Remember When? - Life in the 50s

Those were the "Good Old Days" weren't they! We've found some great links on the Web, and our email boxes are bulging with fun facts, figures and stories about life back then. Enjoy!

Everything Fifties - Don't miss this one!
Fun Facts
The world we grew up in...



Everything Fifties

Here's your starting place - pour yourself a tall one, turn up the sound and enjoy!




The Bohm Theater in Albion Restoration

The Michigan Theater in Jackson

Academy Award Winners
Best Picture: "Gigi" Directed By Vicente Minnelli
Best Actor: David Niven in "Separate Tables "
Best Actress: Susan Hayward in "I Want To Live"

On TV in 1958
Gunsmoke, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Perry Mason, Leave it to Beaver, I Love Lucy, Dragnet, The Burns and Allen Show, The Ed Sullivan Show

Top Books in 1958
The Affluent Society by John Kenneth Galbraith
Rifles for Watie by Harold Keith
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

Hot New Toys in 1958
Hula Hoop






Fun Facts

1958 Prices

  • Bread: $0.19/loaf
  • Milk: $1.01/gal
  • Eggs: $0.85/doz
  • Chef Boy-Ar-Dee spaghetti, 15 1/2 .oz can.: $ .19
  • Swiss Steak: $.75 lb.
  • Car: $2,200
  • Gas: $0.24 - $0.30/gal
  • House: $18,200
  • Stamp: $0.04/ea
  • Average Income: $5,565/yr
  • Minimum Wage: $1.00/hr
  • DOW Average: $436.89 to $583.65
  • Roundtrip airfare London to New York: $453

Babies born: 4,255,000
Life expectancy: 69.6 years




Growing Up in Albion
Albion in the 50s & 60s - a book by Frank Passic. Yup, some of us are in it!

The Purple Gang - Albion's "claim to fame"...

Cars, Consumerism and the Cold War


US President: Dwight D. Eisenhower
US Vice President: Richard M. Nixon

World and National News Headlines

  • Eisenhower Sends Troops To Lebanon
  • Venezuela Imposes Restrictions on U.S. Oil Companies
  • Castro's Guerrillas Launch Offensive in Cuba
  • Millionth Visitor Takes In Brussels World's Fair
  • Paralyzed French Government Recalls DeGaulle
  • Khrushchev In As Soviet Premier, Bulganin Out
  • Elvis Presley Inducted in Army
  • America Launches Its First Man-Made Satellite
  • The Submarine, Nautilus, Sails Under North Pole Ice
  • NASA (National Aeronautics & Space Administration) Is Founded

In The News News

  • The play, "A Raisin in the Sun," by 29-year-old Lorraine Hansberry, is a tale of the modern African-American family.
  • Nikita Khrushchev becomes premier of the U.S.S.R.
  • Alarmed by recent advances by the Soviet space program, the United States establishes NASA (the National Aeronautics and Space Administration) to coordinate its own efforts to reach space. America's first satellite is released this year.
  • Prince Charles, son of Elizabeth II and future husband of Diana, becomes the Prince of Wales.
  • The first atomic submarine, the Nautilus, built in 1954, travels under the North Pole.
  • Robert Welch founds the right-wing John Birch Society to combat communism, which he believes has infiltrated the highest levels of government.
  • Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe publishes his novel about colonialism, Things Fall Apart.
  • The National Defense Education Act places heavy emphasis on math, science, and language education.
  • Credit cards get a boost; charge card American Express debuts, and the forerunner of Visa, the BankAmericard, also appears.
  • Charles de Gaulle is elected the first president of France's newly created Fifth Republic.
  • John Kenneth Galbraith pens The Affluent Society to criticize private consumption in American society and advocate greater spending on public resources.




With our decade came Rock and Roll. In 1955 when Bill Haley's "Rock Around The Clock" became popular, the nation learned to swing to a whole new sound. Turn up the sound and listen!

Randy's Record Shop!

Top Songs for 1958

  • "Don't" by Elvis Presley
  • "At the Hop" by Danny & the Juniors
  • "He's Got the Whole World In His Hands" by Laurie London
  • "It's All In the Game" by Tommy Edwards
  • "The Purple People Eater" by Sheb Wooley
  • "All I Have to Do Is Dream" by Everly Brothers
  • "Volare" by Domenico Modugno
  • "Tequila" by Champs
  • "The Chipmunk Song" by David Seville/The Chipmunks
  • "Sugartime" by McGuire Sisters

Top 100 songs of 1958




  • NCAA Basketball Champs: Kentucky
  • Stanley Cup Hockey: Montreal Canadians
  • Indianapolis '500 Winner: Jimmy Bryan, 133.791 MPH
  • US Open Winner (Golf): Tommy Bolt
  • NBA Basketball Champs: St Louis Hawks
  • Kentucky Derby Winner: Tim Tam, (jockey J. Valenzuela)
  • World Series Winners: New York Yankees (AL)
  • Heisman Trophy Winner: Pete Dawkins, Army



The world we grew up in...

Take the stroll, close your eyes, and go back. Before the Internet or the MAC. Before semi-automatics and crack. Before SEGA or Super Nintendo. Way back............

I'm talkin' bout hide and go seek at dusk,
-- Sittin' on the porch,
-- Simon Says,
-- Kick the Can,
-- Red light, Green light,
-- Chocolate milk,
-- Going home for lunch,
-- Penny candy from the store,
-- Hopscotch,
-- Butterscotch,
-- Skates with keys,
-- Jacks,
-- Mother May I?
-- Hula Hoops and Sunflower seeds,
-- Whist and Old Maid and Crazy Eights,
-- Wax lips and mustaches,
-- Mary Janes,
-- Saddle shoes,
-- Coke bottles with the names of cities on the bottom,
-- Running through the sprinkler,
-- Running behind the DDT truck,
-- Sittin' on the curb,
-- Staring at clouds,
-- Circle pins,
-- Bobby pins,
-- Mickey Mouse Club, Crusader Rabbit, Rocky & Bullwinkle, Kukla, Fran & Ollie, Spin & Marty ...all in black & white. -- When around the corner seemed far away, -- and going downtown seemed like going somewhere.
-- Bedtime,
-- Climbing trees,
-- Making forts,
-- A Coaster made from orange crates and an old skate,
-- Backyard Shows,
-- Lemonade stands,
-- Cops and Robbers,
-- Cowboys and Indians,
-- Jumpin' down the steps,
-- Jumping on the bed,
-- Pillow fights,
-- "Company",
-- Ribbon candy,
-- Angel hair on the Christmas tree,
-- Running from the guards at Halloween,
-- Jackie Gleason as "the poor soul",
-- White gloves,
-- Walking to church,
-- Walking to the Community Center,
-- Being tickled to death,
-- Running till you were out of breath,
-- Laughing so hard that your stomach hurt,
-- Being tired from playin' ... Remember that?
-- Not steppin' on a crack ... or you'll break your mother's back,
-- Paper chains at Christmas,
-- Silhouettes of Lincoln and Washington,
-- The smell of paste,
-- Buck bags and Evening in Paris,
-- Crowding around in a circle for the 'after-school fight', then running when the teacher came.
-- What about the girl that had the big bubbly handwriting... who dotted her "i's" with hearts??
-- "The Stroll,"
-- Popcorn balls, & sock hops,
-- Lunch Boxes with a Thermos (that broke).

Remember when....
-- When there were two types of sneakers for girls and boys (Keds & PF Flyer) and the only time you wore them at school was for "gym"... And the girls had those ugly uniforms.
-- When it took five minutes for the TV to warm up,
-- When nearly everyone's Mom was at home when the kids got home from school,
-- When a quarter was a decent allowance, and another quarter a huge bonus,
-- When you'd reach into a muddy gutter for a penny,
-- When your Mom wore nylons that came in two pieces (or when you did!),
-- When all of your male teachers wore neckties and female teachers had their hair done everyday and wore high heels,
-- When you got your windshield cleaned, oil checked, and gas pumped, without asking, for free, every time... and,you didn't pay for air... and, you got trading stamps to boot!
-- When nobody owned a pure bred dog (except Bohart),
-- When laundry detergent had free glasses, dishes or towels hidden inside the box,
-- When any parent could discipline any kid, or feed him or use him to carry groceries, and nobody, not even the kid, thought a thing of it,
-- When it was considered a great privilege to be taken out to dinner at a real restaurant with your parents,
-- When they threatened to keep kids back a grade if they failed ... and did!
-- When the worst thing you could do at school was smoke in the bathrooms, flunk a test or chew gum,
-- And the prom was in the gym and we danced to an orchestra, and all the girls wore pastel gowns and the boys wore suits for the first time and we stayed out all night,
-- When a '57 Chevy was everyone's dream car ... to cruise, peel out, lay rubber or watch submarine races,
-- When people went steady and girls wore a class ring with an inch of wrapped dental floss coated with pastel frost nail polish so it would fit her finger,
-- And no one ever asked where the car keys were 'cause they were always in the car, in the ignition and the doors were never locked,
-- And you got in big trouble if you accidentally locked the doors at home. No one ever had a key.
-- And lying on your back on the grass with your friends and saying things like "That cloud looks like a ...
-- When stuff from the store came without safety caps and hermetic seals 'cause no one had yet tried to poison a perfect stranger,
-- And playing baseball with no adults to help kids with the rules of the game. Then.... baseball was not a psychological group learning experience, it was a game.

And with all our progress don't you just wish... just once... you could slip back in time and savor the slower pace... and share it with the children of the 80's and 90's ... So share this with someone who can still remember Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, Trixie Belden, Laurel & Hardy, Howdy Doody and The Peanut Gallery, The Lone Ranger, The Shadow Knows..., Nellie Belle, Roy and Dale, Trigger and Buttermilk...
-- as well as the sound of a reel mower on Saturday morning,
-- Playing in Cowboy land,
-- Baseball games,
-- Bowling and visits to the pool,
-- And eating Kool-aid powder with sugar,
-- And summers filled with bike rides,
-- When being sent to the principal's office was nothing compared to the fate that awaited a misbehaving student at home. Basically, we were in fear for our lives but it wasn't because of drive by shootings, drugs, gangs, etc. Our parents and grandparents were a much bigger threat! But we all survived because their love was greater than the threat. Didn't that feel good, just to go back and say, "Yeah, I remember that!"