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The 50's And 60's Essay

738 words - 3 pages

The 50's was the beginning of a new life after WWII. Since WWII had gotten us out of the depression our economy had begun to boom. Large corporations created new jobs, and new technologies such as the transistor and the color television transformed the way people lived. People also began to work in white-collar jobs more than ever, and the baby boom coupled with the GI Bill laid the groundwork for newly developed communities and suburbs. Plus, the end of WWII and growing consumer finances led to the ability for people to buy more things that they wanted, but couldn't get during WWII. The fifties was also the beginning of the great space race with the launching of the Sputnik and the beginning of the Cold War.Some of the ways the fifties are still with us today lie in its long lasting effects. These include the aforementioned launching of the Sputnik, which caused a boost in funding for the space program that led to the landing on the moon in 1969. Also, ...view middle of the document...

The 60's were a kind of "New Frontier" for the country. The youth and ambition of president Kennedy coming into office in 1960 started this. He energized the country with powerful speeches and exuberance. One of his greatest accomplishments before he was assassinated in 1963 was the pushing of NASA and the space program. His efforts helped America reach the moon first in 1969. There were also great non-physical conflicts with the Soviet Union such as the Cuban Missile Crisis. Then with the new president as Lyndon Johnson in 1963 there was a push to help Americans at home. He developed programs like Medi-caid and had strong foreign policies. The fact that he thought communists were determined to take over the world, led the nation into conflicts with other countries like the afore-mentioned Cuban Missile Crisis. There were also inspirations like Betty Friedman's book The Feminine Mystique. The controversial Vietnam War began in the 60's when President Johnson started to greatly increase the number of troops that were going there.There were some other major effects on people then too. Like the mourning and sorrow the country faced when president Kennedy died. The recovering of our country after that was very hard. The Vietnam War also had a large impact on people at home.Though some people advocated the "war" others spoke out vividly against it and thought it was pointless. A new breed of culture came from many of these people that were called "hippies." Their mantra of sex, drugs, and rock n' roll was prevalent in that day's music, ideas, and new type of society. Civil Rights was a strong issue too with the militant Black Panther group being formed and Muslim leader Malcolm X's assassination.These events and effects of the 60's also affect us in ways today too. The push of the space program has brought us to now when experiments are still going on like the recent incident when John Glenn went into space again. Some of the Acts of the time are still with us today to like the Voting Rights Act, Medicare, and Medicaid. Also the beginning of the Vietnam War then caused things like the death of many American troops, Veteran's Day, and the Vietnam Wall. So the main theme of this decade, "The New Frontier" from Kennedy to Johnson, has helped shape some of the programs and ideas we still hold today.

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