Fascinating facts and interesting stories

Twentieth Century History : 1950 – 1974

1950 Otis invents the passenger lift. Charles Schultz launches “Peanuts“. Mr Potato Head debuts. Diners Club issues the first credit card. Korean war erupts. Danish doctor Christian Hamburger performs the first sex change operation on New Yorker George Jorgensen, who becomes Christine Jorgensen. Yoshuito Nakamats invents the floppy disc (but it is introduced by IBM only in 1970).

1951 First Miss World contest is held at the Lyceum theatre in London, won by Miss Sweden. John Paul Getty becomes the richest man. Zenith Radio Corp introduces cable television. Chrysler introduces power steering. First space flight by living creatures when US sends 4 monkeys into the stratosphere. Remington Rand launches the first commercially available computer, the Univac 1. Swiss Georges de Metral patents Velcro.

1952 M&R Labs introduce the first coffee creamer, “Pream”. Kirsch launches the first diet soft drink, “No-Cal Ginger Ale”. Car safety belts introduced. BOAC starts first jet passenger service. Sony invents pocket-sized transistor radio. Ian Fleming’s James Bond debuts in novel “Casino Royale”.

1953 US physiologist Ancel Keys suggests link between heart disease and high fat diet. Dr James Watson discovers the structure of DNA. Playboy magazine is launched. Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay reach summit of Mount Everest. Baron Bich launches Bic ballpoint in France. Queen Elizabeth II crowned.

1954 Oxford student Roger Bannister breaks the 4-minute mile. Elvis Presley debuts with “That’s all right, Mamma.” Racial segregation in US schools banned. Nuclear power station begins production in Obninsk, USSR. First mass-produced computer by IBM, installing 120 “650’s”. Ray Kroc start McDonald’s.

1955 Guinness Book of Records is published. Clean Air Act is passed in Britain. Walt Disney opens Disneyland in Anaheim, California.

1956 CIA launches the U-2 spy plane. John Bachus and his IBM team invent FORTRAN, the first high-level programming language.

1957 USSR launches the Sputnik satellite into space. The EEC, European Economic Community, founded. The Medical Research Council links lung cancer with smoking. BMW launches the three-wheel Isetta.

1958 Yves Saint Laurent holds his first fashion show in Paris. Danish toymakers Ole and Godtfred Kirk Christiansen launches Lego. Bill and Mark Richards of California invents the skateboard. Australian David Warren invents the black box flight recorder. NASA founded. Jack Kilby from Texas and Robert Noyce from California invents the integrated circuit at the same time! However, their idea is not new – Briton GW Dummer had suggested such a design in 1952.

1959 First pictures of dark side of the moon by Luna III. Fidel Castro takes power in Cuba. Alec Issigonis’s Morris Mini is launched. Haloid launches the first copier, the “Xerox 914,” able to reproduce documents at the press of a button. Briton Christopher Cockerell launches the hovercraft. Ermal Cleon Fraze invents the easy-open can. First Daytona 500 takes place, won by Lee Petty in an Oldsmobile. The Beatles form. Barbie doll debuts, after she started life years earlier as Lilli.

1960 US submarine Triton makes the first round the world undersea voyage. Two hackers from MIT create the first computer video game, Spacewar. “Ben Hur” is awarded 10 Oscars. Largest earthquake recorded in Chili.

1961 Yuri Gagarin the first man in space. A coup, backed by the CIA and President John F Kennedy, fails at the Bay of Pigs in Cuba. Russia starts building the Berlin Wall. Alan B. Shephard Jr is the first American in space. Bob Dylan plays his first gig, in New York. World Wildlife Fund founded. Weight Watchers founded by 97kg (214 lb) Jean Nidetch.

1962 The Beatles debut with “Love me do”. John Glenn becomes first American to orbit earth in space. Dow Corp invent silicone breast implants. Ivan Sutherland demonstrates Sketchpad, the first program to use windows, icons, and a light pen. In “the Cuban crisis,” Khrushchev removes Russian nuclear missiles from Cuba, but only after Kennedy agrees to remove US missiles from Turkey.

1963 President John F Kennedy assassinated. Ursula Andress is picked for the first nude screen test for “Four for Texas”. Velentina Tereshlova Sikorsky becomes first woman in space in Vostok 6. Push-button telephone is introduced. First TV instant replay is shown in the US during a football game between the Army and the Navy.

1964 GI Joe doll debuts. The Beatles occupy the Billboard Top Five. Verbands Molkerei introduces long-life milk in Switzerland. John Kemeny and Thomas Kurtz develop BASIC at Dartmouth College.

1965 US troops deployed in Vietnam – anti-war protests start at the university of Michigen. Soviet astronaut Alexei Leonov makes the first space walk. Ray Dolby invents the Dolby sound recording system. Stephanie Kwolek discovers kevlar. Biggest power failure in history causes 9-hour blackout in eastern Canada and US, leading to surge in national birthrates 9 months later.

1966 Star Trek debuts on NBC. 64-year old Englishman Francis Chichester becomes the first to circumnavigate the globe in a boat without a stop-over. Neil Armstrong and David Scott makes the first space docking in Gemini 8. Twiggy, at 17, becomes the world’s most famous model.

1967 Che Guevara is shot dead by Bolivian troops. First staging of the Superbowl. Rolling Stone magazine goes on sale. Bee Gees debut. Dr Christiaan Barnard performs the first heart transplant. Biologists in the US successfully synthesizes DNA in a test tube. Seiko launches the quartz wristwatch.

1968 Dr Martin Luther King assassinated. Scientist devise the epidural anaesthetic to ease pain of childbirth. Boeing 747 introduced. Roy Jacuzzi invent the whirlpool bath. Kodak launches the Instamatic. Bill Gates and Paul Allen use their first computer, an ASR-33 Teletype.

1969 Neil Armstrong is the first man on the moon. The “Aquarian Exposition” takes place in Woodstock, New York, (Woodstock Festival). Yasser Arafat becomes leader of PLO. The first test-tube fertilization of human eggs, in England. US Department of Defense starts ARPANET, the forerunner of the Internet.

1970 The Beatles split up. IBM introduces the floppy disk (invented by Yoshuito Nakamats in 1950). New English Bible launched, sells 1 million copies in first week.

1971 Philips launches the VCR. Intel launch the microprocessor. Bruce Lee receives international acclaim with “Fist of fury”. Britain conforms to the decimal currency. Greenpeace founded in Canada.

1972 Polaroid introduces the instant color camera. Texas Instruments launches the pocket calculator. Nolan Bushnell of Atari introduces Pong, the first major coin-operated electronic video game. Nike running shoes launched. Republic of Ireland joins the European Community. World War II ends for Shoichi Yokoi of Japan, who gives himself up on Guam Island where he has hidden for 27 years.

1973 Watergate scandal breaks. US pulls out of Vietnam. Arab oil embargo brings Europe to its knees. Bic invents the disposable lighter. Members of the Marin County Canyon in California invents the mountain bike. The “New International Version” (NIV) Bible published.

1974 Lt Hiroo Onoda surrenders on the island of Lubang, finally convinced that WWII is over, 29 years after it ended. Art Fry invents Post-It. GM introduces the catalytic converter. Gillette introduces the disposable razor.

1900 – 1924 | 1925 – 1949 | 1950 – 1974 | 1975 – 1999

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02/04/2010. Category: history. Tags: , , , , , .

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