2Peace TimeThe end of World War II brought thousands of young servicemen back to America to pick up their lives and start new families in new homes with new jobs.
3Peace TimeAmericans began buying goods not available during the war, which created corporate expansion and jobs. -Growth everywhere. The baby boom was underway...
4FACTS about this decade Population: 151,684,000 (U.S. Dept. of Commerce, Bureau of the Census)* -Unemployed: 3,288,000 -Life expectancy: women 71.1, men Car Sales: 6,665,800 -Average salary: $2,992 -Labor force male/female: 5/2 -Cost of a loaf of bread: $ Bomb shelter plans, like the government pamphlet You Can Survive, become widely available
5The PledgeOne of the best indicators of the conservative frame of mind was the addition of the phrase "under God" to the Pledge of Allegiance. Religion was seen as an indicator of anti-communism.
6The ClothesFifties clothing was conservative. Men wore gray flannel suits and hats when they were outdoors, and women wore dresses with pinched in waists and high heels.
7Time for the FamilyFamilies worked together, played together and vacationed together at family themed entertainment areas like national parks and the new Disneyland. Gender roles were strongly held, girls played with Barbie dolls and Dale Evans gear, boys with Roy Rogers and Davy Crockett paraphernalia.
8TeensDrive-in movies became popular for families and teens. Cars were seen as an indicator of prosperity and cool-ness.
9TeensFashion successes were Bill Blass and his blue jeans, poodle skirts made of felt and decorated with sequins and poodle appliques, pony tails for girls, and flat tops and crew cuts for guys.
10TeensTeenagers were defined as a separate generation and were represented by James Dean who wore blue jeans.A Rebel Without a Cause and created a fashion and attitude sensation.
11SubcultureThe Beat Movement emerges in San Francisco, LA, and New York, expressing social and literary non- conformity through art (including writing and music.) Followers were called Beatniks, and they refused to conform – shunning regular work, following Buddhism to seek higher consciousness.Jack Kerouac’s On the Road described a beatnik’s journey through the US looking for “real” experiences.
12SubcultureMusicians also started changing music, by adding electronic instruments. The new music, Rock and Roll, was considered to be both black and white – truly American. Often themes were love, cars, and problems with being young – which teens loved, and adults condemned – calling it immoral.
13Past timeDick Clark's American Bandstand, became a popular TV show for teens. Shows like this made Rock & Roll mainstream by the end of the decade – even parents enjoyed it.People also enjoyed looking for the paranormal- like flying saucers
14ToysFad hits with kids were toys like hula hoops and Hopalong Cassidy guns and western gear, Davy Crockett coon skin hats and silly putty .
15Toys Wiffle ball--first marketed in 1955 Mr. Potato Head--This game first appeared in 1952, but you had to supply your own potato as the plastic one appeared later.Gumby--Creator Art Clokey introduced the green, rubber posable toy on the Howdy Doody Show in 1956.Lego, a 1954 invention of Danish carpenter Ole Kirk Christiansen, he interlocking building bricks became an international favorite.Barbie Doll, introduced on March 1, 1959.Frisbee--began with tossing of empty pie tins by college students in the 1940s; the Wham-O company marketed them as "Flyin' Saucers" on the west coast in 1957 and, changing the name to Frisbee in 1959, started a nationwide crazeHula Hoop, marketed by Wham-O in 1957, became a craze during the summer of 1958.Scrabble, first marketed in 1948, became a hit in 1952 and has maintained its popularity among board games.Bunny Hop, a conga line "dance" from a hit record by band leader Ray Anthony.Paint-by-Number, A craze begun in 1950 when Detroit's Craft Master company introduced kits that included paints and a drawing on a canvas with areas numbered for the proper color.
16CandyCandies of the decade included: "Flying saucers," candy buttons, Atomic Fireballs, BB-Bats, Boston baked beans, candy cigarettes, candy lipstick (taffy style), hot dog bubble gum, Jawbreakers, Necco Wafers, Nik-L-Nip Wax Bottles, Mounds or Almond Joy candy bar, Pixy Stix, Indian Head pumpkin seeds, Slo-Pokes, Smarties, Sweetarts, Snirkle, Tootsie Roll and wax lips!
17Food1950s cookbooks confirm the popularity of tuna noodle casserole, frosted meatloaf (frosted with mashed potatoes!, served with peas) and anything grilled...though mostly red meat...on the barbeque (a popular "new" suburban trend). Main meals were served with frozen vegetables, with lots of butter or sauce. Canned soup was considered a great meal mostly because of convenience. Chex Mix (also known as Trix Mix, TV Mix) was the "signature" snack.
18FoodDuring the 50’s you also see ethnic food showing up in the states. This was because of the GIs returning from tours in Europe and the Pacific had developed new tastes. Food companies were quick to supply the ingredients. "Americanized" versions of sukyaki, egg foo yung, chow mein, enchiladas, pizza, lasagna, and barbecued meats with polynesian sauces regularly appeared in 1950s cookbooks
19Food1950JELL-O® Apple gelatin made its debut, followed later in the decade by grape, black cherry and black raspberry flavors. 1953JELL-O® Instant Pudding chocolate, vanilla and butterscotch flavors were joined shortly by coconut cream and strawberry. These were promoted as "Busy Day Desserts," stressing that it's never too late for real homemade desserts, and were advertised on six network television shows: Mame, Our Miss Brooks, Red Buttons, Rocket Rangers, Roy Rogers and The Bob Hope Show.
20In 1950 the US produced 65% of the world's cars. Cars were large and very nice.Gasoline was less than 10 cents a gallon.The cars were sometimes more grand than the houses, in poor neighborhoods.The biggest seller was the German Volkswagon- that would be the Beetle.