Starting today, and going up until New Years Eve, we’ll be running Year-end Wrapups from years gone by; what we’re calling The Thousand Yard Stare; what the end of the year was looking like in history – how much has changed, how much hasn’t.
Beginning with 1955, a year that, on its face looked pretty much uneventful on the surface was actually loaded with events and issues which had reverberations and consequences for decades to come.
The Cold War was one of the biggest stories – the conflicts between the two super-powers, the race for popularity and influence throughout the rest of the world. The fear that India would go Communist, after entertaining the many overtures by the Soviet Union in the form of aid and support – one more area we were falling back on. The other was the Middle East – the conflict between Israel and the Arab world was kept at a slow boil for the bulk of the year, threatening to erupt into major conflict every few weeks, it seemed. In May of 1955, The Soviet Union formed The Warsaw Pact in response to the U.S. formation of NATO. No end to the game of tit-for-tat it seemed.
The President – The issue of the Health of the leader of the Free World in the wake of President Eisenhower‘s heart attack became a point of concern, especially in light of the upcoming elections in 1956. Doubts over his running for re-election were raised all the way until his final decision in February of the following year. One thing was certain, whoever the Republicans ran for President would have Adlai Stevenson to deal with again, having announced his intentions late in 1955.
Important Health news for this year – it was announced a successful vaccine for the childhood disease of Polio had been developed and was ready for distribution in 1955. After an initial bad batch, resulting in several cases of death, the successful launch in the Polio vaccine began in April.
And there was a lot more going on, in this year-end wrap-up crammed into an hour and broadcast by CBS Radio on December 31, 1955.