[2015] a carton of milk: The 1950s

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Social Studies
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[2015] a carton of milk: The 1950s

A disparaging remark as in "drop dead".

THE 1950s


"Made in the shade" basically means "you've got it made" or an excellent/ideal situation.

An ankle-biter was a term used to describe a child.

Peepers are glasses.


When someone says "ice it," they are basically saying, "forget it."

(Scroll necessary)Suburbanization was a big happening during the 1950s. It was is the growth of areas on the fringes of cities. After the war, America witnessed a boom in population and a mass movement of people to areas known as the suburbs. Suburbs were growing six times faster than cities because newly constructed homes at low prices allowed many people to own houses for the first time. The GI Bill also increased the population. Many men coming home from war were able to get houses in the suburbs because of it, increasing the amount of people living there.Now, the IHS, or the Interstate Highway System, was involved in a bill that created a 41,000-mile “National System of Interstate and Defense Highways” that would, according to Eisenhower, eliminate unsafe roads, inefficient routes, traffic jams and all of the other things that got in the way of “speedy, safe transcontinental travel.” At the same time, highway advocates argued, “in case of atomic attack on our key cities, the road net [would] permit quick evacuation of target areas.” For all of these reasons, the 1956 law declared that the construction of an elaborate expressway system was “essential to the national interest.” (The Intersate Highway System). It helped cars traverse more easily and inspired the growth of car buyers.

In the 50s, freedom was a big factor when it came to clothing style. Being confined to a certain style was an ideal that was wearing off. Long skirts, usually flared, dresses with and without sleeves were very popular with teenage girls. Pants also became more common for girls at that time. Peter pan collars also seem to be a staple shirt style at that time. The waistline was a major issue in the 1950s. Some women really like the snug fit of the Dior dresses while others liked the dresses with no waistline, often referred to as “sack dresses.” For boys, they typically wore a shirt, tie and sharply pressed slacks. If you were the rebellious type, however, you wore dark clothes all the time, refused to iron anything and were just generally looking rough on purpose. Greasers were also a popular style at the time. It included wearing leather jackets, jeans, and having slicked back hair.

"Films of the 1950s were of a wide variety. As a result of television, the studios and companies sought to put audiences back in theaters. They used more techniques in presenting their films through widescreen and big-approach methods, such as Cinemascope, VistaVision, and Cinerama as well as gimmicks like 3-D film. Big production and spectacle films perfect for this gained popularity with the many historic and fantasy epics." (1950s in Film) Many popular movies of that time included Ben-Hur, 12 Angry Men, Rebel Without a Cause, and a Streetcar Named Desire. With the Cold War scare going around, Hollywood took inspiration from it. Many movies were created using the nuclear theme in mind; scifi movies were at an all time high. As for Hollywood, many big and iconic stars arised in the 50s. Elizabeth Taylor in Father of the Bride, Audrey Hepburn (a major icon for women) in Roman Holiday, and James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause were some of the many stars that arose at that time.


(Scroll necessary)"During the Fifties, mass culture began to dominate in the United States. This accounted for much of the blandness that critics lamented. Television network executives in particular wanted to cater to the largest audience possible, so they shaped their programs to offend the least number of viewers. But mass culture also left room for diversity. If you didn't like Western movies, there were Biblical epics; if you didn't like comedies, there were quiz shows. The culture offered something for everybody. And if that something became popular, as rock n' roll certainly did, the engines of mass culture could make it huge." (Culture in the 1950s) Rock and Roll was one of the biggest parts of 50s pop culture. Though made predominantly of African American music, people of both races took great interest in the genre. Possibly the most well known Rock and Rollist is Elvis Presley whose main style of rock and roll was rockabilly. He was regarded as the leading figure of rock and roll after a series of successful network television appearances and chart-topping records. His energized interpretations of songs and sexually provocative performance style, combined with a singularly potent mix of influences across color lines that coincided with the dawn of the Civil Rights Movement, made him enormously popular—and controversial.Other notable stars in the Rock and Roll genre include Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis. One lesser known star of the genre is Sister Rosetta Tharpe, a bisexual black woman who is called the Grandmother of Rock and Roll for her many contributions to the genre. She was the one who initially discovered Little Richard as welll.

MCDONALD'S(Scroll necessary) Though McDonald's had it's roots as a BBQ, the famed restaurant chain grew into one of (if not the) biggest restaurant chain in the world. How did it start though? In '52, the McDonald brothers tore fdown their original shop, noting that they needed a redesign. They created their new building with eye catching red and yellow lights and their noteworthy "golden arches" . After they had their design, they began seeking franchise. They hooked up with Neil Fox, a distributor for General Petroleum Corporation first and opened stand on May 1953. Their second franchisee was the team of Fox's brother-in-law Roger Williams and Burdette "Bud" Landon, and they opened stand on 18 August 1953.Later on, the brothers caught the eye of Ray Kroc, someone from whom they aquired their milkshake machines. Kroc went there with his friend and there they made improvements to the McDonald's burger. Kroc thought that McDonad's could be a ticket to sucess and franchised their restaurants accross the country. The brothers were skeptical but agreed and Kroc opened his company McDonald's Corp. 102 loactions were later implemented.


(scroll necessary)For polical views in the 1950s, after WWII, the nationalism that had carried the country through the war was still pretty strong. That said, this was also the era of McCarthy, who led witch hunts and created blacklists of alleged communists. If Nazis were the Big Bad of the 40s, Communists were their equal in the 50s. Paranoia was a very common theme within polics as highlighted by McCarthyism. Eisenhower on the other hand, was first seen as behind the scene president; not many saw him in action. It was later discovered, though, that he was simply very calculating and took careful steps when it came to politics. McCarthyism was also a big thing involving policis in the 50s. McCarthyism was basicall the practice of making accusations of subversion or treason without proper regard for evidence. Countless Americans were accused of being communists during the McCarthy era. Be it a sympathizer or a communist, if there was even a hint of a person being that, they would imprison them. They became the subject of aggressive investigations and questioning before government or private-industry panels, committees and agencies. Government employees, those in the entertainment industry, educators and union activists were under the highest suspicion. "Suspicions were often given credence despite inconclusive or questionable evidence, and the level of threat posed by a person's real or supposed leftist associations or beliefs was often greatly exaggerated. Many people suffered loss of employment and/or destruction of their careers; some even suffered imprisonment." (McCarythism)During this time as well, a sense of unity overcame America. So much so that old and young followed group norms rather than striking out on their own- this being a sense of conformity. Though new patterns were present between the man and woman, traditional roles reappeared. Men were the breadwinners while the women were the caretakers, their place was at home. David Riesman, a sociologist, called called this new society "other-directed," and maintained that such societies lead to stability as well as conformity. Television contributed to the homogenizing trend by providing young and old with a shared experience reflecting accepted social patterns. Everyone of course did not follow these societal norm and these people were called the lost generation. They rebelled against conventional values and asserted intuition over reason.

THE WOMAN'S ROLE(Scroll necessary)Before the 50s, women were starting to take on working jobs. To be exact, the men's jobs. Because of WWII, many men had left open positions in their prevous jobs. To fill that gap, women took over. However, when the 50s rolled around, the woman's role changed completely. Men came back from the war and took back their jobs. At this time, some women married their men and became mothers and wives. Those that did keep their jobs worked as nurses or teachers. Many found themselves not able to be home. During the 50s, television was geared towards what was supposed to be the ideal American family. Men were working and the women were shown as housewives, cooking, cleaning and caring for the household, perfectly happy doing nothing else. This was how America saw women as- caretakers of the home and family. However, this was the total opposite of what most were doing. Many tried to pursue jobs, college, and find themselves in society. Though the societal image of women was screwed up at the time, some women continued to search for independence.

DETROIT IN THE 50s(scroll necessary) In the 50's, Detroit w considered the Paris of the west in regards to architecture. It was the home of some of the greatest pre-depression architecture. The immense amount of wealth that entrepreneurs accumulated in Detroit during the 20th century led to buildings popping up giving Detroit unique and magnificent structures. This gave Detroit an array of magnificent structures, illustrating the keen eye of architects who reshaped urban America between the 1890s and the Depression. Including amazing architecture, Detroit had a thriving auto industry. Car making was one of Detroit's main aspects and it helped contribute to their economy greatly. During the 50's, Detroit hit it's peak in population. Many suburbs had popped up all around the Detroit area housing the many people who worked in the automobile business. During this time period segregation in neighborhoods was commonly seen in Detroit as in others cities across the country.




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