The wars had almost ended, but the world was still unsafe. In 1950 the Korean War began, Truman ordered the construction of the hydrogen bomb, McCarthy began his Communist witchhunting and the first credit card was introduced. The next year the U.S. signed a peace treaty with Japan, ending World War II, and on the home front color TV was introduced to the public. In 1952 life became safer as a Polio vaccine was created and car seat belts were introduced, though not mandatory. The next year saw the discovery of DNA and Sir Edmund Hillary reached the top of Mount Everest.
In 1954, the first atomic submarine was introduced and the first report came out to say that cigarettes can cause cancer. The next year Disneyland opened and the McDonald’s franchise had its start. 1956 was a year of making life easier for everyone as velcro was introduced and the T.V. remote control was invented, letting us change the channels or turn up the volume as Elvis upset everyone by shaking suggestively on the Ed Sullivan show and Grace Kelly married a prince and became a princess. The next year the first satellite, Sputnik was the first shot fired in the greatest show outside earth, as the the space race commenced. In 1958 we had Hula Hoops and Lego bricks to keep the children fascinated, and NASA was founded. The last year of the decade saw Castro become the Western Hemisphere’s first Communist dictator, while The Sound of Music opened on Broadway. In women’s fashion women wore a full knee-length skirt and there was a brief fling with the sack dress, which was much as it sounds, and expertly parodied on the “I Love Lucy” show, the television hit of the decade. The bobbysoxers flourished for a brief time, characterized by a large collared blouse, poodle skirt, scarf-bound ponytail and saddle shoes. For the boys it was the James Dean and Marlon Brando look of rebels without causes and motorcycle gang members. In the more out of the way places, the trendy coffee shops, held morose Beatniks, all dressed in black, with matching berets, with an audible spritzing of “man” and “like” in every sentence. Hair was generally soft and curly, often short and imaginative. The oddball woman’s cut of the decade was the poodle cut, most notably used by Lucille Ball, and for men it was the ducktail, with the hair combed back and a duck’s butt made out of a center part. Men also had the crewcut and the flattop, both of which were inspired by the military and were eradicated by the British invasion of the sixties.