From the Office

charles wilt

Charles Wilt, ALCTS Executive Director

1957, A Memorable Year

In about 18 months, ALCTS will begin a celebration of two defining moments in our history: the 50th anniversary of the establishment of us as a section, under the name “Resources & Technical Services Division” (RTSD); and the first issue of our journal Library Resources & Technical Services ( LRTS). Rosann Bazirjian, ALCTS President-elect, has appointed an organizing committee chaired by Olivia Madison, former ALCTS President, to oversee the preparation. There will undoubtedly be many other working groups over the next several months to help with the planning and execution of the celebration. I believe it is somewhat fitting that Annual Conference in June 2007 is in Washington, D.C., because in 1957, the ALA membership defeated a request to move ALA Headquarters from Chicago to Washington, DC.

Although I don’t remember 1957 (wink! wink!), some of you might (I won’t name names). There are many more of you who were either not born yet or were just toddling around, including a few of our current Board members.

It was the leisurely, uncomplicated 50’s. A time of “Ozzie and Harriet” and “Father Knows Best,” mimeograph machines, typewriters and black-wired phones, twin beds and bloodless gun fights in movies. Communists were everywhere and Ike was entering his second term of office.

So to remind those of you who might have forgotten 1957, and for those of you who are need of a little U.S. pop culture history, I give you the following highlights from 1957. If the past 48 years can go by so fast, the next two will be a memory before we know it. And yes there really was an Esther Piercy…


  • Soviet Union inaugurates the "Space Age" by launching Sputnik I, the world's first artificial satellite. A month later Sputnik II carries a dog into orbit, making that dog the first living being to enter space;
  • President Eisenhower announces "Eisenhower Doctrine," pledging defense of Middle Eastern nations against communism;
  • Federal troops ordered to enforce integration of schools in Little Rock, Arkansas;
  • Israel withdraws from Sinai Peninsula;
  • European Common Market created;
  • Britain detonates hydrogen bomb; U.S. conducts first underground nuclear test;
  • Despite record-setting filibuster by Sen. Strom Thurmond, Congress approves the first significant civil rights legislation since the Civil War;
  • Ghana becomes independent.


  • World Series: Milwaukee over New York Yankees, 4-3;
  • At age 13, Bobby Fischer becomes a chess champion;
  • New York Giants move to San Francisco; Brooklyn Dodgers move to Los Angeles;
  • NCAA Football: Auburn & Ohio State Record: 10-0-0 & 9-1-0; Heisman Trophy: John David Crow, Texas A&M;
  • Stanley Cup: Montreal Canadiens vs. Boston Bruins Series: 4-1


"Beatnik" enters the vernacular as a description of the emerging "Beat Generation" counterculture movement.

Popular Music

  • Too Much - Elvis Presley
  • Young Love - Tab Hunter
  • Party Doll - Buddy Knox
  • Round and Round - Perry Como
  • All Shook Up - Elvis Presley
  • Love Letters in the Sand - Pat Boone
  • Diana - Paul Anka
  • That'll Be the Day - The Crickets
  • Wake Up Little Susie - The Everly Brothers
  • Jailhouse Rock - Elvis Presley
  • Little Darlin' - The Diamonds
  • Peggy Sue - Buddy Holly
  • School Days - Chuck Berry
  • Whole Lot Of Shakin' Going On - Jerry Lee Lewis

Academy Awards

  • Best Picture: "The Bridge on the River Kwai"
  • Best Director: David Lean "The Bridge on the River Kwai"
  • Best Actor: Alec Guinness "The Bridge on the River Kwai"
  • Best Actress: Joanne Woodward "The Three Faces of Eve"

Nobel Prizes

  • Literature: Albert Camus, France, b. 1913 (in Mondovi, Algeria), d. 1960: "for his important literary production, which with clear-sighted earnestness illuminates the problems of the human conscience in our times."

Pulitzer Prizes

  • Drama: Eugene O'Neill "Long Day's Journey Into Night"
  • History: George F. Kennan "Russia Leaves the War: Soviet American Relations, 1917-20"
  • International Reporting: Russell Jones ... "United Press"
  • National Reporting: James B. Reston ... "New York Times"
  • Public Service: "Chicago Daily News"


• “The Cat in the Hat” by Dr. Seuss


  • By Love Possessed"... James Gould
  • Peyton Place" ...Grace Metalious
  • Compulsion" ...Meyer Levin
  • Rally Round the Flag, Boys!"... Max Shulman
  • Blue Camellia"...Frances Parkinson Keyes
  • Eloise in Paris"...Kay Thompson
  • The Scapegoat"... Daphne du Maurier
  • On the Beach"... Nevil Shute
  • Below the Salt"... Thomas B. Costain
  • Atlas Shrugged"... Ayn Rand


  • Kids Say the Darndest Things!"... Art Linkletter
  • The FBI Story"... Don Whitehead
  • Stay Alive All Your Life"...Norman Vincent Peale
  • To Live Again"... Catherine Marshall
  • Better Homes and Gardens Flower Arranging."
  • Where Did You Go? Out. What Did You Do? Nothing"...Robert Paul Smith
  • Baruch: My Own Story"... Bernard M. Baruch
  • Please Don't Eat the Daisies"... Jean Kerr
  • The American Heritage Book of Great Historic Places"
  • The Day Christ Died,"... Jim Bishop


  • Gunsmoke(CBS)
  • The Danny Thomas Show (CBS)
  • Tales of Wells Fargo (NBC)
  • Have Gun Will Travel (CBS)
  • I've Got A Secret (CBS)
  • The Life & Legend of Wyatt Earp (ABC)
  • General Electric Theater (CBS)
  • The Restless Gun (NBC)
  • December Bride (CBS)
  • You Bet Your Life (NBC)


  • January 13 - Wham-O Company produces the first Frisbee
  • April 12 - Allen Ginsberg's poem Howl, printed in England, is seized by U.S. customs officials on the grounds of obscenity
  • May 3 - Walter O'Malley, the owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers, agrees to move the team from Brooklyn, New York, to Los Angeles, California.
  • July - International Geophysical Year begins
  • July 16 - United States Marine Major John Glenn flies an F8U supersonic jet from California to New York in 3 hours, 23 minutes and 8 seconds setting a new transcontinental speed record
  • September 4 - American Civil Rights Movement: Little Rock Crisis - Orville Faubus, governor of Arkansas, calls out the National Guard to prevent black students from enrolling in Central High School in Little Rock
  • September 4 - Ford Motor Company introduces the Edsel.
  • October 4 - Sputnik program: The Soviet Union launches Sputnik I, the first artificial satellite to orbit the earth.
  • November 1 - Michigan's Mackinac Bridge opened.
  • November 3 - Sputnik program: The Soviet Union launches Sputnik 2. On board is the first animal to enter space - a dog named Laika (she was kept alive for several days in space with a sophisticated life-support system).


  • January 6 - Nancy Lopez, golfer
  • January 7 - Nicholson Baker, novelist
  • January 7 - Katie Couric, NBC newscaster
  • January 23 - Princess Caroline of Monaco
  • February 18 - Vanna White, game show presenter
  • March 10 - Osama bin Laden, terrorist
  • March 20 - Spike Lee, film director, actor
  • April 9 - Seve Ballesteros, Spanish golfer
  • April 29 - Daniel Day-Lewis, actor
  • June 8 - Scott Adams, cartoonist, creator of Dilbert
  • August 9 - Melanie Griffith, actress ( Working Girl, The Bonfire of the Vanities)
  • August 11 - Richie Ramone, American musician, drummer with The Ramones
  • August 24 - Stephen Fry, English comedian, author, and actor
  • August 27 - Bernhard Langer, German golfer
  • September 1 - Gloria Estefan, singer
  • December 9 - Donny Osmond, singer
  • December 13 - Steve Buscemi, actor ( Reservoir Dogs, Fargo, The Sopranos)
  • December 21 - Ray Romano, actor, comedian (“Everybody Loves Raymond”)
  • December 30 - Matt Lauer, NBC newscaster


  • January 14 - Humphrey Bogart, American actor (b. 1899)
  • January 16 - Arturo Toscanini, Italian conductor (b. 1867)
  • February 8 - John von Neumann, Hungarian-American mathematician (b. 1903)
  • February 10 - Laura Ingalls Wilder, American author (b. 1867)
  • February 25 - George "Bugs" Moran, Chicago gangster
  • March 11 - Admiral Richard E. Byrd, American explorer
  • March 16 - Constantin Brancusi, Romanian sculptor (b. 1876)
  • May 2 - Joseph McCarthy, U.S. Senator
  • May 9 - Ezio Pinza, Italian bass (b. 1892)
  • May 16 - Eliot Ness, American F.B.I. agent
  • August 7 - Oliver Hardy, American actor (b. 1892)
  • August 16 - Irving Langmuir, American chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1881)
  • September 20 - Jean Sibelius, Finnish composer (b. 1865)
  • November 24 - Diego Rivera, Mexican painter (b. 1886)
  • November 29 - Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Austrian composer (b. 1897)