Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Observation — 1954, Old Guard Fades: Soviets, Soviets Everywhere

Dave Brubeck

The Soviet Union, with the Nazi threat behind them, seemed to be everywhere — signing treaties and attending summits.  The French weren’t having a good year. In a warning unheeded by the U.S. later, the French lost Vietnam. And Algeria’s war of independence from France began.  Nasser took over in Egypt.  Joseph McCarthy got his comeuppance, condemnation from fellow Senators.  Many in the South weren’t happy with the Supreme Court. The justices officially banned segregation in public schools.  Children began receiving the polio vaccine.  The World Series was broadcast in color.  From Here To Eternity won the Academy Award.  Other top movies of the year were: Rear Window, The Caine Mutiny, Sabrina, and The High and the Mighty.  William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring and Anais Nin’s Spy in the House of Love topped the bestseller lists. The Mystery Writers of America gave The Edgar for Best Mystery Novel to Beat Not The Bones by Charlotte Ray. Billboard listed its top five of the year — ‘Little Things Mean A Lot’ by Kitty Kallen, “Wanted” by Perry Como, ‘Hey There” by Rosemary Clooney (George’s aunt), “Sh-Boom’ by The Crewcuts and “Make Love To Me,’ by Jo Stafford. Oprah Winfrey debuted in life as did Michael Moore, Harvey Fierstein and Denzel Washington. Saying “goodbye,” were Lionel Barrymore, Henri Matisse, Colette and Frida Kahlo.  If you were around, what were you doing during this year of the wood horse?

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