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USH - The Nifty Fifties

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Michael Ungar

on 11 April 2016

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Transcript of USH - The Nifty Fifties

Soviet satellite Sputnik launches Space Age (1957).
Art & Literature
Natural Disasters
Baseball and boxing were the most popular sports in the 50's while football and golf were growing. The Yankees kept their dominance winning 6 of the 8 World Series games they appeared in. Sugar Ray Robinson, was one of the greatest boxers of all time, winning the Middleweight Title an incredible five times. But don't forget about Rocky Marciano, the only undefeated heavyweight boxer of the decade.
Historical Events
The FabulousFifties
Technological Advancements
Credit Card (1950)
Frank X. McNamara came up with the idea of the credit card when his partner forgot his wallet when going out to eat. His idea was that you would have a card that would be accessible at all times with money on it. Diner's Club introduced the first credit card in 1950.
Automatic Entry Doors (1954)
The idea came to Lew Hewitt and Dee Horton to build an automatic sliding door back in the mid-1950's, when they realized that swing doors had difficulty operating in windy Corpus Christi, Texas. So they invented the automatic sliding door to circumvent the windy conditions.
3-D Film (1952-1954)
The "golden era" of 3-D began in late 1952 with the release of its first color stereoscopic feature,
Bwana Devil
. Many entries of 3-D films flooded in and strings of successful 3-D films followed.
Medical Discoveries
Pop Art
Novels
Comic Books
First Organ Transplant (1950)
History was made at Little Company of Mary Hospital on June 17, 1950, when doctors performed the first successful organ transplant in the world. The organ transplant was performed on Roth Tucker, who was in need of a new kidney.
In 1950, science fiction novels became popular because of the idea of human space travel. Many science fiction books came out such as 'I Robot' by Isaac Asimov and 'The Catcher in The Rye' by J. D. Salinger. Carl Sandburg's poetry was also popular. Dr. Seuss was a popular children's author as well.
Polio Vaccine Created (1952)
Pop art was an extremely popular art form. Pop art was used in comic books, billboard advertisements, and more. Pop art consisted of bright, bold colors and famous people.
1952 was the epidemic year for polio. At the peak of this devastation in the United States, Dr. Jonas Salk announced on a national radio show in 1953 that he had successfully tested a vaccine against polio.
Sports
Superhero comic books became very popular by the debut of Carmine Infantino's 'Flash' in 1956. Before that, in 1941, 'Archie' comics were popular. A few years after in 1950, 'Betty & Veronica' became popular. Stan Lee's famous comic book characters such as Captain America and Superman were started in the 40s and are still extremely popular today. Comic books used pop art in their illustrations to catch the reader's attention. In 1950 the cost of one comic book was 10 cents and rose to 25 cents at the beginning of the '60s.
People, Style, & Culture
People
Innovations We Still Use Today
Entertainment - the TV Era Begins
Meet the celebrities of the age. Who's who? Which form of media? What do they represent?

1. Super Glue (1951)
2. Car Seat Belts (1952)
3. Mr. Potato Head (1952)
4. Bar code (1952)
5. Roll-on deodorant (1952)
6. First diet soft drink (1952)
7. Microwave oven (1954)
8. Solar cell (1954)
9. Ultrasound (1956)
10. Bubble wrap (1957)
11. Hula hoop (1958)
12. Barbie Doll (1959)
13. Copy machine (1959)
1946 = 7000-8000 US homes with television
1957 = 40 million television sets in use. Over 80% of households had televisions.
Staying Power: 'I Love Lucy' (1951), 'Leave It To Beaver' (1957), 'James Bond' (1954), and 'Cinderella' (1950).
Fast Food Culture
Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat on a bus (Dec 1, 1955).
http://americasbesthistory.com/abhtimeline1950.html
The Nifty Fifties
The 1950s tend to be remembered as a time of joy and virtue: the United States emerged from World War II as a victorious nation and an economic leader on the global stage. The baby boom was underway. However, the 50s weren't a time of joy for all. Nonetheless, the 50s were known as the Happiest Decade in History, along with the Beat Generation, the Golden Age of Television, and the Nifty Fifties.
The Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1952 removes racial and ethnic barriers to becoming a U.S. citizen (1952).
Rise of fast food. How do you explain this development?
Burger King (1954), Sonic (1953, which was known as Top Hat for a bit), and McDonald's (1954) began during the decade. Diners were also a big hit; some popular ones were Denny's (Danny's Donuts in 1953), IHOP (1958), and Waffle House (1955).
Girls tended to wear a loose blouse, usually of pastel colors, tucked into a high-waisted pair of shorts or pants. Special occasions called for a halter dress that was recently the new thing, a traditional poodle skirt, or a pencil skirt topped off with a pair of stilettos and a slick ponytail or a simple ribbon and curled tips.

Guys mostly they wore a simple button up polo, a pair of slacks, and a traditional Letterman jacket.
"Rebels" or "Greasers" usually wore a simple white undershirt, a black biker jacket, torn jeans, boots, and hair gelled back with grease, hence the name.
Style
Waco Tornado (May 11, 1953)
http://kclibrary.lonestar.edu/decade50.html
1951
1952
1955
1957
Truman signs peace treaty with Japan, officially ending WWII (Sep 2, 1951).
Asian Influenza
Creating a 23-mile long path of debris, causing casualties of 114, and injuring 597, it's no surprise that the deadliest tornado award in Texas History goes to the Waco Tornado. As the 11th deadliest tornado in the U.S., damages topped at $41 million in 1953, equating to over $310 million in 2006 dollars. The Waco Tornado affected mostly the Great Plains of the U.S. Many deaths occurred in Minnesota, Nebraska, Wisconsin, and especially Texas.
The life of kids: Because there wasn't any advanced technology as we do now in the 21st century, most children, after finishing their homework, played outside with friends; boys played football and girls played with jump ropes, hula hoops or playing with the latest toy, the Barbie doll. Most teens did what most teens would these days; girls obsessing over famous actors and singers such as Elvis Presley or Jimmy Dean by turning up the volume and dancing or boys trying to pick up girls down at the malt shop. When adults had free time, they spent their time with family by playing card or board games like chess, checkers, Monopoly, jacks, and many other games. On holidays, families would spend time on road trips to go fishing, boating, skiing, hunting, camping or just flat out relax in a drive-in theater!
Kids (mostly boys) raced soap box cars down hills.
Malt shop
Sam Walton took the concept of a Five-and-Dime store (meaning you could buy anything for 5 cents and a dime) that he owned and made his own store that eventually grew into Wal-mart.
Leisure
Billy Holly
The Asian Influenza originated in China in early 1956 lasting until 1958. The virus was first identified in Guizhou. It spread to Singapore in February 1957, reached Hong Kong by April, and US by June. Death toll in the US was approximately 69,800. Estimates of worldwide deaths vary widely depending on source, ranging from 1 million to 4 million.
1951
1955
1952
1957
Hurricane Hazel
Hurricane Hazel was the deadliest and costliest hurricane of the 1954 Atlantic hurricane season. The storm killed as many as 1,000 people in Haiti before striking the United States near the border between North and South Carolina. Hurricane Hazel caused 95 fatalities in the U.S. and the damage cost $281 million.
By: Evelyn Pham

The Birth of Rock & Roll
Where did the music come from?

John Lennon: “Before Elvis, there was nothing.”


Creates the first million-selling pop record
first rock album to top Billboard charts
John Lennon: "If you tried to give rock and roll another name, you might call it 'Chuck Berry'”

Match the City with the Franchise
1. Los Angeles
2. Brooklyn
3. New York
4. Minneapolis
6. Philadelphia
7. San Francisco
8. Milwaukee
1. Warriors
2. Dodgers
3. Giants
4. Lakers
5. Braves
6. Rams
Philadelphia Warriors
Brooklyn Dodgers
Minneapolis Lakers
New York Giants
Milwaukee Braves
Los Angeles Rams
Is this Art?
Unease in Boom Times

Sociologist David Riesman observed the importance of peer-group expectations in his influential book, The Lonely Crowd. He 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 mass audiences with a shared experience reflecting accepted social patterns.
Painters like Jackson Pollock discarded easels and laid out gigantic canvases on the floor, then applied paint, sand and other materials in wild splashes of color. All of these artists and authors, whatever the medium, provided models for the wider and more deeply felt social revolution of the late fifties and early sixties.
Jack Kerouac typed his best-selling novel
On the Road
on a 75-meter roll of paper. Lacking accepted punctuation and paragraph structure, the book glorified the possibilities of the free life. Poet Allen Ginsberg gained similar notoriety for his poem
"Howl,"
a scathing critique of modern, mechanized civilization.
But not all Americans conformed to such cultural norms. A number of writers, members of the so-called "beat generation," rebelled against conventional values. Stressing spontaneity and spirituality, they asserted intuition over reason, Eastern mysticism over Western institutionalized religion. The "beats" went out of their way to challenge the patterns of respectability and shock the rest of the culture
.
“The point of Beat is that you get beat down to a certain nakedness where you actually are able to see the world in a visionary way, which is the old classical understanding of what happens in the dark of the soul.” Allen Ginsberg
(start here . . . .)
Chuck Berry: 2:20
The Movies of the Era
On the Waterfront
Rebel Without a Cause
Blackboard Jungle
North by Northwest
Dr. Strangelove
Some Like It Hot
Full transcript