1953 News and Interesting History Tidbits

Polio Vaccine
Dr. Jonas E. Salk, announced a vaccine had been used safely and successfully used in preliminary trials on 90 children and adults as a polio vaccine, two years later the vaccine was released and given to every child in the United States.

Poliomyelitis ( Polio ) was one of the most dreaded illnesses which killed or paralyzed thousands during the early 20th century and following World War II the number of cases of Polio increased significantly making the need for a cure or a vaccine to protect against the disease even more important.

Much of the funding for Dr. Jonas E. Salk research came from March Of Dimes Foundation ( National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis ) which had been set up under the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1938 to raise money for polio research and to care for those suffering from the disease.

Right To Work Laws
The U.S. Supreme Court gave power to enforce right-to-work laws to the state of Virginia. This action made it possible for state courts to stop peaceful picketing demonstrations if this action affected non-union workers’ employment.

Military Coup Supported By United States
A military coup supported and financed by the United States overthrows the government of Premier Mohammed Mosaddeq and reinstates the Shah of Iran.

Queen Elizabeth II
Following the death of her father Queen Elizabeth II is formally crowned as The Queen in England with hundreds of millions listening on radio and for the first time watched the proceedings on live television. After the coronation ceremony in Westminster Abbey , millions of rain-drenched spectators cheered the 27-year-old queen and her husband, the 30-year-old duke of Edinburgh, as they passed along a five-mile procession route in a gilded horse-drawn carriage.

East Germany Riots
Following riots in East Berlin which began among construction workers, who took to the streets on June 16, 1953, to protest against the communist government of East Germany which grew to over 50,000 workers from many jobs. The Soviet Union sent an entire armored division of its troops into East Berlin to crush the rebellion

Conquest Of Mount Everest
Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and Tenzing Norgay of Nepal become the first explorers to reach the top of Mount Everest . Due to the amount of time it took to descend the mountain it was June 2nd before the rest of the world were told about the conquest.

North Korea Prison Camps
More information is coming out as the continued exchange of prisoners held in North Korea continue of semi-starvation, calculated brutality and forced marches in communist prison camps

Playboy Magazine 1st Issue with Marilyn Monroe
Hugh Hefner issues the first issue of Playboy Magazine featuring Marilyn Monroe as its first cover girl and nude centerfold. The first issue cost 50 cents. The price for a good condition original is about $2,000 but there was a later Playboy rerun which cost closer to $30.00

Joseph Stalin Dies
The Dictator Joseph Stalin, the Prime Minister of the Soviet Union and the supreme chief of the Communist Party died.

Prison Riot Minnesota
1000 Inmates from Stillwater Prison start fires, smash windows and shout profanities at the guards during a prolonged prison riot.

Matchbox Toys
Matchbox is now owned by Mattel, Inc but was originally started in England in 1953 when Leslie Smith and Rodney Smith ( Forming the British toy company Lesney Products ) diecast model of Queen Elizabeth II's Coronation Coach which sold over 1 million , After the success of the Coronation Coach they started to make more diecast models that would fit inside a Matchbox including MG Midget TD, a Vauxhall Cresta, a Ford Zodiac, dump truck, cement mixer and Road Roller.
In the late 60's up to the mid 70's they were one of the most popular toys on the market.
The toys are mostly small die cast cars and the name comes from the fact that the toys were packed in boxes the size and style of a Matchbox .

Jomo Kenyatta Given Hard labour
Jomo Kenyatta the leader of the Kenya African Union Movement is sentenced to seven years hard labour for his part in the organization of the rebel Mau Mau movement.

In 1963 Mr Kenyatta took control as the first prime minister of a self governing Kenya and denied he was ever a member of the Mau Mau, his trial is generally regarded to have been rigged by the British because he was an advocate of self rule for Kenya and other African Nations.

UK Sweet Rationing Ends 1953
After 13 years of sweet rationing since the beginning of World War II sweet rationing has ended in Great Britain and children all over the country are heading straight for the nearest sweet-shop as the first unrationed sweets went on sale today. The most popular sweets are toffee apples, bars of nougat, chocolates, lollipops and liquorice.

First Corvette
For the first time, the Corvette is brought to New York. The first corvette was presented at a car show that took place at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. The body of these sports cars were made from fiberglass, giving this car a unique look.

Executive Order 10450
President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed Executive Order 10450 which defined hiring and firing rules for Government Employment. Homosexuality, moral perversion, and communism were categorized as national security threats and could be used as a condition for firing a federal employee and for denying employment to potential applicants.

Flooding in Lake Charles Louisiana
Following the flooding in Lake Charles Louisiana which is now starting to recede the threat of Typhoid is increasing which could increase the death toll caused by the flooding and medical teams are on hand to provide typhoid shots.

FBI Rounds Up Communist Leaders
The FBI rounds up communist leaders from around the country on charges of teaching and advocating the overthrow of the United States government.

DNA The "Secret Of Life" Published
Two Cambridge University scientists "James D Watson and Francis Crick" describe the structure of DNA explaining that DNA is the material that makes up genes which pass hereditary characteristics in all life from one parent to another. They conclude that it consists of a double helix of two strands coiled around each other and could even be considered the "secret of life".

The article published in Nature magazine is the basis for some of the of the latest advances in technology including genetic engineering, stem cell research and DNA fingerprinting. James D Watson also helped launch the Human Genome Project.

Royal Yacht Britannia
The Queen launches the Royal Yacht Britannia at a ceremony at the Clydebank yard of John Brown and Co.
The Royal Yacht had a 250 strong crew who ensure Britannia is always immaculate for its foreign trips.
The Royal Yacht Britannia after travelling more than one million miles is decommissioned in 1997 and is now a tourist attraction at the port of Leith, in Edinburgh.

Calls For Feds To Take On The Mob
Calls for the federal government to take on the Mob / Crime Syndicate / The System after the murder of a longshoreman. The Mob makes money from Prostitution, Gambling, Loan Shark, Narcotics and The Waterfront and calls are rising daily for federal action as they appear to be immune from the law due to local politicians protection.

Terrible Storms Europe 1953
A major storm with winds in excess of 100 MPH caused flooding in 3 countries with North Sea coastal areas killing a total of more than 2,000 people in the Netherlands Great Britain and Belgium.
1st February, 1953 : Gale force winds on the east coast of Britain are some of the strongest storms ever recorded breaking through flood defences from Yorkshire down to Kent, up to 150 lives are lost and thousands are forced to leave homes including all residents of Canvey Island when the area becomes flooded. Passengers on the Princess Victoria ferry, from Scotland to Ireland, are forced to abandon ship in the Irish Sea due to high sees.

The storm breached sea dikes in the provinces of Zeeland, Zuid-Holland and Noord-Brabant due to the combination of spring tide and a northwesterly storm. The resulting flood accounted for more than 1,835 deaths in the Netherlands.

F5 Tornado Waco, Texas
A F5 tornado struck Waco, Texas where 48 were known dead and
more than 250 injured.

6 Tornadoes strike Flint, Michigan
A series of six Tornadoes hit the area of Flint in Michigan and parts of Ohio yesterday killing over 140 people and leaving billions of dollars in property damage, Flint was still trying to clean up after the last series of Tornadoes on May 31st just a few weeks ago

Supreme Court Ruling
The Supreme Court ruled that restaurants and bars in Washington D.C. are required to serve African-American customers

Armistice Day
11th November, 1953: Americans took part in another celebration of Armistice Day, which marked the anniversary of the end date of World War I. This was the last of the official Armistice Days in the United States. The following year (1954), this holiday became Veteran’s Day, and has become a holiday to honor all war heroes living or dead. It has been celebrated year after year since then.

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