This Week In History: May 25 – May 31

Retro Staff |  Comments

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

American Experience:

1956 – RCA Victor Big Color TV sells for $495. Payment plans were available and trade-ins of old TVs were an option.

1963 – President John F Kennedy turns 46.

Boston Hands Across America

1969 – Walt Disney World construction begins.

1972 – White House “plumbers” break into Democratic National HQ at Watergate.

1986 – 30,000,000 watch “Live Aid”, a massive benefit concert.

1986 – Hands Across America – 6 million people hold hands from Calif to NY

 Movies & TV:

1955The Seven-Year Itch, starring Marilyn Monroe, Tom Ewell, Evelyn Keyes, Sonny Tufts and Robert Strauss hits theaters.

1971 – ABC News’ Hong Kong bureau chief Ted Koppel joins the Washington bureau as diplomatic correspondent.

1977Star Wars opens.

1983Return of the Jedi opens.

Music & Radio:

Bing Crosby White Christmas1942 – Bing Crosby records White Christmas, the greatest selling record to date.

1960 – The Everly Brothers’ “Cathy’s Clown” hits #1.

1962 – The Isley Brothers release “Twist & Shout”.

1966 – Percy Sledge hits the top of the U.S. charts with “When a Man Loves a Woman”, arguably the best soul recording of all time.

1968 – The Rolling Stones release “Jumping Jack Flash”.

1969 – An eight-hour benefit concert is performed in California for the Berkeley People’s Park bail fund at Winterland. On hand – The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Elvin Bishop, Santana and Banger Flying Circus.

1973 – The Beatles’ Beatles 1967-1970 album hits #1.

Hollywood Headlines:

1967 – John Lennon has his Rolls Royce redecorated. It now sports a yellow background with bunches of flowers, leaves and scrollwork painted in other bright colors.

1968 – The headstones of Bonnie and Clyde, who were gunned-down 34 years previous, are stolen from the Crown Hill cemetery in Dallas.

1987 – Michael Jackson attempts to buy Elephant Man’s remains.

The Arts:

1972Applause closes at Palace Theater NYC after 900 performances.

1973 – Pablo Picasso’s final paintings – 201 unsigned works from the last two years of his life – go on exhibit for the first time at the Avignon Arts Festival in France. Many called them “puzzling”.


Muhammad Ali Sonny Liston 1965

1946 – The first night game at Yankee stadium takes place (Senators 2, Yanks 1).

1965 – Muhammad Ali KOs Sonny Liston in the first round for the heavyweight boxing title.

1975 – Joe Nameth rejects a $4 million offer to join the World Football League’s Chicago Wind. Nameth became a free agent on May 1.

1977 – Janet Guthrie becomes the first woman to drive in the Indy 500.

1980 – Larry Bird beats out Magic Johnson for NBA Rookie of Year.

1984 – The Boston Red Sox retires #9 (Ted Williams) & #4 (Joe Cronin).

Technology & Inventions:

Max Factor Erace Ad 1950s

Max Factor Erace Newspaper Ad (1950s)

1954 – Max Factor introduces “Erace” – the original “cover-up” used before make-up. The slogan: “Swiftly, instantly every trace of “problem-points” which mar your beauty can disappear from sight.”

1955 – RCA’s electronic synthesizer makes a debut over radio and WGMS in Washington, DC. RCA says the music-making device can originate any sound and any voice. This huge and unwieldy system was controlled by a punched paper roll, similar to a player piano roll. A keyboard was used to punch the roll, and each note had to be individually described by a number of parameters (frequency, volume, envelope, etc.) The output was fed to disk recording machines, which stored the results on lacquer-coated disks.

1961 – A portable U.S.-made tape recorder hits stores. It is battery operated and completely transistorized. It weighs less than 2 pounds and measures only 8 1/4″ x 9 1/4″ x 3 1/8″ and sells for $29.95.

1961 – The first black light is sold.

Automobile News:

1962 Studebaker Avanti 1962: Studebaker introduces the Avanti, featuring aerodynamic design, bucket seats, automatic power-shift transmission, power steering and extreme speed.

1973 – The world’s only V-12 engined sedan – the Jaguar XJ12 – is announced. The 140- mph, five-passenger four-door car carries an $11,025 price tag.

Last updated: May 26, 2008
Filed under: This Week In History Tagged with: retro headlines, Retro News