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The Baby Boom Years: 1956

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The definitive collection of 1950s American music, news, fashion, fads and kitsch that continues to influence the world.

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BORN

  • Tom Hanks
  • Bob Saget
  • David E. Kelley
  • Bo Derek

MUSIC

  • Woody Guthrie busts out an all-American favorite, “This Land is Your Land.”


FASHION

  • A revival of everything romance in women’s fashion. Feminine colors, frills, fabrics that float, feathers, fur trimming, and flowers dominated women’s fashion.

SPORTS

  • Don Larsen throws first and only perfect game in World Series history.
  • Summer Olympics held in Melbourne. The US dominates medal count at Winter Olympics with 74 overall medals.
  • Rocky Marciano retires as the only undefeated Heavyweight Champion of the world with a perfect record (49-0).

WORLD

  • Fidel Castro begins revolution in Cuba. Soviet leader Khrushchev publicly denounces Stalin, and begins official policy of “de-Stalinization” in the USSR.
  • Egypt seizes Suez Canal. Britain and France respond with force.
  • Prince Ranier of Monaco marries Grace Kelly.
  • Alabama Bus segregation laws declared illegal by US Supreme Court.
  • US Carries Out H Bomb Tests Bikini Atoll.

TRIVIA QUESTIONS

  • Which toy was introduced in 1956?

a. Play-Doh b. Slinky c. Silly Putty d. Popples

  • Undefeated in all 49 of his pro boxing bouts (43 by knockouts!), who was the only heavyweight champion to compile a perfect record?
  • “You’ll wonder where the yellow went” was the popular ad campaign for what toothpaste, launched in 1956?
  • Supposedly unsinkable, this Italian ocean liner had state-of-the-art equipment and a hull divided into watertight compartments. Despite these modern trappings, the ship sank less than 12 hours after it was broadsided by another ship. Amazingly, only 52 of its 1,134 passengers died. Name that ship!

R.I.P.

  • Jackson Pollock
  • H. L. Mencken
  • Alfred Kinsey
  • Bela Lugosi

Billboard Top 10 Pop Hits

  1. Don’t Be Cruel—Elvis Presley
  2. Be-Bop-A-Lula—Gene Vincent & His Blue Caps
  3. Blue Suede Shoes—Carl Perkins
  4. I’m In Love Agian—Fats Domino
  5. See You Later, Alligator—Bill Haley & His Comets
  6. Hound Dog—Elvis Presley
  7. The Fool—Sanford Clark
  8. The Green Door—Jim Lowe
  9. Why Do Fools Fall In Love—The Teenagers
  10. The Flying Saucer: Pts. 1 & 2—Buchanan & Goodman