Syngman Rhee Re-elected South Korean President
December 2, 2021
https://youtu.be/iyWg0ed82bQ This newsreel seems to reflect American support for the virtual dictatorship of this anti-communist strong man. Syngman Rhee Wikipedia In May 1956 81-year-old Syngman Rhee won 70% of the popular South Korean vote with a voter turnout of 94%. With re-election, Rhee continued to hold a virtual monopoly on political power in South Korea. One opposition candidate Shin Ik-hee died before the election. Cho Bong-am Wikipedia The other candidate Cho Bong-am, who campaigned on a platform of peaceful reunification of Korea in opposition to Rhee's policy of "March North and unify Korea," received 30% of the presidential election vote. In 1959 Cho was accused of violating the National Security Law and executed. Source: Wikipedia
Popular Books Published in 1955
November 15, 2021
Source: Goodreads
Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott
November 11, 2021
https://youtu.be/pxTWb38NERg In December 1955 an African-American woman named Rosa Parks was arrested for refusal to surrender her seat to a white person on a Montgomery Alabama public bus. The subsequent Montgomery bus boycott lasted from December 1955 to December 1956, when the federal ruling Browder v. Gayle led to a United States Supreme Court decision declaring the Alabama and Montgomery laws segregating buses were unconstitutional. Source: Wikipedia
Big Four Meeting in Geneva Reduces International Tension
November 8, 2021
https://youtu.be/1KURFzVpqm4 The stated mission of the November 1955 Geneva summit was to reduce international tensions between the leaders of "Big Four" nations France, Great Britain, USA and USSR. The world leaders discussed issues on security, armaments, German unification, and stronger East-West relationships. Premier Khrushchev was willing to allow a united Germany providing it was neutral, but the recent entrance of West Germany into NATO made the situation increasingly complicated. The Soviet delegation stated that if peace were the only North Atlantic Treaty Organization objective, there should be no objection to the USSR joining. CIA Director Allan Dulles, however, advised President Eisenhower to refuse this proposal and the subject was neglected during the rest of the summit. The 1955 Big Four Conference in Geneva created an era of renewed optimism in cold war relationships that was soon disrupted by the Suez Crisis in 1956. Source: Wikipedia
President Eisenhower Has Heart Attack 
November 4, 2021
At West Point, Dwight Eisenhower began chain smoking three or four packs of cigarettes a day.  In September 1955 he suffered a massive heart attack after golfing in Denver, Colorado. Seven weeks later he left the hospital, and in February 1956 doctors reported his full recovery. Eisenhower was the first president to release information about his health and medical records while in office, but it seems that people around him deliberately misled the public about his health to suggest he was healthy enough to do his job. His cardiologist Dr. Paul Dudley White regularly informed the press of the President's progress. Instead of eliminating him as a candidate for a second term as president, Dr. White recommended a second term as essential to his recovery. In November 1956 President Dwight Eisenhower was elected for his second term. As a consequence of his heart attack, Eisenhower developed a left ventricular aneurysm, which was in turn the cause of a mild stroke in November 1957.  Main Source: Wikipedia
Ngo Dinh Diem Becomes President of Vietnam
November 1, 2021
https://youtu.be/D8M6b6t_pwk In spring 1955 anti-French sentiment led Vietnamese nationalists to call for removal of Bảo Đại, who was head of Vietnam's provisional government. Ngo Dinh Diem then set up a referendum between himself and Bảo Đại for October 1955. In October 1955, Diem proclaimed South Vietnam the Republic of Vietnam and himself as its first president. Condemning the northern government as authoritarian, Diem blocked the national elections that the 1954 Geneva Accords mandated, making certain that Vietnam was not united under Communist rule.
President Eisenhower’s Open Skies Proposal Rejected
October 28, 2021
https://youtu.be/4DH3c9WJMQU The concept of "mutual aerial observation" initially proposed to Soviet Premier Nikolai Bulganin at the Geneva Conference of 1955 by U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, was promptly rejected by the USSR and lay dormant for several years. The treaty was eventually signed as an initiative of U.S. president (and former Central Intelligence Agency Director) George H. W. Bush in 1989. Negotiated by members of NATO and the Warsaw Pact, the agreement was signed in Helsinki Finland on March 24, 1992. Source: Wikipedia
Le Mans Crash Kills Driver and Many Spectators
October 25, 2021
https://youtu.be/RMoh5hZAaZk In June 1955 a major crash during the 24 Hours of Le Mans motor race in the city of Le Mans, France sent large pieces of debris into the crowd, killing 83 spectators and French driver Pierre Levegh. 180 more spectators were injured. The Le Mans crash was the most catastrophic in motor sport history, and it prompted Mercedes-Benz to retire from motor racing until 1987.
US Supreme Court Orders End to Racial Segregation
October 21, 2021
https://youtu.be/TTGHLdr-iak With its 1954  Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka unanimous (9–0) decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that state laws establishing racial segregation in public schools were unconstitutional, even if the segregated schools are otherwise equal in quality. However, Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka did not delineate any method for ending racial segregation in schools. Britannica.com In May 1955 the Court's second decision in Brown II (349U.S.294 ordered states to desegregate "with all deliberate speed". Source: Wikipedia
Popular Television Show Premieres
October 14, 2021
https://youtu.be/_teSvw34ZlY In 1955 the Mickey Mouse Club premiered on ABC. https://youtu.be/FcEbkM5Z3yA In 1955 Gunsmoke premiered on CBS https://youtu.be/XQ6OdQyYeKA In 1955 Johnny Carson Show premiered on CBS https://youtu.be/sJkmcf4gJ48 In 1955 The Lawrence Welk Show premiered on ABC https://youtu.be/ksat5hKiV-s In 1955 The Honeymooners premiered on CBS https://youtu.be/5-81EBPewPk In 1955 Alfred Hitchcock Presents premiered on CBS
Selective Service Act extended
October 11, 2021
https://youtu.be/wGQzbDyty2A The Selective Training and Service Act of 1940 was passed by Congress in September 1940, establishing the first peacetime conscription in United States history The Selective Service Act of 1948 created the basis for the modern system. All men between the ages of 18 to 25 were eligible to be drafted for a service requirement of 21 months. The Universal Military Training and Service Act of 1951 lowered the draft age from 19 to 181⁄2 and increased active-duty service time from 21 to 24 months. Students attending a college or training program full-time could request an exemption. The Military Selective Service Act of 1967 expanded the ages of conscription to the ages of 18 to 55.  In 1967 conscription became based on random selection (lottery). In 1973 the US creation of an all-volunteer armed force eliminated the draft. In 1980, in response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, Selective Service registration was retroactively re-established for all 18- to 26-year-old male citizens. Under current law, all male U.S. citizens between 18 and 25 years of age are required to register within 30 days of their 18th birthday.  Source: Wikipedia
James Dean Rebel Without a Cause
October 7, 2021
https://youtu.be/wXRgAXU1-T4 James Byron Dean (1931 – 1955) was an American  cultural icon of teenage disillusionment and social estrangement as expressed in the title of his most celebrated film Rebel Without a Cause (1955). The other two roles that defined his stardom were as a loner in East of Eden (1955) and a surly ranch hand in Giant (released after his death in 1956). James Dean died in an automobile crash In September 1955. Pinterest https://youtu.be/oChd0FjNC5k After his death in a September 1955, Dean received a posthumous Academy Award nomination for Best Actor.   In 1999, the American Film Institute ranked him the 18th best male movie star of Golden Age Hollywood. Main Source: Wikipedia
Congress Mandates In God We Trust on all U.S. Currency
October 4, 2021
https://youtu.be/A36Iq5qNukQ In 1955 the US Congress passed a bill requiring that "In God We Trust" appear on all American currency. Midst the Cold War threat of atheistic communism, the bill passed with bipartisan support and was signed into law by President Eisenhower. Since all coins already complied with the law, the only changes were made to the paper currency. In 1956, Congress passed a joint resolution declaring IN GOD WE TRUST the national motto of the United States. The resolution, passed by both the House and the Senate unanimously without debate, replaced E pluribus unum, which had existed before as a de facto official motto of the United States of America. Main Source: Wikipedia
Rock and Roll Classics
September 27, 2021
There were some great rock and roll classics in 1955 https://youtu.be/OKlAiuaYdoI https://youtu.be/fELjKo0R3iA https://youtu.be/VJcGi4-n_Yw
Assassination Attempt on Zhou Enlai
September 23, 2021
https://youtu.be/IWx6Q_qT9bU In April 1955, the Kashmir Princess, a chartered aircraft owned by Air India was damaged in midair by a bomb explosion and crashed into the South China Sea while en route to Jakarta, Indonesia. Sixteen of those on board were killed; three survived.  The explosion was apparently an assassination attempt on Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai, who missed the flight, possibly due to advance information or to a medical emergency. The Chinese government concluded that the Kuomintang (a political party in the Republic of China in Taiwan) was responsible for the bombing. Source: Wikipedia
Microwave Oven
September 20, 2021
https://youtu.be/Fuo6bw5wyf8 American engineer Percy Spencer invented the modern microwave oven from radar technology developed during WWII. Named "Radarange," the oven went on sale in 1946. A microwave oven introduced by Tappan in 1955 was too large and expensive for general home use. The first microwave oven with a turntable was produced by the Sharp Corporation in 1964. In 1967 the Amana Corporation introduced a countertop microwave oven. Affordable microwave ovens became available for residential use in the late 1970s. Source: Wikipedia
First US Advisors Sent to South Vietnam
September 16, 2021
https://youtu.be/qtaX8MIimwE After WWII, American Cold War policy was based on the "domino theory”— if one country fell to communism, the surrounding countries would fall, like dominoes. The Eisenhower administration was worried that the potential fall of Vietnam could result in communist control of other Southeast Asian and Pacific nations. In 1955, the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) was formed to prevent communist expansion in the region. In February 1955, President Eisenhower sent ~700 military personnel plus military and economic aid to the government of South Vietnam. Source: JFK Library
1950s Cigarette TV Commercials
September 13, 2021
These were the cultural and media messages I received when I began clandestine smoking at age 13. https://youtu.be/Z023OAz4fkI https://youtu.be/wibHcZ4FNbU https://youtu.be/c9or3KCrgQM https://youtu.be/Hr4duBBcCpA https://youtu.be/sxrCjmqRTz0
Georgy Malenkov Resigns
September 9, 2021
In 1953, Georgy Maximilianovich Malenkov briefly succeeded Joseph Stalin as the leader of the Soviet Union. However, at the insistence of the rest of the Presidium, he relinquished control over the party apparatus in exchange for remaining Premier within the Soviet collective leadership. In 1955, a power struggle with Nikita Khrushchev  culminated in Malenkov's removal from the premiership. In 1957, after a failed coup against Khrushchev, Malenkov was expelled from the Presidium and exiled to Kazakhstan. In 1961, Malenkov was expelled from the Party.
September 6, 2021
Scrabble is a word game that gained enormous popularity in the 1950s. In the game, two to four players may score points by forming words with placement of single letter tiles onto a board divided into squares. Like a crossword puzzle, Scrabble words are read left to right in rows or downward in columns. The game is sold in 121 countries and is available in more than 30 languages. Approximately 150 million sets have been sold worldwide, and roughly one-third of American and half of British homes have a Scrabble set. Source; Wikipedia
President Eisenhower upholds use of atomic weapons
September 2, 2021
https://youtu.be/DqFhDplE1PI In March 1955 Secretary of State John Foster Dulles told reporters “... in the event of [a] general war in the Far East, we would probably make use of some tactical small atomic weapons.” When asked to comment the following day at a press conference, President Dwight D. Eisenhower upheld the use of battlefield nuclear weapons. Source: Politico
Marian Anderson Sings at the Met
August 30, 2021
https://youtu.be/J-Q8MbUsWac In 1955, at the age of 58, Marian Anderson became the first African-American soloist to sing at New York's Metropolitan Opera. Singing the role of the sorceress Ulrica in Verdi's Un ballo en maschera, Anderson later said: "I was there onstage, mixing the witch's brew. I trembled, and when the audience applauded and applauded before I could sing a note, I felt myself tightening into a knot." The performance received a huge ovation. Source: NPR https://youtu.be/oTUfEcTRzIY