The Highs and Lows of postwar America

Baby Boomer Generation

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The Beginning

The beginning of the 1950's was a clouded time. The beginning of the Korean war, talk of atomic bomb creations, boycotts and the fight for civil rights were all events causing heightened stress in any and all individuals. For the Baby boomer generation these post world war II times set the tone for their most developmental years.

What Really happened?

In order to place yourself in this time of peril you need to know what was going on. The following is a list of key Events from 1951 to 1955 (for a full, more detailed list click here to visit Softschool’s 1950’s Timeline )

  • The Korean war 1950

  • Ratification of the 22nd amendment 1951

  • Hydrogen bomb tests 1952

  • Eisenhower becomes president 1953

  • creation of SEATO 1954

  • Warsaw pact formed 1955

Reminants of WWII were all over the media, the government was still engaging in courses of actions, despite the relief of the past Dilema. The Library of Congress describes this well:

The postwar world also presented Americans with a number of problems and issues. Flushed with their success against Germany and Japan in 1945, most Americans initially viewed their place in the postwar world with optimism and confidence. But within two years of the end of the war, new challenges and perceived threats had arisen to erode that confidence. By 1948, a new form of international tension had emerged--Cold War--between the United States and its allies and the Soviet Union and its allies. In the next 20 years, the Cold War spawned many tensions between the two superpowers abroad and fears of Communist subversion gripped domestic politics at home.” (U.S. History Primary Source Timeline)

Within less than a decade things were aleady raising anxieties all over America. It was difficult to process, it was dissapointing for many Americans; being so full of hope for the future and then watching it potentially tear slowly was stressful.

Eisenhower at NASA 1958


Hydrogen bomb testing in 1952


Looking up

Though a time of great conflict the early 1950s had some positive interactions. The economy was by no means suffering and suburbia was ravishing all over the country. "Many Americans were eager to have children because they were confident that the future promised peace and prosperity," Says It is true that many young adults now worry about the security of their children's future; often hear young adults say "I can't bare the thought of bringing a life into this world." Millennial Julia Austin confirms the concern of finding funds for raising children in America today.we are just scrambling to figure out how we could possibly afford children”.(Austin 10 Legit Reasons Millennials Are Afraid To Have Kids)The world has changed more than predicted in this last century, it's hard to tell how it will change in the next one. However, the parents of the boomers were hopeful, with WWII coming to an end they didn't imagine something like that happening again. To them, surviving WWII meant that worse wasn't to come, they already lived through the worst possible thing that could be happening in the world. Instead of having the "why should I have kids" mindset they held the "Why wouldn't I have kids" mindset.

Image depicting suburbia by Amnestic Arts


“1950s Timeline.” Math,

Amnestic_Arts. “Suburbia.” Flickr, Yahoo!, 25 Sept. 2005,

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Bjorkegren, Written by Francesca. “1950 Timeline: Historic Newspapers Us.” Historic Newspapers, 13 July 2021,

Chappet, Marie-Claire. “Why Millennials like Me Are Too Scared to Have Babies.” The Telegraph, Telegraph Media Group, 12 Apr. 2019,

“Creative Commons License Deed.” Creative Commons - Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic - CC BY-NC-ND 2.0, Editors. “The 1950s.”, A&E Television Networks, 17 June 2010,

Photostream, The Official CTBTO. “‘Ivy Mike’ Atmospheric Nuclear Test - November 1952.” Flickr, Yahoo!, 8 Dec. 2011,

Team, LCC Writing. “From the Battlefield to the Oval Office - Littleton Coin Blog.” Littleton Coin Company Blog, 26 June 2018,