Archive for the 'Student Blogposts' Category

Dr. Spock and his Common Sense

by admin - November 20th, 2017

By Meagan Sebastiao

Doctor Benjamin McLane Spock was born on May 2, 1903 in New Haven, Connecticut. He was born into a family with strict parents and five younger siblings. Growing up, his parents did not allow he or his siblings to eat certain foods, had to be in bed no later than 6:45 P.M., and the children ate separately from the parents. Spock attended the notorious Yale University as an architecture major, but realized two years later that his true calling was medicine. At the 1924 Olympics in Paris, France the Yale rowing team that Dr. Spock was on took home the gold medal. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in 1925, he attended Yale Medical School for two years and graduated from Columbia University’s College of Physicians of Surgeons at the top of his graduating class.

Spock’s interest in children did not develop until after he completed his residencies, opened his own private practice which was deemed unsuccessful because he opened it in 1933 during the Great Depression, and he began to continue his research at the New York Psychoanalytic Institute. His main goal here after all of the work he put in was to understand why children behave the way they do and what correlation parents to the behavior of their children. Dr. Benjamin Spock began writing his book, Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care, while enlisted in war efforts serving as a U.S. Naval Reserve psychiatrist in the Medical Corps. He published the first edition in 1945, one year after joining the war. He was discharged one year later, just in time for the sales and popularity of his book and methods to skyrocket. This book became “…the most widely selling book of the fifties” (Dunar, Andrew J.).

Since the time of the publication to the death of Benjamin Spock in 1998, the book has sold over 50 million copies and is written and translated in 42 different languages. This proves to be a very commonly read and used book during this time, and is known worldwide. No matter the different beliefs of the readers, this book was beneficial to the essentials and necessities of having a baby and taking care of he or she. Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care was written just in time for the baby boom as there were many new mothers who thought of Dr. Spock’s book as a how-to-raise-a-child guide. One of the main goals he had in writing his book was to ask and convince parents to trust their instincts and to follow their common sense. He wanted to reject, “stern rules and regulations, and urged parents to talk to and play with their babies more,” (“Benjamin Spock”).

Dr. Benjamin Spock’s beliefs expressed in his book were often viewed as controversial because of how relaxed his advice to parents was. He told mothers, “that parents needed to follow the cues of their babies,” (“Spock at 65: Five Ideas That Changed American Parenting.”). Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care has been through eight revisions in order to cover new ideals and values as they change and progress in society and history. He has revised his book to include answers to popularly asked questions and to accompany different family situations such as teenage pregnancy, television watching in infants and toddlers, divorce of families, gay and lesbian marriage and parents, the father’s role in the mother’s pregnancy, sexism, acknowledging that the father’s role is equally as important as the mother’s, and more. Today, in the book’s eighth edition, newly titled Dr. Spock’s Baby and Child Care addresses all of these topics and more, and continues to help families across the world.

Works Cited
“Benjamin Spock.” Newsmakers, Gale, 1998. U.S. History in Context, Accessed 14 Nov. 2017.

Dunar, Andrew J. America in the Fifties. Syracuse University Press, 2006.

Hughes, Ivy. “Profiles in Greatness: Dr. Benjamin Spock.” SUCCESS Magazine, 22 Sept. 2015,

“Spock at 65: Five Ideas That Changed American Parenting.” Time, 14 July 2011,

1950s Food Trends

by admin - November 20th, 2017

By Matas Buivydas

The change in consumption of food over many years has drastically impacted the health of the U.S population, as well as changed the culture of America. There is a possibility that the consumption factor is due to the fluctuation in price level of food. There are many recent studies that have showcased the decrease in real food prices over time, which is a possible main contributor for the rise in obesity. Prices and the value of money has changed overtime, but with the ratio of income to the current prices of fast food in today’s society, it has greatly caused a change in consumption and health. In the 1950’s, many of the major fast food chains had originated or grown more popular. Fast food restaurants enlarged its existence in the culture of the 1950’s, as the demand for quick and cheap food grew without the consideration of health and nutrition. Consumers became busier, needing food quickly at work, or they had wanted to eat quick-made food in front of their newly innovative TV’s. Innovation of new products enhanced the development of fast foods and restaurants, only creating the culture of fast food concrete.

Fast food chains such as Dunkin Donuts originated in the 1950’s, along with the renowned fast food restaurant, McDonald’s. Although McDonald’s opened in the 1940’s, it began to expand greatly in the late 1950’s, when an entrepreneur named Ray Kroc visited the McDonald’s trying to sell his innovative product. Instead of trying to sell his product, he became invested in the chain, and opened up a franchise that forever changed McDonald’s – ultimately making it the world’s largest fast food restaurant. McDonald’s restaurants had many imitators follow, but none of them “could match the success of the McDonald’s formula for fast food” (Dunar, Andrew 172).

One of the early few Dunkin Donuts chains in the early 1950’s

The culture of fast food started to take off in other different food niches as well. The fast food industry did not only pertain to coffee shops and burgers, but also foods such as pizza and fried chicken. Kentucky Fried Chicken opened in 1952, later followed by Pizza Hut and Domino’s in the late 50’s, that still exist and compete with one another in the modern day. This fast food boom had not only created a whole new market for consumers and food production, but also for medical purposes as well later to be realized in the future. Although fast food is cheap and quick, the innocent ignorance of health in relation to the nutrition in these foods rose, causing many of the older generations to have health problems, such as obesity and high cholesterol. This culture carried out into the modern day where even children, teenagers, and young adults are consumed by the fast food market, and also becoming unhealthy, causing much of the population to be obese. Today, many of these fast food restaurants still exist; more are developing today with the highly competitive market of food. The 1950’s greatly influenced the United States culture today, allowing for certain markets and possibilities to open up and flourish, without understanding the built up consequences of health.

Works Cited

Christian, Rashad, Thomas, Inas. “Economics & Human Biology – Trends in U.S. Food Prices, 1950–2007.” Trends in U.S. Food Prices, 1950–2007, Elsevier, Mar. 2009,

Dunar, Andrew J. America in the Fifties. Syracuse University Press, 2006.

Medical Advancements in the 1950s

by admin - November 20th, 2017

By Amanda Babbitt

The 1950s were an important time for the advancement of medicine. Many large accomplishments took place, many of them keeping people alive. President Truman supported health care legislation in his Fair Deal. “Truman called for more medical facilities, both to expand health care and to train new physicians, dentists, and nurses,” (Dunnar 32-33). Truman also supported national health insurance. This was a very controversial part of his plan which was attacked by the American Medical Association.

One of the widely known about things was the polio vaccine developed by Jonas Salk. The polio epidemic had been sweeping the United States affecting so many people. Polio is a virus that is able to invade the person’s brain and spinal cord causing paralysis. Jonas Salk was able to develop an injected vaccine for this virus. Although it was not completely effective it still played a large role in the beginning of wiping out this disease. Albert Sabin was able to develop an oral polio vaccine that was much more effective and more convenient but the later half of the decade was spent perfecting and testing it before it was put into use.

During this decade, huge changes in cardiology were put into place. The first open heart surgery took place in 1954. This was able to happen because “heart surgeons could stop the blood flow within the human body, allowing them to repair faulty hearts,” (The 1950s Medicine and Health: Overview). Now that open heart surgeries were now possible, heart problems that had once lead to death were sometimes able to be fixed.

During the 1950s the first birth control pill for women was tested widely. This pill called Enovid, was tested on women mainly in Puerto Rico. Although it took many people and a long process of development, Gregory Pincus and Margaret Sanger were the first to create the product in Worcester, Ma. In 1957 Enovid was “put on the market for the treatment of gynecological disorders but was used off-label for birth control,” (Buttar, Seward) until 1960 when it was approved by the FDA to be used to prevent pregnancy.

This is a photo of the Enovid pills. Unlike birth control pills today that come in a pack with pills separated out by day, these came in a normal pill bottle

Something that is extremely useful for many people to know today was discovered in the 1950s. Medical professionals found out that smoking cigarettes is remarkably detrimental to one’s health. Cigarettes are specifically horrible for a person’s lungs. They are a large reason for the development of lung cancer. A large percent of the population today knows that cigarettes are very unhealthy and are sometimes the reason some people die. People know this today because of the research and discoveries made in the 1950s.

Many major advances in the medical field are made every decade. A few large ones were made in the 1950s and it is clear to see that they had a huge impact on lives at the time and also lives now almost 70 years later. To see more things that were discovered or developed in the 50s or other decades this timeline shows many important advances.

Works Cited

Buttar, Aliya,, Seward, Sheraden, “Enovid: The First Hormonal Birth Control Pill”. Embryo Project Encyclopedia (2009-01-20). ISSN: 1940-5030

Dunar, Andrew J. America in the Fifties. Syracuse University Press, 2006.

“Medicine and Madison Avenue.” Duke Digital Collections, Duke University Libraries,

“The 1950s Medicine and Health: Overview.” UXL American Decades, edited by Julie L. Carnagie, et al., vol. 6: 1950-1959, UXL, 2003, pp. 116-117. U.S. History in Context

Interstate Highway System

by admin - November 7th, 2017

By Kelsea Blair

The Dwight Eisenhower System of Interstate and Defense Highways is made up of more than 46,000 miles of intercity highways. Construction for the system was approved in 1956 by the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956. Eisenhower believed this system of highways would eliminate traffic jams, unsafe roads, inefficient routes and also would provide a quick route of evacuation in case of an atomic attack on any major cities.

Eisenhower was inspired for the idea of the interstate highways when he was stationed in Germany during World War II. He was impressed with the “Reichsautobahnen”. Eisenhower’s Federal Aid Highway Act provided 26 billion dollars to pay for the highways to be built. The money came from the new gas tax, where gas was now 3 cents a gallon instead of 2.

Most people supported the Interstate Highway Act but some people did not like it at all. The main reasons people did not like it was because it was causing damage to some cities, displacing families from their homes and splitting up communities. In 1959 in San Francisco the Board of Supervisors stopped the construction of the Embarcadero Freeway. Following this first victory, activists in New York City, Washington D.C., Baltimore, and New Orleans fought back too. Because of this many urban interstate highways end very abruptly, so they are referred to as the “roads to nowhere”.

The Interstate Highway System was and still is a very crucial part of the American economy. It increased the desire and need for more gas stations, shopping malls, and fast food places right near the highways for easy access. The Interstate Highway System is highly responsible for the large amount of fast food restaurants in the United States. At almost every off ramp on the highway there are at least 2 or 3 fast food options to choose from. You can also read or hear more about the other consequences the Interstate Highway System has here.

This is a map of the Interstate Highway System

The Interstate Highway System has benefited the United States since its beginning. It has provided job opportunities for many people, makes traveling much easier for people, allows goods to be delivered faster, more businesses to open up, and more tourism for bigger cities. It is a way for the country to “connect as one”.

Work Cited:

Burke, Adam. “A Road System’s Unintended Consequences.” NPR, NPR, 27 June 2006, Staff. “The Interstate Highway System.”, A&E Television Networks, 2010,

Matthews, Robert. “Interstate Highway System.” Dictionary of American History, edited by Stanley I. Kutler, 3rd ed., vol. 4, Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2003, pp. 403-405. U.S. History in Context, Accessed 6 Nov. 2017.

Rosa Parks

by admin - November 6th, 2017

By Meagan Perro

Rosa Louise Lee Parks played a very important role in the fight against segregation. She was an African American woman born in Tuskegee, Alabama on February 4th, 1913. She made her mark on the world on December 1st, 1955 when she decided to rebel. Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus to a white man. Everyone knows her by name as the woman who refused to to give up her seat, but that is really all most know. Rosa Parks contributed to the Civil Rights Movement in many ways and she had a huge impact on the world. She died on October 24th, 2005 and her life was honored greatly by multitudes of people. “Many sought to commemorate her commitment to racial justice and pay tribute to her courage and public service” (Theoharis, J). Although most know her as one of the United States’s most significant hero, not many people honestly know everything she has done.

Growing up, Rosa was extremely affected by the segregation and racism surrounding her. “Rosa later remembered lying in bed hearing the Ku Klux Klan, a white supremacist terrorist organization, riding by in the dark of night” (“Parks, Rosa”). Rosa’s mother sent her to a private school where she learned the concept of self-worth. She then went on to study at Alabama State University. She did not graduate because she married Raymond Parks and moved to Montgomery, Alabama. They were civil rights activists together all of their adult lives. As one of the first women to join the Montgomery chapter of the NAACP, she became the youth advisor and the secretary. She also volunteered with the Montgomery Voters League, Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, and the African Methodist Episcopal Church. In mid 1955, Rosa also attended a workshop that taught her to organize and mobilize “black citizens to fight for workers’ rights in labor unions and racial equality, including school integration” (“Parks, Rosa”).

Rosa had been fighting against segregation long before her well-known effort in not giving up her seat on that particular day. Previously, Rosa had refused to get off and use the back door of the bus to get to her seat and was thrown off. It can be argued that Rosa’s refusal to stand and her arrest was not the most important thing she did in her fight against segregation. There are other people who were also arrested for the same action, including Claudette Colvin, a 15 year old girl who also refused to give up her seat. What can be considered more crucial is what happened after her arrest. E. D. Nixon, leader of the Montgomery chapter of the NAACP, spread the word of her arrest and by the next night there was fifty local black leaders gathered to fight segregation. This group formed the Montgomery Improvement Association. It was led by Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks was the executive committee to the organization. The organization called for the famous bus boycott well known today. This bus boycott is what ended segregation on buses. Rosa fought her guilty conviction from her refusal to stand and won. Rosa continued to be active in the NAACP for the rest of her life. She also founded the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute of Self Development, which inspires African Americans towards education and a career.

Rosa Parks receiving an award from Bill Clinton.

Works Cited
“Parks, Rosa.” Prejudice in the Modern World Reference Library, vol. 3: Biographies, UXL, 2007, pp. 167-174. World History in Context, Accessed 5 Nov. 2017.

Theoharis, Jeanne. “The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks.” The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks, Beacon Press, 2015, p. viii.

Levittown and the Suburbs in 1950s America

by admin - November 6th, 2017

By Erin McCormack

Much of the American stereotypes from the 1950s derived from the ideas of life in the suburbs and in communities such as Levittown. Prior to World War II, the vast majority of Americans lived in cities or the surrounding towns, but this soon changed as the 1940s and the 1950s brought about legislation enabling suburban town construction. As part of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal, he reconstructed the mortgage system which allowed developers, such as the Levitts, to begin large scale developments and took the risk out of mortgage insurance (Green). The first suburbs in the U.S. were in Levittown, New York and then also created communities in New Jersey and Pennsylvania (Galyean). The Levitts started their developments as a way to provide low cost and mass produced home for veterans returning from war and between the years 1947 and 1951 they built 17,447 homes (Green). These houses were small and compact, but were just what young consumers wanted: affordable, well-built, single family houses that were low price (Dunar).

The photo above is of Levittown, which highlights how these communities were mass produced in an identical manner.

The development of the Dwight D. Eisenhower System of Interstate and Defense Highways allowed increased access to cities from outside communities, such as the suburbs [see also, Kelsea’s post]. Eisenhower’s increase in the interstate highway system included over 46,000 miles of intercity highways through the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956 (Matthews). This development allowed for many Americans to move out of the crowded cities, while still being able to work in them without too far of a commute. The rise of automobile culture also impacted this move to the suburbs, and it became so popular that many of the nation’s largest cities such as New York and Chicago’s populations dropped (Dunar). The rise of the suburbs was a direct effect of the baby boom in the 1950s, and many young couples moved out of the crowded cities in order to start families of their own. From 1946 to 1964 there were 77 million babies born, the most notable reason for this was soldiers returning home from war and eager to start families (Baby Boom). These factors pushed towards the increased interest in the suburbs, and ultimately the mass production of more communities like Levittown.

Television, movies, literature, and other factors of the media were flooded by the perception of the perfect American family in the 1950s, characterized by suburban life. Television shows and movies portrayed the stereotypical American family as a housewife who cared for the children, while the father went to work their business job during the day. This stereotype is most notable in the Cleaver family in the hit show, Leave it to Beaver. Didactic films and literature became popular in order to teach the public about the way an ideal American family should operate in the 1950s. However, Grace Metalious’ novel, Peyton Place, exposed the less than perfect lifestyles that many Americans led.

Works Cited
“Baby Boom.” History in Context. Ed. Thomas Riggs. Gale, n.d. Web.

Dunar, Andrew J. America in the Fifties. N.p.: Syracuse UP, 2006. Print.

Galyean, Crystal, Zachary Brown, Julia G. Cohn, Alexandra E. Stern, Serena Covkin, Rhae Lynn Barnes, and Ted Brackemyre. “Levittown.” US History Scene. N.p., n.d. Web.

Green, Arthur. “New York Suburb of Levittown – U.S. History in Context.” U.S. History in Context. Gale, 13 Apr. 1949. Web. Staff. “The 1950s.” A&E Television Networks, 2010. Web.
Matthews, Robert. “Interstate Highway System.” History in Context. Gale, 2007. Web.

Leave it to Beaver

by admin - October 30th, 2017

By Elena Mouradian

Leave It to Beaver, written by Joe Connelly and Bob Mosher, was an American television show released in 1956.

The Leave it to Beaver family

It depicted the everyday life of the Cleavers, an ideal suburban family from the 1950’s. The sitcom’s clean humor and likable cast gave it the popularity to continue on for 6 seasons. There were a total of 234 episodes and the last episode aired on June 20, 1963. Leave It to Beaver received two Emmy nominations in 1958 for Best New Program Series of the Year and Best Teleplay Writing. Although it aired on October 4, 1957 on CBS, the show changed networks in the next season to ABC and stayed there until the end. Each episode was 30 minutes long and shot in black and white. The typical episode will track the everyday activities of the Cleaver family.

The show was written from the point of view of Beaver, the youngest son in the family. Beaver is portrayed by Jerry Mathers. The other stars of the show included Barbara Billingsley and Hugh Beaumont as Beaver’s parents, June and Ward Cleaver, and Tony Dow as Beaver’s older brother Wally. A typical episode would show Beaver or Wally getting involved in some kind of adventure that eventually finds them in trouble. Later, June and Ward would teach the children that bad behavior has consequences. Most Leave It to Beaver episodes follow this pattern. The overall content of the show is used to explain how a wrongdoing results in parents teaching their children a lesson with a moral or punishment. This kind of moral guidance was a recurring theme in many shows and often Leave It to Beaver is compared to other wholesome family shows including, Ozzie and Harriet. (Dunar, 236) The theme displays many ideal middle-class values of the 1950’s.

The show encourages many of the stereotypical gender roles, family structure, and clothing attire of the time. The Cleavers are a typical nuclear family that consisted of two married parents living together with their two children. The parents are depicted as being a happily married couple with no problems. They are both college-graduates living a very comfortably life with Ward working in an office and June as a happy homemaker. Any time another kind of family is mentioned whether it be a single mom or divorced parents, Leave It to Beaver describes them in a negative light. The show also encourages the stereotypical gender roles of the time. For example, one episode has Ward describing how women should stay inside where the modern day conveniences make it easier to cook in the kitchen rather than outside where a man should be. For example:

Although Leave It to Beaver contains some debatable concepts, the show was very popular in the 50’s for its display of the ideal American family.

Works Cited:

Dunar, Andrew J. America in the Fifties. Syracuse University Press, 2006.

“Leave It to Beaver (TV Series 1957–1963).” IMDb,,

“Leave It to Beaver.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 23 Oct. 2017,

The Korean War: Why the US Didn’t Use the Atomic Bomb

by admin - October 23rd, 2017

By Hoang Vo

Front page of the New York Times a day after President Truman’s November 30, 1950 press conference

The United States and North Korea have known to go against each other ever since the Korean War. The war that was deemed, “one of the least popular wars in American history”, which lasted “from June 1950 to July 1953” (Dunar 51). Although the war was relatively short, but did it really end? Did the Korean War bring peace to the Korean countries and unite the United States with its enemies? In recent years, the relationship between the United States and North Korea has been largely defined by nuclear weapons. In which North Korea’s development of long-range missiles capable of striking targets thousands of miles away created a tremendous amount of threats towards the rest of the world. North Korea released ongoing threats to strike the United States and South Korea with nuclear weapons and conventional forces (“In Focus: North Korea’s Nuclear Threats”).

“At the end of World War II, the United States and Soviets divided Korea into zones of occupation along the 38th parallel”, in which the North is being under the control of the Soviets’ communism, and the South is under the Americans’ Democracy (Dunar 52). Not completely satisfied with being under the different types of government, North Korea with the Soviet’s support looked to take over the entire country. On Sunday, June 25, 1950, North Korea launched a surprise attack which contained “a massive, coordinated attack: 90,000 infantry troops and 150 tanks crossed the border at the 38th parallel and overran South Korean positions” (Dunar 55). The North Korean offensive eventually took over the capital of South Korea’s Seoul, and as a response, President Truman demanded “the use of American’ ground troops”, the Navy and the Air Force (Dunar 56). Curiosity arose, many were wondering why didn’t Truman employ the US’s atomic bombs. At the time, the United States was the only nation that was advanced enough to deploy multiple atomic bombs, besides the Soviet Union, who was still in the process of developing the bombs.

From what we know, the United States was considering the use of atomic bombs to quickly end the war without losing much the allies’ troops and resources. President Truman even “sent two groups of B-29 bombers to the UK and Guam in July. The planes carried atom bombs which were complete except for their fissile plutonium cores which remained in the United States. If Truman decided to resort to the bomb, the UK bomber group would target the USSR and the group in Guam would target North Korea and China” (Pierson). Later in 1950, “at his November 30 press conference, Truman terrified the world. Truman answered a question about the potential use of the atomic bomb by saying that use of the bomb in Korea had always been under ‘active consideration’”(Pierson). With a plan in his mind and a great position to deploy the bombs to his enemies, why exactly didn’t President Truman use it?

Even General Douglas MacArthur who “opposed dropping the bomb on Japan”, yet “requested atomic bombs from the Joint Chiefs of Staff” to be used against North Korea (Pierson). MacArthur’s request was denied because of it was not strategical, but there were more reasons against it. Truman had many reasons for not using the bomb in Korea. As compared to the use of bombs in Japan, they were aimed at large urban centers to force the Emperors of Japan to surrender. But in this case against North Korea, “[they] lacked urban centers to target. The atom bomb was [also] unsuited to Korea’s mountainous terrain” (Pierson). Later on, when China entered the war, they did not “mass in large targetable formations” which made it hard to employ nuclear weapons on its forces (Pierson). Finally, “Truman feared escalation, which could lead to World War Three” (Pierson). After World War II ended in 1945, it was deemed the costliest war in history, many countries including the United States were still in the recovery process. And if the Korean War escalated, many more lives would lose. Even if Truman did not admit it, the use of atomic bombs in the Korean War would make it the war against humanity.

Works Cited

Dunar, Andrew J. America in the Fifties. N.p.: Syracuse UP, 2006. Print.

Dunlap, David W. “1950 | ‘Atomic Bomb Is Not the Weapon’.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 10 Aug. 2017. Web.
“North Korea’s Nuclear Threats, in Focus.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 11 Apr. 2013. Web.

Pierson, Charles. “The Atomic Bomb and the First Korean War.” N.p., 07 Sept. 2017. Web. war/.

Country Music’s Rise to Popularity in the 1950s

by admin - October 23rd, 2017

By Erin McCormack

Country music became increasingly popular throughout the 1950s in America and artists such as Hank Williams and Johnny Cash dominated a good portion of the Billboard Top Hits list. Hank Williams one of the biggest country stars at the time, “recorded his biggest hit, “Your Cheatin’ Heart” in September 1952, only to die three months later” which left Roy Acuff as the “most prominent force in country music” (Dunar 268). Other stars included Eddy Arnold and Gene Autry which had numerous number one hits on the country charts, only made it onto Billboard a few times on the pop charts (Dunar 269). Although country music made its way into the pop music scene during the 1950s, it was not the predominant genre of music at the time. Many country hits found their way to pop charts through covers of other songs (Dunar 269).

Kitty Wells was one of the first female country stars, she broke the barrier of an industry that was dominated by male artists with her song, “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky-Tonk Angels” (Dunar 269). This song was in response to Hank Thompson’s lyrics to “Wild Side of Life” which described how married women run around to different bars to be “anybody’s baby” and he sung that he, “didn’t know God made honky-tonk angels and I might’ve known you’d never make a wife” (Wild Side of Life Lyrics). Wells reacted to Thompson’s accusations with her own song, directly calling out in her own lyrics that while she was listening to the lyrics of “Wild Side of Life” that “too many times married men think that they’re still single” and that’s why women go out and that it is a “shame all blame is on us women” (Kitty Wells -It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels Lyrics). This rise of female influence in the realm of country music was due largely in part to Wells and her music led the way for many other female country artists in future generations such as Loretta Lynn, Tammy Wynette and Patsy Cline.

A huge part of country music both in the 1950s and today is the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee. Nashville “was to country music what Hollywood was to film” (Dunar 269). Music Row, 17th avenue in Nashville was where some of the most notable country songs came out of and artists who achieved success performed at the Grand Ole Opry. Some of the stars who were part of the Opry in the 1950s were Kitty Wells, George Jones and Johnny Cash among 40 or so others and the list can be viewed on the Opry website. The Grand Ole Opry was not just a place for successful artists to showcase their talent, it’s also where unknown talents turned into stars, like Stonewall Jackson who sang “Don’t be Angry with Me Darlin” and “Waterloo.”

Country music’s rise in the 1950s is what shaped American music to present day where country music is widely popular today. The Grand Ole Opry is also still a huge part of country music and is inducting members into it constantly, just recently on October 17, 2017 new artist Chris Young was inducted into the Opry making its member count up to 457 artists of past and present country music.

Johnny Cash playing at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, TN in the 1950s

Works Cited
“1950s.” Grand Ole Opry. N.p., 14 Jan. 2015. Web.

“Artists.” Grand Ole Opry. N.p., n.d. Web.

Dunar, Andrew J. America in the Fifties. N.p.: Syracuse UP, 2006. Print.

“It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels Lyrics.” Kitty Wells – It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels Lyrics | MetroLyrics. N.p., n.d. Web.

Lytation. “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels – Kitty Wells.” YouTube. YouTube, 27 Jan. 2013. Web.

Verycoolsound. “HANK THOMPSON – The Wild Side of Life.” YouTube. YouTube, 18 Feb. 2010. Web.

“Wild Side Of Life Lyrics.” Hank Thompson – Wild Side Of Life Lyrics | MetroLyrics. N.p., n.d. Web.

The Mickey Mouse Club

by admin - October 19th, 2017

By Sophia Kontoes

Hi Mouseketeers! Let’s flashback to October 3, 1955, the first day The Mickey Mouse Club aired on television to celebrate the opening of Disneyland. Do you remember the theme song that we had all the little kids singing? “Who’s the leader of the club that’s made for you and me? M-I-C… See you real soon! K-E-Y… Why? Because we like you! M-O-U-S-E.”

Walt Disney is the epitome of postwar success, by the 1950s he was already a well known innovator in Hollywood. The beginning of Disney’s legacy began in 1937, when his first full length cartoon, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, premiered. “That was all a prologue to the expansion of his entertainment empire in the fifties, which by the end of the decade included television, feature films, documentaries, educational programs, and an amusement park…” (Dunar 245). His first dabble into television began in 1950 with a special on NBC. After four years of ABC trying to lure Disney into creating a weekly program, he finally agreed in 1954, which also affirmed support to build Disneyland in California.

The Disneyland Show, which first aired in 1954, quickly became one of the most successful programs on television. The show was hosted by Walt Disney himself, and was a great way to market his business. He also divided the episodes into segments that mirrored areas of his park such as: Fantasyland, Frontierland, Adventureland, and Tomorrowland. Building off of “Frontierland,” Disney created a three-part series “Davy Crockett mythologized the life of the American frontiersman, and his heroic death at the Alamo in the war with Mexico in the 1840s.” (Dunar 246). Davy Crockett, who starred Fess Parker, became extremely marketable because of one of the fifties’ fads it included. Coonskin hats became bigger than Mickey Mouse ears, even Time magazine claimed, “Davy Crockett is even bigger than Mickey Mouse.” (Dunar 246)

Some of the early Mousketeers

Disney then created a show to target the younger generation, which became known as The Mickey Mouse Club, which is modernized and still aired today. The show aired in the early evening everyday, and included of an all kids cast, who were called the “Mouseketeers,” and were lead by the host Jimmie Dodd. They wore large felt tip mouse ears and became role models to the children of that generation. Considering Disney demanded the Mouseketeers be regular kids, not actors, a lot of the children dreamed of being one.

The Mouseketeers were well rounded, energetic, and lively. They went to school five days a week on the Disney lot, on top of working six days a week and performing for the public on Sundays. Mouseketeers became very close friends, and still remain friends till this day. Most of the actors got their big break from this show, including Johnny Crawford, Annette Funicello, and many more. The big felt mouse ears were what put the show on the map. They were a great marketing tool, and became just as popular as coonskin hats.


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Doperalski, Daniel. “The Mickey Mouse Club: Famous Members.” Variety, 4 Oct. 2014,

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