Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 10 years ago

Were families happier in the 1950's?

I was born in the 1940's and remember the 50's well. Most families had 1 breadwinner, 1 car, 1 TV, 1 phone, & 1 bathroom. In my opinion they were happier than families today. Anyone else old enough to recall those times?

8 Answers

  • 10 years ago
    Best Answer

    I do, and it was, For one thing, there were families with structures and set roles. Look at any of the top TV shows--there was a firm, fair father in each and every one. For another, there was optimism about the future, and knowledge that things then were better than life had been in the prior 20 years of depression and war.

  • Arbie
    Lv 6
    10 years ago

    The Fifties were a time for people to catch up with the material privations most had suffered for almost 20 years. Perhaps in that sense, people were very satisfied because they pretty much knew what they didn't have and also knew what they wanted.

    The Fifties also were a time of great hysteria -- McCarthy was in his heyday, and "the bogeyman" (the U.S.S.R.) was seemingly threatening everyone. This certainly spilled over into some families, which saw their civil rights trampled by an overly security-conscious government.

    The Fifties were not the best times for American Negroes, and the civil rights movement was still in its infancy. Schools remained segregated, and most Blacks could not vote. In the South, they also could not partake of the common social decencies of life. Certainly, this caused unrest which eventually did boil over.

    Beyond that, I doubt you could get a comparative consensus on "happiness" among families in different eras. Family ties probably were stronger then, simply because they had to be (the Great Society and Nanny State still were several years away, and people did have to rely on kin when they got in trouble). But, that is not the same as saying families were "happier."

    I don't think one could say one way or the other.

  • 10 years ago

    A lot of things were different in the 50's. I was raised on a big farm. People who lived around us were almost like relatives. My dad helped with their big did surrounding neighbors. After haying was finished, the families would sit down to a huge dinner where all the wives pitched in with the preparing, serving, and cleaning up. Something like a family reunion, only these were neighbors and friends, as well as family members. There used to be a function in our community, called Grange..members would gather and eat some kind of food together. Once, I remember, the subject of the repast was.."You can use almost anything..don't waste food." To demonstrate, the speaker had a huge pot on the kitchen stove. He had all the members bring some food that they would normally put in the refuse can. The speaker then took all those bits and pieces of the grange members and threw them in this huge pot. There were ends from carrots, celery, peels of potatoes, pieces of this and that. He threw them all in. It was cooked and served to everyone there. That was the best soup I ever had...I still remember how we all laughed and ate the last bit of that soup..then everyone sang together, and planned the next meeting. Another memory is about the family outings. My dad loved the picture shows...every weekend, rain or shine, we would all go to the theatre or the drive-in down the road. I saw shows like Wizard of Oz, and Forever Darling..and the drive-in usually had something with Bela Lagosi in it. When I was 10, I drove the tractor, helped hay, had 100 white-rock chickens, and thought the biggest treat was going deer-hunting with my dad. The point here is simple. Everyone knew and trusted, depended and helped, each other. As a family, we did things together; but, as part of the farming community and nearby small town, we were all a part of each others' lives.

  • 10 years ago

    Our neighbors had a bomb shelter built in their back yard. Wonder if that thing still exists and what it's being used for? In 1956 my 6th grade social studies teacher in Anderson, Indiana read some pro-John Birch Society literature one day to the class. A couple weeks later, after word had gotten around, the school board met and fired the poor guy. Too bad because he was a very good teacher. Even though I did not live then as an adult I still think there was a lot less stress in most people's lives. I agree with the previous answer concerning African-American citizens. Even in Indiana they were not allowed access to certain recreational facilities.

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  • 10 years ago

    The 50's economy in the US was strong. That had a lot to do with family happiness and security. Also, mothers (the glue that holds together a family) could spend a lot more time with their kids.

  • motty
    Lv 5
    10 years ago

    i ent old enough but i know well that in the 40's there was a big world war (the 2nd one) and people were still in shock in the 50's, so how can people have been happier

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    No,there just wasn't as much knowledge of everyone elses life as there is today. In conclusion,they simply didn't know how unhappy they truly were.

  • 10 years ago

    stop comparing and get on with ur life

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