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How Did the Cold War Affect the Culture of That Time?

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Arielle Walker

on 6 November 2013

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Transcript of How Did the Cold War Affect the Culture of That Time?

Household Life
In the 1930's and 40's both the husband and wife of a household used their earnings to support the family. This was a necessity because of the Great Depression. However, in the 1950’s, it was the men who earned the money and women stayed home, did chores, looked after the children, and had almost no social life. Children attended Sunday mass every week and did their homework daily. Also, the age limit for marriage and motherhood decreased, birthrate increased, and there were less divorces.
Books and Literature
In literature, dystopian themes were prevalent. Books such as The Manchurian Candidate and The Fourth Protocol reflected fears of Soviet takeover, while books like 1984, Alas, and Babylon explored what Soviet domination might actually look like.
Right after World War II, life was really good for the people in America. Unemployment was minimal and the middle class expanded, but four years later that all changed when the Soviet Union tested their first nuclear weapon. After that, nuclear awareness and the fear of being bombed became a way of life. Air raid sirens were built, ordinary citizens built and stocked bomb shelters, and schools practiced "duck and cover" drills. The public was given very little information about nuclear weapons. Political figures suggested Soviet spies were everywhere and many people were accused of being communist sympathizers. America became an atmosphere of fear, mistrust, and paranoia.
School Life
In preparation for an attack, many schools had "Drop and Cover" drills. The teacher would yell "Drop!" and the children had to kneel down under their desks with their hands clutched around their heads and necks. Some schools even gave out dog tags so in case of attack so they can identify the bodies.
How Did the Cold War Affect the Culture of That Time?
Movies and Film
A New Fear
Music styles sometimes made connections to the Cold War through their lyrics and meanings. Punk music expressed their hatred of leaders, and music from the hippie movement was against the Vietnam war. This was also the period when rock and roll emerged. This music genre influenced lifestyle, fashion, attitude, and even the civil rights movements because both African-American and white American teens enjoyed this music. Some people believed the Beatles played a part in the fall of communism.
During the Cold War, many films were made about the dangers of communism. There was a variety of different themes for this category. Many movies had a theme of denouncing a friend or family member as a communist associate. Another theme portrayed a third World War fought with nuclear weapons. Some films even used extra-terrestrial versions of the Soviet Union.
Bomb Shelter
Families enjoying television
Children practicing "Duck and Cover" drills
President Harry S. Truman
President Dwight D. Eisenhower
A band from the 1950's
Famous books published during the Cold War
By: Amari, Tabby, and Arielle
During the Cold War many youths rebelled against their parents and the government, to become hippies, in search and hope of peace. They wore tie dye clothing, dresses with moccasins, and head bands. During World War II, luxurious, fashionable fabrics such as wool, silk and nylon were made for women's clothing. During the 1950's, teenage boys would wear wool slacks, V-necked patterned sweaters, denim jeans, and button down, collared shirts. Toddlers were often seen wearing pinafores(aprons) that were worn over a blouse or jersey. For men, sleeveless sport shirts were popular and worn with white pleated trousers and a belt. The 1980's was a time of unique fashion. Men who worked in a position of higher authority usually wore clothing such as suits with long narrow lapels. These suits were designed with broad shoulders and shoulder pads. Woman would wear A-line and pencil skirts were very popular. Also, dresses were stylish with their ruffles or laces and were usually knee length. In the 1960’s, mini dresses and skirts were commonly worn. Dresses with short skirts had a mod style with bold, colorful patterns.
Men, Women, and Children's fashion during the Cold War
President Truman did very little to help the Cold War. He tried to stop communism from spreading around the world. The people of America were a little wary of what he was doing, but it did not faze them much.
President Eisenhower did nothing to take away the people's fears of communism; he actually increased it. He was president during the Vietnam war.
President Kennedy did help much to help end the Cold War. He prevented a Soviet member from traveling to Cuba with nuclear missiles. This lessened the American people's fear that communism would rule the world.
Movie made about the Cold War
Full transcript