1950's

By annannw
  • Harry S. Truman is president

    Harry S. Truman is president
    After being in the military and serving as a senator, Truman ran for vice president in 1944 and was sworn into office with fourth-term president, Franklin D. Roosevelt. He had to take over the presidency after Roosevelt died of a stroke just 82 days later. He also ran for re-election in 1948, winning, causing a huge upset because everyone thought Thomas Dewey would win. Even the Chicago newspaper printed out "Dewey Defeats Truman".
  • First Modern Credit Card Introduced

    First Modern Credit Card Introduced
    In 1950, a new company started by Frank X. McNamara and two colleagues allowed customers to have only one credit card to use at multiple stores. The first cards were given out to 200 people (most of them were friends). By the end of 1950, 20,000 people were using the "Diners Club" card.
  • Korean War

    Korean War
    After Japan loses World War II, it is forced to leave Korea, leaving both the US and Russia wanting Korea on their side. In 1945, a deal was made to split Korea in half, but both sides promised to reunite. On June 25, 1950, communists in North Korea attacked the 38th parallel (dividing line), so they could control the southern half also. The dividing line was pushed back and forth for three years until July 1953, when a cease fire was declared and the war ended almost exactly where it started.
  • First Peanuts Strip

    First Peanuts Strip
    Charles Schulz always loved cartooning, and dreamed of creating a comic strip. First, he needed an idea for one. The Peanuts characters started off as babies, inspired by Schulz's kids and another comic strip, "Skippy." As his kids grew up, the Peanuts characters grew up also. He wanted "Peanuts" to show kids how to be safe, teach them lessons, and entertain them at the same time. Today, Peanuts is one of the most famous cartoons of all time.
  • I Love Lucy Airs

    I Love Lucy Airs
    I Lovy Lucy was a popular TV show starring Lucille Ball and her husband Desi Arnez as "Lucy and Ricky Ricardo". Lucille had to fight hard to get her husband on the show and said she would not do it without him. It was the first show to use real laughter instead of a laugh track and was inspired by a radio show, "My favorite husband."
  • Dwight Eisenhower is elected

    Dwight Eisenhower is elected
    Dwight Eisenhower is elected after a landslide victory. He created the American Interstate Highway System, a system allowing us to drive from California to New York in a breeze. He is now considered one of the best presidents in U.S. history.
  • Period: to

    "Greaser vs. Preppie"

    The looks of the fifties were either the "Greaser" (black leather jacket, black jeans, white v-neck, and greased hair) or the "Preppie" (sweaters, loafers, poodle skirts, and bobby sox). This look was inspired by music and movies like, The Wild One. Teens ruled the fifties from fashion to music to TV. Companies everywhere saw how much teens loved clothes and started printing ads for them.
  • Execution of the Rosenbergs

    Execution of the Rosenbergs
    Ethel and Julius Rosenberg were American communists who were convicted of spying during a time of war. It is believed that they passed information about the atomic bomb to the Soviet Union. This is the only time the US goverment has ever executed American citizens for spying.
  • The Brown v. Board of Education Case Ends

    The Brown v. Board of Education Case Ends
    Linda Brown, a third grader in Topeka, Kansas, had to walk one mile to a bus stop for her "black elementry school" while she passed a closer, better school reserved for only white children. Her father, Oliver Brown, didn't think it was fair for his daughter to go to a school that was further and less advanced just because she was black. He went to court for it. After many years it was passed to the Supreme Court, who ruled that all schools should desegregate.
  • Polio Vaccine

    Polio Vaccine
    This was the date the polio vaccine was made public. In the 1950s, parents feared summer, because they knew that the water could cause polio for their kids. Polio would paralyze and sometimes kill children because of their low immune system. Dr. Jonas Salk invented the polio vaccine in 1952 after working for five straight years. The vaccine "killed" Polio and contributed to the "baby boom."
  • Disneyland Opens

    Disneyland Opens
    Disneyland was dedicated on July 17, 1955, Walt Disney came up with the idea of a place where families could go and have fun together. It was the first park of its kind and has more visitors that almost any park in the world.
  • Rosa Parks Refuses to Give Up Her Bus Seat

    Rosa Parks Refuses to Give Up Her Bus Seat
    Rosa Parks, a 42 year old African American, was riding on a city bus in Montgomery, Alabama. A white man asked her to give up her bus seat but she refused, and was arrested and fined for breaking the laws of segregation. Rosa Park's refusal encouraged the Montgomery Bus Boycott and is considered the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement.
  • Heartbreak Hotel Released

    Heartbreak Hotel Released
    Elvis Presley was a young man (age 21) with a great voice. He inspired teens of the 1950's to be different and have fun! They loved his fun sound and funky dancing.
  • First Living Animal in Space

    First Living Animal in Space
    The US and Soviet Union were in a "Space Race." The Soviet Union successfully put the first satellite into space in October 1957. They also put a second one into space on November 3, 1957, with a live dog on it named "Laika."
  • Hula Hoops introduced

    Hula Hoops introduced
    A "hula hoop" is introduced by Wham-O Manufacturing, becoming the world's most popular toy. It only sold for $1.98 but it was so popular that stores started running out! A hula hoop is a decorated plastic hoop that is rotated around the body by moving your hips. It was originally invented in ancient Greece in the fifth century. Hula hoops can help you burn fat and are also a lot of fun.
  • Alaska Becomes a State

    Alaska Becomes a State
    The United States bought Alaska from Russia in the 1800s and made it a territory. Alaskans wanted to vote, so they applied for statehood and were finally approved on January 3, 1959.
  • Hawaii Becomes a State

    Hawaii Becomes a State
    The US had built a naval base in Hawaii at Pearl Harbor, which became very important in World War II, when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. This brought the United States into World War II. Hawaii became a state on August 21, 1959.