History Term Definition

The Cuban Missile Crisis 

The Cuban Missile Crisis occurred during the Cold War, and it was characterized by growing antagonism between the Soviet Union, the United States, and Cuba. The Soviet Union and Cuba were allied to create discomfort for the US as the USSR built missile sites within Cuba as part of the heightened Cold War period.

USS Maddox

A second ship in the US Navy named after a US Marine Corps Captain William Maddox who was heroic in his service in the Mexican-American War. The ship served a variety of roles and functions including escort duties, supporting logistics, and antisubmarine duty. It was part of the Vietnam War’s warship in support of the US troops.


A counter-culture is a sub-culture characterized by ideas and patterns of behavior that are notably different from those of mainstream society, and are frequently diametrically opposed to those of mainstream society. In a specific historical period, a counter-cultural movement represents the attitudes and aspirations of an individual or group within a particular community.

Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique 

The Feminine Mystique in Post-World War II American Society is a key book by feminist Betty Friedan, published in 1963. It depicts widespread dissatisfaction among women in post-World War II American culture. Friedan coined the expression “feminine mystique” to describe society’s notion that women may find satisfaction only via household chores, marriage, reproductive activities, and child rearing.

Black Panther Party

An anti-police brutality group known as the Black Panther Party was formed by Bobby Seale and Huey Newton in 1966 to fight police brutality against the African American population. The members addressed politicians, challenged the police, and protected black residents from being attacked by white vigilantes, a common occurrence at the time.

Watergate Break-In

The Watergate Break-In was a huge political crisis that erupted during and after the 1972 US presidential election. Several burglars were apprehended inside the Democratic National Committee’s headquarters in Washington, D.C.’s Watergate complex on June 17, 1972. According to the evidence, the break-in was connected to President Richard Nixon’s re-election campaign in 1972.

Pentagon Papers

According to historical records, a top-secret Department of Defense inquiry on the United States’ political and military involvement in Vietnam and the Vietnam War from 1945 to 1967 was known by the codename “The Pentagon Papers.” The Pentagon Papers are an investigation of the origins and history of the Vietnam War.

OPEC Oil Embargo

The OPEC oil embargo occurred when the 12 member countries of the Organization of the Petroleum Supplying Countries (OPEC) stopped exporting oil to the United States. Petrol prices skyrocketed as a result of the ban. Prices increased by more than thrice in the period between 1973 and 1974 as a result of these actions, marking a key era in the history of world trading.

Nixon / Kissinger’s Detente 

Between 1969 and 1974, the strategy of de-escalating tensions between the Soviet Union and the West was pursued by President Richard Nixon, Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, and Soviet Premier Leonid Brezhnev. As a key component of US President Richard Nixon’s foreign policy, it began in 1969 in an effort to prevent nuclear escalation in an effort to defuse the situation.

Fall of South Vietnam, 1975

President Richard Nixon had secretly issued a promise to South Vietnam that if North Vietnam violated the terms of the peace agreement, the United States would “respond with military force.” However, as a result of Nixon’s resignation over the Watergate scandal, the North Vietnamese Army felt emboldened to launch a large offensive in March 1975, which was ultimately successful.

Jimmy Carter’s “Crisis of Confidence” speech (aka “Malaise Speech”)

On July 15, 1979, Jimmy Carter delivered the “Malaise Speech,” a White House televised speech in his third year as President. In 1979, most Americans were upset by a gas shortage, rising prices, and a high unemployment rate. Americans blamed the government for these issues, whether or wrongly. The speech addressed the ensuing discomfort.

Part C

This week’s materials are interesting on several levels. First, Jimmy Carter’s human rights and foreign policy discusses the need for the country to adopt a democratic foreign policy that uses influence and power to create more humane conditions, support, and create change for the world. However, this came at a time when the situation at home was not very humane for the minority groups, especially the African Americans. This is very interesting to see how the president, at the time, ignored the issues at home to focus his expansive strategy to the outside world. Martin Luther King Jr.’s letter from Birmingham jail is proof of these conflict where the situation at home was more urgent than the president’s need to expand foreign policy to other countries.