The Twilight Zone

A twilight zone is a situation or an idea that is unclear or confusing, which is exactly what this time period was. It wasn’t just a popular television show! There is no explanation as to why humans acted the way they did in this time era other than human nature, but news reporters were there to catch it on and broadcast it on television.

For decades now, television has been an enormous part of every average American’s life. It’s the easiest way to get the information we need or to catch up on our addicting shows on CBS every Wednesday evening. However, in the 1950’s and 1960’s, there were some other important reasons why civilians turned on the TV. Advertising started to become very popular in the 50’s. Marketers encouraged consumers to continue to buy more more products that are not necessary for survival. They created popular icons like the ‘Alka-Seltzer’ character that offered “fast, fast, fast relief, now it was in almost every home across the country. The post WWII time was known as the “catching up period.” Rosser Reeves started this entire unique campaign selling advertisements. On a different note, music was the reason most teenagers pushed the power button on their televisions. The music icon of the time, Elvis Presley and his hips brought a lot of social attention toward the parents. When Elvis would perform on CBS, he could only be shot from the waist up because people thought the movement of his hips brought on a negative effect on the teenage viewers. However, on January 6, 1957, Elvis’s hips were given a full body shot!

The Federal Civil Defense Administration was made in 1951 in order to educate and protect American civilians from atomic bomb attacks from the Soviet Union, especially educating the children in classrooms. Along the lines of school, Brown versus The Board of Education was a case that went all the way to the Supreme Court of The United States. The case’s verdict ended segregation in schools. Three years after the fact, nine teenagers, best known as ‘The Little Rock Nine,’ tried to enter Little Rock High School on September 4, 1957. However, Governor Orval Faubus called upon the National Guard to prevent them from getting inside the building. The President had to get involved, but Faubus wouldn’t budge, his mind couldn’t be changed about those of another race. Politically, things were spiraling downhill. A nation that couldn’t get along.

The 1960’s bring many protests to the table because Civil Rights problems are still not over. Birmingham, Alabama, was so notorious for racial hatred and segregation that it was actually nicknamed, ‘Bombingham.’ In class, we are currently watching a movie being portrayed of taking place in the 60’s. There was a march led by a black priest and his family along with several other activists. When the people who lived there and police approached them, they did nothing. They stood still being as brave as they possibly could. After being hit a few times, they all started singing, then knelt down on their knees. The only reason the beatings didn’t continue any further is because the news crews and their cameras showed up for the world to see what was happening. On May 14, 1961, the cameras caught a bus burning in Anniston, Alabama. A fight broke out at the Birmingham Railways Bus Station. JFK’s Berlin Crisis speech was given on July 25, 1961. He wanted to attack West Berlin. Television made it possible for Americans to see and hear the speech. If it wasn’t for television we’d have to play something like the telephone game. Economically, the total U.S. billings more than doubled from the 50’s to the 60’s. Billings went from 5.7 billion dollars in 1950 to 12 billion dollars in 1960 from TV growth.

Television has impacted us in more ways than we can imagine. It feeds us information faster than our twitter accounts can load nowadays. During this time period, the people really relied on cable as a safe haven in a sense.

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