On the fourth of June, 1956, I came into this world.
56 years ago, in 1956.
11 years after the end of WWll. Three years after my parents got married.
Thanks to my parents, I have a Colliers yearbook from 1957 covering the year 1956.
So let’s see what was going on back then.
It was the 500th anniversary of the printing of the Gutenberg Bible. The first book printed with movable type.
Elvis came to the attention of America’s teenagers.
He is described in this way by a writer from Colliers:
“For reasons which have concerned serious observers, his style of singing became a craze overnight. His singing voice has been described as negligible. So-called “rock-and-roll” music is essentially a mixture of rural Negro and hillbilly singing, to the accompaniment of a heavy musical beat.”
That was in the Personalities section. Under music there is no mention of anything coming close to rock and roll.
He released the following songs in 1956:
Blue Suede Shoes (a Carl Perkins song)
Don’t Be Cruel
Love Me Tender
Bell Telephone introduced an experimental picture phone. You could see a 2″ by 3″ picture of the person you were talking to.
Now of course, there is Skype.
In a little more realistic achievement, home stereophonic sound was introduced. Seems fitting that stereos and rock and roll came into being at the same time.
We have MP3’s now.
The motion picture industry finally relented and decided to allow their films to be available for viewing on TV stations.
Netflix. On Demand.
Colliers devoted 8 paragraphs to Drug Addiction. Oddly enough, they fail to mention any of the drugs by name. They estimate 60,000 people in the U.S. are addicts.
There are too many things that are counted as addictions to come up with a number now. Eating. Not eating. Sex. Being addicted to addiction.
Disneyland celebrated its first year of operation. Three and a half million people went there in that year.
To date, 600 million people have visited Disneyland.
The population of the U.S. was 167,191,000.
As of last year the population is 311,000,000.
I don’t really have anything profound to say about that year. I know a lot has happened since then in the world.
I think of my grandmother who was born in 1900.
She was alive for the Wright Brothers. From the first flight to people using planes for commercial transportation.
The birth of the automobile.
Silent motion pictures.
World War l
Talking motion pictures
The Roaring Twenties.
The Great Depression.
World War ll
Then in her 56th year, she got to see her fourth grandchild come into this world.
Now THAT is an impressive 56 year history.
Way to go, Grandma.