What’s your favorite historical time period?
Lately, I’ve been hanging out in the 1950’s, while writing the follow-up book to Annabelle’s Ruth. One of the first things I do when I start writing a historical piece, is pull a timeline. My go-to for historical timelines is usually History.com.
The fifties – an interesting era, because the world was in recovery. The United States–along with most of the world–had just gone through a devastating war, the Great Depression, the “dust bowl.” Now we were in for a bounce-back period of recovery. But there were troubles, both in the midst, and on the horizon.
The Baby Boom actually began in 1946, but was in full swing throughout the fifties. The suburbs became the new mecca for families. This meant a housing boom and a whole lot of “cookie-cutter” houses. But they were affordable and made “the good life” accessible to a lot of working-class families.
Civil Rights was a hot topic during the fifties, and a subject I touch on in my work-in-progress. It was December of 1955 when Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat to a white person. Today, she’s remembered as a heroine, and fifty years after her arrest, became the first woman to lie in honor in the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol.
But back in the fifties, turmoil. The push for desegregation of our public schools began. It was a hot-button topic all over, but never more than in the South. I started school in southern California, where the schools were fully integrated. We moved to West Tennessee when I was in the third grade. The scene there was quite different. My classes were all-white until I entered seventh grade.
The Cold War troubled the thoughts of many who still remembered the horrors of World War II. All anyone really wanted was peace. Peace was what I remember most about the fifties, though I was very young. I do remember the fear, whispered about by my parents, the occasional snippet of news on that black-and-white TV set.
Speaking of TV, my little world was populated by Captain Kangaroo and Mr. Green Jeans, and The Wonderful World of Disney on Sunday night. Our television’s screen was small, but our imaginations were very big. It was my favorite night of the week.
And then, of course, I can’t forget to mention the phenomenon that hit in the fifties. Rock-and-Roll. How appropriate that a style of music with African roots became so popular during this era of Civil Rights upheaval? Elvis Presley was big news in my area of the country. He was the hometown boy. I was too young to be overly affected by his reign, but my older cousin swooned at the mention of his name.
Music was a big part of my fifties world, since my parents enjoyed listening to the radio and frequently watched variety shows that featured their favorites.
These are just a few tidbits from my favorite historical era. I’m excited about this month’s topic and can’t wait to see what the other members of the Writing Prompts Crew come up with. I hope you’ll pop back in throughout the month and see what’s happening.
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You might think I forgot it was April Fool’s Day, but I didn’t. I was saving that till last. One of the most famous April Fool’s jokes of all time occurred in 1957 when (according to History.com) “the BBC reported that Swiss farmers were experiencing a record spaghetti crop and showed footage of people harvesting noodles from trees; numerous viewers were fooled.” —Funny! What a great idea for an April Fool’s hoax.
Remember to enter our Blogaversary Celebration by leaving an answer to the writing prompt. You’ll be eligible to win a $100 gift card!
Writing Prompt: After getting ready for school, and standing at the bus stop for nearly twenty minutes, Daisy realized why she was all alone and there was no traffic on this first morning of April. It was Saturday. Her brother had played an April Fool’s joke on her. She stomped back home and let herself into the quiet house. Boy, was he in for it. But whatever she came up with would have to be really good…
Betty Thomason Owens writes romantic comedy, historical fiction, and fantasy-adventure. She has contributed hundreds of articles and interviews to various blogs around the Internet and is an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), where she leads a critique group. She’s a mentor, assisting other writers, and a co-founder of a blog dedicated to inspiring writers (this one!).
Her writing credits include Annabelle’s Ruth, Book 1, Kinsman Redeemer Series (2015), a 20’s era romance, Amelia’s Legacy, Book 1, Legacy Series (2014), both through Write Integrity Press. Carlotta’s Legacy, Book 2, Legacy Series is due out in Spring 2016. She writes contemporary stories as a co-author of A Dozen Apologies and its sequels, The Love Boat Bachelor and Unlikely Merger, (2015). She has two fantasy-adventure novels, The Lady of the Haven and A Gathering of Eagles, in a second edition published by Sign of the Whale BooksTM, an imprint of Olivia Kimbrell PressTM.