10th American History Unit IV – A Champion of Democracy Chapter 16- Post War America Section 3 – The Television Age
The Television Age • The Main Idea • Television was a major influence on American culture in the 1950s, mirroring larger changes in technology and culture. • Reading Focus • How did television change American life in the 1950s? • What other technological developments occurred during the 1950s? • How was American culture changing during the 1950s?
Television in the 1950s • By the end of World War II, television was ready for home use. • Postwar consumers purchased the new device. • In 1950, 9 percent of U.S. households had televisions. • In 1960, 87 percent of U.S. households had televisions. • Television had an immediate impact on American culture. • On politics • In advertising • Some Americans questioned the effects of television—especially on children.
Television Changes American Life • Politicians quickly realized that TV had great power to change their relationship with voters. • Richard Nixon and the Checkers speech • Joseph McCarthy and the 1954 Army-McCarthy hearings Politics • Advertisers realized that TV’s combination of pictures and sound gave it more persuasive power than radio. • At first, a single advertiser sponsored the broadcast of an entire program—for example, the Colgate Comedy Hour. • As the cost of producing TV shows rose, advertisers shifted to buying just one- or two-minute segments during a show. Advertising
Television Changes American Life • Lucille Ball was the star of a hugely popular comedy called the I Love Lucy show. • Milton Berle’s popular program of comedy and music helped television get established. • American Bandstand appealed to the rock-and-roll crowd. • Soap operas, crime dramas, and game shows all got their start during the 1950s. Programming • Some were concerned about the effects of TV. • Congress looked into the effects of violent content on young viewers. • TV experienced a scandal in the late 1950s when the public discovered that a game show had been rigged. Concerns about TV
Baby Boom - Television- QUIZ SHOWS • A naively trusting public of the Fifties fell in love with television game shows. Some of the games were played for laughs and some for prizes and some for big money. Some survive today in contemporary form. The Price is Right wasn't born with Bob Barker at the helm. It was Bill Cullen in 1956. • On Sunday nights everything came to stop while America watched The $64,000 Question. At their peak, there were 22 game shows on the air. • By 1958 no one was laughing. That naive trust had been replaced by a suspicious cynicism that is with us yet. Why? Because many of the shows were rigged. The "winners" Americans had rooted for had been supplied with the answers in advance. • Charles Van Doren, - “Twenty-One”. As Van Doren kept winning, his popularity grew until he became a recognized celebrity. His acting ability didn't suffer either as America watched him "agonize" over each question. Ultimately, he won $129,000 - a hefty sum at any time, but a huge amount in the 50's • The scandal prompted Congressional hearings. Although there were no laws prohibiting the "fixing" of game shows, both the networks and their sponsors acknowledged the public's distaste and kept game shows off the air for quite some time. This Is Your Life I’ve Got A Secret Price is right Queen for a Day Twenty-One- Scandal To Tell the Truth What’s My Line?
Baby Boom - TV Dramas • Daytime Soap Operas- Hawkins Falls- 1950-1955 • Dragnet- 1950-1970- Jack Webb • Alfred Hitchcock Presents- mystery/ suspense dramas that came to an end after the last commercial. 1955-1962 • Dick Powell Theatre • Kraft Suspense Theatre • Studio One • The Whistler • Superman- Starring George Reeves- 1951-1957 • Perry Mason - Lawyer- 1957-1966 • Robin Hood- 1955-1958 • Route 66- 1960-1964 • Highway Patrol- 1955-1959 • The Grey Ghost- 1957-1959 • The Fugitive- 1963-1967 • 77 Sunset Strip- 1958-1964 • Ben Casey- Doctor show- 1961-1966 Alfred Hitchcock Presents Perry Mason Robin Hood Route 66
Baby Boom - Westerns • Roy Rogers- 1951-1957 • Hopalong Cassidy- 1949-1951 • Gene Autry- 1950-1956 • Death Valley Days- 1952-1970(Ron Reagan) • Sgt. Preston of the Yukon- 1955-1958 • Tombstone Territory- 1957-1958 • Rough Riders- 1958-1959 • Swamp Fox- 1959-1961 • Johnny Ringo- 1959-1960 • Laredo- 1967-1969 • Here Come the Brides- 1968-1970 • Bat Masterson- 1958-1961 • Annie Oakley - 1952-1956 • Branded- 1965-1966 • Cisco Kid- 1950-1955- “Oh, Cisco, Oh Poncho” • Davey Crockett- 1954-1955 • Gunsmoke- 1955-1971 • Life and Times of Wyatt Earp- 1955-1961 • Lone Ranger- 1949-1957 • Maverick- 1957-1962 • Riflman- 1958-1963 • Rin Tin Tin- 1954-1959 • Wild Bill Hickock- 1951-1958 • Yancy Derringer- 1958-1959 • Zorro- 1957-1959
Baby Boom - Variety Shows • American Bandstand- Dick Clark- 1952-1987 • Arthur Godfrey- 1949-1959 • Milton Berle Show- 1948-1967 • Ted Mack’s Original Amateur Hour- 1948-1970 • Your Show of Shows- Sid Ceasar and Imogene Coca. 1950-1954 • Perry Como Show- 1948-1963 • Colgate Comedy Hour- 1950-1955 • You Hit Parade- 1950-1959 • Jack Benny Show- 1950-1965 • People are Funny- Art Linkletter- 1954-1961 • George Gobel Show- “Lonesome George”- 1954-1960 • Ed Sullivan Show- 1948-1971- “A really big shew” • Diana Shore Show- 1951-1963 + 1974-1980 • Lawrence Welk- 1955-1977 • Red Skelton- 1951-1971- “God Bless” • Ernie Kovacs- 1952-1962 • Jackie Gleason- 1952-1970
Baby Boom - Comedy Shows • Amos and Andy- 1951-1953 • Andy Griffith Show- 1960-1968 • Bachelor Father- 1957-1962 • Batman- 1966-1968 • Beverly Hillbillies- 1962-1971 • Brady Bunch- 1969-1974 • Burns and Allen- 1950-1958 • Car 54 Where are you?- 1961-1963 • Make Room for Danny- Danny Thomas- 1953-1964 • Dennis the Menace- 1959-1963 • Many Loves of Doby Gillis- 1959-1963 • Get Smart- 1965-1969 • Gilligans Island- 1964-1967 • I Dream of Jeannie- 1965-1970 • I Love Lucy- 1951-1957 • The Honeymooners- 1952-1961 • Leave it to Beaver- 1957-1963 • Mr. Ed- 1961-1965 • Ozzie and Harriet- 1952-1966 • Topper- 1953-1955 • Grouch Marx- You Bet Your Life- 1950-1961 • Father Knows Best-1954-1963
Baby Boom - Kid’s Shows • Captain Kangaroo- 1955-1984 • Ding Dong School- 1952-1956 • Flintstones- 1960-1966 • Flipper- 1964-1967 • My Friend Flicka- 1956-1958 • Howdy Doody- 1947-1960 • Jetons- 1962-1963 • Lassie- 1954-1971 • Mickey Mouse Club- 1955-1957 • The Monkees- 1966-1968 • Bozo the Clown- 1961-Today- Chicago TV • Romper Room- 1954-1992 • Soupy Sales show- 1960- Pie in the Face.
Television Changes American Life • How did television change American life in the 1950’s? • Explain – How did television change American politics? • Summarize – How did advertising change as a result of television? • Evaluate – How did television’s influence begin to concern some people?
Other Technology in the 1950s • Transistors • Developed in 1947, the transistor worked like the vacuum tubes in early computers but with several advantages. • Were smaller and did not break as often • Improved all kinds of electronics from radios to TVs to computers • Computers • UNIVAC, built in 1951, was the first commercial computer. • Huge computer—weighed 30,000 pounds and took up a room • Large companies and government agencies bought these computers. • The integrated circuit or computer chip was developed in 1958. • Salk Vaccine • Polio outbreaks were common in the early 1900s. • Polio was contagious, spread quickly, and could be fatal. • In 1952 more than 57,000 people contacted polio. • Jonas Salk developed a new polio vaccine.
Other Technological Developments of the 1950’s • What other technological developments occurred during the 1950’s? • Recall – When were the first computers built? • Predict – How would UNIVAC impact the future of American business? • Evaluate – Why was the development of a vaccine against polio so important?
Boom Times United States was the world’s greatest economic power. Baby boom during the 1950s Consumerism was rampant, with new houses filled with new appliances with new cars in the driveways. Employments was high and wages rose. The Critics Kenneth Galbraith called America the “affluent society” and criticized American for being overly focused on its own wealth. Michael Harrington complained that the nation’s poor had been forgotten. William H. Whyte noted a loss of individuality among the growing class of business workers. American Culture in the 1950s
Cultural Changes in the 1950s New Communities • Levittown was the most famous of the new suburban communities. • The U.S. population was beginning a shift in settlement to the so-called Sunbelt—the southern and western parts of the country. New Highways • During the 1950s the United States launched the Interstate Highway System—a network of high-speed roads for interstate travel. • This reinforced the United State’s commitment to cars and trucks as its main means of ground transportation.
Levittown • 16 million GI's were returning from either Europe, the Pacific, or from military bases in the United States. Many were planning to get married and raise families. But these former soldiers were running into trouble in their search to find suitable shelter for their new families. • The war had created a shortage of construction materials and the housing industry had fallen off rapidly. • At the end of 1945, the US was in dire need of about five million houses, as ex-GIs and their families were living with their parents or in rented attics, basements, or unheated summer bungalows. Some even lived in barns, trolley cars, and tool sheds. • In Levittown all a prospective buyer needed was a $90 deposit and payments of $58 per month
Baby Boom - Vacation Spots • Grand Canyon • Disneyland • Historical trip to Washington DC, Gettysburg, and Virginia • Knotts Berry Farm • Pacific Ocean Park • Saturday afternoon matinee- 25-30 cents for the ticket and 5 cents for candy • Coney Island • Lake Tahoe • Yellowstone National Park • Reptile farms • Expo67 in Montreal • Roller Derby • Drive-in theater • Wall Drug, Wall, South Dakota and the Black Hills • Paul Bunyan Amusement Park in Brainerd, Minnesota Adventureland.” exotic tropical place” Frontierland was made to relive the pioneer days of the American frontier. Fantasyland was created with the goal to "make dreams come true" from the lyrics of "When You Wish Upon a Star." Tomorrowland was created as a look at the "marvels of the future."
Baby Boom - Entertainment • Drive-ins • One of the largest Drive-In Theaters was the All-Weather Drive-In , Copiague, New York. parking spaces for 2,500 cars. It also had an indoor 1,200 seat viewing area, that was heated and air-conditioned, a playground, a cafeteria, a restaurant with full dinners. A shuttle train that took customers from their cars to the various areas, on the 28 acres. • Many theaters would open the gates as much as 3 hours before the movie would start. This allowed customers to bring the kids early. Many theaters began to serve a wide variety of dinners such as Fried Chicken, Barbecued Sandwiches, Hamburgers, Pizza, etc. A few theater owners even gave the customers the ability to order from their car and have a car hop deliver. To increase sales the intermission trailers were invented. Theaters using these gained increased sales between films.
Cultural Changes in the 1950’s • How was American culture changing during the 1950’s? • Recall – How did the automobile industry change in the 1950’s? • Summarize – What factors led to America’s boom times of the 1950’s? • Evaluate – Why did John Kenneth Galbraith criticize the “affluent society” of postwar America?
Cultural Changes in the 1950’s • Identify – What population trend began in the 1950’s? • Analyze – How were Americans pushed toward “sameness” in the 1950’s? • Make Inferences – How do you think the development of the interstate highway system affected railroads?
The Art of Rebellion Art in the 1950s stressed rebellion against sameness and conformity. • Film stars built images as rebels who defied social norms. • James Dean • Marlon Brando • The 1950s witnessed the emergence of the Beat generation, who took the position of outsiders and rejected social norms. • Jack Kerouac • Rock and roll represented the rebellion of young people. • Elvis Presley
Baby Boom - Entertainment • Movies • Abbott and Costello Go to Mars (1953) • The Amazing Colossal Man (1957) • Creature from the Black Lagoon- 1st 3D Movie. • The Curse of Frankenstein • The Blob • Invaders from Mars • Invasion of the Body Snatchers • I Married a Monster from Outer Space