Children & Teens:
Many children had a fear of the Russians and of the atomic bombs due to the way their parents would talk. While in school, they were shown the "Duck and Cover" video that was supposed to teach them what to do if the situation were to occur. The teachers would tell them to hide under their desks and cover their eyes to prevent blindness from the light. Most television shows were communist inspired. Most television was under communist control. It seemed that their main goal was to turn the children against the known American values. One famous television show for teens was called "Shindig" which was produced by Dick Clark. It was filmed at the beach and featured mostly anti-American music.



Baby Boom:
From 1946 to 1964, there was a dramatic increase of births. This time period is known as the "baby boom". In the United States, approximately 79 million babies were born. This is known as the the largest one year population gain in history. The huge increase in births lead to a growing demand for consumer products, suburban homes, automobiles, roads and services.Some worried about everyone's abili
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ty to handle the responsibilities that came with the many children. Others looked at the bright side and realized that the many new babies would be more jobs in the later years and help the economy. Since there was this baby boom, by 1958, one-third of the population was younger than age fifteen. The large amount of younger citizens caused Americans to pay more attention to the country's children and teenagers. A con of the baby boom is that the marriage age dropped. This meant that children were now dating earlier in life. This became a topic of discussion in society.


Bomb Shelters:
In the 50s and 60s, the fear of the nuclear bombs caused people to build bomb shelters in their own basements or under their back yards. This was called a fallout shelter. The shelters in a corner of the basement was the least expensive type and it was said to give "substantial protection." In many of the models, there were concrete walls. An open doorway and vents provided ventilation. There was a sharp turn in the entrance to reduce the radiation from reaching the people. Many publications suggested to keep food in the shelter that would last for months and that would need little or no cooking. In this corner unit, there were also devices that would help you know when the radioactivity had reached a safe level. The pocket dosimeter was a radiation detection device that had a pen-like tube that could be worn on clothing. The tube captured the radioactivity in the air and then could be read on a separate base unit to see the level of radioactivity.

Other plans called for actual construction of a shelter underground. It was said that even being four feet underground or being under a few feet of concrete could protect you from the gamma ray radiation. One plan said that the roof of the shelter could be used as a patio. Ventilation in the shelter was given by a hand cranked blower attached through a pipe to a filter device above the ground. By turning the crank, the shelter would be filtered with fresh air, keeping out radioactive particles. Some more elaborate plans called for the installation of an electric generator to have all of the "comforts of home."



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1950s Fashion:
women- After world war two, society's plan was to get women back into doing more feminine duties. Their plan was to get them back into being a housewife and a homemaker. Based on this goal, their fashion reflected this. 1950s woman's fashion showed off "fragile femininity" by showing off their "soft shoulders," "stiletto heels," "wrist length gloves," and full billowing skirts." The working woman's outfits were also "hinted at fragility." They consisted of "pencil-slim skirts, and "little hats with veils and feathers." This new look was partially based off of Christian Dior's collection called Corolle. Dior would also design most 1950s fashion with nam
es like the Princess Line, The Profile Line, The H Line, and the A Line.

Men- Conservative business suits were favored by most men. It was also known as the "Gray Flannel Suit." The "Gray Flannel Suit" began at Ivy League Colleges. It was usually "charcoal gray, single breasted with two or three widely spaced buttons, unwaisted with no back vent. The popular shoe for men was called the "penny loafer." This was a "slip on shoe with a cut out apron that could hold a penny."

Teenagers- In the 1950s, teens began to create their own style and not copy their elders anymore. Rock and roll music generally influenced the culture of the teenagers. Based off of this, Leather jackets were very popular.


Women's Roles in the 1950s:
A woman's main role in the 1950s was housekeeping and raising the family. With the extreme jump in marriage and birth rates, women were mostly becoming mothers and wives, but at the same time, women were entering the workforce as well. The number of women going into work was again rising since WWII. By 1956, thirty five percent of all working women were members of the labor force and a quarter of married women also had jobs. Although two out of five women who were married and had school aged children had jobs, their jobs were not very extreme. " seventy percent, held clerical, assembly line, or service jobs. Only twelve percent practiced a profession, and six percent held management positions.

Music:
Music not only influenced the "normal people" of American, but it also deeply influenced the soldiers fighting the war. Rock 'n' roll music was an important part in the troops' lives. It reminded them of their home and kept their mind off of exactly where they were and exactly what they were doing. The most popular source of their music was the Armed Forces Radio. This station taped the top fourty songs at a recording studio in Los Angeles and then had them airlifted to where they were fighting. Although these were the top songs, there were still many restrictions of the type of music that could be played. Any songs that were about a protest or could be interpreted as a protest were completely prohibited. As time went on, soldiers became bored of the songs that the Armed Force Radio would send them. They were usually songs that were classical music or light pop tunes. As a result, the soldiers started bringing their own music to play on their sterios. One of the most popular songs was "We Gotta Get Outta This Place" by the Animals.










Layman, Richard. American Decades . 1950-1959. Detroit, Washington D.C., London: Gale Research Inc., 1994. 262,278 Print.

Caputo, Philip. 10,000 Days of Thunder. New York, New York : Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing Division, 2005. 84. Print.

Rosenberg, Matt. "Baby Boom - A History of the Baby Boom." About.com. About.com, 12 3 2011. Web. 2 May 2011. http://geography.about.com/od/populationgeography/a/babyboom.htm.

"Nebraskastudies.org." Nebraskastudies.org. nebraskastudies.org, n.d. Web. 2 May 2011. http://www.nebraskastudies.org/0900/frameset_reset.html?http:www.nebraskastudies.org/0900/stories/0901_0132.html.

1950s Fashion." enjoy-your-style.com. enjoy-your-style, 2009-2011. Web. 2 May 2011. http://www.enjoy-your-style.com/1950s-fashion.html.