This Week In History: May 4 – May 10

Retro Staff 1  Comment

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

Front Page News:

Hindenburg Explodes

The Hindenburg disaster occurred May 6, 1937. The airship caught fire during an attempt to dock with its mooring mast at Lakehurst Naval Air Station in New Jersey.

1937: Dirigible Hindenburg explodes in flames at Lakehurst, NJ. Thirty-six people died.

1944: Gandhi is freed from prison.

1946: Five die in a two-day riot at Alcatraz prison in San Francisco Bay.

1960: President Eisenhower signs the Civil Rights Act of 1960.

1961: Alan Shepard becomes the 1st American in Space while aboard Freedom 7.

1970: Ohio National Guard troops open fire on anti-war protesters at Kent State University, killing four students and wounding nine others, including one who became permanently disabled.

1977: 1,414 people are arrested in ongoing protests at a proposed nuclear power plant site in Seabrook, New Hampshire.

1980: World Health Organization announces smallpox had been eradicated.

1982: IBM releases PC-DOS version 1.1.

1984: American veterans of the Vietnam War reach a $180-million out-of-court settlement with seven chemical companies in their class-action suit relating to the use of herbicide Agent Orange in Vietnam.

American Living:

1961: President John F. Kennedy officially proclaims Sunday, May 14th as Mother’s Day, stating, “The American Mother, as the heart of the American Home, by her labor and love instills in our homes and nurtures in our children the spirit of our country.”

1970: Lead-free gasoline becomes available at Texaco Stations.

Movies & TV:

1957: “I Love Lucy” last airs on CBS-TV.

1983: “Laverne & Shirley” last airs on ABC-TV.

West Side Story

In the US, the soundtrack for West Side Story was the best-selling album of the 1960s.


1959: The 1st Grammy Awards take place – Perry Como & Ella Fitzgerald win.

 1962: West Side Story’s soundtrack album goes to #1 and stays there for 54 weeks – more than 20 weeks longer than any other album.

1966: Mamas & Papas’ “Monday Monday” hits #1.

1970: The Let It Be album is released.

1970: The soundtrack to the first Woodstock festival is released.

1976: Kiss performs their first concert.

1977: The Eagles’ masterpiece, “Hotel California”, hits #1 in the US, but holds its place for only a week.

1981: Bob Marley dies of lung cancer and a brain tumor.

Hollywood Headlines:

Joan Crawford

Joan Crawford

1960: Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz divorce.

1977: Actress Joan Crawford dies at age 69.

1987: Actor Tom Cruise (27) & actress Mimi Rogers (33) marry.

The Arts:

1940: The Pulitzer prize is awarded to John Steinbeck for his novel, The Grapes of Wrath.

1953: The Pulitzer prize is awarded to Ernest Hemingway for The Old Man and the Sea.

1955: Damn Yankees opens at the 46th St Theater in NYC and lasts for 1,022 performances.


1965: Willie Mays’ 512th home run breaks Mel Ott’s record.

1971: Joe Frazier beats Muhammad Ali at Madison Square Garden.

1978: Pete Rose reaches 3,000 career hits on May 5th.

Last updated: May 05, 2008
Filed under: This Week In History Tagged with: retro headlines, Retro News