? asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 1 decade ago

In the 1940's and 1950's what age did you become legally an adult?

Did they have like an age of majority for females and an age of majority for males.Did "teenagers" the term even exist back then and was the drinking age 21 in every state?OR was the age of majority for both sexes 21 everywhere?

3 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Becoming an adult is a bit of a sticky wicket, as they say over in Old Blighty. In terms of drinking it varied from state to state. I grew up in Delaware and came of age in the 70s. At that time you had to be 21 to drink in Delaware, 20 in Pennsylvania and 18 in New Jersey. As a result all the PA and DE kids under those ages would drive over to NJ to get loaded and then weave back to their home states. Eventually the politicians realized that this was not a good idea and 21 to be able to drink became legal in the entire country.

    As far as voting I believe it use to be 21 to vote until it was pointed out that we were sending 18 males to war. If they were mature enough to fight and die for their country then they should have the right to vote. It was changed to 18. I don't think gender was a factor in becoming a legal adult, just age.

    Teenagers existed, but culturally teenagers were a grey area between childhood and adulthood. That all changed with rock and roll. Suddenly record companies realized there was a specific age group that they had basically ignored, but could target product to based on their age. Pimple creams, candy, shampoo and other teen products soon followed. As John Mayall once said, teenagers were in a sort of limbo at the dinner table until rock and roll appeared. Then they had a rallying cry for their age group.

  • 1 decade ago

    in uk. in the fifties for both sexes you could buy alcohol at 18, vote at 21, we think the age of consent was 16 not 18 but we aren't sure. the expression teenager existed for obvious reasons from thirTEEN to nineTEEN years of age.

  • 1 decade ago

    You were legally an adult when you reached 21.

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