There was continuing poverty in some regions during recessions later on in this decade. The 1950s is often mistakenly painted as the pinnacle of American prosperity. To some, it also may be considered the peak of our modern American civilization The '50s were supposed to be a time of the "Affluent Society". The 1950s saw fairly high rates of unionization, government social spending, taxes, and the like in the United States and European countries.

Most Western governments were liberal or moderate, though domestic politics were also affected by reactions to communism and the Cold War. Beatniks, a culture of teenage and young adults who were seen as rebels and against the social norms, were popularized towards the end of the decade and criticized by older generations. They are seen as a predecessor for the counter-culture and hippie movements.

Optimistic visions of a semi-utopian technological future, including such devices as the flying car were popular. The United States was now committed actively to opposing the spread of Soviet-style Communism. The first plan that put this policy to use on a large scale was the Economic Recovery Plan of 1947, also known as the "Marshall Plan."

In a commencement speech at Harvard University on June 5, 1947, George C. Marshall, a former general and now Truman's secretary of state, proposed that the nation make a huge economic commitment to rebuild the war-torn nations of Western Europe. His objective was to "restore the confidence of the European people in the economic future of their own countries and of Europe as a whole." Marshall believed that the American economy depended on open markets.

Thus, rebuilding the economies of Europe would guarantee American prosperity by providing an outlet for the nation's goods. Marshall also contended that economic stability in Europe would translate into political stability, that Communism would have little appeal to well-fed and employed Europeans.

Between 1948 and 1951, the United States sent $13 billion in aid to Western European nations. West Germany benefited the most from the plan. Between 1947 and 1951, a period that historians refer to as the "German miracle," West Germany's economic output increased 312%.



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The 1950's spawned a broad range of authentic and distinctive designs, introduced with a traditional new age twist. For America, lately recovering from catastrophic tragedies connected to the second World War, the 1950's introduced restored hope a chance for a new way of lifestyle whose destiny would be determined by them alone.

This metamorphosis of America was heavily represented by trend. Ladies particularly substantially altered the way they dressed and introduced on their own in the course of the evolution of an progressively liberated society, females began to favour informal, relaxed garments around traditional dress guidelines and associated formality of preceding decades.

Some of the most admired new trends for ladies in the 1950's incorporated button-up sweaters with uncomplicated necklines, fitted blouses, and total knee-duration skirts. On the other hand, the most prevalent fashion for ladies during this time was dresses. Most dresses had been worn casually, and have been accentuated with circle skirts, halter straps, or modest collars.

Night use dresses seemed soft however daring, coming in numerous pastel hues and accompanied with bold ruffles, tulle trim, and dazzling velvet bows. The fitted evening put on of this time period, which was normally sleeveless or strapless, was also emphasized with sheer silk. Rising increasingly common, the complete skirts of the 1950's needed some type of assistance in order to maximize their seem.

To tackle this problem, Nylon petticoats have been produced solely to be worn in conjunction with complete skirts to produce fullness. Nylon was a favourable content because of its higher good quality and simple care wash.

This fullness it designed transformed the skirt who gave absolutely nothing far more than a gentle swish, into a glamorous royal-like flutter. One more important trend of this period is the swing coat, produced in the final 1940's by Jacques Fath. The silhouette of the swing coat was "made perfectly to cover full skirts, and also perfect for the post war large pregnancy rate".

A different trend in the 1950's was the "trapeze dress: a swinging dress virtually triangular in form and created to be worn with reduced footwear and bouffant hairstyles." The trapeze dress was later modified into a shorter child doll tent fashion gown, which was well-known in the upcoming decade.

Possibly one particular of the most traditional trend garments from the 1950's was Christian Dior's H-line of 1954, which consisted of a slender tunic-design suit with a slim skirt. His other well-liked fashions for the duration of this time period were his A and Y lines.

Dior has prolonged been a dominant force in the vogue entire world, particularly in the 1950's. His innovative and typically voluminous garments gave ladies a additional feminine touch. One more designer, Hubert Givenchy developed a Parisian design gown in 1957 which he called the Sack. The Sack started the pattern of straighter-waist dresses.

In the beginning, it produced into the "fitted darted sheath gown and later into the loose straight brief shift gown." A lot of people scoff at classic cinema, preferring today's modern films with high definition and computer generated graphics, but a lot of the charm of old movies is the superb storytelling, which couldn't be washed away with flashy graphics or images.

1939 Gone With the Wind was so popular. It was a sensation when it first came out, shattering box office records and winning several Academy Awards that year. It is still shown on television, still made into the latest of home-video formats, and is extremely popular simply because it was so well made. The story, the costumes, the locales, everything.

It may be a bit jarring to watch today with the casual racism, but if you can put that aside, it is one of the best films ever and should be watched at least one in a life time. 2. Citizen Kane – 1941 Again, like Casablanca, you always have to include Citizen Kane. It is one of the best classic films with a great story that is still relevant and moving today. 3. Casablanca – 1942 You can't have a list like this without mentioning Casablanca.

You just can't. There is so much to say about this film, but the great thing about this is that everyone just knows what you would say anyway. It is one of those must-see-in-your-lifetime films.  Nosferatu – 1922 How could anyone forget one of the first horror films, that defined the vampire genre? Nosferatu was supposed to be Dracula, but due to a copyright suit, had to be called something else. It was no less scary to audiences of the time, and began the monster movie genre that dominated early cinema.

King Kong – 1933 King Kong is another great film that has been paid homage to by modern cinema, has two remakes, and almost every action film that needs a great ape will find some way to throw in a reference or another. It had a great story too, and challenged audiences to rethink the nature of man and beast. 

It's a Wonderful Life – 1946 This movie is well known because it is often run on televisions during the holidays, but it has a story that is moving, and really makes you think.

A classic of holiday stories, It's a Wonderful Life enjoys continued popularity today simply due to all the networks running it around the holiday season. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre - 1948 This is a great film in itself, but also because it has influenced so many modern action/adventure movies to this day. The popular modern Indiana Jones series took several cues from The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, even down to the hero's signature fedora and look.

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre became a classic simply to all the action movies that paid homage to it. 8. Fantasia – 1940 Fantasia was a great movie in that it showed what animation could really do. Animation films to this point had been shorter endeavours, besides the works of Walt Disney, and had been produced primarily as family films based off fairy tales. Fantasia was a symphony of sound and images, and was a sensation when it came out.

Today it is seven more impressive, knowing that all the animation in the film was drawn by hand and had to be worked to synch up perfectly with the music. The Wizard of Oz – 1939 The Wizard of Oz caused audiences at the time to gasp when the film went into color, and it is one of those classic films that nearly everybody has seen to this day.

The story still is a fun movie to watch if you ever want to see the magic of old cinema, with patched together special effects that were top of the line at its time. 10. Metropolis – 1927 Metropolis was one of the fist great sci-fi films. For its time, it had state-of-the-art special effects, and it wowed audiences with an image of the future. Metropolis was also one of the most influential movies of all time, being paid homage to in several classic and modern films to this day.


1950s teenagers Fashion


Teenagers were liberated in the 1950s after years of subtle oppression. Almost overnight they had their own music, their own clothes, their own way of talking, their own culture. As the memories of war receded, so the young generation rose up and claimed the peace, just as they had done 30 years earlier in the 1920s. Only this time round everyone was afforded a slice of the cultural cake, regardless of class or income.

By 1959 an age of unbridled affluence and consumerism - "You've never had it so good", as Harold Macmillan coined it - was firmly established, paving the way for the profligacy and abandon of the swinging 60s. The new entrepreneurs of mass market consumerism on both sides of the Atlantic ensured that a week didn't go by without some new craze hitting the shops or the media, preferably both at one.

Hula hoops, popsicles, 3D cinema, Davy Crockett hats, bubble cars, motor scooters, transistor radios, pyjama parties, the list is endless. The end of World War II brought thousands of young servicemen back to America to pick up their lives and start new families in new homes with new jobs. With an energy never before experienced, American industry expanded to meet peacetime needs. Americans began buying goods not available during the war, which created corporate expansion and jobs. Growth everywhere. The baby boom was underway...

The economy overall grew by 37% during the 1950s. At the end of the decade, the median American family had 30% more purchasing power than at the beginning. Inflation, which had wreaked havoc on the economy immediately after World War II, was minimal, in part because of Eisenhower's persistent efforts to balance the federal budget. Except for a mild recession in 1954 and a more serious one in 1958, unemployment remained low, bottoming at less than 4.5% in the middle of the decade. Many factors came together to produce the Fifties boom.

The G.I. Bill, which gave military veterans affordable access to a college education, added a productive pool of highly-educated employees to the work force at a time American businesses were willing to pay handsomely for engineering and management skills. Cheap oil from domestic wells helped keep the engines of industry running. Advances in science and technology spurred productivity. At the same time, potential competitors in Europe and Asia were still recovering from being bombed into smithereens during World War II. Eisenhower steered a balanced course economically.

Some Republicans called for rolling back the New Deal, but the president realized that many of Franklin D. Roosevelt's libeal social programs were both popular and effective. Instead of getting rid of Social Security, for example, Ike actually expanded it to cover another ten million people who had been left out of the original program. Instead of turning away from big public works projects, he instead invested federal money in the Interstate Highway System, one of the largest public spending projects in the country's history. The main economic goal that Eisenhower pursued through both his terms in office was to achieve a balanced federal budget.

The government ran a small deficit in 1954 and 1955, then registered a surplus for each of the next two years. As the nation went into a recession in 1958 and 1959, Eisenhower allowed the federal deficit to grow in order to stimulate the economy. By 1960, he managed to return to a surplus. To achieve a balanced federal budget was a balancing act in itself.

Democrats were clamouring for increases in defence spending in order to counter the Soviet threat. Congressional representatives from both parties pushed for tax cuts. Eisenhower used his credentials as an experienced military leader to reassure the nation that the defence budget did not need to be increased as much as some wanted.

Though he favoured low taxes himself, he dug in his heels and fought tax cuts whenever they threatened to plunge the government into debt. The human race is continually trying to invent new things that make life more pleasurable and easy to live.

A lot of things man has invented have helped us reduce physical work. Mechanization has greatly improved standard of living and has freed up a lot of our time to pursue art and improve the quality of leisure. The 50's saw a number of important inventions that substantially changed the lives of present generation. Here is a brief account of some of the inventions of the 1950s.


Videocassette recorder was invented in 1956.


1950s Inventions Optical Fibers Original Paper: A flexible fibrescope, using static scanning - Nature, 1954. Optical fiber was invented in 1956. Harold Hopkins and Narinder Singh Kapany, of Imperial College London, invented it. It is used in fiber-optic communication, which is superior to other forms of communication and operates on the principle of total internal reflection.

Optical fiber transmitters are capable of sending up to 10 billion bits of information per second! Optical fiber is used for illumination in the medical field. They are used in medical and industrial endoscopes. Sometimes they are used as decorations and also in remote sensing. Video Cassette Recorder Model Name: Ampex VRX-1000 Cost: $50,000 The videocassette recorder was invented in 1956. Technically, the Vision Electronic Recording Apparatus (VERA), trialed by the BBC, is the first VCR to be invented. However, the model introduced by Ampex overrode the VERA and became the most popular VCR to be used.

This was obviously unaffordable for the ordinary people and only television networks used it. The primary function of the video recorder is recording and replaying video and audio signals. Hovercraft Also called: Air-Cushion Vehicle (ACV) Christopher Cockerell invented the Hovercraft. The Hovercraft moves over water surface floating on a layer of air, which would reduce friction between the vehicle and water. It is an amphibious vehicle. Hovercrafts have also been used for military purposes.

Hovercrafts are still in use in some parts of England. Oral Contraceptive Consumer Base: 100 million women worldwide Gregory Pincus and Min Chueh Chang together invented the first oral contraceptive pill. These are synthetic hormones that simulate the action of progesterone and estrogen in a woman's body. OC pills are widely used all over the world as a popular method of birth control. Credit Card Conceptualization and Invention by: Ralph Schneider and Frank McNamara Diner's Club introduced credit cards in 1950. Later American Express issued them in 1958.

The Credit card is a plastic card that eliminates the need to carry cash. One can use the Credit card to withdraw cash from automated teller machines, or one may simply 'swipe' the card to register a particular purchase so that they can pay for it at a later date. Credit cards are used universally in this age.

Barcode Did you know that earlier prototypes of the barcode use ultraviolet ink and Morse code? Barcode is found on almost all items now. It is a code, which is unique for each item. A barcode scanner reads the code. Joseph Woodland and Bernard Silver invented it in 1952. It was initially used to identify railroad cars.

In 1966 they were bought in commercial use. However it was only in the 80's that barcodes were commercially successful. Black Box Flight Recorder Earliest Attempt: François Hussenot and Paul Beaudouin (1939) The first prototype meant for a civilian aircraft was designed by Dr. David Warren of the Defence Science and Technology Organisation's Aeronautical Research Laboratories in Melbourne, Australia. In case of flight accident, the investigators search for the black box flight recorder first.

It could continually store up to four hours of speech, prior to any aircraft accident, as well as record flight instrument readings. David Warren of the Aeronautical Research Laboratories in Melbourne, Australia invented it in 1953. Power Steering Earliest Attempt: 1876 by a man with the last name Fitts One of the best inventions with respect to cars, I'll say; and people who need to drive everyday will agree with me!

The first modern power steering system was invented by Francis W. Davis in 1926. However, it came into everyday use in the 1950s, with Chrysler Corporations 'Hydraguide'. Musical Synthesizer Did you know that the earliest Synthesizer did not produce sounds in real time? The Electronic Music Synthesizer manufactured by Radio Corporation of America (RCA) in 1951-52 was much different from the synthesizers in use now, the major difference being the fact that the earliest model did not produce sounds in real time! It was used more as a composition machine. The 1957 model, however, was largely used by many famous composers. Photovoltaic Cell Inventors: Daryl Chapin, Calvin Souther Fuller and Gerald Pearson.

Though the photovoltaic effect had been realized by Becquerel as early as in 1839, the first practical modern photovoltaic cell did not come into existence well over 100 years after. Earlier photovoltaic cells were used only for toys, since the electrical energy they produced cost almost $250 a unit, as compared to that produced using coal (only $2 to $3). Now, however, photovoltaic cells are in common use.

Teflon Coated Pan Chemical Name of Teflon: polytetraflouroethylene (PTFE) Dr. Roy Plunkett invented the Teflon material in 1938. It was used in the Manhattan Project and was initially regarded a military secret.

Later however, DuPont company (Whom Dr. Plunkett worked for) found commercial application for Teflon in bread and cookie making. Finally, a French couple - Colette and Marc Grégoire - brought Teflon to the common man. Tetracycline Tetracycline antibiotics should not be had with milk since calcium ions inactivate tetracycline Benjamin Minge Duggar was the one to originally discover tetracycline.

However, the chemical structure of a related compound (oxytetracycline) was illustrated by Professor Robert Woodward of Harvard University. As far as 'invention' aspect of tetracycline goes, it is Woodward who patented a fermentation process to manufacture the drug on a large-scale.


Mr Potato Head toy


Other Inventions of the 1950s Mr Potato Head (the toy) was patented Laser, invented by Gordon Gould Hula Hoop, by Richard Knerr and Arthur "Spud" Melin Pacemaker, by Wilson Greatbatch Microchip, by Jack Kilby and Robert Noyce "Peanuts", the comic strip, by Charles M. Schulz Telephone Answering Machine, by Bell Laboratories and Western Electric.

The first McDonalds started by Ray Kroc Car seat belts were introduced in the 1950s Jonas Salk developed a vaccine against polio myelitis Many of the inventions of 1950s have made our life safe, secure, easy and enjoyable. We definitely owe a lot to these people! By Prabhakar Pillai


Mr Potato Head


In the late 1940’s, Dick and Mac McDonald were searching for a way to improve their little drive-in restaurant business in San Bernardino, California. Rather than tinker with the business, which was bringing in a very comfortable $200,0001 yearly, they invented an entirely new concept based upon speedy service, low prices, and big volume. They did away with car-hops in favor of self-service at the counter.

They ditched their 25-item barbecue menu in favor of a limited menu of just nine items: hamburger, cheeseburger, three soft-drink flavors, milk, coffee, potato chips, and pie, with french fries and milkshakes added soon after they resumed operations.

They re-engineered their stainless steel kitchen for mass production and speed with assembly-line procedures. And they slashed the price of their hamburger from a competitive 30 cents to just 15 cents. When the new McDonald’s re-opened in December of 1948, business took a while to build. But it soon became apparent that they had captured the spirit of post-war America. By the mid-1950s, their little hamburger factory enjoyed annual revenues of $350,000 – almost double the volume of their previous drive-in business at the same location.

It was not unusual for 150 customers to crowd around the tiny hamburger stand during peak periods. Word of their success spread quickly, and a cover article on their operations in American Restaurant Magazine in 1952 prompted as many as 300 inquiries a month from around the country.

Their first franchisee was Neil Fox, and the brothers decided that his drive-in in Phoenix, Arizona would be the prototype for the chain they envisioned. The resulting red-and-white tile building with a slanting roof and the “Golden Arches” on the sides became the model for the first wave of McDonald’s restaurants to hit the country, and an enduring symbol of the industry.


Chuck Berry


Rock n' roll, after all, was an invention of the Fifties, bringing with it many of the attitudes of teenage rebellion that remain so familiar today. And though we now tend to classify the Civil Rights Movement as a Sixties phenomenon, in fact the African American freedom struggle had already done much to revolutionize American race relations long before the Fifties were out. It was during the Fifties that the Beat poets let loose a radical literary howl against staid mainstream culture.

And it was during the Fifties that many radical technological innovations—starting with the computer—began to transform the way we live our lives. Dramatic changes in technology, transportation, culture, race relations, and social structures all came hot and heavy during the Fifties, and all left their mark on our modern world.

The decade was, more than we usually imagine, a time of change. And the man who led America through most of the era was one of our most paradoxical presidents. When he left the White House in 1961 after eight years in office, Dwight D. Eisenhower was considered by many political experts to be one of history's least accomplished (and perhaps even worst) presidents, but he was also one of the most popular with the public at large. Later, many historians changed their views; today many have retrospectively come to see the man called "Ike" as a surprisingly astute leader.

What was up with this grinning, bald-headed, golf-playing former general who led us through one of our most misunderstood decades? Everything was better in the 1950s, except washing machines, central heating and inside toilets, according to a survey of people aged above 50.

The 3,000 seniors found modern society crime-ridden, sleazy, promiscuous, foul-mouthed, noisy and second-rate. And they strongly disliked its greed, selfishness, unfriendliness, ill discipline, bad manners, easy credit, drug culture, TV sex and violence. In the 50s people seemed kinder and had more time for each other, they said.

People were neighbourly, public transport was good, music was better and housing more affordable. And they missed the slower pace of life, job security, and the way families had lived closer together and society valued housewives. With an average age of 69, 89% of those asked said they were glad they had been young in the 50s and not now, as children had been more innocent and allowed to remain child-like for longer. Children had been safer then said 88%, with more freedom to play outside, 85% felt.

But most said it was better to be a pensioner now, with 70% saying they lived healthier, longer and more active lives and people no longer considered 60 to be old. Four out of every five said mobile phones had made life worse, only 14% felt the internet had improved it, and 92% said they had been "happy in the 50s without any of these modern things".

They missed respect for authority, said 93%, bobbies on the beat, 91%, and the pride people used to feel in being British, 81%. People had been more innocent according to 86%, and seemed kinder, 72%, with less crime, 85%.

Barbara Windsor, who was born in 1937 and first appeared on the acting scene in the 50s, said they "were happy days because everything seemed so much more affable, honest and direct". Singer Val Doonican, 78, added, "It was a gentler, somehow less competitive world." The editor of Yours Magazine, which commissioned the research, Valery McConnell said it shows most people are happier when they have a simple life rather than a complicated one.

She said, "Everything about modern-day society is complex and stressful - automated answering machines, mind-boggling car parks and road systems, endless traffic, 50 different varieties of everything, bank managers you cannot talk to, high crime levels and aggression on the streets.

More has been lost than gained. Material possessions designed to make our lives easier also have a downside. Modern communication means people speak on mobiles, not on the street corner or at the bus stop. Increased mobility means we no longer know our neighbours or live near our families." Ms McConnell added, "Cars have driven children off the streets.

Large out of town supermarkets mean many High Streets are deserted. People no longer feel at home in their communities. No wonder many older people miss the simplicity of the 50s and wish their grandchildren could experience the same. The 50's was a gentler era when manners and people mattered. People were more important than possessions and had time for each other... knew their neighbours and had a sense of belonging."



The Korean War was a military conflict between the Republic of Korea, supported by the United Nations, and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China and the Soviet Union. The war began on 25 June 1950 and an armistice was signed on 27 July 1953.

The war was a result of the political division of Korea by agreement of the victorious Allies at the conclusion of the Pacific War. The Korean peninsula had been ruled by Japan prior to the end of the war; in 1945 following the surrender of Japan, the peninsula was divided by American administrators along the 38th parallel, with United States troops occupying the southern part and Soviet troops occupying the northern part.

The decision to divide the peninsula in this fashion was made without consulting the Korean people, which would later contribute to social and political unrest in the southern part ruled by the American forces. The failure to hold free elections throughout the Korean Peninsula in 1948 deepened the division between the two sides, and the 38th Parallel increasingly became a political border between the two Koreas. Although reunification negotiations continued in the months preceding the war, tension intensified. Cross-border skirmishes and raids at the 38th Parallel persisted.

The situation escalated into open warfare when the North Korean forces attacked south to reunify Korea on June 25, 1950. It was the first significant armed conflict of the Cold War. Emerging victorious from World War II five years earlier, the United States in 1950 was reaping the benefits of a growing economy - benefits that were actually derived out of the country's participation in the War.

The destruction and mayhem brought by the global conflict also brought with it several positive contributions to the economy. Some would even argue that the country's participation in World War II actually saved it from the Great Depression. To understand the economic boom of the 1950s it is necessary to appreciate the positive impacts that were borne out of World War II.

The foundation for the economic expansion and growth experienced in 1950 and several years after that were laid during World War II. To fund and support the country's war time efforts, it had to recruit millions of American soldiers to be sent to the war front as well as to be stationed at home.

Factories had to be built to produce war materiel - guns and ammunitions, military transport, tanks, fighter planes and bombers, etc. To man the factories women and older people had to be recruited as most of the able-bodied men were at war. WWII created jobs and gave life to many industries and energized a nation.

Among the industries that prospered during and immediately after the war were the newspaper industry, the agriculture industry and even Hollywood. Industries that produced transport and plant machineries also prospered.

Throughout the War, women, for the first time, were given the opportunity to work outside their homes and participate in nation building. The participation of the women in the labor force started to increase during this time. The War also provided opportunities that would later be manifested in the 1950s. Take for example many of America's products went overseas - introducing themselves to new markets.


the korean war 38th parallel


Many had actually feared that the end of the War would lead the country back to depression. With production of military supplies coming to an end, this fear had its basis - for the entire economy was propped up by all that had to do with the global conflict. Fortunately, this was not the case. The victory relished by the nation brought about confidence in the government and the economy.

The common consumer best exhibited this confidence as the strong consumer demand spurred economic growth after the War. Leading towards the 1950s, industries that experienced a surge in growth included the automobile industry and the housing industry, and new industries experienced fantastic births - industries such as aviation and electronics. There was also another outcome of WWII that contributed to post War growth - the Cold War between U.S. and the U.S.S.R. Many of the military industries that sprouted during the war continued to do big business after it.

As communist block emerged as a military power in Europe, America had to arm itself against what it considered as a threat. Huge investments were made in the defense of the country. Such investments meant jobs, factories, huge spending - all contributed to the boom of the 1950s.

The economic success of the country probably influenced its leaders to advocate the replication of an open economy at the international level. This is best evidenced by the country's spearheading the establishment of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. In 1950, the country's GDP was at $293.8 Billion (in current dollars). At that time, Per Capita GDP was $9,573.00 - making the United States the number one country world wide in this aspect. By 1996, GDP was at $13.194 Trillion. Per Capita GDP was at $43,800.00 - however, the country ranked only at 10th place world wide in this respect.

The 1950s in the United States of America were marked with a sharp rise in the economy for the first time in almost 30 years, and a return to the 1920s-type consumer society built on credit and boom-times, as well as the baby boom from returning GIs who went to college under the G.I. Bill and settled in suburban America.

Most of the internal conflicts that had developed in earlier decades like women's rights, civil rights, and imperialism were relatively suppressed or neglected during this time as a world returning from the brink hoped to see a more consistent way of life as opposed to the radicalism of the 1930s and 1940s.

The effect of suppressing social problems in the 1950s would have a significant impact on the rest of the twentieth century. In the West, an American generation traumatized by the Great Depression and World War II created a culture with emphasis on normality and conformity.

Europeans took a generally different approach to a post-war society, aiming for a greater inclusiveness and social awareness after a global crisis in the preceding decades that many blamed on the failings of Free Market Capitalism, and the fifties were marked by the establishment of a Welfare State in many countries in Western Europe.


tomorrow’s world


What will the world be like in A.D. 2000? You can read the answer in your home, in the streets, in the trains and cars that carry you to your work, in the bargain basement of every department store. You don’t realize what is happening because it is a piecemeal process. The jet-propelled plane is one piece, the latest insect killer is another.

Thousands of such pieces are automatically dropping into their places to form the pattern of tomorrow’s world. The only obstacles to accurate prophecy are the vested interests, which may retard progress for economic reasons, tradition, conservatism, labour union policies and legislation. If we confine ourselves to processes and inventions that are now being hatched in the laboratory, we shall not wander too far from reality.

The best way of visualizing the new world of A.D. 2000 is to introduce you to the Dobsons, who live in Tottenville, a hypothetical metropolitan suburb of 100,000. There are parks and playgrounds and green open spaces not only around detached houses but also around apartment houses. The heart of the town is the airport. Surrounding it are business houses, factories and hotels.

In concentric circles beyond these lie the residential districts. Tottenville is as clean as a whistle and quiet. It is a crime to burn raw coal and pollute air with smoke and soot. In the homes electricity is used to warm walls and to cook. Factories all burn gas, which is generated in sealed mines.

The tars are removed and sold to the chemical industry for their values, and the gas thus laundered is piped to a thousand communities. The highways that radiate from Tottenville are much like those of today, except that they are broader with hardly any curves. In some of the older cities, difficult to change because of the immense investment in real estate and buildings, the highways are double-decked.

The upper deck is for fast non stop traffic; the lower deck is much like our avenues, with brightly illuminated shops. Beneath the lower deck is the level reserved entirely for business vehicles. Tottenville is illuminated by electric “suns” suspended from arms on steel towers 200 feet high.

There are also lamps which are just as bright and varicoloured as those that now dazzle us on every Main Street. But the process of generating the light is more like that which occurs in the sun. Atoms are bombarded by electrons and other minute projectiles, electrically excited in this way and made to glow.

Power plants are not driven by atomic power as you might suppose. It was known as early as 1950 that an atomic power plant would have to be larger and much more expensive than a fuel-burning plant to be efficient. Atomic power proves its worth in Canada, South America and the Far East, but in tropical countries it cannot compete with solar power.

It is as hopeless in 2000 as it was in 1950 to drive machinery directly by atomic energy. Engineers can do no more than utilize the heat generated by converting uranium into plutonium. The heat is used to drive engines, and the engines in turn drive electric generators. A good deal of thorium is used because uranium 235 is scarce.

Because of the heavy investment that has to be made in a uranium or thorium power plant, the United States government began seriously to consider the possibilities of solar radiation in 1949. Theoretically, 5000 horsepower in terms of solar heat fall on an acre of the earth’s surface every day. Solar engines sprawl over large surfaces so are profitable in 2000 only where land is cheap. They are found in deserts that can be made to bloom again, and in tropical lands where there is usually no coal or oil.

Many farmhouses in the United States are heated by solar rays and some cooking is done by solar heat. The first successful atomically driven liners began to run in 1970 after the U. S. Navy had carried on many expensive, large-scale secret experiments. Outwardly the liners are not much different from the Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth, but they have much more cargo and passenger space because it is no longer necessary to carry about 12,000 tons of fuel.


Seven Samurai film 1959


The 1950s represent what many see as the epitome of Japanese cinema, starting in 1950 with Rashomon, the first major success of legendary Japanese director Akira Kurosawa, which is considered to be one of the greatest films of all time. Kurosawa followed this success with a string of classics such as Ikiru (1952), Seven Samurai (1954), Throne of Blood (1957), and The Hidden Fortress (1958). Other Japanese directors who were at the top of their game at this period in time were Yasujiro Ozu and Kenji Mizoguchi. Ozu made Tokyo Story in 1953, which is widely considered one of the best films ever made, as well as the best Japanese film ever made.

Ozu followed this success with a remake of his earlier A Story of Floating Weeds, only this time in color and sound, which are both regarded as some of Ozu's best work. In 1953 and 1954, Mizoguchi made the two films that are widely considered to be his masterpieces, Ugetsu and Sansho the Bailiff. In addition to Japanese cinema receiving vast success worldwide, European cinema was experiencing a reboot after World War II. The Vietnam War, also known as the Second Indochina War, and in Vietnam as the American War, occurred from 1959 to April 30, 1975.

The term Vietnam Conflict is often used to refer to events which took place between 1959 and April 30, 1975. The war was fought between the communist Democratic Republic of Vietnam and its communist allies and the US supported Republic of Vietnam. It concluded with the defeat and dissolution of South Vietnam. For the United States, the war ended with the withdrawal of American troops and failure of its foreign policy in Vietnam.

Over 1.4 million military personnel were killed in the war (only 6% were members of the United States armed forces), while estimates of civilian fatalities range up to 2 million. On April 30, 1975, the capital of South Vietnam, Saigon fell to the communist forces of North Vietnam, effectively ending the Vietnam War.


The Korean War


The Korean War, lasting from June 25, 1950 until a cease-fire on July 27, 1953 (as of 2007, there has been no peace treaty signed), started as a civil war between communist North Korea and republican South Korea. When it began, North and South Korea existed as provisional governments competing for control over the Korean peninsula, due to the division of Korea by outside powers.

While originally a civil war, it quickly escalated into a Cold War-era conflict and served as a proxy war between the capitalist powers of the United States and its allies and the Communist powers of the People's Republic of China and the Soviet Union. On September 15, General Douglas MacArthur planned a grand strategy to dissect North-Korean-occupied Korea at the city of Incheon (Song Do port) to cut off further invasion by the North Korean army.

Within a few days, MacArthurs' army took back Seoul (South Korea's capital). The plan succeeded which allowed American and South Korean forces to cut off further expansion by the North Koreans. The war continued until a cease-fire was agreed to by both sides on July 27, 1953. The war left 33,742 American soldiers dead and 92,134 wounded.


Singing in the Rain poster


Musicals including Singing in the Rain and An American in Paris with Gene Kelly were released and White Christmas starring Bing Crosby. Animated films included Walt Disney's Cinderella and Alice in Wonderland. Comedies are always popular, and the 1950s were no exception. It Happens Every Spring, Some Like It Hot with Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon, and The Ladykillers starring Alec Guinness and Peter Sellers, would be loved by many.

The year 1951 would have an important comedy milestone, the last film of the great comedy duo, Laurel and Hardy, Atoll K, in which the pair starred as the inheritors of an island in the Pacific. Beatniks and the beat generation, an anti-materialistic literary movement that began with Jack Kerouac in 1948 and stretched on into the 1960s, was at its zenith in the 1950s.

Such groundbreaking literature as William S. Burroughs's Naked Lunch, Allen Ginsberg's Howl, William Golding's Lord of the Flies, Jack Kerouac's On the Road, and J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye were published. Also published in this decade was J. R. R. Tolkien's epic The Lord of the Rings.

This decade is also marked by some of the most famous works of science fiction by science fiction writers Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, Theodore Sturgeon, and Robert A. Heinlein. Other significant literary works included James Jones' From Here to Eternity, Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea, John Cheever's The Wapshot Chronicle, Tennessee Williams' Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Arthur Miller's The Crucible, Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun, Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man, Saul Bellow's The Adventures of Augie March, and Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged. Science and philosophy.



Known as the "Golden Age", this era of movie-making saw the release of many classics, talented stars and directors. Films like Sunset Boulevard with William Holden and Gloria Swanson, All About Eve with Bette Davis, and Ben-Hur with Charlton Heston, would become instant classics. Westerns were getting bigger in the 1950s, with films like High Noon starring Gary Cooper, and Cheyenne with Clint Walker, wrangling moviegoers back to the time of outlaws and wild shoot-outs.

There was no shortage of war movies: the 1950s saw the release of Stalag 17, directed by Billy Wilder, The Bridge over the River Kwai starring Alec Guinness, and Stanley Kubrick's Paths of Glory, a potent anti-war film that starred Kirk Douglas as the French Col. Dax, defending three soldiers accused of cowardice.

Perhaps one of the things which most characterizes the 1950's was the strong element of conservatism and anticommunist feeling which ran throughout much of society. One of the best indicators of the conservative frame of mind was the addition of the phrase "under God" to the Pledge of Allegiance. Religion was seen as an indicator of anti-communism. Fifties clothing was conservative. Men wore gray flannel suits and women wore dresses with pinched in waists and high heels. French fashion designers such as Dior, Chanel and Givenchy were popular and copied in America.

Families worked together, played together and vacationed together at family themed entertainment areas like national parks and the new Disneyland. Gender roles were strongly held, girls played with Barbie dolls and Dale Evans gear, boys with Roy Rogers and Davy Crockett paraphernalia. Drive-in movies became popular for families and teens.

Cars were seen as an indicator of prosperity and cool-ness. Highways were built to take people quickly from one place to another, by-passing small towns and helping to create central marketing areas or shopping malls such as Sharpstown Mall, Gulfgate Mall and Meyerland Plaza in Houston. Fashion successes were Bill Blass and his blue jeans, poodle skirts made of felt and decorated with sequins and poodle appliqués, pony tails for girls, and flat tops and crew cuts for guys. Saddle shoes and blue suede loafers were popular.

Teenagers were defined as a separate generation and were represented by James Dean who wore blue jeans in Rebel Without a Cause and created a fashion and attitude sensation. Activities we liked were flying saucer watching , and watching and dancing to Dick Clark's American Bandstand . Fad hits with kids were toys like hula hoops and Hopalong Cassidy guns and western gear, Davy Crockett coon skin hats and silly putty .


Rosa Parks black protester


Do you remember the time of the Hula Hoops, Poodle Skirts and Elvis Presley? I've heard people say the world was better back in the 1950s and we'd be better of if America was still like that.Well I'm sure it seems that way for those that didn't live in the 50s.

We hear about how simple and innocent life was then. And in ways it was. In 1951 local phone rates were 10 cents, but there was also only the old slow dial phone, there wasn't any such thing as a cell phone that so many think they can't live without now. In 1955 the first IBM 752 computer shipped in February and was the first IBM business computer. Though it was nothing like the computers we have now. And no one knew anything about the Internet.

On December 1 American Civil Rights leader Rosa Parks, refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white man in Montgomery, Alabama, and it resulted in a city-wide boycott of the bus company and stirred the civil rights movement across the nation. In the 1950s, racism was deeply institutionalized. 50% of black families lived below the poverty line; migrant workers suffered appalling working and living conditions; people of color were not permitted to take part in the American dream.

Here it is 2005 and thankfully racism is all but gone in that aspect. A black person has the right to what they want in life and is living the American dream The U.S. federal minimum wage was $1. Amazing isn't it that hasn't changed much and it should have. Minimum wage now in 2005 is only $5.15 and hour. Seems like we aren't to far from the 50s on that. From 1950 to 1959, 257,455 cases of polio were reported, mostly in children; 11,957 died of it.

Thank God in 2005 thanks to vaccines polio no longer threatens the life of our children. Wife-beating was not really considered a crime. Many psychologists explained that battered wives were masochists who provoked their husbands into beating them. A husband raping his wife was not a crime at all, but a sign that the woman was deficient in fulfilling her marital obligations. Could you imagine someone getting by with wife beating and rape just because they are your husband?


President Harry S. Truman


At the end of World War II, prosperity brought both opportunity and change to American agriculture. The Marshall Plan was enacted, which helped U.S. farm exports skyrocket from around two billion dollars in the 1940s to nearly four billion in 1950. The Marshall Plan helped restore the European economy while feeding millions of people.

American farmers prospered due to record agricultural production and prices. By the late 1940’s, President Harry S. Truman could honestly say, “The American farmer has reached an economic position better than he had ever known before.” Life in the United States changed.

A higher standard of living increased home and car ownership and brought more educational opportunities for many Americans. A whole new economy based on consumerism was created as television images increased the public’s appetite for all kinds of new products. Science and technology were changing the way America farmed.

Farms became mechanized and new pesticides, weed killers and chemical fertilizers increased crop yields. As agriculture became more efficient there were fewer but much larger farms. Fewer people were needed to work on farms, and many families were free to pursue new dreams; so they left the countryside for work in the city and homes in the suburbs.


President Harry S. Truman


When a severe cold spell hit London in early December 1952, Londoners did what they usually did in such a situation; they burned more coal to heat up their homes. Then on December 5, 1952, a layer of dense fog engulfed the city and stayed for five days. Since the smoke from the coal burning in homes, plus all of London's usual factory emissions, had been prevented from escaping into the atmosphere by an inversion, the fog and smoke combined into a rolling, thick layer of smog. Londoners, used to living in a city known for its pea-soup fogs, were not shocked to find themselves surrounded by such thick smog.

Yet, although the dense smog did not in-still panic, it nearly shut down the city from December 5 to December 9, 1952. Visibility across London became extremely poor. In some places, visibility had literally gone down to one foot, meaning that you couldn't see your own feet when looking down nor your own hands if held out in front of you.

Transportation across the city came to a standstill and many people didn't venture outside for fear of getting lost in their own neighbourhoods. At least one theatre was closed down because the smog had seeped inside and the audience could no longer see the stage. It wasn't until after the fog lifted on December 9 that the deadliness of the smog was discovered. In the five days the smog had covered London, over 4,000 more people had died than usual for that time of year.

In the following weeks, approximately 8,000 more died from exposure to what has become known as the Great Smog of 1952. Most of those killed by the Great Smog were people who had pre-existing respiratory problems and the elderly.


Suez Canal in 1956


The "Cold War", which began as a geopolitical, ideological, and economic struggle between the Soviet Union and the United States, intensified. During this time the Warsaw Pact and NATO were founded. More American above-ground nuclear test explosions happened during this decade than any other during the Cold War.

The 1950s were also marked with a rapid rise in tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union, which would touch off the Arms Race, the Space Race, McCarthyism, and the Korean War. Stalin's death in 1953 left an enormous impact in Eastern Europe that forced the Soviet Union to create more liberal policies internally and externally.

The most notable political shift in the Eastern bloc would be the Hungarian revolution of 1956 which would soon falter due to the Soviet Union's intervention. the United States there was a "Red Scare" resulting in the McCarthy Hearings. The Suez Crisis was a war fought on Egyptian territory in 1956. Following the nationalisation of the Suez Canal in 1956 by Gamal Abdel Nasser, the United Kingdom, France and Israel subsequently invaded.

The operation was a military success, but after the USA and Soviet Union united in opposition to the invasion, the invaders were forced to withdraw. This was seen as a major humiliation, especially for the two European countries, and symbolises the beginning of the end of colonialism and weakening of European global importance.


End of the war 1945


The immediate response to the end of the war was one of delirious joy and relief. People poured into the streets when peace was announced to sing, dance, cry and to kiss and hug absolute strangers. Peace brought an end to agonising tensions, to shortages, to the separations, and the long hours of work. The urgency of returning to "normality" gripped many like a fever.

There was a boom in babies and marriages. For most women the blessings in the years that followed were mixed indeed. The trend to shift many more women in paid work into the textile and clothing industries started before the war ended, and this continued. Women who had been metalworkers and ironworker's in aircraft and munitions factories found that their man's jobs and man's pays disappeared. "Rosie the Riveters" went back to waiting on tables at not quite pre-war levels of pay. "Equal pay" was reduced to 75% of the male rate.

Many of the comprehensive full-day nurseries and other child care centres which had appeared during the war disappeared along with federal government funding for such projects. Some women found themselves widowed on inadequate pensions or the companions of severely war-shocked men, with little community understanding of or support for their problems.

The full import of the mushroom clouds over Hiroshima and Nagasaki began to dawn and many women gave birth to the first atomic generation. These children, faced with the fragility of life, on a massive scale, produced a revolt against traditional values. This bewildered parents and placed extra pressures on women, as Experts debated the extent to which working mothers might be blamed for social problems.

As the suburban dream grew out of the post-war housing shortages and a rapidly expanding consumerism, too many women found themselves prisoners of their new homes and captives to the growth industry of valium and drug therapy for suburban neurosis.

Peace also brought the Cold War as new spheres of interest were struck in Eastern Europe, China and the Pacific region. The technologies triggered by war accelerated both growth and contradictions - development and underdevelopment, privilege and underprivilege, treks to the stars, space adventure and the potential for total annihilation. From time to time the Cold War flared into open conflict in Korea, Hungary, the Suez Canal and, later, Viet Nam and other areas.


The nuclear family poster


When looking back at past eras, the 1950s is looked upon by some as an idyllic time in American history. The nuclear family headed by a male breadwinner was the desired norm and televisions shows such as Father Knows Best and I Love Lucy were popular. However, there was a dark underside during this era. Women were treated like second-class citizens and some were living unhappily married because their financial and educational options were limited.

The media, in collusion with the government, and family sociologists constantly espoused the virtues of family and children and women, who wanted more out of life, were looked upon as freaks of nature. However, some women during 1950s expressed dissatisfaction with their lives and an unarticulated longing for a life beyond their children and husbands.

Some of these wives were forced out the workforce after World War II and felt resentment that their only option for financial stability was marriage. This unarticulated longing would lead to a major social upheaval towards the end of the 1950s and would be the beginning of the second-wave feminist movement. This movement caused a shift in family values and altered family structure for future generations to come.

The 1950s Family Experiment would be short-lived but fondly remembered. Several factors lead to the forming of the nuclear family. By the end of the 1940s, the divorce rate dropped sharply; the age of marriage feel to a 100-year low; and the birth rate soared.

Women dropped out of the workforce as soon as they become pregnant and some young women had two or more children in diapers at once. Also during this time, the education gap between young middle-class men and women increased and job segregation for working women and men peaked. Limited educational and job opportunities for women made them more dependent on marriage for their financial well-being.

Young, newly married couples were encouraged to sever their family ties and put all their emotional and financial eggs in the small basket of the immediate nuclear family. Women were told by experts that all their energies should be used for their husbands and children, not aging parents and other relatives.

Psychiatrist Edward Strecker and various colleagues argued American boys were infantilized and emasculated by women who were old-fashioned "moms" instead of modern "mothers". Modern mothers placed their parents in nursing homes; old-fashioned mothers took their parents in at the expense of their own "important" nuclear family.

A modern mother was not supposed to have friends, a job, or anything or anyone that would take attention from her husband and children. She was also supposed to grant early independence to her male child. It is no wonder that many women who believed in this advice and put it into practice ending up abusing alcohol or tranquilizers over the course of the decade.

Women were encouraged to confine themselves to a very narrow definition of "true" womanhood by a variety of sources such as family education specialists and marriage counselors, columns in women's magazines, government pamphlets, and above all television. These experts told women during the 1950s that their greatest role on the planet was to be wives and mothers. The role of a "real" woman was to have no interest in a higher education or a career and women were taught by these experts to pity women who had the nerve to want a life beyond being a wife and mother.

Televisions shows such as Donna Reed, Ozzie and Harriet, Leave It to Beaver, and Father Knows Best showed women how much easier their lives would be if their families were like those families and the I Love Lucy show warned women about the perils of what happened to a woman who wanted a career or if she schemed behind her husband's back, The mothers on Leave It to Beaver and Ozzie and Harriet were immaculately dressed with pearls around their necks. Their homes were clean and their children never got into trouble.

However, on I Love Lucy, Lucy usually looked terrible by the end of the episode. Her hair was at times standing on top of her head and her clothes filthy from her weekly adventure. Women and their families watched these shows and tried their best to emulate the perfect and bright lives shown to them on a weekly basis. However, towards the end of the 1950s, a dramatic shift occurred.

Cultural values changed dramatically and the children of these women found the social immortality of their parents sickening. Many young adults and their mothers would march in the streets to protest against sexism, racism, and militarism. Minorities and women began to receive the civil rights that were rightfully due to them and more and more women entered the workforce, forcing a dynamic shift in child rearing practices. By the 1970s, husbands and wives had begun to share household duties and women were no longer bound to their homes.


 The Day the Earth Stood Still film poster


The Day the Earth Stood Still hits movie theaters launching a cycle of Hollywood films in which Cold War fears are manifested through scenarios of alien invasion or mutation. Considerable racial tension arose with military and school desegregation in mostly the southern part of the United States, though major controversy and uproar did not truly erupt until the 1960s. Resurgence of evangelical Christianity including Youth for Christ (1943); the National Association of Evangelicals, the American Council of Christian Churches, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (1950), Conservative Baptist Association of America (1947); and the Campus Crusade for Christ (1951).

Christianity Today was first published in 1956. 1956 also marked the beginning of Bethany Fellowship, a small press that would grow to be a leading evangelical press. Carl Stuart Hamblen, a religious radio broadcaster, hosted the popular show "The Cowboy Church of the Air". That same year, Bergman decided to follow The Seventh Seal with a more personal project on a much smaller scale, Wild Strawberries.

Wild Strawberries is the story of an old man (played by Victor Sjöström) who goes on a trip to receive an honorary degree with his daughter in law (Ingrid Thulin). During the trip, she tells him he is cold and unfeeling and he thinks over all the failures of his life. Bergman explores such trademark themes as the existence of God and mortality in this film.

Wild Strawberries also received enormous acclaim and only further emphasized his talent. It is now considered one of his greatest films, and 1957 is considered a year of prodigious output for the young Bergman. Meanwhile, over in France, young critics such as Jean-Luc Godard, François Truffaut, Claude Chabrol, and Éric Rohmer, who worked for the influential magazine Cahiers du Cinéma were starting to make their stamp in film.

In 1958, Chabrol made Le Beau Serge, the film that is widely considered to be the first film of the French New Wave. But the New Wave only started receiving recognition in 1959, when Truffaut released his debut feature, The 400 Blows.

The 400 Blows struck a chord in audiences worldwide and praise was lavished upon it. Today it is considered one of Truffaut's two best films, along with 1961's Jules and Jim. Later that year, Godard released his first film, Breathless. It received attention for its radical storytelling methods and mocking of American gangster clichés. It is now regarded as a masterpiece, and one of Godard's best films. It remains Godard's only box office success to date.


Cuban missile crisis of 1962


So named because vast resources were poured into a bitter bi-polar ideological struggle between the West, led by the USA, and the East, led by the USSR, which never quite led to open or hot hostilities between the principals. Churchill coined or at least popularized the term iron curtain; in a speech at Westminster College, Fulton, Missouri, on 5 March 1946, but before that it was obvious that the two main victors of WW II were heading for confrontation.

The two occasions when the war nearly got hot were both Soviet provocations, their 1948 blockade countered by the Berlin airlift and the Cuban missile crisis of 1962 when a US blockade forced them to take secretly introduced IRBMs (Intermediate Range Ballistic Weapons) out of Cuba.

The Cold War might be said to have been declared in 1949, when the USSR exploded its first atomic bomb, congealing into NATO, SEATO (South-East Asia Treaty Organisation), and other organizations, perceived as passive containment by the USA and her allies and as hostile encirclement by the USSR and her satellites.

The latter formed the Warsaw Pact in 1955, countering overwhelming US nuclear superiority with massive conventional forces. Although war never did break out in Europe, there were a number of proxyconflicts elsewhere, in the Korean, Vietnam, and Arab-Israeli wars, which both sides used to test their weaponry and each other's resolve.

The world communist threat was perceived as monolithic until Pres Nixon visited China in the early 1970s, but by that time the Soviets had achieved parity in both nuclear warheads and delivery systems, and a protracted effort to halt further attempts to achieve unilateral advantage was known as détente.

President Reagan reversed this policy in the early 1980s and in terms of investment in military equipment, the Cold War probably peaked in about 1985, having bankrupted the Soviet system. From the mid-1980s, Mikhail Gorbachev's perestroika and glasnost tried to make the best of a bad job, but the floodgates burst and the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989 is regarded as the end of the Cold War.

The Warsaw Pact and the USSR broke up, leaving the successor state Russia to thrash about in search of a new purpose, and a triumphant NATO to develop interventionist policies it would never have dared to pursue previously. This has confirmed fears of encirclement in Russia and it is not unimaginable that this could evolve into a new Cold War.

During this time, African-Americans were subject to racial segregation despite the belief put forward in The Declaration of Independence 1776 that, 'all men are created equal and that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.' However, the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s was brewing. Key figures like Martin Luther King, Malcolm X and Rosa Parks highlighted and challenged those who were against African-American rights and freedom. The Little Rock Nine integrated Central High School ending segregation in schools.


Retro bus 1950s


The 1950's spawned a broad range of authentic and distinctive designs, introduced with a traditional new age twist. For America, lately recovering from catastrophic tragedies connected to the second World War, the 1950's introduced restored hope a chance for a new way of lifestyle whose destiny would be determined by them alone.

This metamorphosis of America was heavily represented by trend. Ladies particularly substantially altered the way they dressed and introduced on their own in the course of the evolution of an progressively liberated society, females began to favour informal, relaxed garments around traditional dress guidelines and associated formality of preceding decades.

Some of the most admired new trends for ladies in the 1950's incorporated button-up sweaters with uncomplicated necklines, fitted blouses, and total knee-duration skirts. On the other hand, the most prevalent fashion for ladies during this time was dresses.

Most dresses had been worn casually, and have been accentuated with circle skirts, halter straps, or modest collars. Night use dresses seemed soft however daring, coming in numerous pastel hues and accompanied with bold ruffles, tulle trim, and dazzling velvet bows.

The fitted evening put on of this time period, which was normally sleeveless or strapless, was also emphasized with sheer silk. Rising increasingly common, the complete skirts of the 1950's needed some type of assistance in order to maximize their seem. To tackle this problem, Nylon petticoats have been produced solely to be worn in conjunction with complete skirts to produce fullness.

Nylon was a favourable content because of its higher good quality and simple care wash. This fullness it designed transformed the skirt who gave absolutely nothing far more than a gentle swish, into a glamorous royal-like flutter. One more important trend of this period is the swing coat, produced in the final 1940's by Jacques Fath.

The silhouette of the swing coat was "made perfectly to cover full skirts, and also perfect for the post war large pregnancy rate". A different trend in the 1950's was the "trapeze dress: a swinging dress virtually triangular in form and created to be worn with reduced footwear and bouffant hairstyles." The trapeze dress was later modified into a shorter child doll tent fashion gown, which was well-known in the upcoming decade.

Possibly one particular of the most traditional trend garments from the 1950's was Christian Dior's H-line of 1954, which consisted of a slender tunic-design suit with a slim skirt. His other well-liked fashions for the duration of this time period were his A and Y lines.

Dior has prolonged been a dominant force in the vogue entire world, particularly in the 1950's. His innovative and typically voluminous garments gave ladies a additional feminine touch. One more designer, Hubert Givenchy developed a Parisian design gown in 1957 which he called the Sack. The Sack started the pattern of straighter-waist dresses. In the beginning, it produced into the "fitted darted sheath gown and later into the loose straight brief shift gown."


coco chanel


Coco Chanel was an additional key fashion designer in the 1950's. In contrast to common total and flouncy skirts, Chanel began developing the boxy, now traditional Chanel suit jackets and skirts in trimmed and textured tweed. The components Chanel chose were often richly textured, which contributed to the finished product's substantial rates. Chanel's silhouette of her suits was fully straight, divinely lined with silk. Her glimpse was classic, refined, and adorned with particulars.

Chanel also accessorized several of her styles with strings of pearls and collarless jackets, both of which had been regarded as trendy in the 1950's. 1 of the most classic developments from the 1950's is the empire line, which was launched in the late 1950's. This model was applied to dresses and shirts mainly, and was adored by teenagers who looked innocently childlike, hence the coined phrase "baby doll style".

Throughout the 1950's, all teenagers have been anticipated to gown like their elders. The empire line was also a striking contrast from what most moms wore at the time, which contributed to its high approval between teenagers in America. Until the 1950's, the term "teenagers" was not generally used, and undoubtedly not a targeted market group.

But with a new variety of influences, which includes film, television, rock music, and magazines, teenagers started to be respected and acknowledged in the community. Usually nicknamed the "Room Age", the 1950's was an essential time in history for science and development as effectively.

So numerous features of lifestyle altered for the duration of this period, possibly partially attributed to the latest finish of Planet War II. America had emerged from war with prosperity and a new identity. A new consumer-primarily based society was "forging ahead, assisted by this kind of new developments as the credit score card system" (Baker, six).

These progressive ailments however created a equivalent impact on the vogue business: while so several factors in the lives of Americans had been transforming, they stayed clear from the radical, intensive fashions even though preferring the normalcy of regular developments. For when, becoming typical felt great. An additional large modify in the 1950's was the increased ownership of television sets.

Common television packages this kind of as I Enjoy Lucy connected Americans on both sides of the Atlantic, bringing a sense of unity in the nation. Segregation was ended in 1954, which brought collectively black and white pupils for the initial time although racial tensions had been even now higher, and also birthed the existence of civil rights leaders these kinds of as Martin Luther King Jr.

Continuous fears of communism reaching the states held many Americans tight with worry. More improvements introduced forth in the 1950's consist of the discovery of DNA, the launching of the 1st space satellite, an improve of females in the function subject, and of course, rock and roll. All of these financial, social, and political alterations in the planet impacted the American citizens, and therefore the vogue marketplace.

Regardless of the world's issues, the leading fashions that drove the marketplace were far more influenced by those who had been idolized by the customers: celebrities. Some of the most preferred celebrities in the 1950's involve Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, Ricky Nelson, and of program, Elvis Presley.

Marilyn Monroe's alluring yet easy style was a broadly imitated across America, by females of all shapes and sizes. Elvis Presley was one more enormous impact in the 1950's not only was he adored by millions of women, but he was also an inspiration for males. In a time in which men only wore standard attire, Elvis tore down all barriers which confined males to navy fits and ties.

Elvis generally wore outfits that had been much more common amongst the African American population. His wild pegged pants and zoot suits anxious the conservative local community of America, who hardly approved of these kinds of a "gender bending, race-integrating star" (Resource). Elvis' bright and baggy apparel, make-up, and so termed obscene dancing all acted as evidence of his single handed destruction of the morals of America's youth.

Not all males adopted the examples Elvis set however. In reality, far more men in this time time period dressed conventionally than not. Most males in the 1950's maintained outfits with casual and modest shades, like darkish blue, dark brown, and charcoal. The occasional daring youthful man would use pastel pink to stand out a trend that was just gaining momentum in the 1950's.

Cardigan sweaters were well-liked amongst athletes, and older males. On top of that popular were fitted vests, plaid flannels, and collared jackets. There was flexibility in men's informal put on, and was a typical sight to see shirt tails sticking out. Fundamental fedora-design hats were also a staple item in the 1950's for males.

Hats had been also trendy accessory for girls in the 1950's, for the motive that they have been considered to add a last touch of glamour to any woman's outfit. The pillbox hat, very first launched by Balenciaga and later modeled by Jackie Kennedy, grew to become a single of the trendiest accessories of the decade. Many glorious hat models existed in the 1950's.

Some hats have been covered in flower petals, although other folks had been adorned with swirls of georgette. Gloves had been also worn generally by females, particularly people of elite social position. Some were produced of cotton, which was very much additional reasonably priced than leather or nylon. Although gloves came in several shades and types, clear gloves whose color was white or cream had been the most favoured. Fur trimmings and adorned collars have been also very trendy. Brooches also, have been regarded as a glamorous accessory.

The 1950's was a decade in which fashion transformed significantly from earlier generations. Numerous influences from political debates, to economic troubles, to new age celebrities and mass media all influenced the unique styles and trends which determine the 1950's. Recovering from the casualties of Entire world War II brought a lasting modify to America, which was reflected in the fashions of this decade.

The American ladies craved glamorous simplicity in their new lives, and as a new and liberated society advanced, the ladies of America started to liberate on their own by deciding on which fashions they felt depicted them finest. Not only had been the 1950's essential in history, but they also significantly transformed the encounter of vogue in America.


Charles Babbage

Charles Babbage


Only once in a lifetime will a new invention come about to touch every aspect of our lives. Such a device that changes the way we work, live, and play is a special one, indeed. A machine that has done all this and more now exists in nearly every business in the U.S. and one out of every two households.  This incredible invention is the computer. The electronic computer has been around for over a half-century, but its ancestors have been around for 2000 years.

However, only in the last 40 years has it changed the American society. From the first wooden abacus to the latest high-speed microprocessor, the computer has changed nearly every aspect of peoples lives for the better. The earliest existence of the modern day computer ancestor is the abacus. These date back to almost 2000 years ago.

It is simply a wooden rack holding parallel wire on which beads are strung. When these beads are moved along the wire according to "programming" rules that the user must memorize, all ordinary arithmetic operations can be performed. The next innovation in computers took place in 1694 when Blaise Pascal invented the first digital calculating machine. It could only add numbers and they had to be entered by turning dials. It was designed to help Pascal's father who was a tax collector.

In the early 1800, a mathematics professor named Charles Babbage designed an automatic calculation machine. It was steam powered and could store up to 1000 50-digit numbers. Built into his machine were operations that included everything a modern general-purpose computer would need. It was programmed by and stored data on cards with holes punched in them, appropriately called punch cards. His inventions were failures for the most part because of the lack of precision machining techniques used at the time and the lack of demand. After Babbage, people began to lose interest in computers.

However, between 1850 and 1900 there were great advances in mathematics and physics that began to rekindle the interest . Many of these new advances involved complex calculations and formulas that were very time consuming for human calculation. The first major use for a computer in the U.S. was during the 1890 census.

Two men, Herman Hollerith and James Powers, developed a new punched-card system that could automatically read information on cards without human intervention Since the population of the U.S. was increasing so fast, the computer was an essential tool in tabulating the totals. These advantages were noted by commercial industries and soon led to the development of improved punch-card business-machine systems by International Business Machines (IBM), Remington-Rand, Burroughs, and other corporations.

By modern standards the punched-card machines were slow, typically processing from 50 to 250 cards per minute, with each card holding up to 80 digits. At the time, however, punched cards was an enormous step forwards; they provided a means of input, output, and memory storage on a massive scale. For more than 50 years following their first use, punched-card machines did the bulk of the world's business computing and a good portion of the computing work in science.


Electrical Numerical Integrator And Calculator


By the late 1930's punched-card machine techniques had become so well established and reliable that Howard Hathaway Aiken, in collaboration with engineers at IBM, undertook construction of a large automatic digital computer based on standard IBM electromechanical parts. Aiken's machine, called the Harvard Mark I, handled 23-digit numbers and could perform all four arithmetic operations. Also, it had special built-in programs to handle logarithms and trigonometric functions.

The Mark I was controlled from prepunched paper tape. Output was by card punch and electric typewriter. It was slow, requiring 3 to 5 seconds for a multiplication, but it was fully automatic and could complete long computations without human intervention (Chposky, 103). The outbreak of World War II produced a desperate need for computing capability, especially for the military. New weapons' systems were produced which needed trajectory tables and other essential data.

In 1942, John P. Eckert, John W. Mauchley, and their associates at the University of Pennsylvania decided to build a high-speed electronic computer to do the job. This machine became known as ENIAC, for "Electrical Numerical Integrator And Calculator". It could multiply two numbers at the rate of 300 products per second, by finding the value of each product from a multiplication table stored in its memory. ENIAC was thus about 1,000 times faster than the previous generation of computers. ENIAC used 18,000 standard vacuum tubes, occupied 1800 square feet of floor space, and used about 180,000 watts of electricity.

It used punched-card input and output. The ENIAC was very difficult to program because one had to essentially re-wire it to perform whatever task he wanted the computer to do. It was, however, efficient in handling the particular programs for which it had been designed. ENIAC is generally accepted as the first successful high-speed electronic digital computer and was used in many applications from 1946 to 1955.


ENIAC


These new technical discoveries rapidly found their way into new models of digital computers. Memory storage capacities increased 800% in commercially available machines by the early 1960s and speeds increased by an equally large margin. These machines were very expensive to purchase or to rent and were especially expensive to operate because of the cost of hiring programmers to perform the complex operations the computers ran.

Such computers were typically found in large computer centres--operated by industry, government, and private laboratories--staffed with many programmers and support personnel. By 1956, 76 of IBM's large computer mainframes were in use, compared with only 46 UNIVAC's (Chposky, 125).

In the 1960s efforts to design and develop the fastest possible computers with the greatest capacity reached a turning point with the completion of the LARC machine for Livermore Radiation Laboratories by the Sperry-Rand Corporation, and the Stretch computer by IBM. The LARC had a core memory of 98,000 words and multiplied in 10 microseconds. Stretch was provided with several ranks of memory having slower access for the ranks of greater capacity, the fastest access time being less than 1 microseconds and the total capacity in the vicinity of 100 million words.

During this time the major computer manufacturers began to offer a range of computer capabilities, as well as various computer-related equipment. These included input means such as consoles and card feeders; output means such as page printers, cathode-ray-tube displays, and graphing devices; and optional magnetic-tape and magnetic-disk file storage.

These found wide use in business for such applications as accounting, payroll, inventory control, ordering supplies, and billing. Central processing units (CPUs) for such purposes did not need to be very fast arithmetically and were primarily used to access large amounts of records on file. The greatest number of computer systems were delivered for the larger applications, such as in hospitals for keeping track of patient records, medications, and treatments given.

They were also used in automated library systems and in database systems such as the Chemical Abstracts system, where computer records now on file cover nearly all known chemical compounds. The trend during the 1970s was, to some extent, away from extremely powerful, centralized computational centres and toward a broader range of applications for less-costly computer systems. Most continuous-process manufacturing, such as petroleum refining and electrical-power distribution systems, began using computers of relatively modest capability for controlling and regulating their activities.

In the 1960s the programming of applications problems was an obstacle to the self-sufficiency of moderate-sized on-site computer installations, but great advances in applications programming languages removed these obstacles. Applications languages became available for controlling a great range of manufacturing processes, for computer operation of machine tools, and for many other tasks (Osborne, 146).


1950S Family car trip


The family was the center of daily life, children played outside and people frequently left their cars unlocked and their front doors open. It was a safe and carefree time. I consider myself lucky to have these childhood memories. Dinner was our family’s social time when we gathered to share food and conversation. My father arrived home from work at the same time every day at 5:30 pm.

Exactly at 6:00 pm we all sat down at the table for our meal. Conversations included school activities, household chores and upcoming weekend planning. We had no television and, if the radio was playing, it was musical background for our meal. No one was in a hurry and everyone helped with the clean up. After washing or drying the dishes, I sat down at the kitchen table and worked on homework until it was time for bed.

Every week day was like the one before. Every day was wonderfully predictable. My home was a safe haven for the whole family. With my mother in her housedress and apron and my father at the head of the table, my home was as idyllic as the Anderson’s, Cleaver’s or Nelson’s homes. The idea of television was just budding technology. We would not be able to stop it, but we hadn’t invited it into my home as yet. My after school hours before supper and my weekends and summers were spent outside. I proudly wore my shiny roller skate key on a string around my neck.

My skates were not shoe-type roller skates. They were metal with a strap. The key was used to tighten the skates’ grip on the toes of my shoes. After hours of skating up and down the sidewalk, the grip loosened. Therefore, I had to reuse THE KEY to retighten my skates. My skate key was more of a trophy than a tool to me. Besides skating, there was also sidewalk games to play.

I was quite a pro at playing hopscotch which involved drawing a chalk diagram on the sidewalk that included numbers from 0 to 10. The object was to throw a small stone into each numbered box in succession and then to hop into all the other boxes except the one marked with the stone. I needed balance as on the way back to START, I’d have to bend over the stone on one leg, pick it up and return to the number 1 box without stepping on any lines. I played the game for hours either alone or with neighborhood friends.

These outdoor games kept me moving all the time. They also made me adept at skating, hopping and balancing. This was physical fitness was all about in the 1950’s! During summer vacation, I had months to have fun. In the 1950’s people did not worry about children being gone for hours without cell phones to keep in touch. When the community swimming pool opened for lessons at 7:30am, I’d be there learning strokes and dives shivering in the non-heated pool .

Frequently I stayed at the pool for lunch, grabbing a quick hot dog or bringing a peanut butter and jelly sandwich , so that I would not miss a minute of free swim in the afternoons. I walked or rode my bike, two miles to and from the pool across busy streets and a variety of neighborhoods. I was in contact with numerous people, some friends some strangers, yet no one cautioned me about “danger stranger “ or abduction and murder. Swimming to the songs of the 50’s, I enjoyed those afternoons.

I knew nothing about sun damage or skin cancer and was proud of my tan. Synchronized swimming to Sha Boom, Sha Boom for hours filled my summer days. The 1950’s were called the post-war years. The soldiers returned and life resumed. The family bonds were strengthen, families grew. Fathers and mothers had roles in making home-life secure. Pre-television fostered a time for children to use their imaginations, to create activities, to use their bodies. Is good that I can recapture that era in my memories. Patricia M. Harper.


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