1953 Facts, Fun Trivia and History
Quick Facts from 1953
Here are some significant events that took place in 1953
Top Ten Baby Names of 1953
Mary, Linda, Deborah, Patricia, Susan, Robert, James, Michael, John, David
Fashion Icons and Sex Symbols
Marilyn Monroe, Ava Gardner, Rita Hayworth, Audrey Hepburn, Doris Day, Lana Turner
Sex Symbols and Hollywood Hunks
Marlon Brando, Montgomery Clift
Oscars: 25th Academy Awards
The silver anniversary of the Oscars, also known as the 25th Academy Awards, was a spectacle held on March 19, 1953, at the RKO Pantages Theatre in Hollywood and the NBC International Theatre in New York City. This year was significant for being the first Oscars telecast, which was broadcast in black and white. Bob Hope served as host in Hollywood, while Conrad Nagel took on the role in New York. The Greatest Show on Earth secured Best Picture in a controversial win that still fuels debate among film aficionados. Gary Cooper took home Best Actor for his role in High Noon, and Shirley Booth was awarded Best Actress for her performance in Come Back, Little Sheba.
Emmy Awards: 5th Primetime Emmy Awards
For TV enthusiasts, the 5th Primetime Emmy Awards were celebrated on February 5, 1953, at the Statler Hotel in Los Angeles. Art Linkletter was the evening’s host. I Love Lucy still rode high, bagging the Best Situation Comedy award. A young and not-yet-famous James Dean was nominated for Best Actor, although the trophy ultimately went to Thomas Mitchell for The Doctor. The Best Actress accolade went to Helen Hayes for Schlitz Playhouse of Stars.
“The physician can bury his mistakes, but the architect can only advise his client to plant vines – so they should go as far as possible from home to build their first buildings.”
“You’ll wonder where the yellow went when you brush your teeth with Pepsodent.”
“Shane. Shane. Come back!”
“Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t.”
Time Magazine’s Man of the Year
Neva Langley (Macon, GA)
Myrna Hansen (Illinois)
Piltdown Man, an archaeological find from 1912, was exposed as a forgery, consisting of the lower jawbone of an orangutan combined with the skull of a fully developed, modern man. The theory of Evolution took several steps back with this scandal.
Country Pop Star Death
Hank Williams (drugs and alcohol poisoning)
1953 Pop Culture Facts & History
The first modern use of the word word ‘Frenemy” was first used in the 1953 article titled Howz about calling the Russians Your Frienemies? by gossip columnist Walter Winchell in the Nevada State Journal.
The Coppertone Girl was introduced to the American public. It is probably the most popular ‘butt crack’ of all time.
RCA invented the first musical synthesizer.
Officially, Ohio is listed as the 17th state in the US, but it is technically number 47. Congress forgot to vote on the formal resolution to admit Ohio to the Union but finally did on August 7, 1953.
Kenneth H. Rowe (born No Kum-Sok), a North Korean fighter pilot, defected to South Korea with his MiG-15 and was rewarded $100,000 from the United States.
Swanson had 260 tons of leftover turkey from Thanksgiving and didn’t know how to get rid of it. They asked their workers for ideas, and one man thought they should package it in individual trays with sides and freeze it. Thus, the TV Dinner was born.
Colgate-Palmolive-Peet became Colgate-Palmolive. We are not sure why, but we think that the Peet brothers suffered the same fate as Alvah Curtis Roebuck, of Sears and Roebuck fame.
Playwright and Nobel laureate Eugene O’Neill was born on October 16, 1888, in a hotel at Times Square; he also died on November 27, 1953, in another hotel in Boston. His last words were, “I knew it. I knew it. Born in a hotel room and died in a hotel room.”
The Cincinnati Reds baseball team was renamed the “Redlegs” this year through 1958 to avoid being associated with The Red Scare and communism.
Radios manufactured in the US between 1953 and 1963 had a white triangle on the dial at 640 AM to indicate where Civil Defense information would be broadcast.
Rolling Stone Keith Richards was a choirboy at the Queen’s 1953 Coronation.
Coca-Cola attempted to persuade the US Treasury to mint a 7.5-cent coin; a can of Coke had been a nickel since 1886 and needed to be raised due to inflation, but they felt a dime was too much.
Ore-Ida offered ‘Tater Tots’ in grocery stores. There were just pressed leftovers from their french fry line.
A Pennsylvania town named Mauch Chunk managed to get the remains of an early 20th-century athlete and bought the rights to his name. They renamed the town ‘Jim Thorpe,’ a tourist attraction in PA.
The first issue of Playboy, published in December 1953, featured Marilyn Monroe from her 1949 nude calendar shoot and sold over 50,000 copies.
Isaac Asimov wrote a short story, Sally, that claimed the first self-driving cars would be released around 2015.
In 1951, Ray Bradbury wrote a short story about a giant, fire-breathing lizard, which was made into the 1953 film The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms. This film inspired Ishirō Honda, a Japanese producer, to make Godzilla in 1954.
Biologists James D. Watson and Francis Crick published “Molecular Structure of Nucleic Acids: A Structure for Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid.” With little more than a drawing and some accompanying text, Watson and Crick discovered the structure of DNA.
Arthur Holly Compton (the Nobel Prize-winning chancellor of Washington University) was irritated by how fast people drove through the campus. To combat this, he designed the modern speed bump.
Two minutes to midnight, according to the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists.
|1st Appearances & 1953’s Most Popular Christmas gifts, toys, and presents:|
Scrabble, Mrs. Potato Head, Wiffle Ball invented, Matchbox (U.K.)
Nobel Prize Winners
Physics – Frits (Frederik) Zernike
Best Film Oscar Winner
1952’s The Greatest Show On Earth
The Biggest Films of 1953
|1. Peter Pan (Disney)|
|2. The Robe (Pop Culture Classic)|
|3. From Here to Eternity (Pop Culture Classic)|
|4. How to Marry a Millionaire|
|6. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes|
|8. House of Wax (Pop Culture Classic)|
|9. The War of the Worlds (Pop Culture Classic)|
|10. The Beast from 20,000. Fathoms|
|12. Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde|
|13. Stalag 17|
|14. Roman Holiday|
|15. Kiss Me, Kate|
|18. The Wild One (Pop Culture Classic)|
|20. The Caddy|
|21. Devil’s Canyon|
|22. I Love Lucy|
|23. The Eddie Cantor Story|
|24. Scared Stiff|
|25. I Confess|
|26. It Came From Outer Space|
|27. Take The High Ground|
|28. Julius Caesar|
|29. Robot Monster|
|30. Glen or Glenda|
|*Movies beyond the Top Five are based on (a somewhat subjective) ranking based on how much they had a long-lasting effect on Pop Culture.|
Popular and Best-selling Books From 1953
Battle Cry by Leon M. Uris
1953 Most Popular TV Shows
1. I Love Lucy (CBS)
1953 Billboard Number One Songs
December 27, 1952 – January 9, 1953:
July 25 – August 7:
November 21, 1953 – January 1, 1954:
World Series Champions: New York Yankees
More 1953 History Resources: