40 Wonderful Color Photos of Post-War American Life

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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

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