Little Rock Central High School
Class of 1961
Members of the Little Rock Central High School Class of 1961 were born during WWII and most began their "school days" in 1949. Some say it was the best time in American History. As you can imagine, times were quite different then. Widespread use of television as an entertainment and news source started in our formative years and had quite an impact on our culture. The sound of Rock 'n Roll was creeping into our lives with the help of radio and television and we were experiencing more independence and freedom than our parents had as teenagers. With the emergence of Rock 'n Roll many new dance styles were being created and we would show them off at our "sock-hops". The movies produced in Hollywood also influenced our social development. Popular celebrities were very influential, kids wanted to be just like Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, and Ricky Nelson to name a few. Most of us attended church or "Sunday School" and this also contributed to our cultural and social development.
Our families were typically middleclass and possesed a strong work ethic and traditional Southern outlook on social issues. Our mothers were happy being housewives and our fathers were the main breadwinners in the family. As teenagers experiencing these new freedoms and independence we were, for the most part, still respectful to adults and other authority figures. While growing up, our greatest fears were polio and nuclear warfare with the Communists, and our families respected the government and their elected officials. Society was experiencing growth, economically and socially, and new ideas of prosperity and success for our families and the country as a whole were taking shape.
Technologically, the personal computer, cell phones and the internet had not been invented and most aircraft were propeller driven. Our generation saw the invention of the hula-hoop, credit cards, liquid paper, super glue, the diet softdrink, non-stick teflon coated pans and in 1959 the Barbie doll was born. Medically speaking, penicillin was our only wonder drug and in 1955 it was joined by tetracycline. Oh yeah... in 1957 "the pill" was made available. Boy, did that change things!
Although our times were changing, major changes didn’t really take place until the 1960s, which saw a shift in morals, attitudes, family life, race relations, and overall feelings about the government. To us, this is why the 1950s are seen as the best of times, when families and morals were intact and lives were much simpler and enjoyable.
On this page, we have included some links to archives that have recorded what the times were like as we were growing up. Spend some time browsing around, we think you'll enjoy it.
Some Interesting Videos about the 1950's
1950's Car Culture