Jacob Smith

The social, economic, political, and diplomatic impact of television on 1950s and 60s American culture.


TV created showed the perfect housewife through shows like Leave it to Beaver and Father Knows Best. Women began to mirror the women they saw on TV like June Cleaver on Leave it to Beaver. Advertisements home products targeted women. Commercials advertising household products like vacuums or refrigerators would be advertised by women that fit the perfect housewife. TV also was a teacher to children they would be influenced by what they saw on TV. Young girls would grow up and become the Housewife they saw on TV.


In the 50s salaries were getting larger and larger. people could afford to spend. In 1950 $5.7 billion was spent on ads and in 1960 $12 billion dollars was spent. Businesses came up with catchy slogans to sell their product. There weren't a lot of regulations for TV so a company could lie about their product. People bought things they didn’t need, but thought they needed because they saw on Television. Famous people advertised products.


The film Duck and Cover was a propaganda film made to advertize procedures if a nuclear bomb went off. 1.1 million people saw that video. It alerted people that the threat of nuclear war was real. People reacted because they were terrified. They started buying and installing bomb shelters and a new business was created. Ducking and covering or bomb shelters would not help people from a nuclear blast, but they believed it would save them because they saw it on TV.


In the 60s America was at war. Ground troops were placed in Vietnam. The U.S. became involved in Vietnam's civil to stop the spread of communism. The U.S. and their allies wanted to stomp out communism. The Vietcong supported the soviets and Chinese in their communist style government. American citizens didn’t know the true Vietnam. TV had nothing about the war. The president came on TV every now and then to talk about it, but it wasn’t really televised mostly because it was so unpopular and the government didn’t want the people to see just how brutal it was. TV in the 60s trashed the soviets and any other communist country.

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