Video: 'Rear Window' trailer
(Wednesday, August 4, 1954) — Rear Window, a suspense thriller film about a photographer with a broken leg who uncovers a murder while spying on the neighbors in a nearby apartment building, premiered tonight at the Rivoli Theatre in New York City.
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock, the film starred James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Wendell Corey, Thelma Ritter and Raymond Burr.
Image: 'Elvis Presley - Backstage at the Overton Park Shell, Friday, July 30, 1954'
(Friday, July 30, 1954, 8:00 p.m. local time) — Elvis Presley made his professional debut in Memphis. It was his first concert to be advertised.
Video: 'Vietnam a Television History Episode 2' (July 7, 1954, at 4:18)
(Wednesday, July 7, 1954; during the First Indochina War, part of the Cold War) — Two months after the French surrendered to the Viet Minh at Dien Bien Phu, Emperor Bao Dai appointed Ngo Dinh Diem today as prime minister of what would become South Vietnam, hoping he would be able to attract American aid.
Video: 'Elvis Presley - Harbor Lights'
(Monday, July 5, 1954, evening) — Elvis Presley, 19, held his first commercial recording session today, tracking “That’s All Right,” “I Love You Because” and “Harbor Lights” at Sun Records in Memphis, Tennessee. Continue reading
Video: 'Vietnam a Television History Episode 1' (June 18, 1954, at 53:30)
(Friday, June 18, 1954; during the First Indochina War, part of the Cold War) — The French cabinet fell and a new prime minister took over today, Pierre Mendès France, a critic of the Indochina War.
Video: 'One Nation Under God: Debating The Pledge Of Allegiance'
(Monday, June 14, 1954) — U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a measure today adding the phrase “under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance.
Video: 'Welch versus Joseph McCarthy 1-2'
(Wednesday, June 9, 1954; during the Second Red Scare) — During the Senate-Army Hearings, Army special counsel Joseph N. Welch berated Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy today for verbally attacking a member of Welch’s law firm, Fred Fisher, asking McCarthy: “Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?” Continue reading
(Saturday, June 5, 1954) — “Little Things Mean a Lot” by Kitty Kallen was the #1 song on today’s Billboard Best Sellers in Stores chart for the first of nine consecutive weeks (June 5/12/19/26, July 3/10/17/24/31, 1954).
Video: 'Vietnam a Television History Episode 1' (June 4, 1954, at 51:29)
(Friday, June 4, 1954; during the First Indochina War, part of the Cold War) — U.S. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles urged the Senate Foreign Relations Committee today to invest $3.5 billion in foreign aid during the next 12 months to help prevent “red domination” of the world.
Video: 'Dial M for Murder' trailer
(Saturday, May 29, 1954) — Dial M for Murder, a crime thriller film about a straying husband who frames his wife for the murder of the man he’d hired to kill her, opened today in New York City at the Paramount theater.
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock, the film starred Ray Milland, Grace Kelly, Robert Cummings and John Williams.