Rise of Television Post-World War II

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aShawn O’ConnellPR 11
AP US 2 Free response #17

Although it was a novelty in the United States at the end of World War II, television became an important part of American life during the first postwar decade. Fewer than one out of ten American homes had television in 1950. Five years later the proportion had grown to two-thirds. New stations quickly took to the air and such networks. For the First time in history, political debates, issues, and other such important issues were capable of being broadcasted nationwide for the American people to view. The Checkers speech or Fund speech was an address made by Richard Nixon, the Republican vice presidential candidate and junior United States Senator from California, on television and radio on September 23, 1952. Senator Nixon had been accused of improprieties relating to a fund established by his backers to reimburse him for his political expenses. This was crucial because it was first to broadcast to the public a national issues and debate. The American people were given a new look at Nixon and his views. Broadcast "gavel to gavel" on the ABC and DuMont networks from 22 April to 17 June 1954, the Army-McCarthy hearings were the first nationally televised congressional inquiry and a landmark in the emergent nexus between television and American politics. The Army-McCarthy hearings were a television milestone not only because of the inherent significance of the event covered but because television coverage itself was crucial to the meaning, and unfolding, of events. Moreover, unlike many historic television moments from the 1950s, the hearings have remained alive in popular memory, mainly due to filmmaker Emile de Antonio, who in 1962 culled from extant kinescopes the landmark compilation film Point of Order!, the definitive documentary record of America's first great made-for-TV political spectacle. On 26 September 1960, 70 million U.S. viewers tuned in to watch Senator John Kennedy of...
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