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The Silent Generation, born between 1925 – 1945 (Part three of a seven-part series)

“Yet they are without doubt the healthiest and most educated generation of elders that ever lived—and, of course, the wealthiest.”

~ Neil Howe

People from across the United States came together in Washington, D.C. on August 28, 1963 to peacefully demonstrate their support to end racial segregation in schools and the creation of jobs for the unemployed.

By Michelle Post; courtesy photos

The Silent Generation was so named because they were more focused on their careers, which is ironic given that this generation produced some of the greatest activists and civil leaders in our country. This generation kept their heads down and walked a straight line, for they wanted no negative marks on their permanent record. The Silent Generation has also been called the “The Lucky Few,” for their timing was perfect. Born between the Greatest Generation and the Baby Boomers, this generation comprises only 49 million born in America with another nine percent that immigrated to America. Their children are the Baby Boomers and Generation-X, while their grandchildren are Generation-Y (Millennials).

The Silent Generation is known for spearheading the divorce revolution and the mid-life crisis. This generation is the only one of the six that produced no American president. However, this generation is known for Martin Luther King, Jr., Elvis Presley, Jesse Jackson, Sandra Day O’Connor, Marilyn Moore and many other well-known politicians and entertainers. Interesting side note: If you thought this was supposed to be “Marilyn Monroe,” you are likely not from the Silent Generation.

The flight crew posed in front of the Enola Gay, the plane that dropped the“Little Boy” bomb to end WWII.

The Silent Generation was affected by dropping the atomic bomb, Korean War, building the Empire State Building, Golden Gate Bridge and Hoover Dam. This generation was also affected by McCarthyism and the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy. The accomplishments of this generation are still being felt today. It produced every major leader of the modern day Civil Rights Movement, as well as leaders of the Women’s Rights Movement, the Peace Corps, and created the organization in business.

What are the Silent Generation’s characteristics regarding: (1) core values, (2) family, (3) money, (4) technology, and (5) work? The Silent Generation grew up in a churched society and took on values of both the Greatest Generation and younger Baby Boomers. It valued decency, order and reverence. It was a frugal but prosperous generation. And this was due to its small numbers creating weak competition for jobs. It grew up without technology. This generation valued structure, organization, bureaucracy and the “helping professions.”



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