The 1950s (pronounced nineteen-fifties; commonly abbreviated as the "Fifties", shortened to the '50s) (among other variants) was a decade of the Gregorian calendar that began on January 1, 1950, and ended on December 31, 1959.
By its end, the world had largely recovered from World War II and the Cold War developed from its modest beginning in the late-1940s to a hot competition between the United States and the Soviet Union by the early-1960s.
Clashes between communism and capitalism dominated the decade, especially in the Northern Hemisphere. The conflicts included the Korean War in the beginnings of the decade and the beginning of the Space Race with the launch of Sputnik 1. Along with increased testing of nuclear weapons (such as RDS-37 and Upshot-Knothole), this created a politically conservative climate. In the United States, the Second Red Scare caused Congressional hearings by both houses in Congress and anti-communism was the prevailing sentiment in the United States throughout the decade. The beginning of decolonization in Africa and Asia took place in this decade and accelerated in the following decade.
|The Battle of Dien Bien Phu was the climactic battle of the First Indochina War between French Union forces and Vi?t Minh communist revolutionary forces. The battle occurred between March and May 1954, and culminated in a massive French defeat that effectively ended the war. The French undertook to create an air-supplied base at ?i?n Biên Ph?, deep in the hills of Vietnam, in order to cut off Viet Minh supply lines into the neighboring French protectorate of Laos. The Viet Minh, under General Võ Nguyên Giáp, surrounded and besieged the French, who were unaware of the Viet Minh's possession of heavy artillery. The Viet Minh occupied the highlands around Dien Bien Phu, and were able to fire down accurately onto French positions. Tenacious fighting on the ground ensued, reminiscent of the trench warfare of World War I. The French repeatedly repulsed Viet Minh assaults on their positions. Supplies and reinforcements were delivered by air, although as the French positions were overrun and the anti-aircraft fire took its toll, fewer and fewer of those supplies reached them. After a two month siege, the garrison was overrun and most French surrendered. Shortly after the battle, the war ended with the 1954 Geneva Accords, under which France agreed to withdraw from its former Indochinese colonies.
The Korean War (in South Korean Hangul; Hanja; RR: Hanguk Jeonjaeng, "Korean War"; in North Korean Chos?n'g?l: ; Hancha: ; MR: Choguk haebang ch?njaeng, "Fatherland Liberation War"; 25 June 1950 - 27 July 1953) began when North Korea invaded South Korea. The United Nations, with the United States as the principal force, came to the aid of South Korea. China came to the aid of North Korea, and the Soviet Union gave some assistance.
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Gamal Abdel Nasser Hussein
(, ; Arabic
: ? ?
, romanized: Jam?l ?Abdu n-Nir ?usayn
, Egyptian Arabic: [?æ'mæ:l ?æbden'n?:s?e? ?e'se:n]
; 15 January 1918 - 28 September 1970) was the second President of Egypt
, serving from 1954 until his death in 1970. Nasser led the 1952 overthrow of the monarchy
and introduced far-reaching land reforms
the following year. Following a 1954 attempt on his life by a Muslim Brotherhood
member, he cracked down on the organization, put President Mohamed Naguib
under house arrest
and assumed executive office. He was formally elected president in June 1956
Nasser's popularity in Egypt and the Arab world skyrocketed after his nationalization of the Suez Canal and his political victory in the subsequent Suez Crisis. Calls for pan-Arab unity under his leadership increased, culminating with the formation of the United Arab Republic with Syria from 1958 to 1961. In 1962, Nasser began a series of major socialist measures and modernization reforms in Egypt. Despite setbacks to his pan-Arabist cause, by 1963 Nasser's supporters gained power in several Arab countries, but he became embroiled in the North Yemen Civil War and eventually the much larger Arab Cold War. He began his second presidential term in March 1965 after his political opponents were banned from running. Following Egypt's defeat by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War, Nasser resigned, but he returned to office after popular demonstrations called for his reinstatement. By 1968, Nasser had appointed himself Prime Minister, launched the War of Attrition to regain lost territory, began a process of depoliticizing the military and issued a set of political liberalization reforms. After the conclusion of the 1970 Arab League summit, Nasser suffered a heart attack and died. His funeral in Cairo drew five million mourners and an outpouring of grief across the Arab world.