The 1950's

The 1950's were a time of big changes in American culture. "Gone" were the days of The Great Depression and WWII that had so greatly influenced our parents and "In" was an unprecedented economic boom for the U.S.


As a result of the devastating effects of WWII on the economies and factories of the other pre-war industrialized nations, the U.S. was the world's supplier of hard goods. The discretionary income for the average American family was beyond the wildest dreams of our parents and consumerism became the number one trait of our society. And guess who was the major beneficiary of all that wealth? That's right Boomer, it was us, the Baby Boomers!


By the middle of the 1950's, the majority of U.S. homes were being entertained and informed on a daily basis by that thing some referred to as the "idiot box"...Television. Now we could watch live comedy and music shows as well as the McCarthy hearings which dominated all the news early in the decade.

Plus the constant reminder to us that we were under the imminent threat of nuclear attack!

Remember these film clips?

Yet, somehow we survived!

And Here's a List of Many Other Key Events and People of the 50's.

  • The Korean War
  • Successful hydrogen bomb tests by both the U.S. and the U.S.S.R
  • American Bandstand hits the airways

  • The foundation for the 60's Hippie movement was laid by the
    Beat Generation
  • Watson, Crick and Franklin discover the structure of DNA
  • The French military outpost, Dien Bien Phu falls to the Vietminh Army
  • Dr. Salk starts polio inoculations for children
  • Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat in the front of the bus
  • Martin Luther King leads a boycott of the Mongomery, AL bus system
  • AFL-CIO unite
  • Eisenhower sends troops to "settle down" unrest regarding the integration of a Little Rock High School
  • Russia launches Sputnik I and so begins the Space Age
  • The European Common Market begins
  • Castro takes over Cuba
  • Alaska and Hawaii become states
  • And Rock 'N Roll made it's debut!

  • Disneyland opens
  • The Billy Graham Crusades became a staple of American evangelicalism
  • The "Spy" novel genre begins to appear with Fleming's Casino Royale

And Wham-O sold over


of these things in 1959!

And the List Could Go On and On
but the Ol' Boomer doesn't want to dominate the discussion...So

Have Additional Events, People, Books, Music, Movies or TV Shows You Think Should Be Listed on This Page?

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The cars of the 50s Not rated yet
Probably one of the most visible marks of the mid fifties was the "outer space" design in cars. Wings and bulleted back lights were the thing. Also, …

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Where to go now?

Go to the 1960's

Return from the 1950's to Our Decades

Return from the 1950's to Home


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