1955 Time Capsule Found As Veterans Memorial Comes Down

COLUMBUS, Ohio - The year was 1955. 10TV was covering stories like the expansion of Port Columbus. Over at the newly formed Veterans Memorial, a time capsule was sealed behind a granite wall.
Now, Vets is being torn down to build a new one. When workers chiseled away a granite wall, they discovered a town capsule.
For a moment, Ronald O'Neal felt a little bit like Indiana Jones.
“It was the hidden treasure. It was exciting,” says O’Neal, Assistant GM at Veterans Memorial.
The treasure was a thin copper box that was sealed with beads of lead, a time capsule. Only the people who had placed it there knew about it.
“It certainly gives us a peek into the history of Columbus back in 1955,” says O’Neal.
It would take some effort to pry it open.
“We had to pry it open with a screwdriver, kind of tap it down very carefully. We spent about an hour and a half getting into to,” added John Raphael, Board of Trustees Chairman.
Inside, they found neatly folded newspapers. It included the three city newspapers of the time – The Columbus Evening Dispatch, Columbus Citizen, and the Ohio State Journal. There was an itemized list of construction costs and the original site plan.
“The biggest attraction was this phone book everybody trying to look up parents and grandparents,” said Raphael.
Finding the time capsule took a little bit of luck. Workers knew it would at the cornerstone of the building and figured it was behind a slab that honored the Board of Trustees. But getting to the time capsule required hammering through a 600 pound of granite.
The time capsule reveals the importance of Vets memorial for its time. For most of six decades it served as THE place where Columbus came to celebrate. All big events were hosted at Vets.
Now, 60 years after its construction, Vets is coming down. The discovery of the time capsule reminds everyone what this building meant to the city.
The items inside the time capsule will be displayed at Motts Military Museum then will be on permanent display at the Ohio historical society.

1955 Flashback: Yankees co-owner hopes to 'some day have outstanding Japanese players' in N.Y.

By Dakota Gardner |

In 1955, following their loss to the Brooklyn Dodgers in the World Series, the Yankees took off on a six-week tour of Japan -- one of the world's then-burgeoning baseball enclaves. The tour included Yogi Berra, Whitey Ford and Mickey Mantle, as well as the team's co-owner Del Webb and MLB Commissioner Ford Frick.
On November 3, the Yankees stopped off in Osaka to play against the All-Stars, a team made up of top players from each of Japan's professional leagues. The Bombers won that game, 7-3, on the back of some solid hitting from Billy Martin, who had a single and a home run.
Webb was heading back to the United States after that game, but before he boarded his plane, he took time to talk to reporters about the trip and the team's newest hire: a Japanese Baseball Hall of Famer named Tadashi Wakabayashi, who'd spent the year serving as a coach in the Japanese Pacific Professional League.
According to Webb, Wakabayashi was hired with the express purpose of integrating Japanese talent into the Yankees' system and, in explaining his reasoning behind the decision, made a pretty prescient comment:
Webb, co-owner of the New York Yankees, expressed hope today that his ball club may some day have outstanding Japanese players on its roster … "The enthusiastic interest shown by the Japanese public in baseball has impressed me with the deep significance of the visit of the New York Yankees in the promotion of Japanese-American friendship."

Of course, the Yankees would eventually sign the dominant slugger Hideki Matsui, and the 2013 Yankees roster included outfielder Ichiro Suzuki, veteran hurler Hiroki Kuroda and superstar pitcher Masahiro Tanaka. We hear those guys are pretty good.

The way we were

From a 1955 Chevrolet screen advertisement.


Frank Lloyd Wright Came to Miami in 1955 And He Hated It

by Sean McCaughan

On Nov. 14th, 1955 Time Magazine printed a short piece summing up the world famous Frank Lloyd Wright's opinions of Miami, having just visited recently. The architect was pretty damning of Miami, and this is what he said:
Paying his first visit to Miami in some 20 years, Architectitan Frank Lloyd Wright, 86, duly paid the city's palm-fringed structures his typical disrespects. In a word, after a look at a flossy row of hotels and cottages: "Horrible." Critic Wright, from the height of his years, lowered the boom on the locals: "Miamians are living in houses pigs would be ashamed to live in." One hotel was summarily dismissed: "Worse than an anthill." Miamians were slow to lash back at Wright; he had not directly blamed them for their housing plight. The real villains, as always, said Architect Wright, are "the architects."

Kansas City Is Baseball Crazy Now, But You Should've Seen 1955


With the Royals in the World Series you might think that Kansas City has never been quite this excited about anything.
Everywhere you look there’s Royals blue.
But if you think Kansas City is baseball crazy now, you should have seen 1955 when the Athletics arrived from Philadelphia.
Jeff Logan, president of the Kansas City Baseball Historical Society says the whole city turned out when the team flew in from its spring training site in Florida.
"They flew over the city and they just circled the city and circled the city with that plane cause they could see fans out there cheering for the plane to arrive," he says. "That’s how exciting it was for the A’s to come to Kansas City."
For 50 years, Major League Baseball stopped at the Mississippi — St. Louis was the western edge of Big League ball.
It's not that Kansas City was a stranger to professional baseball. Some of the best players ever played here.
Satchel Paige and Hilton Smith pitched for the Monarchs. Mickey Mantle and Phil Rizzuto played for the Blues as the two future Hall-of-Famers worked their way up through the Yankee farm system.
But Kansas City's image was that of a cow town and by the 1950s city fathers knew a big league baseball team would help change that.
Kansas City set its target on the venerable Philadelphia A's, a charter member of the American League and for its entire history under the control of Connie Mack, the Grand Old Man of the game.
By the 1950s, however, the A's were terrible. They were losing games and money and Mack's family decided it was time to sell the team.
In 1954, in a deal that was engineered by the New York Yankees, the A's were sold to Chicago real estate tycoon Arnold Johnson who had long standing business dealings with the Yankees.
The Athletics plays their first season at Municipal Stadium at 22nd and Brooklyn Avenue in 1955.
"The Kansas City A’s drew like 1.2 million people that first year in a stadium that, you know, had capacity of about 31,000 people," says Logan.
But for one teenager from Brookside, the A’s would change his life, even though he didn’t quite know it at the time.
Alex George was signed by the A’s in 1955 soon after he graduated from Rockhurst High School.
At 16 years, 11 months, he was the sixth youngest man to ever play in the major leagues.
"It just never occurred to me that it was anything special or unique," he says.
Now 76 and retired in Prairie Village, George still has the trim frame of a shortstop.
While he played eight seasons in the minors, his major league career with his hometown team amounted to ten at-bats and one hit.
While Kansas City had had professional baseball for decades, having a Major League team, George says, was something altogether different.
"My dad would pack us in the car and we would drive down Brooklyn Avenue, past the ballpark during a game and you could hear, you couldn’t see what was going on but you could certainly hear the fans.  There’d be ten or 15 other cars that would just be driving back and forth past the stadium."
Jeff Logan from the baseball historical society says the A’s move to Kansas City opened up the whole country for major league baseball.
When the A’s drew over a million fans in 1955 it was a signal that there was money to be made in the West and it paved the way for the Dodgers to leave Brooklyn for Los Angeles and the Giants to leave New York for San Francisco.
"It’s funny because of the Kansas City A’s we’re playing the San Francisco Giants in the World Series," he says.
While the A’s stayed in Kansas City for only 13 seasons, Alex George believes they opened the door to the Chiefs, the Royals and every other major league sports team to ever play here.
"It meant a lot then and it still means a lot now to have the team here," he says.



Proloy Bagchi

A visit to Bombay suddenly appeared on the horizon in the summer of 1955. While I was not yet 19 and had cleared BA Part I and my only sister, after getting a First Division in her MA Geography – a rarity in those days in the field of Humanities – was in a mood to relax. She was, however, approached for tutoring of the two elder daughters (princesses) of the Gwalior Maharaja, then the Rajpramukh of the now-nonexistent state of Madhya Bharat. It was a pretty cushy job for her. She would be picked up either in a Palace buggy or one of its numerous Mercedes cars and then deposited back at the house. The tutoring was for an hour or so and was well paid by standards of those days. She had collected some money and wanted to make use of it.
Around that time an uncle of ours living in Bombay working in the Port Trust wrote to my father to send his children to him during the vacations. That is how our trip was shaped up. Thankfully two daughters of a neighbour too were due to go to Bombay to their Brigadier uncle. Plans were drawn up and soon we, the foursome, boarded the crowded Punjab Mail for Bombay. A 24-hour journey took us through mostly barren summer landscape of dry fields and rivers with depleted water beyond the Vindhya and Satpura ranges until the climb commenced over the Western Ghats after Igatpuri. I remember having seen some tremendous scenic beauty of green hills with lush green forests, plunging cliffs and deeply cut river valleys. I am sure that green cover is long gone, some of it had already disappeared about 20 years later when I used to travel from Nagpur to Bombay on official business.
As soon as we alighted at the Dadar Railway Station a petite and good-looking lady approached my sister and rather uncannily called her by name. She turned out to be our aunt whom we had never met. She was in her early 30s and was quite adept in dealing with the Bombay taxi-walas. Within moments we arrived at their Hindu Colony apartment on what was then known as Vincent Road, a broad avenue, with three-lane carriageways and trams plying up and down on the central verge. Vincent Road had Hindu Colony on one side and the Parsi Colony on the other. The apartment was on the first floor – of three bed rooms and a big hall and a dining area. Each room had floors done up in bright colourful tiles. Obviously, the era of massive use of Makrana marble was still far away. The flat was airy and our aunt had organised some tropical potted plants on the balconies. Uncle had his around 80-year old father living with him. He was a law graduate of early 1890s and had a raging curiosity about everything. He had known my father since the latter was a student in Scottish Church College in Calcutta in the second decade of the last century.
Bombay, now Mumbai, was a thriving commercial and industrial city and yet it was considered only the second city of the country. Calcutta, now Kolkata, continued to be known as the first city even nearly a decade after independence. Kolkata, earlier the capital of British India, was where the action was and the Communists were still far away in the future and were yet to drive away private enterprise from Bengal. No wonder, it continued to be the hub of trade, commerce and industry. Delhi was nowhere near either Kolkata or Mumbai though it had been the capital of the country since 1931. Perhaps, it had little opportunity to progress after independence as it was subjected to the oppressive pressure of refugees soon after the partition of the country.
Mumbai in those days was of special charm for me. One of my close friends was doing his B Tech at one of the institutes there. He was highly enamoured of the place, especially of its Fort area and the city’s local train services. Another close friend had just returned from there and had given me glowing descriptions of its local trains, buses, trams, its sea and beaches as well as its massive British era buildings. It was quite a build- up and with the opportunity coming my way I was eager to lap it all up. Having never been to a big city my excitement was naturally palpable.
As I settled down and started feeling comfortable in the new environment I would venture out of the house all by myself. Initially I would be cautioned to be careful while crossing roads which I had to do as I frequently would go over to the Parsi Colony on the other side of the Vincent Road. It was a quiet place with well maintained parks where one could hang around in the shade of a tree. Or else I would go cross the Dadar Railway over-bridge and walk all the way to the Shivaji Park beach and get the refreshing breeze that would cool me in the warm and humid weather.
I would also take rides with my uncle in the morning as he drove down to his Port Trust office in the Fort area. He would mostly take the central north-to-south artery via Parel, Byculla, etc and then take the Mohammed Ali Road – now virtually inaccessible to cars – right up to the Fort. Or for a change he would take the outer route of Cadell Road on the Western fringe and would pass through Hornby Vellard, Breach Candy, Chowpatty and on to the Fort via that wonderful “Queen’s Necklace” – the Marine Drive. Both the routes were interesting and I would look forward to these drives.
I would be dropped somewhere near the Hornby Road and I would wander around down its arcades looking at those British era buildings and indulge in window shopping. Sometimes I would veer right into the thick of the business district where offices of big and reputed commercial and industrial houses were located in huge Victorian buildings in what is now known as the “Fort Heritage Precinct”. I was charmed by the Horniman Circle which had a massive park in the middle surrounded by solid looking buildings of uniform elevation. Occasionally I would turn west from Flora Fountain and go and sit on parapets of the Marine Drive and take in the view of (now as I know them) the Art-Deco architecture on Marine Drive and, of course, the Arabian Sea that was not quite attractive in mid-morning hours but a curiosity nonetheless for a young man from a small town in central part of the country who had never seen the sea before. Or I would go along the famous Oval and onwards towards Cooperage grounds. It was fascinating to see the Neo Gothic public buildings (Bombay University, High Court, etc.) on one side of it and those Art-Deco structures on its western side of Marine Drive and Backbay Reclamation. Now I find that these two architectural ensembles of Mumbai constitute the largest such conglomeration of these two genres of architecture in the world.
The Fort area appeared to me more like the London that we had seen in photographs in various magazines with its old and heritage buildings, wood and glass red telephone booths planted in the middle of broad pavements, its red and yellow double-decker buses and trams, the fire hydrants, road signage and the zebra crossings. There were no malls then but big departmental stores one of which was Akbaraly’s off the Hornby Road. One could get virtually every conceivable item in it. After loitering around for a couple of hours I would catch a tram near Colaba Causeway and return to Dadar Tram Terminus sitting on the upper deck taking in the aerial view of the busy but largely uncluttered streets paying just, incredible as it may sound now, an Anna (one sixteenth part of a rupee) as fare. Now, one can neither see the trams nor the wood-and-glass telephone booths, overtaken by technology as both have since been.
We also had outings to Vihar Lake or to Juhu Beach or to the Aray Milk Colony. My uncle was fond of visiting the Santa Cruz Airport. He loved to see the big international flights arriving and disgorging passengers. In those days one could go right up to the glass front of the Arrival Lounge with no questions asked – a seemingly impossible activity today because of the terrorists’ threat. I keep wondering how in around fifty years the country has changed and simple pleasures of life for ordinary people have been snatched away.
My sister and I not only saw “The Country Girl” (with Grace, Kelly, William Holden and Bing Crosby) at the New Empire theatre we also happened to go to an evening of Bengali music at the prestigious Shammukhanand Hall where Late Hemanta Kumar, the famous exponent of Rabindra Sangit (Tagore Songs), led the programme of Barsha Mangal – a thread of songs invoking rain written by Rabindranath Tagore. A great occasion for me, as I, luckily, had the chance to hear live the favourite singer of my adolescent years.
We didn’t realize how swiftly time raced away and soon it was time to undertake that rigorous 24-hour journey to get back to Gwalior. We, my sister and I, spent a very enjoyable summer in the company of uncle and aunt. They were extremely good couple and were very nice to us. Clearly, we were enriched by the trip – the exposure to a metropolitan town enabled us to acquire invaluable experience and knowledge. We got back to Gwalior richer in every way.
Thirty years later, as luck would have it, I was posted at Bombay and served a full tenure of four years. By then Uncle had retired and was not doing very well. The Great City, too, had deteriorated and degraded a lot, overtaken by hundreds of slums, inspiring many books on it, both, complimentary and non-complimentary. Politicians sold numerous dreams of the city’s development and upgrade but it kept sinking to greater and greater depths. For common men it is excruciatingly painful to survive in it whereas for the rich it is a great playground where billions are made and, perhaps, lost everyday. Be that as it may, I look back on my Bombay of fifty-odd years ago with nostalgia and wistfulness.

Snapshot, 1955: A moment of suspense in Corsica

It’s the mid-50s. You’ve arrived in Corsica from the mainland by simply stepping down from the ship’s gangway – but the car in which you’ll explore the island must be perilously hoisted from the main deck…

By this point, large ferries capable of swallowing hundreds of cars within their opening hulls were in use across the Mediterranean – but routes to Corsica were still covered only by traditional cargo ferries. Therefore, automobiles were transported on their decks and lowered onto the docks using the on-board cranes, as demonstrated in the Roger-Viollet photograph above. The image was taken in 1955, and shows a car being lifted from the deck of Cyrnos (which served the France-Corsica route until 1966), with pillows stuffed between the crane’s wheelclamps to prevent damage. We imagine that watching your brand-new Mercedes-Benz 300 SL being unloaded in this manner would be a nerve-racking experience – all the more reason to find a bar from which to order a relaxing pastis, then.

Do you rermember Nelson’s 14 pubs in 1955?

by Geoff Crambie

On a recent journey into the centre of Nelson, an old pal from my Primet Secondary School days asked me just where did the now long-gone Railway Hotel stand?
Well, looking at this week’s column picture from 1955, with the Railway Hotel in the centre, gives us no clue whatsoever! Every single building seen here has been knocked to the ground and this Victorian built corner of Nelson is no more.
The answer is that if you stand at the entrance to today’s Pendle Rise Centre you are on the exact site of the 1848 built Railway Hotel.
Back in the year of our 1955 street scene, Nelson had a grand total of 14 pubs and nearby Brierfield tallied a further 10.
Today you can count the two town’s hostelries on one hand! Who can remember the Borough Hotel, the Engineers Arms and the General Gordon Hotel, all part of Nelson’s history?
Brierfield’s past pubs include the Lane Ends Inn, the Greyhound Hotel and the Wigglesworth Arms, once a thriving trio of welcoming inns. Today they are just fond memories of an era that has sadly gone forever.

Social Security Q&A: When Will I Receive My Maximum Benefit if I Was Born in 1955?

Laurence Kotlikoff

Social Security may be your largest or one of your largest assets. How you manage it, by deciding which benefits to collect and when, can make an absolutely huge difference to your lifetime benefits. And those with the highest past covered earnings have the most to gain from maximizing their Social Security.
I’ve been answering questions and writing columns about Social Security each week for the past two years on PBS NEWSHOUR’s website. The editors at Forbes asked me to post a Q&A each day from those columns. To see all my columns, please go to my software company’s site, www.maximizemysocialsecurity.com, and click More Press below the WSJ quote.
Today’s question asks when someone born in 1955 can receive their maximized Social Security benefit. The answer explores various potential auxiliary benefits, including potentially different months of entitlement for different benefits.

Question: At what age will I collect the most Social Security? I was born in March 1955.
Answer: If we are talking about your retirement benefit, it’s age 70. If we are talking about your spousal benefit from your current spouse or, if you are not remarried, from an ex-spouse with whom you were married for 10 years, it’s 66 and two months. But (there are always buts with Social Security) your current spouse would need to be at least 62 for you to collect a spousal benefit at 66 years and two months. And your ex would need to be at least 62, and you would have to have been divorced for at least two years.

In regards to collecting a survivor benefit, the age at which you can get the highest survivor benefit is age 66 exactly. This is your survivor full retirement age. You might think the full retirement age for survivor benefits would be the same as the full retirement age for retirement and spousal benefits. For young’uns like you, the full retirement age for retirement and spousal benefits can be up to four months older than the full retirement age for survivor benefits.

Then & Now: Harry's Chocolate Shop, 1955

On July 11, 1913, a 14-year-old West Lafayette boy named Harry J. Marack won a "pushmobile" race down State Street Hill, an event comparable to the Soap Box Derbies in later years, as about 2,000 spectators applauded. Generations of Purdue University students and townspeople knew the winner years later as the proprietor of Harry's Chocolate Shop, a legendary hangout in the West Lafayette Village. 
Folklore has it that Harry's, a West Lafayette institution and a rite of passage for most Purdue students, was originally a soda fountain when it was opened in 1919 by Marack. It later received a license to serve beer and alcohol. The bar was a speakeasy during Prohibition, and it gained more momentum after World War II. Merack turned the bar over to Harry Jr. in the 1970s and is today owned by Hershel and Mary Cook. 
A fire in 1995 nearly put an end to the two-story bar, or so students feared at the time. Hundreds of students stood outside the bar watching as 60 firefighters sprayed up to 3,000 gallons of water per minute on the building. The firefighters were able to keep the second-story flames away from the first-story tavern. The bar was closed for repairs for about a month, leaving the hand-carved signatures and initials across the back walls intact. 
Purdue students visit Harry's Chocolate Shop in West Lafayette's Village area in 1955. 2014 photo by John Terhune/Journal & Courier 

The Beat Poets of the Forever Generation: Meet 1959's "Miss Beatnik" Of Greenwich Village

The Beat Poets of the Forever Generation: Meet 1959's "Miss Beatnik" Of Greenwich Village: Miss Beatnik, 1959. (Photo courtesy of the Beat Museum) In July of 1959, a 17-year-old native Brooklynite named Angel was crowned &...

22 September 1955: ITV’s inaugural broadcast

By Ben Judge

Viewers could now change the channel
Until 1955, there wasn’t much choice of what to watch on British TV. You got one channel – the BBC.
But the Television Act 1954 changed all that. It authorised the creation of the first commercial television network in the UK, overseen by the Independent Television Authority.
Many people were worried that ‘commercial’ broadcasting would lead to a dramatic fall in standards. So, a requirement to produce quality programmes was included.
Six franchises were put out to tender. And at 7.15pm on 22 September, Associated-Rediffusion – which had been awarded the London weekday franchise – began broadcasting.
The first thing to air was a five-minute introductory film (which you can see below); then it was off to London’s Guildhall, where viewers were treated to a gala evening of live variety entertainment.
Just under an hour later, Britain’s first TV advert was aired – for Gibbs SR toothpaste.
After ten years, the regional franchises came  up for renewal. Just one was not re-awarded to the existing franchisee – Wales West and North was taken over by Television Wales and West.
In 1968, there was a big reorganisation of the franchises, which saw Thames TV and London Weekend come into being.
In 1990, the requirement to produce quality TV was done away with in the franchising process, and franchises were effectively handed to the highest bidder. A year later, Thames TV was outbid by Carlton, which offered £43m for its licence.
Ownership regulations were relaxed in 1994, ushering in the first wave of consolidation in the industry. Three years later, a second wave of mergers left three major players – Carlton, United News and Media, and Granada.
By 2000, just Granada and Carlton remained. They merged in 2004 to form ITV plc in a £4bn deal, leaving one company in control of all the franchises in England and Wales.