Portal:1950s

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The 1950s Portal

Top, L-R: U.S. Marines engaged in street fighting during the Korean War, circa late September 1950; The first polio vaccine is developed by Jonas Salk. Centre, L-R: US tests its first thermonuclear bomb with code name Ivy Mike in 1952. A 1954 thermonuclear test, code named Castle Romeo, is shown here; In 1959, Fidel Castro overthrows Fulgencio Batista in the Cuban Revolution, resulting in the creation of the first communist government in the Western hemisphere; Elvis Presley becomes the leading figure of rock and roll in the mid-1950s. Bottom, L-R: Smoke rises from oil tanks on Port Said following the invasion of Egypt as part of the Suez Crisis in late 1956; French paratroopers march in Algiers in the beginning of the Algerian War, 1957; The Soviet Union launches Sputnik 1, the first artificial satellite to orbit the earth, in October 1957.

The 1950s (pronounced nineteen-fifties; commonly abbreviated as the "Fifties" or the "'50s") (among other variants) was a decade that began on January 1, 1950, and ended on December 31, 1959.

Throughout the decade, the world continued its recovery from World War II, aided by the post-World War II economic expansion. The period also saw great population growth with increased birth rates and the emergence of the baby boomer generation. Despite this recovery, the Cold War developed from its modest beginnings in the late 1940s to a heated competition between the Soviet Union and the United States by the early 1960s. The ideological clash between communism and capitalism dominated the decade, especially in the Northern Hemisphere, with conflicts including the Korean War in the early 1950s, the Cuban Revolution, the beginning of the Vietnam War in French Indochina, and the beginning of the Space Race with the launch of Sputnik 1 in 1957. Along with increased testing of nuclear weapons (such as RDS-37 and Upshot–Knothole), the tense geopolitical situation created a politically conservative climate. In the United States, a wave of anti-communist sentiment known as the Second Red Scare resulted in Congressional hearings by both houses in Congress. The beginning of decolonization in Africa and Asia also took place in this decade and accelerated in the following decade. During the 1950s, the world population increased from 2.5 to 3.0 billion, with approximately 1 billion births and 500 million deaths. (Full article...)

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Hazel.gif

Hurricane Hazel was the deadliest, second costliest, and most intense hurricane of the 1954 Atlantic hurricane season. The storm killed at least 469 people in Haiti before striking the United States near the border between North and South Carolina as a Category 4 hurricane. After causing 95 fatalities in the US, Hazel struck Canada as an extratropical storm, raising the death toll by 81 people, mostly in Toronto. As a result of the high death toll and the damage caused by Hazel, its name was retired from use for North Atlantic hurricanes.

In Haiti, Hazel destroyed 40 percent of the coffee trees and 50 percent of the cacao crop, affecting the economy for several years. The hurricane made landfall near Calabash, North Carolina, destroying most waterfront dwellings. It then traveled north along the Atlantic coast. Hazel affected Virginia, Washington, D.C., West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York; it brought gusts near 160 km/h (100 mph) and caused $281 million (1954 USD) in damage. When it was over Pennsylvania, Hazel consolidated with a cold front and turned northwest towards Canada. When it hit Ontario as an extratropical storm, rivers and streams in and around Toronto overflowed their banks, which caused severe flooding. As a result, many residential areas in the local floodplains, such as the Raymore Drive area, were subsequently converted to parkland. In Canada alone, over C$135 million (2021: C$1.4 billion) of damage was incurred. (Full article...)
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Did you know...

  • ... that the WandaVision episode "Filmed Before a Live Studio Audience" employed a variety of live special effects such as wire rigs to emulate television series of the 1950s and 1960s?
  • ... that Māori fiction written in English, now a key part of New Zealand literature, only emerged in the 1950s?
  • ... that Taunton bus station, built in the 1950s, was described as "a rare survivor" just five years before it was closed?
  • ... that Kessler R. Cannon, who later became an Oregon state representative, interviewed Oregon pioneers for his popular 15 Minute Histories radio program broadcast on KBND in the 1950s?
  • ... that Ba Than, a school teacher, wrote the Burmese history textbook used in many Burma high schools from the 1930s to 1950s?
  • ... that interest in network synthesis research is now greater than at any time since the 1950s due to its new applications in mechanics, particularly in Formula One?

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Clark Gable - publicity.JPG
Gable in a publicity portrait in 1940

William Clark Gable (February 1, 1901 – November 16, 1960) was an American film actor. Often referred to as The King of Hollywood, He had roles in more than 60 motion pictures in multiple genres during a career that lasted 37 years, three decades of which was as a leading man. Gable died of a heart attack at the age of 59; his final on-screen appearance was as an aging cowboy in The Misfits, released posthumously in 1961.

Gable was one of the most consistent box-office performers in the history of Hollywood, appearing on Quigley Publishing's annual Top Ten Money Making Stars Poll sixteen times. He was named the seventh greatest male movie star of classic American cinema by the American Film Institute. He appeared opposite many of the most popular actresses of their time. Joan Crawford was a favorite actress of his to work with, and he partnered with her in eight films. Myrna Loy worked with him seven times, and he was paired with Jean Harlow in six productions. He also starred with Lana Turner in four features, and in three each with Norma Shearer and Ava Gardner. (Full article...)

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This page was last updated at 2023-03-22 08:28 UTC. Update now. View original page.

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