The 1950's

Overview of the Decade


  • Influential Athletes/Coaches
Vince Lombardi was a head coach that contributed to the NFL. He never had a losing season as a head coach. Yogi Berra played for the New York Yankees in the 1950's. He was one of the best catchers in the MLB at the time and is in the Hall of Fame. Bob Cousy redefined the game of basketball. He helped lead the Boston Celtics to 6 NBA titles.

  • Olympic Games
The 1952 summer Olympics were held in Finland. Countries, such as China and the Soviet Union, made their Olympic debut this year. The 1952 Olympics had the second amount of world records that were broken.


  • Movies
Science Fiction movies, such as 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, and Psychological Thrills, like The Man Who Knew Too Much, became popular in this decade. The first 3-D movie, Bwana Devil, also came out this year.

  • Television
American Bandstands were a hit among teenagers at this time. Other t.v. shows that were popular included I Love Lucy and Gunsmoke.

  • Music
Rock and Roll, Doo Wop, and Jazz became popular music to listen to. Popular musicians included Elvis Presley, Little Richard, and Louis Armstrong. Popular songs included "Jailhouse Rock", "Tequila", and "Rock Around The Clock".

  • Other Sources of Entertainment
Disneyland opened in 1955 in California. This was a place where many families went for entertainment and fun. Bowling Alleys and comic strips became very popular in this decade. Teenagers went to bowling alleys for cheap entertainment and as a place to eat and talk.


A vast amount of technology that is still used today was invented or developed in the 1950's. The hydrogen bomb was invented in this decade. It came about after the Soviet Union talked about an atomic bomb. The credit card allowed consumers to purchase things on credit with the "buy now, pay later" idea. The snowmobile was invented for leisurely past times for Americans.

The Space Program took off throughout the decade. Russia launched a satellite and just a year later NASA was founded in the U.S. NASA then launched its first satellite soon after.


Key Laws/Supreme Court Decisions

  • 22nd Amendment: Stated that no one person could serve more than two terms of president and a Vice President whom took over for the President can serve more than 6 years.
  • Brown vs. Board of Education (1954)- Stated that "separate but equal" in schools was completely unequal.
  • Brown vs. Board of Education II (1955)- Made schools abolish racially dual systems.
  • In 1956, the Supreme Court ruled segregation on the Montgomery Bus System unconstitutional. Gave a victory to many African Americans, such as Rosa Parks, who had boycotted the bus system.

U.S. Presidents

Harry S. Truman was the 33rd president of the U.S. and served in the 1950's for 8 years. After WWII, Truman went to work to decrease the amount of money the military spent to try to get the economy to a "better place". Truman was very much in favor of creating the United Nations and was an important member in creating it. While Truman was president, he dealt with the atomic bomb and Korean War.

Dwight D. Eisenhower was the 34th president and also served 8 years as a U.S. president. While Eisenhower was president, the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare were created. During his time in office, the U.S. and Japan signed a mutual defense agreement. Many people believed Eisenhower didn't do much to help the civil rights movements happening in the country.

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Key World Leaders

  • Chiang Kai-Shek (China)- got rid of Communism in his country.
  • Nikita- appointed leader of the Soviet Union after Joseph Stalin's death.
  • Winston Churchill- resigns as England's Prime Minister.
  • Fidel Castro (Cuba)- wants to establish Communism in his country.

Korean War

The Korean War started in 1953 after a communist North Korea attack South Korea. The United States sends assistance to help our ally, South Korea. The U.S. and North Korea eventually sign a cease-fire. The cease-fire agreement resulted in practically the same division as North and South Korea as before the war.

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