Naive Talk About Gays (Pageant Magazine, 1959)
The eight page article attached herein, "Plain Talk about Homosexuals", is fabulously naive for all it attempts to explain about gays - and it is also, in a way, far more kind about gays and lesbians than many other articles from this era.
The Nature of Adultery (Pageant Magazine, 1960)
The greatest shock, the most devastating catastrophe in marriage is the discovery of adultery; this act of betrayal through the centuries has broken hearts, ruined lives, filled the prisons and launched a million country songs. This five page article on the subject was written by Albert Ellis (1913 2007), respected psychologist and eminent scholar on matters of love and sex. The article is addressed to women, but the straight forward manner of writing will speak to troubled men just as clearly.
Click here to read about an "adultery detective"
'I Was On Board TITANIC (Pageant Magazine, 1953)
The 1953 TITANIC reunion took place in New York City. Numbered among the nine survivors was Edith Russell, who had been nineteen at the time of the ship's sinking. Also in attendance that day was the writer Seymour Ettman, who collaborated with Russell in crafting the attached five page article about her experiences the night TITANIC slipped below the surface of the North Atlantic:
"If the TITANIC sinks, will they transfer the luggage?"
"Miss, if I were you, I'd go back to your room and kiss your lovely things goodbye."
W.W. I and American Women (Pageant Magazine, 1951)
Here is a segment from a longer article published in 1951 by an anonymous American woman who wished to be known to her readers only as a women who had "grown up with the Century" (born in 1900). In this column she insisted that it was the First World War that served as the proving ground where American women showed that they were just as capable as their brothers - and thus deserving of a voice in government.
The Jokes of Abraham Lincoln (Pageant Magazine, 1954)
"Lincoln could use humor as an explosive weapon as well as employing it as a constructive force... For Abraham Lincoln never told a story except with a purpose. He himself pointed this out often. His anecdotes were the precision tools of a highly skilled and intelligent wit... 'I laugh because I must not cry: That's all, that's all.'"
Click here to read another article about Lincoln's use of humor and story-telling.
Click here to read the back-story concerning the Star-Spangled Banner...
''Fear of the Police'' (Pageant Magazine, 1964)
As 1964 came to a close this venom-packed column was read by many in the white American middle-class and it must have seemed very clear to many among them that matters between the races would not be righted for decades to come. Written by the Harlem-born writer James Baldwin (1924 1987) on the occasion of the 1964 Harlem Race Riot, Baldwin did not simply denigrate the NYC Police Department but the culture, government and sacred documents of the entire nation.
How the Soviets Would Have Attacked (Pageant Magazine, 1950)
"There wouldn't be any warning.
Long-range Soviet bombers attempt to knock out our key industrial targets by atomic bombing. Some fly the 4,000, miles from Murmansk across the roof of the world to our East Coast; others strike from bases in Eastern Siberia at California and the Midwest... Simultaneously, organized sabotage breaks out in aviation plants, shipyards, power stations, etc., to complement the work of the bombers."
That 1960 Look for Men (Pageant Magazine, 1960)
Some call it "the Mad Men Look", others may simply label it that "late 50s/early 60s look" - but either way high praise should be dolled out to costume designer Katherine Jane Bryant who so skillfully brought these fashions to the attention of millions of men through her work on the T.V. show Mad Men (AMC).
For those lads pursuing an advanced degree in pulling-off that look in their daily attire, we recommend this handy list of fashion's "Do's & Don'ts" from 1960.
The Great Civil War Battles (Pageant Magazine, 1958)
The second portion of Bruce Catton's article (see above) concerning the necessary knowledge required in order to justifiably call your self a "Civil War Buff" was this short piece listing the greatest battles of the war. Accompanying the five brief thumb-nail summaries is a map of the South Eastern U.S., highlighted with red stars, which serve to identify where the blood poured.
Forty Years of Women Voting (Pageant Magazine, 1960)
In the fourth decade of women's suffrage, researchers had discovered that there were more women than men listed on the voting registries. Republican Party executive Clare Williams noted:
"Women now hold the balance of power."
Cole Porter (Pageant Magazine, 1949)
The Death of Captain Thomas Mantell (Pageant Magazine, 1966)
The 1964 Harlem Race Riot (Pageant Magazine, 1964)
What is Hugh Downs Really Like? (Pageant Magazine, 1960)
Here is a five page profile of television personality Hugh Downs (b. 1921) - who comes across as a far more three-dimensional fellow than many of us might have presumed.
Downs' T.V. career began fifteen years before this article went to press and in that time he had worked as an announcer on numerous programs - most notably "Caesar's Hour", starring Sid Caesar's (1956 57), "The Tonight Show" (1957 - 1962) - where he prattled back and forth with host Jack Paar. He worked on "The Tonight Show" at the same time he was hosting the original manifestation of the game show "Concentration"; the rest you'll have discover for yourself. His pleasant, unassuming personality is in evidence throughout.
The Lot of the Fighting Man (Pageant Magazine, 1958)
Both Northern and Southern armies were composed predominantly of very young men. Almost all the generals were highly bewhiskered, but the enlisted men were almost all too young to shave.
Both sides carried a muzzle-loading rifle, cumbersome by modern standards, but nevertheless a highly effective weapon. It would kill at more than half a mile, and was deadly when used by veterans...
Notes on Her Hair (Pageant Magazine, 1955)
Here is a handy how-to piece by a popular hairdresser of the Fifties explaining how to duplicate Marilyn Monroe's hairdo on your own head - take a look.
''My Pal, Albert Einstein'' (Pageant Magazine)
Eleven years after Einstein's death, a close pal of his wrote this article and revealed the sorts of details that only the closest of friends would know.
Protestants in America (Pageant Magazine, 1952)
This is a report from 1952 on the largest group of Christians in the United States during that period in time:
"The United States is sometimes called a 'Protestant nation.' It isn't, of course. It is a nation of 150,697,361 free people, free to choose whatever path to God they please. But it was settles largely by Protestant denominations; it has, in fact, the largest Protestant population of any nation on earth. By latest tally, 81,862,328 Americans belong to religious bodies. Of these 59 percent are Protestant. Roman Catholics account for 33 percent, Jews for six percent and other faiths for two percent."
E-Learning in the Fifties (Pageant Magazine, 1958)
This article from the late Fifties refers to the educational benefits that existed in the form of tape recordings, television, films and slide shows and what a glorious discovery it was that they came along when they did to aid in the teacher shortages of the time. Today we have decades of studies that show what among these tools has been useful and what has failed.
In the 1940s Color TV was Anticipated as a Tool with Which Art Students Could Learn...
Tolerance at the Polls (Pageant Magazine, 1953)
Speaking of thawing ice:
"In 1942 Roper Poll found only 42 per cent of Americans saying 'yes' to the question 'Are Negroes as intelligent as Whites and can they learn just as quickly if given education and training?' After W.W. II the number rose to 57 per cent."
They Called it ''Clouting'' (Pageant Magazine, 1959)
It was said to be the lowest form of advertising - when ad copy on TV or radio productions was disguised as theatrical content. It was widespread.
With the War Came Medical Innovations (Pageant Magazine, 1945)
Four years of global carnage did not simply usher in an era of more destructive weaponry for the inhabitants of Earth to ponder; it also gave cause for tremendous improvements in medical care. This 1945 article anticipated a much better world that would be created from the smoldering remains of Europe and Asia - a world that was better prepared to address the health requirements of the diseased and the burned. The medical advancements that were forged between the years 1939 through 1945 saw remarkable improvements in surgery and anesthesia and brought new light on how the medical establishment understood blood and the treatment of venereal disease.
CLICK HERE... to read one man's account of his struggle with shell shock...
A Southern View of Integration (Pageant Magazine, 1959)
In this 1959 article Alabama wordsmith Wyatt Blasingame did his level-headed best to explain the sluggish reasoning that made up the opinions of his friends and neighbors as to why racial integration of the nation's schools was a poor idea. He observed that even the proudest Southerner could freely recognize that African-Americans were ill-served by the existing school system and that they were due for some sort of an upgrade - they simply wished it wouldn't happen quite so quickly. The journalist spent a good deal of column space explaining that there existed among the Whites of Dixie a deep and abiding paranoia over interracial marriage.
Women Criminals (Pageant Magazine, 1959)
"Here are the six who top the FBI list of most dangerous lady criminals-at-large; find one and you may prevent murder..."
1920s Prohibition created a criminal climate that appealed to more women than you ever might have suspected...
The Predator (Pageant Magazine, 1955)
The attached article, "A Mother's Ordeal with Homosexuality" first appeared in 1955, a time when the term "gay" was not known, and the word "homosexual" was used in its place - and as you will learn, homosexual was essentially synonymous with the designations "sex offender", "Paraphilia" and "Child molester".
"The charge of homosexuality against someone, anyone, is not a light one. It requires proof, the strictest proof there is; getting it is not an easy matter."
Humphrey Bogart and his Feud with the Hollywood Press (Pageant Magazine, 1956)
"There was a time, Humphrey Bogart maintains, when he saw all interviewers and tried to answer all questions put to him..."
"But I can't take it anymore, I've had to cut the fan magazines off my list entirely. Just the sheer smell of them drives me crazy. They smell of milk. The interviewers themselves treat you like a two-year-old child with their will-Debbie-marry-Eddie and can-Lance-Fuller-live-without-a-wife kind of idiocy. You know the whole sorry groove of the thing."
You can read about David Niven HERE
America's Ever-Changing Mind: 1929 - 1952 (Pageant Magazine, 1953)
In an effort to show how American thought can vary between decades, a retired pollster from the Gallup organization collected the data gleaned from various opinion polls that were launched between 1929 on up through the dawn of the Atomic Age in order to show what a different people we had become. The topics that were addressed were
Women in the work place
The Unknown Jackie Kennedy (Pageant Magazine, 1970)
Seven years must have seemed an appropriate amount of time to withhold information concerning the generally unpleasant character traits that were apparent in First Lady Jackie Kennedy - and so in 1970 Washington writers Lucianne Goldberg and Fred Sparks put pen to paper and recalled all the minutiae they could piece together regarding "Her Elegance":
"Jackie was master of deception. In the White House, she never wore her double-breasted mink coat when she could be photographed. But after her husband died, and she moved to New York, she wore the mink, as one fashion writer put it, 'to do errands around Manhattan'."
This article appears on this site with the permission of Lucianne Goldberg
Alcohol and Adultery (Pageant Magazine, 1959)
"The belief that alcohol causes adultery is rooted in very ancient soil..." but this is not the case:
"Professional opinion disputes the notion that alcohol often inspires adultery. The evidence is rather that alcohol is the pet scapegoat, the favorite national excuse for a variety of slips, breaks, and deviations in sexual conduct."
How One School Turned Itself Around (Pageant Magazine, 1961)
When the Soviet Union launched the first artificial satellite, Sputnik, in the Autumn of 1957 it shocked the American people and set in motion an event that was quickly labeled "the Sputnik Crises". Almost at once, school boards all across the fruited plane resolved to improve their math and science programs in order to ensure the blessings of liberty for generations yet unborn.
One of these institutions was Laguna Beach High School in Southern California and the attached article, "Turning Bad Schools into Good Schools", will tell you about the various steps they had taken in order to alter their curriculum and the prevailing campus culture as well.
We were gratified to learn that some fifty-odd years later, Laguna Beach High is still one of the finest schools in the country.
Jane Fonda (Pageant Magazine, 1960)
When this article went to press in 1960, Jane Fonda (b. 1937) was all of 22.
She had recently dropped out of Vassar to pursue modeling in Manhattan (unlike most college drop-out who quit campus to pursue modeling, Fonda's smiling mug was placed on two VOGUE covers that year) and to study method acting with Lee Strasberg (1901 1982). She had her first taste of Broadway in a short-lived production titled "There was a Little Girl" and had not, as yet, taken up her interest in totalitarian communism.
Click here to read about Henry Fonda.
Understanding the Returning Veterans
(Pageant Magazine, 1945)
Deep Regret (Pageant Magazine, 1958)
A young wife gets swept up in the whirlwind of blind compliance that was the condition of her marriage. Her husband forces her onto the abortionist's gurney and she awakens an hour later with profound regret:
"It was a great psychological and spiritual emptiness - as though she'd lost something of immense meaning that could never be replaced. Part of her womanhood, her reason for being alive, had been taken from her, and she felt a vast sense of deprivation."
"I had degraded myself and betrayed my baby..."
Click here to read more abortion articles.
N.Y. Artists Discover Loft-Living (Pageant Magazine, 1960)
A new day dawned in Manhattan real estate history at the end of 1961 when the city elders agreed to abandon their bureaucratic jihad (a fire code issue) to evict artists from all those assorted run-down ateliers located around lower Broadway.
These were the upper floors of hundreds of old downtown business and manufacturing buildings (most over a century old) that were characterized by their heavy masonry proliferating with faux loggias, balustrades, entablatures and rows of delicately fluted columns - all scattered throughout Tribeca, SoHo and Chelsea. The artists called them "Lofts".
As far as we can figure out, this was the first time in history that anybody seemed to care where an artist lived and worked.
''Black Racism'' (Pageant Magazine, 1969)
During the closing months of the tempestuous Sixties, American baseball legend Jackie Robinson (1919 1972) wrote about his fears in regards to the racist hatreds that existed within the hearts of a handful of the most vociferous Black radicals.
Warm Recollections of Marilyn (Pageant Magazine, 1971)
Nine years after Marilyn Monroe's death, Hollywood reporter James Henaghan remembered his friendship with the star and their warm, unguarded moments together:
"I guess I had known it all the time. I knew that I belonged to the public and to the world. The public was the only family, the only Prince Charming, and the only home I ever had dreamed about."
Coronation (Pageant Magazine, 1953)
Judging by the photographs in this eleven page article, the editors of PAGEANT MAGAZINE must have finally decided to take their name quite seriously when they decided to dispatch a correspondent across the sea to report on all the glorious pageantry and glamour that made up the 1953 Coronation of the 27-year-old Elizabeth II (b. 1926):
"When Elizabeth arrives at Westminster Abbey for the two-and-a-half-hour ceremony of the Coronation, it will mark the first time in fifty years that a queen has been crowned in England. Three queens have ruled over Albion in 800 years: Elizabeth I, Ann and Victoria; each of their reigns have brought great progress and prosperity. That is one reason why her subjects look forward with such glowing hope to the reign of Elizabeth II."
(Although it is no reflection on her, Britain's power has decreased dramatically since 1953)
The Last Photographs of Hitler (Pageant Magazine, 1952)
In July of 1945 LIFE MAGAZINE photographer William Vandivert (1912 - 1989) was on assignment in Berlin documenting the earliest days of the Allied occupation of that city. He snapped pictures of Hitler's bunker, starving Berliners and jubilant Cossacks; his images of the vanquished capital will live forever more - but in this article that he penned for the editors of PAGEANT, he remembered how he came upon a trove of some of the most famous pictures of W.W. II.
The Accomplished Civil War Generals (Pageant Magazine, 1958)
Five thumbnail portraits of the most consistently victorious generals of the American Civil War; three Union and two Confederate:
Ulysses S. Grant
George B. Thomas
Thomas J. Jackson
Robert E. Lee
A White Woman Looks at the Negro and the Scourge of Racism (Pageant Magazine, 1947)
Writer Margaret Halsey (1910 - 1997) was a patriotic lass who did her bit for Uncle Sam by managing a soldier's canteen in New York City during the Second World War - you should know that throughout the course of that war there were thousands of canteens throughout America where Allied soldiers, sailors airmen and Marines could enjoy a free meal and have a dance or two with the local girls. Similar to most other canteens in the country, her doors were open to all servicemen regardless of color and as a result, the same policy had to be followed by the local girls who came to dance: they, too, could not discriminate.
Her observations in this integrated environment led to believe that a national policy of racial assimilation will not be as difficult as many people at the time tended to believe.
The Bad Generals (Pageant Magazine, 1958)
Attached herein is a list the five lamest Generals of the American Civil War.
This two page compilation is made up of thumbnail descriptions outlining just how far from awesome these men were, and why, one hundred years later, they continue to be recognized as failures to the succeeding generations of Civil War historians.
The Dying Underclass... (Pageant Magazine, 1964)
This article chronicles the poor health that had been a constant companion within the African-American communities and how it differed from their white counterparts.
"To the men who count the living and the dead - the statisticians, discrimination against the Negroes carves a picture in their death charts as clear as an inscription on a new tombstone, as pathetic as a dead child's forgotten doll... There is no question in any public health expert's mind that to get a real improvement in the death rate picture among Negroes, they must be able to improve their diet, housing, education, and living standards, including medical care. And that can only come about, it seems, by removal of all the discriminatory barriers on the economic and social level."
The Link Between Sex and Happiness (Pageant Magazine, 1961)
"Ever since Sigmund Freud came right out and said in public print that sex is important to happiness, people have been wondering: How important?"
So begins the attached article by the noted psychiatrist Edrita Fried, who expanded upon her introductory sentence by clarifying that Freud never taught that this happiness was entirely dependent upon sex. In the four pages that followed, Dr. Fried illustrated the issue of sex and happiness with assorted case studies from her own caseload, concluding that:
"The achievement of happiness and true sexual fulfillment makes strange demands on us... but no sensible person would say they are too great for the reward they offer."
Somewhat recent surveys on this same topic were conducted by the Social Indicators Research Journal, their findings can be read by clicking the title link above.
Charles Lindbergh: Isolationist (Pageant Magazine,1952)
Written twenty years after the event, this article recalls that period when the Lindberghs returned to America after living in Europe for three years. While abroad, Americans were disturbed to read in the press that he chose to keep company with the Fascists of Germany and Italy; after a while American editors found his behavior so unimpressive, they chose not to write about him any longer.
Upon his return, prior to the World War II, Lindbergh joined an isolationist movement called the "America First Committee". It was at these functions when he began to make assorted racist comments in his speeches - remarks that the press corps could no longer ignore.
Watch Lindbergh's Most Notorious Isolationist Speech
Modern Political Advertising (Pageant Magazine, 1970)
The Selling of the President is about the role of television in the Republican efforts to elect Richard Nixon president in the 1968 election. Written over forty years ago by Joe McGinnis, the book was an instant classic as it addressed the matter of "packaging a candidate" for a political contest in the same manner products are promoted for the marketplace:
"McGinnis concludes that 'On television, it matters less that [the candidate] does not have ideas. His personality is what the viewers want to share...'"
Watch One of the 1968 Nixon Campaign Ads
''Why I Live In Los Angeles'' (Pageant Magazine, 1950)
An article written at a time when L.A. was a very different city - with a population of merely ten million, the city's detractors often called it "Iowa by the sea"; today they compare it to the Balkans:
"The point is that in  Los Angeles the individual leads his own life and plays his own games rather than lose himself vicariously in the capers of professionals."
The Battle of Leyte Gulf (Pageant Magazine, 1960)
The Battle of Leyte Gulf (October 23 - 26, 1944) was the largest naval battle in World War II - as well as the most decisive. Given the naval weaponry that exists in the digital age, it is highly unlikely that opposing navies will ever again have need to come within visible range of one another again. This article tells the history of that battle, shedding light on a few of the important naval campaigns that came before. Written sixteen years after the events by a knowledgeable author, you will gain an understanding of the thoughts that were going through Admiral Halsey's cranium when he commanded the largest battle fleet ever assembled.
The Concentration Camp Revolts (Pageant Magazine, 1966)
"The doomed Jews of Auschwitz, Treblinka and Sobibor did not all die like sheep. Many perished like lions in little-known uprisings against the Nazis - and some even blew up the grisly ovens and gas chambers."
The Slang of the Beatnik Generation (Pageant Magazine, 1960)
To fulfill her publicity obligations for her roll as "Roxanne" in her forthcoming film The Subterranean (MGM, 1960: from the Jack Kerouac novella
of the same title), actress Janice Rule (1931 2003) struck a number of "Beat" poses and provided a glossary of Beatnik slang for the readers of CORONET MAGAZINE.
Click here to read an article about 1940s teen slang.
If you would like to read about 1920s slang, click here.
Explaining Abstract Art (Pageant Magazine, 1950)
WHY DO THEY DISTORT THINGS? CAN'T THEY DRAW? WHY DO THEY
PAINT SQUARES AND CUBES?
In an effort to help answer these and many other similar questions that are overheard in the modern art museums around the world, authors Mary Rathbun and Bartlett Hayes put their noodles together and dreamed up the book (that is available at Amazon) Layman's Guide to Modern Art, and we have posted some of the more helpful portions here, as well as 17 assorted illustrations to help illustrate their explanations.
The authors point out that abstract images are not simply confined to museums and galleries but surround us every day and we willingly recognize their meanings without hesitation:
"Lines picturing the force and direction of motion are a familiar device in cartoons... The cartoonist frequently draws a head in several positions to represent motion. Everybody understands it. The painter multiplies the features in the same way... Everybody abstracts. The snapshot you take with your [camera] is an abstraction - it leaves out color, depth, motion and presents only black-and-white shapes. Yet its simple enough to recognize this arrangement of shapes as your baby or your mother-in-law or whatever..."
Tony Randall: Movie Star (Pageant Magazine,1964)
In this early Sixties article, celebrity epistolarianne Cyndi Adams recalled her first two encounters with the man who would be "Felix Unger":
"'I am definitely neurotic and psychotic,' cheerily announced Tony Randall (1920 - 2004) the first time we met - 'he's an actor-comedian of remarkable skills...he unconsciously reflects, in the way he plays his rolls, so much of the neurotic age we live in...'".
The NEW YORK TIMES would pursue this point to a further degree in their 2004 obituary of the actor:
"That's the force Tony Randall embodied: he represented, in his neurotic grandeur, our national will to unhappiness. Or if not our will, at least our right, which in the 50's we were only beginning to realize we could exercise."
Queen Elizabeth: HOTTIE (Pageant Magazine, 1966)
Actor Richard Burton, CBE (1925 1984) was no stranger to pretty feminine faces - and as a Welshman, he was no fan of British royalty; so it must have turned some heads when he listed Britain's Queen Elizabeth as one of the most beautiful women in the world for the editors of PAGEANT MAGAZINE.
American Graphics Seen in Soviet Russia (Pageant Magazine, 1964)
"An exhibition of graphic art from the United States has become a tremendously popular attraction [as it toured throughout four cities within the Soviet Union]... In the first two days more than 17,000 Soviet citizens, most of them in their teens or early twenties, came to see a gay collection of funny American posters, preposterous ads, colorful book covers and abstract prints."
"'You mean you're really allowed to paint like this, and nobody says anything?' one of the visitors asked."
Watch Jack Masey of USIA Recall the Cultural Exchange Exhibits of the 50s & 60s
The Power of the African-American Press (Pageant Magazine, 1952)
"President Truman was re-elected in 1948 by a slender margin of 52,000 votes in the circulation area of the CHICAGO DEFENDER, which almost alone of all the newspapers of all kinds in that area, supported Truman. After the election it published a boastful full-page advertisement - "
"What is the Negro press? Primarily it is a protest press demanding the correction of injustice to colored people. 'We are organs of protest,' explains Thomas W. Young, publisher of the NORFOLK JOURNAL AND GUIDE, 'born more than a hundred years ago in righteous indignation over the institution of slavery
Watch This Film Clip About the History of the Black Press
Jacqueline Kennedy: Her New Life (Pageant Magazine, 1964)
A profile of the former First Lady following the conclusion of her first year outside of the White House.
"She mourns with dignity. And if there are tears, they may
fall only in the dead of night."
CLICK HERE... to read the obituary of President Kennedy.
Levittown: The Birth of the Modern Suburb (Pageant Magazine, 1952)
When the Second World War ended in 1945 the Europeans began shoveling themselves out of the rubble while simultaneously erecting their respective nanny-states. By contrast, the Americans set out on a shopping-spree that has yet to be matched in history. Never before had so many people been able to purchase so many affordable consumer products, and never before had there ever been such a variety; aided by the G.I. Bill, housing was a big part of this binge - and binge they did! The apple of their collective eyes involved a style of prefabricated housing that was called "Ranch House", "Cape Cod" and "Early American". Millions of them were built all across the country - and the financial model for these real estate developers came from a Long Island, New York man named William J. Levitt.
Attached is an article titled "15 Minutes with Levitt of Levittown".
The Faith of Mahalia Jackson (Pageant Magazine, 1964)
In this 1964 article, the cherished Gospel singer Mahalia Jackson (1911 1972) explained for the reader the relationship she had with the Almighty and further remarked that this relationship was the exact one God required from Christians:
"- you have to have a made-up mind. You don't straddle the fence serving God; we must put our all on the alter and let God abide."
''Celebrity Services'' (Pageant Magazine, 1945)
Earl Blackwell and Ted Strong founded a curious institution that they called "Celebrity Services, Inc." in 1938 - figuring, as they did, that
"Today America has more celebrities than it can keep track of and Celebrity Services aims, simply, to keep track of them."
"Celebrity Services' office is a busy hodge-podge of files, cross-files, indices, cards folders, stuffed pigeonholes, telephones, confidential memos address books, private dossiers and fat envelopes" - all pertaining to the lives of 50,000 celeb-utopians.
Anita Colby (Pageant Magazine, 1946)
For a time, Jinx Falknenburg shared the high ground as the best-paid fashion model with a lass named Anita Colby (1914 - 1992). She was restless and highly ambitious beauty who recognized that her exulted position in the fashion world was only a temporary one - and by the time that the clock ran out on her, Colby's resume would boast of numerous high-profile positions such as publicist, syndicated columnist, movie studio executive and T.V. talk show hostess.
This article pertains to her brief stint at the Selznick Studios as some sort of perfumed άber-Stylist who lorded over all the other glam-squad proletarians on the lot.
Her book, Anita Colby's Beauty Book, has become a classic on 1950s style.
Living the Life (Pageant Magazine, 1957)
"This is the new suburban America... It has developed since the Second World War. It is within hollering distance of a big city but has a definite will of its own. Its people are youngish and their numbers growing. To find out what goes on in such a community, PAGEANT MAGAZINE made a study of one typical postwar suburb: Levittown, Long Island. It has 82,000 people, fairly young; the town is 12 years old and still growing fast. What happens there [each year] is typical of the new American 'normal'":
Average Income: $6,100.00
HS Graduates: 285
College-Bound Graduates: 60
Auto Accidents: 355
Hitler's Last Days in the Bunker (Pageant Magazine, 1960)
The Down-Grading of Jackie Kennedy (Pageant Magazine, 1967)
By the mid-1960s many Americans began to tire of the fact that Jackie Kennedy would not play the roll that they believed suitable for the former first lady of a slain president. Her halo's fading luster seemed to grow duller every day and it wasn't long before she was generally perceived as "the mean girl". Journalist Leslie Valentine reported that the trashing of Mrs. Kennedy became so widespread by 1967 that no social gathering was complete without someone pointing out her shortcomings.
The Smiths in America (Pageant Magazine, 1959)
We were surprised to learn that even in this multicultural era of unenforced immigration laws - the last name "Smith" still stands as the most common surname in the United States - and as of 2013 there are 2,788,558 people with this last name living today. This article points out that there is always at any given time a Smith serving in Congress (currently that duty falls on the shoulders of Representative Chris Smith, who hails from the 4th District of New Jersey). This article rambles on for seven pages with just these sort of charming factoids:
During W.W. II there were nearly 76,000 Smiths in uniform
Roughly eighty Smiths die in the United States every day, only to be replaced by an equal number of newborn Smiths
A quarter of a million Smiths are arrested annually, etc., etc., etc....
"Anderson" is the twelfth most common name, read about it here...
Read about the time when the Bob Smiths of America were united...
Father and Son Over Pearl Harbor (Pageant Magazine, 1970)
One morning a 17 year-old boy exclaimed to his amateur aviator father: "Let's fly around the island, Dad!" - this article wouldn't seem worthy of appearing on the internet if they lived on Nantucket or Martha's Vineyard, but the island in question was Honolulu and the morning was December 7, 1941...
Selling Menswear with Naked Women (Pageant Magazine, 1953)
During the early Fifties the advertising team at the Hartog Shirt Company relied upon the basest aspect of male psychology to advertise their shirts; they chose a novel approach - take a look.
The Search for an Honorable Exit (Pageant Magazine, 1970)
Using a public forum, retired U.S. Air Force General Edward Lansdale (1908 1987) proposed a plan for the withdrawal of American and Allied Forces from Vietnam - a plan that came to be known as "Vietnamization".
Castro Shows His Hand... (Pageant Magazine, 1960)
Andrew St. George, "a reporter who lived in the hills with Fidel Castro tells the story of how an idealistic revolution turned into one of the greatest tragedies of our time."
Watch Fidel Castro Say Sweet Lies on the Ed Sullivan Show (1959)
Prostitution 1950s Style (Pageant Magazine, 1950)
History has it that beginning in 1942, when the nation transitioned to a war footing, thousands of military training camps began to spring-up in the most unlikely locations - and each one was usually able to support a brothel or two. When the war came to a close the local communities that reluctantly tolerated these establishments were relieved to know that the prostitutes would be leaving when the camps were shut down.
The Atomic Age came with strict laws regarding brothels - and the men and women who made up the brain trust of the prostitution trade had to make numerous changes if their businesses were to survive. This article reports on the steps they had taken.
Lindbergh's 1927 Flight Log (Pageant Magazine, 1952)
The Unitarians (Pageant Magazine, 1960)
The attached James Poling (1907 - 1976) article, "Small Church, Big People" succinctly explains what the Unitarian Universalist religion is and what they believe; how are they different from other protestants and what is the origin of the faith.
"In general, Unitarians are highly rational religious liberals who believe in the ethical principles of Jesus while refusing to 'make a God ' of the great Galilean... They think of the Bible not as the revealed Word, but as the single most important volume in the long story of man's religious development. Some Unitarians believe in immortality, others don't. But all agree that the best preparation for whatever the future holds is to live a Christian life here and now."
Mike Wallace of ABC (Pageant Magazine, 1957)
The early career of broadcast journalist Mike Wallace (1918 2012) are discussed at length in this six page magazine article from the late Fifties.
We were amused to read that in one of his earliest forays into broadcasting he played a character in a radio soap opera.
Read about the early career of Hugh Downs
Henry Miller (Pageant Magazine, 1958)
An Interview with Mr. America (Pageant Magazine, 1955)
"WHO, WHAT, AND WHY is the average American [man]? What does he eat? What does he wear? What does he worry about? These questions and more like them have taken us on a long journey through the realm of statistics. Out of the discoveries of the Department of Commerce, the Census Bureau and Dr. Gallup's polls, we've succeeded in piecing together an uncommon portrait of the common man."
He's Homosexual! (Pageant Magazine, 1953)
This memoir is interesting on a number of levels, but it stands out for having the earliest printed use of the word "gay" - when used in the same sense it is used today:
"The homosexuals have a slang of their own; to cite one of the better known words, they refer to themselves as 'gay'".
A Song and Dance Man on Guadalcanal (Pageant Magazine, 1952)
Four years after his stellar performance as the Scarecrow in "The Wizard of Oz" (MGM, 1939), Hollywood actor and comedian Ray Bolger (1904 1987) was performing in many parts of the war-torn Pacific islands on a USO tour for thousands of very grateful GIs and Marines. Attached is a two page reminiscence about one particular Guadalcanal performance, the men he met and the Hell they paid in the years that followed.
You Will See a Brief Clip of Ray Bolger's 'Rifle Dance' in this History of the USO
Escape from East Berlin (Pageant Magazine, 1967)
Lenin went to his grave believing that he had established a nation where a worker's labor would be fairly compensated - a land free from want; but this was not the case. The Soviet Union, and all its assorted satellites, was in actuality, a police state where people longed to get away from all the free stuff that was offered - thousands of people successfully escaped while many others died trying. The country he created was one in which the word "escape" was frequently uttered - which brings us to this article - it concerns cars and how they were able to be refashioned in such a way as to conceal the East Germans who wished so badly to get away to the West - and it is very well illustrated.
''Beginner's Guide to the Civil War'' (Pageant Magazine, 1958)
As the one-hundredth anniversary of the War Between the States grew ever nearer, a Pulitzer Prize winning Civil War Historian, Bruce Catton, wrote the attached article concerning the overwhelming popularity that the nation was finding in their study of that remarkable contest:
"The requirements for becoming a Civil War Buff are very simple. All you need is a desire to join. If you are interested in the Civil War, you're in... You may get to the point where you want to join a Civil War Round Table. [Overtime] commonplace words like Appomattox and Antietam and Perryville take on a new meaning for you; a good deal of the monotony and routine of modern life somehow evaporates, as you escape into a period of profound and haunting significance."
"All in all, it's quite an experience.
Welcome to the Army!"
Stalin and His Cronies (Pageant Magazine, 1947)
Cold War Politics and People of Color (Pageant Magazine, 1959)
This well-illustrated article appeared in a middle class American magazine in 1959 and it reported on the rising international sentiments that signaled to the dominate Western powers that the old diplomacy of the wealthier white nations had to change. It will help to explain why the United States re-fashioned their immigration laws in 1965.
The Department of State hated it when Radio Moscow would depict Americans as simply a bunch of "lynch-happy bigots"...
California Farm Labor (Pageant Magazine, 1952)
With the bad old days that spanned that period between October, 1929 through August, 1945 seen only in the rear view mirror, many Americans began to enjoy the high life that came with the booming post-war economy - a buying spree that wouldn't slow until the mid Seventies. In the midst of so much plenty American magazines began to run articles about some of the folks who weren't partaking in all the fun, and this article is a fine example - it is about the 2,000,000 white people who toiled in the fields of the San Joaquin Valley. Thirteen years later they would be outsourced by a labor pool willing to work for even less money.
"... They get no unemployment insurance. They get no social security benefits. The law does not, in the main, protect them."
Click here to read about the tremendous hardships that fell upon the fertile San Joaquin Valley in 1937...
The Sex Drive of the American Women (Pageant Magazine, 1946)
An article that examines the once highly guarded chastity of American women between the years 1912 through 1946:
Of the women who married before 1912 - 12 percent were non-virgins upon marriage
Of the women who married during or immediately after W.W. I - 26 percent were non-virgins upon marriage
Of the women who married between 1922 and 1931 - 49 percent were non-virgins upon marriage
Of the women who married between 1932 and 1937 - 68 percent were non-virgins upon marriage
America's Favorite Illustrator (Pageant Magazine, 1947)
Norman Rockwell (1894 1978) once remarked in an interview:
The view of life I communicate in my pictures excludes the sordid and the ugly. I paint life as I would like it to be.
- and his vision was shared with millions of Americans. He had a fondness for depicting everyday life in small town America, childhood friendships, family life, middle school sporting events and (as discussed in the attached article) the Boy Scouts. He knew who he was; he never referred to himself as an artist, he called himself an illustrator.
Looking Back 25 Years (Pageant Magazine, 1959)
In 1959 an eyewitness to American Prohibition recalls what life was like and what a mistake it was.