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1950s
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1950s: Baby Boom & Media

​After World War II, the country experienced vigorous economic growth that continued through the 1950s and later. Veterans were attending higher education schools with help from the G.I. Bill. Jobs were plentiful. The baby boom was underway, fueling a housing surge and higher consumption of products.

Radio and television repair classes were added at Eau Claire’s vocational school. Other additions were traffic safety, family relations, topographical drafting (a machine shop skill), and data processing. Keypunching, typing, and shorthand were among other office skills taught.

Chippewa Falls’ school added citizenship and bank service sales, and boat building. Citizenship classes, which Eau Claire had begun offering in the early 1900s, were in demand for decades as immigrants sought to become U.S. citizens. The classes prepared them for the citizenship exam.

Timeline

  
1950
Korean War begins; lasts until 1953.
1951
Introduction of color television broadcast creates demand for training in electronics and communications.
1954
U.S. Supreme Court rules segregation illegal.
1955
Vocational schools face challenges in funding and support.
1956
State Board standards lead to development of programs such as electronics, automation technology, and mechanical technology.
1957
Enrollments near 132,000 statewide.
1957
Eau Claire’s current West Clairemont Avenue site, then called the Stein property, was purchased. A contract to build a one-story building is signed in 1959.
1958
Integrated circuits lead to first computer chip, ushering in a new era in technology.