Growing Up in the 50s and 60s

We’re asking YOU to help us show young visitors in our galleries what it was like to grow up in the 50s and early 60s.


The Museum’s Pause and Play activity lounge includes artifacts and activities related to growing up during that era. We are displaying a Superman costume worn by George Reeves in The Adventures of Superman, fan magazines, and puppets from the Captain Kangaroo show.

To complement those materials from our collection, we thought it would be interesting to ask everyday people from across America to contribute their family photos to decorate the walls. So far, over 100 photos have been submitted, and we’re highlighting a few here on the blog.

View the slideshow

For our visitors, we hope these photos will give a diverse and personal viewpoint into the era. We hope today’s kids will sit in front of the images and look closely to see how things have or haven’t changed over time. And we really hope to inspire some “When I was a kid…” discussions between kids, parents, and grandparents.

But whether or not you can visit us in D.C., we hope you’ll look through your family photo album. Maybe you’ll have some “I remember when…” discussions with your family. And if you find some great images you would like to have considered for this gallery, join our Flickr group to submit your family’s photos.

We’re so excited that people from around the country are generously sharing their photos to enhance our gallery. We hope you’ll share some, too!

Jenny Wei is an education specialist who had an “aha” moment realizing that many of today’s kids don’t have parents who grew up in the 60s—they have grandparents who grew up in the 60s!