The United States has changed significantly in the last sixty years, bringing us out of the dangers of World War II and into ushering in a bright new millennium. Americans’ experience in their beloved country has changed dramatically since 1945, as a result of advancing technologies, world events, economic issues and national policies.
Back in 1945, the world was a different place. In 1945, Truman made the life-changing decision to drop two atomic bombs on Japan – ushering in the area of nuclear weaponry and warfare. This may have ended World War II, but more violence was to follow; an arms race between USSR and the U.S. resulted in the Cold War, which peaked at the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. An era of fear gripped the nation, and Americans went to school learning how to hide under their desks in case of a nuclear attack. Even after a calming against the Soviet Union, turmoil plagued America, from President Kennedy’s assassination to the devastating Vietnam War. During this war, hundreds of thousands of Americans lost relatives, friends and loved ones to the conflict. Finally, an era of stability fell over the United States. However, when the Twin Towers fell on 9/11, fear and war once again spread through the hearts of Americans.
In 1945, race relations were also quite different. Schools, buses and even bathrooms were racially segregated until the Supreme Court ruled it unjust in 1955. From there, minorities suffered several more decades of discrimination, even as the Civil Rights movement came to full strength in the 60s and 70s. Americans would have experience racially separated communities, schools and workplaces well into the 1970s, when general American mindsets finally began to change towards more acceptance and integration.
Technology has advanced exponentially since 1945. The year may have ushered in the nuclear age, but it didn’t stop there. Soon, the country was launching satellites, placing men on the moon, and in 1978 the country invented the first personal home computer. It wasn’t until around ten years later, however, that the Internet was introduced to the world. Now, instead of writing letters and using phone landlines for verbal communication, Americans are using slick cellular phones to log onto to the web, do research, write notes, make calls and send texts. America has come a long way in a short amount of time. We’ve developed from a fairly isolated country to a globally aware, technology friendly populace.