1950 to 1959
January 17, 1950 - The Brinks robbery in Boston occurs when eleven masked bandits steal $2.8 million from an armored car outside their express office.
April 1, 1950 - For the first time, the 1950 census counts a population in the United States over 150 million people. The 14% increase since the last census now showed a count of 150,697,361. The most populous state in the United States was New York, now followed by California. The geographic center of the United States population had now moved west into Richland County, Illinois, 8 miles north-northwest of Olney.
June 25, 1950 - The Korean War begins its three year conflict when troops of North Korea, backed with Soviet weaponry, invade South Korea. This act leads to U.S. involvement when two days later, the United States Air Force and Navy are ordered by President Truman to the peninsula. On June 30, ground forces and air strikes are approved against North Korea. (4.52 & 2.06). The following two videos show footage of the events:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t44SbOyjEUM and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OF_Ts_6oSi8
February 28, 1951 - Preliminary report from the Senator Estes Kefauver investigation that had begun on May 11, 1950 into organized crime is issued, stating that gambling take was in excess of $20 billion per year.
December 30, 1953 - The first color televisions go on sale.
February 23, 1954 - The first large scale vaccination of children against polio begins in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
May 17, 1954 - Racial segregation in public schools is declared unconstitutional by the United States Supreme Court in Brown vs. the Board of Education. The ruling of the court stated that racial segregation violated the 14th Amendment's clause that guaranteed equal protection. The Monroe School in Topeka, Kansas had segregated Linda Brown in its classes. (4.53) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TTGHLdr-iak
In 1954, Ray Kroc founds the idea for the McDonald's corporation, agreeing to franchise the idea of Dick and Mac McDonald, who had started the first McDonald's restaurant in 1940 and had eight restaurants by 1954. Kroc would incorporate the entity on March 2, 1955 and open his first franchise on April 15 in Des Plaines, Illinois. He would buy out the McDonald's brothers in 1961. (6.16)
July 17, 1955 - Disneyland, the brainchild of Walt Disney, whose father had worked at previous world's fairs and inspired his son to build the iconic Magic Castle and other exhibits opens in Anaheim, California, with the backing of the new television network, ABC. Disneyland California remains today as one of the greatest theme park capitals of the world and some say is second only to his second park built some years later on the other side of the country, Disney World Florida. Disney World was additionally inspired by the subsequent New York World's Fair of 1964-5, with the original intention by Walt Disney to build the second park on the Flushing Meadows site of that event. (4.03) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SHQowfZPgH4
December 1, 1955 - Rosa Parks, an African American seamstress, refuses to give up her seat on the bus to a white man, prompting a boycott that would lead to the declaration that bus segregation laws were unconstitutional by a federal court.
June 29, 1956 - Interstate highway system begins with the signing of the Federal-Aid Highway Act.
October 8, 1956 - Don Larsen pitches the first no-hitter, a perfect game, in post-season baseball history when his New York Yankees best the Brooklyn Dodgers in the 5th game of the 1956 World Series.
December 6, 1957 - The first attempt by the United States to launch a satellite into space fails when it explodes on the launchpad.
December 10, 1958 - Jet airline passenger service is inaugurated in the United States by National Airlines with a flight between New York City and Miami, Florida. Jet travel in the 1950’s and 1960’s (12.30) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QaXZ8Nisyjo
January 3, 1959 - Alaska is admitted to the United States as the 49th state to be followed on August 21 by Hawaii.
February 22, 1959 - The Daytona 500 stock car race is run for the first time with Lee Petty taking the first checkered flag.