Skip to main content

1950s Mini Research Project (Rooney)

witch huntBackground Research on The Crucible and the 1950's




1.McCarthyism/The Red Hunt

  • PBS
  • History Channel
  • National Archives: Telegram from McCarthy to Truman (primary source). This National Archives site has a good overview of what McCarthyism was as well as a primary source telegram that McCarthy sent to President Truman in 1950 about the government "harboring a nest of Communists and Communist sympathizers."

2.The Cold War

  • History Channel: Cold War History  (This site on the Cold War has a TON of information--for example, click on one of the people under "Cold War Leaders and Events" and you'll see articles, videos, etc.)
  • John F. Kennedy Presidential Library: Cold War
  • Britannica: Cold War
  • BBC: Cold War History
  • Wilson Center: this timeline of the Cold War has links to primary source documents from that time
  • NPR: Living in the Atomic Age
  • IPL: Cold War (This page provides links to lots of sites about the Cold War. The IPL was an excellent online library of web links maintained by librarians. Unfortunately it is no longer maintained, so some links may be broken).
  • RAF: Cold War (The Royal Air Force (Great Britain's air force) museum created this exhibit on the Cold War. Try clicking on "Countries" or "Biographies.")
  • Cold War International History Project: From the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

    The goal of this project is to "[support] the full and prompt release of historical materials by governments on all sides of the Cold War." 

3. The Salem Witch Hunts


4.Mass Hysteria (include connections to today)


5.TV Shows/Game Shows


6.Most Popular Music/Musicians of the 50's (include music example in presentation!)


7.Politics: Truman and Eisenhower


8.The Economy


9.Movie Stars of the 1950's


10.Brown vs. Board of Education


  •  Chicago-Kent College of Law: This site gives a good quick overview of important American court cases
  • U.S. Courts: This lesson plan for a re-enactment of Brown v. Board gives a good overview not only of the case, but of other related cases like Plessy v. Ferguson that relate to it
  • PBS: Landmark Cases, Brown v. Board
  • History Channel: Brown v. Board
  • Our Documents: a government primary source document site
  • The Atlantic magazine: How Brown changed America, and ways in which we have NOT changed
  • Same topic--the legacy of Brown v Board-- from the Washington Post

11.American Culture




13.Diners, Bowling Alleys, Trailer Parks


14.Historical Dictionary of the 1950's/Slang/Idiomatic Phrases


15.The Sputnik Legacy


16.American Religion


17.American Dramatic History


18.Witchcraft History