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FReeper Canteen ~ Fabulous Friday
March 1, 2012 | Canteen Crew

Posted on 03/01/2012 6:05:30 PM PST by beachn4fun

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Life in the 1950s, often described as a time of conformity and marked by conservative values, is a decade that most of us look back on as a “golden era,” when times seemed ideal. Those brief 10 years gave us the birth of rock ‘n roll, movies, prize-winning novels that are still often quoted, and hundreds of invented products we now use in everyday life. The decade was not free of fear or violence, with the Cold War on one side and the Korean War on the other. After the depression and World War II however, Americans relished these relatively peaceful years. Brush up on your retro knowledge with the following facts from the 1950s.

Symbols of the 1950s 1950s pop culture was mild in comparison to the decades to follow. Cramming telephone booths was one of the most popular fads of all time, and panty raids (college boys confiscating their co-eds’ lingerie) were a “kick.”

1950s fashion was largely conservative, typified by the poodle skirts, bobby socks and saddle shoes, and rolled-up jeans.

Gals wore their steady beau’s letter jacket or sweater, and pony tails, while the most popular hair for guys in the 1950s (besides the crew cut) was the greased-back “Duck butt” hairstyle (think James Dean, or John Travolta of “Grease”).

Drive-in movies were termed “passion pits,” and if they didn’t need a movie for an excuse to make out, teens went to the “submarine races.”

It was the perfect decade to be a kid. America was, on the whole, a safer place, and cool toys like boomerangs, hula hoops and Silly Putty were “neato,” and affordable, too – unlike the current cool toys (Gameboys and iPods) of today.

Some of the most dearly loved icons of pop culture ever enjoyed their heyday in the 1950s.

Famous figures included Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, James Dean, Lucille Ball, and Buddy Holly.

Television came into its own with timeless shows like I Love Lucy, Ozzie and Harriet, The Honeymooners, and Gunsmoke.

The Howdy Doody Show and The Mickey Mouse Club were some of the first shows that explored marketing for children. The popularity of coonskin caps was largely due to Disney’s Davy Crocket specials on television.

1950s History and Trivia Timeline: 1950 – North Korea invades South Korea, and President Truman sends U.S. soldiers to war.

The Soviets announce they have built an atomic bomb.

Paul Harvey begins his national radio broadcast. Papermate introduces the first ballpoint pen that does not leak.

Charlie Brown and Snoopy are introduced in the syndicated Peanuts column by artist Charles Shultz.

The Diner’s Club issues the first credit cards.

1951 – Julius and Ethel Rosenberg are convicted as Communist spies, and sentenced to the electric chair (carried out in 1953).

The introduction of potpies (by Swanson), Tupperware and the first commercial computer is made.

J. D. Salinger publishes Catcher in the Rye, and Herman Wouk publishes Caine Mutiny.

I Love Lucy debuts on CBS.

1952 – Some famous firsts include: Holiday Inn, Mr. Potato Head, area codes for telephone numbers, Mad Magazine, Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes, and Lipton’s Onion Soup Mix.

Dwight D. Eisenhower (Republican) is elected President.

The nation suffers a polio epidemic.

The book Anne Frank, Diary of a Young Girl is published.

Ozzie and Harriet debut on ABC, and Nat King Cole’s “Unforgettable” hit the charts, and we’re still humming the tune.

1953 – Color television comes on the scene! Discoveries included: polio vaccine by Dr. Jonas Salk, and DNA’s double helix by Francis Crick and James Watson.

Inventions included: Saran Wrap (Dow Chemical) and radial tires. The first 3-D movie, Bwana Devil, is shown.

John F. Kennedy marries Jackie (Jacqueline Bouvier).

The Academy Awards are nationally televised, and the Oscar for Best Picture goes to From Here to Eternity.

1954 – The first issue of Sports Illustrated is published, as is J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings.

Elvis cuts his first record.

Hemingway wins the Nobel Prize for literature.

Burger King, Peanut M&M’s, Butterball Turkey, and TV dinners are introduced.

Play Doh hits the shelves, a favorite for kids and mommies.

Eisenhower inserts “under God” into the Pledge of Allegiance.

The presidential plane is first termed “Air Force One” for clarity and security.

Senator Joseph McCarthy goes on the rampage for “Reds” with his nationally televised hearings of suspected Communists. He is later censured by Congress.

1955 – Rosa Parks refuses to give her seat to a white man in an Alabama bus, breaking the law.

Two American icons open for business: McDonald’s and Disneyland.

Famous firsts include Johnson & Johnson’s Baby shampoo and Quaker’s Instant Oatmeal.

Illinois passes the first seat belt law.

Albert Einstein dies at 76, and Rebel Without a Cause actor James Dean dies in a car accident.

Microwaves hit the market, but are too expensive for the average home.

TV quiz shows, like The $64,000 Question, capture America’s interest, but later shatters the nation’s naiveté when Congressional hearings reveal shady practices and discovers questions were rigged.

1956 – President Eishenhower defeats Adlai Stevenson in elections.

Allen Ginsberg’s Howl, a voice for the Beat generation, is published.

Grace Kelly marries her Prince Ranier III of Monaco, and Marilyn Monroe marries Pulitzer prize-winning author Arthur Miller.

Elvis Presley makes his debut on national television; four of his songs become hits in 1956. This is the big year for the birth of rock ‘n roll.

Hard disks for computers are now available.

1957 – The Soviets launch their satellite Sputnik, and the international space race begins.

Swiss inventor George de Mestral patents Velcro.

New-on-the-market items include: Tang, “AA” alkaline batteries (Eveready) and the Edsel.

Larry King begins his radio career in Miami.

Jack Kerouac coins the words “Beat” and “Beatnik” in his novel On the Road.

Jackie Robinson retires from baseball.

“Leave it to Beaver” debuts, another idealistic yet much-loved family sitcom.

1958 – Boris Pasternak publishes Nobel prize-winning Dr. Zhivago in the United States, but his book is banned in the Soviet Union, and he is forced to decline the Nobel.

American Express introduces its charge card, and Visa (at this time known as BankAmericard) and joins the credit campaign.

The newly created NASA launches the Explorer.

A first class postage stamp costs 4 cents.

Some important inventions of this year include: the computer modem, the laser and stereophonic recordings.

The Champs win a Grammy (at the first Grammy Awards) for the Best Rhythm and Blues Performance with “Tequila.”

1959 – Alaska and Hawaii become the 49th and 50th states.

Nasa sends space monkeys Able and Baker into orbit, then chooses the crew for the Mercury.

This year is the advent of garter-free pantyhose.

Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J. P. Richardson die in a plane crash (February 3, now known as The Day the Music Died).

Lee Harvey Oswald immigrates to Russia. Barbie is born on March 9, entering the world as a curvaceous eternal 20-something.

The microchip’s invention means the electronic age is just around the corner.

Soon the generation that remembers the 1950s will be gone. The days of innocence and tight censorship on TV are past. Gone is the norm of the traditional family, the Cleavers and uncomplicated heroes like the Lone Ranger. Gone are the chrome and brightly-colored vinyl barstools, the checkered floors of the diners. Even the imitations, whether it is 1950s furniture or sitcoms based on groundbreaking television shows from the era, cannot bring back the wonder and nostalgia of the nation’s favorite decade.

*50's Trivia Quiz*

141 posted on 03/02/2012 12:02:21 PM PST by AZamericonnie
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Comment #142 Removed by Moderator

To: Kathy in Alaska

No rain in the near forecast. It is 83 now, but should cool off with the “cool front”.

143 posted on 03/02/2012 1:01:55 PM PST by Arrowhead1952 (Dear God, thanks for the rain, but please let it rain more in Texas. Amen.)
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I hope you and yours are safe from these devastating storms!

144 posted on 03/02/2012 3:01:36 PM PST by LUV W (This space reserved for AF son....our troops....the vets from all wars...)
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