History UsefulNotes / TheFifties

29th Oct '17 12:49:11 PM nombretomado
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* The CivilRightsMovement kicked off in the latter half of this decade, but it would take awhile yet for it to trickle down into the mainstream. Most Northern whites were in favor of ending segregation, but they disagreed with the tactics of the civil rights activists, which they considered "radical"; their frustration would only deepen in TheSixties as black activism became even ''more'' militant. Segregation was pervasive in the South: there were the separate drinking fountains and bathrooms and lunch counters and schools. In the private sphere, it was not unknown in the North; for instance, the Levittown suburban developments were notorious for selling their homes only to white customers. Minorities trying to move in with resales often faced racist harassment, but at least the North state governments were more willing to move to stop it if it got really serious. Despite the economic problems caused by this, blacks were gaining education and moving into the middle class at rates never seen before -- or since.

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* The CivilRightsMovement UsefulNotes/CivilRightsMovement kicked off in the latter half of this decade, but it would take awhile yet for it to trickle down into the mainstream. Most Northern whites were in favor of ending segregation, but they disagreed with the tactics of the civil rights activists, which they considered "radical"; their frustration would only deepen in TheSixties as black activism became even ''more'' militant. Segregation was pervasive in the South: there were the separate drinking fountains and bathrooms and lunch counters and schools. In the private sphere, it was not unknown in the North; for instance, the Levittown suburban developments were notorious for selling their homes only to white customers. Minorities trying to move in with resales often faced racist harassment, but at least the North state governments were more willing to move to stop it if it got really serious. Despite the economic problems caused by this, blacks were gaining education and moving into the middle class at rates never seen before -- or since.
17th Sep '17 1:37:21 AM jamespolk
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* Americans were especially afraid of [[WorldWarIII nuclear war]]. Civil Defense seemed to be everywhere -- what's now known as the Emergency Alert System was then called [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CONELRAD CONELRAD]], which could only be used to warn the population of incoming Soviet bombers. (no weather warning system back then) There were evacuation route signs along major roads, people built bomb shelters in their basements and backyards, radios had the CONELRAD frequencies marked right on the dial, and schoolkids were drilled to "WesternAnimation/DuckAndCover" under their desks in case those DirtyCommies dropped the Big One, the A-Bomb. But even people who weren't actually afraid were affected by it. Nihilism and fatalism were big in the Fifties, and a big reason was the possibility of instant, unavoidable nuclear death.

to:

* Americans were especially afraid of [[WorldWarIII nuclear war]]. Civil Defense seemed to be everywhere -- what's now known as the Emergency Alert System was then called [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CONELRAD CONELRAD]], which could only be used to warn the population of incoming Soviet bombers. (no weather warning system back then) There were evacuation route signs along major roads, people built bomb shelters in their basements and backyards, radios had the CONELRAD frequencies marked right on the dial, and schoolkids were drilled to "WesternAnimation/DuckAndCover" "Film/DuckAndCover" under their desks in case those DirtyCommies dropped the Big One, the A-Bomb. But even people who weren't actually afraid were affected by it. Nihilism and fatalism were big in the Fifties, and a big reason was the possibility of instant, unavoidable nuclear death.
16th Sep '17 7:36:59 PM jamespolk
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* Americans were especially afraid of [[WorldWarIII nuclear war]]. Civil Defense seemed to be everywhere -- what's now known as the Emergency Alert System was then called [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CONELRAD CONELRAD]], which could only be used to warn the population of incoming Soviet bombers. (no weather warning system back then) There were evacuation route signs along major roads, people built bomb shelters in their basements and backyards, radios had the CONELRAD frequencies marked right on the dial, and schoolkids were drilled to "duck and cover" under their desks in case those DirtyCommies dropped the Big One, the A-Bomb. But even people who weren't actually afraid were affected by it. Nihilism and fatalism were big in the Fifties, and a big reason was the possibility of instant, unavoidable nuclear death.

to:

* Americans were especially afraid of [[WorldWarIII nuclear war]]. Civil Defense seemed to be everywhere -- what's now known as the Emergency Alert System was then called [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CONELRAD CONELRAD]], which could only be used to warn the population of incoming Soviet bombers. (no weather warning system back then) There were evacuation route signs along major roads, people built bomb shelters in their basements and backyards, radios had the CONELRAD frequencies marked right on the dial, and schoolkids were drilled to "duck and cover" "WesternAnimation/DuckAndCover" under their desks in case those DirtyCommies dropped the Big One, the A-Bomb. But even people who weren't actually afraid were affected by it. Nihilism and fatalism were big in the Fifties, and a big reason was the possibility of instant, unavoidable nuclear death.
16th Sep '17 5:27:37 PM nombretomado
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* The [[YanksWithTanks military]], on the other hand, embraced nuclear weapons to a somewhat alarming extent. The nuclear bomb had ended the last great conflict, so it was only logical to them that the next one would ''start'' with them. Both the air force and the army structured themselves around the assumption that on Day 1 of a Soviet attack on Western Europe, the President would authorize and the airforce would execute [[NukeEm a massive nuclear attack]] against the entire communist bloc that was both strategic (ie: nuking cities) and tactical (nuking armies) in nature. Then the army would mop-up any remaining resistance. In fact, one famous military theorist, Herman Kahn, derided this plan in High Command's faces that it was more having a "wargasm" than fighting in a realistic way. Naturally, the adoption of this idea came at the detriment of US conventional forces, something which would come back to bite them in UsefulNotes/TheVietnamWar [[note]]In an incident refered to as the "Revolt of the Admirals", the government came close to almost completely dismantling the Navy and the Marine Corps on the assumption that they are not very useful in a nuclear slugfest (this was before the invention of ICBM-carrying "boomer" submarines) until a group of US Admirals publicly ripped congress a new one in the press[[/note]]. Interestingly this nuclear craze also characterised UsefulNotes/NikitaKhrushchev and his.... [[WhatAnIdiot unique]]... approach to warfare. Soviet conventional forces suffered similar cuts and neglect under his rule and would only recover at about the same time as the USA's, under UsefulNotes/LeonidBrezhnev in the late '60s.

to:

* The [[YanksWithTanks [[UsefulNotes/YanksWithTanks military]], on the other hand, embraced nuclear weapons to a somewhat alarming extent. The nuclear bomb had ended the last great conflict, so it was only logical to them that the next one would ''start'' with them. Both the air force and the army structured themselves around the assumption that on Day 1 of a Soviet attack on Western Europe, the President would authorize and the airforce would execute [[NukeEm a massive nuclear attack]] against the entire communist bloc that was both strategic (ie: nuking cities) and tactical (nuking armies) in nature. Then the army would mop-up any remaining resistance. In fact, one famous military theorist, Herman Kahn, derided this plan in High Command's faces that it was more having a "wargasm" than fighting in a realistic way. Naturally, the adoption of this idea came at the detriment of US conventional forces, something which would come back to bite them in UsefulNotes/TheVietnamWar [[note]]In an incident refered to as the "Revolt of the Admirals", the government came close to almost completely dismantling the Navy and the Marine Corps on the assumption that they are not very useful in a nuclear slugfest (this was before the invention of ICBM-carrying "boomer" submarines) until a group of US Admirals publicly ripped congress a new one in the press[[/note]]. Interestingly this nuclear craze also characterised UsefulNotes/NikitaKhrushchev and his.... [[WhatAnIdiot unique]]... approach to warfare. Soviet conventional forces suffered similar cuts and neglect under his rule and would only recover at about the same time as the USA's, under UsefulNotes/LeonidBrezhnev in the late '60s.
21st Aug '17 7:07:19 AM Jormungar
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* EverybodySmokes is TruthInTelevision. And by "everybody" we mean ''everybody'' - parents, priests, little old ladies, kids over 10, doctors, teachers, scientists, students - everyone, that is, other than very young children and observant Mormons and members of other religions that don't permit tobacco use. As a matter of fact, the highest rate of smoking among men in US history was in this decade, around 63%. (The highest for women was during TheSixties at some 54%.) This was the age just after World War II, in which the collapse of currency often led to ''cigarettes'' becoming ''de facto'' currency, and cigarette rations were almost considered as vital as food. Any adult who didn't smoke ran the risk of being viewed as being no fun at all. Tobacco ads pitched cigarettes to women as a much better habit than fattening candy... and lung cancer patients were often told to ''switch to filtered cigarettes'', because "the unfiltered type could irritate the lungs". Cigarette commercials were often run on television, and some brands even sought [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oEVrIiWvYK4 medical endorsement]].

to:

* EverybodySmokes is TruthInTelevision. And by "everybody" we mean ''everybody'' - parents, priests, little old ladies, kids over 10, doctors, teachers, scientists, students - everyone, that is, other than very young children and observant Mormons and members of other religions that don't permit tobacco use. As a matter of fact, the highest rate of smoking among men in US history was in this decade, around 63%. (The highest for women was during TheSixties at some 54%.) This was the age just after World War II, in which the economic collapse of currency often led to ''cigarettes'' becoming ''de facto'' currency, and cigarette rations were almost considered as vital as food. Any adult who didn't smoke ran the risk of being viewed as being no fun at all. Tobacco ads pitched cigarettes to women as a much better habit than fattening candy... and lung cancer patients were often told to ''switch to filtered cigarettes'', because "the unfiltered type could irritate the lungs". Cigarette commercials were often run on television, and some brands even sought [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oEVrIiWvYK4 medical endorsement]].
21st Aug '17 7:06:25 AM Jormungar
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* EverybodySmokes is TruthInTelevision. And by "everybody" we mean ''everybody'' - parents, priests, little old ladies, kids over 10, doctors, teachers, scientists, students - everyone, that is, other than very young children and observant Mormons and members of other religions that don't permit tobacco use. As a matter of fact, the highest rate of smoking among men in US history was in this decade, around 63%. (The highest for women was during TheSixties at some 54%.) Any adult who didn't smoke ran the risk of being viewed as being no fun at all. Tobacco ads pitched cigarettes to women as a much better habit than fattening candy... and lung cancer patients were often told to ''switch to filtered cigarettes'', because "the unfiltered type could irritate the lungs". Cigarette commercials were often run on television, and some brands even sought [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oEVrIiWvYK4 medical endorsement]].
** Anti-smoking did exist in some parts of society. In ''Literature/TheVoyageOfTheDawnTreader'', which was written in 1950, Eustace's parents are described(and mocked for being) modern up-to-date people who were non-smokers. In the American 1942 short story "The Catbird Seat" by James Thurber, Mr. Martin is praised by his boss for neither drinking nor smoking. However, there were very few places where smoking was forbidden - schools, some areas of hospitals, around the pumps at filling stations. Smoking was usually forbidden in medical waiting rooms (but not always), but every office allowed smoking.

to:

* EverybodySmokes is TruthInTelevision. And by "everybody" we mean ''everybody'' - parents, priests, little old ladies, kids over 10, doctors, teachers, scientists, students - everyone, that is, other than very young children and observant Mormons and members of other religions that don't permit tobacco use. As a matter of fact, the highest rate of smoking among men in US history was in this decade, around 63%. (The highest for women was during TheSixties at some 54%.) This was the age just after World War II, in which the collapse of currency often led to ''cigarettes'' becoming ''de facto'' currency, and cigarette rations were almost considered as vital as food. Any adult who didn't smoke ran the risk of being viewed as being no fun at all. Tobacco ads pitched cigarettes to women as a much better habit than fattening candy... and lung cancer patients were often told to ''switch to filtered cigarettes'', because "the unfiltered type could irritate the lungs". Cigarette commercials were often run on television, and some brands even sought [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oEVrIiWvYK4 medical endorsement]].
** Anti-smoking did exist in some parts of society. In ''Literature/TheVoyageOfTheDawnTreader'', which was written in 1950, Eustace's parents are described(and described as (and mocked for being) modern up-to-date people who were non-smokers. In the American 1942 short story "The Catbird Seat" by James Thurber, Mr. Martin is praised by his boss for neither drinking nor smoking. However, there were very few places where smoking was forbidden - schools, some areas of hospitals, around the pumps at filling stations. Smoking was usually forbidden in medical waiting rooms (but not always), but every office allowed smoking.
18th Jun '17 10:19:12 AM nombretomado
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* People went to movies all the time... there being no other way to see them. A night out at the 'movie palace' would involve not only the feature but a short animated cartoon (this is where WaltDisney and the WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes got their start) and sometimes still a newsreel, although TV news broadcasts were quickly rendering them obsolete. Kids especially spent part of every Saturday at the local kiddie show theater watching [[BMovie B-movies]]. It was cheap, it was fun, and it was safe.

to:

* People went to movies all the time... there being no other way to see them. A night out at the 'movie palace' would involve not only the feature but a short animated cartoon (this is where WaltDisney Creator/WaltDisney and the WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes got their start) and sometimes still a newsreel, although TV news broadcasts were quickly rendering them obsolete. Kids especially spent part of every Saturday at the local kiddie show theater watching [[BMovie B-movies]]. It was cheap, it was fun, and it was safe.
27th May '17 2:05:41 PM nombretomado
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* The [[YanksWithTanks military]], on the other hand, embraced nuclear weapons to a somewhat alarming extent. The nuclear bomb had ended the last great conflict, so it was only logical to them that the next one would ''start'' with them. Both the air force and the army structured themselves around the assumption that on Day 1 of a Soviet attack on Western Europe, the President would authorize and the airforce would execute [[NukeEm a massive nuclear attack]] against the entire communist bloc that was both strategic (ie: nuking cities) and tactical (nuking armies) in nature. Then the army would mop-up any remaining resistance. In fact, one famous military theorist, Herman Kahn, derided this plan in High Command's faces that it was more having a "wargasm" than fighting in a realistic way. Naturally, the adoption of this idea came at the detriment of US conventional forces, something which would come back to bite them in the VietnamWar [[note]]In an incident refered to as the "Revolt of the Admirals", the government came close to almost completely dismantling the Navy and the Marine Corps on the assumption that they are not very useful in a nuclear slugfest (this was before the invention of ICBM-carrying "boomer" submarines) until a group of US Admirals publicly ripped congress a new one in the press[[/note]]. Interestingly this nuclear craze also characterised UsefulNotes/NikitaKhrushchev and his.... [[WhatAnIdiot unique]]... approach to warfare. Soviet conventional forces suffered similar cuts and neglect under his rule and would only recover at about the same time as the USA's, under UsefulNotes/LeonidBrezhnev in the late '60s.

to:

* The [[YanksWithTanks military]], on the other hand, embraced nuclear weapons to a somewhat alarming extent. The nuclear bomb had ended the last great conflict, so it was only logical to them that the next one would ''start'' with them. Both the air force and the army structured themselves around the assumption that on Day 1 of a Soviet attack on Western Europe, the President would authorize and the airforce would execute [[NukeEm a massive nuclear attack]] against the entire communist bloc that was both strategic (ie: nuking cities) and tactical (nuking armies) in nature. Then the army would mop-up any remaining resistance. In fact, one famous military theorist, Herman Kahn, derided this plan in High Command's faces that it was more having a "wargasm" than fighting in a realistic way. Naturally, the adoption of this idea came at the detriment of US conventional forces, something which would come back to bite them in the VietnamWar UsefulNotes/TheVietnamWar [[note]]In an incident refered to as the "Revolt of the Admirals", the government came close to almost completely dismantling the Navy and the Marine Corps on the assumption that they are not very useful in a nuclear slugfest (this was before the invention of ICBM-carrying "boomer" submarines) until a group of US Admirals publicly ripped congress a new one in the press[[/note]]. Interestingly this nuclear craze also characterised UsefulNotes/NikitaKhrushchev and his.... [[WhatAnIdiot unique]]... approach to warfare. Soviet conventional forces suffered similar cuts and neglect under his rule and would only recover at about the same time as the USA's, under UsefulNotes/LeonidBrezhnev in the late '60s.
16th Apr '17 5:33:38 PM nombretomado
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* Comedy, meanwhile, was quietly undergoing a revolution, moving away from slapstick and 'big punchlines' toward a more cerebral, deadpan style, led by the likes of Radio/BobAndRay, StanFreberg and Ernie Kovacs. It would take some while before this was reflected on your average SitCom, though.

to:

* Comedy, meanwhile, was quietly undergoing a revolution, moving away from slapstick and 'big punchlines' toward a more cerebral, deadpan style, led by the likes of Radio/BobAndRay, StanFreberg Creator/StanFreberg and Ernie Kovacs. It would take some while before this was reflected on your average SitCom, though.
25th Dec '16 3:14:15 PM Morgenthaler
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* Blue denim (jeans were at this point more often called 'dungarees' or just 'Levis') was for the first time widely available as casual wear, as opposed to work or prison uniforms. Levis quickly gained a rep as sexy and rebellious with teens and young adults after James Dean wore them in ''RebelWithoutACause''.

to:

* Blue denim (jeans were at this point more often called 'dungarees' or just 'Levis') was for the first time widely available as casual wear, as opposed to work or prison uniforms. Levis quickly gained a rep as sexy and rebellious with teens and young adults after James Dean wore them in ''RebelWithoutACause''.''Film/RebelWithoutACause''.
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