Freedom: A History of US.
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Webisode 13: Democracy and Struggles
Introduction Segment 1 Segment 2 Segment 3 Segment 4 Segment 5 Segment 6 Segment 7 Segment 8

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Elvis Presley
Segment 7
A Segregated Theatre Separate But Equal

Some call the decade "the nifty fifties" and say it is a wonderful, carefree time. After all, there is a singer named Elvis Presley, a white southerner who sings black music with a special talent and energy See It Now - Elvis Presley . Elvis is called the king of rock and roll—and rock and roll will soon shake, rattle, and roll all over the world Check The Source - Elvis. There are two new states in the 1950s—Hawaii and Alaska. Jobs are plentiful and many people have money to spend. There are hula hoops See It Now - Hula Hoops, a movie star named Marilyn Monroe, the Salk polio vaccine—and television . In 1950 only ten percent of American homes have TV. Ten years later, ninety percent do! And TV is very democratic—available to rich and poor See It Now - 1950s TV. It gives us our first national community culture.

In 1953, a new president, Dwight D. Eisenhower, who served as head of the Allied armies in Europe in the Second World War, brings the fighting in Korea to an end. Times are good. But not for everybody. Something in America is wrong. The Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution promises equal protection to all citizens, and equal privileges. But those privileges, for some, are being abused See It Now - Segregated Bus Station.

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Did You Know?
By 1949, Americans were buying 100,000 TV sets a week; quiz shows and soap operas were popular. The most watched program by kids under thirteen was the cowboy show Hopalong Cassidy.

Did you know that Freedom is adapted from the award-winning Oxford University Press multi-volume book series, A History of US by Joy Hakim?

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