The Year 1955 Overview/Review From The World’s Largest Pop Culture History Weekly Date And Timeline
The Year 1955 In Events, News, Information, Entertainment, Technology, Music, Celebrity, TV, Movies, Sports, Business, History
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Rock 'n Roll Is Underway W/Alan Freed At Radio WINS, NY
Also, You Can Access Year 1955 Week-By-Week – Right Column
1955 - Year Of Davy Crockett/Alan Freed & Rock 'n Roll
"Disneyland" on ABC-TV is Broadcasting "Davy Crockett" In Several Parts:
January - Ethel Merman says she’s through making musicals on Broadway. “I wouldn’t mind making another movie or two, but no more Broadway musicals. Broadway has been good to me, but I’ve been good to it too. Broadway has had it”… At a news conference in New York, Marilyn Monroe announces that she is forming her own corporation (Marilyn Monroe Productions) and has no contract with her studio, saying she was unhappy with several recent pictures. “I want to help produce, such as television and all kinds of things.” Taking issue with her statements, 20th Century-Fox says Monroe may have a new look, but they own it. “Marilyn Monroe has a firm contract with 20th Century Fox for her exclusive services until August 8, 1958”… Marry - Jayne Mansfield (24) and Mickey Hargitay (20)… Marilyn Monroe goes on suspension for failure to report at 20-Century Fox for preproduction work on “How To Be Very Very Popular.” Darryl Zanuck says that Sherree North will replace Marilyn in the film. “Pink ights,” originally slated for North, will go later… Watch “Mr Wizard” on NBC-TV… There's a lot of buzz on the "Disneyland" ABC-TV showing of "Davy Crockett" this month.
Top Pop Hit Music Single – “Mr. Sandman” – The Chordettes
February - A Gallup Poll finds that Mambo Mania is here. Some 7 million across the U.S. have tried the dance… Hedda Hopper reports that a group of 20 th -Century Fox stockholders have banded together in an effort to get rid of Marilyn Monroe. “We don’t like the blight she is giving to the company. It’s disgusting. She’s had four or five years’ training - enough to produce ten competent actresses and she still can’t act,” said a spokesperson… Davy Crockett - Because of the recent ABC-TV/Disneyland showing of Davy Crockett, there’s going to be lots of record action. Out front is Columbia Records/Fess Parker’s version of “The Ballad of Davy Crockett” but it’s one of several to hit the marketplace. What’s interesting is, Burl Ives cut the song some time ago, and Decca is re-releasing his version… Stan Freberg, who loves to satirize radio and television programs, is now in the radio advertising business - producing commercials. You can hear his Enoch Chevrolet radio spots in Los Angeles. Will there be more?...
At the Golden Globe awards:
Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn receive recognition as the most popular stars in 50 different countries.
Best film - “On the Waterfront”
Best actor - Marlon Brando
Best actress - Grace Kelly
Best performers in a musical film - Judy Garland and James Mason
Best supporting actors - Jan Sterling and Edmond O’Brien
Best musical - “Carmen Jones”
Pioneer awards (first time issued) - Director John Ford for his 35 years of film contributions and Dr. Herbert Kalmus, president of Technicolor for his inventions in color photography during the past 40 years.
It's Davy Crockett Time!
March - Walter Winchell says he’s quitting ABC radio and television next Dec. 25 after nearly 25 years. He expects to stay on the air, either with another network or producing his own newscasts…
27th Academy Awards - Some Winners:
Best actor - Marlon Brando - “On the Waterfront.”
Best actress - Grace Kelly - “The Country Girl.”
Best supporting actor - Edmond O’Brien - “The Barefoot Contessa,”
Best supporting actress - Eva Marie Saint - “On the Waterfront.”
Best picture - “On The Waterfront.” Best song - “Three Coins In A Fountain.”
Music by Jule Styne; Lyrics by Sammy Cahn
Best screenplay - “The Country Girl” - George Seaton
April - Perry Como is moving from CBS to NBC. He’ll leave CBS on July 1 to star in an hour-long program for the fall… Dr. Frances Horwich is named television supervisor to maintain NBC-TV’s high program standards for children’s programming. Dr. Horwich will work closely with producers, directors and packagers, as well as with outside organizations and agencies interested in improving and developing such programs. She’s known to millions of kids as host of the popular NBC- TV children’s show, Ding Dong School… Arthur Godfrey fires six of his top performers and three writers in a surprise shake-up of the cast of his radio and TV shows. Gone are singer Marion Marlowe , Hawaiian singer Haleloke and the Mariners, a quartet that joined Godfrey in 1940. Godfrey hinted that he might be concerned about the declining popularity of the shows as reflected in recent ratings. Immediately after the announcement, Ms. Marlowe was signed for six performances on the Ed Sullivan show for $3000 each. Sullivan also was the first to sign-up Julius La Rosa after the baritone was fired by Godfrey more than a year ago for “lack of humility.” His Wednesday night show has taken a huge hit because of “Disneyland” on ABC-TV… Bela Lugosi admits he’s used narcotics for 20 years…
Now At Theaters - "Blackboard Jungle" Starring Glenn Ford
May - In the new issue of Look Magazine - the never told-- before story of what completely changed Marlon Brando’s character and outlook on life. What are his plans for marriage and his future hopes as an actor? Read the story for Marlon Brando’s fight for acceptance as a sensitive, intelligent human being. It’s all in the new issue of LOOK - with Brando on the cover… Newlyweds - Joan Crawford returns to Hollywood with her new husband, Alfred N. Steele, soft drink tycoon. They were married in Las Vegas… Frank Sinatra captures a suspected prowler at his Palm Springs home. The crooner tackled Robert Enriquez who said he was “trying to get into Frankie’s house to sell him a song I had composed.” Sinatra did not press charges and Enriquez was let go… Crooner Dick Haymes - Argentine-born husband of actress Rita Hayworth, wins victory in his legal fight to avoid deportation. The U.S. sought to ship the singer back to Argentina on grounds Haymes illegally entered this country from Hawaii on his return from a 1953 visit. Haymes was also accused of having claimed his privilege as an alien to avoid the draft during World War II… Disneyland, the mammoth amusement park scheduled to open July 19 in Anaheim, California will contain its own retail music-record shop operated by the Walt Disney Studios. Store is to be called the Wonderland Music Store and will combine the features of a modern record outlet with that of the music shop of old vintage (player piano etc)…
Recent television ratings -
Jackie Gleason - 47.9
Toast of the Town - 45.3
You Bet Your Life - 41.8
I’ve Got a Secret - 37.4
This is Your Life - 37.3
Stage Show - 36.5
Person to Person - 35.5
Two for the Money - 35.2
Jack Benny - 34.9
Ford Theater - 34.4
June - Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio, although separated - attend the premiere of her “Seven Year Itch” in New York at Lowe’s State… CBS is dropping “The Morning Show” after July 1 Jack Paar, star of the show will appear in a new CBS-TV offering beginning July 4 afternoons… NBC will televise “ Howdy Doody” in color on a full-time basis beginning in the fall… They’re having a tiff, but Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis say they will remain a team. Basis of the squabble reportedly is that Paramount suggested and Lewis subsequently insisted - that the premiere of the comedy team’s latest movie be held in a resort in the Catskill Mountains where Lewis once worked as a busboy and has a lot of friends. Martin felt that, because of this, so much of the limelight would be on Lewis, that it would be practically a solo performance. … Alice Lon, Champagne lady singer with Lawrence Welk, is stripped and bound and her husband brutally beaten by three hoodlums in their home. The three masked assailants took photos of the disrobed singer… Johnny Carson will be starring in his own show beginning June 30 over CBS-TV. Barbara Ruick, singer and actress will be a featured performer. Sponsors will be General Foods and Revlon… Jayne Mansfield (21) files divorce suit against Paul J. Mansfield (25). They married in 1950… Dramatic Las Vegas return engagement - Sammy Davis Jr. returns to resume his engagement at the New Frontier, interrupted four months ago by a near tragic accident that cost him the sight of an eye. Sammy peeled-off his eye patch to a standing ovation…
Now At Theaters - "Lady & The Tramp"
July – On ABC-TV’s “The Amazing Dunninger” – Blonde Dagmar guests. Dunniger attempts to read the thoughts of an airline pilot in flight… Marries - Clark Gable (54) to Kay Spreckels (37). It’s his fifth and her third… Taking a leave from the Davy Crocket series being filmed in Kentucky, Fess Parker and Buddy Ebsen will fly to Hollywood to star in a salute to Walt Disney at the Hollywood Bowl… Doris Duke, the tobacco heiress sues Confidential Magazine for $3 million over an illustrated article that appeared in the last May issue of the publication. Miss Duke alleges that the article, accompanied by photographs, was malicious, false, libelous and degrading “wherein plaintiff is depicted as carrying on a relationship” with a member of a non-Caucasian race...
Top Pop Hit - "Rock Around The Clock" - Bill Hailey
Disneyland opens in Anaheim, California. Walt Disney gave the dedication speech at the town square at the head of Main Street. “All who come to this happy place - welcome.” “Here age relives fond memories of the past ... and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future.” “Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams and the hard facts that have created America ... with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world.” After a parade, Disney then visited each of the four lands, giving short dedication addresses. At Fantasyland, he said “This is a timeless land of enchantment where fairy tales come true - dedicated to the young at heart.” Disneyland has five sections - Fontierland, Adventureland, Fantasyland, Main Street, Tomorrowland.
“Entertainment beyond Expectation! Visit 160 Acres of Happiness - Disneyland. Open 7 days a week 10am to 10pm. Adults $1.00 including tax. Children under 12 - 50cents tax-free. Parking for 12,000 cars. Restaurants for every taste and purse.”
Just before it opened its gates to the public, some 15,000 people were waiting to get into Disneyland – four abreast with the line stretching about a mile. Walt Disney seemed to be everywhere - greeting customers at the front gate, at the heliport to welcome arrivals, at the administration building to iron out ever-present problems and circulating through the crowds signing autographs. Some of the exhibits were not yet open. Others suffered temporary breakdowns. A restaurant closed its doors at the height of the noon-hour rush when its dishwashing machines failed. A total of 30,000 attended during the first day.
Mix-ups did occur on the Disneyland-ABC broadcast. One of them almost happened on the air when Ronald Reagan was shut out of Frontierland. He scaled a wall and made it in front of the camera just on time. Walt Disney himself missed a cue when the Disneyland Train stalled going up a slope... Of course, Fess Parker and Buddy Ebsen made their appearance in Frontierland (Davy Crockett).
Disneyland Opens - ABC-TV
August - Passing - Carmen Miranda (41) at her home in Beverly Hills, a victim of a heart attack. The tiny actress, famed for her fruit salad hats, platform shoes and swinging hips had just completed the filming of a television comedy with Jimmy Durante…The success of Lassie and Rin Tin Tin, spawns yet another show about a 4-legged animal. “Fury” which relates to the adventures of a horse of the same name and an 11-year-old boy, will debut on NBC, Saturday October 15… Detroit’s Soupy Sales is being seen in New York – over WABC-TV. Weeknights at 7pm! … Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, who were reported feuding for the past few months, reconcile their difficulties. They will again appear on television as a team and will star in the picture “where Men Are Men” in October… Jack Benny will be devoting all his time to television when the 1955-1956 season begins. It’s the first time Benny will not be heard on radio regularly… Frank Sinatra arrives in Hollywood from New York and is hit by questions about the $1 million breach-of-contract suit lodged against him by 20 th -Century Fox. He reportedly quit his role in the movie “Carousel” because each scene was being shot twice with different types of cameras. When asked, he said, “See My Lawyers!”… Marry - Bandleader Ray Anthony to actress Mamie Van Doren… Rita Hayworth tells way she walked out on Dick Haymes last week. “I have separated from Dick because I believe that in the best interests of my children, Dick and myself it is necessary that both of us have time to think things out. I don’t know whether the separation will be final”… Marry - Bela Lugosi (72) takes his fifth bride. She’s Hope Louise Lininger (39)…. Actor Sterling Hayden takes a divorce decree from Mrs. Betty Anne Hayden with the complaint that she tried to dominate his life and was given to periods of “total silence”…
September - British actor Alex Guinness arrives in Hollywood for the first time. He’s set for the MGM picture - “The Swan”… Perry Como makes his debut on NBC-TV this week. He’ll have competition in a few weeks as Jackie Gleason debuts “Stage Show” with Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey and “The Honeymooners” - a 30-minute pullout from the earlier Gleason sketches. Como’s show is one hour and airs Saturday nights…
October - Actor James Dean (24) is killed in a head-on collision in Cholame, California - 19 miles east of Paso Robles. He was on his way to road races in Salinas from Hollywood. His mechanic, Rolph Wuetherich, who was also in the Porshe Spyder - suffered a fractured jaw, fractured hip and cuts over his body. He’s described as being in “moderately serious condition.” A physician says the actor died from a broken neck, numerous broken bones and lacerations all over his body. Dean just finished completing the movie “Giant.” Elizabeth Taylor, who co-stars with Dean in “Giant” said, “I can’t believe it. I’m just stunned.” Unmarried, James Dean leaves his father - Winton Dean - a dental technician… Ironically - James Dean participated in a "Don't Drive Fast" public service film - not too long ago (see below)... More October 1955 Pop News - Hedda Hopper says Dean Martin, half of the Martin-Lewis comedy team recently reconciled - has a new separation. His wife Jeanne has left him. Mrs. Martin, former Jeanne Biegger, one-time Orange Bowl queen of Miami and a cover girl, moved out of the couple’s Beverly Hills home, taking their two children with her. They are Dino (4) and Ricci (2). They were married September 1, 1949. This is the latest separation for the couple. They did it once before on February 11, 1953… Desi Arnaz says he’s so busy, particularly reading scripts for “I Love Lucy” - he doesn’t have time for much else. His office is the hub of all activities for Desilu Productions, which include “December Bride,” “The Danny Thomas Show” “My Favorite Husband” and many others… But, says Desi - “We have such a smooth-working group on the Lucy show that it’s a pleasure to do the program, even after all these years. I guess the greatest break Lucille and I ever got was finding a pair like Vivian Vance and Bill Frawley for partners”…
James Dean Says - Don't Drive Fast (Video)
November - Filing for divorce - singer Dick Haymes from Rita Hayworth. Also divorced this week - Marilyn Monroe from Joe DiMaggio. The couple was married January of last year. Monroe claimed DiMaggio had treated her with “coldness and indifferences” when she had expected “love, warmth and affection”… Frank Sinatra is now one of the hottest items in show business today. “I’m in demand – fortunately yes, citing ‘From Here to Eternity’ as the turning point. All of these wonderful roles came together -‘Guys and Dolls,’ ‘The Tender Trap,’ ‘Golden Arm’ and I have got five planned ahead, including two for my own company - a pretty even spit between straight parts and musicals. I still want to play clubs, meet the people.” About television, Sinatra says, “I don’t know - three or four special things a year, probably like ‘Our Town’”… “Davy Crockett” turns up again on “Disneyland” this week on ABC in a brand new episode. This time, he turns up as a Mississippi River trapper who turns river boatman. Fess Parker stars… Saturday mornings on CBS - “Captain Midnight” starring Richard Webb, “Tales of the Texas Rangers” with Willard Parker, “The Big Top” with Jack Sterling as your ringmaster, “The Lone Ranger” with Clayton Moore…. Dies - Shemp Howard , beloved third member of “The Three Stooges.” Mr. Howard and a friend, Robert Silverberg had attended the fights at the Los Angeles Olympic Auditorium and were en route home when the comedian was stricken with a heart attack. He was 60. The trio recently celebrated their 40 th year in show business. They just signed a new contract with Columbia studios - their 23 rd annual contract with the studio, for eight more shorts. Brother Jerome (Curly) died in 1952… Sunday nights - NBC says it will put up comedies to battle CBS-TV’s “Ed Sullivan” after Colgate moves out of the spot on December 25… Most popular TV show in Cuba - “Casino de la Alegria” - music and comedy with occasional guest singing stars from the U.S. Most popular radio station in Cuba - “The Radio Clock” which gives time 24 hours a day. The station is manned by 12 announcers who work in two-man teams for four hours at a stretch. It is a commercial station with more sponsors waiting in line than airtime…
December - Mario Lanza declines an offer to $20,000 to sing one song. The offer was made to Lanza to sing Figaro from the “Barber of Seville,” on December 20 at the opening celebration for a new $20 million Miami Beach hotel - The Seville. Lanza said he was making a movie in Mexico for so long that he didn’t want to miss the opportunity of uninterrupted time with his wife and four children… Dr. Joyce Brothers - 28-year-old blond psychologist wins $64,000 by answering a question about boxing that ranged from ancient Rome to the modern day ring. She’s the second $64,000 winner… Jackie Gleason and the cast of the Honeymooners return from time off to shoot more episodes of “The Honeymooners.” So far, 16 episodes have been shot. You can get tickets at the Adelphi Theatre on West 54 th street where the show is filmed before a live audience… Sophia Loren says she wants to end her word feud with Gina Lollobrigida before it busts out into open warfare… Henry Fonda and his third wife, the former Susan Blanchard, say they have separated after five years of marriage. His second wife took her life while being treated for a nervous breakdown in a private sanitarium. She had filed for divorce when learning of his romance with Ms. Blanchard. They have one child - Amy (2). Fonda has two other children – Peter (15) and Jane (17) by his 14-year marriage to his second wife… Doubleday will release Billie Holiday’s autobiography, “Lady Sings The Blues” next march. It’ll be heralded as “the most honest biography to come along since Ethel Waters wrote ‘His eye Is On The Sparrow’” … Ingrid Bergman is signed to do her first American picture since her stormy departure from Hollywood in 1949 when she left to appear in Robert Rossellini’s “Strombili” and stayed on to give birth to a baby and marry the Italian director. She’s signed for Fox’s “Anastasia”…
January 1 – President Jose Remon of Panama is assassinated at a racetrack. The gunman used a submachine gun and ambushed the President, as he was relaxing for a day at the race… In a state of the union address, President Eisenhower requests added defense, with no tax cut until next year. On military policy, the president said “The forthcoming military budget emphasizes modern air power ... we must continue to expand our supplies of nuclear weapons for our land, naval and air forces and we must assure our people that can be carried forward from year to year until the threat of aggression has disappeared.”…
January 8 – Two Americans return to the free west from a Siberian labor camp and later, report there’s still a third American there… Revolt? - Mystery aircraft spray nine Costa Rican towns including San Jose with machine-gun fire. Fighting is reported at half a dozen points…. President Eisenhower asks Congress to adopt the Pentagon’s 5 million-man reserve plan to make the U.S. ready for the “ever present threat” of aggression… Chs. Pfizer & Co. announces it has received a patent for the drug antibiotic drug tetracycline… Sarah Churchill , daughter of Winston Churchill is jailed briefly in the County jail in Los Angeles. The charge was common drunkenness…
January 15 – Red China launches a full-scale invasion of tiny Yikniangshen Island, destroying half of the U.S. furnished supplies in the area The Soviet Union announces it is turning over atomic know-how and fissionable materials for peaceful use to Communist China, East Germany, Poland, Rumania and Czechoslovakia… Decked in a gas station aide’s uniform, Vice-President Richard Nixon wipes windshields and fills tanks in freezing weather at a local Washington service station for the benefit of March of Dimes polio campaign… London Fog thick and falling down - A thick belt of darkness wrapped itself around this city, mystifying and frightening thousands and people - even driving birds to roost. It lasted only about 10 minutes, but women could be heard screaming in the streets while other people fell to their knees on the sidewalks and prayed. One man shouted, “The end of the world is coming”… A spokesman for the air Ministry’s Meteorological Office said nothing in his experienced has equaled it and the fog was caused by an accumulation of London smoke under an extremely thick layer of cloud… In Gallup Poll - 82% favor statehood for Alaska: Favor - 82% Oppose - 9% No Opinion - 9% Recently in another Gallup Poll - 78% favored statehood for Hawaii…
January 22 –
President Eisenhower calls upon Congress to proclaim the united determination of the nation to fight, if necessary, to keep Formosa out of Communist hands.
Waiting orders - Navy ships and planes stand ready to evacuate some 10,000 Nationalist Chinese defenders of Tachen Island.
More Formosa - Gen. Matthew Ridgway recently told Congress the Chinese Nationalists would have to be backed by 300,000 to 400,000 American ground troops to win a foothold on the China mainland.
The Senate grants President Eisenhower’s request for shooting powers to defend Formosa. Foreign Minister V.M. Molotov promises the Soviet government will consider a British plea to work for a cease-fire along the Formosa Strait and to urge restraint on Red China.
President Eisenhower flies to August, GA for a weekend rest and golfing respite from the Far Eastern crisis and other White House responsibilities.
Chinese Red planes bomb the Tachen Islands underscoring possible perils of a Nationalist withdrawal under the guns of the U.S. 7 th Fleet.
More news - week of January 22, 1955 - General Douglas MacArthur heads to Los Angeles as that city’s guest of honor in celebration of his 75 th birthday… Murdered - Millionaire draft dodger Serge Rubinstein is found strangled. He was bound and gagged on a bedroom floor of his 5 th Ave mansion. He apparently was attacked in his sleep…
February 1 – Tornadoes roar across Arkansas, Mississippi and Alabama leaving a 60-mile swath of death of destruction. Up to 35 may be dead… Premier Pierre Mendes-France is thrown out of office. The French National Assembly refused him its confidence on his North African policy but his defeat resulted from an accumulation of rankled feelings in Parliament… In the biggest air battle since the Korean War, American F-86 Sabre jets shot down two Russian- built MIG 15’s that attacked a U.S. Air Force reconnaissance patrol over the Yellow sea, west of Korea… American and Nationalist Chinese fleets put to sea to evacuate the Tachen Islands, 15 miles off Red China’s coast following orders from President Eisenhower… Vice-President Nixon lands in Havana in the first stop of his Caribbean tour…
February 8 – New Russian Premier - The Soviet Parliament ousts Premier Malenkov and replaces him with Marshal Nikolai Bulganin … Marshal Georgi Shukov, Russia’s glittering war hero, becomes head of the Soviet Union’s armed forces in a continued shake-up of the regime… Threat talk - Soviet Foreign Minister Molotov tells Russia’s Supreme Soviet Parliament the Soviet Union has developed hydrogen bombs with “such success that the United States would appear backward.” He declared a world war would mean the end of “blood-saturated imperialism”… Red antiaircraft batteries shoot down a U.S. Skyraider 20 miles southwest of the Tachen Islands. The pilot and two crewmembers were rescued… Prime Minister Winston Churchill says he is ready to meet Soviet Premier Bulganin in a four-power conference when the Paris-German rearmament pacts are ratified… Threat talk #2 - Mao Tze-Tung - the ruler or Red China’s 600 million people broadcast that if “imperialists” wage war, “we together with the peoples of the whole world, will certainly wipe them out clean from the surface of the globe”… Nationalist Chinese warships pounce on a 14-ship Communist convoy in the East China Sea. Seven Red boats are destroyed… Tests get under way - A B-36 bomber drops a small atom bomb in the Nevada desert. Meanwhile, Russia proposes that all nations destroy all atomic and hydrogen weapons…
February 15 – Maj. Gen. Leslie Carter - senior U.S member of the Korean military armistice commission accuses the Communists of breaking the Korean armistice by bringing MIG jet fighters into North Korea and demands, “the perpetrators of this crime are punished.” Carter says that Red air activities in the area have gone from zero to “increasing magnitude to a high tempo.” “We know these MIG aircraft were not in Korea at the time of the armistice was signed, which clearly proves that you have brought them in, in violation of the armistice agreement”… A nuclear explosion is set off in the Nevada desert, 75 miles from Las Vegas. The blast could be seen from 400 miles away. The force jarred cities as far as 135 miles. The exploded nuclear device was a prototype for an atomic missile warhead. It’s the second atomic test in 1955… The Soviet Union proposes that all nations destroy all atomic and hydrogen weapons and calls for international control for the carrying out of the proposal. The announcement came about an hour after the United States exploded an atomic bomb in Nevada - its 33rd nuclear explosion…
February 22 - President Rene Coty of France names Socialist Edgar Faure to try to form a new government in a move that could end a 15 day-old political crisis. Faure served with ousted Premier Mendes-France and will follow most of his program… President Eisenhower urges Americans to join in a “back to God”campaign. “Without God, there could be no American form of government, nor an American way of life. Recognition of the Supreme Being is the first -the most basic expression of Americanism. This, the founding fathers saw it, and thus, with God’s help, it will continue to be”… President Eisenhower presents a gold medal to Irving Berlin in recognition for his song “God Bless America.” Congress authorized the medal last year…
March 1 – House of Commons speech - Prime Minister Winston Churchill says Soviet leaders realize they never can win a hydrogen bomb war against the west. “The United has an overwhelming superiority in thermonuclear weapons that may be cut by the Russians within four years, but cannot be nullified,” said Churchill. He also told the House that a sneak hydrogen bomb raid on Britain might bring a retaliatory punch “almost immediately” from American bombers… Pahoa Hawaii - A new volcano splits a half-mile crack in a cane field on Hawaii’s eastern tip and explodes a 200-foot-high fountain of red-hot lava about 200 years from 12 plantation workers. All escaped unhurt… Premier Nikoalai Bulganin purges two Soviet officials who served under ousted Premier Georgi Malenkov. He fired both the Minister of state farms and the Minister of the Coal industry for “unsatisfactory work”… Sources in Russia say that former Premier Malenkov seems to be in serious danger. A case is being built up and that it is possible he may be charged with ideological heresy. Pravda condemned him by clear inference by expressing a view which the paper said was “useful only to imperialist warmongers”… Last March, Malenkov declared in an election address that if a new world war breaks out “with modern weapons it means the run of world civilization”… Egypt threatens to hit back in force against Israel if border clashes between the two countries continue… President Eisenhower signs into law a 50% pay raise for members of Congress. The legislation boosts their pay from $15,000 to $22,500 per year. This includes a $2,500 taxable expense account… Russia declares that the United States as well as Britain is within the range of “military retaliation” with hydrogen bombs. A Moscow radio broadcast quoted Maj. Gen. Isayev as saying that the Soviet Union is well ahead of the United States in production of hydrogen weapons… It’s disclosed that Prof. Bruno Pontecorvo, the Italian-born British atomic and hydrogen bomb scientist who disappeared in 1950, has been working on nuclear research in Russia since that time…
March 8 – A-bomb - The biggest blast of the new atomic test series flashes over the Nevada desert and is seen in a dozen states… Out of Saigon - Premier Ngo Dinh Diem throws tanks, an artillery barrage and 40 battalions of loyal infantry into a major campaign against entrenched rebel forces who have seized a large area 60 miles south of Saigon… Nagpur, India - A ricksha boy wielding a six-inch clasp knife leaps on the running board of Premier Minister Nehru’s open auto but struck no blows… Sen. Joseph McCarthy asks President Eisenhower “what, if anything,” he was doing to obtain the freedom of American servicemen held prisoners by the Chinese Communists. The White House has no comment as of yet… A Gallup Poll says 69% of adults believe a Catholic could be elected President of the United States. Since the 1928 election in which Gov. Alfred E. Smith was defeated by Herbert Hoover, students of American politics have voiced the belief that a Catholic could not be elected… GOP Congressional leaders angrily denounce Democratic National Chairman Paul Butler as a “scoundrel” and a “loathsome animal” for suggesting that Mrs. Eisenhower’s health might keep the President from seeking re-election. Butler replied that the Republicans were making a mountain out of a molehill and that he only referred to published reports that “Mrs. Eisenhower has not been on robust health.” It has long been publicity acknowledged that Mrs. Eisenhower has a heart condition which sometimes limits her activities… The U.S. military high command issues an ironclad order that America’s long-range strategic bombers shall take off and strike back in the event of any enemy attack on this country…
March 15 – Prime Minister Winston Churchill complains there are serious mistakes in the U.S. record of the 1945 Yalta conference. He disclosed Britain might publish her own version of the history-shaping meetings. 80-year-old Churchill is the sole survivor of the Yalta Big Three. The others were President Roosevelt and Premier Stalin. The conference agreed on the controversial bargain that brought Russia into war against Japan… President Eisenhower declares that the United States would use atomic weapons against military targets in the event of war. “Now in any combat where these things can be used on strictly military purposes, I see no reason why they shouldn’t be used just exactly as you would use a bullet or anything else”… Prime Minister Winston Churchill (80) tells the House of Commons that he is working for a big power meeting to ease world tensions. That meeting should now include West Germany, France and the big three. “I still believe that vast and fearsome as the human scene has become, personal contacts of the right people in the right place at the right time might yet have a potent and valuable part to play in the cause of peace which is in all our hearts”… Vice President Nixon gets a startle when an exploding flashbulb goes off near him and is struck by the bulb’s glass. The incident occurred when Nixon was walking through the lobby of the new wing at White House Memorial Hospital in DC…
March 22 - Soviet Russia in a surprise reversal puts forward new proposals similar to the western program for reducing nuclear and other arms. The government discloses plans to add atomic antiaircraft weapons to its already extensive nuclear arsenal. Tests will include the firing of a nuclear blast miles high in the air at an altitude where enemy bombers would fly. The explosion could take out a number of enemy aircraft flying in formation… Premier Ngo Dinh Diem’s nationalist forces and Binh Xuyen, former river pirates, maintain an uneasy truce in South Vietnam’s “little civil war”… President Eisenhower gives a verbal spanking to Adm. Robert Carney, Chief of Naval Operations, for predicting war over Matsu Island by mid-April and a Chinese Communist attack on Quemoy a month later. The President said sternly it doesn’t go the United States much good, nor does it serve the cause of world peace for anyone to talk too much about such matters, including himself… France completes parliamentary ratification of the Paris agreements for the rearming of West Germany and the accord on the saar. The return of guns to the hands of Germans 10 years after WWII was assured… Russia and her satellites decide to set up a unified military command after ratification of the Paris agreements rearming West Germany… At a banquet - Sen. Joseph McCarthy says President Eisenhower should spend less time with golf and should give more attention to freeing Americans citizens held by the Chinese Communists. He said the he was “shocked beyond words at the attitude of persons in the White House” on the sellout at Yalta…
End of polio - Medical - The New York World-Telegram and Sun says it has learned from an “unimpeachable medical source” that the Salk polio vaccine has been found 100% effective - that not a single child taking the vaccine had developed polio. It said this was the gist of the report to be made officially April 12 by dr. Thomas Francis Jr. at the University of Michigan. (More Polio News)
April 1 – Dr. John C. Treacy, assistant professor of chemical engineering at Notre Dame University is killed when a building used for rocket fuel experiments explodes… More than 35 persons are injured when a New York Central passenger train slams into a rockslide about 15 mile south of Albany. Ten cars and two diesel units were derailed… Guadalajara. Nine cars of a passenger train packed with holy week holidayers drop into a 600ft abyss. As many as 300 are believed dead… At this regular call at Buckingham Palace and under the weight of his 80 years, Sir Winston Churchill steps down as Britain’s Prime Minister, still flashing his victory sign. In his audience with Queen Elizabeth II, she offered him “Dukedom” but he refused. He had been a “House of Commons man” for almost 50 years, he pointed out… President Eisenhower tells Sir Winston Churchill indirectly that, “the free world yet has much to gain” from “your great experience, you great wisdom and your great courage.” Crowd looks on - Choking back tears, Winston Churchill walks out of 10 Downing Street for the final time. He look for a moment as if he were going to speak but then he blinked his tear-swollen eyes and slowly raised a long brown cigar to his trembling lips… It has been 11 days since ex- Premier Malenkov was last seen at a public function in Moscow. Seems Tass is keeping mum on the subject. Meantime the hydrogen bomb emerges as the real reason for the conflict between the Soviet leaders and the downfall of former Premier Georgi Malenkov. The future of the deposed Premier looks dimmer than ever as Russian experts read a violent attack on Malenkov’s ideology published in the latest issue of Komunist, the theoretical magazine of the central committee of the Communist Party… Medical - Polio vaccine victory should come April 12, when a national report is unveiled…
April 8 – Presidential Eisenhower feels that some technical military secrets have been “made available to the enemy” by publication in this country. Asked to cite some specific example, Secretary James C. Hagerty refused to do so on the ground it might be of further help to the enemy… Austrian Chancellor Julius Raab assures the West he will make no treaty deals in Moscow without the approval of the Western Big Three powers. Raab and a delegation are scheduled to fly to Moscow for peace treaty talks at the invitation of Soviet Foreign Minister V.M. Molotov… In Britain - Prime Minister Eden assigns his former duties as Foreign Minister to Harold McMillan… Wow! - The Navy discloses successful experimental flights by a weird looking contraption called a “flying platform” which ascends vertical and hovers in the air. The pilot stands in the center of the platform, which looks like a round dining room table. To steer the machine, he merely leans in the direction he wants to go… President Eisenhower agrees to share atomic information with the 13 NATO countries so that the free world can better defend itself against any nuclear attack… In an international gesture of goodwill, President Eisenhower will send out reports of Dr. Salk’s vaccination and Red countries are included… Former President Truman quietly tips a group of key democratic kingmakers that he is available for the Vice-Presidency on a Stevenson-Truman ticket next year. The news has electrified top Democrats who are gathering in Washington this weekend for a $100-a-plate dinner honoring Speaker Sam Rayburn…
Long awaited report - The world is told that its hope for finding an effective weapon against crippling polio have been realized. The Salk triple antipolio vaccine, administered last year to 40,000 children in 44 states has protected a large percentage of the vaccinated children against the paralytic effects of the three types of polio virus.
Dr. Jonas E. Salk will receive no royalties from sales of the polio vaccine on which he worked long and tirelessly. His work was a contribution to humanity financed entirely with the funds of the National Polio Foundation. The mass test alone cost $10 million and the foundation has contracted to spend an additional $3-$9 million on inoculation doses for children this summer.
Dr. Jonas E. Salk who says development of his polio vaccine came as “no surprise,” said his own children were among the first to receive inoculations soon after he began his first tests on human beings - in May of 1953.
April 15 – Russia and Austria agree on a treaty for Austria’s freedom. “Austria will be free and we will receive back our native soil in its entirety. Our war prisoners will be free again,” said Austrian Premier Julius Raab… Chief Justice Warren announces he will not seek the presidency and intends to serve the Supreme Court for the remainder of his pubic career… Hungary’s Communist Party announces it has fired Premiere Imre Nagy from his top government job and stripped him of all his party posts… Evidence indicating that a Russian atom bomb blast in Siberia produced fallout that showered the United States with radioactive material is reported by an American expert on radiation effects on animals. An investigator found a mysterious 100-fold increase of iodine in the thyroid glands of cattle slaughtered in various parts of the Middle West some time after the Soviet blast… Premier Chou En-lai of Red China tells Asian and African leaders the danger of war is increasing in both East and West. He accused the United States of continuing “to create tension in the Taiwan (Formosa) area and trying to overthrow the Paiping regime… Dr. Jonas Salk comes to Pittsburgh with a vow to work for 100% effectiveness of the antipolio vaccine which bears his name. “The report at Ann Arbor indicates the vaccine is 80 to 90% effective,” said Dr. Salk on his arrival from Detroit. “Now, we will try to perfect it”…
Passing - Dr. Albert Einstein (76) father of the atomic bomb and television. Even after death, the mind and body of the great genius of the 20 th Century were dedicated to science. He died at Princeton Hospital of a rupture in the main artery of the body. He also suffered from a severe, long-standing gall bladder ailment.
April 22 - Red China’s Chou En-Lai says Peiping will not give up the “sovereign right for liberate” Formosa even though it wants direct negotiations with the United States to ease tension in the area… President Eisenhower unveils plans to send a new atomic- powered merchant ship around the globe in a dramatic demonstration of America’s determination to win “a just and lasting peace.” The new vessel, the President said, will travel thousands of miles without refueling and “will demonstrate to people everywhere this peacetime use of atomic energy, harnessed for the improvement of human living”… The Department of Justice files an antitrust suit to break up the merger of the Hilton and Statler Hotels… President Eisenhower plainly states that the United States will gladly talk with Red China about “anything that doesn’t affect the Chinese Nationalists” in order to ease world tensions… At the White House - Dr. Jonas Salk (40), discoverer of the polio vaccine, meets President Eisenhower but it was the President who thanked him. “When I think of the thousands and thousands of parents, and grandparents who are hereafter to be spared so much anxiety and grief, I have no words to express adequately my thanks,” said the President to Dr. Salk…
May 1 - The Eisenhower administration discloses plans to give nearly a billion dollars worth of new military aid to Korea, Indo-China and the Chinese in Formosa… Otto Grotewohl , Prime Minister of communist East Germany announces that a Soviet bloc military alliance (to rival NATO) will be set up as early as next week. The alliance plan calls for rearming East Germany and places all the armies of East European Communist countries under a unified command… In a Gallop Poll - President Eisenhower’s popularity dips slightly over the last two months. 68% approve of the job he’s doing, down from 71% two months ago… Fewer children than usual have been stricken with infantile paralysis across the nation, but it’s still too soon to credit antipolio vaccination for the decrease. Hopefully, it’s working…
May 8 – Blocking NATO - Communist East Germany’s Prime Minister announces that a Soviet bloc military alliance to rival NATO will be set up in Warsaw next week. The military alliance plan calls for rearming East Germany and putting all the armies of East European Communist countries under a unified command… Salk Vaccine - The government recommends that the antipolio vaccination program be held up until all vaccine making and testing can be double-checked for safety. Surgeon General Leonard Scheele said he hoped this would take only a few days and that the mass inoculations could be under way again later this week “with renewed confidence”… The main exhibit floor of New York’s mammoth new Coliseum project on Columbus Circle collapses with an explosive roar. 40 workers are injured, but not seriously… President Eisenhower authorizes Secretary of State Dulles to agree to a meeting with the other Big Four heads of government under certain conditions. President Eisenhower responds to continuous press conference questions about the quick rollout of the Salk vaccine. Is the government rolling it out too soon?... Does it really work? “I believe it absolutely. I can’t say what the government believes - that’s a lot of people. I know what I believe. I believe these experts,” said the President… President Eisenhower chooses Gen. Maxwell D. Taylor as his new Army Chief of staff… Russia bows to a United States ultimatum and agrees to an Austrian treaty on western terms. The treaty signing will take place Sunday morning in Vienna…
May 15 – At Vienna - The Big Four Foreign Ministers and Austrian Foreign Minister Leopold Figl signs a state treaty which will restore to 7 million Austrians their liberty, lost since Hitler’s Anschluss in 1938... In a Chemical Warfare service handbook - a military publican discloses that nerve gas is so deadly, that a single droplet in the eye of a person can kill him. The gas is silent and unseen… Commenting on Big Four gathering - President Eisenhower declares he has spent months conferring with Soviet leaders and their foreign officials and he does not believe American citizens suspect their government will fall into any appeasement trap… Former President Hoover (80) - who calls himself the government’s “old family doctor” – announces his commission on government reorganization will recommend steps to save taxpayers six billion dollars and return an additional 7 billion to the treasury…
May 22 - Yugoslav President Tito is said to be holding out against a second Russian effort to persuade Yugoslavia to accept a role of passive coexistence, or Austrian-type of neutrality in world affairs. Tito rejected an initial attempt to lure this Communist nation into a quick return of the Moscow-led camp. Tito was reported to have declared his country wants to play a leading part in uniting nations, which are opposed to dividing the world into two ideological groupings… Korean War Related - Four American fliers released by Communist China arrive at Hong Kong territory. The United States calls on Red China to follow-up the release of four American fighter pilots by granting freedom swiftly to 42 other Americans held behind the Bamboo Curtain… The U.S. Public Health Service clears 200,000 c.c.s of Salk polio vaccine for use in the nationwide immunization campaign. It’s the first batch cleared by the government since May 15… Surgeon-General Leonard Scheele announces that the government has confirmed the safety of all Salk polio vaccine, but there was no immediate indication of when the stalled immunization program would be resumed… The Census Bureau reports the U.S. population has hit 165 million people…
June 1 – Yugoslavia signs a declaration of principles with the Soviet Union, but President Tito didn’t yield an inch on his independence. Tito did join Russia in backing up Red China’s claim to Formosa… The Supreme Court hands to local officials and to local Federal courts the historic and delicate talks of ending all racial segregation in public schools “as soon as practicable”… Georgia Atty. Gen. Eugene Cook, asserting that the tribunal “neither gave a formula for integration nor established machinery for enforcement” joins Gov. Marvin Griffin in open defiance of the U.S. Supreme Court school segregation ruling… The U.S. Public Health service clears 200,000 c.c.s of Salk polio vaccine for use in the nationwide immunization campaign… President Eisenhower predicts that all first and second grade children will have Salk vaccine inoculations in 60 days… Dies in gas chamber - Barbara Graham , sentenced to death with Jack Santo and Emmett Perkins for murder, dies in the San Quentin gas chamber. The other two died two hours later for their part in a 1953 murder…
June 8 – Surgeon Gen. Leonard Scheele says the manufacturers of Salk polio vaccine will not be able to produce enough “to immunize all children this summer”… Surprise - Russia invited West German Chancellor Konrad Adeauer to visit Moscow. Russia proposed that Adenauer should come here “in the very near future” to discuss establishment of diplomatic and trade relations… At least 77 persons are killed and another 75 injured when the crash of a flaming sports car in front of the grandstand in Le Mans’ 24-hour auto race. A speeding Mercedes crashed into another car and then catapulted inflames over a dirt retaining wall into the crowd. Pieces of hot metal cut bodies apart. The death toll is expected to rise… Brief strike halted - CIO United Auto Workers obtain from General Motors the same guaranteed wage plant they got a week ago from Ford… The Senate approves a Democratic-sponsored increase in the national minimum wage from the present 75 cents an hour to $1 - 10cents more than President Eisenhower asked… Soviet Premier Bulganin discloses Russia wants to create a new alliance of Asia’s Big Three: India, China and the Soviet Union. In an address of greeting to Indian Prime Minister Nehru at a lavish Kremlin banquet, Bulganin said that the three nations already have achieved peace in Korea and Indo-China…
June 15 – The Senate Appropriations Committee votes extra funds to speed B-52 hydrogen bomber production to counter Russia’s new air threat… “Operation Alert” - a mock nuclear attack, sounds in Washington. President Eisenhower and his cabinet “flee” to safety. The President was sped along a pre-arranged escape route into the wooded mountains where his is at a secret hideaway. He showed himself over television and spoke calmly to the American people less than three hours after his “escape.” The mock “blast” - destroyed 53 American cities and left Washington a radioactive ruin. It was the first time the government fled the Capital since the British burned it down in 1814… President Juan Peron decrees a drastic crackdown on roaming mobs that sacked and burned some of Buenos Aires’ best churches in the bloody naval air revolt. He blamed Communists for the attacks on the churches during the revolt in which 360 died and nearly 1000 were wounded… The United Nations celebrates its 10 th birthday. Only Molotov - one of the original founding leaders will be on hand in San Francisco - where it all began… Speaking of Russian Foreign Minister V.M. Molotov - he’s been taking a tour of sorts - first New York, then Chicago and then on to San Francisco. In Chicago, he and a delegation of about 60 Russian and Polish diplomats visited the U.S. Steel plant there, but could not take pictures. Then Molotov strolled along Lake Michigan, stopping traffic. The delegation then boarded the Chicago & Northwestern train to San Francisco…
June 22 - The United States announces that a slow-moving, lightly armed Navy patrol plane was fired on by two Russian MIG jet fighters over international waters between Alaska and Siberia. The plane crash-landed and burned on remote St. Lawrence Island. Seven of the 11 crewmembers were injured… Soviet Foreign Minister Molotov expresses regret for the shooting down of an American naval plane in the Bering straits last Wednesday and says Russia is willing to pay one-half the damages… All members of the argentine Cabinet submit their resignation to President Peron soon after he had conferred with two other military leaders… In San Francisco - V. M. Molotov says direct talks between Red China and the United States on the Far East would be “useful in consolidating the peace all nations desire.” He endorsed fully a suggestion by Premier Chou E… of Red China for direct talks… Prime Minister Jawaharial Nehru of India and Soviet Premier Nicolai Bulganin publish a joint declaration calling for a peaceful surrender of Formosa to the Chinese Communists… Secretary of State Dulles indicates that reunification of Germany will be the major United States objective at the Big Four Geneva conference… Meeting at San Francisco Opera House - The World Health Organization ends its commemorative session with the pronouncement of a four-point declaration of rededication to the cause of world peace…
July 1 – The shortest steel strike begins and ends this week. A strike of 60,000 steel workers was called with a shutdown of mills. Workers will get 15 cents an hour pay increase… Nikita Khrushchev puts the Western powers on notice that if they did not want to talk seriously at Geneva, the Soviet Union “can wait and hold on”… Senator Lyndon B. Johnson , Majority Leader of the Senate suffers a severe heart attack. He’ll be unable to return to active duty at this Congress session… The serious illness of Senator Lyndon B. Johnson of Texas (Senate Democrat leader) is causing concern and many believe he may not be able to act as leader next year - a presidential year…
July 8 – The West draws up plans to offer the Soviets a major cold war swap - a security guarantee for Russia in exchange for free elections in Germany. The big four will meet in Geneva next week… President Eisenhower flies to his farm in Gettysburg for several days before he flies off to the big meeting in Geneva. Mrs. Eisenhower will accompany the President to the conference… Khrushchev announces that he will attend the big four talks… President Eisenhower says there has been a solid accomplishment in national defense, including the incorporation of “new weapons” of unprecedented tactical and strategic importance. Although the President did not elaborate his reference to new weapons, they would include the new variety of nuclear weapons, guided missiles, rockets and other equipment of the atomic age…
July 15 – President Eisenhower takes off for a new crusade for peace, asking for prayers of all Americans. He then departed to Geneva - for a big four summit with the world’s most powerful leaders. Also flying with the President is Secretary of State Dulles and Mrs Eisenhower… The Senate approves a bill authorizing Federal grants to help states and communities provide free Salk polio vaccine shots to children and pregnant women.
In Geneva - President Eisenhower, addressing the summit meeting of the Big Four powers calls for an end of the “dreary exercises’ of the cold war and urges East-West negotiations on a unified Germany with special safeguards for the Soviet Union. The President addressed the summit meeting after the leaders began their first meeting in the council chamber of the Palace of Nations, former home of the League of Nations and now European headquarters of the United Nations. Speaking directly to Soviet Premier Bulganin, British Prime Minister Eden and French Premier Faure, the President laid down a six-point program of action aimed at ending the dangers of atomic war, ushering in a period of atomic plenty and ringing down iron curtains all over the world. President Eisenhower was to be followed in turn by French Premier Faure, British Prime Minster Eden and Soviet Premier Bulganin.
Summary of the summit ... The Six points of discussion where German Unification, Security, Disarmament, Satellite Nations, Communism and the Iron Curtain, Formosa and the Far East.
Communism and the Iron Curtain - Eden, President Eisenhower and Bulganin all proposed relaxing trade and communication barriers between the East and West. President Eisenhower asked for a discussion of international Communism which, he said, adds to distrust and therefore to international tension. Bulganin refused to talk about it...
German Unification - All agreed that Germany should be reunited. The three western powers said solution of this problem should come first. Russia insisted
disarmament and security agreements should precede it. The Soviet stand weakened western hopes that Russia was about to relax its hold on East Germany...
Satellite Nations - President Eisenhower said the American people feel strongly that these people have not been given the benefit of international pledges that they should have the right to choose their own form of government. Bulganin said any effort to bring up this question would be interfering in internal affairs
July 22 - Geneva - Still awaiting a Soviet reply to his offer to trade military information, President Eisenhower appeals to the Russians to tear down the iron Curtain and permit freer contact between the East and West… The Big Four heads of government end their six-day meeting with a directive to their Foreign Ministers to continue negotiations on the interlocked problems of Germany’s reunification… President Eisenhower declares that the Geneva conference brought ‘a sharpened realization by the world that the United States will go to any length consistent with our concepts of decency, justice and right, to obtain peace”… Sens. McCarthy and George exchange acid barbs on the Senate floor after McCarthy introduced a resolution calling for Nationalist China to be included in any talks with red China… The United States says it plans to launch a man-made space satellite that will circle the earth every 90 minutes and share the scientific data gathered from it with all nations, including the Soviet Union… In a Gallup Poll - 49% say there should be safety belts in automobiles… The Air Force reports that a supersonic rocket sled has hit a new record land speed of 1100mph…
August 1 – Secretary of State Dulles warns China that an attack on Formosa could bring about an unparalleled war can calls on Communist China to renounce the use of force in the area… Premier Bulganin makes an appearance before the Supreme Soviet (Parliament) to assure the Russian people that Moscow still is considering President Eisenhower’s proposal for mutual aerial inspection of military establishments… Airliner crash - 30 perish after an American Airlines plane crashes on the Ft. Leonard Wood (MO) military installation. An engine had caught fire and the pilot was trying to land on the base’s airstrip. Witnesses say one of the wings dropped off in flames as the pilot desperately tried to land… Moscow says that Soviet Russia intends to beat the United States in launching the earth’s first unmanned satellite. Prof. Leonid Sednov, a member of the Soviet Academy of Sciences, told reporters in a news conference the Soviet Union aims to get its satellite whirling in space within 18 months… Korea - The South Korean government proclaims it “will undertake to restore authority” over Communist occupied territory south of the 38 th parallel… Communist-occupied territories are the district of Kaesong, north of Seoul, the Ongin Peninsula west of Kaesong and the north bank of the lower Han River Dr. Victor Levine - a Creighton University professor of biochemistry says that dropping hydrogen bombs on the polar icecaps will melt them, resulting in the drowning of many who live in big cities such as New York, London, Paris and Tokyo… Sen. Joseph McCarthy accuses President Eisenhower of offering ‘friendship to tyrants and murders” at the recent Big Four meeting in Geneva. He also attacked the President’s relationship with Marshal Zhukov , saying the President “ought to have a decent regard for the feelings of his countrymen…
August 8 – Demonstrations break out against Communist truce inspectors and South Korean sources charge U.S. soldiers with bayoneting five Korean War veterans… Moscow radio announces that Russia is reducing its armed forces by 640,000 men by Dec. 15… Hurricane Connie lashes the Carolina mainland and heads off the Virginia coast. So far – 41 are dead… President Eisenhower signs into law a bill to increase the legal minimum wage form 75 cents to $1 an hour… Employment way up – Almost 65million Americans are employed with unemployment off nearly a million as compared to the same time last year… Vice President Nixon and his entire family take time out with his family to visit Disneyland. Fess Parker was there to greet them. There was a brief ceremony on the steps of the amusement park’s City Hall where the Vice President was presented a key to the grounds by C.V. Wood Jr, vice-president and general manager of Disneyland …In a Gallup Poll - some 38 million say they would like to slim down - take some weight off…
August 15 – President Eisenhower gets a rousing “Ike Ike” welcome on arrival in Denver, for an extended work-and-play vacation… The Argentine government announces it has crushed a “catholic-nationalist plot” to assassinate President Peron… 50 are arrested, but sources say that could reach as high as 200… The United States welcomes Soviet Russia’s announced intention of reducing its armed forces by 640,000 men by December 15… President Eisenhower proclaims a new code of conduct for America military men captured in future wars. It warns them to tell the enemy nothing but gives assurance of justice to those who break under torture. The code is an outgrowth of cruel Communist treatment of American prisoners in Korea… Flooding in the Northeast leaves some 143 dead. Hard hit was an area north of New York City (Putnam and Orange Counties), NE Pennsylvania plus Connecticut…
August 22 - A 100-car freight train demolishes a school bus loaded with 40 children in Spring City, Tenn. 10 of the children are dead. The bus driver said parked cars obstructed his view of an oncoming train… Secretary of State Dulles reveals that the United States has asked Israel and Egypt to stop shooting in the renewed conflict over the Gaza frontier area… The Egyptian Government Information department announces Egypt has agreed to a cease-fire on the Egyptian-Israeli front near Gaza… Secretary of the Treasury George Humphrey declares the government is within sight of a balanced budget for the first time since 1951 and held out the hope of tax reductions next year… The United States, in a bold move to bring peace to the strife-torn Middle East offers formal security guarantees of the frontiers between Israel and the Arab states. A proffered American treaty, fully backed by President Eisenhower, is aimed at quieting the explosive situation… Gen Douglas MacArthur praises the decisive role of electronics in the world as he ones the 10 th annual Western Electric Show and Convention in San Francisco. “Only automobiles and steel are producing larger annual volumes than this lusty infant of the industrial world.” “One day soon, electronic devices will detect weather disturbances in their embryo stages - long before the reach the danger level”…
September 1 – Israel conditionally accepts a U.N. appeal for a cease-fire on the border with Egypt. It comes after a new blaze of serious ground fighting and a reported clash of air forces… The Air Force announces that a North American F-100C Super Sabre set the world’s first official supersonic speed record over the Mojave Desert in August at 822.135mph… Vice-President Nixon says those closest to President Eisenhower and the overwhelming majority of Republican leaders throughout the country are more optimistic than ever the he will run for re-election… A strike among Chrysler Corp.’s 139,000 employees begins after negotiations fail to produce a new contract agreement...
September 8 – President Eisenhower’s personal popularity has slipped to 73% from 79%... Red China announces that 10 more Americans in red China are being freed to return home within a few days. This is in addition to 12 civilians… President Eisenhower advocates lengthening regular high school and college courses to perhaps five years in this “complicated age. He also suggested that older folks are being required to retire from their jobs too early in life… The Commerce Department says the public had a record income in July at an annual rate of $304,500,000,000… A Marine captain answers the $64,000 question of the quiz show of the same name… A meteoriticist declares that a “shrewd opponent” could wage an ice cube test war against this country with intercontinental projectiles made of ice. The object of the ice missile would be to determine effectiveness of range for the missile of the more deadly variety…
September 15 – The Eisenhower administration “will never put our desire to balance the budget ahead of our determination to maintain adequate military strength,” said Vice President Nixon… Vice President Nixon predicts that the whistle stop form of campaigning in the 1956 Presidential battle will be “less used and less effective. He said he believes TV technique is most effective when a candidate’s aims and views are presented simply, unrehearsed and spontaneously and in a conversational tone… The Navy asks for 10,000 drafts in November - the first time it has invoked the draft since WWII. A Navy statement said it had to resort to the draft because of the rapid loss of men who came into service during the Korean War… Argentina revolt - Rebel forces striking to overthrow President Peron claim control of much of South Argentina and Cordoba Province. Later - rebel armed forces hold a threat of naval bombardment over Buenos Aires and demand that President Juan D. Peron resign…
September 22 - Soviet Foreign Minister Molotov demands an end to the world armaments race and a ban on nuclear weapons. He challenged the West to match Soviet deeds by reducing their armed camps and giving up foreign military bases… A heart attack strikes President Eisenhower and is taken to Fitzsimons Army Hospital. The President’s physician says that the Chief executive ‘is resting well in the hospital and his condition is good… President Eisenhower is resting “very comfortably” after a team of physicians had described his heart attack as moderate, neither mild nor serious… Dr. Paul Dudley White, one of the world’s top heart specialists says, “another term for President Eisenhower is quite conceivable”… Vice-President Nixon keeps in constant touch with the summer White House from an undisclosed hideout in the nation’s capital. He sought seclusion after newsmen and other callers besieged both his office and his home in a suburban section of the District of Columbia… Medical - Some 8 million children in the United States, Canada and Denmark have received injections of the Salk polio vaccine without developing any complications… Gen Eduardo Lenardi is installed as Argentina’s new provisional President after one of the greatest welcomes in the country’s history and pledges a reign of democracy… At Sumner, MS - A Mississippi delta jury acquits two white half-brothers in the slaying of a vacationing Chicago Negro boy in one hour and seven minutes… “Mr. Vice President” - In his first day as acting President, Vice President Richard Nixon finds himself surrounded by the invisible barrier which protects the head of the American government. He said the business of the U.S government would go ahead as usual despite President Eisenhower’s heart ailment…
October 1 – In the worst airline crash so far, a United Airlines DC-4 plunges into the face of a mountain peak near Laramie, Wyoming killing 66. The plane was headed to San Francisco… Vice President Richard Nixon flies to Denver to visit the ailing President Eisenhower at Fitzsimons Army Hospital. Doctors say the president is progressing satisfactorily without complications…
October 8 – Hitler’s personal pilot, Gen. Hans Baur, returns from 10 years of Soviet imprisonment and says, “I can confirm that Hitler and Eva Braun are dead.” “Hitler said good—by to me and then shot himself. Eva Braun poisoned herself,” said Baur. It is expected that Russia is to move quickly in getting arms to Egypt and possibly at cut prices, hastening Middle East tensions toward a crisis… President Eisenhower lunches with his brother Milton in Denver. Milton has been mentioned as one of the Republican Presidential possibilities… Secretary of State Dulles challenges Soviet leaders to open the door to disarmament and peace by accepting President Eisenhower’s “summit” proposal… Police open fire on rioting Algerian nationalists who stormed through the streets of French cities in concerted demonstrations demanding independence for their North African homeland
October 15 – President Eisenhower approves a six-point program to combat crime and improve the handling of federal criminal cases… Defense Secretary Wilson unveils a nine-point program designed to cut $500 million and around 68,000 from the defense payroll… The Treasury Department reports that government went almost $4 billion in debt in the first three months of the current fiscal year…
October 22 - President Eisenhower is well enough to stand upright unaided and step n to a pair of scales. They showed he had dropped 4 pounds in the month he has been in the hospital since a heart attack. He should be able to leave the hospital in the week of Nov. 5-12, according to Dr. Paul Dudley White. Doctors will be on the lookout after a couple of months for such adverse reactions as “shortness of breath” and swelling of the feet in President Eisenhower’s case go gauge “how fit” his heart is, the President’s top heart consultant says… President Eisenhower gets reports on the “excellent” status of the nation’s economy and approves a program for attacking spotty unemployment in some industrial communities. .. President Eisenhower walks for the first time since his Sept. 24 heart attack. .. Pails of smoke and fog hang over the eastern outskirts of New Orleans for the second straight day, marooning hundreds of motorists for the second straight day. So far, two are dead from the smog...
November 1 – Boston heart specialist Dr Paul White says that President Eisenhower is “convalescing well” and the heeling of his heart has speeded up and he should be able to leave the hospital on schedule the week of November 5.” Complete recovery should take two to three months… William Woodward Jr . - wealthy owner of the racehorse Nashua is killed by a shotgun fired by his wife, thinking he was a prowler. When she switched on a light and discovered what she had done, Mrs. Ann Woodward called police screaming and sobbing. The couple had been married 12 years. Nashua beat Kentucky Derby Winner “Swaps” in an August race in a $100,000 match. The couple had spent the evening at a party for the Duchess of Windsor at a nearby estate… In Beckly, West Virginia - a father of four didn’t want to miss the finish of a West Virginia - George Washington football game, so started his car in his garage and listened to the game on the car radio. All of the windows of the station wagon were up and the father, Richard Watts Jr. lapsed into unconsciousness. His wife woke-up at 9 the next morning and called the fire department. The fumes spread into the house, killing all four children. The car had run out of gas, but was still turned to start. Watts and his wife are recovering in a hospital… Passing - Dale Carnegie (66). Author of “How to Win Friends an Influence People” and famed speech teacher…
November 8 – Big Four meeting In Geneva - Soviet Foreign Minister Molotov unequivocally rejects western proposals for German reunification and for security of Europe in such harsh terms as to render barren all further efforts at an authentic compromise during the remaining life of the Big Four conference... Later, having suspended their efforts to reunify Germany, the three Foreign Ministers turn their debate with Molotov to another quest for disarmament… President Eisenhower returns to the capital. With a crowd of 5000 - head by Vice-President Nixon, the President walked unaided down the ramp from his plane after a flight from Denver. “I am deeply honored that so many of you should come down to welcome Mrs. Eisenhower and me back to Washington. It has been a little longer stay than we had planned, but the circumstances you will understand”… Carlos Colmbra de Luz, temporary President of Brazil is ousted by the army. Some Cabinet Ministers are reported under arrest. De Luz was succeeded by Gen Alvaro Fiuza De Castro who was called out of retirement…. Nikita Khrushchev declares before a cheering Indian audience, that Russia will not beg for coexistence, but would fight for it… The Atomic Energy Commission reports the Russians have set off their greatest nuclear explosion to date. It is described as in the range of millions of tons of TNT… Prime Minister Nehru gives notice to his Russian guests - Premier Bulganin and Communist Party Boss Khrushchev not to expect their visit to swing India into the Communist bloc. The country will stay neutral…
November 15 – President Eisenhower resumes his duties at the White House after a long stay away due to his illness. “I am deeply honored that so many of you should come down to welcome Mrs. Eisenhower and me back to Washington. It has been a little longer stay than we had planned, but the circumstances you will understand”… John Gilbert Graham (23) of Denver is arrested for sabotaging a United Airlines plane on November 1, causing it to crash. Forty-four persons died in the crash. Graham had been in debt and took $37,500 worth of insurance on his mother at the Denver airport where she boarded the plane. Graham admitted he placed a bomb in the bottom of her luggage and set to 90 minutes. Wreckage and bodies were scattered over a two-mile area. Graham was also in line to inherit $150 thousand from his mother’s estate… Former Illinois governor Adlai Stevenson announces he will vigorously seek renomination next year as the Democratic presidential candidate. “In the first place, I believe it important for the Democratic party to resume the executive direction of our national affairs ... Second, I am assured that my candidacy would be welcomed by representative people in and out of my party throughout the country ... Third, I believe any citizen should make whatever contribution he can to the search for a safer, saner world”…
Despite a deadlock with Russia at Geneva, President Eisenhower says the U.S.,“will never admit defeat” in its quest for world peace. “Success may be long in coming, but no setback, no obstacle to progress will ever deter this government and our people from the great effort to establish a just and durable peace.”
November 22 - Soviet Union - An announcement states six more followers of the late Russian secret police chief Lavrenty Beria . A monitored broadcast said the six men were shot following a treason trial in September… Russia says it has set off “the most powerful of all” hydrogen bomb explosions. The size of the blast indicated it was a hydrogen bomb. The first known Russian H-bomb blast occurred in 1953… In Bombay - Nikita Khrushchev declares before a cheering Indian audience that Russia will not beg for coexistence, but would fight for it. “I don’t like the capitalistic system and when I speak about coexistence it is not for the purpose of continuing the system. But I give de facto recognition to capitalism and grant that it does exist”… President Eisenhower and his top strategists meet at Camp David in the Catoctin Mountains… The United States says it plans to explode new H-bomb models at its Pacific test grounds next spring which will rival or surpass Russia’s new super weapon… The Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) rules that racial segregation in train and bus travel between the states is unlawful. It ordered an end to the separation of white persons and Negroes on interstate trains and buses and in public waiting rooms serving the transportation lines. The ICC ruling has no effect on intrastate travel and 13 states have laws requiring segregation. These are Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, South Carolina and Virginia. In these states, the railroads would still have to supply separate waiting rooms and separate passenger accommodations for whites and Negroes… Thanksgiving - President Eisenhower counts the blessings of returning health and a happy gathering on Thanksgiving Day. He joined his grandchildren and their pony and cart… Atomic sub Nautilus logs 25,000 miles without refueling. - The farthest a vessel has ever traveled on its original fuel…
December 1 – The U.N. Assembly calls for the creation “without delay” of an international atoms-for-peace agency… East German Communists threaten a possible blockade of barge and truck traffic to West Berlin to prove they are running the eastern sector of the divided city. French security troops fire on a crowded native marketplace near the Tunisian border and at least 40 Algerians are killed. Britain and the Soviet Union waive control on canal traffic to Berlin, but the British announce they still hold the Russians fully responsible for keeping open the water lifeline to the isolated city… General Motors , under fire by Senate investigators, announces that it has offered its auto and truck dealers a five- year franchise in place of the present disputed one-year contract. Up to this time, GM could cancel a contract after one year, without stating a specific cause… At Gettysburg – President Eisenhower celebrates the gift of a shiny new tractor by calling his cows to a special cow-sounding horn set-up at his jeep… Sir Winston Churchill celebrates his 81 st birthday. A surprise gift came from President Eisenhower - a gold medallion carrying a portrait of Churchill taken from a painting by the President…
December 8 – 11 th week of convalescence - President Eisenhower’s condition is good, but his doctors want him to slow down… Syria rushes troop reinforcement to her southern border after a nightlong Israeli assault wiped out four Syrian gun posts in the mountains above the Sea of Galilee… Medical - A 10-year test shows that adding Fluoride to drinking water is a “safe and effective” way of sharply reducing tooth decay in children, so say health leaders in New York. The test was conducted in Newburgh, NY and that after 10 years, children in the area aged 6 to 9 have 58% less tooth decay and missing teeth than Kingston (NY) youngsters, not far away. Kingston had no fluoridated water…
December 15 – Russia casts its third veto against Japan in three days to bar Tokyo’s application for U.N. membership. The United States angrily denounced this action as an “abuse of the veto power”… Sen. Estes Kefauver of Tennessee announces his candidacy for the Democratic Presidential nomination in 1956. .. Congressional investigators list 48 persons they said have been identified for the first time as Communists at current hearings of the House Un-American Activities Committee. They come from different walks of life including a young college economics teacher and his wife. .. Heart Specialist Dr. Paul Dudley pronounces President Eisenhower “out of danger” from his September heart attack. .. With a prayer for understanding and “livable peace” in the world, President Eisenhower lights the national community Christmas tree in Washington. Vice President Nixon introduced the President whose voice was broadcast over the grounds and on radio and TV. The President flipped the switch from his Gettysburg home. .. The Eisenhower’s are awaiting the birth of their fourth grandchild. Maj John Eisenhower and their three children are staying at the White House to await for the event, while wife Barbara is at Walter Reed Army Hospital. The President and First Lady will be joining them… An Arab mob opposing Jordan’s entry into the Baghdad pact, storms the U.S. Consulate in the Jordan side of Jerusalem, smashing windows and ripping down the American flag…
December 22 - In his annual Christmas message - Pope Pius Xii proposes a ban on all nuclear tests and an international agreement on disarmament to save the world from a man-made catastrophe… The President and Mrs. Eisenhower spend their first old-fashioned family Christmas in the White House. The President started the day playing Santa for his grandchildren and ended it with a turkey dinner in the newly decorated State Dining Room… Communists knock the spirit out of East Berlin’s Christmas and order border police to enforce a ban on shopping in West Berlin’s sops filled with delicacies unavailable in the drab and empty government-run stores of the Soviet sector. In addition, the Communists forbade possession of West marks by East Berliners, and help up for inspection thousands of Christmas packages mailed by West Germans to friends and kin in the East… Nikita Khrushchev makes a bristling attack on all major aspects of American foreign policy and at one point, accused President Eisenhower of “crude interference” in Communist nations’ affairs… At Key West, President Eisenhower plays a little golf and begins work on two oil paintings and strolls along Truman Beach. President Eisenhower serves notice on Russia that peaceful liberation of captive peoples in Red satellite nations “will continue to be a major goal of U.S. foreign policy”… American air traffic breaks all growth records in 1955 according to the civil Aeronautics Administration. Airlines carried nearly 42 million passengers - 19% more than 1954…
January - If you didn't give this gift for the holidays - here it is again. The new "tubeless" radio - uses transistors. It's smaller and goes where you go! .... Struggling UHF asks for VHF channel - WRTV (Channel 58) Asbury Park wants to drop it and use channel 8. The station says that among the 100,000 television sets in the WRTV area, only 5,000 had been converted to receive UHF signals. The station, which went on the air a year ago, had done everything it could to promote conversion of VHF sets, but had little or no cooperation from manufacturers, distributors, and dealers. The station, which is on the air about 35 hours a week, has lost $40,000 in operating costs. The initial investment in construction and equipment was nearly $250,000… UHF is channels 14-83. Most sets only receive VHF – Channels 2-13. .. A new atomic clock called the maser (microwave amplification by stimulation of emission of radiation) is more accurate than the sun as a timekeeper. That according to physicists…
February - RCA introduces the RCA Electronic Music Synthesizer – an electronic machine that can produce any sound the mind can imagine and the ear can hear. It can match the sound of any instrument or ensemble and it can evoke the human voice. The machine is kept under lock and key in a laboratory at the research center… Columbia Records introduces a standard recording level for all of its 45rpm releases. The step means that all current and future Columbia pop releases will not go over a specific level, even on the loudest passages, avoiding over peaking or sudden surges that require lowering and then raising the gain by deejays or engineers who run shows. All records to be released by Columbia with the standard recording level will be designated “CSL.” Which stands for Columbia Sound Level…
March - Big business - replacing burned-out television picture tubes turned into an $80 million business last year. 20% of the nearly 10 million picture tubes went to dealers for use as replacements. How long does a picture tube last? It was originally estimated that the life of a typical tube is 1,000 hours. However, that estimate has proved to be a minimum rather than a maximum. With the increase in the number of stations and a greater choice of programs, it would be expected that in many areas of the country, TV sets are operating more hours than ever. This should mean in more business in tube replacement sales… The FCC proposes to congress to authorize it to conduct a sweeping study of the entire broadcasting industry. One concern is TV stations assigned to UHF (Ultra High Frequency) - Channels 14 and above. Many have trouble competing with their VHF counterparts and some have already sign-off. A delay in developing high-power UHF transmitters coupled with the amount of TV sets that can receive UHF may well be a factor in UHF troubles. Out of the 35 million TV sets now in use, only 5 million can receive UHF broadcasts. The commission wants to meet with TV manufacturers to discuss the feasibility of making more all-channel sets… WXIX-TV/Milwaukee (channel 19) is the only major market UHF CBS affiliate station…
April – Now, Live TV Can Be Recorded And The Quality Will Look Terrific – Unlike The Current, “Kinescope” Method - DuMont announces an “entirely new concept of network television” with its Electronicam” a dual - purpose television and motion picture camera. Dr. Allen B. DuMont describes it, saying Electronicam, “Ddelivers live television pictures of quality identical with that of current TV standards and simultaneously provides a movie film of quality equal to that of motion picture film. Its high quality supersedes all currently used methods for recording programs from the faces of cathode ray tubes.” The current method to record a live show for play later is to use kinescope - which is inferior…
May – Telephone Party Line - Ms. Mary Kayes of Rhinebeck, NY is the first person ever to be charged under a law enacted last year, making it a misdemeanor to refuse to relinquish a party line in an emergency. A neighbor claimed his barn burned down because Ms. Kayes kept right on talking when he asked her to hang up. He said she told him to “let the damned thing burn.” She says she didn’t believe him… Du Mont unveils a device that enables TV stations to originate live color shows at a fraction of the investment required to buy color cameras. The new system, named Vitascan needs a specific kind of lighting in the studio…
June - RCA’s electronic synthesizer makes a debut over radio and WGMS in Washington, DC. RCA says the music- making device can originate any sound and any voice. Since its introduction two months ago, musicians and electronics experts have been divided in opinion about its future uses and performances...
July - On sale - a Kodak Brownie Movie Camera only $37.50. Uses economical 8mm film. A single roll at only $3.75 gives you 30 to 40 average-length scenes. Comes with f/2.7 lens… RCA Victor is bringing out two new 45rpm record players specially designed for pre-school age children. Both models are endorsed by NBC-TV’s Miss Francis of “Ding Dong School.” Both brightly colored phonographs carry the Ding Dong school bell and pictures of Miss Francis who will use the players on her daily TV show. The Model 6jm25 will sell for $14.95…
November - Wonder how much phonograph records cost? Here's a price list from Mercury Records (see ad)...
NBC-TV says it will spend $12 million to expand color television facilities in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. Parent company RCA, which is taking great efforts to make the public color-conscious, says it is “selling and installing about 1,000 color sets a week” and that it expects to sell more than 200 thousand next year. Last week, NBC announced that its Chicago station (WNBQ-Channel 5), plans to present all live programs originating from the station - in color beginning April 15… The FCC orders a full-scale proceeding on a national basis, to try to find a solution to the disappointing showing of UHF-TV stations (Channels 14-83). Except in a few cases, UHF stations have not been able to compete in the same viewing areas with VHF stations (channels 2-13). One of the problems – the majority of the 35 million television sets in homes cannot receive UHF without a converter. The FCC is looking at taking some VHF channels and reassigning them to the UHF dial. UHF service is going to be needed fo television to expand, especially for educational and pay-as-you-see television. Of the 430 stations now on the air, about 100 are UHF, with 325 new UHF grants for stations in the works, with many of those grants dormant…
December - The FCC reports that radio and television revenues totaled $1,042 billion in 1954, against $908 million in 1953. The 1954 earnings for radio presented a drop of 5.4% below the $475,300,000 the year before. As of September 1955 – there were 104 UHF stations on the air against 224 VHF stations. No new VHF stations went on the air in 1955… NBC behind color - After two years, the public has yet to grab onto color TV in the numbers hoped for, but NBC stands firm behind the policy as it gears its local stations for more color TV. Chief David Sarnoff says 1956 will see more colorcasting including a number of Perry Como shows. He said the current schedule of forty hours a month was about 500% above last year’s time and double the network’s original color estimate…
January - In Lincoln. Nebraska - a 60 year-old woman who disappeared from a nursing home and was missing - is found - living in an 18-inch crevice between the floors of the nursing home. The woman lived there for 53 days, eating peanut butter, resins, salad dressing and mustard, because she was afraid to go to a mental hospital. Authorities said she weighed 80 lbs - 50 lbs less then when she disappeared… Fashion news - Christian Dior comes out against knees, elbows and super sophistication, but he thinks sweaters and pleated skirts are fine. “The knee,” he told the American Woman’s Club of Paris, “is the ugliest spot in a woman’s anatomy… Actor Robert Mitchum is bounced from the starring role of the $2.5 million picture “Blood Alley” reportedly because of indulging in horseplay at the locations on San Francisco Bay. The horseplay included the pushing of a co-worker from a gangplank into the cold waters of the Bay… Comedian Jerry Lewis offers a $10,000 award for information leading to the arrest and conviction of a mugger who fatally beat his first cousin - Mrs. Alex Lanzner (30) in Irvington, NJ. She was beaten near her home here and died of head injuries. Her purse was snatched in the attack. A doctor says she died of injuries caused by a severe blow, such as from a pipe or auto jack handle. She was en route from a shopping trip. Said the comedian - “If it’s the last thing I do, I hope I help get him. But that won’t bring her back. My folks were always on the road. She was like a sister tome. We lived in the same house and we loved each other like brother and sister”…
February - Accidents in the United States last year took 91,000 lives. The #1 killer was auto accidents of which some 36,000 lost their lives… Spring line in Paris - Fashion Designer Christian Dior switches for the “it” to the “A” line in which he banishes the bosom by day and all but bared it by night… At a meeting of Orthopedic Surgeons in New York, Dr. T. Campbell Thompson - the New York president said that while bone tuberculosis and other bone infections have decreased, there has been a marked increase in bone injuries caused by traffic accidents. So much so, that towns of 5000 and 10,000 should have qualified orthopedic surgeons available…
March - In Indianapolis, 12,000 in a circus audience watch clown Eddie (Bumps) Menotti topple to his death from three balanced tables. Thinking it was part of the act, the crowd cheered with delight. A circus manager said that Bumps just sighed and stopped breathing. . Andrews sisters Laverne and Maxine file suit in California against sister Patty, seeking distribution of $60 thousand worth of property left to all of them by their parents… Brand new at the supermarket - TV Dinners (see ad)
Gameshow Host Jack Narz For Swanson
April - Passing – Col. Robert R. McCormick , editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune. He was 75… Passing Joseph Pulitzer - editor and publisher of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, he was 70… Fashion arbiter - American soldiers in Frankfurt follow Col. John Dilley’s order to wear neckties in town with a vengeance. He told GI’s to shed their sport shirts and put on ties after 6pm when visiting town in civilian clothes. The GI’s took the fashion to the extreme; some wore luminous knit jobs that glowed in the dark. Many of the ensembles were set off by bright green or red baseball jackets -turning heads…
May - Forecasters say 20 years from now, you’ll zip from Washington to Paris in less than three hours. For shorter hops, you’ll board a 30-passenger helicopter bus that will whisk you around the countryside at three miles a minute. Your family car will be nuclear powered and will be equipped with electronic devices that will see traffic conditions far ahead, and an automatic brain that will park the car for you. In the kitchen, ultrasonic waves will clean dishes… Senator William Langer of North Dakota says he is convinced that polygamy is still being practiced in a hamlet on the Utah-Arizona border and only federal legislation can wipe it out. The Senator was on hand at a hearing at the hamlet of Short Creek. All 54 adult residents showed up. Langer said after the hearing that there is “no question in my mind that the people of Short Creek believe that under their religion they can practice polygamy…. Ford Motor Corp adds the following color combinations for the Spring season - black top with coral mist body, Neptune green top with mountain green body, snow shoe white top with mountain green body, waterfall blue top with regatta blue body and snowshoe white top with regatta blue body… Fashion for men - Men are turning to ascot scarves this year to add a dressy touch to open neck sport shirts. Like a tie - you must tie an ascot. Wow - 8 million sports jackets were sold last year compared to 700,000 in 1939…
The TV Effect - Interesting television program - NBC-TV broadcasts a show called “Background” a documentary film on what has happened to Fort Wayne, Ind since that city’s only television station began operations. Ft Wayne is the last of the fairly large cities - 140,000 - to get television. Among the findings - A Ft Wayne librarian reported a 50% drop in circulation of fiction, but a big increase in non-fiction ... A Ft Wayne baby sitter charges 50 cents an hour if there is a TV set and 75 cents without... Movie theatre owners have seen a large drop in business…
June - Procter & Gamble introduce “golden” Fluffo - better-looking, better-tasting...so digestible too!... most sensational discovery in 40 years for better baking and frying!...
July - Jack Lalanne of Oakland, California swims two miles from a point off Alcatraz Island Prison to the San Francisco shore, with his wrists handcuffed together. Lalanne started from a boat, because Warden Paul Madigan refused him permission to leave from the Island. Madigan still maintains that Alcatraz is virtually escape-proof for prisoners because “the water is too cold and the currents too swift”… In Suez Egypt, Sheik Mahmoud Abdel Latiff climbed a 150 foot tower, balancing himself on top and shouted to a crowd below “give me five pounds or I’ll jump.” Thousands gathered below and came up with a collection of five pounds – equal to $14 U.S. dollars. “No, you are only fooling me” he cried. He stayed for another hour when his hand accidentally touched a hot electrical wire; the sheik lost his footing and fell to his death… General Teleradio purchases R.K.O. Radio Pictures from Howard Hughs for $25 million. General Teleradio - a subsidary of the General Tire and Rubber Company owns WOR and WOR-TV New York and other radio and television properties. WOR-TV was using a batch of R.K.O movies for its “Million Dollar Movie” presentations beginning last year. The idea caught on and “The Million Dollar Movie” has helped WOR-TV compete with network fare… Dr Benjamin Spock, one of the nation’s best-known pediatricians, signs to conduct a weekly program on NBC. The show which begins October 9, will have an emphasis on child care and development. For the last year, Dr Spock has conducted a show over Pittsburgh’s educational television station – WQED (channel 9)… A huge wave surges out of the Ise Sea and drowns 36 of 47 Japanese junior high school girls who were taking a swimming test. Witnesses say the girls were standing in rather calm waters waist deep, about 35 feet out. A huge breaker rolled in without warning and swept the girls out to sea…
August - Trend - Two bathrooms in every home is becoming the standard for middle class America - so says a study. More parents are deciding they want a private bath. The trend jibes with the trend toward two cars and two TV sets a family… A Gallup Poll says the typical American reports that there has never been a time in the past when his family income was higher than it is today…Parents - Something new to add to the narcotics/dope list - they’re amphetamine users who use the new “lift pills.” They’re cropping up in widely scattered areas. Because of easy supplies, inadequate laws and few enforcement officers. Here’s a price list of these and other narcotics:
Opium (one-eight ounce) - $20 to $25
Morphine (one-quarter grain) - $1
Heroin (one-grain capsule) - $1
Cocaine (ounce) - $450
Marijuana (per cigarette) - 50 cents to $1
New Thrill Pills - (per pill) - 10-15 cents
A Kentucky farm family near Hopkinsville, KY had local, county and state police in a quandary with reports of a visit from a spaceship with little green men. Cecil Sutton, his family and several relatives said they were up all night fending off the little men which glowed with an inner illumination while climbing trees and crawling about the roof of his home…
September - In Paris, the sidewalk cafes of the Champs Elysee must yield the right of way to the automobile. Terrace owners are ordered to remove 40% of their tables and chairs to make way for sidewalk parking lots. Tourists who come to Paris next year will find the sprawling sidewalk cafes truncated…In Mt Pleasant, Michigan, an angry husband carrying a bundle of dynamite with a sputtering fuse, walked into the farm home of his daughter and dragged his estranged wife into the yard just in time for the two of them to be blown to bits. Versal Dunn, a 50-year old factory worker from nearby Shepherd, had attempted reconciliation with his 39 year-old wife Blanche since Tuesday. A neighbor, Guy Brooks, said Dunn dragged his screaming wife into the front yard and was 10 feet from the house when the dynamite exploded, shattering windows in the house and blowing a hole six feet deep into the ground…Birds-Eye introduces Potato Patties...no more potato scrubbing, peeling or paring for you! Simply fry patties on each side until evenly browned or you can broil or bake them. A product of General Foods…Featured articles in this month’s Reader’s Digest - How to write a better letter, Cancer and a woman’s sex, What you should know about sleep, How it feels to have a heart attack, Before young people marry…Marilyn Monroe plane? An aviation magazine says there’s a plane with a new fuselage design - like Marilyn Monroe - also called a coke bottle shape. Fred Hamlin, publisher of Aero Digest says the new fuselage design is “one of the major aerodynamic breakthroughs in the last decade.” First plane to use the design was the Grumman F9F9 Tiger, a carrier-based jet fighter… The Associated Master Barbers and Beauticians of America go on record as favoring a nationwide standard haircut price of $2. The group also recommends that beauticians adopt a minimum $5 for work involving a haircut, shampoo and hair set…
October - In New Haven - 10 year-old Jimmie Primicerio tells police after hours of questioning, that he locked his 9 year-old brother Dominick and friend Dan in a trunk in the attic. The boys were playing rocket ship and went into the trunk. Jimmie said he wanted to leave the attic, but the other boys wanted to follow, so he locked them in. (at about 4 in the afternoon). The bodies were found the next morning… A coroner’s jury lists the traffic death of actor James Dean as an accident and heard testimony from two witnesses that the movie star’s mechanic, Rolf Weutherich, was driving the Porsche Spyder. But at the hospital, Weutherich categorically denied the report saying he was riding as a passenger. Also, the Highway Patrol said that Dean was caught for speeding earlier near Bakersfield, at 3:30pm. The fatal accident occurred at 5:59pm… Mrs. Rose Jones Finigan, personal secretary to film director C.B. de Mille, dies from the result of a tragic mistake in which she and a neighbor drank from a wine bottle that apparently contained termite exterminating fluid…
November - Gen. David Sarnoff ; chairman of the board of Radio Corp of American (RCA) demonstrates a 50-cent phonograph that could be the answer to radio jamming behind the Iron Curtain. He said it is the answer to the need he felt for a device which could bring a message without being subject either to radio jamming or a source of electricity and which was prices so “millions could be delivered gratis.” The little machine, said Sarnoff, is unbreakable and could be dropped by air behind the Iron or Bamboo Curtain. “It is so simply designed that it could be assembled and separated by the simplest people”… The number of one-teacher schools, the traditional little red schoolhouse has dropped 73.7% in the last 25 years. There are now only 39,061 one-teacher schools left. 57% of them are located in the Midwest. 25 years ago there were 148,711… Walt Disney says his Disneyland is adding a Mickey Mouse circus beginning with the Thanksgiving holidays. It will be the only pink and white candy-striped circus tent in the world. The show, at 50-cent admission, is fast-paced and will last about 75 minutes…
December - Entertainment news - RKO Radio Pictures entire movie output over a 30-year period is sold for $15,200,000 for use on television stations…
January - Ralph (Tiger) Jones - an unranked battler from Yonkers, NY defeats former Middleweight Champion Sugar Ray Robinson at the Chicago Stadium. Robinson was a ringside 8-1 favorite, but the bout went only 10 rounds in a unanimous decision… Joe DiMaggio , Ted Lyons, Gabby Hartnett and Dazzy Vance are inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame…
February - Mickey Mantle re-signs with the Yankees again for a reported $25,000 for next season - a $5,000 increase…
March - Ted Williams (36) signs his sixth $100 thousand contract with the Boston Red Sox… At the Pan American Games in Mexico City, (Brazilian) Adhemar Derreira da Silva sets a jump record of 54 feet 4 inches in front of 20,000 fans. That’s 1ft, 1 1/4inches more than any man in history… Also at the Pan Am Games, Jim Lea breaks the 400 meter record in 45.4 seconds - two-tenths of a second faster than the world record. Lea is a 1954 NCCA and AAU champ… Bill Russell of the University of San Francisco is voted the most valuable player in the NCAA tournament. Russell scored 23 points. The Dons beat defending La Salle 77-63…
April - Jackie Robinson, the Dodgers’ veteran Negro infielder, gets miffed when he is held out of an exhibition game and his rival, Don Haok, was put on third. Jackie told a newspaperman that he was ‘fit” and should be playing “and (Walt) Alston knows it”… Al Kaline hammers three home runs, two of them in the sixth inning to tie a major league record - and lead the Detroit Tigers to a 16-0 romp over the Kansas City A’s…
May - In Las Vegas before almost 11,000 fans - Archie Moore defeats Cuban fighter Nino Valdes to retain the world’s light- heavyweight boxing championship. Moore won after going the full 15 rounds by decision… Catcher Yogi Berra’s muff of an outfielder’s throw after Bob Avila’s bases-loaded single in the seventh inning gets the Cleveland Indians a 7-4 victory over the Yankees… Detroit Tigers slugger Al Kaline hammers a two-run homer giving Billy Hoeft and the Tigers a 4-2 triumph over the Boston Red Sox… Gene Littler wins the third Tournament of Champions and its $10,000 first prize in Las Vegas. He won by a 13-stroke margin… Willie Shoemaker , riding “Swaps” wins the 81st Kentucky Derby… Re-signs for one season - Ted Williams grabs a handful of bats, dons his familiar No. 9 and begins workouts at Fenway Park after signing a baseball contract for the balance of the 1955 season with the Boston Red Sox. The contract is said to be between $50,000 and $70,000… Willie Mays’ 10 th -ining home run gives the New York Giants their fourth straight victory, a 4-3 triumph over St. Louis… Kezar Stadium In San Francisco - Rocky Marciano knocks-out Don Cockwell of England in 54 seconds… Duke Snider smashes three home runs and a double as the Brooklyn Dodgers come up with six homers to beat the Milwaukee Braves 11-8…
June - Brooklyn Dodgers on a roll, beating Milwaukee 13-2. Duke Snider hit another homer - his 16 th for the year… Carl Furillo and Gil Hodges drive in five runs between them leading the Brooklyn Dodgers to a 6-2 second game victory and split with Chicago after the Cubs had snapped don Newcombe’s 10-game winning streak in the opener… Archie Moore knocks out Carl (Bobo) Olson at the Polo Grounds. Olson was counted out at 1:19 of the third round…
July - Cincinnati’s Tony Trabert best Kurt Nielsen of Denmark in the men’s singles final at Wimbledon… Yogi Berra blasts his 17 th home run to lead off the sixth inning and break up a pitching duel between Chicago’s Dick Donovan and New York’s Tommy Byrne and the Yanks beat the White Sox 1-0…
August - Bill Stern , ABC network sports commentator is injured in an auto crash on the Henry Hudson parkway. 20 years ago, Stern’s left leg was amputated because of injuries suffered in another auto accident. This time, he suffered a concussion, cuts, bruises and possible internal injuries…The seventh place Washington Nationals score eight runs in the seventh inning of the nightcap in sweeping a double-header from the Cleveland Indians 8-2 and 13-4. Southpaw Mickey McDermott gave the Indians only six hits in the second game, including homers by Ralph Kiner and Al Smith. Lefty Chuck Stobbs won the opener... The Chicago White Sox stumble into first place in the American League by splitting a twi-night double-header with the Baltimore Orioles…
September - Cleveland Indian outfielder Ralph Kiner (33), one of baseball’s greatest sluggers says he will retire after this season. Kiner has been having trouble with his back and legs. He’s lost the swing and power that kept him at the top of the National League in home- run hitting during seven seasons - ‘46-’52… Frank Lane, explosive general manger of the Chicago White Sox, is fined $500 by the baseball commissioner and is ordered to make a public apology for abusing an umpire in a loud, pungent language. “For conduct unbecoming a baseball official and for using violent profane language, frank Lane is fined $500, payable to this office by personal check within five days. It is understood Lane will make a proper public apology to Mr. Harridge, the American league and to the Chicago fans… The New York Yankees nail their 21 st American League pennant by beating Boston 3-2… Rocky Marciano knocks-out Archie Moore in 1:19 of the ninth round at Yankee Stadium. A crowd of 61.574 paid more than $940,000 to see Rocky win his sixth title defense… Heavyweight Champ Rocky Marciano says he may quit the ring for good. “My mother wants me to retire,” he told reporters after his ninth round knockout bout with Archie Moore. “My wife wants me to retire – my whole family wants me to quit. It’s been a tough life for them all. I don’t know what I will do. I want time to think it over…
October - Del Webb co-owner of the Yankees, suffers an injury at Ebbits Field during the World Series. In the fifth inning, a foul ball hit his right temple. Ice packs were applied. A hat he was wearing probably spared him more serious injury… The Brooklyn Dodgers win their first-ever world series – beating the Yankees 2-0 in the seventh game… In Pittsburgh, Dr Jonas Salk says his lab has developed polio vaccines which are even more powerful then the vaccine now approved for nationwide use. Salk says his goal is for 100% immunity. The current nationwide version is 80 to 90% effective…
Last Game 1955 World Series (Video)
November - Al Kaline of Detroit, baseball’s highest hitter this year, signs his 1956 contract with the Tigers for $20 thousand…. Former pro-baseball player Ty Cobb wins a $50 thousand lawsuit over a civil suit filed by a wealthy rancher - who said he was injured in a fight with Cobb over a dinner check…
December - Sugar Ray Robinson knocks-out Carl (Bobo) Olson in the second round. He becomes the first man ever to twice win back the world middleweight title... In Los Angeles (Olympic Auditorium) - Champ Rocky Marciano scores a TKO against Floyd Paterson in the seventh round… Mickey Mantle of the New York Yankees - the American League home run king last season, captures the circuit’s slugging title. Mantle pounded out 316 total bases in 517 times at bat for a slugging ark of .611. Detroit’s Al Kaline, who finished on top in the batting competition, was runner-up to Mantle with a .546 average. Mantle hit 37 homers and struck out 97 times in 1955…
January - Eartha Kitt (20) - television singer and star of Broadway’s “Mrs. Paterson” finally gets to meet the grand old man of physics - Albert Einstein (75). Both met for about an hour over tea. According to Ms Kitt - their talk ranged from the origins of the earth to the state of today’s theater. She called it an “interview-rendezvous” stemming from her donation of $10 thousand to the psychiatric treatment center for underprivileged children… Budding Hollywood Teenage Romance - Frank Sinatra discloses this week that there is a teen-age romance between his 14-year-old daughter Nancy and Bing Crosby’s 16-year old youngest son Lindsay… To Marry - Emmett Kelly (54) – the world’s most famous clown says he will marry Elvira Beghardt under the big tent on opening day of the Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus in New York in May. It will be his third marriage. His Weary Willie clown character is beloved by the young and old… A jury returns a verdict in favor of Sammy Davis Jr., who was sued for $75,000 damages as the result of an automobile accident near San Bernardino, CA that caused him to lose an eye… Perry Como says he has turned-down offers for more money because “Money is important only to a point. Then you have to work for other things.” He’s very religious Perry says he attends church as much as he can (daily) and he keeps his wife and three kids out of the limelight. “There’s nothing wrong with show business, but I want to keep my kids normal kids. I don’t want to subject them to a lot of commotion. I want to keep them apart from it. They’ve got their schoolwork to do. That’s the most important thing for them right now”…
"Vera Cruz" starring Burt Lancaster, Gary Cooper Now In Theaters
Television news - January 1955 - Roy Rogers, now on television for four years, says it takes a lot to stay on top of the game and if you goof, viewers - even small fry, know it. “It’s a constant battle for authenticity,” says Roy. “A small technical slip might set off an avalanche of letters ... we had to do some explaining as to how a six-shooter could fire seven shots - even in rapid fire. It was a simple error, but one that made us realize that we had a responsibility to the youngsters to watch our step”… Buffalo Bob Smith who suffered a heart attack four months ago, is back on NBC- TV’s “Howdy Doody.” He says he’ll abstain from the extra programs the he thinks helped do him in. Last June until his September 6 heart attack, he’d been doing a daily morning radio show, and a daily TV noontime show in addition to Howdy Doody… Trend - For the first time in television history - a current Broadway play will be offered in its entirety, complete with the Broadway players. NBC-TV will offer “Peter Pan” starring Mary Martin on March 7 (Monday night). .. Going into television - Movie producer Alfred Hitchcock signs for a new TV series - “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” to be presented over CBS-TV…
Radio news January 1955 - popular New York City Disc Jockey Martin Block of WABC radio is in Las Vegas this week, taping a special on behalf of the March of Dimes. With him on the scheduled February 3rd radio broadcast will be Polly Bergen, Tony Martin, Jimmy Durante, Xavier Cugat; Sophie Tucker, Louis Jordan, Gene Krupa, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis.
Sir Winston Churchill grants formal permission to CBS radio to dramatize a little known incident about his youth. CBS radio will present “The Escape of Winston Churchill” as a feature of the “Hallmark Hall of Fame” on Sunday, January 30th. It will be based on an incident in 1899 when Sir Winston, serving as a war correspondent, was captured by the Boers and later escaped to neutral territory. The British Prime Minister suggested that in turn for the gesture, CBS might care to make a donation to one of his charitable projects. He was also complimented by the proposal to broadcast the story.
Leo McDevitt of WPTR, Albany NY says, “The majority of deejays apparently feel as I do that there is not enough instrumental music being popularized. Yet these jockeys do little but bemoan the fact that the Elgarts, Marteries, Kentons, etc., aren’t getting the push they deserve… Bob Crane - morning man at WICC Bridgeport has formed his own orchestra. Crane who plays the drums, is playing one-nighters around Southern New England…
Alan Freed of WINS emcee’s his first concert in New York - at the St Nicholas Arena. The turnout for Freed’s bash, advertised over his 1010WINS radio show, was way over capacity with the cops having to hold out the crowds after an estimated 7,500 jammed into the arena, which holds 6,000. The audience contributed to the din of the music with a shattering repertoire of whistles, hoots and mitt-pounding. Talent included Joe Turner, Fats Domino, The Clovers, The Moonglows, The Harptones, The Drifters, Ella Johnson and Red Prysock.
Music news January 1955 - With Alan Freed getting a lot of attention in New York, more white Dj’s are getting into the r&b groove. Freed says he doesn’t play white covers of r&b songs because his audience quickly detects the lack of authenticity in the cover slices. Freed believes that pop artists will have to come up with original material in the r&b genre. Top pop artists such as Perry Como, Tony Bennett and Georgia Gibbs are not doing r&b numbers… The sudden death of singer Johnny Ace has caused a demand for his past hits. Peacock Records, which owns the Duke label, is rushing out an album of Ace’s sides to meet the demand. In addition. The label is releasing another new single “Pledging My Love”… Johnny Ace , whose real name was John Alexander, killed himself playing Russian roulette. The shooting occurred at a Houston (TX) holiday dance on Monday, December 27. Ace had gone backstage for a five- minute break and had been fooling around with a revolver with one bullet in the chamber… Jim Reeves returns to “Louisiana Hayride” in Shreveport this after a tour of military installations in France, Germany and Iceland, winding up on the Ed Sullivan show on the 9 th…Hank Snow makes a guest appearance this week on the Perry Como show over CBS-TV…
February – Despite solo appearances, George Liberace says he and his piano-playing brother (Lee) intend to continue as a team. The speculation has been heightened by George’s recording of a number of his own records for Columbia and his guest appearances on disk jockey shows… Alan Freed begins to hit his stride at radio station WINS, NY - where Freed presides over the "Rock 'n Roll Kingdom" each night. Listen to Alan Freed play the latest in rock 'n roll along with dedications throughout the NY area.
Alan Freed - WINS Radio February 2, 1955 (audio)
Television news February 1955 - While Jackie Gleason is on vacation, guest stars and the orchestra of Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey will fill-in… More and more comedians want shows on film… Jackie Gleason recently signed with Buick to put his “Honeymooners’ on film for a series. George Gobel wants to now do a film pilot as does Imogene Coca. Some are still holding out live such as Milton Berle and Sid Caesar… Disneyland is doing ratings damage to the competition. Joan Davis is going off the air at NBC after this season. And Arthur Godfrey isn’t too happy his first half-hour is getting clobbered by ABC-TV’s “Disneyland”… Don't miss Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis on the "Colgate Hour" - NBC-TV - Sunday nights!
The television show “Norby” starring David Wayne, will switch from a filmed color presentation to a live black & white show for several months because the show’s sponsor - Kodak, wants changes. The switch to a live format will allow producers to experiment without the high costs associated with the color film. Each filmed show cost $45,000. “Norby” is seen Wednesday nights on NBC-TV.
Walt Disney will produce its second series for The American Broadcasting Company - “The Mickey Mouse Club.” The release says the program will combine entertainment with information and will be produced with the help of scientists, educators, naturalists and other authorities around the world. The program will be broadcast late afternoons beginning in October. It will be the only daytime program broadcast on ABC-Television.
Don McNeill’s “Breakfast Club” - ABC’s only current daytime program, goes off the air at the end of next week.
Dumont - television’s “fourth” network is cutting back. Last month, Dumont eliminated the greatest share of its AT&T line charges by cutting back on the use of the coaxial to as little as 10% of what it was a month earlier. The network is laying-off more people this month and is down to one full- time advertising salesman - Harry Pertka.
Channel 2 in Pittsburgh is now KDKA (as of February 1). The former Dumont station was WDTV, but was sold to Westinghouse for $9.75 million.
Music news February 1955 - Elvis Presley is in the midst of a Southwestern tour on a package promotion featuring the Duke of Paducali, Jimmy Snow, Mother Maybelle and the Carter Sisters. Tour was set by Tom Parker of Jamboree Attractions. Bob Neal, Presley’s personal manager, will accompany Presley to Cleveland, February 26 for an appearance on “Circle Theater Jamboree.” They’ll visit deejays en route… Tribute record to Johnny Ace - sung by Varetta Dillard on the Savoy label - “Johnny Is Gone.”… Looks like Alan Freed’s next concert, set for Easter week, will move to the Brooklyn Paramount with his “Rock and Roll Easter Jubilee” of rhythm and blues talent. The Freed package will play four to seven shows all week. Talent set includes Red Prysock, the Clovers, the Moonglows, LaVerne Baker, Danny Overbea, the Penguins, B.B. King and Al Sears… WNEW radio’s annual “Make Believe Ballroom” poll - Perry Como, the Crew Cuts, Patti Page and Ray Anthony get the top spots…
Pledging My Love - Johnny Ace
Bob Thiele, in charge of pop artists for Coral Records, says the rhythm and blues beat is the best thing that’s happened to the music industry in years. “It’s good for the business because it sells records. And that’s what counts. He adds that too many industry people are rapping rock and roll because they don’t understand it. The same resistance to new sounds took place when jazz and swing first came to the musical forefront. Thiele says r & b records are creating a new excitement in the business that runs from the recording studio down to record stores. “Every new release is like New Year’s Eve.”
Bill Haley & The Comets hit the 1 million sales mark for “Shake, Rattle And Roll” for Decca. The group’s latest release - “Mambo Rock” was launched with a 300,000-advance sale, one of the largest in Decca’s history. Interestingly “Shake Rattle and Roll” has been on the bestseller charts for 20 weeks without ever getting into the top 5.
Radio news February 1955 - WINS New York morning team Bob and Ray say they are going to put on a 3D Color Radio Spectacular. What it is, is anybody’s guess. “WINS has a compatible transmitting system,” said Bob Elliott. “And we’d like everyone to know that if you don’t have a color radio receiver, the programs come in just as well in glorious black & white… A number of New York stations programming foreign language, also program some rhythm and blues. Out front is WLIB, the only station with studios in Harlem. They’ve had some sort of r&b DJ since 1948. WLIB r&b deejays are Lloyd Williams, Phil (Trash) Gordon and Hal Jackson. WOV, which usually programs Italian, features Joel Turnero, Leigh Kamman and Jack Walker…
Top DJ’s in New York (Pulse shares)
WNEW - Jerry Marshall - 3.8
WABC - Martin Block - 3.4
WNEW - Art Ford - 3.4
WCBS - Bob Haymes - 3.4
WNEW - Bill Harrington - 3.3
WCBS - Lanny Ross - 3.2
WNEW - Lonny Starr - 3.1
WNEW - Klavin and Finch - 3.1
WOR - John Gambling - 2.9
WNEW - Bill (William B) Williams - 2.9
WCBS - Jack Sterling - 2.6
WCBS - Bill Randle - 2.4
WOR - Ted Steele - 2.2
WRCA - Jim Cov - 2.1
WRCA - Allyn Edwards - 2.0
Top teenage DJ’s in New York (in order)
WNEW - Jerry Marshall
WINS - Alan Freed
WABC - Martin Block
WINS - Brad Philips
WINS - Jack Lacy
WNEW - Klavin and Finch
WAAT - Paul Brenner
WMGM - Bill Silbert
WRCA - Al Collins
WMCA - Gallagher and O’Brien (In Picture)
March – Television news - Andy Griffith (27) the hillbilly comedian from Mount Airy, NC gets his big chance - and makes his TV acting debut in the leading role of “No Time for sergeants.” Mr. Griffith first own limited national recognition in 1953 for a comedy monologue titled “What It Was Was Football.” Initially, it was recorded for a small record label in North Carolina but picked-up by Capitol Records. That success sent Griffith on a night club tour where he honed his hayseed act and satiric spoofs. He plays a Georgia hillbilly draftee in “No Time For Sergeants.”
The Wednesday night boxing bouts sponsored by Pabst Brewing Company will move to ABC from CBS.
Revlon is considering a new TV quiz show, as a replacement for “Danger” on CBS-TV. Titled “The $64,000 Question,” the program is owned by Louis G. Cowan Inc.
Phillip Morris, the first backer for “I Love Lucy” is dropping sponsorship of the popular comedy series. The company had been an alternate-week sponsor of the program, but will now drop out entirely. “I Love Lucy” debuted on October 15, 1951 with Phillip-Morris as the sole sponsor. Phillip Morris says the show hasn’t been as great a sales aid as had been hoped.
NBC opens its new Burbank, California studios on Alameda Street. The studio is the first facility built specifically for color television. The dedication ceremonies will include a special color telecast, the first color telecast from the west coast in a 90-minute color spectacular entitled “Entertainment 1955.” Fred Allen will host the dedication show with guests Bob Hope, Dinah Shore, Judy Holliday, Ralph Edwards, James Stewart, Helen Hayes and others.
Buddy Ebsen is signed by Walt Disney Productions to a long-term deal as an actor-singer-dancer. He’ll star in “Johnny Tremain,” a two-part historical drama slated for next year’s “Disneylands,” plus appearances in the daytime “Mickey Mouse Club” which begins this fall on ABC-TV. He was featured in the three-part “Davey Crockett” story on this season’s “Disneyland,” currently slated for theatrical release. .. Speaking of the new “Mickey Mouse Club” - sponsors are signing-up. ABC-TV already has Carnation Milk, American Dairy Assn. and Mars Candy. Another pending sponsor is Welch Grape Jelly, but it’s a sponsor of NBC competitor “Howdy Doody.”
“Science Fiction Theatre” is set to debut in syndication next month. A different cast will be seen each week. Every story in the series will be based on scientific facts.
DuMont’s New York station - WADB-TV Channel 5, is cutting back live programs and will rely more on film. The station is now down to 30% live.
Jack Webb, who portrays Sgt. Friday of Dragnet, signs an exclusive contract with NBC, covering his personal services in radio and television for the next 10 years.
More DuMont as “Captain Video” appears to be at the end of its run. The show has been airing consistently for five years.
Captain Video Episode - Dumont TV Video
The DuMont network has been gradually curtailing their airtime the last few months. Next week, it will be down to six hours per week.
The largest production schedule of any single television producer is set for the 1955-1956 TV season by Walt Disney. The company will provide 126 hours for his “Disneyland” and “Mickey Mouse” ABC-TV programs. “Disneyland” will include two color films similar to the Davy Crockett epic of this year. First one is “Powell of the Colorado," story of the exploration of the river, to be done in two parts. Second is the tale of John Coulter, first white man to reach Yellowstone. Fess Parker will probably be featured in both.
Music news March 1955 - West Berlin’s “Crazy Otto” whose real name is Fritz Schulz-Reichal is making musical waves there and here. He’s a top jazz pianist in West Germany and the United States. West Germans call him Der Schraege Otto (Slanting Otto). The 42-year-old musician has a knack for taking poplar songs and turning them into ear-catching records with an out-of-tune piano. Says “Otto” - “I bend the tune into what you call the honky- tonk style. I decided long ago, it’s not what you do that counts, but how you do it.” Otto says only that his piano is tuned higher than it should be. And he doesn’t own it - someone else does and he has to pay rent. But he’ll use no other. Otto’s talents aren’t limited to playing the piano. Two songs he composed are well known in the United States: “The Man With the Banjo” recorded by the Ames
Brothers and “It Worries Me,” by Frank Sinatra. He’s planning a U.S. tour later this year.
Appearing at Carneigie Hall - Dave Brubeck Quartet, Gerry Mulligan, Chet Baker’s combo and songstress Carmen McRae. NBC DJ Al (Jazzbo) Collins emceed the show.
More jazz - Sarah Vaughan, Count Basie, George Shearing and Errol Garner at the “Birdland Stars of 1955” in Pittsburgh, PA.
Mercury Records recording artists “The Crew Cuts” are branching out into merchandising. Expect Crew Cuts Cream Oil and Crew Cuts Shampoo out soon.
R&B singer Lavern Baker sends a letter to her Congressman, Charles Diggs of Michigan, claiming she lost $15,000 in royalties because several major companies covered and copied her arrangements of “Tweedle Dee.” “I spend over $7,500 for each of my record sessions, hiring arrangers, special songwriters and a big band and chorus. Then what happens? Some singer comes along and plagiarizes my creations. This is a bigger swindle than the Teapot Dome Scandal.
French singer Edith Piaf is in the States performing. She was asked if she follows the latest Paris fashions: “I buy the latest fashions but I do not wear them. This is my favorite costume (sweater and blue slacks). I can’t get interested in appearance. I feel I am losing time when I go shopping. But, I enjoy beautiful clothes on other people.”
Radio news March 1955 - Bob Haymes songwriter and DJ at WCBS radio and station WINS are kind of at war. WINS accuses Haymes of “making wanton and capricious attacks about teenagers who listen to rhythm and blues.” WINS says Haymes has taken pot shots at r&b, which WINS plays, and a great number of teens had voiced complaints about Haymes after Freed read a newspaper column on his WINS program containing the Haymes remarks. Published in the New York Mirror, the letter quotes Bob Haymes who called r&b “poor music, badly recorded, with lyrics that are at best in poor taste… and at worst obscene… this trend in music (and I apologize for calling it music) is affecting the ideas and the lives of our children…. Kids are pretty hep. I know that they can be taught to develop a discerning ear,” wrote Haymes.
Bill Randle , who shuttles between WERE, Cleveland and WCBS, New York sees a tie-up between the rock and roll beat and juvenile delinquency but doesn’t believe that the new rhythm causes delinquency - “it just reflects it.” Randle says rock-and-roll is part of the evolution of music and will become part of Americana.
“Moondog,” the Broadway character who dresses in burlap, hits WINS rock ‘n’ roll DJ Alan Freed for a $5,950 judgment, which was made in Moondog’s favor last November. Freed has failed to pay and a supplementary proceeding has been launched by “Moondog” - whose real name is Louis Hardin. Freed has since dropped the Moondog tag and now his WINS show “Rock ‘n’ Roll.”
Deejays at five local Cleveland stations band together in an effort to stop WERE DJ Bill Randle from getting record releases ahead of general distribution to stations. They won’t play records first played by Randle. The ban was sparked by Joe Finan of WJW, which now works of a playlist of 60 records. The other DJ’s in the band are Tm Carson, - WJW; Bill Gordon, WHK; Bill Mayer, WTAM; Hal Morgan, WGAR and Bob Forster, WSRS.
Television news - So far, some 2.6 million Winky Dink kits have been sold. There are actually two sets - the “Air Kit,” which sells for 50 cents and the “super kit” for $2.50. Coming up for Winky - Paint sets and Ideal toy will begin a factory run on a Winky inflatable doll. Also, two Winky Dink records which give art instructions with music are said to be Decca (records) biggest seller in the children’s field. Winky is seen on CBS-TV and at times during the cartoon, “freezes” the picture – so you can draw the frame with this kit!
Music news - It’s set to be big - the 3 rd annual Jimmie Rodgers Memorial Celebration in Meridian Mississippi next month (26 th ). The Louisiana Hayride organization of Shreveport will stage the big show that evening. More than 150 artists from all over the nation are expected to attend. An estimated 75,000 in all are expected. Outstanding country and western bands, fish fried, private dinners and cocktail parties are also being scheduled around the event…
What to do for an encore? Bill Hayes had the biggest hit of his career with “Davy Crockett” and he has a follow-up called, “The Berry Tree.”
WWRL’s Tommy (Dr Jive) Smalls will staged a “Dr. Jive Ball” at the Rockland Palace. Artists include Roy Hamilton, Buddy Johnson, Ella Johnson, Alfredito, Charlie and Ray, the Hearts and Cadillacs.
Rival Alan Freed does his “Rock ‘n’ Roll Easter Jubilee stage show at the Brooklyn Paramount Theater. Freed, who had been plugging the Brooklyn opening constantly on his WINS show. Appearing - LaVern Baker, Danny Overbea, the Moonglows, Moonlighters. The Three Chuckles, Eddie Fontaine, the Penguins, Red Prysock’s band and others. Freed aired some of his WINS radio shows from backstage as well.
Elvis Presley pulls in a nice crowd at the big “D” Jamboree.
Jim Reeves signs with RCA Victor to a long-term contract, Reeves was with Abbott Records.
Look for Al Hibler on the Perry Como Show May 4. He’s bound to sing his hit “Unchained Melody.’
Radio news April 1955 - Al Jazzbo Collins says he just doesn’t play jazz on his WRCA (New York) radio program. “I don’t want to be cast as a jazz snob. I’d just as soon play ‘Peter and the Wolf’ as ‘Sing, Sing Sing.’ I played Kostelanetz the first week of this show and the next week, I gave them George Liberace. When Collins left WNEW last December, he brought his private collection of 1,500 records with him.
Television news - Boston’s first noncommercial television station hits the air as WGBH-TV channel 2 signs-on. The station is being operated with the assistance and cooperation of the Lowell Institute Cooperative Broadcasting Council. WGBH-TV programs will draw heavily on the area’s educational and cultural institutions for talent. First regular program was “Come and See” a program of music and storytelling for young viewers. WGBH-TV is the 12 th educational television station to begin operations.
“Our Gang” comedies - made some 25 years ago are finding a new home for a new audience on television. At WPIX-TV, the comedies have been playing for 4 months, and already according to general manager Fred Thrower, this is a sponsor waiting list. Over 1 million watch the comedies over WPIX-TV.
Harpo Marx is all aglow about his appearance in this week’s “I Love Lucy:” “When I walked on the set to go to work there was Lucy imitating me. Tousled and ringlet-red hair streamed from under a battered stovepipe hat. It was the most perfect imitation I’ve ever seen. I rushed over to Lucy, grabbed her hair and asked, “Where did you get such a perfect wig? You could have heard her scream way down in Palm Springs. It seems it was Lucy’s own hair. I had forgotten she didn’t need any help in duplicating my wig.
Howdy Doody and the various characters on his show will make no more appearances at fairs, parks and drive-ins. NBC says it is not in the parks and fairs business and has a desire for honest promotion. They believe the over-commercialization has cheapened the show. The only appearances will be for charity…
$64,000 Question is readying its June 7 debut over CBS-TV. Sponsor is Revlon and they are earmarking $250,000 in prizes every 13 weeks. Pre-publicity n the show has been successful - some 10,000 have already written in hoping to get on the program.
CBS-TV’s “Morning Show” has a problem. Host Jack Paar wants to leave (or is leaving). The show has met countless changes since its debut last year. The beginning stressed news and information but in the fall, the network changed the emphasis to entertainment and that’s when Paar, a comedian, was hired. CBS is talking about two separate one- hour shows. One would be a comprehensive news program, the other, a children’s show. “The Morning Show” title would disappear.
Davy Crockett update - 34 licensees manufacturing more than 100 varieties of toys, clothing, games, books etc. The popularity of the Davy Crockett song is incredible. The many versions have sold in excess of four million records. Disney’s merchandising division has licensed manufactures who are currently working overtime on such products as coon-skin caps, children’s pajamas, sweaters, trousers, bathing suits, an electric quiz game, jigsaw puzzles, lunch boxes, dolls, projectors, toy guns, guitars, block construction sets, - all with the Davy Crockett motif and bearing the official imprint of Disney studios and picture of Fess Parker. Actually, the Davy Crockett legend is figure is public domain, but according to Disney, the better stores thus far refuse to handle any Crockett merchandise not bearing the Disney stamp of approval.
More Crockett - A full-length theatrical version of the three “Disneyland-Crockett” TV adventures is being released at the end of this month. A new Davy Crockett series is already being planned for showing on ABC-TV next year. The July opening of Disneyland in Anaheim, CA will have extensive acreage devoted to “Frontierland,” with Davy Crockett slated to play the role there. On records, Disney will follow the Crockett them with “”Oh Betsy,” and “Be sure You’re Right.”
More Crockett - Davy Crockett update - A fireworks company is going to use Davy Crockett as its theme. Look for Davy Crockett displays in Dallas and Los Angeles this Fourth of July. Walt Disney has given Thearle-Duffield Inc, rights to use “Ballad of Davy Crockett” at the events. Fess Parker will appear live at the Los Angeles show.
Two new Davy Crockett songs have been recorded by Fess Parker - “Old Betsy” and “Be Sure You’re Right.”
Music news May 1955 - Elvis Presley appears on the Louisiana Hayride this week. From there, he appears at Magnolia Gardens in Houston and then heads for the big Jimmie Rodgers celebration in Meridian, MS. Presley and his group then head to the Dallas “Big D Jamboree” on May 28. Here's an Elvis Presley ad from Sun Records...
Columbia Records cuts the price of single 78rpm records to 89cents. “The shellac business is still there” according to Columbia sales execs.
After his big Brooklyn rock ‘n’ roll show, Alan Freed takes it on the road – to Boston this week into the Leow’s State there. Immediately following, the show goes to Providence for three days.
Columbia Records - Won’t touch rock ‘n’ roll, but last month we reported they are adding more pop records with rhythm. Head Mitch Miller wants to make it clear the label is thinking and doing product for the younger set, without rock. Particularly the subject of young love. Check out these releases: Young and Foolish - Jo Stafford Love Among the Young - Rosemary Clooney The label just signed Detroit’s well-known “Make Way For Youth” chorus.
Another Country & Western regional “Jamboree” is the WRVA, Richmond (VA) “Old Dominion Barn Dance.
ABC-TV is bullish on hillbilly music show. It’s having terrific success with “Ozark Jubilee” it will expand it a half-hour to 90 minutes. ABC-TV will adding two hillbilly music shows - “The Pee Wee King Show” from WEWS-TV Cleveland (next week) and another show from Springfield, MO.
Radio news May 1955 - WNEW radio is the top music station in the country. This week, The New York Times does an article on the three people who select the records played on the station. WNEW has such influence on radio stations; these three can actually create hit records. They are WNEW record librarians Mike Camito, Al Trilling and Bob Taylor. These fellows are so influential, Mitch Miller of Columbia records says “It’s money in the bank when the boys in that record library look up after listening and say ‘that’s a good one’ or ‘you’ve got something there.’” The article says WNEW receives between 75 and 100 records each week and that “censorship” is an important part of the job.
Ernie Kovacs begins a daily morning radio show (6-9a) over WABC, New York. Dial 770.
Alan Freed was supposed to host a new national TV show called “Party” on NBC-TV beginning June 17. Two things happened: His radio station - WINS, didn’t want the show to air in New York, plus, NBC-TV has decided the show’s original rhythm and blues motif is out because of “waning” interest for the music, and instead will make the show more pop.
Now At Theaters - "Seven Year Itch" starring Marilyn Monroe
Television news - June 1955 -
CBS Debuts, "The $64,000 Question" quiz show.
Finally, ABC reveals the new “Mickey Mouse Club” format. Following the potpourri pattern utilized in the “Disneyland” program - the Mickey Mouse Club will consist of constantly varying assortment of short features, many of them combining information and education with entertainment. 70% of each day’s show will consist of new material, a lot of it animated, shot expressly for the show. Some of the features include:
Mickey Mouse Newsreel - Human-interest films of how children live, work and play in other parts of the world.
Mouseketeers - Live photography of a troupe of professional children entertainers, emceed by adult Jimmy Dodd; singing, dancing and generally having fun.
This is You - animated cartoons devoted to safety, showing how to ride a bike, swim safely, how to be careful walking the streets etc.
Marty Markham - a documentary story, continuing in serial form from day to day, of a boy and what happens to him in camp, school etc.
Explorers Club - visits to interesting places and interesting activities such as a shark hunt, a pony farm or a stallion round-up.
When I Grow Up - describes occupations that children may be interested in such as policeman, fireman, stewardess etc.
WABD-TV (NY) will begin a six-hour live children’s show called “Wonderama” on Sunday afternoons. Ted Cott, general manager of the DuMont station, said the show would concentrate on fun and facts rather than blood and mayhem. Instead of dead Indians and nightmarish Martians, “Wonderama” will stick to clowns, puppets, animals, stories, community singing, visual reading aids, children’s fashion shows, sports and do-it- yourself-on-a-small-scale items.
CBS-TV Debuts, "The Johnny Carson Show."
Most popular off-network shows with kids -
Abbott and Costello
Ramar of the Jungle
Rocky Jones Space Ranger
Wild Bill Hickok
Laurel and Hardy
Hans Christian Anderson
Victory at Sea
Death Valley Days
You All Star Theater
Meet Corliss Archer
Inspector Mark saber
I Led Three Lives
Amos ‘n’ Andy
Your Star Showcase
Music news – June 1955
Webb Pierce - a top-selling country & western artist, tenders his “Grand Ole Opry” resignation. In a letter, Webb complained that he was not given his own radio show and that despite the fact that he had been voted the top folk singer for the last two years, WSM had not shown him “any consideration whatsoever.”
Bill Haley and his Comets with Decca Records have hit sales of over 3 million in just over 13 months. “Rock Around The Clock,” released a year ago and featured in MGM’s “Blackboard Jungle” has gone over 1 million in sales…
Clyde McPhatter - lead singer for the Drifters leaves the group to go solo. Technically, he’s been in the service since May of last year and his only appearances with the Drifters have been on records which have included “Money Honey,” “White Christmas,” “Whatcha Gonna do,” Someday,” and “Such a Night.” McPhatter’s at the U.S. Army Coast Artillery Installation at Grand Island, NY…
Radio news June 1955 - Sylvester Pat Weaver’s baby - NBC launches “Monitor.” The radio program is supposed to be a cousin of TV’s “Today,” “Home” and Tonight” in that, the listener doesn’t know what’s coming next. Weaver says when “Monitor:” goes on a forty-hour schedule this weekend, it will have its work cut out for it. The intent is to throw away the radio clock and establish a new pattern - a continuous flow of items, their length determined by their worth…
Television news - NBC-TV summer replacement show for the regular Sid Caesar Hour is his own “Caesar Presents” - putting the star behind the camera. The first show this week featured Phil Foster, Bill Hayes and Martha Wright.
ABC-TV readies the live broadcast from the new Disneyland in Anaheim, California. A staff of 63 engineers and technicians will be on hand along with ten thousand feet of coaxial cable and 26,400 feet of camera cable. ABC-TV is pulling equipment and personnel from its stations around the country to handle the assignment. Camera crews and directors have been rehearsing at the park every Sunday since May 22. The broadcast is July 17.
Hollywood film boon for the television industry – the manufacture of films for television, now with 250 companies is a $100 million-a-year business. Over the next year, here are the film/live estimated broadcast stats for each network…
ABC - 597 hours of film/78 hours of live TV.
CBS - 552 hours of film/22 hours of live TV
NBC - 326 hours of fil/696 hours of live TV
Sunday Night on ABC-Television - “Tour Disneyland” - an unforgettable 90 minutes of live television.
Power Of Reruns - The reruns of ABC-TV’s “Disneyland” series have bigger ratings than the original airings earlier in the TV season. It makes a point that filmed TV shows are capable of doing just as good a job of pulling in audiences on their second run as on their first, providing time slot and competition factors in both are about equal.
Music news July 1955 - Bandleader Paul Whitman can be seen on the summer series called “America’s Greatest Bands,” a Saturday night CBS-TV summer replacement for the Jackie Gleason hour. Observes Whitman about kids and music today: “the kids of today just aren’t doing much dancing. Over a period of years, the big bands built up the singers and finally taught the people to quit dancing. That is, most of them did. There were few exceptions. Guy Lombardo has always done his part for dancing.”
Singer Bill Hayes , who had a #1 smash recently with “The Ballad of Davy Crockett,” says the record has been very good to him: “You can’t imagine the change it has made in my life. I was on ‘Show of Shows’ with Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca for three and a half years, but I was lost in the crowd. Bookers told my agents: ‘Sorry, I don’t know him.’ “The I was on Broadway in “Me and Juliet’ but nobody seemed to know me. They confused me with Gabby Hayes or Richard Hayes. Now I’m Davy Crockett. There’s still a kind of loss of identity, but at least I seem to be established as one person.” Hayes says he went on tour after the song was released - playing thirty cities. He dressed in a coonskin hat and buckskin jacket and “the kids all joined in.”
Television news – Educational station WQED, Pittsburgh - the station that spawned the Dr. Spock TV show, has another talent going to NBC-TV. He’s Fred Rogers . “Children’s Corner” - said to be fantasy mixed with facts and fun, begins August 20 on Saturdays 10:30am. The show features a tiger puppet that only speaks French.
On Steve Allen’s “Tonight” show this week, Steve discovers roller derby, and introduced a young lady named Tuffy Brasuhn.
WADB-TV (New York) introduces live wrestling this week.
A news syndicated show “Highway Patrol” starring Broderick Crawford, is set to debut this fall.
Judy Garland will star on the premiere of the “Ford Star Jubilee” - CBS-TV September 24. The show is being produced by her husband Sid Luft…
KTLA (Los Angeles) takes Lawrence Welk off its air. KTLA aired the ABC-fed “Lawrence Welk Show” even though it’s not an ABC station. But the show began locally on KTLA several years ago, before it went national and they have the rights to air it in Los Angeles. Seems that KTLA doesn’t want to air the “Dodge” sponsorship commercials and instead, has been inserting other spots…
DuMont - The fourth network, who has curtailed its schedule drastically over the last few months – drops two more shows, which only leaves it one on the regular schedule. Say goodbye to “All About Baby” – a daytime program for moms and “Studio 57.” All that’s left is a weekly boxing program from the St Nicholas Arena. DuMont says that it will feed New York Giants football to about 16 stations.
Music news August 1955 – WINS, New York says it has a new policy - it will not air “cover” records and “copy’ records - defining the latter as those records which copy often note-for-note - the arrangement and stylistic phrasing of the singer. The new policy is announced by program director Bob Smith. Smith has distributed copies of the policy to WINS deejays Jack Lacy, Alan Freed, Bob And ray, Brad Phillips, Stan Shaw and Peter Roberts. The station also prepared a list of original records issued within the past several months which have been followed by copy records:
Story Untold - Nutmegs
Tweedle Dee - Lavern Baker
Melody of Love - Billy Vaughan
Ko Ko Mo - Gene and Eunice
Earth Angel - Penguins
Hearts of Stone - The Charms
Ain’t It A Shame? - Fats Domino
Maybelene - Chuck Berry
Gum Drops - Otis Williams
Man In a Raincoat - Pricilla Wright
Autumn Leaves - Roger Williams
I Want You To Be My Baby - Lillian
Oh, What A Dream - Ruth Brown
More Music News - August 1955 - Atlantic Records launches a new subsidiary label - Atco Records. It was supposed to be Atlas Records, but that’s tied-up by another label. Bill Hailey’s wife gives birth to Bill Jr., the fourth Haley youngster. Meanwhile his “Rock Around the Clock” is topping all the bestseller lists… Chet Atkins tries a new gimmick on his latest RCA recording session. He took a 12-string guitar and detuned it slightly to come up with somewhat “screwy” sound. You can catch this new sound on two songs - “Shine on Harvest Moon” and “Somebody Stole My Gal.”
Pat Boone makes a record store appearance. About 1,000 saw him at the Music Mart in Orange. Paul Brenner of WAAT radio Newark plugged the event on his show. The owner said of Boone - “He is unassuming, generous and should go far.”
Did you miss the Anniversary Jamboree in Memphis a few weeks ago? It featured Webb Pierce, Elvis Presley, Red Sovine, Wanda Jackson, Sonny James and Jim Wilson.
Vice-President Nixon opens Hollywood Bowl’s “Festival of the America’s” - serving as honorary president of the festival. Appearing - conductor Leonard Bernstein.
Negro baritone Paul Robeson fails to get a court order requiring the state department to issue him a passport. His passport was revoked in 1950 on the grounds that his travels abroad would not be in the interests of the United States.
Television news September 1955
Jess Oppenheimer, creator/producer who originated “I Love Lucy” bolts from CBS to NBC. He rejoins Sylvester (Pat) Weaver, president of NBC. The pair teamed together some 15 years ago on the Fred Astaire radio show.
Lee Meriweather joins NBC-TV's, "Today" Show.
"Hooneymooners" debut on CBS-TV as a stand-alone show. Saturday night.
Faints on TV - Viewers to the Pinky Lee NBC-TV Children’s program see him clutch his throat and fall to the floor. Doctors believe it was nervous exhaustion.
Milton Berle is now doing his show from the West Coast. “Never again will I permanently telecast my programs from New York?” declared the comedian. “It’s a matter of dollar economy and better production facilities to them from here. “Hollywood is the undisputed capital of live television.”
Lucille Ball says her husband, Desi has taught her to relax more with a “manana” attitude. “It took me years to understand this - but it’s worth working for because it gives you a wonderful release from tension. Another thing Desi has taught me is patience. I was a great one for doing it now but he believes in waiting until the time is right.”
All-night TV station - WOR-TV (New York) begins an all- night show “Night Time New York” to be broadcast 1am- 7am Wednesdays through Sundays. Milton Ford hosts. The program offers music, games for the home and studio audience, quizzes, auditions for amateur songwriters and interviews with celebrities.
CBS-TV’s “Morning Show” will undergo changes beginning October 3. Singers Merv Griffin & Sandy Stewart are leaving as well as the Bernie Leighton trio. Emcee Dick Van Dyke will remain. The show will be reduced from 2 hours to only an hour. The following hour will debut a new kid’s show - “Captain Kangaroo” with Bob Keeshan as the captain.
October - The Mickey Mouse Club” premieres this week - weekday afternoons on ABC-TV as does, “Captain Kangaroo” on CBS-TV … Dumont’s WABD-TV (channel 5) in New York City debuts “Mike Wallace and the news” seen Monday thru Friday nights -7-7:15 and 11-11:15… “You’ll Never Get Rich” will be changed to “ The Phil Silvers Show ” beginning next week. Hopefully, it will help the ratings a little… Arthur Godfrey fires singer Lu Ann Simms, who is taking maternity leave. She was the 20th member of the Godfrey cast to go and had been with him since he discovered on his talent Scout show in 1952… Radio - WNEW is sold again – this time for $4 million. The station had been sold last year for $2.1 million. A syndicate headed by Jack Warter was the purchaser. The other syndicate members are John Loeb, senior partner of Carl M. Loeb, Rhoades & Col, investment brokers and Richard Buckley, general manager of WNEW who already was a stockholder.
The Mickey Mouse Club - ABC-TV
November - A dozen children win approval of contracts that call for their services in a new television show from Walt Disney - “The Mickey Mouse Club.” Each is signed for six months at $185 each. The contracts provide for a series of options extending the agreement to seven years with salaries of $500 a week during the last year. The new “stars” and their ages:
Doreen Tracey (12)
Sharon Baird (13)
Tommy Cole (13)
Lonnie Burr (12)
Bobby Burgess (14)
Annette Funicello (13)
Donald Underhill (14)
Carl (Cubby) O’Brien (9)
Karen Pendleton (9)
Darlene Gillespie (14)
Judy Harriet Spiegelman (13)
Dennis Day (13)
November 1955 music news - In Los Angeles - The city’s first Rock and Roll television show premieres with “The Johnny Otis Show” on KTTV - channel 11. Otis describes the music as the “nervous rhythm of the atomic age.” First week’s guests - Jeannie Barnes, Mel Williams, The Sheiks, Don Julian and the Meadowlarks, Marie Adams and Arthur Mathews.” It’s a whole lot of music in a half hour…
Tennessee Ford’s hit single “16 Tons” is having trouble in such places as Pittsburgh. Seems that it’s a target of coal mining interests who don’t dig the lyrics. Record stores in the area are reluctant to stock the record.
Rock and Roll on the Ed Sullivan show - New York r&b DJ Tommy Smalls does a segment this week which he emcees a package of top r&b acts including Laverne Baker, Bo Diddley, the Five Keys and Willis Jackson.
In what is being called an experiment - Disney now has a label – Disneyland Records. First package is a 45rpm Ep album featuring four tunes from Disney TV shows titled “Player Piano Music” from the Wonderland Music Store in Disneyland.
Radio news November 1955 - Bing Crosby will be on hand (again) Christmas Eve on CBS Radio with the 60-minute holiday special “Christmas Sing With Bing.”
Walt Disney is getting into radio with a daily broadcast on ABC radio from 11:35am to noon. Titled “Walt Disney’s Magic Kingdom” it will broadcast from Disneyland Park. Look for interviews with visitors and audience participation features and games.
ABC-TV 1955 Thursday Night Sked - (See Picture)
Music news December 1955 - RCA Victor says it has sold around 200,000 copies of Don Charles’ “Singing Dogs” record (see ad), but the record could do better in the New York area, where it isn’t getting a lot of airplay. Typical is WNEW’s Jerry Marshall, who doesn’t like the record that much. RCA Victor says they have only sold around 7,000 copies in the area, as compared to 20,000 in Philadelphia.
Bo Diddley appears on The Ed Sullivan Show this week. Ed wanted Diddley to perform “16 Tons” but what came out was “Bo Diddley.” They had to rehearse over and over again, because Diddley didn’t know diddley about the song. Ed and crew got the surprise of their lives when it came to the actual live airing. When asked to comment, the singer said, “Man, maybe that was ’16 Tons’ on those (cue) cards, but all I saw was ‘Bo Diddley.”
More Singing Dogs (video) - Claes Dahlgren, representative for the Scandinavian Metronome Records firm, who sold the dog master to RCA Victor, received prints of a six-minute TV film built around the dogs’ rendition of “Oh Susannah.” The flick, in which the dogs are represented by puppets, was made Danck Kultur Films and NBC has it for consideration.
Elvis Presley moves over to RCA-Victor from Sun Records . As a result, his current single, high on the Country & Western charts, will now be distributed on the RCA-Victor label (see ads for each label below). Presley will appear on Jackie Gleason’s Saturday night “Stage Show.” for six appearances: December 28, January 4, 11 and 18 with two more being scheduled for Feb and March. The deal was set by manager, Col. Tom parker. NBC-TV reportedly was also bidding for Presley to guest on Gleason’s competitor, Perry Como’s show, but Gleason came up with more money.
Rhythm and Blues label Chess-Checker launches a label for pop. “Marterry” will feature artists heard on the firm’s established labels as well as new artists. The move was made because r&b hits such as Chuck Berry’s “Maybellene” have crossed over into pop.
The song “To Each His Own” penned by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans, hits sheet music sales of 1 million.
Radio news December 1955 - New York’s WMGM (1050) on your dial, adds two new DJ’s - Peter Tripp, formerly with WHB, Kansas City, Mo, and Dean Hunter, formerly of KYW, Philadelphia. Tripp will conduct a pop hits show to compete with WINS DJ Alan Freed - “You Hits of the Week” to be broadcast Mon-Sat 5-8p. The show begins this week.
WINS DJ Alan Freed is branching out into the nightclub and movie fields next year. He’s scheduled to take his own 18-piece band into Birdland in February. Freed will front and play trombone on the bill which will also feature Sam The Man Taylor and Al Sears.
For New Year’s Eve - NBC radio’s “Monitor” will spotlight remote pick-ups by the Billy Taylor Trio from London House in Chicago; Jerry Gray at the Moulin Rouge, Hollywood; Tex Beneke at the Statler Hotel, New York; Duke Ellington at the Blue Note in Chicago; Sarah Vaughan at Birdland in New York; Les Brown at the ollywood Palladium, Bobby Troup at the Huntington Sheraton, Pasadena (CA) and Stan Kenton at Zardies in Los Angeles.
DJ Murray Kaufman has been busy the last few summers staging open-air shows (featuring top recording stars) at Palisades Park. Last year, Kaufman of WMCA New York drew some 125,000 when he emceed Eddie Fisher and Sammy Davis Jr. at Palisades Amusement Park. His fan club now numbers 108,000. He’s involved in a cut-rate record store at the park, where hit singles will sell for 55 cents. Singles wholesale for 54 cents, and the other penny will go for operating the store, located at Palisades Park.
Gene Norman , a popular DJ over KLAC (Los Angeles) has a jazz label called “Gene Norman Presents.
"Your Hit Parade" - NBC-TV Christmas Eve
Television news December 1955 – CBS purchases all the assets of Paul Terry’s Terrytoon Inc. animation outfit for around $5 million. The deal ends Terry’s 25-year-old distribution deal with 20th - Fox. The studio is best known for Mighty Mouse, Heckle & Jeckle, Dinky the Duck and Farmer Al Falfa. CBS and Terry have worked together on individual projects – most notably Terry’s “Barker Bill” afternoon show.
ABC-TV’s “Mickey Mouse Club” pulls down a 20-plus weekday average Nielsen rating in the latest report – a feat unprecedented for a daily afternoon show.
ABC-TV’s “Super Circus” celebrates its Christmas day move to New York (From Chicago) by throwing a studio open for a Christmas party for 180 underprivileged NY youngsters. Kids who will be transported to and from the studio in five chartered busses from settlement houses, schools, orphanages and Y’s from all over the city.
WOR-TV in New York is dropping Ray Heatherton’s 6pm “Merry Mailman” but instead, will utilize his singing talents in a show more geared for adults in the same timeslot. Look for “Ray Heatherton Theatre” on January 9th. Ray will now be wearing a tux and will sing around 12 ½ minute drama films, many of which “Fireside Theatre” produced when TV was young. “The Merry Mailman” with Heatherton, will continue on WOR-TV at noon every weekday.
CBS-TV’s “Morning Show” is going through another change. Walter Cronkite has vacated the news spot, reportedly as a result of internal friction. This was Cronkite’s second go at “Morning.” He first left under controversial circumstances, claiming he was not a comedian. Jack Paar and his troupe manned “Morning” for a while. “Morning” kicked off the new season in the fall with Cronkite back, plus emcee-storyteller Dick Van Dyke holding over from his postPaar summer stance on the show. The time was cut back to one-hour, making room for Bob Keshan’s “Captain Kangaroo” for the other hour. In a new deal, Dick Van Dyke will be replaced by Will Rogers Jr.
Top-10 TV Trendex ratings –
$64,000 Question – 42.8
I Love Lucy – 40.6
Ed Sullivan – 37.2
What’s My Line? – 30.7
I’ve Got a Secret – 29.0
The Lineup – 26.9
Perry Como – 26.5
You Hit Parade – 26.2
George Gobel – 26.0
I Love Lucy (Saturday re-run) –25.7
Honeymooners – 25.7
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