(Monday, June 8, 1953; 01:30 UTC) — The 1953 Flint-Beecher tornado, one of the top ten single deadliest tornadoes in U.S. history and rated as an F5 on the Fujita Scale, touched down in Genesee County, Michigan, tonight and continued on a 27 mile path, causing 116 fatalities. Most of the casualties and damage occurred in the unincorporated community of Beecher, a suburb on the northern edge of the city of Flint, Michigan. Continue reading →
(Tuesday, June 2, 1953) — The coronation of Queen Elizabeth II took place today in London’s Westminster Abbey, 16 months after the death of her father, King George VI. It was the first such ceremony to be broadcast on television.
(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.