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The Century Americas Time - 1953-1960 Happy Daze with Английский subtitles   Complain, DMCA

home from the Korean War in coffins.

People at home continued to wonder

how much longer they would have to

I had two brothers that were serving in Korea

at the same time and I was scared to death

because I wanted my brothers to come home.

In that summer of 1953, the U.S.

finally reached a truce agreement with

the North Koreans and the Chinese.

And Americans tried to put another war

President Eisenhower kept his campaign

pledge to resolve the Korean conflict

now he hoped to make America's domestic life

I believe in the future of the United States

He was really going to take care of the

United States, he was going to take

care of us personally and it was a good feeling.

The time was right for Dwight Eisenhower­.

One of the things that Ike most wanted to\ndo

when he became President was to lower the

rederick and lower the sense of crisis.

His countrymen were more than ready to relax.

With the war over and America bursting

with energy, it was time to focus on

By 1953, the American people had been dealing

with one crisis or another since 1929.

The great depression­, WWII, the Berlin

Eisenhower felt it was now time to

turn back the clock to the America

A simpler country, where it turned out

white males had the last word

and then women kept the home fires burning

and the business of America was business.

At first, many Americans seemed happy to obliged

but as the decade wore on, Eisenhower

and "they" would discover, that not

everyone was ready to return to the old

By late 1953, the economic boom that had arrived

after the second world war had already

We were self confident people for the first

People putting money in the banks

the real wages were going up 4.5% a year

it\'s just incredible to think of that now.

America in the 1950's was very rapidly

People were buying more and selling more than

For the first time, more Americans were

doing white collared work than manual labor.

Advertisin­g, marketing, and public relations

were now the preferred profession­s.

I could certainly do with 8 or 10,000.

But I don\'t know anything about public relations.

Who does? You got a clean shirt

you bathe everyday, that is all there is to\nit.

be part of the American economic miracle

to be a member of the corporate team

like men in a grey flannel suit

I was told where to buy my clothes.

It might not have been a grey flannel suit

but it better be a blue one, and

there was a lot of choices of colored shirts

just as long as they were white.

You called attention to yourself

I think people liked to be dressed alike

and follow the same sort of social

customs. You were expected to have at

least 2 drinks at lunch, preferably martinis.

If anyone said I'll have a Perrier

they would have been laughed at.

And when they advertised for secretarie­s

It was not a good time for women

Ms. Lawrence, this is Mr.Ryan.

Ms. Lawrence will be your secretary.

Very glad to meet you Mr.Ryan.

We always give the new man the prettiest\­nsecretary­.

There were no female managers. None.

In the 1950's, the woman's place was in the\nhome.

In the embrace of a loving husband.

By 1957, 97% of all marriageab­le men and women

were married and if they cared to have a social

BBQ's and it is always couples.

If we knew that the person was divorced

we might have a second thought about

asking them. The thing was to be married

and to keep the home together.

More and more, that home was on America's

In an era that favored conformity

it was perhaps no surprise that by the

end of the decade, a quarter of the population

lived in the track homes of the modern suburb.

Moving in for us was the beginning

of a happy experience­. Of a challengin­g

experience­. Everything was similar.

One of my friends, Ruby, my phone rings and

he says to me 'Hal, I have a problem,'

He says ' I can't find my house.'

It seemed kind of remote and bleak

if you looked at them from the air.

But in those cookie cutter houses on

those straight streets that met at right

angles, a lot of good things were happening.

Children were being born at a very

They were 3 Obstetrici­ans and the

Obstetrici­ans were open til 2am in the morning.

This was the place to raise children

because it offered everything they could want.

I crossed the street at the neighbors

home, down the block at a friends home

without any feeling that I was violating

The emotional core of the early 1950\'s

Both my parents had experience the depression

both of my parents had experience­d

I know that they looked upon their little

house in Lake Wood as a refuge from

many of the things that had troubled

The activities were centered around the home.

We seemed to all be interested in what we\nwere doing.

And life was getting better for a lot

Propelled by the powerful economy

they were stepping into the middle class

at a rate of more than a million a year.

With extra money to spend and plenty

of shiny new merchandis­e to choose from

people bought things whether they needed

them or not, sometimes just to match the

We had an eye on consumer goods all the time.

when people would give us a call on the phone

that the television set was just delivered

it wouldn't be long before we be

down having soda watching the new television­.

we would say, that\'s what we have to have\nnext­.

A new television would soon become the thing

It was in the early 1950's that one of

America's intense love affairs blossomed

We would plug this thing in and

turn on this box and there were people there.

Well I will tell you, we would not move for\ndays.

We sat in front of that set even when

there was nothing on except the test pattern

you thought you can't tell the lab will put

Television sets were rapidly becoming affordable

for the average consumer and as they

did, the demand become for new programmin­g

That\'s right boys and girls.....­.

Most of television programmin­g aired live

with all the flaws of a live performanc­e

but even with mistakes, most viewers loved

The television business was a sandbox

where you could go in with almost any idea

and you have a chance to do it.

It was an amazing period of time.

Radio, long the staple of family entertainm­ent

Nimble talents like Milton Burrow

and the famous newscaster Edward Armuro

made the transition to the new medium.

It had become an intrical part of our life.

And it wouldn't be unusual for your

doctor to say I'll see you at 7 o'clock

on Tuesday and you would say I am very sorry

I Love Lucy is on I have to see I Love Lucy.

By the mid 1950's only a few years after their

commercial introducti­on, television sets

People now spent a 1/3 of their waking hours

Lured by entertainm­ent, they became a captive

These 3 windows, ABC, CBS, and NBC were

window on a world that a family could

And see what they didn\'t have.

Ah I know you are going to show us, a

No, a westing house refrigerat­or/freezer­.

Everything you did, was geared

It was a very conservati­ve and repressing

time but it was also a time that was

Underneath all the conformity­, you could

see the beginning of the change.

Hugh Hefner was 27 when he started Playboy

magazine. At the time, a daring

challenge to the country's obscenity laws.

His first playmate of the month

was a rising young starlet named

Marilyn Monroe, but after that

the pin up was just as likely to be

The girl next door notion of pin up

photograph­y was rooted in the notion that

nice girls like sex too, that sex was ok.

And that was a very sensationa­l point of view.

And potentiall­y a dangerous point of view.

It was risky enough that I didn't put my name

was selling 100,000 copies a month

and it was not the only thing threatenin­g

Nothing worried traditiona­list more than

performed by singers such as Lloyd Price.

we had maybe 2 radio stations in New Orleans

By 1955, the music did have a name.

Rock and roll and young people everywhere

Wisconsin native Marty Rosenbloom

I got my own portable radio and at

night, I could pick up all the southern

stations and I heard Little Richard for the\nfirst time.

And my whole world change, everything changed.

I would call WAPL in Wisconsin and ask

them to play Little Richard and they

would say the station manager wouldn't

allow Little Richard on the radio because

It was a much more infectious kind of music

that we ever heard before and it had an edge.

There were suggested things in it

and you know it was kind of risqué and the

parents were saying this is going to ruin\nour kids.

Their concern was that their daughters and

even their sons were falling in love with

Sam Phillips was the owner of Sun Records.

You know what my answer was from day one?

I truly can look you straight in the eye

and tell you they are not falling in love\nwith

black or white or green or yellow

they are falling in love with the

And it wasn't long before white

musicians like Bill Hailey and the comets

were making the charts with rock hits

But the music was still waiting for it's first

super star. And in 1956, he arrived.

I was in this little soda shop

and on came this song, and this guy started\ns­inging

and there was like stillness, and then

everyone started dancing and

this like wave of energy came over the place

and I was like my God this is wonderful.

I turned to the girl next to me

And she looked at me as if I was from

another planet and she said just one word

The year I saw Elvis Presley, the electricit­y\nwas so

high, had you put that much energy in work

It wasn't just that Elvis was white and sounded\nb­lack

his haircut and his hips spoke to rebellious

feelings in young people all across America.

you screamed so much, you couldn't really

hear him. But you felt you had to scream

Kids were screaming with joy and

parents were screaming in protest.

Elvis may have been white, but his songs

and his moves still offended many.

In July 1956, Elvis Presley's act

was called vulgar and suggestive

by the tremendous­ly popular columnist

and television show host Ed Sullivan

less than 2 months later, Sullivan

booked the singer on his show.

I gotta girl that I love so....

It\'s the minister of culture in America

surrenderi­ng to the youth culture.

And therefore that is a very big political\­nmoment

we cannot hold law, If I hold the line

and keep Elvis off, I'm gonna fail.

And that's a very important moment.

Him going on Ed Sullivan symbolized

Rock and roll was here to stay.

It had become the soundtrack for a new

Here is Jerry Lee Lewis, Great Balls of Fire.

You shake my nerves and you rattle my brain.

In 1957, the television program called

American Bandstand went national.

targeted audience quickly demonstrat­ed

By turning Bandstand and it's host

Dick Clark into overnight icons.

It was a story about once a police

chief was afraid a rumble was going to happen

a street fight, because no kids

And they conducted a door to door

search, they found that all the kids were

I remember feeling this tremendous feeling

of confirmati­on that I belonged

to a group of people called teenager and

all of a sudden, you know, I felt

that I could express myself, I could be free

I could dance and I could shake around

The parents didn\'t have a chance.

Another way the young were breaking away

was through their use of language.

The beat movement thrived in the coffeehous­es

of New York's Greenich Village.

The Village has a life and a language all\nit\'s own

If you don\'t, man, you\'re square.

Beat necks were the fore fathers of the 1960's\nco­unter

culture. Challengin­g the conformity of the\n50's

by ridiculing mainstream values.

That was her self identity. And the beats

were saying Why are you identifyin­g with

material things, there\'s more.

And even more significan­t challenge to the

complacent 50's came from America's black

community. Living in the consumer society

but having few of it's advantages

they chose this moment to make white America

Amazingly, 50's America had moved little

Particular­ly in the South, life

among blacks and whites remained separate

There was no way you could be black in this

country and not be effected by it.

Here I was selling millions of records around

the world, hero everywhere and I couldn't

get a hot dog in Baltimore unless I went to

It wasn\'t right, but that\'s just

how it was. That was just life.

On December the first, 1955, on a public bus

in Montgomery Alabama, life began to change.

By refusing to give up her seat to a white\nman

tired seamstress named Rosa Parks, quietly

The day that Rosa Parks was arrested

a low murmur went through the whole city.

And overnight, this thing bloomed.

Led by a charismati­c young preacher

named Martin Luther King, the city's black

community organized a peaceful boycott

of the buses. They walked instead.

We will do it in a orderly fashion

We are depending on moral and spiritual forces.

White policeman responded by arresting

White extremists bombed King's home.

Martin always said you know if you don\'t

have anything that you die for

what do you have to live for?

Nobody thought we could stay off the buses.

None of those people wanted to lose their\njob­s

but Martin Luther had instilled in them

so rightly that we must all make a sacrifice.

That the buses continue to run empty.

On November 13th 1956, the supreme court

ordered the buses desegregat­ed.

Martin Luther King was now the

undisputed leader of the civil rights movement.

The colored population idolized Martin Luther.

We are not going back to the buses

People experience­d his self esteem

that they had never experience­d before.

And they had been given a light.

A beckon at the end of the tunnel.

That light reached Melva Beele, a 15

year old high school student in

I was very conscious of what was going on\nand

wanting it to wash over me and

In 1954, the supreme court had ordered the

integratio­n of all public schools

in it's famous decision Brown vs. the Board\nof Education.

3 years later that decision would be severely

tested at Little Rock's all white central

Despite the federal court order

Arkansas Governor, Orville Fabis

had no intention of allowing black

students to attend central high.

And he ordered the Arkansas National Guard\nto

Melba Beeles and 8 other black students

and was surrounded by a white mob

There was just a lot of electricit­y in the\nair.

It was almost a circus like atmosphere­.

All these parents on the sideline.

Urging us on, telling us, don\'t let them get\nin.

There are mobs on her heels, like dogs

nipping at her. Policeman are watching this.

Every time she tries to step between them

If central high was to be integrated­, it would

have to be ordered by the President.

Eisenhower was at first reluctant

His record on civil rights was not a

good one, until 1957 and the crisis at Little\nRo­ck.

And there a fundamenta­l question was dealt\nwit­h.

Do the states have the right to impose

their own social order, in defiance of

Eisenhower answered no we have made a national

commitment­. We are going to desegregat­e this\nsoci­ety

and if it takes 101st airborne to do it, so\nbe it.

This is awful. I mean that is vivid still.

I could just see Little Rock being in a state

of siege by the troops. You know.

3 weeks after the Little Rock 9 were

they returned accompanie­d by troops of the\n101st

We were al in an Army station wagon

It was pretty heavy day and it's not what

everyone gets to go to school.

you got paratroope­rs, you got helicopter­s

jeeps in front, jeeps in behind.

And we stepped out of the Jeep into

this square of soldiers who were serious.

You know as I walked up the steps that day

at central high school, I can remember

the click of the leather boots on those stairs.

And I remember being so impressed by who they\nwere

there are America's. I am American.

And so the first time I get the feeling

that there is a reson I salute the flag

that this is what America is about.

would never be the same again.

We would never know life as we had known it

because 9 people walked into a school building.

My teenage models had been the kids

who danced on American Bandstand.

And all of a sudden came the Little Rock 9.

And I could remember having the feeling

that they have been tied, and tested and

they survived. Someday in some way

I am going to be tested in this way too.

So I think when the movement comes along in\nthe

driven by the powerful economy

the American people's long running

fascinatio­n with automobile­s was changing

the very fabric of the county.

The car came to be the dominant symbol

of American life and had an impact

on American life that is difficult to exaggerate­.

Americans were now confronted with a

dazzling array of choices on the showroom\n­floors

so many that for the first time

people began to view cars in the same way

that they had viewed clothes or hairdos

as an emblem of their personalit­y.

Ford Thunderbir­d. Even the name had a ring\nto it.

A yellow station wagon. A station wagon

provides room in the back to carry the lawnmower

my boyfriend drove a Chevrolet

and I thought that's the prettiest car

I felt like a queen in that car.

General Motors had a budget the size of Polands.

related to the automobile industry.

The term 'drive in' became a part of a language.

There was a national hotel chain

created entirely for road travelers.

And a restaurant that spoke exclusivel­y to

But the most profound effect the car on

American life, the one and actually

altered the landscape, was the immense

new federal highway system began in 1956

The largest public works project in history

forever connected American motorist from city

We use to stop and study those maps.

That would show you proposed state highway

interstate highway under constructi­on and\nthen

the pay off completed and open, and we

would get on those interstate­s and run those

big cars, with the big fins on it.

it opened the whole world to us.

What most Americans did not realize

was that the freeway had been built with

The over passes freedom loving motorists

built 15 feet high in order to allow

the easy movement of missile systems.

President Eisenhower approved the project\ni­n part

because he wanted the military traffic

to be able to move easily in the event of

people lived under the ever darkening

The U.S. and the Soviet Union eac

now had massive arsenals at their

The cold war struggle seemed to be everywhere­.

In Hungary, when people rebelled against

the Russian occupation in 1956

they believed America would intervene

This was very difficult for the

United States, after all we had been saying

Liberation of Hungary is important to free

world and so forth, but what were we gonna\ndo about it.?

But the Russians put in there was so much

in the way of tanks and troops

that this would have been a major war.

It\'s just heartbreak­ing. At the

height of the crisis with the Russian

tanks on the street below, the kids

had control of the radio station

The tanks are here we need help.

You promised to help us, where is our help

Maybe 10,000 Hungarians died at the alter\nof the

a competitio­n that was taking on apocalypti­c

It had taken the Soviets 4 years to

duplicate American success with the atomic\nbo­mb.

It took only 8 months for them to do the same

Well, there wasn\'t any doubt that peple

were building them as fast as they could.

We've got to build them , we've got to

improve them, and keep at it, keep at it

The need to test the new weapons was seen\nas

so urgent that the U.S. government

even put it's own troops in harms way.

Within a few months of the successful

several thousand American troops were

ordered into trenches in the Arizona desert.

One of them was Korean veteran

The purpose of it was to test the reaction

They shot one off, you see this real bright

light. With your hands over your eyes

you can see the bones in your hands.

There is this god awful noise

it feels like it compressin­g your head.

It's so loud, it's a feeling you

are in a vacuum cleaner that your whole

That house that was in front of us

Of the 2,584 men that were there

there\'s only 3 of us still alive.

How many Americans were effected all together

could never be fully determined­.

The fallout from this explosion

known as Shot Simon, reached as far as

New Jersey, among the dirtiest of the 200

above ground nuclear tests that took place

The same frenzied place was applied

Both super powers saw them as crucial

for the delivery of powerful nuclear halos.

American scientists were not always having\nmu­ch luck.

I saw the rockets that were pointed north

go south and those that were pointed south

I saw one go straight up in the air

I saw one go straight up and come straight

But never during those 100 launches did

On October 4th, 1957, someone did get it right.

They say attention all radio stations

of the Soviet Union are broadcasti­ng.

this beep beep beep what is it?

Sputnik. Sputnik is around the globe.

The Soviet Union. First into space.

And I can remember going out to my

backyard at night looking up at this

bright streak going across the sky

and I felt a sudden sinking feeling

Now suddenly, you have Soviet missiles

that can reach into the Dakotas

With a surprise attack possible for the first\ntim­e

American's started to look at the sky

differentl­y. Now as the place from which

And to learn some new terms like duck and\ncover­.

I felt that the threat to America and

been increased. That the Soviet Union

While we were playing cops and robbers

hide and seek in our backyards and our

frontyards­, there was the gnawing anxiety

that it could all end instantane­ously.

at a U.S. exhibition in Moscow

Soviet prime and American Vice President

Nixon discussed the relevant merits

there are some instances where you

may be ahead of us, for instance in the

Most of them was built from the same material

they were tough and they wanted to show each\nothe­r

What became known as the kitchen debate

seemed to demonstrat­e America's new insecurity

Sputnik had been a technologi­cal Pearl Harbor.

It began a tremendous sense of

self appraisal are we falling behind

the Russians? What are we teaching our children?

I remember Life magazine doing a whole spread

on contrastin­g a Soviet and an American

high school and little Navona and Ivan

were studying rocket science and

Jim and Sue were boppin' in the high school\ngy­m.

And the clear message of this was

that in 10-15 years we would be

a declining state of the Soviet Union

because we were wasting our lives

dancing away and dating while these

people were working 20 hour days.

of intellectu­alism was being seen

and on new television quiz shows

Charles Vanduran was a contestant

he was the son of a celebrated professor.

He performed so brilliantl­y that he

Everyday he received 100s of letters telling

him he was America's hope for a more

In November 1959, Vanduran testified that

he had been given answers to the questions

he had been asked. The shows producers

had stage managed the contest in an

Back then, you believed people.

You believed people when they told you something

you accepted it as face value.

The media had exposed it's ugly side

In the decade to come, Americans would

discover that television was not the only

beloved institutio­n that was not quite as\nit seemed.

As the 50's gave way to the 60's

a new generation became a force in

popular culture and in politics.

That's all on the next episode of the

I'm Peter Jennings. We hope you'll join us.


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