(Tuesday, July 26, 1955, evening CDT) — The Night of the Hunter, a horror film about a bogus preacher who marries an outlaw’s widow in search of the man’s hidden loot, premiered today in Des Moines, Iowa.
Directed by Charles Laughton, the film starred Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters, Lillian Gish and Gloria Castillo.
Video: 'The 1955 Geneva Conference and Open Skies' (July 21, 1955, at 1:59)
(Thursday, July 21, 1955, afternoon CEST; during the Cold War) — During a summit in Geneva, U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower presented his “Open Skies” proposal under which the U.S. and the Soviet Union would trade information on each other’s military facilities and allow aerial reconnaisance (the Soviets rejected the proposal).
Video: 'Big 4 at Geneva Summit; Miss Universe Parade 1955/7/18'
(Monday, July 18, 1955; during the Cold War) — U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Soviet Premier Nikolai Bulganin, British Prime Minister Anthony Eden and French Premier Edgar Faure met for a summit today in Geneva to begin discussions on peace.
Video: '1955 Disneyland Opening Day [Complete ABC Broadcast]'
(Sunday, July 17, 1955, 4:30 p.m. PDT) — The theme park Disneyland was dedicated today in Anaheim, California, during a nationally televised “International Press Preview” event on ABC-TV anchored by Art Linkletter, Bob Cummings and Ronald Reagan.
(Wednesday, July 13, 1955, 8:59 a.m. BST; during the Cold War) — Britain today hanged Ruth Ellis, a 28-year-old former model and nightclub hostess convicted of killing her boyfriend, David Blakely. Ellis was the last woman to be executed in the United Kingdom.
Video: 'First Air Force Academy Class 1955 Lowry Air Force Base Colorado'
(Monday, July 11, 1955; during the Cold War) — 306 young men, awkwardly earnest in their new khaki uniforms with blue caps and blue shoulder boards, swore today to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic,” becoming the first cadets at the new Air Force Academy at Lowry Air Force Base in Colorado.
(Saturday, July 9, 1955) — “Rock Around the Clock” by Bill Haley & His Comets, widely considered to be the record that, more than any other, brought rock and roll into mainstream culture around the world, was the #1 song on today’s Billboard Best Sellers in Stores chart for eight consecutive weeks (July 9/16/23/30, Aug. 6/13/20/27, 1955).
The song is ranked No. 158 on the Rolling Stone magazine’s list of “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.”
Video: 'LAWRENCE WELK AND HIS CHAMPAGNE MUSIC - 1955'
(Saturday, July 2, 1955, 9:00-10:00 p.m. EDT) — The Lawrence Welk Show, hosted by big band leader Lawrence Welk, premiered tonight on ABC-TV under its original title The Dodge Dancing Party. The musical variety show ran for 27 years, both on the network and in syndication.