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Mckenna Cua

Liz York

Important developments in America from 1975 to 2001


From 1975 to 2001, the US overcame many obstacles and advanced substantially in the

development of technology throughout the nation. With the fall of the Soviet Union just around

the corner, the United States could finally take a breath of fresh air and focus on advancing.

Unfortunately, the Soviet Union was the least of their problems. On September 11, 2001, the US

was attacked by Islamic terrorists. This shattered the nation and heightened the threat of

terrorism against the US. Rebuilding the Pentagon and cleaning up the damage of the twin

towers took a toll on everyone. How could something like this happen? Are we safe? After the

horror of 9/11, Americans tried to get their lives back to normal and avoid anymore drama. Then

came the personal computer and the internet. People became obsessed with their new

computers and used them for everything. With the computer, people had access to information

more easily than searching at a library. Once Americans gained access to the internet,

everything changed. People could find anything they needed, talk to anyone they wanted to,

and explore the new and upcoming online world. Although many changes occurred from

1975-2001, the United States has remained strong and united as we fought to stay strong and

rebuild the old and establish the new.

The Internet (1965):

- J.C.R. Licklider had the first recorded descriptions of social interactions across a network

which he called a Galactic Network

- Licklider became the first head of the computer research program at DARPA (Defense

Advanced Research Projects Agency)

- The Switching Theory

- Leonard Kleinrock wrote the first paper and the first book on the switching theory

during the early 1960s

- Was able to convince people that using packets instead of circuits could lead to

communication across networks

- connected a computer in Massachusetts to a computer in California with a low

speed dial-up telephone line (circuits) which was the first computer network ever

built that covered a large area

- Using the switching theory, the ARPANET was created with multiple computers

across the country on one faster network using packets instead of circuits

- The first networks like ARPANET, BITNET, and USENET had specific purposes for

scholars and companies and weren't open to the public

- ARPANET was then fashioned into the Internet as we know it today.

- Easier access to all kinds of information at our hands

- Being able to keep in touch with family and friends who are not close in proximity

- Social media has become an essential part of the culture

- Potential of losing touch with the real world and being so caught up in a virtual reality
Impact of Personal Computer (1970s):

- Before personal computers, computers could take up whole rooms with a range of 20x40


- Computers were used for scientists and scholars

- People such as Douglas Engelbart wanted to make a modern computer for the

general public

- After multiple new developments and ways to store data, personal computers hit the

market in 1974

- When the personal computer first hit the market, it was very expensive and most families

couldnt afford it

- Computers were very large and bulky

- New innovations like the microprocessor and the transistor made it easier to

manufacture the computer and cost much less

- Started out called the microcomputer which later became the PC (personal computer)

and cost much less after the microprocessor and transistor were added in

- Smaller and less bulky

- The internet has become accessible to the general public

- Too much dependence on electronics

- Not enough taking time to search out verifiable information

- Easy access to information about any topic

- Electronically progressive society

- 1976 - Microsoft becomes trademarked

- 1975: Communists force complete their takeover of South Vietnam, forcing the

evacuation from Saigon of civilians from the United States and the unconditional

surrender of South Vietnam.

- 1977: Fifteen nations including the United States and the Soviet Union, signed a

nuclear- proliferation pact, slowing the spread of nuclear weapons around the world.

- 1979: An accident at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in Middletown,

Pennsylvania occurs when a partial core meltdown is recorded. A tense situation ensued

for five days until the reactor was deemed under control. It is the largest accident in U.S

nuclear power history and considered the worst in the world until the Soviet Chernobyl

accident seven years later.


- 1980 - Soviets invaded Afghanistan

- 1980 - President Jimmy Carter announces the embargo on sale of grain and high

technology to the Soviet Union due to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

- 1980 - The United States Olympic Committee, responding to the request of President

Jimmy Carter on March 21, votes to withdraw its athletes from participation in the

Moscow Summer Olympic Games due to the continued involvement of the Soviet Union

in Afghanistan.

- 1980 - Ronald Reagan is elected 40th president of the United States

- 1981 - President Ronald Reagan withstands an assassination attempt, shot in the chest

while walking to his limousine in Washington DC.

- 1984 - The open ceremony of the Los Angeles Olympic Games were held. The games

run by Peter Ueberrith, prove a financial and U.S success, despite a retaliatory boycott

by most allies of the Soviet Union due to the U.S boycott of the 1980 Moscow games.

- 1984 - President Ronald Reagan was re-elected for his second term in the White House.

- 1985 - The first meeting in six years between the leaders of the Soviet Union and the

United States occurs when Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan engage in a five hour

summit conference in Genva, Switzerland.

- 1985 - The first version of the Windows operating system for computers was released.

- 1986 - A tentative agreement on a world - wide ban on medium range missiles is

reached between the Soviet Union and the United States. This agreement would not be

expanded to include long range missiles when President Reagan refused capitulation to

demand from Mikhail Gorbachev to limit development of the Star Wars missile defense


- 1987 - The United States and the Soviet Union sign an agreement, the Intermediate

Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, to dismantle all 1,752 U.S. and 859 Soviet missiles in a

300 - 3,400 mile range.

Collapse of the Soviet Union:

- The collapse of the Soviet Union happened in late 1980s

- The Soviet Union had a bad economy and needed to modernize their political situation

- Mikhail Gorbachev: General Secretary of Soviet Union in 1985

- 1987 - The INF (Intermediate Nuclear Forces) Treaty was signed and marked the

beginning of the end of the Cold War

- Two platforms to Gorbachev reform: Glasnost and Perestrokia

- Glasnost - freedom of speech and openness to government ( relate to the

bill of rights and how we have freedom of speech)

- Perestrokia - reconstruction of the soviet economy of how it could work more


- The US attacked every aspect of the Soviet Union:

- They sided with and supported the mujahideen (holy warriors) in afghanistan

which attacked the Soviets

- They attacked the economy with loss of hard currency, oil prices, and food


- Tensions within the nation itself were increasing. The differences between languages,

cultures, and ethnicities of the 15 republics that made up the Soviet Union

- Soviets focused too much on making weapons and military supplies that they ran into a

shortage of consumer goods which caused an uproar among the common people

- Soviet Union economy got worse before it got better, the people were used to the

government doing everything.

- Communist government was on the verge of collapsing

- Hardliners tried to take over the Soviet Union

- General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev was kidnapped by extreme

Communist protesters (hardliners)

- Hardliners attempted to take over the Soviet Union failed due to lack of

military back up

Consequences of the collapse:

- Soviet Union divided into 15 independent countries as a result of the collapse.

- Amenia, Azerbaiian, Belerus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lativa,

Lithuania, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan.

- Supporting the mujahideen and other war efforts cost the US up to $1 trillion dollars

Impact of Ronald Reagan on collapse of Soviet Union:

- 1989 - Raised defense spending from $134 billion in 1980 to $253 billion

- The Reagan administration supported the mujahideen (holy warriors) who fought Soviets

in Afghanistan

- provided the mujahideen with Stinger missiles which took out many Soviet


- The war in Afghanistan cost Soviets around $8 billion dollars, but only cost the

US around $1 billion

- Ended Carters grain embargo which produced food shortages in the Soviet Union

- Reduced the flow of western technology to the Soviets

- Helped bring a drastic fall in oil prices in the 1980s which kept hard currency from the

Soviet Union

- Ronald Reagan ended the Cold War without fighting a physical battle

- Pushed for less government control and more rule by the people

- Reagan attacked the legitimacy of the Communist system

- "The West will not contain Communism; it will transcend Communism." - Ronald Reagan


- President George H W Bush was elected as the 41st president of the United States.

- 1990 - The Central Committee of the Soviet Communist Party gives up its monopoly of

power, continuing the trend, since the beginning of the Berlin Wall coming down, that the

Cold War was about to end. The ending of the Cold War was completed, in many ways,

by the strong policies of U.S. President Ronald Reagan toward the Soviet block. Six

days later, a plan to reunite Germany was announced.

- 1990 - U.S. President George H.W. Bush and his Soviet counterpart Mikhail Gorbachev

sign a treaty to eliminate chemical weapon production and begin the destruction of each

nations current inventory.

- 1990 - Iraq invades its neighbor, Kuwait, setting into motion the beginning of U.S.

involvement in the Gulf War. Four days later, the United Nations begins a global trade

embargo against Iraq. On November 29, the United Nation passes a resolution, #678,

stating that Iraq must withdraw its forces from Kuwait by Jan 15, 1991 or face military


- 1992 - President Bill Clinton was elected as the 42nd president of the United States.

Terrorism on US Soil (2001):

- The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) who defends US airspace

reduces the number of aircrafts ready to fly in case of a threat because needs were


- They dropped down to just 14 fighter jets ready at hand

- 1969 - A man named Dan Hill was chosen for a program to imagine what attacks may

threaten the US by the Soviet Union

- He is given the task of coming up with a written plan of how he would attack the

US to start WWIII if he were the Soviet Union

- He comes up with a plan using a suicide pilot crashing into the Capital building

and smashing all the way into the House of Representatives where bombs inside

the plane will be set to go off

- His plan is taken by officials and he is told to never speak of this again and to

forget it ever happened

- 2000 - CIA fails to share information that could be linked to the planning of the 9/11


- Summer 2001 - computer hacks in California, FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) fears

Al-Qaeda is behind it

- June - FBI fears Al-Qaeda will strike US on July 4, they notice Al-Qaeda making

weird moves which signal a counterattack

- US intelligence learns that an al-Qaeda operative is considering starting

operations in the US

- FAA is warned to increase security measures, but ignores warning

- Hijacked planes were flown into the Twin Towers in New York

- Two planes crashed into the World Trade Center; One plane crashed into the Pentagon,

and one on a field in Pennsylvania

- The death toll was estimated at a little under 3,000 people

- The attackers were Islamic terrorists from Saudi Arabia and several other Arabic nations.

- Major rescue missions were undertaken in New York, as firefighters fought through

debris to rescue the innocent people affected by this attack

- People jumped from burning building

- FAA suspended all flights around the country

Impact of 9/11 on American Life:

- Because of the terrorist attacks on September 11, the U.S increased airport security

- The U.S also launched missions in Afghanistan to eliminate the threat of Taliban control

in the Middle East

- As a result, national security became a top priority of policy for America

- More people were sent overseas to fight the war on terrorism, which means more money

was spent on building the military

- Air Travel:

- The Aviation and Transportation Security Act was created by TSA

(Transportation Security Administration)

- TSA became more strict by adding detailed luggage screening.

- Banned liquids

- Required shoe removal at TSA

- Wanding and body scans

- The September 11 fee was created to offset the security costs

- Pilots can now apply to become a federal flight deck officer, allowing them to

carry a loaded gun and act as a federal officer on board

- Government:

- Patriot Act was put into place

- A significant drop in travel visas from Middle Eastern countries

- Over 130 post 9/11 pieces of legislation were passed in Congress following

- Immigration and Deportation and Tourism: National Alert

- International tourism to America fell for three years after 9/11

- The number of Americans traveling overseas declined as well

- Deportations rose dramatically ranging from 104% to 205%

- American Muslims / Racial Profiling:

- Hate crimes towards Muslims rose dramatically after the 9/11 attacks

- Many American Muslims received much verbal abuse / harassment and were

ostracized by many Americans

- American Muslims also had to endure extended security checks at the airport

Effects of 9/11

- President Bush declared War on terrorism

- We had a debt crisis: we had to increase defense spendings

- 2001 Recession: The stock market was closed for four days
Works Cited

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Retrieved September 14, 2017, from

America's Best History Staff. (n.d.). U.S. Timeline - The 1970s. Retrieved September 20, 2017,


Aron, L. (2004, June 10). How Reagan Made Soviet Society Face Its Failures. Retrieved

September 10, 2017, from

Articles Master of Arts in Military History. (2016, July). Retrieved September 14, 2017, from


California State University. (n.d.). Computers and Their Impact. Retrieved September 10, 2017,


Complete 911 Timeline. (n.d.). Retrieved September 14, 2017, from


Edwards, L. (2010, January 27). Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism. Retrieved

September 10, 2017, from

Freedman, D. (2010, September 08). What Really Led To 9/11. Retrieved September 14, 2017,


Hilton, R. (n.d.). The Collapse of the Soviet Union and Ronald Reagan. Retrieved September


2017, from

History Central Staff. (n.d.). US History 1974- 1999. Retrieved September 20, 2017, from Staff. (2010). 9/11 Attacks. Retrieved September 11, 2017, from Staff. (2011). Invention of the PC. Retrieved September 10, 2017, from

Internet Society Authors. (1997). Brief History of the Internet. Retrieved September 10, 2017,


"September 11, 2001, Terrorist Attacks." U*X*L Encyclopedia of U.S. History. . Retrieved

September 10, 2017 from


The Cold War. (n.d.). Retrieved September 11, 2017, from

The Collapse of the Soviet Union. (n.d.). Retrieved September 12, 2017, from

Villemez, J. (2014, September 11). 9/11 to now: Ways we have changed. Retrieved September
10, 2017, from

Zimmermann, K. A. (2017, September 06). History of Computers: A Brief Timeline. Retrieved

September 14, 2017, from

Writing: Describe using your five sense what you thought September 11 was like? Use your
imagination of what you thought you would of saw, heard, smelled, and touched. Write three to
five paragraphs to complete this assignment. MC

Science: Examine the materials used in the making of the twin towers, the Pentagon, and the
planes used to strike these places. Is there a better material that couldve changed the
outcome? Report your findings. LY

Science: Construct / Design a mini model of the twin tower buildings out of any material. The
students will be testing their twin towers they created. They will test to see if it can stand any
and all weather. The students will also be testing it against a toy bulldozer, plane and car to see
if their building is able to stand after these different situations. At the end of the activity the
students will discuss why their building collapsed or stood tall. M C

Social Studies 1: Locate where the three planes crashed on a United States Map. Were the
crashes in the same city? Were the crashes in the same state? If not what city and state were
they in? MC
Math: Compare and Contrast how far apart each plane crash was from each other. Measure
how far apart the plane crashes were from each other by estimating to the closest miles. After
estimating the distance I want you to use the computer to find the exact distance each plane
crash was from each other. MC

Math: Find and record the changes in oil prices throughout the Cold War. Answer the following
questions: Were the changes significant (more than 3 cents)? How did these prices affect the
US? How did they affect the Soviet Union? LY

Media Literacy: Create a video or a podcast on September 11th or the United States
involvement in the Cold War. You will be in groups for this project. Every student in the group
must participate. Think about what you would want to know if you were a concerned citizen
watching the news during either one of these situations. M C

Music: Compare and Contrast the music from when Ronald Reagan was president to when
September 11 happened. Compare music from 1975 to 2001 by using a Venn diagram. What
are the keys differences? What is similar about the music? What instruments are they or are
they not using? Do you prefer music from the 1970s or the early 2000s. You will be choosing
music artists from a list i will create from both of these time periods. MC

Art: Illustrate one of the first personal computers. After finishing your artwork, create a story
about the person who buys the computer. Are they excited? Did they have to spend a lot of
money on the computer? Create a story about how this computer will impact their family life at
home. LY

Drama: Select a figure from either the Cold War or a figure involved with September 11, 2001
and dress up as them. Prepare a short autobiography about the figure you have chosen to
present to the class. What accomplishments did he/she achieve? What was his/her role? Avoid
using your figures name. Once you have finished your presentation, your classmates will have
to guess which figure you are. LY

Speaking / Listening: Create a speech that you would address to your people if you were the
President of the United States during the Cold War or September 11. Refer back to speeches
President Reagan and President Bush gave during those hard times for our country. Remember
the goal of these speeches should bring comfort and peace to the people of the United States.
Another goal is to be informed and confident with your plan of action and how you are going to
get the country back on their feet. The speech should be no more than 5 mins but should be
more than 2 mins. MC

Reading: Create a list of vocabulary words from the articles given to you about the Cold War,
September 11, President Ronald Reagan or The impact of the internet and personal computers
on us. Once you create a vocabulary list of eight to ten words you will look up the definitions of
these words in the dictionary and write a definition of the vocabulary word in your own words.

Reading: Read through President Bushs speech following the terror attacks on 9/11. Choose
2-3 sentences from the speech that you found important and write a short paragraph on why
you thought these sentences were important and how they might have made Americans feel.
Do you think the speech made people feel better or worse? L

Grammar: While thinking about those who died to rescue others during 9/11, write letters to first
responders (firefighters, EMS, policemen) who were on the scene of 9/11 thanking them for
their service and appreciating the amount of lives they saved. Remember to use proper
grammar and letter structure. You can include an appropriate drawing if youd like. We will mail
them off to the stations where these first responders work(ed) and from there they will find their
way to the appropriate people. LY

Social Studies 2: Create a KWL chart for the Cold War and September 11 to help students
organize their thoughts. MC

Social Studies 3: List important vocabulary words from the reading in the textbook for the Cold
War and September 11th MC

SS5: Construct a timeline showing important dates relating to the personal computer and its
debut to the general public. Dont forget to include the debut of the first ever computer and show
how it evolved to the personal computer. Include a sentence with each mark on the timeline
explaining what happened on/in that date/year. LY

SS6: Identify and label the 15 independent post-Soviet countries on a map. You may use
different colors and label using a key. LY

SS7: Explain the Patriot Act and its affect on society. What did it do? Who signed it into law? LY

SS8: Assess the effects of 9/11 on the United States. How have we changed since then? Is
there something we could do differently? Explain your reasoning. L Y

SS9: Sequence the events leading to the fall of the Soviet Union. Include the impact of the
mujahideen (holy warriors). LY

Literature List October 5

- ten books must be age appropriate
Artifact will be due September 28
- One artifact and both upload a picture