This Week In History: June 29 – July 5

Retro Staff Comments

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

The Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty reopened in 1986

American Experience:

1945 – Newspaper strike in NY begins, lasts 17 days.

1956 – The Interstate Highway System was authorized by the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956, popularly known as the National Interstate and Defense Highways Act of 1956, and signed by President Eisenhower.

1959 – America’s new 49-star flag honoring Alaska statehood unfurls.

1960 – America’s new 50-star flag honoring statehood of Hawaii unfurls.

1963 – US postal service institutes the Zip Code (Zone Improvement Plan).

1964 – Civil Rights Act of 1964 passes after 83-day filibuster in Senate.

1966 – Lyndon B. Johnson signs Freedom of Information Act.

1966 – Medicare goes into effect.

1971 – Washington becomes the first state to ban sex discrimination.

1986 – The Statue of Liberty re-opens after refurbishment; Nancy Reagan cuts the ribbon at the ceremony.

Amos 'n' Andy

Amos 'n' Andy premiered in 1951

Movies & TV:

1941 – Commercial TV is authorized by the FCC. Licenses are granted to W2XBS-WNBT (NBC) & WCBW (CBS), NYC.

1941 – The Bulova Watch Company pays $9 for first-ever network TV commercial.

1941 – CBS Television Quiz premieres as television’s first regular game show.

1951Amos ‘n’ Andy premieres on CBS TV.

1952 – The Soap Opera, Guiding Light, moves from radio to TV.

1955The Johnny Carson Show debuts on CBS-TV.

1955The Lawrence Welk Show premieres on ABC.

1956 – Elvis Presley appears on The Steve Allen Show wearing a tuxedo.

1958The Andy Williams Show premieres on ABC.

1964 – The first draft of Star Trek’s pilot “Cage” is released.

Sgt. Peppers Album Cover Sign

Sgt. Peppers Album Cover Tin Sign

Music & Radio:

1940 – “Quiz Kids?” premieres on radio.

1963 – “From Me to You”, The Beatles’ first song, hits UK charts.

1964 – The Beachboys’ “I Get Around” climbs to #1.

1967 – The Beatles’ “Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” goes #1 for 15 weeks.

1970 – Jimi Hendrix has his first recording session in New York City.

1970 – “American Top 40” with Casey Kasem debuts on LA radio.

1978 – Supreme Court rules 5-4 that the FCC had a right to reprimand NY radio station WBAI for broadcasting George Carlin’s “Filthy Words”.

1981 – “Bette Davis Eyes” by Kim Carnes returns to #1 slot.

Hollywood Headlines:

Jim Morrison Magnet1971 – Jim Morrison, lead singer for The Doors, dies of heart failure at age 27.

The Arts:

1936Gone With the Wind, written by Margaret Mitchell, is published.

1967Funny Girl closes at Winter Garden Theater NYC after 1348 performances.

1972Hair closes at Biltmore Theater NYC after 1750 performances.

1977 – Marvel Comics publishes a tribute to the rock group Kiss with their “Kiss book”.


1937 – Joe DiMaggio hits his first grand slam.

1950 – US beats England in a World Cup soccer game 1-0. They will not win again until 1994.

1983 – Calvin Smith, of the US, becomes the fastest man alive (9.93 for 100m).

Technology & Inventions:

1934 – Dr. Warren Sausser makes the first x-ray picture of the entire skeleton of an adult human. The Eastman Kodak Company made a special 20 x 70 inch film for the project.

1939 – Pan American Airlines (Dixie Clipper) completes its first commercial plane flight to Europe.

1931 – Ice vending machines are introduced in LA. The cost: 15 cents for 25 lbs.

1948 – Bell Labs announces the Transistor as a substitute for Radio Tubes.

Automobile News:

1953 – The first Corvette is manufactured in Flint, Michigan.

Last updated: Jun 29, 2008
Filed under: This Week In History Tagged with: retro headlines, Retro News