Cost of Living in 1956 
January 20, 2022
PRICES IN 1956 House: $9,550Average income: $4,454Ford car: $1748-$3151Milk: $.97Gas: $.23Bread $.18Postage stamp: $.03Chuck Pot Roast: $ .33 lb.Spareribs: $.39 lb.Cabbage: $.04 lb.Eggs, doz.: $.45Coffee: $.69 lb.Carnation Instant Chocolate Drink, 10oz.: $.33Rheingold Beer, 6, 12 .oz cans: $1.20https://fiftiesweb.com/pop/prices-1956/
The Daily Worker
January 17, 2022
In 1924 the Communist Party USA  began publishing the Daily Worker newspaper in in New York City.  At its peak, the newspaper achieved a circulation of 35,000. Contributors to its pages included: Robert Minor and Fred Ellis (cartoonists), Lester Rodney, David Karr, Richard Wright, John L. Spivak, Peter Fryer, Woody Guthrie and Louis F. Budenz. In support for the early stages of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, the Daily Worker opened the paper for discussion. But, despite widespread dissension in the Party, the Daily Worker ultimately endorsed Moscow's suppression of the Hungarian uprising. As more Americans left the Party, the editor and many staff members of the Daily Worker resigned. The final issue of the Daily Worker appeared on January 13, 1958. Source: Wikipedia
Hungarian Uprising
January 13, 2022
https://youtu.be/_Vy5RGJNvGg In October 1956 a countrywide revolution arose against the Stalinist government of the Hungarian People's Republic and the domestic policies imposed by the USSR.   In November 1956, after initially agreeing to negotiate the withdrawal of the Red Army from Hungary, the USSR invaded the country. 2,500 Hungarians and 700 Red Army soldiers were killed.   Source: Wikipedia
Elvis Presley—Screaming Jay Hawkins—Carl Perkins
January 10, 2022
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4euyTDhFnk https://youtu.be/82cdnAUvsw8 https://youtu.be/DRNyvO4QouY
The Polish Revolution
January 6, 2022
The Poznań protests of 1956 (Poznański Czerwiec) were several massive protests against the communist government of the Polish People's Republic. In June 1956 demonstrations by workers demanding better working conditions at Poznań's Cegielski Factories were met with violent repression. An estimated 100+ people were killed and hundreds more sustained injuries. The Poznań protests were an important milestone on the way to the Polish October and the installation of a government with less Soviet control. Source: Wikipedia
Suez Canal Crisis
January 3, 2022
In June 1956 the 74-year British occupation of the Suez Canal ended. In July 1956 the Egyptian president, Gamal Abdel Nasser, nationalized the Suez Canal. In October 1956 Israeli brigades invaded Egypt and advanced toward the canal, routing Egyptian forces. Britain and France demanded that Israeli and Egyptian troops withdraw from the canal, and they announced that they would intervene to enforce a cease-fire ordered by the United Nations. In November 1956 British and French forces began occupying the canal zone—but growing opposition at home and by U.S.-sponsored resolutions in the UN stopped the Anglo-French action. In December 1956 the UN evacuated British and French troops. In March 1957 Israeli forces withdrew. Source: Wikipedia
Birth of the US Interstate Highway System
December 30, 2021
https://youtu.be/6xd9cxRtt_k In June 1956, Eisenhower signed the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956 into law. Under the act, the federal government would pay for 90 percent of the cost of construction of Interstate Highways. Each Interstate Highway was required to be a freeway with at least four lanes and no at-grade crossings.
Grace Kelly Marries Prince Rainer of Monaco
December 27, 2021
https://youtu.be/YiOKFzRHm14 In April 1956 popular American actress Grace Kelly married Prince Rainier III of Monaco. Kelly retired fully retired from acting at age 26 and subsequently had three children as the Princess of Monaco. Selected Filmography Source: Wikipedia https://youtu.be/m01YktiEZCw https://youtu.be/t5Vs5anuc4U
Christmas in the 1950s
December 25, 2021
First Commercial Videotape Recorder
December 20, 2021
https://youtu.be/f0e03ScjnO4 A video tape recorder (VTR) is designed to record and play back video and audio material from magnetic tape.  In 1956, Ampex Corporation introduced the first practical videotape recorder for television stations to produce and time-shift broadcasts, replacing impractical "kinescope" movie film previously used to record TV. Worldwide, the Ampex "VTR" analog-video standard was the predominant recorder used for broadcasting and video production for twenty years. Source: Wikipedia
US Hydrogen Bomb Dropped Over Bikini Atoll 
December 16, 2021
In May 1956 the United States conducted the first airborne test of an improved hydrogen bomb. Dropped from a B-52 bomber over the island of Namu in the Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean, the successful test indicated that hydrogen bombs were viable airborne weapons and that the arms race had taken another giant leap forward. The US began testing nuclear weapons at Bikini Atoll in 1946.  Early bombs were large, unwieldy and exploded from the ground. The hydrogen bomb dropped over Bikini Atoll was far more powerful than those previously tested and was estimated to be equivalent to ~ 15 megatons of TNT. The explosive fireball measured was ~4 miles in diameter and its light brighter than 500 suns. Source: History.com
Nat King Cole Attacked on Birmingham Alabama Stage
December 13, 2021
https://youtu.be/3PHQQRB5_w8 In April 1956, African American singer and pianist Nat King Cole was knocked down by a group of white men while he was performing before an all-white audience in Birmingham, Alabama. Before the attack, a drunk man near the front row jeered "Negro, go home." https://youtu.be/Lbq04v66XWI A singer, jazz pianist, and actor, Nat King Cole had more than 100 hit songs on pop charts. He also acted in films, on television and Broadway and was the first African-American man to host an American television series. Nat King Cole was also the father of singer-songwriter Natalie Cole. Source: Wikipedia
Pakistan and Tunisia Granted Independence
December 9, 2021
https://youtu.be/Usy9TpxQ5tY In 1947 British India was divided into the independent sovereign states of India and Pakistan. From 1947 to 1956 Pakistan was a monarchy within the United Kingdom and the other Dominions in the British Commonwealth of Nations. With the adoption of a republican constitution in 1956, Pakistan abolished the monarchy and became a republic within the Commonwealth of Nations. Source: Wikipedia Tunisia achieved independence from France in March 1956 with Habib Bourguiba as Prime Minister. A year later, Tunisia was declared a republic, with Bourguiba as the first President. https://youtu.be/pgAK04Mlb7Q
My Fair Lady
December 6, 2021
My Fair Lady was a musical based on George Bernard Shaw's 1913 play Pygmalion, with book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner and music by Frederick Loewe. In the play Eliza Doolittle, a Cockney flower girl takes speech lessons from a phonetics professor named Henry Higgins in order to pass as a lady. The original Broadway and London shows starred Rex Harrison and Julie Andrews. The musical's 1956 Broadway production was a major critical and popular success. It set a record for the longest run of any musical on Broadway up to that time. Source: Wikipedia In 1964 a popular film version starred Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison. https://youtu.be/uKxd30lQ1f0
Federal Hourly Minimum Wage at $1.00/hr.
November 29, 2021
https://youtu.be/tQE0ldkiKo0 In accordance with the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, the federal minimum wage in 1956 was set at $1/hr. Effective Date 1938 Act 1 1961 Amendments 2 1966 and SubsequentAmendments 3 Oct 24, 1938$0.25Oct 24, 1939$0.30Oct 24, 1945$0.40Jan 25, 1950$0.75Mar 1, 1956$1.00Sep 3, 1961$1.15$1.00Sep 3, 1963$1.25Sep 3, 1964$1.15Sep 3, 1965$1.25Feb 1, 1967$1.40$1.40Nonfarm - $1.00, Farm - $1.00Feb 1, 1968$1.60$1.60Nonfarm - $1.15, Farm - $1.15Feb 1, 1969Nonfarm - $1.30, Farm - $1.30Feb 1, 1970Nonfarm - $1.00Feb 1, 1971Nonfarm - $1.60May 1, 1974$2.00$2.00Nonfarm - $1.90, Farm - $1.60Jan. 1, 1975$2.10$2.10Nonfarm - $2.00, Farm - $1.80Jan 1, 1976$2.30$2.30Nonfarm - $2.20, Farm - $2.00Jan 1, 1977Nonfarm - $2.30, Farm - $2.20Jan 1, 1978$2.65 for all covered, nonexempt workers$2.65 for all covered, nonexempt workers$2.65 for all covered, nonexempt workersJan 1, 1979$2.90 for all covered, nonexempt workers$2.90 for all covered, nonexempt workers$2.90 for all covered, nonexempt workersJan 1, 1980$3.10 for all covered, nonexempt workers$3.10 for all covered, nonexempt workers$3.10 for all covered, nonexempt workersJan 1, 1981$3.35 for all covered, nonexempt workers$3.35 for all covered, nonexempt workers$3.35 for all covered, nonexempt workersApr 1, 1990 4 $3.80 for all covered, nonexempt workers$3.80 for all covered, nonexempt workers$3.80 for all covered, nonexempt workersApr 1, 1991$4.25 for all covered, nonexempt workers$4.25 for all covered, nonexempt workers$4.25 for all covered, nonexempt workersOct 1, 1996$4.75 for all covered, nonexempt workers$4.75 for all covered, nonexempt workers$4.75 for all covered, nonexempt workersSep 1, 1997 5 $5.15 for all covered, nonexempt workers$5.15 for all covered, nonexempt workers$5.15 for all covered, nonexempt workersJul 24, 2007$5.85 for all covered, nonexempt workers$5.85 for all covered, nonexempt workers$5.85 for all covered, nonexempt workersJul 24, 2008$6.55 for all covered, nonexempt workers$6.55 for all covered, nonexempt workers$6.55 for all covered, nonexempt workersJul 24, 2009$7.25 for all covered, nonexempt workers$7.25 for all covered, nonexempt workers$7.25 for all covered, nonexempt workersUS Department of labor More than twenty states increased their minimum wages for workers in 2021. These states include Connecticut, Nevada, Oregon, Florida and others. State Minimum Wage Rates State 2020 Minimum Wage 2021 Minimum Wage Alabama $7.25 (Federal, no state minimum) $7.25 (Federal, no state minimum) Alaska $10.19 $10.34 Arizona $12.00 $12.15 Arkansas $10.00 $11.00 California  $13.00 $14.00* Colorado $12.00 $12.32 Connecticut $12.00 $13.00 (effective 8/1/21) Delaware $9.25$10.25 Washington D.C. $15.00 $15.20 Florida $8.56 $10.00 (effective 9/30/21) Georgia $5.15 (Employers subject to Fair Labor Standards Act must pay the $7.25 Federal minimum wage.) $5.15 (Employers subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act must pay the $7.25 Federal minimum wage) Hawaii $10.10 $10.10 Idaho $7.25 $7.25 Illinois $10.00 $11.00 Indiana $7.25 $7.25 Iowa $7.25 $7.25 Kansas $7.25 $7.25 Kentucky $7.25 $7.25 Louisiana $7.25 (Federal, no state minimum) $7.25 (Federal, no state minimum) Maine $12.00 $12.15 Maryland $11.00 $11.75** Massachusetts $12.75 $13.50 Michigan $9.65 $9.65Minnesota $10.00 $10.08*** Mississippi $7.25 (Federal, no state minimum) $7.25 (Federal, no state minimum) Missouri $9.45 $10.30 Montana $8.65 $8.75 Nebraska $9.00 $9.00 Nevada $8.00 $8.75 (effective 7/1/21)**** New Hampshire $7.25) $7.25 New Jersey $11.00 $12.00***** New Mexico $9.00 $10.50 New York $11.80 $12.50****** North Carolina $7.25 $7.25 North Dakota $7.25 $7.25 Ohio $8.70 $8.80 Oklahoma $7.25 $7.25 Oregon $12.00 $12.75 (effective 7/1/21)******  Pennsylvania $7.25 $7.25 Rhode Island $10.50 $11.50 South Carolina $7.25 (Federal, no state minimum) $7.25 (Federal, no state minimum) South Dakota $9.30 $9.45 Tennessee $7.25 (Federal, no state minimum) $7.25 (Federal, no state minimum) Texas $7.25 $7.25 Utah $7.25 $7.25 Vermont $10.96 $11.75 Virginia $7.25 $9.50 (effective 5/1/21) Washington $13.50 $13.69 West Virginia $8.75 $8.75 Wisconsin $7.25 $7.25 Wyoming $5.15 (Employers subject to Fair Labor Standards Act must pay the Federal minimum wage.) $5.15 (Employers subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act must pay the $7.25 Federal minimum wage) paycor.com
Thanksgiving 1956
November 25, 2021
https://youtu.be/xNKj-vqweYU In 1621, the Plymouth colonists and the Wampanoag shared an autumn harvest feast that is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies. For more than two centuries, days of thanksgiving were celebrated by individual colonies and states. In 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, that President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to be held each November. Source: history.com NY Times Contrary to the Thanksgiving myth, the Pilgrim-Wampanoag encounter was no first-contact meeting. Rather, it followed a string of bloody episodes since 1524 in which European explorers seized coastal Wampanoags to be sold into overseas slavery or to be trained as interpreters and guides. The Wampanoags reached out to the Pilgrims not only despite this violent history, but also partly because of it. NY Times The annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City is the world's largest parade. The parade started in 1924, tying it for the second-oldest Thanksgiving parade in the United States with America's Thanksgiving Parade in Detroit. Wikipedia
Dear Abby Advice Column
November 22, 2021
Dear Abby: Which is better? To go to a school dance with a creep or to sit home? - All Shook Up Dear Shook: Go with the creep and look over the crop. https://youtu.be/akk_67S3DUk The first Dear Abby column appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle In January 1956. The advice column was written by Pauline Phillips under the pen name Abigail Van Buren Pauline Phillips came up with the pen name Abigail Van Buren by combining the name of Biblical figure Abigail in the Book of Samuel, with the last name of former US president Martin Van Buren. The column is continued today by her daughter, Jeanne Phillips, who now owns the legal rights to the pen name. Source: Wikipeda
Khrushchev Denounces “Dictator” Stalin
November 18, 2021
After the death of Josef Stalin in 1953, little criticism regarding his leadership was tolerated until, in a closed session of 1,500 delegates and visitors in 1956 First Secretary of the Communist Party Nikita Khrushchev denounced The Personality Cult of Josef Stalin and its Consequences. Khrushchev accused the cult of personality around Stalin for serious crimes, including the execution, torture and imprisonment of loyal party members on false charges. Krushchev accused Stalin of foreign policy errors, failing Soviet agriculture, ordering mass terror and for making mistakes that led to German occupation of huge areas of Soviet territory and the appalling loss of life in the Second World War. At a party congress in 1961 Khrushchev repeated his attack on Stalin’s memory in open session. Other speakers then rose to denounce Stalin’s crimes. Stalin's body was removed from its place alongside Lenin in the mausoleum in Red Square, and names such as Stalingrad were changed. Source: historytoday.com