The Korean War began on June 25, 1950, when North Korea invaded South Korea in an effort to unify the two countries. The UN and the United States soon intervened, hoping to halt the spread of Communism to the South. After securing the 38th parallel border, the US aimed to “liberate” North Korea from Communism rather than just allowing the countries to return to pre-war terms. US and UN forces were unsuccessful in unifying the countries under South Korean rule. The conflict ended on July 26, 1953, following two years of peace negotiations...
Senator Joseph McCarthy began a series of televised Congressional investigations into Communists in the US Army. The broadcasts exposed McCarthy as an unscrupulous bully, and the Senate eventually voted to censure McCarthy for his conduct during the hearings.
In Dennis et al. v. United States, the Supreme Court upheld a law making it illegal to “knowingly or willfully advocate . . . the necessity, desirability, or propriety of overthrowing any government in the United States by force or violence.”
The Geneva Agreement ended fighting between the French and the Viet Minh in Indochina. To American disapproval, the truce divided Vietnam along the 17th parallel into the Communist North and the anti-Communist South.
The United States exploded a hydrogen bomb on Eniwetok, an island in the Pacific Ocean. The detonation destroyed the island in a three-mile wide mushroom cloud. The successful test marked a new era in the arms race.