UNITED STATES POST OFFICE
10833 Lexington Parkway, Alexandria, VA, 19835
Dear Selection Committee Member
The United States Postal Service has a long tradition of dedication to the memory
of those people and institutions that have led us into the present. Stamp
collecting is not only a popular hobby; it is a record of the history of our nation.
The United States Postal Service is creating a series of stamps commemorating
each decade of the Twentieth Century. Your project, as Postal Service
Associates, is to investigate the important people and events of the 1950s and
ultimately recommend fifteen stamps representing a balanced view of this
decade. These stamps will become part of our “Celebrate the Century”
Our committee is looking forward to your creations and the nation is awaiting
your achievements. Please follow the directions carefully as you begin work on
your project and complete it by Tuesday February 21, 2012.
Rory B Bellows
Rory B. Bellows
United States Postal Service
Celebrate the Century
The project is to use the California United States History Standards listed below as you begin your research of the 1950s.
Your group (no more than two) will choose three of the standards, which will serve as your guide. Your group will find at
least one example in your area and create a stamp and commentary for each stamp (that means three stamps only per group).
Your group will complete three stamps and explain the significance of each person or event. It is important that you ONLY
research those parts of your standard that relate to the 1950s. That is what your stamps will be based on.
California State Content Standards
1. Trace the growth of service sector, white collar, and professional sector jobs in business and government.
2. Describe the significance of Mexican immigration and its relationship to the agricultural economy, especially in California.
3. Examine Truman’s labor policy and congressional reaction to it.
4. Analyze new federal government spending on defense, welfare, interest on the national debt, and federal and state spending on
education, including the California Master Plan.
5. Describe the increased powers of the presidency in response to the Great Depression, World War II, and the Cold War.
6. Discuss the diverse environmental regions of North America, their relationship to local economies, and the origins and prospects of
environmental problems in those regions.
7. Describe the effects on society and the economy of technological developments since 1945, including the computer revolution, changes
in communication, advances in medicine, and improvements in agricultural technology.
8. Discuss forms of popular culture, with emphasis on their origins and geographic diffusion (e.g., jazz and other forms of popular music,
professional sports, architectural and artistic styles).
1. Discuss the establishment of the United Nations and International Declaration of Human Rights, International Monetary Fund, World
Bank, and General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)and their importance in shaping modern Europe and maintaining peace and
2. Understand the role of military alliances, including NATO and SEATO, in deterring communist aggression and maintaining security
during the Cold War.
3. Trace the origins and geopolitical consequences (foreign and domestic) of the Cold War and containment policy, including the
•The era of McCarthyism, instances of domestic Communism (e.g., Alger Hiss) and blacklisting
•The Truman Doctrine
•The Berlin Blockade
•The Korean War
•Atomic testing in the American West, the “mutual assured destruction” doctrine, and disarmament policies
1. Examine and analyze the key events, policies, and court cases in the evolution of civil rights, including, Brown v. Board of Education,
2. Describe the collaboration on legal strategy between African American and white civil rights lawyers to end racial segregation in higher
3. Examine the roles of civil rights advocates (e.g., A. Philip Randolph, Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, Thurgood Marshall, James
Farmer, Rosa Parks), including the significance of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "Letter from Birmingham Jail" and "I Have a Dream" speech.
4. Discuss the diffusion of the civil rights movement from the churches of the rural South and the urban North, including the resistance to
racial desegregation in Little Rock and Birmingham, and how the advances influenced the agendas, strategies, and effectiveness of the
quests of American Indians, Asian Americans, and Hispanic Americans for civil rights and equal opportunities.
The first step in the project is finding a partner. Using whatever method applies, you will be in a group of two or you can do
The next step is to choose three of California U.S. History Standards listed above. Research your standards and decide on the
events or people that embody the heart for each of your standards. These will be your “candidates” stamps. For each of the
three candidates, you will provide a detailed two-paragraph commentary as well as the stamp itself (the stamp outline is
All stamps are due on Tuesday February 21, 2012
20th Century: 1950-1959 Decade
The Fifties Links From Mr. Kohen's Class http://www.chs.chico.k12.ca.us/Staff/kohen/decades/fifty.htm
Links gathered for Mr. Kohen's class on the 1950s.
Readings In The American 1950S http://www.english.upenn.edu/~afilreis/50s/home.html
Large set of well-organized links to resources related to the culture and politics of the 1950's. Lots of primary materials and personal observations of
the events and issues
The Beat Begins http://www.inform.umd.edu/EdRes/Colleges/HONR/HONR269J/.WWW/links.html
Online course resources for The Fifties, out of the University of Minnesota. Includes sections on general information, plus Literary, Music,
Movies, Consumer Culture, Science and Technology, and more!
Literary Kicks http://www.charm.net/~brooklyn/LitKicks.html
All about the Fifties "Beat Generation" writers An excellent collection of links as part of an extended essay
The Fifties: The Golden Age of Television http://www.fiftiesweb.com/variety.htm
The Fifties is known as the Golden Age of Television in large part because of the variety shows which dominated the early part of the decade. Variety
was to the early Fifties what the Western was to the late Fifties.
The Fifties http://www.fiftiesweb.com/fifties.htm
Explores the culture of the Fifties Decade (music, TV, etc.).
Main Events of the Eisenhower Presidency, 1953-61 http://history.cc.ukans.edu/heritage/abilene/ikeeven.html
A brief, but helpful timeline which identifies the major events of this era
The Fifties at a Nuclear Laboratory http://www.ornl.gov/swords/fifties.html
Glory Days is the title of this chapter in the life of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, a nuclear laboratory, which is examined with respect to American
Culture of the decade of the Fifties.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. http://dewey.chs.chico.k12.ca.us/king.html
The great man began his career in the 1950s. This page is a collection of resources about his life and civil rights career.
The Music of the Fifties http://www.fiftiesweb.com/music.htm
The music that was popular to the people of the Fifties is celebrated and examined here.
Cold War Hot Links: http://www.stmartin.edu/~dprice/cold.war.html
Many Web resources relating to the Cold War
Human Radiation Experiments http://tis.eh.doe.gov/ohre/
Report on U.S. military secret use of civilians for experiments.
Your performance evaluation (grade) will be based on the quality of the projects you produce and the level of
information you are able to impart to your classmates.
Specific grades will be given for:
*The 3 two-paragraph descriptors (40 points each) [120 points]
*Each of your three “candidate” stamps (50 points each) [150 points]
*Your group and individual class presentations [30 points]
RUBRIC FOR SCORING: Using the information from below and the attached scoring guide you can ascertain
how to earn a high grade.
In general, to receive 270-300 points (A) your work will demonstrate EXCELLENCE. Your research is well
documented and relevant. Your section of the presentation is both informative and interesting. You have gone
beyond what was required in the assignment and shown critical and original thinking. In the real world, you are
on the fast track. Your superiors recognize your extra effort and it will eventually pay off in raises and
promotions. The sky is the limit for you.
To receive 240-269 points (B) your work will demonstrate a GOOD research and presentation. You have done all
of the work required in an exemplary fashion. You work is good, which is a notch below excellent. With more
effort, you could be producing excellent work. In the real world, you would be recognized for performing
above average work and promoted periodically.
To receive 210-239 points (C) your work will be ADEQUATE. You have fulfilled the assignment but you have
not shown originality or creative thinking. In the real world, you would be allowed to continue at your job but
you would probably not receive a promotion or gain recognition very often.
To receive 180-209 points (D) your work will be SUBSTANDARD. You have not fulfilled the assignment but
you have made an effort. In the real world you would be placed on probation and told to improve or face
losing your job.
Any scores of less than 180 will be considered FAILURE. You have not made the minimum effort to accomplish
your research goals. In the real world you would be LET GO.
The United States Postal Service is responsible for delivering mail throughout the country and the world. This
project will give you a heightened appreciation of stamp collecting, as well as events and people that shaped the
YOUR education is YOUR responsibility. The success of this project is based on the amount of responsibility,
initiative, and creativity each member of the class is willing and able to contribute. This is a project in which the
outcome is in YOUR hands. It isn’t easy to work as a team to accomplish a goal, but that is what must happen for
the project to be a success.
Celebrate the Century
Please type your concise and accurate description of your stamp in the space below (or attach another
sheet). Your commentary should be typed or computer written. Your commentary should include:
*A brief summary of the person or event
*How this stamp addresses the standard
*How this stamp represents the 1950s
Celebrate the Century