1955 (The People's Chronology)
Moscow recognizes the independence of West Germany January 15 and Soviet Premier Georgi M. Malenkov resigns February 8. His successor Marshal Nikolai Aleksandrovich Bulganin, 59, reaffirms Sino-Soviet ties and appoints Marshal Georgi K. Zhukov, now 59, minister of defense. The presidium of the Supreme Soviet cancels treaties of friendship with Britain and France May 7, West Germany becomes a sovereign state and is admitted to NATO May 9, having regained the right to maintain armed forces. East Germany is among the eight European communist powers that sign the Warsaw Pact May 14 in opposition to NATO.
The U.S.S. Nautilus launched January 21 at Groton, Conn., is the world's first nuclear-powered submarine. Built at the insistence of Russian-born Rear Admiral Hyman G. (George) Rickover, 54, with enthusiastic support from Sen. Henry M. "Scoop" Jackson, 39 (D. Wash.), it has been preceded by the Soviet ice-breaker Lenin, a nuclear-powered surface vessel (see 1954).
The B-52 Stratofortress deployed by the U.S. Air Combat Command in February ratchets up the cold-war arms race. The long-range heavy bomber can fly at 650 miles per hour (Mach 0.86) at an altitude of up to 50,000 feet, travel 8,800 miles without refueling, and carry about 70,000 pounds of bombs, mines, and missiles. Dwarfing anything in the Soviet arsenal, the Boeing aircraft is large (185 feet wide, 40 feet high, with four engines under each wing) and can carry four nuclear bombs. It is the first large plane with swept-bank wings, it will go through eight changes that will transform it from a long-distance nuclear bomber to a carrier of non-nuclear laser and GPS-guided ordnance that can fly as low as 400 feet or as high as six miles, and although it will see little use in this decade or the next it will serve as the backbone of U.S. air power for at least half a century.
Former Italian general Rodolfo Graziani dies at Rome January 11 at age 72; former Hungarian president Count Mihály Károlyi at Vence, France, March 20 at age 80; former German minister of war Otto Gessler at Lindenberg March 24 at age 80 (he has been head of the Bavarian and German Red Cross organizations since 1945).
France's Mendès-France government falls February 5 over the question of North- African insurgency. Edgar Faure, 46, forms a new cabinet February 23.
Britain's prime minister Winston Churchill resigns April 5 at age 81 and is succeeded by former secretary of state for foreign affairs Sir Anthony Eden, 57.
Austria formally regains her sovereignty July 27 by the Treaty of Vienna after signing a pledge of neutrality; British and French occupation troops withdraw.
Turkey and Iran sign a defense agreement to prevent Soviet penetration of the Mideast (see 1953), but Egypt announces September 27 that she will accept an offer of Soviet arms. Representatives of Britain, Iran, Iraq, Turkey, and Pakistan attend the first meeting of Baghdad Pact nations November 22 and set up a Mideast Treaty Organization (see Iraq, 1948). Britain and the United States offer $70 million December 17 to start work on Egypt's Aswan Dam, designed by Scottish civil engineer Murdoch MacDonald, now 90 (but see 1956; energy, 1960).
French authorities in Morocco permit the sultan Muhammad V to return from exile in November (see 1953). Acts of terrorism have increased during his absence (see 1956).
Liberian troops hunt down former presidential crony S. David Coleman and his son John, who have allegedly plotted to overthrow President William V. S. Tubman and are killed June 27 (see 1944). Few people attend the Coleman funerals lest they be considered sympathizers, and the country amends its constitution to permit Tubman to remain in office well beyond the two-term limit. Tubman will win reelection repeatedly despite charges that he is too subservient to U.S. interests.
The first Pugwash Conference opens at the Nova Scotia hometown of U.S. industrialist Cyrus S. Eaton, now 71, who seeks to establish friendly relations with the Soviet Union and other communist nations.
Right-wing congressman Francis E. Walter (D. Pa.) becomes chairman of the House Un-American Affairs Committee (see McCarran-Walter Immigration Act, 1952). Now 61, he is less menacing than Sen. Joseph McCarthy in pursuit of the theory that Soviet agents have infiltrated the nation's educational, entertainment, government, and religious establishments. Walter insists that the "Reds" present a greater threat to America than the Nazis did in World War II, and witnesses who fail to answer his committee's questions receive contempt of Congress citations.
Former U.S. secretary of state Cordell Hull of 1930s "Good Neighbor Policy" fame dies at Bethesda, Md., July 23 at age 83.
South Vietnam has civil war beginning at Saigon April 28 (see 1954). Supporters of Premier Ngo Dinh Diem defeat supporters of former premier Bao Dai and force Binh Xuyen rebels out of the capital May 2 after 5 days of heavy fighting. Diem asks France to move her troops to the northern frontier for action against the communist Vietminh or to withdraw completely; Paris agrees May 20 to deploy troops against the Vietminh. Beijing (Peking) promises North Vietnam $338 million in economic aid July 7 in an agreement with President Ho Chi Minh. Bao Dai, now 40, asserts his claim to power by dismissing Premier Diem October 18, but Bao Dai has hunted tigers and collected mistresses rather than attend to his minimal duties. Diem refuses to resign and gains U.S. support, a referendum October 23 gives him an overwhelming vote over the "playboy emperor," he proclaims a South Vietnamese Republic October 26 with himself as president, and Bao Dai is deposed, ending the monarchy as he goes off to live in luxury on the French Riviera (see 1960).
Former Japanese war minister Jiro Minami dies at Tokyo December 6 at age 81; Gen. Frank D. Merrill of World War II Merrill's Marauders fame of a heart ailment at a Fernandina Beach, Fla., motel December 11 at age 52.
Perónist power in Argentina ends September 19 as a military junta stages a coup that overthrows dictator Juan Perón after 9 years in which Perón has created Latin America's first and only labor movement, a force of considerable economic and political power. Perón has nationalized Argentina's British-owned railroads and established a "Third World" bloc in international affairs but has lost popularity since his suppression of La Prensa in 1951 and the death of his wife, Eva, the following year. He goes into exile, first in Paraguay, then in Nicaragua (see 1973).
Former Mexican president Manuel Avila Camacho dies of a heart ailment on his ranch outside Mexico City October 13 at age 58, having remained a powerful political force since leaving office in 1946.
Cook County Democratic Party chairman Richard J. Daley, 53, wins the Chicago mayoralty race and begins a 21-year career as mayor of the second largest U.S. city. A machine politician in the old tradition, Daley will use patronage to control the Illinois state vote and obtain tax breaks and zoning-law favors for real estate interests and others that support him.
Human Rights, Social Justice
Former NAACP secretary Walter F. White dies of a heart attack at New York March 21 at age 61. His autobiography How Far the Promised Land is published anonymously, but the nation still has three lynchings, down from scores per year when he began his work.
Black farmer and political leader Lamar D. Smith, 63, is shot to death August 13 in front of the Lincoln County Courthouse at Brookhaven, Miss., after seeking to qualify blacks to vote. More than 20 people witness the World War II veteran's shooting, including several blacks, but nobody admits to having seen anything and no witnesses testify against the three white men charged with the murder. Black minister George W. Lee is killed gangland style at Belzoni, Miss., after a week of terror during which whites have vandalized blacks' property. The blacks have refused to send their children to racially segregated schools, the whites have retaliated by refusing credit to blacks at local stores, and Lee had campaigned for black voting rights.
The brutal murder of 14-year-old Emmett Till August 29 at Ruleville, Miss., exacerbates racial tensions. A visitor from Chicago, Till converses with a white woman, the wife of grocery store co-owner Roy Bryant (allegedly on a dare). His body, savagely beaten, shot in the head, and bound with barbed wire, is found 8 days later in the nearby Tallahatchie River. Many people make little of the incident, but the Chicago Defender, Pittsburgh Courier and other black newspapers publish a photograph of Till's body, his face beaten beyond recognition, together with a photograph of his alleged white murderers laughing about it. The photographs enrage the black community, evoking cries for social justice. Bryant's half-brother J. W. Milam will acknowledge that he and Bryant murdered Till, saying, "I like niggersn their place . . . But I just decided it was time a few people got put on notice. As long as I live and can do anything about it, niggers ain't gonna vote where I live . . . They ain't gonna go to school with my kids. And when a nigger even gets close to mentioning sex with a white woman, he's tired of living."
The U.S. Supreme Court orders desegregation of public golf courses, parks, swimming pools, and playgrounds November 7 in a decision based on the 1954 ruling in Brown v. Board of Education.
The Interstate Commerce Commission acts November 25 to ban racial segregation on interstate buses and trains and in terminal waiting rooms. Tuskegee-born Montgomery Fair department store seamstress and NAACP worker Rosa Parks (née Rosa Louise McCauley), 42, refuses to give up her seat on a downtown Cleveland Avenue bus to a white man December 1 (see Morgan v. Virginia, 1946). The same bus driver who ejected her 12 years ago and had her arrested for entering his bus by the front door instead of the rear door says, "If you don't stand up I'm going to call the police and have you arrested." Given a summons, Parks decides with her mother and husband to make hers a test case challenging segregation, and her action precipitates a general boycott of Montgomery buses. Some 35,000 handbills are mimeographed at a midnight meeting of the Women's Political Council: "We are . . . asking every Negro to stay off the buses Monday in protest of the arrest and trial . . . You can afford to stay out of school for one day. If you work, take a cab, or walk. But please, children and grown-ups, don't ride the bus at all on Monday. Please stay off the buses Monday." Black-owned taxis pick up fares at every municipal bus stop, collecting only the standard 10¢ fare charged by city buses. "There comes a time that people get tired," says Dexter Avenue Baptist Church minister Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., 27, to a crowd at the Holt Street Baptist Church that evening; King married budding soprano Coretta Scott 2 years ago and he leads the bus boycott (see 1956).
Image Pop-UpWhen Rosa Parks refused to move to the back of the bus she won support for a civil rights protest movement.
Indonesia and Nicaragua grant women the right to vote on the same basis as men. Peru's Odria dictatorship grants voting rights to women September 7.
Polar explorer Matthew A. Henson dies at New York March 9 at age 88.
New York's 133-year-old National City Bank merges March 30 with the 92-year-old First National Bank of New York to create First National City Bank (Citibank); New York's 78-year-old Chase National Bank merges March 31 with the 156-year-old Bank of Manhattan Co. to create Chase Manhattan Bank, whose assets are second in size only to those of Bank of America (see Chemical, 1995).
H. & R. Block is founded by Kansas City tax accountants Henry (Wohlman) Bloch, 32, and his brother Richard (Adolf), 29, who use the firm name Block to avoid mispronunciation. Specializing in low-cost, mass-produced income tax returns at a time when the Internal Revenue Service is scaling back its tax-preparation services, the firm will open seven offices at New York next year and go on to have franchised offices in every major U.S. city. By 1977 it will be preparing 10 percent of all U.S. tax returns (25 percent in some cities), and by 2004 its offices will be filling out one in every nine returns.
Austrian banker Baron Louis Rothschild dies in Jamaica, B.W.I., January 15 at age 73; Reynolds Metals founder Richard S. Reynolds at Richmond, Va., July 29 at age 73; German steel magnate Hermann Rechling at Mannheim August 24 at age 82 (he was convicted of war crimes in 1948 and served 3 years of a 10-year sentence).
The U.S. federal minimum wage rises from 75¢ per hour to $1 August 12 by act of Congress.
A contract signed with American Can and Continental Can August 13 wins the United Steel Workers the first 52-week guaranteed annual wage in any major U.S. industry.
The American Federation of Labor (AFL) and CIO merge December 2 in a pact engineered by Walter P. Reuther and George Meany, who at age 61 assumes the presidency of the combined AFL-CIO that he will hold for more than 23 years (Chicago-born United Steelworkers of America counsel Arthur [Joseph] Goldberg, 48, has helped to bring about the merger). Some 12 million U.S. workers are unionized, a number that will increase to 20 million in the next 20 years.
Wall Street's Dow Jones Industrial Average closes December 30 at 488.40, up from 404.39 at the end of 1954. A staff report issued by the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking and Currency has observed that "less than one percent of all American families [own] over four-fifths of all publicly held stocks owned by individuals."
U.S. shopping malls increase in number to 1,800, proliferating rapidly as Americans move out of the central cities to live in the sprawling suburbs (see Country Club Plaza, 1922; Northland, 1954).
The first U.S. solar-heated, radiation-cooled house starts its system January 15. Built at Tucson, Ariz., by Raymond W. Bliss, the system employs a large, slanting slab of steel and glass that converts sunlight into heat, it has cost nearly $4,000 for labor and materials and the ducts that carry the heat into the house carry cool air in summer, using fans and controls.
Texas petroleum driller Patillo Higgins of Spindletop fame dies at San Antonio June 5 at age 92; oil financier-art collector Calouste Gulbenkian at Lisbon July 20 at age 86; oil-cracking process developer Edgar M. Clark at Phoenix, Ariz., July 31 at age 85; multimillionaire Great Lakes Carbon cofounder George Skakel outside Union City, Okla., October 4 at age 63 along with his wife and crew in the fiery crash of his refurbished Boeing B-29 (his Chicago-born daughter Ethel, now 27, is married to Robert F. Kennedy).
North Carolina trucker Malcom McLean sells his fleet of 1,776 trucks for $6 million and buys the Pan Atlantic Steamship Co. with its fleet of 37 vessels (see 1937). Now 41, McLean has experimented with loading an entire truck trailer onto a ship and then removing the wheels, but he now has a better idea and converts six of his vessels into what soon will be called container ships (see 1956).
U.S. automobile sales reach an unprecedented 7,169,908 of which fewer than 52,000 are imported, but sales of small foreign cars led by Volkswagen will now begin a rapid rise (see 1949). U.S. Volkswagen sales reach 29,000, up from 2,173 just 2 years ago as Americans rebel against Detroit's stylistic excesses and slipshod quality (see 1959; 1968).
General Motors introduces the first Chevrolet V8, but half of all new cars have six-cylinder engines that are superior for city driving, only marginally less powerful in accelerating from 0 to 30 miles per hour, and far more efficient in fuel consumption (see Ford V8, 1932; Impala, 1957). By 1976 nearly 70 percent of all U.S. motorcars will have V8 engines, only 21.8 percent sixes, 8.5 percent four-cylinder engines.
The Ford Thunderbird is introduced in the form of a two-seat sportscar.
The new Ford Fairlane sedan has a $3,030 sticker price, but it takes the average American only 1,638 hours of work to earn $3,030, down from the 4,696 hours that it took to earn $850 for a Model T in 1908.
The Citroën DS-19 introduced at the October Automobile Show in Paris is the first new luxury model in 2 decades (see CV2, 1948). The $2,000 car has been designed by G. Berton for S.A. André Citroën, and some 1.4 million of the cars will be sold at steadily rising prices before Citroën is absorbed in 1974 by Peugeot.
Yamaha Motor Co. is founded in Japan under the aegis of Yamaha Musical Instrument Co. It will be a leading maker of motorcycles.
New York's Long Island Expressway opens and is inadequate for the volume of traffic.
President Eisenhower submits a 10-year $101-billion highway program to Congress (see 1956).
The President's Advisory Committee on Transportation recommends reduction of federal controls to stimulate a return to competitive conditions in transportation but in intracity transit free enterprise has worked to restrict competition. Gasoline and diesel buses have replaced some 88 percent of U.S. electric streetcar systems (see 1949; General Motors, 1956).
New York installs "Walk/Don't Walk" signals at busy intersections April 19 and institutes alternate side of the street parking regulations to facilitate street-cleaning. All major cities seek solutions to the problem of traffic choked by private automobiles.
Former automaker August S. Duesenberg dies at Indianapolis January 18 at age 75; inventor and Goodyear Tire Co. founder Frank A. Seiberling at Akron August 11 at age 95.
The Tappan Zee Bridge opens to New York State Thruway traffic at Tarrytown, N.Y., December 15 in ceremonies attended by Gov. W. Averill Harriman and actress Helen Hayes. Connecting Westchester and Rockland counties, the 15,764-foot (1,212-meter) cantilever span across the Hudson has cost $60 million and is the only bridge between the George Washington and the Bear Mountain bridges; it leaves just three miles of the toll-free, 427-mile Thruway incomplete.
New York's Third Avenue "El" makes its last run May 12 and is razed after 77 years of operation (see Sixth Avenue "El," 1940).
Rome's first subway opens to link the city's central railroad station to a convention center and government building complex south of the city. The subway was planned by the late Benito Mussolini.
Leningrad's first subway opens November 15. The Vyborgskaya line begins a network that will grow by 1996 to be 110 kilometers long and carry 721 million passengers per year to and from various St. Petersburg stations.
Boeing Aircraft introduces its 707 at Seattle August 7. Initially designated the 367-80 and called the Dash 80, it is a giant four-engine, 80-ton jet prototype 128 feet long with a 130-foot wing span; test pilot Alvin Melvin "Tex" Johnston, 41, has participated in every phase of its development and puts the aircraft through its paces over Lake Washington, dazzling spectators with two barrel rolls. Johnson will set a record with the 707 in 1957, flying from Seattle to Baltimore in 3 hours, 48 minutes at an average speed of 612 miles per hour (see 1956).
French aircraft manufacturer and Air France cofounder Louis Breguet dies of a heart attack at Paris May 4 at age 75; former Trans-Canada Airlines president Samuel J. Hungerford at Farnham, Quebec, October 7 at age 83; aviation pioneer Glenn L. Martin of a cerebral hemorrhage at Baltimore December 4 at age 69, leaving an estate of $14 million. He has never married.
The mesa introduced by Bell Telephone Laboratories is a new kind of transistor (see 1948). Bell Labs constructs the first all-transistor computer.
The IBM 752 computer shipped in February is the first IBM computer designed specifically for business purposes (see 1953); by August IBM has reduced Univac's lead to 30 installations versus 24 (see 1956).
Remington Rand becomes Sperry Rand (later Unisys) after acquiring the computer maker (see Univac, 1951).
Carnegie-Mellon polymath Herbert A. Simon and San Francisco-born Rand Corp. computer scientist Allen Newell, 28, pioneer artificial intelligence in December with a computer program that can prove the theorems in the 1913 book on mathematical logic Principia Mathematica by Alfred North Whitehead and Bertrand Russell. Now 39, Simon will tell a class in January of next year, "Over the Christmas holiday, Al Newell and I invented a thinking machine."
Physicist Emilio Segrè and his colleague Owen Chamberlain use the new bevatron particle accelerator at the University of California, Berkeley, to produce and identify antiprotons, thereby laying the foundation for the discovery of other antiparticles (see Gell-Mann, 1953).
English biochemist Frederick Sanger at Cambridge announces that he has determined the total structure of the insulin molecule (see 1945; Watson, Crick, 1953). Now 37, Sanger has taken the molecule apart one amino acid at a time, examining the stain left by each amino acid and then using paper chromatography to strain the amino acid through a paper filter (see Khorana, 1966).
Spanish-born New York University biochemist Severo Ochoa, 49, announces the synthesis of ribonucleic acid (RNA), a basic constituent of all living tissues. It is a giant step toward the creation of life in the laboratory out of inert materials (see Watson, Crick, 1953; Fraenkel-Conrat, 1957; Stahl, Meselson, 1958).
New York-born Purdue University physicist-turned-molecular biologist Seymour Benzer, 33, devises a method for determining the detailed structure of viral genes and coins the term cistron to denote a functional subunit of a gene.
Bacteriologist Oswald Avery dies at Nashville, Tenn., February 20 at age 77; physicist Albert Einstein of a ruptured aorta at Princeton, N.J., April 18 at age 76; biochemist James B. Sumner of cancer at Buffalo, N.Y., August 12 at age 67; mathematician Hermann Weyl at Zürich December 8 at age 70, having retired earlier in the year from Princeton's Institute of Advanced Study.
Prednisone is introduced for treating arthritis and other conditions. The new steroid drug has far fewer side effects than cortisone (see 1948; 1949).
University of Michigan microbiologist Thomas Francis Jr. announces at Ann Arbor April 12 (the 10th anniversary of former president Franklin D. Roosevelt's death) that a large-scale field test of the Salk polio vaccine has proved it safe and effective in 80 to 90 percent of cases (see 1954). The federal government grants a license for mass distribution of the vaccine, and batches are rushed to market, but a manufacturing error at Cutter Laboratories in California causes nine lots of faulty vaccine to be sent out, the virus in the lots has not been completely inactivated, and more than 200 children come down with polio; 11 die, 50 are left paralyzed, and vaccination is halted for 2 weeks while the source of the problem is located. The scandal embarrasses Surgeon General Leonard Scheele, who will resign next year.
Minneapolis physician C. (Clarence) Walton Lillehei, 35, pioneers open-heart surgery with pumps to keep the blood circulating (see 1893). Absent a way to place oxygen into the bloodstream and circulate blood throughout the body, such surgery has been limited heretofore to disorders that could be remedied without entering the heart itself, but Lillehei and his colleague Richard A. Wall have devised a helix reservoir bubble oxygenator that bubbles oxygen through the blood during an operation in April on 4-year-old congenital heart disease patient Pamela Schmidt at University Hospital. Lillehei opens her chest, cuts into her heart, sews up a hole the size of a half-dollar with seven silk stitches, closes her, and waits while her heart struggles to regain its regular beat, but although she survives and will live into the next century Lillehei will lose six out of his next seven cross-circulation patients, including a 7-month-old infant.
President Eisenhower suffers a heart attack at Denver in September while on vacation at his in-laws' house. Physicians at the local veterans hospital treat him with heparin, put him on a low-fat diet, and prescribe low doses (35 mgs. per week) of Coumadin, a blood thinner used to prevent blood clots; a navy recruit tried to commit suicide in 1951 by ingesting 567 mgs. of the rat poison Warfarin used since 1947, he made a full recovery, and researchers discovered that a low dose of Warfarin with close monitoring was a better anticoagulant than dicoumarol, patented in 1941. Coumadin was introduced commercially last year, and while rats will develop resistance to Warfarin, physicians will continue to use the new anticoagulant for heart patients.
U.S. National Heart Institute researchers find that reserpine depletes the brain's supply of the chemical substance serotinin (see 1952; LSD, 1953).
Penicillin pioneer Sir Alexander Fleming dies of heart disease at London March 11 at age 73; Nobel surgeon (and former Portuguese foreign minister) Antonio Caetano de Abreu Freire Egas Moniz at his Lisbon home December 13 at age 81.
Jesuit theologian-paleontologist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin dies at New York April 10 at age 73.
Why Johnny Can't Read by Rudolf Flesch advocates the use of phonics (the sounds of letters) rather than whole words to teach reading. The book becomes a bestseller and will have wide influence.
The first air-conditioned U.S. public elementary school opens in October, but the Belaire School of San Angelo, Texas, will not be widely copied for many years even in warmer parts of the country, and U.S. public school will continue to close for several months each summer as they have since a predominantly rural economy required the help of school-age children, providing only about 180 days of education when schools in other countries provide about 240 days.
Educator Mary McLeod Bethune dies at Daytona Beach, Fla., May 18 at age 79; public-speaking teacher and author Dale Carnegie at New York November 1 at age 66.
The Brooklyn Eagle that began in 1841 suspends publication January 28 as Newspaper Guild employees strike the paper. Its assets are sold at auction March 16.
Chicago Tribune publisher Col. Robert R. McCormick undergoes abdominal surgery for adhesions January 19 and dies April 1 at age 74 on the 500-acre Wheaton, Ill., estate Cantigny built by his late grandfather Joseph Medill in 1896. McCormick spent 30 years as sole editor and publisher, increasing circulation from 200,000 to 892,058 while acquiring forest lands and paper mills in Canada, hydroelectric installations, shipping companies, radio and television stations, and publishing houses.
"Ann Landers Says" debuts in the Chicago Sun-Times. Sioux City, Iowa-born journalist Esther Lederer (née Friedman), 37, has acquired a name used by a previous columnist for a confidential column that will be syndicated to hundreds of newspapers, as will that of her twin sister Pauline, who will write the "Dear Abby" column under the name Abigail Van Buren. Lederer's salesman husband, Jules, will found Budget Rent-a-Car and prosper (see transportation, 1958), but she will divorce him for infidelity in 1975 after 36 years of marriage.
The Village Voice begins publication at New York in October. Daniel Wolf, 40, and Edward Fancher have started the 12-page 5¢ weekly with $15,000, its initial circulation is 2,500, but Wolf and Fancher will increase circulation to 56,00 by 1966 and have a readership of about 150,000 by 1970 when they will sell the Voice for $3 million.
Cartoonist Hammond E. "Ham" Fisher dies of a deliberate sleeping-pill overdose at New York December 27 at age 54, having got into a feud with "L'il Abner" creator Al Capp and been suspended by the National Cartoonists Society for "conduct unbecoming to a member." Nearly 1,000 newspapers now carry Fisher's 25-year-old "Joe Palooka" comic strip; other cartoonists will continue it until 1984.
The National Review begins publication at New York November 19. William F. Buckley Jr. edits and publishes the biweekly journal of political opinion with help from Russell Kirk, whose 1953 book The Conservative Mind has inspired it, but opinion makers in the aftermath of McCarthyism are distorting the word conservative to camouflage radical right-wing ideas (e.g., repealing the progressive income tax and Social Security) that are anything but conservative.
The Reader's Digest abandons its 33-year-old position against running ads but will not accept cigarette advertising.
The first Japanese transistor radios are introduced by the Japanese company Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo K.K. (Totsuko) (see 1954). It sells its pocket-size TR-55 under the name Sony; by next year the company will have 483 employees and sales of $3.35 million (see Sony TV, 1959).
ITV (Independent Television) begins broadcasting in Britain September 22 with U.S.-style commercials, giving BBC its first competition. Impresario Lew Grade, now 49, has founded Associated Television and will produce a string of popular TV shows. The British Post Office has increased the hours of TV broadcasting from 41 to 50, with evening programs beginning at 7 o'clock instead of 7:30. By August 1958 about 80 percent of Britons will be able to receive ITV, and BBC's audience will have dropped.
The Universal Illustrated European-American Encyclopedia (Enciclopedia universal ilustrada europeoamericana) published from 1905 to 1934 appears in a seven-volume miniature edition under the title Espasa-Calpe: diccionario enciclopédico abreviado.
The 28-volume World Encyclopedia (Sekai Dai-Hyakka Jiten) published by Heibonsha from 1931 to 1935 appears in a new 33-volume edition that will meet with competition from the publishing houses Gakken, Kodansha, and Shogakukan as sales people try to get encyclopedias into every Japanese home and school (see 1999).
Nonfiction: The Opium of the Intellectuals by French political theorist-sociologist Raymond Aron, 50, whose widely read political column in Le Figaro has vigorously opposed totalitarianism of any kind and championed the cause of individual freedom (Aron has had a long-standing antagonism toward Jean-Paul Sartre and his book is an outspoken attack on French Marxism); Grand Inquest: The Story of Congressional Investigations by Telford Taylor, who called Sen. McCarthy "a dangerous adventurer" in a speech he gave at West Point 2 years ago; The Right to Read: The Battle Against Censorship by Paul Blanshard; Two Minutes Till Midnight by Elmer Davis is about war and peace in the nuclear age; The Age of Reform by Richard Hofstadter is about the Populist, Progressive, and New Deal eras; The Liberal Tradition in America by Youngstown, Ohio-born Harvard professor of government Louis Hartz, 36; Economics and the Art of Controversy and The Great Crash, 1929 by John Kenneth Galbraith; Mainsprings of the German Economic Revival by German-born U.S. journalist-economist Henry C. Wallich, 37; Strangers in the Land: Patterns of American Nativism by Jamaica, N.Y.-born Rutgers historian John Higham, 34; The Strange Career of Jim Crow by C. Vann Woodward; Gift from the Sea (autobiographical essays) by Anne Morrow Lindbergh; Notes of a Native Son by James Baldwin; The Expansion of Elizabethan England by A. L. Rowse; Against the Law by former London Daily Mail diplomatic correspondent Peter Wildeblood, 32, who was convicted of conspiring to incite a young man to commit "indecent acts" after admitting in open court March 24 of last year that he was a homosexual and sentenced to 18 months in prison (the book prompts debates in both houses of Parliament and leads to the establishment of a government panel; see human rights [Wolfenden Report], 1957); The Achievement of Samuel Johnson by Mankato, Minn.-born Harvard English professor W. (Walter) Jackson Bate, 37; The Guinness Book of World Records by London sportswriter Ross McWhirter, 30, and his twin brother Norris, whose book will have sales of more than 24 million copies in 14 languages in the next 20 years (Guiness Breweries managing director Sir Hugh [Eyre Campbell] Beaver, 65, came up with the idea for the book during an Irish shooting party when he and his friends failed to bring down a flock of golden plovers and argued about whether the golden plover or red grouse was Europe's fastest bird. A reference book that settled such disputes at bars and public houses could be a good promotional tool, he reasoned).
Philosopher José Ortega y Gasset dies of cancer at Madrid October 18 at age 72 ("We have the need of history in its entirety," he has written, "not to fall back on, but to see if we can escape from it"); author-critic-historian Bernard De Voto dies of a heart attack at New York November 13 at age 58; biographer Marquis James of a cerebral hemorrhage at Rye, N.Y., November 19 at age 64; author and world federalism advocate Lionel G. Curtis outside Oxford November 24 at age 83; historian Ludwig Lewisohn at Miami Beach December 31 at age 72.
Fiction: Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien; Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov, whose tale of a middle-aged European's love for a passionate 12-year-old American "nymphet" is a satire that reverses the usual contrast between American innocence and European worldliness (Nabokov has written the book at Cornell University, where he has taught Russian literature and other courses since 1948; proceeds from his bestseller will enable him to quit teaching in 1959); The Quiet American by Graham Greene, whose glowing review of Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita in the Sunday Times of London helps it to avoid censorship and become a phenomenal success; The Last Temptation of Christ by Nikos Kazantzakis; Extraordinary Tales by Jorge Luis Borges; Marjorie Morningstar by Herman Wouk; The Recognitions by New York-born novelist William Gaddis, 33; The Spider's House by Paul Bowles; The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit by Westport, Conn.-born novelist Sloan Wilson, 35, is about status-hungry suburbanites; The Deer Park by Norman Mailer; The Ginger Man by Brooklyn-born Irish novelist J. P. (James Patrick) Donleavy, 29; Auntie Mame by Evanston, Ill.-born Foreign Affairs magazine promotion manager Patrick Dennis (Edward Everett Tanner III), 34, whose story of a rich young orphan and his eccentric aunt has been rejected by 10 publishers (see play, 1956); The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearn by Irish-born Canadian novelist Brian Moore, 34; Street of Riches (Rue Deschambault) by Gabrielle Roy; White Man (Shiroi hito) and Yellow Man (Kiiroi hito) by Japanese novelist Shusaku Endo, 32, who became a Roman Catholic at age 11; Ten North Frederick by John O'Hara; Andersonville by MacKinlay Kantor; A Good Man Is Hard to Find (stories) by Flannery O'Connor includes "The Artificial Nigger" and "Parker's Back"; A Charmed Life by Mary McCarthy; To Whom She Will (in the United States, Amrita) by Cologne-born writer Ruth Jhabvala (née Prawer), 28, who became a British citizen in 1948 and has lived in India since 1951; A Child in the House by Irish novelist Janet McNeill, 47; The Seizure of Power (Zdobycie wladzy) and The Issa Valley (Dolina Issy) by Czeslaw Milosz; The Etruscan (Turms, Kuolematon) by Mika Waltari; Up the Trail from Texas by J. Frank Dobie; To Tame a Land by Louis L'Amour; Tunnel in the Sky by Robert A. Heinlein; Hell's Pavement by Oregon-born New York science-fiction writer Damon (Francis) Knight, 32; The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith; Pray for a Brave Heart by Helen MacInnes; The Name Is Archer (stories) by John Ross MacDonald, whose hard-boiled detective Lew Archer deliberately echoes the name of Miles Archer, the fictional partner of Dashiell Hammett's Sam Spade; Witness for the Prosecution by Agatha Christie.
Thomas Mann suffers a heart attack in July while on holiday in the Netherlands and dies at Zürich August 12 at age 80; novelist-screenwriter Horace McCoy dies of a heart attack at Beverly Hills, Calif., December 15 at age 58.
Poetry: "Howl" by New York beatnik poet Allen Ginsberg, 29, who reads it at the Six Gallery in Berkeley, Calif., and wins acclaim in the youth underground; Pictures of the Cold World by Yonkers, N.Y.-born San Francisco poet Lawrence (Monsanto) Ferlinghetti (originally Ferling), 36, who 2 years ago helped open the city's City Lights Pocket Bookshop, this year founds the avant-garde City Lights Books publishing house, and next year will publish Ginsberg's poem as Howl and Other Poems (see 1957); Thou Shalt Not Kill by Kenneth Rexroth; Pictures of the Gone World and All That Is Lovely in Men by Robert Creeley; The Vestal Lady on Brattle by New York-born beatnik poet (Nunzio) Gregory Corso, 25, who at age 17 was sentenced to 3 years imprisonment for theft and met Allen Ginsberg after his release (he will join Ginsberg at San Francisco next year); Journey to Love by William Carlos Williams; The Shield of Achilles by W. H. Auden; A Way of Looking: Poems by Elizabeth Jennings; The Less Deceived by English poet Philip Larkin, 33; The Last May (Posledni maj) by Milan Kundera; Good News of Death and Other Poems by Louis Simpson; The Diamond Cutters by Adrienne Rich.
Poet Wallace Stevens dies at Hartford, Conn., August 2 at age 75.
Juvenile: Eloise: A Book for Precocious Grown Ups by St. Louis-born New York entertainer Kay Thompson (née Kitty Fink), 51 (approximate), whose ill-mannered, ill-tempered, ugly 6-year-old heroine lives at the Plaza Hotel (whose management will hang a portrait of the little imp in its lobby). Thompson came up with the idea for her precocious child impersonation during rehearsals of her act with the Williams Brothers, with whom she sang from 1947 to 1953, has used it since last year in a one-woman show at the Plaza's Persian Room, and has been introduced to illustrator Hillary Knight, whose pictures bring Eloise to life; Harold and the Purple Crayon by New York cartoonist Crockett Johnson (David Johnson Leisk), 48, who has been drawing the "Barnaby" comic strip since 1941 and will continue it until 1962; What Can You Do with a Shoe? by Beatrice Schenk de Regniers, two-color illustrations by Maurice Sendak.
Painting: Flag, White Flag, and Target with Four Faces (painted assemblage) by Augusta, Ga.-born painter and graphic artist Jasper Johns, 25; Scent by Jackson Pollock; Blue at Noon (oil on canvas) by Adolph Gottlieb; Portrait (box construction) by Joseph Cornell; Double Portrait of Berdie by Larry Rivers, who has painted two views of his mother-in-law in the nude; monochromatic surfaces by French painter Yves (originally Raymond) Klein, 27; The Women of Algiers, After Delacroix (series) by Pablo Picasso; Italian Square by Giorgio de Chirico; Brigitte Bardot by Kees Van Dongen, now 78, who has been a French citizen since 1929; Art Critic by Norman Rockwell. Surrealist Yves Tanguy dies of a stroke at Waterbury, Conn., January 15 at age 55; Nicolas de Staël jumps to his death from the terrace of his studio at Antibes March 16 at age 41; Fernand Léger dies at Gif-sur-Yvette, Seine-et-Oise August 17 at age 74 (he has been painter laureate of the French Communist Party); Maurice Utrillo dies of pneumonia at Dax in Landes November 5 at age 71.
Sculpture: Bed, Rebus, and Interview (assemblages) by Robert Rauschenberg; One and Others (painted wood) by Louise Bourgeois; Oval Sculpture (Delos) (wood) by Barbara Hepworth; the Aganippe Fountain by Carl Milles is installed at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art soon after Milles's death at Lidingö outside Stockholm September 19 at age 80.
Photographs: The Family of Man photographic exhibit opens January 23 at New York's Museum of Modern Art with 500 images from 68 countries. Arranged by Edward Steichen to convey the idea that mankind is universal, the most varied collection of pictures in the history of photography will tour America and much of the world. It includes photographs by people such as Irving Penn and notably the 1947 work The Walk in Paradise Garden by W. Eugene Smith.
Theater: The Desperate Hours by Joseph Hayes (who has adapted his 1954 novel) 2/10 at New York's Ethel Barrymore Theater, with Karl Malden, Paul Newman, Kendall Clark, North Carolina-born George Grizzard, 26, Patricia Peardon, 212 perfs.; Bus Stop by William Inge 3/2 at New York's Music Box Theater, with Kim Stanley, Albert Salmi, 478 perfs.; Ping-Pong (Le Ping-pong) by Arthur Adamov 3/2 at the Théâtre des Noctambules, Paris (Adamov's characters surrender themselves to a pinball machine in an endless, aimless game of chance intended to represent the ultimate futility of life; Cat on a Hot Tin Roof by Tennessee Williams 3/24 at New York's Morosco Theater, with Barbara Bel Geddes, New York-born actor Ben (originally Biagio Anthony) Gazzara, 34, Mildred Dunnock, Illinois-born folk singer Burl Ives (originally Burl Icle Ivanhoe), 46, as "Big Daddy," 694 perfs.; Inherit the Wind by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee 4/21 at New York's National Theater, with Paul Muni as Clarence Darrow, Ed Begley as William Jennings Bryan in a drama based on the 1925 Scopes "monkey trial," 806 perfs.; A View from the Bridge by Arthur Miller 9/29 at New York's Coronet Theater, with J. Carrol Naish, Van Heflin, Eileen Heckart, Jack Warden, 149 perfs.; The Diary of Anne Frank by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett (based on the late Holocaust victim's writings) 10/5 at New York's Cort Theater (to Ambassador Theater 2/26/1957), with Joseph Schildkraut, New York-born ingénue Susan Strasberg, 17 (daughter of Actors' Studio head Lee Strasberg), New York-born actor Jack Gilford, 47, Austrian-born actress Gusti Huber, 41, Lou Jacobi, 717 perfs.; No Time for Sergeants by New York-born playwright-novelist Ira Levin, 26, 10/20 at New York's Alvin Theater, with Andy Griffith, London-born actor Roddy McDowell, 27, Morgantown, W. Va.-born actor Don Knotts, 31, 796 perfs.; The Desk Set by Allentown, Pa.-born playwright William Marchant, 32, 10/24 at New York's Broadhurst Theater, with Shirley Booth, Brooklyn-born actor Louis Gossett Jr., 19, Elizabeth Wilson, Joyce Van Patten, St. Louis-born ingénue Doris Roberts, 24, 296 perfs.; The Chalk Garden by Enid Bagnold 10/26 at New York's Ethel Barrymore Theater, with Siobhan McKenna, Fritz Weaver, Betsy von Furstenberg, Gladys Cooper, Marian Seldes, 182 perfs. (it will have a run of 658 performance after it opens next May at London's Royal Court Theatre); A Hatful of Rain by New Jersey-born playwright Michael V. Gazzo, 32, 11/9 at New York's Lyceum Theater, with Ben Gazzara, Shelley Winters, Frank Silvera, Anthony Franciosa is about drug addiction, 398 perfs.; The Lark by Lillian Hellman (who has adapted a Jean Anouilh story) 11/17 at New York's Longacre Theater, with Julie Harris, Theodore Bikel, Boris Karloff, Toronto-born actor Christopher Plummer, 27, Montreal-born actor Joseph Wiseman, 37, sets and lighting by Jo Mielziner, incidental music by Leonard Bernstein, 229 perfs.; The Matchmaker by Thornton Wilder (based on a German play that was based on an English novel) 12/5 at New York's Royale Theater (to Booth Theater 11/12/1956), with Glasgow-born actress Eileen Herlie, 35, Ruth Gordon, Loring Smith, Saskatchewan-born actor Arthur Hill, 33, 486 perfs.
Playwright Anne Crawford Flexner dies at Providence, R.I., January 11 at age 79; actress Ona Munson is found dead of a sleeping-pill overdose in her New York apartment February 11 at age 48; poet-playwright Paul Claudel dies of a heart attack at Paris February 23 at age 86; actress-dramatic coach Constance Collier of a heart attack at New York April 25 at age 75; Broadway producer John Golden of a heart attack at Bayside, N.Y., June 17 at age 80; playwright-actress Aurania Rouverol at Palo Alto, Calif., June 23 at age 69; actress Lily Cahill at her native San Antonio July 20 at age 70; producer-director Margo Jones of uremic poisoning at Dallas July 24 at age 42 after inhaling rug-cleaning fumes; actor Philip Loeb dies at New York September 1 at age 61; scene and costume designer Aline Bernstein of cancer at New York September 7 at age 74; actor Anthony Ross of a coronary thrombosis at New York October 25 at age 46; playwright Robert E. Sherwood of a heart attack at New York November 12 at age 59.
Television: Peter Pan 3/7 on NBC with Mary Martin in a live TV production of the Broadway musical that attracts the largest audience (65 to 75 million viewers) in history. Producer Fred Coe of Philco Television Playhouse fame has brought the show to television and receives wide acclaim.
Other TV: The Bob Cummings Show 1/2 on NBC with Cummings, Rosemary DeCamp (to 9/15/1959, 173 episodes); The Grove Family 1/7 on BBC is the first TV family serial to attract a mass audience; The $64,000 Question quiz show 6/7 on CBS with host Hal March is based on the radio show Take It or Leave It, whose top prize was $64. Sponsored by Revlon (whose CEO Charles Revson initially thinks it a big mistake), the new program builds an audience by having contestants return each week as their winnings increase exponentially from $2,000 to $4,000, etc., creating a tension that brings viewers back for more to make this the top-rated program on the air (to 11/2/58). New York-born Columbia University experimental psychology student Joyce Bauer Brothers, 28, has memorized the Ring Encyclopedia and in December wins $64,000 with her command of facts about prizefighting. By the end of the 1950s she will have her degree and, as Dr. Joyce Brothers, will be dispensing advice in a newspaper column and on TV shows. Advertisers put pressure on quiz-show producers to keep attractive contestants on the air in order to boost audience ratings (see 1958); The Johnny Carson Show 6/30 on NBC with 29-year-old Iowa-born, Nebraska-raised comedian Carson (to 9/22/1956); The Soupy Sales Show 7/4 on ABC with North Carolina-born pie-throwing comic Sales (Milton Hines), 29, (to 4/13/1962); The Lawrence Welk Show 7/2 on ABC (9/4/1971); Gunsmoke 9/10 on CBS with Minneapolis-born actor James Arness (James Aurness), 32 (as Marshall Matt Dillon), Joplin, Mo.-born actor Dennis Weaver, 31 (as deputy Chester Goode), Milburn Stone, Buffalo-born actress Amanda Blake (Beverly Neill), 24 (to 3/31/1975); The Phil Silvers Show (You'll Never Get Rich) 9/2 on CBS with Phil Silvers as Master Sgt. and con man Ernie Bilko, U.S. Army (stationed at Roseville, Kansas), Paul Ford; Sergeant Preston of the Yukon 9/29 on CBS with Richard Simmons (to 9/25/1958); The Honeymooners 10/1 on CBS with Brooklyn, N.Y.-born comedian Jackie Gleason, 39, Mount Vernon, N.Y.-born actor Art (Arthur) Carney, 36 (who landed on the Normandy Beach in June 1944), China-born actress Audrey Meadows (originally Audrey Cotter), 31 (to 5/9/1971); The Mickey Mouse Club 10/3 on ABC with "Mousketeers" Annette Funicello, Cubby O'Brien, Karen Pendleton, Cheryl Holdridge, and host Jimmie Dodd, who has composed the march "M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E" (to 9/24/1959); Captain Kangaroo 10/3 on CBS with actor Bob Keeshan, now 28, in a morning show for preschoolers (Keeshan learned his craft in the Howdy Doody Show as Clarabell the Clown, and he now appears with a sugar-bowl haircut and walrus moustache wearing a uniform jacket with big pouch pockets, chatting with his friend Mr. Green Jeans [Hugh "Lumpy" Brannum] as he wanders through his Treasure House). His new show will continue for 30 years; The Mighty Mouse Playhouse 12/10 on CBS (Saturday morning cartoon show) (to 10/22/1966).
BBC acquires the venerable Ealing Studios in the London suburb and will use the facilities until 1979 for editing its TV films. Producer Michael Balcon cuts a deal with M-G-M to continue making films at Metro's Borehamwood studios.
Films: Elia Kazan's East of Eden with Julie Harris, Indiana-born actor James Dean (originally James Byron), 24, Raymond Massey, Burl Ives; John Ford and Mervyn LeRoy's Mister Roberts with Henry Fonda, James Cagney, Boston-born actor Jack (Uhler) Lemmon, 30, William Powell; Leslie Norman's The Night My Number Came Up with Michael Redgrave, Sheila Sim, Alexander Knox, Denholm Elliott, 33; Carl Dreyer's Ordet with Henrik Malberg, Emil Hass, Christiansen Preben, Lendorff Rye; Nicholas Ray's Rebel without a Cause with Natalie Wood, New York-born actor Sal (Salvatore) Mineo, 16, James Dean; Ingmar Bergman's Smiles of a Summer Night with Ulla Jacobsen, Harriet Andersson, Eva Dahlbeck, Jarl Kulle. Also: Frank Launder's The Belles of St. Trinians with Alastair Sim, Joyce Grenfell, Hermione Baddeley, Beryl Reid; Richard Brooks's Blackboard Jungle with Canadian-born actor Glenn (originally Gwylyn) Ford, 39, Anne Francis; Daniel Mann's I'll Cry Tomorrow with Susan Hayward, New York-born actor Richard (originally Nicholas) Conte, 37; Robert Aldrich's Kiss Me Deadly with Ralph Meeker; Hamilton Luske, Clyde Geronimi, and Wilfred Jackson's The Lady and the Tramp with Walt Disney animation, voices of Peggy Lee, Stan Freberg, et. al.; Delbert Mann's Marty with Ernest Borgnine in an adaptation of the 1953 Paddy Chayefsky television script; Charles Laughton's The Night of the Hunter with Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters, Lillian Gish; Joshua Logan's Picnic with William Holden, Chicago-born actress Kim (originally Marilyn) Novak, 22, Rosalind Russell; Daniel Mann's The Rose Tattoo with Anna Magnani, Burt Lancaster; Hiroshi Inagaki's Samurai with Toshiro Mifune (as the 16th-century swordsman Musashi Miyamoto), Kaoru Yachigawa, Rentaro Mikumi; Brian Desmond-Hurst's Simba with Dirk Bogarde, London-born actress Virginia McKenna, 24; David Lean's Summertime with Katharine Hepburn, Bologna-born actor Rossano Brazzi, 38, in a film version of the Arthur Laurents play Time of the Cuckoo.
Silent-film star Theda Bara dies of cancer at Los Angeles April 7 at age 64; actor Walter Hampden of a stroke while en route to the M-G-M studio at Hollywood June 11 at age 75; James Dean is killed in an automobile accident near Paso Robles, Calif., September 30 at age 24 (ticketed 2 hours earlier for going 65 miles per hour in a 45-mile-per-hour zone, he crashes his Porsche Spyder sportscar head-on into a vehicle driven by Donald Turnupseed while speeding to the Salinas auto races); John Hodiak dies of a coronary thrombosis at Tarzana, Calif., October 19 at age 41; director Lloyd Bacon of a cerebral hemorrhage at Burbank November 15 at age 65.
Disneyland opens July 17 at Anaheim, 25 miles south of Los Angeles. Mickey Mouse originator Walt Disney has borrowed on his life insurance, stock holdings, house, and furniture to acquire an orange grove, cut it down, and finance construction of the Jungle River Ride, Mark Twain paddle-wheeler ride, and other attractions of Adventureland, Frontierland, Fantasyland, and Tomorrowland for the $17 million 244-acre amusement park. Its merry-go-round is a copy of the one at Los Angeles's Griffith Park.
Hollywood musicals: Charles Vidor's Love Me or Leave Me with Doris Day (as Ruth Etting), James Cagney; Fred Zinnemann's Oklahoma! with Gordon MacRae, Pennsylvania-born actress Shirley Jones, 21, Charlotte Greenwood; Richard Quine's My Sister Eileen with Betty Garrett, Janet Leigh, Jack Lemmon, Bob Fosse.
Songwriter Gus Arnheim dies of a heart attack at his Beverly Hills home January 19 at age 56; singer Carmen Miranda of a heart attack at her Beverly Hills home August 5 at age 42.
Broadway musicals: Silk Stockings 2/24 at the Imperial Theater, with German actress Hildegarde Neff (originally Knef), 29, as Ninotchka, George Tobias, Julie Newmar, Don Ameche, David Opatashu, music and lyrics by Cole Porter, songs that include "All of You," 478 perfs.; Damn Yankees 5/5 at the 46th Street Theater, with Gwen Verdon, music and lyrics by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross, songs that include "Whatever Lola Wants," "You've Got to Have Heart," "Two Lost Souls," 1,019 perfs.; Pipe Dream 11/3 at the Sam S. Shubert Theater, with operatic diva Helen Traubel, now 56, music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, based on the John Steinbeck novel Sweet Thursday, songs that include "All at Once You Love Her," 246 perfs.
Former Broadway and London musical comedy star Trixie Friganza dies at Flintridge, Calif., February 27 at age 84; Broadway songwriter Jerry Ross of a chronic lung infection at New York November 11 at age 29.
Opera: Marian Anderson makes her Metropolitan Opera debut 1/7 singing the role of Ulrica in the 1859 Verdi opera Un Ballo in Mascherahe first black to sing at the Met; Renata Tebaldi makes her Metropolitan Opera debut 1/31 singing the role of Desdemona in the 1887 Verdi opera Otello; the Vienna State Opera House (Staatsoper) reopens after having been nearly completely destroyed by wartime bombing and gunfire.
Ballet: London-born accountant and musician Rudolf Benesh, 39, introduces the Benesh Movement Notation system for choreography, defining "choreology" as "the scientific and aesthetic study of all forms of human movement by movement notation." His wife, Joan, was a dancer for the Sadler's Wells Ballet in the late 1940s, and her efforts to write down and then decipher dance steps inspired Benesh to invent a reliable way of notating them. The Benesh Institute (initially called The Institute of Choreology) that Benesh will found in 1962 will amalgamate in mid-April 1997 with the Royal Academy of Dance.
First performances: Symphony No. 8 by Heitor Villa-Lobos 1/14 at Philadelphia's Academy of Music; Symphony No. 5 (Sinfonia Sacra) by Howard Hanson 2/18 at Philadelphia's Academy of Music; Symphony No. 6 by Walter Piston 11/25 at Boston's Symphony Hall.
Composer Georges Enesco dies at Paris May 4 at age 73; composer Arthur Honegger at Paris November 27 at age 63.
The Merengue introduced to U.S. dance floors by New York teacher Albert Butler, 61, and his wife, Josephine, is an adaptation of a Dominican one-step combining the rumba and paso doble.
Popular songs: "Rock Around the Clock" by William "Bill" Haley; "Maybellene" by St. Louis-born guitarist-blues singer-songwriter Charles Edward Anderson "Chuck" Berry, 28, Russ Frato, and Alan Freed. Berry went to prison for armed robbery while attending high school but scores an immediate hit; Count Basie Swings, Joe Williams Sings (album) includes a new version of "Every Day (I Have the Blues)" arranged by Ernie Wilkins; "Something's Gotta Give" by Johnny Mercer (for the film Daddy Long Legs); "Memories Are Made of This" by Terry Gilkyson, Richard Debny, and Frank Miller; "Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing" by Sammy Fain, lyrics by Paul Francis Webster (title song for Henry King's film); California-born singer Julie London (originally Julie Peck), 28, records "Cry Me a River" by Arthur Hamilton and includes it in her first album, Julie Is Her Name; "Love and Marriage" by Jimmy Van Heusen, lyrics by Sammy Cahn (for a TV production of Thornton Wilder's Our Town); "Domani" by Italian composer Ulpio Minucci, lyrics by Tony Velona; "Dance with Me, Henry" and "The Wallflower" by Los Angeles-born rhythm & blues singer Etta James (Etta Hawkins), 17; Tennessee-born country-and-western singer Ernest Jennings "Tennessee Ernie" Ford, 36, records the coal-mining ballad "16 Tons" and it has sales of 2 million copies in its first 9 weeks (it will ultimately have sales of more than 20 million worldwide); "Nearer to Thee" by Clarksdale, Miss.-born soul singer-songwriter Sam Cooke, 24.
Country music impresario Owen Bradley, 40, opens the first Nashville recording studio. He will be credited with creating the "Nashville sound."
Charlie Parker makes his final appearance at New York's Birdland and dies of a heart attack March 12 at age 53 in the Fifth Avenue apartment of Baroness Nica Rothschild de Koenigswater; songwriter Al Piantadosi dies at Encino, Calif., April 8 at age 71; Tin Pan Alley lyricist Andrew B. Sterling at his Stanford, Conn., home August 11 at age 80; "Charleston" songwriter Jimmy Johnson of a stroke at New York November 17 at age 61; Charles "Cow Cow" Davenport at Cleveland December 2 at age 63.
Skiing instructor Hannes Schneider dies of a heart attack at his North Conway, N.H., home April 26 at age 64; former heavyweight boxing champion Tommy Burns at Vancouver, B.C., May 10 at age 73.
Swaps beats the favorite Nashua to win the Kentucky Derby under the whip of Texas-born jockey William Lee "Bill" Shoemaker, 23, but Nashua comes back with jockey Eddie Arcaro, now 39, to defeat Swaps in a match race and will be retired to stud next year, the first race horse to be syndicated for more than $1 million.
Tennessee-born dentist-turned-golfer (Emmett) Cary Middlecoff, 34, wins the Masters golf tournament, beating Ben Hogan, now 42, by seven strokes.
Tony Trabert wins in men's singles at Wimbledon and Forest Hills, Louise Brough in women's singles at Wimbledon, Doris Hart at Forest Hills.
The Philadelphia Athletics become the Kansas City Athletics as baseball broadens its geographical base.
The Brooklyn Dodgers win their first World Series, defeating the New York Yankees 4 games to 3.
Washington Senators owner and American League cofounder Clark Griffith dies at Washington, D.C., October 27 at age 85 (his adopted son Calvin [né Robertson], 43, and adopted daughter Thelma inherit control of the franchise that they will move to Minnesota after the 1960 season); legendary pitcher Cy Young dies at Newcomerstown, Ohio, November 4 at age 88 (the Cy Young Award will soon be established for the best pitcher in the major leagues each year, and the award will later be given to the best in each league); former Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop and National League batting champion Honus Wagner dies at Carnegie, Pa., December 5 at age 81.
Florence Chadwick breaks her 1951 Channel swim speed record October 12, crossing Le Manche in 13 hours, 33 minutes.
Vacuum cleaner inventor Hubert C. Booth dies at Croydon, England, January 14 at age 83.
Dress designer Cristóbal Balenciaga introduces a tunic ensemble that wins worldwide acclaim (see 1937). Now 60, the creative Balenciaga builds on the legacy of Coco Chanel and Madeleine Vionnet to produce clothes that break new ground while the better-known Christian Dior is reinventing the past.
Paris perfumer-dress maker Marcel Rochas dies of a cerebral hemorrhage at Paris March 14 age 53, the fashion house that he opened in 1925 closes, but an associate persuades his 28-year-old widow, Helene, to reopen the company, and she will head the house of Rochas perfume until 1971.
The stiletto heel comes into fashion for women and sweeps the world (see 1954). Marilyn Monroe will be quoted as saying, "I don't know who invented the high heel but women owe him a lot," but while some women profess to find high heels more comfortable than flats, most say their feet are "killing" them after a few hours in heels, and the new, sharp heels damage floors and carpets.
Alberto-Culver Co. is founded by Chicago entrepreneur Leonard H. Lavin, 34, and his wife, Bernice, 28, who acquire a West Coast beauty-supply company from a man named Culver, whose chemist Alberto has developed a hairdressing formula for use at Hollywood studios. The Lavins move the company to Chicago, discontinue more than 100 products in its line to concentrate on the hair product Alberto VO5 Conditioning, and will open a factory in 1960 at suburban Melrose Park, Ill. (see 1965).
Fresno, Calif.-born farmer's son Kirk Kerkorian, 38, buys a stake in the Dunes casino at Las Vegas, Nev., beginning an involvement that will make him the leading player in the city's burgeoning gaming industry (see 1946; Dunes, 1957; International Hotel, 1969).
Contract bridge expert Ely Culbertson dies of lung and heart ailments at Brattleboro, Vt., December 27 at age 64.
U.S. cigarette consumption resumes its rise after a 2-year drop as the industry increases its advertising, especially on network television. R. J. Reynolds promotes its filter-tipped Winstons, American Tobacco its cork-tipped king-size Herbert Tareytons with activated charcoal filter, P. Lorillard its Old Gold filters, Brown & Williamson its new filter-tipped Kools and Raleighs, Philip Morris its Benson & Hedges and Marlboro filters (see "Marlboro Country," 1962).
Philip Morris chairman Joseph F. Cullman, Jr. dies at New York March 18 at age 72.
Welsh-born English nightclub hostess Ruth Ellis (née Neilson), 28, shoots her former lover in a jealous rage outside a Hampton pub April 10 (he has been trying to end their often violent relationship). She is hanged July 13 (no other woman will receive the death penalty in Britain for more than 40 years).
A gun battle with police at Gwalior in Uttar Pradesh August 25 ends with the death of 65-year-old Indian landowner Man Singh and his eldest son, Subedar Singh. Man Singh was imprisoned briefly 13 years ago in connection with a vendetta that he has had with a Brahmin priest, vowed to kill every member of the priest's family, turned bandit, became known as the "Robin Hood" of India, but has reportedly committed a thousand robberies and 150 murders over a 1,000-square-mile area in northern India.
Long Island, N.Y., socialite Ann (Eden) Woodward (née Crowell), 33, shoots her husband, banker-horsebreeder William Woodward Jr., 35, just after 2 o'clock on the morning of October 30 and tells police she mistook him for a prowler. Awakened by a sound downstairs, she has picked up a rifle and aimed at a moving shape in the night. Police find her bent over her husband's naked body; she is not prosecuted.
Architecture, Real Estate
Le Corbusier completes Notre Dame du Haut at Ronchamp, France.
The Hiroshima Peace Center is completed after 6 years of effort to designs by Tokyo-trained Japanese architect Kenzo Tange, 42, whose work combines traditional elements with the influence of Le Corbusier.
The United States has 30,000 motels or motor courts, up from 10,000 in 1935.
The London Clean Air Act passed in October bans the burning of untreated coal to prevent a recurrence of the killer smog of 1952 and save an estimated $4.5 million per year to repair the corrosion damage and clean up the 75,000 tons of soot that rained down on the city. The new law will permit 80 percent more sunshine to reach London, birds will return, grass grow, churches and other buildings be cleaned and returned to their original white stone appearance for the first time in centuries as workers remove soot packed up to nine inches deep (see 1956).
Mao Zedong (Mao Tse-tung) proposes rapid collectivization of Chinese agriculture (see 1950). Other leaders fear a repetition of the Soviet Union's experience in the late 1920s and early '30s, but Mao prevails and peasants who resist are liquidated.
Dwarf indica rice introduced into Taiwan (Formosa) is higher yielding than most varieties but requires lots of fertilizer and insecticides.
Hurricane Janet hits Grenada in the British West Indies, destroying 75 percent of the island's nutmeg trees (see 1858). Grenada's trees have long supplied 40 percent of world nutmeg and mace production, the only other major source is the tiny island of Siame north of the Celebes whose shipments are delayed by troubles in Indonesia, and since it takes 2 months for the nutmeg to reach Singapore and another 2 to reach New York, the price of nutmeg rises from 35¢ per pound to over $2.
Clove trees in Zanzibar suffer from fungus disease carried by ants that may find opportunity in the wounds inflicted on the trees in harvesting. Unskilled natives strip off hard-to-reach branches and it often takes years for the trees to recover.
The National Farmers Organization (NFO) founded by farmers from northwest Missouri and southwest Iowa will engage in collective bargaining in livestock, grain, and milk nationwide. The farmers have been disgruntled by livestock prices lower than production costs.
King Ranch co-owner Richard Miflin Kleberg Sr. dies at Hot Springs, Ark., May 8 at age 67. His spread has grown to encompass 940,000 acres of Texas rangeland.
A USDA survey finds that one-tenth of U.S. families live on nutritionally "poor" diets, a healthy improvement over 1943 findings.
Britain's first fluoridation of community drinking water begins November 17 in Anglesey (see 1945).
Crest toothpaste contains stannous fluoride (see Gleem, 1952). Introduced by Procter & Gamble, it will become the top-selling U.S. dentifrice, encouraging other makers to introduce fluoride toothpastes.
Biochemist Dorothy Hodgkin discovers the composition of vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin), raising hopes that the vitamin can be synthesized for low-cost treatment of pernicious anemia and other deficiency diseases (see 1948).
Health-food advocate and publisher Bernarr MacFadden dies of jaundice after a 2-day fast at Jersey City, N.J., October 12 at age 87.
Food And Drink
Campbell Soup Co. enters the frozen foods business by acquiring control of C. A. Swanson & Sons, originator of the "TV Dinner" (see 1953). Campbell will expand the Swanson line of 11 prepared frozen items to 65 in the next 17 years.
Margaret Rudkin introduces a new line of Pepperidge Farm Cookies under names such as Bordeaux, Lido, Milano, and Orleans. The line will be expanded to include variations such as Hazelnut, Mint Milano, Double Chocolate Milano, Hazelnut Milano, Oatmeal-Raisin, and Shortbread (see Campbell, 1961).
Supermarkets account for 60 percent of U.S. grocery sales.
Special K breakfast food, introduced by Kellogg, is 4.4 percent sugar (see Sugar Frosted Flakes, 1952; Cocoa Krispies, 1958).
Coca-Cola Company uses the name "Coke" officially for the first time (see 1945; Minute Maid, 1960; Tab, 1963).
Tropicana's Anthony Rossi builds a port at Cape Canaveral, Fla. (see 1951). Unable to expand his fleet of trucks for shipping chilled orange juice to northern markets, Rossi buys an 8,000-ton ship with stainless steel tanks, builds a bottling plant at Whitestone, Queens, and begins sending juice north by ship, a practice he will later abandon in favor of rail and truck shipment.
Sausage maker Oscar F. Mayer dies at Chicago March 11 at age 95; Planter's Nut cofounder Mario Peruzzi at Wilkes-Barre, Pa., December 10 at age 80; Ralston-Purina cofounder William H. Danforth at St. Louis December 24 at age 85.
Ray Kroc opens his first McDonald's hamburger stand April 15 at Des Plaines, Ill., northwest of Chicago, selling hamburgers for 15¢, french fries for 10¢, and milkshakes for 20¢ (see 1954); he opens two more, both in California, and founds the Franchise Realty Corp. By 1959 he will have 100 such outlets as he seeks out managers skilled at personal relations (see 1961).
Colonel Sanders' Kentucky Fried Chicken has its beginnings as Corbin, Ky., restaurateur Harland Sanders, 65, travels the country in his old Chevrolet loaded with pots and pans and a "secret blend of herbs and spices" looking for prospective licensees. He opened a gas station nearly 30 years ago, turned it into a roadside restaurant in 1929 after truckers started asking for the chicken they smelled cooking in his kitchen, has run the place most recently with his wife, Claudia, 52 (who worked as a waitress in the restaurant before she married him in 1948), but has been ruined by a new highway that diverted traffic from his location. His only income is a $105 monthly Social Security check, but although he dropped out of school in the seventh grade Sanders is a natural-born salesman; wearing a double-breasted white suit and black string tie to project a Southern-gentleman image, he will franchise hundreds of "finger-lickin' good" fast food operators and have 600 outlets by 1963, receiving 3 percent of franchisees' gross sales in return for use of his name, spices, milk and egg dip, gravy mix, and paper supplies (see 1964).
Fernand Point of the Restaurant de la Pyramide at Vienne dies at his gastronomic mecca March 4 at age 58 (see 1923). His widow, Dominique ("Mado"), will continue until her death in 1986 to operate the ultimate expression of France's haute cuisine.
The U.S. Census Bureau reveals that the American population increased by 2.8 million last year, the largest 1-year advance on record.
The Soviet Union resumes legalized abortion on demand subject to certain safeguards but discourages abortion and birth control (see 1936).
The Planned Parenthood Federation of America holds conferences on abortion.
The Fifth International Conference on Planned Parenthood convenes at Tokyo and hears Gregory Pincus speak about inhibition of ovulation in women who have taken progesterone or norethynodrel, active ingredients in newly developed contraceptive pills that will soon be spoken of collectively as The Pill (see 1954). The new oral contraceptive has a failure rate of only one pregnancy per thousand women per year (see Puerto Rico study, 1957).