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Reunion 2007: Class of 1957

Our 50-Year Reunion is in June 2007!

"At my 50th college reunion there was no old people as I feared. There was still the student inside each of us thirsting after new knowledge and insights to live out our lives as useful citizens of this shrinking world. Macalester planted our feet fimrly to walk into the future. Dear old Macalester, ever the same? As Minnesotans say, ‘ You Betcha.’ "

Willis (Bill) Merriman ’56
Manchester, Conn.

Blast into the Past

Headlines from September 1953 through June 1957

Were you up on current events when you went to Macalester? Here are a few headlines from our college years to jog your memory.


  • The annual income of an average American family reaches $4,011. (Feb. 20)
  • Soviet premier Joseph Stalin dies. Georgy Malenkov becomes Soviet Premier. (Mar. 5)
  • Prokofiev’s music made us marvel at Russian culture.
  • DNA is discovered by Francis Crick and James Watson.
    Department of Health, Education & Welfare is created. (Apr. 11)
  • The first IBM computer, the 701, is introduced. (May 20)
    Dag Hammarskjold was elected secretary general of the United Nations. He gave us hope for the future. His book, “Markings” was to become a desk fixture for us.
  • Queen Elizabeth II is coronated. (June 2)
  • The Rosenbergs are executed and quickened consciences on issue of the death penalty.
  • The Korean War ends and we worry about Russia. (July 27)
  • Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlevi returns to power in Iran. (Aug. 22)
  • Nikita Khrushchev is named first secretary of Soviet Communist party’s Central Committee. (Sept. 13)
  • A human aorta is repaired using animal tissue. (Oct. 6)
  • U.S. economic growth continues to soar, rising five percent ($368 billion) above 1952 levels. (Nov. 26)
  • Skin cancer is produced in mice by painting their skins with cigarette tar. (Dec. 8)
  • Playwright Eugene O’Neill and Poet Dylan Thomas died.
  • Winston Churchill won the Nobel Prize for Literature.
  • George Marshall won the Nobel Peace Prize for devising a peace plan to revitalize war torn Europe (ethics of rebuilding after wars).


  • First atomic submarine Nautilus launched in Groton, Connecticut, by Mrs. Dwight D. Eisenhower. (Jan. 21)
  • Dr. Jonas Salk starts inoculating children against polio. (Feb. 23)
  • Lt. Col. Gamal Abdel Nasser is made premier of Egypt. (Feb. 25)
  • Soviet Union grants sovereignty to East Germany. (March 23)
  • Arturo Toscanini directs final concert, Wagner, ending a 68 year career.
  • President Dwight D. Eisenhower authorizes the creation of the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado. (April 1)
  • U.S. Supreme Court (in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka) unanimously bans racial segregation in public schools. (May 17)
  • The last regular-service streetcar operated by Twin City Rapid Transit runs in Minneapolis. (June 19)
  • In Memphis, Tennessee, WHBQ becomes the first radio station to air an Elvis Presley record. (July 7)
  • Volume 1, Issue 1 of Sports Illustrated is published. (Aug. 16)
  • The last new episode of the Lone Ranger is aired on radio after 2,956 episodes over a period of 21 years. (Sept. 3)
  • First Miss America Pageant broadcast on television. (Sept. 11)
  • USSR Tests Nuclear Weapon. (Sept. 14)
  • The first in the Godzilla series of films is released in Japan. (Nov. 3)
  • US President Dwight D. Eisenhower dedicates the USMC War Memorial (Iwo Jima memorial) in Arlington National Cemetery. (Nov. 10)
  • Faulkner's A Fable wins Pulitzer. Hemingway wins Nobel Prize for Literature
  • "Big Bang" theory is announced postulating the beginning of the universe.


  • The French leave Indochina and the British leave the Suez Canal Zone
  • The Scrabble board game debuts. (Jan. 19)
  • Israel obtains 4 of the 7 Dead Sea scrolls. (Feb. 13)
  • First meeting of the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO). (Feb. 23)
  • Victory against polio. Salk’s vaccine works. (Apr. 12)
  • Albert Einstein dies. His knowledge of the German development in atomic energy brought him to convince the U.S. to build an Atom Bomb. He was a pacifist. (April)
  • Roger Bannister becomes the first sub-four-minute miler at 3:58. (May 6)
  • Cold War: West Germany joins NATO. (May 9)
  • Cold War: Eight communist bloc countries including the Soviet Union sign a mutual-defense treaty called the Warsaw Pact. (May 14)
  • Disneyland opens in Anaheim, California. (July 17)
  • In the Northeast United States, severe flooding caused by Hurricane Diane claims 200 lives. (Aug. 19)
  • Thomas Mann died, author of “Joseph In Egypt” and “Magic Mountain”. He was known for his warnings concerning totalitarianism. (Aug)
  • Israel and Egypt announce a cease-fire but terror continues.
  • Argentina ousts Perón. (Sept. 19)
  • Rosa Parks refuses to sit at the back of the bus. Martin Luther King, Jr., leads black boycott of Montgomery, Ala., bus system. (Dec. 1)
  • AFL and CIO become one organization-AFL-CIO. (Dec. 5)
  • General Motors becomes the first American corporation to make sales of over one billion dollars in a year. (Dec. 31)
  • Tennessee Williams's Cat on a Hot Tin Roof wins Pulitzer.
  • James Dean dies in auto crash. His films “East of Eden” and “Rebel Without A Cause” will become classics and the “rebel” theme is born.


  • Brazilian soccer player Edson Arantes “Pele” do Nacimento signs with Brazil’s Santos team to begin eighteen-year career of 1,253 games in which he will score 1,216 goals. (Jan.20)
  • John Foster Dulles declares “East and West are in a contest in the field of development of underdeveloped countries.” The nagging ethical issues do not resolve in the next 50 years.
  • Soviet first secretary, Khrushchev, denounces former leader Stalin as a dictator who misruled and committed many crimes. This is a searching step in Soviet self analysis, and as we graduate, we have some guarded new hope. (Feb. 25)
  • Peter Ustinov’s play “Romanoff and Juliet” opens at England’s Manchester Opera House. (Apr. 2)
  • Rocky Marciano retires as boxing’s only undefeated heavy weight champion. (Apr. 27)
  • Israel and Egypt agree on UN truce observation posts on Gaza Strip. (May 24)
  • Charles Dumas becomes the first person to high jump over 7 feet. (Jun. 29)
  • The Environmental Movement has not gained traction. Those who read John Muir and Sigurd F. Olson, awaited public concern. These issues will affect our imaginations and the future.


  • Pink Flamingo lawn ornaments are first produced by Union Products in Leominster, Mass.



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