At a House Subdivided: 1950-1990
Timeline Timeline 1950-Present
29 Elvis
Elvis Presley [29k]
1955 O'Hare Field began to take over commercial air traffic from Midway.
1956 Federal program began to build interstate superhighway system, making travel faster and easier but claiming large amounts of land. The first interstate through Illinois, I-80, was completed in 1968.</ TD>
1956 WNBQ Chicago became the country's first all-color television station.
1958 Elvis Presley performed his first Illinois concert before 12,000 screaming fans in Chicago. Teenagers made rock and roll a dominant force in the music industry. Some adults feared rock music would lea d to juvenile delinquency.
1959 Baby boom peaked in Illinois with almost 240,000 children born this year.
1960 Birth control pills became available.
1962 One of the first enclosed shopping malls was opened in Mt. Prospect signaling a major development in retailing.
31 Protesters
Chicago protesters [36k]
1965 U.S. escalates its involvement in Vietnam. 339,800 Illinois citizens are sent to Vietnam by the end of the war.
1968 Chicago police and National Guard battled thousands of antiwar protesters near the Democratic National Convention in Chicago.
1974 Oil price increases caused changes in energy use. To conserve fuel, speed limits were reduced on highways and people bought smaller, more fuel-efficient cars. Houses were built utilizing solar energy, and insulation was increased.
1975 Women's fight for equal job opportunities caused many newspapers to abandon the practice of having separate Help Wanted columns for men and women.
1975 Video-cassette recorders were introduced for the home market and priced below $1,000. By 1990, 72% of American households owned VCRs.
32 Mailcarrier
Female mail carrier [45k]
1980 Number of divorced people in Illinois more than doubled in the last ten years. Many single-parent families sought support through such organizations as Parents Without Partners and Big Brother/Big Sis ter. As parents remarried, children became part of large and complicated step families.
1986 Microwave ovens could be found in three out of five American homes and continued to sell well. New owners took special cooking classes and bought non-metallic cooking dishes. Commercially prepared foo ds, such as cake mixes and frozen dinners, were marketed for microwave cooking.
1989 Personal computers were present in one of every five households and assisted with school and home office work and provided stimulating games. Builders also began to install computers in homes to regul ate heating, lighting, and security systems.
1990 With a majority of mothers working, some businesses offered day care for employees' children. Most working mothers faced the enormous problem of finding quality day care for their children at an affor dable price.
The Present What important event or events do you think would bring this timeline up to the present? E-mail your answer to

Button Bar [8k]

© Illinois State Museum Updated 19-Mar-97