Thursday, June 11, 2009

21st Century: Political Growth or Decline?

Ellen Bradish

Close Election, stock plunge, Hilary, new judge
9/11, new tax cuts, Oklahoma City

Robert Hanssen, Bill Clinton, Marc Rich, Anthrax
War on terror, Missile treaty, flooded mine shaft.

Schwarzenegger, ten year, space shuttle, abortion ban
Muhammad, reversed tariffs, and FDA approval.

Gay Marriage, criticism, No WMD’s
John Kerry, re-elected, Abu Ghrain Prison

We didn't start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world's been turning
We didn't start the fire
No we didn't light it
But we tried to fight it

Terry Schiavo, Sandra Day, Myers and Tom Delay
Katrina, Lewis Libby, Security spies

Condoleezza, Henry Floyd, Bombing suspect, Drug Maker
Hurricane Rita and New Orleans Chaos

Union Speech, Porter Gross, Challenging roe vs. Wade
George Ryan, Karl Rove, Guantanamo, Marriage Ban

Wilson, Stem Cell Bill, Wiretapping, Oil Field
Email Scandal, treason, killing in the Amish
We didn't start the fire It was always burning Since the world's been turning We didn't start the fire No we didn't light it But we tried to fight it

Democrats, Robert Gates, Nancy, Legislates
Budget plan, improper FBI, scandal intensifies.

Global warming, Iraq withdrawal, immigration obstacle
Race Integrate, civilians die, workers of higher wage

Alberto Gonzales, “dirty bomb” terrorists threats, Larry Craigs
More time, Job loss, Greenhouse is a no go

Veto, Muhammad Rahman, genocide and war funds
Water rescue, “Gay rights” ,hostages in campaign office
We didn't start the fire It was always burning Since the world's been turning We didn't start the fire No we didn't light it But we tried to fight it

Birth rate, Interrogation, crack cocaine guidelines
Media, Steroids, Bush administration

Stainislaw Wielgus, stock market plummets
Chinese goods, Roy Copper, College Student with a gun

Indecency, Olympics, Murdoch wins ownership
Khun Sa Blown away, what else do I have to say

Primaries, EPA, Jose, back again
Market fall, writers call, detainees charged, McCain hauls
Racial, Financial, Obama, Delay withdrawal
Protesters in London, Earthquake kills abundant.

Rules for gun rights, unemployment, evidence, Bush=deployment
Offshore drilling, politician killing, Biden, Beijing, Mayor Willing
Hurricanes hit the south, reports found by scandal,
Palin abused power core, I can’t take it anymore.
We didn't start the fire, It was always burnin', Since the world's been turnin' We didn't start the fire, But when we are gone Will it still burn on, and on, and on, and on...

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Segregation in the Armed Forces (1948)

On July 26, 1948, President Truman signed the Executive Order 9981, desegregating the Armed Forces. However, the segregation did not officially end until 1954 when the last segregated unit was abolished. The act of the President did allow blacks to take on full participation in defending their country, making them socially equal to a white who would do the same patriotic act. This was a powerful statement and instigated strength to the Civil Rights Movement.

Harry Truman (1949)

On April 9th, 1945, Harry Truman took over for Franklin D. Roosevelt as the President of the United States during the closing months of World War II. The victory and end of the war led to the creation of the United Nations by the Allies to try and promote peace. Unfortunately, the alliance between the Western Allies and the Soviet Union had begun to disintegrate years before the war ended, and by 1949 Europe was divided into two separate spheres of influence. Concerned about the possible threat of the Soviet Union spreading Communism, President Truman constructed foreign policies and to contain the Union’s political power and counter its military strength. On August 24th 1949, Truman proclaimed the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to be an official alliance between 12 nations. Additionally, when North Korea attacked South Korea in June of 1950, Truman took military action and stepped in to once again fight against the spread of communism. In the autumn of 1950, however, after the U.N. managed to push the North Koreans back into the Chinese border, the Chinese entered the war, and the conflict developed into a gruesome, bloody stalemate that didn’t see its end until after Truman’s term ended in 1953. Although he chose not to run for a third term, Truman accomplished much in terms of setting the foundation for development of foreign affairs, especially those between the United States and Soviet Union.

Doris Day (1949)

Doris Day was one of few surviving Hollywood stars of her time period. She was born in 1924 as Doris Mary Anne. During the 30’s, Doris was influenced by music and dancing. Originally she wanted to pursue dancing as a career until she was injured in a car accident. By the age of 17 she performed locally and adopted the stage name “Day.” Doris worked with many bandleaders such as Bob Crosby, and eventually Les Brown. Between this all, she married trombonist Al Jordan, gave birth to her son, and divorced him. In 1945 she co-wrote a song with Les Brown called “Sentimental Journey.” This song personified the sentiments of weary homecoming demobilized troops after war service in Europe. After her second hit record with Les Brown, Doris went solo in 1947 with a contract from Colombia records and radio work with Frank Sinatra. This eventually led to her second divorce with George Weidler. An invitation to sing at a Hollywood party eventually led to her first film. As the years passed Doris continued to star in films at Warner Brothers. In 1952 she married her agent Marty Melcher who controlled her career including the one to end her contract with Warner Brothers. In 1957, though, she returned to Warner Brothers to produce the film “The Pajama Game.” As the years went on, sex appeal became more prevalent in films, which brought down Day’s popularity in the box office. She still managed to star in small roles and continue her singing career.

Red China (1949)

On October 1st, 1949, the People’s Republic of China, or “Red China”, became formally established. Having the government headed by Zhou Enlai and the party being under Mao Zedong’s chairmanship, it was declared a socialist republic made up of four social classes. These classes, the workers, peasants, petite bourgeoisie, and national-capitalists made up a membership of approximately of 4.5 million people. By October 2nd, 1949, the republic had been recognized by the Soviet Union, and in February of 1950, China and the Soviet Union signed a Treaty of Friendship, Alliance, and Mutual Assistance. This was the first time in decades that the Chinese Government had been met with peace instead of opposition within its territory. Having a highly disciplined government, the first year of Communist administration resulted in relatively effective social, economic, and political policies. The reconstruction accomplished gained widespread support and political and social stability, and by 1950 international recognition had greatly increased. However, during the Korean war, China sensed a threat to the industrial areas within their country, and responded to a North Korean request for aid by crossing the YaluJiang River into North Korea. In 1951, the U.N. declared China to be an aggressor in Korea and endorsed a worldwide embargo on the shipping of weaponry and war material into the country. For the time being, this paused the possibility Red China replacing the Nationalist China as a member of the U.N. and as a veto-holding member of the U.N. Security Council. As the war progressed, Chinese domestic policies were surrendered to massive campaigns against those believed to be enemies of the republic (i.e. war criminals, traitors, counterrevolutionaries, etc.). A series of reforms regarding land, class struggles, and ideology followed, and behind them came the san fan and wu fan movements of 1951 and 1952. Both the san fan and wu fan movements claimed to fight evil, corruption, incompetence within government, etc. however, the real aim was to shave off the useless, undisciplined and beaurocratic factors within society to develop a well-organized, intelligent, and productive state. These successive, punitive, campaigns affected millions nationwide, finally coming to a close at the end of 1952.

South Pacific (1949)

“South Pacific” opened on Broadway on April 7, 1949. Based off of James A. Michener’s novel Tales of the South Pacific, the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical premiered at New York’s Majestic Theatre. Characters in “South Pacific” include Nellie (a navy nurse), Emile de Becque (a plantation owner), Joe Cable (a U.S. marine), and Liat (a Tonkinese girl) who develop meaningful relationships with one another as the play progresses. Romantic relationships form between Nellie and Emile as Cable and Liat grow closer; however they are hindered by racial prejudices and social struggles. Despite the struggles presented to the audience in “South Pacific,” love prevails over the evils of racism, society, and war, as Liat grieves over Cable’s death, and Nellie decides to embrace Emile’s dark-skinned children. When Emile, who Nellie believed to be dead, returns home, Nellie agrees to marry him and accept a life that may be filled with challenges in exchange for a promise of love and security. Although the play takes place during World War II and deals with controversial topics such as racism and prejudice, the romance and musical numbers, such as “Some Enchanted Evening,” and “I’m in Love with a Wonderful City,” ultimately prevent “South Pacific” from being a dreary play, and allow the show to convince readers that out of war, something great can emerge.

Walter Winchell (1949)

Walter Winchell was known as one of the most popular and controversial figures in radio. Walter was born on April 7, 1897 into poverty and was forced to work at a very young age. Walter and two other boys put a singing trio together at the age of 13 and a vaudeville talent scout saw them perform and asked them to participate in Gus Edwards’ School Days, which was a song and dance act on the vaudeville circuit. After he left School Days Winchell joined forces with another vaudevillian, Rite Greene. They eventually married and moved to New York City where he obtained a job as the journalist for The Vaudeville News. He became a successful journalist and eventually went on to writing for The New York Evening Graphic in 1924 and inventing the gossip column. His work was read by over 50 million Americans from the 20’s until the 60’s. Winchell also had a Sunday night radio broadcast which was heard from the 30’s until the 50’s. Winchell, who was Jewish, was one of the first commentators to attack Adolf Hitler. He was considered to have a “left of center” political view through World War 2 when he was stridently pro-Roosevelt, pro-labor, and pro–Democratic Party. During the Depression, Winchell favored Roosevelt and stood by the troops during the war. By his popularity, Winchell had the power to create and destroy the lives of actors, actresses, political parties, etc. He was the first to find out about news and report it over the radio. When he died in 1972, a front page article in the paper eulogized Winchell as the country’s best known journalist and radio sensation.

Joe DiMaggio (1949)

Joe DiMaggio is known as one of the greatest baseball players of his time period. Joe’s father was a fisherman and wanted all of his sons to follow in his footsteps. Fortunately for Joe, he would go to the sandlot rather than go fishing with his father. Joe made his debut on May 3, 1936 batting ahead of Yankee, Lou Gehrig. Thanks to Joe, the Yankees won 9 titles in 13 years. In 1941, instead of heading off to war, Joe started his 56 game hitting streak. His talent swept the nation with excitement. While he was becoming a star, Joe was also a newlywed. In 1939 he married Dorothy Arnold and by 1941 they had their first child. Unfortunately, 5 years later the couple divorced. One February 17, 1942 Joe enlisted in the army, but he would be stationed in the United States. His time was spent playing baseball for three years, which is how many ballplayers served their time as well. In the spring of 1946 he was released from the army and began to play for the Yankees again. While in the army, people were still inspired by his performances. After Joe retired he set up a date between him and well known actress Marilyn Monroe. Although Joe was just settling down and Marilyn’s career was just taking off, they married in 1954. Because their personalities were so conflicting, they were divorced less than a year later, but still remained close friends. After her death, Joe sent red roses three times a week to her crypt for 20 years, and never remarried. The legacy of Joe DiMaggio still lives today.

The Korean War (1950-1953)

During WWII Korea had been occupied by the Empire of Japan. After the allied forces won the war against Japan, and its other Axis allies, Korea was occupied by the Soviet Union and the United States, with the 38th parallel serving as the boarder between the two zones. Above the 38th parallel, the Soviet Union established a communist government that mimicked its own, while in the south, the U.S. oversaw an election that established South Korea’s leaders. After this was accomplished, the U.S. withdrew the majority of its forces from the country, in the summer of 1949. About a year later, on June 25, 1950, the North attacked the South in an attempt to unite the country under its rule. In response to this attack the U.N. Security Council in met in special session and, on June 27,th voted to aid South Korea in defending itself. President Harry Truman authorized U.S. forces to aid the South Korean army that same day. However, with much of the South Korean army destroyed, the U.S. forces were unable to stem the tide of North Korean forces. By August, U.S. and allied forces were able to hold a tentative defensive perimeter around the port of Pusan in southern Korea. In an attempt to repel the North Korean invaders, General Douglas MacArthur devised a plan to land, unexpectedly, at the port of Inchon north of the U.S. defensive lines. This operation, which began on September 15th 1950, was a startling success. With U.S. forces behind them, North Korean troops quickly fled back across the 38th parallel. Though the original boundaries had been reestablished, MacArthur wanted to continue pushing into North Korea. President Truman granted him permission to do so, and on the first of October, 1950, allied forces crossed the 38th parallel. By the end of November, they had neared Korea’s border with The People’s Republic of China. China had threatened military action if U.N. forces invaded North Korea. As a result of MacArthur’s push into North Korea thousands of Chinese soldiers attacked allied forces, and by July of 1951, the latter had been pushed back to positions just north of the 38th parallel. The war lasted for two more bloody years, though the lines never significantly changed. Finally, on July 27th 1953, a treaty was signed in Panmunjom. The Korean War demonstrated the beginning of the U.S.’s policy of fighting wars in foreign countries to prevent the spread of communism. These “hot” wars represented America’s fear of the growth of communism around the world, and its willingness to fight to prevent it. Also. the Korean War contributed to McCarthyism and general anti communist hysteria in the United States.

Korean War Map