Pop Culture Madness!


1956 Trivia

<< - 1955
World Series Champions:
New York Yankees
NFL Champions:
New York Giants
NBA Champions:
Philadelphia Warriors
Stanley Cup Champs:
Montreal Canadiens
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
The Hotties and Fashion Icons:
Marilyn Monroe, Jayne Mansfield, Ava Gardner, Dorothy Dandridge, Brigitte Bardot, Sophia Loren, Doris Day, Kim Novak, Lana Turner
"The Quotes of 1956"
"That'll be the day"
- John Wayne, in 'The Searchers'

"You’re in good hands with Allstate"
-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:
Paul Hogan shocked the art world by unhooking an Impressionist masterpiece ( Jour D’Ete (Summer’s Day) by Berthe Morisot) from a wall in the Tate Gallery (in London) and carrying it calmly out of the gallery. Despite being photographed by journalists while he was stealing it, he's never been prosecuted. It was returned four days later.

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.

Due to a combination of air friction and a steepened dive path, an F-11 Tiger shot itself down with its own gunfire.

Commercial flights were allowed to fly any course to their destination and would often detour over points of interest. This ended in 1956 when two planes crashed mid-flight over the Grand Canyon.

At the 1956 Olympics, an Australian student successfully impersonated an Olympic torchbearer, handing the mayor of Sydney a painted chair leg topped with a pair of burning underwear in front of a crowd of thousands.

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.

1956 Pop Culture News:
On his wedding day in 1956, Beryl Lailey promised to keep a canned whole chicken until his 50th Anniversary, when he would eat it. He did and did not become ill.

Swedish sailor Ake Viking sent a bottled message “To Someone Beautiful and Far Away” that was found in Sicily by a 17-year-old Sicilian girl named Paolina, sparking a correspondence that culminated in their marriage in 1958.

The Chrysler Corporation offered an under the dash mounted record player (phonograph). The option was discontinued the following year.

One reason why The Ten Commandments are on display at so many courthouses in the US is because Cecil B DeMille gave away 4,000 tablets engraved with the scripture to promote the 1956 film, The Ten Commandments.

NBC introduced its multicolored peacock logo in 1956 to entice people to buy color TVs manufactured by RCA, which owned the network.

For a bet, while drunk, Thomas Fitzpatrick stole a small plane from New Jersey and then landed it perfectly on a narrow Manhattan street in front of the bar he had been drinking at. Then, two years later, he did it again after a man didn't believe he had done it the first time.

Grace Kelly's family paid a $2 million dowry when she married Prince Rainier of Monaco in 1956.

The first Republican (and president) that The New York Times endorsed was Abraham Lincoln. The last Republican they endorsed was Dwight Eisenhower, in 1956.

In February 1956, the last surviving eye witness to the Lincoln assassination, Samuel Seymour, appeared on the television show, "I've Got a Secret".

Alec Guinness (Obi-Wan Kenobi) converted to Catholicism in 1956 after playing a Catholic priest in a film. While filming Father Brown in Burgundy in 1954, Guinness was in costume as a Catholic priest, and was mistaken for a real priest by a local child.

Monkee's Mike Nesmith's mother, Bette Nesmith Graham invents "Mistake Out," later renamed Liquid Paper.

In September IBM launched the 305 RAMAC, the first ‘SUPER’ computer with a hard disk drive (HDD). The HDD weighed over a ton and stored 5 MB of data.

Gene Hackman and Dustin Hoffman took acting classes together in 1956. Their classmates voted them "Least Likely to Succeed."

A contestant onThe Price Is Right was offered an elephant as a bonus prize to make for extra ivory for the grand piano he had just won. The real prize was in fact $4,000 but the contestant insisted he wanted the elephant. The show eventually delivered an elephant from Kenya to him.

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

Hillsdale College founded in 1844, known as the conservative Harvard, was the first college to have discrimination based on sex, religion, or race in admissions prohibited in its charter, and also refused to play in the 1956 Tangerine Bowl when its black players were not allowed on the field.

A killer fog blanketed London in 1952 and left as many as 12,000 people dead. It led to Parliament passing the first Clean Air Act in 1956.

The Olympic Closing Ceremony tradition of athletes mingling and celebrating together began at the 1956 games following a suggestion by a 17 year old Chinese student, John Wing, who thought the idea would ease the many political tensions present at those games.

The United States passed the Refrigerator Safety Act, which made it mandatory for all fridges to be magnetically sealed. This was due to the high amount of children who suffocated in latched refrigerators.

The hovercraft was invented by Christopher Cockerell.

The infamous 'Priory of Scion' that many people believe is a secret organization who protects the on-going Merovingian bloodline of Jesus Christ & Mary Magdalene is not ancient organization. It was founded in 1956 "for the defense of the rights and the freedom of affordable housing".

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
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)

The biggest Pop Artists of 1956 include:
Bill Haley and His Comets, Chuck Berry, Dean Martin, Eddie Fisher, Elvis Presley, Fats Domino, Four Aces, The Four Lads, Frank Sinatra, Gale Storm, Gogi Grant, Guy Mitchell, Joe Turner, Kay Starr, Lawrence Welk, Les Baxter, Little Richard, Little Willie John, The McGuire Sisters, Nat 'King' Cole, Nelson Riddle, Pat Boone, Patti Page, Perry Como, The Platters, Ray Charles, Teresa Brewer

(Data is complied from various charts including: Billboard's Pop, Rock, Airplay, R&B/Dance and Singles Charts. The Hot 100 is the primary chart used for this list.)

The Number One Hits Of 1956:
November 26, 1955 - January 13, 1956: Tennessee Ernie - Sixteen Tons

January 14, 1956 - February 17, 1956: Dean Martin - Memories Are Made Of This

February 18, 1956 - February 24, 1956: Kay Starr - Rock And Roll Waltz

February 25, 1956 - March 23, 1956: Nelson Riddle - Lisbon Antigua

March 24, 1956 - April 20, 1956: Les Baxter - Poor People Of Paris

April 21, 1956 - June 15, 1956: Elvis Presley - Heartbreak Hotel

June 16, 1956 - July 27, 1956: Gogi Grant - The Wayward Wind

July 28, 1956 - August 3, 1956: Elvis Presley - I Want You, I Need You, I Love You

August 4, 1956 - August 17, 1956: The Platters - My Prayer

August 18, 1956 - November 2, 1956: Elvis Presley - Don't Be Cruel / Hound Dog

November 3, 1956 - December 7, 1956: Elvis Presley - Love Me Tender

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

The Top 40 Songs of 1956, according to Billboard Magazine
1. Don't Be Cruel/ Hound Dog - Elvis Presley
2. Singing The Blues - Guy Mitchell
3. The Wayward Wind - Gogi Grant
4. Heartbreak Hotel - Elvis Presley
5. Rock and Roll Waltz - Kay Starr
6. The Poor People of Paris - Les Baxter
7. Memories Are Made of This - Dean Martin
8. Love Me Tender - Elvis Presley
9. My Prayer - The Platters
10. Lisbon Antigua - Nelson Riddle
11. I Almost Lost My Mind - Pat Boone
12. The Green Door - Jim Lowe
13. Moonglow and Theme From "Picnic" - Morris Stoloff
14. The Great Pretender - The Platters
15. Hot Diggity (Dog Ziggity Boom) - Perry Como
16. I Want You, I Need You, I Love You - Elvis Presley
17. No, Not Much! - The Four Lads
18. Blue Suede Shoes - Carl Perkins
19. Honky Tonk (Parts 1 & 2) - Bill Doggett
20. Whatever Will Be, Will Be (Que Sera, Sera) - Doris Day
21. Canadian Sunset - Hugo Winterhalter with Eddie Heywood
22. Alleghany Moon - Patti Page
23. Just Walking In The Rain - Johnny Ray
24. Ivory Tower - Cathy Carr
25. Standing on the Corner - The Four Lads
26. I'm In Love Again - Fats Domino
27. True Love - Bing Crosby & Grace Kelly
28. The Flying Saucers Parts 1 & 2 - Buchanan & Goodman
29. On The Street Where You Live - Vic Damone
30. (You've Got) The Magic Touch - The Platters
31. Band of Gold - Don Cherry
32. I'll Be Home - Pat Boone
33. Tonight You Belong To Me - Patience & Prudence
34. Moonglow and Theme from "Picnic" - George Cates
35. More - Perry Como
36. A Tear Fell - Teresa Brewer
37. Born To Be With You - The Chordettes
38. Friendly Persuasion (Thee I Love) - Pat Boone
39. Memories Are Made of This - Dean Martin
40. See You Later, Alligator - Bill Haley and His Comets

Popular Music in 1956 - # 1 Hits of 1956