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Those Were The Days by Kenny Harmon takes a more personal look at the latter half of the New Deal era, a bygone age where change was the norm and the times were simpler.
The New Deal era was a period in American history that began with the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933. It was a time of significant government intervention in the economy, providing relief, recovery, and reform in the aftermath of the Great Depression. The New Deal era had a profound impact on American society and set the stage for many of the social and economic policies that followed in the decades to come. While plenty would say that the New Deal era was confined to FDR’s presidency until the 1940s, when much of the government’s previous reforms bore fruit, the period actually extends further than that.
The latter half of the New Deal era happened in the 1950s and 1960s, which were two of the most transformative decades in human history. The aftermath of World War II saw the beginning of the Cold War, the rise of the space race, and the development of new technologies that would change how we live and work forever. At the same time, social and political movements challenged the status quo and led to significant changes in civil rights, women’s rights, and the anti-war movement.
The Latter Half of the New Deal Era
The Cold War
The Cold War occurred under the umbrella of growing geopolitical tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union, which began following World War II. The two superpowers competed for global influence and supported opposing sides in numerous proxy wars. The Cold War had a profound impact on the world, shaping its politics, economics, and culture for nearly half a century and beyond.
The Space Race
As part of the Cold War, the two superpowers wanted to achieve superior spaceflight capabilities over the other. While the space race began when the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1 into orbit, becoming the first satellite to do so, the space race ended in 1969 when the United States oversaw the Apollo 11 mission, landing the very first humans onto the surface of the moon.
The 1950s and 1960s were periods of rapid technological innovation in various fields, including computing, electronics, and transportation. It was in the early 50s that the first computers were sold commercially, and it was in 1958, the first integrated circuit (IC). ICs led to the development of smaller and more powerful computers, which revolutionized many industries.
Other notable technological innovations include the transistor, the laser, and the birth control pill. The transistor, invented in 1947, changed electronics by making it possible to build smaller and more reliable electronic devices. The laser, developed in 1960, has had many applications in industry, medicine, and communications. In 1960, birth control was first marketed, giving women more control over their reproductive lives and had a profound impact on the social fabric of the world.
Social and Political Movements
The latter half of the New Deal era was also a time of significant social and political change. The civil rights movement in the United States challenged racial segregation and discrimination. The women’s movement fought for gender equality. The anti-war movement protested the Vietnam War.
These movements had a lasting impact on American society and continue to have an influence on global politics today.
A Bygone Age
This was a time of significant change and upheaval. The Cold War, the space race, technological innovation, and social and political movements all shaped the world we live in now. These two decades were a turning point in human history, and their impact continues to be felt today.
For an intimate look at a bygone age, Those Were The Days by Kenny Harmon is available in all major online bookstores.