The Cold War touched many aspects of American social and cultural life,
from the civil rights movement to survivalism, from Hollywood to the universities.
The nuclear threatand the Communist menace lurking behind itbrought
the National Defense Education Act, the interstate highway system, and
growing mistrust of government by both liberals and conservatives. In
ways sometimes blatant, sometimes subtle, the Cold War left its mark on
activities ranging from art and poetry to movies and comic books. Sports
events became particularly prominent venues for rivalry, beginning with
the London Olympics in 1948 and peaking every fourth year thereafter.
Visiting artists, traveling exhibitions, and other cultural exchanges,
both formal and informal, sometimes helped ease Cold War tensions.