Episode from the podcastFrom Boomers to Millennials: A Modern US History Podcast

Episode 5 - 1950: Plunging Back Into War

Released Saturday, 16th November 2019
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Cold War tensions finally boiled over into a heated military conflict during the Summer of 1950, when Soviet-allied North Korea invaded US-allied South Korea. In response, President Truman called General Douglas MacArthur away from his role administering the American occupation of Japan in order to fight the Communists on the Korean Peninsula. MacArthur's bold military strategies allowed the Americans to recapture South Korea for capitalism, but the general underestimated the danger of occupying North Korea in his attempts to totally defeat the Korean communist movement. Back on the homefront, labor leader Walter Reuther negotiated the "Treaty of Detroit" between the United Auto Workers union & the General Motors car company, which helped bring more Americans into the middle class. The Red Scare continued to loom large over domestic politics, as Senator Joe McCarthy accused many Americans of having Communist sympathies, & Senator Patrick McCarran attempted to limit the liberties of subversives. The year's wild finish included an assassination attempt, a dirty election campaign, a president sending threats to a music critic, & a Chinese intervention in Korea that created great suffering for US troops & South Korean civilians (and which created major headaches for American generals & politicians).

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