1953 History, Fun Facts, Trivia and Year in Review

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by KHOU.com staff

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Posted on March 20, 2013 at 11:45 PM

Updated Monday, Mar 25 at 11:11 AM

HOUSTON -- KHOU first went on the air in March of 1953. In honor of KHOU-TV's 60th anniversary, we put together a list of some of the highlights from that year. 

SPORTS:

World Series champions: New York Yankees defeated the Brooklyn Dodgers

NFL champions: Detroit Lions defeated the Cleveland Browns

NBA champions: Minneapolis Lakers defeated the New York Knickerbockers

NCAA football champions: University of Maryland

NCAA basketball champions: Indiana University  

TELEVISION:

Most popular TV shows:

  1. I Love Lucy (CBS)
  2. Dragnet (NBC)
  3. Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts (CBS)
  4. You Bet Your Life (NBC)
  5. The Milton Berle Show (NBC)
  6. Arthur Godfrey and his Friends (CBS)
  7. Ford Theatre (NBC)
  8. The Jackie Gleason Show ((CBS)
  9. Fireside Theatre (NBC)
  10. The Colgate Comedy hour (NBC)

71.1 percent of all television sets in the United States tuned in to I Love Lucy to watch Lucy give birth on January 19, 1953.

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approveed color television in late 1953.

The first color television went on sale for about $1,175. 

FILM:

26th Academy Awards (honored the best films of 1953) winners:

Best Motion Picture: From Here to Eternity

Best Director: Fred Zinnemann From Here to Eternity

Best Actor: William Holden -- Stalag 17

Best Actress: Audrey Hepburn -- Roman Holiday

Best Supporting Actor: Frank Sinatra -- From Here to Eternity

Best Supporting Actress: Donna Reed -- From Here to Eternity

Best Animated Short Film: Toot, Whistle, Plunk and BoomWalt Disney

 

PUBLIC FIGURES:

President of the United States: Dwight D. Eisenhower succeeded Harry S. Truman as the 34th President of the United States.

Vice president of the United States: Richard Nixon

The Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II took place on June 2, 1953. She ascended the throne upon the death of her father, King George VI, on February 6, 1952. The coronation was held more than a year after the accession to follow tradition that a festival such as a coronation was inappropriate during the period of mourning that followed the death of the preceding sovereign.

TIME’s Man of the Year: Konrad Adenauer -- West Germany's first chancellor and a key figure in rebuilding the country after World War Two.

The discovery of REM sleep was first published by researchers Eugene Aserinsky and Nathaniel Kleitman.

United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) made a permanent specialized agency of the United Nations.

 

POP CULTURE:

The first Chevrolet Corvette is built at Flint, Michigan on June 30, 1953.

Hugh Hefner publishes the first issue of Playboy magazine in the United States, featuring a centerfold nude photograph of Marilyn Monroe; it sells 54,175 copies at $.50 each.

Miss America: Neva Langley (Macon, Georgia)

Miss USA: Myrna Hansen (Illinois)

Most popular Christmas presents: Scrabble, Mrs Potato Head and the Wiffle Ball

New York adopted three color traffic lights.

Ian Fleming published his first James Bond novel, Casino Royale.

The average house cost: approx. $17,400

The average car cost: approx. $1,800

The average wage: approx. $3,750

Cost of groceries:

  • Gallon of milk: $.94
  • Loaf of bread: $.16
  • Dozen eggs: $.72
  • Postage stamp: $.03

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