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From the 1950s to the 1970s

Robert Kennedy in Indianapolis in 1968
Robert Kennedy in Indianapolis in 1968

The economic boom of the post-World War II years meant material prosperity for most Hoosiers. Washing machines, televisions and two-car garages became part of the middle class dream. Just as car production was fueling Indiana’s postwar economy, the product itself was changing the landscape and the way Hoosiers lived.

Other changes in society would also occur in this time period. Black veterans, joined by other Hoosiers, became the foot soldiers in the fight against discrimination which, by the 1960s, became the Civil Rights Movement.

Nearing the end of the 20th century, America and Indiana would again face economic hardships as global competition affected lives. Hoosiers worked to maintain their traditional way of life while still attracting the newest industries that would sustain them into the future.

Suggested search terms

  • interstate highway
  • school reorganization
  • school finance
  • public schools
  • farming
  • agriculture economics
  • food economics
  • Radio Corporation of America
  • automobile industry
  • civil rights
  • Robert F. Kennedy
  • Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • school segregation
  • Equal Rights Amendment
  • redistricting

Additional Books

Download related curriculum

Indiana’s African American Heritage: Essays from Black History News and Notes

Food in the Jewish Tradition
Strangers in a New Land
Keeping Kosher
From Tragedy to Hope
Polio and Eli Lilly and Co.
Eli Lilly and Co. and the Salk Polio Vaccine
The Pharmaceutical Industry in Indiana
The Power of a Dime

Kennedy’s Message of Peace
The Issue of Race in 1968: A Case Study of the Broadway Neighborhood
The Vietnam Era: Unit Introduction and Lesson Overview
The Vietnam Era: Vietnam War Timeline
The Vietnam Era: Vietnam War in Photos
The Vietnam Era: Opposition to the Vietnam War
The Vietnam Era: Letter From an Indiana Nurse
The Vietnam Era: Veterans History Project
The Vietnam Era: Creating a Documentary
The Vietnam Era: Lesson Resources

Read about this subject in Hoosiers and the American Story

Chapter 10: Economic Change Blows through the Hoosier State
Chapter 11: Justice, Equality, and Democracy for All Hoosiers

Related Indiana Academic Standards for Social Studies (2014)

Grade 4: 1.12, 1.13, 1.14, 1.16, 1.17, 3.8, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.7
USH: 6.2, 6.3, 6.4, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, 7.4, 7.6, 7.7, 8.1, 8.2, 8.6, 8.9

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Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center450 West Ohio Street, Indianapolis, IN 46202(317) 232-1882
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