"Declaration of Conscience"
By: Margaret Chase Smith
Date: June 1, 1950
Source: U.S. Senate. Senator Margaret Chase Smith of Maine Speaking on the Senate Floor for the "Declaration of Conscience." 82d Cong., 1st sess. Congressional Record June 1, 1950, 7894–7895. Reprinted in Woy, Jean L. United States History as Seen by Contemporaries, 10th ed. Vol. 2, Volume II: Since 1865. The American Spirit. Boston: Houghton, 2002, 443–444.
About the Author: Margaret Chase Smith (1897–1995) was one of the leading woman politicians in twentieth-century America. Highly independent, she served thirty-two years in the U.S. Congress as a Republican, becoming the first woman to be elected to both the House and Senate. She entered politics in 1940 to fill the seat of her Congressman husband, Clyde Smith, after his death. She won election in 1948 to the Senate, despite the refusal of the Republicans to endorse her, solely because she was a woman.
Letters to the Harvard Crimson
By: K.W.L and M.F.G; J.C. Peter Richardson
Date: November 1954
Source: K.W.L. and M.F.G.; J.C. Peter...
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Chesterfield Cigarettes Advertisements
By: Chesterfield Cigarettes
Source: Chesterfield cigarette advertisements 1950–1960. Reproduced from The Advertising Archive, Ltd.
About the Organization: Liggett and Myers introduced Chesterfield cigarettes, a mix of Turkish and Virginia tobacco, in 1912. One of Chesterfield's early slogans was "They do satisfy." Chesterfields sponsored entertainment shows, including Dragnet and the Bing Crosby Show. Lucille Ball was a poster girl for Chesterfield Cigarettes, as were Jane Wyman and Donna Reed. Liggett Group sold the Chesterfield trademark in 1999 to Phillip Morris USA, who still manufactures Chesterfields.
Native Americans grew tobacco long before European explorations. Tobacco was the crop that sustained Virginia's economy, and it was very popular in Europe. The tobacco market, though, proved unstable, and it was largely replaced by cotton and wheat in the early 1800s. Tobacco processing grew in the American South, particularly that of cigarettes, in the late nineteenth century. Cigarettes became a mass consumption item in the 1920s, as more people could afford them. During the 1910s and 1920s, print ads were used to sell cigarettes. During World War I (1914–1918), ads ran suggesting that...
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"The Two-Income Family"
By: Harper's Magazine
Date: December 1951
Source: "The Two-Income Family" Harper's Magazine, December, 1951. Reprinted in Kennedy, David M., ed. The American Spirit. Vol. 2, 10th ed., Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 2002, 399–400.
About the Publication: Harper's debuted in 1850, quickly becoming a mass-market magazine featuring American artists and the news of the period. Harper's has published works by significant political figures in their youth, including Winston Churchill. In the 1970s, Harper's was one of the first magazines to cover the My Lai massacre. Harper's publishing interests are now HarperCollins, and Harper's is now published by the Harper's Magazine Foundation, which was formed with assets from a grant from the MacArthur Foundation.
Women and men have not been treated equally in the American workplace, even though historically both women and men have worked. In the early agricultural households, women worked in the house, while the men worked on the farm. With the early industries, women and men both worked out of the home. Women were not treated equally, though, as women generally were not allowed the right to vote. In the nineteenth...
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"Homogenized Children of New Suburbia"
By: Sidonie Gruenberg
Date: September 19, 1954
Source: Gruenberg, Sidonie. "Homogenized Children of New Suburbia." New York Times Magazine, September 19, 1954. Reprinted in Kennedy, David M., ed. The American Spirit. Vol. 2, 10th ed., Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 2002, 401–402.
About the Author: Sidonie Gruenberg (1881–1974) was a graduate of Columbia University, and lectured at Columbia and New York University. He wrote over 18 works including Sons and Daughters and Parents, Children and Money. He served on a number of boards, including the National Council on Family Relations, and he was a member of the editorial board of the Junior Literary Guild. He contributed articles to several periodicals, including Childcraft, Family Circle, Redbook, and the New York Times Magazine.
In America's early years, the vast majority of Americans lived in small towns or rural areas, and most Americans were connected to the farm economy. At the time of the nation's first census in 1790, nearly ninety-five percent of American citizens lived in rural areas. In the cities, only the wealthy could afford to purchase their own homes. People generally were limited to the "walking city,"...
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Seduction of the Innocent
By: Frederic Wertham
Source: Wertham, Fredric, M.D. Seduction of the Innocent. New York: Rinehart & Company, 1954, 4–5, 8–9, 19, 22–23, 33, 395.
About the Author: Frederic Wertham M.D. (1895–1981) graduated medical school at the University of Wurzburg. He served in a variety of posts, including the Director of the Mental Hygiene Clinic at Bellevue Hospital for ten years. He also served as the Psychiatric Consultant to U.S. Senate Kefauver Subcommittee to Study Organized Crime. The author of at least a dozen books, Wertham focused on how people are "acculturated" to violence, and on the influence of television and print on violence.
Mass production of newspapers developed during the late nineteenth century. Between 1870 and 1910, newspaper circulation exploded—from just over two million to nearly twenty-five million. Mass produced novels circulated as well. These "dime" novels were produced on cheap paper and told wild tales of the old west, romantic tales, and detective stories. Many newspapers of the period included comic strips in their pages.
These newspapers and the larger cultural attractions were not without their detractors though. Many progressives...
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"Wild Frontier Was Never Like This as Cincinnatians Welcome 'Davy'"
By: Cincinnati Enquirer
Date: June 16, 1955
Source: "Wild Frontier Was Never Like This as Cincinnatians Welcome 'Davy.'" Cincinnati Enquirer, June 16, 1955, 34.
"Davy Crockett, Pal Git Right Smart Greetin'"
By: Cincinnati Times-Star
Date: June 15, 1955
Source: "Davy Crockett, Pal Git Right Smart Greetin'." Cincinnati Times-Star, June 15, 1955.
By: The New York Times
Date: May 30, 1955
Source: "Birthplace Battle." The New York Times, May 30, 1955, 40.
About the Publication: Founded in 1850 as the New-York Daily Times, The New York Times was originally a relatively obscure local paper. By the early twentieth century, however, it had grown into a widely known, well-respected news source. Its banner, "All the News That's Fit to Print," is recognized across the United States...
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Montgomery Bus Boycott
"The Rise of Negroes in Industry: Problems … and Progress"
By: Clem Morgello
Date: September 12, 1955
Source: Morgello, Clem. "The Rise of Negroes in Industry: Problems … and Progress." Newsweek, September 12, 1955, 86–88.
About the Author: Clemente Frank Morgello (1923–) graduated from City College of New York and the University of Wisconsin. He worked for the Wall Street Journal for one year before joining Newsweek, where he worked from 1950 to 1975. After leaving Newsweek, he joined Dun's Review in 1976. Among other honors, he won the Gerald Loeb Award from University of Connecticut in 1972.
"Report on Montgomery a Year After"
By: Abel Plenn
Date: December 29, 1957.
Source: Plenn, Abel. "Report on Montgomery a Year After." The New York Times, December 29, 1957, 11, 36, 38.
Segregation and discrimination existed long before the United States was formed. Racial discrimination continued after the founding of America, despite the Declaration of Independence's...
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By: The New York Times
Date: December 4, 1955; November 18, 1956; September 27, 1959
Source: "Situations Wanted" The New York Times, December 4, 1955, 18; November 18, 1956, 15. September 27, 1959, 28
About the Publication: The New York Times, founded in 1850 as the Daily Times, was originally a relatively obscure local paper. However, by the early part of the twentieth century, it had grown into a widely known, well-respected news source. Its banner reading "All the News That's Fit to Print" is recognized across the United States and throughout the world.
America in the nineteenth and early twentieth century was a very segregated, ordered and regimented society in many ways. Admission to college was largely a
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The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit
By: Sloan Wilson
Source: Wilson, Sloan. The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1955, 299–304.
About the Author: Sloan Wilson (1920–2003) had his greatest success with The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit. He graduated from Harvard University in 1942, and he served in the U.S. Coast Guard during World War II (1939–1945). He also wrote another successful book, A Summer Place. Besides writing novels, he was a reporter for the Providence Journal and an English professor at the University of Buffalo. From 1980 until his death, he held the post of distinguished writer in residence at Rollins College.
America during the nineteenth century was mostly a rural country. More people lived in the country than in the city. While not all rural residents were farmers, most were connected in some fashion to the farm economy. Of those living in cities, most worked in factories. The vast majority of factory workers were lower class. People typically worked six days a week, ten hours a day, with only Sunday off. Many of those in the steel industry worked seven days a week, twelve hours a day.
With the start of the twentieth century, this changed a...
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By: Allen Ginsberg
Source: Ginsberg, Allen. "Howl." In Howl and Other Poems. San Francisco: City Lights Books, 1956, 9–11.
About the Author: Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997) was one of the best known writers of the Beat Movement, one of the few who continued to influence culture after the 1960s. His poem, "Howl" and Jack Kerouac's On the Road, became leading literary influences on the Beats. He was politically active in the 1960s, leading the anti-war movement. He remained culturally active and continued writing until his death.
America has alternated between acceptance and repression of differences and individuality. As late as the end of the eighteenth century, many states still had established organized churches. Anti-Catholic riots broke out in several cities in the 1840s. On an individualized basis, those who believed or acted "different" often have been looked down upon throughout American history. However, in other cities and during other eras, this deviance from the norm has been celebrated—sometimes occurring in the same decade as repression. For instance, in the 1920s, the "flapper" was the rage in many cities; while in the countryside, where religious fundamentalism reigned supreme, the...
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"Difference Between Victory and Defeat"
By: Willard Bascom
Date: March 18, 1957
Source: Bascom, Willard. "Difference Between Victory and Defeat." Life, March 18, 1957, 150, 153–154, 159–160, 162.
About the Author: Willard Bascom (1916–2000) attended Springfield College and the Colorado School of Mines. He was as a research engineer, heading up Seafinders, Inc. and Ocean Science and Engineering. Bascom taught at a number of different institutions, including the Scripps Institute of Oceanography and California State University Long Beach. He authored three filmscripts and at least five books. In the 1950s, he served as a delegate to the International Geophysical Year Conferences on Oceanography.
America long considered herself to be protected by two oceans and not directly threatened by anyone. No country in North America was viewed as a threat. By establishing the Monroe Doctrine, America, in the estimation of many, effectively kept the European powers out of the Americas. Also, America adopted a largely isolationist foreign policy during the nineteenth century, staying out of Europe's affairs to a great extent.
This all changed in the twentieth century. America gained more territories as a result of the...
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"The Colossal Drive-In"
Date: July 22, 1957
Source: "The Colossal Drive-In" Newsweek, July 22, 1957, 85–87.
About the Publication: Newsweek was founded in 1933 by Thomas J.C. Martyn. By 2003, it had a circulation of 4 million. Owned by the Washington Post, who bought the magazine in 1961, it is currently headquartered in New York City. Newsweek has a history of mixing text and art to discuss current issues, as its first cover had photographs depicting that week's news.
The movie house started in the late 1800s as a place to meet, visit, and be entertained. The movies grew out of America's experience with the theater, which was quite popular. Many nationalities had their own theaters, where ethnic enclaves could hear ethnic music. The musical comedy and vaudeville, developed for these venues, were enormously popular. After Thomas Edison invented the motion picture in the 1880s, people began seeing movies in amusement parks. By the turn of the century, movie houses were built with their own big screens.
Movies at first were silent. Some of the early long films depicted waterfalls and other nature scenes, mostly to demonstrate what film technology could do. In the 1910s,...
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The American Teenager
By: H.H. Remmers and D.H. Radler
Source: Remmers, H.H., and D.H. Radler. The American Teenager. New York: Charter Books, 1957, 16–17, 40–41, 44–46, 66–67.
About the Authors: H.H. Remmers (1892–1969) received his Ph.D. from Iowa in 1927. He taught psychology at Purdue from 1923 to 1963. He founded the Purdue Opinion Panel in 1940. He served on the advisory committee on research to U.S. Commissioner of Education from 1955 to 1958.
Donald H. Radler (1926–) was educated at Kenyon College and the University of Chicago. He wrote four books and over 100 articles, as well as television and film scripts.
Before the twentieth century, working class families and farm families comprised two age groups—those too young to work and workers. Those who went to school were often let out much earlier in the year than today's school children to work in the fields. Urban children were not released from school to work in the factories, but many dropped out at a young age to get factory jobs. There was also a different belief about how much education a child needed. During this period, students commonly dropped out of school after the eighth grade to begin working. High school...
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The Other America
By: Michael Harrington
Source: Harrington, Michael. The Other America: Poverty in the United States. New York: The MacMillan Company, 1962, 1-4, xii.
About the Author: Michael Harrington (1928–1989) received a bachelor's degree from Holy Cross (1947) and a master of arts degree from the University of Chicago (1949). As a social worker, he encountered the severe poverty of his clients. He moved to New York City, where he wrote several articles for various publications. In 1962, Harrington published The Other America. This book helped to spark President Johnson's War on Poverty. He served as a professor at Queens College from 1972 to 1989.
In the nineteenth century, Americans worked long hours, and most Americans were in the working class. People worked six days a week, ten hours a day in many industries. There was no minimum wage, nor was there a maximum number of hours in a workweek. There was little time for leisure, and little money to save or to spend on leisure. If an employee complained or tried to form a union to ensure better working conditions, the employee was typically fired—and often forced to look for a job in a different city. Things slowly changed in the early...
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