a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

O'Connor, Sandra Day
O'Connor was the first woman ever appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Oak Ridge
Oak Ridge, Tennessee, was an atomic-energy installation during World War II. Production of uranium 235 there contributed to the creation of the atomic bomb.

Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO)
This federal agency coordinated many programs of the War on Poverty between 1964 and 1975.

Office of Price Administration (OPA)
This federal agency during World War II fixed price ceilings on all commodities, controlled rents in defense areas, and rationed scarce goods such as sugar, fuel, and automobile tires.

Office of Scientific Research and Development
This federal agency estalbished in 1941 mobilized American science on behalf of national defense.

Oglethorpe, James
Oglethorpe was a founding trustee of the Georgia colony in 1733. He hoped to make Georgia a reformed society free of slavery, strong drink, and unequal land ownership.

Ohio Gang
President Harding filled many appointive positions with old political and personal friends from Ohio, his home state. This "Ohio Gang," headed by his attorney general, Harry Daugherty, soon became involved in corruption and numerous scandals, abusing their office for personal profit.

old-age revolving pensions
In response to the pitiful state of thousands of elderly persons during the Great Depression, Dr. Francis Townsend proposed an old-age revolving pension plan. It would make government payments of $200 a month to anyone unemployed and over sixty years of age with the stipulation that they spend it all in thirty days. The spending was supposed to stimulate the economy. New Dealers rejected the plan as too expensive.

old stock
The term old stock refers to European ethnic groups prominent in the eighteenth-century United States, especially English, Dutch, German, and Scots-Irish.

Olive Branch Petition
This petition, written largely by John Dickinson and adopted by the Second Continental Congress on July 5, 1775, represented a last effort of peace. The petition avowed America's loyalty to George III and requested that he protect them from further aggression. Congress continued military preparations, and the kind never responded to the petition.

Omaha Platform
This 1892 platform of the Populist party repudiated laissez-faire and demanded economic and political reforms to aid distressed farmers and workers.

One World
Wendell Willkie, the 1940 Republican presidential candidate, wrote "One World" after a world tour in 1942. The book called for the end of American isolationism and the assumption of an active role in international affairs.

Oneida Community
John Humphrey Noyes and his followers founded this utopian community in upstate New York in 1848.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), a cartel of mostly Middle East Arab nations, united behind an Arab boycott and cut off oil sales to the West in 1973. This greatly increased the cost of oil and caused consternation throughout the industrial world.

Open Door policy
In a series of "Open Door" notes in 1899, Secretary of State John Hay set forth American objectives in China: free trade and recognition of the territorial integrity of China. This marked a significant departure from the United States's tradition of isolationism.

open shop
An open shop is a factory or business that employs workers whether or not they are union members; in practice, such a business usually refuses to hire union members and follows antiunion policies.

Operation Barbarossa was Adolf Hitler's surprise attack on the Soviet Union in the summer of 1941. The attack was a "surprise" because Hitler and the Soviet leader, Josef Stalin, had cooperated previously on several ventures.

Operation OVERLORD
Operation Overlord was the U.S. and British invasion of Normandy (France) in June 1944 during World War II.

Operation TORCH
Operation Torch describes the U.S. and British landings in French North Africa in November 1942 during World War II.

Order of the Heroes of America
This loosely knit group of pro-Unionists in the Piedmont and mountain sections of North Carolina who demonstrated for peace and sometimes violently opposed Confederate authorities during the Civil War.

Orders in Council
Britain's orders in council (1807) were a series of edicts blockading most European ports and barring from them all foreign vessels unless they first stopped at a British port and paid customs duties. The orders ignored U.S. claims to neutral rights.

Ordinance of 1784
This act passed but never put into effect by Congress under the Articles of Confederation emboded the proposals of Thomas Jefferson for dividing the public domain into states and immediately granting settlers the right of self-government.

Oregon Trail
This overland trail of more than 2,000 miles carried American settlers from the Midwest to new settlements in Oregon, California, and Utah.

Organization Man
William Whyte's book "The Organization Man" (1956) described the competitive corporate world where many Americans made their living. It focused on the need for executives to subordinate their personal interests to the requirements of "the organization" and conform to corporate standards.

Organization of American States
The Organization of American States (OAS) was a western-hemisphere mutual-defense treaty signed in 1947. OAS decisions are reached by a two-thirds majority vote; the United States has no veto or special position.

Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)
This cartel of oil-producing nations in Asia, Africa, and Latin America gained substantial power over the world economy in the mid- to late 1970s by controlling the production and price of oil.

Ostend Manifesto
The Ostend Manifesto (1854) was a confidential dispatch to the U.S. State Department from U.S. ambassadors in Europe (specifically, Ostend, Belgium). It suggested that if Spain refused to sell Cuba to the United States, the United States would be justified in seizing the island. Northerners claimed it was a plot to expand slavery and the Manifesto was disavowed.

Oswald, Lee Harvey
Oswald was the accused assassin of President Kennedy. He was killed by Jack Ruby before he could be tried. Doubts still persist about Oswald's motives and whether or not he acted alone.

Otis, James
Otis, a Boston lawyer, argued that writs of assistance were unconstitutional under British law, and therefore void. He was one of the first colonists to openly suggest that Parliament's authority over the colonies was not absolute.

Ottoman Empire
By the early twentieth century this old Turkish Empire, still ruled by a sultan, controlled much of the near and middle east including Palestine, Syria, and present day Iraq and Kuwait.

Owen, Robert
Owen was a British utopian socialist who believed in economic and political equality, and he considered competition debasing. He founded New Harmony, Indiana, a commune where members challenged sexual and religious mores of Jacksonian America. It became a costly failure.

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