Origins of the term “brinkmanship” (aka “brinksmanship”)…

I recently noticed a headline for an Associated Press story about North Korea that was interesting from a word and quotation history perspective. It said:      “North Korean missile tests signal return to brinkmanship.” The term brinkmanship was coined in 1956 during the height of the Cold War, when the U.S. was facing a potential … Read more

The origins of the “The Domino Effect”…

Contrary to what many sites on the Internet say, President Dwight D. Eisenhower did not coin the famous Cold War term “the Domino Effect.”  He did use the phrase “falling domino principle” in a famous press conference on April 7, 1954. Journalists at the time dubbed this “The Domino Theory,” which later came to be … Read more

The origins of the Cold War term “hot line” and the mythical “red phones”…

Many books and websites note that the famed “hot line” communication link between the Pentagon and the Kremlin was established on August 30, 1963. Press reports about this new tool, intended to provide a possible way to avoid a nuclear war between the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), soon cemented … Read more