Tag Archives: 1950s

The Informative American’s Guide To Physical Fitness and Exercise (originally published October, 1953)

“Oh God, you guys, what the hell was wrong with us back then?”

~AFFotD Editor-in-Chief Johnny Roosevelt, reading AFFotD’s 1950’s predecessor

50s exercise

It’s been a while since our staffers have taken the terrifying plunge into the 1950’s bi-weekly publication that preceded America Fun Fact of the Day, The Informative American.   We’ve been trying to forget how misogynistic, racist, and homophobic-but-in-a-way-that-we’re-pretty-sure-they-were-projecting-their-own-homosexual-urges-in-a-really-uncomfortable-way our writers were back then, but the reason why we have a history is so we can learn from it.

So we decided we’d try to avoid topics like “women in the workplace” or “Mexicans” and republish one of our 1950’s articles about something fairly mundane, which is why the following article about physical fitness caught our eye.  After all, no matter how warped our 1950’s predecessors were, there’s really not much they could do to make working out offensive, right?


Oh God, what have we done?

The Informative American’s Guide To Physical Fitness and Exercise (originally published October, 1953)


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The Informative American’s Guide To The Homosexuality Virus (originally published January, 1956)

“…Oh yeah, this one…does not age well…”

~Editor-in-Chief Johnny Roosevelt, upon reading this enclosed issue of The Informative American

Sometimes, the best way to make yourself a better American is to address the mistakes of your past.  This is a subtle way to say that in the 1950’s, even though some views that were casually aired might today seem “fucked up,” they still at least offer us something to learn from.  And just because AFFotD used to exist in the 1950’s as a bi-weekly pamphlet called The Informative American doesn’t mean that we agree with the ones that we bring out of the archives and post.  Some of them?  Yes.  Communists are the worstRecycling is terrible.  Women…oh no, wait, yeah we don’t endorse that one.  Just pretend we didn’t mention that one.  Carry on.

Anyway, the following post, written by lead-paint damaged, emotionally crippled Americans in 1956, is an example of something not to take at face value, but to learn from.  Because this is a very narrow minded, extremely out of date, frankly surprisingly hateful even for the time it was written article about homosexuality.  Hot button topic, we know.   And by hot button topic we mean, “Of course gay people deserve the same rights as everyone else—this isn’t Iran, this is America.”  AFFotD is an equal opportunity employer, and we embrace all creeds, races, ethnicities, and orientations.  Except for the French.  Fuck the French.

Plus, we don’t mean to go all “studies find homophobes are more likely to be closeted homosexuals” on this, but that might explain some of the, erm, extreme rhetoric used in this article.

Don’t say we didn’t warn you.  But just to warn you again—this is clearly the opposite of how you should view this topic.  Clearly.

The Informative American’s Guide To The Homosexuality Virus (originally published January, 1956)     

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The Informative American’s Back-To-School Special (Originally Published August, 1953)

“What good’s algebra going to do for you when the Ruskies have turned your family into charcoal, huh?”

~1950’s Elementary School Principal

For most of our staffers, school was a lot like drinking Southern Comfort.  We could take it or leave it, but we weren’t going to actively search for it.  Also, High School was the last time any of us last drank SoCo.  But from what we can remember from in between puking on our principles, the American education system involves, uh, learning and grades.  Oh, and centering a curriculum primarily on achieving good test scores for government funding instead of focusing on a curriculum that actually furthers the student’s education.  But whatever our system is now, it works for white kids most of the time.  It’s relatively normal and pretty recognizable.

You can probably guess where we’re going with this.  That’s right, it’s time for another issue of everyone’s favorite blast-from-the-past as we at AFFotD dig into our 1950’s stacks of The Informative American to see how Elementary Schools worked back in 1953.  Apparently the answer was “surprisingly badass, with apologies to the ladies.”  Oh, 1953, you so misogynistic!

The Informative American’s Back-To-School Special (Originally Published August, 1953)

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The Informative American’s Guide For Women in the Workplace (Originally Published February, 1952)

“Misogyny?  I told you, I’m not gonna eat any Jap food.”

~1950’s Boss

Being a woman working in an office in the 1950’s was like being a man working in an office in the bizarro-world 1950’s.  That is to say, if you were a woman under the age of 30 working in an office setting in the 1950’s, you’d have to deal with more creepy old men licking your face than a bowl of hard candies in a nursing home.  Times change for a reason, and one of the benefits of current America is that there’s a general sense of equality when you work here, unless you have a silly accent.

That’s why, as we were looking through our backlog of 1950s issues of The Informative American, we were shocked to see how far we’ve come in regards to women’s rights in the workplace.  Our female staff members get to take advantage of all the debauchery that their male counterparts do, plus we’re LGBT friendly.  But that’s because it’s 2011, if you’re not supporting equality in the workplace by now, West Virginia called and they want their massive debt back.

But things weren’t always that way, and to bring the point home of how much things have changed over the past 60 years, we’re going to post an Informative American article from the year 1952.  The whiskey was just as strong, but the pomade was stronger, and people were still scared of music made by black people.  So without further ado, it’s time to unleash the time capsule that is…

The Informative American’s Guide For Women in the Workplace (Originally Published February, 1952).

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