It’s a rainy spring afternoon in 1952. Your class just watched a funny cartoon that showed a turtle hiding in his shell as a monkey sets off a firecracker.
“But now we have to be serious,” your teacher says. All the kids start learning how to “duck and cover” like the turtle, practicing by diving under their desks and curling into balls.
During World War II, the United States and the Soviet Union were allies. Also called the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (U.S.S.R.), the Soviet Union was an organization of communist nations led by Russia. The idea of communism is that everyone in society shares equally. But often the Soviet Union did not treat its citizens fairly or equally.
When the Soviets tested their first atomic bomb in 1949, Americans worried. What would the U.S.S.R. do with this weapon? In the 1950s, Presidents Harry S. Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower spent a lot of time dealing with the spread of communism around the world. Many Americans saw communism as a threat to democracy.