You can find primary sources and learning activities for teaching about the Postwar United States (1945 to early 1970s) on DocsTeach, the online tool for teaching with documents from the National Archives.
Access thousands of primary sources for the Post-WWII era. DocsTeach covers a variety of topics, such as:
- The Marshall Plan
- The Polio Vaccine
- Concerns about “Juvenile Delinquency”
- The Bracero Program
- The Space Race
We have hundreds of primary sources for the Cold War, including:
- Fallout Shelters
- The House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC)
- Atomic Weapons
- The Korean War
- The Berlin Wall
- The Cuban Missile Crisis
Primary sources and teaching activities specifically related to the Vietnam War are available on our Vietnam War page. Some of the topics you will find include:
- Photographs of the Vietnam War
- Tet Offensive
- The Anti-War Movement
- Kent State
- Protesting the Draft
You can also access primary sources related to the Civil Rights Movement, such as:
- School Desegregation
- Emmett Till
- The Montgomery Bus Boycott
- Civil Disobedience
- The March on Washington
- Voting Rights
- Civil Rights Act of 1964
- Loving v. Virginia
Find more about the Civil Rights Movement and other struggles for rights on our Rights in America page.
DocsTeach also includes hundreds of teaching activities for the Postwar United States created by our educators at the National Archives and by teachers across the country. Just some of the examples include:
- Process of Early Space Flight: The Gemini Program – Students place a series of photos from the Gemini missions in the correct order to learn the steps of a space mission, from astronaut training to capsule recovery.
- Elementary activities that focus on Civil Rights pioneers like Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, and Jackie Robinson
- What Kind of Leader Was General Douglas MacArthur? – Students use our Weighing the Evidence tool to evaluate the famous general, including many of his actions during the Korean War.
- Cultural Diplomacy and the Smith-Mundt Act – Students explore public diplomacy during the Cold War.
- The War in Vietnam – A Story in Photographs – Students analyze photographs from the Vietnam War, categorize the photos by topic, and write captions for an exhibition.
- Analyzing the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution – Students analyze the draft version of this important document to determine the authority Congress granted the President and Congress’s rationale.
- The Impact of Bloody Sunday in Selma – Students examine documents from the FBI case file on Bloody Sunday in Selma, AL, and think about how media impacted the Civil Rights Movement.
- Analyzing a Letter About American Indian Voting Rights – Students analyze a 1947 response from the Office of Indian Affairs to a letter they received about American Indian voting rights.
- Photograph 306-PS-335-S-59-13580; Suburban Growth; ca. 1950. From the Records of the U.S. Information Agency.
- Photograph 306-SSM-5F-63-5152; Students from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Take Part in the Civil Rights March on Washington; 8/28/1963. From the Records of the U.S. Information Agency.
- Photograph 434-RF-10-2; Atomic Cannon Test, Frenchman’s Flat, Nevada; 5/23/1953. From the General Records of the Department of Energy.
- Photograph 80-G-625728; Signing the Korean Armistice; 7/23/1953. From the General Records of the Department of the Navy.
- Photograph 111-CC-46331; Photograph of a Female Demonstrator Offering a Flower to a Military Police Officer; 10/21/1967. From the Records of the Office of the Chief Signal Officer.
- Panic, Number 2; 5/28/1954. From the Records of the U.S. Senate.
- Photograph of Astronaut Edward H. White II’s Space Walk on Gemini IV; 6/3/1965. From the Records of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.