The 1950s

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Information about The 1950s

Published on December 25, 2007

Author: Danior


The 1950s:  The 1950s A Decade in Retrospect Statistics:  Statistics Population: World – 2.52 billion U.S. – 152 million Financial: U.S. National Debt - $257,357,352,351.04  Average U.S. Annual Salary - $2,992 Price of a loaf of bread - $0.14 Minimum Wage - $1.00 (as of 1955) Life Expectancy Male – 65.6 years Female – 71.1 years Divorces – 385,144 Food:  Food 1950: Jell-O Instant Pudding Dunkin’ Donuts 1952: Pez Sugar Frosted Flakes KFC 1953: Frozen T.V. Dinners Food, Con’t.:  Food, Con’t. 1954: Trix Burger King McDonalds 1957: Sweet’N Low 1958: Jif Peanut Butter Pizza Hut Party Snack: Chex Mix Fashion – Male :  Fashion – Male Hair Ducktail Cut (Duck Butt, D.A.) Grease! Crewcut and Flat-Top Hats were Essential Clothing Business – dark brown, charcoal, or black suits Casual – conservative, “preppy” Cardigan Sweaters Pink Clothing (Fad) Cowboy Look Fashion – Female :  Fashion – Female Hair Short, Soft, Curly Used Curlers, Rollers, Pins, etc. No Blow Dryers! “Poodle Cut” was a favorite Clothing Dressed “smartly” – well groomed and tailored looks were prized Jeans (then, called “dungarees”) were only worn in very casual circumstances Sailor look was popular in teens Gloves were part of all proper attire Fashion – Shoes :  Fashion – Shoes Men Wore saddle and regular dress shoes Women Stiletto heels to be fashionable Flats for school and daily wear Makeup:  Makeup “Peaches and cream” complexion Foundation applied as liquid or as pressed powder Eyebrows Usually narrowed Minimal blush and eyeshadow, creating natural look Dramatic look was OK, especially in evenings Lipstick Pastels were favored colors, especially in younger women Slang:  Slang “Cruisin’ for a bruisin’” “Back seat bingo” “Greaser” “Jets” “Like, crazy” “Like, wow” “Passion pit” “Razz my berries” Music:  Music Notable artists of the time: Elvis Presley Bill Haley “Shake, Rattle, and Roll” “Rock Around the Clock” Jerry Lee Lewis “Great Balls of Fire” Buddy Holly “Peggy Sue” Frank Sinatra “Love and Marriage” “I’ve Got the World On a String” The Rise of Rock and Roll:  The Rise of Rock and Roll 1950 - - 1952 - - 1954 - - 1956 - - 1958 - - 1960 | ________________ 1951: 1st rock and roll record released – Ike Turner’s Rocket 88. 1953: Elvis Presley makes first private recordings. ___ 1954: Bill Haley’s “Rock Around the Clock” is first rock song used in movie soundtrack. | _____ ______________ 1956: “Heartbreak Hotel” by Elvis; Love Me Tender – his 1st film – is released. | 1959: Market share of Rock and Roll increases to 42.7% - up from 14.7% In 1955. Elvis Presley:  Elvis Presley Born: January 8, 1935 Died: August 16, 1977 Career took of in 1956 with the release of “Heartbreak Hotel” In the Army from 1958-1959 Greatest Hits: “Heartbreak Hotel” “Love Me Tender” “Hound Dog” “All Shook Up” “Don’t Be Cruel” “Jailhouse Rock” “The Day the Music Died”:  “The Day the Music Died” February 3, 1959 23 year-old Buddy Holly, 17 year-old Ritchie Valens, and 28 year-old J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson die in plane crash near Fargo, North Dakota Referenced to in Don McLean’s 1971 song, “American Pie.” Fads:  Fads 3-D Movies Chlorophyll Believed it eliminated bad smells Put in everything Hula Hoops Developed by Richard Knerr and Arthur “Spud” Melin, founders of the Wham-O company Sold 25 million in less than two months, with 100 million international orders. Fads, Con’t.:  Fads, Con’t. Poodles Ceramic poodles, plastic poodles, colored poodles, wearable poodles, etc. Poodle haircut (i.e. Lucille Ball) Telephone Booth “Cramming” Tried to fit as many people as possible in a telephone booth 25 people is record, set in South Africa Silly Putty Television:  Television 8 million sets in households by 1950 Huge revenues Largely due to cigarette advertising and sponsorship Shows:  Shows I Love Lucy (CBS – 1951) Lassie (CBS – 1954) Mickey Mouse Club (ABC – 1955) The Honeymooners (CBS – 1955) Leave It to Beaver (CBS – 1957) The Twilight Zone (CBS – 1959) Advertisements – Television :  Advertisements – Television Advertisements – Print:  Advertisements – Print Saturated with: Cigarette brands Cars Television sets Various material goods Computer Systems:  Computer Systems UNIVAC (Universal Automatic Computer) – 1951 Cost in almost $1 million Used in government and exclusive commercial applications (first was at the GE Appliance Park in Louisville, KY) Computer Systems, Con’t.:  Computer Systems, Con’t. IBM 701 Computer – 1953 First commercially available scientific computer Commissioned by government for military applications in Korean War Microchip (Integrated Circuit) is Developed - 1958 Robert Noyce (later founder of Intel Corp.) and Jack Kilby Satellites:  Satellites Sputnik I– October 4, 1957 U.S.S.R. First satellite ever Unmanned Followed by Sputnik 2 (November 3, 1957) and Sputnik 3 (May 15, 1958) and later missions in the 1960s Explorer I – 1958 United States Designed by California Institute of Technology Sputnik:  Sputnik Advances in Medicine:  Advances in Medicine Polio Vaccine – 1952 Jonas Salk DNA Structure – 1953 Francis Crick and James Watson Inventions:  Inventions Xerox Copy Machine – 1950 Chester Carlton Videotape – 1952 VERA (Vision Electronic Recording Apparatus) Frisbee – 1957 Made successful by Wham-O Pantyhose – 1959 Barbie Dolls – 1959 Named after Ruth Handler’s daughter, Barbara Produced by Mattel Nuclear Warfare:  Nuclear Warfare Rosenberg Trial – 1951 Ethel and Julius Rosenberg prosecuted for leaking secrets of atomic bomb to Russia Executed on June 19, 1953 Nuclear Ballistic Missile is Invented – 1956 The Hydrogen Bomb:  The Hydrogen Bomb Test of First Hydrogen Bomb – 1956 Developed by Edward Teller “Mike”; weighed 82 tons Over 800 times the power of the bomb that leveled Hiroshima Leveled the island of Elugelab in the Eniwetok Atoll, Pacific Ocean, and blew 80 million tons of radioactive waste into the sky The Hydrogen Bomb – Video :  The Hydrogen Bomb – Video Politics :  Politics Presidents: Harry S. Truman (1945-1953) Atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 Truman Doctrine Fight against communism Dwight D. Eisenhower (1953-1961) Ended Korean War Civil rights Politics:  Politics McCarthyism Senator Joseph McCarthy accused the State Department of having been infiltrated by communists Blacklisted celebrities Joseph Welch: “Have you no sense of decency?” Died in 1957, age 48 States Alaska and Hawaii become 49th and 50th states in 1959 Korean War - Overview:  Korean War - Overview On June 25, 1950, North Korea invaded United States occupied South Korea in hopes of thwarting America and democracy President Truman sought to give help to South Korea through the United Nations Victory by General Douglas MacArthur when he pushed the North Koreans back across the 38th parallel (dividing line between countries) Ended in 1953 Korean War - Entry:  Korean War - Entry President Truman was under pressure for being too “soft” on Communism The Truman Doctrine Initiated to stop spread of communism; if President Truman didn’t act against the communism in Korea, he would be going back on his word and his beliefs Korean War - Reaction:  Korean War - Reaction Known as “The Forgotten War” or “Unknown War” because it followed WWII and was before the Vietnam War Changed America’s view of Third World countries Before: Criticized countries trying to help After: Full support of trying to help those less fortunate Helped the civil rights movement First time America had fought with an integrated army Civil Rights:  Civil Rights Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1952 Removes racial and ethnic barriers to becoming a U.S. citizen May 17, 1954 - Brown v. Board of Education Declares segregation in public schools unconstitutional Victory for NAACP attorney Thurgood Marshall, who would later become the first black Supreme Court Justice Civil Rights, Con’t.:  Civil Rights, Con’t. August 1955 - 14-year-old Emmett Till is kidnapped, brutally beaten, shot, and dumped in the Tallahatchi River Two white men are arrested and subsequently acquitted by an all-white jury December 1, 1955 - Rosa Parks refuses to give up bus seat, spurs bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama 1957 - The Southern Christian Leadership Conference is established by Martin Luther King Jr., Charles K. Steele, and Fred L. Shuttlesworth A Tribute to Rosa Parks – 12/01/55:  A Tribute to Rosa Parks – 12/01/55 Civil Rights, Con’t.:  Civil Rights, Con’t. 1957 – Nine black students are blocked from entering previously all-white Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas by orders of Governor Orval Faubus Federal troops and national guard are sent by Eisenhower to intervene Group became known as the “Little Rock Nine” Cold War:  Cold War Jaunuary 12, 1951 – Federal Civil Defense Administration is established Response to Soviet’s first atomic explosion and Korean War At first, only had small budget and limited power After 1958, spending was increased, and civil defense was made a top priority By October 25, 1962, there were over 112,000 fallout shelters providing possible protection for over 60 million U.S. citizens Cold War, Con’t.:  Cold War, Con’t. March 1954 – the KGB is established Original name, CHEKA (Russian acronym meaning “All Russian Extraordinary Commission for Combating Counter-Revolution and Sabotage) altered and changed until it became the komitet gosudarstvennoi bezopasnosti (Committee of State Security), or the KGB Five main directorates: Intelligence in other nations Counterintelligence and the secret police The KGB military corps and the Border Guards Suppression of internal resistance Electronic espionage Literature:  Literature Focused on topics such as: Individual control over one’s fate Bishop Fulton J. Sheen Conformity David Riesman, The Lonely Crowd Views of American life Chinua Achebe Anti-establishment movement Neal Cassady Novels:  Novels The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe – C.S. Lewis (1950) I, Robot – Isaac Asimov (1950) The Martian Chronicles – Ray Bradbury (1950) Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger (1951) Charlotte’s Web – E.B. White (1952) Casino Royale – Ian Fleming (1953) Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury (1953) Lord of the Flies – William Golding (1954) The Lord of the Rings – J.R.R. Tolkien (1954-1955) Atlas Shrugged – Ayn Rand (1957) Drama:  Drama A Raisin in the Sun – Lorraine Hansbury (1950) The Crucible – Arthur Miller (1953) Cat on a Hot Tin Roof – Tennessee Williams (Produced, 1955) The Diary of Anne Frank - Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett (1956) Long Day’s Journey Into Night – Eugene O’Neill (1957) Magazines:  Magazines MAD Magazine (October-November 1952) The National Enquirer is Reborn (1952) Playboy Magazine (1953) TV Guide (April 3, 1953) Sports Illustrated (August 16, 1954) Comics:  Comics DC Comics revives superheroes “Silver Age of Comic Books” The Flash – 1956 Peanuts – Charles Schulz (1950) Dennis the Menace – Hank Ketcham (1951) Philosophical Movements:  Philosophical Movements Draws on a number of approaches to criticize western thought, including historicism and psychoanalytic theory Most famous postmodernist is Richard Rorty Postmodern Philosophy “Started” in the 1950s A rejection of doctrines such as positivism, Darwinism, materialism, and objective idealism Emphasizes importance of power relationships, personalization, and discourse in the “construction” of truth and worldviews The Beat Generation:  The Beat Generation Relatively small group of struggling writers, students, hustlers, and drug addicts Advocated nonconformity Eventually gave way to the “hippie” generation in the 60s The End:  The End

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