|1955 Fun Facts, History and Trivia|
Quick Facts from 1955:
|Top Ten Baby Names of 1955:
Mary, Deborah, Linda, Debra, Susan, Michael, David, James, Robert, John
|The Hotties and Fashion Icons:
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, Elizabeth Taylor, Mamie Van Doren
|Sex Symbols and Hollywood Hunks:
James Dean, Montgomery Clift
“Now it’s time to say good-bye to all our company, / M-I-C…
Jimmie: See you real soon.
Jimmie: Why? Because we like you!
Mouseketeers: M-O-U-S-E!” – Mickey Mouse Club
|Time Magazine’s Man of the Year:
Lee Meriwether (San Francisco, CA)
| Miss USA:
Carlene King Johnson (Vermont)
Dr. Joyce Brothers was disliked by the producers of The 64,000 Question, and her opponent was coached. They purposely asked her a boxing question, figuring a girl wouldn’t get the answer. She did.
John Wayne, Susan Hayward, Lee Van Cleef, Agnes Moorehead, and Dick Powell all died of cancer, probably from filming The Conquerer near a Nevada nuclear testing site in 1955.
Emmett Till, a 14-year-old black teenager that was killed for allegedly flirting with a white female. The murderers were acquitted in a trial by an all-white jury.
Pop Culture Facts:
Maurice K. Goddard, director of the Department of Parks and Forests in Pennsylvania, set the goal of having a state park within 25 miles of every citizen.
The Microwave Oven was invented.
The first Moonwalk ever recorded that we could find was performed by tap dancer Bill Bailey in 1955…
Retail giant Sears published a phone number that kids could use to “call Santa”. However, due to a misprint, the number Sears printed redirected to CORAD (now NORAD)’s top-secret emergency line. Rather than having the ad pulled, NORAD decided to “track” Santa’s progress, which they continue to do to this day.
The first edition of the Guinness Book of Records was published by the Guinness Brewing Company following a debate in a pub (tavern) over the fastest species of European game bird.
Journalist Edward R. Murrow asked Jonas Salk who ‘owned’ the patent to the polio vaccine, his response was “Well, the people, I would say… There is no patent. Could you patent the sun?” Jonas made it available for no charge.
Hollywood bombshell Jayne Mansfield was ‘discovered’ during a press junket for 1955 film Underwater that starred another buxom actress, Jane Russell. Mansfield dived into a pool in view of the assembled journalists, and “had the genius to permit her bathing suit to split open”.
The phrase ‘In God We Trust’ wasn’t put on all US currency until 1955.
When Tomorrowland originally opened in Disneyland, it represented an anticipated city of 1986.
You’ve been there. Pretty much everybody has visited a McDonalds since it first opened in 1955.
When Albert Einstein died on April 18, 1955, in Princeton Hospital, the nurse assigned to him did not speak German and his last words were not understood.
Quaker Oats promoted their cereal by giving away 1 square inch of land in Canada in each box sold. In the end, it totaled up to 19 acres.
The musical film Oklahoma! was predominately filmed in Arizona.
Onions are not classified as a commodity anymore due to the cornering of the onion market in 1955 (Onion Futures Act).
The development of the B-52 by Boeing began in 1946, they have been in active service with USAF since 1955, and the last operational ones are not due to be replaced until 2045.
In 1955/56, Chrysler sold the Dodge La Femme, a car marketed exclusively to women. It included a designer purse with accessories, an umbrella, and an upholstery pattern of pink rosebuds for the interior.
Two labor unions, the AFL and the CIO united to become the AFL-CIO.
Marlboro used to market their cigarettes as “premium ladies cigarettes”. Their slogan was “Mild as May”. In 1955 they changed their ads to Cowboys and “Marlboro Country” images. Their sales reputedly increased over 3,000 percent in 1 year.
Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita was published. US publishers were initially reluctant to associate themselves with such a controversial work.
|1st appearances & 1955’s Most Popular Christmas gifts, toys and presents:
Tonka Trucks, Play-Doh (off-white), Bild Lilli dolls (predecessor to Barbie), Pluto Platter Flying Saucer (a frisbee type item)
|Best Film Oscar Winner:
On The Waterfront (presented in 1955)
|Nobel Prize Winners:
Physics – Willis Eugene Lamb and Polykarp Kusch
Chemistry – Vincent du Vigneaud
Physiology or Medicine – Axel Hugo Theodor Theorell
Literature – Halldór Kiljan Laxness
Peace – not awarded
|Popular and Notable Books From 1955:
Andersonville by MacKinlay Kantor
Auntie Mame by Patrick Dennis
Bonjour Tristesse by Françoise Sagan
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis
Kay Thompson’s Eloise by Kay Thompson and Hilary Knight
The Ginger Man by J.P. Donleavy
Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson
Howl by Allen Ginsberg
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit by Sloan Wilson
Marjorie Morningstar by Herman Wouk
Moonraker by Ian Fleming
No Time for Sergeants by Mac Hyman
Not as a Stranger by Morton Thompson
Ten North Frederick by John O’Hara
The Tontine by Thomas B. Costain
Scuffy the Tugboat by Gertrude Crampton
Sincerely, Willis Wayde by John P. Marquand
Something of Value by Robert Ruark
The View from Pompey’s Head by Hamilton Basso
|1955 Most Popular TV shows:
1. The $64,000 Question (CBS)
2. I Love Lucy (CBS)
3. The Ed Sullivan Show (CBS)
4. Disneyland (ABC)
5. The Jack Benny Show (CBS)
6. December Bride (CBS)
7. You Bet Your Life (NBC)
8. Dragnet (NBC)
9. The Millionaire (CBS)
10. I’ve Got A Secret (CBS)
1955 Billboard Number One Songs
January 22 – February 4:
February 5 – February 11:
February 12 – March 25:
March 26 – April 29:
April 30 – July 8:
October 22 – October 28:
October 29 – November 4:
November 5 – November 25:
World Series Champions: Brooklyn Dodgers
NFL Champions: Cleveland Browns
NBA Champions: Syracuse Nationals
Stanley Cup Champs: Detroit Red Wings
U.S. Open Golf Jack Fleck
U.S. Tennis: (Men/Ladies) Tony Trabert/Doris Hart
Wimbledon (Men/Women): Tony Trabert/Louis Brough
NCAA Football Champions: Oklahoma
NCAA Basketball Champions: San Francisco
Kentucky Derby: Swaps