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Women in the West

Narratives that reference expansion west during the second half of the nineteenth century often focus on the rugged landscape, untamed wilderness, and hearty men who took control of the untamed Great Plains. Missing from these narratives, however, are the vital contributions by women of all ages. While the works of Willa Cather and Laura Ingalls Wilder were written in the early twentieth century, they reflect upon common experiences amongst young people that merits consideration as key primary documents to understanding social and cultural life among settlers in the Great Plains. While the role of women generally has not been emphasized by historians of the period, it may be due in part to t

‘All Necessary Measures’: Lyndon Johnson and the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution

On 4 August 1964, as the USS Maddox was conducting reconnaissance in the Gulf of Tonkin, it was attacked by North Vietnamese torpedo boats. Two days later, while sailing through stormy weather, the ship’s crew reported they had been attacked for a second time. While Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara was aware that the Maddox’s captain did not believe the vessel had been attacked a second time, he and President Lyndon Johnson, using the attacks as justification, requested Congress pass a resolution that would expand immensely the war-making powers of the Executive Branch. The request was granted and Congress passed what became known as the ‘Gulf of Tonkin Resolution.’ It essentially gave

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