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Boomers and Bomb Shelters - The Nifty Fifties



Boomers and Bomb Shelters - The Nifty Fifties
Print Boomers and Bomb Shelters - The Nifty Fifties Reading Comprehension


Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 9 to 10
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   8.3

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    cities-were, cityscapes, entertainment-television, forward-looking, heels-ethnic, Homes-preferably, male-female, non-whites, redlining, role-play, thriving-if, mentality, civic, idyllic, low-income, non-white
     content words:    Great Depression, Leave It, Father Knows Best, American Dream, Federal Highway Department, Civil Rights Movement, Martin Luther King, Were Communist, Suspected Communists


Boomers and Bomb Shelters - The Nifty Fifties
By Toni Lee Robinson
  

1     The decade of the Fifties was a funny time in U.S. history. It was as if the culture as a whole was engaged in a massive role-play. The Forties, with their dark clouds of war, had at long last departed. Now, Americans wanted more than anything just to live without drama. They wanted to live in a stable, forward-looking nation with no problems. They wanted prosperous families with nothing more warlike to worry about than the kids playing "Cowboys and Indians" in the back yard.
 
2     The happy event of soldiers returning from war had already taken care of the family department. The explosion of post-war babies was called a "boom." (Now, over fifty years later, people born in the post-war boom are nearing retirement age. They are still known as the "baby boomers!")
 
3     Many of these Fifties families found that post-war life was settling into some pretty comfortable patterns. They'd lived through the hardships of the Great Depression and the rationing and sacrifice of WWII. Now, many families were enjoying a steady paycheck. At the same time, industry was producing a bountiful supply of goods to buy.
 
4     A major focus of Fifties culture was material. The "stuff is good" mentality was reflected in the newest form of entertainment-television. The number of TV sets owned by households in the U.S skyrocketed during the decade. In 1950, there were ten and a half million TVs. By 1958 there were 45 million.

Paragraphs 5 to 13:
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