Happy "Washington's Birthday!"
"But wait FHA, isn't today President's Day? And isn't our first president's birthday actually tomorrow?"
We're glad you asked! Technically, today is officially "Washington's Birthday," not "President's Day." This day was originally a celebration of our first president's birthday (Feb 22). While Washington’s Birthday was an unofficial observance for most of the 1800s, it was not until the late 1870s that it became a federal holiday. Senator Stephen Wallace Dorsey of Arkansas was the first to propose the measure, and in 1879 President Rutherford B. Hayes signed it into law.
For the grand majority of the Cold War, the United States’ mainland was rarely in direct danger. There was the looming anxiety that nuclear weapons created, but an invasion of the US mainland was never to be something to fear. The problem of nuclear weapons became a very real and present fear at one single moment during the Cold War. For one month and four days during the fall of 1962, the US mainland was in the direct sights of nuclear warheads.
Americans pride themselves on their support for their armed service members. We have an entire holiday dedicated to honoring our veterans along with countless documentaries, films, and even tv shows about soldier’s bravery during conflict. But for all of this honor for our armed services there is one conflict in recent memory that is overlooked: The Korean War.
Following their surrender in World War II, world leaders divided Germany into four pieces to be occupied until the nation could re-enter the world stage. The US, UK, France and USSR all received a segment of the nation to occupy. However, with the nation’s capital, Berlin, firmly in the Soviet section the city was further split four ways to restrict the Soviet influence over the city. Here, in Berlin was where one of the most physical representations of the Cold War would stand. That representation, the Berlin Wall. For many of us, the Berlin Wall’s history is presented as the day it fell on the 9th of November 1989. The wall, however, stood as the constant reminder for German citizens that they were separate. This history of the wall is more than its fall.
The Cold War was a decades long struggle (roughly 1945-1991) between the United States and the Soviet Union. Countless proxy-wars were fought in an effort to spread or contain communism and capitalism, costing hundreds of thousands, if not millions of lives. But what caused the Cold War?
We are proud to present History at Home! History at Home is a virtual learning program that includes fun educational content, including a blog and our podcast. Even if you cannot visit us in person, there is still so much to do!