The world in the 1950s:

  • The first modern credit card was introduced
  • Colour TV was introduced
  • The Cuban Revolution saw Fidel Castro become Cuba's leader
  • The coronation of Queen Elizabeth II
  • First successful climb to the summit of Mount Everest
  • Disneyland opened in California
  • The "space age" began

Excerpts from the South American Handbook in the 1950s also show that the world was really changing following World War II. 

"The two world wars had a profound effect in shaping the emergence of Latin America. Crops have been diversified; manufacturing industries have been developed; there has been a steadfast attack on illiteracy."

"There is no need to carry weapons of any kind, and, in fact, these are better avoided."

"For the voyage through the tropics, cotton frocks in colours which withstand strong light and sea air are most serviceable, and rubber-soled shoes should be included."

"Always wear a hat. Do not take chilling showers. Be careful of your food; pork should always be avoided."

An advertisement from the 1954 Handbook: 

Did you travel with the South American Handbook in the 1950s? If you'd like to share your experiences, let us know.

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