This Week In History: May 11 – May 17

Retro Staff Comments

Headlines & tidbits from the 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s.

Polaroid Land 95 Camera

Polaroid Land 95 Camera

American Living:

1940: First nylon stockings sold in US.

1949: First Polaroid camera sold $89.95 (NYC).

1960: Taxes took 25% of earnings in US.

1975: 80,000 turned out in New York City’s Central Park to celebrate the end of the Vietnam War.

Technology & Inventions:

1952: The Westinghouse Frost-Free Refrigerator was introduced.

1954: The Pacific Telephone & Telegraph Co. unveils a device that dials automatically. It is the forerunner of equipment that will soon permit a telephone user to dial direct, skipping the step of the operator.

Movies & TV:

Marilyn Monroe & Tony Curtis

Marilyn Monroe & Tony Curtis on set

1952: Singin’ in the Rain opens in theaters, starring Gene Kelly, Donald O’Connor and Debbie Reynolds.

1959: Some Like It Hot opens in theaters, starring Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, and Jack Lemmon.

1959: Kraft Music Hall with Milton Berle, last airs on NBC-TV.

1960: Elvis Presley appears on a Frank Sinatra special.

1963: Bob Dylan walks off the set of The Ed Sullivan Show after producers rejected the song he wanted to perform.

1970: The Beatles movie, Let it Be, premieres

1986: Top Gun opens in theaters.

Music & Radio:

1963: Peter, Paul & Mary win their first Grammy for “If I Had a Hammer”.

1966: The Pet Sounds “masterpiece” by The Beach Boys was released. It contained “Wouldn’t It Be Nice”, “Sloop John B.”, “God Only Knows”, “Here Today”, and “Caroline No”.

1977: In London, Pink Floyd performs the first quadrophonic concert.

1977: Howard Stern begins broadcasting at WRNW in Briarcliff Manor, NY.

1981: “Bette Davis Eyes” by Kim Carnes hits #1 and stays there for nine weeks.

1985: Madonna’s “Crazy For You” single goes #1.

Hollywood Headlines:

Keith Relf

Keith Relf working on new material when he was electrocuted at home.

1967: Paul McCartney meets his future wife, Linda Eastman.

1971: Mick Jagger marries Bianca Macias at St Tropez Town Hall.

1976: At age 33, Yardbirds vocalist Keith Relf is electrocuted while at home playing an improperly grounded guitar.

1980: Brian May of Queen collapses on stage with hepatitis.

1987: Rita Hayworth dies of Alzheimer’s disease at age 68.

The Arts:

1946: The musical, Annie Get Your Gun, starring Ethel Merman, premieres in NYC.

1969: Monty Python comedy troupe forms.

1981: Andrew Lloyd Webber & TS Eliot’s musical, Cats, premieres in London.


1967: Mickey Mantle hits his 500th career home run off Oriole’s Stu Miller.

1975: Muhammad Ali TKOs Ron Lyle in the 11th round for the heavyweight boxing title.

1983: Reggie Jackson is 1st major leaguer to strike out 2,000 times

1985: Michael Jordan is named NBA Rookie of Year.

1986: Reggie Jackson hit his 537th home run, passing Mickey Mantle, taking 6th place.

Chevrolet Corvair Brochure

The final year Corvairs were hand-built in an off-line area, by a dedicated team.

Automobile News:

1947: BF Goodrich announces the development of the tubeless tire (Akron Ohio).

1969: The last Chevrolet Corsair is built.

Last updated: May 11, 2008
Filed under: This Week In History Tagged with: retro headlines, Retro News