Midnight Cowboying – 1953

Okay, show of hands, who remembers 1953? Don’t be shy, I know there are few here who fondly remember that year. It was just yesterday to some, all those years ago. America was in its post-war prime.

Ah yes, 1953. Quite a year! The movie Peter Pan premiered at the Roxy Theatre, New York City. The first transsexual Christine Jorgenson returns to New York after successful sexual reassignment surgery in Denmark. The first 3D film, Bwana Devil opens, sparking the 3D glasses craze. James D. Watson and Francis Crick announce that they have discovered the structure of the DNA molecule.

Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay perform the first successful ascent to the summit of Mount Everest. The first Chevrolet Corvette is built at Flint, Michigan. The Korea War ends. And of course, the first color television sets go on sale for about $1,175.

In the theaters, Here to Eternity is a big smash, as is the western Shane. And who can forget War of the Worlds, or the Wild One.

On the radio, Perry Como is singing Wild Horses. Patti Page is belting out The Doggie in the Window. Nat King Cole is wowing them with Pretend. Tony Bennett crones Rages to Riches. And Bill Haley & His Comets are starting a sensation with Crazy, Man, Crazy.

V Guide begins publication April 3 with pocket-size weekly program listings and has a circulation of 1.5 million by year’s end. CBS airs a weekly Person-to-Person television interview show October 12, featuring journalist Edward R. Murrow (and his omnipresent cigarette); it will continue until mid-September 1961.

Playboy magazine begins publication in December with a nude calendar photograph of Marilyn Monroe, who when asked what she had on for the picture tells reporters, “The radio.”

Notable books include Invisible Man by Oklahoma City-born novelist Ralph (Waldo) Ellison, Go Tell It on the Mountain by New York-born novelist James (Arthur) Baldwin, Junkie by William S. Burroughs and Hondo by self-educated North Dakota-born novelist Louis (Dearborn) L’Amour.

Though still in black and white, You Are There 2/1 was on CBS with host Walter Cronkite. The Romper Room started in Baltimore. The Big Payoff was the most popular game show, as was Name that Tune. Cheyenne was a favorite, as with the The Bob Hope Show. And least we forget Walt Disney Hour on Abc.

And last but not least Cheez Whiz and frozen “TV Dinners” enter our collective stomachs.

I mean, it was a hallmark year for America!

Hot Rods!

(Bonus: check the credits – General Petroleum Corportation (A Socony-Vacuum Company!)

Real BURLESQUE! Ah, Tempest Storm, a legend of her on time, forget Betty Page. They just don’t make redheads like this anymore.

Ladies and gentlemen, Nat King Cole:

Doo wop anyone?

Kid Gavilan -vs- Carman Basilio


Elizabeth is Queen – Coronation of Her Majesty, God Save Her and all

The REAL Chef Boy-Ar-Dee

A young Jerry Lewis, and even younger Dean Martin doing Amore


So remember, anyone here who remembers 1953, you have a friend in Iran in who also remembers 1953, when we overthrew their democratically elected leader. And not only did we take out a their democratic leader, we put a fucking shah in power.

In 1953, President Eisenhower authorized Operation Ajax, and the CIA took the lead in overthrowing Mossadegh and supporting a U.S.-friendly monarch; and for which the U.S. Government apologized in 2000.

The CIA faced many setbacks, but the covert operation soon went into full swing, conducted from the U.S. Embassy in Tehran under the leadership of Kermit Roosevelt, Jr. Iranians were hired to protest Mossadegh and fight pro-Mossadegh demonstrators. Anti- and pro-monarchy protestors violently clashed in the streets, leaving almost three hundred dead. The operation was successful in triggering a coup, and within days, pro-Shah tanks stormed the capital and bombarded the Prime Minister’s residence. Mossadegh surrendered, and was arrested on 19 August 1953. He was tried for treason, and sentenced to three years in prison.

We just apologized for the shit we pulled in 1953, let’s not repeat that mistake in 2007.

Remember 1953, people still remember. 1953, we overthrew Iran’s democracy.

1953, never forget.

The Most Tragic Thing Today:

So wrong, so wrong how no one cares anymore.


Skip to comment form

    • pico on October 2, 2007 at 06:19

    Saul Bellow, The Adventures of Augie March
    Ray Bradbury, Farenheit 451
    Davis Grubb, The Night of the Hunter
    James Michener, The Bridges at Toko-Ri
    Arthur Miller, The Crucible

    By the way, Invisible Man was published in 1952, but won the National Book Award in 1953.  So you’re safe.

    • Pluto on October 2, 2007 at 06:32

    So remember, anyone here who remembers 1953, you have a friend in Iran in who also remembers 1953, when we overthrew their democratically elected leader. And not only did we take out a their democratic leader, we put a fucking shah in power.

    1953 <----> 2003

    In 1953, it was really hard for an individual who was harmed by “US Invasion Policy” to seek revenge on the American devil-people.

    There were no cheap frequent international flights. No do-it-yourself bombs. No garage-made bio weapons. No simple anonymous communications methods.

    Now it’s oh so easy.

    The mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters — of the people in the Middle East whose lives we fucking destroyed in the past 5 years…

    They’re coming with blood revenge in their hearts. They’re willing to die trying to kill Americans wherever in the world they are. For the next 100 years.

    And that’s how it is…

    • Pluto on October 2, 2007 at 06:35

    Great work, pinche. I’m a fan.

  1. to the year before Frankie Valli’s “special” night.

    I’m rapidly concluding that whatever country a person calls home, they should never settle. Because somebody will come along and fuck with it sooner or later. Especially if it has letters in it’s name.

  2. It smells like Karma

    • oculus on October 2, 2007 at 07:26
    • Robyn on October 2, 2007 at 13:29

    I was in kindergarten.  frosti was born that year. 

    The Motorola television set arrived in our house as well.  There were two stations in Portland.  Sky King was a favorite. 

    And it was the last day until very recently that I missed a day at school because of illness.

    I didn’t see my first movie until the next year (20000 Leagues under the Sea), but a953 did see the creation of the 5000 Fingers of Dr T and The War of the Worlds.

    • Zwoof on October 2, 2007 at 14:47

    But now the days grow short
    Im in the autumn of the year
    And now I think of my life as vintage wine
    >from fine old kegs
    >from the brim to the dregs
    And it poured sweet and clear
    It was a very good year

    Korean Armistice on July 27, 1953

    If BushCo. is successful in creating another failure like Korea, we will be in Iraq another 54 years and it will still be a hotspot.  But we will have a beautiful embassy there, we’ll just have to visit it by  parachuting from the Space Shuttle protected by Blackwater Storm Troopers from the Planet Tatooine.

  3. I like the way the progression lulls one into happy “Rah Rah” memories, then slaps back to the reality of today. They had started handing out shiney things then, as they still do now. The worst ot it all, is that it still works. Hey is that brittany & jack bauer…
    Very good diary. I look for your diaries . thanks.

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