Culture and Politics of the 1950s

1420 words (6 pages) Essay in History

08/02/20 History Reference this

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1950

The past and its negative effects on everyday life were not going to bombard the current society of the 1950s. Individuals seem to hope for the best in futures of the young as well their own standard experience in everyday life. The means of entertainment that spurted from the motivation of a better experience lead to numerous creations of the decade including fads that range in events, fashion, toys, and even food!  These activities were an attempt at fun and more importantly, they are an insight into the type of enjoyment the decade was capable of.  The fulfillment of something great or entertaining whether for self and personal gain was to be achieved righteously and in a being. This was the common value set. The scandals ranging from sports to political all had deviance from this in common and showed the wrong but also reinforced the new values and how people view things that were different.

The Pride in the activities that were participated in contributed to the identity of a person or how they saw themselves. How they accomplished and fulfilled their greatness is important because it is how they reach their valued positions in their life. These positions in some cases are statuses like wealth fame or position in a sports tournament. Some people become idols and are seen for their benefits and achievements in getting there. The journey is what builds interest The focus being on how they reach these statuses contributes to why scandals are effective in the decade. Because there are always incentives and means of achieving them (no matter the difficulty) there are expectations set in standards like fairness skill and justly achieving the means. When the norm is not abided seen as shocking and scandalous by America.hus encouraging the behavior of doing things righteously. Sports during the 1950s were another activity that filled the soul. Another area where expectations and values are held.

 The Point shaving scandals were defining the meaning of major college basketball during the early 1950s Jan. 17, 1951 when Henry Poppe and Jack Byrnes of the previous year’s Manhattan team plus three fixers: Cornelius Kelleher and brothers Benjamin and Irving Schwartzberg, who were bookmakers and convicted felons, were booked on bribery and conspiracy charges. (Goldstein)  They being Byrnes and Poppe receiving compensation based on throwing games. This scandal was recognized and put to an end when Junius Kellogg was offered a substantial amount of money after a game.

According to ESPN classic Kellogg promptly reported the offer from Poppe to his coach Ken Norton, who informed Brother Bonaventure Thomas, Manhattan College’s president, who endorsed the idea of going to the police. (Goldstein )  They used secretive means such as wires to record future deals as a source of evidence to use in court against the men.

District attorney Frank Hogan arrested 32 players from seven colleges fixed 86 games between 1947 and 1950. (Goldstein ) over time was arresting multiple individuals who participated in illegal events but this was still not the peak of the point shaving scandal.  The 1950-1951 ball scandal or according to ESPN classic the NCAA champions when the Kentucky basketball team was suspended according to the website Important college basketball was near destruction in 1951 it. these were corruptions of the sport that not only unfairly gave revenue to gamblers that were gaining a substantial amount of money but caused teams to not play to their potential whether it was throwing games or restricting point margins.  Scandals were not restricted to points n a game however, there were more serious political scandals that defined the era known as the McCarthyism.

President Truman in the previous decade had passed an executive law that federal employee was to bee screen to test their loyalty. This was all I fear that they might be members of the communist party. According to history collection .com the red scare ended during 1956. how it came to be the McCarthy period can be because it was a time of distrust and time of retaliation to change. The time period is named for Senator Joseph McCarthy as he often conducted hearings himself.                 But the 1950s was especially to these scandalous endeavors because of Roosevelt’s actions in office. After WW2  the cold war caused there to be an n anti-soviet sentiment The communist party was a left-wing political party that was in favor with the Soviet America effort against Nazi Germany(Devinatz).  The fire was had been grown when McCarthy gave a speech and claimed “205 communists had infiltrated the State Department. “ (Atcher and according to Actor Mccarthy was constantly in the spotlight questioning multiple witnesses about being affiliated to the communist party, he was doing so with no plausible evidence either. His accusations caused people to be mistrusted and potentially ruined their lives. The McCarthy hearings in 1954 once investigated espionage of a dentist who refused loyalty questions in the army when McCarthy questioned them he was hit with depredation of his own self to the public when his sense of decency was tested. (Achter) Considering the fact that there wasn’t proof to support his accusations in 1950 was the decade where people did follow his actions but were not afraid to change the wrong once aware. This red scare kept people anxious but only because of fear that American values would be corrupted by soviet union communism. Once people understood the wrong in the actions they were against them.

 Another political scandal that included communism also was important during the decade. The Rosenbergs Julius and ethel U.S. citizens were executed when found guilty in committing espionage intentionally for the soviet union

There was an atomic weapon which information had been outed by the couple. Julius joined the Army Signal Corps as an engineer but was later fired when it was discovered he was a member of the Communist party. He was soon found to have shared thousands of documents with the alleged enemy. Julius and Ethel were pressured to give up more spies and were sentenced to death 

Trust seems to be a major issue when it comes to the decade politically. There was no certain way to know if someone supported the communist party in any affiliation or had truly American values. This caused chaos which was hand in hand with the chaos cause di the sports scandals. The means of reaching statuses were to be gained righteously and when it was found that individuals were sharing spaces with a communist member or teams were in league with cheating players there was a complete disappointment.

Works Cited

  • Achter, Paul J. “McCarthyism.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 9 Apr. 2019, www.britannica.com/topic/McCarthyism.
  • Bankston, Carl L. Great Events from History. Vol. 3, Salem Press, 2009.
  • Cummings, Dennis. “The 11 Biggest Sports Scandals of All-Time.” FindingDulcinea,  25 Apr. 2011, 7:00 AM, www.findingdulcinea.com/news/sports/2009/feb/11-Biggest-Sports-Scandals.html.
  • Cunningham, Matt. “10 Fabulous Fads from the 1950s.” Edited by Publications International, HowStuffWorks, 13 Dec. 2011, people.howstuffworks.com/10-fabulous-fads-from-the-1950s.htm.
  • Devinatz, Victor G. “Communist Party of the United States of America.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 12 Oct. 2014, www.britannica.com/topic/Communist-Party-of-the-United-States-of-America.
  • “Fads of the 1950.” Crazyfads.com – Fads of the 1950s, Dumb.Com, www.crazyfads.com/50s.htm. 
  • Giardina, Henry. “GAY L.A.: In 1952, Gay and Latinx Angelenos Fought Back.” The Pride LA, TJ Montemer, 5 Mar. 2019, thepridela.com/2019/03/gay-l-a-in-1952-gay-and-latinx-angelenos-fought-back/.
  • Goldstein, Joe. “1951 Scandals Threaten College Hoops.” ESPN, ESPN Internet Ventures, 19 Nov. 2003, www.espn.com/classic/s/basketball_scandals_explosion.html.
  • Myers, Dan. “Why Were There So Many Gelatin-Based Dishes in the 1950s and 60s?” The Daily Meal, Tribune Publishing , 20 Jan. 2017, www.thedailymeal.com/eat/why-were-there-so-many-gelatin-based-dishes-50s-and-60s.
  • MyFootage.com, director. Stock Footage – 1950s Fads, Yo-Yo, Hula Hoop. YouTube/, Historic & Contemporary Stock Footage, 10 Oct. 2011, www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLHicd4Y054.
  • Pendergast, Tom, and Sara Pendergast. U X L American Decades: 1950-1959. Vol. 6, UXL, 2003.
  • Shah, Yagana. “5 Old Hollywood Scandals That Would Still Make Jaws Drop Today.” HuffPost, HuffPost, 7 Dec. 2017, www.huffpost.com/entry/old-hollywood-scandals_n_7690618.
  • Stidham, Lindsay. “Spies, Satellites, and Paranoia: 5 Political Scandals of the 1950s.” History Collection.co, Spike Media, 7 July 2017, historycollection.co/5-craziest-political-scandals-1950s/.
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