The American Journey © 2007

Chapter 28: America in the 1950s

Student Web Activity

"Life in the 1950s"

In this chapter you read about the continuation of the Cold War, new technology such as the television, the growth of the suburbs, and the baby boom. But what were the 1950s really like? Have you ever heard of Burma Shave? What about Howdy Doody? Or Silly Putty? How much did things cost in the 1950s? One historian has called it the crucial decade. What do you think?

Destination Title: The Fifties Web

Note: Clicking on the link above will launch a new browser window.
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Start at the Fifties Web home page.

  • Scroll down and click on the topic Pop History.
  • Select 1950 and read the information presented.
  • Click back and select 1955 and read the information presented.

After reading through the sections listed above, answer the following questions.

What was the population of the United States in 1950? Of the world?
What comic strip debuted on October 2, 1950?
What state enacted the nation's first seatbelt legislation in 1955?
What did Ray Kroc start in 1955?
On the page for "1950," find and click on the red button labeled "What Things Cost." Study the information. Then find out "What Things Cost" for the year 1955. Complete a chart with prices from 1950, 1955, and a year of your choice for a house, average income, a Ford car, and gasoline. Enter the information in a spreadsheet and then create a graph to compare these items.
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