The big news of 1957

I was reading through the Boston Globe newspaper for fall, 1957, looking for any mention of the banning of “Wake Up Little, Susie,” an oft-told Everly Brothers anecdote. I was struck by several news items from this period (aside from my delight at the Yankees losing the World Series that year).

First there was an Asian flu epidemic. Schools were reporting record numbers of students absent. High school sports events were being cancelled regularly because there were not enough players. Even the professional baseball teams were concerned about having enough players. I encountered this at the height of our own H1N1 scare, but the numbers of absences across the state in 1957 was probably well above our current numbers.

Second was that in the three-week period I examined, there were at least three deaths of teenage drivers reported–each week. I know the teenager in my house chafes at the strictures and extensive instruction required, but it looks like it works.

The fall of 1957 was also when the Soviets had launched Sputnik. Most of the reports I read called it the “Red Moon.” The tone varied from fear and concern to a spectator’s guide to tracking it.

My favorite article, though, was the one shown below. I was both appalled and greatly amused, but mostly I was grateful that tall women are no longer pitied and treated to bizarre medical “corrections.”


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