Sunday, February 04, 2007


As I approach my 50th year, I realize I should really have something profound to say. Lessons learned, lists of bests and worsts, regrets, highlights, lowlights...something, anything! Maybe it will come to me. In the meantime, let's take a break from root canals and tooth extractions.

According to the Gallup organization, 1957 was the happiest year ever recorded in the United States of America.
The Thunderbolt Kid, Bill Bryson
Well, there's an easy explanation for that! Moi!

Here are more fun facts from 1957:

  • Eisenhower Doctrine calls for aid to Mideast countries that resist armed aggression from Communist-controlled nations (Jan. 5). (That went well.)

  • The "Little Rock Nine" integrate Arkansas high school. Eisenhower sends troops to quell mob and protect the students after Gov. Orval Faubus defies federal order (Sept. 24). (How many more years did it take?)

  • Cost of a first-class stamp: $0.03 (Plus, mail was delivered twice—TWICE—a day!)

  • Leonard Bernstein's "West Side Story" debuts on Broadway and brings violence to the stage. (My favorite musical!)

  • Eugene O'Neill's "A Long Day's Journey Into Night" is produced posthumously and wins both the Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize. (My favorite play!)

  • Columbia University professor Charles Van Doren becomes a media sensation by winning $129,000 on the quiz show "Twenty One." (I had nothing to do with giving him the answers! Nothing!)

  • Leave It to Beaver premieres on CBS, ushering in an era of television shows that depict the ideal American. (Well, that explains a lot about me right there. Personally, I'd have to say that "Father Knows Best" was head and shoulders above "Leave It to Beaver.")

  • Soviet Union inaugurates the "Space Age" by launching Sputnik I, the world's first artificial satellite. A month later Sputnik II carries a dog into orbit, making that dog the first living being to enter space. (Dec. 6, 1957, we launch a rocket carrying a satellite. It rises two feet before toppling over.)


Buddy Holly. So not my fault.

Chuck Berry!

Ricky Nelson!


Movies in 1957 rocked! I had impeccable taste for a zero-year-old!

  • The Bridge on the River Kwai

  • Twelve Angry Men

  • Sayonara

  • Peyton Place

  • Witness for the Prosecution

Seriously, go out and rent these movies right this minute if you haven't seen them. Meanwhile, I'll start thinking about what life lessons I can impart to you young 'uns.

ORN: Spinning, Saturday.
Obligatory sigh: Sigh.


Firefly's Running said...

OMG! I am SO young!

jeanne said...

um, thanks!

21stCenturyMom said...

'Bout time you turned 50! I mean - Happy Almost Birthday.

And you know what - we're young, too. So HA!

Anita said...

Another signficant fact of 1957? I had already been roaming the earth for one year!

And Witness for the Prosecution...most excellent

LBTEPA said...

Witness for the prosecution - Top Film!
Well done for not bleating and carrying on about your birthday in an undignified fashion (as er...I have been doing..)
What are you doing to celebrate your natal day?

JeffM said...

Happy 50th!
I did a report in college on the baby boom and 1957 was the peak year. Until the early 90's it was the biggest year for babies ever in the US.
Just thought you'd like to know.

Black Knight said...

After this post I am very angry with my mom, why did she give me birth in 1956 instead of 1957?
However another signficant fact of 1957 was that I put my first tooth.
Happy 50th.

Thomas said...

Great! You just made me feel young again!

Laufenweg said...

enjoy your birthday!! celebrate it BIG!!

susie said...

And did you ever imagine you would be a running star at age 50? Isn't it cool?? Happy, happy birthday Jeanne. The 50s are the BEST:)

David said...

I wonder if that Sputnik dog got to ride in a parade in the back of a convertible ... just wondering.

Leave it to Beaver was WAY better. Eddie Haskell was my hero.

Have fun in Florida!

Jack said...

Happy 50th. I have to start thinking about great things that happened in 1959, my 50th is coming up way too fast! My wife has it easier, she only has to read your post ;-)

IHateToast said...

you forgot to mention that home builders still used groovy wee tiles in the bathroom. personally, i'm a fan of the ultra wee hexagons and the pink/black/grey alternating rectangles.

i'd be curious what was on the tube/wireless/moving pictures in 1956..perhaps 9 months before your birthday.

Susan said...

You are so young! And I want to be just like you in 2024!

L*I*S*A said...

I think that would be a cool idea to rent movies made in the year you were born. Let's see....1968...hmmm...