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Date Created: 11/14/15
The Cold War 1 Running Head: THE COLD WAR The Cold War SS310: Exploring the 1960s: An Interdisciplinary Approach Professor Brenda Beach Unit 2 April 27, 2013 The Cold War 2 The Cold War I have been tasked with interviewing three (3) people about the “Cold War”. In order to complete this task and fully understand what my interviewees were talking about, I had to do some research on the “Cold War” so that I would be able to ask informed questions. Since I was born in 1960 you would think I would know something about events that took place during this time, but there was very little that I knew so I went to the Department of Veteran’s Affairs website where the Cold War was summarized as “The Cold War generally refers to the period of tension between the U.S. and its allies and the Soviet bloc from the end of World War II in 1945 until the collapse of the Soviet Union in the 1990s. A major fear of the Cold War was nuclear war with associated health concerns about exposure to ionizing radiation.” http://www.va.gov/oaa/pocketcard/coldwar.asp). After researching and finding out some very interesting things about the Cold War, I interviewed a couple, Mike and Debbie Britt, that I have known for about 17 years to see what their views were and to see how alike or different their responses might be. I also interviewed my husband, Ron Pettitt to see how his recollections compared to Mike and Debbie’s. I asked all of them several questions and the one thing they all said was “we were sort of “tuned out” during the 60’s – smoking pot and trying to stop the Vietnam War!” (D. Britt, M. Britt, and R. Pettitt, personal communication, April 24, 2013). In order to get a better understanding of how they remembered the Cold War, I asked each of them a series of questions so that I might get a sense of how each of them interpreted things during that timeframe. I asked them if there were any words or phrases that come to mind when you think of the term Cold War. Debbie said she remembered “Ronald Reagan saying: The Cold War 3 “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall” (D. Britt, personal communication, April 24, 2013); Mike remembered “nuclear posturing” (M. Britt, personal communication, April 24, 2013) and Ron stated “détente and bomb shelters” (R. Pettitt, personal communication, April 24, 2013). As you can see, each of them thought of very different things when they heard the term Cold War. I then asked them if they ever studied the Cold War in school. Debbie said “I remember in the late 50’s and beginning of 1960, we had to hide under our desks – I think it was called Duck and Cover. We did this weekly so we could learn how to stay safe from flying glass. We were also taught about the “Space race to the Moon” and Russia successfully launching a rocket” (D. Britt, personal communication, April 24, 2013). Mike stated they only talked about “citizens being killed trying to escape over the Berlin Wall” (M Britt, personal communication, April 24, 2013). Ron stated “we learned about the Cuban Missile Crisis in school, but not much else regarding the Cold War” (R. Pettitt, personal communication, April 24, 2013). Again, all three had different experiences in regards to what was taught at school. Finally, I asked what parties were involved in the Cold War and if there were any events they mainly associated with the Cold War. Mike and Debbie both stated that “Nikita Khrushchev and Mikhail Gorbachev” were the parties involved (D. Britt, M. Britt, personal communication, April 24, 2013), but Ron stated “Russia and the United States” (R. Pettitt, personal communication, April 24, 2013). The one thing each of them mentioned regarding events they mainly associated with the Cold War was the “Cuban Missile Crisis”. Debbie also stated she associated the Berlin Wall coming down with the Cold War. Having read more about the Cold War I believe it was a time in American history and world history that nuclear war was a real threat to all people. This was also a time of struggle The Cold War 4 between democracies versus communism throughout the world (Naranjo 2003). A Russian would probably remember things very differently; they would probably remember a lot of what they felt America had done wrong. I also believe they would have some similar stories as well. Like the Americans, I am sure people in Russia shared the same fears as those in America regarding warfare. As the saying goes, “we are all human”. The Cold War 5 References Civil Defense MuseumHistory Page. (n.d.). Civil Defense MuseumMain Page. Retrieved April 24, 2013, from http://www.civildefensemuseum.com/history.html Grey, D. (n.d.). Cold War Fears, Bomb Shelters, and Reality. Washoe County School District. Retrieved April 24, 2013, from http://www.washoe.k12.nv.us/americanhistory/secondary/lessons/lessonsstd09/gray_d2.html Naranjo, R. (2003, May 6). eHistory.com: Historical analysis of the Cold War. eHistory at OSU | Welcome to eHistory. Retrieved April 24, 2013, from http://ehistory.osu.edu/world/articles/articleview.cfm?aid=66
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