Top, L-R: U.S. Marines engaged in street fighting during the Korean War
, circa late September 1950; Delegation of Belgium
, the Netherlands
and West Germany
attended signing ceremony of the Treaty of Rome
at the Capitoline Hill
, Italy; which lead formations of EEC
, later known as European Union
Centre, L-R: US tested its first thermonuclear bomb with code name Castle Romeo
as part of Operation Castle
on March 27, 1954; In 1959, Fidel Castro
overthrew Fulgencio Batista
in the Cuban Revolution
, which resulted in the creation of the first communist government in the Western hemisphere; Elvis Presley
became the leading figure of the newly popular music genre of rock and roll in the mid-1950s.
Bottom, L-R: Smoke rises from oil tanks on Port Said following invasion of Israel
, United Kingdom
as part of Suez Crisis
in late 1956; French paratroopers marched in Algiers
in the beginning of Algerian War
, 1957; Soviet Union
launched Sputnik 1
, the first artificial satellite to orbit the earth, on October 1957.
The 1950s (pronounced nineteen-fifties; commonly abbreviated as the '50s or Fifties) was a decade of the Gregorian calendar that began on January 1, 1950, and ended on December 31, 1959.
By its end, the world had largely recovered from World War II and the Cold War developed from its modest beginning in the late-1940s to a hot competition between the United States and the Soviet Union by the early-1960s.
Clashes between communism and capitalism dominated the decade, especially in the Northern Hemisphere. The conflicts included the Korean War in the beginnings of the decade and the beginning of the Space Race with the launch of Sputnik 1. Along with increased testing of nuclear weapons (such as RDS-37 and Upshot–Knothole), this created a politically conservative climate. In the United States, the Second Red Scare caused Congressional hearings by both houses in Congress and anti-communism was the prevailing sentiment in the United States throughout the decade. The beginning of decolonization in Africa and Asia took place in this decade and accelerated in the following decade.
Politics and wars
- Cold War conflicts involving the influence of the rival superpowers of the Soviet Union and the United States
- Korean War (1950–1953) – The war, which lasted from June 25, 1950, until the signing of the Korean Armistice Agreement on July 27, 1953, started as a civil war between North Korea and the Republic of Korea (South Korea). When it began, North and South Korea existed as provisional governments competing for control over the Korean peninsula, due to the division of Korea by outside powers. While originally a civil war, it quickly escalated into a war between the Western powers under the United Nations Command led by the United States and its allies and the communist powers of the People's Republic of China and the Soviet Union. On September 15, General Douglas MacArthur conducted Operation Chromite, an amphibious landing at the city of Inchon (Song Do port). The North Korean army collapsed, and within a few days, MacArthur's army retook Seoul (South Korea's capital). He then pushed north, capturing Pyongyang in October. Chinese intervention the following month drove UN forces south again. MacArthur then planned for a full-scale invasion of China, but this was against the wishes of President Truman and others who wanted a limited war. He was dismissed and replaced by General Matthew Ridgeway. The war then became a bloody stalemate for the next two and a half years while peace negotiations dragged on. The war left 33,742 American soldiers dead, 92,134 wounded, and 80,000 missing in action (MIA) or prisoner of war (POW). Estimates place Korean and Chinese casualties at 1,000,000–1,400,000 dead or wounded, and 140,000 MIA or POW.
- The Vietnam War began in 1955. Diệm instituted a policy of death penalty against any communist activity in 1956. The Viet Minh began an assassination campaign in early 1957. An article by French scholar Bernard Fall published in July 1958 concluded that a new war had begun. The first official large unit military action was on September 26, 1959, when the Viet Cong ambushed two ARVN companies.
- Arab–Israeli conflict (from early 20th century)
- Suez Crisis (1956) – The Suez Crisis was a war fought on Egyptian territory in 1956. Following the nationalisation of the Suez Canal in 1956 by Gamal Abdel Nasser, the United Kingdom, France and Israel subsequently invaded. The operation was a military success, but after the United States and Soviet Union united in opposition to the invasion, the invaders were forced to withdraw. This was seen as a major humiliation, especially for the two Western European countries, and symbolizes the beginning of the end of colonialism and the weakening of European global importance, specifically the collapse of the British Empire.
- Algerian War (1954–1962) – An important decolonization war, it was a complex conflict characterized by guerrilla warfare, maquis fighting, terrorism against civilians, use of torture on both sides and counter-terrorism operations by the French Army. The war eventually led to the independence of Algeria from France.
Decolonization and Independence
Prominent political events
- European Common Market – The European Communities (or Common Markets), the precursor of the European Union, was established with the Treaty of Rome in 1957.
- On November 1, 1950, two Puerto Rican nationalists staged an attempted assassination on U.S. President Harry S. Truman. The leader of the team Griselio Torresola had firearm experience and Oscar Collazo was his accomplice. They made their assault at the Blair House where President Truman and his family were staying. Torresola mortally wounded a White House policeman, Leslie Coffelt, who shot Torresola dead before expiring himself. Collazo, as a co-conspirator in a felony that turned into a homicide, was found guilty of murder and was sentenced to death in 1952 but then his sentence was later commuted to life in prison.
- On 7 July 1950, the first Group Areas Act was promulgated by the Parliament of South Africa and implemented over a period of several years. The passing of the Act contributed significantly to the period of institutionalised racial segregation and discrimination in South Africa known as Apartheid, which lasted from 1948 to 1991. One of the most famous uses of the Group Areas Act was the destruction of Sophiatown, a suburb of Johannesburg, which began on the 9th of February 1955.
- Establishment of the Non-aligned Movement, consisting of nations not formally aligned with or against any major power bloc.
- The U.S. ended its occupation of Japan, which became fully independent. Japan held democratic elections and recovered economically.
- Within a year of its establishment, the People's Republic of China had reclaimed Tibet and intervened in the Korean War, causing years of hostility and estrangement from the United States. Mao admired Stalin and rejected the changes in Moscow after Stalin's death in 1953, leading to growing tension with the Soviet Union.
- In 1950–1953 France tried to contain a growing communist insurgency led by Ho Chi Minh. After their defeat in the Battle of Dien Bien Phu in 1954 France granted independence to the nations of Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. At the Geneva Conference of 1954 France and the Communists agreed to divide Vietnam and hold elections in 1956. The U.S. and South Vietnam rejected the Geneva accords and the division became permanent.
- The Chinese Civil War, which had started officially in 1927 and continued until the Second World War had ended on May 7, 1950. It resulted in the previous incumbent government in China, the Republic of China, retreating to the islands of Taiwan and Hainan until the Landing Operation on Hainan Island.
- Africa experienced the beginning of large-scale top-down economic interventions in the 1950s that failed to cause improvement and led to charitable exhaustion by the West as the century went on. The widespread corruption was not dealt with and war, disease, and famine continued to be constant problems in the region.
- Egyptian general Gamel Abdel Nasser overthrew the Egyptian monarchy, establishing himself as President of Egypt. Nasser became an influential leader in the Middle East in the 1950s, leading Arab states into war with Israel, becoming a major leader of the Non-Aligned Movement and promoting pan-Arab unification.
- In 1957, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, after a series of negotiations with the then British empire, secured the independence of Ghana. Ghana was hitherto referred to as Gold Coast, a colony of the British Empire.
- In the 1950s America was the center of covert and overt conflict between the Soviet Union and the United States. Their varying collusion with national, populist, and elitist interests destabilized the region. The United States CIA orchestrated the overthrow of the Guatemalan government in 1954. In 1958 the military dictatorship of Venezuela was overthrown. This continued a pattern of regional revolution and warfare making extensive use of ground forces.
- In 1957, Dr. François Duvalier came to power in an election in Haiti. He later declared himself president for life, and ruled until his death in 1971.
- In 1959, Alaska (3 January) and Hawaii (21 August) became the 49th and 50th states respectively of the United States.
- In 1959, Fidel Castro overthrew the regime of Fulgencio Batista in Cuba, establishing a communist government in the country. Although Castro initially sought aid from the US, he was rebuffed and later turned to the Soviet Union.
- NORAD signed in 1959 by Canada and the United States creating a unified North American air defense system.
- Brasília was built in 41 months, from 1956, and on April 21, 1960, became the capital of Brazil
- With the help of the Marshall Plan, post-war reconstruction succeeded, with some countries (including West Germany) adopting free market capitalism while others adopted Keynesian-policy welfare states. Europe continued to be divided into Western and Soviet bloc countries. The geographical point of this division came to be called the Iron Curtain.
- Because previous attempts for a unified state failed, Germany remained divided into two states: the capitalist Federal Republic of Germany in the west and the socialist German Democratic Republic in the east. The Federal Republic identified itself as the legal successor to the fascist dictatorship and was obliged in paying war reparations. The GDR, however, denounced the fascist past completely and did not recognize itself as responsible for paying reparations on behalf of the Nazi regime. The GDR's more harsh attitude in suppressing anti-communist and Russophobic sentiment lingering in the post-Nazi society resulted in increased emigration to the west.
- While the United States military maintained its bases in western Europe, the Soviet Union maintained its bases in the east. In 1953 Joseph Stalin, the leader of the Soviet Union, died. This led to the rise of Nikita Khrushchev, who denounced Stalin and pursued a more liberal domestic and foreign policy, stressing peaceful competition with the West rather than overt hostility. There were anti-Stalinist uprisings in East Germany and Poland in 1953 and Hungary in 1956.
- On 15 August 1950 the 8.6 Mw Assam–Tibet earthquake shakes the region with a maximum Mercalli intensity of XI (Extreme), killing between 1,500–3,300 people.
- On 18 January 1951 Mount Lamington erupted in Papua New Guinea, killing 3,000 people.
- On 31 January 1953 the North Sea flood of 1953 killed 1,835 people in the southwestern Netherlands (especially Zeeland) and 307 in the United Kingdom
- On 9 September 1954 the 6.7 Mw Chlef earthquake shakes northern Algeria with a maximum Mercalli intensity of XI (Extreme). The shock destroyed Orléansville, left 1,243–1,409 dead, and 5,000 injured.
- On 11 October 1954 Hurricane Hazel crossed over Haiti, killing 1,000.
- On 19 August 1955 Hurricane Diane hit the northeastern United States, killing over 200 people, and causing over $1.0 billion in damage.
- On 27 June 1957 Hurricane Audrey demolished Cameron, Louisiana, US, killing 400 people.
- In April 1959, the Río Negro flooded central Uruguay.
- Typhoon Vera hit central Honshū on 26 September 1959, killing an estimated 5,098, injuring another 38,921, and leaving 1,533,000 homeless. Most of the damage was centered in the Nagoya area.
- On 2 December 1959, Malpasset Dam in southern France collapsed and water flowed over the town of Fréjus, killing 412.
- On 12 March 1950, an Avro Tudor plane carrying a rugby team crashed in Wales, killing 80 people.
- On 18 June 1953, a USAF Douglas C-124 Globemaster II crashed after takeoff from Tachikawa, Japan, killing all 129 on board.
- On 10 January 1954, BOAC Flight 781, a new de Havilland Comet jetliner, disintegrated in mid-air due to structural failure and crashed off the Italian coast, killing all 35 on board.
- On 30 June 1956, a United Airlines Douglas DC-7 and a Trans World Airlines Lockheed L-1049 Super Constellation collided above the Grand Canyon in Arizona, killing all 128 people on board both aircraft.
- On 25 July 1956, the Italian ocean liner SS Andrea Doria collided with the Swedish ocean liner MS Stockholm off the Nantucket, Massachusetts, coastline. 51 people were killed and the Andrea Doria sank the next morning.
- On 6 February 1958, British European Airways Flight 609 crashed on its third attempt to take off from a slush-covered runway at Munich-Riem Airport in Munich, West Germany. 23 people on board were killed (including 8 players of the Manchester United F.C. soccer team).
- On 21 April 1958, a mid-air collision between United Airlines Flight 736 and a USAF fighter jet killed 49 people.
- On 14 August 1958, a KLM Lockheed Constellation crashed into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Ireland, killing all 99 people aboard.
- The United States was the most influential economic power in the world after World War II under the presidency of Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Inflation was moderate during the decade of the 1950s. The first few months had a deflationary hangover from the 1940s but the first full year ended with what looked like the beginnings of massive inflation with annual inflation rates ranging from 8% to 9% a year. Fortunately, by 1952 inflation subsided. 1954 and 1955 flirted with deflation again but the remainder of the decade had moderate inflation ranging from 1% to 3.7%. The average annual inflation for the entire decade was only 2.04%.
On November 1, 1950, in the Apostolic Constitution Munificentissimus Deus, the Pope Pius XII declared the Assumption of Mary as a dogma:
By the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own authority, we pronounce, declare, and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma: that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory.
Pope Pius XII deliberately left open the question of whether Mary died before her Assumption.
Before the dogmatic definition, in Deiparae Virginis Mariae Pope Pius XII sought the opinion of Catholic Bishops and a large number of them pointed to the Book of Genesis (3:15) as scriptural support for the dogma. In Munificentissimus Deus Pius XII referred to the "struggle against the infernal foe" as in Genesis 3:15 and to "complete victory over the sin and death" as in the Letters of Paul as a scriptural basis for the dogmatic definition, Mary being assumed to heaven as in 1 Corinthians 15:54: "then shall come to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory".
Assassinations and attempts
Prominent assassinations, targeted killings, and assassination attempts include:
- 1950: The attempted assassination of Harry Truman - two Puerto Rican nationalists attempted to assassin President Truman in Washington, DC, killing two Secret Service agents. The president was not hurt. One of the assassins was killed in the incident and the other was sentenced to death. President Truman converted his sentence to life imprisonment.
- 1951: King Abdullah's assassination - King Abdullah I of Jordan was murdered during the Friday prayers in Jerusalem. With his assassination the possibility of peace negotiations between Israel and Jordan came to a long end.
- 1955: The assassination of the President of Panama - the president of Panama José Antonio Remón Cantera was assassinated.
- 1956: The assassination of Nicaraguan president - Anastasio Somoza García, the dictatorial president of Nicaragua, was killed by an assassin. After his death the throne took hold of his son, Luis Somosa DeBeila.
- 1959: The assassination of Sri Lanka's Prime Minister - Sri Lankan Prime Minister S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike was assassinated by a robed Buddhist monk as part of the Sinhalese-Tamil conflict.
Science and technology
In 1957 the Soviet Union launches to space Sputnik 1
, the first artificial satellite
The recently invented transistor, though initially quite feeble, had clear potential and was rapidly improved and developed at the beginning of the 1950s by companies such as GE, RCA, and Philco. The first commercial transistor production started at the Western Electric plant in Allentown, Pennsylvania, in October, 1951 with the point contact germanium transistor. It wasn't until around 1954 that transistor products began to achieve real commercial success with small portable radios.
Television, which first reached the marketplace in the 1940s, attained maturity during the 1950s and by the end of the decade, most American households owned a TV set. A rush to produce larger screens than the tiny ones found on 1940s models occurred during 1950–52. In 1954, RCA intro Bell Telephone Labs produced the first Solar battery. In 1954, you could get a yard of contact paper for only 59 cents. Polypropylene was invented in 1954. In 1955, Jonas Salk invented a polio vaccine which was given to more than seven million American students. In 1956, a solar powered wrist watch was invented.
A surprise came in 1957: a 184-pound (83 kg) satellite named Sputnik 1 was launched by the Soviets. The space race began 4 months later as the United States launched a smaller satellite. In 1958 the first plastic Coke bottle appeared.
: An 15 megaton hydrogen bomb experiment conducted by the United States in 1955. Photographed 78 miles (125 kilometers) from the explosion epicenter.
Francis Crick and James Watson discover the spiral structure of DNA
Popular music in the early 1950s was essentially a continuation of the crooner sound of the previous decade, with less emphasis on the jazz-influenced big band style and more emphasis on a conservative, operatic, symphonic style of music. Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Frankie Laine, Patti Page, Judy Garland, Johnnie Ray, Kay Starr, Perry Como, Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, Dean Martin, Georgia Gibbs, Eddie Fisher, Teresa Brewer, Dinah Shore, Kitty Kallen, Joni James, Peggy Lee, Julie London, Toni Arden, June Valli, Doris Day, Arthur Godfrey, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Guy Mitchell, Nat King Cole, and vocal groups like the Mills Brothers, The Ink Spots, The Four Lads, The Four Aces, The Chordettes, The Fontane Sisters, The Hilltoppers and the Ames Brothers. Jo Stafford's "You Belong To Me" was the #1 song of 1952 on the Billboard Top 100 chart.
The middle of the decade saw a change in the popular music landscape as classic pop was swept off the charts by rock-and-roll. Crooners such as Eddie Fisher, Perry Como, and Patti Page, who had dominated the first half of the decade, found their access to the pop charts significantly curtailed by the decade's end.
doo-wop entered the pop charts in the 1950s. Its popularity soon spawns the parody "Who Put the Bomp".
Rock-n-roll emerged in the mid-1950s with Sam Cooke, Jackie Wilson, Gene Vincent, Chuck Berry, Fats Domino, Little Richard, James Brown, Bo Diddley, Buddy Holly, Bobby Darin, Ritchie Valens, Duane Eddy, Eddie Cochran, Brenda Lee, Bobby Vee, Connie Francis, Johnny Mathis, Neil Sedaka, Pat Boone and Ricky Nelson being notable exponents. In the mid-1950s, Elvis Presley became the leading figure of the newly popular sound of rock and roll with a series of network television appearances and chart-topping records. Chuck Berry, with "Maybellene" (1955), "Roll Over Beethoven" (1956), "Rock and Roll Music" (1957) and "Johnny B. Goode" (1958), refined and developed the major elements that made rock and roll distinctive, focusing on teen life and introducing guitar solos and showmanship that would be a major influence on subsequent rock music. Bill Haley, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Everly Brothers, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, Conway Twitty, Johnny Horton, and Marty Robbins were Rockabilly musicians. Doo-wop was another popular genre at the time. Popular Doo Wop and Rock-n-Roll bands of the mid to late 1950s include The Platters, The Flamingos, The Dells, The Silhouettes, Frankie Lymon and The Teenagers, Little Anthony and The Imperials, Danny & the Juniors, The Coasters, The Drifters, The Del-Vikings and Dion and the Belmonts.
The new music differed from previous styles in that it was primarily targeted at the teenager market, which became a distinct entity for the first time in the 1950s as growing prosperity meant that young people did not have to grow up as quickly or be expected to support a family. Rock-and-roll proved to be a difficult phenomenon for older Americans to accept and there were widespread accusations of it being a communist-orchestrated scheme to corrupt the youth, although rock and roll was extremely market based and capitalistic.
Jazz stars in the 1950s who came into prominence in their genres called bebop, hard bop, cool jazz and the blues, at this time included Lester Young, Ben Webster, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, Charles Mingus, Art Tatum, Bill Evans, Ahmad Jamal, Oscar Peterson, Gil Evans, Jerry Mulligan, Cannonball Adderley, Stan Getz, Chet Baker, Dave Brubeck, Art Blakey, Max Roach, the Miles Davis Quintet, the Modern Jazz Quartet, Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles, Sarah Vaughan, Dinah Washington, Nina Simone, and Billie Holiday.
The American folk music revival became a phenomenon in the United States in the 1950s to mid-1960s with the initial success of The Weavers who popularized the genre. Their sound, and their broad repertoire of traditional folk material and topical songs inspired other groups such as the Kingston Trio, the Chad Mitchell Trio, The New Christy Minstrels, and the "collegiate folk" groups such as The Brothers Four, The Four Freshmen, The Four Preps, and The Highwaymen. All featured tight vocal harmonies and a repertoire at least initially rooted in folk music and topical songs.
On 3 February 1959, a chartered plane transporting the three American rock and roll musicians Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J. P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson goes down in foggy conditions near Clear Lake, Iowa, killing all four occupants on board, including pilot Roger Peterson. The tragedy is later termed "The Day the Music Died", popularized in Don McLean's 1972 song "American Pie". This event, combined with the conscription of Elvis into the US Army, is often taken to mark the point where the era of 1950s rock-and-roll ended.
An American family watching television together, 1958
The 1950s are known as The Golden Age of Television by some people. Sales of TV sets rose tremendously in the 1950s and by 1950 4.4 million families in America had a television set. Americans devoted most of their free time to watching television broadcasts. People spent so much time watching TV, that movie attendance dropped and so did the number of radio listeners. Television revolutionized the way Americans see themselves and the world around them. TV affects all aspects of American culture. "Television affects what we wear, the music we listen to, what we eat, and the news we receive."
European cinema experienced a renaissance in the 1950s following the deprivations of World War II. Italian director Federico Fellini won the first foreign language film Academy Award with La Strada and garnered another Academy Award with Nights of Cabiria. In 1955, Swedish director Ingmar Bergman earned a Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival with Smiles of a Summer Night and followed the film with masterpieces The Seventh Seal and Wild Strawberries. Jean Cocteau's Orphée, a film central to his Orphic Trilogy, starred Jean Marais and was released in 1950. French director Claude Chabrol's Le Beau Serge is now widely considered the first film of the French New Wave. Notable European film stars of the period include Brigitte Bardot, Sophia Loren, Marcello Mastroianni, Max von Sydow, and Jean-Paul Belmondo.
Japanese cinema reached its zenith with films from director Akira Kurosawa including Rashomon, Ikiru, Seven Samurai, Throne of Blood, and The Hidden Fortress. Other distinguished Japanese directors of the period were Yasujirō Ozu and Kenji Mizoguchi. Russian fantasy director Aleksandr Ptushko's mythological epics Sadko, Ilya Muromets, and Sampo were internationally acclaimed as was Ballad of a Soldier, a 1959 Soviet film directed by Grigory Chukhray
In Hollywood, the epic Ben-Hur grabbed a record 11 Academy Awards in 1959 and its success gave a new lease of life to motion picture studio MGM.
The "Golden Era" of 3-D cinematography transpired during the 1950s.
In the early 1950s Abstract expressionism and artists Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning were enormously influential. However, by the late 1950s Color Field painting and Barnett Newman and Mark Rothko's paintings became more in focus to the next generation.
Pop art used the iconography of television, photography, comics, cinema and advertising. With its roots in dadaism, it started to take form towards the end of the 1950s when some European artists started to make the symbols and products of the world of advertising and propaganda the main subject of their artistic work. This return of figurative art, in opposition to the abstract expressionism that dominated the aesthetic scene since the end of World War II was dominated by Great Britain until the early 1960s when Andy Warhol, the most known artist of this movement began to show Pop Art in galleries in the United States.
American fashions, 1953
Short hair was very popular for young women in the 1950s as can be seen in this photograph taken in 1958
The 1950s saw the birth of the teenager and with it rock n roll and youth fashion dominating the fashion industry. In the UK the Teddy boy became both style icons and anti-authoritarian figures. Whilst in America Greasers had a similar social position. Previously teenagers dressed similar to their parents but now a rebellious and different youth style was being developed. this was particularly noticeable in the overtly sexual nature of their dress. men wore tight trousers, leather jackets and emphasis was on long greasy hair.
New ideas meant new designers who had a concept of what was fashion. Fashion started gaining a voice and style when Christian Dior created “The New Look” collection. The 1950s was not only about spending on luxurious brands but also the idea of being comfortable was created. It was a time where resources were available and it was a new type of fashion. Designers were creating collections with different materials such as: taffeta, nylon, rayon, wool and leather that allowed different colors and patterns. People started wearing artificial fibers because it was easier to take care of and it was price effective. It was a time where shopping was part of a lifestyle.
Different designers emerged or made a comeback on the 1950s because as mention before it was a time for fashion and ideas. The most important designers from the time were:
Christian Dior: everything started in 1947 after World War II was over. Christian Dior found that there were a lot of resources in the market. He created the famous and inspirational collection named “The New Look.” This consisted on the idea of creating voluminous dresses that would not only represent wealth but also show power on women. This collection was the first collection to use 80 yards of fabric. He introduced the idea of the hourglass shape for women; wide shoulders, tight waistline and then voluminous full skirts. Dior was a revolutionary and he was the major influence for the next collections. He is known for always developing new ideas and designs, which led to a rapid expansion and becoming worldwide known. He had pressure to create innovative designs for each collection and Dior did manage to provide that to the consumers. He not only made the hourglass shape very famous but he also developed the H-line as well as the A and Y-Lines. Dior was a very important designer, he changed the way fashion was looked on the world but most importantly he reestablished Paris as a fashion capital.
Cristobal Balenciaga: Cristobal Balenciaga a Spanish designer who opened his first couture house in 1915. In 1936 he went to Paris in order to avoid the Spanish Civil War, there he had inspiration for his fashion collections. His designs were an inspiration for emerging designers of the time. His legacy is as important as the one from Dior, revolutionaries. He was known for creating sack dresses, heavy volumes and balloon skirts. For him everything started when he worked for Marquesa de Casa Torre who became his patron and main source of inspiration. Marquesa de Casa Torre helped Balenciaga enter the world of couture. His first suit was very dramatic. The suit consisted on cutout and cut-ins the waist over a slim skirt, something not seen before. Balenciaga was a revolutionary designer who was not afraid to cut and let loose because he had everything under control. In 1950s and the 1960s his designs were well known for attention to color and texture. He was creating different silhouettes for women, in 1955 he created the tunic, 1957 the sack dress and 1958 the Empire styles. He was known for moving from tailored designs to shapeless allowing him to show portion and balance on the bodies. Showing that his designs evolved with time and maintained his ideologies.
Coco Chanel: After World War II the famous designer reestablished herself. This time Chanel introduced very useful clothing for women, the boxy suit. The suits created in 1954 were special because of the unique tweeds that were made just for her. Her ideology was to create comfort clothing that had function and made women look pretty and young. The suits had jackets, skirts and accessories such as hats and handbags. Her style was well known over the world and her idea of having functional luxurious clothing influenced other designers from the era. Chanel believed that luxurious should come from being comfortable that is why her designers were so unique and different from the time period, she also achieved her looks by adding accessories such as pearl necklaces. Chanel believed that even though Dior designs were revolutionary for the time period they did not managed to represent the women of the time. She believed women had to wear something to represent their survival to another war and their active roles in society. Coming back from a closed house of fashion was not easy for Chanel and competing against younger designers. The Chanel suit was known as a status symbol for wealthy and powerful women. Chanel influenced over the years and her brand is still one of the most influential brands for fashion.
FIFA World Cups
The 1958 World Cup is notable for marking the debut on the world stage of a then largely unknown 17-year-old Pelé.
- Note: Names of world leaders shown below in bold remained in power continuously throughout the decade.
- Aleksey Innokentevich Antonov, Chief of General Staff of the Unified Armed Forces Warsaw Treaty Organization
- Eugene R. Black, President World Bank
- William Sterling Cole, Director-general International Atomic Energy Agency
- Manuel Fraga Iribarne, Secretary-general Latin Union
- André François-Poncet, Chairman of the Standing Commission International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement
- Louis Goffin, Secretary-general Western European Union
- Walter Hallstein, President of the European Commission
- Fritz Hess, Director Universal Postal Union
- Ivan Stepanovich Konev, Commander-in-chief of the Unified Armed Forces Warsaw Treaty Organization
- Henri St. Leger, Secretary-general International Organization for Standardization
- Robert C. Lonati, Secretary-general World Tourism Organization
- David A. Morse, Director-general International Labour Organization
- Arnold Duncan McNair, Baron McNair, President of the European Court of Human Rights
- Ove Nielsen, Secretary-general International Maritime Organization
- Maurice Pate, Executive Director United Nations Children's Fund
- Robert Schuman, President of the European Parliamentary Assembly
- Gustav Swoboda, Chief of the Secretariat World Meteorological Organization
- José Guillermo Trabanino Guerrero, Secretary-general Organization of Central American States
- Eric Wyndham White, Executive Secretary World Trade Organization
The following articles contain brief timelines which list the most prominent events of the decade:
1950 • 1951 • 1952 • 1953 • 1954 • 1955 • 1956 • 1957 • 1958 • 1959
- ^ "The Pentagon Papers, Volume 1, Chapter 5, Section 3, "Origins of the Insurgency in South Vietnam, 1954–1960"".
- ^ Stratton, J.M. (1969). Agricultural Records. John Baker. ISBN 978-0-212-97022-3.
- ^ "Inflation and CPI Consumer Price Index 1950–1959". Inflation Data. InflationData.com. Retrieved 23 April 2014.
- ^ R. S. Denisoff, W. L. Schurk, Tarnished gold: the record industry revisited (Transaction Publishers, 3rd edn., 1986), p. 13.
- ^ M. Campbell, ed., Popular Music in America: And the Beat Goes on (Cengage Learning, 3rd edn., 2008), pp. 168–9.
- ^ Kallen, Stuart (1999). A Cultural History of the United States. San Diego: Lucent.
- ^ American History. ABC-CLIO, 2012. Web. 11 Dec. 2012.
- ^ a b Thomas, Pauline. "1950s Fashion History 50s Glamour, Dior New Look". www.fashion-era.com. Retrieved 2016-10-31.
- ^ a b c d e f Stevenson, N.J. (2012). Fashion: A Visual History from Regency & Romance to Retro & Revolution: A Complete Illustrated Chronology of Fashion from the 1800s to the Present Day. New York City: St. Martin's Griffin.
- ^ "Cristobal Balenciaga : Fashion, History". theredlist.com. Retrieved 2016-10-31.
- ^ "Cristóbal Balenciaga". LoveToKnow. Retrieved 2016-10-31.
- ^ "Fashion History—Women's Clothing of the 1950s". Bellatory. Retrieved 2016-10-31.
- ^ "Gabrielle (Coco) Chanel". LoveToKnow. Retrieved 2016-10-31.
- ^ "Coco Chanel Biography". Biography.com. August 12, 2016.
- ^ a b c Krick, Jessa. "Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel (1883–1971) and the House of Chanel | Essay | Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History | The Metropolitan Museum of Art". The Met’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. Retrieved 2016-10-31.
- Bessel, Richard and Dirk Schumann, eds. Life after Death: Approaches to a Cultural and Social History of Europe During the 1940s and 1950s (2003), essays by scholars on recovery from the war
- Judt, Tony. Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945 (2005)
- London Institute of World Affairs, The Year Book of World Affairs 1957 (London 1957), comprehensive reference book covering 1956 in diplomacy, international affairs and politics for major nations and regions
- Montgomery, John. The Fifties (1960), On Britain.
- Wybrow, Robert J. "Britain Speaks Out, 1937-87" (1989), Summaries of public opinion polls in Britain
- Dunar, Andrew J. America in the fifties (2006)
- Halberstam, David. The Fifties (1993) excerpt and text search
- Levine, Alan J. The Myth of the 1950s (2008) excerpt and text search
- Marling, Karal Ann. As Seen on TV: The Visual Culture of Everyday Life in the 1950s (Harvard University Press, 1996) 328 pp.
- Miller, Douglas T. and Marion Nowak. The fifties: the way we really were (1977)
- Stoner, John C., and Alice L. George. Social History of the United States: The 1950s (2008)
- Wills, Charles. America in the 1950s (Decades of American History) (2005)
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