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The 1950s Portal

Top, L-R: U.S. Marines engaged in street fighting during the Korean War, circa late September 1950; The first polio vaccine is developed by Jonas Salk.
Centre, L-R: US tests its first thermonuclear bomb with code name Ivy Mike in 1952. A 1954 thermonuclear test, code named Castle Romeo, is shown here; In 1959, Fidel Castro overthrows Fulgencio Batista in the Cuban Revolution, resulting in the creation of the first communist government in the Western hemisphere; Elvis Presley becomes the leading figure of rock and roll in the mid-1950s.
Bottom, L-R: Smoke rises from oil tanks on Port Said following the invasion of Egypt as part of the Suez Crisis in late 1956; French paratroopers march in Algiers in the beginning of the Algerian War, 1957; The Soviet Union launches Sputnik 1, the first artificial satellite to orbit the earth, in October 1957.

The 1950s (pronounced nineteen-fifties; commonly abbreviated as the "Fifties" or the " '50s") (among other variants) was a decade of the Gregorian calendar that began on January 1, 1950, and ended on December 31, 1959.

Throughout the decade, the world continued its recovery from World War II, aided by the post-World War II economic expansion. The period also saw great population growth with increased birth rates and the emergence of the baby boomer generation. Despite this recovery, the Cold War developed from its modest beginnings in the late 1940s to a heated competition between the Soviet Union and the United States by the early 1960s. The ideological clash between communism and capitalism dominated the decade, especially in the Northern Hemisphere, with conflicts including the Korean War in the early 1950s, the Cuban Revolution, the beginning of the Vietnam War in French Indochina, and the beginning of the Space Race with the launch of Sputnik 1 in 1957. Along with increased testing of nuclear weapons (such as RDS-37 and Upshot–Knothole), the tense geopolitical situation created a politically conservative climate. In the United States, a wave of anti-communist sentiment known as the Second Red Scare resulted in Congressional hearings by both houses in Congress. The beginning of decolonization in Africa and Asia also took place in this decade and accelerated in the following decade. (Full article...)

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The European Broadcasting Union (EBU; French: Union européenne de radio-télévision, UER) is an alliance of public service media organisations, established on 12 February 1950. The organisation is made up of 115 member organisations in 56 countries, and 31 associate members from a further 20 countries. It is best known for producing the Eurovision Song Contest. It also hosted debates between candidates for the European Commission presidency for the 2014 and 2019 parliamentary elections but is unrelated to the European Union itself. (Full article...)
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Photo of Gary Cooper
Cooper in November 1952

Gary Cooper (born Frank James Cooper; May 7, 1901 – May 13, 1961) was an American actor known for his strong, silent, and understated acting style. He won the Academy Award for Best Actor twice and had a further three nominations, as well as receiving an Academy Honorary Award for his career achievements in 1961. He was one of the top 10 film personalities for 23 consecutive years, and one of the top money-making stars for 18 years. The American Film Institute (AFI) ranked Cooper at No. 11 on its list of the 25 greatest male stars of classic Hollywood cinema.

Cooper's career spanned 36 years, from 1925 to 1961, and included leading roles in 84 feature films. He was a major movie star from the end of the silent film era through to the end of the golden age of Classical Hollywood. His screen persona appealed strongly to both men and women, and his range of performances included roles in most major film genres. His ability to project his own personality onto the characters he played contributed to his natural and authentic appearance on screen. Throughout his career, he sustained a screen persona that represented the ideal American hero. (Full article...)

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  • ... that the Polish publishing house WSiP had a monopoly on textbook publishing from the 1950s to 1989?
  • ... that construction of the Dosan Ahn Chang Ho Memorial Interchange in Los Angeles in the 1950s displaced an entire neighborhood primarily inhabited by people of color?
  • ... that Chinese economist Zhang Peigang's dissertation was translated into Spanish and used as a university textbook in Latin America in the 1950s, but was not published in Chinese until 1984?
  • ... that Richardson Island was involved in an "annexation war" between two cities in the 1950s?
  • ... that fossils of the extinct plant Concavistylon were first collected in the 1950s, but the genus was not formally described until 2018?
  • ... that interest in network synthesis research is now greater than at any time since the 1950s due to its new applications in mechanics, particularly in Formula One?

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