1950s Cigarette TV Commercials

1950s Cigarette TV Commercials

These were the cultural and media messages I received when I began clandestine smoking at age 13. https://youtu.be/Z023OAz4fkI https://youtu.be/wibHcZ4FNbU https://youtu.be/c9or3KCrgQM https://youtu.be/Hr4duBBcCpA...

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Jonas Salk and the Polio Vaccine

Jonas Salk and the Polio Vaccine

The first effective polio vaccine was developed in 1952 by Jonas Salk and his team at the University of Pittsburgh. Shortly thereafter, a key laboratory technique that enabled mass production of the vaccine was invented by Leone N. Farrell and her team...

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Chinese Treatment of Prisoners of War

Chinese Treatment of Prisoners of War

The issue of Chinese treatment of UN prisoners of war is controversial. Cold war attitudes were often reflected in early reports which had limited actual data. On occasion, the Chinese People's Liberation Army was reported to provide emergency medical treatment for...

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The Killer That Stalked New York

The Killer That Stalked New York

The Killer That Stalked New York was a 1950 American motion picture starring Evelyn Keyes, Charles Korvin and William Bishop. Shot in New York in a semi-documentary style, the plot concerns a smallpox outbreak unwittingly imported by diamond...

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Mother Teresa 

Mother Teresa 

In October 1950, Mother Teresa and the small community formed by her former pupils received permission from the Diocese of Calcutta (Kolkata) India to identify as a Catholic organization. Her order the Missionaries of Charity, subsequently received approval...

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Polio Epidemics

Polio Epidemics

https://youtu.be/PfoxqghXxEs In 1950 Polio was one of the most serious communicable diseases among children in the United States. Thousands of children were infected by the virus, and many were paralyzed or died. Source: Our World in Data Hospitals developed special...

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Heart Pacemaker

Heart Pacemaker

https://youtu.be/Zd_Weg6Dlw4 In 1950, Canadian electrical engineer John Hopps  built the first external pacemaker based upon observations by cardio-thoracic surgeons at Toronto General Hospital. With vacuum tube technology, powered by AC...

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MASH

MASH

The Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH) was a fully functional hospital unit maintained by the U.S. Army Medical Corps in a combat zone. MASH units, established in August 1945, were deployed during the Korean War and later...

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CIA Mind Control

CIA Mind Control

https://youtu.be/NUW-frxo2X4 In 1950 the director of the U.S. Central Intelligence authorized Project BLUEBIRD to discover methods of: conditioning personnel to prevent unauthorized extraction of informationcontrol of an individual by the application of special...

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Cigarettes Linked to Cancer

Cigarettes Linked to Cancer

https://youtu.be/gCMzjJjuxQI 1949 Camel ad In 1950 The Journal of the American Medical Association published two articles linking smoking and cancer: Tobacco Smoking as a Possible Etiological Factor in Bronchogenic Carcinoma: A Study of Six Hundred and...

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Dianetics

Dianetics

In May 1950  the magazine Astounding Science Fiction published Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health by L. Ron Hubbard. Dianetics divides the mind into: (1) the conscious analytical mind (2) the subconscious reactive mind (3) the somatic mind...

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First Kidney Transplant

First Kidney Transplant

https://youtu.be/EP9gnlmEyo8 In June 1950 Dr. Richard Lawler performed the first successful kidney transplantation. The donor kidney was removed from a patient who had died of cirrhosis of the liver. The recipient was a 44-year-old woman with polycystic kidney...

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James Forrestal Dies

James Forrestal Dies

James Vincent Forrestal (February 1892 – May 1949) was a strong supporter of naval battle groups centered on aircraft carriers. In 1940 President Franklin D. Roosevelt nominated Forrestal for the newly established position of Undersecretary of the Navy....

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The Tragedy of Billie Holiday

The Tragedy of Billie Holiday

https://youtu.be/tZJoVPFoYPM In January 1949 Police broke into a room in the Mark Twain Hotel in San Francisco and arrested Billie Holiday and her manager John Levy on charges of possession of opium. Her defense attorney Jake Erlich, fingered Levy as an informer and...

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World Health Organization

World Health Organization

  The concept of an international health organization was first suggested in 1945 by the Chinese United Nations delegate Dr. Szeming Sze. Although the initial resolution failed, at an international conference the following year, all 51 member countries of the...

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Dr. Benjamin Spock

Dr. Benjamin Spock

      The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care, published in 1946, sold over 50 million copies by the time of Spock's death in 1998. The book has also been translated into 39 languages. Prior to Spock's book, child care experts recommended rigid...

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My Japan

My Japan

This propaganda film was produced by the U.S. Treasury Department in 1945 in an effort to promote War Bond sales. My Japan might be described as a heavy-handed attempt to elicit angry responses from American citizens regarding Japan's audacity as well as contempt for...

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Was Hitler High?

Was Hitler High?

A new book by Norman Ohler makes sensational claims that not only Adolf Hitler, but much of the civilian population of Nazi Germany, was high on drugs. While there is evidence that methamphetamines (e.g. Pervitin)  were extensively used by the armed...

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U.S. Pilot Defects

U.S. Pilot Defects

For years a devotee of the ultra-conservative radio ministry of Father Charles Edward Coughlin, a 23 year-old USAAF P-38 pilot named Martin James Monti defected to the Axis powers in October 1944. Why a young American might actually defect to the Axis is hard to...

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Finish the Job

Finish the Job

This propaganda film was produced in 1944 to inspire Americans to finish the war

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Camera Thrills of WWII

Camera Thrills of WWII

This American propaganda film made by Castle Films emphasizes the "thrill" of war. Intended to be upbeat and exciting, perhaps motivating enlistment, it captures the spirit of the era.

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Vichy France

Vichy France

Vichy France propaganda cartoon about the allied bombings of France. A Jewish radio announcer in London broadcasts the imminent arrival over France of Allied Liberator aircraft. US planes, flown by Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Popeye, Goofy and Felix the Cat, drop bombs...

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Japan Faces Defeat

Japan Faces Defeat

  By the end of 1943, with no prospect of joining forces with its German allies who were being pushed out of Africa, and American forces penetrating its defensive ring, Imperial Japan was having great difficulty maintaining its distant holdings in the Western...

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Zoot Suit Riots

Zoot Suit Riots

Zoot suit attire consisted of baggy legged, narrow- cuffed, waist-high pants, a short tie over a buttoned shirt, suspenders, a long coat with wide lapels and padded shoulders, wide-legged, pegged trousers, flashy shoes and either a fedora or a tando hat with a feather...

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