We Didn't Start the Fire by: Vanna Norman


Historical Significance & Date: Became the United States president when Roosevelt died in 1945. He was responsible for dropping the atomic bombs on Japan and for ending World War 2.

Fun Fact: Truman survived an assassination attempt when two Puerto Rico nationalists tried to kill him in 1950 while he was staying at Blair House while the White House was under renovation. A White House guard died as he killed one attacker. The other attacker was captured. Truman heard the gun fight from his room.

Contemporary Connection: With his help, after the bombing the United States offered to help rebuild Japan and so we are no longer on bad terms.

Why it's included: Billy Joel included Harry Truman in the song for the reason that Truman is the reason the war ended and he played a large part in the world at the time.

President Harry S. Truman


Historical Significance & Date: In 1950, North Korea tried to attack South Korea in order to make it communist.

Fun Fact: In North Korea only government and military can own motor vehicles.

Contemporary Connection: Today, North and South Korea are still separated.

Why it's included: North and South Korea are one of the reasons why there were wars.

North & South Korea split


Historical Significance & Date: In 1950, around the age of 80, Margaret Sanger underwrote the research necessary to create the first birth control pill.

Fun Fact: In 1972, the Supreme Court legalized birth control for all citizens of this country.

Contemporary Connection: Today, there are many different types of birth control and women not only use it for the sake of refraining pregnancies but instead to help regulate their menstrual cycles.

Why it's included: Birth control was becoming an issue with the arrival of the pill so I feel Billy Joel added it to make known of it being a rising factor during this time.

Birth control in the 1950s


Historical Significance & Date: In 1951, color upon tv's were introduced and so more children began to watch it more.

Fun Fact: Back then, televisions only had one station in large cities.

Contemporary Connection: Today the people who watch the most tv are over the age of 50.

Why it's included: At the time, television was slowly becoming more popular, it being watched a lot more.

Style tv of the 50s


Historical Significance & Date: Joseph Stalin was a harsh dictator of the Soviet Union in 1953.

Fun Fact: Stalin means "steel" in Russia and that's what he changed his name to on the way to gaining power.

Contemporary Connection: With Stalin gone the fear isn't as great, but there is still worry as to all of what he did happening again.

Why it's included: With Stalin killing millions of his people (or sending them to camps located in Seria) he left a major impact on society.

Joseph Stalin


Historical Significance & Date: An actor who became the symbol for young people for his role in the move Rebel Without a Cause in 1955.

Fun Fact: James Dean had a temper and when he wasn't working, often he wore dirty pants or pants that were held up by safety pins. He was dirty and disheveled.

Contemporary Connection: Today, James Dean is mentioned in movies and even songs such as "If I'm James Dead, You're Audrey Hepburn" by Sleeping with Sirens.

Why it's included: He was the peak of youth's admiration.

James Dean


Historical Significance & Date: Disneyland was a theme park created by Walt Disney. It was based on his cartoon characters and it opened in Anaheim, California, in 1955.

Fun Fact: It only took a year to build the park.

Contemporary Connection: To this day, Disneyland has more than 700 million guest that have attended.

Why it's included: Was a way to calm down kids during war.

Disneyland first opening in 1955


Historical Significance & Date: In 1957, nine African-American students signed up to integrate Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Fun Fact: Melba Beals, part of the Little Rock Nine, wrote a book called Warriors Don't Cry about her harsh experience through Central.

Contemporary Connection: Nowadays students of all races are allowed to attend any school (while meeting the academic requirements) in America.

Why it's included: This played a big factor at the time for both the governor (Orval Faubus) and the president (Dwight D. Eisenhower) had two different views on the integration and I believe Billy Joel added this in the song for this reason.

The Little Rock Nine


Historical Significance & Date: In the 1950's Elvis Presley created songs such as "Hound Dog", "Don't Be Cruel", and "Heartbreak Hotel" that hit the hot lists.

Fun Fact: He was called "Elvis the Pelvis" by some people due to the way he moved his hips.

Contemporary Connection: Elvis is still greatly appreciated in ways that they still buy his merchandise and support his songs.

Why it's included: He was one of the best in the music industry at this time.

Elvis Presley


Historical Significance & Date: She was a popular "sex symbol" around the 1950's.

Fun Fact: Though married to Joe Dimaggio (a baseball hero) and later Arthur Miller (an author) she was rumored to have affairs with President John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, and mafia boss Joe Gianconna.

Contemporary Connection: To this day, we still see Marilyn Monroe references in moves and the confidence and fashion she had in some women.

Why it's included: She had a large impact on the entertainment industry and even the political side due to her way with JFK.

Marilyn Monroe


Historical Significance & Date: After the Vietnam war, homeless veterans occurred around the 1960's.

Fun Fact: A major problem with homeless vets was drug addiction and alcoholism.

Contemporary Connection: There is a lack of family and social networks causing the effects of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and substance abuse to worsen the extreme shortage of affordable housing, livable income. and access to health care.

Why it's included: Veterans were the ones fighting in the wars and yet some of these same veterans were treated badly after risking their lives.

Homeless Veterans


Historical Significance & Date: In the 1970's cocain (also called crack) was a highly addictive drug that became rapid in the United States.

Fun Fact: Cocain is the second most illegally trafficked drug.

Contemporary Connection: To this day, crack still exists it simply isn't used as often as it was in the 70's.

Why it's included: Crack was used so widely throughout the States at this time that I believe this is the reason why he added it into the song.

Ad made in the 70s about cocain (AGAINST IT)

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