Waiting for ‘Mary Ellen’

Retro-Cooking-Mom-thm-GraphicsFairy-150x150Rumors are circulating that the new American Girl historical doll in 2015 might be ‘Mary Ellen’ — potentially a 1950s era girl.  For the back-story on this speculation, see Living a Doll’s Life.

My impatient, curious personality wants to know what elements her story might possibly contain, so I thought it might be fun to revisit 1950s history and culture.

Social Conflict

  • Nuclear bomb ends WWII at the end of the ’40s and oops, the Soviet Union has nuclear weapons too.
  • Senator McCarthy creates fear of Communists living among Americans.
  • United States enters Korean War
  • Fear of nuclear war has Americans building bomb shelters and school children practice “duck and cover” drills (note: in event of nuclear bomb, duck and cover irrelevant)
  • Cold War begins
  • Brown vs Board of Education says segregated schools are unconstitutional
  • Polio epidemic affects American children; vaccine introduced at end of 1950s.  (The book “Small Steps: The Year I Got Polio” is a wonderful read with your kids grade 3 and up).
  • Communism close to home – Fidel Castro in Cuba
  • Rosa Parks, Montgomery Bus Boycott, MLK Jr

Culture

  • Rock n roll, Elvis, American Bandstand
  • The hula hoop is invented
  • Car culture… big, fancy, colorful cars (look out Julie with the little VW!)  Drive in restaurants and movies
  • “I Like Ike” – Dwight Eisenhower, a popular president who didn’t ruffle a lot of feathers
  • Saddle shoes and poodle skirts
  • Television in homes more common “The Golden Age of Television” – I Love Lucy, Cowboy shows, Walt Disney programs
  • Passenger air travel more available, but only for the wealthy
  • Suburbs are created for all the baby boomers being born, housing boom

Jen speculates:  The Cold War and nuclear fallout shelters are too heavy duty for AG.  How about a girl who experiences integration in her school and we get two dolls, Mary Ellen and an African-American friend!  AG has a family building a new house in the suburbs and Dad is a WWII veteran and now working as a PanAm pilot (or did we already check that box with Saige…?)

Brianna thinks: I think that Mary Ellen might have two friends [like Chrissa.] One of them would be African – American and the other could be a victim of Polio. Like my mom, I think Mary Ellen’s dad could possibly be a WWll veteran, or if Mary Ellen had an older brother, her older brother could possibly get drafted.

What do you think?  What would be your ideal 1950s American Girl storyline?

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18 thoughts on “Waiting for ‘Mary Ellen’

  1. kissedawake

    I know they’d probably never do this because working with Disney is a royal pain in the butt (SO many requirements and approvals), but I would LOVE some kind of tie in with the opening of Disneyland! My mom would freak out of they did something with Howdy Doody.

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    1. Jen @ Dolls Between Us Post author

      THAT is an INSPIRED idea. Wow. Just marketing-wise so many possibilities. My take on this possible doll is that is could be an opportunity for the Grandmas who have been buying AG for grandkids to get really on board with this doll for themselves. Our Generation is fully up and running with 50s apparel and accessories.

      I’m ready to go to Disney and visit Kanani’s shave ice stand!

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  2. ADayLateADollShort

    I’m trying not to hope for anything because I don’t want to be disappointed. I’m really excited; this is the first historical character that I’ll see from the very beginning.

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  3. Xyra

    Don’t forget about the Korean War/Conflict? She could have an older brother that is old enough to go into service and dad (the WWII vet) either tries to keep him from going or gives tips on how to make the best of what will happen or little sister gets her friends together to send care packages from home to him at a MASH unit.

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    1. Jen @ Dolls Between Us Post author

      On Amazon where it lists “Look for Similar Items by Category” it says this book is related to books categorized as “1900s” “Peer Pressure” “Siblings” “Girls and Women”

      I was hoping for a few more clues, but the siblings bit fits your storyline.

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      1. AJ

        Caroline is retiring I heard from AG. That’s so sad! I wish she could stay around for a long time. MyAG changes to Truely Me I heard May 21. I’m excited for that!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. sunny315

    I’m super excited for Mary-Ellen! A doll from the 50s would be great, and can you imagine the clothes?!?!
    If the Amazon keywords said something about peer pressure and siblings, though, my guess is maybe she has an older sibling who is in the Air Force (or involved w/ planes somehow, since the Amazon titles seem to have to do with flight) and maybe Mary-Ellen’s sibling inspires her to want to fly, too. Eagerly awaiting August 27!
    *Sunny

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    1. Jen @ Dolls Between Us Post author

      Don’t know if you have checked out the Our Generation stuff lately, but they have a heavy 50s influence with saddle shoes, waitress on roller skates, etc. Rumors for an African Amer doll from Detroit in 2016. Motown?

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  5. renzanity

    Considering the titles of the books, we should recognize that 1953 was the 50th year celebration of powered flight. Mathilde Moisant, a woman pilot, also retired this year and ended her career on a high note by performing at the Sixth Annual Air Fair in honor of said 50th year anniversary. Sometimes AG debuts dolls in the 3rd year of a decade rather than the 4th – ex. Mary-Grace and Cecile; Caroline. Just something to think about.

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  6. Pingback: Maryellen Book Previews | The Dolls Between Us

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