The Year was 1955.
The world was changing but it was still a slower-paced time. James Dean was the man of the hour and Rosa Parks was in the news.
Rock and Roll was here to stay with the inclusion of artists like Bill Haley and the Comets, Chuck Berry and the incomparable Elvis Presley.
A new home would cost you about 10 thousand dollars and if you were renting a place the cost was about 87 dollars a month for 2 bedrooms.
The St Lawrence Seaway opened up and new laws about safety were starting to come into play. The government made it mandatory for cars to have seat belts now and the first McDonald’s came into being.
The USS Nautilus—the first nuclear powered submarine went out to sea for the very first voyage. Jonas Salk’s polio vaccine was declared safe and effective in April of this year.
Disneyland opened in California and the United States became involved in Vietnam.
The President was President – Dwight D. Eisenhower and our Vice President was Richard Nixon.
The US population was about 171,000,000 and our life expectancy in 1955 was about 69.5 years.
Crime-The murder rate was just 3 murders per 100,000
The Median Household Income was about 4800 dollars for the average laborer and the minimum hourly rate was 1 dollar per hour.
The 1955 Minimum Wage was $0.75 per hour, the equivalent of $7.03 per hour in 2018 dollars.
The Cost of Living–Groceries were much lower in price and usually much fresher. Bacon was 54 cents a pound and eggs cost a quarter for a dozen. A gallon of milk cost about one dollar and a loaf of bread was approximately 18 cents.
Postage–Sending a letter across the country in 1955 would cost you $.03 in postage.
Travel–A gallon of gas cost about 23 cents.
Transportation–The top selling car was the Ford and the cost of a brand new car was about $1900 dollars.
Fashion–People were wearing blazer jackets, (8.98)buckle tab blouses ($2.98), skinny skirts and clutch style jackets.
Top News–In the top news for 55, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white person and was arrested for it.
Rosa Parks, In her own words
New Products Introduced in 1955
- Ford Thunderbird
- Bomb Pops
- Cheese Nips crackers
- Crest toothpaste
- Dove toiletries
- Panasonic brand
- Special K cereal
- Tylenol brand
- Wooly Willy toy
- Zest soap brand
1955 Music, Television and Movies
Music – The Top 5 Songs of 1955
1. Cherry Pink And Apple Blossom White – Perez Prado (RCA Victor)
2. Rock Around The Clock – Bill Haley & His Comets (Decca) with Dick Clark
3. The Yellow Rose of Texas – Mitch Miller (Columbia) on the Mitch Miller Show, 1955
4. Autumn Leaves – Roger Williams (Kapp)
5. Unchained Melody – Les Baxter (Capitol)
Song rankings are based on information from The Billboard Hot 100 Chart Data
We were watching Gunsmoke, and a brand new show called the 64,000 Dollar Question.
Gunsmoke – With appearances by Charles Bronson and Chuck Connors
The $64,000 Question
The most popular movie of the year 1955 was East of Eden, James Dean’s last movie before he was killed in an auto accident.