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1956 Fun Facts, History and Trivia

1956 Fun Facts, History and Trivia

Quick Facts from 1956:

  • World Changing Event: Elvis Presley appeared on The Ed Sullivan Sullivan Show on September 9. 82.6% of American households watched.
  • The Top Song was Don’t Be Cruel/ Hound Dog by Elvis Presley
  • Influencial Songs include: Tutti Frutti by Little Richard and Don’t Be Cruel/ Hound Dog by Elvis Presley
  • The Happy Earworm: The Happy Whistler by Don Robertson
  • The Movies to Watch include The Ten Commandments, Giant, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Love Me Tender, Carousel, Bus Stop, Forbidden Planet, High Society, Seven Wonders of the World and The King and I
  • The Most Famous Person in America was probably William Holden
  • Soap Operas As the World Turns and Edge of Night premiered on TV
  • Notable books include: Peyton Place by Grace Metalious and Eloise by Kay Thompson
  • Price of 6 oz Nestles Chocolate Chip Morsels in 1956: 19 cents
    Basketball, official size: $2.89
    Hockey Stick: 79 cents
    Hockey Puck: 25 cents
  • The Funny TV Guy was: Ernie Kovacs
    The Funny Late Show Host: Steve Allen
    The Funny TV Lady: Lucille Ball
  • The Bald Guy was: Yul Brynner
  • Tween and Teen Dancing: ‘Sock Hops’- 50s school dances, were named after the fact that you had to take off your shoes to protect the varnished cafeteria and gymnasium floors.
  • The Conversation: Was Elvis Presley dancing with too much sex appeal on TV?

Top Ten Baby Names of 1956:
Mary, Debra, Linda, Deborah, Susan, Michael, James, Robert, David, John

The Hotties and Fashion Icons:
Carroll Baker, Doris Day, Diana Dors, Anita Ekberg, Annette Funicello, Ava Gardner, Audrey Hepburn, Gina Lollobrigida, Sophia Loren, Jayne Mansfield, Marilyn Monroe, Julie Newmar, Kim Novak, Bettie Page, Elizabeth Taylor, Mamie Van Doren

Sex Symbols and Hollywood Hunks:
James Dean, Harry Belafonte, Elvis Presley, Gregory Peck

“The Quotes of 1956:”
“That’ll be the day”
– John Wayne, in ‘The Searchers’

“You’re in good hands with Allstate”

“We will bury you.”
– Nikita Khrushchev

“Live fast, die young, leave a good-looking corpse”
– James Dean

“Takes a licking and keeps on ticking”
-Times (watches)

“Away go troubles down the drain”
– Roto-Rooter

Time Magazine’s Men of the Year:
Hungarian Freedom Fighter

Miss America:
Sharon Ritchie (Denver, CO)

Miss USA:
Carol Morris (Iowa)

The Scandals:
Charles Van Doren and Herb Stempel, the leading competitors on TV’s quiz show, Twenty-One, admitted to being coached by producers of the show.

Dick Clark took over hosting duties on Bob Horn’s Bandstand after Bob allegedly twiddled with female teenage dancers who appeared on his show. They changed the name to American Bandstand.

Pop Culture History:
Monkee Mike Nesmith’s mother, Bette Nesmith Graham invents “Mistake Out,” later renamed Liquid Paper.

October 8, Game 5 of the World Series, NY Yankee right-hander Don Larson pitched a ‘perfect game.’

The hovercraft was invented by Christopher Cockerell.

25 people were hospitalized after a melee at a Bill Haley concert in Asbury Park, New Jersey.

Alcohol-Related Artist Death: Jackson Pollock died in a car accident. His 1948 work, No. 5 sold to David Geffen for $140,000,000.

The Habit:
Reading Profiles in Courage by John F. Kennedy

1st appearances & 1956’s Most Popular Christmas gifts, toys and presents:
Yahtzee, Ticklebee Game , Play-Doh (color, actual white came out in 1958), Ant Farm

Best Film Oscar Winner:
Marty (presented in 1956)

Popular and Notable Books From 1956:
A Certain Smile by Francoise Sagan
Andersonville by MacKinlay Kantor
Auntie Mame by Patrick Dennis
Boon Island by Kenneth Roberts
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis
Diamonds Are Forever by Ian Fleming
Don’t Go Near the Water by William Brinkley
Eloise by Kay Thompson
The Last Hurrah by Edwin O’Connor
The Mandarins by Simone de Beauvoir
Peyton Place by Grace Metalious
The Tribe That Lost Its Head by Nicholas Monsarrat

Broadway Show – My Fair Lady (Musical) Opened on March 15, 1956 and Closed: September 29, 1962

1956 Most Popular TV shows:
1. I Love Lucy (CBS)
2. The Ed Sullivan Show (CBS)
3. General Electric Theatre (CBS)
4. The $64,000 Question (CBS)
5. December Bride (CBS)
6. Alfred Hitchcock Presents (CBS)
7. I’ve Got A Secret (CBS)
8. Gunsmoke (CBS)
9. The Perry Como Show (NBC)
10. The Jack Benny Show (CBS)

1956 Billboard Number One Songs:
November 26, 1955 – January 13, 1956:
Sixteen Tons – Tennessee Ernie Ford

January 14 – February 17:
Memories Are Made Of This – Dean Martin

February 18 – March 2:
Great Pretender – The Platters

March 3 – March 23:
Rock And Roll Waltz – Kay Starr

March 24 – May 2:
Poor People Of Paris – Les Baxter

May 3 – June 15:
Heartbreak Hotel – Elvis Presley

June 16 – August 3:
Wayward Wind – Gogi Grant

August 4 – August 17:
I Almost Lost My Mind – Pat Boone

August 18 – September 14:
My Prayer – The Platters

September 15 – November 2:
Don’t Be Cruel/Hound Dog – Elvis Presley

November 3 – November 16:
Green Door – Jim Lowe

November 17 – December 7:
Love Me Tender – Elvis Presley

December 8 – December 21:
Singing The Blues – Guy Mitchell

December 22 – December 28:
Love Me Tender – Elvis Presley

December 29, 1956 – February 8, 1957:
Singing The Blues – Guy Mitchell

World Series Champions: New York Yankees
NFL Champions: New York Giants
NBA Champions: Philadelphia Warriors
Stanley Cup Champs: Montreal Canadians
U.S. Open Golf Cary Middlecoff
U.S. Tennis: (Men/Ladies) Ken Rosewall/Shirley J. Fry
Wimbledon (Men/Women): Lew Hoad/Shirley Fry
NCAA Football Champions: Oklahoma
NCAA Basketball Champions: San Francisco
Kentucky Derby: Needles

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