President Harry S. Truman signs into law the European Recovery Program (known as the Marshall Plan)

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April 3, 1948
Photograph of Zora Neale Hurston.

American Masters: Zora Neale Hurston

American Masters' "Zora Neale Hurston: Jump at the Sun"  offers an introduction to the writer many consider the pre-eminent African American woman novelist of her generation. The American Masters website provides a career timeline, photographs, and additional footage from the film. An important letter from Hurston to the poet Countee Cullen on race relations in America is also included as are links to related websites. 

Clockwise from top left: Presidents Roosevelt, Reagan, Truman, and Eisenhower

The Presidents

"The Presidents," part of the American Experience series on PBS, explores the lives and times of the individuals who have held the highest office in the land. One can look at the presidency in the 20th century and through its office see the drama of contemporary America—war, economic hardship, women's rights, race relations, our triumphs and our tragedies—it is all there. EDSITEment also has a companion feature/index that highlights video segments as they pertain to relevant EDSITEment content.

President Truman orders military into Korean War

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June 27, 1950
  • Building Suburbia: Highways and Housing in Postwar America

    Created June 10, 2010
    Building Suburbia: Diebenkorn's City Scape

    This lesson highlights the changing relationship between the city center and the suburb in the postwar decades, especially in the 1950s. Students will look at the legislation leading up to and including the Federal Highway Act of 1956. They will also examine documents about the history of Levittown, the most famous and most important of the postwar suburban planned developments.

    Internet Public Library: Presidents of the United States

    In this resource you will find background information, election results, cabinet members, notable events, and some points of interest on each of the presidents. Links to biographies, historical documents, audio and video files, and other presidential sites are also included.

    Martin Luther King, Jr. Papers Project

    A center for study of the civil rights leader and his era.

    History of Jim Crow

    The Jim Crow laws encompassed every part of American life, from politics to education to sports. This site provides a comprehensive look at the 80-year period of segregation in the U.S.

  • Lesson 3: The Rise and Fall of Joseph McCarthy

    The excesses of Senator Joseph R. McCarthy's anti-communist crusade led to his eventual censure by the U.S. Senate

    A freshman senator from Wisconsin, Joseph R. McCarthy, shocked the country in 1950 when he claimed to possess evidence that significant numbers of communists continued to hold positions of influence in the State Department. In this lesson students will learn about McCarthy's crusade against communism, from his bombshell pronouncements in 1950 to his ultimate censure and disgrace in 1954.

  • Lesson 3: The Formation of the Western Alliance, 1948–1949

    When the Soviets blockaded Berlin in 1948, the Western allies initiated an airlift to relieve the besieged city

    In the spring of 1948 Stalin provoked the first serious international crisis of the Cold War by announcing a blockade of West Berlin. This lesson will trace the Berlin blockade and airlift of 1948–49 and the establishment of NATO.