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Dwight D. Eisenhower THE POSTWAR BOOM

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Dwight D. Eisenhower THE POSTWAR BOOM THE AMERICAN DREAM IN THE 1950S – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Dwight D. Eisenhower THE POSTWAR BOOM


1
Dwight D. Eisenhower THE POSTWAR BOOM
  • THE AMERICAN DREAM IN THE 1950S

2
1950s Economy
  • a. Post-war spending trends continued into the
    1950s
  • b. Americans invested in items based around the
    home and family life
  • c. The American consumer was praised as a
    patriotic citizen one who contributed to the
    overall success of the American way of life

3
  • Consumerism

4
Westinghouse Refrigerator Example of 1950s
Consumerism
5
  • d. Defense spending accounted for half of the
    federal budget
  • e. Nations first nuclear power plant opened in
    1957 the chemical and electronics industry
    boomed
  • f. Beneath this widespread prosperity, poverty
    was becoming more prevalent and the gap between
    rich and poor widened (more than 1/5 lived below
    the poverty line)

6
THE SUBURBAN LIFESTYLE
  • a. After WWII, returning vets faced a severe
    housing shortage
  • b. In response to the crisis, developers used
    assembly-line methods to mass-produce houses
  • c. Developer William Levitt bragged that his
    company could build a home in 16 minutes for
    7,000
  • d. Suburbs were born

With the help of the GI Bill, many veterans moved
into suburbs
7
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8
THE SUBURBAN LIFESTYLE
  • e. Most Americans worked in cities, but fewer and
    fewer of them lived there
  • f. New highways and the affordability of cars and
    gasoline made commuting possible
  • g. Of the 13 million homes built in the 1950s,
    85 were built in suburbs
  • h. For many, the suburbs were the American Dream

The American Dream complete with a white picket
fence
9
Big Business and Labor Unions
  • a. Big business flourished in the 1950s less
    than .05 of American corporations controlled
    more than half of the nations corporate wealth
  • b. Advances in science and technology decreased
    the amount of labor necessary for industry and
    agriculture to be financially successful which
    led to consolidation of industry and agriculture
    into large corporations

10
  • c. Unions consolidated as well AFL and CIO
    merged in 1955
  • d. Prosperity meant high wages and few labor
    complaints depriving unions of the needed
    membership

11
Affluent Society
  • a. Term coined by John Kenneth Galbraith in The
    Affluent Society (1958)
  • b. Ironic term that described the 1950s U.S. as
    rich in the private resources but poor in public
    ones because of misplaced priority on increasing
    production of trivial consumer goods

12
John Kenneth Galbraith
13
  • c. Galbraith argued the U.S. should shift
    resources to improve schools, the infrastructure,
    and social services
  • d. Galbraith will influence social reform efforts
    of the 1960s
  • e. The term Affluent Society has lost its
    original ironic meaning today it is used to
    indicate widespread prosperity

14
Baby Boom and the Overall Impact
  • a. Prosperity led Americans to start families
    earlier and have more children
  • b. Birth rate grew steadily from 1950 to its peak
    in 1957
  • c. U.S. population grew from 150 million to about
    180 million during the 1950s
  • d. Baby boomers represent the largest generation
    in the nations history

15
What are the official years of the Baby Boom Generation?
1946 - 1964 saw a marked increase in the number of births in North America.
How did the birthrate rise and fall during the baby boom years in the US? How did the birthrate rise and fall during the baby boom years in the US?
1940 2,559,000 births per year
1946 3,311,000 births per year
1955 4,097,000 births per year
1957 4,300,000 births per year
1964 4,027,000 births per year
1974 3,160,000 births per year
1957 ? 1 baby born every 7 seconds
It seems to me that every other young housewife I
see is pregnant. -- British visitor to
America, 1958
16
WHAT IT WILL MEAN TO YOU
Your generation will be supporting an
increasingly aging American population
17
WHY SO MANY BABIES?
  • Why did the baby boom occur when it did?
  • a. Husbands returning from war
  • b. Decreasing marriage age
  • c. Desirability of large families
  • d. Confidence in economy
  • e. Advances in medicine

18
ADVANCES IN MEDICINE AND CHILDCARE
  • a. Advances in the treatment of childhood
    diseases included drugs to combat typhoid fever
    and polio (Jonas Salk)

Dr. Salk was instrumental in the eradication of
polio
19
DR. SPOCK ADVISES PARENTS
  • a. Many parents raised their children according
    to the guidelines of pediatrician Dr. Benjamin
    Spock
  • b. He thought children should be allowed to
    express themselves and parents should never
    physically punish their kids

Dr. Spocks book sold 10 million copies in the
1950s
20
  • c. Dr. Benjamin Spock author of Baby and Child
    Care (1946) suggested mothers devote themselves
    to the fulltime care of their children

21
  • Baby Boom

Dr. Benjamin Spock and the Anderson Quintuplets
22
  • d. Popular culture depicted marriage and taking
    care of the family as the primary goal of the
    American woman
  • e. Religious messages began to merge into popular
    culture during the 1950s Congress added under
    God to the Pledge of Allegiance
  • (due to the fight against communism)

23
Fads of the Baby Boomers
Hula Hoops
Frozen Foods
Poodle Skirts and Saddle Shoes
Panty Raids
Barbie and GI Joe Dolls
Bikinis
Frisbees
Yo-yos
Ouija Boards
Dune Buggies
What celebrity deaths have most affected the Baby Boomers?
John F. Kennedy
Marilyn Monroe
Martin Luther King
John Lennon
24
Consumer Culture - Television
  • a. TV dominated American culture during the 1950s
    only 6 TV stations broadcast in 1946 and by
    1956, 442 stations were operating
  • b. 7 million TV sets were sold in 1951
  • c. TV portrayed a cookie-cutter stereotyped image
    of happy, prosperous Americans

25
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26
POPULAR CULTURE
  • d. A new era of mass media led by television
    emerged in the 1950s
  • e. In 1948, only 9 of homes had T.V
  • f. In 1950, 55 of homes had T.V.
  • g. By 1960, 90 of American homes had T.V.

27
  • h. TV brought messages of conformity and
    consumerism
  • i. TV produced fads for the hula hoop and Davy
    Crocketts coonskin cap

28
Despite their success, some workers questioned
whether pursuing the American dream exacted too
high a price, as conformity replaced
individuality
29
THE GOLDEN AGE OF TELEVISION
  • J. The 1950s was known as the Golden Age of
    Television
  • k. Comedies were the main attraction as Milton
    Berle, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz were very
    popular

Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball starred in I Love Lucy
30
TELEVISION EXPERIMENTS WITH VARIOUS FORMATS
  • l. Television innovations like on-the-scene-news
    reporting, interviews, westerns and sporting
    events offered the viewer a variety of shows
  • m. Kids shows like The Howdy Doody Show and The
    Mickey Mouse Club were extremely popular

31
TV ADS, TV GUIDES AND TV DINNERS EXPAND
  • n. TV advertising soared from 170 million in
    1950 to nearly 2 billion in 1960
  • o. TV Guide magazine quickly became the best
    selling magazine
  • p. Frozen TV dinners were introduced in 1954
    these complete ready-to-heat meals on disposable
    aluminum trays made it easy for people to eat
    without missing their favorite shows

32
A SUBCULTURE EMERGES
  • a. Although mass media and television were wildly
    popular in the 1950s, dissenting voices emerged
  • b. The Beat Movement in literature and rock n
    roll clashed with tidy suburban views of life

33
BEATNIKS FOLLOW OWN PATH
  • c. Centered in San Francisco, L.A. and New Yorks
    Greenwich Village, the Beat Movement expressed
    social nonconformity
  • d. Followers, called beatniks, tended to shun
    work and sought understanding through Zen
    Buddhism, music, and sometimes drugs

Beatniks often performed poetry or music in
coffeehouses or bars
34
MUSIC IN THE 1950s
  • a. Musicians in the 1950s added electronic
    instruments to traditional blues music, creating
    rhythm and blues
  • b. Cleveland DJ Alan Freed was the first to play
    this music in 1951 he called it rock and roll

FREED
35
ROCK N ROLL
  • c. In the early and mid-fifties, Richard
    Penniman, Chuck Berry, Bill Haley and the Comets,
    and especially Elvis Presley brought rock and
    roll to the forefront
  • d. The driving rhythm and lyrics featuring love,
    cars,
    and problems
    of being
    young ---
    captivated
    teenagers
    across the
    country

36
THE KING OF ROCK AND ROLL
  • e. Elvis Presleys rebellious style captured
    young audiences
  • f. Girls screamed and fainted, and boys tried to
    imitate him

37
Consumer Culture -Rock-n-Roll
  • g. Elvis Presley epitomized rock-n-roll of the
    1950s
  • h. Born in Tupelo, MS in 1935
  • i. Presley produced 14 consecutive records
    between 1956 and 1958 each sold over a million
    copies

38
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39
THE AUTOMOBILE CULTURE
  • a. After the rationing of WWII, inexpensive and
    plentiful fuel and easy credit led many to buy
    cars
  • b. By 1960, over 60 million Americans owned autos

40
INTERSTATE HIGHWAY ACT 1956
  • a. In 1956 Ike authorized a nationwide highway
    network 41,000 miles of road linking America

41
THE INTERSTATE HIGHWAY SYSTEM
  • b. Automania spurred the construction of roads
    linking major cities while connecting schools,
    shopping centers and workplaces to residential
    suburbs

42
IMPACT OF THE HIGHWAY
  • c. The Interstate Highway system resulted in
  • 1. More trucking
  • 2. Less railroad
  • 3. More suburbs, further away

Trucking is the 1 means of moving cargo in the
United States today
43
HIGHWAYS HOMOGENIZE AMERICA
  • d. Another effect of the highway system was that
    the scenery of America began to look the same
  • e. Restaurants, motels, highway billboards, gas
    stations, etc. all began to look similar
  • f. The nation had become homogenized

Anytown, USA
44
Our new roads, with their ancillaries, the
motels, filling stations, and restaurants
advertising eats, have made it possible for you
to drive from Brooklyn to Los Angeles without a
change of diet, scenery, or culture. John
Keats, The Insolent Chariots 1958
45
Duck and Cover
  • a. Fears of nuclear attacks from the Soviets
    prompted a new social phenomenon
  • b. Americans began building bomb shelters or
    fallout shelters

46
  • c. U.S. Government produced Duck and Cover (1951)
    as a public awareness campaign to illustrate that
    nuclear attacks could occur at anytime

47
  • d. School children helped in making the project
    the cartoon character Bert the Turtle was used
    as the subject of practicing duck and cover
    tactics
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