Autumn 1957. Little Rock High School is desegregated, Althea Gibson wins Wimbledon, "American Bandstand" thrives, "West Side Story" opens on Broadway, Sputnik is launched into space, ... See full summary »
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Cast

Episode credited cast:
Chuck Berry ... Himself (archive footage)
Dick Clark ... Himself
Dwight D. Eisenhower ... Himself (archive footage)
John S.D. Eisenhower John S.D. Eisenhower ... Himself
Linda Ellerbee ... Herself - Hostess
Orval Faubus Orval Faubus ... Himself (archive footage)
Henry Ford Henry Ford ... Himself (archive footage)
Ray Gandolf Ray Gandolf ... Himself - Host
Althea Gibson Althea Gibson ... Herself
Larry Kert Larry Kert ... Himself
Carol Lawrence ... Herself
Michael Learned ... Herself
Little Richard ... Himself
Bernard Lovell Bernard Lovell ... Himself
Anthony Nutting Anthony Nutting ... Himself
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Autumn 1957. Little Rock High School is desegregated, Althea Gibson wins Wimbledon, "American Bandstand" thrives, "West Side Story" opens on Broadway, Sputnik is launched into space, popular books include William H. White's "The Organization Man," Jack Kerouac's "On the Road" and Nevil Shute's "On the Beach," Ford Motor Company's Edsel is a monumental failure. Written by Anonymous

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18 December 1986 (USA) See more »

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Our World: All Shook Up: Autumn 1957
8 April 2007 | by eaglectrSee all my reviews

Yes, we were all shook up that autumn. Dick Clark's "American Bandstand" began airing on ABC-TV. The program brought together both black and white artists: for example, the Everly Brothers, Jerry Lee Lewis, Buddy Holly, and Bobby Darin were white, and Fats Domino, Sam Cook, Chuck Berry, and Little Richard were black. Advertising was geared toward the teen market and used teenagers to sell the product to their peers. During the show the teens danced to the music. There was a lot of shaking going on, thanks to "American Bandstand," and the kids loved it.

The Broadway theater had its share of dancing in the very popular "West Side Story" which opened on September 26th. The show, loosely based on Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet," and gave us a look at ourselves by using gang portrayals to convey the action and relationships. In some areas of the country gangs were becoming more common. Gang members were killing each other. The percentage of teens in jail was rising in California and New York City. An actual street gang was brought backstage to help bring reality into the production.

The country itself was became "all shook up" when the Soviet Union launched the first satellite, Sputnik. This brought then much pride in their scientific knowledge and technological know-how, while here in America, that launch generated fear and embarrassment. Sputnik orbited the earth once every ninety-six minutes at a speed of eighteen thousand miles per hour. New York Times reporter Walter Sullivan was attending a party acknowledging the International Geophysical Year at the Soviet Embassy when he received a call from his office telling of the launch. No one else at the gathering had yet been informed of the event. When Andrew Goodpaster, White House Staff Secretary, took the news to President Eisenhower, Eisenhower was a little low key about it. John Eisenhower, the President's son,recalled that his Dad didn't realize the concern in the country.

Sputnik went up, but the Ford Edsel went down. Research and development for the Edsel took three year, but it just didn't catch on. The name itself was unpopular, dropping out of every one of the surveys taken. It did have electrical advances, one of which was a push button gear selector mounted in the center portion of the steering wheel. It was mentioned that the Edsel Citation convertible was an even trade for a Cadillac. There were folks who did like the car with tail lights that looked like eyebrows, but others thought that the front grill of the Edsel looked like an Oldsmovile that had just sucked a lemon.

Segregation still played a part in our society. Althea Gibson, a black, female tennis player, was not allowed to join the Westside Tennis Club in New York City, but she could play there for the U.S. National Championship. The U.S. Women's Singles Championship was hers.

The big story at that time was in Little Rock, Arkansas. Three years after the Supreme Court decision on desegregation, Little Rock thought it had it all planned out to accept black students into Central High, a white school. Governor Orval Faubus felt that since desegregation was a federal court order, it was the federal government's responsibility to enforce the order. He insisted that it was contrary to state law, the state constitution, and the sentiment of 85% of all those in the state who were surveyed. The National Guard and the State Troopers were stationed around the school on the first day but not to protect the students or put them into school. Some said that they were there to make sure Central High was off-limits to Negro students. The school board advised the nine black students to stay home. On September 14, Faubus met with President Eisenhower at Newport, Rhode Island, and Faub us was ordered to remove the troops. Faubus said that he would, and Eisenhower took him at his word. However, the troops remained six more days. When the troops were finally removed, Faubus left the state and left the situation in the hands of the police who were lacking training and sufficient personnel. Ten days later Eisenhower said that he would send force, if necessary, to carry out the federal order. The 101St Airborne was finally sent in to protect the civil rights of blacks. The nine black students finally were able to go to school because they were escorted by the military. Faubus was relieved when the troops came in because he felt that the government was accepting its obligation and it relieve him of any responsibility.

Also happening: In another launch in November, the Soviets sent a dog into space. In December, the U.S. launched as satellite, but it blew up on the pad. The Milwaukee Braves beat the New York Yankees in seven games. Cardinal Spellman of New York was appointed the first Military Vicar of the U.S. The Atomic Energy Commission conducted an underground nuclear test at Yucca Flats, Nevada. Dag Hammarskjold was re-elected Secretary General of the United Nations. James Hoffa was elected Presidint of the Teamsters Union. Sophia Loren and Carlo Ponti were married. Bing Crosby and Catherine Grant were married. Louis B. Mayer, Christian Dior, and Harry Teets, warden at San Quention, died.


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