Learning Unlimited
Winter 2021 Thursday Lecture Series

America in The Cold War & Beyond

Thursday, January 14 to March 18, 2021 – 10:00am to 12:00 noon

ZOOM Session

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Coordinator and Presenter: Peter Harris

He has lectured to several later-life learning groups, including Hot Docs Cinema – Curious Minds, Innis College Later Life Learning, and Bluewater Association for Lifelong Learning in Owen Sound. This series explores the major cultural and political events in the U.S.A. and in the Western World in general, from 1945.

Thursday January 14: The End of WWII

1945: How will the USA handle its new superpower status? What domestic challenges arise after the War? We look at such extraordinary changes such as the Baby Boom and the rise of suburbia.

Thursday January 21: Into The Fifties

Cars, houses, new appliances, well-paying jobs: the American Dream seems within everyone’s reach – as long as you are White.

Thursday January 28:The Fifties Part I.

The Communist take-over in China, the Russian A-bomb, the Korean War, the fall of French Indo-China – Communism is on the march! At home, the Civil Rights Movement accelerates with the Montgomery Bus Boycott, led by Martin Luther King.

Thursday February 4:The Fifties Part II.

The USSR stuns the West by launching Sputnik. Cuba falls to Fidel Castro. Domestically, America copes with continuing civil rights struggles. Elvis Presley shocks White America with hip-gyrating renditions of Black music.

Thursday February 11:The Sixties Part I.  

The Baby Boomers bring unprecedented change. The Cold War heats up with the Berlin Wall and the Cuban missile crisis. Most shattering: the assassination of JFK.

Thursday February 18:The Sixties Part II

Canada prepares for its Centennial with the Flag Debate, and Expo ’67. Canada absorbs a growing American Vietnam expatriate community.

Thursday February 25:Into the Seventies

The ‘60s end in a perfect storm: Tet Offensive; assassinations; Prague Spring; Paris Student Revolution; Kent State shootings; FLQ kidnappings. But there is one triumphant note: Man on the Moon!

Thursday March 4: The 80s

Through the 80’s, the Communist Bloc unravels. Even the Berlin Wall teeters. Suddenly, the Wall, the Curtain, and the USSR all collapse!

Thursday March 11: Heading for Y2K

The fall of the USSR reshapes Europe. The “Starchitect” emerges with Gehry’s Guggenheim Bilbao. An enormous tech revolution begins: the PC, the cell phone, the internet, etc.

Thursday March 18: Into a New Century

The Cold War is over – or is it? A new challenge emerges: Climate change. We see some tentative responses, and alternative energy sources. 

Reading List

Recollections of the JFK Assassination and the Berlin Wall

Researcher/Committee Contact and Chair:  Pamela Guy