Saturday, November 18, 2006

What else happened in 1956?

In the news…

*Jan. 9 – “Dear Abby” first appears in newspapers.
*Jan. 26 – The 1956 Winter Olympics open in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy.
*Feb. 22 – Elvis Presley enters the US music charts for the first time, with “Heartbreak Hotel.”
*Mar. 15 – My Fair Lady opens on Broadway.
*Apr. 18 – Actress Grace Kelly marries Prince Rainier III of Monaco.
*Jun. 29 – Pres. Dwight Eisenhower signs the Federal-Aid Highway Act, creating the Interstate Highway System.
*Jul. 9 – Dick Clark hosts American Bandstand for the first time.
*Aug. 6 – The DuMont Television Network airs its final broadcast.
*Sep. 9 – Elvis Presley appears on The Ed Sullivan Show.
*Oct. 8 – Don Larsen of the New York Yankees throws the only perfect game in World Series history.
*Oct. 29 – The first hard disk drive is created at IBM. It has a capacity of 5MB.
*Nov. 3 – “The Wizard of Oz” is shown on television for the first time by CBS.
*Nov. 6 – Republican incumbent Dwight Eisenhower is reelected by defeating Democrat Adlai Stevenson in the 1956 US Presidential election.
*Nov. 22 – The 1956 Summer Olympics open in Melbourne, Australia.

Famous Births…

*Jan. 3 – Mel Gibson, cool actor. Hey! He was Mad Max! C’mon!
*Jan. 4 – Bernard Sumner, guitarist with Joy Division and New Order.
*Jan. 4 – Ann Magnuson, cool actress and singer for Bongwater.
*Jan. 17 – Paul Young, cool British pop star.
*Jan. 20 – Bill Maher, talk show host, comedian, and one of the coolest guys around. Bill Maher freakin’ rocks!!!
*Jan. 21 – Geena Davis, cool actress.
*Jan. 27 – Mimi Rogers, very cool actress. The best natural breasts in Hollywood, bar none.
*Jan. 31 – John Lydon, aka Johnny Rotten, singer for the Sex Pistols and Public Image.
*Feb. 1 – Exene Cervenka, singer for X and one half of the greatest harmony in the history of rock music.
*Feb. 13 – Peter Hook, bassist for Joy Division and New Order.
*Feb. 20 – Patty Hearst, our beloved revolutionary sweetheart.
*Apr. 4 – David E. Kelley, really good TV producer. Created Ally McBeal.
*Apr. 30 – Lars von Trier, interesting Danish director. Check out Breaking the Waves.
*Jul. 9 – Tom Hanks, cool actor.
*Jul. 15 – Ian Curtis, singer for Joy Division.
*Aug. 17 – John Romita, Jr. – great comic book artist.
*Sep. 4 – Blackie Lawless, singer for W.A.S.P.
*Sep. 16 – Mickey Rourke, cool actor. Check out Angel Heart and Sin City.
*Sep. 26 – Linda Hamilton, cool actress. Damn, she was buff as hell in T2.
*Oct. 18 – Martina Navritilova, awesome tennis player.
*Oct. 21 – Carrie Fisher, cool actress. Princess Leia.
*Dec. 6 – Peter Buck, guitarist for R.E.M.
*Dec. 6 – Randy Rhoads, great guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne.

Famous Deaths…

*Jan. 31 – A.A. Milne, creator of Winnie the Pooh.
*Apr. 30 – Alben Barkley, Harry Truman’s Vice President.
*Aug. 11 – Jackson Pollock, great American artist.
*Aug. 14 – Bertolt Brecht, great German playwright.
*Aug. 16 – Bela Lugosi, legendary horror icon. The definitive Dracula.
*Aug. 25 – Alfred Kinsey, important American sex researcher.
*Nov. 5 – Art Tatum, great jazz pianist.
*Nov. 26 – Tommy Dorsey, great big band leader.

In the world of movies…

The Top Grossing Films of 1956

5. Picnic
4. (tie) High Society & I’ll Cry Tomorrow
3. Trapeze
2. The King and I
1. Guys and Dolls

Oscar Winners of 1956

Best Picture – Around the World in Eighty Days
Best Actor – Yul Brynner (The King and I)
Best Actress – Ingrid Bergman (Anastasia)
Best Supp. Actor – Anthony Quinn (Lust for Life)
Best Supp. Actress – Dorothy Malone (Written on the Wind)
Best Director – George Stevens (Giant)

Other Films released in 1956

Baby Doll
The Bad Seed
The Conqueror
The Court Jester
Forbidden Planet (I recommend this sci-fi adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Tempest. The special effects were ahead of the time and it’s really hilarious to see a young Leslie Nielsen playing it straight.)
The Girl Can’t Help It
Invasion of the Body Snatchers
The Killing (I highly recommend this amazing film noir from Stanley Kubrick. This story of a heist at a racetrack was far ahead of its time in its use of non-linear chronology. The performances are outstanding across the board, but especially Sterling Hayden and Elisha Cook, Jr.)
Love Me Tender
The Searchers

In the world of television…

Shows premiering in 1956

As the World Turns
The Edge of Night
The Huntley-Brinkley Report
The Nat King Cole Show
Playhouse 90
The Price is Right
To Tell the Truth

Shows ending in 1956

The Honeymooners
The Milton Berle Show

Most Watched Shows of 1956

10. The Jack Benny Show
9. The Perry Como Show
8. Gunsmoke
7. I’ve Got A Secret
6. Alfred Hitchcock Presents
5. December Bride
4. The $64,000 Question
3. General Electric Theatre
2. The Ed Sullivan Show
1. I Love Lucy

Emmy Winners of 1956

Best Series, half hour or less – The Phil Silvers Show (CBS)
Best Series, one hour or more – Caesar’s Hour (NBC)
Best Actor, Drama series – Robert Young (Father Knows Best)
Best Actress, Drama series – Loretta Young (The Loretta Young Show)

In the world of books…

Great Books published in 1956

Minority Report – Philip K. Dick
Diamonds Are Forever – Ian Fleming
Profiles in Courage – John F. Kennedy
Peyton Place – Grace Metalious

In the world of comics…

DC Comics publishes Showcase #4 in October. Widely considered the beginning of the Silver Age, this issue introduced Barry Allen, the Silver Age Flash.

In the world of sports…

*World Series – The New York Yankees win 4 games to 3 over the Brooklyn Dodgers.
*NBA Finals – The Philadelphia Warriors win 4 games to 1 over the Fort Wayne Pistons.
*Boxing – On Apr. 27, Rocky Marciano retires as the only undefeated Heavyweight Champion of the world with a perfect record (49-0). On Nov. 30, in Chicago, Floyd Patterson knocks out Archie Moore in the 5th round to win the vacant World Heavyweight title.
*NFL Championship – The New York Giants win 47-7 over the Chicago Bears.
*College Football champions – The Oklahoma Sooners.
*Stanley Cup – The Montreal Canadiens win 4 games to 1 over the Detroit Red Wings.
*Summer Olympics – The USSR wins the most medals (98) and the most gold medals (37).
*Winter Olympics – The USSR wins the most medals (16) and the most gold medals (7).

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