Thomas Jefferson High School


Class of 1960



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1950’s Historical Events & Facts



·       World population was 2.52 Billion.

·       U.S. population was 150,216,110 in 48 states.

·       U.S. unemployment was 3,288,000.

·       U.S. national debt was $256,853,000,000.

·       U.S. average annual salary was $2,992.00.

·       Cost of a loaf of bread was $0.14.

·       U.S. life expectancy was 65.6 years for men and 71.1 years for women.

·       Total car production was 6,665,800.

·       Bomb shelter plans became widely available.

·       Postwar era of prosperity was underway.

·       June 17, Dr. Richard H. Lawler performed the first kidney transplant.

·       North Korea invaded South Korea.

·       Puerto Rican nationalists killed a District of Columbia policeman during an attempted assassination of President Truman.



·       Britain and U.S. imposed sanctions on IRAN.

·       Computers were sold commercially.

·       TV sets grew to 1,500,000 in the U.S.

·       June 25, Arthur Godfrey, Faye Emerson, Sam Levenson and Ed Sullivan stared in the first Color TV program.



·       Still cameras got built-in flash units.

·       Minnie Minoso was the first black player for the Chicago White Sox.

·       Illinois Governor Adlai Stevenson was the Democratic nominee for president and was defeated by Dwight Eisenhower.

·       3-D movies were introduced to movie fans.

·       Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain was crowned.

·       Telephone area codes were introduced.



·       Watson, Crick and Franklin discovered DNA’s structure.

·       Illinois State Auditor Orville Hodge was convicted of $1,500,000 theft of state funds.

·       The Korean War ended.

·       Rosa Parks, a black woman, refused to move to the back of the bus in Montgomery, AL.

·       U.S. overthrew the Iran Mossadeq government calling its leader “The madman”.



·       Five members of congress were wounded by gunfire during an attack by Puerto Rican nationalists.

·       Raymond Kroc opened the first in a chain of McDonald’s restaurants in Des Plaines, IL.

·       Martin Luther King, Jr. accepted his first pastorate in Montgomery, AL.

·       Hank Aaron hit his first major league home run.

·       June 10, General Motors announced completion of the first successful gas-turbine bus.

·       Regular color TV broadcasts began.

·       The government of Guatemala was overthrown in a United Sates-backed coup.



·       Richard J. Daley was elected to the first of six terms as Chicago mayor.

·       Martin Luther King, Jr. organized a boycott of Montgomery, AL segregated public transportation.

·       Music was recorded on tape in stereo.

·       September 10, Bert Parks began a 25-year career as host of the “Miss America Pageant” on NBC.



·       Libya’s first oil well went into production.

·       Seat belts were introduced to the public.

·       Nikita Khrushchev announced, “History is on our side. We will bury you!”

·       Budweiser Brewery introduced Busch beer.

·       Ampex Corporation demonstrated the first successful video tape recorder.

·       May 21, the U.S. exploded the world’s first airborne hydrogen bomb.

·       June 29, Congress authorized the construction of a 42,500-mile network of roads linking major U.S. cities.

·       July 30, “In God We Trust” was adopted as the U.S. national motto.

·       September 9, 54,000,000 people watched Ed Sullivan introduce Elvis Presley on national television.



·       The nation’s first nuclear power plant was activated in DuPage County, IL.

·       4.3 million baby boomers were born – more than any prior year or any year since.

·       August 26, Ford Motor Company rolled out the first of 110,847 Edsel cars.

·       Barry Gordy, Jr. invested $700.00 to found Motown Records.

·       Doctors began testing the first birth control pill.

·       For the first time, U.S. consumption of margarine surpassed that of butter.

·       In October and November, Russia launched Sputnik I and Sputnik II. Sputnik I weighed 184 pounds and Sputnik II carried a dog into space.

·       Wham-O Company introduced the Frisbee.

·       Over 1,000 computers were built – up 500% from 20 built in 1954.

·       President Eisenhower used federal troops to control integration demonstrations in Little Rock, AR.

·       The first civil rights bill since the Civil War passed Congress - establishing the Civil Rights Commission.

·       The International Brotherhood of Teamsters was thrown out of the AFL-CIO. Jimmy Hoffa became Teamsters chief.

·       The Wankel rotary engine, which used only two moving parts was introduced in German and Japanese cars.



·       The first section of Illinois toll highways was opened from O’Hare Airport to the Wisconsin border.

·       A fire at Our Lady of Angels elementary school in Chicago claimed the lives of 92 children and 3 nuns.

·       The U.S. experienced an economic recession as unemployment exceeded 5%.

·       The median U.S. family annual income was just over $5,000.00.

·       For the first time in 26 years, U.S. postal rates went up to $0.04.

·       VISA and American Express cards were introduced.

·       Sweet n’ Low was introduced using saccharin instead of sugar and Cocoa Puffs were introduced containing 43% sugar.

·       The Boeing 707 went into production.

·       The Brooklyn Dodgers became the Los Angeles Dodgers.

·       The first Grammy Award was given to the song, “Volare”.

·       The first Pizza Hut opened in Kansas City.

·       Shell Oil Company started drilling in Ogoni.

·       The U.S. intervened in Lebanon when Pro-Nasser Arabs led a revolution.

·       The U.S. launched it’s first satellite called Explorer I into space.

·       The Wham-O Company introduced the Hula Hoop – over 1,000,000 were sold.

·       Elvis Presley was inducted into the Army.



·       The Chicago White Sox won their first American League championship since the 1919 Black Sox scandal, but lost the World Series to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

·       Chicago native Lorraine Hansberry won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for “A Raisin in the Sun”, which was the first play by a black woman to be presented on Broadway.

·       Alaska and Hawaii were admitted to the U.S.

·       Bell Labs experimented with artificial intelligence.

·       Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper died in a plane crash near Clear Lake, IA.

·       Fidel Castro took over the leadership of Cuba.

·       Japan automakers produced 79,000 automobiles while Ford introduced the Falcon and American Motors the Rambler.

·       Mattel introduced Barbie to 20,000,000 baby boomers.

·       On September 4 (because of teenage stabbings in New York City), “Mack The Knife” was banned from WCBS Radio.

·       Sony introduced the first transistorized TV set.

·       The U.S. Nautilus traveled under the North Pole.

·       Two U.S. engineers invented the microchip, which led to the founding of Intel Corporation.

·       Vice President Nixon opened an American exhibit in Moscow and engaged Premier Khrushchev with what became known as the “Kitchen Debate”.



·       World population was 3.02 billion.

·       U.S. population was 179,325,671 in 50 states.

·       Chicago population was 3,550,404 (2nd only to NYC).

·       U.S. unemployment was 3,852,000.

·       U.S. national debt was $286.3 Billion.

·       Average US annual salary was $4,743. For teachers it was $5,174.

·       U.S. minimum wage was $1.00.

·       U.S. life expectancy was 66.6 years for men and 73.1 years for women.

·       U.S. auto deaths grew to 21.3 per 100,000.

·       An estimated 850,000 baby boomers entered college; emergency living quarters were set up in dorm lounges, hotels and trailer camps.

·       Chester Carlson, a patent lawyer, invented the machine that revolutionized the business world, the Xerox 914 copier.

·       The first working laser was built by Theodore Maiman.

·       The best class ever, graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School.





Heartbreak Hotel

Elvis Presley

Don’t Be Cruel

Elvis Presley

Whatever Will Be Will Be (Que Sera Sera)

Doris Day

My Prayer

The Platters

The Wayward Wind

Gogi Grant

The Poor People of Paris

Les Baxter

Lisbon Antiqua

Nelson Riddle

Hound Dog

Elvis Presley

Moonglow & Theme from Picnic

Morris Stoloff

Rock & Roll Waltz

Kay Starr

Memories Are Made of This

Dean Martin

Love Me Tender

Elvis Presley

I Almost Lost My Mind

Pat Boone

I Want You, I Need You, I Love You

Elvis Presley

The Great Pretender

The Platters

Hot Diggity

Perry Como

Canadian Sunset

Eddie Heywood & Hugo Winterhalter

No, Not Much

The Four Lads

The Green Door

Jim Lowe

Blue Suede Shoes

Elvis Presley



All Shook Up

Elvis Presley

Bye Bye Love

The Everly Brothers

Little Darlin’

The Diamonds

Round and Round

Perry Como

So Rare

Jimmy Dorsey

Don’t Forbid Me

Pat Boone

Singing the Blues

Guy Mitchell

Young Love

Sonny James

Too Much

Elvis Presley

Young Love

Tab Hunter

Love Letters in the Sand

Pat Boone


Debbie Reynolds

Party Doll

Buddy Knox

Teddy Bear / Loving You

Elvis Presley

Banana Boat (Day-O)

Harry Belafonte

You Send Me

Sam Cooke

A White Sport Coat

Marty Robbins

Come Go With Me

The Del Vikings

Wake Up Little Suzie

The Everly Brothers

Jailhouse Rock

Elvis Presley




Domenico Modugno


Elvis Presley

All I Have To Do Is Dream

The Everly Brothers

Witch Doctor

David Seville


Perez Prado

Sail Along Silvery Moon / Raunchy

Billy Vaughn

Catch A Falling Star / Magic Moments

Perry Como


The Champs

It’s All In The Game

Tommy Edwards

Return To Me

Dean Martin

It’s Only Make Believe

Conway Twitty

The Purple People Eater

Sheb Wooley

Bird Dog / Devoted To You

The Everly Brothers

He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands

Laurie London

Little Star

The Elegants

Stood Up / Waitin’ In School

Ricky Nelson

Get A Job

The Silhouettes

Twilight Time

The Platters


Jimmie Rodgers



Mack The Knife

Bobby Darin

The Battle Of New Orleans

Johnny Horton


Lloyd Price


Frankie Avalon

Lonely Boy

Paul Anka

Mr. Blue

The Fleetwoods

The Three Bells

The Browns

Come Softly To Me

The Fleetwoods

Kansas City

Wilbert Harrison

Dream Lover

Bobby Darin

Sleep Walk

Santo & Johnny

Put Your Head On My Shoulder

Paul Anka

Stagger Lee

Lloyd Price


Ritchie Valens

(‘Til) I Kissed You

The Everly Brothers

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

The Platters

Charuk Brown

The Coasters

Quiet Village

Martin Denny

My Heart Is An Open Book

Carl Dobkins, Jr.

Pink Shoelaces

Dodie Stevens



Cathy’s Clown

The Everly Brothers

He’ll Have To Go

Jim Reeves

Theme From “A Summer Place”

Percy Faith

It’s Now Or Never

Elvis Presley

Teen Angel

Mark Dinning

I’m Sorry

Brenda Lee

Running Bear

Johnny Preston

Handy Man

Jimmy Jones

Stuck On You

Elvis Presley

The Twist

Chubby Checker

Everbody’s Somebody’s Fool

Connie Francis


The Hollywood Argyles


The Brothers Four

What In The World’s Come Over You

Jack Scott

El Paso

Marty Robbins

Wild One

Bobby Rydell

My Heart Has A Mind Of It’s Own

Connie Francis

Sweet Nothin’s

Brenda Lee

Only The Lonely

Roy Orbison

Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polkadot Bikini

Brian Hyland