I will start this year in the 6th Grade at Parker Elementary School in Oakland, California. I will graduate in June of 1956 and then I would begin Frick Junior High in Oakland in September of 1956. I would still collect baseball cards and any other kind of cards available.
I still have all my “Flags Of The World “cards (they never got thrown away and I want to keep them). This was the year that I got my first record player (it was a Christmas present). I would start buying some of the current hits (the foundation of what was to become a record collection in the early 1970’s). I remember having a 78 rpm record of “Don’t Be Cruel” by Elvis Presley. Unfortunately I set it down on a chair and forgot it was there. CRUNCH! The newer 45 rpm records weren’t quite as fragile. The Oakland Oaks minor league baseball team had left for Vancouver, B.C (they became The Vancouver Mounties) after the 1955 season. By 1957 The Old Emeryville Ballpark was demolished and a Pepsi Cola Bottling Plant had taken it’s place. I guess that what’s known as progress.
Drive Ins were booming and a former Memphis truck driver named Elvis Presley would take center stage in the world of music. Actress Grace Kelly would marry Prince Rainier of Monaco. President Dwight Eisenhower would run for re election this year.
He would run against Adlai Stevenson again and he would beat him again. This was also the year of the sinking of The Andrea Doria (June 26, 1956) and the revolt in Hungary. Also this year, two airliners would crash over the Grand Canyon killing 128 people and trouble would erupt over the Suez Canal. This year would see the death of Albert Woolson at the age of 109 (he was the last survivor of the Union Army in the Civil War). The Cold War was still raging and racial tensions would rise in the Southern states. Samuel Seymour would die this year (he was 96). Mr. Seymour had appeared on the TV show “I’ve Got A Secret” a few months earlier. His secret was that he was in Ford’s Theater the night Abraham Lincoln was assassinated.
——————————————Cost Of Living———————————————–
The average cost of a home in 1956 was $9,530. The average income was $4,454, milk would now be 92 cents a gallon, gasoline would be 23 cents a gallon, bread would be 18 cents a loaf, a dozen eggs would cost 45 cents, a chuck pot roast was 33 cents a pound and the minimum wage was now a whopping $1 an hour.
——————————————The World Of Sports—————————————–
The Philadelphia Warriors would defeat The Fort Wayne Pistons, 4 games to 1, to win the NBA title. The Philadelphia Warriors would come to the Bay Area and eventually become The Golden State Warriors, while The Fort Wayne Pistons would eventually move to Detroit and become The Detroit Pistons. The NFL title game was held on December 30 with The New York Giants defeating The Chicago Bears, 47 to 7. In the world of Boxing, Floyd Patterson would defeat Archie Moore to win the heavyweight title vacated by Rocky Marciano. The Winter Olympics were held in Cortina, Italy (January 26-February 5) and the Summer Olympics were held in Melbourne, Australia (November 22-December 6). In the 1956 World Series it was The New York Yankees against The Brooklyn Dodgers, with The Yankees winning the series 4 games to 3. This series would long be remembered for what happened in Game 5 (October 8, 1956)
—————————————-Movies & Television——————————————
Some of the movies that were released this year would include “Giant”, “Bus Stop”, “My Fair Lady” and one of my sci-fi favorites, “Rodan”. After Godzilla had destroyed Japan in 1954, Rodan would come back for leftovers.
In the world of television, some of the top shows would include “Private Secretary” (CBS, Sunday, 7:30-8:00 PM), “Lassie” (CBS, Sunday 7:00-7:30 PM), “The Phil Silver’s Show (Sergeant Bilko)” (CBS, Tuesday 8:00-8:30 PM), “The $64,000 Challenge” (CBS, Sunday 10:00-10:30 PM), “People Are Funny” (NBC, Saturday 7:30-8:00 PM), “The Adventures Of Robin Hood” (CBS, Monday 7:30-8:00 PM), “The Ford Show” (NBC, Wednesday 9:00-9:30 PM), “The Life And Legend Of Wyatt Earp” (ABC, Tuesday 8:30-9:00 PM), “The Lineup” (CBS, Friday 10:00-10:30 PM), “The Red Skelton Show” (CBS, Tuesday 9:30-10:00 PM), “Disneyland” (ABC, Wednesday 7:30-8:30 PM), “The Millionaire” (CBS, Wednesday 9:00-9:30 PM), “Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts” (CBS< Monday 8:30-9:00 PM), “Dragnet” (NBC, Thursday 8:30-9:00 PM), “The Jack Benny Show” (CBS, Sunday 7:30-8:00 PM), “The Perry Como Show” (NBC, Saturday 8:00-9:00 PM), “Gunsmoke” (CBS, Saturday 10:00-10:30 PM), “I’ve Got A Secret” (CBS, Wednesday 9:30-10:00 PM), “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” (CBS, Sunday 9:30-10:00 PM), “December Bride” (CBS, Monday 9:30-10:00 PM), “The $64,000 Question” (CBS, Tuesday 10:00-10:30 PM), “GE Theater” (CBS, Sunday 9:00-9:30 PM) and “The Ed Sullivan Show” (CBS, Sunday 8:00-9:00 PM). Ed Sullivan would introduce America to a young singing idol in this year.
The top rated show on TV this year was “I Love Lucy” (CBS, Monday 9:00-9:30 PM). Other shows that America watched in 1956 would include “What”s My Line” (CBS, Sunday 10:30-11:00 PM), “The Steve Allen Show” (NBC, Sunday 8:00-9:00 PM), “Cheyenne” (ABC, Tuesday 7:30-8:30 PM), “Broken Arrow” (ABC, Tuesday 9:00-9:30 PM), “The Bob Cummings Show” (CBS, Thursday 8:00-8:30 PM) and “My Friend Flicka” (CBS, Friday 7:30-8:00 PM). 🙂 🙂 🙂
References: “The Complete Directory To Prime Time Network TV Shows 1946-Present” by Tim Brooks & Earle Marsh, “Fifties Web”, “What Happened When” by Gorton Carrruth and “Chronicles OfAmerica” published by Dorling Kindersley.