What if the peacemongering and hip culture associated with the late 1960s and the 1970s had occurred ten years earlier, due to a prolonged and bloody war in Korea. Hippie never enters the global syntax, but "beatnik" certainly does.
Timeline: Korean War (Peaceniks)
June 25, 1950: North Korea invades South Korea. America is drawn into its the first proxy war of the Cold War.
Summer 1950: ROK troops pull back, to Pusan, where they are finally reinforced by American and UN troops.
September 15, 1950: USA lands large amphibious force at Inchon. Tide begins to turn in favor of capitalism.
Autumn 1950: ROK and allies invade North Korea, soon push to the Yalu River.
October 1950: People's Republic of China becomes involved in the war, fighting American troops.
November 1950: Winter shuts down the Peninsula. Fierce fighting at Chosin Reservoir between Chinese and American forces.
Winter 1951: Massive Chinese involvement. Thousands of Red troops cross the Yalu River, daily.
January 1951: Chinese troops in South Korea.
April 11, 1951 : MacArthur dismissed by Truman.
1951: Fighting see-saws back and forth across the 18th parallel. High casualties are sustained by both sides. General Douglas MacArthur considers using American A-bombs to stop the offensive.
November 29, 1952: Newly elected US President Eisenhower, visits Korea, and narrowly avoids being killed by friendly fire. "I'll bring our boys home," declares "Ike."
1953: Continued fighting. America has lost 36,000 young men. China, several hundred thousand, and Korea half a million or more. In Washington, D.C. Eisenhower makes vague statements about a withdrawal, but America is deeply committed to the fight.
March 5, 1953: Josef Stalin dies in Moscow.
June 1, 1953: With the assistance of old NKVD colleagues, Lavrentiy Beria escapes into Finland, tipped off of plans by Molotov and Malenkov to arrest him.
November 1953: The delayed US handover of authority to the Japanese Diet, is delayed again. A directive from Washington orders Japanese factories that have survived WWII, to retool to produce ammunition, vehicles, and clorthing for American GIs.
November 25, 1953: In a surprise attack the US carries out a Peninsula wide air attack with new B-47 bombers. Several are lost to ground fire, but the attack kills an estimated five thousand Chinese troops. Simultaneously, several B-50 bombers atttack suspected Communist pockets in South Korea. Death toll is a further five thousand ROK civilians.
December 1953: China launches a new cross border offensive, capturing Seoul once again. This time, however, Chinese troops torch the city, in the hope of destabilising the already US-dependant South Korean government. Thousands are left homeless, and the Red Cross is prevented from operating in Seoul .
January 1954: PRC offiicially establishes a new Peninsular capital, not in the demolished cities of Pyongyang or Seoul, but on the Yalu River. The establishment brings into question whether or not China is attempting to imperialise the Korean Peninsula. Moscow is strongly opposed to China's action. The new city, under construction using "voluntary" labor is named Mao, in honor of the Chairman.
January 15, 1954: Most of the UN troops from countries such as Ethiopia, Colombia, and other small nations, pull out. The war is suddenly dogged by a lack of legitimacy. France and Britain pull out, as well. Britain is concerned with the insurgencies in Cyprus, Kenya, and Malaysia, and France is committing troops to Algeria. Canada remains in Korea, but many of their soldiers are ethnic Koreans.
February 1, 1954: The American population has until now, weathered the cost of the war in money and human lives stoically. They are deeply concerned by the Soviet threat. For the first time, a significant anti-war protest occurs. A group of college professors, students, and family members of those lost in action march on Washington, D.C. with a parade of hearses. The slogan of the march, is "Bury This War Ike." Eisenhower holds an impromptu meeting with the protestors near Arlington Cemetery. He vows to bring home US troops, but not until America wins the war.
May 17, 1954: The Supreme Court rules that school segregation is unconstitutional in Brown v. Board of Education. Race, and the new Civil Rights movement gains new attention.
July 15, 1954: Mao officially completed. Chinese military administration along with Kim Jong Il and his generals set up headquarters in the new city. Chairman Mao makes a visit by train to the city. From bases in the the ROK, Okinawa, and Japan, American bombers take off, alerted by the new Central Intelligence Agency of Mao's presence. At midday, the largest American air raid of the war hits the city of Mao. Using incendiary bombs, much of the new city is destroyed. Chairman Mao flees back to China by train, but American intelligence is a step ahead. B-47s destroy the track, trapping Mao's train. The Chairman is killed Lieutenant Hank Griffith of Texarkana, who strafes the train with his F-86 (Griffith is later awarded the Medal of Honor.)
August 1, 1954: Control of Japan by the Diet, delayed until 1957.
September 1, 1954: After a dispute regarding succession of leadership in the People's Republic of China, Zhou Enlai is made Chairman. The death of Chairman Mao at the hands of the 'rabid dog imperialist Americans' has come as a severe blow to the communist government. In Moscow, the troika (minus Beria) continues to rule.
January 1, 1955: As the war enters its fifth year, making it as long as WWII, protests in America become more widespread. A new social movement has emerged. "Beatniks' they are called. Primary characteristics of the beatnik movement include jazz, cofffee, support of civil rights, and polite liberalism. Beatniks, many of them young men, of draft age begin to protest what they see as an unjust and costly war.
March 15, 1955: General Douglas MacArthur (retired) announces his intention to run for president against Eisenhower in 1956.
Summer 1955: In the first, of what will become a nationwide phenomenon, a small group of college students, beatniks, and intellectuals camp out in Battery Park, New York City, for a day to listen to free performances of jazz, by musicians from Harlem, and Louisiana. Several 'blacklisted' playwrights and film makers are invited. The day of jazz starts peacefully, but by midday, the city sends in the the police to clear out the beatniks. Beatniks disperse peacefully.
1955: As peace protests increase across America, alarm spreads amongst America's "silent majority." Many Americans are young and patriotic, veterans of WWII starting families. This majority wants nothing but domestic tranquility, keeping the Soviet menace at arms length. The 'ungrateful' young people who are part of the growing beatnik culture were born only a few years before the war, and have limited memory of the conflict. Most Americans are rapidly losing patience with the beatniks and protesters.
November 1956: Douglas MacArthur wins the presidency of the United States, defeating Eisenhower. MacArthur's extremely conservative views are popular with Americans, fed up with the irregularity of the Eisenhower administration, and fearful of communists and other social rumblings at home. Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin runs alongside MacArthur, securing the position of Vice President. Protests break out in a few urban areas, with high percentages of students. However, the students support Adlai Stevenson rather than Eisenhower or MacArthur.