1955 Facts: Social Reforms, Economic Growth, Nobel Prizes!

Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason
Nov 06, 2023 By Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason
Originally Published on Mar 20, 2023
1955 facts are amusing!

The world population in 1955 was approximately 2.5 billion.

The year saw rapid movements toward the economic sector of the United States of America. Modes of entertainment like television and radio kept the population entertained in everyday life.

1955 was an eventful year as it saw many inventions, and growth in pop culture history, among others.

The world stepped further away from the events of World War II and maintained a stable peace, but events like the Rosa Parks incident helped in lighting the spark for the civil rights movement in America.

On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks declined to give up her seat for a white man, triggering a clear showcase of the mistreatment of the black community.

The United States of America also started the 20 years long Vietnam in 1955 when President Eisenhower deployed American soldiers to train the local army.

1955 Pop Culture History

The popular TV shows of 1955 were 'The $64,000 Question', 'The Millionaire', 'I've Got A Secret', 'The Jack Benny Show', 'The Ed Sullivan Show', 'I Love Lucy', 'December Bride', 'You Bet Your Life', 'Disneyland', and 'Dragnet'.

The popular songs of 1955 were 'Yellow Rose Of Texas' by Mitch Miller, 'Rock Around The Clock' by Bill Haley & His Comets, 'Unchained Melody' by Les Baxter, 'Sincerely' by McGuire Sisters, and 'Mr. Sandman' by The Chordettes.

The fashion icons of 1955 were Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly, Mamie Van Doren, Sophia Loren, Doris Day, Jayne Mansfield, Kim Novak, Diana Dors, Bettie Page, and Ava Gardner.

The popular movies were 'The Rose Tattoo', 'Trial', 'To Catch A Thief', 'The Man With The Golden Arm', 'Bad Day At Black Rock', 'The Man From Laramie', 'The Phenix City Story', 'Rebel Without A Cause', 'The Seven Year Itch', and 'Lady And The Tramp'.

The popular books of 1955 were 'The Man In The Gray Flannel Suit', 'Ten North Frederick', and Tolkien's 'The Return Of The King'.

RCA Records paid an estimated $35,000 to Sun Records for the rights to Elvis Presley's contracts. The deal allowed RCA to re-release five singles to promote the growing fame of Elvis Presley and his musical career.

In 1955, Joe DiMaggio, one of the best baseball players of all time, was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. After playing in the San Francisco minor league, he was picked up by the New York Yankees.

He played for the team from 1936 until his retirement in 1951 and won nine World Series titles and ten American League championships.

The wireless television remote control or clicker was invented by Eugene Polley in 1955.

Some of the famous deaths of 1955 are of American actor James Dean, American politician Kevin Brady, American writer James Agee, American poet Wallace Stevens, American athlete Archie Hahn, Romanian composer Georges Enescu, American boxer Tommy Burns, French artist Maurice Utrillo, Egyptian businessman Dodi Al-Fayed, and French painter Yves Tanguy.

James Dean, the most popular American actor of the '50s, died at the age of 24 on September 30, 1955, in a car collision.

In 1955 the Stanley Cup was won by the Detroit Red Wings, the World Series by the Brooklyn Dodgers, and the NFL Championship was won by the Cleveland Browns.

In large part of pop culture history, Grandma Gatewood became the first woman to hike the Appalachian Trail! She was 67 years old and journeyed a distance of 2,190 mi (3524 km)!

Alexander Fleming, the man behind penicillin, passed away in London's St. Mary's Hospital.

On March 19, 1955, legendary basketball player Bill Russell was named the Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship, which saw Russell's team San Francisco Dons beat La Salle.

Bill Russell went on to earn fame as one of the best players in NBA history, as he won 11 titles in his 13-year-long playing career, which is still a record Russell holds.

Jonas Salk approved the Polio vaccine to be safe, and the vaccine was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration on April 14, 1955.

On August 7, 1955, Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering, the predecessor of Sony, started selling its transistor radios in Japan.

US Hurricane Diane

In 1955 North Carolina was hit by three hurricanes. One of them was Hurricane Diane. The hurricane began as a tropical wave and developed into a depression by August 7, 1955. The storm kept moving towards the north-northeast, becoming Tropical Hurricane Diane.

The storm took the form of a hurricane around 400 mi (644 km) northeast of the Puerto Rican city of San Juan. The hurricane reached a category three status with 120 mph (193 kph) movement on August 12.

Hurricane Diane remained a lethal hurricane, but eventually, its speed was brought down when category one hurricane Connie got in Diane and brought its speed down to 74 mph (119 kph). On August 17, 1955, the hurricane made landfall near the Wilmington region.

At the moment of landfall, Hurricane Diane had maintained a speed of 50 mph (80.46 kph), and the coastal regions between New York's Cape Fear and Cape Hatteras experienced hurricane-force winds.

The tides from the hurricane ran 6-8 ft (1.8-2.4 m) more than normal near the North Carolina city of Wilmington. The southeast regions of the North Carolina coast were stuck with waves as high as 12 ft (4 m).

The storm caused massive property damage as roads, seawalls, restaurants, and beach houses were no match for the hurricane's fierce nature.

The aftereffects of Hurricane Diane were felt in the entire North Carolina East Coast and Massachusetts. An estimated 100,000 residents of the New England region lost their jobs as flooded factories and mills had to be shut down. A total of 7,000 people were injured, and around 100 died from the effects of Hurricane Diane.

Middle East Cooperative Pact

The Baghdad Pact was ratified in 1955 by Iran, Pakistan, Great Britain, Iraq, and Turkey. The plan was similar to the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). It was created to prevent communist attacks and maintain peace in the Middle East.

In 1959 Iran pulled out of the pact and was renamed Central Treaty Organization (CENTO).

The concept behind the pact came from the idea of creating an alliance that would link a member of the SEATO, in Pakistan, to Turkey, the southernmost member of NATO. Pakistan and Turkey signed an agreement to increase the stability and security of the regions.

Turkey and Iraq signed a cooperation pact in February 1955 in Baghdad and left the agreement open to new additions. Countries like the United Kingdom, Pakistan, and Iran finally joined the treaty.

However, the King of Jordan could not join the treaty because of domestic resistance. The United States of America never signed the treaty but maintained its involvement by participating as an observer.

1955 gave us hits like Yellow rose and Gray flannel suit!

Grocery Prices In The Year 1955

Everyday life was considerably well-maintained in the early '50s with the increasing number of businesses that served the local population of their regions. Some of the listed prices for groceries were:

Apples 2 lbs (907 g) for 27 cents

Bananas 2 lbs (907 g) for 29 cents

Beans 16 oz (454 g) can for 10 cents

Ground beef 1 lbs (454 g) for 39 cents

Bread 1 lbs (454 g) loaf for 18 cents

Butter 1 lbs (454 g) package for 79 cents

Spam 12 oz (340 g) can for 39 cents

Three potatoes for 20 cents

Fresh pineapple for 29 cents each

32 fluid oz (0.9 l) of milk for 22 cents

5 lb (2.3 kg) flour bag for 41 cents

And a dozen eggs for 57 cents

Did You Know...

West Germany banned women's football in the country, stating the game violates decency and etiquette. The ban on the sport was eventually lifted in 1970.

The Warsaw Pact was signed between the Soviet Union and the seven democracies of Eastern and Central Europe. The pact maintained the mutual defense treaty signed by the countries.

Rosa Parks, one of the iconic personalities during the American civil rights movement, refuses to vacate her bus seat for a white man in Alabama.

Emmett Till, a young 14-year-old, was publicly lynched for "flirting" with a friendly white woman. This event spurred the civil rights movement.

In its first edition, the Guinness Book of World Records was released on August 27, 1955. The concept of the book came from a debate about the fastest European game bird species.

The Nobel Prize winners of 1955 are - Willis Eugene Lamb and Polykarp Kusch in Physics, Vincent du Vigneaud in Chemistry, Axel Hugo Theodor Theorell in Medicine or Physiology, and Halldór Kiljan Laxness in Literature.

Richard Nixon became the first USA Vice president to head a cabinet meeting.

The city of Arco, in Idaho, became the first nuclear power-lit city.

In 1950, Walt Disney's success led him to plan the construction of a theme park in Los Angeles. The construction of the 64.75 ha (160 ac) theme park began in 1954 and was completed by July 1955.

On July 17, an invite-only opening was held, but more people than expected arrived with counterfeit tickets. Days following this unprepared opening, the park was officially opened to the public.

The world's major political leaders in 1955 were Indian Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru, Japanese Prime Minister Ichiro Hatoyama, Australian Prime Minister Sir Robert Menzies, USA Prime Minister Dwight D. Eisenhower, and Canadian Prime Minister Louis St. Laurent.

The famous birthdays of 1955 are of Apple pioneer Steve Jobs, co-founder of Microsoft Bill Gates, Black actress Whoopi Goldberg, British comedian and actor Rowan Atkinson, actor Bruce Willis, American actress Tanya Roberts, American voice actor Tex Brashear, and American actor Corey Burton.


What was invented in 1955?The microwave oven was invented at the end of World War II, but it wasn't until 1955 that this appliance became a part of the American household. In 1955, Tappan, an appliance-making company, created the first microwave ovens suited for home use.

The ovens were sold at an extremely high price of $1,295 because of their large size.

Who was president in 1955, and what was happening?
Dwight D. Eisenhower was the President of the United States in 1955. The first televised presidential news was held on January 19, 1955, when President Dwight D. Eisenhower governed the conference at the White House's Indian Treaty Room.

What happened in 1955 in American history?The nearly twenty years of involvement of the United States in Vietnam came in 1955 when the USA sent its US Military Assistance Advisory Group (M.A.A.G.) to South Vietnam to train the local military.

The involvement would see the beginning of the Vietnam War, which would last until 1975 when the United States of America military finally left Saigon.

What happened in 1955 in the world?
On July 9, 1955, the Russell-Einstein Manifesto was released in London by Bertrand Russell. The manifesto was used to highlight the potential dangers that nuclear weapons could possess and request world leaders to aim for peaceful solutions to conflicts.

What happened in December 1955?
On December 31, 1955, American automobile manufacturers General Motors Corporation became the first US-based company to make $1 billion!

What happened in Canada in 1955?
The opening of the parliament is televised for the first time in January.

What happened in 1955 in the UK?
Winston Churchill was succeeded by Anthony Eden as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom on April 5, 1955.

What happened in Australia in 1955?
In Australia, Brenda Hodge was paroled after 11 years of a life sentence before capital punishment was abolished in the country.

Why was West Germany accepted into NATO in 1955?
West Germany was accepted into the organization by the involved parties who considered West Germany's inclusion towards better peace in Europe.

Who began ruling Brazil in 1955?
Juscelion Kubitschek was the first democratically elected President of Brazil in 1955.

Where did Ray Kroc open his first McDonald's in 1955?
The first restaurant of the McDonald's chain was opened in April 1955 by Ray Kroc in Des Plaines, Illinois.

Who won the World Series in 1955?
The Brooklyn Dodgers won the World Series in 1955.

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Written by Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason

Bachelor of Science specializing in Mass Communication.

Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason picture

Adekunle Olanrewaju JasonBachelor of Science specializing in Mass Communication.

With over 3+ years of professional experience, Olanrewaju is a certified SEO Specialist and Content Writer. He holds a BSc in Mass Communication from the University of Lagos. Throughout his dynamic career, Olanrewaju has successfully taken on various roles with startups and established organizations. He has served as a Technical Writer, Blogger, SEO Specialist, Social Media Manager, and Digital Marketing Manager. Known for his hardworking nature and insightful approach, Olanrewaju is dedicated to continuous learning and improvement.
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