LEARN NC was a program of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Education from 1997 – 2013. It provided lesson plans, professional development, and innovative web resources to support teachers, build community, and improve K-12 education in North Carolina. Learn NC is no longer supported by the School of Education – this is a historical archive of their website.



Black and white people, some carrying American flags, marching in the civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama

North Carolina Digital History

Postwar North Carolina

The end of World War II didn’t bring peace — at home or abroad. The United States was soon in conflict with the Soviet Union, a “Cold War” that brought constant tensions, a buildup of nuclear weapons, and wars in Korea and Vietnam. The Civil Rights Movement gathered steam after the war and within twenty years had won battles to desegregate schools and public accommodations and to guarantee voting rights for African Americans. But the pace of change in this and other areas, along with the frustrations of the Vietnam War, deeply divided North Carolina and the nation.

Designed for secondary students, part ten of our web-based “digital textbook” combines primary sources with articles from a variety of perspectives, maps, photographs, and multimedia to tell the many stories of North Carolina in the years between 1945 and 1975:

  • the causes and effects of the Cold War
  • change and continuity in postwar life
  • the origins of the Civil Rights Movement
  • the battles for, and impacts of, school desegregation
  • how organizing, political campaign, and nonviolent protest won civil rights for African Americans
  • why the 1960s were a decade of social and political change, and how conservative responses to that change took shape by the 1970s
  • the causes of the Vietnam War, the impact of the war on the men who fought it, and its legacy in the United States

Get started: Table of Contents


More than just a linear narrative, our “digital textbook” is modular and fully searchable. If you need a primary source, a map, some background reading, or a lesson plan, this is the place to start!