1950's

by Janessa Kuderer

Technology

The 1950's were filled with new inventions. In 1953 Color T.V was introduced. In 1955, the Polio vaccine was created. NASA was formed in 1958. On January 31, 1958 NASA launched their first satellite, Explorer 1. The "modern snowmobile" was put on the market in 1958. Credit cards became more popular during this decade. Solar powered wrist watches and passenger jets were also invented during the 1950's.


Standard of living

During the 1950's the standard of living increased. People began to spend more money, and bought more luxury items. $1 back then is know equivalent to $9.70 today. At that time movie tickets cost only $0.47, and a gallon of gas cost $0.27. The average price of a house at this time was around $1,949 and the average price of a car was $1,510.

Prominent figures

Some of the prominent figures in the 1950's were Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, James Dean, Elvis Presley, Louis Armstrong, Chuck Berry, Rosa Parks, Dwight D. Eisenhower and Harry Truman. Marilyn Monroe was a famous actress model and singer. She became a style icon during the 50's. Elizabeth Taylor was a famous actress who won many awards and also was famous for being married 8 times. James Dean was a teenage movie star and was a icon for being a teen rebel. Elvis Presley was a well known actor but was known mostly for his music. He was known for his unusual dancing and was known as the "King of Rock". Louis Armstrong was a jazz musician, known for his singing and trumpet playing. Chuck Berry was an iconic African American singer. Rosa Parks was a Civil Rights Activist who is most know for refusing to give up her bus seat. She fought for equality between everyone. Dwight D. Eisenhower was President of the U.S at the time. Harry Truman also served as President.

Lifestyle and Fashion

The 1950's had a very "proper" style. Everyone was well dressed and took pride in their appearance. Christian Dior is credited with coming up with the "new look" for women. The style consisted of a mid calf pencil skirt, rounded shoulder line, and a small waist. This look was completed with the addition of pearls, a handbag and a fancy hat. Stilettos and Oxfords, otherwise known as saddle shoes, became popular during this time. Girls were not allowed to wear pants, only skirts and dresses. The men in this decade wore suits, cardigan sweaters, as well as a hat.


During this time families were living the American Dream, with less stress. They were happy and looked and felt good. Birth rates were high while divorce rates were low. Later on teenagers became rebels and because of this more rules were put into place about clothing, music dancing and relationships. Swing dances was also popular at this time.

Entertainment

In the 1950's the public began to show an interest in the unknown, which lead to the creation of the science fiction genre in movies. Psychological thrillers were also another popular movie genre. In 1952 the first 3-D movie came out in theaters. Some of the popular movies were '12 Angry Men', and 'Rebel without a Cause'.

In the 1950's most T.V shows were westerns and sitcoms, but there were also some game and talent shows. Science fiction and psychological thrillers also found their way to television. Some of the popular T.V shows for this era were 'I love Lucy', 'Lassie', and 'Gunsmoke'.

Rock and Roll began in the 1950's and proved very popular. Teens loved Rock and Roll, while the parents hated it and believed it to be bad, unhealthy, unsuitable for a family audience, and just not right. Of course not all teenagers love Rock and Roll. Some boys threatened to break up with their girlfriends if she went to a Rock and Roll show. Elvis Presley, were some of the main artists of this decade. The music in the 1950's lead to the creation of the Rock and Roll genre. Jazz and Doo-wop were also some of the favorite music genres.

Other sources of entertainment were going to Disneyland, which opened in 1955. Bowling allies also became popular during this time.

Key Laws

In 1951 the 22nd Amendment was ratified by the states. This law impacted our country by allowing new government. It limited the number of years in office the President may serve to 4 years. It also limits the number of year the Vice President may serve if take over the role of President to 6 years. However if they remain as Vice President they may hold the office for 8 years.


Brown vs. Board of Education was a Supreme Court case in 1954 concerning the segregation in public schools. This case made the public realize that separating people based on their skin color did not treat everyone equally. On May 14, 1954 the Court decided that "Separate but equal" had no place in public schools.


Brown vs. Board of Education II was a Supreme Court case in 1955. It abolished racial systems in schools, and made it possible for children of different races to go to the same school and have equal education with the same treatment.

Korean War

On June 25th, 1950, North Korean forces pored over the 38th parallel, or the boarder between North and South Korean, and attacked. This attacked started the Korean War. By July, the United States had entered the war allying with South Korean. China allied with North Korea. The war raged for 3 years until July of 1953. The U.S and North Korean signed a cease-fire to end the conflict. However, even thought a cease-fire was called, the war was never fully resolved, even to this day. From this war, more than 5 million soldiers and civilians lost their lives, 55,000 of them were Americans. The Korean peninsula remained divided into North and South Korea.


Sports

Some of the prominent figures in sports were Vince Lombardi, Henry Aaron, Yogi Berra, Jim Brown, Bob Cousy and Willi Mays. Vince Lombardi won 5 championships coaching the Green Bay packers. Henry Aaron was the leading hitter in 1959. He has the second most home run in major league history with 755 home runs. Yogi Berra won 10 championships with his winning teams. Jim Brown was an 8 time rushing leader and 3 times NFL MVP. Bob Cousy revolutionized the NBA's passing game. He was won NBA All-star 10 times and also won MVP in 1957. Willi Mays lead the league 4 times having the most home runs and stolen bases. He made 4 World Series appearances.


In the summer of 1952 the Olympics were held in Finland. The U.S came out first in the number of Gold medals won, beating the Soviet Union, who came in second place. In the winter Olympics that year, the U.S came in second to Norway. The 1956 summer Olympics were won by the Soviet Union. The 1956 winter Olympics were won by the Soviet Union, who had made their first appearance in the games that year.