1954 Fun Facts, Trivia and History

1954 Fun Facts, Trivia and History

Top Ten Baby Names of 1954:
Mary, Linda, Deborah, Patricia, Susan, Michael, Robert, James, John, David

The Hotties and Fashion Icons:
Martine Carol, Dorothy Dandridge, Doris Day, Diana Dors, Anita Ekberg, Ava Gardner, Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Gina Lollobrigida, Sophia Loren, Jayne Mansfield, Marilyn Monroe, Julie Newmar, Kim Novak, Bettie Page, Jane Russell, Elizabeth Taylor, Mamie Van Doren

Sex Symbols and Hollywood Hunks:
Marlon Brando, Harry Belafonte, Humphrey Bogart, Montgomery Clift

“The Quotes:”
“Hey Kids, What time is it?”
– It’s Howdy Doody time!

“Melts in your mouth, not in your hands”
– M&Ms

“You don’t understand! I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I could’ve been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am.”
– Marlon Brando, in ‘On The Waterfront.’

“Winston tastes good like a cigarette should”
– Winston Cigarettes

Time Magazine’s Man of the Year:
John Foster Dulles

Miss America:
Evelyn Ay (Ephrata, PA)

Miss USA:
Miriam Stevenson (South Carolina)

The Scandals:
Rock and Roll Death: Johnny Ace (Russian roulette)

The CIA was involved with financing and re-writing the animated film version of Animal Farm.

Actor Paul Newman took an ad out in Variety Magazine apologizing for his performance in The Silver Chalice.

Pop Culture History:
Roger Bannister was the first human to run a mile in less than four minutes (3:59) on May 6th. Mr. Bannister stopped running shortly after that, and became a neurologist. He was knighted (for his neurogist work) in 1975.

Philly-born pool player Willie Mosconi sunk 526 pool balls, without missing, in Springfield, Ohio. Noone has come close to breaking that record.

Late 1954, and early 1955 is when Edgar Hetteen and David Johnson started making and selling their Polaris snowmobiles.

NBC-TV (the network) the studios of New York affiliate WPIX with a young Marjorie Hellen as its ‘human test pattern’ in regard to color tones. She sat for hours on a stool in front of color cameras, while engineers adjusted the tints and the lighting, and worked with costumes in different tints.Marjorie changed her name to Leslie Parrish in 1959.

Although started as a fruit-packing business in 1947, Tropicana owner Anthony Rossi developed a ‘flash pasteurization’ process that made OJ more easily transported fresh across the country.

Prior to 1954, Thanksgiving turkeys were supplied by the local farmer or butcher, but Frank Swift’s well-bred, larger-than-typical Butterball turkeys changed all that.

American surgeon Joseph Murray completed the first successful organ transplant when he moved a living kidney from one identical twin to the other. The operation took about 4 hours.

1st appearances & 1954’s Most Popular Christmas gifts, toys and presents:
Matchbox Cars, Yahtzee, Lincoln Logs*, Scrabble**, thin wooden wiffle bat invented to go with 1953’s wiffle ball
*Lincoln Logs originally came out in 1916
**Released in 1948, this was Scrabble’s biggest sales units year

Best Film Oscar Winner:
From Here to Eternity (presented in 1954)

Broadway Show – The Pajama Game (Musical) Opened on May 13, 1954 and Closed: November 24, 1956

Popular and Notable Books From 1954:
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis
Benton’s Row by Frank Yerby
The Egyptian by Mika Waltari
Live and Let Die by Ian Fleming
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien (1954)
Love Is Eternal by Irving Stone
Mary Anne by Daphne du Maurier
Never Victorious, Never Defeated by Taylor Caldwell
No Time for Sergeants by Mac Hyman
Not as a Stranger by Morton Thompson
The Royal Box by Frances Parkinson Keyes
Seduction of the Innocent by Fredric Wertham
Sweet Thursday by John Steinbeck
The View from Pompey’s Head by Hamilton Basso

1954 Most Popular TV shows:
1. I Love Lucy (CBS)
2. The Jackie Gleason Show ((CBS)
3. Dragnet (NBC)
4. You Bet Your Life (NBC)
5. The Toast of the Town (CBS)
6. Disneyland (ABC)
7. The Jack Benny Show (CBS)
8. The George Gobel Show (NBC)
9. Ford Theatre (NBC)
10. December Bride (CBS)

1954 Billboard Number One Songs:
November 21, 1953 – January 1, 1954:
Rags To Riches – Tony Bennett

January 2 – February 26:
Oh My Papa – Eddie Fisher

February 27 – March 12:
Secret Love – Doris Day

March 13 – March 19:
Make Love To Me – Jo Stafford

March 20 – March 26:
Secret Love – Doris Day

March 27 – April 9:
Make Love To Me – Jo Stafford

April 10 – May 28:
Wanted – Perry Como

May 29 – August 6:
Little Things Mean A Lot – Kitty Kallen

August 7 – September 24:
Sh – Boom – Crew – Cuts

September 25 – November 5:
Hey There – Rosemary Clooney

November 6 – November 12:
This Ole House – Rosemary Clooney

November 13 – December 3:
I Need You Now – Eddie Fisher

December 4, 1954 – January 21, 1955:
Mr. Sandman – The Chordettes

World Series Champions: New York Giants
NFL Champions: Cleveland Browns
NBA Champions: Minneapolis Lakers
Stanley Cup Champs: Detroit Red Wings
U.S. Open Golf Ed Furgol
U.S. Tennis: (Men/Ladies) E. Victor Seixas, Jr./Doris Hart
Wimbledon (Men/Women): Jaroslav Drobny/Maureen Connolly
NCAA Football Champions: Ohio State & UCLA
NCAA Basketball Champions: La Salle
Kentucky Derby: Determine
World Cup (Soccer): West Germany

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