The 1950’s was filled with historical events that we will never forget. The President was Harry Truman, whose last year in presidency was in 1952. In that same year, The Immigration and Naturalization, removes racial and ethical barriers to becoming a U.S citizen. This meant, that being an immigrant who was trying to become a U.S citizen, was made easier. In 1953, the war ends in Korea. The U.S Supreme Court ruled that racial segregation was unconstitutional in public schools in 1954. This was huge and it changed the U.S forever. We as Americans, have learned that everyone is equal and should be treated no different. You would think that learning that would be a no brainer, but back then, it was difficult because the whites were being told by their parents and grandparents, that being Black was bad. It’s hard to believe that people were actually treated so badly for the color of their skin; something they have no control over.
Rosa Parks was a big name in 1955 because she was an African American woman who refused to give up her seat on a public bus to a white person. Before the U.S Supreme Court ruled that segregation was unconstitutional, black and white people had very different accommodations. They had separate bathrooms, drinking fountains, and in this case, different part’s of the bus; blacks had to sit at the back of the bus and whites, well, they could sit anywhere, but preferred the front. If a Black person were to sit at the front of the bus, like Rosa Parks, and a white person gets on the bus and wants to sit there, they must move, but in this certain situation, she didn’t.
Another big event that happened in the 1950’s, was that of Dr. Jonas Salk who developed a vaccine for Polio. In 1921, Franklin Delano Roosevelt contracted the disease while vacationing with his family. He got extremely sick and got the worst of the virus, but made it through, until he died years later of a cerebral hemorrhage. A few years later, in 1959, Hawaii and Alaska became part of the United States, becoming the forty-ninth and fiftieth States. The 1950’s had a lot going on, and these Historical events were just to name a few.
The 1950’s was a time for new hope and new beginnings. The war had ended and men were going home to start a family and a new life. Husbands were going home to their wives and children. With high hopes on the rise for Americans, people were having babies left and right. The baby boom era had arrived, with 77 million babies born. The development of sky scrapers made cities pop with culture and hustle and bustle of city life. Bar codes, liquid paper, the microwave oven, credit cards, Teflon pots and pans, plastic grocery bags, Velcro and the remote control were all inventions of the 1950’s and all of these items are still being used today.
Music was beginning to change with the sounds of rock n’ roll. Walking into a diner in the 1950’s you would be surrounded by the sounds of The Everly Bothers, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, The Drifters, Knightsbridge, Starlite Singers, Elvis Presley and many more. Life style in the 50’s was much different than today. Children were to be seen, not heard; children obeyed their parents and respected their elders. Females were taught to be ladies and men as gentlemen. Sex before marriage was unacceptable and if a girl found herself pregnant before marriage, she would be shipped off to a family member’s house or to an all girl school. In family life, men were usually the breadwinners, working in agriculture or industrial work, while the women stayed at home to be a housewife and mother. If a woman did work, it was as a secretary.
New slang words were being thrown around by teenagers; squares, chicks, threads, keen, and back seat bingo. Celebrities of the 50’s were James Dean, Elvis Presley, and Marilyn Monroe. Women were to be sexy if they had big busts and small waists; which is much different than today’s standards. Popular movies that were out were Singing in the rain, The Quiet Man, and High Noon. The 1950’s was a great decade, and some would say it was the best. Yes racism was still huge, but there were changes that were being made for the good. This decade brought life and hope for all Americans who were living in this time and lifestyles were conservative with well behaved children.
I sometimes wish I had lived in the 1950’s because people were so much more respectful and there was less crime; well for the general population. If I had been alive back then, I would fight for the rights of Blacks and I could have made a difference. People dressed more conservatively, women acted like ladies and men acted like gentlemen. I wish this was how it was today, except for the racism, but everything else was better, to me that is. Values were taken more seriously and children obeyed their parents; life was structured and less chaotic. These days it seems like kids are more out of control and get away with a lot more than they used to. Parents get walked all over and nothing is done to discipline them. The 1950’s was a great time, and it should have been more cherished than it was.