John Hersey (1914–1993) was a writer and journalist known for his works on World War II. Hersey reported on the war for Time magazine. He also completed several major essays and works of documentary fiction on the events of the war. Among Hersey’s best known works is Hiroshima (1946). First published as a full issue of the New Yorker, Hiroshima related the accounts of six survivors of the atomic bombing of that city.
Alger Hiss (1904–1996), a US State Department official, was accused by Time magazine editor and ex-Communist Whitaker Chambers of being a spy for the Soviets in 1948. Hiss denied the allegations but in 1950 was found guilty of perjury and sentenced to five years in prison.
Julius Rosenberg, an engineer, was arrested on charges of espionage in 1950. Rosenberg’s wife, Ethel, was also arrested. Accused of sharing intelligence with the Soviets, the Rosenbergs were found guilty and executed in 1953. Evidence later showed that it is likely Julius was guilty but Ethel probably was not.
Fulgencio Batista (1901–1973) ruled Cuba from 1934 to 1944 and from 1952 to 1958. After rising through the ranks of the army, Batista overthrew the Cuban government in 1933 with support from the United States. He installed an American-friendly government and ruled the country through a puppet government. He officially became president in 1940, and after his presidential term ended in 1944, Batista left Cuba and briefly lived in Florida. In 1952, he returned and deposed Cuban President Carlos Prio Socarras. Back in power, Batista ruled as a...
Ho Chi Minh (1890–1969) was the leader of the Viet Minh during Vietnam’s war for independence from the American-supported French. The Viet Minh victory in 1954 led to the partition of Vietnam, and Ho Chi Minh became the president of Communist North Vietnam.
James Strom Thurmond (1902–2003) was an influential South Carolina politician and one of the longest serving senators in American history. Thurmond was elected as the Democratic governor of South Carolina in 1946, but he split from the Democratic Party in 1948 over its support for civil rights. A conservative segregationist, Thurmond organized the States’ Rights Democratic Party—or Dixiecrats—and earned thirty-nine electoral votes as the Dixiecrat presidential nominee. He was elected to the Senate in 1954. In 1964 he broke from the...
Thomas E. Dewey (1902–1971) was the Republican candidate for the presidency in 1944 and 1948. In the 1948 election, Dewey was widely expected to easily win over Democratic nominee Harry S. Truman. Truman’s energetic campaign, however, helped him pull ahead for a surprising win over Dewey.