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1950’s

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1950’s

The 1950's were very different and radical in fact, this is the decade that began rock n' roll, the civil rights movement, better family living, advances in technology, Fashion, medical research, other wonderful things this country was not used to seeing or hearing. The 1950's were looked at more as a state of mind or a way of living rather than just another decade or timeline in American history. Everything was peaceful then, which looking back on the two world wars and the great depression this country was not used to at all. Nobody worried about war, nobody worried about how they were going to feed their children and keep a roof over their heads because everyone had jobs and the economy was doing great. Teenagers were having more fun than ever too. Rock n' roll was introduced to them and they all seemed at the time to know what they wanted out of life, to go to school, graduate, get a job, get married, and have children, all in that order just as their parents had. The 1950's were the most influential decade in American history because the civil rights act began, fashion was completely new and trendy, there were much advancement in entertainment and medicine, and suburban life

was much more "functional" than any other decade in American history.

One reason the 1950's were the most influential decade in American history is because rock and roll was introduced to the country and it let people forget about their morals for a while and just let loose to have fun. Elvis Presley was quite the king of rock and roll, with songs like hound dog, don't be cruel, and love me tender and ready teddy Elvis lit up the stage. "Elvis Presley-Biography and Timeline-The Fifties" Elvis was born on January 8th 1935. He purchased his first guitar in 1946 for $12.95 at the local hardware store. In 1954 Sam Phillips teams Elvis up with local musicians Scotty Moore guitar and Bill Black bass. By November of 1955 Elvis had signed his first record contract with RCA His contract was for $40,000, and a $5,000 signing bonus for Elvis. In April of 1956 Elvis signed a seven-year movie contract with Hal Wallace and Paramount Pictures. The most famous film Elvis came out with ; Jailhouse Rock came out in May of 1957. This is the film that really helped Elvis launch his career. Elvis was so well known because of the new style he brought to rock and roll. Elvis once said "Some people tap their feet, some people snap their fingers, and some people sway back and fourth. I just sorta do 'em all together, I guess." Elvis P. Interview, "Elvis Presley-Biography and Timeline-The Fifties Elvis knew he had created something new in music something wonderful that would last for quite sometime. Rock and roll was more than just music to listen to, some people believe it was music to live by, The music was just the beginning of the fun and well being people endured in the 1950's.

The second reason the 1950's are considered to be the most influential decade in American history is because this is the decade that began the civil rights act. The major event that led to the beginning of the civil rights movement included Rosa Parks. Rosa Parks was an African American woman who after a hard day at work refused to give up her seat up front to a white man. By simply refusing to give up her seat, Rosa Parks single handedly began the civil rights movement and ultimately ensured that today all

African Americans must be given equal treatment with whites under the law. This event with Rosa Parks eventually led to the Montgomery Bus Boycott. The Montgomery Bus Boycott , officially started on December 1, 1955 and was a day that all blacks all over Alabama decided that they would boycott all of the buses until they could sit anywhere they wanted. On November 13th 1956 the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the federal court's ruling, declaring segregation unconstitutional. Even though the Montgomery Bus Boycott did not have much size compared to the gains the blacks would later win, this was an extremely important event because if you look at what Roberta Wright wrote, "It helped to launch a 10-year national struggle for freedom and justice, the Civil Rights Movement, that stimulated others to do the same at home and abroad." Rosa Parks: The Movement Organizes It explains what an impact Rosa Parks had on America, by simply standing up for herself and breaking the silence for blacks everywhere. Soon after the Rosa Parks incident Martin Luther King Jr. reamed up with Rosa Parks and ruled that if he could get a 60% cooperation rate from blacks all over Alabama that the bud boycott would have been a success. The morning a bus just rolled past Martin Luther King JR's house without even stopping to pick him up he concluded that a miracle had taken place and would later write," The

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