Return to home
3, Bart (Clair Barth) Johnson baseball, was born.: pitcher: Chicago
(440 Int'l. 1/3/99)
1950 Jan 3, Rick MacLeish,
hockey player, was born: London Nationals, Oklahoma City Blazers,
Philadelphia Flyers, Hartford Whalers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Detroit
(440 Int'l. 1/3/99)
1950 Jan 3, Victoria Principal,
actress, was born: Dallas, Fantasy Island, Scott Turow’s The Burden
of Proof, Naked Lie, Blind Witness, Mistress, Pleasure Palace,
Earthquake, Life & Times of Judge Roy Bean.
(440 Int'l. 1/3/99)
1950 Jan 5, Carson McCuller's
"Member of the Wedding," premiered in NYC.
1950 Jan 6, Britain recognized
the Communist government of China.
1950 Jan 6, Isaiah Bowman
(b.1878), Canadian-born geographer, died in Baltimore, Md. He
served as the director of the American Geographical Society
1916-1935 and then became president of John Hopkins Univ.
1950 Jan 8, Joseph A.
Schumpeter (b.1883), Austrian-German-American economist, died in
Connecticut. In 1911 while teaching at Czernowitz (now in the
Ukraine), he wrote his “Theory of Economic Development,” where he
first outlined his famous theory of entrepreneurship. In 1942 he
published his fifth book "Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy." In
2007 Thomas K. McCraw authored “Prophet of Innovation: Joseph
Schumpeter and Creative Destruction.”
(WSJ, 4/5/07, p.D7)(Econ, 4/28/07, p.94)
1950 Jan 12, Sec. of State Dean
Acheson in a speech placed South Korea and Formosa outside the US
defense perimeter in Asia. Japan, Okinawa, Philippines, and the
Aleutians were inside the perimeter to be defended.
1950 Jan 14, US recalled all
consular officials from China.
1950 Jan 14, Ho Chi Minh
proclaimed the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV).
1950 Jan 17, In Boston 11 men
robbed the Brink's office of $1.2M cash & $1.5M securities. The
1978 film "The Brink’s Job" starred Peter Falk and Peter Boyle. It
was based on the nonfiction book "The Big Stick-Up at Brink’s" by
1950 Jan 19, Communist Chinese
leader Mao recognized the Republic of Vietnam.
1950 Jan 21, Former State
Department official Alger Hiss, accused of being part of a Communist
spy ring, was found guilty in New York of lying to a grand jury.
Hiss, who always maintained his innocence, was sentenced to five
years in prison; he served less than four.
1950 Jan 21, George Orwell
(46), author, died in London of tuberculosis. His books included
Down and Out in Paris and London" (1933) and "1984." William
Abrahams (d.1998), editor and novelist, co-authored the 2-volume
biography of Orwell: "Life, Death and Art in the Second World War,"
and "Journey to the Frontier" with Peter Stansky. In 2000 Jeffrey
Meyers authored the biography "Orwell: Wintry Conscience of a
Generation." Orwell married Sonia Brownell (1918-1980) on his
deathbed. In 2003 Hilary Spurling authored "The Gril from the
Fiction Department," a biography of Sonia Orwell. In 2003 D.J.
Taylor authored "Orwell : The Life."
(AP, 1/21/98)(SFC, 6/5/98, p.D7)(SFC, 6/25/98,
p.B12)(SFEC, 10/1/00, BR p.5)(WSJ, 5/16/03, p.W10)(SSFC, 9/28/03,
1950 Jan 23, The Israeli
Knesset approved a resolution proclaiming Jerusalem the capital of
(SFC,12/11/97, p.C2)(AP, 1/23/98)(HN, 1/23/99)
1950 Jan 24, Jackie Robinson
signed highest contract ($35,000) in Dodger history.
1950 Jan 26, India officially
proclaimed itself a republic as Rajendra Prasad took the oath of
office as president.
1950 Jan 29, Ann Jillian,
actress (Mr. Mom, Jennifer Slept Here), was born in Cambridge, Mass.
1950 Jan 29, Riots broke out in
Johannesburg, South Africa, over Apartheid.
1950 Jan 29, The French
National Assembly approved legislation granting autonomy to Bao
Dai's State of Vietnam.
1950 Jan 31, President Truman
announced that he had ordered full-speed development of the hydrogen
(TMC, 1994, p.1950)(AP, 1/31/98)
1950 Jan 31, Paris protested
the Soviet recognition of Ho Chi Minh's Democratic Republic of
1950 Jan, The Federal Hourly
Minimum Wage was set at $0.75 an hour.
1950 Feb 2, Nuclear physicist
Klaus Fuchs was arrested on spy charges. The Klaus Fuchs (d.1988)
confession revealed that the Soviet Union obtained the atomic bomb
from sources within the Manhattan Project. It was later revealed
that Theodore Alvin Hall, a scientist on the project, passed
information to the Soviets. The story is told in the 1997 book:
"Bombshell: The Secret Story of America’s Spy Conspiracy" by Joseph
Albright and Marcia Kunstel. Fuchs served 9 ½ years in a British
prison. Ruth Werner (d.2000) served as a contact for Fuchs in
p.A19)(SFEC, 12/21/97, BR p.7)(SFC, 7/11/00, p.A23)
1950 Feb 3, Morgan Fairchild,
[Patsy McClenny], actress (Falcon Crest), born in Dallas, Tx.
1950 Feb 3, The song "Rag Mop"
by The Ames Brothers hit #1.
1950 Feb 6, Natalie Cole,
vocalist (Pink Cadillac, Miss You Like Crazy, Mona Lisa), was born
in LA, Calif.
1950 Feb 7, The United States
recognized Vietnam under the leadership of Emperor Bao Dai, not Ho
Chi Minh who was recognized by the Soviets.
1950 Feb 9, In a speech at the
Republican Women's Club in Wheeling, W. Va., Sen. Joseph McCarthy,
R-Wis., charged the State Department was riddled with Communists and
that he had a list of them. He asserted that Sec. of State Dean
Acheson knew this and refused to do anything about it. McCarthy said
there were 205 communists working in the US State Dept.
(AP, 2/9/99)(WSJ, 12/6/99, p.A32)(WSJ, 2/9/00,
p.A26)(WSJ, 5/12/98, p.A20)
1950 Feb 10, Mark Spitz,
Modesto Calif, swimmer (Oly-9 gold/silver/bronze-68,72), was born.
1950 Feb 12, Albert Einstein
warned against the hydrogen bomb on US national TV.
1950 Feb 13, A US Air Force
B-36 crashed near the coast of northern British Columbia during a
simulated nuclear attack on San Francisco. 12 of 17 men on board
survived. A Mark 4 bomb, which lacked a plutonium core needed for a
nuclear blast, was dropped over the ocean before the plane crashed.
1950 Feb 13, Albania recognized
Ho Chi Minh’s Vietnamese government, becoming the sixth Eastern bloc
country to do so.
1950 Feb 15, WM Inge's "Come
Back, Little Sheba," premiered in NYC.
1950 Feb 15, Walt Disney's
animated "Cinderella" was released.
1950 Feb 15, Joseph Stalin and
Mao Tse-tung signed a mutual defense treaty in Moscow.
1950 Feb 17, In New York 31
people died in a train crash at Long Island’s Rockville Center.
1950 Feb 18, John Hughes,
director (Breakfast Club, 16 Candles, Weird Science), was born in
1950 Feb 20, Welsh author-poet
Dylan Thomas arrived in NYC for his 1st US poetry reading tour.
1950 Feb 21, The United States
formally broke relations with Bulgaria.
1950 Feb 23, New York’s
Metropolitan Museum exhibited a collection of Hapsburg art. It was
the first showing of this collection in the U.S.
1950 Feb 25, The comedy-variety
program "Your Show of Shows," starring Sid Caesar, Imogene Coca,
Carl Reiner and, later, Howard Morris, debuted on NBC-TV. The show’s
writers included Mel Brooks, Neil Simon & Woody Allen.
1950 Feb 25, George Richards
Minot (b.1885), physician (Nobel-1934), died.
(WUD, 1994 p.913)(Internet)
1950 Feb 25, In Czechoslovakia
Josef Toufar (b.1902), a Catholic priest was tortured to death by
investigators after the secret police claimed he staged a fake
miracle in his church in Cihost where a cross began to move for no
obvious reason during a Mass.
1950 Feb 26, Leonard
Bernstein's "Age of Anxiety" premiered in NYC.
1950 Feb 26, Harry Lauder
(b.1870), notable Scottish entertainer, died. He was, at one time,
the highest-paid performer in the world, making the equivalent of
£12,700 a night plus expenses, and was the first British performer
to sell more than a million records.
1950 Feb 28, The French
Assembly in Paris decided to limit the sale of Coca-Cola.
1950 Feb, Frank McNamara paid
for a meal at Major’s Cabin Grill in NYC with his newly invented
Diners Club card. The cardboard card was the first charge card that
could be used at multiple establishments.
(WSJ, 2/5/99, p.A1)(Econ, 12/10/05, p.88)
1950 Feb, The Viet Minh began
an offensive against French troops in Indo China.
1950 Mar 1, Chiang Kai-shek
resumed the presidency of Nationalist China in Taipei.
1950 Mar 1, Klaus Fuchs was
sentenced in London to 14 years for atomic espionage.
1950 Mar 1, Kim Soo-im
(b.1911), a former US-employed assistant and lover to provost
marshal Col. John E. Baird, was arrested by South Korean police,
joining thousands of others ensnared in President Syngman Rhee's
roundups of leftists — workers and writers, teachers, peasants and
others with suspect politics. She was soon tried and executed in
June by South Korea as an alleged spy.
1950 Mar 1, USSR issued golden
1950 Mar 2, Karen Carpenter was
born. (drummer, singer: Grammy Award-winning group: The Carpenters:
Best New Artist, Group w/Vocal: Close to You , We've Only Just
Begun, Top of the World, Please Mr. Postman)
(HC, Internet, 2/3/98)
1950 Mar 2, Silly Putty was
introduced to the public. Silly Putty was accidentally invented in
1943 by James Wright of General Electric.
1950 Mar 5, Edgar Lee Masters
(b.1868), poet (Spoon River Anthology), novelist, died in
1950 Mar 8, Marshall Voroshilov
of the USSR announced the Soviet Union had developed an atomic bomb.
[see August 29, 1949]
(PC, 1992 ed, p.922)
1950 Mar 9, Space Patrol
debuted as a local, 15-minute show that aired live five days a week
in Los Angeles and ran to 1955. Norman Jolley (d.2002), evil Agent
X, acted in the series and wrote scripts. Ed Kemmer (1921-2004)
played Commander Buzz Corry. Joanne Jordan played the evil Queen
Mirtha. In 2005 Jean-Noel Bassior authored “Space Patrol: Missions
of Daring in the name of Early Television.”
(SFC, 8/23/02, p.A27)(SFC, 11/17/04, p.B8)(SFC,
10/17/08, p.B8)(SFC, 9/25/09, p.D10)
1950 Mar 9, Willie Sutton
robbed the NYC Manufacturers Bank of $64,000.
1950 Mar 11, Jerry Zucker, film
director and TV producer, was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
1950 Mar 14, The FBI began its
"10 Most Wanted" list after a reporter asked for the names and
descriptions of the "toughest guys" the FBI would like to capture.
(SFEC, 4/30/00, Par p.4)
1950 Mar 15, "Consul" opened at
Barrymore Theater in NYC.
1950 Mar 16, Acheson called for
a seven-point cooperation plan with the Russians.
1950 Mar 17, Scientists at the
University of California at Berkeley announced they had created a
new radioactive element, which they named "californium."
1950 Mar 18, Nationalist troops
landed on the mainland of China and captured Communist held Sungmen.
1950 Mar 19, Edgar Rice
Burroughs (74), sci-fi author and the creator of Tarzan, died. He
wrote 24 Tarzan novels and 50 other thrillers. In 1999 John
Taliaferro authored the biography "Tarzan Forever."
(SFEC, 5/9/99, Par
1950 Mar 20, The government of
Poland decided to confiscate the property of Polish church.
1950 Mar 22, A one-page memo
was addressed to FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover from Guy Hottel, then
head of the FBI's Washington, D.C., field office. It relayed some
information from an informant. The subject: FLYING
SAUCERS INFORMATION CONCERNING: "An investigator for the Air Force
stated that three so-called flying saucers had been recovered in New
Mexico. They were described as being circular in shape with raised
centers, approximately 50 feet in diameter. Each one was occupied by
three bodies of human shape but only 3 feet tall, dressed in
metallic cloth of a very fine texture. Each body was bandaged in a
manner similar to the blackout suits used by speed fliers and test
pilots.” The file was released in April 2011 under the Freedom of
Information Act. The memo is dated nearly three years after the
infamous events in Roswell in July 1947.
1950 Mar 23, At the Academy
Awards, "All the King's Men" won best picture of 1949; its star,
Broderick Crawford, won best actor. Olivia de Havilland won best
actress for "The Heiress."
1950 Mar 23, "Great to Be
Alive" opened at Winter Garden Theater in NYC for 52 performances.
1950 Mar 23, UN World
Meteorological Organization was established.
1950 Mar 23, Sophocles
Venizelos formed liberal Greeks government.
1950 Mar 26, Senator Joe
McCarthy named Owen Lattimore, an ex-State Department adviser, as a
1950 Mar 27, Maria Ewing, opera
singer, was born in Detroit, Mich.
1950 Mar 30, President Truman
denounced Senator Joe McCarthy as a saboteur of U.S. foreign policy.
1950 Mar 30, Phototransistor
invention was announced in Murray Hill, NJ. It was invented by Dr.
John Northrup Shive of the Bell Telephone Laboratories.
1950 Apr 1, The SF population
was 775,357. The census later said 4 of 10 people in SF owned their
own homes with a median value of $11,930. The average SF adult
completed 11.7 years of school and over 19% went on to college.
(SFC, 12/28/01, WB p.G7)(SFC, 1/31/03, p.E4)
1950 Apr 1, Charles R. Drew
(45), surgeon, developer of blood bank concept, died.
1950 Apr 3, Kurt Julian Weill
(50), German composer (Dreigroschenoper), died. His best known work
is the music for "The Threepenny Opera." His work also included "Der
Jasager." He was married to the singer Lotte Lenya. Letters between
the two over a period of 26 years have been edited and translated in
a book by Lys Symonette and Kim H Kowalke: "Speak Low (When You
Speak Love)." His work also included the theater piece "Der Weg der
Verheissung" (The Eternal Road). In 2002 Foster Hirsch authored
"Kurt Weill on Stage: From Berlin to Broadway."
(SFC, 5/26/96, BR p.6)(WSJ, 5/4/99, p.A20)(SSFC,
1950 Apr 3, Carter G. Woodson
(b.1875), black historian, died. Woodson is best known for is the
creation of what became "Black History Month," begun in 1926 as
"Negro History Week." The idea of learning more about black history
caught on in schools all over the country. Many scholars recognize
him as the “Father of Black History.” His work included “The Negro
in Our History” (1922).
1950 Apr 8, A US Navy Privateer
airplane flew from Wiesbaden, West Germany, to spy over the Soviet
Union with 10 people on board. Soviet reconnaissance spotted the
plane over Latvia and shot it down.
1950 Apr 8, Vaslav Fomich
Nijinsky (b.1889), Ukraine-born ballet dancer, died in London. He
created 4 ballets that included "The Afternoon of a Fawn" and "Jeux"
with music by Claude Debussy.
1950 Apr 9, Bob Hope made his
first television appearance. Hope began his career on an NBC
television special after years on radio. "I’d better get into
television before Milton Berle used up my material."
(SFC, 10/24/96, p.D5)(HN, 4/9/98)
1950 Apr 11, Bill Irwin, actor
and choreographer, was born.
1950 Apr 14, A national
security report , NSC-68, was presented to Pres. Truman. It was in
response to a directive issued by Truman on January 31: “to
undertake a reexamination of our objectives in peace and war and of
the effect of these objectives on our strategic plans, in the light
of the probable fission bomb capability and possible thermonuclear
bomb capability of the Soviet Union.”
1950 Apr 18, The first
transatlantic jet passenger trip was made.
1950 Apr 23, Chiang Kai-shek
evacuated Hainan, leaving mainland China to Mao and the communists.
(AP, 4/23/98)(HN, 4/23/99)
1950 Apr 24, "Peter Pan" opened
at Imperial Theater in NYC for 320 performances.
1950 Apr 24, Jordan annexed the
West Bank and offered citizenship to all Palestinians wishing to
(SFC, 2/8/99, p.A6)
1950 Apr 25, Steve Ferrone,
drummer (Average White Band), was born.
1950 Apr 25, Chuck Cooper
became the 1st black to play in the NBA.
1950 Apr 27, South Africa
passed the Group Areas Act, formally segregating races.
1950 May 1, Gwendolyn Brooks
became the first African American to win the Pulitzer Prize for her
book of poetry called "Annie Allen."
1950 May 1, Lothrop Stoddard
(1883), American political theorist, historian, eugenicist, and
anti-immigration advocate, died. He wrote a number of prominent
books of early 20th-century scientific racism including “The Rising
Tide of Color Against White World Supremacy” (1920).
1950 May 1, New marriage laws
were enforced in People's Republic China.
1950 May 1, South Africa’s 1927
Immorality Act, which prohibited sex between whites and blacks, was
amended to prohibit sex between whites and all non-whites.
1950 May 6, Liz Taylor wed
Conrad Hilton Jr. in her first marriage.
1950 May 6, Agnes Smedley,
American journalist and writer, died. She was best known for her
chronicling of the Chinese revolution.
1950 May 8, The US Government
convinced that neither national independence nor democratic
evolution exist in any area dominated by Soviet imperialism,
considers the situation to be such as to warrant its according
economic aid and military equipment to the Associated State of
Indochina and to France in order to assist them in restoring
stability and permitting these states to pursue their peaceful and
1950 May 13, Steveland Morris
Hardaway (AKA Stevie Wonder) was born prematurely, in Saginaw, Mi.,
as Steveland Judkins. Too much oxygen in the incubator caused the
baby to become permanently blind. At the age of ten, Little Stevie
Wonder, as he was called by Berry Gordy at Motown, was discovered
singing and playing the harmonica. He had many hits during his teens
including "Fingertips" and as an adult he has earned an Oscar and at
least 16 Grammy Awards. He has stood up for civil rights and
campaigned against cancer, AIDS, drunk driving and the plight of
1950 May 13, Diner's Club
issued its 1st credit cards.
(SS, Internet, 5/13/97)
1950 May 14, In Turkey the
Democratic Party won 52% of the votes in its first free elections
and Adnan Menderes (b.1899) became prime minister.
1950 May 18, "Liar" opened at
Broadhurst Theater in NYC for 12 performances.
1950 May 21, French sources
reported that Viet Minh guerrillas had infiltrated Cambodia and
opened an arms-smuggling corridor to Thailand.
1950 May 22, Richard Strauss'
"4 Last Songs" (4 letzte Lieder) were performed in London.
1950 May 25, Brooklyn-Battery
Tunnel opened in NYC.
1950 May 29, Rebbie [Maureen]
Jackson, singer (R U Tuff Enuff), was born in Gary, IN.
1950 May, The magazine
Astounding Science Fiction published "Dianetics" by L. Ron Hubbard.
His book "Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health was
published later in this year. The Church of Scientology was later
based on Dianetics.
(WSJ, 5/12/97, p.A15)(SFC, 2/12/01, p.A13)
1950 Jun 2, Joanna Gleason,
actress (Morgan-Hello Larry), was born in Toronto, Canada.
1950 Jun 3, French expedition
reached the top of Himalayan peak of Annapurna in Nepal. Maurice
Herzog (1919-2012) became the first man to climb the 8,000-meter
peak despite losing all his fingers and toes to frostbite. He later
went on to scale the heights of French politics.
1950 Jun 8, Alex Van Halen,
drummer for the hard rock group Van Halen, was born.
1950 Jun 17, Surgeon Richard
Lawler performed the first kidney transplant operation in Chicago.
1950 Jun 23, Northwest Airlines
Flight 2501, a DC-4 propliner operating its daily transcontinental
service between New York City and Seattle, crashed into Lake
Michigan killing 58 people. This was to date the worst commercial
airliner accident in American history.
1950 Jun 23, Swiss parliament
refused voting rights for women.
1950 Jun 24, In Brazil the
Maracana stadium in Rio was officially inaugurated for the opening
of soccer’s World Cup, the first in 12 years due to WW II.
1950 Jun 25, The Korean War
started as forces from the communist North invaded the South. It
lasted till 1953. A Truman administration statement that Korea was
“outside the US defense perimeter” in the Pacific was said to have
invited the attack. Gen. McArthur led a UN expeditionary force in
response to North Korea’s attack on South Korea. The Chinese entered
the war and the UN forces were pushed into a Christmas retreat. 2.5
million people were killed. No peace treaty was ever signed. About
1.7 million Americans were involved and there was an estimated 3 mil
casualties including 150,000 (54,246) Americans and over 1 mil
Chinese. In 1990 North Korean officials revealed that Stalin
knew about and encouraged North Korea’s aggression as did Mao
(NG, Aug., 1974, p.255)(WSJ, 8/8/95, p. A15)(SFC,
4/8/96, p.A-9)(SFEM, 11/10/96, p.12)(SFC, 2/17/96, p.A26)(AP,
6/25/97)(WSJ, 7/21/97, p.A22)
1950 Jun 26, President Truman
authorized the US Air Force and Navy to enter the Korean conflict.
1950 Jun 27, Julia Duffy,
actress (Stephanie-Newhart, Baby Talk), was born in Minneapolis,
1950 Jun 27, President Truman
ordered the Air Force and Navy into the Korean conflict following a
call from the United Nations Security Council for member nations to
help South Korea repel an invasion from the North.
1950 Jun 27, North Koreans
troop reached Seoul. UN Security Council called on members for
troops to aid South Korea.
(HN, 6/27/98)(MC, 6/27/02)
1950 Jun 27, US sent 35
military advisers to South Vietnam.
1950 Jun 27, Milada Horakova
(b.1901), a Czechoslovak politician, was executed by Communists on
trumped-up charges of conspiracy and treason. As a one of few women
ever executed in Czechoslovakia she is regarded as a symbol of
anti-Communist resistance for her firm and courageous stance during
her trial. In 2007 Ludmila Brozova-Polednova (86), former communist
prosecutor, was found guilty of a charge of abetting judicial
1950 Jun 28, The South Korean
government blew up the Han River Bridge, the southern escape route
for many Seoul residents, just hours before the North Koreans
(SFEC, 6/25/00, p.A13)
1950 Jun 28, General Douglas
MacArthur arrived in South Korea as Seoul fell to the North Korean
(AP, 6/28/97)(HN, 6/28/98)
1950 Jun 29, President Harry S.
Truman authorized a sea blockade of Korea.
1950 Jun 30, President Harry
Truman ordered U.S. troops into Korea and authorizes the draft. On
that same day B-29 ‘Superfortresses’ bombed targets in North Korea.
1950 Jun, The FBI arrested
David Greenglass, younger brother of Ethel Rosenberg. He confessed
to spying the same day.
(WSJ, 10/1/01, p.A22)
1950 Jun-1950 Jul, The South
Korean government of Syngman Rhee arrested tens of thousands due to
fear that leftists would collaborate with the North Koreans sweeping
down the peninsula. Rhee ordered the murders of thousands of
political opponents and some of their mass graves were not found
until the late 1990s. In 2009 a government commission said South
Korean soldiers and police executed nearly 5,000 citizens during the
early months of the 1950-53 Korean War, fearing they could
collaborate with invading North Korean troops.
(SFC, 4/21/00, p.A19)(WSJ, 6/5/00, p.A32)(AP,
1950 Jul 1, American ground
troops arrived in South Korea to stem the tide of the advancing
North Korean army.
1950 Jul 1, The European
Payment Union (EPU) came into being, by agreement of the country
members of the Organization for European Economic Cooperation
(OEEC). The latter had replaced the original Committee of
European Economic Cooperation (CEEC), in April, 1948, and is an
organization of European recipients of U.S. economic assistance.
1950 Jul 3, US Pres. Truman
signed public law 600. It provided federal statutory authorization
for the people of Puerto Rico to write their own constitution.
1950 Jul 3, American and North
Korean forces clashed for the first time in the Korean War. U.S.
carrier-based planes attacked airfields in the Pyongyang-Chinnampo
area of North Korea in the first air-strike of the Korean War.
(AP, 7/3/98)(HN, 7/3/98)
1950 Jul 5, American forces
engaged the North Koreans for the first time at Osan, South Korea.
1950 Jul 5, Private Kenneth
Shadrick of Skin Fork, West Virginia, became the first US serviceman
to die in the Korean War.
1950 Jul 5, Salvatore Giuliano
(b.1922), Sicilian bandit, was shot by police in Castelvetrano.
1950 Jul 7, South Africa’s
Population Registration Act commenced. It required that each
inhabitant of South Africa be classified and registered in
accordance with their racial characteristics as part of the system
of apartheid. It was repealed by section 1 of the Population
Registration Act, Repeal Act No 114 of 1991.
1950 Jul 8, President Harry
Truman named US Gen. Douglas MacArthur as commander-in-chief of
United Nations forces assisting the South Koreans.
(WSJ, 6/24/96, C1)(AP, 7/8/97)(HN, 7/8/99)
1950 Jul 10, "Your Hit Parade"
premiered on NBC (later CBS) TV.
1950 Jul 16, Brazil, host for
soccer’s World Cup, lost the final game to Uruguay 2-1. Uruguay’s
goals came in 13 minutes late in the second half.
1950 Jul 18, Richard Branson,
British music entrepreneur (Virgin Atlantic), was born.
1950 Jul 18, Carl Clinton Van
Doren (b.1885), US literary critic and biographer, died in
1950 Jul 20, In one of the
first American actions in the Korean War, the U.S. Army’s Task Force
Smith was pushed back into the Naktong perimeter by superior North
1950 Jul 20, US planes strafed
refugees south of Yusong.
(SFC, 12/29/99, p.A12)
1950 Jul 23, American soldiers
ordered villagers from Chu Gok Ri and warned them of approaching
North Koreans. The villagers fled to Im Ke Ri.
(SFC, 1/12/01, p.A8)
1950 Jul 24, The U.S. Fifth Air
Force relocated from Japan to Korea.
1950 Jul 24, Robert W.
Lehnhoff, [Executioner of Groningen], SS Führer, was executed.
1950 Jul 24-1950 Jul 27, US
orders in the 25th Infantry Division were issued to treat civilians
in the Korea battle zone as enemy.
(SFC, 1/12/01, p.A8)
1950 Jul 25, Top staff officers
of the US 8th Army, Muccio's representative Harold J. Noble and
South Korean officials met and decided on a policy of air-dropping
leaflets telling South Korean civilians not to head south toward US
defense lines, and of shooting them if they did approach US lines
despite warning shots. This information was in a letter from
ambassador John J. Muccio to US Sec. of State Dean Rusk. The letter
was declassified in 1982 .
1950 Jul 25, American soldiers
In Korea ordered villagers away from Im Ke Ri and sent them on the
road to Hwanggan.
(SFC, 1/12/01, p.A8)
1950 Jul 25, The Goethe Link
Observatory discovered asteroids #1799 Koussevitsky, #1822 Waterman
1950 Jul 26, United States
military involvement in Vietnam began as President Harry Truman
authorized $15 million in military aid to the French.
1950 Jul 26-1950 Jul 29, US
troops killed up to 300 South Korean refugees trapped under a bridge
at No Gun Ri. The villagers had gathered there to avoid strafing
from US planes which killed some 100. US troops feared the refugees
included infiltrators from North Korea. The killings were not made
public until 1999. On Jan 11, 2001 the US Army admitted that
civilians were massacred and Pres. Clinton offered his regrets. The
US Army blamed the "fog of war" in apology and acknowledgement. In
2007 the Army acknowledged it had found, but did not divulge, that a
high-level document said the US military had a policy of shooting
approaching civilians in South Korea.
(SFC, 9/30/99, p.A1,16)(WSJ, 6/5/00, p.A32)(SSFC,
12/30/01, p.D2)(AP, 4/13/07)
1950 Jul 29, After 3 days of US
fire into underpasses, the 2nd Battalion pulled away. Koreans said
300 were left dead at the bridge at No Gun Ri.
(SFC, 1/12/01, p.A8)
1950 Jul 31, India and Nepal
signed a treaty of peace and friendship.
(http://tinyurl.com/mdf3sk5)(Econ, 8/2/14, p.32)
1950 Jul, In Korea the US Army
lost 2,834 soldiers with 2,486 wounded in July.
(WSJ, 10/6/99, p.A22)
1950 Jul, Some 1800 political
prisoners were executed over 3 days at Taejon (Daejeon). The
executions were ordered to prevent the release of the prisoners by
advancing North Korean military. Later evidence indicated that South
Korean executioners killed between 3,000 and 7,000 at Daejeon.
(SFC, 4/21/00, p.A19)(AP, 5/19/08)
1950 Aug 1, Lead elements of
the U.S. 2nd Infantry Division arrived in Korea from the United
1950 Aug 2, Lance Ito, judge in
the OJ Simpson trial, was born.
1950 Aug 2, The U.S. First
Provisional Marine Brigade arrived in Korea from the United States.
1950 Aug 3, John Landis,
American film director, was born.
1950 Aug 3, A US Military
Assistance Advisory Group (MAAG) of 35 men arrives in Saigon. By the
end of the year, the US was bearing half of the cost of France's war
effort in Vietnam. Pres. Truman gave military aid to the Vietnamese
regime of Bao-Dai.
1950 Aug 3, In South Korea Maj.
Gen'l. Hobart R. Gay ordered the demolition of the Waegwan Bridge
over the Naktong River to prevent enemy crossings. The bridge was
filled with refugees. 25 miles down river the 650-foot long
Tuksong-dong bridge was also destroyed as refugees crossed.
(SFC, 10/14/99, p.A6)
1950 Aug 8, U.S. troops
repelled the first North Korean attempt to overrun them at the
battle of Naktong Bulge, which continued for 10 days.
1950 Aug 8, Florence Chadwick
(1918-1995) swam the English Channel from France to Dover in 13
hours and 23 minutes. A year later she swam the reverse in 16:22.
1950 Aug 8, Nicolai Yakovlevich
Miaskovsky (b.1891), Russian composer, died.
1950 Aug 10, President Harry S.
Truman called the National Guard to active duty to fight in the
1950 Aug 10, In South Korea
some 200-300 prisoners were killed by South Korean police near
(SFC, 4/21/00, p.A19)
1950 Aug 14, Gary Larson,
cartoonist (Far Side), was born in Tacoma, Washington.
1950 Aug 14, Indonesia’s
legislature adopted a provisional constitution that called for a
parliamentary democracy with government to be responsible to a
unicameral House of Representatives elected directly by the people.
Sukarno became president under the new system.
1950 Aug 15, Two U.S. divisions
were badly mauled by the North Korean Army at the Battle of the
Bowling Alley in South Korea, which raged on for five more days.
1950 Aug 15, A magnitude 8.6
earthquake in Assam, Tibet, killed at least 780 people.
1950 Aug 18-1950 Aug 25, The
Battles of the Bowling Alley took place during the Korean War in a
narrow valley north of Tabu-dong, Korea on the Taegu-Sangju road.
There the U.S. Army‘s 27th Infantry Division and the Republic of
Korea‘s (ROK) 1st Infantry Division faced off against a determined
effort by the North Korean People‘s Army‘s 1st and 13th Infantry
Divisions to break through that segment of the Pusan perimeter. It
was part of the overall effort of the ROK forces and the U.S. Eighth
Army to stop the North Korean advance.
1950 Aug 19, Edith Sampson
became the first African-American representative to the United
1950 Aug 20, South Korean
police and soldiers killed 210 people on the southern island of
(SFC, 4/21/00, p.A19)
1950 Aug 22, Althea Gibson
became the first black tennis player to be accepted in competition
for the national championship.
1950 Aug 23, Up to 77,000
members of the U.S. Army Organized Reserve Corps were called
involuntarily to active duty to fight the Korean War.
1950 Aug 25, President Truman
ordered the Army to seize control of the nation’s railroads to avert
a strike. The railroads were returned to their owners 2 years later.
(AP, 8/25/97)(SFC, 10/4/02, p.A17)
1950 Aug 25, The navy hospital
ship USS Benevolence sank after it was struck by the SS Mary
Luckenbach in dense fog in the Golden Gate. 23 crew members of the
Benevolence died. San Francisco fisherman John A. Napoli
single-handedly rescued 70 people from the Benevolence. Napoli hurt
his back wand was forced to sell his crab boat. In 1961 US Congress
passed a bill to pay Napoli for his efforts.
(SSFC, 5/15/11, DB p.46)
1950 Aug 27, Charles Fleischer,
comedian (Roger Rabbit), was born in Wash, DC.
1950 Aug 31, Three North Korean
divisions opened an assault on UN lines on the Naktong River in a
push to take Pusan.
(SSFC, 11/7/04, Par p.4)
1950 Aug, In Belgium as Prince
Baudouin took the oath to succeed his father after years of tumult
over the monarchy, Communist leader Julien Lahaut shouted from the
crowd: "Long Live the Republic!" A week later two men turned up at
Lahaut's door and shot him four times with a Colt 45 revolver at
point blank range. The case was officially shelved in 1972. In 2012
the government has approved fresh funds to solve the crime.
1950 Sep 1, West Berlin was
granted a constitution.
1950 Sep 1, In South Korea the
USS DeHaven received an order from its Shore Fire Control Party to
open fire on a large group of refugee personnel located on Pohang
beach. Witnesses said 100 to 200 civilians were killed in the Navy
1950 Sep 1, US Company C, 1st
Battalion of the 23rd Infantry Regiment, was almost completely
annihilated as North Korean divisions opened an assault on UN lines
on the Naktong River. Only Company C and other elements of the 2nd
Infantry Division stood in the path.
(SSFC, 11/7/04, Par p.4)
1950 Sep 4, The Beetle Bailey
cartoon appeared for the 1st time in syndication. Beatle Bailey, the
laziest private in the army, was created by Mort Walker.
(USAT, 8/31/00, p.1D)(SFC, 6/18/96, p.B2)
1950 Sep 4, The 1st helicopter
rescue of American pilot behind enemy lines.
1950 Sep 4, A heavy typhoon
struck Japan and killed about 250 people.
1950 Sep 5, Cathy Guisewite,
cartoonist and creator of the “Cathy” cartoon strip, was born in
Dayton, Ohio. In 2010 Guisewite said her cartoon strip, begun in
1976, would end on Oct 3.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cathy_Guisewite)(SFC, 8/12/10, p.A12)
1950 Sep 9, "Where's Charley?"
closed at St James Theater NYC after 792 performances.
1950 Sep 9, There were massive
arrests of communists in France.
1950 Sep 10, In South Korea 43
American war planes dropped 93 napalm canisters over Wolmi to clear
out its eastern slope for UN troops. Village residents later said
dozens of people were killed.
(SSFC, 8/3/08, p.A16)
1950 Sep 11, The 1st
typesetting machine to dispense with metal type was exhibited.
1950 Sep 11, Jan C. Smuts,
co-founder of British RAF and S. African PM (1919-48), died at 80.
1950 Sep 15, During the Korean
conflict, United Nations forces landed at Inchon in the south and
began their drive toward Seoul. Considered the greatest amphibious
attack in history, it was the zenith of General Douglas MacArthur's
career. The newly organized X Corps under the command of General
Douglas MacArthur launched an amphibious invasion of Korea’s western
coast at Inchon, the port of the Korean capital, Seoul. After two
days of naval bombardment, U.S. Marines, seen here using scaling
ladders to climb up to dry land, seized the offshore island of
Wolmi-do and proceeded inland against surprisingly light resistance.
By September 26, American forces had captured Seoul.
(AP, 9/15/97)(HN, 9/15/99)(HNPD, 9//99)
1950 Sep 15, US troop landed on
Wolmi-Do island off of Seoul.
1950 Sep 16, Henry Louis Gates
Jr., critic and scholar, was born.
1950 Sep 16, The U.S. 8th Army
broke out of the Pusan Perimeter in South Korea and began heading
north to meet MacArthur’s troops heading south from Inchon.
1950 Sep 19, Allied foreign
ministers announced in NY that they regarded Adenauer's government
to be "the only German Government freely and legitimately
constituted and therefore entitled to speak for Germany as the
representative of the German people in international affairs."
1950 Sep 19, The UN rejected
membership of China's People Republic.
1950 Sep 22, Meryl Streep,
actress (Silkwood), was born.
1950 Sep 22, Omar N. Bradley
was promoted to the rank of five-star general, joining an elite
group that included Dwight D. Eisenhower, Douglas MacArthur, George
C. Marshall and Henry H. "Hap" Arnold.
1950 Sep 23, Congress adopted
the Internal Security Act, which provided for registration of
communists. The Act was ruled later unconstitutional by the US
Supreme Court. US Sen. Pat McCarran (Nevada) legislated the Internal
Security Act, which included a jumble of restrictions on speech and
association. Pres. Truman attempted an unsuccessful veto of the
McCarran Act, which gave the government unprecedented powers.
(WSJ, 3/18/99, p.W17)(MC, 9/23/01)(WSJ, 10/13/04,
1950 Sep 23, US Mustangs
accidentally bombed British troops on Hill 282 in Korea. 17 were
1950 Sep 24, In "Operation
Magic Carpet" all Jews from Yemen moved to Israel.
1950 Sep 26, The California
state legislature passed a bill requiring state employees to sign a
(SSFC, 6/9/02, p.F2)
1950 Sep 26, General Douglas
MacArthur's American X Corps, fresh from the Inchon landing, linked
up with the U.S. Eighth Army after its breakout from the Pusan
Perimeter. United Nations troops recaptured the South Korean capital
of Seoul from the North Koreans. [see Sep 27]
(AP, 9/26/97)(HN, 9/26/99)
1950 Sep 26, Because of forest
fire in British Columbia a blue moon appeared in England.
1950 Sep 26, Indonesia was
admitted to the UN.
1950 Sep 27, U.S. Army and
Marine troops liberated Seoul, South Korea.
1950 Sep 29, General Douglas
MacArthur officially returned Seoul, South Korea, to President
1950 Sep 30, Radio's "Grand Ole
Opry" was broadcasted on TV for 1st time.
1950 Sep 30, U.N. forces
crossed the 38th parallel separating North and South Korea as they
pursued the retreating North Korean Army.
1950 Sep, A secret US Army and
Navy experiment spread Serratia marcescens bacteria, because of its
red pigment, and Bacillus globigii, because of its formed spores
similar to anthrax, off the coast of San Francisco Bay from a mine
laying ship for 6 days. The bacteria was thought to be harmless, but
the germs sent 11 people to hospitals and killed one person. Edward
J. Nevin, from a heart infection. In 1977 Senate subcommittee
hearings the Army revealed that it had staged the mock biological
(SFC, 2/21/98, p.A15)(WSJ, 10/22/01, p.A1)(AH,
1950 Oct 2, The comic strip
"Peanuts," created by Charles M. Schulz (28), was syndicated to
seven newspapers as "Li'l Folks." It started with only four
characters: Charlie Brown, Peppermint Patty (Reichardt), Shermy and
the world's most famous beagle, Snoopy. Schulz announced his
retirement in 1999 with the last Peanuts to appear Feb 13, 2000.
(SFC, 11/29/97, p.C1)(SFC, 12/15/99, p.E1)(AP,
1950 Oct 2, Mao Tse Tung sent a
telegram to Stalin. China intervened in Korea.
1950 Oct 7, Mother Teresa
(1910-1997), known in India as the "saint of the gutters", received
permission from the Vatican to start a diocesan congregation that
would become the Missionaries of Charity order of nuns in Calcutta.
1950 Oct 7, The United Nations
General Assembly passed a resolution to establish a unified and
1950 Oct 7, The United Nations
General Assembly approved an advance by UN forces north of the 38th
Parallel in the Korean Conflict.
1950 Oct 9, U.N. forces, led by
the First Cavalry Division, crossed the 38th parallel in South Korea
and began attacking northward towards the North Korean capital of
Pyongyang. Photographer Edwin Hoffman (d.1998 at 74) was the first
correspondent to cross the 38th parallel.
1950 Oct 11, The Federal
Communications Commission authorized the Columbia Broadcasting
System (CBS) to begin commercial color TV broadcasts.
1950 Oct 14, In Washington
state westbound traffic opened on the new fortified bridge over the
Tacoma Narrows. The new design was approved after a model passed
wind tunnel tests designed by engineering Prof. Frederick Burt
1950 Oct 14, Chinese Communist
Forces began to infiltrate the North Korean Army.
1950 Oct 14, Rev. Sun Young
Moon was liberated from Hung Nam prison (Korea).
1950 Oct 15, President Harry
Truman met with General Douglas MacArthur at Wake Island to discuss
U.N. progress in the Korean War.
1950 Oct 15, John Jacob Raskob
(b.1879), former General Motors executive and developer of the
Empire State Building, died.
1950 Oct 18, Wendy Wasserstein,
playwright, was born. Her work included "The Heidi Chronicles."
1950 Oct 18, Connie Mack, the
"Grand Old Man" of major league baseball, announced he was retiring
as manager of the Philadelphia Athletics.
1950 cOct 18, US forces drove
north across the 38th parallel into the Peoples Republic of North
(SFEC, 12/15/96, zone 1 p.5)
1950 Oct 18, The First Turkish
Brigade arrived in Korea to assist the U.N. forces fighting there.
1950 Oct 19, United Nations
forces entered the North Korean capital of Pyongyang.
(AP, 10/19/97)(HN, 10/19/98)
1950 Oct 20, Henry L. Stimson
(b.1867), former Secretary of War and Secretary of State, died.
1950 Oct 21, Chinese forces
(SFC, 6/14/96, p. C1)(MC, 10/21/01)
1950 Oct 21, North Korean
Premier Kim Il-sung established a new capital at Sinuiju on the Yalu
River opposite the Chinese City of Antung.
1950 Oct 23, Al Jolson (64),
singer and actor (Jazz Singer), died. He was born in Russia as Asa
1950 Oct 25, Chinese Communist
Forces launched their first phase offensive across the Yalu River
into North Korea.
1950 Oct 25, Sukarno was
appointed president of Republic Indonesia.
1950 Oct 26, Mother Theresa
(d.1997), known in India as the "saint of the gutters", founded the
Missionaries of Charity global order of nuns in Calcutta.
(MC, 10/26/01)(AP, 9/26/04)
1950 Oct 26, A reconnaissance
platoon for a South Korean division reached the Yalu River. They
were the only elements of the U.N. force to reach the river before
the Chinese offensive pushed the whole army down into South Korea.
1950 Oct 27, Fran Leibowitz,
writer, was born. Her work included "Metropolitan Life" and "Social
1950 Oct 30, The First Marine
Division was ordered to replace the entire South Korean I Corps at
the Chosin Reservoir area.
1950 Oct 30, Gen'l. Douglas
McArthur ordered a combined Marine and Army outfit to cross the 38th
parallel and "mop up" remaining North Korean soldiers. 12,000
Marines found themselves surrounded by 8 Chinese divisions. The
marines lost 4,000 men and the Chinese lost 37,500. Joseph Owen
later authored "Colder Than Hell: A Marine Rifle Company at the
Chosin Reservoir," a first person account of the fighting. In 1999
Martin Russ published "Breakout: The Chosin Reservoir Campaign." The
novel "The Marines of Autumn" by Michael Brady was based on this
(WSJ, 8/6/99, p.W7)(WSJ, 5/26/00, p.W8)
1950 Oct 31, John Candy,
comedian (SCTV, Uncle Buck), was born in Ontario, Canada.
1950 Oct, Hank Ketcham began
his cartoon strip "Dennis the Menace."
(SFC, 9/20/97, p.E1)(SFC, 12/15/99, p.E1)
1950 Oct, The TV show “Tom
Corbett, Space Cadet” (1950-1955) premiered with Frankie Thomas
(1921-2006) as Tom Corbett.
(SFC, 5/17/06, p.B7)
1950 Oct, Franciscan Friar
Alfred Boeddeker founded St. Anthony’s Dining Room in San Francisco
to feed the poor and luckless. He started from St. Boniface Church
on Jones St. in the Tenderloin with 350 meals a day. In 1953 his
organization acquired a farm in Sonoma County for therapeutic
discourse and physical work.
(SFC, 5/23/96, p.A24)(SFC, 1/7/05, p.B1)
1950 Oct, Chamdo, Tibet, fell
to Chinese occupation.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Chamdo)(Econ, 10/5/13, p.98)
1950 Nov 1, Two members of a
Puerto Rican nationalist movement, Oscar Collazo and Griselio
Torresola, tried to force their way into Blair House in Washington
to assassinate President Truman. The attempt failed, and one of the
pair Griselio Torresola, was shot dead. On July 24, 1952, Truman
commuted Collazo’s death sentence to life imprisonment, on the same
day he signed an act enlarging the self-government of Puerto Rico.
In 2005 Stephen Hunter authored “American Gunfight: The Plot to Kill
(AP, 11/1/97)(HN, 11/1/98)(HNQ, 1/24/02)(WSJ,
1950 Nov 1, In North Korea US
Rev. Emil Kapaun (b.1916) began helping the wounded at the 2-day
battle of Unsan, where his 8th Cavalry regiment was overrun by
Chinese forces. He died in a North Korean POW camp in May, 1951. In
2013 he was awarded the Medal of Honor, an upgrade from an earlier
Distinguished Service Cross.
(SFC, 4/12/13, p.A6)
1950 Nov 2, George Bernard Shaw
(b.1856), Irish-born, English dramatist (Pygmalion), critic and
social reformer, died. Michael Holroyd later authored a 3-volume
biography of Shaw.
(V.D.-H.K.p.237)(HN, 7/26/98)(SFEC, 3/5/00, DB
1950 Nov 4, The European
Convention on Human Rights was signed in Rome. 5 protocols were
added later. Alleged violations were handled by the European Court
of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France.
1950 Nov 5, Billy Graham’s
“Hour of Decision” was first broadcast as a live radio program from
1950 Nov 5, A US bomber caught
fire and crashed while flying over China’s southern Guangdong
province. Its mission was not known. Records and eyewitness accounts
indicated that four bodies were buried at the crash site, while the
fate of the other 11 on board wasn't clear.
1950 Nov 6, A Chinese offensive
was halted at Chongchon River, North Korea.
1950 Nov 7, Alexa Canady, first
female African American neurosurgeon, was born.
1950 Nov 7, Richard Nixon won a
seat in the US Senate.
(SSFC, 6/9/02, p.F2)
1950 Nov 8, During the Korean
conflict the first all-jet air combat took place over Korea as U.S.
Air Force Lieut. Russell J. Brown shot down a North Korean MiG-15.
It lasted about 30 seconds.
(SFC, 10/11/97, p.E3)(AP, 11/8/97)
1950 Nov 10, Spanish dictator
Generalissimo Francisco Franco ended war in Gibraltar.
1950 Nov 16, US Pres. Truman
proclaimed an emergency crisis caused by communist threat.
1950 Nov 16, Egyptian king
Farouk demanded the departure of all British troops.
1950 Nov 18, Bureau of Mines
disclosed its first production of oil from coal in practical
1950 Nov 18, South Korea Pres.
Syngman Rhee was forced to end mass executions.
1950 Nov 20, U.S. troops pushed
to Yalu River within five miles of Manchuria.
1950 Nov 20, Francesco Cilea
(84), opera composer, died.
1950 Nov 22, In New York 78
died in a train crash in Richmond Hills (later Kew Gardens), NY.
1950 Nov 24, The musical "Guys
and Dolls," based on the writings of Damon Runyon and featuring
songs by Frank Loesser, opened on Broadway.
1950 Nov 24, UN troops began an
assault with the intent to end the Korean War by Christmas.
1950 Nov 25, UN gave Eritrea to
1950 Nov 26, China entered the
Korean conflict, launching a counter-offensive across the Yalu River
against soldiers from the United Nations, the United States and
South Korea. North Korean and Chinese troops halted the UN
(WSJ, 6/24/96, C1)(AP, 11/26/97)(HN,
1950 Nov 27, East of the Chosin
River, Chinese forces annihilated an American task force. Col.
Barber (d.2002 at 82) and 220 soldiers in Fox Company withstood a
5-day assault to protect an escape pass.
(HN, 11/27/98)(SFC, 4/23/02, p.A18)
1950 Nov 28, Ed Harris, actor
(Right Stuff, Swing Shift, Walker, Coma), was born in Tenafly, NJ.
1950 Nov 28, In Korea, 200,000
Communist troops launched attack on UN forces.
1950 Nov 30, President Truman
declared that the U.S. would use the A-bomb to get peace in Korea.
1950 Nov, Inexperienced but
well trained and eager to show their mettle, the first Turkish
troops arrived in Korea just in time to face the Chinese onslaught.
1950 Nov, The 1st Turkish
Brigade was commanded by Brig. Gen. Tahsin Yazici. He was
highly regarded in the Turkish military establishment and willingly
stepped down a rank in order to command the first contingent of
Turks in Korea. He had only one drawback—no real command of
English—yet he was attached to an American division. Later, that
lack of language proficiency would prove to be a major hindrance to
his understanding of orders and troop deployments.
1950 Dec 1, In North Korea a US
company of soldiers encountered a swarming Chinese assault near
Kunu-ri. Army Sgt. Richard Desautels was among those captured and
taken to a POW compound, known as Camp 5, near Pyoktong. In 2003
Chinese authorities said Desautels became mentally ill and died on
April 29, 1953, and was buried in a Chinese cemetery.
(SFC, 6/20/08, p.A11)
Dec 2, Dinu Lipatti (b.1917), Romania-born pianist, died of leukemia
in Geneva, Switz.
1950 Dec 3, The Chinese closed
in on Pyongyang, Korea and UN forces withdrew southward.
1950 Dec 4, University of
Tennessee defied court rulings by rejecting five Negro applicants.
1950 Dec 4, In North Korea the
US Navy's first black pilot, Ensign Jesse Brown, was downed in his
fighter plane in the Jangjin Reservoir. Wing man Lt. j.g. Thomas
Hudner crashed landed his plane in a failed attempt to save Brown.
In 2013 Hudner returned to the site of the crash.
1950 Dec 5, Pyongyang in Korea
fell to the invading Chinese army.
1950 Dec 9, President Truman
banned U.S. exports to Communist China.
1950 Dec 9, Harry Gold got 30
years imprisonment for passing atomic bomb secrets to the Soviet
Union during World War II.
1950 Dec 10, Dr. Ralph J.
Bunche (b.1904) became the first African-American to receive the
Nobel Peace Prize.
(AP, 12/10/97)(HN, 12/10/98)
1950 Dec 13, James Dean began
his career with an appearance in a Pepsi commercial.
1950 Dec 16, President Truman
proclaimed a state of National Emergency (as Chinese communists
invaded deeper into South Korea) in order to fight "Communist
(AP, 12/16/97)(HN, 12/16/98)
1950 Dec 17, French named
Marshal de Lattre de Tassigny to command their troops in Vietnam.
1950 Dec 19, The North Atlantic
Council named General Eisenhower supreme commander of Western
European defense forces of NATO.
1950 Dec 19, Tibet's Dalai Lama
fled a Chinese invasion.
1950 Dec 20, "Harvey," starring
James Stewart, premiered in NY.
1950 Dec 23, General Walton H.
Walker, the commander of the Eighth Army in Korea, was killed in a
jeep accident. Lieutenant General Matthew B. Ridgeway was named his
1950 Dec 25, Scottish
nationalists stole the Stone of Scone from the British coronation
throne in Westminster Abbey. The 485 pound stone was recovered in
1950 Dec 26, Emile Enthoven
(47), composer, died.
1950 Dec 27, U.S. and Spain
1950 Dec 27, Max Beckmann
(b.1884), German painter, died in New York. The Nazis had branded
him a degenerate artist in 1937 and he moved to the US in 1946. His
work included the triptychs Departure (1932-1935) and Beginning
(1946-1949), and the Self-Portrait in Tails (1937). He was a
figurative painter in an age of abstraction.
(SSFC, 1/27/02, p.C7)(WSJ, 7/16/03, p.D8)(WSJ,
1950 Dec 28, Chinese troops
crossed the 38th Parallel into South Korea.
1950 Dec 30, Vietnam, Laos and
Cambodia became independent states in a French Union.
1950 Dec 31, Charles Koechlin
(b.1867), French composer, teacher and writer on music, died in
France. He visited the USA four times to lecture and teach in
1918-19, 1928, 1929 and 1937. On the second and third visits he
taught at the University of California, Berkeley.
1950 By this year Americans
broke off in gestural and coloristic directions under the broad
umbrella called abstract expressionism also called the New York
(WSJ, 9/10/96, p.A16)
1950 The first possible
"happening" occurred at Black Mountain College with John Cage,
Charles Olson, Robert Rauschenberg, Franz Kline and Mary Richards.
(SFC, 9/21/99, p.E4)
1950 Alberto Giacometti made
his sculpture "Walking man III." It sold for $2.9 million in 1998.
(WSJ, 5/15/98, p.W12)
1950 Ellsworth Kelly painted
his abstract "La Combe I."
(SFC, 10/29/96, p.F3)
1950 Willem de Kooning, leading
light of the New York School, painted "Excavation," maelstroms of
weaving and careening lines and roiling forms.
(WSJ, 12/5/96, p.A16)(SFC, 3/20/97, p.A6)(SFC,
1950 Pierre Molinier painted
"Oh...Marie! Mere de Dieu." It was a sexually explicit crucifixion
scene with a hermaphroditic Christ swathed in fishnet.
(WSJ, 11/22/96, p.A14)
1950 Georgia O’Keeffe painted
"In the Patio VIII."
(SFEC, 9/7/97, BR p.9)
1950 Jackson Pollock painted
"Autumn Rhythm" and "Number 29, 1950," which incorporated wire,
string, colored glass and pebbles. His work "Number 3" was composed
of oil, enamel and aluminum paint on fiberboard.
(WSJ, 11/5/97, p.A20)(WSJ, 11/10/98, p.A20)(SFC,
1950 Charles Preston conceived
the "Pepper and Salt" cartoon for the Wall Street Journal.
(WSJ, 11/2/99, p.A24)
1950 Robert Rauschenberg
painted "Mother of God."
(WSJ, 9/25/97, p.A20)
c1950 Shozo Shimamoto made his
delicately perforated newspaper collage "Work (Holes)."
(SFC, 2/10/98, p.E4)
1950 Theodor Adorno
(1903-1969), German philosopher, authored “The Authoritarian
Personality,” an inquiry into the fascist potential of American
(WSJ, 4/18/08, p.W5)
1950 Jean Anouilh wrote the
play "The Rehearsal."
(WSJ, 11/27/96, p.A10)
1950 Isaac Asimov published “I,
Robot,” a book of short stories. In the book he wrote the Three Laws
of Robotics, which were designed to prevent robots from harming
(Econ, 6/10/06, Survey p.18)
1950 Samuel Taylor wrote the
play "The Happy Time," based on a novel by Robert Fontaine.
(SFC, 5/27/00, p.A26)
1950 Herb Caen quit the SF
Chronicle and joined the rival SF Examiner where he stayed until
1958. He also wrote his 3rd book "Baghdad 1951."
1950 Alistair Cooke published
"A Generation on Trial" It was about the Alger Hiss trial.
(SFEC, 11/29/98, Z1 p.7)
1950 Catherine Cookson (d.1998
at 91), English writer, published her first book, an
autobiographical novel titled "Kate Hannigan." She went on write
over 90 novels and was made a Dame in 1993.
(SFC, 6/13/98, p.A21)
1950 Elizabeth David
(1913-1992), nee Gwynne, published "A Book of Mediterranean Food,"
which changed British cuisine. In 2001 Artemis Cooper authored
"Writing At the Kitchen Table: The Authorized Biography of Elizabeth
(SSFC, 3/18/01, BR p.7)
1950 Thor Heyerdahl published
"Kon-Tiki." He had led a six-man expedition that sailed from Peru
aboard a balsa wood raft named the Kon-Tiki on a 101-day journey
across the Pacific Ocean to Polynesia in 1947.
(AP, 4/28/97)(WSJ, 5/22/97, p.A13)
1950 Dr. Paul Holmer (d.1997 at
98) wrote "The Authoritarian Personality."
(SFC, 6/27/97, p.A24)
1950 L. Ron Hubbard, founder of
Scientology, authored his sci-fi novel “To the Stars.”
(SSFC, 12/26/04, p.E2)
1950 Walter Henry Judd
(1898-1994), American politician, authored “Autopsy on our Blunders
1950 Felicia Kaplan (d.1999 at
83), poet and writer, authored her first book, the best-selling
novel "Mink on Weekdays."
(SFC, 12/25/99, p.B4)
1950 Jack Kerouac published his
1st novel "The Town and the City."
(SFEC, 6/18/00, BR p.7)
1950 Walter Korn (d.1997 at
89), chess authority, wrote "The Brilliant Touch in Chess."
(SFC, 7/29/97, p.A18)
1950 Doris Lessing (1919-2013),
British writer, authored her first novel “The Grass Is Singing.” a
look at race in Rhodesia and the effect that harsh colonial
experience had on both oppressor and oppressed.
(Econ, 10/23/10, p.101)(Econ, 11/30/13, p.90)
1950 Alan Lomax authored
“Mister Jelly Roll”
(WSJ, 9/27/08, p.W10)
1950 Judith Merril (d. 1997 at
74), science fiction writer and sci-fi collector, wrote "Shadow on
the Hearth," a novel about nuclear war.
(SFC, 9/18/97, p.C2)
1950 Octavio Paz (36), poet and
essayist, published "The Labyrinth of Solitude," his classical study
of the Mexican character.
(SFC, 4/20/98, p.A17)(Econ, 11/18/06, Survey p.4)
1950 Mervyn Peake (1911-1968) authored his
fantasy novel “Gormenghast.” It was the 2nd of a 3-novel cycle. The
first was “Titus Groan” (1946) and the 3rd was “Titus Alone” (1959).
1950 David Riesman (d.2002)
co-authored "The Lonely Crowd" with Reuel Denney and Nathan Glazer.
It described how one can live in a culture of conformity and still
feel a sense of alienation. The terms "inner directed" and "outer
directed" were here introduced.
(WSJ, 5/15/02, p.A18)
1950 G. Ledyard Stebbins
(d.2000 at age 94) published "Variation and Evolution in Plants." He
provided detailed argument that plants were subject to the same
processes of evolution as animals.
(SFC, 1/22/00, p.A21)
1950 Prof. Stefan Reisenfeld
(d.1999 at 90) of UC Berkeley published "Modern Social Welfare"
along with UCLA Law Dean Richard Maxwell.
(SFC, 2/23/99, p.A22)
1950 Darcy Ribeiro,
anthropologist (1923-1997), wrote "Kadiweu Religion and Mythology."
He studied the Kadiweu and Kaapor Indians of Brazil.
(SFC, 2/20/96, p.A20)
1950 Lillian Ross wrote a
naughty and intoxicating portrait of Ernest Hemingway.
(WSJ, 5/22/98, p.W10)
1950 Ray Bradbury, science
fiction writer, published his "Martian Chronicles." A CD-ROM based
on the book was released in 1995.
(WSJ, 11/22/95, p.A-3)
1950 Ernest Hemingway wrote his
novel "Across the River and into the Trees."
(HT, 3/97, p.52)
1950 "The Beautiful Visit" by
Elizabeth Jane Howard was published. This prize-winning novel began
(WSJ, 8/2/96, p.A10)
1950 "The Lion, the Witch, and
the Wardrobe" by C.S. Lewis was published.
(SFEC, 2/27/00, BR p.12)
1950 Dr. Seuss authored "If I
Ran the Zoo." In it he introduced the word "nerd."
(SFEC, 4/16/00, Z1 p.2)
1950 Kazuo Shimada (1907-1996),
Japanese mystery writer, won the Mystery Writer Of Japan award for
his book "Shakai-bu Kisha" (City Reporter).
(SFC, 6/18/96, p.A17)
1950 The editors of Gourmet
Magazine published the "Gourmet Cookbook."
(SFEM, 8/10/97, p.23)
1950 The noir film “Tension”
starred Audrey Totter.
(SFC, 12/18/13, p.A11)
1950 The Broadway musical "Guys
and Dolls" featured Stubby Kaye (d.1997 at 79). It was made into a
film in 1955.
1950 Robert Sidney (1909-2008)
stage-directed “Bing Crosby on Broadway.”
(SFC, 4/2/08, p.B9)
1950 The Arthur Murray Party
began showing on TV and ran intermittently to 1960. The show was
hosted by Kathryn Murray (d.1999 at 92) used comedy and celebrity to
sell ballroom dancing to the public. Arthur Murray died in 1991.
(SFEC, 8/8/99, p.D8)
1950 The Jack Benny Show
featured Eddie "Rochester" Anderson as a foil for Benny.
(SSFC, 2/11/01, BR p.1)
1950 The "Broadway Open House"
TV show began and later evolved into the "Tonight Show."
(SFC, 10/29/96, p.B2)
1950 The "Cisco Kid" TV series
began with Duncan Renaldo and Leo Carrillo. The series lasted to
(SFC, 12/27/00, p.C6)
1950 George Francis Hayes
(1865-1969) moved to television and hosted The Gabby Hayes Show, a
western series, from 1950 to 1954, and a new version in 1956.
1950 The TV show "You Bet Your
Life" with Groucho Marx began and George Fenneman (1919-1997) began.
The show lasted until 1961.
(SFC, 6/5/97, p.A26)
1950 Hot Springs, NM, voted
1,294-295 to change its name to Truth or Consequences. Radio show
host Ralph Edwards had promised to broadcast from the town that
agreed to change its name to that of his radio show.
(SFC, 11/17/05, p.B5)
1950 The Carter Family joined
the Grand Ole Opry radio show.
(SFC, 7/31/99, p.A17)
1950 Baby Face Leroy recorded
"Rollin’ and Tumblin’" with Muddy Waters and Litter Walter. A copy
of the record sold for $4,400 in 1997.
(SFC, 7/25/97, p.D5)
1950 Bob Merrill had success
with his song "If I Knew You Were Coming I’d've Baked a Cake."
(SFC, 2/19/98, p.A22)
1950 Steve Nelson and Jack
Rollins wrote two hit songs: "Peter Cottontail" and "Frostie the
(SFC, 12/24/99, p.C3,8)
1950 Hank Snow (d.1999 at 85),
Canadian born singer and songwriter, made a hit with "I'm Moving
On." His follow-up song was "The Golden Rocket." He released some
140 albums over his career.
(SFC, 12/21/99, p.A27)
1950 Seymour Solomon (d.2002)
founded Vanguard Records with his brother Maynard. It became the
dominant label for American folk music.
(SFC, 7/22/02, p.B5)
1950 Walter Paepcke, chairman
of Container Corp. of America, founded the Aspen Institute in
Colorado as a gathering place for business leaders, artists and
philosophers to contemplate society’s underlying values: "a global
forum for leveraging the power of leaders to improve the human
condition;" "an educational institute that promotes leadership based
(WSJ, 1/31/03, p.W13)
1950 The US National Council of
Churches was founded.
(WSJ, 8/9/96, p.A1)
1950 Billy Graham founded the
Evangelistic Association and began the weekly "Hour of Decision"
(SFEC, 9/21/97, Z1 p.3)
1950 The Nature Conservancy was
founded by a handful of biologists and ecologists that included
Richard H. Pough (d.2003 at 99), who served as the 1st president.
(SFC, 6/26/03, p.A20)
1950 Pope Pius XII declared
that the bodily Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into heaven
was the "infallible" dogma of the Roman Catholic Church.
(SFC, 12/24/99, p.A15)
1950 Cedar Waters Village, a
Christian nudist resort in Nottingham, N.H., was founded.
(WSJ, 8/11/97, p.A1)
1950 Sam Walton in Bentonville,
Ark., hit on the idea of a large retail store in rural areas stocked
with the lowest-priced goods available and founded Wal-Mart. In 1962
he started his Wal-Mart discount chain.
(WSJ, 11/18/98, p.A20)(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R42)
1950 The first "Yield" sign was
installed in Tulsa. Okla. It read "Yield Right-Of-Way. Clinton E.
Riggs (d.1997 at 86), Tulsa police officer, developed the sign after
a decade of experimentation.
(SFEC, 5/25/97, p.C10)
1950 Colin Hampton (1911-1996)
and Margaret Rowell founded the California Cello Club. He was a
member of the 36-year-old Griller Quartet, renowned in England for
playing noon concerts at the National Gallery while bombs were
falling on London.
(SFC, 8/15/96, p.C4)
1950 The National Maritime
Museum in San Francisco was founded by newspaper editor Scott
(SFC, 5/28/96, p.A15)
1950 In San Francisco a
redevelpment agency was formed. Diamond Heights became its first
(SFC, 4/17/13, p.E5)
1950 In San Francisco Laguna
Honda Hospital added a rehabilitation program to help disabled
people of all ages enjoy more active, fulfilling lives.
(SFC, 8/26/08, p.B5)
1950 Elizabeth Taylor spent her
first honeymoon with Nicky Hilton in his El Paso, Texas, downtown
(Econ, 6/28/08, p.39)
1950 The first annual Sucker
Day was established in Wetumka, Okla., when it was sold a circus
that never showed by one F. Bam Morrison.
(WSJ, 8/22/96, p.B1)
1950 Edwin O. Guthman
(1919-2008) received the Pulitzer Prize for national reporting for
his stories in the Seattle Times on the Washington legislature’s
Un-American Activities Committee.
(SFC, 9/2/08, p.B3)
1950 Two doctors at the Mayo
Clinic were awarded the Nobel Prize for isolating cortisone to treat
rheumatoid arthritis. Edward Kendall, chemist, won a Nobel Prize for
(SFC, 7/5/96, PM, p.5)(MC, 3/8/02)
1950 Babe Didrikson Zaharias,
golfer, was named Woman Athlete of the Half-Century by AP.
(SFC, 5/21/03, p.A1)
1950 In the World Cup soccer
match the US had one upset win over England but lost its other 2
games. The team did not qualify again until 1990.
(WSJ, 5/15/98, p.W7)
1950 Bertrand Russell,
mathematician and philosopher, won the Nobel Prize for literature.
(WUD, 1994, p.1255)
1950 US Pres. Harry Truman sent
military personnel to Vietnam to aid French forces.
(SFEC, 4/23/00, p.A19)
1950 Rules for discharging US
homosexual service members were established in the Uniform Code of
Military Service and signed by Pres. Harry Truman.
(SFC, 12/23/10, p.A8)
1950 The NSC-68 document by
Paul Nitze (1907-2004) called for containment of the Soviet Union
and the building up of American nuclear forces. The 1958 document
laid the foundation for the strategy of global containment.
(WSJ, 1/21/98, p.A20)(SFEC, 11/28/99, BR
p.3)(SFC, 10/21/04, p.B7)
1950 Charles Stokes (1904-1996)
became the first black Washington state legislator. He served 3
House terms from the 37th district of Seattle.
(SFC, 12/2/96, p.D2)
1950 Richard Nixon ran against
Helen Gahagan Douglas for the US Senate. The race was documented in
the 1998 book: "Tricky Dick and the Pink Lady" by Greg Mitchell.
(SFEC, 1/25/98, BR p.3)
1950 The Feres doctrine was set
by the US Supreme Court in a ruling that barred active-duty military
personnel from suing for injuries caused by governmental action.
(SFC, 5/27/96, p.A2)
1950 The US put forward its
“uniting for peace” resolution to the UN to overcome the Soviet veto
on military intervention in Korea.
(Econ, 7/31/04, p.40)
1950 The US government lifted
the passport of singer Paul Robeson for his pro-Russian politics.
(SFC, 3/26/98, p.A26)
1950 The US Congress gave
corporate stock options beneficial tax treatment.
(WSJ, 12/27/06, p.A6)
1950 US Congress chartered the
Girl Scouts organization, which was founded in 1912.
(USAT, 3/23/04, p.9D)
1950 Alger Hiss (1904-1996),
former state dept. official, was convicted for lying to a grand jury
about Communist espionage activity.
(SFC, 11/16/96, p.A3)
1950 J. Parnell Thomas, R-N.J.
and chairman of the 1947 HUAC committee, was charged with padding
his congressional payroll and sentenced to jail. he was pardoned in
1952 by Pres. Truman.
(SFEC, 5/18/97, DB p.66)
1950 A Uniform Code of Military
Justice was adopted. Article 88 prohibited commissioned officers
from using "contemptuous words" against the president.
(SSFC, 6/9/02, p.A6)
1950 Military spending this
year totaled $12 billion.
(SSFC, 6/9/02, p.A4)
1950 A real bear from a New
Mexico fire that ravaged 17,000 acres near Capitan was pressed into
service as Smokey the Bear. He lived until 1976 at the Washington
National Zoo. The image of "Smokey the Bear" was created by an
artist in 1944 as the official forest-fire spokesbear. He was named
in 1945 reportedly in honor of Smokey Joe Martin, asst. chief of the
New York City Fire Dept.
(SFEC, 6/22/97, p.T6)
1950 Joel Barr (d.1998 at 82),
an electronics engineer, defected to Czechoslovakia and later
settled in the Soviet Union. He was linked to Julius and Ethyl
Rosenberg and was suspected of passing secret technology information
to the Soviets. Alfred Sarant, another electronics engineer, also
defected and the two men were instrumental in developing
microelectronics and the computer industry in the Soviet Union.
(SFEC, 8/16/98, p.D10)
1950 Milton S. Merlin
(1905-1996), producer and writer, was blacklisted when he refused to
testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee. He
produced "Thoroughbreds Don’t Cry," the first film that teamed Judy
Garland and Mickey Rooney. He later co-authored "May You Live to Be
(SFC, 11/2/96, p.A21)
1950 Morton Sobell was arrested
in Mexico for conspiracy to commit espionage. He was a co-defendant
in the Rosenberg trial and was sentenced to 30 years. He was
released in 1969 for good behavior.
(SFC, 4/19/02, p.A27)
1950 A rally in Washington DC
was organized to protest racial injustice. The rally led to the
formation of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights by Arnold
Aronson, A. Philip Randolph, and Roy Wilkins.
(SFC, 2/20/98, p.A23)
1950 John W. Nichols
(1914-2008) registered the first oil and gas drilling fund with the
Securities and Exchange Commission, creating a new kind of tax
(WSJ, 8/9/08, p.A12)
1950 German physicist and
engineer Wernher von Braun and a team of some 118 German scientists,
described as “prisoners of peace,” began arriving in Huntsville,
Alabama, to work on the US space program at Redstone Arsenal.
(WSJ, 11/10/04, p.A1)(Econ, 3/13/10, p.34)
1950 Becton Dickinson Corp.
acquired its Canadian sales agent, the Norman S. Wright Company, and
soon after MAPAD, SA, BD’s distributor in Mexico, and Industrias
Cirurgicas in Brazil.
(Echo, 12/09, p.3)
1950 General Motors agreed to
free health-care coverage for life along with generous pensions.
Chrysler and Ford were forced to offer similar benefits.
(Econ, 6/6/09, p.61)
1950 Dinky Toys made the its
2nd garbage truck toy, a Ford garbage truck.
(SFC, 2/4/98, Z1 p.6)
1950 Laclede Gas Light Co.,
St. Louis, changed its name to Laclede Gas Co. It had begun in 1857.
(WSJ, 5/28/96, R45)
1950 John Chancellor, reporter,
began his career with NBC at a Chicago affiliate known as WNBQ.
(SFC, 7/13/96, p.A5)
1950 Rimo C. Bacigalupi
(1900-1996) became the first curator of the Univ. of California’s
(SFC, 9/9/96, p.A26)
1950 Major floods hit northern
California. In Modesto the Tuolumne River crested at 69 feet, 9 feet
over flood level.
(SFC, 1/4/97, p.A1)
1950 Hazel Bishop (d.1998 at
92) formed Hazel Bishop Inc. to manufacture and market her kiss
proof lipstick. It was introduced in the summer at $1 a tube.
(SFC, 12/12/98, p.A25)
1950 Sam Phillips formed Sun
Records in Memphis, Ten. In 1954 Elvis Presley, who walked into his
studio to record a present for his mother.
(WSJ, 6/16/00, p.W2)
1950 Nash-Kelvinator introduced
the compact Rambler, a marked departure from big US cars.
(WSJ, 6/19/96, Adv. Supl)
1950 The Eckert-Mauchly
Computer Corp. was sold to Remington Rand. It later evolved into
Sperry Univac and then to Unisys.
(WSJ, 11/22/96, p.A12)
1950 Joseph Glickauf, engineer
for Arthur Anderson & Co., constructed the "Glickiac" computer,
which allowed the firm to help General Electric automate its
(WSJ, 6/7/02, p.A6)
1950 Pfizer Corp. received FDA
approval for the antibiotic Terramycin.
(SFEC, 8/27/00, p.B4)
1950 Drs. Ernst L. Wynder and
Evarts A. Graham published one of the first studies that showed
smokers had a greater risk of lung cancer than nonsmokers.
(SFEM, 6/2/96, p.12)
1950 In England Dr. Richard
Doll (1913-2005) and statistician Austin Bradford Hill published a
report that linked lung cancer to cigarette smoking.
(SFC, 7/26/05, p.B5)
1950 Luke Williams (d.2004) and
his brother Chuck invented a time-temperature sign that later became
common on office buildings throughout the world. The 1st one was
placed on a bank in downtown Spokane, Wa. In 1951 they formed
American Sign and Indicator.
(ST, 4/6/04, p.B5)
1950 The Wayne State Univ.
Council of Deans renamed their former high school building to “Old
(WSUAN, Winter 1997, p.10)
1950 In London Maurice Wilkins
and Rosalind Franklin (d.1958) produced pictures of X-ray
diffraction in aligned fibers of DNA. The lab for X-ray
crystallography was set up by physicist John Randall. Data from
these pictures led Watson and Crick to understand the structure of
DNA. In 1975 Anne Sayre (d.1998) published "Rosalind Franklin and
(Wired, 2/98, p.135)(SFC, 3/19/98, p.C4)
1950 About 3 million tons of
artificial nitrogen fertilizers were used on a global scale.
(NOHY, Weiner, 3/90, p.51)
1950 A stem rust outbreak
destroyed nearly 70% of North American wheat crops before a
resistant wheat was developed. In 2005 a mutating strain dubbed Ug99
spread across East Africa and threatened crops worldwide.
(SFC, 9/17/05, p.B8)
1950 By this time chestnut
trees were little more than a memory in most parts of North America.
The fungus Cryphonectria parasitica, which causes chestnut blight,
had arrived in infected saplings from Asia in the late 19th century
and began decimating the estimated 4 billion trees.
(Econ, 5/4/13, p.78)
1950 Alfred Kinsey, pioneer sex
researcher, wrote: "Human sexual behavior represents one of the
least explored segments of biology, psychology, and sociology."
(PacDis, Spring/’94, p. 48)
1950 Mathematician John Nash
1st published his equilibrium theory.
(AARP, 11/05, p.85)
1950 Astronomer Fred L. Whipple
(1907-2004) proposed that comets consisted of ice with some rock
mixed in. His theory was validated in 1986 with observations of
(SFC, 9/1/04, p.B7)
1950 The US census recorded
(TMC, 1994, p.1950)
1950 Florida’s population was
about 2.8 million.
(Econ, 1/14/12, p.61)
1950 The population of Buffalo,
NY, was around 580,000. By 2006 it dropped to 280,000. In 2006 Diana
Dillaway authored “Power Failure,” a look at Buffalo’s decline.
(WSJ, 6/30/06, p.W4)(Econ, 12/23/06, p.42)
1950 Ten million US households
had television in this year.
(SFC, 7/13/96, p.A5)
1950 Martha Matilda Harper
(b.1857), Canadian-born hair-care businesswoman, died. She was
probably the 1st person to perfect the franchise system of business
(WSJ, 4/23/02, p.D7)(WSJ, 4/22/03, D7)
1950 Ransom E. Olds (1864-1950)
died. He assembled 425 curved-dash Oldsmobiles in 1901 and thus
became the first mass producer of gas automobiles. He founded Olds
Motor Works that later became part of General Motors.
(WSJ, 6/19/96, Adv. Supl)
1950 Helen Rowland (b.1875),
American writer and humorist, died. "Somehow a bachelor never quite
gets over the idea that he is a thing of beauty and a boy forever."
1950 Edna St. Vincent Millay
(b.1892), poet, died. In 2001 Nancy Milford authored "Savage Beauty:
The Life of Edna St. Vincent Millay." Daniel Mark Epstein authored
the biography: "What Lips My Lips Have Kissed."
(SSFC, 9/2/01, DB p.59)(WSJ, 9/6/01, p.A20)
1950 The William Morris Gallery
opened on the site of the artist’s teenaged home in Walthamstow,
Essex, England. The Victorian designer (1834-1896) was associated
with the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and the English Arts and Crafts
1950 Alan Sainsbury (1902-1998)
pioneered Britain’s first self-service grocery.
(SFC, 10/27/98, p.B6)
1950 In British Guyana Dr.
Cheddi B. Jagan founded the People’s Progressive Party, the first
modern political organization in the colony.
(SFC, 3/7/97, p.A24)
1950 In Burma an Emergency
Provision Act was enacted that provided up to 20-year jail terms for
inciting unrest and disturbing the peace and tranquility of the
(SFC, 8/15/98, p.A14)
1950 Sein Lwin commanded a
military unit that tracked down and shot dead the leader of a
rebellion against the government of Burma by the country's ethnic
1950 Canada stopped discharging
refinery waste from its Ottawa mint into the Ottawa River.
(WSJ, 9/25/96, p.C19)
1950 In Canada there was a
major flood on the Red River that forced 25% of the residents of
Winnipeg, Manitoba, from their homes.
(SFC, 4/30/97, p.A11)
1950 Chinese forces occupied
(SFC, 6/14/96, p. C1)
1950 In Czechoslovakia the
communist government confiscated church property and arrested more
than 13,000 priests and religious and put them in concentration
1950 Milan Kundera (b.1929),
later renowned as a Czech writer, informed on Miroslav Dvoracek, who
had been recruited in Germany by the Czech emigre intelligence
network to work as a spy against the Communist regime. Dvoracek was
later sentenced to 22 years in prison and eventually served 14,
working in uranium mines. Kundera had joined the Communist Party as
a student, but was later expelled after criticizing its totalitarian
nature. This information was only made public in 2008.
(AP, 10/13/08)(Econ, 10/18/08, p.98)
1950 Minerva Bernardino (d.1998
at 91) was appointed a representative of the Dominican Republic at
the United Nations. She was one of the only 4 women to sign the 1945
UN Charter in San Francisco. She had insisted that the document
include the phrase "to ensure respect for human rights and
fundamental freedoms without discrimination against race, sex,
condition or creed."
(SFC, 9/5/98, p.A23)
1950 A French law forbidding
pretenders to the throne was rescinded. Royalists wanted to see
Henri, count of Paris, crowned as King Henry VI of France.
(SFEC, 6/20/99, p.C5)(SFC, 7/15/03, p.A19)
1950 The first German Book
Trade Peace Prize was awarded to Max Tau (Adolf Grimme).
1950 German writer Ernst
Juenger (1895-1998) went into a self-imposed exile in Wilflingen
where he wrote over 50 books.
1950 Volkswagen debuted its
iconic microbus. It became a favorite of hippies for its unique
styling and copious space for travelers. The Bulli was the
brainchild of a Dutch Volkswagen importer, Ben Pon, who in 1947
sketched out a simple public bus built on the wheels of the
Volkswagen Beetle. The original Bulli was made from 1950 to 1967. A
new version was unveiled in 2011.
1950 Ernst Grafenberg, a German
gynecologist, identified a small area behind the pubic bone of
women, the G-spot, that he said became an erogenous zone when
stimulated. In 2005 Dr. David Matlock of Los Angeles invented and
trademarked the G-shot, a collagen injection to the G-spot, promoted
to amplify sexual arousal.
(SSFC, 6/3/07, p.F1)
1950 Some 20,000 Jews remained
in Germany. 8,000 of these were native German Jews and some 12,000
came from eastern Europe, mostly from Poland.
(Econ, 1/5/08, p.41)
1950 The Indian film "Barsaat"
was a blockbuster written by Ramanand Sagar.
(WSJ, 4/22/98, p.A1)
1950 The Muslim Tablighi
Ijtimah (Congregation of Preaching) movement was founded in India.
They believed Islam should be spread by setting a good example, one
of modesty and non-violence.
(SFC, 11/3/01, p.A7)
1950 The Indian Institutes of
Technology was established. The first IIT was built on the site of a
former British prison camp in Kharagpur. By 2007 the institute had 7
campuses taking in 4,500 new students each year.
(SSFC, 2/25/07, p.B1)
1950 Mysore became an Indian
state. The former Maharaja became its rajpramukh, or governor, until
1950 India’s lowest castes and
tribes were allowed claim to just over 20% of government and other
public-sector jobs. A presidential order excluded any “person who
professes a religion different from Hinduism” from entitlement to
affirmative action programs. The rule was amended in 1956 to include
Dalit Sikhs. The system was extended in 1990 to include another 27%
for other backward castes.
(Econ, 4/29/06, p.46)(WSJ, 9/19/07, p.A18)
1950 A great earthquake ravaged
half of northern India’s Assam state. Thousands of dead rats were
caught in fisherman’s nets just before the quake.
(SFC, 8/17/96, p.A4)
1950 Aurobindo Ghose,
Bengalese-born and Western educated guru and yogi, died. "Man lives
mostly in his surface mind, life and body, but there is an inner
being within him with greater possibilities to which he has to awake
to greater beauty, harmony, power and knowledge."
(SSFC, 6/16/02, p.A17)
1950 The Italian film "Mamma
Mia, Che Impressione!" starred Alberto Sordi in his first role.
(SFC, 12/1/97, p.E3)
1950 Giaur was formed in Italy
by the great Berardo Taraschi (previously of Urania) and the
Giannini brothers, the name coming from Giannini and Urania. The
engines were mainly Giannini units, although Fiat and Crosley items
were also used.
1950 Israel enacted an Absentee
Property Law which allowed the state to confiscate land within
Israel if its owners spent any time at all away in Arab countries.
(Econ, 2/5/05, p.46)
1950 Japan enacted the tax
proposals of Carl S. Shoup (d.2000 at 97). Shoup, an economist from
Colombia Univ., had been invited to Japan by Gen. Douglas MacArthur
in 1949 to overhaul the tax system. The value-added tax system (VAT)
eliminated the need for some 80% of the population to file tax
individual tax returns.
(SFC, 4/1/00, p.A26)(Econ, 8/3/13, p.63)
1950 Hiroshi Yamauchi took over
control and refocused Nintendo along modern business lines. He first
consolidated automated manufacturing and then began to mass produce
plastic playing cards. The traditional names of the kings are David,
Alexander, Caesar and Charles. The traditional names of the queens
are Argine, Esther, Judith and Pallas.
(Hem, 4/96, p.29)(SFEC, 1/10/99, Z1 p.8)
1950 Korea suffered its worst
winter of the century.
1950 The Mina El Eden in
Zacateca, Mexico was closed.
(SFEC, 11/10/96, p.T3)
1950 The Polish Catholic church
and government signed an accord over relations. The Catholic Church
was dispossessed of its principal charitable organization, Caritas,
including numerous residential facilities and community resources
such as soup kitchens and missions in rail stations.
c1950 In Romania Brother Cleopa under pressure
from the Communist party to stop receiving visitors, who sought his
guidance, left the Sihastra Monastery and became a hermit in the
mountain forests for 3 years. He ate 1 potato a day.
(SFC, 12/7/98, p.A25)
1950 The South Africa
Nationalist government banned Communists and forced them to go
underground to struggle against apartheid.
(SFC, 7/6/02, p.A19)
1950 In South Africa Nelson
Mandela (1918-1913) became president of the ANC Youth League and was
elected to the ANC national executive committee.
(SFC, 12/6/13, p.A18)
1950 South Africa set up Sasol
as a state-owned company and authorized funds for the development of
a coal-to-liquids facility called Sasolburg.
(WSJ, 8/16/06, p.A12)
1950 The Club Mediterranean
resort opened catering to singles. Gilbert Trigano (d.2000 at 80) of
France and Gerard Blitz, a Belgium water polo champion, founded the
1st Club Med with 200 tents on the Spanish island of Mallorca.
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R34)(SFC, 2/5/01, p.A21)(Econ,
1950 In Turkey PM Adnan
Menderes was warned of an impending coup and sacked 15 generals and
(Econ, 8/6/11, p.43)
1950 Between Uzbekistan and
Kazakstan the surface area of the Aral Sea was 67,000 sq. km. and
(WSJ, 2/5/98, p.A18)
1950-1951 The Texaco Star Theater was the top
ranking network show on television with a ranking of 61.6%.
(WSJ, 4/24/95, p.R-5)
1950-1951 In late 1950 and early 1951, in
Namyangju, 16 miles northeast of Seoul, South Korea, the Truth and
Reconciliation Commission estimated in 2008 that police and a local
militia slaughtered more than 460 people, including at least 23
children under the age of 10.
1950-1953 The Korean War. It started on Jun 25,
1950 and 2.5 million people were killed with over 2 million of them
civilians. No peace treaty was ever signed. About 1.7 million
Americans were involved and there was an estimated 3 mil casualties
including 150,000 (54,246) Americans and over 1 mil Chinese. In 1999
W.D. Ehrhart and Philip K. Jason edited "Retrieving Bones: Stories
and Poems of the Korean War."
(NG, Aug., 1974, H. E. Kim, p.255)(SFC, 4/8/96,
p.A-9)(WSJ, 8/8/95, p. A15) (SFEM, 11/10/96, p.12)(SFC, 2/17/96,
p.A26)(SFEC, 8/29/99, BR p.3)(WSJ, 10/6/99, p.A22)
1950-1953 The United Nations employed 39,000
ground forces that joined with the United States in the Korean War.
1950-1953 Soviet pilots ran the air war over North
Korea and accounted for 70% of the casualties in that part of the
(WSJ, 6/13/00, p.A1)
c1950-1953 Baseball player Ted Williams and future
astronaut John Glenn flew combat missions together as part of Marine
jet fighter squadron VMF-311 during the Korean War.
1950-1953 Wayne Johnson, Korean War POW, managed
to record the names of over 500 fellow soldiers killed in captivity.
In 1996 he was awarded a Silver Star by the US Army.
(SFC, 8/17/96, p.A8)
1950-1959 Alfred Russell (b.1920), artist,
announced "Now is the time to paint the wrong picture in the wrong
century and the wrong place." Russell was considered the father of
(SFEC, 1/5/97, DB p.25)
1950-1959 Scripts from the popular 1950s
television show, Your Show of Shows , were found in a closet in New
York City in September 2000. Workers in a New York City office
building discovered a closet containing 137 scripts, some of them
with hand-written notations, from one of the country’s most beloved
shows from the `50s. The closet had served as storage for the show’s
producer, Max Liebman, who died in 1981.
1950-1959 This was the last decade of the century
in which the traditional elements in society held the cultural upper
(SFEC, 3/8/98, BR p.3)
1950-1959 Fred Coe (1914-1979) was considered the
greatest producer in television’s Golden Age in the 1950s. John
Krampner wrote "The Man in the Shadows: Fred Coe and the Golden Age
of Television" in 1996. Coe produced the Philco-Goodyear Playhouse,
Studio One, Kraft Television Theater and Robert Montgomery Presents.
(MT, Spg. ‘97, p.18)
1950-1959 Lawrence Payton (d.1997 at 59) began
singing with a group called the Four Aims (Payton, Levi Stubbs,
Abdul "Duke" Fakir, and Renaldo "Obie" Benson). They sang backup for
Billy Eckstine and signed with Motown Records, run by Berry Gordy,
in 1963. Their songs included: "Baby I Need Your Loving," "Reach
Out," and I Can’t Help Myself." In 2002 Geral Posner authored
"Motown: Music, Money, Sex, and Power."
(SFC, 6/21/97, p.A18)(SSFC, 1/12/03, p.M1)
1950-1959 Charles Samuel Johnson, Arna Bontemps,
Langston Hughes, W.E.B. DuBois and Aaron Douglas were all members of
the Harlem Renaissance and taught at Fisk University.
(MT, Fall. ‘97, p.14)
1950-1959 The US CIA led secret missions in
(SFC, 5/29/97, p.A4)
1950-1959 The Lockheed WV-2, a modified Super
Constellation airliner, provided early airborne warning to the East
Coast in the late 1950s during the Cold War. It operated with VW-11
the first of three squadrons to comprise the Atlantic Early Warning
Wing, known as "Barrier Force Atlantic." The planes, based at wintry
Argentina, Newfoundland, operated in some of the worst weather
imaginable over the Atlantic. They would fly to the Azores and back
on 15-to 17-hour missions constantly scanning radar scopes for
Russian intruders who, though they never came, would have been
spotted in time for defensive measures to be called
1950-1959 The US Army Corps of Engineers diverted
Florida’s Kissimmee River allowing Miami and Fort Lauderdale to grow
on the old river bed.
(Econ, 10/8/05, p.31)
1950-1959 Alexander Guterma manipulated stocks and
eventually faced a prison sentence in a major scandal of the decade.
(WSJ, 7/10/02, p.A8)
1950-1959 Howard Hughes bought 25,000 acres around
(WSJ, 1/16/98, p.A1)
1950-1959 Denham Harmon, Univ. of Neb. med. prof.,
provided a theoretical framework of how Vitamin E worked against
free radicals. In the late 1940s Canadian doctors, Evan and Wilfred
Shute treated heart patients with vitamin E and were denounced by
the med. profession which then focused on diet as the best source of
(WSJ, 6/13/96, p.B9)
1950-1959 Seymour Cray began working on the Univac
1103 in the mid 50s.
(SFEC, 10/6/96, C12)
1950-1959 Fred Lip (Frederic Lipmann 1901-1996)
with a team of engineers and technicians introduced the first
(SFC, 11/12/96, p.B2)
1950-1959 Richard W. Porter (1913-1996), A General
Electric electrical engineer, was put in charge of the US space
program in the mid 50s.
(SFC, 10/11/96, p.A24)
1950-1959 Joe Thompson built up 7-Eleven
(Southland Corp.) to some 400 stores during this time. He founded
the company following WW II service in the Navy.
(SFC, 1/30/03, p.A16)
1950-1959 The pebble-bed nuclear reactor was
developed. It used fuel pebbles of coated uranium and helium gas to
drive turbines. A research reactor in Germany ran for 22 years.
(SSFC, 2/11/01, p.B5)
1950-1959 In Nebraska Charles Starkweather went on
a slaying spree. This inspired the 1973 film "Badlands" starring
Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek.
(SFEM, 2/8/98, p.8)
1950-1959 In 2006 Peter Hennessey authored “Having
It So Good: Britain in the Fifties.”
(Econ, 12/16/06, p.86)
1950-1959 Mennonites from Canada emigrated to
Belize in search of religious freedom. Some still speak Low German.
Mennonites from Canada and Pennsylvania had fled persecution in 1922
and settled near Chihuahua, Mexico.
(SFEC, 6/1/97, p.T3)(SFEC, 11/5/00, p.T4)
1950-1959 During the 1950s bicycles took over the
flat streets of Beijing from rickshaws.
(SFC, 10/23/98, p.D4)
1950-1959 The Chinese government updated the
system for spelling Chinese words with Roman letters. It also
introduced simplified written Chinese characters in a system called
(SFC, 5/8/06, p.A1)
1950-1959 In France Guy Debord and the
Situationists staged disruptive events and practiced "detournement,"
or cut-up art.
(SFC, 8/8/98, p.E1)
1950-1959 Emma Berger, a German Christian, founded
a sect of fervent believers in Stuttgart and led a portion of them
to Israel in 1963, where they founded a commune called Bethel-El.
(WSJ, 2/6/98, p.A1)
1950-1959 In Indonesia Lt. Col. Suharto was a
supply officer to an army division in central Java. He dealt with
Liem Sioe Liong, later head of the conglomerate, the Salim Group.
When Suharto took power in 1965 Liem’s business flourished. The
relationship is documented by Adam Schwarz in his book "A Nation in
(SFEC, 2/1/98, p.A23)
1950-1959 In Japan Shinichi Suzuki (d.1998 at 99)
pioneered the Suzuki method for teaching music to young children.
(SFC, 1/27/98, p.A20)
1950-1959 Nigeria passed legislation that became
known as the "Four Obnoxious Bills." The laws ensured that revenues
from natural resources were collected at the center and doled out to
the rest of the 36 states without proportion to their role in
generating the wealth.
(WSJ, 4/15/03, p.A14)
1950-1959 Panama disease in the 1950s obliterated
the Gros Michel variety of bananas. By the 1960s it was close to
extinction. It was replaced by the Cavendish variety. Most edible
bananas do not have seeds and are sprouted from shoots of original
trees that date back 10,000 years.
(SFC, 4/5/04, p.D5)(Econ, 3/1/14, p.62)
1950-1959 Cannibalism was banned in Papua New
(SFC, 4/11/03, p.A6)
1950-1959 The first outsiders to regularly contact
the Bahinemo people of Papua New Guinea in the 1950s were traders
looking for crocodile skins and carvings.
(SFC, 5/29/96, p.A8)
1950-1959 In Venezuela Gen. Marcos Perez Jimenez
was a popular dictator for 10 years. He prided himself on colossal
public works that included the Central University.
(WSJ, 4/27/98, p.A16)(SSFC, 6/24/01, p.T6)
1950-1959 From Yugoslavia Tito’s security chief,
Alexander Rankovic, a Serb, repressed Kosovo separatism.
(SFC, 3/3/98, p.A8)
1950-1959 Zambia’s chibuku beer was developed in
the 1950s by Max Heinrich, a German brewer. He ramped the indigenous
home-brew to a commercial scale. In 1999, after passing through many
hands, it was acquired by SAB.
(Econ, 5/31/14, p.56)
1950-1960 A chemical firm in Japan dumped mercury
waste into the Minimata Bay and caused mercury poisoning during the
1950s. Victims reached a settlement in 1996.
(WSJ, 5/23/96, p.A-1)
1950-1960 In North Korea the Songbun caste system
began to take shape. The word translates as "ingredient" but
effectively means "background." Thus was a time when founder Kim Il
Sung was forging one of the world's most repressive states and
seeking ways to reward supporters and isolate potential enemies. The
system pushed peasants to the top of the caste ladder; aristocrats
and landlords toward the bottom.
1950-1960s Harry Harlow (1905-1981) conducted
psychology experiments on baby rhesus monkeys at the Univ. of
Wisconsin. In 2003 Deborah Blum authored “Love at Goon Park: Harry
Harlow and the Science of Affection.”
(NYTBR, 2/2/03, p.19)
1950-1960s In Britain the Butskellite consensus of
the 1950s was based on strong bipartisan support for Keynesian
economic management and the welfare state. It was named for
Conservative Chancellor of the Exchequer, Lord Butler and Labor's
shadow Chancellor, Hugh Gaitskell. it entailed an agreement by
Tories not to attack the new Welfare State; in exchange, Labor
helped to maintain industrial peace. This enabled a quiet time of
economic stagnation in 1950s, which continued into the 1960s.
1950-1967 The US Congress for Cultural Freedom was
a CIA front organization headed by Michael Josselson. It sponsored
art exhibition, high profile conferences and rewarded artists and
musicians with prizes and commissions to counter Communist cultural
propaganda during the Cold War. In 2000 Frances Stonor Saunders
authored "The Cultural Cold War."
(WSJ, 3/27/00, p.A46)
1950-1970 Japan staged an economic miracle with a
growth rate of 9.2% in the 50s and 10.7% in the 60s.
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R42)
1950-1973 During this period the world GDP per
head increased an average of 2.9% a year.
(Econ, 9/16/06, Survey p.4)
1950-1975 John Peter (d.1998 at 81) in 1994
published "The Oral History of Modern Architecture." It was
accompanied by a CD based on interviews with some of the leading
architects of this period: i.e. Le Corbusier, Walter Gropius, and
Frank Lloyd Wright.
(SFC, 5/12/98, p.A21)
1950s-1970s Operation SOLO, a covert US mission,
lasted nearly 20 years. John Barron later authored "Operation SOLO:
The FBI’s Man Inside the Kremlin."
(SFC, 6/12/01, p.A19)
1950-1980 About 3.5 million blacks were forcibly
trucked off to ethnic territories, often abandoning land, houses and
1950-1985 Property taxes in Baltimore, Maryland,
were increased 21 times over this period. By 2008 some 30,000
housing units were abandoned and waited for demolition.
(WSJ, 7/5/08, p.A9)
1950-1996 It has been reported that 1.2 million
Tibetans have been slain under Chinese rule.
(SFC, 6/16/96, p.B5)
1950-2000 Two books on the abortion issue over
period were published in 1988: "Articles of Faith: A Frontline
History of the Abortion Wars" by Cynthia Gorney," and "Abortion
Wars: A Half Century of Struggle" a series of articles by 22
pro-choice authors ed. by Rickie Solinger.
(SFEC, 1/25/98, BR p.5)
Go to 1951