Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Book of Me - Who Knew 1950 Was Such an Eventful Year?!

This is the first time I've researched events that happened during the year I was born.  Who knew?  My parents, of course, but not me!

In National and International Affairs

Youngstown Vindicator, January 31, 1950
President Harry Truman ordered (or at least agreed to) the development of the hydrogen bomb. 

Youngstown Vindicator
June 18, 1950
The threat of Communism loomed large beginning that year.  Senator Joe McCarthy of Wisconsin spoke at a Republican Women's club in West Virginia where he claimed that there were 205 Communists in the U.S. State Department.  The witch hunt began that year and continued for many years thereafter.

Based on the April 1 census, for the first time, the population in the United States was over 150 million people.  The most populous state in the United States was New York, now followed by California.  The postwar baby boom dramatically increased birthrates in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia.

Also in April, the West Bank formally became a part of Jordan, and Britain formally recognized Israel.

On June 25 the Korean War began when North Korean Communist forces invaded South Korea.  (Strangely enough, I was unable to find a front page newspaper to illustrate this event.)

The Youngstown Vindicator, November 2, 1950
On November 1 a couple of Puerto Ricans favoring independence attempt to assassinate President Truman in Washington, D.C.

Shopping and Spending

Youngstown Vindicator, February 15, 1950
On April 21, the Northgate shopping mall in Seattle, Washington, opened on April 21.  It began a new trend which took shoppers away from the main streets.  The parking limitations associated with downtown shopping were eliminated.

The Diner's Club card was introduced and became the first "credit card" accepted at multiple retail establishments.

Youngstown Vindicator, October 2, 1950
There were 1.5 million television sets in the U.S.  By 1951, there were 15 million – ten times as many in one year.

CBS broadcast the first TV program in color to 25 television sets.  It also set up a TV news bureau in Washington, D.C.  Children’s Saturday morning television programming began.  Programs included "Truth or Consequences," "What’s My Line," Burns and Allen, Jack Benny, and "I Love Lucy."

More than 3 billion tickets sold at U.S. movie theaters.  Elizabeth Taylor starred in "Father of the Bride."  Other movies included "Sunset Boulevard," "Harvey," and "Born Yesterday."

The first "Peanuts" cartoon strip was published on October 2 in six newspapers.  Other popular comics included "Blondie," "Steve Canyon," "Rip Kirby," "Mary Worth," "Henry," "Orphan Annie," "Gasoline Alley," "Dick Tracy," and "Dennis the Menace."

In Science and Technology
On June 17 the first organ transplant was performed.  A kidney was replaced in a 49-year-old female.  The recipient survived and died of other causes several years later.

Party lines made up 75 percent of all U.S. telephone lines.  For those of you who are old enough, you probably remember one ring for your phone, two rings for the other family's phone, and if you picked up the phone to call someone and heard voices, you politely and quietly put the phone back down.  It was called "hanging up."

Xerox photocopiers rolled off the assembly line.

So there's the briefest recap of 1950. 

Some Sources:
1950 – 1959 World History | Infoplease.com
1950s at Wikipedia
The 1950's - Two Cars in Every Garage at America's Best History
World Events During the 1950s and 60s at Wessels Living History Farm
University of Minnesota Media History Project
Macrohistory and World Timeline
Major Events of the 1950s at TimeToast
1950s Timeline at About.com
Historical Events for the Year 1950 at HistoryOrb.com
Timeline of United States History at Wikipedia
Google News "Youngstown Vindicator"
This post is part of a series called "The Book of Me, Written by You," created by Julie Goucher of Anglers Rest.

The prompt was "The year you were born."
Tell historical events, films, music, books, television, or any other historical (well-known or otherwise) events.


1 comment:

  1. How interesting! Yes, I remember party lines. I remember reading Mary Worth every Sunday in the "funnies." I didn't realize the shopping mall started then but I do remember when the first shopping mall came to my city.


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