Following World War II and the onset of the Cold War with the Soviet Union, the US undertook a series of measures to strengthen the resilience of the country. These included a significant expansion of government support for scientific research in universities and R&D labs, leading to product innovations from the private sector and better weapons from the defense industry, which contributed to making the US the most prosperous and secure nation in the world.

Another important measure was the expansion of educational opportunities, like the GI Bill which offered the nation’s 16 million WWII veterans payments of tuition and living expenses to attend high school, college or vocational/technical schools. By 1956, over 2.2 million had used the GI Bill to attend college or university, and 5.8 million had used it for some kind of job training program.

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