What the 1950s Were Really Like

Many people have a vision of life in the 1950s that can be kind of comforting for them. Americans lived in the suburbs as middle class nuclear families with a stay-at-home mom, enjoying postwar prosperity in the company of many other housewives and neighborhood children, a vision that lasted until the mid-'60s. But that was on television. It was in the '50s that people began buying TV sets and watching television regularly, and those sparkling clean (and white) shows began to be recorded so that they can still be seen today. In the '70s, we even got a sitcom that played off the stereotype of the idealized 1950s, although that particular joke is almost lost today.

The idealized sitcom family isn't the only misconception that people today have of the 1950s. Read up on the interstate highway system, the McCarthy hearings, the Korean War, Jell-o recipes, and more in a list of ten misconceptions about the 1950s at Mental Floss. Or you can listen to the list in video form.


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