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1950s

An overview of the prosperous 1950s and its general themes: family, conflict vs. conformity, conservatism, fear of communism, etc. By Melissa Kwan, Olivia Long, Eric Tran, Uttara Saha. Westgate period 2.
by

Melissa K

on 17 November 2014

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Transcript of 1950s

F
ashion
Conflict
vs. Conformity
• Businesslike
Senator Joseph McCarthy
Elected Wisconsin senator in 1947
Republican
1950
s

The
Eric Tran, Olivia Long Uttara Saha, Melissa Kwan

Conservatism
Family
Conflict

vs.

Conformity
were the decade of...
A
rt
M
usic
T
he Big Picture
Thesis
The 1950's was the decade of conformity and conflict, as Americans developed a culture that clashed with their conservative family roles and persecuted communists, real or imagined.
Anti-Communism
Background
Post-WWII
All of Europe had lost something
destroyed land
money
power
Victorious
America emerged in the 1950's
... but the United States had not.
A world power
Ready to look inward
The Era of TV
"The Greaser"
Rock n' Roll
Abstract Expressionism
T
he Space Race

Sputnik and Tensions With the Soviet Union
A
nti-Communism

To a new Extreme...
C
omfort Food

Harry S. Truman (1945-1953)
Dwight D. Eisenhower (1953-1961)
Republican
for most of the decade
S
egregation

In Schools
• State laws establishing separate schools for black and white students were deemed unconstitutional
• Landmark Supreme Court case
Brown V. Board of Education
E
ducation Reform

• Authorized the atomic bomb of WWII
• 1st president to make civil rights a priority
• $ 13 bil. Marshall Plan after war
• Anti-communism: Leader of the Cold War
• United Nations
• Held back from nuclear weapons against China
• Overall: Succeeded overseas, but his programs failed to boost the economy
• Famous WWII General
• Supported Civil rights "behind the scenes"
• Tax cuts and booming economy
• Peace and prosperity
• Rallied Americans against Communism
• Argued to cut defense budget
The Splattering Image
"The Red Scare"
Anti-communism ("The Red Scare") resurfaced in 1950's
First introduced in the early 1900s
Influenced by McCarthyism
Democrat
Republican
Greyed Rainbow- Jackson Pollock, 1953
of art in the 1950's
Depicts McCarthy holding a butcher knife
President Eisenhower, the man on the right, pulls out a feather from a sheath.
McCarthy was extremely powerful
"Have a care" = "Be more careful."
A search for Hidden Communists
Eisenhower tells McCarthy "have a care."
Ironic because his weapon is a feather compared to a large knife.
• Conflicting styles of old and new
• Increasing popularity of abstract art
• Styles included:
• Obscuring realistic objects with layers of paint, leaving only a hint of its presence
• Use of house paint and common materials
• Edgy, less polished feel
• Surrealism
• Splattering paint over the canvas
What was Sputnik I?
The first artificial satellite to successfully orbit earth.
The television was the center of the 1950's family.
Sputnik I was launched on October 4th, 1957.
But there are still unanswered questions...
How did this affect the US?
Sputnik I posed a threat to our safety. If the Soviets could launch a satellite, they might try to attack the US with a missile.
How did the US respond?
Americans feared communism and the threat of Soviet domination. The US and Soviet Union kept trying to outdo each other when it came to space technology.
By founding NASA, launching the satellite Explorer I, and pouring money into the space industry.
How did this tie in to the 1950's big picture?
Q: What did was Norman Rockwell famous for?
Q: How does his work represent the 1950's?
A: Portraying American life, Often humorously, through his paintings and illustrations.
A: His works show the lives and events of the average American: Feasts at Thanksgiving, Schoolyard baseball, children interacting with adults, etc..
Daisy Bates
Democrat
1950
1960
R e p u b l i c a n
19
53
"Chorus Line" (1950)
Joseph P. Meert: Oil/canvas.
• Part of the abstract expressionist community in New York.
"Clown" (1950)
• Note the blurry splotches of color.
• More about creating a feeling than detail.
By Iver Rose, oil/masonite.
• Paintings could fill a whole wall
• "Clown" is 16 feet by 10 feet.
"Still Life" (1959)
• Emil Bisttram
• Oil/board
• Artists use brush techniques for the desired look.
"Stan Kenton" (1959)
• Leroy Neiman
• Water color/drawing
• Not polished, but conveys a mood
Who built it?
The Soviet Union.
• Baby boomers
• After WWII, people prospered
• Bigger families, more children
Brighter colors
Tighter, more form fitting clothing
Bigger hair
Bold makeup looks
Decade of the "Greaser"
Leather jackets
Plain white/plaid shirts
Jeans
Slicked back hair
For adults, the fashion stayed conservative.
women
more conservative dresses
taking advantage of more neutral colors
men
Traditional Suit and Tie
fashion has not changed much over the years.
Elvis Presley
Lecturer who played leading role in integration crisis

Jailhouse Rock
It's Been a Hard Day's Night
Love Me Tender
Blue Suede Shoes
Mainly smaller music groups
Big bands died out
Vocalists
Jazz, Country Western, Folk
The most memorable music of the 50's was...
Rock n' Roll
And the most memorable musician was...
Elvis
• Pat Boone was another star
• Famous for his hits including
• "Speedy Gonzales"
• "Love Letters in the Sand"
• "Stairway to Heaven"
"The King of Rock n' Roll"
• Conflict vs. Conformity
Significance
• Very free spirited, not traditional
Hits:
Biggest theme in his music:
People dancing to the popular music of the 1950's.
E
ntertainment
• Rise of Big Three:
• NBC, CBS, ABC
• Americans watched TV at home
• TV Instead of going to movie theater
Popular Shows
• "The Today Show"
• "Captain Kangaroo"
• "Mickey Mouse Club"
• "American Bandstand"
• "Gunsmoke"
• "I Love Lucy"
• "Leave It to Beaver"
• "Donna Reed Show"
• "Milton Berle Show"
• "Father Knows Best"
... and game shows!!!
Themes
"Separate but equal" in theory
Not in practice
Mother was murdered
Many achieved major success on screen
Marlon Brando
Marilyn Monroe
James Dean
• "East of Eden"
• "Giant"
• "Rebel Without a Cause"
• "Some Like It Hot"
• "Clash by Night"
• "We're Not Married!"
• "Monkey Business"
• "O. Henry's Full House"
• "Niagara"
• "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes"
• "The Seven Year Itch"
Norman
Rockwell
• "On the Waterfront"
• "A Streetcar Named Desire"
• "Viva Zapata!"
• "Julius Caesar"
• "The Wild One"
• "Sayonara"
"Easter and the Totem"
Jackson Pollock, 1953.
An episode from "I Love Lucy"
"Chocolate Candy Factory"
• Younger generations: more rebellious
• Reflected through clothing choices
• Older generations: more conventional
• Trends still remembered today
the father of
McCarthyism
Young Women
Young Men
• Family centered around the television
(i.e. I Love Lucy, Mickey Mouse)
• Family-themed shows
• 1950's was also the time of movies
(i.e. Marilyn Monroe, James Dean)
• Baseball becomes part of American culture

• Driving force behind activism
• Put her life on the line to fight for rights
• Threatened numerous times
• Became the first and only African American to lie in state in the Arkansas Capitol
Background
• One of nine black students subjected to test integration
School segregation was the norm.
• "Black" schools had insufficient funding
• Led to diminished motivation to learn
Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas; September 1957
Nine students enrolled
Testing Brown vs. Board of Education decision
Undermining safety for students
Bullying and protests at first
"The Little Rock Nine"
McCarthy
Eisenhower
Summary
Significance
• Possibly had more power than the president
• Eisenhower powerless to shut down McCarthy's campaign
• Family became central part of
American life
• Conservative family roles
• Stay-at-home mom, working dad
Old
Young
Elvis Presley
Frank Sinatra
Rock n' Roll
Bright & tight clothing
Loose and businesslike
clothing
vs.
vs.
vs.
vs.
Jazz and Blues
• Senator Joe McCarthy was elected into the Senate.
• Took advantage of the fear with a movement called...
• A celebrity and icon
• Reflected sentiments of teenagers at the time
Significance

Love
Popular with teenagers
Adults thought it was a bad influence
• Parents thought teenagers were losing values
Protests at Little Rock
• The Cold War
• Americans feared an all-out nuclear war
• Segregation was unconstitutional under 14th Amendment
• Overturned Plessy v. Ferguson decision of 1896
• It allowed state-sponsored segregation
• Verdict: Segregation in schools generates feeling of inferiority
• Minorities feel second-rate
• May affect their willingness to learn
• Paved the way for integration
• Major victory for the civil rights movement
• The 1950's were generally a prosperous decade.
• Good economic times
• Rise of upper-middle class
• Themes
• Conformity vs. conflict
• Family
• Conservatism
• Anti-communism
Featuring the Tuna Casserole, Chex mix, and many others
An orange powdered drink
Originally created for astronauts
Considered classic 1950's.
McDonalds
Tang
A Day in the Life
1955
T
oys

Legos
Play-Doh
Barbie
"I have here in my hand a list of two hundred and five people that were known to the Secretary of State as being members of the Communist Party and who nevertheless are still working and shaping the policy of the State Department."
- Senator Joseph McCarthy
Snack at 4:00 pm.
Dinner at 6:00 pm.
Breakfast at 7:30 am.
Lunch at 12:00 pm.
Kentucky Fried Chicken
1952
Founder Colonel Sanders
During the 50's, many prospered could afford toys, household appliances, etc.
Orange juice, sauteed eggs and bacon, cinnamon toast
Apple juice, sausage-meat cakes, popovers, jelly
Chilled grapefruit, waffles, honey, cream
Sliced peaches, omelet or scrambled eggs, drop biscuits, marmalade
Tomato juice, French toast with applesauce
vs.
More traditional art
Abstract Expressionism
Broiled hamburger sandwiches, wilted lettuce, canned or stewed fruit
Cold sliced ham, hot potato salad, toast, applesauce
Pan-fried fish, broiled potatoes, tossed green salad with French dressing, muffins, grapefruit jelly
Chili con carne, creamed spinach, sweet muffins with nuts
French ham toast, avocado on lettuce with French dressing, gingersnaps
Meat balls with spaghetti, green peas, sliced oranges, peanut-butter cookies
Pigs in blankets, baked tomatoes with cheese, banana sherbet, butterscotch brownies
Salmon in casserole, potato chips, green salad with French dressing, lemon milk sherbet, chocolate-chip drop cookies
Eggplant filled with leftover foods, boiled carrots, hot rolls, preserves, quick method white cake with lemon icing
Frozen TV dinners were also very popular
Other Popular Foods
Eggo waffles
Frosted Flakes
Peanut M&M's
Marshmallow Peeps
Ruffles potato chips
Haagen-Dazs ice cream
Canned tuna
Chocolate covered ANTS
Fast food debuts in the 50's
Dunkin' Doughnuts
Jack-in-the-Box
Taco Bell
Denny's
Burger King
McDonalds
Kentucky Fried Chicken
Pizza Hut
International House of Pancakes (IHOP)
Name that Tune!
50's TV Show
• Chex mix was the classic 1950's snack.
• Often cooked in butter or sauce.
All menus directly quoted from http://foodtimeline.org/fooddecades.html#1950s
• Color TV's came out
B
A
S
E
B
A
L
L
America's National Pastime
• Domination of New York:
• Yankees, Dodgers, Giants.
• Lack of competition lowers attendance
• Ended by the move of Giants and Dodgers in 1958
• Stars included: Mickey Mantle
More on Civil Rights
• Rosa Park's famous bus protest (1955).
Above: Martin Luther King Jr.
Left: Malcolm X
T
he Korean War
• Testy, cautious
• Disagreements between Truman and MacArthur
• Result: Stalemate
• More civilian deaths than in WWII
• Conflict: Communist North Korea vs. anti-communist South Korea
1950-1953
• Anti-communist tensions continue
Also popular: Transistor radio
• People move into suburbs
Famous Books
Lord of the Rings
The Catcher in the Rye
Still popular today
Let's start off with slang
Welcome to the 50's!
pink = snob
book gook = equivalent of "geek"
What's your tale, nightingale? = What's up?
large charge = something trendy
hecklthon = movie
real George = good movie
Works Cited
Image Links
http://www.fortdouglas.org/sites/fortdouglas.org/files/14826koreanwarsoldiers.jpg
http://libertarianchristians.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/RosaParks.png
http://itthing.com/wp-content/uploads/vintage-tv-dinners1.jpg
http://mda.bigoven.com/pics/rs/256/original-1950s-chex-party-mix.jpg
http://thriftingdenver.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/1950s-kitchen.jpg
http://www.famous-entrepreneurs.com/images/colonel-sanders.jpg
http://christianreconstructionist.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/martin-luther-king.jpg
http://www.igranick.com/archives/african_theatre/images/unit8/malcolm.jpg
http://www.archives.gov/education/lessons/mccarthy-telegram/images/telegram-page-1.gif
http://www.archives.gov/education/lessons/mccarthy-telegram/images/truman-reply.gif
http://www.bentaskerflooring.co.uk/interiors/22-59-large/1950-s-retro-wall-clock.jpg
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http://www.spokesman.com/blogs/slice/tags/1950s/
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http://tomberrigan.com/blog1/2013/05/15/brown-v-board-of-education-anniversary-thoughts/
http://history.nasa.gov/sputnik/sputnik1.jpg
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http://www.treadwaygallery.com/ONLINECATALOGS/MAY04/PTweb/0702.jpg
http://www.treadwaygallery.com/ONLINECATALOGS/MAY04/PTweb/0722.jpg
http://www.plan59.com/images/JPGs/dumont_1950_rockwell_1.jpg
http://www.s9.com/images/portraits/25761_Rockwell-Norman.gif
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http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/pollock/pollock.easter-totem.jpg
http://www.barewalls.com/pv-504554_Tin-Sign-I-Love-Lucy.html
http://disney.wikia.com/wiki/Mickey_Mouse_Filmography
http://www.doctormacro.com/Images/Brando,%20Marlon/Brando,%20Marlon_01.jpg
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000015/
https://www.brooklynmuseum.org/exhibitions/marilyn_monroe/
http://www.thepeoplehistory.com/50sdresses.jpg
http://fiskertalk.com/1950s-men-fashion/1950s-men-fashion-416/
http://images2.fanpop.com/images/soapbox/debate_5405_5.jpg?cache=1223242560
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Full transcript