When World War II ended 50 years ago this month, the world was a place of chaos. Nearly 50 million people were dead. Cities smoldered in ruins across Europe and Asia.
The United States, a secondary power before the war, possessed an unequaled military might. Millions of its servicemen and women were coming home to a welcoming and thankful nation flexing incredible industrial might.
As they streamed down the gangplanks from transport ships, these veterans became the shock troops of change.
Millions enrolled in colleges. They married and crafted our current American dream - the singlefamily home. As homes dotted the landscape, suburbs were born. So was a highway system to bring these Americans home from work.
They went on an unmatched spending spree to fill their homes with television sets, appliances and furniture. Cars rolled out of Detroit to fill their new garages.
Starting Sunday, The Spokesman-Review begins a nine-day look at the end of what author Studs Terkel called “The Good War” and examines cultural, educational and societal changes that still affect us.
, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo (photo of sailor and woman kissing during victory celebration)