Archive for October, 2013

Hefner and Friends

by admin - October 30th, 2013

Everyone who knows the name Hugh Hefner knows about his life surrounded by beautiful women with perfectly engineered bodies. Hefner is known for his Playboy Mansion, Playboy Bunnies, and Playboy magazine. When reading chapter six of Andrew Dunar’s, America in the Fifties, I was surprised to find that Playboy magazine was founded in the 1950’s. The Fifties is typically seen as a time period in which families were perfect and life was so simple, but the topic of sex is often overlooked. Continue reading →

Peyton Place and Abortion in the 1950s

by student - October 30th, 2013

In the novel Peyton Place by Grace Metalious, there are an unlimited amount of controversial topics. From suicide to incest, from abuse to religious intolerance, but perhaps the most controversial topic was abortion. Selena’s story of abortion included incest, which only added to the scandal of the situation. Selena was raped by her stepfather (although Metalious adds that in the original publication Selena was raped by her father), and became pregnant. She ran to the town doctor, Doc Swain, and explained her situation. At this time, abortion was frowned upon, and made both the patient and the look bad in the eyes of society, even though society was hardly ever aware of the true situation. Continue reading →

A Consumers Paradise or Hell?

by admin - October 28th, 2013

After World War II the United States saw a huge rise in consumption. People were beginning to buy houses in the suburbs, cars such as Fords or Chevys, and more mass-produced goods. In the 1950s, the gross national product grew from $285 billion to a staggering $500 billion. Major manufactures saw this rise in consumption and started to produce more goods made possible because of the abundance in natural resources such as “petroleum, minerals and rivers” (Dunar 167-168). While this rise in consumption may have prevented a return to depression, it also had its side effects that still remain today. Continue reading →


by student - October 28th, 2013

“Critics found the formulaic patterns stultifying but the residents got exactly what they wanted: affordable, well-built, single-family houses.” (Dunar, 177) This quote describes the attitude towards Levittown in the nineteen fifties. Levittown, a creation of Abraham (the father), William and Alfred Levitt, were mass-produced houses in urban areas. The Levitts had come up with the idea and started planning the production before and during World War II. This worked out perfect because by the time the war had ended the Levitt’s had perfected their production techniques and the returning veterans provided them with a positive prospective market. Continue reading →

The Baby Boom

by admin - October 24th, 2013

As many of us already know, babies born between 1946 and 1964 are referred to as baby boomers. The birth rate increased about twenty percent in each of these years and averaged around 3.4 million babies born per year. Until reading about this growing population in Martin’s book, I was unaware of why so many children were born. The end of World War II plays one of the biggest factors. Young couples waited until the soldiers returned home to get married and start a family. These couples were also much younger than women who had children previously were. Instead of starting to have children in their late twenties, couples would be as young as eighteen and already be married and have a child. Not only were they young, these couples had multiple babies in a short span of time. Continue reading →

Only You Can Prevent Wildfires

by admin - October 23rd, 2013

The fictional cartoon character of Smokey Bear, sometimes called Smokey the Bear, is well known across the country. But where did this face come from? Why is he so recognizable among both adults and children? What was he created to do? Continue reading →

Disneyland Opens (1955)

by admin - October 23rd, 2013

The 1950s are portrayed as one of the happiest decades in American history. What is happier than Disneyland? On July 17, 1955 in Anaheim, California Walt Disney opened his theme park that he had been envisioning for years. He came up with the idea for his park while sitting in boredom on park benches watching his two daughters ride on the carousal. Disney first imagined the park to be a small 8-acre park to add entertainment for the people who wanted to visit his movie studio. As he went to other parks and talked to designers, the ideas got bigger and more elaborate, enough to cover 160-acres of land. Continue reading →

Cars: Everyone Has One!

by admin - October 22nd, 2013

There was a new fad that emerged in the 1950s and that fad was cars. Now that cars were being produced more frequently in America it became more affordable and more plausible for families to own cars. People were buying and using cars in new ways than they were in previous years. People could now go to the movies, to get food, and even go to church all without getting out of their car! Even the mail man could now come to deliver your mail without leaving his car due to the fact that mailboxes were starting to be conveniently located at the end of driveways at the same height as car windows. All of this made life more convenient for the people of the 1950s and increased the appeal of owning a car. Continue reading →

Little Rock Nine

by admin - October 22nd, 2013

My understanding of this incredible group of students occurred in middle school when I was assigned to read Warriors Don’t Cry, written by Melba Patillo Beals. Melba was one of the students in this group of nine kids and in this book she provides a recount of her experiences being one of the first to integrate into the Little Rock Central High School in 1957. After reading this book it sparked my interest on this group and how the Brown vs. Board of Education case influenced this integration of this high school. Continue reading →

First Organ Transplant and The Invention of the Polio Vaccine

by admin - October 21st, 2013

The 1950’s are a time period very well known because of the numerous historical events that took place. Advancements during the 50’s provoked an evolution in medical care. DNA was officially discovered and cigarettes were found to cause cancer. The first organ transplant was successfully performed in 1950 and the invention of the polio vaccine cured the polio epidemic of 1952. These medical advancements changed the way medicine was used to treat and cure patients from diseases that were not easily cured in the past. Continue reading →