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1957 Fun Facts and Trivia

Gregory DeVictor is a trivia enthusiast who loves to write articles on American nostalgia.

This article teaches you fun facts and trivia from the year 1957.

This article teaches you fun facts and trivia from the year 1957.

A Quick Look Back at 1957

What are some fun facts, trivia, and historical events from the year 1957? What were the top news stories in the U.S. and around the world? What happened in the business and financial sectors, in science, technology, sports, the entertainment industry, and in everyday life?

  1. President Eisenhower was sworn in for a second term.
  2. In the mid-1950s, the Federal Reserve raised interest rates in an effort to curb inflation. From August 1957 to April 1958, the United States slipped into a recession because of the Fed’s tight monetary policy. The GDP fell by 3.7%, unemployment peaked at 7.4%, and corporate profits fell by 25%.
  3. In order to suppress the growing Soviet influence in both Egypt and Syria, President Eisenhower inaugurated the Eisenhower Doctrine. Under the doctrine, “a Middle Eastern country could request American economic assistance or aid from U.S. military forces if it was being threatened by armed aggression.”
  4. The USS Nautilus—the world's first nuclear-powered submarine—logged her 60,000th nautical mile.
  5. The “baby boomer” birth rate peaked at 25.3 births per 1,000 people. (A baby boomer is someone who was born between 1946 and 1964, "during the post–World War II baby boom.")
  6. Under executive orders from President Eisenhower, troops from the 101st Airborne Division "were deployed to ensure that 'the Little Rock Nine' were allowed to attend classes at the previously segregated Little Rock Central High School."
  7. Special Forces soldier Harry Cramer became America's first combat death in Vietnam. (Between 1955 and 1975, there were 211,454 U.S. casualties in Vietnam.)
  8. Leroy Burner—the U.S. Surgeon General—issued a report on smoking and health that linked cigarette smoking and lung cancer.
  9. The phrase “IN GOD WE TRUST” first appeared on U.S. paper currency.
  10. On Saturday April 13, there was no nationwide mail delivery because of a budget crisis at the USPS.
  11. During the early morning hours of June 27, Hurricane Audrey roared ashore and devastated southwest Louisiana and southeastern Texas.
  12. Trolley service in both New York City and Kansas City ended.
  13. The Soviet Union inaugurated the Space Age by launching Sputnik I, the world's first artificial satellite.
  14. Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and West Germany all signed a treaty that established the European Economic Community (EEC), also known as the Common Market.
  15. The Detroit Lions were the NFL champs, the Milwaukee Braves won the World Series, and the Montreal Canadiens clinched the Stanley Cup.
  16. The National League owners voted unanimously “to allow the New York Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers to move to San Francisco and Los Angeles, respectively.”
  17. At the 29th Academy Awards, Around the World in 80 Days won five Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Original Score (Victor Young).
  18. The Tonight Show—a late-night talk show hosted by Jack Paar—premiered on NBC.
  19. Larry King did his first radio broadcast, and the last episode of the sitcom I Love Lucy was broadcast on CBS.
  20. KNOC (Dallas) became the first radio station in the U.S. to adopt a full-time rhythm and blues (R&B) format. On the other hand, KPEG (Spokane, Washington) went on the air with an all-female DJ team, who all used the name “Peg” while on the air.
  21. In 1957, bubble wrap, Purina dog chow, Dream Whip, Formula 409, Sweet’n Low, Tang (drink mix), styrofoam coolers, and the Whopper all appeared in the marketplace for the first time.
  22. Idaho became the largest producer of potatoes, overtaking Maine. At the same time, margarine sales surpassed butter sales for the first time in history.
  23. What about cars back in 1957? RobinsonLibrary.com tells us that “Almost all of the car models for 1957 were lower, longer, and wider than they had ever been. They had more glass, higher tail fins, and more conservative colors (with black and white being the most popular among consumers). Only a few manufacturers did not introduce new bodies."
  24. On January 31, actress Elizabeth Taylor divorced actor Michael Wilding, and then tied the knot with producer Mike Todd two days later.
  25. Dana Bennett of Denver, Colorado and Sandra Owen of Navarre, Ohio both won the 30th Scripps National Spelling Bee. They were declared co-champions after the word list was exhausted.

Here are the five most popular TV shows from 1957-58:

  1. Gunsmoke (CBS)
  2. The Danny Thomas Show (CBS)
  3. Tales of Wells Fargo (NBC)
  4. Have Gun Will Travel (CBS)
  5. I’ve Got A Secret (CBS)

Here are ten cool food and beverage trends for the year:

  1. Chicken a la King
  2. Chiffon cake
  3. Dinty Moore beef stew
  4. Green bean casseroles
  5. Jell-O salads
  6. Snowballs: TheDailyMeal.com describes this dessert as “a scoop of vanilla ice cream rolled in shredded coconut and usually drizzled with chocolate sauce.”
  7. Stuffed celery
  8. Swanson TV dinners
  9. Tuna noodle casseroles
  10. Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and RC Cola

This article teaches you fun facts, trivia, and historical events from the year 1957. Find out about popular TV shows, movies, music, books, foods, sports facts, and other cool pop culture trends to get the right mix of questions and answers for your 1950s-themed trivia game.

In 1957, a can of Campbell’s tomato soup cost a dime. Today, you will probably pay a buck for the same therapy.

In 1957, a can of Campbell’s tomato soup cost a dime. Today, you will probably pay a buck for the same therapy.

Table of Contents

For easier reading, I have divided this article into the following categories:

  1. Grocery Prices in the Year 1957
  2. What Was the U.S. Economy Like in 1957?
  3. History Facts From the USA and World
  4. Sports Trivia
  5. Miscellaneous Fun Facts, Trivia, and Pop Culture Trends
  6. Nobel Prize Winners
  7. Best-Selling Books
  8. Most Popular Television Shows From 1957-58
  9. Favorite Radio Programs
  10. Highest-Grossing Films
  11. Horror Movies From 1957
  12. Biggest Pop Music Artists
  13. Top 40 Songs for the Year
  14. Food and Beverage Trivia
  15. Famous Birthdays
  16. Weddings and Divorces
  17. Famous People Who Died
  18. America’s Largest Corporations
  19. American Companies and Brands Established During 1957
In 1957, Food Lion, a grocery store chain that operates over 1,000 supermarkets in 10 states, was launched. It was originally founded as Food Town, a single grocery store in Salisbury, North Carolina.

In 1957, Food Lion, a grocery store chain that operates over 1,000 supermarkets in 10 states, was launched. It was originally founded as Food Town, a single grocery store in Salisbury, North Carolina.

1. Grocery Prices in the Year 1957

These grocery facts have been made available courtesy of the Morris County Public Library in Whippany, NJ. and HowStuffWorks.com.

  1. Apples (Stayman-Winesap): 39 cents for a four-pound bag
  2. Bacon: 49 cents for a one-pound package
  3. Beef (ground): 30 cents a pound
  4. Beef (pot roast): 69 cents a pound
  5. Bread: 19 cents for a 16-ounce loaf
  6. Broccoli: 23 cents a bunch
  7. Butter: 75 cents for a one-pound package
  8. Canned peaches (Libby’s): 25 cents for a 17-ounce can
  9. Cocoa (Nestle’s): 25 cents for an eight-ounce can
  10. Cookies (Burry’s, Oxford cremes): 29 cents for a one-pound package
  11. Corn (Green Giant): 14 cents for a 27-ounce can
  12. Crackers (Nabisco saltines): 25 cents for a 16-ounce box
  13. Eggs: 55 cents a dozen
  14. French fries (Birds Eye, frozen): 33 cents for two nine-ounce packages
  15. Grapefruit (Florida, seedless): 39 cents for a five-pound bag
  16. Gum (Juicy Fruit, Wrigley’s spearmint, and Dubble Bubble): 19 cents for six packs (30 pieces)
  17. Hot dogs (beef): 49 cents for a one-pound package
  18. Juice (Minute Maid, frozen orange juice): 89 cents for six eight-ounce cans
  19. Juice (Mott’s, apple): 10 cents for a 12-ounce can
  20. Lettuce (iceberg): 19 cents for a large head
  21. Macaroni (Ronzoni): 35 cents for two 16-ounce boxes
  22. Maple Syrup (Vermont Maid): 33 cents for a 12-ounce bottle
  23. Margarine (Kraft): 39 cents for a one-pound package
  24. Milk: $1.00 per gallon
  25. Oranges (Temple): 33 cents for six
  26. Pancake flour (Aunt Jemima): 17 cents for a one-pound bag
  27. Pickles (Colonial, kosher spears): 49 cents for two 32-ounce jars
  28. Pie (Jane Parker, apple): 43 cents apiece
  29. Potatoes (Maine russet): 25 cents for a five-pound bag
  30. Rice (Uncle Ben’s): 37 cents for two 14-ounce boxes
  31. Soup (Campbell’s, tomato): 10 cents a can
  32. Tea bags (Tetley): 61 cents for a 48-count package
  33. Tomatoes (fresh): 23 cents for a carton of three or four
  34. Swanson TV dinners: 75 cents each
  35. Tang breakfast crystals: 50 cents for a 12-ounce jar
  36. Yogurt (Dannon): 35 cents for two eight-ounce cups
In 1957, General Motors was America’s largest corporation.

In 1957, General Motors was America’s largest corporation.

2. What Was the U.S. Economy Like in 1957?

  1. In the mid-1950s, the Federal Reserve raised interest rates in an effort to curb inflation. From August 1957 to April 1958, the United States slipped into a recession because of the Fed’s tight monetary policy. The GDP fell by 3.7%, unemployment peaked at 7.4%, and corporate profits fell by 25%.
  2. Besides inflation, what other factor(s) led to the 1957-58 recession? GlobalSecurity.org reports that government purchases of goods and services before the recession had decreased “because the Eisenhower Administration and many in Congress wanted a large actual budget surplus.”
  3. But that’s not all. According to CNBC.com, “a global recession (which also happened to coincide with the 1957 Asian flu pandemic that killed 1.1 million people worldwide) further hurt the U.S. economy as the country’s exports declined by more than $4 billion.”
  4. What helped the U.S. economy to recover from the recession? CNBC.com reports that “The Dwight Eisenhower Administration acted aggressively to spur an economic rebound, including increasing government spending on construction projects and putting more money into the nation’s interstate system after previously passing the landmark Federal Aid Highway Act in 1956.”
  5. Unemployment was 5.2% in December, a full percentage point above the rate in December 1956. (Comparatively, the jobless rate was 6.2% in December 1958.)
  6. The 1957 inflation rate was 3.31%, up from 1.49% a year earlier. The BLS explains that “Purchasing power decreased by 3.31% in 1957 compared to 1956. On average, you would have to spend 3.31% more money in 1957 than in 1956 for the same item.”
  7. San Francisco (4.24%) experienced the highest rate of inflation between 1956 and 1957. Other metropolitan areas with high inflation rates during the same period were Seattle (4.23%), Boston (3.51%), and Houston (3.30%).
  8. Conversely, Atlanta (2.70%) had the lowest rate of inflation between 1956 and 1957. Other cities with low inflation rates at the same time were Detroit (2.93%), New York (3.18%), and Philadelphia (3.22%).
  9. In 1957, median household income in the U.S. was $5,000, a gain of about 4% over 1956.
  10. A gallon of milk cost $1.00, eggs were 55 cents a dozen, and bread was 19 cents for a 16-ounce loaf.
  11. The average cost of a new home was $12,220.
  12. The average monthly rent was $90.00.
  13. The price for a gallon of regular gas averaged 24 cents.
  14. A first-class stamp cost three cents.
  15. The federal minimum wage was $1.00.
  16. The prime rate held steady at 4.5% for the year.
  17. On the last day of trading for 1957, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 435.69.
  18. The price of gold averaged $35.25 per ounce.
  19. A movie ticket cost 61 cents.
  20. A daily newspaper averaged five cents.
In 1957, the Milwaukee Braves won the World Series.

In 1957, the Milwaukee Braves won the World Series.

3. History Facts From the USA and World

  1. In 1957, Dwight D. Eisenhower was president of the United States, and Richard M. Nixon was the vice president.
  2. On January 5, in response to the increasingly tense situation in the Middle East, President Eisenhower “delivered a proposal to a joint session of the U.S. Congress calling for a new and more proactive American policy in the region. The Eisenhower Doctrine, as the proposal soon came to be known, established the Middle East as a Cold War battlefield.”
  3. On January 5, MLB player Jackie Robinson announced that he was retiring from baseball in order to devote his time to promising business opportunities.
  4. On January 10, Harold Macmillan became the prime minister of the United Kingdom after Robert Anthony Eden resigned.
  5. In February 1957, a new influenza virus emerged in China that triggered a pandemic known as the “Asian Flu.” According to the CDC, the virus “was first reported in Singapore in February 1957, Hong Kong in April 1957, and in coastal cities in the U.S. during the summer of 1957. The estimated number of deaths was 1.1 million worldwide, including 116,000 in the United States.”
  6. On March 25, Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and West Germany all signed a treaty that established the European Economic Community (EEC), also known as the Common Market. History.com explains that “The EEC, which came into operation in January 1958, was a major step in Europe’s movement toward economic and political union.” They add that “The national markets of Europe, isolated from each other by archaic trade laws, were no match for the giant market enjoyed by the United States.”
  7. During a three-day weather event at the end of March 1957, portions of southwestern Kansas and the Texas/Oklahoma panhandle experienced one of the most devastating blizzards the U.S. has ever seen.
  8. In the UK, March 1957 was the warmest March on record. (By contrast, March 1958 was cold and wintry at times.)
  9. On April 6, New York City’s trolley service ended on Welfare (now Roosevelt) Island. VillagePreservation.org reminds us that trolleys “began one hundred twenty five years earlier on November 14, 1832, with not only New York City but the world’s first streetcar line which ran on the Bowery and Fourth Avenue, between Prince and 14th Street.”
  10. In 1957, Postmaster General Arthur E. Summerfield decided to end all Saturday mail deliveries because of a budget crisis. According to the USPS, there was no mail delivery on Saturday April 13. Public disapproval prompted Congress to approve $41 million to fund the beleaguered postal system.
  11. On May 28, the National League owners voted unanimously “to allow the New York Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers to move to San Francisco and Los Angeles, respectively.”
  12. On June 22, Kansas City’s streetcar service ended.
  13. During the early morning hours of June 27, Hurricane Audrey roared ashore and devastated southwest Louisiana and southeastern Texas. Weather.gov reports that Audrey “ranks as the 7th deadliest hurricane to strike the United States in modern record keeping, with at least 500 deaths. Hurricane Audrey is also noted as being the strongest and only major hurricane to make landfall within the United States in the month of June.”
  14. On July 9, scientists at the Nobel Institute of Physics in Stockholm announced the discovery of element 102, and named it nobelium.
  15. On July 12, Leroy Burner—the U.S. Surgeon General—issued a report on smoking and health that linked cigarette smoking and lung cancer.
  16. On August 7, Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1957, which was the first civil rights legislation since Reconstruction. TheEisenhowerLibrary.com comments that “The new act established the Civil Rights Section of the Justice Department and empowered federal prosecutors to obtain court injunctions against interference with the right to vote. It also established a federal Civil Rights Commission with authority to investigate discriminatory conditions and recommend corrective measures.”
  17. On September 4, the Ford Motor Company introduced the Edsel, which was intended to be “everything American car buyers wanted.” Unfortunately, the Edsel turned out to be one of the biggest mistakes in automotive history. According to BusinessInsider.com, “At launch, the car was too expensive, used up too much gas, and was mocked in the press. A redesigned 1959 Edsel debuted to better reviews, but the damage was done.”
  18. On September 4, Orval Faubus—the governor of Arkansas—called out the National Guard to prevent nine black students from entering Little Rock's Central High School.
  19. On September 23, President Eisenhower “issued Executive Order 10730, which put the Arkansas National Guard under federal authority, and sent 1,000 U.S. Army troops from the 101st Airborne Division to Little Rock, to maintain order as Central High School desegregated.”
  20. On September 24, the Brooklyn Dodgers played their last game at Ebbets Field, defeating the Pittsburgh Pirates 2-0.
  21. On July 30, 1956, President Eisenhower signed a bill into law declaring that “In God We Trust” would become the nation’s official motto. Politico.com points out that “under the legislation, Congress further mandated that the phrase be printed (in capital letters) on every domination of U.S. paper currency.” On October 1, 1957, the phrase “IN GOD WE TRUST” was first used on U.S. paper money, when it appeared on the one-dollar silver certificate.
  22. On October 4, the Soviet Union “inaugurated the ‘Space Age’ by launching Sputnik I, the world's first artificial satellite. A month later, Sputnik II carried a dog into orbit, making that dog the first living being to enter space.”
  23. On October 16, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip visited Williamsburg, Virginia. The following day, they visited the White House.
  24. On November 7, 14 separate tornadoes struck both southeast Texas and southwest Louisiana over a 10-hour period. Weather.gov reminds us that “Ironically, this large tornado outbreak occurred only a few months after the deadliest natural disaster in the area's history—Hurricane Audrey.”
  25. On November 29, New York Mayor Robert Wagner formed a four-member committee to find replacements for the Dodgers and Giants.
In 1957, Gunsmoke (CBS) was the most popular TV show.

In 1957, Gunsmoke (CBS) was the most popular TV show.

4. Sports Trivia

Generally suitable for all age groups, sports questions are a welcome addition to any trivia quiz.

  1. Indianapolis 500: Sam Hanks
  2. Kentucky Derby: Iron Liege
  3. NBA Champions: Boston Celtics
  4. NCAA Basketball Champions: North Carolina
  5. NCAA Football Champs: Auburn & Ohio State
  6. NFL Champions: Detroit Lions
  7. Orange Bowl: Colorado over Clemson
  8. Rose Bowl: Iowa over Oregon State
  9. Stanley Cup Champs: Montreal Canadiens
  10. Sugar Bowl: Baylor over Tennessee
  11. Tour de France: Jacques Anquetil
  12. U.S. Open Golf: Dick Mayer
  13. U.S. Open Tennis: Malcolm Anderson/Althea Gibson
  14. Wimbledon (men/women): Lew Hoad/Althea Gibson
  15. World Series Champions: Milwaukee Braves
In 1957, the Detroit Lions were the NFL champs.

In 1957, the Detroit Lions were the NFL champs.

5. Miscellaneous Fun Facts, Trivia, and Pop Culture Trends

PBS.org explains that pop culture is that loose blend of books, music, fashion and other daily ephemera that contributes to the identity of a society at a particular point in time. In the 1950s, radio, film, television, and books defined the essence of American pop culture.

  1. In 1957, popular baby names were Michael, James, David, Robert, John, Mary, Susan, Linda, Debra, and Karen.
  2. The average life expectancy at birth in the U.S. was 69.47 years.
  3. The most popular holiday gifts for kids included Revlon walking dolls, the Shirley Temple doll, electric trains, western cowboy gear (gloves, spurs, belts, cowboy hats, and lassos), “homemaking” toys for young girls (tea sets, etc.), and Frisbees.
  4. Fashion icons for the year were Brigitte Bardot, Doris Day, Annette Funicello, June Ferguson, Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Sophia Loren, Jayne Mansfield, Marilyn Monroe, Julie Newmar, Kim Novak, Elizabeth Taylor, Lana Turner, Tuesday Weld, and Jane Wyatt.
  5. Marian McKnight (South Carolina) won the Miss America crown.
  6. Mary Leona Gage (Maryland) and Charlotte Sheffield (Utah) both became Miss USA. Pop-Culture.us explains that “Leona Gage was stripped of her title when it was revealed that she was 18, married, and the mother of two children.” As a result, Sheffield, who was the first runner-up in the pageant, became Miss USA.
  7. Time magazine’s “Man of the Year” was Nikita Khrushchev.
  8. Cars that were introduced in 1957 included the Alfa Romeo 2000, BMW 600, Chevrolet Corvette, Datsun 210, DeSoto Firesweep, Edsel Ranger, Ford Fairlane 500 Skyliner, Lotus Elite, Lotus Seven, Mercury Colony Park, Mercury Turnpike Cruiser, Nissan Skyline, Pontiac Bonneville, Rambler Rebel, and the Studebaker Silver Hawk.
  9. Other consumer products that were launched in 1957 included bubble wrap, Purina dog chow, Dream Whip, Formula 409, Newport cigarettes, Sweet’n Low, Tang (drink mix), and the Whopper.
  10. The 29th Academy Awards on March 27 honored the best films of 1956. Here were some of the winners: Around the World in 80 Days won an Oscar for Best Picture, and George Stevens (Giant) won an Oscar for Best Director. Likewise, Yul Brynner (The King and I) won an Oscar for Best Actor, and Ingrid Bergman (Anastasia) won an Oscar for Best Actress.
  11. At the 9th Primetime Emmy Awards, The Phil Silvers Show (CBS) won an Emmy for Best Series, Half Hour or Less, and Caesar’s Hour (NBC) won an Emmy for Best Series, One Hour or More. Likewise, Kraft Television Theatre (NBC) won an Emmy for Best Live Camera Work, and Years of Crisis (CBS) won an Emmy for Best Coverage of a Newsworthy Event.
  12. In 1957, the Frisbee and styrofoam cooler were both invented.
  13. Fortran—an early computer language—was created.
  14. Burger King introduced the Whopper.
  15. Alfred Fielding and Marc Chavannes accidentally invented bubble wrap while trying to create plastic wallpaper.
  16. George de Mestral of Switzerland received a patent for velcro.
  17. Margarine sales exceeded butter sales for the first time.
  18. Better Homes & Gardens published its first microwave-cooking article.
  19. Hamburgers and hot dogs were added to the Dairy Queen menu at some outlets in Georgia.
  20. Craig Claiborne was named food editor of The New York Times.
  21. Idaho became the largest producer of potatoes, overtaking Maine.
  22. Kentucky Fried Chicken began selling chicken in buckets.
  23. In 1957, one out of seven American workers was employed in the textile or apparel industries.
  24. There were 10,000 members of the Communist Party in the U.S.
  25. 16 (magazine) and GQ both began publishing.
  26. There were 47,200,000 TV sets in use in over 39 million homes.
  27. On January 6, Elvis Pressley made his seventh and final appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show.
  28. On May 1, Larry King did his first radio broadcast on WAHR (now WMBM 1490 AM) in Miami Beach. King worked as a disc jockey from 9:00 AM to noon, and also did two afternoon newscasts and a sportscast. He was paid $55 a week.
  29. On May 6, the last episode of the sitcom I Love Lucy was broadcast on CBS. The show premiered on October 15, 1951 and spanned six seasons and 180 episodes.
  30. On July 29, the Tonight Show—a late-night talk show hosted by Jack Paar—premiered on NBC.
  31. On August 5, Dick Clark took over as host of American Bandstand, a music and dance program that was broadcast on ABC.
  32. On September 18, the American western series Wagon Train debuted on NBC.
  33. On September 21, the legal drama Perry Mason premiered on CBS.
  34. On October 4, the sitcom Leave It To Beaver debuted on CBS.
  35. On October 20, broadcast journalist Walter Cronkite began hosting The 20th Century, a weekly documentary series. (Cronkite also anchored the CBS Evening News.)
In 1957, Burger King introduced the Whopper.

In 1957, Burger King introduced the Whopper.

6. Nobel Prize Winners

Beth Rowen tells us that winning a Nobel Prize is a life-changing honor. Whether the laureate is an internationally known figure (such as Mother Teresa) or a scientist from obscurity (like Richard R. Ernst), the award brings worldwide recognition that highlights one's life work and provides the funds to continue the mission.

This Nobel Prize information from 1957 has been made available courtesy of NobelPrize.com.

  • Chemistry: Alexander R. Todd
  • Literature: Albert Camus
  • Peace: Lester B. Pearson
  • Physics: Tsung-Dao Lee and Chen Ning Yang
  • Physiology or medicine: Daniel Bovet

7. Best-Selling Books

This book trivia from 1957 has been made available courtesy of PublishersWeekly.com.

Fiction books:

  1. By Love Possessed by James Gould Cozzens
  2. Peyton Place by Grace Metalious
  3. Compulsion by Meyer Levin
  4. Rally Round the Flag, Boys! by Max Shulman
  5. Blue Camellia by Frances Parkinson Keyes
  6. Eloise in Paris by Kay Thompson
  7. The Scapegoat by Daphne du Maurier
  8. On the Beach by Nevil Shute
  9. Below the Salt by Thomas B. Costain
  10. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Nonfiction books:

  1. Kids Say the Darndest Things! by Art Linkletter
  2. The FBI Story by Don Whitehead
  3. Stay Alive All Your Life by Norman Vincent Peale
  4. To Live Again by Catherine Marshall
  5. Better Homes and Gardens Flower Arranging by the BH&G Editors
  6. Where Did You Go? Out. What Did You Do? Nothing. by Robert Paul Smith
  7. Baruch: My Own Story by Bernard M. Baruch
  8. Please Don't Eat the Daisies by Jean Kerr
  9. The American Heritage Book of Great Historic Places by the AH Editors
  10. The Day Christ Died by Jim Bishop

8. Most Popular Television Shows From 1957-58

Encyclopedia.com tells us that “Television was introduced to Americans in 1939 and began to gain a foothold after World War II (1939–45). In the 1950s, the sale of TV sets and the boom in programming made TV America's favorite source of entertainment. Consider the numbers: in 1946, 7,000 TV sets were sold; in 1948, 172,000 sets were sold; and in 1950, 5 million sets were sold. In 1950, just under 20 percent of American homes contained a TV set. Ten years later, nearly 90 percent of homes contained a TV—and some even had color TVs.”

This TV trivia from 1957 has been made available courtesy of Nielsen TV Research.

  1. Gunsmoke (CBS)
  2. The Danny Thomas Show (CBS)
  3. Tales of Wells Fargo (NBC)
  4. Have Gun Will Travel (CBS)
  5. I've Got A Secret (CBS)
  6. The Life & Legend of Wyatt Earp (ABC)
  7. General Electric Theater (CBS)
  8. The Restless Gun (NBC)
  9. December Bride (CBS)
  10. You Bet Your Life (NBC)
  11. The Perry Como Show (NBC)
  12. Alfred Hitchcock Presents (CBS)
  13. Cheyenne (ABC)
  14. The Ford Show (NBC)
  15. The Red Skelton Show (CBS)
  16. The Gale Storm Show (CBS)
  17. The Millionaire (CBS)
  18. The Lineup (CBS)
  19. This Is Your Life (NBC)
  20. The $64,000 Question (CBS)
  21. Zane Grey Theater (CBS)
  22. Lassie (CBS)
  23. Wagon Train (NBC)
  24. Sugarfoot (ABC)
  25. Father Knows Best (NBC)
In 1957, The Bridge on the River Quai was the highest-grossing film.

In 1957, The Bridge on the River Quai was the highest-grossing film.

9. Favorite Radio Programs

Encyclopedia.com tells us that “Television changed the American entertainment landscape. In towns where TV was introduced, movie attendance and book sales dropped off dramatically. Radio, which had been America's favorite form of at-home amusement, declined in importance in the 1950s. Variety, comedy, and dramatic shows left the airwaves for TV. Radio increasingly focused on news, talk shows, and sports broadcasting.”

Here are some of the most popular radio programs from 1957:

  1. Don McNeill’s Breakfast Club
  2. Ma Perkins
  3. Midwestern Hayride
  4. Milkman’s Matinee
  5. Monitor
  6. Moon River
  7. Pop Chronicles
  8. Ranger Bill
  9. Suspense (radio drama)
  10. The Eternal Light
  11. The Romance of Helen Trent
  12. The Standard School Broadcast
  13. Unshackled!
  14. Young Doctor Malone
  15. Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar

10. Highest-Grossing Films

This movie trivia has been made available courtesy of The-Numbers.com.

  1. The Bridge on the River Quai
  2. Sayonara
  3. Peyton Place
  4. Gunfight at the O.K. Corral
  5. A Farewell to Arms
  6. The Pride and the Passion
  7. Island in the Sun
  8. Jailhouse Rock
  9. Les Girls
  10. et Dieu… Crea la Femme

11. Horror Movies From 1957

Horror films for the year included Attack of the Crab Monsters, Back from the Dead, Blood of Dracula, Cat Girl, Cry of the Bewitched, Curse of the Demon, Daughter of Dr. Jekyll, From Hell It Came, Seven Mysteries, Ghost in the Well, I Was a Teenage Frankenstein, I Was a Teenage Werewolf, Invasion of the Saucer Men, It Was Not in Vain, The Curse of the Aztec Mummy, The Aztec Mummy, Lust of the Vampire, Pharaoh’s Curse, She Devil, Spook Chasers, Swamp of the Lost Souls, The Abominable Snowman, The Black Scorpion, and The Astounding She-Monster.

12. Biggest Pop Music Artists

Popular music artists from 1957 included Andy Williams, Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, The Coasters, Debbie Reynolds,The Dell-Vikings, The Diamonds, Elvis Presley, The Everly Brothers, Fats Domino, Frank Sinatra, Harry Belafonte, Johnny Mathis, Little Richard, Nat 'King' Cole, Patti Page, Paul Anka, Perry Como, The Platters, Ricky Nelson, and Steve Lawrence.

In 1957, Idaho became America’s largest producer of potatoes, overtaking Maine.

In 1957, Idaho became America’s largest producer of potatoes, overtaking Maine.

13. Top 40 Songs for the Year

This music trivia from 1957 has been made available courtesy of MusicOutfitters.com.

1. All Shook Up: Elvis Presley
2. Love Letters In Sand: Pat Boone
3. Little Darlin': The Diamonds
4. Young Love: Tab Hunter
5. So Rare: Jimmy Dorsey
6. Don't Forbid Me: Pat Boone
7. Singing the Blues: Guy Mitchell
8. Young Love: Sonny James
9. Too Much: Elvis Presley
10. Round And Round: Perry Como
11. Bye Bye Love: The Everly Brothers
12. Tammy: Debbie Reynolds
13. Party Doll: Buddy Knox
14. (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear: Elvis Presley
15. Banana Boat Song (Day-O): Harry Belafonte
16. Jailhouse Rock: Elvis Presley
17. A White Sport Coat (And a Pink Carnation): Marty Robbins
18. Come Go With Me: The Del Vikings
20. You Send Me: Sam Cooke
21. Gone: Ferlin Husky
24. Diana: Paul Anka
25. A Teenager's Romance: Ricky Nelson
26. The Banana Boat Song: Tarriers
27. Honeycomb: Jimmie Rodgers
28. That'll Be the Day: The Crickets
31. Butterfly: Charlie Gracie
32. Moonlight Gambler: Frankie Laine
33. Teenage Crush: Tommy Sands
34. It's Not For Me to Say: Johnny Mathis
35. Silhouettes: The Rays
36. Butterfly: Andy Williams
37. Marianne: Terry Gilkyson
38. I'm Walkin': Fats Domino
39. Chances Are: Johnny Mathis
40. Send for Me: Nat King Cole

In 1957, snowballs were a real crowd-pleaser. TheDailyMeal.com describes this dessert as “a scoop of vanilla ice cream rolled in shredded coconut and usually drizzled with chocolate sauce.”

In 1957, snowballs were a real crowd-pleaser. TheDailyMeal.com describes this dessert as “a scoop of vanilla ice cream rolled in shredded coconut and usually drizzled with chocolate sauce.”

14. Food and Beverage Trivia

GoodHousekeeping.com tells us that “Like fashion, food falls in and out of style. Back when kids of the '50s and '60s were growing up, family dinners meant these dishes were front and center at every family get-together, holiday meal, or cocktail party your parents threw. Many of these recipes evolved from the appeal of new ‘convenience’ foods ranging from canned soups to boxed cake mixes.”

Courtesy of TheDailyMeal.com, here are some foods and beverages that were popular in 1957:

  1. Chicken a la King
  2. Chicken Tetrazzini: TheDailyMeal tells us that “Named after opera singer Luisa Tetrazzini, Tettrazini is a dish made with poultry or seafood (usually chicken or turkey) and mushrooms in a creamy sauce flavored with wine or sherry, served over pasta.”
  3. Chiffon cake
  4. Creamed chipped beef on toast
  5. Deviled ham
  6. Dinty Moore beef stew
  7. Green bean casseroles
  8. Jell-O salads
  9. Mary Kitchen hash
  10. Olive loaves
  11. Relish trays
  12. Snowballs: TheDailyMeal.com describes this dessert as “a scoop of vanilla ice cream rolled in shredded coconut and usually drizzled with chocolate sauce.”
  13. Stuffed celery
  14. Swanson TV dinners
  15. Tuna noodle casseroles
  16. Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and RC Cola
In 1957, green bean casseroles were all the rage.

In 1957, green bean casseroles were all the rage.

15. Famous Birthdays

Here are some of the famous people who were born in 1957:

  1. Andrew Cuomo: Politician and Governor of New York
  2. Beverley Callard: Soap opera actress
  3. Bobbi Brown: Entrepreneur
  4. Caroline Kennedy: Politician
  5. Daniel Stern: Movie actor
  6. Dawn French: TV actress
  7. Donny Osmond: TV actor
  8. Dwane Casey: Basketball coach
  9. Fran Drescher: TV actress
  10. Gloria Estephan: Pop singer
  11. Hans Zimmer: Composer
  12. Jack Edwards: Sportscaster
  13. Jennifer Lewis: Movie actress
  14. Kathy Najimy: Voice actress
  15. Matt Lauer: TV show host
  16. Melanie Griffith: Movie actress
  17. Nancy Cartwright: Voice actress
  18. Peter Ostrum: Movie actor
  19. Ray Romano: TV actor
  20. Russel Simmons: Entrepreneur
  21. Spike Lee: Director
  22. Steve Harvey: Comedian
  23. T. D. Jakes: Religious leader
  24. Tony Abbot: World leader
  25. Vanna White: Game show host

16. Weddings and Divorces

These trivia facts have been made available courtesy of OnThisDay.com.

Weddings:

  1. On January 10, poet T. S. Eliot married editor Esmé Valerie Fletcher.
  2. On January 12, aviator Howard Hughes tied the knot with Jean Peters.
  3. On January 19, professional golfer Gary Player married Vivienne Verwey.
  4. On February 2, actress Elizabeth Taylor tied the knot with producer Mike Todd.
  5. On March 28, jazz musician Billie Holiday married mob enforcer Louis McKay.
  6. On May 25, NFL coach Chuck Noll tied the knot with Marianne Noll.
  7. On September 3, future world heavyweight boxing champion Sonny Liston married Geraldine Clark.
  8. On September 10, Jean Chretien—the 20th Prime Minister of Canada—tied the knot with Aline Chaine.
  9. On September 15, country music legend Patsy Cline married linotype operator Charles Dick.
  10. On September 17, actress Sophia Loren tied the knot with film producer Carlo Ponti.
  11. On October 14, actor Marlon Brando married actress Anna Kashfi.
  12. On November 11, country singer June Carter Cash tied the knot with former football player Edwin Nix.
  13. On December 12, country singer Jerry Lee Lewis married his cousin Myra Gayle Brown.
  14. On December 28, actress Natalie Wood tied the knot with actor Robert Wagner.
  15. On December 29, “Steve and Eydie" duo Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme were married.

Divorces:

  1. On January 31, actress Elizabeth Taylor divorced actor Michael Wilding.
  2. On July 5, singer and actor Frank Sinatra and movie star Ava Gardner divorced after six years of marriage.
  3. On November 7, actress Ingrid Bergman divorced Roberto Rossellini after seven years of marriage.

17. Famous People Who Died

These trivia facts have been made available courtesy of OnThisDay.com.

  1. January 14: Humphrey Bogart (an American actor who played in the films Casablanca and Caine Mutiny)
  2. February 18: Joseph Gilbert Hamilton (an American physician)
  3. March 11: Richard E. Byrd (an American aviator and polar explorer)
  4. May 2: Joseph McCarthy (an American senator who claimed that communists were infiltrating the U.S. government)
  5. June 7: Elizabeth Kingsley (the creator of the “double crostic” puzzle)
  6. June 17: Dorothy M. Richardson (an English author who wrote the novel Pilgrimage)
  7. August 7: Oliver Hardy (an American comic actor who played in the Laurel & Hardy films)
  8. October 23: Christian Dior (a French fashion designer)
  9. October 29: Louis B. Mayer (a Canadian-American film producer and the co-founder of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, aka MGM studios)
  10. December 3: Frank Gannet (an American newspaper publisher)
  11. December 17: Dorothy Sayers (an English novelist who wrote The Nine Tailors)
  12. December 25: Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. (an American landscape architect and advocate for wildlife conservation)
In 1957, AAMCO Transmissions—a transmission-repair franchise—was founded in Philadelphia.

In 1957, AAMCO Transmissions—a transmission-repair franchise—was founded in Philadelphia.

18. America’s Largest Corporations

Money.CNN tells us that “Since 1955, when the first FORTUNE 500 was created, more than 1,800 companies have appeared on the list. Many of these companies have changed names over this period, owing to mergers, acquisitions, and bankruptcies. Other companies have gone private, or simply changed their names.”

Here is the 1957 FORTUNE 500:

  1. General Motors
  2. Exxon Mobil
  3. Ford Motor
  4. U.S. Steel
  5. General Electric
  6. Mobil
  7. Chrysler
  8. Esmark
  9. AT&T
  10. Gulf Oil

19. American Companies and Brands Established During 1957

  1. AAMCO Transmissions: A transmission-repair franchise.
  2. Beginner Books: The “Random House imprint for young children ages 3–9.” Their first book was Dr. Seuss's The Cat in the Hat.
  3. Columbia Helicopters: An aircraft manufacturing company.
  4. Food Lion: A grocery store chain that operates over 1,000 supermarkets in 10 states.
  5. Hills: A discount department store chain.
  6. The Honey Baked Ham Company: “A food retailer which sells hams, turkey breasts and other pre-cooked entrées, side dishes, and desserts.”
  7. O’Reilly Auto Parts: An “auto parts retailer that provides automotive aftermarket parts, tools, supplies, equipment, and accessories.”
  8. Penzeys Spices: A spice retailer that operates 70 retail outlets in 29 states, as well as mail order and online shopping.
  9. Sir Pizza: A chain of pizza restaurants.
  10. Stax Records: A record label.
In 1957, Swanson TV dinners cost 75 cents apiece.

In 1957, Swanson TV dinners cost 75 cents apiece.

References:

In 1957, the Montreal Canadiens won the Stanley Cup.

In 1957, the Montreal Canadiens won the Stanley Cup.

© 2020 Gregory DeVictor

Comments

Liz Westwood from UK on November 28, 2020:

This is a fascinating fact file. I hadn't heard of the Asian flu until a close relative and friend commented on her experience of it in relation to the pandemic we are now experiencing. You talk of the interest rate rising. What did it go up to? Our family are shocked when we talk of the interest rates in the late 1980s/early 1990s, as they were so high compared with now.