the Southern legacy of Blck oppression – John Dulles refuses to sign for fear that it will open up international investigation of the “Negro question”. Post-WWII, people are becoming very aware of the racial problem, and the US Civil Rights record significantly damages the US’ ability to function in the UN.
Brown v. Board of Education1954 Kansas ruling – highly calculated, not spontaneous. The NAACP had been looking for how to argue desegregation in the judicial system in the best place. A focus on Kansas as ‘in between North and South’ would bring more national attention. Main argument: by forcing Black students to walk much farther to go to segregated schools, it is uneven. Overturning of ‘separate but equal’ which is not really equal in education.
SNCCSNCC is a very different institution compared tot he SCLC (which emerges in 1956) – it doesn’t really have a leadership, almost intentionally, and in fact is quite critical of the SCLC’s top-heavy nature. Illustrates the diversity of Civil Rights approaches and efforts leading up to the 1960s.
CORE1942, Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) – an important Black Civil Rights organization which will continue to play an important role throughout. Rresponsible later for more militant movement, such as the 1961 freedom rides
“To Secure These Rights”1948, statement released by Truman administration which declared the presence of a serious racial problem in America. Discussed how racism weakened the country because it opened it up to criticsm by the Communist party, and that Racism was an open wound which would bring down the country. However it reads sort of complacently, with a focus on broad structural forces but doesn’t really point the finger at anything. Truman later integrates the armed forces and sets up ways for women to have permanent career paths in the military. Part of an effort post-WWII to advance the Civil Rights agenda.
PluralismFDR talks a lot about pluralism in wartime – bringing different lands together. However this is a pluralism which exposes an immanent contradiction – the US is not living out its pluralist vision.
Southern Manifesto1956 document opposing racial integration in public spaces and showing the Southern states acting as one legislative bloc on the subject of racial integration.
Emmett Till1955 murder of Emmet Till – significant because it had resonance within Black communities in the North.
Rosa ParksRosa Parks, a longtime member of the NAACP, is a practiced activist, and embarks on her famous bus trips in 1955.
Ella BakerInvolved with SNCC in 1960 – focuses on organizing young people and knew it would be young people who would be the vanguard of Civil Rights. Was focused on getting away from people like MLK and putting the roles in the hands of the ‘every-people’ – a decentralized movement is stronger.
Robert MosesA Northerner who came down to the South and did the same kind of organizing work among young people
Sit-ins1960 sit-ins, mostly student led movements to occupy and violate segregated spaces. Later on, movements would target movement between state lines more than just occupying segregated spaces. Many young black people were killed as they attempted to do wade-ins.
Freedom Rides1961, the CORE begins taking long bus rides to further challenge the status quo; a follow-up to sit-ins. At first, CORE is doing bus rides in the upper South and going from state-to-state in Virginia, and this doesn’t raise as much publicity. Rather, gets the federal government involved by going across states. Taking buses from New York to Alabama – the result is much, much more violent. Indicates a shift from stationary to moving demonstrations in the early sixties.

Lecture 4: Prosperity, Consumierms, and Environment

The modernist view of a consumer-driven economy, which began around 1920, seemed to reach is zenith by about 1960 only to encounter new challenges in health, environment, discrimination, and the emergence of economic citizenship.

Federal Housing Act1934 restructuring of the mortgage industry – changes in federal policies would be one of the most significant economic changes to come out of WWII on housing. After increasing wages after the war, more and more poeple are moving into suburban spaces.
Keynesian economicsEmergence of a consensus around Keynesian economic theory after the war – if the state could mobilize so well during wartime, why not in peacetime as well? Dind’t want to see a massive dip in consumption and production post-war.
TupperwareIndicates a proliferation of plastics – although plastics hadn’t played much of a role in American life, war research produced a lot of plastics technlology which was now being put into consumer products. Brownie Wise was a leading advocate of Tupperware. A post-war success story.
Workers’ health/consumers’ healthThere is emerging concern about public health given proliferation of chemicals and products.
DDTDDT is initially used in war but is being deployed as a pesticide. Used to address the large gypspy moth problem in Long Island. Attracts Rachel Carson. Wide use of chemicals in unprecedented ways post-war.
Silent SpringRachel Carson, a biologist in Johns Hopkins interested in stories about nature and environmentalism. The 1962 Silent Spring was meant to inspire women (targets of consumerism) and also points the finger at the entymologists and other federal agents to produce sterile, insect-free environments. Rising fears of nuclear threats. Silent Spring makes a big splash; Kennedy read it. Strong criticism between the intimacy between the state and the indusrtry. Silent Spring is an important book to produce Kennedy’s consumer bill of rights.
Baby teeth study, Strontium-901959 Baby Teeth Experiment shows that strontium-90 is showing up in baby teeth; it rests in human bones and behave like calcium. A discovery of the rapid unseen proliferation of chemicals.
Post-war chemicals 
GI Bill1944, major change to American life after WW2. Millions of Americans can get zero percent down loan with zero percent interest to build a farm, go to college, buy a house, etc. – many could not do so before, now can do so. However, many of the same racial restrictions are in place – that is, locally restricted, laws are left ambiguous to local codes which are still racist in the south.
Suburban spaceExpanse of suburban living and the single-family home, which radically changes American life. Massive Levitowns emerge, a new kind of rapidly built shoddy griddy American suburban sprawling neighborhood. With increasing wages after the war, more and more people are moving into suburban spaces. Part of this life is about ‘materialism’ – living in new suburban spaces with more consumer products than before – all these new things to put in people’s homes. Moreover, cars are central to navigating this new suburban environment.
Planned obsolescenceMarket thinking and advertisement thinking spreads throughout the economy. Products are designed to become obsolete. Waste is a byproduct of the capitalist system: it increases standards of living and produces commodities, but much waste. An emergence of taste economy, and massive proliferation of landfills – the excess of civilization.
Economic citizenshipIncreasingly, idea of American freedom is being connected to economic citizenship – to be an American citizen is to have a certain standard of living: at least a middle-class existence. Americans increasingly worry less about the political sphere and more about an economic sphere existence. By 1960, this swing has begun to happen.
FIFRA1947 – starts out as an attempt to protect consumers, turns into a snake oil law – no advertising if it doesn’t work. An initial attempt to protect consumers which ends up being weak and needs further bolstering later on, especially going into the sixties.
LandfillsBy the 60s and the late 70s, landfills begin to proliferate over America and aren’t regulated until they start causing problems. The issue is that landfills leak nasty materials into the water and show up in people’s drinking supplies. Staten Island, New York has the largest landfill in the world by 1955. Demonstrates the rapid growth of the consumer economy and production industries leading up to the sixties – the creation of the consumerist mateiralist economy.
Kennedy’s consumer bill of rights1962 – “Consumers, by definition, include us all.” A declaration of the consumer as needing government support to live a safe late. Observation of growing pressure on the consumer to play all roles.
Partial nuclear test ban1963 – Kennedy signs the partial nuclear test ban (but does not ban nuclear testing). What was before radical during the McCarthyite era was now common – middle-class American protesting against atmospheric testing. Kennedy’s signing into law demonstrates a greater political and environmental consciousness in relationship to war and commodities.

Lecture 5: Critique, Discontent, and Alternatives

The influences of African American art forms and the impulse to non-conformity helped to further fragment the 1960s as especially young people searched for alternate forms of expression

Conformity, Non-ConformityAlthough American culture undergoes heavy conformist checks in ideology (Cold War, McCarthyism, etc.), in the 1950s and 1960s there is greater discontent being publicly voiced. Comformist boundaries are being violated.
Critiques of Mass SocietyMany critiques of mass society emerge such as The Lonely Crowd and The Affluent Society. The important takeaway here is that people, at least some people, are critically aware of the changes in economics, macro and micro, and how that is changing public and private relationships.
Allen Ginsburg’s “Howl”1955, a centerpiece of the counterculture which articualtes something which is wrong about the mass proliferation of consumerism. Becomes an intellectual and artistic keystone in understanding the 1950s and 1960s discontent.
ExpatriatesJames Baldwin, Richard Wright, Arthur Himes – many writers become expatriates, sometimes for racial reasons (Baldwin felt that he was treated better outside of the US) and others to critique American society ‘from the outside’.
The BeatsA group of writers and thinkers who sought to express the ‘being beat’ of mass conformist culture and articulate novel visions of freedom.
HipstersHipsters were strongly influenced by Black art forms and emerge in the 1950s to 1960s, tied with the beats. There is an intentional wrking class affectation which is key to the hipster aesthetic. What is important is that the hipster is a dimension of the market system – they go to the fringes of what is acceptable, take from it, and bring it back to the mainstream. Norman Mailer – “The White Negro”
Be-BopA new form of jazz which is fast, loud, experimental, and exploratory. It is abraisive at times. Represents a new music which is less focused on conformism and more on expression.
JazzJazz works alongside the Beats to articulte new forms of freedom in musical form: Miles Davis, Bud Powell, Billie Holiday, etc. Jazz also has an important racial dimension: most Jazz musicians were Black and obviously Jazz has a tradition in African-American culture. Many Jazz musicians could not enter the venues they played at in the front, some were beaten by the police, etc.
The Folk MovementFounded in individuals like Pete Seeger, travels around and plays a lot of music. Concentration on ‘folk’ – supposed to be the music of the people. Peter Seeger reflecting on the IWW – unionism and togetherness, stirring up the people. Utah Phillips. Bob Dylan comes of age in the 20s; recalls the communist influence of the 1930s labor activism – particularly Woody Guthrie. Reflecting on the 1930s labor activism, critique of the government

Lecture 6: Kennedy and the Cold War

Kennedy’s short tenure as President showed him to be a Cold Warrior who was ready to fight the spread of communism, but his experiences in office altered his political rhetoric by 1963 to a focus on World Peace.

Cuban Missle Crisis1962 – Soviet Missiles are found in Cuba, they have IRBMs which can virtually reach anywhere in the US. There is tremendous tension: peole are fearful that this will come to a nuclear conflict. Consequentially, Kennedy and Khushev couldn’t really talk to each other – ambassador to ambassador, department to department. Getting communiques which are supported to be from Khushchev, but maybe not really Khushchev saying these things – communication breakdowns and problems. Importantly, the Cuban Missile Crisis was a turning point in Kennedy’s administration, in the Cold War, and in the usage of nuclear weapons in general. It was the sort of postmodern culmination of deterrent energy.
Bay of Pigs Invasion1961 – Kennedy allows expatriates to infiltrate Cuba to overthrow Castro; however, pulls back crucial supplies like air support; seen as indecisive. The overthrow fails, and the US is internationally embarrassed. This may demonstrate Kennedy’s indecisiveness as a political leader and importantly plays into his desire to show resolve against communism in the future, which will be important when understanding his relationship with Vietnam.
U-2 spy planesThe US maintains spy plane initiatives at high altitudes to spy on many places, and the USSR also does with us – both sides know this. This is a mutual surveillance which is part of the deterrent logic of nuclear weapons.
Advisors in VietnamBy 1963, 16k advisors are going into operations and getting involved in combat operations in Vietnam. Like in Cuba, the Kennedy administration is committed to ‘war of no deaths’ – so mainly training the local resistance in Vietnam to fight. However this will turn into boots on the ground in 1965, just two years later.
Containment in VietnamVietnam takes on an important symbolic role; it is important that the Communist forces are contained in Vietnam.
Domino TheoryThe idea that if one Communist movement were to prevail, others would also. Placed increased importance on fighting in Vietnam even though it wasn’t that significant to Americans ‘objectively.
Ngo Dinh DiemThe US begins to support Ngo Dinh Diem under Eisenhower who rises to power in Southern Vietnam. However he is a despot and assassinated in 1963; after tremendous conflict, a new general Khahn arises, which the US backs.
Buddhists’ ProtestsBuddhists were often the target of religious laws by a mostly Catholic Southern Vietnamese elite. Some Buddhists participated in high-profile immolation as protest, to which Madame Nhu referred to as “barbecue”
Speech at American UniversityTowards the end of his presidency, Kennedy begins to demonstrate a focus on world peace and taking a critical view at communism.
Gemini Program1961 Space Program to test differetn methods of space travel and mechanics. Part of a broader technological race in the Cold War.
Counter-InsurgencyThe US puts a lot of effort into training for the war, which sinks them more deeply in Vietnam.
Operation MONGOOSEA covert plot to kill Castro, worked on heavily by Kennedy and Dulles. This in turn pushed Castro closer tot he Soviets; he knew he was being targeted by the US. However Castro didn’t want to be a Soviet satellite.
Green BeretsGreen Berets play an important advisoral role in Vietnam by going into the mountains and training tribal people to be armies for the South. By 1963, there were 950 Green Berets in Vietnam.
Assassinations of 1963Medgar Evers, Kennedy. A greater use of violence to demonstrate political ends. Later would be the 65 assassination of Malcolm X and the 68 assassination of MLK Jr. Also notable are the deaths of 1963: Sylvia Plath, Aldous Huxley, W.E.B. Du Bois, Patrick Kennedy, CS Lewis, Robert Frost, Thich Quang Duc, Francis Poulenc and Edith Piaf…

Lecture 7: Civil Rights – Policy and Activism During 1964 and 1965

The height of the Civil Rights movement brought policy changes and helped to alter American politics of both the left and right as well as creating a new pluralist America.

Birmingham, ALAfter the Civil War, Birmingham is one of thef ew Southern cities where there is an effort to invest a lot of capital by Northern industrialists to create an industrial town. Birmingham is at the center of reconstruction investment. Birmingham becomes an important place to stake a stand; a lot of Black folks have a stake in Civil Rights there; black people still remain second class. Birmingham becomes a centerpiece of Civil RIghts. By 1963, Birmingham had become a very violent place. A lot of strategy was centered here.
Civil Rights ActThe Civil Rights Act of 1964 – prohibited discrimination in schools and privately owned institutions. The South got away previously with discrimination via public/private divide (14thd eosnt apply to private institutions). Included discrimination based on sex, which was an interesting development. Many employers continued to discriminate on the basis of sex because of the biological component there. Moreover, the ‘64 act did not mention voting, which was a major Civil Rights issue. In general, while the Civil Rights act, bolstered by LBJ passing it through congress, seeing Civil Rights as politically expedient, it left a lot to be wanted. Still it marked progress.
Medgar EversThe first ‘martyr’ of the Civil Rights movement; first of Baldwin’s “trinity of assassinations” (Evers, Malcolm X, King) – workedo n many issues in the SOuth, including the Mississippi wade-ins, Emmett Till’s murder, the Mississippi NAACP. Killed in his own home by a white supremacist, one of the assassinations which leads to the November ‘63 JFK assassination.
Fannie Lou HamerA local activist in Mississippi who engages in local agitation adn activation; becomes a voice of the struggle in Mississippi at the Democratc Convention. Demonstrates the nationwide focus on specific issues of Civil Rights in the South, and the connectedness of the Civil Rights movements.
1964 Presidential ElectionDemocratic Convention in 1964 – important Civil Rights influences. …
Voting Rights Act 
24th Amendment 
Barry Goldwater 
Malcolm X 
Muhammad Ali 
Black Power 
Hart-Cellar Act 
Freedom Schools 
School Integration 
Voting Education Project (VEP) 
George Wallace 
Bayard Rustin 
March on Washington 
Selma, AL 
Freedom Summer 

Lecture 8: The Great Society

The Great Society was a response to prosperity. It was a vision of a more generally prosperous America that would use the power of the federal government to solve economic and social problems.

The Great Society 
THe War on Poverty 
The Other America 
Head Start 
Medicaid and Medicare 

Lecture 9: The Vietnam War – In Country (1964 - 1965)

A commitment to stop the spread of communism anywhere in the world did not prepare Americans to win a war in this specific place and time.

“hearts and minds”A critical part of the narrative play of the Vietnam War – we needed to iwn the hearts and minds of the people. It becomes a very thing to do in the war. Later, a film with the same name is made, exposing the contradictions and violence of the American leadership in the war.
Strategic Hamlet conceptStarted by the French, then carried over by the Americans. Goal: to identify little Hamlets (villages) which had been targets of the communists and physically fortify them as well as supporting the people in them. Part of the hearts and minds campaign.
PacificationThe Strategic Hamlet program was not really working in general. MACV-USAID program to help the South Vietnamese government to pacify the countryside. The idea was to get the South Vietnamese government to take over the pacification program.
Gulf of Tonkin incident1964. The Maddox and the Turner Joy ships were in the Gulf of Tonkin when a torpedo was shot at them by a NOrth Vietnamese ship; the attack never comes, but the situation is escalated. The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution is sent to Congress, and it is almost unanimously voted for. The Gulf of Tonkin incident demonstrates how on edge everyone was about the conflict and how quickly the state was willing to mobilize resources for the war.
War aimsThe war aims of the United States in a 1965 memorandom of purpose were as follows: 70% to maintain US reputation (containment), 20% to check the Chinese, and 10% to make life better for people in South Vietnam. Ironically, the United States wanted to emerge from the crisis without unacceptable taint from the methods they used. The War Aims demonstrate the extent to which the Vietnam War was fought for images and relations; Vietnam was reduced to a substrate of the symbolic.
Operation Rolling ThunderExtensive bombing, went off for a long time. Large and small aircraft together bombing the fuck out of the Ho Chi Minh trail. Very controversial, done under the idea of graduated escalation. McNamara wanted to turn up the bombing to a very high volume, then turn it down and hope the North came back to negotiate. Later, the US would attack the oil fields and bomb other infrastructure.
Operation Ranch HandSpraying large amounts of herbicides to kill the cover of the forest so they could see enemy movements. Vietnam had a triple canopy forest, and was very hard to see through. Spraying these chemicals over everyone made US soldiers and Vietnamese civilians develop severe health issues. Vietnam goes from being a rice exporter to a rice importer during this period.
Operation PhoenixPHOENIX program from 1965 to 1972 engaged in subversive work – assassinations, intimidation, identifying who in a village needs to die to get the influence of the village. Also, training ARVN to engage in the same kinds of tactics – investigations, killings, kidnappings, torture, etc.
Ho Chi Minh trailA road system which runs from the North, goes through Laos, and then goes into the South. Is a target of enormous bombing campaigns, but the US is unsuccessful in attempting to stop the flow of supplies. Demonstrates the inability to just pound people into submission with technological might, and also the expansion of the Vietnam War outside of the geographical borders of Vietnam.
Arc Light StrikesA central feature of the war. Big B-52 bombers get called in whenver a military unit is in trouble. Dropped 4x as many bombs in the South as in the North. Not much data on waht the aftereffects are, but North Vietnamese soldiers would report that for them, the Arc light attacks are the most terrifying part of the war – there is nothing, and then suddenly the ground opens up.
Battle of Ia Drang Valley3-day battle during the Ia Drang campaign in November of 1965. The only way to survive was to constantly call in air strikes and artillery. The Americans were basically surrounded. Seen as a tactical victory, but devastating losses at Ia Drang valley. Both sides learned lessons: the US learned that technological brute force could work. The North learned that you have to fight Americans in close distance, close enough where they can’t just bomb you – and the tactics totally change. Represents a solidifying of strategies.
StrategiesSee above
Teach-insAmerican society is at war. Begin at the University of Michigan before spreading on to more than 100 campuses. Faculty talk about the war in public venues; students try to understand it. Beginning in 1965, reflecting the sit-ins and wade-ins, students would come and listen to faculty speaking about the war. Teach-ins generally expressed an anti-war sentiment.
HelicoptersHelicopters were especially important to the war; a major technological innovation which starts in Korea and becomes a major workhorse of the American campaign. Helicopters become necessary for everything because of the difficult terrain of Vietnam – the Americans needed helicopter airlifts in many places. “Huey” helicopters made by Bell Helicopter – a company which did pretty well during the war.
TacticsThe US is still dedicated to search and destroy, trying to find the enemy. The Vietnamese are using hit and run tactics, and not holding on to territory. This is therefore not a traditional war in the way that the US is used to it. As the war goes on, there is less and less support in the South for a long war. VC tactics are quite successful at eroding American morale.
War of RestraintThe idea of a war of restraint – the US had certain lines that it was not going to cross. LBJ and McNamara continued to push this point, as they fought against the more gung-ho military.

Lecture 10: The Rise of Black Power

Though not a well-defined or unified movement, Black Power gave voice to many Black Americans who promoted Black pride and connections to Africa, as well as demanded immediate institutional changes.

Radio Free DixieRobber F. Williams, an early Black militant, is exiled to Cuba. Sets up a radio – Radio Free Dixie, from 1961 to 1965. Radio waves can be received in the American SOuth. A platform for ideas about Blacks arming themselves, Black militancy, etc Not just hearing the SNCC and SCLC line of non-violent progress.
Black PowerOriginates from changes towards integration and other attempts to get Blacks to vote. Malcolm X sees the nonviolent approach as a shameful one – one that plays into the hands of white oppression. A sharper and less acquiescent formulation of the Black identity by really seeing the violence done to Blacks in America by the police and vigilantes.
Nation of IslamIntroduction of Islam as offering a more authentically Black spirituality than Christianity (or Hedonist capitalist athiesm).
Bobby Seale & Huey NewtonLeaders of the Black Panther Party – 1966, Oakland, California. “Freedom by any means necessary”. See Black Americans as a legacy of colonialism, and linking the Black struggle with toher anti-colonial struggles in Southeast Asia and Africa. Focused a lot on neighborhoods and programs in these neighborhoods – defense and sustenance.
CORE, SNCCCORE and SNCC both had mixed white and black leadership in them, but these organizations begin to change around 1967. Carmichael wins in his race against John Lewis to lead one of the SNCC chapters; represents a more radical and sharp view of the Black project. Can whites really understand the conditions that blacks are talking about? What role do they play in the leadership of such organizations? Increasingly, organizations become more black-led and less interracial.
March Against FearJames Meredith’s March Against Fear. Decides on his own without organizational support to do a march from Tennessee into Jackson, Mississippi. A free man should be able to walk through America without violence. He was shot by a white supreamcist. Leaders of SNCC, SCLC, CORE picked up on the march in Jackson, demonstrating that Meredith would not be silenced. Many people put the origin of the term black power here.
Black Panther PartySee above.
Marketing BlacknessBlackness and the Black ‘aesthetic’ became partially incorporated into capitalist-consumerist culture. Advertisers catch onto Black is Beautiful and move to embrace and envelop it to sell products.
Black is BeautifulEmbracing of a blackness which was not possible in the same way before. The Afro becomes a major symbol of this – growing hair long rather than conforming to an ideal of what it should be (a white ideal). Angela Davis, Nina Simone.
Angela DavisHighly educated person who identifies as a communist and does not apologize for her political and social views. Becomes a political lightning rod during this time through the seventies and recent times.
Stokely Carmichael 
Fred HamptonFred Hampton becomes singled out by the Intelligence State as inspired by communist influences. FBI kills Fred Hampton.
COINTELPROCIA CHAOS and FBI COINTELPRO are infiltrating these movements. These spying programs will later come to light under Nixon and expose the extent of abuse of power which occurred under his presidency.

Lecture 11: New Left, New Right

The dissatisfaction with post-war America had both left and right-leaning criticisms. But, whereas the New Left’s dedication to liberation meant that it fractured by 1967, the new conservatives found greater coherence and longevity in its critique of the Left

The Old Left 
New Left 
Free Speech Movement (64) 
March on Washington (65) 
John Birch Society 
William F. Buckley, Jr. 
The Welfare State 
Religious ecumenicalism 
New Conservatism: Economics and Culture 

Lecture 12: Counterculture and Dropping Out

The counterculture, if it can be talked about in the singular, had shifted from critique of the mass society to expressions of personal liberation. By breaking through the limits of American society, young people especially explored alternate lifestyles and limits of their own personal freedom.

Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters 
The Human Be-In 
liberation theology 
Guerilla Theater 
Drop City 
Jesus People 
Hair, the Musical 

Lecture 13: The Vietnam War – 1966 to 1967

As the criticism of the war expanded across U.S. society and government, the political and military leaders misled the American people and deepened U.S. involvement in the war. However the military and government were superficially dedicated to the war, the ways that they prosecuted the war undercut soldiers’ morale and civilian support.

General Thieu 
General Ky 
Fulbright Hearings 
Rolling Thunder 
Crossover point 
The Long Hot Summer 
Battle of Hill 1338 
Battle of Hill 875 
Anti-War Demonstrations and Counterdemonstrations 
Khe Sanh 
MLK Speech Against the Vietnam War (67) 

Lecture 14: 1968, Part 1 – Things Fall Apart…

The Tet Offensive, and the Vietnam War more generally, as well as the assassinations of 1968 made the nation’s path forward appear fraught with fear, danger, and chaos.

Tet Offensive 
The Battle of Hue 
Kerner Report 
Eugene McCarthy 
Occupation of Columbia 
Civil Rights Act of 68 

Lecture 15: 1968, Part 2 – Global and National Changes

A year of global protest became a commentary on personal liberation, imperialism, racism, and authoritarianism. Little was resolved, but new social and political lines were drawn giving shape to the future of both civil and military conflict.

Mexico City 
Tommie Smith, John Carlos 
The Troubles (in Ireland) 
Election of 68 
The Chennault Affair 
The DNC in Chicago 

Lecture 16: Sexual Revolution

Drawing on the broader counterculture of liberation and protest, women’s rights as well as gay and lesbian rights activists took sexuality from the status of private and repressive to public and liberated.

Helen Gurley Brown 
Sex and the Single Girl 
The Feminine Mystique 
Civil Rights Act of 64 
N. O. W. 
New York Radical Women 
Second Wave Feminism 
The Personal is Political 
Consciousness Raising 
No More Miss America 
Miss Black America 
The Pill 
Griswold v Connecticut 
Title IX 
The Ladder 
The Stonewall Uprising 

Lecture 17: “They’re Selling Hippie Wigs in Woolworth’s Man”

The inability to find consensus on the Vietnam War pervaded American life, and increasingly there was no consensus to be found on the topics of morality, decency, loyalty, and much else. The promises of liberation and also the turmoil of rebellion highlighted the end of the decade

Hamburger Hill 
My Lai Massacre 
Free fire zones 
Operation MENU 
The Moratorium 
The Weathermen 
Kent State 
Jackson State 
Pentagon Papers 
Vietnam Vets Against the War 
The Silent Majority 
Manson Family 

Lecture 18: A New Environmentalism

What began in 1970 as a grassroots effort involved in local issues evolved into a government-focused issue where lobbyists dominate and environmental stewardship is always disadvantaged.

Lake Erie 
back to the land 
fear of losing wild places 
Tom McCall 
64 Wilderness Act 
Glen Canyon Dam 
Edward Abbey 
Deep Ecology 
Earth Day 1970 
Seattle METRO 
Earth First 
Environmental Justice 
Love Canal 

Lecture 19: Out of the Quagmire

In some ways the 1960s continued into the 1970s, but the Vietnam War, Watergate, and the economic outlook marked an end to the hopefulness of a decade prior.

Affirmative Action 
Roe v Wade 
Congress in control of the Vietnam War 
The Oil Crisis 
end of the Vietnam War 
Watergate Scandal 

Lecture 20: The Fallout from the 1960s

The end of consensus that many scholars have noted came from the civil rights period, the Vietnam War, and a newfound distrust of elected officials. Ultimately, this has exposed the limits of American exceptionalism.

Civil Rights 
No More Vietnams 
Vietnam Syndrome 
general malaise 
Newt Gingrich 
Lawrence v Texas 
Sagebrush Rebellion 
War on Drugs 
Gore v Bush 
Law and Order 
Queer Society