1950-1959 Timeline of Allen County, Indiana

1951 - 1952 - 1953 - 1954 - 1955 - 1956 - 1957 - 1958 - 1959

1950 to 1959: Days of conflict, years of prosperity various newspaper articles from a 1950-1959 Timeline of the decade from the Fort Wayne History Stories about time periods in the archives of The News-Sentinel newspaper.

Fort Wayne memories. The '50s / producer, writer, editor, Claudia Johnson ; WFWA-TV39 PBS Fort Wayne, 1994, Accompanied by photographs and film footage, Fort Wayne residents tell what life was like in their city in the 1950s. VHS at Allen County Public Library .

Fort Wayne memories. The '50s / a production of WFWA-TV39 ; producer, writer, Claudia Johnson ; WFWA-TV39 PBS Fort Wayne, 2005. Accompanied by photographs and film footage, Fort Wayne residents tell what life was like in their city in the 1950s. DVD at the Allen County Public Library.


The News Publishing Co. and The Journal-Gazette Co. form joint agency agreement, now known as Fort Wayne Newspapers Inc., to save the financially foundering Journal. Copied from the 1950-1959 Timeline of the decade from the Fort Wayne History Stories about time periods archives of The News-Sentinel newspaper.

1950s - people still raised and killed chickens in Weisser Park area within Fort Wayne city limits. Memories were discussed April 28, 2019 on You are positively from Fort Wayne, if you remember... Archived group only visible to existing members on Facebook.

1950s - American Chestnut trees all but wiped out by blight disease. The American chestnut once towered over everything else in the forest. It was called the “redwood of the East.” Dominating the landscape from Georgia to Maine, Castanea dentata provided the raw materials that fueled the young nation’s westward expansion, and inspired the words of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Henry David Thoreau. Then, the blight struck. By the 1950s, this mightiest of trees was all but extinct – “gone down like a slaughtered army,” in the words of naturalist Donald Culross Peattie. Read the rest of the story Bringing back a blighted icon Hope survives for American chestnut by Allen G. Breed of the Associated Press December 9, 2012.

1950's Slideshow Longing For a City: Why we miss old Fort Wayne and what we should do about it by , Marketing Director, Townsends / Owner, Rockhill Design published March 1, 2010 on Slideshare.net.

1950's - Stephen King the famous author lived here briefly during his early childhood.

July 5, 2023 post by Newspapers.comon Facebook:

How to call long distance in 1950! Did you ever make a phone call in the days of telephone operators?

See the full clipping in the News-Pilot on our site: https://www.newspapers.com/.../news-pilot-tips.../127550106/

1950, January 24 - groundbreaking for the Memorial Coliseum. See photo posted May 5, 2016 by JG Features of The Journal Gazette newspaperon Twitter.

1950, February 16 - Disney’s Cinderella movie opens from This Day in History on The History Channel

1950, March 6

March 6, 2023 post by Indiana Historical Bureau on Facebook:

#OTD in 1950, six carloads of coal arrived at the Fort Wayne City Light plant to relieve the ongoing coal shortage. Just days earlier, the lack of coal shut down local industries and schools and put a strain on hospitals and other institutions, as well as residents trying to heat their homes during a cold snap. After WWII, demand for coal nationally was greater than ever, while supply remained lower than needed because of manpower shortages and depletion of existing mines. In the winter of 1949, the United Mine Workers went on a nationwide strike for better wages and benefits, curtailing the flow of coal from mines to coal yards. By January 1950, Indiana was feeling the impact and the state began to ration coal to key industries and institutions. By February, the Indianapolis Times announced that thousands of homes were without heat under the headline “Hoosiers Starting to Burn Wood, Corncobs.” The Indiana Red Cross estimated that it was receiving one emergency call every minute. Fortunately, management and union representatives reached an agreement, and the miners were eager to get back to work. On March 4, Governor Henry F. Schricker announced that carloads of coal were headed to key areas, though several weeks passed before the supply chain was flowing normally. Learn more about the miners’ demands and the impact of the coal shortage on Indiana through Hoosier State Chronicles: Indianapolis Times,Indianapolis, Marion County, 28 February 1950.

Image courtesy of the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel, THIS DAY IN HISTORY: March 6 in photos.


March 15 taxes due!
Poster when taxes were due March 15

1950, March 15 - was tax due deadline from National Archives Today's Document on tumblr.

1950, May 17 - the White House in Washington D.C. was being rennovated right down to the shell of the building. See photo of dump trucks and bulldozers inside the White House on National Archives on flickr.

1950, May 30 - Memorial Day - Photo caption: 1950 - Troops from the Anthony Wayne Council of the Boy Scouts of America marched down Main Street in the Memorial Day Parade on May 30, 1950. The parade also included a number of marching bands and representatives of all the county's veterans organizations. Thousands of spectators lined the parade route to Lindenwood Cemetery. Photo from THIS DAY IN HISTORY: May 30 in photos by Dan Vance posted May 30, 2018 on The News-Sentinel newspaper.

1950, June 25 - the Korean Conflict begins when North Korea invades South Korea, the first war of the Cold War. The North Korean Army crossed into South Korea, capturing the capital Seoul in less than a week. The north was supported by the People's Republic of China and the Soviet Union, while the south was supported by the United Nations, which condemned the attack and recommended its member states (countries) support the south with troops, supplies and weapons. U.S. soldiers comprised about 88 percent of the troops sent overseas. Copied from Remembering 'The Forgotten War' May 27, 2013 by Sheryl Krieg of The News-Sentinel newspaper. Read more Korean War onSmithsonian National Museum of American History blog. Read about the events leading up the war on a June 25, 2014 post via The Writer's Almanacon The History CenterFacebook page.

1950, June 27 – the United States decides to send troops to fight in the Korean War. President Harry S. Truman authorizes the Air Force and Navy to enter the Korean conflict.

1950, July 19 - Past Fort Wayne Tornadoes since July 19, 1950 Several tornadoes have crossed the (present-day) city limits of Fort Wayne... at the National Weather Service.

A tornado would be hard-pressed to score a more direct hit on Fort Wayne than this one. This twister touched down near the corner of Taylor Street and Brooklyn Avenue and moved northeast, directly through downtown, and lifted near the Tennessee Street bridge. Fortunately the tornado was rather weak, and it occurred around seven o'clock in the evening after most of the business people had left for home.

Trees were blown down from the 2000 block to the 1800 block of Taylor Street, and at 1530 Swinney Avenue. A shed was demolished at 1302 Wall Street and power poles were torn down along Thompson Avenue. A tree fell at 1120 Nelson Road, and a large tree toppled over and crushed a car at 1135 Jones Street. Similarly, an automobile was smashed by a tree at 1121 Wilt Street.

Entering the central business district on this Wednesday evening, a tree was felled at the intersection of Van Buren Street and Jefferson Boulevard. At the corner of Main and Calhoun, five people were injured when a store front's window burst and showered them with glass. Street lights along the 100 block of West Main Street were damaged.

After missing the Allen County Courthouse by a matter of feet, and crossing the site of the present-day City-County Building, the twister ripped part of the roof of a building at Barr Street and Superior Street, just about where the Fort Wayne Museum of Art stands today.

The tornado crossed the Saint Mary's River, avoided damaging the Three Rivers Filtration Plant, but managed to tear power poles down on Wagner Street behind the plant.

The weakening funnel crossed the Saint Joseph River, knocked over some trees at the corner of Tennessee Avenue and Saint Joseph Boulevard, and then lifted back into the clouds.

1950, September 14 - In 1950, the Fort Wayne Open PGA event begins. Lloyd Mangrum won with a 271 total, 13 under par at Orchard Ridge Country Club, and earned $2,600. Sponsored by the Jaycees, the tournament lasted for seven years, the next six at the Elks Country Club where first-prize was $2,400 and the total purse was $15,000. The next years' winners were Jim Ferrier, Jimmy Clark, Art Wall, Doug Ford, Dow Finsterwald and Wall again. The big winners during the seven-year run were Wall who earned $6,351, Middlecoff with $51,00, Ford $5,135, Clark $4,745 and Mangrum $3,070. Porky Oliver was next with $3,710 followed by Ferrier with $3,690 and Marty Furgoi with $3,542. The only player out of 95 who played in the Fort Wayne Open who made money in all seven tournaments was Dave Douglas, and his total was only $2,884. Copied from a September 14, 2022 post by Fort Wayne Sports History on Facebook.

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1951, January 29 - Indiana was the 26th state to ratify the twenty-second amendment limiting the President to two terms. The 36th state, Minnesota, ratified it 1951, February 27 to the United States Constitution. Congress passed the amendment on March 21, 1947. From Twenty-second Amendment to the United States Constitution on Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.

1951, April 28 - eleven people died in a plane crash. Eight passengers and three crew members were on United Flight 129 that departed Cleveland at 18:07 for Chicago, Illinois, with stops scheduled at Fort Wayne and South Bend on board a Douglas DC-3A-197 when it crashed. Debris was scattered over two acres of cropland on the farm of Brooks Smith, in a slightly hilly section three miles southwest of Baer field. Copied from Fort Wayne, IN Airplane Crash, Apr 1951 on GenDiasters.com now on the Internet Archive Wayback Machine, CRASH OF A DOUGLAS DC-3A-197 IN FORT WAYNE: 11 KILLED on Home Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Archives. Accident investigation report completed and information captured Date: Saturday 28 April 1951 Time: 19:32; Type: Silhouette image of generic DC3 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different Douglas DC-3A-197; Operator: United Airlines at Aviation Safety Network which has a Fort Wayne Municipal Airport/Baer Field, IN profile for other aircraft incidents. Discussed April 28, 2019 on You are positively from Fort Wayne, if you remember... Archived group only visible to existing members on Facebook.

1951, June 14 - UNIVAC 1 was one of the first civilian computers, it tabulated some of the results from the 1950 Census as well as the entire 1954 Economic Census. Read more at UNIVAC I - History - U.S. Census Bureau. A June 14, 2013 commment on their Facebook page states the last UNISYS was March 30, 2010.

1951, August 12 - ground breaking for new Parkview Hospital on East State Blvd. and Randallia Street. Formerly the 1878 Fort Wayne City Hospital, then 1917 Hope Methodist Hospital.

1951, October 18 -

March 15, 2023 post by Newspapers.com on Facebook:

Did you grow up with a telephone party line in your home? With party lines, multiple homes shared the same telephone line. It was a widespread service in the U.S. up through the 1970s or so.

Predictably, complaints of eavesdropping and of neighbors monopolizing the line were common. This 1951 newspaper ad is just one of many that encouraged customers to follow good party-line etiquette.

See the ad in the West Bank Herald on our site: https://www.newspapers.com/.../etiquette-for-telephone.../












1952 - Allen County War Memorial Coliseum was finished and Komet Hockey begins

1952, February 19 - Indiana & Michigan Co.'s interurban rail service had its last run Feb. 19, 1952. The locomotives had provided freight service between I & M and the city filtration plant, the Fort Wayne State School and Centlivre Brewery. The line had been in service since 1906 and was the last remaining interurban rail line in the state. Getting ready for the last run, brakeman Wilson Wells checked in with Judson H. Cline, the motorman. Copied from THIS DAY IN HISTORY: February 19 in photos with photo published February 19, 2018 by The News-Sentinel newspaper. Photo posted February 25, 2023 on True Fort Wayne Indiana History on Facebook.

1952, March 23 - a CardCow.com postcard shows the Municipal Bathing Beach on the St. Joseph River. It was next to Johnny Appleseed Park across the river from Concordia High School. The postcard was a birthday card from Larry Lantz to Leona Lunk using 3 cents postage.

1952, May 2 - Union Stockyards fire on East Washington Blvd.

1952, June 13 - just a few years after a giant turtle was reported in Churubusco, Whitley County, now knicknamed Turtle Town, the Mrs. D.A. Crance with two children while driving down California Road in broad daylight stops her car when she sees a log across the road ahead. As she ponders what to do, one end of the “log” rises three feet off the road! “It had a head like a bulldog,” she later said of what she reported was a “sickly blue” snake that stretched all the way across the road, at least 18 feet long and 5 inches around. The next day, about 100 hunters search the area on foot with the aid of trucks and airplanes. There are people from local conservation clubs, the parks department and even the Sheriff's Mounted Posse – yes, that was a thing – searching on horseback. Copied from the June 1952: Hunting for a giant snake and That was my snake. Dan Somers, who grew up in Fort Wayne and now lives near Syracuse, says he and his brother Sam were responsible for at least some of the sightings of Pete the Python in 1952 discussed in Fake snake: Behind the 1952 prank published June 27, 2019 both articles by Corey McMaken published May 2019 in The Journal Gazette newspaper.

1952, September 15 -

December 27, 2018 post by Hofer and Davis, Inc. Land Surveyors on Facebook:

For "Throwback Thursday" we share this photo of "Ike" [Dwight Eisenhower] campaigning for President at the Baker Street Station in 1952. If you look carefully, you not only see the Lincoln Tower, Lincoln Life and the Kimball Garage, you also see Powers Hamburgers! BTW... Hofer and Davis did surveys for Lincoln Life in 1922, 1956 the 1970's and beyond!

May 26, 2023 post by MartinRiley architects-engineers on Facebook:

On September 15, 1952 General Dwight D. Eisenhower made a 150-mile trip through northern Indiana during his candidacy for President. His stop in Fort Wayne brought him to the Baker Street Station to give a whistle-stop speech where a crowd of 5,000 greeted the candidate. He reminisced to the crowd of his previous visit 30 years earlier when he was with a military company camped outside the city. It was then he learned of John Chapman and would later remark how Fort Wayne and Johnny Appleseed have been one and the same in his mind.

1952, September 28 - Allen County War Memorial Coliseum dedication. A video by Access Fort Wayne public television at the Allen County Public Library shows some construction, outdoor and indoor crowds at the dedication.

1952, October 25 - The Fort Wayne Komets opened their schedule in the International League on Oct. 25, 1952, with a 4-0 loss to the Toledo Mercurys in front of about 5,000 people at Memorial Coliseum. Copied from Oct. 25, 1952: Fort Wayne Komets make hockey debut by Corey McMaken published Oct 20, 2022  in The Journal Gazette newspaper and shared October 20, 2022 on Facebook.


1953 - Pamphlets (Volume 6 - 1953) - sixth in a series of pamplets published by the Public Library of Fort Wayne and Allen County Archive.org.

1953 - Two Fort Wayne landmarks open: Parkview Memorial Hospital and the Sol A. Wood Home (now Wood Youth Center). Copied from the 1950-1959 Timeline of the decadefrom the Fort Wayne History Stories about time periods archives of The News-Sentinel newspaper.

1953, January 7 - President Truman tells the world that that the US has developed a hydrogen bomb. This encouraged people like Mr. and Mrs. Murland E. Anderson in 1955 to install a double-hulled steel shelter bombshelter beneath their front yard.

1953, January 13 - The first nationally televised pro basketball game. A then-record crowd of 10,340 topped the previous mark of 10,094 set two years before during the first all-star game in Boston. See photo posted by John Nolan January 13, 2018 on Twitter. Read more Fort Wayne sports history: City hosts NBA All-Star Game - Game attracted a record crowd published June 25, 2013 and When the big show came to the small town both by Blake Sebring of The News-Sentinel newspaper. See 1953 NBA All-Star Game on Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.

January 13, 2019 post by the

Indiana Historical Bureau on Facebook:

On January 13, 1953, the Fort Wayne Pistons hosted the third NBA All-Star Game at the Memorial Coliseum, featuring Hall of Famers Bob Cousy, Ed Macauley, and Bill Sharman. According to the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel, the game was historic because Don Barksdale became the first African American player in an All-Star Game.

Learn more about the game here: http://www.news-sentinel.com/.../when-the-big-show-came.../

The image below, showing the famed MVP George Mikan making his entrance, is courtesy of the News-Sentinel.



See our Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons section.




1953, June 7 - President Truman tells the world that that the U.S. has developed a hydrogen bomb.

1953, June 9 - The News-Sentinel newspaperpublished a 20 page special section TV is coming to Fort Wayne from May 6, 2018 post on You are positively from Fort Wayne, if you remember... Archived group only visible to existing members on Facebook.

1953, June 14 - photo of Spectators lined the east side of Bueter Road on June 14, 1953, for the 16th running of the Soap Box Derby in Fort Wayne, sponsored by The News-Sentinel and area Chevrolet dealers. The race drew 61 drivers, and the winner was Tom Bartkus, 13, the son of Mr. and Mrs. John Bartkus of 1812 High St. Tom's win qualified him for the national Derby in Akron, Ohio, and the opportunity to win a $5,000 college scholarship. Copied from THIS DAY IN HISTORY: June 14 in photos by Dan Vance published June 14, 2018 in The News-Sentinel newspaper

1953, July 27 - Korean Armistice Agreement ends the three year Korean War. The first war of the the Cold War left a divided American backed South Korea and Communist North Korea separated by the DMZ - demilitarized zone on the 38th Parallel.

1953, October 10 - Tom Downes a British newspaper reporter made a visit to Fort Wayne and interviewed residents here, and wrote an article called America's Happiest Town for Lancashire Evening Post, England. The article was posted and discussed March 22, 2018 on You are positively from Fort Wayne, if you remember... Archived group only visible to existing members on Facebook.

1953, November 8 - Parkview Memorial Hospital was dedicated at Randallia and State. Of the $3 million project cost, $470,000 was contributed by GE and GE employees to help build this key part of what eventually became Northeast Indiana's biggest healthcare network. Copied from November 8, 2021 and November 8, 2022 posts by Electric Works on Facebook. See our Electric Works section.

1953, November 21 - the former Methodist Hospital moved into the new Parkview Hospital on the southeast corner of Randalia and State Boulevard.

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Your America on page 8 of Pamphlets Volume 8 by the Public Library of Fort Wayne and Allen County, Publication date 1954, on Archive.org, is a factual and statistical essay answer to the question, "What is America?" in the 1950s.

1954 - Longtime Fort Wayne Mayor Harry Baals dies in office. and Azar's opens its first Big Boy restaurant in Fort Wayne. Copied from the 1950-1959 Timeline of the decadefrom the Fort Wayne History Stories about time periods archives of The News-Sentinel newspaper.

1954 - the concept of TV dinners was introduced. View a Swanson TV dinner plate on American History Museum.

Pamphlets (Volume 7 - 1954) - Public Library of Fort Wayne and Allen County Archive.org.

1954 - publication of Home life in early Indiana (1954) - Vogel, William Frederick, 1884- Archive.org.

1954, January 1 - photo of the members of the Polar Bear Club take a dip in the icy St. Joseph River for their annual New Year's Day swim. Posted January 1, 2019 by The Journal Gazette newspaperon Twitter.

1954, February 23 - Dr. Jonas Salk gave the first polio vaccine during field trials to children in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The vaccine was produced by Eli Lily and Company in Indianapolis. From February 23, 2016 post by Indiana Historical Bureau on Facebook.

1954, March 21 - the Milan Miracle. Milan was one of the smallest schools in Indiana southeast in Ripley County with only 27 seniors including Bobby Plump. Bobby shot the winning basket against basketball powerhouse Muncie Central High School to win the state basketball championship 32-30. The "Mighty Men of Milan" of Bobby Plump and his teammates inspired the movie Hoosiers. See photos and video of The Milan Miracle on IndyStar newspaper publlished March 21, 2014.

1954, March 22 - Hudson's opens the first almost-enclosed shopping mall in Southfield, Michigan, ushering in the age of the "modern mall".

1954, March 25 - RCA began producing color TVs at their Bloomington plant. A 12-inch screen sold for around $1,000. See March 25, 1954: RCA TVs Get the Color for Money on Wired.com from a March 25, 2016 Facebook post by Indiana Bicentennial Commission on Facebook.

1954, May 17 - The Supreme Court decided unanimously  the landmark Brown vs. Board of Education ruling, which declared racially segregated public schools inherently unequal in violation of the 14th Amendment. Read more on the May 17, 2013 Smithsonian National Museum of American History blog.

1954, June 14 - President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs order adding "under God" to Pledge of Allegiance. Statement by the President Upon Signing Bill To Include the Words "Under God" in the Pledge to the Flag. DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER 34th President of the United States: 1953 ‐ 1961 June 14, 1954 at The American Presidency Project.

  1. See our Timeline history of the Pledge of Allegiance.
  2. Pledge of Allegiance at Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.
  3. The Pledge's Creator on Smithsonian National Museum of American History blog .
  4. The Radical Author Behind the Pledge of Allegiance at The Saturday Evening Post.
  5. The history of legal challenges to the Pledge of Allegiance by Scott Bomboy posted June 14, 2022 at ConstitutionCenter.org.
  6. The Man Who Wrote the Pledge of Allegiance The schoolroom staple didn't originally include "under God," even though it was created by an ordained minister on Smithsonian.com. See September 8, 1892 Pledge timeline.
  7. 4 USC 4: Pledge of allegiance to the flag; manner of delivery at USCode.House.gov.
  8. Who wrote the Pledge of Allegiance? at the AmericanLegion.

1954, June 17 - after eight consecutive days of muggy 90° weather the forecast was for cooler weather, but the June 18 temperature rose to 92° with more muggy weather forecast for the weekend. See photos and more in A busy week in June 1954 Column to explore interesting events, times from the past by Corey McMaken in the first Throwback Thursday column called the History Journal published December 27, 2018 in The Journal Gazette newspaper.

1954, August 3 - Several hundred people were on hand by 6:30 a.m. August 3, 1954, to watch the Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus unload at the New York Central freight yards off Clinton Street. The crowd kept growing, and the children cheered when the car with the elephants finally arrived. Copied from THIS DAY IN HISTORY: August 3 in photos by Dan Vance published August 3, 2018 in The News-Sentinel newspaper.

1954, August 24 - President Dwight D. Eisenhower outlawed the Communist Party in the US when he signed the Communist Control Act of 1954 at Lowry Air Force Base, Denver, Colorado.

1954, November 12 - Ellis Island, the gateway to America, shuts it doors after processing more than 12 million immigrants since opening in 1892.

1954, December 2 - the US Senate voted to censure Senator Joseph McCarthy, describing his behavior as contrary to senatorial traditions. See Senate Resolution 301: Censure of Senator Joseph McCarthy (1954) on OurDocuments.gov.

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1955 - Fort Wayne turns away an NBA championship series when a national bowling tournament fills the coliseum. The Pistons play their home games in Indianapolis, and the Syracuse Nationals win the series. Copied from the 1950-1959 Timeline of the decade from the Fort Wayne History Stories about time periods archives of The News-Sentinel newspaper.

1955 - golf legend Arnold Palmer won his first PGA golf paycheck at the 1955 Fort Wayne Open, winning $145 for 25th place at the Elks Golf Club, now Coyote Creek Golf Club. Blake Sebring discussed in a comment March 31, 2023 to a March 31, 2023 post on True Fort Wayne Indiana History on Facebook.

1955 - Nickel Plate railroad Twitter photo or Facebook photo shows overpass under construction along Superior Street that opened up the entire north side of Fort Wayne for development from Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society .

1955, January 20 - Brooklyn Dodger major league baseball player - the great Jackie Robinson, who broke the color barrier April 15, 1947, visited Central Catholic High School in Fort Wayne. His life is recalled in the 2013 movie 42 - The Jackie Robinson Story starring Chadwick Boseman as Jackie Robinson and Harrison Ford. See 1955 publicity photo on Visit Fort Wayne on Facebook.

1955, March 1 - April 25

September 8, 2023 post by the Indiana State Library on Facebook:

Meet this Hoosier from the library stacks. John Gojack, a union organizer in Fort Wayne, was called before the Committee on Unamerican Activities. He was a defiant witness, who when held in contempt took Congress to the Supreme Court, more than once, and won every time. #HoosierInTheStacks #unions #court

Investigation of Communist activities in the Fort Wayne, Ind., area. Hearings by United States. Congress. House. Committee on Un-American Activities Publication date 1955 by United States. Congress. House. Committee on Un-American Activities on Archive.org.

1955, March 26 - The Ballad of Davy Crockett reached the top on this day sung by Bill Hayes, a graduate of DePauw University, actor and singer, was his only #1 song.

1955, April 12 - it was announced that Jonas Salk, using March of Dimes donations from millions of people, had developed a vaccine to prevent polio, the most notorious disease of the 20th century until AIDS. Read Whatever Happened to Polio? on the Smithsonian National Museum of American History blog. Word that the Salk vaccine was successful set off one of the greatest celebrations in modern American history, ... Church bells tolled, factory whistles blew. People ran into the streets weeping. from Defeating Polio, The Disease That Paralyzed America published April 10, 2015 by npr history dept.

1955, April 22 - Congress passed a bill ordering all U.S. coins to carry the motto “In God We Trust”. One year earlier in 1954, the motto was added to a special series of postage stamps as this newsreel from PublicDomainFootage on April 7, 2013 shows… Dwight D. Eisenhower welcomes In "God We Trust" stamp - First U.S. stamp with religious message. See also In God We Trust April 22, 2013 by Margaret Wood on The Library of Congressblog.

1955, September 30 - actor James Dean, born February 8, 1931 in Marion, Indiana, lived in Fairmount, Indiana, age 24, while driving his Porsche 550 Spyder from Los Angeles to a sports car race in Salinas, California was killed in a car accident.

1955, October 3 - the Mickey Mouse Club and Captain Kangaroo television made their television debuts. The Captain show aired until December 8, 1984, with reruns on PBS in 1986.

1955, October 4 - The Nickel Plate railroad elevation was dedicated Oct. 4, 1955, at the Calhoun Street crossing downtown. The project was seen as important by many at the time because the railroad divided the city. Copied from 1953 to 1955: Construction and dedication of the Nickel Plate railroad elevation in downtown Fort Wayne Corey McMaken posted April 27, 2017 in the History Journal archives of the Journal Gazette newspaper.

1955, December 1 - Rosa Parks, a black woman, was arrested, for civil disobedience in Alabama, for refusing to give up her seat to a white man. Her arrest sparked a 381-day boycott of the Montgomery bus system. It also led to a 1956 Supreme Court decision banning segregation on public transportation. Copied from Rosa Parks Was Arrested for Civil Disobedience December 1, 1955  on America's Story from America's Library at The Library of Congress.

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1956 - Fort Wayne Fine Arts Foundation (now Arts United) and Fort Wayne Ballet form. Lutheran Hospital completes new building. Dime Bank sold and reorganized as Indiana Bank, the predecessor of current Bank One operations. Copied from the 1950-1959 Timeline of the decadefrom the Fort Wayne History Stories about time periods archives of The News-Sentinel newspaper.

1956, January 8 - the first USAC, United States Auto Club, race was held at the Allen County Memorial Coliseum. IRMA PLAQUE HONORS USAC'S FIRST RACE located at the coliseum with photo of plaque published November 13, 2017.

1956, June 26 - Congress approved H.R. 10660, a bill to construct 41,000 miles of interstate highways. The Senate passed the House bill with amendments, 89 to 1. The House passed the amendments by a voice vote on the very same day. President Dwight D. Eisenhower then signed H.R. 10660 into law on June 29. Read more and see a photo of a car traveling a muddy road from Congress in the Archives tumblr page and Interstate Highway System funding sign onSmithsonian National Museum of American History blog.

1956, June 29 - Pres. Eisenhower signs Interstate Highway Act. Sign marking start of construction in Missouri: - http://bit.ly/10Pi03M

June 29, 2020 post by Newspapers.com on Facebook:

President Eisenhower signed the Federal-Aid Highway Act on June 29, 1956, creating a system of interstate highways that would forever change travel in the United States! Learn more on our blog.

The Federal-Aid Highway Act Signed: June 29, 1956

June 29, 2023 post by A Daily Dose of History on Facebook:

President Dwight Eisenhower was a fiscal conservative, achieving three balanced budgets during his administration. But perhaps the most notable accomplishment of his presidency was the most expensive public works project to that point in history—the $25 billion Interstate Highway Act.

In the summer of 1919, while a young lieutenant colonel, Eisenhower participated in the Army’s first transcontinental motorized convoy. It took 62 days for the 81 Army vehicles to travel across the country. Eisenhower was appalled by the conditions of the roads encountered on the journey. By comparison, he was greatly impressed by the German autobahn system he observed in the aftermath of World War II. By the time he was elected president, Eisenhower was determined to see the United States improve its roads and in his 1954 State of the Union Address he proposed creation of an interstate highway system.

Congress eventually approved Eisenhower’s proposal, creating the “National System of Interstate and Defense Highways.” Because the program was approved during the height of the Cold War, the defense benefits of the new roads were stressed (such as the ability to quickly evacuate cities in the event of nuclear war). But contrary to popular belief, while defense issues were important, they were never paramount. In his speeches promoting the legislation, Ike spoke more about the deaths caused by poor roads, and about the rapidly growing number of vehicles on roads incapable of handling them. “We are pushing ahead with a great road program,” he said in October 1954, “a road program that will take this nation out of its antiquated shackles of secondary roads all over this country and give us the types of highways that we need for this great mass of motor vehicles. It will be a nation of great prosperity, but will be more than that: it will be a nation that is going ahead every day.” In his 1955 State of the Union Address he said, “A modern highway system is essential to meet the needs of our growing population, our expanding economy, and our national security.” Good roads not only have great economic value, he later said, they also save lives.

Eisenhower’s initial proposal was that state and local governments contribute 70% of the cost of the new highways, with the federal portion to be funded by a bond issue. But Congress rejected his funding proposal and in the final version of the bill, the federal government assumed 90% of the cost of building the highways, funding the work with a combination of taxes on gasoline, tires, buses, and trucks.

President Eisenhower signed the bill into law on June 29, 1956, sixty-seven years ago today.

1956, July 26 - ground was broken at 600 W. Main St. for a new building for the publishing of the Fort Wayne Newspapers.

1956, July 31 - Eavey's Supermarket opened. Henry J. Eavey's 80,000 square foot store was the largest supermarket in the world at the time.

1956, August 10 - a newspaper article discussing Dutch elm disease killing American elm street trees.

1956, September 9 - Elvis Presley makes his first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show.


1957 - W. Kettler and Walter Helmke present proposal to the boards of Purdue University and Indiana University to establish a joint campus in Fort Wayne. Indiana Institute of Technology moves to former Concordia College campus on East Washington Boulevard, and Concordia moves to North Clinton Street campus with buildings designed by Eero Saarinen. Copied from the 1950-1959 Timeline of the decadefrom the Fort Wayne History Stories about time periods archives of The News-Sentinel newspaper.

1957 - the iconic rotating Sunbeam bread sign was installed at the downtown Perfection Biscuit company, now Aunt Millies Bakery.

1957 - Comments made in the year 1957

March 13, 2023 post by Kitchen Fun With My 3 Sons on Facebook.















1957, March 14 - the oriental peony (Paeonia) was adopted as the official state flower by the 1957 General Assembly (Indiana Code 1-2-7). See Indiana State Tree and Flower by the Indiana Historical Bureau. Peonies bloom from late May into early June in shades of red, pink and white. They were popular for planting in cemeteries until recently when most plantings in many cemeteries were eliminated for simplifing maintenance. From 1931-1957 the zinnia was the state flower.

1957, March 30 - Elvis Presley played at the Memorial Coliseum. Photo caption stated reportedly, the sound of his music was drowned out by the thousands of screaming fans when he performed at the Coliseum from THIS DAY IN HISTORY: March 30 with photo published March 30, 2018 in The News-Sentinel newspaper. See photos and more information at Screams greet Elvis at Coliseum in 1957 The King spoke to reporters before entertaining crowd by Corey McMaken published September 26, 2019 in The Journal Gazette newspaper.

1957, May 8 - photo of Lake Erie & Fort Wayne steam locomotive No. 1 originally built for the Wabash Railroad in 1906, on May 8, 1957 was on its way to Swinney Park from THIS DAY IN HISTORY: May 8 in photos posted May 8, 2018 in The News-Sentinel newspaper.

1957, August 15, 16, 17, 18 - AN ESTIMATED CROWD of 15,000 attended the seventh annual Old Time Threshers and Saw Mill Operators Reunion at the James Whitbey farm near Fort Wayne, Indiana, August 15, 16, 17 and 18, 1957. It was a new record in attendance which has seen the show get bigger every year. Copied from Reunion Report by MRS. J. H. Whitbey published in the November/December 1957 issue of Farm Collector Newsletter. See more Threshing Machine articles.

1957, September 25 - nine African-American students were successfully registered at Little Rock Central High School after President Eisenhower ordered federal troops to ensure their safe entry, breaking the state's longstanding policy of segregation. Arkansas was one of the most segregated states in the country, alongside Mississippi and Alabama. The students, dubbed the Little Rock Nine, had been chosen by the NAACP based on good grades and behavior, and were asked not to respond to any taunts or threats for fear that things might escalate.

1957, October 22 - U.S. military suffers first Vietnam War casualties when 13 Americans are wounded in bombings. From October 22, 2014 American History Museum Tweet about Vietnam The First Stepson on theirSmithsonian National Museum of American History blog.

1957, November 8 - Buddy Holly and the Crickets perform at the Memorial Coliseum. Buddy Holly died February 3, 1959 in an airplane crash The Day The Music Diednear Clear Lake, Iowa with Ritchie Valens and J. P. The Big Bopper Richardson.

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1958 - Fort Wayne Newspapers, The News-Sentinel and Journal-Gazette move to new building at 600 W. Main St. 120 acres on Coliseum Boulevard bought for IPFW campus. Copied from the 1950-1959 Timeline of the decadefrom the Fort Wayne History Stories about time periods archives of The News-Sentinel newspaper.

1958 - Mister Softee ice cream truck came to Fort Wayne. They operated out of a garage at 4th and Harrison. The owner of the trucks was the Pontiac dealer in Warsaw, Indiana. Fromthe original Great Memories and History of Fort Wayne, Indiana page on Facebook.

1958, March 5

March 5, 2023 post by Newspapers.comon Facebook:

The Hula Hoop was patented on March 5, 1963, but the craze first hit the United States back in the summer of 1958.

This article from Longview, Texas, reported that "one local fifth grader has acquired such finesse that she has been able to spin it 30 minutes at a time without interruption."

And an interview with a local storeowner revealed that "he cannot keep the item in stock, has reordered about eight times [...] and still has dozens of standing orders."

Read more in the Longview News-Journal on our site: https://www.newspapers.com/.../hula-hoop-craze-has-hips.../

1959, June 2 - Richard Loving and Mildred Jeter arrest and conviction for violating Virginia’s law against interracial marriage led to the SCOTUS ruling that laws prohibiting interracial marriage were unconstitutional.

June 2, 2023 post by Today's Document  on Facebook:

Marriage license for Richard Loving and Mildred Jeter, June 2, 1958.

Their arrest and conviction for violating Virginia’s law against interracial marriage led to the SCOTUS ruling that laws prohibiting interracial marriage were unconstitutional.


Record Group 21: Records of District Courts of the United States

Series: Civil Case Files

File Unit: No. 4138 (Civil Action) Richard Perry Loving, et ux. v. the Commonwealth of Virginia, et al.


No. 420276

[centered] Marriage License [/centered]

To Reverend John L. Henry

authorized to celebrate marriages in the District of Columbia, GREETING:

You are hereby authorized to celebrate the rites of marriage between

Richard Perry Loving, of Passing, Virginia


Mildred Delores Jeter, of Passing, Virginia

and having done so, you are commanded to make return of the same to the Clerk's Office of the United States District

Court for the District of Columbia within TEN days, under a penalty of $50 for default therein.

[right side] WITNESS my hand and seal of said Court, this 2nd

day of June, anno Domini 1958


By [signature] Maude R Rynes

Deputy Clerk [/right side]



No. 420276 [ul] RETURN [/ul]

I, Reverend John L. Henry

who have been duly authorized to celebrate the rites of marriage in the District of Columbia, do hereby certify that, by

authority of license of corresponding number herewith, I solemnized the marriage of

Richard Perry Loving and Mildred Delores Jeter

named therein, on the 2nd day of June, 1958, at 748 Princeton Place, N.W.

in said District.

FPI ERO- 6/4/58 ewg Rev. John L. Henry

1958, July 29 - President Dwight Eisenhower signs a bill creating NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

1958, November 19

September 28, 2023 post by Newspapers.com on Facebook:

Did you grow up with a black-and-white TV, or did you watch TV in color? Although color TVs entered the American market on September 28, 1951, they didn't outsell black-and-white models in the U.S. until the early 1970s.

This eye-catching clipping from 1958 answers questions like, "Is Color TV as thrilling as they say?" and "Is Color TV a good investment now?"

See the full clipping in the La Crosse Tribune on our site: The La Crosse Tribune, La Crosse, Wisconsin, Wednesday, Nov 19, 1958, page 14


1959 - President John F. Kennedy, the 35th president visited Fort Wayne to campaign for Mayor Mike Burns, see photo on Visit Fort Wayneon Twitter.

1959, January 3 - President Dwight D. Eisenhower by Presidential Proclamation 3269 admitts Alaska as the 49th state of the Union. It was the Territory of Alaska before being admitted to the Union. It is the largest state in the Union and is in the northwest of the Americas above Canada. The capital of Alaska is Juneau. Alaska, United States Genealogy on FamilySearch.orgWiki.

1959, March 18 - President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the Hawaii Statehood Bill admitting Hawaii on August 21, 1959 as the 50th state.

1959, April 9 - NASA  announced our nation's first seven astronauts: Scott Carpenter, Gordon Cooper, John Glenn, Gus Grissom, Wally Schirra, Alan Shepard, and Deke Slayton. Collectively, the group was often called the Mercury 7.

Within this Decade: America in Space - 1969 by usnationalarchives published July 8, 1969 YouTube
This film traces the principal accomplishments of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in aeronautics and space research from 1959 until the eve of the first lunar landing in 1969.

1959, August 21 - Hawaii admitted as the 50th state.

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