The 1950’s (Happy Days)
The 1950’s were called the “Happy Days” for multiple reasons. We were finished with a huge war, and our economy was booming. Social, political and economic policies were popping up everywhere. Many things define why the 1950’s were the “Happy Days” in the U.S. Whether it was the end of the Korean War for the U.S. or the economic boom that helped define what we call the “American Dream” the 1950’s were great times for America.
During the 1950’ many public and social booms happened. For instance the Baby Boom was huge in the 1950’s. In 1957 it was estimated that 1 baby was born every 7 seconds. (Silverman 1) Also suburban living was expanding and becoming very common. Starting in 1949 and ending in the mid 1950’s, suburban towns were being constructed at a very fast rate. Levittown, one of the suburban towns, had an average of 150 houses added to it per week, and a family only paid about $60 a month for their new home with no down payment.(1) Shifts in population distribution began to change too from 1940-1970.(Silverman 2) Central cities went from 31.6% in 1940 to 32.3% in 1950, and 48.9% in rural areas in 1940 to 43.9% in 1950.(2) So many people moved to the suburbs in 1950. Also many famous television shows started off in the 1950’s such as: The Donna Reed Show, Leave It to Beaver, Father Knows Best, and The Ozzie & Harriet Show.(2) These shows also depicted the current life in a suburban home, but with their own twists.
Apart from suburban living and television shows, many other social items and things took off in the 1950’s. The “Diner’s Card”, which was sort of a credit card back in the day, was introduced in 1950.(2) Also, car sales doubled from 1950-1958(Silverman 3) Almost every family had at least two cars in their garage.(3) And because of the sales of automobiles doubling over 41,000 miles of new highways were built.(3) In the 1950’s many things we know today started. The first...
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