Top 10 cultural influences of the 1950s

People living in the 1950s did a lot more than worry about Communists and atomic bombs. They raised families, excelled at work, and built the most prosperous nation in the world. Here are ten influences that reverberate today.

10. Tail fins on cars

9. Marilyn Monroe

8. The novel Peyton Place, novice author Grace Metalious’s blockbuster expose of societal undercurrents of sex and violence

7. Elvis joins the Army (March 24, 1958)

6. The movie Ben Hur (1959 epic starring Charlton Heston, second highest-grossing film in history at the time)

5. Invention of the credit card (in 1950 by Ralph Schneider and Frank McNamara, founders of Diners Club)

4. The Twilight Zone

3. Interstate highway system

2. Rock ‘n’ Roll and it’s antecedent, rhythm and blues

1. Color television

What would you choose for your top ten?

Jeff Widmer’s latest book is Distant Early Warning, a novel of the Cold War.

Elvis Presley poses for the camera during his military service at a U.S. base in Germany