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.
Congress passed the Internal Security Act over President Truman’s veto. Also known as the McCarran Act or the Subversive Activities Control Act, it strengthened laws against espionage, allowed investigation and deportation of immigrants who were suspected of subversive activities or of promoting communism or fascism, and allowed the limitation of free speech for national security reasons. President Truman vigorously opposed the law that he believed “would make a mockery of our Bill of Rights [and] would actually weaken our internal...
The National Defense Education Act of 1958 was passed as a response to the successful launch of the Soviet Sputnik satellites. The act approved grants for American schools that focused on language, mathematics, and science, and appropriated $295 million for college student loans. The act’s measures were intended to strengthen American education and position the nation as a leader in technology, defense, and security.
The National Security Council issued the classified report NSC-68, which outlined a plan that would shape American Cold War policy for years to come. It advocated the worldwide containment of Communism and major rearmament. The report emphasized the need for an American commitment to fighting Communism globally, not just in Europe, and pointed to military intervention as the most effective form of containment.
The United States began a voluntary nuclear test moratorium in hopes that the USSR would agree to do the same. The Soviets resisted at first, completing tests on November 1 and 3, before beginning a self-imposed twelve-month ban.