The 1950s Government, Politics, and Law: Chronology

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The 1950s Government, Politics, and Law: Chronology

1950:     February 9 Wisconsin Senator Joseph McCarthy claims to have a list containing 205 known communists employed in the U.S. State Department.

1950:     March 26 A U.S. Senate investigative committee on organized crime opens its nationwide inquiry.

1950:     June 25 North Korean Communist troops cross the 38th parallel into South Korea, resulting in the start of the Korean War.

1950:     November 1 Puerto Rican nationalists attempt to assassinate President Harry Truman.

1951:     February 26 The Twenty-Second Amendment to the Constitution, which limits presidential tenure to two terms, is adopted.

1951:     March 7 General Douglas MacArthur cautions President Truman that a stalemate will develop in Korea unless United Nations troops are allowed to move against China.

1951:     March 22 Alger Hiss, former government official accused of spying for the Soviet Union and convicted of perjury, enters prison.

1951:     April 11 President Truman dismisses MacArthur from his command of the United Nations, Allied, and U.S. forces in the Far East.

1952:     March 29 President Truman announces that he will not be a candidate for reelection.

1952:     November 4 Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower defeats Democrat Adlai Stevenson in the U.S. presidential election.

1952:     November 12 An all-white North Carolina jury convicts a black man of assault for "leering" at a white woman 27 feet away.

1953:     June 19 Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, convicted of passing atomic secrets to the Soviet Union, are electrocuted in Sing Sing prison in New York.

1953:     July 27 An armistice (peace agreement) is signed, ending the Korean War.

1953:     August 25 The American Bar Association approves a resolution to banish communists from the legal profession.

1953:     September 30 Earl Warren is appointed chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

1954:     March 1 Puerto Rican nationalists enter and shoot up the U.S. House of Representatives, wounding five members of Congress.

1954:     April 22 Senator Joseph McCarthy conducts televised hearings on supposed communist infiltration of the U.S. Army.

1954:     May 3 The Supreme Court rules that the systematic exclusion of Mexican Americans from jury duty in Texas violates the Fourteenth Amendment.

1954:     May 17 The landmark Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas Supreme Court decision overrules the "separate but equal" doctrine. As a result, segregated (separated by race) public schools are judged to be unconstitutional.

1954:     June 14 President Eisenhower signs a bill revising the pledge of allegiance to include the words "under God," after "one nation."

1954:     December 2 Joseph McCarthy is condemned by his U.S. Senate colleagues.

1955:     September 24 President Eisenhower suffers a heart attack.

1955:     December 1 Black American seamstress Rosa Parks is arrested for refusing to relinquish her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama, bus to a white passenger. The event sparks a bus boycott by Montgomery's black residents.

1956:     November 6 Dwight Eisenhower is reelected U.S. president. His opponent, again, is Adlai Stevenson.

1957:     May 18–19 President Eisenhower pledges to increase aid to South Vietnam.

1957:     August 29 Congress passes the Civil Rights Act of 1957, which penalizes voting rights violations.

1957:     September 24 President Eisenhower orders U.S. Army paratroopers to prevent interference with efforts to integrate Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas.

1958:     August 26 The residents of Alaska approve statehood.

1958:     September 4 The U.S. Justice Department uses the 1957 Civil Rights Act to halt alleged violations of African Americans' voting rights in Terrell County, Georgia.

1958:     September 29 Alabama governor James Folsom commutes to life imprisonment the death sentence of a black man convicted of robbing a woman of less than two dollars.

1959:     February 5 President Eisenhower requests that Congress enact a seven-point civil rights program.

1959:     April 23 Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev rejects Eisenhower's proposals to end nuclear bomb testing.

1959:     August 21 Hawaii becomes America's fiftieth state.

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The 1950s Government, Politics, and Law: Chronology