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Check out our archive of Dining Guides - Yum!

Know It All
January 01, 2014, 05:00 AM

The minimum wage in the United States in 1949 was 40 cents per hour.

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“The Hank McCune Show” debuted on NBC in 1950 and ran for three years. It was the first television show to use a laugh track.

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Power steering in cars became commercially available in 1951. Francis Davis of Massachusetts invented power steering after working for the truck division of the Pierce Arrow Motor Car Company.

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On Oct. 15, 1952, General Electric celebrated its 75th anniversary by giving five shares of stock to any employee who had a baby on that day. The company guessed there would be 13 births out of the 226,000 employees. However, none of the women on staff were under age 17 or over age 65, and it was the Baby Boom era. There were 189 G.E. babies born that day.

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TV Guide and Playboy Magazine both debuted in 1953. Do you know who was pictured on the cover of the first TV Guide? The cover girl of the first Playboy? See answer at end.

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In 1954, Swanson & Sons sold 10 million TV dinners. After Thanksgiving 1953, Swanson had 270 tons of unsold turkey and needed to do something with it. Thus, TV dinners were invented. The 98 cent meals had turkey, corn bread dressing, buttered peas and sweet potatoes in aluminum trays.

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Bert Parks (1914-1992) began his long career as host of the Miss America pageant in 1955. It was also the first year the pageant theme song, “There She Is Miss America,” was used. Lee Meriwether (born 1935) was Miss America 1955.

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In January 1956, Elvis Presley’s (1935-1977) song “Heartbreak Hotel” was released. The song sold more than 1 million copies, making it Elvis’ first gold record.

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Ray Romano, Matt Lauer, Donny Osmond, Fran Drescher and Daniel Day-Lewis were all born in 1957.

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In Disney’s 1959 animated movie “Sleeping Beauty,” the girl fell into her deep sleep when she was 16 years old.

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“Ben-Hur” starring Charlton Heston (born 1924) won 11 Academy Awards in 1960, including best picture, actor and director. The movie saved MGM from bankruptcy.

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Jacques Cousteau (1910-1997) began exploring the deep of the ocean in his personal research vessel, Calypso, in 1961. The Calypso, an old minesweeper, went around the world on underwater expeditions for the television series “The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau” (1968-1976).

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John Glenn (born 1921) made history in 1962 as the first American astronaut to orbit the Earth. Glenn traveled at a speed of 17,500 mph 160 miles above earth in the ship Friendship 7.

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Felipe (born 1935), Jesus (born 1942) and Matty (born 1938) Alou were brothers and teammates on the San Francisco Giants in 1963. That year, on Sept. 10 at the Polo Grounds in New York, the three brothers batted consecutively in the same game for the same team; the only time that has happened in professional baseball.

***

Answer: Lucille Ball’s baby Desi Arnez Jr. was on the cover of the first issue of TV Guide on April 3-9, 1953. Lucille Ball was on the cover of TV Guide 34 times throughout her career, more than any other person. Marilyn Monroe was pictured, fully clothed, on the cover of the first Playboy in December 1953.

Know It All is by Kerry McArdle. It runs in the weekend and Wednesday editions of the Daily Journal. Questions? Comments? E-mail knowitall(at)smdailyjournal.com or call 344-5200 ext. 114.

 

 

Tags: first, cover, guide, there, america, playboy,


Other stories from today:

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