Congress passed the Federal Highway Act, allocating $32 billion to build 41,000 miles of interstate highways. Interstate construction was enacted not only because of Americans’ growing dependence on automobiles but also as a national defense measure, creating a nationwide transportation network for the US military.
Entrepreneur William J. Levitt began building the largest housing project in American history. On a thousand acres on Long Island, Levitt built 17,000 homes to accommodate approximately 82,000 people. Levitt soon began constructing houses using assembly-line techniques to produce many more “Levittowns,” a model for suburban planning that proliferated throughout the United States in the 1950s.
Richard and Maurice McDonald opened the first fast food restaurant in San Bernardino, California. McDonald’s used an assembly-line-type process in its “Speedee Service System,” creating a new model for fast and cheap restaurant food production.
Lorraine Hansberry’s play A Raisin in the Sun opened on Broadway to great success and interest. The play told the story of a black Chicago family trying to move out of the city and into an all-white neighborhood.