Cold War politics settled in. Mutually assured destruction (MAD) prevented WW III. Censure ruined Joe McCarthy. By May 1957, he was dead at age 48. He's not missed or mourned.
The CIA's first coup deposed Iran's democratically elected Mohammad Mosaddegh. A generation of terror followed. A year later, America toppled Guatemala's Jacobo Arbenz Guzman. Decades of genocide followed. Indigenous Guatemalans suffered horrifically. They still do.
Throughout the decade, few followed Vietnam events, France's defeat, and America's growing involvement. Palestine wasn't occupied. Israel was mostly out of sight and mind.
Times indeed changed, and not for the better, including in education.
June 14, 1956 reflected a different time. Thousands filled Harvard's yard that day. Dignitaries showed up. Jack Kennedy delivered the commencement address. Senator JFK. It was 1956.
He was thoughtful and scholarly. Politicians don't talk that way today. He said political parties and politicians only think of winning. Truth and honor are sacrificed for political advantage.
His entire address was full of scholarly references. He quoted Lowell, Milton, Bismark, Goethe, Macauley, and others. He had intellect and showed it.
He reminded listeners that long ago books were politicians' tools, not their enemies. Locke, Milton, Sydney, Montesquieu, Coke, Bollingbroke and others were widely read and quoted in political pamphlets.