On This Day

Historical Events in 1954

Events 1 - 200 of 561

  • Jan 1 KSLA TV channel 12 in Shreveport, LA (CBS) begins broadcasting
  • Jan 1 Rose & Cotton Bowl are 1st sport colorcasts
  • Jan 1 WWTV TV channel 9 in Cadillac-Traverse City, MI (CBS) 1st broadcast

Historic Event

Jan 1 Yugoslav parliament chairman and Vice President Milovan Djilas criticizes communism

  • Jan 1 NBC broadcasts 1st live color US coast-to-coast telecast, the Tournament of Roses Parade, from Pasadena, California
  • Jan 1 40th Rose Bowl: #3 Michigan State beats #5 UCLA, 28-20
  • Jan 1 20th Sugar Bowl: #8 Georgia Tech beats #10 West Virginia, 42-19
  • Jan 1 20th Orange Bowl: #4 Oklahoma beats #1 Maryland, 7-0

Music Recording

Jan 4 Elvis Presley records his 1st demo for Sun Records at a recording studio in Memphis, "It Wouldn't Be The Same Without You" and "I'll Never Stand In Your Way"

  • Jan 4 Soap Opera "The Brighter Day" premieres
  • Jan 7 Georgetown-IBM experiment, 1st public demonstration of a machine translation system, is held at IBM's head office in New York
  • Jan 9 -87°F (-66°C), Northice Station, Greenland (Greenland record)
  • Jan 9 Bert Olmstead of the Montreal Canadiens, ties NHL record of 8 points in game
  • Jan 9 Bollingen Prize for poetry awarded to Louise Bogan & Leonie Adams
  • Jan 10 Bollingen Prize for poetry awarded to W H Auden
  • Jan 10 A Comet jet airliner crashes in the Mediterranean; 35 people are missing
  • Jan 11 2 ton locomotive swept into ravine by avalanche 10 die (Austria)
  • Jan 12 Austria's worst avalanche-kills 200; 9hrs later 2nd one-kills 115

Historic Event

Jan 12 Queen Elizabeth II opens New Zealand parliament

  • Jan 13 Military rule in Egypt; 318 Muslim Brotherhood members arrested
  • Jan 13 WEAR TV channel 3 in Pensacola-Mobile, FL (ABC) begins broadcasting
  • Jan 14 Sandy Wilson's musical "The Boy Friend" opens at Wyndham's Theatre, in London's West End

Musical Finale

Jan 16 Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein's musical "South Pacific", starring Mary Martin and Ezio Pinza, closes at the Majestic Theater, NYC, after 1928 performances;, winning 10 Tony Awards and Pulitzer Prize

Television Debut

Jan 17 Jacques Cousteau's 1st network telecast airs on "Omnibus" (CBS)

NFL Pro Bowl

Jan 17 4th NFL Pro Bowl, Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum: Eastern Conference beats Western Conference, 20-9; MVP: Chuck Bednarik, Philadelphia Eagles, LB

  • Jan 18 Amintore Fanfani forms Italian government

Music History

Jan 20 Herman Wouk's stage drama "The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial", adpated from his novel "The Caine Mutiny", starring Henry Fonda, and directed by Charles Laughton, premieres at the Plymouth Theatre, NYC; runs for 415 performances

  • Jan 20 -70°F (-57°C), Rogers Pass, Montana (US 48 state record)

Music Concert

Jan 20 Dmitri Shostakovich's "Concertino opus 94" premieres

  • Jan 20 -70°F measured at Rogers Pass, Montana (record low temperature in the contiguous US)
  • Jan 20 The National Negro Network is established with 40 charter member radio stations.
  • Jan 21 1st gas turbine automobile exhibited (NYC)
  • Jan 21 USS Nautilus, the first nuclear-powered submarine, launched on the Thames River in Connecticut

NBA All-Star Game

Jan 21 4th NBA All-Star Game, Madison Square Garden, NYC: East beats West, 98-93 (OT); MVP: Bob Cousy, Boston Celtics, PG

  • Jan 21 First time in All-Star history, an overtime period is needed to decide a winner; Boston Celtics' guard Bob Cousy's 10-point OT scoring burst gave the East a 98-93 win; Cousy wins All-Star MVP honours
  • Jan 23 Harry van Thorn chosen chairman of Dutch KVP
  • Jan 23 Equal longest undefeated streak in Toronto Maple Leaf history ends - 18 games, 16 wins, 2 ties
  • Jan 24 BPAA All-Star Tournament won by Don Carter
  • Jan 26 Groundbreaking begins on Disneyland

Boxing Title Fight

Jan 27 American boxer Archie Moore beats Joey Maxim in 15-round unanimous decision to retain his world light heavyweight title at the Orange Bowl, Miami; last of famous trilogy of fights, all won by Moore

  • Jan 28 1954 NFL Draft: Bobby Garrett from University of Stanford first pick by Cleveland Browns

Music History

Jan 29 Arnold Schoenberg's "De Profundis" premieres in Cologne, Germany

  • Jan 30 Belgium ends trade agreement with USSR
  • Jan 30 Fanfani government of Italy resigns
  • Feb 1 1st TV soap opera "Secret Storm" premieres
  • Feb 1 Scapino Ballet Studio in Amsterdam destroyed by fire
  • Feb 1 Dutch soccer club De Graafschap "The County" forms in Doetinchem, Netherlands
  • Feb 1 Australian Championships Women's Tennis: In an all-Australian final Thelma Coyne Long beats Jenny Staley 6-3, 6-4 for the 2nd of her 2 Australian singles titles
  • Feb 1 Australian Championships Men's Tennis: Mervyn Rose wins his first Grand Slam title; beats fellow Australian Rex Hartwig 6-2, 0-6, 6-4, 6-2
  • Feb 2 Bevo Francis, Rio Grande College, scores 113 pts in basketball game

Historic Event

Feb 2 President Eisenhower announces the detonation of the world's 1st hydrogen bomb (tested in 1952)

  • Feb 2 Snow falls on Gibraltar

Historic Event

Feb 2 "The Nutcracker" ballet choreographed by George Balanchine with Maria Tallchief as the Sugar Plum Fairy opens in New York, establishes its popularity in the US

  • Feb 3 Jeen van den Berg wins Dutch Eleven Cities Skating race (7:32)
  • Feb 5 WCDC TV channel 19 in Adams, MA (ABC) begins broadcasting
  • Feb 9 Mario Scelba forms new government in Italy
  • Feb 10 President Dwight Eisenhower warns against US intervention in Vietnam
  • Feb 10 World Figure Skating Championship at Oslo: Ice Dancing - won by Great Britain's team of Jean Westwood and Lawrence Demmy
  • Feb 10 World Figure Skating Championship at Oslo: Pairs - won by Canadian team of Frances Dafoe and Norris Bowden
  • Feb 10 World Figure Skating Championship in Oslo: Ladies - won by West Germany's Gundi Busch
  • Feb 10 World Figure Skating Championship in Oslo: Men - won by American Hayes Alan Jenkins
  • Feb 11 6th Emmy Awards: I Love Lucy, Donald O'Connor & Eve Arden win
  • Feb 12 The UK government establishes an organisation to control atomic energy in the country under The Atomic Energy Authority Bill
  • Feb 13 Frank Selvey scores 100 points for Furman beating Newberry 149-95

Historic Event

Feb 14 Senator John F. Kennedy appears on "Meet the Press"

  • Feb 14 WTOC TV channel 11 in Savannah, GA (CBS) begins broadcasting
  • Feb 15 1st Bevatron particle accelerator in operation at Berkeley, California
  • Feb 15 WRDW TV channel 12 in Augusta, GA (CBS) begins broadcasting
  • Feb 16 WNEM TV channel 5 in Bay City, MI (NBC) begins broadcasting
  • Feb 17 WAST (now WNYT) TV channel 13 in Albany-Troy, NY (NBC) 1st broadcast
  • Feb 18 The first Church of Scientology is established in Los Angeles, California
  • Feb 20 General Zahedi wins election in Persia
  • Feb 23 Syrian army drives out president Adib el-Shishakli
  • Feb 25 Abdul Nasser appointed Egyptian premier
  • Feb 26 1st typesetting machine (photo engraving) used, Quincy, Massachusetts
  • Feb 26 Michigan Representative Ruth Thompson (R) introduces legislation to ban mailing "obscene, lewd, lascivious or filthy" phonograph (rock & roll) records
  • Feb 28 US performs atmospheric nuclear test at Bikini Island
  • Mar 1 4 Puerto Ricans open fire in US House of Representatives injuring 5 members

Sports History

Mar 1 Future Baseball Hall of Fame outfielder Ted Williams fractures his collarbone on the first day of Boston Red Sox spring training; injury keeps him out of Boston lineup until May 15

  • Mar 1 Rebellion in Egypt during visit of president Naguib to Khartoum, Sudan, 30 die

Castle Bravo Nuclear Test

Mar 1 US explodes Castle Bravo, a 15 megaton hydrogen bomb at Bikini Atoll, which accidentally became the most powerful nuclear device ever detonated by the US

  • Mar 4 James E. Wilkins appointed 1st black US sub-cabinet member
  • Mar 4 Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, announces the first successful kidney transplant
  • Mar 5 "Girl in Pink Tights" opens at Mark Hellinger NYC for 115 performances
  • Mar 6 1st ACC Men's Basketball Tournament: NC State beats Wake Forest, 82-80 (OT)
  • Mar 7 Russia wins their 1st international ice hockey competition
  • Mar 8 Herb McKinley sets quarter mile record of 0:46.8 in Melbourne, Australia
  • Mar 9 1st local color TV commercial WNBT-TV (WNBC-TV) NYC (Castro Decorators)

Historic Event

Mar 9 Edward R Murrow criticizes Sen Joseph McCarthy (See it Now)

  • Mar 9 WMUR TV channel 9 in Manchester, NH (ABC) begins broadcasting
  • Mar 11 US Army charges Senator Joseph McCarthy used undue pressure tactics
  • Mar 12 1st performance of Arnold Schoenberg's opera "Moses und Aaron", in a concert setting in Hamburg, Germany

Sports History

Mar 13 Braves' Bobby Thomson breaks his ankle, he is replaced by Hank Aaron

Historic Event

Mar 13 Viet Minh General Võ Nguyên Giáp opens the assault on French forces at Dien Bien Phu, northwest Vietnam

  • Mar 14 Milwaukee Braves future home run king Hank Aaron homers in his debut exhibition game against the Boston Red Sox
  • Mar 14 KDAL (now KDLH) TV channel 3 in Duluth-Superior, MN (CBS) begins
  • Mar 14 LPGA Titleholders Championship Women's Golf, Augusta CC: Louise Suggs wins her second Titleholders title by 7 strokes from Patty Berg
  • Mar 15 WSJV TV channel 28 in Elkhart-South Bend, IN (ABC) begins broadcasting
  • Mar 19 1st color telecast of a prize fight, Giardello vs Troy in Madison Square Garden, NYC
  • Mar 19 1st rocket-driven sled on rails tested in Alamogordo, NM
  • Mar 19 US Ladies' Figure Skating championship won by Tenley Albright
  • Mar 19 US Men's Figure Skating championship won by Hayes A Jenkins
  • Mar 19 "The Three Ws" of West Indian cricket each score centuries in one innings; Clyde Walcott scores 124 following Everton Weekes (206) and Frank Worrell (167) in 1st innings of drawn 4th Test v England at Port of Spain
  • Mar 20 "King & I" closes at St James Theater NYC after 1246 performances
  • Mar 20 16th NCAA Men's Basketball Championship: La Salle beats Bradley, 92-76; Explorers' small forward Tom Gola is named tournament Most Outstanding Player
  • Mar 20 1st newspaper vending machine used (Columbia Pennsylvania)
  • Mar 21 KFBB TV channel 5 in Great Falls, MT (ABC/CBS/NBC) begins broadcasting
  • Mar 22 Northland Center, the world's largest shopping mall at the time, opens in Oakpark, Michigan
  • Mar 22 Closed since 1939, the London bullion market reopens
  • Mar 25 26th Academy Awards: "From Here to Eternity" best film, William Holden & Audrey Hepburn best actor, actress

Catholic Encyclical

Mar 25 Pope Pius XII encyclical "Sacra virginitas" (On consecrated virginity)

  • Mar 25 RCA manufactures 1st color TV set (12½" screen at $1,000)
  • Mar 26 US performs atmospheric nuclear test at Bikini Island
  • Mar 28 8th Tony Awards: Teahouse of the August Moon (Best Play) & Kismet (Best Musical) win
  • Mar 28 WKAQ TV channel 2 in San Juan, PR (TM) begins broadcasting
  • Mar 30 Test Cricket debut of Garry Sobers v England at Kingston
  • Mar 31 USSR offers to join NATO
  • Apr 1 US Air Force Academy established
  • Apr 1 1st Dutch motorway, Amsterdam-Utrecht, opens
  • Apr 1 1st US Army helicopter battalion forms, Fort Bragg, NC
  • Apr 1 Earthquake/tsunami ravage Aleutians, 200 killed
  • Apr 1 WQED TV channel 13 in Pittsburgh, PA (PBS) begins broadcasting

Sports History

Apr 1 Detroit Red Wings right wing Gordie Howe scores 2 goals and an assist, and sets a Stanley Cup playoff record for fastest goal from the start of a game (:09) in a 4-3 2OT win over Toronto in Game 5 of the Semi-Finals

  • Apr 2 Plans to build Disneyland 1st announced [see Jan 26]
  • Apr 3 Rodgers & Hammerstein's musical "Me and Juliet" closes at Majestic Theater, NYC, after 358 performances
  • Apr 3 Don Perry climbs a 20' rope in under 2.8 seconds (AAU record)
  • Apr 6 Montreal Canadiens score 3 goals in 56 sec in playoff game against Det
  • Apr 6 US performs atmospheric nuclear test at Bikini Island
  • Apr 7 German government refuses to recognize DDR
  • Apr 7 US President Dwight D. Eisenhower in news conference is first to voice fear of a "domino-effect" of communism in Indo-China
  • Apr 7 WALB TV channel 10 in Albany, GA (NBC/ABC) begins broadcasting
  • Apr 8 "By the Beautiful Sea" opens at Majestic Theater NYC for 270 performances
  • Apr 9 WECT TV channel 6 in Wilmington, NC (NBC/CBS) begins broadcasting
  • Apr 9 7th Cannes Film Festival: "Gate of Hell" directed by Teinosuke Kinugasa wins the Grand Prix du Festival International du Film
  • Apr 10 KRGV TV channel 5 in Weslaco, TX (ABC) begins broadcasting
  • Apr 10 108th Grand National: Bryan Marshall wins aboard Royal Tan at 8/1; second consecutive GN victory for both Marshall and trainer Vincent O'Brien
  • Apr 10 Wales beats Scotland, 15-3 at the St. Helen's Ground, Swansea to share Five Nations Rugby Championship with France and England; France's first title

US Masters Golf

Apr 12 18th US Masters Tournament, Augusta National GC: Sam Snead wins his 3rd and final Masters by 1 stroke in an 18-hole playoff with Ben Hogan

  • Apr 12 8th NBA Championship: Min Lakers beat Syracuse Nationals, 4 games to 3
  • Apr 12 Belgian Van Houtte government resigns

Music History

Apr 12 Bill Haley and the Comets record "Rock Around Clock"

  • Apr 12 Joe Turner releases "Shake, Rattle & Roll"
  • Apr 13 Baltimore Orioles 1st game, loses to Tigers in Detroit 3-0
  • Apr 13 Milwaukee Braves' Hank Aaron's 1st game
  • Apr 14 Soviet diplomat Vladimir Petrov asks for politics asylum in Canberra
  • Apr 15 KARK TV channel 4 in Little Rock, AR (NBC) begins broadcasting
  • Apr 15 Orioles 1st game in Baltimore beat White Sox 3-1
  • Apr 15 WHO TV channel 13 in Des Moines, IA (NBC) begins broadcasting
  • Apr 15 Yankees dedicate a plaque to Edward Barrow
  • Apr 16 KVAL TV channel 13 in Eugene, OR (CBS) begins broadcasting
  • Apr 16 Stanley Cup Final, Olympia Stadium, Detroit, MI: Detroit Red Wings beat Montreal Canadiens, 2-1 in OT for a 4-3 series victory

Historic Event

Apr 18 Egyptian Colonel Gamal Abdel Nasser seizes power and appoints himself Prime Minister

  • Apr 19 58th Boston Marathon won by Veikko Karvonen of Finland in 2:20:39

Boston Marathon

Apr 19 7-time winner of Boston Marathon, 65-year-old Clarence DeMar, runs his last race at Boston finishing 78th

  • Apr 20 "Golden Apple" opens at Alvin Theater NYC for 125 performances

Historic Event

Apr 21 Georgi Malenkov becomes premier of USSR

  • Apr 21 USAF flies French battalion to Vietnam
  • Apr 22 Achiel van Acker forms Belgian government
  • Apr 22 NBA adopts 24-second shot clock & 6 team-foul rule
  • Apr 22 US Senate Army-McCarthy televised hearings begin
  • Apr 22 USSR joins UNESCO
  • Apr 23 Hammerin' Hank Aaron hits 1st of his 755 homers
  • Apr 24 1st American, civilian pilot, P.R. Holden, wounded in Indochina
  • Apr 24 Australia & USSR break diplomatic relations
  • Apr 24 WSEE TV channel 35 in Erie, PA (CBS) begins broadcasting

First Solar Battery

Apr 25 Bell labs announces the 1st solar battery made from silicon. It has about 6% efficiency.

  • Apr 25 British raid Nairobi, Kenya (25,000 Mau Mau suspects arrested)
  • Apr 25 US performs atmospheric nuclear test above Bikini Island
  • Apr 25 WDEF TV channel 12 in Chattanooga, TN (CBS) begins broadcasting
  • Apr 26 Far Eastern Affairs conference opens in Geneva

Historic Event

Apr 26 Mass trials of Jonas Salk's anti-polio vaccine begin; the first shot is delivered in Fairfax County, Virginia; more than 443,000 children receive shots over three months

Film Release

Apr 26 "Seven Samurai", Japanese film directed by Akira Kurosawa, starring Toshiro Mifune, is released

  • Apr 26 USSR Supreme Soviet transfer the Crimean oblast from Russian SFSR to Ukrainian SSR

Music Concert

Apr 30 Darius Milhaud's 4th Concert for piano and orchestra premieres in Haifa, Israel

  • May 1 80th Kentucky Derby: Raymond York wins aboard Determine, his only Derby success
  • May 1 Bishops publish Mandement (member socialist org forbidden)
  • May 1 HSA-UWC Forms (Unification Church) (Moonies)
  • May 1 WAPA TV channel 4 in San Juan, PR (NBC/SFN) begins broadcasting
  • May 1 The Hudson Motor Car Company merges with the Nash-Kelvinator Corporation to form the American Motors Corporation [1]
  • May 1 Preston North End defender Joe Marston becomes the first Australian to play in an FA Cup Final, a 3-2 loss to WBA

Baseball Record

May 2 MLB St. Louis Cardinal Stan Musial hits 5 HRs in a doubleheader against the New York Giants at Busch Stadium

  • May 3 KTEN TV channel 10 in Ada-Ardmore, Oklahoma(ABC) begins broadcasting

Historic Event

May 3 Pulitzer prize awarded to Charles A Lindbergh & John Patrick

  • May 3 WHA TV channel 21 in Madison, Wisconsin (PBS) begins broadcasting
  • May 4 US performs atmospheric nuclear test at Bikini Island

Coup d'état

May 5 General Alfredo Stroessner leads a military coup in Paraguay, overthrowing the government of President Federico Chávez

Sports History

May 6 English athlete Roger Bannister becomes first to run a sub-4 minute mile, recording 3:59:4 at Iffley Road Track, Oxford

  • May 7 French surrender to Vietminh after 55-day siege at Dien Bien Phu
  • May 7 US, Great Britain & France reject Russian membership of NATO
  • May 8 1st shot-put throw over 60' (18.29 m) by American Parry O'Brien, Los Angeles, California
  • May 10 Bolshoi Ballet does not appear in Paris
  • May 13 "Pajama Game" opens at St James Theater NYC for 1063 performances
  • May 13 Labour Party wins British municipal elections
  • May 13 Robin Roberts gives up a HR then retires next 27 men in a row
  • May 13 US performs atmospheric nuclear test at Enwetak
  • May 13 Chinese Middle School students in Singapore take part in anti-National Service riots