The Year was 1957.
Here’s What was Going on in the World
It was a simpler time and financially things were looking up. Toyota began to sell their first cars in the United States.
The crisis in the Suez Canal had just ended. Elvis had just bought Graceland and the first nuclear reactor opened in Pennsylvania. Inflation had fallen to about 3.3 percent.
A new home would cost you about 12 thousand dollars and if you were renting a place the cost was about 95 dollars a month for 2 bedrooms.
There was a flu pandemic and the very young and the very old were suffering with a death toll thought to be about 70 thousand people around the country.
Cars were finned and fabulous and the price was right. The House for Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) was running amok and had convicted a number of writers and playwright’s for Un-American Activities / Communist party membership.
The USSR launched Sputnik and with it, the space age began.
The President – Dwight D. Eisenhower and our Vice President was Richard Nixon.
The US Population — about 172,000,000 and our life expectancy in 1957 was about 69.5 years.
Crime–The murder rate was just 4 murders per 100,000 people and crime was much lower even though the average American owned 3-5 guns.
Median Household Income –was about 5500 dollars for the average laborer.
The Minimum Wage in 1957 was $1.00 per hour, the equivalent of $8.94 per hour in 2018 dollars.
Food Costs–were much lower in price and food was usually much fresher. Bacon was 60 cents a pound and eggs cost a quarter for a dozen. A gallon of milk cost about one dollar and was delivered and a loaf of bread was approximately 19 cents.
Postage--Sending a letter across the country would cost you $.03 in postage.
Travel–A gallon of gas cost about 24 cents.
Top Automobiles — in 57 was the Ford. despite the 57 Chevy being a classic. To clarify, Ford sold more 57 Fords in 1957 than Chevy sold 57 Chevys, beating them by about 130 cars. The cost of a new 57 Ford was $1979-3240, depending on your options.
Our Clothing–People were wearing back strap trousers, skinny skirts and fox fur collar coats. The trousers retailed for about 8 dollars. The fox fur jacket for about 120.(http://www.thepeoplehistory.com/1957fashions.html)
1957 Music, Television and Movies
Music – The Top 5 Songs of 1957
1. All Shook Up – Elvis Presley (RCA Victor)
2. Love Letters In The Sand – Pat Boone (Dot)
3. Little Darlin’ – Diamonds (Mercury)
With Dick Clark on the Saturday Night Beechnut Show
4. Young Love – Tab Hunter (Dot)
Live on The Perry Como Show, 1957
5. So Rare – Jimmy Dorsey (Fraternity)
We were watching Gunsmoke, I’ve Got a Secret, I Love Lucy for our favorite shows.
Gunsmoke – With appearances by Charles Bronson and Chuck Connors
I’ve Got A Secret with Mickey Rooney
I Love Lucy – Behind the Scenes
The most popular movie of the year was 12 Angry Men, but we also embraced another classic as well. We got our scandal on with Peyton Place.