This Week In History: August 31 – September 6

Retro Staff |  2 Comments
Hula Hoops Fad 1958

1958 - Hula Hoop Craze

Headlines & Tidbits from the 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s & 80s


World News & the American Experience:

1945 – Japan surrenders, officially ending World War II on September 2, V-Jay Day (Victory-Over-Japan Day).

1958 – Georgia Gibbs sings “The Hula Hoop Song” on The Ed Sullivan Show. The Hula-Hoop soon becomes a fad for teenagers around the country. In only four months, an estimated 80 to 100 million of them sell in 1958.

1959 – The first Barbie Doll is sold by Mattel Toy Corporation.

Original Barbie Doll by Mattel 1959

Original Barbie Doll (Mattel, 1959)

Movies & TV:

1949Martin Kane, Private Eye debuts on NBC-TV.

1951 – The longest running soap opera, Search For Tomorrow, debuts on CBS.

1966Star Trek premieres on NBC-TV

1966 Star Trek Crew Leonard Nimoy, William Shatner, DeForest Kelley

1967The Lawrence Welk Show airs for the last time on ABC-TV.

1967What’s My Line airs for the last time on CBS-TV.

Music & Radio:

The Lone Ranger Clayton Moore1942 – Frank Sinatra leaves the Tommy Dorsey Band to pursue a solo career.

1946Superman returns to radio on the Mutual Broadcasting System.  The show had been cancelled, but so many children complained that they brought the show back.

1954The Lone Ranger is broadcast on the radio for the last time.  The show was 21 years old, and was also shown as a Television series.

1965 – The Beatles receive a gold record for their single, “Help!”.

1981 – RKO radio network premieres America Overnight talk show.

The Arts:

1969Cabaret closes at Broadhurst Theater in New York City after 1166 performances.

1983Joseph & the Amazing Dreamcoat closes at Royale in New York City after 747 performances.

Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis 1976

Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, 1976

Celebrity Headlines:

1940 – Actor Lawrence Olivier marries actress Vivian Leigh.

1966 – Jerry Lewis’ first Muscular Dystrophy telethon raises $15,000.

1976 – Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis reunite after 20 years via Lewis’ “Labor Day Telethon”.


1943 – Carl Scheib, pitcher for the Philadelphia Athletics, is the youngest player to play in a MLB American League game at age 16 years, 8 months.

1964 – Masanori Murakami becomes the first Japanese player in Major League Baseball (NY Mets).

Automobile News:

1935 – Sir Malcolm Campbell is the first person to drive a car over 300 miles per hour.  He drives his Rolls Royce Bluebird on the Utah salt flats at 301.13 MPH.

Sir Martin Campbell with Rolls Royce Bluebird

Bluebird, 1935

1957 – Ford Motor Co introduces Edsel, a new car line, which fails to sell and lasts only two years.

Famous Birthdays:

1939 – Lily (Mary Jean) Tomlin, actress

1940 – Raquel Welch, actress

1946 – Freddie Mercury, singer, Queen

Last updated: Sep 01, 2008
Filed under: This Week In History Tagged with: retro headlines, Retro News