GI Generation

Last Updated: Mar. 18, 2016

The G.I. Generation (Hero, born 1901–1924) developed a “good kid” reputation as the beneficiaries of new playgrounds, scouting clubs, vitamins, and child-labor restrictions. They came of age with the sharpest rise in schooling ever recorded. As young adults, their uniformed corps patiently endured depression and heroically conquered foreign enemies. In a midlife subsidized by the G.I. Bill, they built gleaming suburbs, invented miracle vaccines, plugged “missile gaps,” and launched moon rockets. Their unprecedented grip on the Presidency began with a New Frontier, a Great Society, and Model Cities, but wore down through Vietnam, Watergate, deficits, and problems with “the vision thing.” As “senior citizens,” they moved into busy Sun City communities safeguarded their own “entitlements,” but have had little influence over culture and values. (AMERICAN: John Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, Walt Disney, Judy Garland, John Wayne, Walter Cronkite; FOREIGN: Willy Brandt, Leonid Brezhnev)

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