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The 1950s in America

Table of Contents

Abstract expressionism

Academy Awards

Dean Acheson

Actors Studio

Sherman Adams

The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet

The Adventures of Superman


Affluence and the new consumerism

The Affluent Society

AFL-CIO merger

African Americans

Agriculture in Canada

Agriculture in the United States

Alvin Ailey, Jr.

Air pollution

Aircraft design and development

Alaska statehood

American Bandstand

American Dream

Amos and Andy

Andrea Doria sinking

Antarctic Treaty of 1959



Richard Armour

Army-McCarthy hearings

Around the World in Eighty Days

Art movements

Asian Americans

Asian flu epidemic


Atlas Shrugged

Atomic bomb

Atomic Energy Act of 1954

Atomic Energy of Canada, Ltd.

Automobiles and auto manufacturing

Avro Arrow

B-52 bomber

Baby boomers

Ernie Banks

Barbie dolls

Brigitte Bardot

Alben W. Barkley


Baseball’s exemption from antitrust laws


Basketball point-shaving scandal

Beat generation

Harry Belafonte

Saul Bellow

Bell’s swim across Lake Ontario


Bennington explosion

Milton Berle

Leonard Bernstein

Chuck Berry

Betty Crocker cookbooks

Birth control

Blackboard Jungle

Boeing 707

Bolling v. Sharpe

Bomb shelters

Book publishing

Pat Boone

Don Bowden

Chester Bowles


Bracero program

Omar Bradley

Marlon Brando


Brink’s robbery

British Empire Games

Broadway musicals

Jim Brown

Brown v. Board of Education

Dave Brubeck

Ralph Bunche

William Burroughs

Business and the economy in Canada

Business and the economy in the United States

Sid Caesar

California’s Alien Land Laws

Roy Campanella

Canada and Great Britain

Canada and U.S. investments

Canada as a middle power

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Canadian Labour Congress

Canadian regionalism


Al Capp

Captain Kangaroo

Captain Video

Dale Carnegie

Fidel Castro

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

The Catcher in the Rye

Celler-Kefauver Act of 1950


Central Intelligence Agency

Wilt Chamberlain

Chevrolet Corvette

Chiang Kai-shek


Chrysler autoworkers strike

The Cisco Kid

Civil defense programs

Civil Rights movement

Van Cliburn

Montgomery Clift

Cold War

Nat King Cole

Comic books

Commission on Civil Rights

Communications in Canada

Communications in the United States

Communist Party of the U.S.A.



Culture of conformity

U.S. Congress

Congress of Racial Equality

Maureen Connolly

Olga Connolly

Conservatism in U.S. politics


Sam Cooke

Gregory Corso

Bob Cousy

Creature from the Black Lagoon

Cuban Revolution


Damn Yankees

Popular dance

Benjamin O. Davis, Jr.

Sammy Davis, Jr.

Davy Crockett

Doris Day

The Day the Earth Stood Still

James Dean

Willem de Kooning

Demographics of Canada

Demographics of the United States

Dennis v. United States

Destination Moon

DEW Line

Diamond synthesizing

Bo Diddley

John G. Diefenbaker

Charles C. Diggs, Jr.

Joe DiMaggio

Disarmament movement


DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid)

Dodgers and Giants relocation

Fats Domino


Drive-in theaters

John Foster Dulles

DuMont network


Education in Canada

Education in the United States

Albert Einstein

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Eisenhower Doctrine

Eisenhower’s heart attack

Elections in Canada

Midterm elections in the United States

1952 Elections in the United States

1956 Elections in the United States

T. S. Eliot

Elizabeth II’s coronation

Elizabeth II’s visit to North America

Emmy Awards

ENIAC computer

Espionage and Sabotage Act of 1954

Explorer I


Fahrenheit 451

Famous Artists School

Farm subsidies

Fashions and clothing

Fast-food restaurants

Father Knows Best

Orval Faubus

John Henry Faulk

Federal Aviation Administration

Federal Bureau of Investigation

Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Film in Canada

Film in the United States

Ella Fitzgerald

Flying saucers

Food for Peace


Forbidden Planet

Ford Thunderbird

Foreign policy of Canada

Foreign policy of the United States

Formosa Resolution


Stan Freberg

Alan Freed

From Here to Eternity

William M. Gaines

Gallup polls

General Motors


Geneva Summit Conference

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

Geodesic dome

Germany’s postwar occupation

G.I. Bill


Althea Gibson

Allen Ginsberg

George Gobel

God and Man at Yale

God’s Country and Mine

The Goldbergs

Harry Golden


Pancho Gonzales

Charles Goren

Billy Graham

Grand Canyon airliner collision

Great Books movement

José Greco

Gross national product of Canada

Gross national product of the United States

Guatemala invasion

Guggenheim Museum


John Gunther


Bill Haley

Harlem Globetrotters

Hawaii statehood

Health care systems in Canada

Health care systems in the United States

Department of Health, Education, and Welfare

Hearing aids

Ernest Hemingway


Hernández v. Texas

John Hersey

Hitchcock films


Jimmy Hoffa

Ben Hogan

Holiday Inn

Buddy Holly

Home appliances

Home furnishings

Homosexuality and gay rights

The Honeymooners

Hoof-and-mouth epidemic

J. Edgar Hoover

Hoover Commission

Bob Hope

House Committee on Un-American Activities

Housing in Canada

Housing in the United States

Howdy Doody Show

Rock Hudson

Human growth hormone

Hungarian revolt

Hydrogen bomb

I Led Three Lives

I Love Lucy

Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952

Immigration to Canada

Immigration to the United States

“In God We Trust” on U.S. currency

Inco strike

Income and wages in Canada

Income and wages in the United States

Indian Act of 1951

Inflation in Canada

Inflation in the United States

Inherit the Wind

Instant photography

Institute of Pacific Relations

Internal Security Act of 1950

International Business Machines Corporation

International Geophysical Year

International trade of Canada

International trade of the United States

Interracial marriage laws

Interstate highway system

Invasion of the Body Snatchers


Invisible Man



I’ve Got a Secret



Jewish Americans

John Birch Society

Jasper Johns

Christine Jorgensen

Elia Kazan

Estes Kefauver

Kefauver Committee

Grace Kelly

George F. Kennan

John F. Kennedy

Jack Kerouac

Khrushchev’s visit to the United States

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Kingston Trio

Kinsey Report

Franz Kline


Tommy Kono

Korean War

Ernie Kovacs

Ray Kroc

Ku Klux Klan

Kukla, Fran and Ollie

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Jack LaLanne

Landrum-Griffin Act of 1959

Larsen’s perfect game


Latin America


Leave It to Beaver

Lebanon occupation

Tom Lehrer


Jerry Lee Lewis

John L. Lewis

Liberalism in U.S. politics


Art Linkletter

Literature in Canada

Literature in the United States

Little Richard

Little Rock school desegregation crisis

Henry Cabot Lodge


The Lone Ranger

The Lonely Crowd

Long Day’s Journey into Night

Long-playing records


Look Back in Anger

“Louie Louie”

Loyalty oaths

Douglas MacArthur

Joseph McCarthy

Mary McCarthy

McClellan Committee

McDonald’s restaurants

Mackinac Bridge


Marshall McLuhan

MAD magazine

The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit

The Man with the Golden Arm

Mickey Mantle

Rocky Marciano

George C. Marshall

Martin and Lewis

Groucho Marx

Bob Mathias


Willie Mays

George Meany

Mercury space program


James Michener

Mickey Mouse Club

Military conscription

Military-industrial complex

Arthur Miller

C. Wright Mills

Cardinal József Mindszenty

Minorities in Canada

Miss America pageants

Marilyn Monroe

Montgomery bus boycott

Wayne Morse


Robert Motherwell

Motorcycle gangs

Mr. Potato Head

Edward R. Murrow


Mutual Broadcasting System scandal

My Fair Lady

Naked Lunch

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People v. Alabama

National Defense Education Act of 1958

Native Americans

Natural disasters

Natural resources

USS Nautilus

New York Yankees

Newport Jazz Festival

News magazines

Newspapers in Canada

Newspapers in the United States

Niagara Treaty

Nielsen ratings

Richard M. Nixon

Nixon’s “Checkers” speech

Nixon’s “kitchen debate”

Nixon’s Latin America tour

Nobel Prizes

North American Aerospace Defense Command

North Atlantic Treaty Organization

Al Oerter

Oklahoma football team

Olympic Games of 1952

Olympic Games of 1956

On the Beach

On the Road

On the Waterfront

Operation Wetback

Willie O’Ree

The Organization Man

Organization of American States

Organized crime

Vance Packard

Paint-by-numbers movement

Painters Eleven

Suzy Parker

Rosa Parks

Floyd Patterson

Linus Pauling

Pay television

Norman Vincent Peale


Drew Pearson

Lester B. Pearson

Perry Mason

Peter Pan

Oscar Peterson

Peyton Place


Photovoltaic cell


Pledge of Allegiance




Sidney Poitier

Polaris missiles


Jackson Pollock

Postage stamps

Ezra Pound

Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.

Presidential press conferences

Elvis Presley

Profiles in Courage

Puerto Rican nationalist attack on Congress

Puerto Rico as a commonwealth

Pulp magazines

Racial discrimination


Radio Free Europe

Railroad seizure

Rapid eye movement (REM)

Robert Rauschenberg

Sam Rayburn

Reader’s Digest

Ronald Reagan

Rebel Without a Cause

Recession of 1957-1958

Red Monday

Release time

Religion in Canada

Religion in the United States

Revised Standard Version of the Bible

Kenneth Rexroth

Ribonucleic acid (RNA)

Matthew B. Ridgway

Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus

Jackie Robinson

Sugar Ray Robinson

Rock and roll

Rock Around the Clock

Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals

Julius and Ethel Rosenberg

Roth v. United States

Carl T. Rowan

Gabrielle Roy

Mort Sahl

Louis St. Laurent

St. Lawrence Seaway

San Francisco Renaissance

Saturday Evening Post


School desegregation

Science and technology



The Sea Around Us

Glenn Seaborg

The Second Sex

Sergeant Preston of the Yukon

Rod Serling

Dr. Seuss

Sex and sex education

Fulton J. Sheen

Samuel Sheppard

Max Shulman

Silly Putty

Phil Silvers

Frank Sinatra

Sky King

Small Business Administration

Margaret Chase Smith

Smoking and tobacco

Sam Snead

Duke Snider


Soil Bank Act of 1956

Southeast Asia Treaty Organization

Southern Christian Leadership Conference

Southern Manifesto

Space race

Mickey Spillane


Sports Illustrated

Sputnik I

Steel mill closure

Steelworkers strike

John Steinbeck

Casey Stengel

Adlai Stevenson

Igor Stravinsky

A Streetcar Named Desire

Suez Crisis

Ed Sullivan

Yma Sumac

Sunset Boulevard

Superconductivity research

U.S. Supreme Court decisions

Surfing and beach culture

Sweatt v. Painter

Elizabeth Taylor

Teamsters Union


Television for children

Television game shows

Television in Canada

Television in the United States

Television soap operas

Television Westerns

Edward Teller


Theater in Canada

Theater in the United States

The Thing from Another World

Danny Thomas

Bobby Thomson

3-D movies

Tidelands oil controversy

Till lynching

Tonight Show

Top 40 radio

Tranquilizer chlorpromazine

Trans-Canada Highway


Tripartite Security Treaty

Trop v. Dulles

Harry S. Truman

Truman assassination attempt

Truman Doctrine

Dalton Trumbo


Turner-Stompanato scandal

TV dinners

TV Guide

Twenty-second Amendment

U-2 spy planes

The Ugly American

Unemployment in Canada

Unemployment in the United States

Unionism in Canada

Unionism in the United States

Johnny Unitas

United Fruit Company

United Nations

United States Air Force Academy

United States Information Agency

UNIVAC computer

Urbanization in Canada

Urbanization in the United States

Leon Uris

Ritchie Valens

Van Allen radiation belts

Immanuel Velikovsky

Veterans organizations


Fred M. Vinson


Jersey Joe Walcott

War brides

War films

The War of the Worlds

Earl Warren

Warsaw Pact

Water pollution

James D. Watson

West Point honor code scandal

West Side Story

White Citizens’ Councils

Why Johnny Can’t Read

Wide-screen movies

The Wild One

Tennessee Williams

Edmund Wilson

Women and the roots of the feminist movement

Ed Wood

World Council of Churches convention

Herman Wouk

Yates v. United States

Frank Yerby

Loretta Young

Your Hit Parade

Youth culture and the generation gap

Academy Awards of the 1950’s

Best-Selling U.S. Books in the 1950’s


Emmy Awards of the 1950’s

Glossary of Popular Terminology of the 1950’s

Major Films of the 1950’s

Major Literary Awards in the 1950’s

Major Broadway Plays and Awards of the 1950’s

Time Line of the 1950’s in America

Web Sites

Most-Watched U.S. Television Shows of the 1950’s

Legislation: Major U.S. Legislation of the 1950’s

Legislation: U.S. Supreme Court Decisions of the 1950’s

Music: Popular Musicians of the 1950’s and Their Hits

Sports: Winners of Major Events in the 1950’s

Publisher’s Note

Abstract expressionism