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Articles on 1950s

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Little Richard’s rock ‘n’ roll brought the margins to the center. Michael Ochs Archives via Getty Images

The 1950s queer black performers who inspired Little Richard

Little Richard honed his craft as a teenage drag queen. In everything from his hairstyle to his lyrics, we see the influence of gay contemporaries like Esquerita and Billy Wright.
With over 100 issues, ‘Young Love’ was one of the longest running romance comics series. Gary Lee Watson Comic Book Collection, Irvin Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, University of South Carolina Libraries

America’s postwar fling with romance comics

During the 'love glut,' roughly 1 in 5 of all comic books were romance comics, as publishers scrambled to appease readers' appetites for scandalous storylines.
Collective bargaining isn’t enough to revive labor unions. Reuters/Rebecca Cook

How organized labor can reverse decades of decline

Unions should move their focus away from traditional collective bargaining and instead embrace new ways to attract new members, such as by offering discounted benefits and engaging in more advocacy.
Record companies released stereo demonstration albums that showcased how sound could move from left to right, creating a sense of movement. From the collection of Janet Borgerson and Jonathan Schroeder

How stereo was first sold to a skeptical public

Sixty years ago, stereo promised to forever change the way people listened to music. But how could record companies convince customers to buy a new record player, speakers and amplifier?
The Wigwam Motel in Holbrook, Arizona, is one of the few remnants of America’s mid-20th century motel boom. Library of Congress

The twilight of the mom and pop motel

What does the shuttering of traditional roadside motels say about America's relationship with travel and freedom?

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