Although the Cold War was time of anxiety with the possibility of global destruction , it had a positive effect on the lives of those ‘on the front lines’.
Education was important. Schools were built, staffed, granted supplies. Truant Officers proliferated, for missing school was a serious breach.
Health was important. Vaccination, cures and finding treatments for diseases were imperative. Money was dumped into the health sector.
Being active was important. Kids were to ride bicycles, skate, run, play sports. Schools had gym every day, Time was not to be wasted. Limiting television viewing for children was a demand not a request.
During the Cold War, the United States and Soviet Union were in competition. They strove to make their populations the brightest and best.
That Yuri Gagarin, from the U.S.S.R. was the first man in space was a great failure for the U.S.A. It caused money to be dumped in Space Exploration, and introduced astronomy into many curriculums.
That sixth graders in America knew each planet in the solar system; their size and distance from the sun was standard.