Major events, sports highlights and Nobel Prizes of 1954 - History

Major events, sports highlights and Nobel Prizes of 1954 - History

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NBA: Minneapolis Lakers vs. Syracuse Nationals Series: 4-3
NCAA Football: Ohio State & UCLA Record:10-0-0 & 9-0-0
Heisman Trophy: Alan Ameche, wisconsin, FB points: 1,068
Stanley Cup: Detroit Red Wings vs. Montreal Canadiens Series: 4-3
World Cup: West Germany vs. Hungary Score: 3-2
World Series: New York Giants vs. Cleveland Indians Series: 4-0

Academy Awards

Best Picture: "On the Waterfront"
Best Director: Elia Kazan ..."On the Waterfront"
Best Actor: Marlon Brando ..."On the Waterfront"
Best Actress: Grace Kelly ... "The Country Girl"

Nobel Prizes

PAULING, LINUS CARL, U.S.A., California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, b. 1901, d. 1994: "for his research into the nature of the chemical bond and its application to the elucidation of the structure of complex substances"

HEMINGWAY, ERNEST MILLER, U.S.A., b. 1899, d. 1961: "for his mastery of the art of narrative, most recently demonstrated in The Old Man and the Sea, and for the influence that he has exerted on contemporary style"

OFFICE OF THE UNITED NATIONS HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR REFUGEES Geneva, an international relief organization, founded by U.N. in 1951.

Physiology or Medicine
The prize was awarded jointly to: ENDERS, JOHN FRANKLIN, U.S.A., Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA,; Research Division of Infectious Diseases, Children's Medical Center, Boston, MA, b. 1897, d. 1985; WELLER, THOMAS HUCKLE, U.S.A., Research Division of Infectious Diseases, Children's Medical Center, Boston, MA, b. 1915; and ROBBINS, FREDERICK CHAPMAN, U.S.A., Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, b. 1916: "for their discovery of the ability of poliomyelitis viruses to grow in cultures of various types of tissue"

The prize was divided equally between: BORN, MAX, Great Britain, Edinburgh University, b. 1882 (in Breslau, then Germany), d. 1970: "for his fundamental research in quantum mechanics, especially for his statistical interpretation of the wavefunction"; and BOTHE, WALTHER, Germany, Heidelberg University, Max-Planck Institut (former Kaiser-Wilhelm-Institut) fŸr medizinische Forschung, Heidelberg, b. 1891, d.1957: "for the coincidence method and his discoveries made therewith."

Pulizer Prizes

Drama: John Patrick ... "The Teahouse of the August Moon"
Fiction; Bruce Catton ... "A Stillness at Appomattox"
History: Jim G. Lucas ... "Scripps-Howard Newspaper Alliance"
International Reporting: Richard Wilson ... "Des Moines Register & Tribune"
Public Service: "Newsday" (Garden City, NY)

Popular Movies

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9. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
10. Desiree

Ernest Hemingway

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Ernest Hemingway, in full Ernest Miller Hemingway, (born July 21, 1899, Cicero [now in Oak Park], Illinois, U.S.—died July 2, 1961, Ketchum, Idaho), American novelist and short-story writer, awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954. He was noted both for the intense masculinity of his writing and for his adventurous and widely publicized life. His succinct and lucid prose style exerted a powerful influence on American and British fiction in the 20th century.

What did Ernest Hemingway write?

How did Ernest Hemingway influence others?

Ernest Hemingway, who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954, had a great impact on other writers through his deceptively simple, stripped-down prose, full of unspoken implication, and his tough but vulnerable masculinity, which created a myth that imprisoned the author and haunted the World War II generation.

What was Ernest Hemingway’s childhood like?

Ernest Hemingway was born in a suburb of Chicago. He was educated in the public schools and began to write in high school, where he was active and outstanding. The parts of his boyhood that mattered most to him were summers spent with his family on Walloon Lake, near Petoskey, Michigan.

When did Ernest Hemingway die?

Having departed Cuba, his home for some 20 years, Ernest Hemingway settled in Ketchum, Idaho, in 1960 and temporarily resumed his work, but, anxiety-ridden and depressed, he was twice hospitalized at the Mayo Clinic. On July 2, 1961, he took his life with a shotgun at his house in Ketchum.

The first son of Clarence Edmonds Hemingway, a doctor, and Grace Hall Hemingway, Ernest Miller Hemingway was born in a suburb of Chicago. He was educated in the public schools and began to write in high school, where he was active and outstanding, but the parts of his boyhood that mattered most were summers spent with his family on Walloon Lake in upper Michigan. On graduation from high school in 1917, impatient for a less-sheltered environment, he did not enter college but went to Kansas City, where he was employed as a reporter for the Star. He was repeatedly rejected for military service because of a defective eye, but he managed to enter World War I as an ambulance driver for the American Red Cross. On July 8, 1918, not yet 19 years old, he was injured on the Austro-Italian front at Fossalta di Piave. Decorated for heroism and hospitalized in Milan, he fell in love with a Red Cross nurse, Agnes von Kurowsky, who declined to marry him. These were experiences he was never to forget.

After recuperating at home, Hemingway renewed his efforts at writing, for a while worked at odd jobs in Chicago, and sailed for France as a foreign correspondent for the Toronto Star. Advised and encouraged by other American writers in Paris—F. Scott Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound—he began to see his nonjournalistic work appear in print there, and in 1925 his first important book, a collection of stories called In Our Time, was published in New York City it was originally released in Paris in 1924.

In 1926 he published The Sun Also Rises, a novel with which he scored his first solid success. A pessimistic but sparkling book, it deals with a group of aimless expatriates in France and Spain—members of the postwar Lost Generation, a phrase that Hemingway scorned while making it famous. This work also introduced him to the limelight, which he both craved and resented for the rest of his life. Hemingway’s The Torrents of Spring, a parody of the American writer Sherwood Anderson’s book Dark Laughter, also appeared in 1926.

The writing of books occupied Hemingway for most of the postwar years. He remained based in Paris, but he traveled widely for the skiing, bullfighting, fishing, and hunting that by then had become part of his life and formed the background for much of his writing. His position as a master of short fiction had been advanced by Men Without Women in 1927 and thoroughly established with the stories in Winner Take Nothing in 1933. Among his finest stories are “The Killers,” “The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber,” and “The Snows of Kilimanjaro.” At least in the public view, however, the novel A Farewell to Arms (1929) overshadowed such works. Reaching back to his experience as a young soldier in Italy, Hemingway developed a grim but lyrical novel of great power, fusing love story with war story. While serving with the Italian ambulance service during World War I, the American lieutenant Frederic Henry falls in love with the English nurse Catherine Barkley, who tends him during his recuperation after being wounded. She becomes pregnant by him, but he must return to his post. Henry deserts during the Italians’ disastrous retreat after the Battle of Caporetto, and the reunited couple flee Italy by crossing the border into Switzerland. There, however, Catherine and her baby die during childbirth, and Henry is left desolate at the loss of the great love of his life.

Hemingway’s love of Spain and his passion for bullfighting resulted in Death in the Afternoon (1932), a learned study of a spectacle he saw more as tragic ceremony than as sport. Similarly, a safari he took in 1933–34 in the big-game region of Tanganyika resulted in Green Hills of Africa (1935), an account of big-game hunting. Mostly for the fishing, he purchased a house in Key West, Florida, and bought his own fishing boat. A minor novel of 1937 called To Have and Have Not is about a Caribbean desperado and is set against a background of lower-class violence and upper-class decadence in Key West during the Great Depression.

By now Spain was in the midst of civil war. Still deeply attached to that country, Hemingway made four trips there, once more a correspondent. He raised money for the Republicans in their struggle against the Nationalists under General Francisco Franco, and he wrote a play called The Fifth Column (1938), which is set in besieged Madrid. As in many of his books, the protagonist of the play is based on the author. Following his last visit to the Spanish war, he purchased Finca Vigía (“Lookout Farm”), an unpretentious estate outside Havana, Cuba, and went to cover another war—the Japanese invasion of China.

The harvest of Hemingway’s considerable experience of Spain in war and peace was the novel For Whom the Bell Tolls (1940), a substantial and impressive work that some critics consider his finest novel, in preference to A Farewell to Arms. It was also the most successful of all his books as measured in sales. Set during the Spanish Civil War, it tells of Robert Jordan, an American volunteer who is sent to join a guerrilla band behind the Nationalist lines in the Guadarrama Mountains. Most of the novel concerns Jordan’s relations with the varied personalities of the band, including the girl Maria, with whom he falls in love. Through dialogue, flashbacks, and stories, Hemingway offers telling and vivid profiles of the Spanish character and unsparingly depicts the cruelty and inhumanity stirred up by the civil war. Jordan’s mission is to blow up a strategic bridge near Segovia in order to aid a coming Republican attack, which he realizes is doomed to fail. In an atmosphere of impending disaster, he blows up the bridge but is wounded and makes his retreating comrades leave him behind, where he prepares a last-minute resistance to his Nationalist pursuers.

All of his life Hemingway was fascinated by war—in A Farewell to Arms he focused on its pointlessness, in For Whom the Bell Tolls on the comradeship it creates—and, as World War II progressed, he made his way to London as a journalist. He flew several missions with the Royal Air Force and crossed the English Channel with American troops on D-Day (June 6, 1944). Attaching himself to the 22nd Regiment of the 4th Infantry Division, he saw a good deal of action in Normandy and in the Battle of the Bulge. He also participated in the liberation of Paris, and, although ostensibly a journalist, he impressed professional soldiers not only as a man of courage in battle but also as a real expert in military matters, guerrilla activities, and intelligence collection.

Following the war in Europe, Hemingway returned to his home in Cuba and began to work seriously again. He also traveled widely, and, on a trip to Africa, he was injured in a plane crash. Soon after (in 1953), he received the Pulitzer Prize in fiction for The Old Man and the Sea (1952), a short heroic novel about an old Cuban fisherman who, after an extended struggle, hooks and boats a giant marlin only to have it eaten by voracious sharks during the long voyage home. This book, which played a role in gaining for Hemingway the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954, was as enthusiastically praised as his previous novel, Across the River and into the Trees (1950), the story of a professional army officer who dies while on leave in Venice, had been damned.

By 1960 Hemingway had left Cuba and settled in Ketchum, Idaho. (He expressed his belief in what he called the “historical necessity” of the Cuban Revolution his attitude toward its leader, Fidel Castro, who had taken power in 1959, varied.) He tried to lead his life and do his work as before. For a while he succeeded, but, anxiety-ridden and depressed, he was twice hospitalized at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, where he received electroshock treatments. Two days after his return to the house in Ketchum, he took his life with a shotgun. Hemingway had been married four times: to Hadley Richardson in 1921 (divorced 1927), Pauline Pfeiffer in 1927 (divorced 1940), Martha Gellhorn in 1940 (divorced 1945), and Mary Welsh in 1946. He had fathered three sons: John Hadley Nicanor (“Bumby”), with Hadley, born in 1923 Patrick, with Pauline, in 1928 and Gregory, also with Pauline, in 1931.

Hemingway left behind a substantial amount of manuscript, some of which has been published. A Moveable Feast, an entertaining memoir of his years in Paris (1921–26) before he was famous, was issued in 1964. Islands in the Stream, three closely related novellas growing directly out of his peacetime memories of the Caribbean island of Bimini, of Havana during World War II, and of searching for U-boats off Cuba, appeared in 1970.

Hemingway’s characters plainly embody his own values and view of life. The main characters of The Sun Also Rises, A Farewell to Arms, and For Whom the Bell Tolls are young men whose strength and self-confidence nevertheless coexist with a sensitivity that leaves them deeply scarred by their wartime experiences. War was for Hemingway a potent symbol of the world, which he viewed as complex, filled with moral ambiguities, and offering almost unavoidable pain, hurt, and destruction. To survive in such a world, and perhaps emerge victorious, one must conduct oneself with honour, courage, endurance, and dignity, a set of principles known as “the Hemingway code.” To behave well in the lonely, losing battle with life is to show “grace under pressure” and constitutes in itself a kind of victory, a theme clearly established in The Old Man and the Sea.

Hemingway’s prose style was probably the most widely imitated of any in the 20th century. He wished to strip his own use of language of inessentials, ridding it of all traces of verbosity, embellishment, and sentimentality. In striving to be as objective and honest as possible, Hemingway hit upon the device of describing a series of actions by using short, simple sentences from which all comment or emotional rhetoric has been eliminated. These sentences are composed largely of nouns and verbs, have few adjectives and adverbs, and rely on repetition and rhythm for much of their effect. The resulting terse, concentrated prose is concrete and unemotional yet is often resonant and capable of conveying great irony through understatement. Hemingway’s use of dialogue was similarly fresh, simple, and natural-sounding. The influence of this style was felt worldwide wherever novels were written, particularly from the 1930s through the ’50s.

A consummately contradictory man, Hemingway achieved a fame surpassed by few, if any, American authors of the 20th century. The virile nature of his writing, which attempted to re-create the exact physical sensations he experienced in wartime, big-game hunting, and bullfighting, in fact masked an aesthetic sensibility of great delicacy. He was a celebrity long before he reached middle age, but his popularity continues to be validated by serious critical opinion.

Historical Events in 1954 (Part 2)

    WGAN (now WGME) TV channel 13 in Portland, ME (CBS) 1st broadcast US Supreme Court unanimously rules on Brown v Topeka Board of Education reverses 1896 "separate but equal" Plessy v Ferguson decision Postmaster General Summerfield approves CIA mail-opening project

Event of Interest

May 20 Chiang Kai-shek becomes president of Nationalist China

    US Twenty-sixth amendment to give 18-year-olds right to vote is defeated 79th Preakness: Johnny Adams aboard Hasty Road wins in 1:57.4 KREX TV channel 5 in Grand Junction, CO (CBS) begins broadcasting Robert Zimmerman aka Bob Dylan is Bar Mitzvahed 1st rocket attains 150 mi (241 km) altitude, White Sands, New Mexico Dr Peter Murray Marshall becomes 1st African American to head an American Medical Association unit (New York County) German airline Lufthansa forms IBM announces vacuum tube "electronic" brain that could perform 10 million operations an hour

Event of Interest

May 29 Pope Pius XII issues holy declaration

    First of the annual Bilderberg conferences, fostering relations between Europe and North America held at Oosterbeek, Netherlands

French Open Men's Tennis

May 29 French Championships Men's Tennis: Tony Trabert beats Art Larsen 6-4, 7-5, 6-1 for first of 2 straight French singles titles

    French Championships Women's Tennis: Maureen Connolly retains her title beats Ginette Bucaille of France 6-4, 6-1 British runner Diane Leather becomes first woman to run the mile in under 5 minutes 4:59.6 at Alexander Sports Ground in Birmingham, England Dutch bishops forbid membership to non-catholic sporting clubs Emile Zatopek runs world record 5K (13:57.2) Hector Villa-Lobos' "Odisseia de Uma Raca" premieres Indianapolis 500: Bill Vukovich wins in 3:49:17.261 (210.567 km/h) Czech distance runner Emile Zatopek breaks his own 10,000m world record, clocking 28:54.2 in Brussels, Belgium John Costello (Cons) becomes premier of Ireland Arthur Murray flies X-1A rocket plane to record 27,000 m France grants Vietnam independence inside French Union "Your Show Of Shows" last airs on NBC-TV Pope Pius XII publishes encyclical Ecclesiae fastos 1st microbiology laboratory dedicated (New Brunswick NJ)

Event of Interest

Jun 9 Joseph Welch asks US Senator Joseph McCarthy "Have you no sense of decency, sir?" during Senate-Army hearings

    KQED TV channel 9 in San Francisco, California (PBS) begins broadcasting PBS reaches SF: KQED (Channel 9) starts broadcasting "Girl in Pink Tights" closes at Mark Hellinger NYC after 115 performances 86th Belmont: Eric Guerin aboard High Gun wins in 2:30.8

Event of Interest

Jun 12 Bill Haley's "Rock Around the Clock" is originally released

    Milwaukee Braves spot starting pitcher Jim Wilson throws first no-hitter in history of County Stadium when he blanks Philadelphia Phillies, 2-0 Cornerstone of Albert Einstein College of Medicine laid in Bronx

Event of Interest

Jun 14 President Eisenhower signs order adding words "under God" to the Pledge

    Great Britain's 2 biggest steel factories nationalized UEFA (Union des Associations Européennes de Football) is formed in Basle, Switzerland Dutch military conscription shortened from 20 to 18 months

Election of Interest

Jun 16 Ngô Đình Diệm elected Prime Minister of the State of Vietnam (South Vietnam)

Event of Interest

Jun 17 CIA exile army lands in Guatemala. Organised by John Foster Dulles and United Fruit Co.

Boxing Title Fight

Jun 17 Rocky Marciano beats Ezzard Charles by unanimous points decision in his 3rd world heavyweight boxing title defence at Yankee Stadium, NYC

    Televised Senate Army McCarthy hearings ends Pierre Mendès forms French government 4th Berlin International Film Festival: "Hobson's Choice" wins Golden Bear (audience vote) US Open Men's Golf, Baltusrol GC: Ed Furgol wins his only major title, 1 stroke ahead of runner-up Gene Littler

Event of Interest

Jun 19 LPGA Western Open Women's Golf, Glen Flora CC: Betty Jameson wins 6 & 5 over Louise Suggs in the final

    Tasmanian Devil debuts in "Devil May Hare" by Warner Bros John Landy runs world record mile (3:58.0) Congress passes revised organic act for Virgin Islands 122°F (50°C), Overton, Nevada (state record until June 29, 1994) "John Murray Anderson's Almanac" closes at Imperial NYC after 229 performances Jim Peters runs marathon in 2:17:39.4

Event of Interest

Jun 29 US Atomic Energy Commission voted against reinstating Dr Robert Oppenheimer

    Largest check: Internal US Treasury check at $4,176,969,623.57 WDBO (now WCPX) TV channel 6 in Orlando, FL (CBS) begins broadcasting

Wimbledon Men's Tennis

Jul 2 Wimbledon Men's Tennis: Czech Jaroslav Drobný beats Ken Rosewall of Australia 13-11, 4-6, 6-2, 9-7 for his only Wimbledon singles title

    England cricket batsman Denis Compton scores career best 278 in 287 mins in 2nd Test win over Pakistan at Nottingham "Wonderful Town" closes at Winter Garden Theater NYC after 559 performances Wimbledon Women's Tennis: Maureen Connolly wins her 3rd consecutive Wimbledon singles title beating fellow American Louise Brough 6-2, 7-5 US Open Women's Golf, Salem CC: Babe Didrikson-Zaharias wins by a record 12 strokes from Betty Hicks in her comeback event 14 months after radical colon cancer surgery WMSL (WYUR, now WAFF) TV channel 48 in Huntsville, AL (ABC) begins FIFA World Cup Final, Wankdorf Stadium, Bern, Switzerland: Helmut Rahn scores twice as West Germany beats Hungary, 3-2 Dr Sam Sheppard's wife Marilyn is murdered (he is accused of the crime) Meat and all other food rationing officially ends in Britain, nine years after the end of World War II

Music Recording

Jul 5 Elvis Presley records his debut single, a cover of Arthur Cruddup's "That's All Right, Mama"

    B-52A bomber makes its maiden flight Singer Elvis Presley's 1st professional recording session (with guitarist Scotty Moore & bass player Bill Black) takes place at Sam Phillips' Memphis Recording Service in Memphis, Tennessee. The trio record four songs including their historic cover of Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup's song "That's All Right (Mama)". [1] The BBC broadcasts its first television news bulletin

Film Release

Jul 28 "On the Waterfront", directed by Elia Kazan starring Marlon Brando and Eva Marie Saint, is released (Academy Awards Best Picture 1955)

Historic Publication

Jul 29 Publication of "Fellowship of the Ring" 1st volume of "Lord of the Rings" by J. R. R. Tolkien published by George Allen and Unwin in London

    Bob Kennedy hits the 1st grand slam for the new Baltimore Orioles Elvis Presley joins the Memphis Federation of Musicians, Local 71 5th British Empire Games and Commonwealth Games open in Vancouver, Canada Milwaukee first baseman Joe Adcock becomes only the 3rd player in 20th century to hit 4 HRs in 9-inning game (Lou Gehrig & Gil Hodges) in 15-7 Braves' win over Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbets Field MLB record 18 total bases First ascent of K2, by an Italian expedition led by Ardito Desio WKBT TV channel 8 in La Crosse, WI (CBS) begins broadcasting

Event of Interest

Aug 7 Englishman Roger Bannister beats Australia’s John Landy in the mile at the Empire Games in Vancouver first time 2 men run sub-4 minute mile in the same race

    Dutch Indonesian Union breaks up Sir Gordon Richards retires as a jockey with record 4,870 wins At Massena, New York, the groundbreaking ceremony for the St. Lawrence Seaway is held. BC Lions plays its 1st CFL game, they lose to Montreal Alouettes, 22-0 Formal peace treaty ends over 7 yrs of fighting in Indochina between the French and the Communist Viet Minh Senator Eddie Yost draws his 100th walk for 5th year in a row 21st NFL Chicago All-Star Game: Detroit 31, All-Stars 6 (93,470) WGR TV (now WGRZ) TV channel 2 in Buffalo, NY (NBC) begins Alfredo Stroessner names himself president of Paraguay WCHS TV channel 8 in Charleston-Huntington, WV (ABC) begins

Event of Interest

Aug 19 American Ralph Bunche named undersecretary of the UN

    WPTV TV channel 5 in Palm Beach, FL (NBC) begins broadcasting 15th Venice Film Festival: "Romeo and Juliet" directed by Renato Castellani wins Golden Lion Juan Manuel Fangio of Argentina clinches his second Formula 1 World Drivers Championship by winning Swiss Grand Prix at Bremgarten in a Maserati

Event of Interest

Aug 23 President Getulio Vargas of Brazil resigns temporarily

    First flight of the C-130 Hercules transport aircraft. US President Eisenhower signs Communist Control Act, outlawing the Communist Party, at height of McCarthyism International Amateur Athletic Federation recognizes Red China William Heatherton's "Reluctant Debutante" premieres in London Ivan Filin wins Berne marathon (2:25:26.6) (260m) San Francisco International Airport (SFO) opens Hurricane Carol kills 68 on the US East Coast Hurricane Carol hits New England, 70 die, Costliest ever hurricane at the time and 1st storm name to be retired. Indians beat Yanks 6-1 for record tying 26 wins in August (1931 A's) WMTW TV channel 8 in Portland-Poland Spring, ME (ABC) begins Cincinnati 1st baseman Ted Kluszewski hits 2 HRs in a 9-3 loss v Phillies 1st Redleg to ever hit 40 MLB HRs, en route to season total 49 Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant opens infamous 10-day football mini camp in Junction, Texas ordeal achieves legendary status becoming subject of 2001 book 'The Junction Boys' & television movie of the same name

Film Release

Sep 1 "Rear Window", directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring James Stewart and Grace Kelly, is released

    Hurricane Edna batters NE US, killing 20 WTVD TV channel 11 in Raleigh-Durham, NC (ABC) begins broadcasting Espionage & Sabotage Act of 1954 signed in the US, prompted by the cold war Pope Pius X canonized a saint The People's Liberation Army begin shelling the ROC-controlled islands of Quemoy & Amoy The German U-Boat U-505 began its move from a specially constructed dock to its final site at Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry. Peter B Cortese of US achieves a one-arm deadlift of 370 lbs 22 lbs over triple his body weight, at York, Pennsylvania Dutch Super Constellation crashes at Shannon, 28 die US plane shot down above Siberia WINS NYC begins playing rock n roll with Alan Freed Show Yankees use a record 10 pinch hitters

Film Premier

Sep 6 "La Strada" directed by Federico Fellini premieres at the Venice Film Festival starring Anthony Quinn

US Men's Tennis Open

Sep 6 US National Championship Men's Tennis, Forest Hills, NY: Vic Seixas beats Australian Rex Hartwig 3-6, 6-2, 6-4, 6-4 for his second and final major singles title

    US National Championship Women's Tennis, Forest Hills, NY: Doris Hart beats Louise Brough Clapp 6-8, 6-1, 8-6 for the first of her 2 US singles titles Integration begins in Washington, D.C. & Balt MD public schools

Film Release

Sep 7 "Journey to Italy", directed by Roberto Rossellini, starring Ingrid Bergman and George Sanders, is released

Event of Interest

Sep 8 With a 3-2 count, Phillies Richie Ashburn fouls next 14, then walks

Sporting Highlights for 1955

Here are some of the sporting highlights in the world of sport for 1955.

Tony Trabert defended his French Open title for his third grand slam win. He also took the Wimbledon for the first time in his career and the US Open for the second time in his career that same year to finish the year with three grand slam wins and a no.1 finish in the rankings.

Six time grand slam winner Doris Hart defended her US Open title for the final slam title of her career. Fellow American and another six-time slam champion, Louise Brough Clapp, won the Wimbledon that year for her final career title.

Peter Thomson defended his win at The Open Championship for his second major title. He would also win it again the following year to become the only person in the modern era to win the event in three consecutive years. He also won the event two more times in the following years to finish his career with five majors, all coming from The British Open.

Argentina's Juan Manuel Fangio won the driver's championship for the second straight year and the third time in his career. He is the second most accomplished driver, behind Michael Schumacher, in the history of F1 with a total of five driver's championships to his name.

Below is a timeline of some significant results in the world of sport for the year 1955.

Date Results
Jan Tennis Australia Open won by Ken Rosewall and Beryl Penrose
April Golf Masters won by Cary Middlecoff
May Tennis French Open won by Tony Trabert and Angela Mortimer
June Golf US Open won by Jack Fleck
July the Cycling Tour de France won by Louison Bobet
July Tennis Wimbledon won by Tony Trabert and Louise Brough
July Golf British Open won by Peter Thomson
Aug Golf US PGA won by Doug Ford
Sep Tennis US National Championship won by Tony Trabert and Doris Hart
Oct The Baseball World Series won by Brooklyn Dodgers

Please note that the dates for past events are not always known, and are sometimes just placed in the month that the current event is held. If no exact date is listed, then it is just an estimated month that it was held.

If you have a correction or know of events that should be included here, please let me know.

1954 Shooting in the House Chamber

On March 1, 1954, while Members gathered on the House Floor for an upcoming vote, three men and one woman entered the visitor’s gallery above the chamber and quietly took their seats. All four belonged to the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party and only hours earlier had traveled from New York City to Washington, DC.

The United States had annexed Puerto Rico in 1898, and the island’s relationship with the federal government had long been a point of contention. Some Puerto Ricans sought to maintain their relationship with the mainland, and others, like the four visitors in the House that day, argued for an independent Puerto Rico.

The Capitol had few security protocols at the time, and the four Puerto Rican nationalists entered the gallery armed with handguns. Around 2:30 p.m. they indiscriminately opened fire onto the House Floor and unfurled a Puerto Rican flag in a violent act of protest meant to draw attention to their demand for Puerto Rico’s immediate independence.

Five Congressmen were wounded in the shooting.

Members, House Pages, and police officers quickly helped detain three of the assailants outside the gallery, while the fourth escaped the Capitol and was apprehended later that afternoon.

/tiles/non-collection/o/oh_evnt_1954_pages_goodwin.xml Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
About this object House Pages carry a stretcher bearing a wounded Member to a waiting ambulance.


The period of the 1950s was termed as the century of literature, as many writers and novelists emerged and blessed the world with amazing creations. The important events that happened in arts and literature include:

The Catcher in the Rye was published

The Catcher in the Rye was written by J.D. Salinger in 1951. It is a war novel for modern teenage years and has sold 65 million copies since its publishing.

Invisible Man was published

Invisible Man was written by Ralph Ellison in 1952. It is such a highly influential novel that Barack Obama even modeled his book “Dreams of my Father’ on it. This book was awarded the National Book Award in 1953.

Fahrenheit 451 was published

Fahrenheit 451 is written by Ray Bradbury in 1953. It involves the talk and threat of book burning and is inspired by Hitler when he burned books on the street of Berlin.

The Fellowship of the Ring was published

The Fellowship of the Ring is written by J.R.R Tolkien in 1954, and it is stated as the best children story of the century at that time. The whole series of books combined is termed as the best set of literature ever written.

Exodus was Published

Exodus is written by Leon Uris in 1958 and revolves around the founding of Israel. The hardcover of this book was on the New York Times bestseller list for more than a year and the fastest-selling work published at that time.

Following are some more highlights of the decade:

  • The 1955 National Book Award for Fiction was given to William Faulkner for his book A Fable.
  • The 1956 National Book Award for Nonfiction was given to Herbert Kubly for An American in Italy.

About the Laboratory of Molecular Biology

The MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) is a world-class research laboratory, dedicated to understanding important biological processes at the molecular level – with the goal of using this knowledge to tackle major problems in human health and disease.

The LMB is one of the birthplaces of modern molecular biology. Many techniques were pioneered at the laboratory, including DNA sequencing, methods for determining the three-dimensional structure of proteins and the development of monoclonal antibodies.

Over the years, the work of LMB scientists has attracted 12 Nobel prizes, dozens of Royal Society awards and numerous other scientific honours.

In addition, many of our scientists have succeeded in exploiting their discoveries through technology transfer generating over £700 million of commercial income, to help support UK science.

For a brief overview of the LMB,
you can view the LMB Booklet.

For a more detailed description of the LMB, you can view the Lab Brochure.

How Is Your Life Situated in History?

It’s difficult to piece together, in the moment, which of the events we live through will be remembered over time. Will it be the resignation of a national security advisor weeks into a new presidency? Will it be the sight of people wearing shorts in the middle of winter, a chaser for the hottest year on record? Or will it be something else altogether, a domino that tumbled mostly out of sight, setting off a chain of events more significant than anything that grabbed headlines at the time? What historic events have you lived through that weren't thought of as historic when they happened?

Today, The Atlantic is launching something we call the Life Timeline. Enter your birthday, and the Life Timeline will show you a brief tour of the history that’s happened all around you. You can think of it as a rearview mirror for your life, allowing you to view the milestones that dot your journey to this moment, stretching back until just before you were born. Just like history, each Life Timeline comprises many different types of events—delightful moments and tragic ones, world-changing milestones and moments merely worthy of note, some you probably remember, some you might have forgotten, and a few you might not have known about at all. Many are paired with stories from The Atlantic’s archives, so that you can see how these events and their significance play out in the memory of this 160-year-old institution.

My Life Timeline tells me that right around the middle of my life, Google was founded. So right at this moment, I’ve lived in a world with Google just as long as I lived in the world without it, and as I age, I move further into a world where it's been around for most of my life. Those still-vivid pre-Google scavenger hunts through Dewey Decimal cards will start to recede deeper into the fog of memory. For me, the milestone is a reminder to mark my memories of that time before they get blurrier, to take a moment to think about what I might have gained and lost. But I imagine your Life Timeline will prompt different sorts of reflections.

We plan to continue adding to the Life Timeline over time and in response to your feedback. After viewing your own timeline, you can share your email with us to be notified of future updates. Whether you consider it a blessing or a curse, you’re living through interesting times. And you’ve already lived through enough to fill history books. Consider this a sneak preview of what those books might say.

The Internet Mocked Her as a Teenager. It’s Embracing Her Now.

The generation that grew up with Rebecca Black’s “Friday” isn’t just nostalgic for that novelty tune—it’s making music inspired by it.

Ten years ago, the most Googled name in the world belonged to a wide-smiling 13-year-old girl everyone seemed to be laughing at. She was Rebecca Black of “Friday,” the calendar-themed sing-along that reached megafame by being, in many people’s judgment, the worst song ever. Amid cheesy production by the ARK Music Factory—a now-defunct Southern California firm that Black’s mom had paid $4,000 to make the song—Black’s auto-tuned voice bleated about cereal, front seats, back seats, and “fun, fun, fun.” In the music video, which featured tweens riding around in a convertible, and on talk shows where hosts quizzed Black about why her song was so hated, she never seemed to drop her grin.

I Know the Secret to the Quiet Mind. I Wish I’d Never Learned It.

Of all the injuries we suffered, mine is the worst. My brain injury has shaken my confidence in my own personality, my own existence.

The worst things can happen on the most beautiful days. My family’s worst day was a perfect one in the summer of 2019. We picked my daughter up from camp and talked about where to go for lunch: the diner or the burger place. I don’t remember which we chose. What I do remember: being woken up, again and again, by doctors who insist on asking me the same questions—my name, where I am, what month it is—and telling me the same story, a story that I am sure is wrong.

“You were in a car accident,” they say. But this cannot be. We’re having lunch and then going on a hike. I had promised the think tank where I work that I’d call in to a 4 p.m. meeting.

“You are in Dartmouth-Hitchcock Hospital in New Hampshire.” Another ludicrous statement. I started the day in Vermont. Surely if I had crossed the river to New Hampshire I would know it.

The Dark Side of Fitness Culture

The Apple TV+ series Physical is a reminder that making people hate their body is a thriving pillar of American commerce.

T his is supposed to be the season of unleashed, exuberant exhibitionism. Many of us have swaddled our pale bodies in Lycra and terry cloth for more than a year the theory of Hot Vax Summer is that we’re long overdue to expose them to the cruel light of other people’s eyes. In the music video for “Solar Power,” Lorde basks on the beach in a lemon-yellow crop top, the symmetry of her rib cage its own work of art. “Forget all of the tears that you’ve cried it’s over,” she sings, shooing away our literal and metaphorical winter of COVID-19. (Predictably, the outfit she wears—$615 plus tax!—sold out immediately.) I watched most of Physical—Apple TV+’s new series about a 1980s aerobics queen-in-waiting—with this in mind, idly running my hand over and over my unsculpted midriff, fighting the impulse to throw on a leotard and sweat joyfully along to “Space Age Love Song.” This is the conflict at the center of American consumerist fitness spectacle: Even when it’s at its most transparently questionable, the promise is almost impossible to resist.

Chris Paul Bears the Brunt of Pro Sports’ Vaccination Problem

Leagues are seeing the downside of treating vaccines as simply a matter of personal choice.

When the NBA announced Wednesday that Phoenix Suns point guard Chris Paul was being sidelined indefinitely under the league’s coronavirus-safety protocols, the next question was obvious: Had Paul been vaccinated?

For COVID-19 concerns to interrupt Paul’s brilliant playoff run seemed particularly cruel—not only because the widespread availability of vaccines has made transmission of the virus largely preventable, but also because the Suns had just secured a spot in the Western Conference finals. Even though Paul is one of the best NBA point guards ever, this week’s development was another unfortunate entry in his long history of medical problems during the playoffs.

The television analysts Matt Barnes and Jalen Rose, both of whom are former NBA players, soon reported that Paul had indeed been vaccinated. But all the discussion of his status raised another important question: Do fans even have the right to know, and do journalists have the right to ask, if a player has been vaccinated against COVID-19?

I Was Taught From a Young Age to Protect My Dynastic Wealth

A common ideology underlies the practices of many ultra-wealthy people: The government can’t be trusted with money.

When ProPublica published its report last week on the tax profiles of 25 of the richest Americans, jaws dropped across the United States. How was it possible that plutocrats such as Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and Warren Buffett could pay nothing in income taxes to the federal government? What sneaky sleights of pen, what subterfuge, what acts of turpitude could have led to this result?

The shock stems, in part, from a disturbing reality: Nowhere does ProPublica assert that these men cheated, lied, or did anything felonious to lower their tax burdens. The naked fact of the matter is that not a single one of the documented methods and practices that allowed these billionaires to so radically minimize their tax obligations was illegal.

Expect the Unexpected From the Delta Variant

There’s no way of knowing how bad things will get in the U.S. In a way, that’s a luxury.

This much is clear: The coronavirus is becoming more transmissible. Ever since the virus emerged in China, it has been gaining mutations that help it spread more easily among humans. The Alpha variant, first detected in the United Kingdom last year, is 50 percent more transmissible than the original version, and now the Delta variant, first detected in India, is at least 40 percent more transmissible than Alpha.

What’s less certain, however, is how the virus’s increased transmissibility will affect the pandemic in the United States. Alpha’s arrival prompted worries about a new surge in the spring, but one never came. The proportion of Alpha cases kept going up, but the total number of cases kept going down. People got vaccinated. Alpha became dominant in the U.S. Cases fell even further. The virus had become more biologically transmissible, but it wasn’t being transmitted to more people.

How to Hold Trump Accountable

The extent of the former president’s corruption may be too great for Americans to fathom.

A torrent of new revelations is filling in the picture of how Donald Trump used, and abused, his authority as president. But the disclosures may serve only to underscore how little remains known about all the ways in which Trump barreled through traditional limits on the exercise of presidential power—and highlight the urgency of developing a more comprehensive accounting before the 2024 election, when he may seek to regain those powers.

The steady flow of discoveries over the past few weeks has been damning. Emails show how both Trump and his White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows pressured the Justice Department to support the former president’s baseless claims of widespread voter fraud in 2020. A previously unheard tape captures how Rudolph Giuliani, as Trump’s attorney, explicitly pressured Ukraine to manufacture an investigation against Joe Biden—the issue that prompted the former president’s first impeachment. Even more ominous has been the disclosure that the Justice Department under Trump subpoenaed communications records of journalists, Democratic members and staffers in the House of Representatives, and even Trump’s own White House counsel, all without their knowledge.

The Strange Elegance of Joe Manchin’s Voter-ID Deal

Voter-ID laws are noxious. But they don’t suppress turnout that much.

In order to secure his vote on the most significant voting-rights legislation in more than half a century, Senator Joe Manchin is demanding that every American be required to show identification in order to vote. Democrats shouldn’t hold their nose and take that deal.

They should embrace it with open arms.

Manchin has been frequently and fairly criticized for incoherence on democracy issues. His recent op-ed in the Charleston Gazette-Mail, which argued that partisan voting restrictions should be undone only with bipartisan support, was illogical. But now the staunch advocates, rather than the reluctant moderates, are facing a crucial test—and to pass that test, it’s time for Democrats to have a full, honest conversation about requiring voter ID.

Kill the 5-Day Workweek

Reducing hours without reducing pay would reignite an essential but long-forgotten moral project: making American life less about work.

T he 89 people who work at Buffer, a company that makes social-media management tools, are used to having an unconventional employer. Everyone’s salary, including the CEO’s, is public. All employees work remotely their only office closed down six years ago. And as a perk, Buffer pays for any books employees want to buy for themselves.

So perhaps it is unsurprising that last year, when the pandemic obliterated countless workers’ work-life balance and mental health, Buffer responded in a way that few other companies did: It gave employees an extra day off each week, without reducing pay—an experiment that’s still running a year later. “It has been such a godsend,” Essence Muhammad, a customer-support agent at Buffer, told me.

The Human Genome Is—Finally!—Complete

The Human Genome Project left 8 percent of our DNA unexplored. Now, for the first time, those enigmatic regions have been revealed.

When the human genome was first deemed “complete” in 2000, the news was met with great international fanfare. The two rival groups vying to finish the genome first—one a large government-led consortium, the other an underdog private company—agreed to declare joint success. They shook hands at the White House. Bill Clinton presided. Tony Blair beamed in from London. “We are standing at an extraordinary moment in scientific history,” one prominent scientist declared when those genomes were published. “It’s as though we have climbed to the top of the Himalayas.”

But actually, the human genome was not complete. Neither group had reached the real summit. As even the contemporary coverage acknowledged, that version was more of a rough draft, riddled with long stretches where the DNA sequence was still fuzzy or missing. The private company soon pivoted and ended its human-genome project, though scientists with the public consortium soldiered on. In 2003, with less glitz but still plenty of headlines, the human genome was declared complete once again.

The History of the Cavendish

The Cavendish Laboratory has an extraordinary history of discovery and innovation in Physics since its opening in 1874 under the direction of James Clerk Maxwell, the University's first Cavendish Professor of Experimental Physics. Up till that time, physics meant theoretical physics and was regarded as the province of the mathematicians. The outstanding experimental contributions of Isaac Newton, Thomas Young and George Gabriel Stokes were all carried out in their colleges. The need for the practical training of scientists and engineers was emphasised by the success of the Great Exhibition of 1851 and the requirements of an industrial society. The foundation of the Natural Sciences Tripos in 1851 set the scene for the need to build dedicated experimental physics laboratories and this was achieved through the generosity of the Chancellor of the University, William Cavendish, the Seventh Duke of Devonshire. He provided £6,300 to meet the costs of building a physics laboratory, on condition that the Colleges provided the funding for a Professorship of Experimental Physics. This led to the appointment of Maxwell as the first Cavendish professor.

Since its foundation, the Laboratory has had great fortune in appointing Cavendish professors who, between them, have changed completely our understanding of the physical world. Maxwell did not live to see his theories of electricity, magnetism and statistical physics fully confirmed by experiment, but his practical legacy was the design and equipping of the new Laboratory. Maxwell died in 1879 at the early age of 48 and was succeeded by Lord Rayleigh, who was responsible for setting up a systematic course of instruction in experimental physics, which has remained at the core of the Laboratory's teaching programme.

JJ Thomson succeeded Rayleigh in 1884 and began the revolution in physics which was to lead to the discovery of quantum mechanics in the 1920s. During Thomson's long tenure, the University allowed students from outside Cambridge to study for the new degree of Doctor of Philosophy in 1895. Among the first generation of physics graduate students were Ernest Rutherford and Charles Wilson, who, along with JJ Thomson, were to win Nobel prizes for their researches. The discovery of the electron by Thomson, the invention of the Cloud chamber by Wilson, the discovery of artificial nuclear fission by Rutherford are examples of the extraordinary advances in experimental technique which ushered in what became known as modern physics.

In 1919, Thomson was succeeded by his former student Rutherford, under whose tenure Francis Aston discovered the isotopes of the chemical elements, Patrick Blackett first photographed artificial nuclear interactions, James Chadwick discovered the neutron and John Cockcroft and Ernest Walton carried out the experiment which produced the first controlled nuclear disintegrations induced by accelerated high energy particles, as well as proving experimentally for the first time that E = mc 2 .

Lawrence Bragg succeeded Rutherford as Cavendish professor in 1938 and developed the use of X-ray crystallography as an extraordinarily powerful tool for understanding the structure of biological molecules. The culmination of these studies was the determination of the double-helix structure of the DNA molecule by Francis Crick and James Watson. The scope of physics continued to expand with the push to very low temperatures through research conducted in the Mond Laboratory and to very high energies with the construction of the next generation of particle accelerators.

Bragg was succeed by Nevill Mott in 1954 and under his leadership, many pioneering studies were carried out in what is now be termed condensed matter physics, including his own work on amorphous semiconductors which was to lead to his Nobel prize. The Laboratory continued to expand at a great rate until the site in central Cambridge became so overcrowded that a move to a new green-field site in West Cambridge, managed by Brian Pippard, Mott's successor as Cavendish Professor in 1971, was deemed necessary.

The move was completed in 1974 and a completely new phase of discovery began. Large facilities were developed in radio astronomy and semiconductor physics, which continue to be frontier areas of research within the Laboratory. Completely new disciplines were fostered. With Sam Edward's appointment as Pippard's successor in 1984, soft condensed matter became a major component of the Laboratory's programme. This led in turn to major initiatives in biological physics and the physics of medicine. Polymer semiconductor physics has flourished under Edwards' successor Richard Friend. In the first decade of the 21 st century, new frontiers have been opened up in the areas of nanotechnology, cold atoms and ultra-low temperature physics.

The next phase of development is the reconstruction of the Laboratory to meet the challenges of the 21 st century. The necessary major redevelopment programme continues the tradition of innovation and originality that has been at the heart of the Laboratory's programme since its foundation.

For more details of the history of the Laboratory, see the following links.

A History Of African-American Athletes

Eighty years ago, 100 white men chasing a black man through a field was called the Ku Klux Klan. Today, it is called the PGA Tour. All the great golfers of the past including Nickalus, Snead, Hogan, Sarazen, and Palmer were all white. But in other professional sports, the dominant athlete has been black.

But a lot of crazy stuff has been happening. The most dominant center in the NBA is Chinese, so why shouldn't the best golfer be black, after the white man has dominated the sport of golf?

Before losing his number one ranking to Vijay Singh in 2004, Tiger Woods held the title for a record 264 weeks. I like the PGA for their "money list", in which players compete for their monetary earnings. In 13 pro seasons, Tiger has just over $82M in PGA earnings, well behind players who sign $100M dollar deals like Ichiro, Alfonso Soriano, and Alex Rodriguez. The first overall pick in the 2007 NFL draft, JaMarcus Russell, signed a six-year $68M deal with the Oakland Raiders.

And might I add. Vijay Singh, the golfer who took over the number one ranking, is also black.

Arkansas Democratic Gazette journalist Jon Entine calculates the odds of a black American teenager becoming a professional athlete at 1-to-4,000 -- a long shot to be sure, but still 20 times greater than his white counterpart, who has a 1-in-80,000 chance of going pro.

Check out ESPN's SportCenter anytime. The highlight reels of pro and collegiate football and basketball games are full of dark bodies leaping, twisting, running, and committing superhuman feats. While only 13 percent of the US's population is black, black athletes constitute 80 percent of the players in the NBA, 67 percent of the NFL, but only 13 percent are American-born blacks.

The NFL originated in 1869. During the early years, blacks were banned from the NFL due to segregation. The first known black to play pro football was Charles Follis with the Shelby Athletic Club in 1902. When Follis retired from pro football in 1906, he was replaced the same year by Charles Baker, who played two seasons as a running back with the Akron Indians.

In 1933, after 31 years of limited integration, the NFL banned black athletes from participating in league play. When the NFL was reintegrated in 1946, black players made an immediate impact, leading their teams in most statistical categories.

The LA Rams became the first team to integrate when they hired black players Kenny Washington and Woody Strode, both teammates of Jackie Robinson on the 1939 UCLA Bruins football team, in 1946. The New York Giants and Detroit Lions were the only other teams to integrate during the 1940s, and more NFL teams recruited black players in the 50s. Several teams stood out for their racist beliefs, including the Washington Redskins, the last team to integrate when they signed RB Bobby Mitchell, who went on to have a Hall of Fame career and was a front office executive for the ‘Skins from 1969-2002. In the 70s, black players were among the NFL’s top stars. By the late 80s, black players began to make gains in positions from which they had been discouraged, particularly quarterback.

Even in today’s NFL, the white quarterback has dominated the black. Today, 28 of the 32 NFL teams are run by white quarterbacks. That leaves the exclusive club of David Garrard (JAX), JaMarcus Russell (OAK), Donovan McNabb (PHI) and Jason Campbell (WAS).

In 1953, Willie Thrower was the first black quarterback in the league. Doug Williams has been the only black QB to lead his team his team to a Super Bowl win when he led the Washington Redskins (the last team to integrate…) blew out the Denver Broncos 42-10 inSuper Bowl XXII. Although blacks have excelled on the football field, they have not been welcomed management positions. Today, there is only one black GM, which is Ozzie Newsome, when he took over the Baltimore Ravens in 2002.

Art Shell became the first black head coach in the NFL in 1989 when he was hired by the Los Angeles Raiders. Ten years later, Ray Rhodes and his assistants with the Green Bay Packers became the first all-black coaching staff in the NFL. Tony Dungy is the only black coach to win a Super Bowl, when he beat Lovie Smith’s Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XXLII.

During the All-Star Game in 1997, the NBA unveiled a list of the 50 greatest players of all time to coincide with the league’s 50 th anniversary. Of this list, only 18 of 50 are white. But since 1997, a few players have been unofficially added to the list: Kobe Bryant, Gary Payton, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, and Dominique Wilkins (all black).

Unarguably, the six greatest players of all-time are Wilt Chamberlain, Michael Jordan, Bill Russell, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Oscar Robertson, and Elgin Baylor. Their combined career totals are 70 All-Star game, 19 NBA MVP awards, 5 Rookie of the Year awards, and 26 NBA Championships (along with 11 Finals MVP awards).

Honored internationally as the central colored figure in baseball, Jackie Robinson took the first steps toward integrating Major League Baseball when he signed a contract with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. This gigantic stride prepared the way for the legendary feats of Willie Mays and Hank Aaron. With Jackie Robinson on the roster, the Dodgers won the league title, and Robinson finished with a .297 batting average, a league leading 29 stolen bases, and was awarded the first ever Rookie of the Year award. Baseball owners were slowly discovering that the more they cared about the color of people’s money, the less they could care about the color of people’s skin. But Robinson had his share of problems. He began to speak up with pitchers narrowly missed his head, fans shouted epithets, and hate mail and death threats arrived frequently at his home. He fought denial of equal service in eating and sleeping quarters, or whenever he faced discrimination. Finally, the curative events of time and recognition of Robinson’s value to the team caused the majority of players to settle into the spirit of cooperation. With Robinson on the roster, the Dodgers won the NL pennant 6 of 10 years, including the 1955 World Series title.

When the Dodgers decided to trade Robinson to the Brooklyn Giants after the 1956 World Series, he retired from the game, declining to join his team’s archrivals from the same city. It was a fitting time for Robinson to retire, with a .311 lifetime average and 197 stolen bases over his career. Jackie Robinson’s number 42 was retired in 1997 throughout Major League Baseball because of the door he opened for that black athlete in pro sports.

Over the past sixty years, there have been only 18 black players in the NHL. The first of these players was Willie O’Ree. O’Ree made his debut as the first black player when he signed with the Quebec Aces, a minor league team affiliated with the Boston Bruins, in 1956. There would not be another black hockey player for twenty-five more years. During his second season, O’Ree was struck in the eye with a puck and lost 95% of his vision in his right eye. Doctors advised him to stop playing, but O’Ree was back on the ice eight weeks later.

Willie re-signed with the Aces in 1957 for $3,500. Quebec won the championship that year. Willie was called up by the Bruins in 1958, thus becoming the first black player in the NHL. He played two games before being sent back down to the minors.

The Bruins called Willie up again in 1961, where he played 43 games coming off the bench. He scored 4 goals and had 10 assists. He, as Jackie Robinson did, had to endure discrimination and racial slurs. O’Ree has said that taunting wasn’t as bad in Canada as it was in the US.

As the 1961 season ended, Bruins coach Milt Schmidt told Willie that they were so impressed with his play that he would be with the Bruins again the following season. However, six weeks later, he found out in the local paper that he had been traded to the Montreal Canadians. The Bruins never informed him of the trade.

Two months later, Willie was traded again, this time to the LA Kings, where he played six seasons and won scoring titles in 1964 and 1968. Willie retired in 1974.

But in 1978, at the age of 43, Willie came out of retirement to play for the San Diego Hawks. During a 70-game season, Willie scored 50 goals.

Unfortunately, racism still exists in sports today. Paul Hornung asked Notre Dame to lower its academic standards so more black athletes could be admitted. Bob Ryan told ESPN that the 2004 Vanderbilt Commodores men’s basketball team was too white to get past the first round of the NCAA Tournament (They got to the Sweet 16 with only three white players on the roster), Larry Bird says the NBA needs more white superstars, Rush Limbaugh was dismissed from ESPN for his Donovan McNabb comments, Cincinnati Reds manager Dusty Baker suggested that black and Latino players play better than whites in the heat, and recently retired linebacker Junior Seau said the only way to stop Chargers running back LaDainain Tomlinson was to feed him watermelon and fried chicken.

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