1950s Pop History – 1955

Class of 2005

(Celebrity Birthdays)

PRICES for 1955
Turning 50?
Know somebody who is?
some books on being 50.

Note: Music History and Song Lists for 1955 are located HERE

Polio shots are given in schools for the first time.
The famous “Don’t Walk” signs are introduced to the streets of New York City.
US starts sending $216 million in aid to Vietnam. Now if only we could have stopped right at this point!
The U.S. will import 57,115 passenger cars. That number will climb to 668,070 by 1959, which will be a stellar year for imports.
Ann Landers starts her famous column in the Chicago Sun-Times.
Richard J. Daley is elected mayor of Chicago and begins a 21-year reign powered by patronage politics.
Defying Alabama law, Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat on a bus to a white man. An important story.
Campbell home economists develop the recipe for the Green Bean Bake, which continues today as one of the company’s most popular recipes. Some estimates go as high as 20,000,000 servings a year! Want the recipe?
The first home microwave ovens are manufactured by Tappan. They cost $1300 which really slows sales!
Instant Oatmeal is invented by the Quaker Oats Company.
On the Air! You’d find 2,635 AM radio, 553 FM radio and 411 TV Stations.
West Germany is admitted into NATO May 9. The Soviets counter NATO with creation of the Warsaw Pact, signed by eight countries May 14.
Bella Lugosi (Dracula) goes into a hospital for treatment of 20 year drug addition. (No, not blood!)
New drugs Thorazine and Reserpine are found to be very useful in the treatment of mental patients.
Birds-Eye introduces Potato Patties…no more potato scrubbing, peeling or paring for you! Simply fry patties on each side until evenly browned or you can broil or bake them. An important addition to the basic food groups!
It’s finger lickin’ good! Kentucky Fried Chicken
Crest, the first toothpaste with fluoride clinically proven to fight cavities, was introduced.
NY psychologist Joyce Brothers won the “$64,000 Question.” Her topic? Boxing. Fun story!
And the winner is…Oscar stuff.
The National Review appears, edited and published by William F. Buckley, Jr.
The Village Voice begins publication. Founded by Dan Wolf, Ed Fancher and Norman Mailer, the weekly publication introduced free-form, high-spirited and passionate journalism into the public discourse.
Argentina’s President Juan Peron is overthrown by a military coup, and he flees to Spain. Pope Pius XII ex-communicates him. When you’re out…
In Sports…
1st automobile seat belt legislation enacted (Illinois)
Barbra Striesand’s 1st recording “You’ll Never Know” at age 13
Ray Kroc starts McDonald’s chain of fast food
Davy Crockett is reborn on TV as three one hour installments of Disney. Supposedly, so many coonskin caps were bought that the racoon population was endangered. Read about it in the Fifties Fads section.
The adult Western comes to TV with The Life and Times of Wyatt Earp and Gunsmoke. The Fifties Web TV Western Section.
Operation Alert begins. It is the first civil defense exercise and assumes 60 cities are targets.
Big year for car dealers. They produced 9,188,000 cars, trucks and buses. A million above the previous banner year, 1950
For serious trivia buffs – 11/12/1955. Date returned to in “Back to the Future” & “Back to the Future II.”
The corticosteroid prednisone is developed.
Congress authorizes all US currency and coins to say “In God We Trust”
Not only is Del Monte Stewed Tomatoes (inspired by the recipe of an employee’s mother) introduced but so is Pineapple Grapefruit Drink. You heard it here first.
Disneyland opens and has over 1 million visitors in only 7 weeks.
No-iron Dacron introduced. Alright!
Appearing in East of Eden and Rebel Without a Cause, James Dean is killed in an automobile accident when his Porche 550 Spyder crashes near Paso Robles, California.
Top of the line mink coats are on sale this week for $895.
There is a 41.6% business failure rate.Chart for 1946-1964
The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit, by Sloan Wilson; Andersonville, by MacKinlay Kantor; and Gift from the Sea, by Anne Morrow Lindbergh top the Best Seller lists.
The 1955 Thunderbird comes to Ford showrooms. At just under $3000 without options, the Corvette now has competition. And a classic car is born. A Pic
The American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations merge, making the new AFL-CIO an organization with 15 million members. George Meany becomes president.
President Eisenhower takes part in the first televised press conference.
Texan Sam Rayburn is elected Speaker of the House of Representatives for the third and final time. When he died in 1961, Rayburn’s 48 consecutive years in the U.S. House set a congressional record for continuous service.
Albert Einstein, the worlds greatest genius, dies at age 76.
Johnson & Johnson invents the first “baby shampoo”. No More Tears!
New design of Ouija Board. It’s only a game – isn’t it?
There are 38,426 motor vehicle related deaths. While in the air, there were 9 accidents resulting in 158 fatalities.
Unemployment is 4.4%
Candace Rich :