The Postwar and Modern Age (1945-present)
After World War II the United States enjoyed decades of unprecedented prosperity. The Civil Rights movement also began in his era, greatly changing American society.
From Truman and Stalin, to McCarthyism and the Vietnam War, and finally the collapse of the Soviet Union. A brief overview of the Cold War.
- Gene Roberts and Hank Klibanoff - The Race Beat: The Press, the Civil Rights Struggle, and the Awakening of a Nation (Vintage)
- David M. Oshinsky - Polio: An American Story
- Lawrence Wright - The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11
- Thomas Frank - The Conquest of Cool: Business Culture, Counterculture, and the Rise of Hip Consumerism
- Stanley Karnow - Vietnam: A History
- Johnny Ryan - A History of the Internet and the Digital Future
- 1954 - Brown v. Board of Education outlaws segregated schools. President Eisenhower is later forced to deploy the 101st Airborne Division to enforce the decision.
- 1955 - The Montgomery Bus Boycott unleashes a wave of civil rights protests across the United States.
- 1960 - "The Pill" is approved by the FDA on June 23. It usage will become legal in every state with the Eisenstadt v. Baird decision in 1972.
- 1962 - The Cuban Missile Crisis threatens nuclear war.
- 1963 - John F. Kennedy is assassinated under suspicious circumstances.
- 1964 - The landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 is passed, significantly strengthening the federal enforcement of civil rights laws for minorities.
- 1967 - "The Long Hot Summer" highlights the deteriorating social climate of the nation. 159 race riots erupt in a single year, most infamously in Newark and Detroit.
- 1969 - Stonewall Riots in New York become rallying point for gay community. The first Pride Parade is held on June 28th, 1970 to commemorate the one-year anniversary.
- 1975/1976 - Microsoft and Apple are founded one year apart, becoming innovators and rivals in the computer industry.
- c.1980 - Widespread cases of the AIDS virus begin to appear in the United States.
- 1991 - Tim Berners-Lee creates the first websites on the World Wide Web. "Browser Wars" and email soon ensue.
- 2000 - For the first time, Hispanics become the largest minority group as measured in the United States Census.
- 2001 - Terrorist attacks topple the World Trade Center on September 11.
- 2004 - Facebook is launched, initially limited to active students of Harvard University.