Americans continue to harken to the call of the bodacious, idyllic, post-war, big-finned, fabulous ‘50s. Given a choice of any decade in the century, the public would most want to live in the 1950s, this according to a new YouGov/Economist poll. The 1980s comes in second - with some interesting partisan divides between Republicans and Democrats over the decades. And the numbers: 18 percent of Americans would live in the 1950s if they could go back in time; 20 percent of Republicans and 14 percent of Democrats agree. 15 percent of Americans overall would chose to live in the 1960s;
Comments: I would say that also, even though I was a very young child during those times. There was such an innocence about America back then. When I was old enough to "look back" and compare it to the turbulent 60´s, the assassination of JFK, etc. I had felt much safer then.
Loved the fifties - I got in on the tail end, but it was great! My youngest niece loves vintage home decor & dishes from that time period & I recently met a young doctor that loves the books & jazz of that era. I am always amused to tell the "young whippersnappers" about party-line phones, TV test patterns, no "dish-on-demand" & the fabulous fashions of the day. All agree that the women were so attractive then (no tattoos or goth or emo) & men wore ties everywhere! I tell them that there was plenty to do & we had a huge, close family, then. I make sure the younger kids in the family know what it was like, because I think it appeals to them to bring back the family closeness that we had in those days.
I´m with #3. We enjoyed Sock Hops, Soda Shops and a general "Happy Days" kind of life. Back then, there were "Families". It was frowned upon to be divorced. Worse yet, to have a baby out of wedlock. There were no Homosexuals that we knew of, they certainly weren´t having parades. Girls never could ever think of having a boy in the girls bathroom just because he "THINKS" he now a girl! Teachers controlled their classrooms. If you didn´t behave, you were sent home and couldn´t come back without a very serious parent/principal conference. If you got into a fight on the school bus, you were kicked off for the rest of the school year! Everyone worked when they were 16 or older because if they didn´t, they went without. Nobody felt sorry for them! When you graduated, you were expected to get a full time job,(with the gas, phone or other utility companies)go to college, or take up a Trade. If you went to college, you got a degree in something that would land you a job! Poor people were helped by family and the Church. If they were just lazy, and not sick or old, nobody cared where their next meal came from! Nobody gave them a place to live either. It was work or you´re on your own! I loved the 50´s! I wish my grandchildren could live in that era. I shudder to think what is ahead for them!
I missed the 50´s by one year, but the 1960´s didnt really start till 1965 or so, with the Johnson escalation in Viet Nam and color TV becoming common. I dont disagree that the 50´s were proabaly a better time, but we should not forget the stresses of the Korean War, the cold war, unbreathable air in many cities (Akron comes to mind, where I was born. Sulphur stench and soot every morning) and probably a lot of other things we put aside and forgot. Wasn´t polio still around then? Bad stuff. I do miss the hair styles and clothes of the 1970´s, but those were my teen years. Special place in my heart for that.
Didn´t care that much for the 50´s. Never much cared for DoWop but Lo-Fi did hide much of its flaws. No radial tires. Everyone smoked. No AC even in office buildings. Much preferred the 60´s. Society had not gone down the tubes and technology was coming on line.
I´ll go with the 50´s. It´s when I grew up (born 1942). Of course, for most of us, those childhood years are looked on fondly. I would gladly go back to earlier eras....IF we could take the medical advances with us. I had polio as a child (age nine) so 1951 was a bummer for me. I really think that era ended November 22, 1963.
I lived through the entire decade and remember things some others might not - The Korean War that claimed WWII veterans who managed to escape death or maiming only to be taken by Truman´s "Police Action" in another war for which we were unprepared and politicians decided we didn´t want to win so it goes on today. I remember the "duck and cover" drills in schools in case the USSR decided to drop the bomb. I recall the line guys used on girls to get into their panties - "Come on, we could be dead tomorrow if the Russians drop the bomb." I remember gas for $.25 a gallon and a new car for $1500 or less. We never locked our doors and had parent imposed curfews of 9PM on weekdays and 11PM on weekends. The vast majority of girls guarded their virture and the vast majority of boys were like birddogs pointing at girls known to be "loose". Today it may seem a more gentle time, but reality was there wasn´t much in the way of spending money and a nickel for a coke with your sack lunch was a big deal. I joined the Navy during the Korean War and WWII veterans were not kind and gentle with recruits because they knew the horrors of combat weren´t video games. I´d still take the 50s over the 60s and subsequent decades with their drugs, lack of self discipline, welfare, and Obama and his ilk.
YES, to that one. Of course one has to be over 50 to remember much. Today´s youth with all their hi-tech gadgets are inundated with propaganda and a great deal of foolishness. You can´t beat a radio, a tv with 3 channels plus PBS. a newspaper with real news, and an optimistic environment. So much different today.
Count me in. I grew up in the 50´s, and despite the threat of nuclear annihilation with those "duck and cover" drills it was a peaceful, well-managed decade. America was America back then. Aside from the space race and resulting tech boom, and a brief political respite during the Reagan years, things have gone downhill since the Kennedy assassination. That was the "tipping point", IMO.
#11 beat me to it. The fifties were great in retrospect, but I´ll take the medical advances of today. Polio, thalidomide, heart problems that can be dealt with today meant death back then,childhood leukemia was always fatal but now can be treated successfully. There are many more to mention, but I´ll stay where I am, thank you. However, can I list Barack Obama as a disease of 2013 that might be fatal?
The 50´s. You could fly a flag. Respect others, church was considered a good thing. Morals were held in high regard. Family was important and divorce was considered a sad thing and bad for the kids and to be avoided.
I loved the 50´s, except when my Dad, an Infantry Officer was transfered back to my Mom´s home town in GA, hone of Ft. Benning. Living on Army Post overseas you forgot that blacks -who were my friends -could rarely leave the post gates without running into some kind of racial problems. The city took great pride in having Ft Benning and black solders had less problems in the South but the locals were not so lucky. It it weren´t for that I would look back at the 1950´s with a smile-and ´I liked Ike´ and always will.
As a young pup growing up in the 50`s, my earliest memory was turning on the t.v., leaving the room and coming back 15 minutes later just as the picture was coming on screen. Then there was 5 minutes of adjusting the horizontal and vertical. Today, I yell at the microwave when it takes 30 seconds to heat food....
Geez. Um, being born in 1972, the 70s were great except Jimmeh Carter. The 80s was great due to Reagan. The 60s gave us hippies. No thanks. Not sure about the 50s either. Except that women acted like ladies while men acted like gentlemen.
Thanks for the memories, all you wonderful posters above!
Yes, the ´50s weren´t perfect, as are constantly reminded by Leftists, who insist that the days of "Ozzie & Harriet" weren´t so wonderful. It is true that there was lingering injustice in some places in the ´50s, such as the Jim Crow laws that were still on the books.
Lefties miss the irony, however, that families in the black community were much better off in the ´50s --more parents were married, more fathers supported their families, and incomes were steadily rising during this period.
These positive trends were destroyed by LBJ´s Great Society programs in the ´60s.
I have that thought about every other day. It was the best of times. Sparklers, cap guns, girls playing with baby dolls, or pretending they were Daniel Boone. Staying outside in the summer to play Kick the Can until the street light came on. A library card was a ticket to adventure.
Children were mostly shielded from evil. I grew up thinking that Americans loved their country. Now in 2013 it is absolutely shocking to hear that so many hate-America first.
Lastly, I grew up with the most trusted man in America delivering the world news. Then as an adult I found out that he was a New World Order believer. Talk about bursting your bubble.
Well, it was still the best of times. Can innocence ever be returned?
I will take the 50´s and 60´s. Born in 47. There was seldom a pregnant girl, unless married. Never locked the house or the car. Yes, we had polio but we did not have aids. Ok, so medical wise things are better now but both my parents lived to almost 90, one aunt 93, etc etc. People even dressed up for church back then. My wife and I didn´t live together before we got married. We will have 45 yrs together in Dec. TV?, never watched it much. Yup, for me and my wife, we will take the 50´s and 60´s over the ME ME ME world of today.
Ten reasons, for starters, why the 1950s win "hands down" for this LDotter born in the Pre-World War II days of FDR´s "New Deal": (1)General Of The Army Dwight David Eisenhower, one of the greatest Americans of the 20th Century, served as our nation´s 34th POTUS and The United States of America flourished...January 20, 1953 to January 20, 1961 (2) Detroit, Michigan, believed it or not, was still a "boom town" and considered one of America´s greatest cities (3) General Motors was still the greatest manufacturing colossus the world has ever known (4) America´s prestige aboard, thanks to the magnificent leadership of General Ike, was the highest in the history of The Republic (5) Hollywood was still producing movies the whole family could enjoy and considered Pro-American, with many of it´s greatest stars being veterans of World War II (Audie Murphy, Jonathan Winters, Jimmy Stewart, Clark Gable, Eddie Albert, Kirk Douglas, James Arness, Glenn Ford, Walter Matthau, Charlton Heston, Ernest Borgnine, James Whitmore, Paul Newman, Henry Fonda and Lee Marvin to name just a few) (6) America´s public school systems, colleges and universities were still the envy of the world (7) The national debt was still under control with President Eisenhower appointed "adults" running the Treasury Department and federal agencies (8) The universal draft was still in effect and our nation´s armed forces reflected a true cross section of American life (9) Elvis Presley, The Platters, Fats Domino, Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, Ray Charles, The Everly Brothers, Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard, to name only a few, produced some of the most memorable rock n´ roll music ever heard (10) The 1950s were also considered "The Golden Age Of Television" with "I Love Lucy," "The Ed Sullivan Show," "Gunsmoke," "The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet" and "The Jackie Gleason Show" leading the charge.
Agree with all the 50´s ites, the 40´s were tough with rationing and such. Father worked 2 jobs during WWII. Lockheed and Goodyear. He got a little extra in the gasoline rationing stamps. He was an air-raid warden too. We kids collected tin cans and scrap metals, paper, and mom´s collected grease from cooking for the war effort. I Enlisted in the Navy in ´51 after high school. Out in ´58. Loved the Mickey Mouse Club on TV while in for upkeep. (qualified submariner). In movies, radio and TV not a single curse work. Gay meant being happy. One car in the family (older brothers had their own used cars bought cheap after WWII was over and new cars came out of Detroit. No Face Book...notes slipped to a girl...one wrote letters (3Cent stamps). Banks paid 4.5% interest on savings. 4 to six kids in many families. Abortion! Happened but not talked abut. when girls suddenly left school...they went to care for granny we were told. I like to watch TMC movies. Gives one an idea of what "decent" movies were and are. ok. Enough...The 50´s were an era of sensibility and reason ...
1. Soviet union was history. 2. Booming stock market (missed out on it completely, being just a grad student), prosperity, overall optimism all around. 3. Tech boom. 4. Best TV - Seinfeld, Frasier, The Practice, Wings (not many remember it probably but was on my list every week) 5. Sports - Bulls actually got me watching B-ball 6 Music - Nirvana, Pearl Jam.
I would never, never live through the 60´s again. The 540´s and 50´s were the last gasp for a system that had worked well for 100 years. The liberals were working to destroy that system and replace it. It had to be destroyed because it was in their way. They told us that what they were going to give us would be much better. That our children would be educated far beyond anything we could dream of. Not having seen them in action then, we were in no position to refute the claims. Ronald Reagan provided a temporary reprieve.
Some things I would have liked seeing in the 1950s: fins on cars, ´googie´ architecture, the nightclubs (including Tiki rooms), kids playing cowboys & indians, 99% of women liked men, early rock music, 3% unemployment (except for 1958), American flags being honored, new highways, drive-in theaters/diners, almost everything Made in USA, etc...
The 50´s had Marilyn and Elvis. It was the decade before the "sexual revolution" took hold, turning everything to porn. Public standards were higher than today.
Women dressed to the same level of modesty as men, a point I make repeatedly to those who claim that today´s women are more equal than the women of the 1950´s. If today´s women are more equal to men than back then, why do they dress far less modestly than men?
But let´s not forget the color, excitement and tragedy of the earlier decades, such as the period between 1910 and 1920. This was the decade when the United States became a superpower, the suffragettes were hip, and anarchists in Bosnia triggered the massive avalanche known as World War 1.
I grew up in the ´50s in a place where schools were integrated. We never knew it could be different and never gave it a second thought. We all played together, beat each other up and liked, or disliked, others based on personality or character and without special regard for skin color.
Many families were Irish, Italian, Polish, etc. and ethnic slurs were common but not frantically and irrationally treated as horrid hate crimes as they are today. Slurs were shrugged off like water on a duck´s back.
Divorce was uncommon and the only single-parent American kids I knew were those whose fathers had been killed in WWII or Korea. And there were a lot of them.
Veterans were respected and held in the highest regard by every kid I knew. It was a special event if a vet handed down a piece of old military gear like a cartridge belt or rucksack.
If anything, the blacks I knew were more religious and dedicated to their families than many of the whites.
There were many European refuges resettled here in the late 40´s. They were formally known as Displaced Persons but everyone called them DP´s.
They were the really poor people of the time and there were many orphans and single parent families among them.
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