(1917) Vladimir Lenin and his Bolshevik party seized power and established a communist state.
(1919-1920) A period of intense anticommunism. The “Palmer raids” of Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer resulted in about 6,000 deportations of people suspected of “subversive” activities.
Criminal Syndicalism laws
Passed by many states during the red scare, these nefarious laws outlawed the mere advocacy of violence to secure social change.
A business oriented approach to woke relations popular among firms in the 920’s to defeat unionization. Managers sought to strengthen their communication with workers and to offer benefits like pensions and insurance. They insisted on an “open shop” in contrast to the mandatory union membership through the “closed shop” that many labor activists had demanded in the strike wave after WW1.
Immigration Act of 1924
Also known as the “National Origins Act”, this law established quotas for immigration to the US. Immigration from southern and eastern Europe was sharply curtailed, while immigrants from Asia were shut out altogether.
prohibited alcohol (manufacturing, consuming, etc.)
(1919) A federal act enforcing the 18th Amendment, which prohibited the manufacture sale, and transportation of alcoholic beverages.
People who obtain money illegally by fraud, bootlegging, gambling, or threats of violence. Racketeers invaded the ranks of labor during the 1920’s, a decade when gambling and gangsterism were prevalent in American life.
A Protestant Christian movement emphasizing the literal truth of the Bible and opposing religious modernism, which sought to reconcile religion and science.
The region of the American South, extending roughly from NC west to Oklahoma and Texas, where Protestant Fundamentalism and belief in literal interpretations of the Bible were traditionally strongest.
A system of industrial management created and promoted in the early twentieth century by Frederick W. Taylor, emphasizing stopwatch efficiency to improve factory performance. The system gained immense popularity across the US and Europe.
A system of assembly-line manufacturing and mass production named after Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company and developer of the Model T car.
United Negro Improvement Association (UNIA)
A black nationalist organization founded in 1914 by Marcus Garvey in order to promote resettlement of African Americans to their African homeland and to stimulate a vigorous separate black economy in the US
In response to the demanding conditions of modern life, this artistic and cultural movement revolted against comfortable Victorian standards and accepted chance, change, contingency, uncertainty, and fragmentation.
A creative circle of expatriate American artists and writers, including Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Gertrude Stein, who found inspiration in post WW1 Europe.
A creative outpouring among African American writers, jazz musicians, and social thinkers, centered around Harlem in the 1920’s, that celebrated black culture and advocated for a “New Negro” in American social, political, and intellectual life.
Adkins v. Children’s Hospital
(1923) A landmark Supreme Court decision reversing the ruling in Muller v. Oregon, which had declared women to be deserving of special protection in the workplace.
(1922) Agreement coming out of the Washington “Disarmament” Conference of 1921-1922 that pledged Britain, France, Italy, Japan, the US, China, the Netherlands, Portugal, Belgium to abide by the open Door Policy in China.
(1928) A sentimental triumph of the 1920’s peace movement, linked 62 nations in the supposed “outlawry of war.”
Fordney-McCumber Tariff Law
A comprehensive bill passed to protect domestic production from foreign competitors. AS a direct result, many European nations were spurred to increase their own trade barriers.
Teapot Dome Scandal
(1921) A tawdry affair involving the illegal lease of priceless naval oil reserves in Teapot Dome, Wyoming, and Elk Hills, CA. The scandal, which implicated president Harding;s secretary of the interior, was on of the several that gave his administration a reputation for corruption.
A farm- relief bill that was championed throughout the 1920’s and aimed to keep agricultural prices high by authorizing the government to buy up surpluses and sell them abroad. Congress twice passed the bill but Coolidge vetoed it twice.
(1924) An arrangement negotiated in 1924 to reschedule German currency and opened the way for further American private loans to Germany.
Agricultural Marketing Act
(1929) This act established the Federal Farm Board, a lending Bureau for hard-pressed farmers. this act also aimed to help farmers help themselves though new producers cooperatives. As the depression worsened in 1930, the Board tried to bolster falling prices by buying up surpluses, but it was unable to cope with the flood of farm produce to market.
Hawley- Smoot Tariff
The highest protective tariff in the peacetime history of the US, passed as a result of good old-fashioned horse trading. To the outside world, it smacked of ugly economic warfare.
(1929) The dark panicky day of October 29, 1929, when over 16, 410,000 shares of stock were sold on Wall Street. It was a trigger that helped bring on the Great Depression.
Grim shantytowns where impoverished victims of the Great Depression slept under newspapers and in makeshift tents. Their visibility tarnished the reputation of the Hoover administration.
Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC)
(1932) A government lending agency established under the Hoover administration in order to assist insurance, companies, banks, agricultural organizations, railroads, and local governments.
Norris- La Guardia Anti-Injunction Act
(1932) This law banned “yellow-dog” or antiunion. work contracts and forbade federal courts from issuing injections to quash strikes and boycotts.
(1932) Officially known as the Bonus Expeditionary Force, this rag-tag group of 20,000 veterans marched on Washington to demand immediate payment of bonus earned during WW1. General MacAurthur dispersed the veterans with tear gas and bayonets.
Specialists in law, economics, and welfare, many of them young and university professors, who advised Franklin D. Roosevelt and helped develop the policies of the New Deal.
The economic and political policies of FDR’s administration in the 1930’s, which aimed to solve the problems of the Great Depression by providing relief for the unemployed and launching efforts to stimulate economic recovery. The New Deal built on reforms of the progressive era to expand greatly an American-style welfare state.
(1933) The first hundred days of FDR’s administration. where an unprecedented number of reform bills were passed by a Democratic Congress to launch the New Deal.
Glass-Steagall Banking Reform Act
(1933) A law creating the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, which insured individual bank deposits and ended a century-long tradition of unstable banking that had reached a crisis in the Great Depression
Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC)
A government program created by Congress to hire young unemployed men to improve the rural, out-of-door environment with such work as planting trees, fighting fires, draining swamps, and maintaing national parks. The CCC proved to be an important foundation for the post-World War 2 environmental movement.
National Recovery Administration (NRA)
(1933) New Deal program designed to assist industry, labor, and the unemployed through centralized planning mechanisms that monitored workers’ earnings and working hours to distribute work and established codes for “fair competition” to ensure that similar procedures were followed by all firms in any particular industrial sector.
Agricultural Adjustment Administration (AAA)
(1933) A new Deal program designed to raise agricultural prices by paying farmers not to farm. It was based on the assumption that higher prices would increase farmers’ purchasing power and thereby help alleviate the Great Depression
Nickname for the Great Plains region that was devastated by drought and dust storms during the 1930’s. The disaster led to the migration into CA of thousands of displaced “Okies” and “Arkies”
Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)
(1933) One of the most revolutionary of the New Deal public works projects, the TVA brought cheap, electric power, full employment, low-cost housing, and environmental improvements to Americans in the Tennessee Valley.
Social Security Act
(1935) A flagship accomplishment of the New Deal, this law provided for unemployment and old-age insurance financed by a payroll tax on employers and employees. It has long remained a pillar of the “New Deal Order”.
(1935) Also known as the National Labor Relations Act, this law protected the right of labor to organize in unions and bargain collectively with employers and established the National Labor Relations Board to monitor unfair labor practices on the part of employers. Its passage marked the culmination of decades of labor protest.
Fair Labor Standards Act
(1938) Important New Deal labor legislation that regulated minimum wages and maximum hours for workers involved in interstate commerce. The law also outlawed labor by children under 16. The exclusion of agricultural, service, and domestic workers meant that many blacks, Mexican Americans, and women- who were concentrated in these sectors- did not benefit from this act’s protection.
Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO)
(CIO) A New Deal-era labor organization that broke away from the American Federation of Labor (AFL), in order to organize unskilled industrial workers regardless of their particular economic sector or craft. The CIO gave a great boost to labor organizing in the midst of the Great Depression and during WW2.
(1937) FDR’s politically motivated and ill-fated scheme to add a new justice to the supreme court for eery member over 70 who would not retire. His objective was to overcome the Court’s objections to the New Deal reforms.
An economic theory based on the thoughts of British economist John Maynard Keynes, holding that central banks should adjust interest rates and governments should use deficit spending and tax policies to increase purchasing power and hence prosperity.
London Economic Conference
A 66 nation economic conference organized to stabilize international currency rates. FDR’s decision to revoke American participation contributed to a deepening world economic crisis.
Good Neighbor Policy
A departure from the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine, the Good Neighbor Policy stressed nonintervention in Latin America. It was begun by Herbert Hoover but associated with FDR.
Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act
(1934) This act reversed traditional high-tariff policies by allowing the president to negotiate with lower tariffs with trade partners, without Senate approval. Its chief architect was Secretary of State Cordell Hull, who believed that tariff barriers choked off foreign trade.
(1936) Nazi Germany, under Hitler, and Fascist Italy, lead by Mussolini, allied themselves together under this nefarious treaty. The pact was signed after both countries had intervened on behalf of the fascist leader Francisco Franco during the Spanish Civil War.
Johnson Debt Default Act
Organized the federal legal system, establishing the supreme court, federal district, and circuit courts, and the office of the attorney general.
Neutrality Act of 1935, 1936, and 1937
Short sighted acts passed to prevent American participation in a European War. Among other restrictions, they prevented Americans from selling munitions to foreign belligerents.
Abraham Lincoln Brigade
Idealistic American volunteers who served in the Spanish Civil War, defending Spanish republican forces from the fascist General Francisco Franco’s nationalist coup. Some 3,000 Americans served alongside volunteers from other countries.
(1937) An important speech delivered by Franklin Roosevelt in which he called for “positive endeavors” to “quarantine” land-hungry dictators, presumably through economic embargoes. The speech flew in the face of isolationist politicians.
(1938) The policy followed by leaders of Britain and France at the 1938 conference in Munich. Their propose was to avoid war, but they allowed Germany to take the Sudetenland from Czechoslovakia.
(1939) Treaty signed on August 23, 1939, in which Germany and the Soviet Union agreed not to fight each other. The fateful agreement paced the way for German aggression against Poland and the Western democracies
Neutrality Act of 1939
This act stipulated that European democracies might buy American munitions, but only if they could pay in cash and transport them in their own ships, a policy known as “cash-and-carry.” It represented an effort to avoid war debts and protect American arms-carriers from torpedo attacks.
“night of broken glass” , it refers to the murderous pogrom that destroyed Jewish businesses and synagogues and sent thousands to concentration camps on the night of November 9, 1938. Thousands more tried to find refugee in the US but were turned away due to restrictive immigration laws.
War Refugee Board
(1944-1945): Established in 1942 by executive order to direct all war production, including procuring and allocating raw materials, to maximize the nation’s war machine. The WPB had sweeping powers over the U.S. economy and was abolished in November 1945 soon after Japan’s defeat
(1941) Based on the motto “Send guns, not sons,” this law abandoned former pretenses of neutrality by allowing Americans to sell unlimited supplies of arms to any nation defending itself against the Axis powers. Patriotically number 1776, the bill was praised as a device for keeping the nation out of World War II.
(1941) Meeting on a warship off the coast of Newfoundland in August 1941, Franklin Roosevelt and British prime minister Winston Churchill signed this covenant outlining the future path toward disarmament, peace, and a permanent system of general security. Its spirit would animate the founding of the United Nations and raise awareness of the human rights of individuals after World War II.
(1941) An American naval base in Hawaii where Japanese warplanes destroyed numerous ships and caused three thousand casualties on December 7, 1941 – a day that, in President Roosevelt’s words, was to “live in infamy”. The attack brought the United States into World War II
(1941) An agreement between Britain and the United States developed at a conference in Washington, D.C., between January 29 and March 27, 1941, that should the United States enter World War II, the two nations and their allies would coordinate their military planning, making a priority of protecting the British Commonwealth. That would mean “getting Germany first” in the Atlantic and the European theater and fighting more defensively on other military fronts.
Executive Order No. 9066
Signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on February 19, 1942, it authorized the secretary of war to designate military zones from which certain categories of people could be excluded. Fueled by historic anti-Japanese sentiment as well as panic following the December 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor, the order led to the forced removal of some 120,000 persons of Japanese ancestry (70,000 of them U.S. citizens) from the Western Military Zone (the coastal sections of Washington, Oregon, and California). Most but not all of those removed were interned in relocation camps in the interior West. The order was rescinded in December 1944, and legislation passed in 1988 offered an official government apology and modest financial compensation to surviving citizen internees.
War Production Board (WPB)
Established in 1942 by executive order to direct all war production, including procuring and allocating raw materials, to maximize the nation’s war machine. The WPB had sweeping powers over the U.S. economy and was abolished in November 1945 soon after Japan’s defeat
Office of Price Administration (OPA)
(1941-1947) A critically important wartime agency charged with regulating the consumer economy by rationing scare supplies, such as automobiles, tires, fuel, nylon, and sugar, and by curbing inflation by setting ceilings on the price of goods. Rents were controlled as well in parts of the country overwhelmed by war workers. The OPA was the country overwhelmed by war workers. The OPA was extended after World War II ended to continue the fight against inflation.
National War Labor Board (NWLB)
(1942) Established by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to act as an arbitration tribunal and mediate disputes between labor and management that might have led to work stoppages and thereby undermined the war effort. The NWLB was also charged with adjusting wages with an eye to controlling inflation.
Smith-Connally Anti-Strike Act
(1943) Passed amidst worries about the effects that labor strikes would have on war production, this law allowed the federal government to seize and operate plants threatened by labor disputes. It also criminalized strike action against government-run companies
WAC’s (Woman’s Army Corps)
The women’s branch of the US Army established during WW2 to employ women in noncombatant jobs. Women now participated in the armed services in ways tat went beyond the traditional roles as nurses.
WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service)
The Women’s branch of the US Navy established during WW2 to employ women in noncombatant jobs.
SPARs (U.S. Coast Guard Women’s Reserve)
(U.S. Coast Guard Women’s Reserve) The women’s branch of the U.S. Coast Guard established during World War II to employ women in noncombatant jobs.
(1942) Program established by agreement with the Mexican government to recruit temporary Mexican agricultural workers to the United States to make up for wartime labor shortages in the Far West. The program persisted until 1964, by which time it had sponsored 4.5 million border crossings.
Fair Employment Practices Commission (FEPC)
(1941) Threatened with a massive “Negro March on Washington” to demand equal opportunities in war jobs and in the military, Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration issued an executive order forbidding racial discrimination in all defense plants operating under contract with the federal government. The FEPC was intended to monitor compliance with the executive order.
Congress of Racial Equality (CORE)
(1942) Nonviolent civil rights organization founded in 1942 and committed to the “Double V” – victory over fascism abroad and racism at home. After World War II, CORE would become a major force in the civil rights movement
Native American men who served in the military by transmitting radio messages in their native languages, which were undecipherable by German and Japanese spies.
Battle of Midway
(1942) A pivotal navy battle fought near the island of Midway on June 3-6, 1942. The victory halted Japanese advances in the Pacific
(1944) A massive military operation led by American forces in Normandy beginning on June 6, 1944. The pivotal battle led to the liberation of France and brought on the final phases of World War II in Europe.
V-E (Victory in Europe) Day
The source of frenzied rejoicing, May 8, 1945, marked the official end to the war in Europe, following the unconditional surrender of what remained of the German government.
(1945) From July 17 to August 2, 1945, President Harry S Truman met with Soviet Leader Joseph Stalin and British leaders Winston Churchill and later Clement Attlee (when the Labour party defeated Churchill’s Conservative party) near Berlin to deliver an ultimatum to Japan: surrender or be destroyed.
(1942) Code name for the American commission established in 1942 to develop the atomic bomb. The first experimental bomb was detonated on July 16, 1945, in the desert of New Mexico. Atomic bombs were then dropped on two cities in Japan in hopes of bringing the war to an end: Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, and Nagasaki on August 9, 1945.
V-J (Victory in Japan) Day
August 15, 1945, heralded the surrender of Japan and the final end to World War II.