Friday, May 4, 2012

Wall Street Crash, Cold War and Black America

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Causes of the Wall Street Crash

The reasons that led to the Wall Street Crash can be put into two main categories

· Those to do with the overproduction of goods.
· Those to do with money and the stock market.

Reasons linked to overproduction that led to the Wall Street Crash

1. Companies were producing too many goods.
2. American goods could not be sold abroad because other countries had put tariffs (taxes) on them to make them more expensive.
3. When the demand for goods began to fall, workers wages were cut and some workers became unemployed, which meant that they could no longer afford to buy the new consumer goods.
4. Farmers could not afford to buy the new consumer goods.

Reasons linked to money and the stock market that led to the Wall Street Crash

· People were allowed to borrow too much money and they could not afford to pay it back.
· People had taken out loans or invested their savings in the stock market, but there were too few controls on the buying and selling of shares.
· The US President had not taken any notice of what was going on; he just left the businesses and banks to themselves.
· Advertising and hire purchase agreements were not controlled, and this encouraged people to spend more.
· Too many people thought that share prices could only go up, which encouraged them to invest more than they could afford in the stock market.
· Banks did not have enough money in reserve to help businesses that were in trouble. This was because they had lent too much money but now the banks were facing difficulties because people could not afford to repay their loans.

Outcomes of the Crash

The Wall Street Crash brought the Roaring Twenties to an end and led to a Depression in America. What effect did this have on American society?

Here are some examples of how times changed after the Wall Street Crash.

1. President Hoover and the belief in prosperity
2. The growth of shanty towns
3. Food shortages
4. Farming
5. Franklin Roosevelt - a new President

President Hoover and the belief in prosperity

Herbert Hoover became President in 1929. When the Wall Street Crash happened he tried to reassure Americans that it was just temporary and that prosperity is just around the corner. Although things showed no signs of improving, he was reluctant to help those affected by the Depression.

Unemployment rose, homelessness increased, and soup kitchens and bread queues became a familiar sight in American cities, but still Hoover did very little to help. He believed in rugged individualism (people should look after themselves and stand on their own two feet). He appealed to businesses and charities to do what they could to help. Hoover had lost the trust of the people. In Hoover we trusted, now we are busted, became a popular saying.

The growth of shanty towns

Hoovervilles were the names given to the areas where homeless people lived in shacks that they had built out of wood, boxes and any other materials that they had managed to find on dumps. Due to unemployment or the loss of life savings, these people could no longer afford to pay their mortgages or rent. They had lost their homes and now had nowhere to live. The fact that these areas were called Hoovervilles shows what the people thought of President Hoover. They even called the newspapers that they covered themselves to sleep with Hoover blankets.

Food shortages

Many unemployed people could not afford the basics and spent hours queuing for free soup or bread, handed out by charities or businesses. Unemployed workers in America received no help from the government. They had to resort to charity, begging and even theft to feed themselves and their families. People were hungry and many felt worthless and ashamed.


Farmers, who had already missed out on the boom of the 1930s, were also affected by the Depression. Low agricultural prices meant that in some places farmers could not afford to harvest or market their crops, which were left in the fields to rot. With unemployment rising throughout America, people could no longer afford to buy the farmers produce, even at low prices. In some areas, for example Oklahoma, terrible soil erosion meant that farmers could not even attempt to grow any crops. Many of these, having lost their homes and farms, left with their families to search for work elsewhere.

Franklin Roosevelt - a new President

On November, Americans voted in the presidential election. The Democrat Franklin Roosevelt stood against Hoover. The voters did not believe that Hoover had taken the Depression seriously enough or done enough to help them. Roosevelt was elected by one of the largest majorities in American history.

Cold War Revision

A war short of full scale war because of the development of the Atomic bomb.  


1. Beliefs Russia was a Communist country, ruled by a dictator who cared little about human rights.  
America was a capitalist democracy, which valued freedom.
2. Aims Stalin wanted reparations from Germany/ a buffer of friendly states.  
Britain and the USA [led by President Truman] wanted to help Germany recover/ to prevent large areas of Europe from coming under Communist control.
3. Resentment about history The USSR did not trust Britain and the USA. They had tried to destroy the Russian Revolution in 1918/ Stalin thought they had not helped the USSR enough in WW.
Britain & USA did not trust USSR.
4. Events turned the mistrust into war Yalta/ Potsdam/ Salami tactics/ Fulton/ Greece/ Truman Doctrine/ Marshall Plan/ Cominform/ Czechoslovakia

YALTA CONFERENCE (February 1945)

1. Churchill, Stalin and Roosevelt agreed to Divide Germany into 4 zones (France, Britain, USA, USSR)/ to hold free elections in Eastern European countries./ to set up the United Nations./ to set up a government of Communists and non Communists in Poland.
2. On the surface, everything seemed friendly, but there was tension behind the scenes


1. At Potsdam the tensions surfaced.
2. Stalin, Truman and Atlee agreed to bring Nazi war criminals to trial/ divide Germany into 4 occupied zones.
3. There were disagreements over Soviet policy in Poland./ The size of German reparations.

SALAMI TACTICS (1945-1948) ‘Slice-by-slice’, Stalin ensured all E Eur.countries had Communist govts

1. Albania (1945)  the Communists took power after the war without opposition
2. Bulgaria (1945)  the Communists executed the leaders of all the other parties.
3. Poland (1947)  the Communists forced the non-Communist leaders into exile.
4. Hungary (1947)  Russian troops stayed / Stalin allowed elections (non-communists won a big majority)/ Communists led by the pro-Russian Rakosi./ Rakosi demanded that groups which opposed him should be banned./ He got control of the police, and arrested his opponents./ He set up a secret police unit, the AVH.
5. Romania (1945-1947)  the Communists gradually took over control.
6. Czechoslovakia (1948)   the Communists banned all other parties/ killed their leaders.
7. East Germany (1948) Russians turned their zone into German Democratic Republic.

EVENTS 1946-1948

1. FULTON SPEECH (March 1946)
2. Churchill described the Soviet bloc as an ‘iron curtain’. Stalin believed this was necessary to maintain the safety of the USSR.
After Fulton, the Cold War worsened. Russia called the speech a declaration of war.
3.     GREECE (February 147)

US supplied arms and money to defeat the Communists.

TRUMAN DOCTRINE (March 147)  The USA implemented a policy of ‘containment’ towards the USSR  to prevent Communism spreading any further.

4. MARSHALL PLAN (June 147) Marshall believed poverty was a breeding ground for Communism. American introduced ‘Marshall Aid’ - $17 billion to get Europe’s economy going.

5. COMINFORM (October 147)  Stalin forbade Communist countries to accept Marshall Aid. (October 147) Cominform was set up to control all Communist countries in Europe.

6. CZECHOSLOVAKIA (March 148) Communists took control

Panicked the US Senate into granting Marshall Aid (1 March 148)


1. Causes [CABAN]

· Cold War was beginning to bite created tension.

· Aims  USA+UK wanted Germany to recover/ Stalin looting German industrial capacity.

· Bizonia USA, UK, France merged zones  became more prosperous than the Soviet.

· American Aid  Marshall Aid was voted 1 March 148.

· New Currency Britain and America introduced new currency  destabilised the East German economy. Stalin said that this was the cause of the blockade.

2. Events  (4 June 148)  Stalin closed rail + road links to Berlin / Lasted 11 months/ Allies airlifted supplies to Berlin  75,000 flights, 1.5m tons/ In winter, Berliners lived on dried eggs and potatoes/ 4 hours of electricity a day./ US had B bombers on standby./ (1 May 14)  Stalin re-opened the borders.

3. Results [CENA]

· Cold War got worse.
· East/West Germany German Democratic Republic/ Federal Republic of Germany.
· NATO and Warsaw Pact  NATO (14) defensive alliance against USSR/ Warsaw Pact 155 by Russia
· Arms Race. The USA and USSR competed for world domination.

KOREAN WAR (North Korea [Communist] invaded South Korea [Capitalist])
1. Causes [DUCKS]

· Domino theory
 Truman thought that Far Eastern countries would fall like dominoes. China Communist (14). Truman feared Japan would follow.

· Undermine Communism
 The National Security Council recommended (NSC 68 - April 150) abandoning containment to ‘roll back’ Communism.

· Cold War
 America & Russia for world domination  Korea a ‘war at arm’s length’.

· Kim Il Sung  got Stalin’s and Mao tse Tung’s agreement to attack South Korea.
· Syngman Rhee (150) boasted he would attack North Korea gave an excuse.

2. Events
· By June 150 the NKPA captured most of South Korea from the ROKs.

· July 150  UN troops (Americans led by MacArthur), drove the Communists back to the Chinese border.

· October 150  China attacked/ drove the Americans back/ advanced into South Korea.

· March 150  American reinforcements drove back Chinese (100,000 dead). Truman told the troops to stop to the 8th parallel. Truman sacked MacArthur for criticising his orders.

· Truce America claimed successful containment.

KHRUSHCHEV succeeded Stalin.

1. It seemed he would bring a thaw in the Cold War
He advocated ‘Peaceful Coexistence’/ He met Western leaders at summit meetings/ He was friendly to Yugoslavia, telling Tito there were ‘different roads to Communism’/ He criticised Stalin, executed Beria, set free political prisoners and de-stalinised the eastern bloc countries.

2. In fact 1955-1960 was the time of greatest tension in the Cold War

· Khrushchev used Russian troops when countries tried to leave Russian control.

· By peaceful co-existence, Khrushchev meant ‘peaceful competition’ (He loved to argue (Kitchen debate with Nixon)/ He gave economic aid to countries like Afghanistan and Burma/ Space Race (1957 Sputnik. 1961 Yuri Gagarin orbits the earth)/ Arms Race (1965 Russia got the hydrogen bomb)

· Warsaw Pact (1955)  USSR/ Albania/ Bulgaria/ Czechoslovakia/ E Germany/ Hungary/ Poland/ Romania

. In retaliation, in America McCarthy conducted a ‘witchhunt’ for Communists/ In 1955, NATO agreed to an army of 0.5 m men in W Germany/ rushed to put a man on the moon/ American U planes spied on Russia

HUNGARY (1956)

1. Causes

· Poverty - When most of Hungary’s food was sent to Russia

· Russian Control - The Hungarians were very patriotic/ They hated censorship, the AVH, and Russian control of education./ They hated having Russian troops stationed in Hungary

· Catholic Church - Communism tried to destroy religion, but Hungarians were Catholics

· Help from the West - The Hungarians thought Esienhower or UN would help.

· Destalinisation - Led to protests against Rakosi’s harsh government.

· Events ( key dates)

· October - Student riots attcks on AVH and Russian troops

· 4 October - November - Reforming government led by Imre Nagy (Democracy/ Freedom of speech/ Freedom of religion/ Aimed to withdraw from Warsaw Pact.

· 4 November - Soviets sent 1000 tanks to crush/ Western powers protested but didn’t want a war.

2. Results

Janos Kadar put in control of Hungary/ 7,000 Hungarians killed/ Nagy shot./ 00,000 Hungarians flee to West./ Many westerners leave the Communist party./ Russia stays in control in Eastern Europe./ Western leaders all the more determined to ‘contain’ communism.


1 May 1960 Soviets shot down American U spy plane over USSR, and captured pilot Gary Powers./ Americans had to admit he was a spy./ Khrushchev demanded apology + end to spy flights./ Eisenhower refused.


Khrushchev walks out of Paris summit (14 May 160)/ Eisenhower’s planned visit to Russia cancelled/ Khrushchev demands US leaves West Berlin/ Americans came off badly  been caught lying- propaganda victory for USSR./ New American president Kennedy promises to get tough on Communism.


1. Causes

· Growing tension (U crisis/ Kennedy finances anti-Communist forces in Laos and Vietnam)

· Refugees (West Berlin enjoyed much higher standard than East Berlin./ 145 -160 million people crossed the border a propaganda point for the US most were skilled workers)

· Sabotage - The Russians claimed that America used West Berlin for spies and sabotage in east Germany..

2. Events

1 August 1961 East Germans erected a barbed wire wall overnight (later stone)/ All East - West movement was stopped./ Wall fortified with barbed wire and guns./Western powers could do nothing.


1. Causes

· Superpower tension  Berlin Wall - Laos - Vietnam

· Fidel Castro’s Cuba - only 0 miles off coast of America./ Close relationship with USSR (oil, machinery and money in return for sugar)/ Cuba nationalises American companies

· Bay of Pigs - (April 1961) America sent in rebels in but they were defeated (a humiliation).

· Missile bases - 14 October 1962 USA U spy planes photographs Soviet missile sites on Cuba.

. Events

· Kennedy ordered a naval blockade and threatened invasion.

· For 10 days the world was on the brink of nuclear war.

· Kennedy promised to remove US missiles from Turkey

· 8 October Khrushchev removed the missiles and the crisis was over

2. Results

· Khrushchev seemed to have failed

· Kennedy became the hero of the Western world

· Telephone hot line set up between Moscow and Washington.

· Nuclear test ban treaty signed.

By the early 1970s, relations between the USA and the USSR were easing. Several factors contributed to this

· The Vietnam war had ended.

· Both the Soviet Union and United States had improved their relations with China.

· The cost of the arms race affected the economies of both superpowers adversely.

· Greater awareness of the dangers of the arms race was seen.

· A Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (Salt) was signed by the USA and USSR in 1970.

· This limited the number of anti-ballistic missiles (ABM).

· The testing of certain nuclear weapons was banned in 1970.

· The European borders of 1945 were recognised.

· Both superpowers promised to respect human rights at the Helsinki conference of 1975.

The end of detente

· Tension still existed between the superpowers regarding the Middle East and Angola.

· The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan led to the suspension of Salt talks.

· Tension between the superpowers rose as trade sanctions were imposed on the Soviet Union and the West boycotted the Moscow Olympics of 1980.

· Cold war tensions rose and a new arms race began.

Martin Luther King was born in Atlanta, Georgia on 15th January, 1929. Both his father and grandfather were Baptist preachers who had been actively involved in the civil rights movement. King graduated from Morehouse College in 1948. After considering careers in medicine and law, he entered the ministry.

While studying at Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania, King heard a lecture on Mahatma Gandhi and the nonviolent civil disobedience campaign that he used successfully against British rule in India. King read several books on the ideas of Gandhi, and eventually became convinced that the same methods could be employed by blacks to obtain civil rights in America. He was particularly struck by Gandhis words Through our pain we will make them see their injustice. King was also influenced by Henry David Thoreau and his theories on how to use nonviolent resistance to achieve social change.

After his marriage to Coretta Scott, King became pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. In Montgomery, like most towns in the Deep South, buses were segregated. On 1st December, 1955, Rosa Parks, a middle-aged tailors assistant, who was tired after a hard days work, refused to give up her seat to a white man.

After the arrest of Rosa Parks, King and his friends, Ralph David Abernathy, Edgar Nixon, and Bayard Rustin helped organize protests against bus segregation. It was decided that black people in Montgomery would refuse to use the buses until passengers were completely integrated. King was arrested and his house was fire-bombed. Others involved in the Montgomery Bus Boycott also suffered from harassment and intimidation, but the protest continued.

For thirteen months the 17,000 black people in Montgomery walked to work or obtained lifts from the small car-owning black population of the city. Eventually, the loss of revenue and a decision by the Supreme Court forced the Montgomery Bus Company to accept integration. and the boycott came to an end on 0th December, 1956.

In 1957 King joined with the Reverend Ralph David Abernathy and Bayard Rustin to form the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). The new organisation was committed to using nonviolence in the struggle for civil rights, and SCLC adopted the motto Not one hair of one head of one person should be harmed.

There had been a long tradition of nonviolent resistance to racism in the United States. Frederick Douglass had advocated these methods during the fight against slavery. Other black leaders such as Philip Randolph and Bayard Rustin had successfully used nonviolence against racism in the 1940s. The importance of the SCLC was that now the black church, a powerful organisation in the South, was to become fully involved in the struggle for civil rights.

After the successful outcome of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, King wrote Stride Toward Freedom (1958). The book described what happened at Montgomery and explained Kings views on non-violence and direct action. Stride Toward Freedom was to have a considerable influence on the civil rights movement.

In Greensboro, North Carolina, a small group of black students read the book and decided to take action themselves. They started a student sit-in at the restaurant of their local Woolworths store which had a policy of not serving black people. In the days that followed they were joined by other black students until they occupied all the seats in the restaurant. The students were often physically assaulted, but following the teachings of King they did not hit back.

Kings non-violent strategy was adopted by black students all over the Deep South. This included the activities of the Freedom Riders in their campaign against segregated transport. Within six months these sit-ins had ended restaurant and lunch-counter segregation in twenty-six southern cities. Student sit-ins were also successful against segregation in public parks, swimming pools, theaters, churches, libraries, museums and beaches.

King travelled the country making speeches and inspiring people to become involved in the civil rights movement. As well as advocating non-violent student sit-ins, King also urged economic boycotts similar to the one that took place at Montgomery. He argued that as African Americans made up 10% of the population they had considerable economic power. By selective buying, they could reward companies that were sympathetic to the civil rights movement while punishing those who still segregated their workforce.

The campaign to end segregation at lunch counters in Birmingham, Alabama, was less successful. In the spring of 16 police turned dogs and fire hoses on the demonstrators. King and large number of his supporters, including schoolchildren, were arrested and jailed.

King always stressed the importance of the ballot. He argued that once all African Americans had the vote they would become an important political force. Although they were a minority, once the vote was organized, they could determine the result of presidential and state elections. This was illustrated by the African American support for John F. Kennedy that helped give him a narrow victory in the 1960 election.

In the Deep South considerable pressure was put on blacks not to vote by organizations such as the Ku Klux Klan. An example of this was the state of Mississippi. By 1960, 4% of the population were black but only % were registered to vote. Lynching was still employed as a method of terrorizing the local black population. Emmett Till, a fourteen year old schoolboy was lynched for whistling at a white woman, while others were murdered for encouraging black people to register to vote. King helped organize voting registration campaigns in states such as Mississippi but progress was slow.

During the 1960 presidential election campaign John F. Kennedy argued for a new Civil Rights Act. After the election it was discovered that over 70 per cent of the African American vote went to Kennedy. However, during the first two years of his presidency, Kennedy failed to put forward his promised legislation.

The Civil Rights bill was brought before Congress in 1960 and in a speech on television on 11th June, Kennedy pointed out that The Negro baby born in America today, regardless of the section of the nation in which he is born, has about one-half as much chance of completing high school as a white baby born in the same place on the same day; one third as much chance of completing college; one third as much chance of becoming a professional man; twice as much chance of becoming unemployed; about one-seventh as much chance of earning $10,000 a year; a life expectancy which is seven years shorter; and the prospects of earning only half as much.

In an attempt to persuade Congress to pass Kennedys proposed legislation, King and other civil rights leaders organized the famous March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Bayard Rustin was given overall control of the march and he managed to persuade the leaders of all the various civil rights groups to participate in the planned protest meeting at the Lincoln Memorial.

The decision to appoint Bayard Rustin as chief organizer was controversial. Roy Wilkins of the NAACP was one of those who was against the appointment. He argued that being a former member of the American Communist Party made him an easy target for the right-wing press. Although Rustin had left the party in 1941, he still retained his contacts with its leaders such as Benjamin Davis.

Wilkins also feared that the fact that Rustin had been imprisoned several times for both refusing to fight in the armed forces and for acts of homosexuality, would be used against him in the days leading up to the march. However, King and Philip Randolph insisted that he was the best person for the job.

Wilkins was right to be concerned about a possible smear campaign against Rustin. Edgar Hoover, head of the Federal Bureau of Investigations, had been keeping a file on Bayard Rustin for many years. An FBI undercover agent managed to take a photograph of Rustin talking to King while he was having a bath. This photograph was then used to support false stories being circulated that Rustin was having a homosexual relationship with King.

This information was now passed on to white politicians in the Deep South who feared that a successful march on Washington would persuade President Lyndon B. Johnson to sponsor a proposed new civil rights act. Strom Thurmond led the campaign against Rustin making several speeches where he described him as a communist, draft dodger and homosexual.

Most newspapers condemned the idea of a mass march on Washington. An editorial in the New York Herald Tribune warned that If Negro leaders persist in their announced plans to march 100,000-strong on the capital they will be jeopardizing their cause. The ugly part of this particular mass protest is its implication of unconstrained violence if Congress doesnt deliver.

The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on 8th August, 1960, was a great success. Estimates on the size of the crowd varied from between 50,000 to 400,000. Speakers included Philip Randolph (AFL-CIO), Floyd McKissick (CORE), John Lewis (SNCC), Roy Wilkins (NAACP), Witney Young (National Urban League) and Walter Reuther (AFL-CIO). King was the final speaker and made his famous I Have a Dream speech.

Kennedys Civil Rights bill was still being debated by Congress when he was assassinated in November, 1960. The new president, Lyndon Baines Johnson, who had a poor record on civil rights issues, took up the cause. Using his considerable influence in Congress, Johnson was able to get the legislation passed.

The 1964 Civil Rights Act made racial discrimination in public places, such as theaters, restaurants and hotels, illegal. It also required employers to provide equal employment opportunities. Projects involving federal funds could now be cut off if there was evidence of discriminated based on colour, race or national origin.

King now concentrated on achieving a federal voting-rights law. In March 1965 he organized a protest march from Selma to the state capitol building in Montgomery, Alabama. King was not with the marchers when they were attacked by state troopers with nightsticks and tear gas. He did lead the second march but upset some of his younger followers when he turned back at the Pettus Bridge when faced by a barricade of state troopers.

After the attacks on Kings supporters at Selma, Lyndon Baines Johnson attempted to persuade Congress to pass his Voting Rights Act. This legislation proposed to remove the right of states to impose restrictions on who could vote in elections. Johnson explained how Every American citizen must have an equal right to vote. Yet the harsh fact is that in many places in this country men and women are kept from voting simply because they are Negroes.

Although opposed by politicians from the Deep South, the Voting Rights Act was passed by large majorities in the House of Representatives ( to 48) and the Senate (77 to 1). The legislation empowered the national government to register those whom the states refused to put on the voting list.

After the passing of these two important pieces of legislation, King concentrated on helping those suffering from poverty. King realised that race and economic issues were closely connected and he began talking about the need to redistribute wealth. In Why We Cant Wait (1964) and Where Do We Go from Here Chaos or Community (1967), King argued that African Americans and poor whites were natural allies and if they worked together they could help change society. Kings growing radicalism was illustrated in a speech he made in Selma, Alabama For the last twelve years we have been in the reform movement (but now) we have moved into a new era, which must be an era of revolution.

Rosa decided to challenge this law. On 1st December, 1955, Rosa, after a day working as a tailors assistant, refused to give up her seat to a white man.

After Rosa was arrested, Martin Luther King, a pastor at the local Baptist Church, helped organize protests against bus segregation. It was decided that from 5th December, black people in Montgomery would refuse to use the buses until passengers were completely integrated. King was arrested and his house was fire-bombed. Others involved in the Montgomery Bus Boycott also suffered from harassment and intimidation, but the protest continued.

For thirteen months the 17,000 black people in Montgomery walked to work or obtained lifts from the small car-owning black population of the city. Eventually, the loss of revenue and a decision by the Supreme Court forced the Montgomery Bus Company to accept integration, and the boycott came to an end on 0th December, 1956. After the success of this campaign, Parks became known as the mother of the Civil Rights Movement.

The Alien Registration Act passed by Congress on th June, 1940, made it illegal for anyone in the United States to advocate, abet, or teach the desirability of overthrowing the government. The law also required all alien residents in the United States over 14 years of age to file a comprehensive statement of their personal and occupational status and a record of their political beliefs. Within four months a total of 4,741,71 aliens had been registered.

The main objective of the Alien Registration Act was to undermine the American Communist Party and other left-wing political groups in the United States. It was decided that the House of Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), that had been set up by Congress under Martin Dies in 1968 to investigate people suspected of unpatriotic behaviour, would be the best vehicle to discover if people were trying to overthrow the government.

In 1947 the House of Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), chaired by J. Parnell Thomas, began an investigation into the Hollywood Motion Picture Industry. The HUAC interviewed 41 people who were working in Hollywood. These people attended voluntarily and became known as friendly witnesses. During their interviews they named nineteen people who they accused of holding left-wing views.

One of those named, Bertolt Brecht, an emigrant playwright, gave evidence and then left for East Germany. Ten others Herbert Biberman, Lester Cole, Albert Maltz, Adrian Scott, Samuel Ornitz,, Dalton Trumbo, Edward Dmytryk, Ring Lardner Jr., John Howard Lawson and Alvah Bessie refused to answer any questions.

Known as the Hollywood Ten, they claimed that the 1st Amendment of the United States Constitution gave them the right to do this. The House of Un-American Activities Committee and the courts during appeals disagreed and all were found guilty of contempt of congress and each was sentenced to between six and twelve months in prison.

Larry Parks was the only actor in the original nineteen people named. He was also the only person on the list who the average moviegoer would have known. Parks agreed to give evidence to the HUAC and admitted that he had joined the Communist Party in 1941 but left it four years later. When asked for the names of fellow members, Parks replied I would prefer, if you would allow me, not to mention other peoples names. Dont present me with the choice of either being in contempt of this Committee and going to jail or forcing me to really crawl through the mud to be an informer.

The House of Un-American Activities Committee insisted that Parks answered all the questions asked. The HUAC had a private session and two days later it was leaked to the newspapers that Parks had named names. Leo Townsend, Isobel Lennart, Roy Huggins, Richard Collins, Lee J. Cobb, Budd Schulberg and Elia Kazan, afraid they would go to prison, were also willing to name people who had been members of left-wing groups.

In June, 1950, three former FBI agents and a right-wing television producer, Vincent Harnett, published Red Channels, a pamphlet listing the names of 1951 writers, directors and performers who they claimed had been members of subversive organisations before the Second World War but had not so far been blacklisted. The names had been compiled from FBI files and a detailed analysis of the Daily Worker, a newspaper published by the American Communist Party.

During the 1950s the main tactic of the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People was to use the courts to end racial discrimination in the United States. One of its objectives was to end the system of having separate schools for black and white children in the South. For example, the states of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia and Kentucky all prohibited black and white children from going to the same school.

In 1950 the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People appealed to the Supreme Court that school segregation was unconstitutional. The Supreme Court ruled that separate schools were acceptable as long as they were separate and equal. It was not too difficult for the NAACP to provide information to show that black and white schools in the South were not equal.

After looking at information provided by the NAACP, the Supreme Court announced in 1954 that separate schools were not equal and ruled that they were therefore unconstitutional. Some states accepted the ruling and began to desegregate. This was especially true of states that had small black populations and had found the provision of separate schools extremely expensive.

However, several states in the Deep South, including Arkansas, refused to accept the judgment of the Supreme Court. Daisy Bates, the publisher of Arkansas State Press, started a campaign for desegregate schools in the state.

On rd September 1957, the governor of Arkansas, Orval Faubus, used the National Guard to stop black children from attending the local high school in Little Rock. Woodrow Mann, the reforming mayor of the city, disagreed with this decision and on 4th September telegraphed President Dwight Eisenhower and asked him to send federal troops to Little Rock.

On 4th September, 1957, President Dwight Eisenhower, went on television and told the American people At a time when we face grave situations abroad because of the hatred that communism bears towards a system of government based on human rights, it would be difficult to exaggerate the harm that is being done to the prestige and influence and indeed to the safety of our nation and the world. Our enemies are gloating over this incident and using it everywhere to misrepresent our whole nation. We are portrayed as a violator of those standards which the peoples of the world united to proclaim in the Charter of the United Nations.

After trying for eighteen days to persuade Orval Faubus to obey the ruling of the Supreme Court, Eisenhower decided to order paratroopers of the 101st Airborne Division, to protect black children going to Little Rock Central High School. The white population of Little Rock were furious that they were being forced to integrate their school and Faubus described the federal troops as an army of occupation.

Elizabeth Eckford and the other eight African American students that entered the school (Carlotta Walls, Jefferson Thomas, Thelma Mothershed, Melba Pattillo, Ernest Green, Terrance Roberts, Gloria Ray and Minnijean Brown) suffered physical violence and constant racial abuse. Parents of four of the children lost their jobs because they had insisted in sending them to a white school. Woodrow Mann and his family received death threats and Klu Klux Klan crosses were burnt on his front lawn.

The federal troops left at the end of November and the first black student graduated from Central High School in May 1958.

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