It’s a rainy spring afternoon in 1952. Your class just watched a cartoon that showed a turtle hiding in his shell as a monkey sets off a firecracker. It was funny!
“But now we have to be serious,” your teacher says. You’re all going to learn to “duck and cover” like the turtle. Everyone practices diving under their desks and curling into balls.
The United States and the Soviet Union were on the same side in World War II. The Soviet Union is also called the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (U.S.S.R.). It was a group of communist nations led by Russia. The idea of communism is that everyone in society shares equally. But often, that’s not how it worked in the Soviet Union. People were not treated fairly or equally.
In 1949, the Soviets tested their first atomic bomb. Americans worried. What would the U.S.S.R. do with this weapon? In the 1950s, Presidents Harry S. Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower faced the spread of communism around the world. Many Americans saw communism as a threat to democracy.