The Eisenhower Era

The Eisenhower Era - The Eisenhower Era I. Affluence and...

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The Eisenhower Era I. Affluence and Its Anxieties a. Home Construction i. Economic boom caused boom in housing ii. 1 of 4 homes in 1960 had been built in the 1960s; 83% of new homes in suburbs b. Computers i. Drove economic growth ii. Transistors made possible computers, beginning in the 1940s iii. International Business Machines (IBM) expanded iv. Computers and calculators were later made smaller v. Computers transformed old business practices like billing, inventory, airline scheduling, high-speed printing, and telecommunications c. Airline Business i. Military and civilian aircraft production grew (Eisenhower built up the Strategic Air Command - SAC) ii. In 1957, Boeing Company created the 707, the first large passenger jet. Its design and control were owed to the development of the SAC’s bomber the B-52 iii. In 1959, Boeing created the first presidential jet for Eisenhower, the Air Force One d. White-Collar Employment i. In 1956, “white-collar” (office workers) outnumbered “blue-collar” workers ii. Organized labor declined with industries that had been its mainstay iii. Some thought that they had played their role to improve conditions of workers and would disappear eventually e. Changing Female Roles i. Most women who had worked in plants during WWII returned to conventional female roles as wives and mothers ii. The idea of the “cult of domesticity” popped up again, but this time in popular culture. 1950s shows like “Ozzie and Harriet” or “Leave It to Beaver” depicted suburban families with a working husband, two children, and a wife who didn’t leave the home often iii. However, as the 1950s progressed, most women weren’t living that way. Of the 40 million new jobs created from the 1950s-1970s, more than 30 million were in clerical and service work, which women often filled
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iv. Women now had a dual role as both worker and homemaker. This raised new social and psychological questions about family and gender v. Betty Friedan wrote The Feminine Mystique (1963) – a best seller and classic that launched the modern women’s feminist movement. She spoke in rousing terms to millions of able, educated women who applauded her indictment of the stifling boredom of the suburban housewife. Many women who worked struggled with guilt of not being able to maintain a “cult of domesticity” II. Consumer Culture in the 50s a. Expansion of the Consumer Culture i. 1948 – First McDonald’s open ii. 1949 – First credit card iii. 1955 – Disneyland opens in Anaheim, CA iv. New forms of recreation were a part of a new lifestyle by the end of the decade b. Television i. 1946 – 6 TV stations were broadcasting; 1956 – 442 TV stations were broadcasting ii. 1940s – TVs were novelties; 1951 – 7 million TVs were sold; 1960 – nearly every house had one iii. FDR was the first president to appear on TV; he gave a speech in 1939 at the New York’s World Fair, where television was being officially introduced to the mass public iv. As a result:
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This note was uploaded on 02/04/2012 for the course HISTORY 104 taught by Professor Reed during the Spring '11 term at Rutgers.

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The Eisenhower Era - The Eisenhower Era I. Affluence and...

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