Life expectancy skyrockets in the second half of the 20th century as scientists conquer more and more traditionally life-threatening diseases. With longer lives to live, we have more time to contemplate our mortality... and to prepare for death via hospice care, elaborately planned funerals and more.
The average life expectancy during this era was 68.
The United States has become increasingly divided over whether or not a fetus is a person who can die.
Medical technology has created a large population of relatively healthy older people for the first time in history, leading to financial and medical decisions never faced by previous generations.
More and more in the medical profession, a cured patient represents success, while one who has died represents failure.
"Widowed dads" has always been a favorite Disney plot device.
Folks can get vaccinated against polio, rubella, chicken pox, pneumonia, meningitis and Lyme disease, all of them once potentially life-ending.
In a reversal of the previous century, newspapers avoid the grisly details of death but trumpet news of celebrity sex scandals.
Funeral homes offer "full service," from notification of the coroner to selection of the ostensibly "leak-proof" casket and on to final burial of the deceased.
Elisabeth Kübler-Ross has famously formulated five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.
Funeral homes have always offered elaborate and expensive services, such as embalming, to make the body seem pretty, handsome, at peace or distinguished for viewing in an open casket.
1950 - Korean War begins
1953 - Julius and Ethel Rosenberg are executed for treason
1965 - U.S.A. escalates military role in Vietnamese civil war
1968 - Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. assassinated
1980 - John Lennon assassinated
1987 - U.S.A. and U.S.S.R. sign first in a series of treaties to reduce nuclear proliferation
1989 - Chinese authorities crush pro-democracy rebellion in Tiananmen Square
1995 - Federal building bombed in Oklahoma City
1999 - Columbine High School shootings