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Topic.13 The Burbs, Life In The 1950s
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  • 1. Contemporary History Topic 13 The Burbs, Life in the 1950s… Totally Happening! Mr. Michael Meechin Celebration High School Social Science Dept.
  • 2. Consumerism of the 50s [Topic 09: 1950s in the United States… Totally Happening!]
  • 3. Consumerism of the 50s [Topic 09: 1950s in the United States… Totally Happening!]
  • 4. Consumerism of the 50s [Topic 09: 1950s in the United States… Totally Happening!]
  • 5. Consumerism of the 50s [Topic 09: 1950s in the United States… Totally Happening!]
  • 6. Consumerism of the 50s [Topic 09: 1950s in the United States… Totally Happening!]
  • 7. Consumerism of the 50s [Topic 09: 1950s in the United States… Totally Happening!]
  • 8. Consumerism of the 50s [Topic 09: 1950s in the United States… Totally Happening!]
  • 9. Consumerism of the 50s [Topic 09: 1950s in the United States… Totally Happening!]
  • 10. Consumerism of the 50s [Topic 09: 1950s in the United States… Totally Happening!]
  • 11. Consumerism of the 50s [Topic 09: 1950s in the United States… Totally Happening!]
  • 12. Consumerism of the 50s [Topic 09: 1950s in the United States… Totally Happening!]
  • 13. Consumerism of the 50s [Topic 09: 1950s in the United States… Totally Happening!]
  • 14. The Boom of Babies “It seems to me that every other young housewife I see is pregnant.” - British Tourist in US, 1958 30 25 1936-40 20 1941-45 1946-50 15 1951-55 10 1956-60 5 1961-65 0 1966-70 Births in Millions 1957: 1 baby born every 7 seconds… [Topic 09: 1950s in the United States… Totally Happening!]
  • 15. Causes of the “Boom” o Prior to the Baby Boom, there was a period of almost twenty years where is was difficult to have children; o Great Depression 1929-39; o World War II 1941-1945; o The Baby Boom reflects the sudden removal of economic and social restraints that kept people from having a family; o Men returned to work, women returned to the home; o Marriage once again became the social norm… [Topic 09: 1950s in the United States… Totally Happening!]
  • 16. The “Burbs” o Levittown, New York: The American Dream; o Created by William Levitt; o 1949: Building 150 houses per week; o $7,990 or $60/month, with no down payment… [Topic 09: 1950s in the United States… Totally Happening!]
  • 17. The “Burbs” o The New “American Dream” o 1 story high o 12’ x 19’ living room o 2 bedrooms o Tiled bathroom o Garage o Small backyard o Front lawn o By 1960, 1/3 of US population living in the suburbs… [Topic 09: 1950s in the United States… Totally Happening!]
  • 18. We see it, we want it. Typical Suburban Television Families Leave it to Beaver Father Knows Best 1957-63 1954-58 [Topic 09: 1950s in the United States… Totally Happening!]
  • 19. The “Boob Tube” o 1946: 7,000 television sets in the United States; o 1950: 50,000,000 television sets in the United States; o Television had a mass audience, and celebrated traditional American values… “Television is a vast wasteland.” - Newton Minnow Chairman of the FCC, 1961 [Topic 09: 1950s in the United States… Totally Happening!]
  • 20. The “Boob Tube” o 1950 saw the introduction of the Diners Club Card, America’s first credit card… Consumer Credit, 1945-1960 60000 Total Credit Outstanding (in Millions of Dollars) 50000 40000 30000 20000 10000 0 “All babies were potential consumers who spearheaded a brand-new market for food, clothing, and shelter.” - LIFE Magazine, 1958 [Topic 09: 1950s in the United States… Totally Happening!]
  • 21. The Culture of the Car o US Car Registrations: o 1945  25,000,000 o 1960  60,000,000 o The number of families that own 2 cars doubles between 1951 and 1958; o 1956: Interstate Highway Act is passed; o The largest public works project in US history; o Cost was $32,000,000,000.00; o 41,000 miles of new highway built across the country… [Topic 09: 1950s in the United States… Totally Happening!]
  • 22. The Culture of the Car o People, with the ability of the auto can now go wherever they like; o Allows them to go places… causes “car friendly” establishments and business to be created; o The United States population was on the move in the 50s; o Those living in the Northeast and Mid-West were on the move to the South and Southwest; o 1955: Disneyland opened in Southern California; [40% of the guest came from outside of California, most by car]… [Topic 09: 1950s in the United States… Totally Happening!]
  • 23. Teen Culture o The word “teenager” enters the English language for the first time in the 1950s; o By 1956, there are 13 million teenagers in the United States with $7 million to spend; o 1951: Rock N’ Roll enters the scene, known as “race music”… Chuck Berry; The Father of Rock N’ Roll [Topic 09: 1950s in the United States… Totally Happening!]
  • 24. Teen Culture o The “King”: Elvis Presley [Topic 09: 1950s in the United States… Totally Happening!]
  • 25. Teen Culture o Behavioral Rules of the 1950s; 1. Obey authority; 2. Control your emotions; 3. Don’t make waves, fit in with the group; o 1950s will see the entrance of the Silver Age of comic books; o In fact, the US Senate goes after comic books as the leading cause of juvenile delinquency; o Children across the country, with pressure from their parents, set their comics ablaze in schoolyards… [Topic 09: 1950s in the United States… Totally Happening!]
  • 26. House Committee on Un-American Activities o In 1947, the HCUA, went after Hollywood; o The Committee charged the motion picture industry with alleged Communist propaganda in its films; o The Committee focused on the “Hollywood Ten”, people who had ties to the American Communist Party; o Most were jailed for contempt of Congress, for refusing to answer questions; o More and more people were named and the Hollywood blacklists grew as the HCUA went after more people… [Topic 09: 1950s in the United States… Totally Happening!]