Going through the scanned images of It's Great To Be Alive!, two things quickly become obvious: a. kids from the 1950s were terrible bicycle riders and b. kids also did a lot of stupid, dangerous things.
I could find out little information about the history of It's Great To Be Alive! other than the fact that it was distributed by local police, but clearly someone at the time thought it would be a great idea to shock children into being safe by painting morbid scenarios of what could happen if you didn't exercise caution and common sense. This little booklet didn't mince words: there's maiming, crippling, and death sprinkled throughout its sometimes disturbing and unintentionally funny illustrations. So let's have a look...
They're right, you know. It really sucks to be dead...on the other hand, you can probably have lunch with John Lennon on the other side, and that's pretty cool.
Poor Mary. But she's lucky to get off with just a cast. Here are some kids that were not so fortunate...
Another. That means this happened on a regular basis in the 1950s.
Always respect your elders.
Forget Ralphie and his Red Ryder BB gun...who knew that falling off a bike is a sure-fire way to lose an eye? I just want to know which one is Bill and which is Joe in the illustration? I HAVE to know!
Tommy? More like Don Draper's silhouette once he hit the ground at the end of the opening credits for Mad Men.
See? I told you guys some crazy kid was going to lose his life playing Pokemon Go.
It's funny to see a depiction of kids (I think those are supposed to be kids) waving fake guns around on the street. Today, that would be deadlier to them than running out in front of oncoming traffic.
OK...why would you be hiding in a pile of leaves...on the street???
Of course, it depends on what the treat is. This is made even creepier by the fact that one of the pervert's hands is much larger than the other.
Oh, well. It could be worse -- at least he didn't drink the stuff.
This kid is stoned, right? That would explain the dazed look and why he's not screaming as his back is engulfed by flames.
The yuks stop here -- my sister's friend was actually pushed into an ice box by some of the neighborhood girls that were bullies back in the day. She had nightmares from the experience.
Stay safe, kids!