Portal:1950s

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The 1950s or The Fifties was a decade that began on January 1, 1950 and ended on December 31, 1959. By its end, the world had largely recovered from World War II and the Cold War developed from its modest beginning in the late 1940s to a hot competition between the United States and the Soviet Union by the beginning of the 1960s. Clashes between communism and capitalism dominated the decade, especially in the Northern Hemisphere. The conflicts included the Korean War in the beginnings of the decade and the beginning of the Space Race with the launch of Sputnik I. Along with increased testing of nuclear weapons (such as RDS-37 and Upshot-Knothole), this created a politically conservative climate. In the United States, the Red Scare (fear of communism) caused public Congressional hearings by both houses in Congress and anti-communism was the prevailing sentiment in the United States throughout the decade. The beginning of decolonization in Africa and Asia occurred in this decade and accelerated in the following decade, the 1960s.

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The Great Leap Forward (simplified Chinese: 大跃进; traditional Chinese: 大躍進; pinyin: Dà yuè jìn) of the People's Republic of China (PRC) was an economic and social campaign by the Communist Party of China (CPC) from 1958 to 1961. The campaign was led by Mao Zedong and aimed to rapidly transform the country from an agrarian economy into a communist society through rapid industrialization and collectivization. The campaign caused the Great Chinese Famine.


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Marilyn Monroe in 1952
Marilyn Monroe (June 1, 1926 – August 5, 1962) was an American model and actress. One of the most popular sex symbols of the 1950s, she played stereotypically "dumb blonde" characters that were emblematic of the era's attitudes towards sexuality. She began her career as a pin-up model. After two short-lived film contracts, she was signed by 20th Century-Fox in 1951. The next year, scandalous nude photographs of her were featured in a popular calendar. She became one of the most bankable Hollywood stars with starring roles in comedies such as Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), How to Marry a Millionaire (1953), and The Seven Year Itch (1955). Disappointed in being typecast and underpaid, Monroe formed her own production company in 1955 and successfully fought for a better contract with Fox. She received critical acclaim for her performances in Bus Stop (1956) and Some Like It Hot (1959), winning a Golden Globe for Best Actress for the latter. Her last completed film was the drama The Misfits (1961). Troubled by mental health and addiction problems, Monroe died of a barbiturate overdose in 1962. She continues to be considered a popular culture icon.

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