Fifty Years Ago -- 1955
In 1955, at age 11, I began to notice that girls were different than boys. Actually, I had noticed it much earlier but paid little attention to it. Fifty years ago, life was a roller-coaster ride of joy and sorrow, much like today.
January 3: "Mr. Sandman" by the Chordettes was the number one song.
January 15: In Sudan, Muslims attacked Christians and Animists; the killings continued until 1996.
January 28: Congress passed a bill to mobilize the military if China invaded Taiwan.
February 9: The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (ALF-CIO) was formed.
February 12: President Eisenhower sent U.S. military "advisors" to South Vietnam to aid the government.
February 17: Britain announced its capability to make hydrogen bombs.
February 24: Under political pressure, Eisenhower resisted committing American troops to Vietnam.
March 1: Israel conducted a raid on Gaza, killing 48 Palestinians.
March 3: Elvis Presley first appeared on TV on a show called "Louisiana Hayride."
March 4: The first facsimile transmission (fax) was sent across the continent.
March 18: The University of San Francisco, led by Bill Russell, won the NCAA basketball championship.
April 5: Winston Churchill resigned as British prime minister.
April 12: Salk vaccine shots for polio were given to the first American school children.
April 18: Albert Einstein, physicist, died.
April 22: Congress ordered the motto "In God We Trust" to be included on all U.S. coins.
May 2: Tennessee Williams won a Pulitzer Prize for his play Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.
May 5: West Germany became a sovereign state and promptly joined NATO.
May 11: Israel attacked Palestinians in Gaza once again.
May 13: Mickey Mantle hit three home runs.
May 31: The U.S. Supreme Court ordered states to end racial segregation.
June 29: The USSR sent tanks into Poland to put down an anti-communist uprising.
June 30: The Johnny Carson Show made its TV debut on CBS.
July 2: The Lawrence Welk Show made its TV debut on ABC.
August 3: Hurricane Connie devastated the U.S. for 11 days.
August 4: Funding for CIA headquarters was approved.
August 8: Fidel Castro formed his movement to rid Cuba of a dictator.
August 12: The minimum wage was raised from 75 cents to $1 per hour.
August 17: Hurricane Diane caused massive flooding along the East Coast, killing 200 people.
August 20: An anti-French uprising by Muslims in Morocco and Algeria resulted in hundreds of deaths.
September 22: Hurricane Janet hit Grenada, killing 500 people.
September 30: Actor James Dean died in a two-car, high-speed collision in California.
December 1: Rosa Parks was arrested in Montgomery, Ala., for sitting in a seat on a bus reserved for whites.
December 9: Sugar Ray Robinson won the middleweight boxing crown for the third time.
It was the year Steve Jobs (Apple Computer founder), Bill Gates (Microsoft founder), Mark David Chapman (killed John Lennon) and John Hinckley (attempted to assassinate President Reagan) were born. We all come into this world with a clean slate. Some choose to make things better and others choose to tear it all down.
Fifty years later, hurricanes are still battering the continent, Israel is still conducting raids into Gaza, Muslims are still attacking non-Muslims and I'm still noticing women are different than men.
Life goes on.
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Bret Burquest is an award-winning columnist and author of four novels, which are available at Amazon.com. He can be contacted at email@example.com.