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Kansas Kaleidoscope - February/March 2006

A fun magazine for kids!

Kansas Kaleidoscope, February/March 2006 Saddle Shoes & Bobby Socks: Kansas in the 1950s

Teacher Supplement for this issue

On The Cover

Best friends Patty Morgan and Sue Rightmire interrut thier playtime for a picture in front of Patty's Topeka home in 1955. Sue is wearing saddle shoes and bobby socks.

For Parents and Teachers:

History is the study of people and change over time. Young people have limited personal experience on these topics because they are just that, young. They have not lived long enough to make personal comparisons and contrasts between decades. The issue of Kaleidoscope strives to provide our young readers with a snapshot of life in the 1950s. We hope they will apply the historian's skill of comparison and contrast to gain a better understanding of the fifty years between then and now.

Where Were You in 1952?

This is a question young readers will want to ask their grandparents. They will remember the 1950s as a time when life was different from today.

Visit History

The 1950s All-Electric House in Johnson County was designed in 1954 as a "House of the Future." The house features remote control lights, an oil painting that slides into the wall to reveal a television set, and an electric fireplace. www.jocomuseum.org

From Hard Times to Happy Days

The 1950s was a decade of wealth and progress for America. It was a big change from the depression of the 1930s and sacrifices of war in the 1940s.

What's on TV?

The television set changed America. It changed the way families received information

White CastleWhat's For Dinner?

Ever wonder what came before the Lunchable® or the Hot Pocket®? You will need to go all the way back to 1953 when Swanson introdced a new dinner treat--the TV Dinner.

The Very Best Friend You Ever Had: Whizzo the Clown

Many television stations produced programs for children to watch during the day or after school. In 1955, "Whizzo's Wonderland" went on the air on Kansas City's KMBC-TV.

A Kansan in the White House

In 1952, a Kansan was elected President of the United States. Dwight D. Eisenhower is the only Kansan (so far) who has held this office.

Communism and the Cold War

Eisenhower was president during the early years of the Cold War. The Cold War was not an actual war.

SputnikSatellites and Long Division

In 1957, the Soviet Union launched "Sputnik," the first man-made satellite to orbit the Earth. Americans feared that the Soviets had better technology that they did.

Building a Ribbon of Highways

Have you ever traveled across Kansas on Interstate 70? How about Interstate 35? If your answer is "yes," you have President Eisenhower to thank.

1951 floodWhat do you do with too much water?

Weather caused changes in Kansas in the 1950s. Rainfalls in July 1951 were triple the monthly average.

Drive-Through Dining

Kansans, like other Americans, had more money to spend in the 1950s. This meant they could spend money on activities, vacations, and food.

Fast Food: Then and Now

One hundred years ago, families rarely ate any place else but home. Fifty years ago people were just starting to spend more money and time at restaurants.

History Lab

Historians can learn a lot about how people ate and what they bought by studying magazine ads.

In This Issue:

  • On the Cover
  • Visit History
  • For Parents & Teachers
  • Where were You in 1952?
  • From Hard Times to Happy Days
  • What Was New in the 1950s
  • What's on TV?
  • The Very Best Friend You Ever Had: Whizzo the Clown
  • Whizzo's Theme Song
  • A Kansan in the White House
  • Communism and the Cold War
  • Satellites and Long Division
  • Building a Ribbon of Highways
  • What do you do with too much water?
  • Drive-Through Dining
  • Fast Food: Then and Now
  • History Lab
  • Countdown to Statehood
  • Book Nook
  • Bee a Winner!
  • Congratulations
  • Kaleidoscope Challenge
  • In Our Next Issue

Teacher Supplement