Thursday, November 20, 2014

Observations — 1951, The Calm Before The Calm

Korea seesawed between communist and democratic rule. Communists forced the Dalai Lama to surrender his army to Beijing. Libyans tossed off Italian shackles.  The 22nd Amendment passed — presidents are limited to two terms. President Harry S. Truman fired General Douglas MacArthur. The general retired.   Accused spies Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were sentenced to death. The first nuclear power plant was built.  Fidel Castro was ejected from a baseball game for beaning a batter. Color TV was made available. Joe DiMaggio retired.  Sugar Ray Robinson defeated Jake La Motta for the Middleweight title. Rocky Marciano defeated Joe Louis at Madison Square Garden. Igor Stravinsky’s opera, Rake’s Progress, opened in Venice. Benjamin Britten’s Opera, Billy Budd, premiered in London.  The King and I opened on Broadway. “Search for Tomorrow,”  “I Love Lucy,“ “The Ernie Kovacs Show” and “Dragnet” premiered on the small screen. On the large screen we watched Showboat, Alice in Wonderland, Strangers On A Train, The Day The Earth Stood Still, A Place In The Sun, A Streetcar Named Desire, An American in Paris, The African Queen, and The Thing From Another World.  All About Eve picked up the Oscar.  Conrad Richter won the Pulitzer Prize in Literature for The Tower. Other notable books included Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger, The Caine Mutiny by Herman Wouk, The Ballad of the Sad Café by Carson McCullers, The Grass Harp by Truman Capote, From Here To Eternity by James Jones, Moses by Sholem Asch, and A Woman called Fancy by Frank Yerby. We listened to Nat “King” Cole sing “Too Young,” and Tony Bennett sang “Pleasure of You.” We also listened to “How High The Moon” by Les Paul and Mary Ford, “Be My Love” by Mario Lanza, “On Top of Old Smokey” by the Weavers, “Cold, Cold Heart” by Tony Bennett, “If” by Perry Como and ‘The Tennessee Waltz” by Patti Page. André Gide died. So did Robert Walker, Fanny Brice, William Randolph Hearst, Maria Montez, Sinclair Lewis and Eddy Duchin.   Those1951 babies who would become notables were Phil Collins, Mark Harmon, Robin Williams, Sting, Sally Ride, Michael Keaton, Jane Seymour, Joey Ramone, Luther Vandross, Angelica Huston and John Mellencamp. If you were around during this year of the metal rabbit, what were you doing?

1 comment:

Bill Crider said...

Now we're in territory I remember well. All the songs, even the books. And my cousin had a Henry J.