Twentieth Century History - Unit 5
Student-Generated Items for Unit 5
Twentieth Century History

C2 - Elizabeth Alexandra Mary was born in London in 1926 and became Queen of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in 1952 when her father died.  She was an active volunteer during WWII, earning the respect and admiration of her countrymen for her many talents and "can-do" attitude.  Elizabeth's primary role was as a symbol of unity and continuity within the Commonwealth of Nations.  Some of her family was torn apart because of international press coverage.

A3- Dylan Thomas (1914-1953) is a Welsh poet, short-story writer, and playwright, renowned for unique brilliance of his verbal imagery and for his celebration of natural beauty. At an early age, he revealed unusual power in the use of poetic diction and imagery; the volume won him immediate critical acclaim. These poems and virtually all that followed seem obscure because they contain elements of surrealism and personal fantasy. Thomas became legendary in the United States where he gave many lecture tours and gained a wide following. He died in NY city in 1953 in a death brought on by alcoholism.  His last words were reputedly, "I believe I'll have another drink."

A4 - Playboy magazine editor and advocate of a lifestyle of luxury and travel. He was a famous novelist, he used a high level of writing in his magazines.  He would interview several famous people that had never been interviewed before and ask them tough questions.  His first centerfold in playboy magazine was Marilyn Monroe.

C4 - Gamel Abdel Nasser - in the government of King Farouk and the British, he set up a underground organization called the Free Officers.  Eventually staged a coup, and became the leader of Egypt.  Nasser was highly praised for his Nationalization of the Suez Canal, his Agrarian reform, and his socialist policies that brought the vast majority of Egyptians out of poverty.  He died from severe health complications in 1970, and millions of Egyptians followed his funeral procession through the streets.

A6 - Roger Bannister was a British amateur athlete.  On May 6, 1954, he broke 4 minutes in the mile running in 3:59.4 minutes.  Experts previously believed that this was impossible and he became Sports Illustrated's first "Sportsman of the Year."
B9 - Don Larsen is a New York Yankee Legend.  His nickname was "Bad Boy".  He is the only player in history to pitch a Perfect Game in the World Series, still one of the greatest feats in baseball history.  He holds a Major League baseball record that might be duplicated, but cannot be beaten.

C9- European Economic Community - 1st time after W.W.II they recognized they couldn't compete with US on an equal basis (economically speaking) so they worked together...it lasted about three years.  They tried four different times and presently they are working on the fourth try. The Euro is a consistent currency is all European countries now. It appears this attempt could go either way but it is the most stable try so far.

A10 - Orval Faubus was a school teacher, who served in W.W.II, and after the war became Arkansas' state highway commissioner.  He became the governor of Arkansas (1955-67) and gained national attention when he called out the National Guard  to prevent the integration of  Central High School in Little Rock, though he was eventually forced to withdraw.  In 1970, 1974, and 1986 he sought reelection as governor but was unsuccessful in each attempt at a political comeback, the last time losing to Bill Clinton.

D10 - Berry Gordy- Barry started Motown Records in 1957 after his record store in Detroit went bankrupt and he turned to song writing for R & B acts. Motown combined elements of blues, gospel, swing and pop with a thumping backbeat for a new dance music that was instantly recognizable. He produced dazzling artists who stunned the pop world such as the Supremes, Mary Wells, The Temptations and many more. 

A11 - Althea Gibson's accomplishments as a black female in sports are forever marked in history. She broke the color barrier of the American Lawn Tennis league in 1956 after Alice Marble (a white player) stood up for her rights. She was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame and the International Sports Hall of Fame for a great tennis career during which she became the first black player to win at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open.

C11 - Charles DeGaulle - He was an important war leader in France during W.W.II and later became the country's president.  When France surrendered to Germany in 1940, DeGaulle fled to London and formed the Free French forces which worked to regain French territories.  Today, he is remembered for the power he brought to France once he became president; he restored order after the war and rebuilt French ties with Germany. 

B12 - Fulgencio Batista was a Cuban soldier and politician who became the leader of Cuba in 1933.  In 1940, he was elected president.  After he served as president through most of World War II, he then traveled in South America and Mexico, and spent much of his time in the United States.  His corrupt regime, which had significant ties to the American Mafia, was eventually overthrown by Fidel Castro.

D12 - Louis S. B. Leaky - British paleoanthropologist who made fossil discoveries that were very important to the study of human evolution in the 50's. Among his most famous findings are a 20 million year old skull, a 1.75 million year old fossil of a hominid, and the discovery of Homo habilis, which was the first member of the true human genus and the first true tool-maker. Leaky's discoveries have been crucial in the continuing study of human development.

A14 - Rafer Johnson was an African-American track and field athlete of the 50's and 60's.  One of the greatest all-round athletes of all time, he not only won the gold medal for the decathlon in 1960, but was also the first black athlete to carry the American flag at the opening ceremonies of the Olympics, in that same year.  He has won many awards for his accomplishments in track as well as his active role in charity work today.

C14 - Theodore Maiman - He was a scientist at Hughes Research Laboratories.  Maiman invented the first the first operable LASER (Light Amplification by the Stimulated Emission of Radiation).  We should remember him today because the laser beams he invented are now used in medicine, industry, and communications.

B15 - Yuri Gagarin - He was a Russian Cosmonaut.  Gagarin was the first person to be rocketed into orbital flight.  We should remember him because he "paved" the way for future space travel and exploration.

D15 - Alan Shepard- One of the first seven astronauts from America, and he was the first American in space.  He rode in the Freedom 7 capsule for a fifteen minute suborbital flight.  Later, he was the commander of the Apollo 14 mission, and he spent 33.5 hours on the surface of the moon.

C16 - Robert Zimmerman- better known as Bob Dylan, is a fingerstyle guitarist who was primarily self-taught.  Known for his command of the acoustic and classical guitar, Bob has a continual drive to combine the techniques and beauty of legendary masters of the guitar to his original works--a trait that sets him apart from other guitarists.  Bob combines a variety of guitar tunings with his unique fingerstyle techniques to produce rich and expressive tones that are heard as three-dimensional melodies (foreground, middleground, and background) to create an almost "orchestral" sound.

D16 - The Surpremes- Members were Florence Ballard, Diana Ross, and Mary Wilson. Between 1964 and 1967 the Surpremes dominated commercial radio airplay with a series of successful songs.  Ross and the Surpremes were at the center of media attention in the mid-1960s, with Ross especially taking on a larger-than-life persona.  In 1967 Florence Ballard was replaced and the group changed it's name to Diana Ross and the Surpremes. Regardless of her over the top reputation Diana Ross made herself into one of the first black superstars in America, she helped break down many racial barriers that Black American artists faced at the time.  In 1998 the Surpremes were inducted in the rock and roll hall of fame.

A17 - John Glenn was an astronaut and politician from Cambridge, Ohio.  On February 20, 1962, he became the first American, and only the 3rd person in history, to orbit the earth.  He was elected into the US Senate in 1974 for Ohio and later would lose the presidency in 1984.  He eventually became the oldest man ever to go to space in 1998, retiring in 1999.

C18 - Johnny Carson- Late night TV talk show host, for three decades, used to be an amateur magician, radio comedy writer, radio and TV announcer and host of several quiz shows including "Earn Your Vacation" & "Who Do You Trust?".   Johnny took over The Tonight Show, his most likable talent was his ability to laugh at himself.  With announcer-sidekick  Ed McMahon and his flashily dressed orchestra leader Doc Severinsen, Johnny's popularity only grew. Carson displayed considerable talents for impersonation.  He is now the standard by which all other talk-show hosts are judged.

B21 - Valium- part of a group of drugs called Benzodiazepines.  They were used for tranquilizing, anti-anxiety, sedatives, and muscle relaxing, and accepted at first for being non-habit forming and less lethal in overdose.  Valium (diazepam) Developed the most dangerous side affects and amongst the group.  Until the invention of Viagra, it was the most prescribed drug in American history.

B21- Botulism - a food virus that can withstand heat.  During the 50's, poor canning processes sometimes led to food products that contained bacteria or viruses that could cause illness or death.  When a member of the Rockefeller family ate a TV dinner with tainted swordfish in it and died, a national scare occurred about the dangers of prepackaged food.  Your mother probably still won't pick up dented cans at the market, though most processes today are well-protected from such problems, including many cans that have teflon linings.

A22 - Beginning as "Frankie and the 4 Lovers", "Frankie Valli and the 4 Seasons" was one of America's most popular groups throughout the 60's and continued their success into 3 other decades.  Their first big hit was "Sherry" in 1962, on which Frankie produced what became known as the "East Coast Sound", where lead singers often syrocketed into a falsetto vocal range.  With other hits like "Big Girls Don't Cry", "Walk Like a Man", and "Rag Doll", the group established a sound that continues to be in demand today.

Comp. 4 - "Catch-22" is actually a book written by Joseph Heller after W.W.II.  The book's main character, Yossarian, serves in the Air Force and ends up spending all of his war missions trying to stay alive rather than complete the objective.  The book is remembered for the humorous point of view it applies to war and its message that war is full of many contradictions.  The main contradiction in the book is that Yossarian wants to get out of the military, and his best chance to do so (alive) is to be declared insane.  He contends that flying missions over enemy territory, where the chance of getting shot down is very high, is insane.  The military contends that it is "brave".  Such satirical doubletalk dominates the entire book, and has caused the term "Catch-22" to refer to any rule or policy that contains a built-in exception that allows the person in power to force compliance no matter how obvious the situation seems.

Nautilus -- Launched on Jan. 21, 1954, she was the first nuclear-powered submarine.  Because of her nuclear power, she was able to stay submerged for weeks at a time; much longer than any other submarine before her.  As a result, Nautilus was selected for Operation Sunshine, the first passage under the geographic North Pole -- an assignment she completed on August 3, 1958.

<>Bikini Atoll -- Part of the Marshall Islands, it is a small atoll (ring of islands) located in the Pacific Ocean, northeast of mainland Australia.  In March of 1946, the indigenous people of the Bikini Atoll were relocated to the Rongerik Atoll in preparation for Operation Crossroads, a series of atmospheric nuclear weapons tests performed by the United States during the summer of 1946.  During the years between 1946 and 1958, the Bikini Atoll would be the location of over 20 hydrogen and atomic bomb tests.

DEW Line -- The Distant Early Warning Line was a system of radar stations that stretched from Greenland and Iceland, through Canada, to Alaska, whose purpose was to detect incoming Soviet aerial attacks during the Cold War.  Three such lines existed in Canada (the Pinetree Line and the Mid-Canada Line being the other two), but the DEW Line was the most capable.  The DEW Line was constructed jointly by the United States and Canada, with the majority being staffed by the Royal Canadian Air Force, with a select few staffed by the U. S. Air Force.  Shortly after its construction, the DEW Line became obsolete, as it was unable to detect ICBM's (intercontinental ballistic missiles) and submarine attacks.

Bill Haley -- Known for popularizing rock music with his band Bill Haley & His Comets.  Haley began his career producing western swing music, then country music, before finally settling into rock 'n' roll.  In 1953, his song Crazy Man, Crazy (co-written with his bassist, Marshall Lytle) was the first rock song to hit the American charts.  After his song Rock Around the Clock played during the film The Blackboard Jungle, it reached Number 1 on the American Billboard charts for eight weeks and became the first record in history to sell over one million copies in both Britain and Germany.

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