“Hahaha, Jesus, how did anyone survive the 50s?”
~AFFotD Editor-in-Chief, Johnny Roosevelt
We haven’t always been known as America Fun Fact of the Day. In fact, we haven’t always been a strictly online medium. No, back in the 1950s, we published a series of newsletters, entitled “The Informative American.” Every once and a while, to go back to our roots, we re-publish some of these old articles, which prove that while our tastes in whiskey hasn’t changed much, just about everything else has. The 50s were insane, is basically what we’re saying.
Anyway, we bring this up because we saw the publication of a book by Chris Wild called The Retronaut Guide to Raising Children, and noticed that the pictures inside looked awfully familiar. And that’s because they were. We had posted the very same pictures back in 1952 in one of our Informative American articles. So, with an explicit warning that our staff was horrifically offensive by today’s standards back in the day, and possibly struggling with some personal demons regarding their own married lives, here is that post, terrifyingly unedited. Enjoy.
The Informative America’s Guide to Child-Rearing (Originally Published June, 1951)
Good morrow, brave Americans. You, like most of our staff, no doubt returned from the horrors of war with a fresh sense of purpose—repopulating our fair nation with Nazi crushing and Soviet stopping Americans. For the future! And, if current statements from the DECEPTIVE MEDIA are to be believed, we are experiencing a sort of boom of babies in this great nation. Statistically, it is possible, even probable, that your seed managed to find it’s mark after you drank a decanter of bourbon and performed your husbandly duties through bitterly clenched eyes. If so, you no doubt have yourself a child, a miniature American to mold and shape any way you see fit!
But that seems like work, does it not? Fear not, brave patriot! Here are a collection of photos that will help guide you through the process of rearing a child who may someday surpass your successes in a misguided attempt to make you “proud” of it. Ha! It’ll never work, but let the little bastards try.
The only thing more shameful to a red blooded American male than raising a sissy is word getting out in the neighborhood that you are effectively impotent unless your wife staples a picture of James Dean to the headboard. Though, to be honest, you can explain away that damn rapscallion’s role in your bedroom by pointing out that your outrage at his rebel ways increases blood flow. The point being, your child should know how to handle himself on the schoolyard, unless you want shame brought down upon your family. And while there is something to be said about waiting for your boy to come back from school, bloodied and bruised, so you can emasculate him further until he finally snaps and gouges out his bully’s eye during an after-class brawl, it frankly is best to get the little whippersnappers started while they’re young.
Here we have the twin sons of one of our staffers, Gregory, getting an early boxing match in. When he was asked about this picture, he further elaborated saying, “What picture? What do you mean, twins? I only have one son. Do you understand what I am saying? There’s only one son that I have. There always was just one son. I need you to understand what I’m trying to tell you. Please. Before the cops wise up. And for the love of God, do not publish that photo, that’s actual evidence.”
Oh Gregory, such a joker. Anyway, if we had to guess, the one on the left won, because when Gregory tried to tell us the name of the other child he simply broke down into tears. We had to fire him after that, of course. Such an embarrassing display of emotion, as if he were a common woman, or possibly half-Spanish.
While American children are of higher quality than those of other nations, they are more expensive to maintain. Sure, you could move to the Orient and raise your child on mere pennies, but you’d probably have to learn a word or two of their God forsaken gibberish tongue, which does no one any favors. However, you can still raise your child on a budget here in America, provided you think outside the box. Here, for example, little Amanda is preparing for her afternoon nap in her improvised “outdoor crib.”
Ah, yes, this is a great example of what not to do when raising children. Instinctively, you may look at this dresser and immediately deduce that it serves as a perfectly serviceable bed for upwards of four children (if you decide against storing the frankly unnecessary linens in the top shelf). And yes, the ability to lock the children in the dark will teach them to face fears, and ensure they can’t wake you up in the middle of the goddamn night with their “nightmares” or their “Billy peed himself on the top shelf and it trickled down why didn’t you let us out we were pounding for hours.”
All that seems well and good, but we also know that children are, by definition, a deceptive lot. There will no doubt be collusion in these short quarters. And we can’t have these little rascals putting together a united front.
The question mark here is a nice touch. The motorist has an option here, they can either watch out for the child, or ignore his questioning plea. Children have to know not to expect cars to avoid running them over as they bike to school. Each American is allowed a choice in the matter, and if they choose to end a promising young life on the dirty city streets with their fine Ford automobile, well maybe it’s the child’s fault for wearing such nerdy socks.
All of these children are worthless little shits, except for the child in the center. He has true hatred and anger in his eyes. If the esteemed J. Edgar Hoover is reading (and we know he is) we might want to direct his attention to this child, who takes his daily sun-drying with resolve. He will make a fine G-man in seven years times. The rest of these babies are fucking useless.
Most babies and children, fear falling several stories to their death. It is best to remove them of this silly fear as soon as possible. If we had to be okay with getting dropped out of planes exploding around us to bash in German skulls, this fucking baby can handle being in a window cage for ten lousy hours.
Eventually, your small child will grow into an actual American boy. The first realization that your child is “growing up” might leave you with a lot of strong feelings. Primarily, how much extra money the house will be able to take in when he’s put to work after school and during the summer. You’re the one paying for his food and housing, after all, it’s the least the little brats can do. As you can see in this picture, these children are starting to near their prime working age. While they swim to become strong, they are tethered, in case one of them tries to make a break for freedom.
Through it all, there is one important thing to remember. You are now responsible for a human life. Somehow you managed the miracle of consummating your relationship with your wife. Oh, and then she let out a baby. And that of course means that your wife should be doing most, if not all, of the work here. Your job is to get drunk enough in the study that the wife feels she should tell your son not to bother you in a trembling voice. Every once and a while, you can tell him he needs to toughen up. There, you’ve just become father of the year.
Also, we should point out, this picture is another example of what not to do when raising a child. This was an incinerator. Everyone in the photo has perished. They exist now as shadows etched into the walls, a reminder that babies are in fact combustible, which is one of the few things you should make a point to internalize as you go on your quest to create a new Army of brave Americans.
And brave they will be! Or, at the very least, extremely embittered and resentful of your parenting. Just like you were to your father.