Juliana Book Series Source Material
Welcome to the 1950s. This is where my research for my Juliana Series is focused now. We're in the 1950s. In many ways it's a different world from ours and I personally think today is a better world. Still, our world is different and better because of the struggles of those fifties people who came.
One thing I do like about their world is that there seemed to be a place for writers. Just about every magazine had at least one short story if not more.
Today Polio doesn't mean anything to us, but in the 1940s and 50s it was the terrorizer of parents everywhere. Even though it was possible for adults to get it (FDR), the primary victims were children. It often left children paralyzed. Some spent their whole lives in iron lungs and were not released from these monstrosities until fairly recently with modern technology.
Each year as the weather grew warm mothers and fathers worried. If one child got it often they would close the schools and the playgrounds. Desperate to find a way to prevent the disease Mothers got together for a march from door to door to collect dimes to be donated for research. You've heard of The March of Dimes, of course--Mothers desperate for a polio cure founded that organization. And it worked. In the early 1950s Jonas Salk discovered the first vaccine. Later Dr Sabin discovered a new vaccine and the two together completely erased polio from the earth. Except in Africa. Africans still seem to get the disease because they don't get the vaccine. I'm not sure why.
Note the article "Sex Behavior of Women." Really not that exciting. The author finds fault with the Kinsey Report. At the end of the article he tells us that Kinsey missed the most important thing about women. He tells us of a woman he observed on an airplane looking lovingly at her husband as she holds his baby in her arms. It's the perfect sanitized picture. I wonder how he thinks that baby got there.
Now, who can guess what the new moral menace is?
You older folks will remember the early TV show, "Our Miss Brooks." I just loved that show and I loved Eve Arden. She was always wise cracking in every old Hollywood movie; she was the perpetual "old maid. "Hollywood would just not let her "capture" a man. She would've been a hit with the girls.
Mattachine Society was founded in 1950. In the beginning gay girls belonged to it too. The authors of the articles used fake names to protect themselves from the consequences.
You could subscribe and it came in a plain brown wrapper.
The magazine, ONE was another homophile periodical, which actually arrived on the scene before The Mattachine Review. The Mattachine Society was in full force when a disagreement occurred between some of the members. Some left The Mattachine Society and started their own organization called, ONE. Women also belonged to this. ONE put out their magazine first with the purpose of educating the public about homosexuality.
If you read my Paris, Adrift: Book 3 then you know about Marlene Dietrich being outed (no such term in the 50s) by Confidential Magazine. Marlene could get away with a lot more than most stars. One reason was that she had a longstanding husband who she was rarely with, but everyone knew existed. At the time of this story she was not making movies; she was singing in nightclubs. If she had been connected to a studio they probably would have killed the story by either paying Confidential's price or by giving up some young up and coming starlet.