Term Paper Resource Guide to Twentieth-Century United States History

By Robert Muccigrosso; Ron Blazek et al. | Go to book overview
Good narratives on various aspects surrounding Sputnik with leads to additional pages as well as the NASA site commemorating the fortieth anniversary of the event.
66.

Golden Age of Television
Although television was invented in the 1920s, it became a staple item in American life and culture only during the 1950s. By the end of that decade, 90 percent of all households owned at least one television set. In many instances, television had radically altered Americans’ lifestyles. The quality of programming varied widely, ranging from broad comedy to sporting events and serious drama, and from congressional investigations to quiz shows, one of which, Twenty One, proved to be rigged. For all its benefits television seemed to one chairman (Newton Minow) of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ‘‘a vast wasteland.’’
Suggestions for Term Papers
1. Was television a golden age or a ‘‘vast wasteland’’ during the 1950s?
2. Discuss the effects of televised congressional hearings during the 1950s.
3. Analyze the effects of television on political life.
4. Compare the federal regulation of television in the 1950s and today.
5. Discuss the effects of television on American education.

REFERENCE SOURCES

Encyclopedia of Television. Horace Newcomb, ed. Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn, 1998. 3 vols. Comprehensive and serious treatment of television and the television industry; provides biographical sketches, topical essays, and bibliographic references. Won two awards as an outstanding publication.

History of the Mass Media in the United States: An Encyclopedia. Margaret A. Blanchard, ed. Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn, 1998. Comprehensive

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