33¢ Postwar Baby Boom
Celebrate the Century – 1940s
Issue Date: February 18, 1999
City: Dobbins AFB, GA
Printed By: Ashton-Potter (USA) Ltd
Printing Method: Lithographed, engraved
Hillary Clinton, Michael Jordan, Bill Gates, and Oprah Winfrey all share at least one thing in common: they are members of the baby boom generation. In 1946, the first year of the boom, 3.4 million babies were born. The explosion peaked in 1957, when new births totaled 4.3 million. A total of 76 million babies were born during the baby boom years, 1946 to 1964.
At the end of World War II, experts predicted there would be a decline in the birth rate. But when men returned home from the war, they and their wives wanted to establish comfortable lives with nice homes and numerous children. The war victory, economic prosperity, and social optimism all contributed to the population explosion.
The lives of baby boomers were affected by several milestone events, including the Cold War, struggle for civil rights, war in Vietnam, economic prosperity, Watergate, the oil embargo, and runaway inflation. They grew up the most affluent generation in U.S. history, better educated and more idealistic than their parents. Baby boomers flooded college campuses, if for no other reason than to avoid the draft. Once believed revolutionary, their ideas on the environment, individual freedoms, and the government have become mainstream.