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United States — History — 1945-1953
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Newsreels 1950-55

In the age before television, people saw the news every week in their neighborhood movie theater, in the newsreels that were shown with every feature film. This DVD contains a selection of newsreels made by Universal International News, compiled by Professor Steven Schoenherr for history classes at the University of San Diego. These visual historical documents have been reproduced from reference cassettes at the National Archives in College Park MD. In living black-and-white, they offer a fascinating and unique view of an era when motion pictures defined our culture.
Clemons (Stacks)

Freedom, a History of US: Episode 13 Democracy and Struggles [electronic resource]

America becomes the acknowledged leader of the free world and embarks on a course of rebuilding democracies abroad.
2005; 2003

Democracy and Struggles [electronic resource]

In the postwar free world, America becomes the acknowledged leader, striving to rebuild democracies abroad. As the Iron Curtain falls and the Cold War begins, fear of communism spreads through the country, sparking Joseph McCarthy's communist witch-hunts. At the same time, the U.S. finally faces up to racial separatism when the groundbreaking Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education outlaws segregation.

Let Freedom Ring [electronic resource]

The Civil Rights movement becomes the most effective social movement in U.S. history. During this era, Martin Luther King, Jr. marches on Washington, and Little Rock's high school is integrated. John F. Kennedy is inaugurated as President of the United States.

McCarthy Trials [electronic resource]: An Exploration Through Archival Film

Presenting archival footage from the anti-communist turmoil of the 1950s, this program takes viewers back to an America turning against itself, an America pushed into a state of paranoia by one man-Senator Joseph McCarthy. Historian Ben Walsh serves as a helpful guide to these newsreel materials while also making use of insightful excerpts on the topic from the 1984 Bill Moyers series A Walk Through the 20th Century (item 42066, Post-War Hopes, Cold War Dreams). Looking at McCarthy's tactics in naming and punishing alleged communist activists and supporters, as well as his use and manipulation of the media, the program is a valuable resource not only for teaching about postwar America, but also for instruction in the use of archival films.

The Big Picture [electronic resource]: The Big Red One in Vietnam

Produced by the U.S. Army, this episode of The Big Picture focuses on the First Infantry Division in South Vietnam. In addition to chronicling its battle actions since its arrival in Vietnam in July 1965 until its largest campaign, Operation Junction City in March 1967, this captivating film features footage from the National Archives and Records Administration. It also depicts the severe combat conditions encountered by the troops as well as the esprit de corps of the fighting men of the First Infantry Division.

The Big PicturePictorial Report No. 3 [electronic resource]

This classic episode of the U.S. Army's The Big Picture television series takes viewers on a journey around the world in a mere half an hour, showing military police activities in Europe, helicopter activities in the Far East, and the latest in training methods within the Zone of Interior, aka the United States. This video from the National Archives and Records Administration presents these thrilling, informative scenes to American viewers so they understand how our Army is responding to events worldwide.

Suburban America [electronic resource]: Problems & Promise

Filmed in a wide range of suburban and metropolitan areas around the United States, this program presents a dynamic and thought-provoking exploration of American suburbia, including its genesis and history, its dramatic political and social evolution, and its developmental challenges. Viewers are guided through specific issues facing the nation's suburban landscape, including problems in infrastructure, transportation, housing, economic development, environmental sustainability, and community revitalization. Interviews with leading policy experts offer remarkable insight into the grey areas that separate - or connect, depending on one's point of view - America's cities and rural regions.

The Big Picture [electronic resource]: Blood and Bullets

This episode of the U.S. Army's The Big Picture pays tribute to combat medics and their intimate role with the infantryman in battle. Also in this film from the National Archives and Records Administration is an interview of Major Robert Glazier, Cleveland, Ohio, veteran of eight campaigns and Battalion Commander of the 3rd Infantry, by Colonel William Quinn.

The Big Picture [electronic resource]: Why North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)?

This episode of the U.S. Army's The Big Picture television series, narrated by news analyst Edward R. Murrow, focuses on the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, or NATO, of which the United States is a founding member. This alliance was created in response to the two World Wars and the Korean War, which showed that when one free nation anywhere is threatened by aggression, the safety of all free nations is ultimately at stake. This video from the National Archives and Records Administration shows the United States in its strategic role as leader in the free world and its alliance with other nations dedicated to the preservation of peace and the welfare of mankind.

The Big Picture [electronic resource]: Special Forces Training

This episode from the U.S. Army's The Big Picture television series, narrated by motion picture, stage, and television star Henry Fonda, turns its attention to the soldiers of the Special Forces. Viewers will find this video from the National Archives and Records Administration entertaining and informative as they see the rigorous, demanding training at the Special Warfare Center in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, as well as an exciting Special Forces training mission high in the Bavarian Alps.

The Forgotten War [electronic resource]: Korean War Veterans Remember

Overshadowed by the wars that came before and after it, the Korean War has received little of the attention it rightly deserves, yet its legacy endures: armies still face each other across the demilitarized zone - and nuclear saber-rattling, this time coming from North Korea, is still a factor. In this ABC News program, correspondent Phil Ittner embeds himself with a group of veterans making a pilgrimage to Korea for the first time since they saw action there more than 50 years ago.
2006; 2003

Pearl Harbor [electronic resource]: Legacy of Attack

In the aftermath of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, thousands of American servicemen were left dead, nearly two dozen U.S. warships were sunk, and hundreds of airplanes were damaged or destroyed. Had events been different, could America have avoided that attack, or could Japan have won the war with a single stoke? In this classic program, Robert Ballard-discoverer of the sunken Titanic-conducts an underwater investigation, filming the interior of the battleship U.S.S. Arizona and seeking a missing Japanese mini-sub on the ocean floor; World War II historian Stephen Ambrose provides historical insight; and three survivors of the attack give harrowing eyewitness accounts of the events of December 7, 1941, "a date which will live in infamy.
2009; 2002

Lessons of the Blood [electronic resource]: Unit 731 and the Legacy of Biological Warfare

This program explores the legacy of Unit 731, a research division of the Japanese Imperial Army that conducted human experimentation on Chinese civilians during World War II. Traveling to some of China's "rotten leg villages," the video features eloquent testimony from elderly survivors who still tend deeply ulcerated, unhealed wounds resulting from Unit 731's biological attacks. The documentary highlights efforts to bring the truth about Unit 731 to light, with activists accusing modern-day Japan of downplaying or denying the episode.

Waves of Liberty [electronic resource]

In this program the author of Sparks of Liberty: An Insider's Memoir of Radio Liberty reviews the origins, struggles, and eventual demise of the American radio station that broadcast directly to the Soviet people starting with the Cold War. Funded by the CIA, Radio Liberty's stated mission was to provide objective information about culture and current events to those without a free press, like its sister stations Radio Free Europe and Voice of America. Former employees discuss working at Radio Liberty's Spanish location - where it was moved to avoid Soviet jamming of transmissions - its content, and the logistics of conveying information in the pre-Internet age.

Year by Year [electronic resource]: 1952

Major trends of 1952 covered in this episode of Year by Year include the atom bomb and the space race.

World War II [electronic resource]

This program features FDR's declaration of war on Japan, and General Douglas MacArthur's "Old Soldiers Never Die" retirement speech before Congress. Other speeches include FDR's humorous response to Republican allegations of budgetary waste surrounding his dog, Fala; General George Patton's controversial stump speech in support of World War II; and excerpts from John L. Lewis's five-hour pro-union filibuster before a congressional committee studying mine safety.
2006; 1995

John F. Kennedy [electronic resource]: 12/02/51

December 2, 1951, marked the first of eight appearances on Meet the Press for John F. Kennedy. In this edition, Kennedy addresses government corruption, the likelihood of General Eisenhower running for President, and his own aspiration to a seat in the Senate with measured answers. But he pulls no punches in his explanation of why America is not generally liked in Southeast Asia and the Middle East, gives a thorough response to the question of whether the U.S. should have fought for unconditional surrender in Korea, and makes prescient observations on the likelihood of defeat of any field army that opposes the Communist guerillas in French Indochina. Introduced by Tim Russert.
2008; 2007

Richard M. Nixon [electronic resource]: 09/14/52

When Richard Nixon made his first appearance on Meet the Press, he was a 39-year-old first-term senator and Dwight D. Eisenhower's vice-presidential running mate. Two months later the pair would win the election, but not before Nixon was almost dropped from the ticket in the wake of controversy over what was characterized as a campaign slush fund-a story that broke immediately after this broadcast. In this edition of Meet the Press, Nixon speaks about the campaign, little knowing that only nine days later he would be scrambling to save his political future with his now-famous "Checkers" speech.
2008; 2007

Herbert Hoover [electronic resource]: 12/11/55

Largely dismissed as a President, Herbert Hoover is remembered today as a humanitarian with progressive views and a deep belief in the necessity of efficient government. In this edition of Meet the Press, the 81-year-old Hoover smoothly handles the give-and-take with the panel as he discusses the work of the Hoover Commission and promotes his idea for a new Executive Branch office: the Administrative Vice-President, whose duty it would be to help operate the federal government-"the biggest business in the whole world." Introduced by Tim Russert.
2008; 2007