News of the San Gabriel Valley since 1966.

‘Time Jockey ’: 1955

Back in Time II  … It seems that 1955 was one of those years when everything went right. So many events happened in that year alone that other years look very average. In world events, Russia exploded a one-megaton H-bomb. Many considered this the acceleration of the Cold War. Israel and Egypt agreed to one of their many cease-fires. Argentina’s Juan Peron was ousted as President of Chile and exiled from his county. Sir Winston Churchill retired as British Prime Minister. In news across the nation, the
U. S. was testing a missile with an atomic warhead in Nevada. Albert Einstein died of heart failure at the age of 76. Adolph Coors was experimenting with aluminum beer cans. Film Star James Dean was killed in an automobile crash while driving in the back roads in coastal central California. And one of the most anticipated events was the opening of one of the greatest amusement parks, Disneyland.  The park was the brainstorm of Walt Disney, who purchased acreage in the rural community of Anaheim in Orange County and built his dream version of his own playground. As part of Disney’s growth, the Mickey Mouse Club premiered on Television. At the 1955 Academy Awards, the Best Picture was awarded to ‘Marty,’ starring Ernest Bourgnine who would go on and gain television fame in ‘McHale’s Navy.’  A number of memorable hit songs were released in 1955 including ‘Unchained Melody,’ ‘Hey, Mr. Banjo,’ and ‘Yellow Rose of Texas.’ In sports, the Cleveland Browns were champions of professional football, the Syracuse Nationals were crowned pro basketball champions and the Detroit Red Wings were the best in the NHL. The Dodgers from Brooklyn were crowned the champions of Baseball defeating the New York Yankees in 7 games. The Kentucky Derby winner was Swaps with Bill Shoemaker up. I believe Swaps won the first two races of the triple crown only to lose the final race at Belmont. Hopefully in 2014, California Chrome will win the Triple Crown and become only the 14th horse to do so. Dwight Eisenhower was President with California-born Native Son Richard Nixon the Vice President. The minimum wage was 75 cents, average annual income was $4,137, a new car only cost $1,910 and a new house only $10,950. A loaf of bread was 18 cents, a gallon of milk 92 cents and a gallon of gas was 32 cents.  But life expectance was only 69.6 years, which is quite a bit less than life expectancy today. Who was born in 1955? Kevin Costner of ‘Field of Dreams’ movie fame, actor Bruce Willis, actress Connie Sellecca, and actor Willem Defoe. Yes indeed, 1955 was quite a year to remember.

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