The era of the 1950s has been called "the fabulous '50s." The years were also part of the 1946-1964 time period known as the "postwar era" and "baby boom era." Defining themes of the 1950s include the rise of rock 'n' roll music, the increased move of families to the suburbs, the civil rights movement and the beginning of the cold war.
The 1950s were a time of increased economic prosperity, with more people having money to by cars, suburban homes and consumer goods. It was also a time of conflict, with increased tension between the United States and the Soviet Union after the end of World War II.
Approximately 4 million babies were born in the U.S. each year during the 1950s. These growing families moved to the outskirts of cities into developments of inexpensive tract houses. Due to the economic prosperity, women were encouraged to leave the workforce and focus on the home and motherhood.
Americans began to protest against inequality during the 1950s. In 1954, Brown v. Board of Education called for the desegregation of schools. A year later, Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give her seat to a white person, causing a 13-month boycott of buses in Montgomery.Learn More
Consumerism in the 1950s was on the rise thanks to wartime production carried on by those not fighting in World War II. Soldiers returning home from war were pleasantly surprised to find a much more stable economy than when they left.Full Answer >
Girls in the 1950s primarily wore dresses of various types for most functions and dungarees when lounging about the house or playing outside. Skirts and dresses were the most acceptable form of dress for girls and women of all ages. Wearing pants was not a common thing at this point in time.Full Answer >
In the 1950s, children generally wore conservative, clean-cut clothes. Cotton, corduroy, denim and flannel were popular fabrics, and plaid and gingham patterns were widely seen.Full Answer >
The fashion of the 1950s was largely influenced by the Dior New Look, epitomized by small waist lines, calf-length skirts with pronounced hips and fitted jackets. This look represented a return to glamour after the utilitarian fashions of the 1940s.Full Answer >