One of the popular shows for teenagers was American Bandstand. Dick Clark, the star of the show, got more than fifty thousand fan letters a week. They thought watching this show was more important than doing their homework. Teenagers loved American Bandstand.
Some of the popular television shows are listed below:
In 1952 movies became more than just movies. In the month of November
the first 3-D movie, Bwana Devil, was able to be seen. At first
people were amused by this optical illusion, but the fad did not last very
long at all.
Neato ToysDuring World War Two toy companies were actually making supplies for the war. So afterwards they had fascinating ideas for new dolls and games. They started to see wonderful new material, like plastic. In 1948, Lionel produced new trains. In 1949, Silly Putty started there were over 30 million Silly Putty eggs sold. In that year Lego was introduced. Matchbox Cars, a favorite to little boys now were invented in 1954. In 1957, Hula Hoops were invented in. They became a fad in 1958 , but it was shortly over in 1959 when Barbie took over. Then in 1960 Etch-a-Sketch was put in stores, a favorite of mine. In 1961 Ken was introduced to the world, Barbie had fallen in love! Slip’n Slide was was also introduced. There were some pretty neat toys introduced in the fifties.
TechnologyThere were some new technologies in the fifties. Television was just one of them. In 1950 Paper Mate made it's first leak free ball point pen. The first copy machine was made 1950 also. The Chevrolet Corvette becomes the first car to have a all-fiberglass body in 1953. In 1954 Bell Telephone labs produce solar battery. In 1954 you could get a yard of contact paper for only 59 cents. Polypropylene was invented in 1954 . In 1955 Jonas Salk invented a polio vaccine which was given to more than seven million American students. In 1956 a solar powered wrist watch was invented.
A surprise came in 1957; a 184 pound satellite was launched by the Russians. They named it Sputnik 1. The space race begins 4 months later the United States launch a smaller satellite. In 1958 the first plastic Coke bottle appeared.
1950 - "Peanuts", the comic strip begins; some of the movies in theaters were Farther of the Bride, Cinderella, and Asphalt Jungle; Club Med begins
1952 - The sweater girl becomes popular by Marilyn Monroe; some of the movies were Singing in the Rain, The Quiet Man, and High Noon
1953 - First issue of Playboy
1955- Disneyland opens for business in California; James Dean is killed in his new sports car
1957- Tomorrowland in Disneyland opens; Elvis appears in his first motion picture, Love Me Tender; Stake dress becomes popular; tropical fish are most popular pets
1959- Popular movies were Pillow Talk and Rio Bravo; Family Circus comic first appears; Bye, Bye Birdie appears on Broadway
The teens of the fifties had many role models. Some of them were known as "hip", "groovy", or "cool". Some of the teen idols were Frankie Avalon, Bobby Darin, Fabian, Ricky Nelson, Paul Anka, and Bobby Rydell. Below are some of their famous sayings.
The Day The Music DiedOn a winter's night, a plane from Clearlake, Iowa had a destination of Fargo, North Dakota. They did not accomplish their goal. When the plane crashed it took with it the lives of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, J.P. "Big Bopper" Richardson and the pilot, Roger Peterson. Three rock and roll stars had died a tragedy.
The Big Bopper known to by fans, was a Texas D.J. He found his fame in 1958 with a famous song. Known to kids as cool or groovy , the song Chantilly Lace. He was known to his friends as Jape. He was killed in the crash.
Ritchie Valenenzula was discovered by Bob Keane in Pacomi, California when he was only sixteen. Keane changed Richie's last name to Valens. In 1958 they recorded the song, Come on Let's Go. Some of his more successful songs were Donna and La Bamba. He was very popular he was even on American Bandstand. He was also killed in the crash.
Charles Hardin "Buddy" Holley and his band The Crickets were popular in the fifties. His last name was changed in spelling to Holly, because of a misspelling on a contract. They had a number one hit in 1957, "That'll Be The Day". This song was followed by "Peggy Sue" and a grand performance on the Ed Sulivan Show. He and his band quit . He moved to New York and got married. I wonder how his wife felt when he was killed.
The tour bus they were all on broke down so they got a four passenger charter flight. The worst decision in their lives. Reportedly, singer Waylon Jennings gave up his seat to "Big Bopper", because he didn't want to spend $35, some say.
In the 1800's there was slavery. We passed a law that said you could not do such a thing, but even after that the blacks were not treated fairly. There were schools in the fifties that did not allow blacks. The schools for the whites were nice and clean. The schools for the blacks had very little supplies and were dirty. In the south states, they spent, on a average, ten times more money on white schools then they did on black schools. In 1954 this changed; those schools that had segregated children, had to bring them together. Just because they were in school together didn't mean everything was fair. When I was researching on this project I found a picture of a black girl and white girl looking at each other. This made me very sad. I felt just terrible.
The Cold War and the Korean War
The Cold War was the name of a military conflict with no actual warring. Beginning after World War II, it was a time of diplomatic struggles and mutual suspicion between the United States and a group of nations led by the Soviet Union. The United States, being a democracy, was at odds with the communist ideals of China and the Soviet Union. The fear of Communism was very powerful in the United States. In Congress there was a series of highly publicized inquiries into pro-Communist activity. The best-known investigator was Senator Joseph R. McCarthy, who was known for his strong stance on anticommunism. McCarthy first attracted attention in February 1950, with the charge that the Department of State had been infiltrated by Communists. Although his accusation was never substantiated, during the next several years he repeatedly accused various high-ranking officials of "subversive" activities. Many movie actors and actresses were also thought to be communists at that time.
by-product of the Cold War was the Korean War. When Communist North Korea
invaded South Korea in 1950, President Truman sent the American military
into action. The Korean War ended three bloody years later in a truce that
left the border between North and south Korea intact, the infamous 38th
parallel. The U.S. suffered 157,530 casualties and South Korea sustained
over 1.3 million casualties. Estimated Communist casualties were 2 million.
| The fifties was
a time of excitement and joy. I would like to thank you for reading
this. Even though this may have taken a while I'm sure you agree with me
that it was worth it. I hope you learned something and had some fun. Below
are the research books and internet sites I used for this project.