1950s Interesting Facts

Ryan Lee December 6, 2010 1950s Interesting Facts 1950 • 64% of Americans now live in cities • Silly Putty is introduced! • North Korea invades South Korea. Truman orders the U. S. into the war. 3 million soldiers and civilians will be killed or wounded before it ends in 1953. • The Open Kettle, a coffee and donut shop in Quincy Mass. is renamed Dunkin’ Donuts. • Diner’s Club becomes the first credit card. 1951 • 20 year old outfielder Willie Mays joins N. Y. Giants Baseball team, while Joe DiMaggio retires from baseball. • J. D. Salinger published Catcher in the Rye. Gerber Products starts using MSG (monsodium glutamate) in its baby foods to make them taste better. • The U. S. Congress ratifies the Twenty-second Amendment, limiting presidents to two terms in office. • The first section of the New Jersey Turnpike opens. 1952

• University of Tennessee admits its first black student. • Ronald Reagan and actress Nancy Davis were married in San Fernando Valley, California. It was Reagan’s second marriage. • Ernest Hemingway, a heavyweight in American literature, publishes The Old Man in the Sea. Gibson introduced the Les Paul model electric guitar, which was destined to become one of the most popular rock guitars of all time. • Telephone area codes begin. 1953 • Chevrolet begins to roll out plastic-bodied Corvettes. • Joseph Stalin dies at the age of 73. He will not be missed. • The first 3-D movie is shown: Arch Oboler’s Bwana Devil, starring Robert Stack. • Dr. Jonas Salk announces discovery of the vaccine for poliomyelitis • There is a 33. 2% business failure rate. 1954 • The World Series is broadcast in color for the first time.

NY Giants defeat Cleveland (4-0) • Sports Illustrated is born! • Brown v. Board of Education. Landmark school desegregation case. • Senator Joseph McCarthy accelerates his anti-Communist witch hunt with the nationally televised Army-McCarthy Hearings and is formally censured by Congress. • Baseball legend Hank Aaron begins his career by joining the Milwaukee Braves. 1955 • Polio shots are given in schools for the first time. • The first home microwave ovens are manufactured by Tappan. They cost $1300 which really slows sales! Crest, the first toothpaste with fluoride clinically proven to fight cavities, was introduced. • Ray Kroc starts McDonald’s chain of fast food • Disneyland opens and has over 1 million visitors in only 7 weeks. 1956

• Choosy mothers can now choose – Jif Peanut Butter! • President Eisenhower (R) is re-elected defeating Adlai E Stevenson (D). • Wizard of Oz first aired on TV. • Elvis Presley makes his television debut on CBS Dorsey Brothers’ Stage Show. • A dollar buys only as much food in 1956 as 41? bought in 1939. 1957 • There are 47,200,000 TV sets in use in 39,500,000 homes. Houston, we have a problem… Sputnik is launched. ?• Britian becomes the 3rd nation to join the “nuclear club” with the explosion of an atomic weapon. • Theodore Geisel writes Cat in the Hat as Dr. Seuss! • The Little Rock Nine require federal intervention. 1958 • The American Express Company introduces a charge card meant to compete with the successful Diners Club card.

• The first ever Grammy Awards! • In the worst recession since World War II, nearly 5. 5 million people are out of work. • 9,000 scientists of 43 nations petition UN for nuclear test ban. Cocoa Krispies breakfast food is introduced by the Kellogg Company; it’s 45. 9% sugar. 1959 • She’s here! BARBIE! • One billionth can of Spam sold. • Space monkeys Able and Baker boldly go where no monkey (or human) has gone before. • A sad number. 1. 25 million Americans have now died in car accidents, which is more American than have died in war. • Japanese-Americans who renounced their citizenship in 1942 when they were placed in American prison camps under Executive Order 9066 regain full citizenship May 20 but receive no compensation for the losses they incurred as a result of their relocation.

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