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1954

 

 

 

 

NEWS at HOME IN 1954

  • Time Person Of The Year: John Foster Dulles.
     
  • U.S. Supreme Court in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka unanimously bans racial segregation in public schools.
     
  • Dr. Jonas Salk starts inoculating children against polio.
     
  • Iwo Jima Flag Raising Memorial Statue is erected: Each figure is 32 feet high; The flagpole is 60 feet in length. As the world's tallest bronze statue, it stands 78 feet high. A cloth flag flies from the pole. The inscription reads: "Uncommon Valor was a Common Virtue."
     
  • President Eisenhower introduces the phrase under God into the Pledge of Allegiance, changing the phrase one nation, indivisible, to one nation, under God, indivisible.
     
  • Canada and the United States agree to build a 3000-mile-long array of radar warning stations across northern Canada (the DEW line - Distant Early Warning). The stations will warn the North American nations of airplanes or missiles approaching over the Arctic
  • Eisenhower launches world atomic pool without Soviet Union.
     
  • Report says cigarettes cause cancer.
     
  • A 1953 incident where Eisenhower's aircraft was "Air Force 8610" and an Eastern Airlines plane was "8610" created the need to devise a unique call sign. In 1954, the call sign "Air Force One" was classified to identify not only the president's plane, but any plane when he was aboard.
       
  • Senator Joseph McCarthy accelerates his anti-Communist witch hunt with the nationally televised Army-McCarthy hearings and is formally censured by Congress.
  • The first nuclear submarine, The Nautilus, is launched.
     
  • The first successful kidney transplant is performed in the U.S. by Harvard physicians when Richard Herrick received a kidney from his healthy identical twin brother, Ronald. Richard survived for eight years until the original kidney disease struck again.
     
  • A hdrogen (fusion) bomb is detonated March 1 on the Bikini Atoll in the Pacific.
     
  • Ellis Island, the immigration station in NY Harbor, is closed. Between 1892 and 1954. twelve million immigrants were processed at Ellis Island.
     
  • Five U.S. congressmen were shot on floor of House as Puerto Rican nationalists fire from spectators' gallery; all five recovered.
     
  • Of the 94 million phones in the world, 52 million of them are in the US There are 35,586 motor vehicle related deaths. While in the air, there were 3 accidents resulting in 16 fatalities.    


 

NEWS ABROAD IN 1954

  • Algerian War of Independence against France begins. France struggles to maintain colonial rule until 1962 when it agrees to Algeria's independence.
     
  • Catholic Church declares watching Mass on TV does not fulfill obligations.
     
  • Colonel Gamal Abdel Nasser seizes power in Egypt and later signs a treaty with the British under which the British will withdraw from the Suez Canal Zone.
     
  • Eight-nation Southeast Asia defense treaty (SEATO) signed at Manila.   
        
  • French colonial rule in Vietnam weakens when Viet Minh rebels take Dien Bien Phu. Vietnam is divided into northern and southern regions.                                   
  • Soviet Union grants sovereignty to East Germany.


 

COMMERCE IN 1954

  • There is a 42% business failure rate.
     
  • Unemployment is 5.6%.
     
  • U.S. GNP (Gross National Product) is $383.0 billion.
     
  • Chain supermarkets now account for two fifths of the food sold retail.
     
  • IBM announces the development of an electronic brain for business use.
     
  • Play Doh introduced.
     
  • General Electric introduces colored kitchen appliances.
     
  • Nash-Kelvinator and Hudson Motor Car Co. merge to form the American Motors Co. (AMC).
     
  • Ray Kroc gets his first look at the original McDonalds! 
             
  • The first Burger King opens.
     
  • Let's Eat Right to Keep Fit by Adele Davis, was an early entry into the health food movement.
     
  • The first l6 oz beer can is introduced by Schlitz, The Beer That Made Milwaukee Famous!
     
  • Kraft introduces CRACKER BARREL® brand natural cheese.
     
  • M&M's Peanut Chocolate Candies were introduced. Also, the universally loved M&M's Brand Characters and the famous slogan, "The milk chocolate melts in your mouth, not in your hand," slogan debuted.          
     
  • The Butterball brand and the self-basting turkey are introduced. (Through genetics, Swift develops a broad-breasted bird without the tough tendons and uses a hot-water bath to remove feathers.)
     
  • Trix, 46.6 percent sugar, is introduced by General Mills.
     
  • Stouffer’s frozen meals, known as TV dinners, introduced.
     
  • Nonfat dry milk appears on shelves.
     
  • Marshmallow Peeps arrive.


 

ENTERTAINMENT OF 1954

  • Ernest Hemingway won the Nobel Prize for Literature.
     
  • William Faulkner's A Fable wins Pulitzer.
     
  • William Golding, who will proceed to win the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1983, publishes his tale of the dark side of human nature, The Lord of the Flies.
     
  • J. R. R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings is published.
     
  • Robert Joffrey Ballet debuts.
     
  • Sports Illustrated is born!
     
  • Bazooka Joe Comics were first introduced.
     
  • Elvis Presley makes his first record.
     
  • On the Air: 2,487 AM radio, 560 FM radio, and 349 TV Stations. (TV has doubled from 125 stations in 1953.)        


 

ACADEMY AWARDS OF1954


 

MOST POPULAR FILMS OF 1954

1. Seven Samurai
A poor village under attack by bandits recruits seven unemployed samurai to help them defend themselves.

Dir: Akira Kurosawa; With: Takashi Shimura, Keiko Tsushima

2. Rear Window
A wheelchair bound photographer spies on his neighbours from his apartment window and becomes convinced one of them has committed murder.
Dir: Alfred Hitchcock; With: James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Wendell Corey     

3. On the Waterfront
An ex-prize fighter turned longshoreman struggles to stand up to his corrupt union bosses. Dir: Elia Kazan; With: Marlon Brando, Karl Malden, Lee J. Cobb

4. Dial M for Murder
An ex-tennis pro carries out a plot to murder his wife. When things go wrong, he improvises a brilliant plan B.
Dir: Alfred Hitchcock; With: Ray Milland, Grace Kelly, Robert Cummings

5. Sabrina
A playboy becomes interested in the daughter of his family's chauffeur. But it's his more serious brother who would be the better man for her.

Dir: Billy Wilder; With: Humphrey Bogart, Audrey Hepburn, William Holden

6. La Strada
A carefree girl is sold to a traveling entertainer, consequently enduring physical and emotional pain along the way.
Dir: Federico Fellini: With: Anthony Quinn, Giulietta Masina, Richard Basehart

7. 20000 Leagues Under the Sea
A ship sent to investigate a wave of mysterious sinkings encounters the advanced submarine, the Nautilus, commanded by Captain Nemo.
Dir: Richard Fleischer; With: Kirk Douglas, James Mason, Paul Lukas

8. It Should Happen to You
Gladys Glover has just lost her modelling job when she meets filmmaker Pete Sheppard shooting a documentary in Central Park.
Dir: George Cukor; With: Judy Holliday, Jack Lemmon, Peter Lawford

9. Them!
The earliest atomic tests in New Mexico cause common ants to mutate into giant man-eating monsters that threaten civilization.
Dir: Gordon Douglas; With: James Whitmore, Edmund Gwenn, Joan Weldon

10. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
In 1850 Oregon, when a backwoodsman brings a wife home to his farm, his six brothers decide that they want to get married too.
Dir: Stanley Donen; With: Jane Powell, Howard Keel, Jeff Richards


 

 TOP TV SHOWS OF 1954
(OCTOBER 1954 - APRIL 1955)

  • I Love Lucy
     
  • The Jackie Gleason Show
     
  • Dragnet
     
  • You Bet Your Life
     
  • The Toast of the Town
     
  • Disneyland
     
  • The Chevy Show (Bob Hope)
     
  • The Jack Benny Show
     
  • The Martha Raye Show
     
  • The George Gobel Show
     
  • Ford Theatre
     
  • December Bride
     
  • Buick-Berle Show
     
  • This Is Your Life
     
  • I've Got A Secret



TOP 10 SONGS OF 1954
(Songs listed are from rock and roll and related genres. These songs are ranked based on their intitial and lasting popularity, as well as their influence and impact on the evolution of rock and related genres. Songs are listed strictly in the year that they were originally released in.)

  • Rock Around The Clock, Bill Haley & His Comets
     
  • Shake, Rattle And Roll, Joe Turner / Bill Haley & His Comets
     
  • Earth Angel, Penguins
     
  • Sh-Boom, Chords
     
  • That's All Right, Elvis Presley with Scotty and Bill
     
  • Pledging My Love, Johnny Ace
     
  • Goodnite Sweetheart Goodnite, Spaniels
     
  • I've Got A Woman, Ray Charles
     
  • White Christmas, Drifters featuring Clyde McPhatter
     
  • Work With Me Annie, Royals / Midnighters


 

1954 HIT PARADE

(Table entries are the overall best sellers for the calendar year as tabulated by Cash Box magazine)

  • This Ole House, Rosemary Clooney
     
  • I Need You Now, Eddie Fisher
     
  • Make Love to Me, Jo Stafford
     
  • Hold My Hand, Don Cornell
     
  • Stranger in Paradise, Tony Bennett
     
  • Mr. Sandman, Chordettes
     
  • Papa Loves, Mambo, Perry Como
     
  • Hernando's Hideaway, Archie Bleyer
     
  • Little Things Mean a Lot, Kitty Kallen
     
  • Misty, Erroll Garner Trio
     
  • Three Coins in the Fountain, Four Aces
     
  • Secret Love, Doris Day
     
  • Cross over the Bridge, Patti Page
     
  • Hey There, Rosemary Clooney
     
  • If You Love Me (Really Love Me), Kay Starr
     
  • The High and the Mighty, Les Baxter
     
  • I Get So Lonely (When I Dream About You), Four Knights
     
  • If I Give My Heart to You, Doris Day
     
  • Oh! My Pa-Pa (O Mein Papa), Eddie Fisher
     
  • Teach Me Tonight, Jo Stafford
     
  • The Happy Wanderer, Frank Weir
     
  • The Man That Got Away, Judy Garland


 

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL IN 1954

1954 AWARDS AND HONORS

MLB MOST VALUABLE PLAYER AWARD


MLB Rookie of the Year Award

 

THE SPORTING NEWS PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARD: Willie Mays New York Giants

 

THE SPORTING NEWS PITCHER OF THE YEAR AWARD:

 

THE SPORTING NEWS MANAGER OF THE YEAR AWARD: Leo Durocher New York Giants


1954 STATISTICAL LEADERS

AMERICAN LEAGUE                                          


NATIONAL LEAGUE


1954 World Series World Series:  NY Giants 4,
Cleveland 0

The Giants swept the Series in four games to win their first championship since 1933, defeating the heavily favored Indians, who had won an AL-record 111 games in the regular season.

The Series is perhaps best-remembered for "The Catch", a sensational running catch made by Giants center fielder Willie Mays in Game 1, snaring a long drive by Vic Wertz near the outfield wall with his back to the infield. 
 

OTHER MLB 1954 NEWS

  • Baseball legend Hank Aaron begins his career by joining the Milwaukee Braves.

  • The World Series is broadcast in color for the first time. NY Giants defeat Cleveland (4-0)


1954 ALL STAR GAME: American, 11–9

 

VERY IMPORTANT FOOTBALL NEWS OF 1954 

CHICAGO PREP BOWL OF 1954

FENGER 20 - MT. CARMEL 13

 

1954 NFL MVP

  • Lou Groza, Cleveland, OT

  • Joe Perry, San Francisco, FB         

 

1954 NFL STATISTICS

  • RECEIVING YARDS: Bob Boyd, 1,212, RAM

 

1954 NFL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME: Cleveland defeated Detroit 56-10


1954 ALL STAR GAME

  • SCORE: West 26, East 19     

 

OTHER 1954 NFL NEWS

  • The Canadian Football League began a series of raids on NFL teams, signing quarterback Eddie LeBaron and defensive end Gene Brito of Washington and defensive tackle Arnie Weinmeister of the Giants, among others.

  • Fullback Joe Perry of the 49ers became the first player in league history to gain 1,000 yards rushing in consecutive seasons.


 

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION OF 1954

1954 NBA CHAMPSHIP:  Minneapolis Lakers over Syracuse Nationals, 4-3      


1954 NBA ALL-STAR GAME

  • SCORE: East 98, West 93              

  • MVP: Bob Cousy, Boston


OTHER 1954 NBA NEWS

  • The game's greatest player George Mikan, who had been the standard-bearer as the league gained a foothold in the public consciousness, announced his retirement.

  • Danny Biasone will always have a place in NBA history as the man who invented the shot clock. His name has become synonymous with the clock, even to generations of basketball fans who never saw the 1950s. It was one of those rare ideas which worked immediately, completely and permanently. It accomplished nothing less than the salvation of pro basketball.


 

ADDITIONAL SPORTS' NEWS OF 1954

1954 AUTO RACING

1954 BOXING: Rocky Marciano retained his World Heavyweight title with an 8th round knockout of Ezzard Charles. 
 

1954 WORLD FIGURE SKATING CHAMPIONS

1954 MEN'S GRAND SLAM GOLF

1954 WOMEN'S GOLF

1954 TRIPLE CROWN THOROUGHBRED HORSE RACING

1954 ICE HOCKEY

1954 ISF WORLD SKIING  

1954 MEN'S GRAND SLAM TENNIS

1954 WOMEN'S GRAND SLAM TENNIS

OTHER 1954 SPORT NEWS: Dr. Roger Bannister of England becomes the first person to run a mile in less than four minutes on May 6. His time is 3 minutes, 59.4 seconds.

 

 

 
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