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1952 Fun Facts and Trivia

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

This article teaches you fun facts, trivia, and history events from the year 1952.

This article teaches you fun facts, trivia, and history events from the year 1952.

Why Was the Year 1952 so Special?

What are some fun facts, trivia, and historical events from the year 1952? 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? What about famous birthdays, marriages, and deaths that year?

  1. Much like a year earlier, Americans were buying houses in the suburbs, and were also busy purchasing new cars, televisions, and refrigerators. Unemployment had dropped to 2.6%, inflation was a modest 1.92%, and the average household income was $3,400.00. The average cost of a new home was $9,050.00, the average cost of a new car was $1,700.00, and a gallon of gas averaged 20 cents. Consumerism was on the rise, and Americans were enjoying “a standard of living that no other country could approach.”
  2. In 1952, three out of five American families owned a car, two out of three families had a telephone, and one in three families had a television. The average American woman would be married by the age of 20, and relatively few women would continue with a career once their children were born. Fast food restaurants like McDonald’s and KFC were growing in popularity, but the scourge of polio affected thousands of American families as well.
  3. In the November election, Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower was elected president of the United States by defeating Democrat Adlai Stevenson. Eisenhower received 442 electoral votes and 33,778,693 popular votes to Stevenson’s 89 electoral votes and 27,314,992 popular votes.
  4. The U.S. detonated the first thermonuclear bomb at Enewetak Island in the Pacific Ocean.
  5. The Korean War went into its third year, and there were nearly three million American soldiers stationed in Korea.
  6. In the 1950s, polio was one of the most feared diseases in the U.S., and "had become one of the most serious communicable diseases among children." NPR tells us that in 1952 alone, "nearly 60,000 children were infected with the virus; thousands were paralyzed, and more than 3,000 died. Hospitals set up special units with iron lung machines to keep polio victims alive. Rich kids as well as poor were left paralyzed."
  7. Queen Elizabeth II succeeded King George VI to the British throne, and was proclaimed Queen of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms, including Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
  8. From December 5-9, the Great Smog of London smothered the city, wreaking havoc and killing nearly 12,000 residents.
  9. In 1952, London’s trams trundled into history, and gold coins in the amounts of $5.00, $10.00, and $20.00 could now be minted in Canada.
  10. The Detroit Lions were the NFL champions, the Detroit Red Wings were the Stanley Cup champs, and the New York Yankees won the World Series.
  11. MLB legends Harry Heilmann and Paul Waner were both inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, and the U.S. Standardization Board cleared the way for MLB player Stan Musial to get a salary increase to $85,000.
  12. Baseball legend Mickey Mantle hit his first career grand slam, and the Boston Braves played their last game at Braves Field before moving to Milwaukee.
  13. Companies and brands that were founded in 1952 include the Holiday Inn, Allegheny Airlines (the forerunner of US Airways), Mrs. T's Pierogies, Sheetz, Inc., St. Martin's Press, the Stony Hill Vineyard, and the Timberland Company.
  14. The American fast food restaurant chain "KFC" (Kentucky Fried Chicken) opened its first franchise in Salt Lake City, Utah.
  15. Sun Records, an independent American record label, was founded by producer Sam Phillips in Memphis, Tennessee. It was the first record label to feature artists like Elvis Presley, Charlie Rich, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Johnny Cash.
  16. Consumer products that were introduced in 1952 include the Brownie camera, Kellogg’s frosted flakes, Gleem toothpaste, KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken), Lipton’s dry onion soup, Mr. Potato Head, Mrs. Paul’s frozen fish sticks, the Olay skin care brand, the treadmill, and the video tape recorder.
  17. British engineer Maurice Olley of General Motors began to design the Corvette. (By the way, the first Corvette came off the assembly line in Flint, Michigan on June 30, 1953.)
  18. In 1952, the best-selling American cars were Chevrolet (818,142), Ford (671,733), Plymouth (396,000), Buick (303,745), and Pontiac (271,373).
  19. Only 6.5 million Americans—or 4.2% of the U.S. population—owned common stock.
  20. Mad magazine (1952-2018) began publishing. Over a 66-year span, Mad published over 550 regular magazine issues, as well as scores of reprint projects.
  21. The Today Show—television’s first magazine-format program—premiered on NBC. Other shows that debuted in 1952 were Dragnet, I’ve Got a Secret, and The Jackie Gleason Show (aka The Honeymooners).
  22. At the 24th Academy Awards—which honored the best films of 1951—An American in Paris won eight Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Musical, Best Costume Design, Best Production Design, Best Film Editing, Best Story and Screenplay, and Best Cinematography.
  23. At the 4th Primetime Emmy Awards, The Red Skelton Show (NBC) won an Emmy for Best Comedy Show, Studio One (CBS) won an Emmy for Best Dramatic Show, and Your Show of Shows (NBC) won an Emmy for Best Variety Show.
  24. In 1952, Christine Baranski, Harvey Weinstein, Jeff Goldblum, Jim Ross, Mandy Patankin, Mr. T, Roseanne Barr, Sharon Osbourne, and Steven Seagal were all born.
  25. At the 25th Scripps National Spelling Bee, 13-year-old Doris Ann Hall of Hudson, North Carolina correctly spelled the word vignette.

This article teaches you fun facts, trivia, and historical events from the year 1952. Find out about popular TV shows, movies, music, books, foods, sports facts, famous birthdays, and other cool pop culture trends to get the right mix of questions and answers for your 1950s-themed trivia game.

In 1952, a one-pound loaf of Wonder bread cost about 15 cents.

In 1952, a one-pound loaf of Wonder bread cost about 15 cents.

Table of Contents

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

  1. Grocery Prices in the Year 1952
  2. History Facts From the USA and World
  3. Sports Trivia
  4. Miscellaneous Fun Facts, Trivia, and Pop Culture Trends
  5. Entertainment News
  6. 1950s Slang Words and Phrases
  7. Nobel Prize Winners
  8. Best-Selling Fiction Books
  9. 1952 in American Television
  10. 1952 in American Radio
  11. Most Popular Movies for the Year
  12. Ten Best Horror Films of 1952
  13. Biggest Pop Music Artists
  14. Top 30 Songs for the Year
  15. Food and Beverage Trivia
  16. Famous Birthdays
  17. Notable Weddings
  18. Famous People Who Died
  19. U.S. Automobile Production Figures for the Year
  20. American Companies and Brands Established During 1952
In 1952, you could buy a one-pound bag of Eight O’Clock coffee for 77 cents.

In 1952, you could buy a one-pound bag of Eight O’Clock coffee for 77 cents.

1. Grocery Prices in the Year 1952

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

  1. Apples: Two pounds for 39 cents
  2. Baby food (Libby’s): 10 jars for 93 cents
  3. Bacon: 55 cents for a one-pound package
  4. Beef (ribs): 69 cents a pound
  5. Bread (Wonder): 15 cents for a one-pound loaf
  6. Butter: 77 cents for a one-pound package
  7. Cheese (Kraft, Swiss): 40 cents for an eight-ounce package
  8. Chuck roast: 59 cents a pound
  9. Coffee (Eight O’Clock): 77 cents for a one-pound bag
  10. Cookies (Nabisco, Fig Newtons): 19 cents a package
  11. Crisco: 29 cents for a large can
  12. Eggs: 55 cents a dozen
  13. Grapefruit: Six for 25 cents
  14. Ham (smoked): 58 cents a pound
  15. Heinz cream of tomato soup: Two cans for 25 cents
  16. Juice (orange, Birdseye, frozen): Two six-ounce cans for 29 cents
  17. Ketchup (Ann Page): 19 cents for a 14-ounce bottle
  18. Lettuce: Two heads for 25 cents
  19. Margarine (Nutley): 21 cents for a one-pound package
  20. Mayonnaise (Kraft): 41 cents for a pint jar
  21. Milk: 96 cents a gallon
  22. Onions (Texas): 19 cents for a two-pound bag
  23. Oranges (Florida): 29 cents for a five-pound bag
  24. Palmolive face soap: Three bars for 21 cents
  25. Peanut butter: 35 cents for a 12-ounce jar
  26. Pineapples: 19 cents apiece
  27. Pork & beans: Three 16-ounce cans for 25 cents
  28. Pork roast: 39 cents a pound
  29. Preserves (Welch’s grape jelly): 19 cents for a 10-ounce jar
  30. Sirloin steak: 55 cents a pound
  31. Strawberries: 29 cents for a 12-ounce carton
  32. Sugar: 43 cents for a five-pound bag
The 1952 Chevrolet was America’s best-selling car.

The 1952 Chevrolet was America’s best-selling car.

2. History Facts From the USA and World

  1. In 1952, Harry S. Truman was president of the United States, and Alben W. Barkley was the vice-president.
  2. The Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court was Fred M. Vinson.
  3. The speaker of the House of Representatives was Sam Rayburn, and the Senate majority leader was Ernest McFarland.
  4. The 82nd Congress was in session. It met from January 3, 1951 to January 3, 1953 during the last two years of President Harry Truman’s administration.
  5. In the 1950s, polio was one of the most feared diseases in the U.S., and "had become one of the most serious communicable diseases among children." NPR tells us that in 1952 alone, "nearly 60,000 children were infected with the virus; thousands were paralyzed, and more than 3,000 died. Hospitals set up special units with iron lung machines to keep polio victims alive. Rich kids as well as poor were left paralyzed."
  6. On January 5, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill made an official visit to the United States. According to the BBC, Mr. Churchill, who returned to power in 1951 following six years of opposition, was eager to maintain what he called a "special relationship" between Great Britain and the U.S.
  7. On January 15, a three cent commemorative stamp was issued by the USPS to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 4-H club movement.
  8. On January 16, MLB legend Stan Musial was awarded an $85,000 salary. According to ThisDayInBaseball.com, "The U.S. Standardization Board cleared the way for Stan Musial to get a salary increase to $85,000. Prior to this relaxation of the rules, there was a wage freeze in effect due to the Korean War. Under the new rules, a team is free to raise individual salaries, as long as they do not exceed a complicated formula, based on total team salaries for any one year, from 1946 to 1950, plus 10 percent."
  9. On January 31, MLB legends Harry Heilmann and Paul Waner were both inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
  10. On February 6, George VI—King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth—passed away after a long illness.
  11. On February 6, Queen Elizabeth II succeeded King George VI to the British throne, and was proclaimed Queen of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms, including Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
  12. On March 21-23, tornadoes in Arkansas, Tennessee, Missouri, Mississippi, Alabama, and Kentucky claimed 343 lives.
  13. On March 27, Sun Records, an independent American record label, was founded by producer Sam Phillips in Memphis, Tennessee. It was the first record label to feature Elvis Presley, Charlie Rich, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Johnny Cash.
  14. April 9 - June 2: President Truman vs. the U.S. steel industry: "The 1952 steel strike was a strike by the United Steelworkers of America (USWA) against U.S. Steel (USS) and nine other steelmakers. The strike was scheduled to begin on April 9, 1952, but U.S. President Harry Truman nationalized the American steel industry hours before the workers walked out. The steel companies sued to regain control of their facilities. On June 2, 1952, in a landmark decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer . . . that the President lacked the authority to seize the steel mills."
  15. On April 28, General Dwight D. Eisenhower resigned as the Supreme Commander of NATO.
  16. On May 30, Troy Ruttman of Oklahoma won the Indianapolis 500.
  17. On June 2, British engineer Maurice Olley of General Motors began to design the Corvette. MotorCities.org tells us that "The first Corvette model came off the assembly line in Flint, Michigan on June 30, 1953, before production moved to the Chevrolet plant in St. Louis, Missouri in December 1953."
  18. As of July 4, under the terms and conditions of the Canadian Currency, Mint and Exchange Fund Act, gold coins in the amounts of $5.00, $10.00, and $20.00 could now be minted in Canada.
  19. On July 6, London’s trams trundled into history. According to TFL.gov.UK, "By the 1950s, trams were seen as old fashioned and were gradually phased out to create more room for buses and cars. The last tram journey in London took place between Woolwich and New Cross on 6 July 1952."
  20. On July 11, General Dwight D. Eisenhower was nominated as the Republican presidential candidate.
  21. On July 19, Fausto Coppi of Italy won the 39th Tour de France.
  22. On July 21, Fourteen people died when a 7.8 earthquake rattled Kern County, California.
  23. On July 24, the thermometer reached 112°F in Louisville, Georgia, setting a state record.
  24. On July 26, baseball legend Mickey Mantle hit his first career grand slam.
  25. On September 15, the Boston Braves played their last game at Braves Field before moving to Milwaukee.
  26. On September 23, the Brooklyn Dodgers clinched the National League pennant.
  27. On September 24, the American fast food restaurant chain "KFC" (Kentucky Fried Chicken) opened its first franchise in Salt Lake City, Utah.
  28. On September 26, the New York Yankees clinched their fourth straight and 19th American League pennant, by beating the Philadelphia A's, 5-2.
  29. On September 28, St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Stan Musial made his only major league pitching appearance of the season, throwing one pitch to Chicago Cubs outfielder Frank Baumholtz.
  30. On October 7, Joseph Woodland and Bernard Silver received the first patents for optical bar codes.
  31. On October 7, the New York Yankees beat the Brooklyn Dodgers, 4-3, to win the 49th World Series.
  32. On November 1, the U.S. detonated the first thermonuclear bomb at Enewetak Island.
  33. On November 4, Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower became the 34th U.S. president by defeating Democrat Adlai Stevenson. Eisenhower received 442 electoral votes and 33,778,693 popular votes to Stevenson’s 89 electoral votes and 27,314,992 popular votes. So, why was Eisenhower’s victory so far-reaching? According to History.com, "Popular discontent with Truman’s handling of the Korean War, charges of corruption in his administration, an inflationary economy, and a perceived communist threat all worked against Stevenson. He was also confronted with Eisenhower’s immense personal popularity and the voters’ belief that he would swiftly end the war. "
  34. From December 5-9, the Great Smog of London smothered the city, wreaking havoc and killing nearly 12,000 people. According to History.com, "The smog was so dense that residents in some sections of the city were unable to see their feet as they walked. For five days, the Great Smog paralyzed London and crippled all transportation, except for the London Underground train system. Because of poor visibility, boat traffic on the River Thames came to a halt. Flights were grounded and trains cancelled. Even during the middle of the day, drivers turned on their headlights and hung their heads out car windows to inch ahead through the thick gloom. Many found the effort futile and simply abandoned their cars."
  35. On December 29, the first transistorized hearing aid went on sale in Elmsford, New York.
In 1952, the Detroit Red Wings were the Stanley Cup champs.

In 1952, the Detroit Red Wings were the Stanley Cup champs.

3. Sports Trivia

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

  1. Kentucky Derby: Hill Gail
  2. NBA Champions: Minneapolis Lakers
  3. NCAA Basketball: Kansas
  4. NCAA Football Champs: Georgia Tech & Michigan State
  5. NFL Champions: Detroit Lions
  6. Orange Bowl: Georgia Tech over Baylor
  7. Rose Bowl: Illinois over Stanford
  8. Stanley Cup Champs: Detroit Red Wings
  9. Sugar Bowl: Maryland over Tennessee
  10. U.S. Open Golf: Julius Boros
  11. U.S. Open Tennis (men/women): Frank Sedgman/Maureen Connolly
  12. Wimbledon (men/women): Frank Sedgman/Maureen Connolly
  13. World Series Champions: New York Yankees
In 1952, the Detroit Lions were the NFL champions.

In 1952, the Detroit Lions were the NFL champions.

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

  1. In 1952, popular baby names were James, Robert, John, Michael, Linda, Mary, Patricia, and Deborah.
  2. The average life expectancy at birth in the U.S. was 73.7 years.
  3. The most popular holiday gifts included Mr. Potato Head and Scrabble.
  4. Fashion icons for the year were Doris Day, Ava Gardner, Rita Hayworth, Grace Kelly, Audrey Meadows, Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, and Lana Turner.
  5. Colleen Hutchins (Salt Lake City) was crowned Miss America.
  6. Jackie Loughery (New York) became Miss USA.
  7. Time magazine’s “Person of the Year” was Queen Elizabeth II.
  8. U.S. population: 157,552,740
  9. Average income per year: $3,400
  10. Average cost of a new house: $9,050
  11. Average monthly rent: $80.00
  12. Average cost of a new car: $1,700
  13. Average cost of a gallon of gas: 20 cents
  14. A first-class postage stamp cost three cents.
  15. Unemployment dipped to 2.6%.
  16. Inflation averaged 1.92%.
  17. The minimum wage was 75 cents an hour.
  18. In January, the prime rate was 3.00%.
  19. GDP growth during the first quarter of 1952 was 1.1%.
  20. GDP growth during the second quarter was 0.2%.
  21. GDP growth during the third quarter was 0.7%.
  22. GDP growth during the fourth quarter was 3.3%.
  23. Federal spending: $67.69 billion
  24. Federal debt: $259.1 billion
  25. The price of gold averaged $34.60 per troy ounce.
  26. In 1952, only 6.5 million Americans—or 4.2% of the U.S. population—owned common stock. Investopedia.com points out that with a generation scarred by the market crash of 1929, and the Great Depression of the 1930s, most people in the 1950s stayed away from stocks. "In fact, it was only in 1954 that the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) surpassed its 1929 peak, a full 25 years after the crash."
  27. The Amy Vanderbilt Complete Book of Etiquette was published.
  28. Mad Magazine (1952-2018) began publishing.
  29. Clarence Birdseye introduced frozen peas to his growing selection of frozen vegetables.
  30. Lipton's dry onion soup first appeared on grocery store shelves.
  31. Mrs. Paul's Seafoods launched frozen fish sticks.
  32. Kellogg's Frosted Flakes were introduced.
  33. A bottle of coke: 10 cents
  34. A candy bar: Five cents apiece
  35. A daily newspaper: Five cents
  36. A haircut: 25 cents
  37. A hamburger: 15 cents
  38. A movie ticket: 14 cents
  39. A pay phone call: Five cents
  40. A Tastykake: Seven cents
  41. Cigarettes: 25 cents a pack
  42. Gas: 25 cents a gallon
  43. Hand-dipped ice cream cones: Five cents for a single dip and 10 cents for a double dip
  44. Life Savers: Five cents a roll
  45. Pretzel sticks: Five sticks for one cent
The Holiday Inn—an American hotel brand with nearly 1,200 active hotels in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and in the Asia-Pacific region—was founded in 1952 by Kemmons Wilson in Memphis, Tennessee.

The Holiday Inn—an American hotel brand with nearly 1,200 active hotels in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and in the Asia-Pacific region—was founded in 1952 by Kemmons Wilson in Memphis, Tennessee.

5. Entertainment News

  1. On January 2, the musical Pal Joey opened at the Broadhurst Theater in New York City for 542 performances.
  2. On January 3, Dragnet, a police drama starring Jack Webb, premiered on NBC.
  3. On January 10, The Greatest Show on Earth, a film starring James Stewart and Charlton Heston, premiered in New York.
  4. On January 14, the Today Show—a news magazine starring Dave Garroway and Jack Lescoulie—debuted on NBC.
  5. On February 4, MLB player Jackie Robinson became the first African-American executive at a major television station (WNBC in New York).
  6. On February 18, at the 4th Primetime Emmy Awards, The Red Skelton Show (NBC) won an Emmy for Best Comedy Show, Studio One (CBS) won an Emmy for Best Dramatic Show, and Your Show of Shows (NBC) won an Emmy for Best Variety Show. Sid Caesar won an Emmy for Best Actor, and Imogene Coca won an Emmy for Best Actress.
  7. On February 20, The African Queen, a film starring Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn, was released in the U.S.
  8. On March 1, the anthology series Death Valley Days debuted.
  9. On March 20, at the 24th Academy Awards—which honored the best films of 1951—An American in Paris won an Oscar for Best Picture, Humphrey Bogart (The African Queen) won an Oscar for Best Actor, and Vivien Leigh (A Streetcar Named Desire) won an Oscar for Best Actress. George Stevens (A Place in the Sun) won an Oscar for Best Director, and A Place in the Sun also won an Oscar for Best Screenplay. Finally, In the Cool, Cool of the Evening won an Oscar for Best Song, and An American in Paris won an Oscar for Best Costume Design, Color.
  10. On March 27, Singin' in the Rain, a musical comedy starring Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds, premiered at the Radio City Music Hall in New York.
  11. On April 30, Mr. Potato Head became the first toy to be advertised on television.
  12. On May 3, Call Me Madam—a musical written by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse—closed at the Imperial Theater in New York City after 644 performances.
  13. On July 19, the musical Paint Your Wagon closed at the Shubert Theater in New York City after 289 performances.
  14. On June 19, the game show I’ve Got a Secret—with Gary Moore as host—premiered on CBS.
  15. On June 25, the musical Wish You Were Here opened at the Imperial Theater in New York City for 597 performances.
  16. On June 30, the soap opera, Guiding Light, moved from radio to television.
  17. On July 21, The Quiet Man—a film directed by John Ford and starring John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara—premiered in the UK.
  18. On July 24, High Noon, a film directed by Fred Zinnemann, and starring Gary Cooper and Thomas Mitchell, was released.
  19. On August 29, The Miracle of Our Lady of Fatima, a history-based film, debuted in New York City.
  20. On September 8, Ernest Hemingway's novel, The Old Man and the Sea, was published.
  21. On September 19, the Adventures of Superman, a TV series starring George Reeves, premiered in syndication in the US.
  22. On September 20, KPTV (IND) in Portland, Oregon began broadcasting.
  23. On September 29, the final episode of Lights Out aired on NBC.
  24. On October 3, the sitcom, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, debuted.
  25. On October 6, Agatha Christie's play, The Mousetrap, opened in London.
  26. On October 7, the first American Bandstand broadcast aired on WFIL-TV in Philadelphia.
  27. On December 10, KHON (NBC) in Honolulu, Hawaii began broadcasting.
In 1952, Mr. Potato Head became the first toy to be advertised on television.

In 1952, Mr. Potato Head became the first toy to be advertised on television.

6. 1950s Slang Words and Phrases

During the 1950s, hundreds of new slang words and phrases were added to the English language. Here are 50 of the best slang expressions from the era, many of which are still being used today:

  1. All decked out: Impeccably dressed
  2. All show and no go: Something that looks good on the surface, but has little “substance” or “proof of performance” otherwise.
  3. Ankle biter: A small child
  4. Backseat bingo: Making out in the backseat of a car.
  5. Bad news: Someone or something that is undesirable.
  6. Bash: Party
  7. Big daddy: A sugar daddy
  8. Blast: Great time
  9. Blitzed: Inebriated
  10. Bummed out: To be out of sorts emotionally
  11. Cooking with gas: Doing something the best way
  12. Cruisin’ for a bruisin’: Someone who is looking for trouble
  13. Dig?: Does that make sense? Do you understand?
  14. Ditz: A female idiot
  15. Don’t flip your wig: Don’t get too excited
  16. Don’t sweat it: Don’t worry
  17. Dreamboat: A really cute guy
  18. Drip: An uncool person
  19. Eat your heart out: Look and wish
  20. Fab: The best of the best
  21. Fade out: Disappear
  22. Far out: Really cool
  23. Flick: A movie
  24. Flip your lid: Go crazy
  25. Flip-top: A convertible
  26. Flutter bim: An attractive guy
  27. Fox: A fine-looking woman
  28. Fuzzy duck: A female with a short haircut
  29. Hep: Cool or cutting edge
  30. Hip: Cool or cutting edge
  31. Hottie: A fine-looking woman
  32. Knuckle sandwich: A punch in the face
  33. Low: Feeling dejected or depressed
  34. Made in the shade: Something that is guaranteed to be a success.
  35. Nerd: An uncool person
  36. Oddball: An odd person
  37. Old lady: Wife
  38. Old man: Husband
  39. Party pooper: Someone who is not fun to be around
  40. Peachy keen: The best
  41. Play dead: To be quiet
  42. Rattle your cage: To upset
  43. Raunchy: Inferior or disgusting
  44. Reds: Communists
  45. Shiner: A black eye
  46. Shoot low: Use caution
  47. Split: To depart
  48. Stuck up: To be conceited or condescending
  49. Stud: A desirable man with a pleasing appearance
  50. The royal shaft: To be unfairly treated
In 1952, The Greatest Show on Earth, starring Betty Hutton and Charlton Heston, was one of the highest-grossing films. In 1953, it won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Costume Design.

In 1952, The Greatest Show on Earth, starring Betty Hutton and Charlton Heston, was one of the highest-grossing films. In 1953, it won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Costume Design.

7. 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 1952 has been made available courtesy of NobelPrize.com.

  • Chemistry: Archer Martin and Richard Laurence Millington Synge
  • Literature: François Mauriac
  • Peace: Albert Schweitzer
  • Physics: Edward Mills Purcell and Felix Bloch
  • Physiology or medicine: Selman Waksman

8. Best-Selling Fiction Books

This book trivia from 1952 has been made available courtesy of PublishersWeekly.com.

1. The Silver Chalice by Thomas B. Costain

2. The Caine Mutiny by Herman Wouk

3. East of Eden by John Steinbeck

4. My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier

5. Steamboat Gothic by Frances Parkinson Keyes

6. Giant by Edna Ferber

7. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

8. The Gown of Glory by Agnes Sligh Turnbull

9. The Saracen Blade by Frank Yerby

10. The Houses in Between by Howard Spring

9. 1952 in American Television

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.”

Courtesy of Nielsen TV Research, here are the most popular television shows from the 1952-53 season:

1. I Love Lucy (CBS)

2. Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts (CBS)

3. Arthur Godfrey and his Friends (CBS)

4. Dragnet (NBC)

5. Texaco Star Theatre (NBC)

6. The Buick Circus Hour (NBC)

7. The Colgate Comedy Hour (NBC)

8. Gangbusters (NBC)

9. You Bet Your Life (NBC)

10. Fireside Theatre (NBC)

Here were the most popular soaps for the 1952-53 TV season:

1. Search for Tomorrow

2. Love of Life

3. Hawkins Falls

4. The Guiding Light

In 1952, I Love Lucy (CBS) was the most popular TV show.

In 1952, I Love Lucy (CBS) was the most popular TV show.

10. 1952 in American Radio

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 radio programs that premiered in 1952:

  1. The Bing Crosby Show for General Electric
  2. Bright Star
  3. Cafe Istanbul
  4. December Bride
  5. The Doris Day Show
  6. The Hall of Fantasy

Here are some radio programs that ended in 1952:

  1. 2000 Plus
  2. Big Town
  3. Cafe Istanbul
  4. Defense Attorney
  5. Hopalong Cassidy
  6. Inner Sanctum Mystery
  7. Major Bowes Amateur Hour
  8. Mark Trail
  9. Martin Kane, Private Eye
  10. Tales of the Texas Rangers
  11. The Adventures of Harry Lime
  12. The Bing Crosby - Chesterfield Show
  13. The Black Museum
  14. The Count of Monte Cristo
  15. The Green Hornet
  16. The Jack Smith Show
  17. The Mysterious Traveler
  18. The Standard Hour
  19. Tom Corbett, Space Cadet
  20. Valiant Lady
  21. Variety Bandbox
  22. Whitehall 1212

11. Most Popular Movies for the Year

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

  1. Angel Face
  2. The Bad and the Beautiful
  3. The Big Sky
  4. The Golden Coach
  5. The Greatest Show on Earth
  6. High Noon
  7. The Quiet Man
  8. Road to Bali
  9. Singin' in the Rain
  10. This is Cinerama

12. Ten Best Horror Movies of 1952

This film trivia from 1952 has been made available courtesy of IMDB.com.

  1. The White Reindeer
  2. Beware, My Lovely
  3. The Black Castle
  4. Noita palaa elämään
  5. Ghost Ship
  6. Mandragore
  7. Trick or Treat
  8. Vampire Over London
  9. Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla
  10. Jungle Jim in the Forbidden Land
At the 24th Academy Awards—which were held on March 20, 1952—An American in Paris won six Oscars, including Best Picture.

At the 24th Academy Awards—which were held on March 20, 1952—An American in Paris won six Oscars, including Best Picture.

13. Biggest Pop Music Artists

Popular music artists and groups from 1952 included Al Martino, B.B. King, the Clovers, the Dominoes, Doris Day, Eddie Fisher, Frank Sinatra, Frankie Laine, Hugo Winterhalter, Jo Stafford, Joe Turner, Johnny Ace, Joni James, Liberace, the Mills Brothers, Patti Page, Pee Wee King, Peggy Lee, Percy Faith, Rosemary Clooney, Tony Bennett, and Dinah Washington.

14. Top 30 Songs for the Year

This music trivia from 1952 has been made available courtesy of Music-Outfitters.com.

1. Blue Tango: Leroy Anderson

2. Wheel of Fortune: Kay Starr

3. Cry: Johnnie Ray

4. You Belong to Me: Jo Stafford

5. Auf Wiederseh'n, Sweetheart: Vera Lynn

6. Half As Much: Rosemary Clooney

7. Wish You Were Here: Eddie Fisher & Hugo Winterhalter

8. I Went to Your Wedding: Patti Page

9. Here In My Heart: Al Martino

10. Delicado: Percy Faith

11. The Kiss Of Fire: Georgia Gibbs

12. Any Time: Eddie Fisher & Hugo Winterhalter

13. Tell Me Why: The Four Aces

14. The Blacksmith Blues: Ella Mae Morse

15. Jambalaya: Jo Stafford

16. Botch-A-Me (Ba-Ba-Baciani Piccina): Rosemary Clooney

17. A Guy Is a Guy: Doris Day

18. The Little White Cloud That Cried: Johnnie Ray

19. High Noon: Frankie Laine

20. I'm Yours: Eddie Fisher & Hugo Winterhalter

21. The Glow Worm (Single): The Mills Brothers

22. It's In the Book: Johnny Standley

23. Slow Poke: Pee Wee King

24. Walkin' My Baby Back Home: Johnnie Ray

25. Meet Mr. Callaghan: Les Paul

26. I'm Yours: The Very Best of Don Cornell

27. I'll Walk Alone: Don Cornell

28. Tell Me Why: Eddie Fisher & Hugo Winterhalter

29. Trying: The Hilltoppers

30. Please, Mr. Sun: Johnnie Ray

In 1952, Swanson pot pies (chicken, beef, and turkey) were a popular food trend.

In 1952, Swanson pot pies (chicken, beef, and turkey) were a popular food trend.

15. 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 and GoodHousekeeping.com, here are some foods and beverages that were popular in 1952:

  1. Apple pie
  2. Armour Star corned beef hash
  3. Baked beans
  4. Baked ham
  5. Beef Bourguignon
  6. Beef Stroganoff
  7. Champagne punch
  8. Chicken Tetrazzini: TheDailyMeal tells us that “Named after opera singer Luisa Tetrazzini, Tetrazzini 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.”
  9. Chicken a la king
  10. Chiffon cake
  11. Chili con carne
  12. Clam dip
  13. Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and Royal Crown (RC) Cola
  14. Creamed chipped beef on toast
  15. Daiquiris
  16. Deviled ham
  17. Dinty Moore beef stew
  18. Egg salad
  19. Fried chicken
  20. Fruit cocktail cake
  21. Gelatin molds
  22. Green bean casseroles
  23. Ham and eggs
  24. Meatloaf
  25. Minute rice
  26. Pineapple upside down cake
  27. Relish trays
  28. SPAM
  29. Shrimp cocktail
  30. Snowballs: TheDailyMeal.com describes this dessert as “a scoop of vanilla ice cream rolled in shredded coconut and usually drizzled with chocolate sauce.”
  31. Stuffed celery
  32. Swanson TV dinners
  33. Swanson pot pies (chicken, beef, and turkey)
  34. Swedish meatballs
  35. Tuna noodle casseroles
  36. Tunnel of fudge cake
  37. V-8 vegetable juice
  38. Van Camp’s pork and beans
  39. Wacky cake
  40. Waffles
In 1952, Howard Johnson's became the world’s largest restaurant chain when it opened its 351st location.

In 1952, Howard Johnson's became the world’s largest restaurant chain when it opened its 351st location.

16. Famous Birthdays

Here are some of the famous people who were born in 1952:

  1. Alfre Woodard: Movie actress
  2. Alvin Sanders: Voice actor
  3. Billy West: Voice actor
  4. Chazz Palminteri: Movie actor
  5. Christine Baranski: Movie actress
  6. Christopher Reeve (1952-2004): Movie actor
  7. Gay Blackstone: Magician
  8. George Strait: Country singer
  9. Harvey Weinstein: Film producer
  10. Jeff Goldblum: Movie actor
  11. Jim Ross: Sportscaster
  12. Jimmy Choo: Fashion designer
  13. Liam Neeson: Movie actor
  14. Mandy Patinkin: Stage actor
  15. Mathew Knowles: Music producer
  16. Mickey Rourke: Movie actor
  17. Mr. T: TV actor
  18. Nile Rodgers: Music producer
  19. Philip Green: Entrepreneur
  20. Roseanne Barr: TV actress
  21. Sharon Osbourne: Reality star
  22. Steven Seagal: Movie actor
  23. Terence Henricks: Astronaut
  24. Veronica Castro: Soap opera actress
  25. Vladimir Putin: World leader

17. Notable Weddings

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

  1. On February 14, comedian Joey Adams married gossip columnist Cindy Heller.
  2. On February 21, actress Elizabeth Taylor wed actor Michael Wilding.
  3. On March 8, future U.S. President Ronald Reagan married Nancy Davis.
  4. On March 24, Ian Flaming, the author of James Bond novels, tied the knot with Anne Geraldine Charteris.
  5. On June 8, American singer and actress Judy Garland wed producer Sidney Luft.
  6. On July 9, American educator, Presbyterian minister, and TV host Fred Rogers married Sara Joanne Byrd.
  7. On July 9, American country singer June Carter Cash wed singer Carl "Mr. Country" Smith.
  8. On August 14, UK Prime Minister Anthony Eden tied the knot with Clarissa Spencer-Churchill.
  9. On October 17, country music legend Hank Williams married Billie Jean Jones.
  10. On November 18, rock 'n' roll pioneer Bill Haley wed Barbara Cupchak.

18. Famous People Who Died

This information has been made available courtesy of FamousBirthdays.com

  1. Curly Howard: Comedian
  2. Deacon Phillippe: American baseball pitcher
  3. Edward Madden: American lyricist
  4. Elizabeth Kenny: Nurse
  5. George VI: Former King of the United Kingdom
  6. Hattie McDaniel: American actress
  7. Jack Parsons: Researcher
  8. John Dewey: American writer, philosopher, and psychologist
  9. John Garfield: American actor
  10. John Whiteside Parsons: American rocket engineer
  11. Karen Horney: Psychoanalyst
  12. Keith Murdoch: War correspondent
  13. Maria Montessori: Physician and educator
  14. Ralph Byrd: Actor
  15. Ray Mala: Actor and cinematographer
  16. Susan Peters: Actress
In 1952, the New York Yankees won the World Series.

In 1952, the New York Yankees won the World Series.

19. U.S. Automobile Production Figures for the Year

Here are the U.S. automobile production figures for 1952:

  1. Chevrolet: 818,142
  2. Ford: 671,733
  3. Plymouth: 396,000
  4. Buick: 303,745
  5. Pontiac: 271,373
  6. Oldsmobile: 313,490
  7. Dodge: 206,000
  8. Mercury: 172,087
  9. Studebaker: 167,622
  10. Nash: 154,291
  11. Cadillac: 90,259
  12. DeSoto: 88,000
  13. Chrysler: 87,470
  14. Hudson: 70,000
  15. Packard: 62,921
  16. Kaiser: 32,131
  17. Willys: 31,363
  18. Henry J: 30,585
  19. Lincoln: 27,271
  20. Crosley: 6,614

20. American Companies and Brands Established During 1952

  1. Allegheny Airlines (1952-79)—the forerunner of US Airways—was an airline that operated out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with routes primarily located in the eastern U.S.
  2. Avalon Hill Games Inc. is a company “that publishes wargames and strategic board games.”
  3. The Holiday Inn—an American hotel brand with nearly 1,200 active hotels in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and in the Asia-Pacific region—was founded in 1952 by Kemmons Wilson in Memphis, Tennessee. Eddie Bluestein, who was Wilson’s architect, coined the name "Holiday Inn" 10 years earlier during the construction of the first hotel. At the time, Bluestein was making a joke by referencing the 1942 “Christmas-themed, musical film,” Holiday Inn, that starred Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire.
  4. Lakeland Bus Lines, Inc is a privately chartered bus company located in Dover, New Jersey. Lakeland “operates commuter routes from Morris, Sussex, Somerset and Essex Counties, New Jersey to New York City.”
  5. In 1952, Mrs. T's Pierogies was founded by Ted Twardzik in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania. The company makes 14 varieties of pierogies and produces over 500 million of them every year. According to Mrs. T’s, the varieties include “4 Cheese Medley, 5 Cheese Pizza, American Cheese, Broccoli & Aged Cheddar, Classic Cheddar, Classic Onion, Feta & Spinach, Garlic & Parmesan, Jalapeño & Sharp Cheddar, Loaded Baked Potato, Savory 5 Cheese Blend, Sour Cream and Chive, and Traditional Sauerkraut.”
  6. Roche Bros. Supermarkets, Inc. is a chain of grocery stores that is based in Mansfield, Massachusetts. Their stores are primarily located in the Boston metro area.
  7. Sheetz, Inc. is a regional chain of convenience stores and coffee shops that are owned by the Sheetz family. Founded in 1952, Sheetz sells food and beverages, and almost every store sells gasoline. Sheetz's headquarters are in Altoona, Pennsylvania, and the company currently operates stores in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina.
  8. Established in 1952, St. Martin's Press is a book publisher located in New York City. St. Martin's publishes over 700 titles every year, and is one of the “largest English-language publishers” in the world.
  9. Founded in 1952, the Stony Hill Vineyard is a historic winery that is located in the northern part of Saint Helena, California.
  10. The Timberland Company is an American manufacturer and retailer of outdoor wear, with an emphasis on footwear.
In 1952, Mrs. T's Pierogies was founded by Ted Twardzik in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania. The company makes 14 varieties of pierogies and produces over 500 million of them every year.

In 1952, Mrs. T's Pierogies was founded by Ted Twardzik in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania. The company makes 14 varieties of pierogies and produces over 500 million of them every year.

References:

In 1952, the Timberland Company—an American manufacturer and retailer of outdoor wear, with an emphasis on footwear—was founded in Boston, Massachusetts by Nathan Swartz.

In 1952, the Timberland Company—an American manufacturer and retailer of outdoor wear, with an emphasis on footwear—was founded in Boston, Massachusetts by Nathan Swartz.

© 2021 Gregory DeVictor

Comments

Gregory DeVictor (author) from Pittsburgh, PA on August 11, 2021:

Thanks for the comment Liz.

Liz Westwood from UK on August 10, 2021:

This is a fascinating round up of facts for 1952. The death of King George VI at a relatively young age was a big event in the UK. Last week I saw memorabilia linked to President Eisenhower in Culzean Castle, Scotland. The owners were so grateful for his contribution to World War 2 that they gifted him rooms in the castle, where he could stay whenever he visited. The top floor is now the Eisenhower Hotel.

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