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.
Video: 'August 25, 1955 - Senator Lyndon B. Johnson before flying to Texas to recuperate from heart attack.'
(Saturday, July 2, 1955) — Senate Majority Leader Lyndon B. Johnson, a 60-cigarette-per-day smoker, suffered a near-fatal heart attack today at age 46 and will be unable to return to active duty at this Congressional session (click here for a clip reporting on today’s event on “American Experience: LBJ” at 42:33).
(Thursday, June 16, 1955) — Lady and the Tramp, an animated romantic musical comedy film produced by Walt Disney about the adventures of an American Cocker Spaniel named Lady who lives with a refined, upper-middle-class family, and a male stray mutt named Tramp, premiered today at the State-Lake theater in Chicago.
Directed by Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson and Hamilton Luske, the film starred Peggy Lee, Barbara Luddy, Larry Roberts, Verna Felton, Bill Thompson and Bill Baucom.
(Thursday, June 16, 1955, 12:40 p.m. ART) — Members of Argentina’s military bombarded the Plaza de Mayo today in Buenos Aires in a failed attempt to assassinate President Juan Domingo Peron and his Cabinet, causing hundreds of civilian deaths, the same day Peron was excommunicated by Pope Pius XII for expelling two bishops from his country.
(Tuesday, June 7, 1955, 10:00 p.m. EDT) — The television version of the quiz show The $64,000 Questionpremiered tonight on CBS, sponsored by cosmetics maker Revlon and originating live from CBS-TV Studio 52 in New York (later the disco-theater Studio 54).
The first contestant on the show was Thelma Farrell Bennett, a housewife from Trenton, New Jersey, who failed to make it to the first plateau but won a 1955 Cadillac convertible.
Video: '"The Ballad of Barbara Graham" - Val Norman'
(Friday, June 3, 1955, 11:28 a.m. PDT) — Convicted murderer Barbara Graham, 31, was executed today in the gas chamber at San Quentin State Prison in California, as were two accomplices, Jack Santo and Emmett Perkins, for the 1953 slaying of Mabel Monahan.