Truman Presidential Museum and Library, Harry S. Truman Library
The Truman Library offers more than 400 selected documents and photographs. Material is organized into broad topics, including the decision to drop the atomic bomb, the Marshall Plan, the 1948 Presidential campaign, and the Korean War. Each collection includes a chronology, diary entries, official documents, and related items. Sixty teaching units, lesson plans, and classroom activities include 24 elementary school projects, 21 middle school activities, and 22 plans for high school students are also available.
Korea + 50: No Longer Forgotten, Truman and Eisenhower Presidential Libraries
More than 200 official documents, nine oral histories, and more than 70 photographs pertaining to the pursuance of the Korean War by the administrations of Presidents Harry S. Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower. Provides day-by-day access covering June 24-September 14, 1950—and more sporadic contributions during subsequent periods—to diplomatic and military documents and accounts by administration officials, including correspondence, speeches, memos, reports, and briefing papers. Also includes extensive “Korean War Teacher Activity” from a high school in Independence, MO.
Literature and Culture of the American 1950s, Al Filreis, University of Pennsylvania
This site presents more than 100 primary texts, essays, biographical sketches, obituaries, book reviews, and partially annotated links relating to the culture and politics of the 1950s. Organized alphabetically and according to lesson plans, this eclectic collection includes short stories by communist writer Howard Fast; texts of two Woody Guthrie songs; entries from the Encyclopedia of the American Left; excerpts from Vance Packard’s The Status Seekers (1959); items concerning McCarthyism; and selected texts. The site also offers materials about the 1930s and 1960s, as well as retrospective analyses of the postwar period.
Foreign Relations of the United States, 1945–1972, U.S. State Department
Published annually by the State Department, Foreign Relations of the United States is the official record of major declassified U.S. foreign policy decisions and diplomatic activity, with material culled from Presidential libraries and executive departments and agencies. For the Truman Administration, the site provides “1945–50, Emergence of the Intelligence Establishment.” Three volumes are available for the Eisenhower years, on American republics, Guatemala, and Eastern Europe, the Soviet Union, and Cyprus. The Kennedy years are represented by 15 volumes that cover Vietnam, the Cuban missile crisis, the Berlin crisis, and exchanges with Premier Khrushchev. 34 volumes are available on the Johnson Administration, and three volumes are furnished from the Nixon years. Volume summaries provide historical context.
National Security Action Memoranda of John F. Kennedy, John Fitzgerald Kennedy Library
This site provides access to 272 facsimiles of National Security Action (NSA) memoranda written by President John F. Kennedy or by McGeorge Bundy, his NSA advisor. Topics include training of Cuban nationals, U.S. forces in Vietnam, Berlin, and civil defense. The documents are indexed by NSA numbers from February 1961 to November 1963. There is a 100-word introduction to the collection, and the JFK Library contains links to many more resources pertaining to the Kennedy Presidency.
The Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962: The 40th Anniversary, The George Washington University National Security Archive
Full-text images of 17 declassified documents, such as a CIA Intelligence Estimate, correspondence, memoranda, and a post-mortem on the crisis, as well as eight audio clips of White House security briefings, spyplane photographs of missile launch sites. The site also offers a chronology of events, a 1000-word essay critical of the film Thirteen Days, a 1500-word essay looking back on the Cold War, and excerpts from seven accounts of the crisis.
Vietnam Center, Vietnam Center, Texas Tech University
The site offers full transcriptions of 11 oral histories of U.S. servicemen who served in Vietnam. It also includes 15 papers from the 1996 symposium, “After the Cold War: Reassessing Vietnam”; a 1996 address by former ambassador William Colby on “Turning Points in the Vietnam War”; 11 issues of “Indochina Chronology,” a quarterly journal providing bibliographic resources; 17 issues of the Center’s newsletter; listings for 171 dissertations on the Vietnam War; and links to 20 related sites.
The American Experience: Vietnam Online, PBS and WGBH
Companion to the PBS series, Vietnam: A Television History. Transcripts are available for each episode, from the “Roots of a War” to “The End of the Tunnel.” “Who’s Who” provides photographs and profiles of 41 major figures and a timeline covers 1945 to 1997. Twelve personal reflections of the war include the memories of a Vietnamese-born American poet, a U.S. marine, a soldier who guarded the Ho Chi Minh trail, and a Red Cross aid worker. One essay describes the My Lai massacre and another essay discusses the continuing issue of prisoners of war and soldiers missing in action.
Sixties Project & Viet Nam Generation, Viet Nam Generation, Inc., University of Virginia
A valuable resource for teaching and researching America in the 1960s and during the Vietnam War, this site contains links to 17 primary documents. Resources include materials from the Black Panther Party, the Free Speech Movement, and GI’s United Against War in Vietnam. The site provides more than 100 images of political buttons and posters and a full-text version of Vietnam: An Antiwar Comic Book, written by civil rights activist Julian Bond. Additional items include five keyword searchable, full-text back issues of Viet Nam Generation and 10 syllabi.
Free Speech Movement: Student Protest, U.C. Berkeley, 1964–65, Bancroft Library, UC Berkeley
Rich archive of material on the Berkeley Free Speech Movement (FSM). Printed material includes five books, 29 leaflets produced by the FSM, 55 letters to and from FSM activists, 11 local radical newsletters, 21 press releases, and six speeches. Visitors may read complete transcripts of 10 oral histories: eight with university administrators and faculty; two with FSM activists. A collection of legal documents includes 40 pages of trial transcripts and 400 letters from FSM activists to Judge Rupert Crittenden, who presided over their trials. This site also provides 96 photographs of FSM rallies and sit-ins taken by Ronald L. Enfield in 1964 and 1965. The site may be searched by subject, but is somewhat difficult to navigate because pages within the collection do not link directly to an index or the collection’s home page.
The Whole World Was Watching: An Oral History of 1968, South Kingston School, Brown University
This site contains transcripts, audio recordings, and edited stories from interviews conducted in the spring of 1998 by sophomores at South Kingstown High School, Rhode Island, about their recollections of 1968. These narratives, including references to the Vietnam War, Civil Rights movement, and the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy, as well as personal memories, are a living history of one of the most tumultuous years in U.S. history.
Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum, LBJ Library and Museum
The heart of this collection of material about Lyndon Baines Johnson is the group of 64 oral histories. These include interviews with Dean Rusk, Johnson’s secretary, Bess Abell, Robert MacNamara, Thurgood Marshall, and Billy Graham. The site also links to a C-SPAN collection of more than 800 transcribed recorded excerpts and full conversations Johnson had while in office. A selection of 20 speeches and nine messages to Congress are available in transcription and address issues such as the Great Society and limitations on the war in Vietnam. A collection of 37 photographs depict Johnson in meetings with other important figures of the time, including Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. In addition, an exhibit from the Johnson museum provides a 6,200-word essay about events in Johnson’s lifetime. This site will be very useful for research about Johnson’s presidency and major events of the 1960s.
A Visual Journey: Photographs by Lisa Law, 1965–1971, Smithsonian Institution and National Museum of American History
This lively exhibit offers images from the 1960s counterculture as seen through the lens of photographer Lisa Law’s camera from 1965 to 1971. The site covers the 1960s folk and rock music scenes, California’s counterculture, and commune life in New Mexico in eight chronological sections. Each section offers a 250–300 word summary of the theme and four to eight photographs. A “What Else was Happening” link provides a timeline that covers the social, political, and popular culture highlights of each year from 1963 to 1973.
White House Tapes, Miller Center of Public Affairs, University of Virginia
This website offers access to more than 2,500 hours of White House recordings of six American presidents between 1940 and 1973: Franklin Roosevelt (8 hours), Harry Truman (10 hours), Dwight Eisenhower (4.5 hours), John Kennedy (260 hours), Lyndon Johnson (550 hours), and Richard Nixon (2,019 hours). A brief introduction to each set of recordings is provided and edited transcriptions of the Kennedy tapes are available. “From the Headlines” relates current events to the recordings. Eight exhibits with short scholarly essays utilizing clips from the presidential recordings feature such topics as the civil rights movement, the Vietnam War, Johnson’s “War on Poverty,” and the Space Race. Additionally, the site presents 16 pre-selected multimedia clips that include recordings of Kennedy discussing withdrawing from Vietnam, Johnson talking to McNamara about leaks, Johnson discussing women in politics, and Nixon discussing Mark Felt during the Watergate cover up. The site is an outstanding resource for researching the administrations of these presidents.
Watergate Revisited, Washington Post
Commemorates the 25th anniversary of the Watergate burglary. A detailed timeline covers events from Nixon’s election in November 1968 to his resignation in August 1974. Biographies introduce 20 “key players,” including Pat Buchanan, John Ehrlichman, H. R. Halderman, G. Gordon Liddy, and Donald Segretti, while another section details the reforms enacted in response, from the Ethics Rules to efforts to enforce Campaign Spending Limits. One essay explores the identity of Deep Throat, while another examines the impact of the story on the newspaper. Teachers and students can read transcripts of online interviews with Bob Woodward and Ben Bradlee or search for related stories.
Gerald R. Ford Library and Museum, University of Texas
Offers a biography, 120 photographs, and documents about Vietnam. In addition 41 National Security Study memos and 83 National Security Decision memos address Israeli military requirements, the classification of nuclear safeguards, and U.S. policy for Antarctica.
Herblock’s History: Political Cartoons from the Crash to the Millennium, Library of Congress
An exhibit of 135 cartoons drawn between 1929 and 2000 by three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning political cartoonist Herblock (Herbert Block) that comment on major events and public issues. The site also presents an essay by Block on “the cartoon as an opinion medium”; a biographical essay; and 15 caricatures of the cartoonist. Organized according to 13 chronological sections, with an additional segment devoted to Presidents.
Famous Trials, Douglas Linder, University of Missouri, Kansas City
This exceptional legal history site includes fascinating treatments of twenty of the most prominent court trials in American history, including: the Scopes “Monkey” Trial (1925); Scottsboro Trials (1931-1937); Nuremburg Trials (1945-49);the Hauptmann (Lindbergh) Trial (1935); and the Sweet Trials (1925-1926). There are also links to biographies of five “trial heroes,” including famous trial lawyer Clarence Darrow, and a “Constitutional Conflicts” site that offers twenty-nine important constitutional topics for class discussion.
National Security Archive, Thomas S. Blanton, Director
Founded in 1985 as a central repository for declassified materials obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests, the Archives at present offers approximately 100 “Briefing Books,” each providing government documents and a contextual narrative on national security history and issues, foreign policy initiatives, and military history. While much of the material relates to events abroad, documents provide information on U.S. involvement and perceptions. Major categories include Europe (with documents on the Hungarian Revolution, Solidarity, and the 1989 revolutions); Latin America (overall CIA involvement, war in Colombia, contras, Mexico); nuclear history (treaties, Berlin crisis, India and Pakistan, North Korea, China, Israel); Middle East and South Asia (Iraq and WMD, hostages in Iran, October 1973 war); the U.S. intelligence community; government secrecy; humanitarian interventions; and September 11 sourcebooks.
History and Politics Out Loud, Jerry Goldman, Northwestern University
Audio materials of significant 20th-century events and people, including speeches, addresses, and private telephone conversations. Most material comes from three U.S. presidents—Richard M. Nixon (34 items); Lyndon Baines Johnson (30 items); and John F. Kennedy (19 items).