Gosh - I guess I was in a different 1950's. We didn't have anything rationed and I don't remember any yellow smog. It's a shame the yankees and other southern states had all the racial tension, but it was pretty quiet and calm in the Dallas, TX area. I grew up being around all ethnicities and when our schools were integrated, we all just wondered what took so long. Looks like I missed a lot of excitement and trauma.
1.) Post-war austerity was characterised by outside lavatories, central heating was rare and many houses were without televisions or running water.
The education system was lauded
2. Racial discrimination was widespread, with signs saying "No blacks, no dogs, no Irish" commonplace. Tensions boiled over with the Notting Hill riots in 1958.
3. Food rations until 1954. Fruit was a luxury, chicken or sweets a rarity. Queues outside butchers lined the streets. Petrol was rationed in 1956-57.
4. Smog, or peasoupers, were thick and yellow, made worse by coal fires. Some have described the fog as a "yellow wall" outside the front door. Parents gave children scarves to wear over their noses and mouths and street lamps were still gas.
5. Britain had to come to terms with being humiliated in the Suez War and its influence on world events being greatly diminished.
6. Bomb sites littered British streets, while air raid shelters, unexploded bombs, gas masks and seaside defences provided a reminder of the horror that had gone before.
Bombed buildings became playgrounds
7. The Cold War intensified throughout the 50s, with tensions illustrated by the Soviet invasion of Hungary and the McCarthy witch hunts in the US.
8. Sporting humiliation arrived when England's football team lost 6-3 to Hungary at Wembley, the first ever defeat to a non-British team at home.
9. Smoking prevalence among UK men aged 35 to 59 was 80% in 1950, and half of deaths of middle-aged men were caused by tobacco.
10. Sexual expression was frowned upon and even criminalised.