Introduction to Post-1945 US History Websites

American Culture
The Literature and Culture of the American 1950s (Al Filreis, Univ. of Pennsylvania)

This site presents more than 100 primary texts, essays, biographical sketches, obituaries, book reviews, and partially annotated links relating to the culture and politics of the 1950s. Organized alphabetically and according to lesson plans, this eclectic collection includes short stories by communist writer Howard Fast; texts of two Woody Guthrie songs; entries from the Encyclopedia of the American Left; excerpts from Vance Packard’s The Status Seekers (1959); items concerning McCarthyism; and selected texts. The site also offers materials about the 1930s and 1960s, as well as retrospective analyses of the postwar period.

Fifty Years of Coca-Cola Television Advertisements (American Memory, Library of Congress)

This site contains highlights of Coca-Cola television advertisements, including 50 commercials, broadcast outtakes, and experimental footage. There are five examples of stop-motion advertisements from the mid-1950s, 18 experiments with color for television ads, and well-known commercials, such as the “Hilltop” commercial featuring the song “I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke” (1971); the “Mean Joe Greene” commercial (1979); the first “Polar Bear” commercial (1993); and “First Experience.”

Herblock’s History: Political Cartoons from the Crash to the Millennium (Library of Congress)

An exhibit of 135 cartoons drawn between 1929 and 2000 by three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning political cartoonist Herblock (Herbert Block) that comment on major events and public issues. The site also presents an essay by Block on “the cartoon as an opinion medium”; a biographical essay; and 15 caricatures of the cartoonist. Organized according to 13 chronological...