Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

May 1, 2014
Elvis made his first movie when I was born

This column is for those in the 55-85 year-old demographic.

At 57, I’m the oldest in the newsroom here at the Transcript-Bulletin. I’m more than twice the age of our two superb young reporters who seldom bother the old man in the corner who writes sports stories.

At this age, I vaguely remember what happened two days ago, but I do remember some of the significant news items through the years.

The website listed 552 eventful happenings from 1956, the year I was born. My eyes glazed as I looked at the list late Wednesday night, but some celebrity names stood out.

Many in my targeted demographic may remember Elvis Presley, Martin Luther King, Rocky Marciano, Bob Hope, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Jacques Cousteau, Ted Williams, Floyd Patterson, Nelson Mandela and Jackie Robinson.

All of the above were newsmakers in 1956, and some of our readers below age 55 may also have heard about them.

A 21-year-old Presley had three No. 1 hits, appeared on television for the first time, and starred in his first movie “Love Me Tender.”

King’s home was bombed. I noticed several other deplorable racist crimes during 1956.

Marciano retired undefeated from boxing.

The Bob Hope Show last aired on NBC TV.

Lennon, 15, and Paul McCartney, 13, met for the first time as Lennon’s rock group, Quarrymen, performed at a church dinner.

Cousteau’s Calypso anchored at 7,500 meters of water.

Boston Red Sox’s Williams was fined $5,000 for spitting at Boston fans.

Patterson KOs Archie Moore in the fifth round to win the heavyweight boxing title.

Mandela and 156 others are arrested for political activities in South Africa.

The Dodgers trade Robinson to the New York Giants for pitcher Dick Littlefield and $35,000. Robinson retired.

Because I am a sportswriter, sports items during 1956 stood out to me, and the list was extensive. Here are a few items from the sports world from May 1956.

May 5: David Erb won the 82nd Kentucky Derby aboard Needles with a time of 2:03.4.

May 5: Jim Bailey of the United States ran a mile in a record of 3:58.6.

May 7: New York Giant Bill White homered in his first at bat as a Major League player.

May 12: Brooklyn Dodger Carl Erskine pitched his second no-hitter, beating the NY Giants 3-0.

May 18: Mickey Mantle hit a home run from both sides of the plate.

May 28: Dale Long became the first to hit a home run in eight straight games.

May 30: Mantle missed by 18 inches of hitting the first home run out of Yankee Stadium.

May 31: Mickey Mantle’s home run just missed clearing Yankee Stadium’s roof. 

Mark Watson

Sports Editor at Tooele Transcript Bulletin
Mark directs all editorial coverage of sports in addition to reporting on a wide range of events from high school football to international racing. He has a wealth of journalism experience, having worked for four other newspapers in the state. Mark grew up in Tooele County and graduated from Grantsville High School and Brigham Young University.

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