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  • Georgia Time Machine: 1950s in Heard County

    During the 1950s, Georgia was in many ways a study of contrasts. Much of the state retained its rural character, with people leading lives that had strong links to earlier decades. At the same time, Atlanta was beginning its great growth, with the first segments of the interstate system being constructed, television sets being installed in many homes, and the first major shopping center being built.

    Support Materials

    Discuss

    1. How could a lack of modern technology and entertainment benefit the children growing up in the 1950s?

    2. If you could go back and grow up in post-war Georgia, would you? Why or why not?

    3. In the years immediately after World War II America went through great changes. For instance, in 1947 there were roughly 7,000 televisions in American homes. By 1950 there were over 7 million. How do you think television changed the way people lived their lives? 

    Expansion

    1. Pretend you are a teenager growing up in rural Georgia during the 1950s. Create a weeklong summer activity guide for you and your friends. Remember, you do not have access to modern-day technology.

    2. Debate: Your class should be split into two groups. One group should argue the benefits of modern technology and screen time. The other group should argue the harm too much screen time exposure can cause. Both sides should research their stances to support their claims.

    Vocabulary

    county seat: the town that is the governmental center of a county, housing city hall, jails, the post office, and courts
    eccentric: (of a person or their behavior) unconventional and slightly strange
    appease: relieve or satisfy (a demand or a feeling)
    Grand Ole Opry: a weekly country-music stage concert in Nashville, Tennessee, which was founded in 1925 and the longest-running radio broadcast in U.S. history

    For Teachers

    Discussion Guide

    1. How could a lack of modern technology and entertainment benefit the children growing up in the 1950s?
    Answers will vary. Students may note the simplicity to life at the time. 

    2. If you could go back and grow up in post-war Georgia, would you? Why or why not?
    Answers will vary. 

    3. In the years immediately after World War II America went through great changes. For instance, in 1947 there were roughly 7,000 televisions in American homes. By 1950 there were over 7 million. How do you think television changed the way people lived their lives?
    Answers will vary. Students may discuss the role of television in entertainment, news, and politics.  

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