Dec 2013 – Last Day details

by admin - December 9th, 2013

Hello all – Worcester State has a delayed opening, starting classes at 10. Any classes starting before 10 are cancelled, while any starting after 10 are ON.

This means we will have class, but I would like to have a shortened class from 11-11:20.

Please bring your copy of Eisenhower’s Farewell Address, having noted the themes he discusses and relating them back to what we’ve learned in class this semester. Your course reflection papers are due.

Thanks! I will see you at 11!

Cars in the 1950’s

by admin - December 4th, 2013

The 1950’s became known as the decade of car culture because of the mass production of automobiles. The economy began to rise because of the demand of the new and improved cars. “…The automobile industry continued to prosper throughout the decade and, with it, ancillary industries” (Dunar 170). Not only was the automobile industry booming, but steel, plastic, and fabric companies also began to flourish. Over the course of World War II, cars became a staple in the American family and taking a joy ride without a particular destination became extremely popular. Cars became more of a luxury rather than getting people from point A to point B. Continue reading →

That’s a Wrap

by admin - December 3rd, 2013

Throughout this course, we have learned about many topics involved in the 1950s. Those topics include McCarthyism, living conditions, Rock and Roll, consumerism, entertainment, and much more. Unfortunately there are many other topics we did not cover during this course. One topic that we did not go over, and my personal favorite, is musicals. Continue reading →

3-D Movies

by admin - December 3rd, 2013

New technologies in the 1950’s were taken in by everyone in the U.S. and loved by all. One of the biggest things from the ‘50’s were movies, but some of the most interesting from that time period in history was the 3D movies. A 3D movie is shot from regular cameras at two different perspectives and then technology or in the case in the ‘50’s special eyeglasses are worn. It can be noted that the ‘50’s were the golden era for 3D movies, and that all began with the release of the movie titled The Lions of Gulu (Wikipedia). As time went on in the ‘50’s 3D only became more popular. Continue reading →

Medical Advances of the 1950s

by admin - November 21st, 2013

The end of polio is often considered the most important medical advancement of the 1950s

The 1950s is a decade where there was no shortage of advances, whether it be in cinema, television, or automobiles. However, one of the most understated yet important of these advances comes in the form of the medical advances of the decade. The major reason medicine came to the forefront of attention during the 1950s was because of Vannevar Bush, a science advisor to the president during World War II who, in 1945, presented to the president his Science: The Endless Frontier report, without which so many of the important medical discoveries that will be discussed here might not have come into existence. Another reason for these advances came because of Truman’s Fair Deal, which was noted for its support for health care regulation. “Truman called for more medical facilities, both to expand health care and to train new physicians, dentists, and nurses.” (Dunar 32) Continue reading →

Monster Movies!

by admin - November 20th, 2013

The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)
Invaders from Mars (1953)
THEM! (1954)
Killers from Space (1954)
Tarantula! (1955)
It Came From Beneath the Sea (1955)
Deadly Mantis (1957)
Attack of the Crab Monsters (1957)
Incredible Shrinking Man (1957)
The Blob (1958)

want more?

Metalious Place

by admin - November 19th, 2013

In 1956, Grace Metalious published Peyton Place, a novel that would astonish a nation of people and in addition, bring Metalious a life of infamy. Metalious lived in Gilmanton, New Hampshire; a small town that many have speculated was the source of inspiration for Peyton Place. However, many people do not know the issues Metalious was facing in her own life. Metalious sacrificed relationships with her family members and neglected her own children in order to complete the novel. The townspeople in Gilmanton resented Metalious for writing a book about their personal lives even though no real names were used. The widespread success of Peyton Place was incredibly impressive, and the novel is still discussed today. But was the incredible fame and success of the novel worth the consequences suffered by Grace Metalious for her honest account of small town life in the 1950s? Continue reading →

Movies of the 1950s

by admin - November 19th, 2013

One of the things many people picture when they think about the 1950s is teenagers attending drive in movies each week. It turns out that during this decade going to the movies, whether it was at a drive in or an actual theater, was not as popular as it had previously been. McCarthyism played a major role in the lack of movie attendance. “The most publicized assault, and the most difficult to counter because it set workers within the industry against one another, came from allegations of Communist influence in the industry” (Dunar 250.) After beginning to blacklist anyone who they thought to have any communist involvement, executives began only creating movies that they found to be safe and not corrupting to the general public. This meant that many independent films were being made rather than ones directed by well known production companies. This hurt revenue by decreasing about one third from $1.4 billion to $951 million dollars during this decade (Dunar 250.) Continue reading →

Monroe: More Than Just a Pretty Face

by admin - November 19th, 2013

A woman who defied the stereotypes of her time was Marilyn Monroe. Born as Norma Jean Mortenson in 1926, she grew up in orphanages and foster homes as her mother, Gladys Baker, was institutionalized due to mental illness. Monroe was living with her mother’s best friend, Grace Mckee, while she was nine years old. At this young age, Marilyn was allowed to wear makeup and curl her hair. Once Mckee married, however, Monroe was sent to an orphanage. After the orphanage, she was sent to live with her great aunt Olive Brunings where she was allegedly sexually assaulted by Olive’s son. Many experts question if Monroe’s later behavior such as sleep disturbances, substance abuse, etc. were due to the sexual abuse she encountered during her childhood. At age sixteen, she married a 21-year-old aircraft worker, Jim Dougherty. The couple divorced four years later. It was during this time that Monroe began modeling bathing suits, dyed her hair blonde and began to pose for pin-ups and photos. Continue reading →

Fast Food in the Fifties

by admin - November 14th, 2013

With the now widespread use of the automobile, it seemed that everything started to become optimized for cars and ease of use with them. A large part of any country’s culture is their food. It is certainly true that food, and how Americans got it; was now catering to a nation of automobiles. This led to the rise of fast food, and subsequently less frequent usage of sit down restaurants. The fifties were the first decade to see the introduction of drive-thru windows and the first to experience the chain fast food restaurants. Continue reading →