What was life like in the 1950s? What was life like in the 1950s?  

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mapriem eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Your question is very general and there are books written about this decade to give you a broader view.  If you want to know what a typical day in the life of an American family was like, I can tell you since I was born in that decade and have documentation through my family history I can share.  I can generally say that life was good. I was in elementary school and my family lived in a nice neighborhood, three bedroom house and I walked to school most days. The majority of families were nuclear, hardly any single parent, or blended.  Most families, the father worked and the mother stayed at home. My mother worked at home as a piano teacher. Outdoors was safe and my brothers and I played outside a lot and we didn't worry about stranger danger.  We had a TV, a telephone, record player, radio, lots of games and we all played in sports and little league. We ate out once a week at the Officers Club and sometimes Dad would get McDonalds or Pizza and bring it home. On Sunday we would go to church in the morning and go someplace in the afternoon like the park, museums, or just play together as a family. Most stores were closed on Sunday. The Korean War , in the early 50s took my father away for 2 years and my mom was a single mom for awhile. We were glad when my father came home.  Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower were the presidents during this era and the nation seemed calm to me at the time.

brettd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

People tend to idealize the 1950s a bit, with the Leave it to Beaver family and the perfect home life.  But let's not forget the stresses of the Cold War at that time, and the fear of a communist being in every community.  The threat of nuclear war, racism and segregation and a lack of women's equality were al hallmarks of this time.  But so was economic prosperity, and the ability to earn a decent living, and buy a home, raise a family on a job you could get with a high school diploma.  At that time, in most families only one person worked too, almost always the husband.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
The fifties were not all fun and games. After all, there was the Cold War and McCarthy to contend with. But it was a period of prosperity and the rise of consumerism. There was always a new gadget, and the fast food and music was fun!