Late 1940s: After Europe is decimated as a result of World War II, America becomes an economic superpower, creating a thriving economy and a population boom. 1968: The generation of Americans born in the late 1940s and early 1950s is dubbed the Baby Boom generation. Many members of this generation reject the materialistic culture and emphasize spiritual values. Today: America has experienced the longest economic expansion in its history.
Late 1940s: The Indian Relocation program uses government money to move Native Americans off of the reservations. The aim was to assimilate them into mainstream culture and provide economic and social opportunities. 1968: The American Indian Movement addresses the issue of police brutality against Indians in Minneapolis and soon becomes a nationwide organization advocating Indian rights. Today: Government efforts strive to make Native American groups economically self-sufficient.
Late 1940s: Segregation laws across the country prohibit blacks from using the same public services as whites, and permits exclusion of different races from private establishments. 1968: After more than a decade of civil rights protests, the fight for equality turns violent on a national scale in the mid-1960s, with race riots in major cities across America. Today: Federal laws against discrimination are generally enforced, and abusers are subject to civil suits.
Late 1940s: Television starts to become widespread and influences popular culture. 1968: National awareness increases as television broadcast color footage of the summer’s racial riots and the police actions at the political conventions into people’s living rooms. Today: The growing number of homes connected to the Internet resembles the postwar growth of television ownership.