March 21, 1952: The Moondog Coronation Ball, the first major rock and roll concert, is held at the Cleveland Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. The concert was organized by dj Alan Freed, considered to have coined the term “rock and roll.”
March 19, 1953: The Academy Awards is televised for the first time. Shown on NBC, the ceremony takes place at Pantages Theater in Hollywood, California and is hosted by Bob Hope. Cecil B. DeMille’s The Greatest Show on Earth wins Best Picture.
January 14, 1954: Marilyn Monroe weds Joe DiMaggio at San Francisco City Hall.
Joe Di Maggio Weds Marilyn Monroe at City Hall
by Art Hoppe
Joltin’ Joe Di Maggio wedded the girl of his and many other men’s dreams yesterday afternoon in the San Francisco City Hall.
Marilyn Monroe, who packs no mean jolt herself, said she was very happy. Di Maggio said he was also very happy. Also happy was the battery of columnists which has spent no little time in the past two years running down rumors that the two were already secretly married, were to be married, or were not speaking to each other.
The time and place of the wedding was kept a closely guarded secret and only about 500 people managed to hear about it in time to turn the corridors outside Municipal Judge Charles S. Perry’s court into a madhouse.
Marilyn, it seems, had made the mistake of calling her studio in Hollywood yesterday morning and letting it in on her plans to be married at 1 P.M. A studio official casually mentioned it as fast as he could to all the major news services.
Judge Perry’s chambers were jammed with reporters and photographers when the couple arrived shortly after 1 P.M. They posed willingly for pictures and politely answered questions.
“Are you excited, Marilyn?”
“Oh, you KNOW it’s more than that,” she answered, giggling.
“How many children are you going to have, Joe?”
“We’ll have at least one. I’LL guarantee that,” said the slugger.
When they came in Marilyn looked svelte in a dark brown broadcloth suit with an ermine collar, and Joe looked neat in a blue suit and a blue and white checked tie. By the time they finished kissing each other exhaustively for the photographers’ benefit, Marilyn’s blonde hair was in disarray, and most of her lipstick had been transferred to the ballplayer’s face.
At 1:30 P.M. Judge Perry, an old friend of Di Maggio, threw everybody out of his chambers so the solemnity of the occasion would remain inviolate.
However, reporters hanging over the transom were able to set down for posterity that the Judge began the ceremony at 1:46 P.M. and pronounced the couple man and wife at 1:48 P.M.
With that over, the doors of the chambers were unlocked and several times as many people as possible jammed their way in for a glimpse of the newly married pair.
After posing for more pictures, Di Maggio and a couple of friends formed a flying wedge and with Marilyn hanging to her husband’s coattails, they valiantly fought their way through the mob and down the third-floor corridor.
They finally fought their way into the clear only to discover that they had gone the wrong way and had wound up in a cul de sac. So the flying wedge turned around and valiantly fought its way through the crowd again.
This time they reached the elevator. But they found another crowd waiting at the first floor and Di Maggio evolved the strategy of descending to the basement.
“This is a fine thing—dodging your loyal fans like this, Joe,” said a member of the crowd who had wormed his way into the elevator. Di Maggio took umbrage and after much this and that shouted: “Don’t tell me what to do!”
Still another telepathic crowd was waiting in the basement and once again the little band had to fight its way through. Out in McAllister street, the couple jammed into a big blue Cadillac and posed once more.
Miss Monroe has been staying at Di Maggio’s sister’s house in the Marina since before the holidays. This past month climaxed a two-year courtship that could be described as anything but whirlwind. Friends report that the pair, neither of them the ebullient type, have been spending their evenings either watching television at home or quietly sitting in a back corner of Di Maggio’s restaurant.
Marilyn told reporters yesterday: “We’ve been thinking about it for a long time, but we were not too sure until we walked into the door here now.”
Di Maggio said he didn’t know where they would spend their honeymoon but they would “probably just get in the car and go” tonight.
In the excitement yesterday all sorts of things were forgotten. As Marilyn’s flying wedge bore her from the scene, she shouted, “I forgot my coat.” And she didn’t go back for it. Worse was Judge Perry’s oversight. When the excitement was over he announced with a cheerless sigh: “I forgot to kiss the bride.”
San Francisco Chronicle
January 15, 1954
January 2, 1962: “The Weavers, one of the most significant popular-music groups of the postwar era, saw their career nearly destroyed during the Red Scare of the early 1950s. Even with anti-communist fervor in decline by the early 1960s, the Weavers’ leftist politics were used against them as late as January 2, 1962, when the group’s appearance on The Jack Paar Show was cancelled over their refusal to sign an oath of political loyalty.
The importance of the Weavers to the folk revival of the late 1950s cannot be overstated. Without the group that Pete Seeger founded with Lee Hays in Greenwich Village in 1948, there would likely be no Bob Dylan, not to mention no Kingston Trio or Peter, Paul and Mary. The Weavers helped spark a tremendous resurgence in interest in American folk traditions and folk songs when they burst onto the popular scene with “Goodnight Irene,” a #1 record for 13 weeks in the summer and fall of 1950. The Weavers sold millions of copies of innocent, beautiful and utterly apolitical records like “Midnight Special” and “On Top of Old Smoky” that year.”