When did the 1950's begin and end for YOU?

Two fun threads on the 1950’s were started yesterday and both have produced some fun posts:

What ONE name comes immediately to mind when you hear “1950’s”? started Yesterday, 10:36 AM by Zeldar

What ONE PRODUCT comes to mind when you think 1950s? started Yesterday, 02:44 PM by AncientHumanoid

In that Products thread this post said something I’d like to pursue in this thread

On that basis, please identify your age range as either:

(1) Born before 1950
(2) Born between Jan/1950 and Dec/1959
(3) Born after 1959

And then deciide which event(s) in which year(s) marked the beginning of what you think of as “The Fifties.”

And then decide which event(s) in which year(s) marked the ending of what you think of as “The Fifties.”

If you’d like to identify high points in your year range, that would be an added bonus.

I’m in Group 1, born 1941, started junior high (7th grade) in 1953 and graduated high school in 1959. For me The Fifities pretty much covers my junior high and senior high school years with a little bleed-over into the early 1960’s. Surely JFK’s assassination ended the period but it had begun fading before then. Maybe his election and the end of the Eisenhower regime.

Key events and social moments would have to include:

Juvenile delinquency and gangs
Hot rods and motorcycles
The advent of rock and roll – especially Elvis
TV shows aimed and kids and young adults
Korean War
“Duck and Cover” bullshit
Comedy albums
MAD Magazine

I’m a Group 2, so the 50’s didn’t begin so much as they just “were.”

For me the era ended when my family picked up and moved from Dallas to St. Louis in 1962.

I’m aware that my marker is not shared by anyone else.

Zeldar, thanks! I’ve never even been quoted in another thread, let alone prompted someone to start one! (Now I can die happy…arrrrrgh)

I’m in Group 2 (in my early 60s). I’ll have to think about the 50s beginning, since I wasn’t alive for that…
As a Recovering Hippie, I’m more concerned with when the 60s began and ended. For which I like Sam’s answer in the other thread:

You’re welcome, digs. :slight_smile:

The thing is that I have had that same sort of attitude about “decades” myself. In fact, I tend toward a 5-7 year span to cover the common times between people. That’s how long it takes for the seniors when you’re a freshman to be replaced by the freshmen when you’re a senior. Those are the people in your “age group” as far as I’m concerned, in terms of your “formative years.”

As you get older those spans broaden to include a decade or longer in many cases.

As a parent, I guess since I was 22 when my oldest was born and 27 when my youngest was born, and 45 when my first grandchild was born, I’ll have to admit that the gap between my “age group” and that of my kids is at least 25 years, and likely even more.

I know I didn’t have much in common with my parents’ generation. :slight_smile:

I would expect that people born in the last half of the 1940s would have no sense of the 1940s, so the 1950s would be the first decade they remember.

I would guess that wars (vs peace) would be the primary dividing characteristics: World War II, the peace following, the Korean Conflict (with the red scare), the peace following, the Vietnam conflict–these much more important than the decades (which are just artificial numbers).

I’m in group 2. For me it begins with the McCarthy Hearings, circa 1954; then Elvis arrives and the birth of Rock’n’Roll, and Dick Clark’s career. There’s also the Marlon Brando movies which inspired the look popularized by Elvis and James Dean, along with monster movies such asThe Creature from the Black Lagoon, It. The Blob and Godzilla. The Korean War and the death of Stalin are there, and Pogo and Peanuts begin.

Group #1. The 50s began with the end of WWII and the advent of the middle class in America. It ended in about 1964 with the British invasion by The Beatles and the changes in sexual, social, and racial attitudes that were taking place. Additionally, I would say that the 20th century really didn’t begin until about 1913, and the 21st century was ushered in with the advent of the Internet in the late 80s (arguable, I know).

End of Korean War to JFK’s man on the moon speech.
That would be mid 53 to mid 61.

I’m a late-term group 1, born in Dec. 1948. The 50s to me just were, because I was nay more than a wee child throughout most of them. It was just a fun time.

Born after 59.

If we’re talking about when they began and ended for just ourselves, then I’d say the 50s started in about 1956, when we got our first TV. It ended with the Beatles arrival.

Back before everyone left Usenet’s alt.folklore.urban and alt.fan.cecil-adams there was a massive discussion of this topic that resulted in some redefinition of each decade. That was called somewhat mockingly (iirc) the Lasnerian Calendar. This seems to be all that remains:


Eta: which of course is a total hijack. Sorry!

I’m in group 2, having been born in 1952. But the fifties isn’t really an era to me; I started becoming conscious of popular culture around 1962.

My mother has said she was never conscious of the 50s culturally; she was too busy raising three kids.

You could make a really good argument that (for people who remember the decade at all) the 50’s really began when someone got their first TV.

Born in 1963, so no personal memories of the '50s. My oldest siblings were just kids during that whole time, so I think my concept of the era is based on the unspoken perceptions of my parents and people their age. That is to say, the '50s began and ended with Ike.

I was born in 1945, exactly 3 months before the first Boomer, which marked the beginning of the 50s. And the 50s ended on February 9, when the Beatles were on Ed Sullivan. After that, everything changed.

So the 50s were from January 1, 1946 to February 9, 1964.

That’s as precise as I have seen.

Another “From birth to Beatles on Ed Sullivan”.

While there was some “60s-like” stuff going on before 1964, like quite a bit of Civil Rights protests, things just changed so much and so quickly starting in 64 that it was a clear before/after milestone.

I was born in August of '49, and my earliest memory was a tonsillectomy when I was 3. Thus, I wasn’t aware of dates yet when the 50s started. As a boy I was a big fan of cars, and I would ride my bike downtown in the fall to sneak a peek at the new Chevrolets, Fords, and Buicks. In that decade, I marked the years by the new cars, not the calendar.

One summer, Mom and Dad drove to Florida for a convention in Dad’s pink '57 Buick Estate Wagon, which had a major mechanical failure there. We were surprised to see them come home in a shiny new white '59 Buick convertible with red leather interior.

The next year, Dad’s old pal at Heckaman Buick, who had missed the chance to sell him the '59, gave him a “Heck” of a deal on a 1960 Buick. That’s the end of the 50s for me.