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US History & War

The 1960s is an era that was ushered greatly by baby boomers as a result of II World war. In the 1930s and 1940s there were numerous births in USA that averaged approximately 2. 3 to around 2. 8 million people annually (Matt, 2010). This marked the onset of the baby boomers. There were vast changes during this era. There were economical, political, social and cultural changes during this era. Those people who were born around 1930s have witnessed a change in culture and other social systems and it always seems to them as if they started life in a particular country and ended up in another country.

It was a culture whereby people were embarrassed to discuss openly their emotional difficulties, sexual history and family troubles. This was because there was a sense of great restraint as well as personal dignity that cultures reinforced. It was a period that was marked by great changes as a result of the Great depression, Second World War, Cold war, Vietnam war and other social calamities. There was a rise in new trend of music, dressing style and a new blend of people.

This paper aims to discuss at length the way life was in 1930s and 1940s as compared to the events that shaped the generation that emerged in 1950s, 60s and 70s as depicted by an interviewee (Scott, 2010). The interview brought an immense limelight of the events that framed the two generations. The man interviewed was a teenager during the thirties and he saw it all and remembers as if it was yesterday.

In the discourse various aspects will be handled for example, the social, cultural and political activities that were present during this era, the type of entertainment that was present in that period, the fashion trends, and the protests and how it affected him, the social and cultural upheavals of the time, the beliefs, hopes and fears of that epoch. In conclusion there will be a breakdown of what was discussed in the entire paper with hope that there will be sufficient limelight on the major happenings that did take place during this era as seen through a reliable source that happened to be there during that period.

Discussion The 1930s and 1940s is an era marked with interesting episodes and fear. It is an era that little baby boomers would wish that it never happened. It was marked with Second World War. The adults would sit down the kids and tell them that a bomb could go off any time (Scott, 2010). Talk of what can be called as cultural angst and anxiety. It was no different. Children grew up covering themselves under ancient desks incase of an attack. During 1930s and 1940s almost each household owned a radio as compared to 1950s and 1960s where most of the Americans owned a television.

The economy at 1930s was deteriorating because of the effects of anonymity that was present during this period. In 1930s money was already quite scarce as a result of depression. People tried their best to better their lives. Movies at this era were quite hot. The board and parlor games were quite popular. People at this time gathered around the radios to listen to some Yankees as young people joyfully danced to big bands. It was also an era of the great depression. During this period, the American dream turned into a nightmare.

What was known as the land of prospects became total desperation. It was a land of despair. The Americans questioned the entire maxims of which they had based their lives on. Most families tied their possessions on their back and together with their neighbors sought work in the western agricultural fields. The income rate got reduced by 40% and instead of advancing, surviving became the major key (Scott, 2010). The attitudes, lifestyles and institutions changed completely though democracy prevailed. Economics completely dominated politics in 1930s.

The Social security Act that was formed in 1935, set programs to make sure that elderly had income and the Wagner Act of 1935 offered workers legal right to finally unionize (Scott, 2010). This was an era of President Herbert Hoover as well as Franklin Roosevelt. The education system was highly affected. There was shortage of money thus parents were not in a position to supply their children with books and clothes. There was increase of gabbling and horse racing became legal. Spectator games for example baseball grew.

People wore simple printed dresses with a waist line and men’s pants were high waisted and wide. Also vest sweaters were common. Hats were mandatory for males. Classical and popular music was also common in 1930s and 40s. It is an era that revealed names like Benny Goodman, Glen Miller, Duke Ellington and Tommy Dorsey. This era was so much into movies in order to entertain their depression audience. On the other hand, the 1950s though they are considered as US golden era, the shadow that was brought by Cold War loomed over US and influenced most politics.

In 1970s unlike in 1940s, there was anti war movement that was visible in colleges as well as universities. The Kent massacre that was aired in the Television however was devastating and left four students dead (Scott, 2010). There was mandatory busing to achieve racial integration in schools that led violence and disruptions. The hippies of the sixties were mainstreamed in 70s as men wore shoulder length style of hair and there was rage in non traditional clothes for example bell bottom pants, colorful patches, platform shoes, hip buggers among others (Scott, 2010).

During the 70s there was emergence of floppy discs. In the 60s and 70s there were profound changes where the president and vice president resigned because of threat of impeachment. The Vietnam War divided the entire country and Roe Wade legalized abortion. There was increase of crime despite the pledge of Nixon for Americans to be united. There was increase of immigration where most people from the Third World would come to US. The decade saw Elvis Presley’s death. There was increase of pop music in different styles that comprised of hard rock, soft rock, folk rock, punk rock and country rock.

The top names of this era were the Bee, Gees, Aerosmith, Elton, John, Bob Seger, Bob Marley, Rod Stewart among others. There was comeback of movies and new technologies for example, Dolby sound and panavision. The TV came of age in the 70s and the topics for example sexuality that were considered taboos in 40s were openly discussed. The television satellites continued to bring in the horrors of Vietnam War into millions of households and led to the intensifying of anti war sentiments. Conclusion It is lucid that the two generations were marked by great changes that have led to the America we have today as my interviewee has shown.

The intense yearn for change was marked by terror and disappointments in the social, cultural and political arena. Though it is a reflective era full of horror and alteration of the common trends, it is one that will remain intact in the minds of those who were lucky enough to be there and will be appreciated by generations to come.


Michael, Scott. 2010. (Personal communication). June, 3, 2010. Rosenberg, Matt. 2010. The population baby boom of 1946-1964 in the United States. Retrieved 3, June, 2010< http://geography. about. com/od/populationgeography/a/babyboom. htm

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