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The End of the Twentieth Century

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Illustrated and Designed By
Christian Alas
Sound By
Margarita Onofre

The End of the Twentieth Century

Even since those years of the 1960s and 1970s there have been events occurring in the U.S. and abroad that have shaped what the United States has become today. The Cold War continued and became more critical as the Soviet Union built a great wall around a “free” part of Germany in the city of Berlin.

They did this to stop the many people that were fleeing from Communist East Berlin into “free” West Berlin. The Soviet government was proving itself more and more incapable of keeping its promises of a utopian life for its citizens. As the populations fell more and more into poverty and starvation, the people began to lose faith in their Communist-controlled governments.

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The Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 marked the greatest confrontation between the U.S and the Soviet Union. John F. Kennedy was in office as President, and the two countries came closer than ever to an actual nuclear war.

When Richard Nixon won the elections of 1968, he inherited the Vietnam War, but on a positive note he also promoted the continuation of the U.S. space program. The space program was run by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (or NASA), an organization based in Houston, Texas. The first landing of a man on the moon came in 1969, during Nixon’s Presidency.

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Early in the 1970s, however, Nixon created the greatest political scandal of the 20th Century. He had the Democratic Party Headquarters broken into in order to steal information. He then proceeded to deny the illegality of the act and cover it up. Due to this great scandal known as Watergate, he finally resigned from office in 1974.

During his years as President, though, he was able to make positive strides with the Cold War. While President, Nixon met with the U.S.S.R.’s head of state, Mikhail Gorbachov, and they both began an attempt at demonstrating that closer relations could help and not hurt the two vastly different governmental powers. Thus began what is known as the “thaw” in the Cold War.

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The 1980s are remembered for the invention and wide use of personal computers. It also, however, saw an emergence of the newest world plague: AIDS. After President Ronald Reagan slowed warming in relations with the Soviets for a time, the great power of what had been the U.S.S.R. began to crumble from within.

The Berlin Wall was torn down by a great public revolution in 1989. By 1991, the Soviet Union had fallen and the Cold War has ceased to be. The same year that the Soviet Empire dissolved, the U.S. became involved in what became the Gulf War. The U.S. President was George Bush, Sr.

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Find the vocabulary words (in bold), write them below, and find the definition of each in a dictionary.

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Write 5 sentences using some of the vocabulary words.

1. ______________________________________

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5. ______________________________________

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Write one sentence to describe the history of Civil Unrest and Change for each area below:

What?

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When?

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How?

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Where?

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Why?

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Who?

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Discuss:

1. Why was the Berlin Wall constructed?

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2. What was Watergate?

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3. What was the “thaw” in the Cold War?

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The End of the Twentieth Century