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  1. › topics › 1970sThe 1970s - HISTORY

    Jul 30, 2010 · The 1970s were a tumultuous time. In some ways, the decade was a continuation of the 1960s. Women, African Americans, Native Americans, gays and lesbians and other marginalized people continued ...

  2. Sep 03, 2021 · The 1970s was a decade marked by the Watergate scandal, the growing women's rights, gay rights and environmental movements, and 1970s fashion and music. Learn more on

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  4. › topics › 1970sThe 1970s - HISTORY

    The 1970s. Author: Editors. Video Rating: TV-PG. Video Duration: 2:35. The 1970s are famous for bell-bottoms and the rise of disco, but it was also an era of economic struggle ...

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  5. Sep 15, 2021 · The 1960s were a tumultuous decade defined by counterculture protests and the civil rights movement, as well as 1960s fashion, music and hairstyles. Learn more on

    • The Postwar Booms
    • Moving to The Suburbs
    • The Civil Rights Movement
    • The Cold War
    • 1950s Pop Culture
    • 1950s Music
    • Shaping The ’60s

    Historians use the word “boom” to describe a lot of things about the 1950s: the booming economy, the booming suburbs and most of all the so-called “baby boom.” This boom began in 1946, when a record number of babies–3.4 million–were born in the United States. About 4 million babies were born each year during the 1950s. In all, by the time the boom finally tapered off in 1964, there were almost 77 million “baby boomers.” After World War II ended, many Americans were eager to have children because they were confident that the future held nothing but peace and prosperity. In many ways, they were right. Between 1945 and 1960, the gross national product more than doubled, growing from $200 billion to more than $500 billion, kicking off “the Golden Age of American Capitalism.” Much of this increase came from government spending: The construction of interstate highwaysand schools, the distribution of veterans’ benefits and most of all the increase in military spending–on goods like airplan...

    The baby boom and the suburban boom went hand in hand. Almost as soon as World War II ended, developers such as William Levitt (whose “Levittowns” in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania would become the most famous symbols of suburban life in the 1950s) began to buy land on the outskirts of cities and use mass production techniques to build modest, inexpensive tract houses there. The G.I. Billsubsidized low-cost mortgages for returning soldiers, which meant that it was often cheaper to buy one of these suburban houses than it was to rent an apartment in the city. These houses were perfect for young families–they had informal “family rooms,” open floor plans and backyards–and so suburban developments earned nicknames like “Fertility Valley” and “The Rabbit Hutch.” However, they were often not so perfect for the women who lived in them. In fact, the booms of the 1950s had a particularly confining effect on many American women. Advice books and magazine articles (“Don’t Be Afraid to...

    A growing group of Americans spoke out against inequality and injustice during the 1950s. African Americans had been fighting against racial discrimination for centuries; during the 1950s, however, the struggle against racism and segregation entered the mainstream of American life. For example, in 1954, in the landmark Brown v. Board of Education case, the Supreme Courtdeclared that “separate educational facilities” for black children were “inherently unequal.” This ruling was the first nail in Jim Crow’s coffin. Many Southern whites resisted the Brown ruling. They withdrew their children from public schools and enrolled them in all-white “segregation academies,” and they used violence and intimidation to prevent blacks from asserting their rights. In 1956, more than 100 Southern congressmen even signed a “Southern Manifesto” declaring that they would do all they could to defend segregation. Despite these efforts, a new movement was born. In December 1955, a Montgomery activist name...

    The tension between the United States and the Soviet Union, known as the Cold War, was another defining element of the 1950s. After World War II, Western leaders began to worry that the USSR had what one American diplomat called “expansive tendencies”; moreover, they believed that the spread of communism anywhere threatened democracy and capitalism everywhere. As a result, communismneeded to be “contained”–by diplomacy, by threats or by force. This idea shaped American foreign policy for decades. It shaped domestic policy as well. Many people in the United States worried that communists, or “subversives,” could destroy American society from the inside as well as from the outside. Between 1945 and 1952, Congress held 84 hearings designed to put an end to “un-American activities” in the federal government, in universities and public schools and even in Hollywood. These hearings did not uncover many treasonous activities–or even many communists–but it did not matter: Tens of thousands...

    In the 1950s, televisions became something the average family could afford, and by 1950 4.4 million U.S. families had one in their home. The Golden Age of Television was marked by family-friendly shows like I Love Lucy, The Honeymooners, The Twilight Zone and Leave It To Beaver. In movie theaters, actors like John Wayne, James Stuart, Charlton Heston, Marlon Brando, Grace Kelly, Jerry Lewis, Dean Martin, Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroedominated the box office. The Abstract Expressionism of Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning signaled a new age in art, paving the way for the Pop Art of artists like Andy Warhol in the 1960s.

    Elvis Presley. Sam Cooke. Chuck Berry. Fats Domino. Buddy Holly. The 1950s saw the emergence of Rock ‘n’ Roll, and the new sound swept the nation. It helped inspire rockabilly music from Jerry Lee Lewis and Johnny Cash. People swayed to The Platters and The Drifters. Music marketing, changed, too: For the first time, music began to target youth. On February 3, 1959, American musicians Buddy Holly. Ritchie Valens and J.P. Richardson died in a plane crash over Clear Lake, Iowa, in what became known as “The Day The Music Died”—an event immortalized in Don McLean’s 1972 song “American Pie.”

    The booming prosperity of the 1950s helped to create a widespread sense of stability, contentment and consensus in the United States. However, that consensus was a fragile one, and it splintered for good during the tumultuous 1960s. Sources: The Elvic Oracle. The New Yorker. 1950s Rock ‘n’ Roll. Rolling Stone. The Day The Music Died. Biography. The Fifties: The Way We Really Were. Douglas T. Miller and Marion Novak.

  6. › topics › 1980sThe 1980s - HISTORY

    • The 1980s: Rise of the New Right. The populist conservative movement known as the New Right enjoyed unprecedented growth in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
    • The 1980s: The Reagan Revolution and Reaganomics. During and after the 1980 presidential election, these disaffected liberals came to be known as “Reagan Democrats.”
    • The 1980s: Reagan and the Cold War. Recommended for you. John J. Pershing - Biography, Facts & Legacy. 5 Iron Age Tools and Innovations. 1966. Aberfan disaster kills 144 people and levels a Welsh mining village.
    • The 1980s: Reaganomics. On the domestic front, Reagan’s economic policies initially proved less successful than its partisans had hoped, particularly when it came to a key tenet of the plan: balancing the budget.
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