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The 1950s Portal

Top, L-R: U.S. Marines engaged in street fighting during the Korean War, circa late September 1950; The first polio vaccine is developed by Jonas Salk.
Centre, L-R: US tests its first thermonuclear bomb with code name Ivy Mike in 1952. A 1954 thermonuclear test, code named Castle Romeo, is shown here; In 1959, Fidel Castro overthrows Fulgencio Batista in the Cuban Revolution, resulting in the creation of the first communist government in the Western hemisphere; Elvis Presley becomes the leading figure of rock and roll in the mid-1950s.
Bottom, L-R: Smoke rises from oil tanks on Port Said following the invasion of Egypt as part of the Suez Crisis in late 1956; French paratroopers march in Algiers in the beginning of the Algerian War, 1957; The Soviet Union launches Sputnik 1, the first artificial satellite to orbit the earth, in October 1957.

The 1950s (pronounced nineteen-fifties; commonly abbreviated as the "Fifties" or the "'50s") (among other variants) was a decade that began on January 1, 1950, and ended on December 31, 1959.

Throughout the decade, the world continued its recovery from World War II, aided by the post-World War II economic expansion. The period also saw great population growth with increased birth rates and the emergence of the baby boomer generation. (Full article...)

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12 Angry Men (1957 film poster).jpg
Theatrical release poster

12 Angry Men is a 1957 American courtroom drama film directed by Sidney Lumet, adapted from a 1954 teleplay of the same name by Reginald Rose. The film tells the story of a jury of 12 men as they deliberate the conviction or acquittal of a teenager charged with murder on the basis of reasonable doubt; disagreement and conflict among them force the jurors to question their morals and values. It stars Henry Fonda (who also produced the film with Reginald Rose), Lee J. Cobb, Ed Begley, E. G. Marshall, and Jack Warden.

12 Angry Men explores many techniques of consensus-building and the difficulties encountered in the process among this group of men whose range of personalities adds to the intensity and conflict. The jury members are identified only by number; no names are revealed until an exchange of dialogue at the very end. The film forces the audience to evaluate their own self-image through observing the personalities, experiences, and actions of the jurors. The film is also notable for its almost exclusive use of one set, where all but three minutes of the film takes place. (Full article...)
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Did you know...

  • ... that in the 1950s, the Soviet Union introduced an open university system to enable working-class students to become useful functionaries of the Communist party?
  • ... that fossils of the extinct plant Concavistylon were first collected in the 1950s, but the genus was not formally described until 2018?
  • ... that My Michael, a novel by Israeli author Amos Oz set in Jerusalem of the 1950s, was reviled by critics as being "politically dangerous and subversive"?
  • ... that in the 1950s, Slovene transgender lawyer and writer Ljuba Prenner used the introduction: "I am Dr. Ljuba Prenner, neither man nor woman"?
  • ... that the 1944 SCR-720 radar system was used only briefly by the USAAF, but was a primary RAF system into the late 1950s?
  • ... that the Jonas Brothers' song "Cool" has several popular culture references in its lyrics, including Post Malone, Game of Thrones, and 1950s actor James Dean?

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Senator John Foster Dulles (R-NY).jpg

John Foster Dulles (/ˈdʌlɪs/ DUL-iss; February 25, 1888 – May 24, 1959) was an American diplomat, lawyer, and Republican Party politician. He served as United States Secretary of State under President Dwight D. Eisenhower from 1953 to 1959 and was briefly a Republican U.S. Senator for New York in 1949. He was a significant figure in the early Cold War era who advocated an aggressive stance against communism throughout the world.

Born in Washington, D.C., John Dulles joined the leading New York law firm of Sullivan & Cromwell after graduating from George Washington University Law School. His grandfather, John W. Foster, and his uncle, Robert Lansing, both served as United States Secretary of State, while his brother, Allen Dulles, served as the Director of Central Intelligence from 1953 to 1961. John Foster Dulles served on the War Industries Board during World War I and he was a U.S. legal counsel at the 1919 Paris Peace Conference. He became a member of the League of Free Nations Association, which supported American membership in the League of Nations. Dulles also helped design the Dawes Plan, which sought to stabilize Europe by reducing German war reparations. During World War II, Dulles was deeply involved in post-war planning with the Federal Council of Churches Commission on a Just and Durable Peace. (Full article...)

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