1954 Facts, Fun Trivia and History
Quick Facts from 1954
|Top Ten Baby Names of 1954:
Mary, Linda, Deborah, Patricia, Susan, Michael, Robert, James, John, David
|Fashion Icons and Sex Symbols:
Martine Carol, Dorothy Dandridge, Doris Day, Diana Dors, Anita Ekberg, Ava Gardner, Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Gina Lollobrigida, Sophia Loren, Jayne Mansfield, Marilyn Monroe, Julie Newmar, Kim Novak, Bettie Page, Jane Russell, Elizabeth Taylor, Mamie Van Doren
|Sex Symbols and Hollywood Hunks:
Marlon Brando, Harry Belafonte, Humphrey Bogart, Montgomery Clift
Oscars: 26th Academy Awards
The 26th Academy Awards took place on March 25, 1954, at the RKO Pantages Theatre in Hollywood and the NBC Century Theatre in New York City. The night was hosted by Donald O’Connor in Hollywood and Fredric March in New York, and from Here to Eternity dominated the ceremony, bagging eight Oscars, including Best Picture. Audrey Hepburn charmed her way to the Best Actress title for her role in Roman Holiday, and William Holden clinched Best Actor for Stalag 17.
Emmy Awards: 6th Primetime Emmy Awards
Meanwhile, the 6th Primetime Emmy Awards unfolded on February 11, 1954, at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles, with hosts Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. I Love Lucy again secured its spot as a fan and critic favorite, winning Best Situation Comedy. Danny Thomas was celebrated with a Best Actor trophy for his performance in Make Room for Daddy, and Eve Arden was named Best Actress for Our Miss Brooks.
“Hey Kids, What time is it?”
“Melts in your mouth, not in your hands.”
“You don’t understand! I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I could’ve been somebody instead of a bum, which is what I am.”
“Winston tastes good like a cigarette should.”
Time Magazine’s Man of the Year
John Foster Dulles
Evelyn Ay (Ephrata, PA)
Miriam Stevenson (South Carolina)
Rock and Roll Death: Rhythm-and-blues singer Johnny Ace died after jokingly pointing a gun toward himself and accidentally shooting himself with it. His last words were, “It’s okay! Gun’s not loaded… see?”
Fringe psychologist Fredric Wertham’s book Seduction of the Innocent claimed that most juvenile delinquents read comic books. It also asserted that Batman and Robin were gay lovers and that Wonder Woman was a lesbian, causing an outcry that led to the establishment of the Comics Code Authority. The new rules by the Comics Code Authority included: In every instance, good shall triumph over evil, no comics magazine shall use the word horror or terror in its title, and all characters shall be depicted in dress reasonably acceptable to society.
The CIA financed and re-wrote the animated film version of Animal Farm.
Bombay, India, had such a bad rat problem that they began accepting dead rats instead of taxes. This led to the mass breeding and killing of rats to use them for payment.
Actor Paul Newman took an ad out in Variety Magazine apologizing for his performance in The Silver Chalice.
1954 Pop Culture Facts & History
Roger Bannister was the first human to run a mile in less than four minutes (3:59) on May 6th. Mr. Bannister stopped running shortly after that and became a neurologist. He was knighted (for his neurologist work) in 1975.
Godzilla is the world’s longest continuously-running movie franchise, in on-going production since 1954.
The Fast and the Furious movie series is “loosely” based on an original film from 1954 – “The Fast and the Furious”
Philly-born pool player Willie Mosconi sunk 526 pool balls without missing in Springfield, Ohio. No one has come close to breaking that record.
In late 1954 and early 1955, Edgar Hetteen and David Johnson started making and selling their Polaris snowmobiles.
Jimmy the Raven, a trained crow, appeared in over 1,000 feature films between 1934 and 1954.
The term “mondegreen,” which is the term for misunderstood lyrics, was coined by writer Sylvia Green in 1954 while writing about how, as a girl, she had misheard the lyric “…and laid him on the green” in a Scottish ballad as “…and Lady Mondegreen”.
April 11, 1954, was the most boring day in history, according to a computer program tracking news. The most noteworthy events of that day included a general election in Belgium and the birth of a Turkish academic.
NBC-TV (the network), the studios of New York affiliate WPIX, with a young Marjorie Hellen as its ‘human test pattern’ regarding color tones. She sat for hours on a stool in front of color cameras while engineers adjusted the tints and the lighting and worked with costumes in different tints. Marjorie changed her name to Leslie Parrish in 1959.
Although it started as a fruit-packing business in 1947, Tropicana owner Anthony Rossi developed a ‘flash pasteurization’ process that made OJ more easily transported fresh across the country.
Until the introduction of The Marlboro Man in 1954, Marlboro cigarettes were considered feminine and marketed to women with the slogan “Mild as May.”
Before 1954, Thanksgiving turkeys were supplied by the local farmer or butcher, but Frank Swift’s well-bred, larger-than-typical Butterball turkeys changed all that.
Ann Hodges is the only verified person in history who was hit by a meteorite and survived. The Sylacauga meteorite fell on November 30, 1954.
The words ‘under God’ were added to the Pledge of Allegiance in response to the Communist threat of the times.
The call sign “Air Force One” was created to avoid confusion after an incident where a commercial flight and President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s plane carried the same number in the same airspace.
The US Senate used the same gavel for 165 years until (then vice-president) Richard Nixon cracked it on November 17, 1954. India gifted them with a new one. #oops
American surgeon Joseph Murray completed the first successful organ transplant when he moved a living kidney from one identical twin to the other. The operation took about 4 hours.
1st Appearances & 1954’s Most Popular Christmas Gifts, Toys, and Presents
The Piña Colada was invented in Puerto Rico in 1954 at the Caribe Hilton.
Nobel Prize Winners
Physics – Max Born, Walther Bothe
Best Film Oscar Winner
From Here to Eternity (presented in 1954)
Popular and Best-selling Books From 1954
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis
1954 Most Popular TV Shows
1. I Love Lucy (CBS)
1954 Billboard Number One Songs
November 21, 1953 – January 1, 1954:
World Series Champions: New York Giants
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