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That's a great question, don't you think? We will answer it in class on Thursday in a (hopefully) fun activity, but to prepare, we should do a little background reading and watching. Read "The Fifties" in Creating America (28-3, pp. 800-803), read over the ABC-CLIO links posted below, and watch the videos below.

FOR HOMEWORK, CREATE A LIST (IN YOUR ONLINE NOTEBOOK) OF POSITIVES AND NEGATIVES CONCERNING LIFE IN THE FIFTIES FOR CLASS ON THURSDAY. WE WILL USE IT TO WRITE SOME DIALOGUE ...

The Cold War at Home / The Economy Booms / The Sky is the Limit / Boom-Time for Babies and Houses

GOOD:

-baby boom ----> growth of suburbs
-"sunbelt"-population increases in warmer states
-white Americans-life in suburbs=American dream
-Economy booming; housing industry exploding
-Hollywood came out with more and more TV shows-I Love Lucy, Lassie, Happy Days...
-Rock 'n' Roll songs-Elvis Presley
-MacCarthy censured by the U.S. Senate
- U.S. supplying 65% of the world's manufactured goods-1952
-baby boom= prosperous economy b/c added Americans became additional consumers= booming U.S. industry.
-Technological advances
-Post WWII=Optimism and a "can-do" attitude
-Science!-National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis (now the March of Dimes) sponsored huge medical research projects,U.S. government poured money into developing space program; ect.
-Improved medicine: antibiotics and vaccines
-New vaccinces developed in 1954,1957 -ended polio epidemics
-more suburbs= greater demand for automobiles= more sales!
-country linked together with Highway Act of 1956
-population boom with return of soldiers meant more consumers and a greater market for more goods
-wages increased with laws and government regulations
- Many more Americans joined the middle class as they obtained homes, education, and disposable income
-reatial spending soars
-televisions made new market for advertising- made new technological advancements into "must-haves"
-new military missles created
-increased focus on space program with the "space race" of the cold war



BAD:

-MacCarthy used the fear of communism to his advantage and created a wave of hystera. He accused many people (especially from Hollywood and State Department) of being a communist, and although he had no evidence
-Many lives, jobs, and social situations of politicians, actors, and normal people were ruined through McCarthy's actions
-Many Mexicans crossed over to America illegally.
-poor people in cities
-movie attendance greatly decreased- movie market down
-some thought that American society was shallow and protested against the conformity-"beatniks"
- Alger Hiss, an American diplomat ( assisted FDR at the Yalta summit in 1945) was accused of subversion and espionage and found guilty.
-This shook the confidence of Americans- how could someone turn on them?
-HUAC monitered media, it almost felt as if media was being censored-"blacklist"
-Polio epidemics fairly often in the early early 50's-1953, paralyizing and ending the lives of many Americans
-prosperity of the middle class in the suburbs left out many, including African Americans
- Most minority families remained in the cities and were largely unwelcome in the suburbs
-Separate but equal was still the standard in schools and public facilities, but separate was emphasized more than equal
-crime, substandard housing, and race riots afflicted the African Americans and other minorities who remained in the cities, while white families lived more serene lives in the suburbs
-baby boomers lead to new issues now-social security, etc.