Memory Lane: 1955

Bill Haley and the CometsConsumerism takes off in a big way in 1955, with the sale of 7.9 million cars in the US. 7 out of 10 families now own a motor car, and new laws were put in place requiring seat belts to be installed on all new cars.

In 1955, the average wages are now $3,851 per year, and the minimum wage was raised to $1.00 per hour.

The first McDonald’s was erected in 1955 and more fast foods and TV dinners are appearing, including fish fingers. Also, the first cans of Coca-Cola are sold, until 1955 it had only been sold in bottles.

Rock and Roll music continues to grow in popularity with more idols including Elvis Presley, Bill Haley and the Comets, Chuck Berry and The Platters. Young men’s fashion matches the times with pink shirts and charcoal grey suits.

In The News

James Dean’s stars in the movie East of Eden

Rosa Parks is arrested

‘In God We Trust’ is added to all US paper currency

The St. Lawrence Seaway opens

US military intervention in Iran


Population/Economy

Population:

  • Wake County (1960 census): 169,082
  • NC: 4.242,000
  • USA: 165,900,000

National Debt:

  • $274,374,222,802 (1955)
  • $18,152,809,942,589 (2015)

Value of a Dollar: $1 in 1955 is $8.79 in 2015

Cost Of Living 1955:

  • Yearly Inflation Rate USA: 0.28%
  • Average Cost of new house: $10,950
  • Average Monthly Rent: $87
  • Average Yearly Wages: $4,130
  • Minimum Hourly Rate: $1.00
  • Average Cost of a new car: $1,900
  • Cost of a gallon of Gas: $0.23
  • Ladies Swim Suits: $12.95
  • Black and White TV: $99.95
  • Cheeseburger at McDonald’s: $0.19
  • Ticket to Disneyland: $1.00 – (Rides and attractions were a separate fee via individual tickets. Three months after the park opened, books of tickets were available; the tickets were labeled “A” to “C.”)

Ounce of Gold Price:

  • The cost of a Ounce of Gold was $35.03
  • The inflation-adjusted price of a Ounce of Gold was $312.77


Going to the Movies

Cost of a movie ticket: $0.45

Inflation-adjusted price of a movie ticket: $4.02

The cost of a movie ticket in 2015: $7.92

Top 5 Movies:

  1. Lady and the Tramp
  2. Mister Roberts
  3. Land of the Pharaohs
  4. Pather Panchali
  5. Lola Montès


28th Academy Awards

  • Best Picture: Marty
  • Best Actor: Ernest Borgnine – Marty
  • Best Actress: Anna Magnani – The Rose Tattoo
  • Best Supporting Actor: Jack Lemmon – Mister Roberts
  • Best Supporting Actress: Jo Van Fleet – East of Eden


Top 10 TV Shows

  1. The $64,000 Question – CBS – 16,577,500
  2. I Love Lucy – CBS – 16,088,900
  3. The Ed Sullivan Show – CBS – 13,785,500
  4. Disneyland – ABC – 13,052,600
  5. The Jack Benny Show – CBS – 12,982,800
  6. December Bride – CBS – 12,913,000
  7. You Bet Your Life – NBC – 12,354,600
  8. Dragnet – NBC – 12,215,000
  9. The Millionaire – CBS – 11,796,200
  10. I’ve Got a Secret – CBS – 11,691,500


Top 20 Pop Songs

  1. Perez Prado – Cherry Pink And Apple Blossom White
  2. Bill Haley and His Comets – Rock Around The Clock
  3. Mitch Miller – The Yellow Rose Of Texas
  4. Roger Williams -Autumn Leaves
  5. Les Baxter- Unchained Melody
  6. Bill Hayes – The Ballad Of Davy Crockett
  7. Four Aces – Love Is A Many Splendored Thing
  8. McGuire Sisters – Sincerely
  9. Pat Boone – Ain’t That A Shame
  10. Georgia Gibbs – Dance With Me Henry
  11. Crazy Otto – Crazy Otto Medley I and II
  12. Billy Vaughn – Melody Of Love
  13. Tennessee Ernie Ford – Sixteen Tons
  14. Frank Sinatra – Learnin’ The Blues
  15. Fontaine Sisters – Hearts Of Stone
  16. Georgia Gibbs – Tweedle Dee
  17. Four Lads – Moments To Remember
  18. Chordettes – Mr. Sandman
  19. Joan Weber – Let Me Go Lover
  20. Nat King Cole – A Blossom Fell


Top 20 Country Songs

  1. Sixteen Tons – Tennessee Ernie Ford
  2. The Ballad of Davy Crockett – Tennessee Ernie Ford
  3. Rose Marie – Slim Whitman
  4. Cattle Call – Eddy Arnold & Hugo Winterhalter
  5. Your Good for Nothing Heart – Webb Pierce
  6. That Do Make It Nice – Eddy Arnold
  7. Love Love Love – Webb Pierce
  8. Loose Talk – Carl Smith
  9. Live Fast, Love Hard, Die Young / Forgive Me Dear – Faron Young
  10. Let Me Go, Lover! – Hank Snow
  11. Just Call Me Lonesome – Eddy Arnold
  12. In the Jailhouse Now – Webb Pierce & the Wilburn Brothers
  13. I Don’t Care – Webb Pierce
  14. A Satisfied Mind – Porter Wagoner
  15. Making Believe – Kitty Wells
  16. If You Ain’t Lovin’ (You Ain’t Livin’) – Faron Young
  17. I’ve Been Thinking – Eddy Arnold
  18. Are You Mine – Ginny Wright & Tom Tall
  19. All Right – Faron Young
  20. Yellow Roses – Hank Snow


This Year in Sports

ACC Football Champ: Duke / Maryland

ACC Basketball Champs: NC State (NCSU 87 – Duke 77)

World Series Winner: Brooklyn Dodgers over NY Yankees

Heavyweight Boxing Champ: Rocky Marciano

NFL Championship Game: Cleveland Browns (Cleveland 38 – LA Rams 14)

NASCAR Season Winner: Jeff Flock

Masters Winner: Cary Middlecoff (9 under – won $5000)

Wimbledon Winners:

  • Men’s Singles: United States Tony Trabert defeated Denmark Kurt Nielsen 6–3, 7–5, 6–1
  • Women’s Singles: United States Louise Brough defeated United States Beverly Baker Fleitz 7–5, 8–6
  • Men’s Doubles: Australia Rex Hartwig / Australia Lew Hoad defeated Australia Neale Fraser / Australia Ken Rosewall, 7–5, 6–4, 6–3
  • Women’s Doubles: United Kingdom Angela Mortimer / United Kingdom Anne Shilcock defeated United Kingdom Shirley Bloomer / United Kingdom Patricia Ward 7–5, 6–1
  • Mixed Doubles: United States Doris Hart / United States Vic Seixas defeated United States Louise Brough / Argentina Enrique Morea 8–6, 2–6, 6–3