Congress Day #1

by admin - January 28th, 2016

Please bring laptops to class on Friday 1/29. You’ll start work on your committee’s wikipage, which means you will need a few people in each committee with laptops handy. Thanks! — Dr. Hangen

Mon 1/25 – The Atomic Age

by admin - January 25th, 2016

Some links relevant to today’s discussion of the documents in History of Our Time Part One

Atomic Detonations, 1945 – 1998

Truman Library: online documents related to Cold War, Truman Doctrine, and much more

John F. Kennedy Library site about the Cuban Missile Crisis

For the full Kennan telegram and other now-declassified NSA documents, see the online NSA Archive

New York Times has published an excerpt of Haynes and Klehr’s book on the Venona Project; also for some of the original decoded intercepts, see here PBS / NOVA

January 27 is “Downwinders Day” to recognize the health and environmental impact of above-ground nuclear testing from the 1940s and 1950s in the American southwest

For additional primary source documents of the Atomic Age, start here (MIT) and here (Digital Public Library of America)

Lesson Plan w/ documents: Government pamphlet about nuclear fallout (Library of Congress)

See also the classic civil defense film made for schoolchildren, “Duck and Cover” (1951)

Eisenhower’s Farewell Address (1961)

Fri 1/22 – The US in 1945

by admin - January 22nd, 2016

Some links relevant to today’s discussion of Moss Chapter 1:

1942 propaganda film, “It’s Everybody’s War” (narrated by Henry Fonda)

Norman Corwin, “Prayer” for On a Note of Triumph CBS radio broadcast, (VE Day, 8 May 1945)

More about JFK in WWII

Double-V Campaign and African Americans during WWII

Executive Order 9066 in Our Documents (National Archives)

JARDA – Japanese American Relocation Digital Archives

Lesson Plan w/ documents: Laura McEnaney, “Nightmares on Elm Street: Demobilizing in Chicago, 1945-1953

Homework for First Day of Class: Jan 20, 2016

by admin - January 11th, 2016

I have assigned some homework due on the first day (Wednesday Jan 20th). Between now and then, please obtain or purchase one paper copy of a national or international newspaper (i.e. not the Worcester T&G or a local paper). Examples: Boston Globe, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, etc. Read the entire A section and bring it with you to the first day of class.

051108679_iconmI would like everyone to choose one story from your paper’s A section as something you are curious about or would like to know more about its history. For example, a story about the Oregon wildlife area occupation might get you thinking about the rise of armed militia groups, about the background of environmental protests, why white men with guns do or don’t get called “terrorists,” about persistent regional differences in our nation, or about the role of religion in political action in recent decades. Or an article about the scheduled meeting of Sean Penn and “El Chapo” might get you wondering about why some Hollywood celebrities become self-appointed diplomats, or about the modern history of Mexican-US drug wars, etc. The goal would be that you would identify something from NOW that you would like to pay special attention to as you look back through the history of our country since 1945 this term.

Enjoy the rest of your break, and I will see you next Wednesday, newspapers in hand!

Best, Dr. Hangen

Welcome, Spring 2016 Students!

by admin - December 31st, 2015

This website serves as the hub for Tona Hangen’s course, “The United States Since 1945,” for the Spring 2016 semester at Worcester State University (MWF 9:30 am).

The textbooks for this course are listed under the “Readings” tab above.

From this website, you can download the syllabus or access it online, stay up to date with course news and any changes, see the guidelines for the course papers and projects, and follow links to my recommended intellectual history and writing resources on the web.

This site is a blog, meaning it updates frequently and therefore you should either bookmark it or subscribe to it to stay up to date with all the course news and updates. I leave up the previous semesters’ information as an archive for my past students. You can safely ignore any post NOT tagged “Spr16.”

If you have questions about the course before we meet in person on Wednesday, January 20th, please feel free to email me, at thangen (at)

End of Spring 2014 Term Details

by admin - May 5th, 2014

Continue reading →

Unit 4 Overview

by admin - April 12th, 2014

As the course winds down you will be working on two parallel tracks – understanding how historians have written about our own time, and enacting your own legislation in our Congress. Continue reading →

Instructions for Friday, April 11

by admin - April 10th, 2014

No, I am not here this morning (you can follow the meeting I’m attending at Twitter hashtag #oah2014). Yes, we are still having class. Continue reading →

Unit 3 and Exam 3 Update/News

by admin - March 31st, 2014

Good news! The tables and chairs are coming back – we should have them for Wed’s class, and if not, we have permission to use the classroom next door – so either way, plan on being able to spread out materials on tables for Wed’s exam. Continue reading →

Unit 3 – The 1970s

by admin - March 15th, 2014

This short unit (begun before the break) considers the 1970s and 1980s. Sometimes passed over as merely transitional from the liberal/contentious 1960s to the conservative 1980s, the 1970s are now being reexamined as important in their own right. And was the 1980s so conservative after all? After the 3rd exam we have a week devoted to working on the Research Paper. Continue reading →