Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I was Born...

In 1951. The world was a different place. A friend sent me the link at the very bottom of this post, so if you want to know some of the things that happened the year you were born then give it a go. Thanks Dr. Vern B.

There was no Google yet. Or Yahoo.

In 1951, the year of your birth, the top selling movie was Quo Vadis. People buying the popcorn in the cinema lobby had glazing eyes when looking at the poster.

Remember, that was before there were DVDs. Heck, even before there was VHS. People were indeed watching movies in the cinema, and not downloading them online. Imagine the packed seats, the laughter, the excitement, the novelty. And mostly all of that without 3D computer effects.

Do you know who won the Oscars that year? The academy award for the best movie went to An American in Paris. The Oscar for best foreign movie that year went to Rashomon. The top actor was Humphrey Bogart for his role as Charlie Allnut in The African Queen. The top actress was Vivien Leigh for her role as Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire. The best director? George Stevens for A Place in the Sun.

In the year 1951, the time when you arrived on this planet, books were still popularly read on paper, not on digital devices. Trees were felled to get the word out. The number one US bestseller of the time was From Here to Eternity by James Jones. Oh, that's many years ago. Have you read that book? Have you heard of it?

In 1951...

That was the world you were born into. Since then, you and others have changed it.

The Nobel prize for Literature that year went to Pär Lagerkvist. The Nobel Peace prize went to Léon Jouhaux. The Nobel prize for physics went to John Douglas Cockcroft and Ernest Thomas Sinton Walton from the United Kingdom and Ireland for their pioneer work on the transmutation of atomic nuclei by artificially accelerated atomic particles. The sensation this created was big. But it didn't stop the planets from spinning, on and on, year by year. Years in which you would grow bigger, older, smarter, and, if you were lucky, sometimes wiser. Years in which you also lost some things. Possessions got misplaced. Memories faded. Friends parted ways. The best friends, you tried to hold on. This is what counts in life, isn't it?

The 1950s were indeed a special decade. The American economy is on the upswing. The cold war between the US and the Soviet Union is playing out throughout the whole decade. Anti-communism prevails in the United States and leads to the Red Scare and accompanying Congressional hearings. Africa begins to become decolonized. The Korean war takes place. The Vietnam War starts. The Suez Crisis war is fought on Egyptian territory. Fidel Castro, Che Guevara and others overthrow authorities to create a communist government on Cuba. Funded by the US, reconstructions in Japan continue. In Japan, film maker Akira Kurosawa creates the movies Rashomon and Seven Samurai. The FIFA World Cups are won by Uruguay, then West Germany, then Brazil.

Do you remember the movie that was all the rage when you were 15? Madame X. Do you still remember the songs playing on the radio when you were 15? Maybe it was Paint It Black by The Rolling Stones. Were you in love? Who were you in love with, do you remember?

In 1951, 15 years earlier, a long time ago, the year when you were born, the song The Tennessee Waltz by Patti Page topped the US charts. Do you know the lyrics? Do you know the tune? Sing along.

I was dancin' with my darlin'
To the Tennessee Waltz
When an old friend I happened to see
I introduced her to my loved one
And while they were dancin'
My friend stole my sweetheart from me

There's a kid outside, shouting, playing. It doesn't care about time. It doesn't know about time. It shouts and it plays and thinks time is forever. You were once that kid.

When you were 9, the movie The Absent Minded Professor was playing. When you were 8, there was The Shaggy Dog.

6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1... it's 1951. There's TV noise coming from the second floor. Someone turned up the volume way too high. The sun is burning from above. These were different times. The show playing on TV is The Roy Rogers Show. The sun goes down. Someone switches channels. There's Truth or Consequences on now. That's the world you were born in.

Progress, year after year. Do you wonder where the world is heading towards? The technology available today would have blown your mind in 1951. Do you know what was invented in the year you were born?

He was born on a summer day, 1951
And with a slap of a hand, he had landed as an only son
His mother and father said what a lovely boy
We'll teach him what we learned, ah yes just what we learned

That's from the song Lonely Boy by Andrew Gold.

In 1951, a new character entered the world of comic books: Schroeder from the Peanuts. Bang! Boom! But that's just fiction, right? In the real world, in 1951, Gordon Brown was born. And Jane Seymour. Charles De Lint, too. And you, of course. Everyone an individual. Everyone special. Everyone taking a different path through life.

It's 2010.
The world is a different place.
What path have you taken?

Click here: What happened in your birth year?


  1. awesome, I like this a lot!

  2. Quo Vadis is a good movie, so was African Queen. A lot happened the year you were born. I'll have to find out what happened in 1962...

  3. This is a cool link! In 1953 when I was born, the top selling movie was Peter Pan, my hero! I never wanted to grow up either.

    Think I'll share this link on my blog on my "Things I Learned This Week" post on Friday.

  4. and the old sarge was in his last year of grade school......

  5. Srage really IS old as dirt!

  6. I was born in 1952. I was a mivie freak even then, I think I was in love with Robert Mitchum at age 5, even though he scared the bejeezus out of me in "Night of the Hunter".
    We could go out to play on Saturday, and only had to come home for dinner. It's a crying shame kids cant have that freedom anymore

  7. ♪♫ I was dancin' with my darlin'
    To the Tennessee Waltz ♪♫

    Awesome song. I still love it, although I wasn't even a twinkle in my Daddy's eye for another 3 years.

    I did a post a while back on 954. It was fascinating, too!

    Big hugs, Sandee! Gracie is waving paws! :]

  8. ummm... make that 1954, not 954...

  9. A friend of mine sent me a link to this also. I can't remember now what all happened in 1957. But, I do things were extremely different.

    I think times were better though. I wish we could return to those days. But, life goes on.

    And I love Robert Mitchum too!! Oh I simply love so many of the old movies and the stars way back when.

    How do you know you are old? When the music you like to listen to is played on the "Oldies But Goodies" station!!

    Have a terrific day...hugs,

  10. That was very interesting. I was 12 in 1951 and I do remember all those movies. We didn't even have TV when I was born. Great read. I will have to see what went on in my birth year. Take care and have a great day.

  11. I was born in '52. Too late for WWII, but perfect for Vietnam. God, that was fun! Eisenhower was the prez and crap made in Japan was still junk! Boy, have times changed for sure.

  12. I love looking back at all the things that happened the year I was born. Amazing how much has changed in our life time.

  13. Wow! That was fun. I wasn't here yet, but I was on the way...'61. I wonder how much changed in that decade?

    I love these kind of posts. You're blog looks great, and there is so much to read. I could stay here all day. My hats off to you!

    Big hug, and love,


  14. hahaha thanks for the link Sandee..this is fun..i'd like to post it also to my blog hahaha

  15. I love this! I remember about 75% of the events listed in your post for 1951. Cheers! Sandee


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