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American Culture in the 1950s

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1 American Culture in the 1950s
US History Standards: SSUSH21 The student will explain economic growth and its impact on the United States, a. Describe the baby boom and its impact as shown by Levittown and the Interstate Highway Act. b. Describe the impact television has had on American culture; include the presidential debates (Kennedy/Nixon,1960) and news coverage of the Civil Rights Movement. c. Analyze the impact of technology on American life.

2 Why do so many people buy homes in the suburbs in the 1950s?
Easy to get a loan through the FHA (Federal Housing Administration) and VA (Veterans Administration) for a home in the suburbs Tax deductions for interest paid on mortgages Government built highways to make it easy to get into the city By 1960, 1 out of every 4 lives in the suburbs By century’s end, half of all Americans live in the suburbs

3 Baby Boom Men and women get married in record numbers after the war ends this will lead to the Baby boom – more than 50 million babies are born by the end of the 1950s In its peak year of 1957, the birthrate soared to more than 125 births per 1,000 – this creates the largest generation in American history (in comparison the 2009 birth rate was per 1,000) US Birth rate

4 Levittown You have 7 minutes to complete the activity about Levittown with ONE partner.

5 The Interstate Highway System

6 Facts about the Interstate Highway System
Distance: 46,837 miles Largest public works project in history Cost: Estimated $25 billion over 12 years Total Cost was $114 billion over 35 years Numbering System: North/South routes have odd numbers East/West routes have even numbers Why did Eisenhower want to build it? Would be useful in a nuclear attack

7 What were some of the downsides of the Interstate Highway System?

8 Women in the 1950s You have 10 minutes to complete the activity about Women in the 1950s with ONE partner.

9 Consumer Culture in the 1950s
The 1950s witnessed a huge expansion of the middle class with disposable income and a desire for the American dream Americans had access to easy credit and new forms of recreation with which to spend their ample leisure time

10 Examples of Consumer Culture in the 1950s

11 Television in the 1950s

12 Television in the 1950s In the 1940s, tvs were for rich people
By 1960, nearly every American home had one Attendance at movies dropped Advertisers spent $10 billion per year by the mid 1950s In addition to sitcoms, people also watched game shows, televangelists, and sports

13 The Television Revolution, 1950–1994

14 Television in the 1950s

15 The Rise of the Teenager
By 1950s middle class youths were expect to finish high school The economic prosperity of the time period allowed more kids to enroll in college Teenagers had more free time and more independence (cars) Generation gap develops between teens and their parents One of the sources of conflict was Rock and Roll – music which blended black rhythm and blues with white bluegrass and country styles to create a new style of music Cleveland DJ Alan Freed called the new style of music Rock and Roll

16 Elvis Presley

17 Teenage Rebellion in Rebel Without a Cause
Rebellion among teens was marked with the release of Rebel Without a Cause

18 Advertising in the 1950s As you’ve just seen, advertising was key in getting consumers to buy all of the products, services, and entertainment in the 1950s

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