The United States in the 1950s
The 1950s are noted in United States history as a time of both compliance and conformity and also of rebellion. Major U.S. events during the decade included:
- The Korean War (1950-1953);
- The election of Second World War hero and retired Army Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower as President in 1952 and his subsequent re-election in 1956;
- The Red Scare and anti-Communist hysteria of the McCarthy era;
- The U.S. reaction to the 1957 launch by the Soviet Union of the Sputnik satellite, a major milepost of the Cold War.
Compliance and attempts at social perfection were hallmarks of the 1950s domestic scene, where the two-parent families in which the father worked in industry and the mother remained home as a homemaker were idealized in television programs such as Leave it to Beaver. Social undercurrents subverting this view were seen in movements such as beat poetry, rock and roll music, and in motion pictures such as Rebel Without a Cause, starring 1950s icon James Dean. In fact, Dean and rock star Elvis Presley are almost universally seen as 1950s icons, as is motion picture actress Marilyn Monroe. Television became almost universally available in the United States by the end of the decade, and its social effects have been debated from then until now.
One of the most influential and most highly critically-acclaimed of the many books about the era is The Fifties by journalist and author David Halberstam.
Events and trends
- United States tests the first fusion bomb. See History of nuclear weapons
- Sputnik, the first man-made satellite, and thus the Sputnik crisis
- The De Havilland Comet enters service as the world's first jet airliner
- Charles Townes builds a maser in 1953 at Columbia University.
- Urey-Miller experiment shows that under simulated conditions resembling those thought to have existed shortly after Earth first accreted, many of the basic organic molecules that form the building blocks of modern life are able to spontaneously form
- Francis Crick and James D. Watson discover the helical structure of DNA at the Cavendish Laboratory at the University of Cambridge
- Bruce Heezen discovers the Mid-Atlantic Ridge
- Polio Vaccine
War, peace and politics
- Korean War
- Red Scare, McCarthy Hearings
- Suez Crisis
- European Common Market founded.
- Warsaw pact founded.
- Hungarian revolution of 1956 brutally suppressed by Soviet Union's troops.
- Fidel Castro gains power in Cuba.
- "Economic miracle" in West Germany.
- Brylcreem and other hair tonics have a period of popularity
- Television replaces radio as the dominant mass medium in industrialized countries.
- In the West, the generation traumatized by the Great Depression and World War II creates a culture with emphasis on normality and calm conformity.
- Juvenile delinquency said to be at unprecedented epidemic proportions in USA
- Traditional pop music reaches its climax; early Rock and roll music embraced by teenagers/youth culture while generally dismissed or condemned by older generation.
- Beatnik culture/ The Beat Generation
- Optimistic visions of semi-Utopian technological future including such devices as the flying car.
- The Day the Earth Stood Still hits movie theaters.
- Along with the appearance of the sentence Kilroy was here across the United States, graffiti as an art form develops, especially among urban African Americans; graffiti art eventually becomes one of the four elements of hip hop
- Prime Minister Louis St. Laurent (Canada)
- Prime Minister John Diefenbaker (Canada)
- Chairman Mao Zedong (People's Republic of China)
- President Chiang Kai-shek (Republic of China on Taiwan)
- President Gamal Abdel Nasser (Egypt)
- Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru (India)
- Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion (Israel)
- Emperor Hirohito (Japan)
- Pope Pius XII
- Pope John XXIII
- Taoiseach John A. Costello (Ireland)
- Taoiseach Eamon de Valera (Ireland)
- Taoiseach Sean Lemass (Ireland)
- Joseph Stalin (Soviet Union)
- Nikita Khrushchev (Soviet Union)
- King George VI (United Kingdom)
- Queen Elizabeth II (United Kingdom)
- Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill (United Kingdom)
- Prime Minister Sir Anthony Eden (United Kingdom)
- Prime Minister Harold Macmillan (United Kingdom)
- Prime Minister Robert Menzies (Australia)
- President Harry S. Truman (United States)
- President Dwight D. Eisenhower (United States)
- Chancellor Konrad Adenauer (West Germany)
- President Josip Broz Tito (Yugoslavia)
- Abbott and Costello
- Jack Benny
- Chuck Berry
- Marlon Brando
- Jimmy Dean
- Ava Gardner
- Audrey Hepburn
- Alfred Hitchcock
- Buddy Holly
- Jerry Lewis
- Dean Martin
- Groucho Marx
- Marilyn Monroe
- Paul Newman
- Elvis Presley
- Little Richard
- James Stewart
- Gale Storm
- Elizabeth Taylor
- John Wayne
- Jack Webb
- Alberto Ascari (Italian racing driver)
- Roger Bannister (English track and field athlete)
- Yogi Berra (U.S. baseball player)
- Jim Brown (U.S. American football player)
- Maureen Connolly (U.S. tennis player)
- Otto Graham (U.S. American football player)
- Juan Manuel Fangio (Argentinian racing driver)
- Gordie Howe (Canadian ice hockey player)
- Mickey Mantle (U.S. baseball player)
- Rocky Marciano (U.S. boxer)
- Stanley Matthews (English soccer player)
- Willie Mays (U.S. baseball player)
- George Mikan (U.S. basketball player)
- Stan Musial (U.S. baseball player)
- [[Ferenc Pusk�s]] (Hungarian soccer player)
- Maurice Richard (Canadian ice hockey player)
- Sugar Ray Robinson (U.S. boxer)
- Johnny Unitas (U.S. American football player)
- Lev Yashin (Russian soccer player)bg:1950-те
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