1955 News and Interesting Tidbits From History


Minimum Hourly Wage $1.00 Per Hour
The minimum hourly wage is raised in the United States from 75 cents per hour to $1.00 per hour ( for a 40 hr week this would provide about $2,000 PER YEAR )








Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr
Rosa Parks sets off a bus boycott in Montgomery, Georgia when she refuses to give up her seat in the “colored” section of a bus . Led by Martin Luther King, Jr., the boycott lasted for over a year and resulted in the desegregation of the busses. This is often thought of as the event that started the Civil Rights Movement nationwide.

on 21st December 1956 Martin Luther King, Jr. was one of the first passengers of the new integrated bus system in Georgia where blacks and whites rode together








James Dean First Major Role
James Dean’s first performance in a major film started as of this date. He starred in a movie entitled East of Eden, for which he had won an academy award nomination.








The St. Lawrence Seaway Opens
The St. Lawrence Seaway opens to ocean vessels seeking passage from Montreal to US Ports on the Great Lakes .







Bill Haley and the Comets "Rock Around the Clock"
Bill Haley and the Comets, record "Rock Around the Clock" the song is released in May 1954 but is not a major chart hit, but in July 1955, after the song is used as the theme song for the movie "Blackboard Jungle" it goes to number 1 on the pop charts.








Antarctic Ice Melting
It was believed possible that the icy Antarctica could melt at a faster rate than most people would think. If this were possible, ocean levels would rise 90 to 150 feet. An Antarctic ice survey and corresponding studies were expected to be completed between now and some time shortly after 1957.

The fifties were not renowned for highlighting environmental issues so this was an important announcement for it's day.








Mexico Train Crash
An express train is derailed and falls into a canyon near Guadalajara, Mexico leaving 300 dead after the crash.








Salk Vaccine Against Polio
The Salk vaccine against Poliomyelitis commonly known as( Polio or Infantile Paralysis )was declared safe and effective. The vaccine works by inducing immunity by developing protective antibodies to polio.








Fleet Street Newspaper Strike
The strike which has stopped British National Newspapers from appearing for nearly a month has ended and Fleet Street newspapers are back on the streets after the strike by maintenance men who are members of the electricians' and engineers' unions agree to a wage increase of just over £2 a week.







McDonalds
This is about the cost of McDonalds over the years

1955
Hamburger 15 cents

1956
A burger, fries and drink were 45 cents

1964
Hamburgers 15 cents
Fries 12 cents
Shakes 20 cents

1967
Hamburger 18 cents
Big Mac 45 cents

1972
Quarter pounder 55 cents

1973
Egg McMuffin 90 cents

1975
Big Mac was 65 cents

1979
Hamburgers 43 cents
Cheeseburger 48 cents
Big Mac hamburger 95 cents
Egg McMuffin 95 cents

1985
Two Cheeseburger Meal med fries and coke $2.99

1995
Big Mac hamburger $1.99
Egg McMuffin $1.65

1998
McDonald's double Burger $2.69

2002
From The Dollar Menu
Double cheeseburgers $1.00
Fried chicken sandwiches $1.00
Fries $1.00
2 Pies $1.00

2007
Big Mac $3.22








Kidney Dialysis Machine Invented
Kidney Dialysis Machine Invented by William J Kolff which filters impurities and toxins from the blood and then returns the cleaned blood back to the human body.






24 Hours Le Mans
During the 24 Hours Le Mans race a car looses control and crashes into stands filled with spectators, killing 82 people.











Ruth Ellis Hanged
Ruth Ellis the last woman in England to be executed is hung at Holloway Prison, thousands mass outside protesting the death penalty.










Warsaw Pact Signed
The Soviet Union and its Eastern Bloc allies including USSR, Poland, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Albania sign a security pact in the Polish capital, Warsaw, after a three-day conference. The Warsaw Pact will provide close integration of military, economic and cultural policy between the eight Communist nations.








Sir Winston Churchill Retires
Sir Winston Churchill, the 80 year old British leader who guided Great Britain and the Allies through the crisis of World War II, retires as prime minister of Great Britain.








1955 Big Freeze In Britain
With over 70 roads now not passable the big freeze continues in the UK with many essential supplies including food and medical supplies now in jeopardy. The RAF is dropping food and medical supplies in the worst affected areas and are also dropping tons of hay over the Scottish Highlands as sheep are now starving due to the massive snowdrifts that have built up .








London Heathrow Airport
The Queen has opened new buildings in the centre of London Airport ( renamed Heathrow Airport ) , part of a new complex designed to handle a growing number of air passengers.
London Airport ( Heathrow ) was originally opened in 1946 but the new buildings were part of a planned extension
Heathrow Airport now has four terminals with a fifth terminal under construction and is one of the world's busiest airports with over 65 million passengers per year.








Dead Sea Scrolls
Israel has bought four Dead Sea scrolls written at various times between the middle of the 2nd century BC and the 1st century AD. from the Syrians for $250,000. The scrolls together with many others discovered in 11 caves in and around the Wadi Qumran are now housed with many others at the Shrine of the Book, a wing of the Israel Museum near Givat Ram in western Jerusalem,








Marilyn Monroe "The Seven Year Itch"
Marilyn Monroe stars in the film adaptation of the Seven Year Itch and Joe Mimaggio was so upset about the famous skirt scene where Marilyn Monroe's skirt blew up in "The Seven Year Itch " that it ultimately led to divorce






The $64,000 Question debuts on TV
"The $64,000 Question" the popular US television game show that reached the number one rating spot in 1955 / 1956 begins. The contestant would choose a category to answer questions then be asked questions in the chosen category. Each question answered correctly would double the amount of money earned starting at $1, and going up to $64,000 after 17 correct answers.





Stirling Moss
Stirling Moss won his first Formula One Grand Prix race, the British Grand Prix in Aintree, Stirling Moss never won a World Championship, having finished second to Juan Manuel Fangio for four consecutive years








Volkswagen Karmann Ghia
Following on with it's world wide success of The Beetle Volkswagen introduced the Karmann Ghia coupe as a Volkswagen that could show the world that they could produce great looking cars as well as reliable cars








Disneyland Opens
Disneyland opens in Anaheim, CA to invited guests only. More than 30,000 guests showed up to participate in one of the largest theme parks in the world at the time








1955 Prices
1955
Average Wages $4.130.00
Cost of a gallon of Gas 23 cents
Average Cost of a new car $1,900.00
Juicy Oranges 69 cents for 2 dozen
Porterhouse Steak 95 cents lb
Ford Fairlane $2,013
Philco Black and White TV 20 inches $229.95
5 ft Fibreglass Casting Rod $1.54

Sheboygan, Wisconsin Frame home with built in range and oven 3 large bedrooms and basement on large plot with double garage $16,400








Truckers Stimulants
A crackdown on the sale and use of stimulants often called "Bennies" "Golf Balls" or "Co_Pilots" in the trucking industry is occurring in many states, the truckers use them to stay awake on long journeys.








Duck Refuge Plans Alaska
Over one and three-quarter million acres of land are set aside to create a new duck refuge. This particular project was introduced by organizations such as the area’s local fish and wildlife service.








Air Pollution Control Act
The Federal Air Pollution Control Act was implemented for research into causal analysis and control of car-emission pollution in the US









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