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January 10, 2022

40 Wonderful Color Photos of Post-War American Life

Following World War II, the United States emerged as one of the two dominant superpowers, turning away from its traditional isolationism and toward increased international involvement. The United States became a global influence in economic, political, military, cultural, and technological affairs.

Building on the economic base left after the war, American society became more affluent in the postwar years than most Americans could have imagined in their wildest dreams before or during the war. Public policy, like the so-called GI Bill of Rights passed in 1944, provided money for veterans to attend college, to purchase homes, and to buy farms.

The overall impact of such public policies was almost incalculable, but it certainly aided returning veterans to better themselves and to begin forming families and having children in unprecedented numbers.

Not all Americans participated equally in these expanding life opportunities and in the growing economic prosperity. The image and reality of overall economic prosperity – and the upward mobility it provided for many white Americans – was not lost on those who had largely been excluded from the full meaning of the American Dream, both before and after the war. As a consequence, African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and American women became more aggressive in trying to win their full freedoms and civil rights as guaranteed by the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution during the postwar era.

These wonderful color from Dave’s old slides show what life of the U.S. looked like in the post-World War II period.

American Canyon Campground, Los Padres National Forest, California, 1952

Robert Kross (1920-2011) with his photo prints and negatives at Elmhurst, Illinois, 1952

Thanksgiving at Elmhurst, Illinois, 1952

Chapel at Bunker Hill Air Force Base, Indiana, circa 1953

Graduation at Elmhurst College, Illinois, 1953

Iron River, Wisconsin, 1953

Michael Kross at Elmhurst, Illinois, Christmas 1953

A. Zito, US Air Force, 1954

Bride and bridesmaids in mirror, USA, 1954

DuPage Division, Chicago Title & Trust, Wheaton, Illinois, 1954

DuPage Division, Chicago Title & Trust, Wheaton, Illinois, 1954

DuPage Division, Chicago Title & Trust, Wheaton, Illinois, 1954

Pat Sullivan and anthurium in the new building of the DuPage Division, Chicago Title & Trust, Wheaton, Illinois, 1954

Armed Forces Day at McGuire Air Force Base, New Jersey, May 1955

Western Illinois or eastern Missouri, 1955

Dick and Sara with 1955 Chevrolet, 1956

A convivial group, USA, 1957

Joe Sante Quartet, 1957

Children on stairs, Christmas 1958

Couple on sofa, USA, June 1958

Fire scene attended by the Selma Fire Department, Alabama, 1958

Passengers disembarking from TWA Lockheed Constellation at Midway Airport, Chicago, circa 1958

Woman in park, 1958

Wrecked car, Route 35, USA, July 1958

Christmas 1959

Diane and snowman, circa 1959

Diane with skis, January 1959

Hawaii, 1959

Hawaii, 1959

Marineland of the Pacific, California, 1959

At the lake, USA, 1950s

Boy on tricycle with hamster and spaniel, 1950s

Boy singing and playing guitar at Christmas, 1950s

Children with Christmas presents, USA, 1950s

Couple in 1954 Plymouth Belvedere, 1950s

Time for a drink, 1950s

Young women at beach, USA, 1950s

Woman in green dress, USA, 1950s

'AC Farm', with 1953 Ford Crestline Sunliner convertible

'Beer Party, NAS Hutchinson', Naval Air Station, Kansas, 1950s




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