Never again shall we allow a depression in the United States

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50s Pop Culture

  1. The Postwar Booming Economy

“Never again shall we allow a depression in the United States.” – These were the words of President Dwight Eisenhower

The economy was booming due to various factors:

  1. Massive _________________spending

    1. this also helped spawn industries such as chemicals, electronics, and aviation

  2. American manufacturers basically had a monopoly on _______________________________because other industrialized nations had been devastated by ____________

      1. ______________________made the workplace more efficient

        • More tasks were automated and production increased greatly.

  3. People had been putting off purchasing big items such as _________and _______________ due to the war and were now buying them

And they were buying them in the ___________________

  1. G.I. Bill of Rights

    1. This led to the creation of a new government agency called the __________________________________

    2. Veterans could receive unemployment, preference for civil service jobs, _______________________, access to hospitals, and money for _________________ or professional training.

    3. Many veterans used this to go to _________________and get an education

  2. An Expanding Consumer Culture

    1. People were living in excess and buying more than they ever had before

    2. The most popular household product was by far the _________________ with America going from 7,000 black and white TVs in 1946 to __________________ high quality TV sets in 1960

      1. The TV changed American life forever as watching TV became an ______________________part of everyday life

      2. People started to get away from eating dinner at ____ _________and used _______________ and _________________ to make eating more

    3. The advertising industry takes off, and advertising expenditures increased _________________ in the 1950’s

    4. The president of NBC said in 1956 that “advertising has created an American frame of mind that makes people want ________________________________________________

    5. _________________________ were also now available so purchasing many of the things people wanted was no problem

II. Life in the American Home

  • The work day was shrunk from five and a half days to _________

  • There was more ______________ time than before

  • Manual labor was giving way to mental labor and many people were working for corporations

  • 60% of the population was ________________________

  • Many people moved into white middle class___________________

  • In 1956 the ideal woman according to Life magazine was 32 years old, mother of 4, pretty and popular, suburban housewife that was married at age 16

  • People joined many clubs such as civic clubs, bridge clubs, carpools, and babysitting groups

  • People also joined _____________________and synagogues in record numbers

  • Communists were ___________________ so we needed to be actively involved in the church

  • Sales of Bibles and religious books and tapes also soared

  • The belief in God was encouraged so much that Dwight Eisenhower made it mandatory that ___________________________be printed on every piece of currency

  • _______________________ was added to the Pledge of Allegiance

III. Youth Culture – a teen subculture emerges

  1. The young people in the United States had more _____________ and ______ _________ than any other generation

  2. __________ gave teenagers mobility that they’d never had before.

  3. _____________________became increasingly important and led to the development of new markets such as transistor radios, hula hoops, and rock and roll records.

  4. Some parents were pessimistic. One social critic said that the American family was ___________________________________

  5. _______________________________ emerges as a cultural phenomenon

    1. The term was coined by Alan Freed, a disc jockey in Cleveland, Ohio in 1951

    2. This kind of music was considered ________________ music but found its way into the mainstream in the 1950’s

    3. Big _______________________________ artists in rock and roll were Chuck Berry, Little Richard, and Ray Charles.

    4. ELIVIS

      1. The biggest white artist was ______________________________

        1. Elvis wowed the ___________________________ and ____________________the older crowd with his songs and hip movements

        2. Elvis was the first mainstream white artist to perform the predominantly “black” rock and roll music

          1. He was a _____________________ doing “black people’s” music and it drove mainstream America _____________

        3. He had to be filmed from his waist up on the _____________________ show in order to be allowed to perform

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