History UsefulNotes / TheFifties

17th Jun '16 8:22:41 PM gewunomox
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* Music-wise, radio played all kinds of novelty and other crap we wouldn't even recognize today -- and all kinds of relatively good stuff that we also wouldn't recognize today. [[ElvisPresley Elvis]] and RockAndRoll blew everything else out of the water, to the point that even the best pre-Elvis Fifties music is more obscure than it deserves to be. Popular music included cool jazz, big band/swing, pop music (although we'd probably call it "easy listening" -- think Doris Day and Dean Martin), Hawaiian music (wildly popular in the Fifties), and ''sometimes'' classical (but only the "big hits" -- a real classical aficionado went to the symphony instead). Also popular was anything that smacked of the exotic, whether it was authentic or not -- Yma Sumac, tiki drums, bogus African rhythms (basically the BarryWhite of the Fifties), and the like. On the other hand, hot jazz, soul, blues, and other music popular among blacks was considered "race music" and wasn't available in most record shops.

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* Music-wise, radio played all kinds of novelty and other crap we wouldn't even recognize today -- and all kinds of relatively good stuff that we also wouldn't recognize today. [[ElvisPresley Elvis]] and RockAndRoll blew everything else out of the water, to the point that even the best pre-Elvis Fifties music is more obscure than it deserves to be. Popular music included cool jazz, big band/swing, pop music (although we'd probably call it "easy listening" -- think Doris Day and Dean Martin), Hawaiian music (wildly popular in the Fifties), and ''sometimes'' classical (but only the "big hits" -- a real classical aficionado went to the symphony instead). Also popular was anything that smacked of the exotic, whether it was authentic or not -- Yma Sumac, tiki drums, bogus African rhythms (basically the BarryWhite Music/BarryWhite of the Fifties), and the like. On the other hand, hot jazz, soul, blues, and other music popular among blacks was considered "race music" and wasn't available in most record shops.
18th Jan '16 10:53:01 PM TheFuzzinator
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** It was taken as obvious that marriage would last unto death, and most often it did. Divorce rates in the Fifties seem almost phenomenally low compared to more recent years, although whether this was due to people taking their specific relationships more seriously, or whether they were simply more conditioned to marriage as a concept, is still debated. While much easier to obtain than of old, divorce was still socially quite risque, and if children were involved the assumption was that the couple would, and should, make every effort to stay together for them.

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** It was taken as obvious that marriage would last unto death, and most often it did. Divorce rates in the Fifties seem almost phenomenally low compared to more recent years, although whether this was due to people taking their specific relationships more seriously, or whether they were simply more conditioned to marriage as a concept, is still debated. While much easier to obtain than of old, divorce was still socially quite risque, and if children were involved the assumption was that the couple would, and should, make every effort to stay together for them. Disturbingly, DomesticAbuse often wasn't seen as a valid reason for divorce, and unless the husband was a drunk, it was often assumed to be [[DoubleStandard the wife's fault]].
2nd Jan '16 8:56:53 PM gemmabeta2
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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 airforce 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. 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 airforce 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.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.
26th Oct '15 11:37:47 AM TheFuzzinator
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* Most people owned much less clothing than we do. A young woman would likely own two blouses, one skirt, one jacket, one pair of shoes, seven changes of underwear, one nightie, a slip (look it up), and two or three pairs of hose that she'd have to make last for months. She would also have at least one hat, since it was actually a requirement at the time that women wear hats in church. She might also have a casual shirt and a pair of jeans, and likely a winter coat, gloves, and boots in a cold climate. This means that she'd have to wear her clothing at least three or four times between washings. Stockings were held up by a garter belt, and for adult women a girdle (basically a less restrictive, boning-free corset) was ''de rigueur''.

to:

* Most people owned much less clothing than we do. A young woman would likely own two blouses, one skirt, one jacket, one pair of shoes, seven changes of underwear, one nightie, a slip (look it up), and two or three pairs of hose that she'd have to make last for months. She would also have at least one hat, since it was actually a requirement at the time that women wear hats in church. She might also have a casual shirt and a pair of jeans, and likely a winter coat, gloves, and boots in a cold climate. This means that she'd have to wear her clothing at least three or four times between washings. Stockings were held up by a garter belt, and for adult women a girdle (basically a less restrictive, boning-free corset) was ''de rigueur''. Those who could afford it had a "good" dress, worn to church and on dates, and rarely for any other purpose. As fashions tended to change from year to year, sometimes quite drastically, girls and women also had to be good at altering their clothing to fit the current style. Younger chidlren usually had their older siblings' hand-me-downs, and rarely got new clothing (save for, perhaps, what would be worn to church). Likewise, there was a large divide between "school clothes" and "play clothes", the latter of which were usually what the former would become, once they were worn out and and no longer fit right. ("School clothes" for children usually consisted of one, ''maybe'' two outfits.)
24th Oct '15 5:30:34 PM nombretomado
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* The networks generally only provided programming for certain times of day: quiz shows, newscasts, sitcoms and dramas [[PrimeTime at night]] and [[SoapOpera soaps]] during the afternoon. The rest of the time, stations either signed off (they all signed off at night, for a number of reasons), broadcast sporting events, or played old movies. Most had a local kids' show, whose host often doubled as the local evening news anchor. For more information, see the UsefulNotes/ANSIStandardBroadcastTVSchedule.

to:

* The networks generally only provided programming for certain times of day: quiz shows, newscasts, sitcoms and dramas [[PrimeTime [[UsefulNotes/PrimeTime at night]] and [[SoapOpera soaps]] during the afternoon. The rest of the time, stations either signed off (they all signed off at night, for a number of reasons), broadcast sporting events, or played old movies. Most had a local kids' show, whose host often doubled as the local evening news anchor. For more information, see the UsefulNotes/ANSIStandardBroadcastTVSchedule.
18th Oct '15 2:11:03 AM Morgenthaler
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* The typical blockbuster -- even the ones set specifically outdoors -- took place on indoor soundstages, and tended to involve much more singing & dancing than blowing things up. Every woman wanted her husband to be CaryGrant (or, later, [[PillowTalk Rock Hudson]]); every teenage girl wished for a real-life [[ElvisPresley Elvis]] or JamesDean; every man wanted his wife to be MarilynMonroe (or Creator/GraceKelly, or, later, [[PillowTalk Doris Day]]).

to:

* The typical blockbuster -- even the ones set specifically outdoors -- took place on indoor soundstages, and tended to involve much more singing & dancing than blowing things up. Every woman wanted her husband to be CaryGrant Creator/CaryGrant (or, later, [[PillowTalk Rock Hudson]]); Hudson); every teenage girl wished for a real-life [[ElvisPresley Elvis]] Music/ElvisPresley or JamesDean; Creator/JamesDean; every man wanted his wife to be MarilynMonroe Creator/MarilynMonroe (or Creator/GraceKelly, or, later, [[PillowTalk Doris Day]]).Day).
7th Sep '15 1:05:29 PM nombretomado
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* In most homes, there were no showers. At this point, showers were only found in the most modern residences, such as trendy NewYorkCity apartments or swinging UsefulNotes/LosAngeles ranch homes. The average person bathed instead of showering, a process which could take the better part of an hour given low water pressure and the expectation that the bather would scrub the tub perfectly clean afterwards. Most houses only had one bathtub. Suffice to say that a daily bath wasn't always possible in even a small family. After the bath, incidentally, the Fifties woman would likely let her hair air-dry. The only home "hair dryers" were stand dryers, which these days are seen now mainly in beauty salons.

to:

* In most homes, there were no showers. At this point, showers were only found in the most modern residences, such as trendy NewYorkCity UsefulNotes/NewYorkCity apartments or swinging UsefulNotes/LosAngeles ranch homes. The average person bathed instead of showering, a process which could take the better part of an hour given low water pressure and the expectation that the bather would scrub the tub perfectly clean afterwards. Most houses only had one bathtub. Suffice to say that a daily bath wasn't always possible in even a small family. After the bath, incidentally, the Fifties woman would likely let her hair air-dry. The only home "hair dryers" were stand dryers, which these days are seen now mainly in beauty salons.
4th Aug '15 10:41:18 PM MAI742
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** The idea of 'Massive Retaliation' would continue to influence NATO military thinking right up until the end of the Cold War, even after it was nominally discarded towards in the late '50s in favour of 'Flexible Response' doctrine and actually in the late 1970s by 'Follow On Forces Attack' doctrine - under which tactical nukes would only be used if the USA started losing, and strategic nukes only in tit-for-tat/eye-for-an-eye responses to Soviet first-strikes. FOFA doctrine still had a fundamental flaw in that [[StrategyVersusTactics it did not define where 'tactical' use ended and 'strategic' use began]]. Worse, NATO commanders had an incentive to take advantage of this ambiguity by glassing the major cities of East Germany and Poland. This would have been a useful expedient in the first three weeks of the war to prevent Soviet reinforcements from reaching the front lines. If allowed to transit through those countries, they could disperse their forces and 'hug' NATO forces upon reaching the front lines, whereupon the tactical nuclear bombardment of Soviet forces on West German soil would only have been marginally effective and so western Europe might have been lost.

to:

** The idea of 'Massive Retaliation' would continue to influence NATO military thinking right up until the end of the Cold War, even after it was nominally discarded towards in the late '50s in favour of 'Flexible Response' doctrine and actually in the late 1970s by 'Follow On Forces Attack' doctrine - under which tactical nukes would only be used if the USA started losing, and strategic nukes only in tit-for-tat/eye-for-an-eye responses to Soviet first-strikes. FOFA doctrine still had a fundamental flaw in that [[StrategyVersusTactics it did not define where 'tactical' use ended and 'strategic' use began]]. Worse, NATO commanders had an incentive strong incentives to take advantage of this ambiguity by glassing the major cities of East Germany and Poland. This would have been a useful expedient in the first three weeks of the war to prevent Soviet reinforcements from reaching the front lines. If allowed to transit through those countries, they could disperse their forces and 'hug' NATO forces upon reaching the front lines, whereupon the tactical nuclear bombardment of Soviet forces on West German soil would only have been marginally effective and so western Europe might have been lost.
4th Aug '15 10:40:08 PM MAI742
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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 airforce 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. Interestingly this nuclear craze also characterised UsefulNotes/NikitaKhruschev 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 airforce 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. Interestingly this nuclear craze also characterised UsefulNotes/NikitaKhruschev 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.
4th Aug '15 10:39:44 PM MAI742
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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 airforce 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.

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 airforce 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. Interestingly this nuclear craze also characterised UsefulNotes/NikitaKhruschev 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.
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