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BOOMERNET Chronicle: 1953

1953

Dwight D. Eisenhower becomes the 34th U.S. president, the last one to be born in the previous century and the first Republican one in 20 years. He is also the only general to serve as president in the 20th century.

In July, the U.S., China, North and South Korea sign an armistice agreement, ending combat operations in the Korean War. It is estimated there were almost 500,000 casualties in the U.N. forces (including over 36,000 Americans dead) and double or even triple that number in the Communist forces. Korean civilian casualties are estimated at 2 milion for the 3-year war. Meanwhile, in Russia, regime change occurs following the death of Josef Stalin. Malenkov and Krushchev join with others to declare Beria a traitor and then fight for leadership roles themselves.

As commercial airlines reduce travel time, professional sports in America begins its Western realignment, with the Boston Braves becoming the Milwaukee Braves, the first move of a major league baseball club since 1903. In other baseball news, the New York Yankees win their fifth consecutive World Series, a feat never performed either before or since.

U.S. Facts

  • President: Dwight D. Eisenhower (R)
  • Population: 160,184,000
  • Life Expectancy: 68.8 years
  • Unemployment: 2.9%
  • Average Annual Salary: $4,200
  • Minimum Wage: $0.75 per hour
  • Inflation Rate: 0.87%

What Things Cost

  • Automobile: $1,850
  • Gasoline: $0.29 per gallon
  • House: $17,500
  • Bread: $0.16 per loaf
  • Milk: $0.94 per gallon
  • Postage Stamp: $0.03

Major U.S. Events

  • U.S. has Republican president, 1st in 20 yrs
  • Eisenhower ends all wage, salary and price controls

Major World Events

  • Stalin era ends in Soviet Union; power struggle for successor
  • U.S., China, North and South Korea agree to end Korean War

January-March

  • 68% of U.S. TV’s are tuned to I Love Lucy, to see birth of Lucy’s son
  • Eisenhower inaugurated, with 1st national TV coverage (118 stations)
  • Josef Stalin dies in Russia
  • Georgi Malenkov is new Russian premier
  • Jonas Salk announces polio vaccine

April-June

  • Dag Hammarskjold new U.N. Secretary General
  • Dept. of Health, Education, and Welfare established
  • 1st issue of TV Guide published
  • Ian Fleming publishes first James Bond novel
  • Edmund Hillary & Tenzing Norgay climb Mt. Everest (1st time ever)
  • At Nevada test site, U.S. conducts first and only nuclear artillery test
  • Elizabeth II coronation in England
  • 1st Chevrolet Corvette is manufactured

July-September

  • Armistice signed to end Korean War
  • Soviet Union announces explosion of hydrogen bomb
  • CIA helps overthrow nationalist government in Iran, returning Shah Mohamed Reza Pahlavi to throne
  • Nikita Krushchev becomes leader of Communist Party in Russia

October-December

  • Earl Warren becomes Chief Justice of Supreme Court
  • 1st issue of Playboy magazine published, including nude photo of Marilyn Monroe

Top Songs

  • Moulin Rouge by Percy Faith Orchestra
  • Vaya Con Dios by Les Paul & Mary Ford
  • How Much Is That Doggie in the Window by Patti Page
  • I’m Walking Behind You by Eddie Fisher
  • You, You, You by the Ames Brothers

Other New Songs

  • Your Cheatin’ Heart by Hank Williams
  • Rags To Riches by Tony Bennett
  • I Believe by Frankie Laine
  • Stranger In Paradise by Tony Bennett
  • Don’t Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes by Perry Como

Top Movies

  • From Here To Eternity
  • The Robe
  • Stalag 17
  • Roman Holiday
  • Shane

Top Books

  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  • Go Tell It On the Mountain by James Baldwin
  • Battle Cry by Leon Uris
  • Adventures of Augie March by Saul Bellow
  • Second Foundation by Isaac Asimov

Top Radio Shows (1952-53)

  • Amos ‘n’ Andy Show
  • Jack Benny Show
  • Edgar Bergen & Charlie McCarthy
  • People Are Funny
  • Lux Radio Theater

Top TV Shows (1952-53)

  • I Love Lucy
  • Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts
  • Arthur Godfrey And His Friends
  • Dragnet
  • Texaco Star Theater

Major League Baseball: World Series

  • New York Yankees d. Brooklyn Dodgers for 5th consecutive Series title (only time in history)

Pro Football: Championship

  • Detroit Lions d. Cleveland Browns

Ice Hockey: Stanley Cup

  • Montreal Canadiens d. Boston Bruins

Pro Basketball: Championship

  • Minneapolis Lakers d. New York Knickerbockers

NCAA Champions

  • Football: Maryland Terrapins
  • Basketball: Indiana Hoosiers

Other Champions

  • Boxing: Rocky Marciano defends heavyweight title twice
  • Golf: Ben Hogan is PGA player of the year
  • Tennis: Tony Trabert and Maureen Connolly win U.S. Open
  • Horse Racing: Dark Star wins Kentucky Derby
  • Auto Racing: Bill Vukovich wins Indianapolis 500

Inventions, Fads, & Fashion

  • 50% of American homes now have TV’s
  • Double-helical structure of DNA discovered
  • Univac 1103 is 1st computer to use random access memory
  • First color TV’s go on sale in U.S.
  • Plastic toy soldiers become popular toys
  • Matchbox cars are introduced in England
  • Danny’s Donuts opens, later to become Denny’s

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