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Other Pages From The Year 1955 Featuring Toys Clothes Fashion Accessories

Jump To Cost Of Living Popular Culture News and Events Technology Born This Year World Leaders 1955 Calendar

1955 consumerism takes off in a big way with the sale of some 7.9 million cars in the US with 7 out of 10 families now owning a motor car, and new laws were put in place requiring seat belts to be installed on all new cars. The average wages were now $3,851 per year, and the minimum wage was raised to $1.00 per hour. The first McDonalds was erected in 1955 and more fast foods and TV dinners are appearing including fish fingers. The first cans of Coca-Cola are sold up till then it had only been sold in bottles. Rock and Roll music continues to grow in popularity with more idols including Elvis Presley , Bill Haley and the Comets, Chuck Berry and The Platters, and young men's fashion matches the times with pink shirts and charcoal grey suits.

Cost of Living 1955

How Much things cost in 1955
Yearly Inflation Rate USA 0.28%
Yearly Inflation Rate UK 3.5%
Average Cost of new house $10.950.00 Average Monthly Rent $87.00 Average Yearly Wages $4.130.00 Minimum Hourly Rate $1.00 Average Cost of a new car $1,900.00 Cost of a gallon of Gas 23 cents Ladies Swim Suits $12.95 Black and White TV $99.95
Below are some Prices for UK guides in Pounds Sterling
Average House Price 2,064
Part of our 1950s Toys Selection of 250 Fifties Toys
Price: $3.98
Mouseketeer Portable Typewriter From The 1950s

From Fifties Fashion Section
Price: $2.98
Embracing Pillbox Hat

Price: $17.98
Chenille Wool Two Piece Dress
From Our Fifties Furniture Page
Price: $61.95
Trundle Bed Outfit
From Our Fifties Electrical
Price: $254.95
Twenty-Four Inch Fringe TV Set

What Events Happened in 1955

  • US military intervention in Iran
  • Hurricane Diane hits the northeast United States, killing 200 and causing over $1 billion in damage
  • Great Britain declares State of Emergency due to National Rail Strike
  • The first Commercial TV Station with advertisements starts in London, England
United States
  • The USS Nautilus becomes the first operational nuclear powered submarine when it casts off on its first true voyage in January.
More Information and Timeline for the USS Nautilus.
The USS Nautilus submarine was put to sea for the first time on January 17th of 1955. The USS Nautilus was the world’s first nuclear-powered submarine. It was authorized for construction in 1951 by the United States Congress and commissioned into service for the United States Navy while it neared completion in 1954. As it made its first real voyage in January of 1955, Commander Eugene Wilkinson relayed the historic message of “Underway On Nuclear Power.” The USS Nautilus continued operating until it was decommissioned in March of 1980 and during its time in service it impressively broke many submarine records and completed several important research and naval missions.

  • British Newspapers Not Printed for 1 month due to strike in Fleet Street By Maintenance Workers
  • Clement Attlee who oversaw the creation of the British Welfare System resigns as leader of the Labour Party
Middle East
  • Middle Eastern nations and the United Kingdom form a cooperative pact similar to NATO.
More Information and Timeline for the Baghdad Pact.
In February of 1955 the Central Treaty Organization (CENTO) is formed after the Baghdad Pact is agreed upon by Turkey, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq and the United Kingdom. It was also known as the Middle East Treaty Organization and its purpose was to created a structure similar to NATO in which the participating countries would agree to protect each other, cooperate on trade and military issues, and agree to not interfere in each other’s affairs. The organization was largely unsuccessful and in 1959 Iraq left the pact. The United States had limited involvement in the alliance but eventually joined the military committee. The pact was used as an anti-Soviet alliance during the Cold War but did not make much of a difference on the USSR’s influence on the Middle East. The Baghdad Pact officially ended in 1979.

  • Princess Margaret announces she will not marry divorced Group Captain Peter Townsend.
  • The St. Lawrence Seaway opens to Ocean Vessels from Montreal to US ports on the Great Lakes
  • The Soviet Union and its Eastern Bloc allies sign the Warsaw Pact on May 14th giving integration of military, economic and cultural policy between the eight Communist nations.
  • Great Britain effected by worst winter storms causing roads, rail and problems with food and medical supplies
  • Disneyland opens in California on July 17th
  • 'In God We Trust' is added to all US paper currency
  • United Airlines Flight 629 is blown up shortly after takeoff over Longmont, Colorado
United Kingdom
  • First Guinness Book of World Records Published.
More Information and Timeline for Guinness Book of World Records
The very first edition of the Guinness Book of Records is published on August 27th of 1955 in the United Kingdom. The United States version was not released until the next year. The chairman of the Guinness Brewery, Sir Hugh Beaver, came up with the idea for the records book in 1951 and by 1954 he had enlisted Norris and Ross McWhirter to create the records book. The book was a huge hit and a best-seller almost immediately after its release as it became the go-to Christmas gift.

  • Ruth Ellis the last woman in England to be executed is hung at Holloway Prison
  • 77 Die in a disaster at 24hr Le Mans Race
  • The New Synthetic Material Polyurethane used in more and more everyday goods

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  • Rosa Parks arrest in Montgomery Alabama sets the American Civil Rights Movement in Motion
  • The United States begins its involvement in the Vietnam conflict.
More Information and Timeline for U.S. Involvement with Vietnam.
The United States involvement in the Vietnam Conflict or Second Indochina War officially began on the first of November in 1955 with the arrival of the U.S. Military Assistance Advisory Group (M.A.A.G.) in South Vietnam to help train the South Vietnamese military after the French left the conflict. While the date of the true beginning of the Vietnam War could be debated as earlier or later, November 1, 1955 is the earliest date that the United States government uses to qualify a member of the military as being a veteran of the Vietnam War. The war in Vietnam would last until April 30, 1975 when the last of the U.S. military left the embassy in Saigon, making the total length of the United States’ involvement in the war nearly twenty years.

  • Emmett Till, a black fourteen year old teenager is murdered for not showing respect to a white woman in Money, Miss.
  • West Germany Joins NATO
  • The Military seizes control in Argentina forcing Juan Peron to flee
  • African American Rosa Parks is arrested after refusing to give up her bus seat to a white person in Montgomery Alabama

Technology 1955

  • First pocket transistor radios available

  • Fish Fingers are marketed by Bird's Eye

  • The first Atomically generated power is used in the US

Inventions Invented by Inventors and Country ( or attributed to First Use )
Atomic Clock England
Hovercraft England by Christopher Cockerell
Lego Gotfried Kirk Christiansen
Velcro Switzerland by George De Mestral

Popular Culture 1955

  • Ray Kroc starts the McDonald's fast food restaurant chain.
  • First riot at an Elvis Presley concert takes place in Jacksonville, FL
  • "The $64,000 Question" the popular US television game show starts
  • James Dean’s stars in the movie East of Eden
  • James Dean killed in car accident near Cholame, California
  • First Guinness Book of World Records Published
  • "The Mickey Mouse Club" debuts on ABC

Popular Films

  • Oklahoma
  • The Quatermass Xperiment
  • Rebel without a Cause
  • To Catch A Thief
  • The Quatermass Xperiment
  • The seven year itch

Popular Singers

  • Elvis Presley
  • Bill Haley and the Comets " Rock Around The Clock"
  • Chuck Berry
  • Fats Domino.
  • The Platters

Check out our Television Programmes From The 50s whenever possible we have included a trailer to jog your memory. Series trailers and more information are found on the decade they started.

Born This Year

Mata Amritanandamayi September 27th
Whoopi Goldberg November 13th
Olga Korbut May 16th
Steve Jobs February 24th
Bill Gates October 28th

1955 Calendar

Major World Political Leaders

Australia Prime Minister Sir Robert Menzies Brazil President Café Filho Till 9 November
Brazil President Carlos Luz From 9 November
Brazil President Carlos Luz Till 11 November
Brazil President Nereu Ramos From 11 November
Canada Prime Minister Louis St. Laurent

China Chairman of the People's Republic of China Mao Zedong

France President René Coty

Germany Chancellor Konrad Adenauer
India Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru

Italy Prime Minister Mario Scelba Till 2 July
Italy Prime Minister Antonio Segni From 6 July
Japan Prime Minister Ichiro Hatoyama Mexico President Adolfo Ruiz Cortines Russia / Soviet Union
First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Nikita Khrushchev South Africa Prime Minister Johannes Gerhardus Strijdom United States President Dwight D. Eisenhower United Kingdom Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill Till 7 April
United Kingdom Prime Minister Sir Anthony Eden From 7 April

Political Elections

British General Election 1955 Anthony Eden ( Conservative )defeats Clement Attlee ( Labour ) and Clement Davies ( Liberal )