Thursday, November 6, 2014

Observations — 1955, Old Order Failing, New World Just Ahead

James Dean
Winston Churchill resigned. Argentina tossed Juan Perón aside. The U.S. began their entanglement in Vietnam.  Rosa Parks refused to move to the back of the bus.  Martin Luther King organized a boycott of the Montgomery Alabama bus system.  U.S. Supreme Court ordered school desegregation. Emmett Till was murdered. President Eisenhower had a heart attack. First televised presidential news conference aired. U.S. signed Panama Canal Treaty. Fiber Optics were developed. Anti-matter was discovered. First Atomic Sub was launched. Prednisone was created.  First music synthesizer was developed. Sony announced first transistor radio. The AFL and CIO merged.  Hurricane Diane killed 400 in U.S.  Hurricane Janet killed 500 in the Caribbean. Disneyland opened. “The Lawrence Welk” Show premiered on TV, as did “Alfred Hitchcock Presents.” William Inge’s Bus Stop premiered on Broadway. The ACLU defended poet Allen Ginsberg’s Howl from obscenity charges. The Pulitzer Prize for drama went to Tennessee Williams for Cat On A Hot Tin Roof.  The Pulitzer for Literature went to William Faulkner for A Fable.  The Mystery Writers of America gave Raymond Chandler its top prize for The Long Goodbye.  We also read Notes of A Native Son by James Baldwin, Pictures of A Gone World by Lawrence Ferlinghetti, The Recognitions by William Gaddis, A Charmed Life by Mary McCarthy, Lolita by Vladmir Nabokov, and A Good Man Is Hard To Find by Flannery O’Connor.  On The Waterfront swept the Academy Awards this year. We also watched Rebel Without A Cause, Marty, East of Eden, Bad Day At Black Rock, and Picnic.  We listened to “Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White” by Perez Prado, “Rock Around the Clock” by Bill Haley and the Comets, “The Yellow Rose of Texas” by Mitch Miller, “Autumn Leaves” by Roger Williams, “Unchained Melody” by Les Baxter, “The Ballad of Davey Crocket” by Bill Hayes, “Love Is A Many Splendored Thing” by the Four Aces, “Ain’t That A Shame” by Pat Boone, “Dance With Me Henry,” by Georgia Gibbs and “Sincerely” by the McGuire Sisters. Among the departed were James Dean, Theda Bara, Carmen Miranda, James Agee, Thomas Mann, Albert Einstein, Dale Carnegie, and Fred Allen.  Arrivals included Bruce Willis, Kevin Costner, Billy Bob Thornton, Willem Dafoe, Bill Paxton, Brendan Gleason, Steve Jobs, Whoopi Goldberg and Kelsey Grammar.  If you were around, what were you doing during this year of the wood sheep?


Bill Crider said...

A great year for me, the year I turned 14. I remember the music, of course. I was a teenager, after all. I confess that I liked Fats Domino's version of "Ain't that a Shame" a lot more than Pat Boone's. Saw all the movies, too. Read the books later one. At the time I was reading SF mostly and didn't know about Raymond Chandler. I caught up with him a few years later on.

Ronald Tierney said...

I liked that year as well and agree with you on Fats Domino. My grandmother had a blue & white '55 Chevy. Great car.