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1957 History, Trivia and Fun Facts

<< - 1956

1957 History Snapshot

  • Elvis Presley appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show for the 3rd time, and they only showed him from his waist up.
  • The Top Song was All Shook Up by Elvis Presley
  • The Big Movies included The Bridge on the River Kwai, Sayonara and Peyton Place
  • Price of issue Woman's Day or Family Circle magazine in 1957: 7 cents
    Large Pizza Hut cheese pizza: $1.50
  • The World Population was ~ 2,900,000,000
  • The Foam insulated ice chest was introduced in 1957.
  • 1 once of gold value: $35.25
  • And... Dick Clark's American Bandstand, a local dance show produced in Philadelphia, joined the ABC Television Network, making a nationwide 'must see' afternoon music TV show for teens and tweens.

World Series Champions

Milwaukee Braves

NFL Champions

Detroit Lions

National Basketball Association Champions

Boston Celtics

NHL Stanley Cup Champions

Montreal Canadiens

US Open Golf

Dick Mayer

US Open Tennis (Men Ladies)

Malcolm Anderson/Althea Gibson

Wimbledon (Men/Women)

Lew Hoad/Althea Gibson

NCAA Football Champions

Auburn & Ohio State

NCAA Basketball Champions

North Carolina

Bowl Games

Orange Bowl: January 1, 1957 - Colorado over Clemson
Rose Bowl: January 1, 1957 - Iowa over Oregon State
Sugar Bowl : January 1, 1957 - Baylor over Tennessee

Kentucky Derby

Iron Liege

Westminster Kennel Best in Show Dog

Shirkhan of Grandeur

Time Magazine's Man of the Year

Nikita Khrushchev

Miss America

Marian McKnight (Manning, SC)

Miss USA

Mary Leona Gage (Maryland)/ Charlotte Sheffield (Utah)

Fashion Icons and Movie Stars

Brigitte Bardot, Doris Day, Mamie Van Doren, Anita Ekberg, Annette Funicello, June Ferguson, Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Julie London, Sophia Loren, Jayne Mansfield, Marilyn Monroe, Julie Newmar, Kim Novak, Elizabeth Taylor, Lana Turner, Toni Wallace, Tuesday Weld, Jane Wyatt

"The Quotes"

Albert Camus won the Nobel Prize in Literature by one vote over Nikos Kazantzakis. Camus later said that Kazantzakis deserved the honor "a hundred times more' than himself."

Actress Ava Gardner swam naked in a pool belonging to Ernest Hemingway. He ordered his staff that "the water not be emptied".

1957 Pop Culture History

In the 1957 film 12 Angry Men, the focal length of the lenses in the cameras used were gradually increased to create a feeling of claustrophobia.

The 1980 satirical disaster comedy "Airplane!" is largely based on the 1957 drama "Zero Hour!" It follows the same plot, uses the same character name for the hero passenger, and parodies numerous scenes using the same dialog word for word.

The film The Fly originated from a short story that was published in a 1957 issue of Playboy Magazine.

Bubble wrap was originally invented in 1957 to be used as wallpaper. After not selling well it was marketed as a greenhouse insulator, and then eventually as the packaging material we know it as today.

13 year old Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin) played on a BBC talent show in 1957. When asked what he wanted to do after schooling, Page said "I want to do biological research and find a cure for cancer".

When Northeast Airlines Flight 823 crashed on Rikers Island on February 1, 1957, prisoners were released from the prison building to help pull people from the wreckage. Some had their sentences commuted or reduced for acts of heroism during the incident.

Fortran, an early computer language, was created.

The "Traitorous Eight" were eight young PhD graduates who left Shockley Semiconductor in 1957 and newly founded Fairchild Semiconductor, which was directly or indirectly involved in the creation of corporations such as AMD and Intel

Sunspots caused people in UK to hear an American police officer saying "Joe, I'm gonna grab a quick coffee" during Queen's first televised Christmas Message in 1957.

The director of the Detroit Public Library banned The Wizard of Oz for having "no value for children of today," for supporting "negativism"

When the Peanuts started in 1950, Charlie Brown was 4 years old, aged to six 1957, and has been about eight since 1979.

Elvis asked his audience at a Seattle concert to please rise for the national anthem. He picked up his guitar, leaned in, shook his hips and began singing "You ain't nothin' but a hound dog..." The crowd went wild.

Vincent Price and his wife donated 90 pieces of fine art to East Los Angeles Community College. Today, the Vincent Price Art Museum has a collection over 9,000 works of art.

In 1957, 1 out of 7 US workers' income was earned in textile or apparel industries.

The concept of nationwide in the US 'organized' crime wasn't fully recognized until police raided the Apalachin Meeting, a mafia summit in upstate NY in 1957.

Democrat Strom Thurmond (D at the time) holds the record for the longest filibuster by a lone senator, at 24 hours and 18 minutes. He was opposing the Civil Rights Act of 1957. He also later opposed ending segregation. In 1964, he became a Republican.

Alfred Fielding and Marc Chavannes accidentally invented bubble wrap while trying to create plastic wallpaper.

When Democrat President Harry Truman visited Disneyland in 1957, he refused to ride the Dumbo the Elephant ride because the elephant is the symbol of the Republican Party.

The 1957 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham came standard with a minibar in the glove compartment.

Stan Laurel (of the legendary comedy duo Laurel and Hardy) refused to ever perform publicly again after the death of his friend and partner Oliver Hardy in 1957.

Laika, a Russian dog, was the first living creature to be sent into space, in Sputnik 2. Sadly, she did not make it back alive.

RIP, Scandals, Sad and Odd News

Kent cigarettes used asbestos filters from 1952-1957. The were marketed as offering "the greatest health protection in the history of cigarettes."

An unidentified 4-6 year old boy's naked, battered body was found in a cardboard box in Philadelphia. The "Boy in the Box" has never been identified.

Journalist Drew Pearson claimed that John F. Kennedy's Pulitzer Prize winning book Profiles in Courage had been ghost-written by his speechwriter Ted Sorenson. JFK's father sued and ABC retracted the statement and apologized. In 2008 Sorensen admitted he wrote most of the book.

Miss USA 1957, Leona Gage was stripped of her title when it was revealed that she was 18, married, and the mother of two children.

Killer bees are a manmade hybrid species that are only found in the wild because African honeybees accidentally escaped from a scientist in Brazil. They met with the local European honeybees, and created a more agressive bee, although the hybrids have less venom.

Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering Corporation (forerunner of Sony) produced a pocket sized radio. As the radio was too big to fit in a pocket, Akio Morita, the co-founder of Sony made his employees wear shirts with larger pockets to give the radio a "pocket sized" appearance.

During a Phillies game, Richie Ashburn hit a fan with a foul ball, breaking her nose. When play resumed he hit her again with another foul ball as she was being taken out on a stretcher.

On April Fools Day, the BBC broadcasted a hoax on Panorama in which they convinced the nation that spaghetti was grown from "spaghetti trees" in Italy and Switzerland. When viewers asked how they could grow their own, they were told to place a sprig of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best.

A US Air Force pilot caught in bad weather discovered his prototype F-107 jet fighter had no cockpit lighting. He managed to navigate and land the aircraft by periodically flicking a Zippo cigarette lighter and using the flame to read the instruments.

James Vicary announced that he invented subliminal advertising at a Fort Lee, New Jersey movie theater. He flashed the words: "Hungry? Eat Popcorn" and "Thirsty? Drink Coke" very fast betwen film frames. Food and beverage sales increased significantly. In 1962, he said he made the whole thing up.

Lawrence Joseph Bader, a cookware salesman from Akron, Ohio, disappeared on a fishing trip on Lake Erie in 1957. Eight years later he was found alive in Omaha, Nebraska, as a local TV personality, "Fritz" Johnson. #amnesia?

The classic slasher horror film Texas Chainsaw Massacre was partially based on the real murderer Ed Gein. When Gein's house was searched by authorities in 1957, they found various oddities including a belt made from people and a lampshade made from human skin

Out of the 10,000 members of the Communist Party USA in 1957, 1,500 were FBI informants.

The CDC does not know how many laboratories throughout the US still store the 1957 flu virus that killed around 2 million people

On March 25, 1957, US Customs agents seized more than 500 copies of the Allen Ginsberg poem Howl on charges that it was obscene.

Firsts and the Biggest Christmas Gifts

Dream Pets, Careers Game , Sea-Monkeys, Wham-O Flying Saucer/Pluto Platter (frisbee)

16 Magazine (1957-2001)

GQ began publication

The Habits

Everybody was flying those discs invented by Frederick Morrison, called 'Pluto Platters,' later renamed the 'Frisbee' and not a planet that had been discovered 27 years earlier.
'Frisbee' was actually a pie company in Connecticut. The locals used to toss the empty pie plates, hence the name.Wham-O bought the rights to the product from Frederick.

The cool kids were watching Dick Clark's 'American Bandstand'
Playing the Card Game Canasta.
Reading By Love Possessed by James Gould Cozzens
Reading On the Road by Jack Kerouac
Reading The Alexandria Quartet by Lawrence Durrell
Watching The Bridge on the River Kwai, The Seventh Seal, Paths of Glory, An Affair to Remember, Old Yeller, Gunfight at the O.K. Corral and 12 Angry Men in theaters.

1957/58 Biggest Television Shows

(according to Nielsen TV Research)
1. Gunsmoke (CBS)
2. The Danny Thomas Show (CBS)
3. Tales of Wells Fargo (NBC)
4. Have Gun Will Travel (CBS)
5. I've Got A Secret (CBS)
6. The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp (ABC)
7. General Electric Theatre (CBS)
8. The Restless Gun (NBC)
9. December Bride (CBS)
10. You Bet Your Life (NBC)

Popular Music Artists

The Biggest Pop Artists of 1957 include
Andy Williams, Buddy Holly, Buddy Knox, Chuck Berry, Chuck Willis, Clyde McPhatter, The Coasters, Debbie Reynolds,The Dell-Vikings, The Diamonds, Elvis Presley, The Everly Brothers, Fats Domino, Frank Sinatra, Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers, Harry Belafonte, Jimmy Reed, Jimmy Rodgers, Johnny Mathis, Little Richard, Nat 'King' Cole, Patti Page, Paul Anka, Perry Como, The Platters, Ricky Nelson, Sam Cooke, Steve Lawrence, Tab Hunter, Tommy Sands

(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.)

Number One Hits of 1957

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

February 9, 1957 - March 1, 1957: Elvis Presley - Too Much

March 2, 1957 - March 29, 1957: Tab Hunter - Young Love

March 30, 1957 - April 5, 1957: Buddy Knox - Party Doll

April 6, 1957 - April 12, 1957: Perry Como - Round And Round

April 13, 1957 - June 7, 1957: Elvis Presley - All Shook Up

June 8, 1957 - July 12, 1957: Pat Boone - Love Letters In The Sand

July 13, 1957 - August 30, 1957: Elvis Presley - (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear

August 31, 1957 - September 13, 1957: Debbie Reynolds - Tammy

September 14, 1957 - September 27, 1957: Paul Anka - Diana

September 28, 1957 - October 4, 1957: The Crickets - That'll Be The Day

October 5, 1957 - October 18, 1957: Jimmie Rodgers - Honeycomb

October 19, 1957 - October 25, 1957: The Everly Brothers - Wake Up Little Susie

October 26, 1957 - December 6, 1957: Elvis Presley - Jailhouse Rock / Treat Me Nice

December 7, 1957 - December 27, 1957: Sam Cooke - You Send Me

December 28, 1957 - January 10, 1958: Pat Boone - April Love

Popular Movies

12 Angry Men, A Face in the Crowd, An Affair to Remember, The Bachelor Party, The Bridge on the River Kwai, Funny Face, Gungight at the O.K. Corral, The Incredible Shrinking Man, Jailhouse Rock, Mother India, Old Yeller, The Pajama Game, Paths of Glory, Peyton Place, Sayonara, The Sweet Smell of Success, The Three Faces of Eve, Witness for the Prosecution

More Pop Culture History Resources

Popular Music in 1957
# 1 Hits of 1957
Pop Culture News

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pop, as in 'popular' :(adjective) Pertaining to the common people, or the people as a whole as distinguished from any particular class.
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