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1955

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

NEWS AT HOME IN 1955

  • Time Person of the Year: Harlow Herbert Curtice, an American auto industry eXecutive who led General Motors (GM) from 1953 to 1958.

  • Congress authorizes all U.S. currency and coins to say In God We Trust.

  • 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 world’s greatest genius, dies at age 76.

  • There are 38,426 motor vehicle related deaths. While in the air, there were 9 accidents resulting in 158 fatalities.

  • 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.

  • U.S. starts sending $216 million in aid to Vietnam.

  • 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.

  • Richard J. Daley is elected mayor of Chicago and begins a 21-year reign powered by patronage politics.

  • President Eisenhower suffers coronary thrombosis in Denver.

  • Illinois enacts the first automobile seat belt legislation.

  • Operation Alert begins. It is the first civil defense exercise and assumes 60 cities are targets.

 


NEWS ABROAD IN 1955

  • Nikolai A. Bulganin becomes Soviet premier, replacing Malenkov.

  • West Germany becomes a sovereign state.

  • Western European Union (WEU) comes into being.

  • West Germany is admitted into NATO.

  • The Soviets counter NATO with creation of the Warsaw Pact, signed by eight countries.

  • Argentina's President Juan Peron is overthrown by a military coup, and he flees to Spain. Pope Pius XII ex-communicates him.

 

 

COMMERCE IN 1955

  • U.S. GNP (Gross National Product) is $410.2 billion.

  • Unemployment is 4.4%.

  • There is a 41.6% business failure rate.

  • Instant Oatmeal is invented by the Quaker Oats Company.

  • The first home microwave ovens are manufactured by Tappan. They cost $1300.

  • 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!

  • Top of the line mink coats are on sale this week for $895.

  • No-iron Dacron introduced.

  • New at the market: Pillsbury Chocolate Angel Food Cake Mix.

  • Car dealers produced 9,188,000 cars, trucks, and buses—a million above the previous banner year of 1950.

  • Crest, the first toothpaste with clinically-proven-to-fight-cavities fluoride was introduced.

  • Ray Kroc founded McDonald's Corporation and starts McDonald's chain of fast food restaurants.

  • Birds-Eye introduces Potato Patties.

  • The 1955 Thunderbird comes to Ford showrooms, and a classic car is born. At just under $3000 without options, the Corvette now has competition.

  • Johnson & Johnson invents the first baby shampoo: No More Tears!

  • Kellogg’s Special K breakfast cereal is introduced.

  • Delicious Pepperidge Farm cookies are now found on grocery shelves.

  • Not only does Del Monte introduce Stewed Tomatoes—inspired by the recipe of an employee's mother—it launches its Pineapple-Grapefruit Drink.


 

ENTERTAINMENT 1955

  • 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.

  • NY psychologist Joyce Brothers won the $64,000 Question. Her topic? Boxing.

  • Ann Landers starts her famous column in the Chicago Sun-Times.

  • Marian Anderson becomes 1st black singer to perform at the Met in New York City.

  • On the Air: 2,635 AM radio, 553 FM radio, and 411 TV stations.

  • Bella Lugosi (Dracula) goes into a hospital for treatment of 20 year drug adiction.

  • Appearing in East of Eden and Rebel Without a Cause, actor James Dean is killed in an automobile accident when his Porsche 550 Spyder crashes near Paso Robles, California.

  • Disneyland opens and has over 1 million visitors in only 7 weeks.

  • Disney launches Davy Crockett on TV in three one hour installments. As a result, supposedly, so many coonskin caps were bought that the racoon population was endangered.

  • The adult Western comes to TV with The Life and Times of Wyatt Earp and Gunsmoke.

  • Thirteen year old Barbra Striesand records for the first time; her song is You'll Never Know.

  • The National Review, edited and published by William F. Buckley, Jr appears.

  • Founded by Dan Wolf, Ed Fancher and Norman Mailer, The Village Voice begins publication. The weekly publication introduced free-form, high-spirited, and passionate journalism into the public discourse.

  • Tennessee Williams's Cat on a Hot Tin Roof wins Pulitzer.


 

ACADEMY AWARDS  OF 1955


 

MOST POPULAR FILMS OF 1955

1. Lady and the Tramp
The romantic tale of a sheltered uptown Cocker Spaniel dog and a streetwise downtown Mutt.

Dir: Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson; With: Barbara Luddy, Larry Roberts, Peggy Lee   

2. Rebel Without a Cause
A rebellious young man with a troubled past comes to a new town, finding friends and enemies.
Dir: Nicholas Ray; With: James Dean, Natalie Wood, Sal Mineo   

3. The Night of the Hunter
A religious fanatic marries a gullible widow whose young children are reluctant to tell him where their real daddy hid $10,000 he'd stolen in a robbery.
Dir: Charles Laughton; With: Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters, Lillian Gish

4. Diabolique
The wife of a cruel headmaster and his mistress conspire to kill him, but after the murder is committed, his body disappears, and strange events begin to plague the two women.
Dir: H.G. Clouzot; With: Simone Signoret, Véra Clouzot, Paul Meurisse     

5. East of Eden
In the Salinas Valley, in and around World War I, Cal Trask feels he must compete against overwhelming...
Dir: Elia Kazan; With: James Dean, Raymond Massey,       

6. To Catch a Thief
When a reformed jewel thief is suspected of returning to his former occupation, he must ferret out the real thief in order to prove his innocence.
Dir: Alfred Hitchcock; With: Cary Grant, Grace Kelly, Jessie Royce Landis

7. The Seven Year Itch
When his family goes away for the summer, a so far faithful husband is tempted by a beautiful neighbor (Marilyn Monroe).
Dir: Billy Wilder; With: Marilyn Monroe, Tom Ewell, Evelyn Keyes   

8. Killer's Kiss
As a man waits at a train station for his girl, he tells us about the recent past and we segue into a long flashback.

Dir: Stanley Kubrick; With: Frank Silvera, Irene Kane, Jamie Smith

9. The Trouble with Harry
The trouble with Harry is that he's dead, and everyone seems to have a different idea of what needs to be done with his body...

Dir: Alfred Hitchcock; With: John Forsythe, Shirley MacLaine, Edmund Gwenn      

10. Oklahoma!
In the Oklahoma territory at the turn of the twentieth century, two young cowboys vie with an evil ranch.
Dir: Fred Zinnemann; With: Gordon MacRae, Gloria Grahame, Gene Nelson


 

TOP TV SHOWS OF 1955
(OCTOBER 1955 - APRIL 1956)

  • The $64,000 Question
     
  • I Love Lucy
     
  • The Ed Sullivan Show
     
  • Disneyland
     
  • The Jack Benny Show
     
  • December Bride
     
  • You Bet Your Life
     
  • Dragnet
     
  • The Millionaire
     
  • I've Got A Secret
     
  • General Electric Theatre
     
  • Private Secretary
     
  • Ford Theatre
     
  • The Red Skelton Show
     
  • The George Gobel Show


 

TOP 10 SONGS OF 1955

(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.)

  • Tutti-Frutti, Little Richard
     
  • Maybellene, Chuck Berry
     
  • Bo Diddley, Bo Diddley
     
  • Why Do Fools Fall In Love, Teenagers
     
  • The Great Pretender, Platters
     
  • Ain't It A Shame, Fats Domino
     
  • Folsom Prison Blues, Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two
     
  • Speedoo, Cadillacs
     
  • Story Untold, Nutmegs
     
  • My Babe, Little Walter


 

HIT PARADE OF 1955

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

  • Rock Around the Clock, Bill Haley
     
  • Ballad of Davy Crockett, Bill Hayes
     
  • Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White, Perez Prado
     
  • Melody of Love, Billy Vaughn
     
  • Yellow Rose of Texas, Mitch Miller
     
  • Ain’t That a Shame, Pat Boone
     
  • Sincerely, The McGure Sisters
     
  • Unchained Melody, Les Baxter
     
  • Crazy Otto Rag, Crazy Otto
     
  • Mister Sandman, The Chordettes


 

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL OF 1955

1955 MLB AWARDS AND HONORS

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER:

 

1955 ROOKIE OF THE YEAR:

 

1955 MLB STATISTICAL LEADERS

AMERICAN LEAGUE                                                       

NATIONAL LEAGUE

 

1955 WORLD SERIES:  Brooklyn beat the Yankees, 4-3. Johnny Podres won MVP honor.

 

1955 MLB ALL STAR GAME: National League wins, 6–5  (12 inn.)


 

IMPORTANT FOOTBALL NEWS OF 1955

CHICAGO PREP BOWL 1955: CHICAGO VOCATIONAL 6, Weber 0
 

1955 STATISTICAL LEADERS

  • PASSING YARDS:  Jim Finks, 2,270, PIT
     
  • PASSES COMPLETED:  Jim Finks, 165, PIT
     
  • RUSHING YARDS:  Alan Ameche, 961, BAL
     
  • TOUCHDOWNS:  Alan Ameche, BAL, 9    
                          
    Harlon Hill, CHI, 9          

 

1955 NFL CHAMPIONSHIP:  Quarterback Otto Graham, played his last game as the Browns defeated the Rams 38-14 in the NFL Championship game. It was Graham's 10th championship game in 10 years.

 

NFL MVP OF 1955

• Otto Graham, QB, Cleveland

• Harlon Hill, E, Chicago Bears


1955 NFL PRO BOWL  

SCORE: East 31, West 30                     

MVP:  Ollie Matson, Chicago Cardinals, RB

COACH

 

OTHER 1955 NFL NEWS

  • The sudden-death overtime rule was used for the first time in a pre- season game between the Rams and Giants. The Rams won 23-17 three minutes into overtime.
     
  • A rule change declared the ball dead immediately if the ball carrier touched the ground with any part of his body except his hands or feet while in the grasp of an opponent.
     
  • The Baltimore Colts made an 80-cent phone call to Johnny Unitas and signed him as a free agent.
     
  • NBC replaced DuMont as the network for the title game, paying a rights fee of $100,000.


 

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION OF 1955

1955 CHAMPIONSHIP GAME: Philadelphia Warriors defeated the Fort Wayne Pistons, 4-1.  

After a season of adjustment to the new rules, the NBA flourished in its second go-round with the up-tempo game. The league scoring average surged to 99 points per team per game, and quickness and athletic ability were at an all-time premium. Bob Pettit, an exciting rookie with the Milwaukee Hawks in 1954-55, took the league scoring title with 25.7 ppg in his team's first year in St. Louis.

Philadelphia, 33-39 a year ago, improved to 45-27 and won the East. Fort Wayne took the West for the second straight year. The Warriors, owned by Eddie Gottlieb and coached by George Senesky, featured a well-balanced lineup of Neil Johnston in the middle, Joe Graboski and Walt Davis at forward and the high-scoring Paul Arizin, returned from two years in the military, and prize rookie Tom Gola at guard, and won the championship in five games over Fort Wayne.

In the 10 Playoff games in 1956, Arizin scored 289 points, more than anyone except Mikan ever had tallied in postseason.

 

1955 NBA ALL STAR GAME

  • SCORE:  East 100, West 91
                             
  • MVP: Bill Sharman, Boston
     

 

ADDITIONAL SPORTS' NEWS OF 1955

1955 AUTO RACING

 

1955 BOXING: Archie Moore in the 9th round to retain his World Heavyweight Championship.

 

1955 WORLD FIGURE SKATING CHAMPIONS

 

MEN'S GRAND SLAM GOLF OF 1955

 

1955 WOMEN'S GOLF

 

1955 U.S. TRIPLE CROWN THOROUGHBRED HORSE RACING

 

OTHER 1955 HORSE RACING NEWS: In one of the most famous match races in thoroughbred racing history, Nashua beat Swaps at Washington Park racetrack. It was Swaps only loss in nine starts as a three-year old.

Nashua's owner-breeder, William Woodward, Sr., dreamed of owning an Epsom Derby winner, and he planned to send Nashua to England to train toward that goal. However, Woodward was shot to death by his wife before he could proceed.

 

1955 ICE HOCKEY

 

1955 MEN'S GRAND SLAM TENNIS

1955 WOMEN'S GRAND SLAM IN TENNIS

 
 
 
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