|1953 Fun Facts, 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
|The Hotties and Fashion Icons:|
Marilyn Monroe, Ava Gardner, Rita Hayworth, Audrey Hepburn, Doris Day, Lana Turner
|Sex Symbols and Hollywood Hunks:|
Marlon Brando, Montgomery Clift
“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)
January 20, 1953 (Tuesday) First inauguration of Dwight D. Eisenhower
Pop Culture Facts:
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 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,’ which is a tourist attraction in PA.
The first issue of Playboy, published in December 1953, and 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 then 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.
2 minutes to midnight, according to the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists.
1953: After much debate, the United States decides to pursue the hydrogen bomb, a weapon far more powerful than any atomic bomb. In October 1952, the United States tests its first thermonuclear device, obliterating a Pacific Ocean islet in the process; nine months later, the Soviets test an H-bomb of their own. “The hands of the Clock of Doom have moved again,” the Bulletin announces. “Only a few more swings of the pendulum, and, from Moscow to Chicago, atomic explosions will strike midnight for Western civilization.”
|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
Chemistry – Hermann Staudinger
Medicine – Hans Adolf Krebs, Fritz Albert Lipmann
Literature – Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill
Peace – George Catlett Marshall
|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.|
The Teahouse of the August Moon (Play) Opened on October 15, 1953, and Closed: March 24, 1956
|Popular and Notable Books From 1953:|
Battle Cry by Leon M. Uris
Beyond This Place by A. J. Cronin
Casino Royale by Ian Fleming
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis
The Crucible by Arthur Miller.
Desirée by Annemarie Selinko
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury,
From Here to Eternity by James Jones
The High and the Mighty by Ernest K. Gann
Lord Vanity by Samuel Shellabarger
The Robe by Lloyd C. Douglas
The Silver Chalice by Thomas B. Costain
Time and Time Again by James Hilton
The Unconquered by Ben Ames Williams
|1953 Most Popular TV shows:|
1. I Love Lucy (CBS)
2. Dragnet (NBC)
3. Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts (CBS)
4. You Bet Your Life (NBC)
5. The Milton Berle Show (NBC)
6. Arthur Godfrey and his Friends (CBS)
7. Ford Theatre (NBC)
8. The Jackie Gleason Show (CBS)
9. Fireside Theatre (NBC)
10. The Colgate Comedy Hour (NBC)
1953 Billboard Number One Songs
January 10 – February 13:
February 14 – March 20:
March 21 – May 15:
May 16 – July 24:
July 25 – August 7:
August 8 – October 9:
October 10 – November 6:
November 7 – November 20:
November 21, 1953 – January 1, 1954:
World Series Champions: New York Yankees
NFL Champions: Detroit Lions
NBA Champions: Minneapolis Lakers
Stanley Cup Champs: Montreal Canadiens
U.S. Open Golf Dick Mayer
U.S. Tennis: (Men/Ladies) Tony Trabert/Maureen Connolly
Wimbledon (Men/Women): Vic Seixas/Maureen Connolly
NCAA Football Champions: Maryland
NCAA Basketball Champions: Indiana
Kentucky Derby: Dark Star