WE DIDN’T START THE FIRE
FROM A TO Z
On September 27, 1989, the iconic song by Billy Joel, We Didn’t Start the Fire hit the airwaves. It was a history lesson set to music. When you first heard the song, did you know or remember all the people places, things and events mentioned in the lyrics? I sure didn’t. Back in 1989 before the internet was something everyone had access to, my boyfriend (now husband) and I headed to the local public library and looked up all the historical references. This month, for the A to Z Challenge, I am writing about that history.
Consumerism: Fashions, and Toys 1955
Technology and Invention 1955
Human Rights and Social Protests 1955
Rock and Roll music continues to grow in popularity with more idols: Elvis Presley , Bill Haley and the Comets, Chuck Berry, The Platters and Fats Domino.
“The Mickey Mouse Club” debuts on ABC.
The Broadway musical “Peter Pan” was broadcast live on television.
“The $64,000 Question” the popular US television game show starts. he show became extremely popular but the success was relatively short-lived and it ended in 1958 when it was revealed that several popular game shows had been rigged.
The popular Western show “Gunsmoke” debuts on television.
Disneyland opens in California on July 17th.
The first Commercial TV Station with advertisements starts in London, England
James Dean’s stars in the movie East of Eden and then James Dean is killed in car accident near Cholame, California
Popular Films: Oklahoma; The Quatermass Xperiment; Rebel without a Cause; To Catch A Thief; The seven year itch
Books and Literature 1955
First Guinness Book of World Records Published.
World Politics and War 1955
The USS Nautilus becomes the first operational nuclear-powered submarine when it casts off on its first true voyage in January.
Middle Eastern nations and the United Kingdom form a cooperative pact similar to NATO.
West Germany Joins NATO
The Soviet Union and its Eastern Bloc allies sign the Warsaw Pact on May 14th integrating the military, economic and cultural policy between the eight Communist nations.
The United States begins its involvement in the Vietnam War.
The Military seizes control in Argentina forcing Juan Peron to flee
Clement Attlee who oversaw the creation of the British Welfare System resigns as leader of the Labour Party
US military intervention in Iran
Crime and Disaster 1955
Ruth Ellis, the last woman in England to be executed is hung at Holloway Prison in the United Kingdom.
77 Die in a disaster at 24hr Le Mans Race
Great Britain experienced the worst winter storms to date. There were roads and rail problems and a shortage of food and medical supplies
United Airlines Flight 629 is blown up shortly after takeoff over Longmont, Colorado
Hurricane Diane hits the northeast United States, killing 200 and causing over $1 billion in damage
Great Britain declares State of Emergency due to National Rail Strike
The St. Lawrence Seaway opens to Ocean Vessels from Montreal to US ports on the Great Lakes
British Newspapers Not Printed for 1 month due to strike in Fleet Street By Maintenance Workers
If you have the time for 9:26 minutes, here is a video that sums up 1955. It has a lot from the Great Britain point of view but still has enough other. Many of the events shown are listed in this post.
Great way to tackle Y. Definitely a significant year!
Wow….what a year! The Le Mans disaster is just horrific. James Dean dying in A horrible car crash only making 3 films but cementing his mythic status. My mom came over from Germany by boat landing in Montreal after going through the St. Lawrence Seaway