Portal:1950s

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The 1950s or The Fifties was a decade 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 beginning of the 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 I. 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 Red Scare (fear of communism) caused public 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 occurred in this decade and accelerated in the following decade, the 1960s.

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Gamal Abdel Nasser (c. 1960s).jpg
Gamal Abdel Nasser Hussein (15 January 1918 – 28 September 1970) was the second President of Egypt from 1956 until his death. Along with Muhammad Naguib, the first president, he led the Egyptian Revolution of 1952 which overthrew the monarchy of Egypt and Sudan, and heralded a new period of modernization, and socialist reform in Egypt together with a profound advancement of pan-Arab nationalism, including a short-lived union with Syria.

Nasser is seen as one of the most important political figures in both modern Arab history and politics in the 20th century. Under his leadership, Egypt nationalised the Suez Canal and came to play a central role in anti-imperialist efforts in the Arab World and Africa. The imposed ending to the Suez Crisis made him a hero throughout the Arab world. He was also instrumental in the establishment of the international Non-Aligned Movement. He is well-known for his nationalist policies and version of pan-Arabism, also referred to as Nasserism, which won a great following in the Arab World during the 1950s and 1960s. Although his status as "leader of the Arabs" was badly damaged by the Israeli victory over the Arab armies in the Six-Day War and Egypt's failure to win the War of Attrition against Israel, many in the general Arab population still view Nasser as a symbol of Arab dignity and freedom.

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