(Friday, May 29, 1953) — Stalag 17, a war film about a group of American airmen held in a German World War II prisoner of war camp who come to suspect that one of their number is an informant, premiered today in London. Continue reading →
(Monday, May 18, 1953) — Jacqueline Cochran, 47, became the first woman to break the sound barrier today as she piloted a Canadair F-86 Sabre jet over Rogers Dry Lake, California, at an average speed of 652.337 mph
(Saturday, May 16, 1953; during the Cold War) — Associated Press correspondent William N. Oatis was released today by communist authorities in Czechoslovakia, where he’d been imprisoned for two years after being forced to confess to espionage while working as the AP’s Prague bureau chief.
(Saturday, May 16, 1953) — “The Song from Moulin Rouge (Where Is Your Heart)” by Percy Faith (with vocals by Felicia Sanders; recorded on Jan. 22, 1953) was the #1 song on today’s Billboard Best Sellers in Stores chart for the first of ten weeks (May 16/23/30, June 6/13/20/27, July 4/11/18, 1953).
Video: 'Korean War - PART 28, End of the War, 6.25' (May 13, 1953, at 5:09)
(Wednesday, May 13, 1953; during the Korean War, part of the Cold War) — Thunderjets from the U.S. Air Force’s 58 Fighter-Bomber Wing struck the Toksan Dam, near Pyongyang today causing a massive flood. Floodwaters from the breached dam destroyed ten bridges, ruined several square miles of rice crops, flooded over 1,000 buildings and rendered the Sunan Airfield inoperable.
(Monday, May 11, 1953, 4:36 p.m. CDT) — A tornado devastated Waco, Texas, today, claiming 114 lives. Over half the dead, 61, were in a single city block bounded by 4th and 5th streets and Austin and Franklin avenues. 597 additional people were injured and the tornado caused up to $41.2 million in property damage.
Video: 'Korean War - PART 28, End of the War, 6.25' (exchange begins at 0:53)
(Monday, April 20, 1953; during the Korean War, part of the Cold War) — 100 United Nations soldiers, including 30 Americans, were freed from communist captivity today as the opponents in the Korean War began the exchange of sick and wounded prisoners under a recently negotiated agreement.
(Saturday, April 11, 1953) — Oveta Culp Hobby today became the first secretary (and second female to serve in the Cabinet) of the new Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, which later became the Department of Health and Human Services.