On September 23, 1949, President Harry S. Truman released a brief statement to the press stating that within recent weeks, an atomic explosion had been detected within the U.S.S.R, signaling the start of a new arms race. In order to ease Americans' fears and coordinate civil defense strategies between the federal, state, and local governments, … Continue reading Duck and Cover in the Family Fallout Shelter: Civil Defense Preparedness in the Cold War Era
There aren’t many schools that include jumping out of an airplane as part of your final exam, but that’s just what these women parachute riggers had to do in 1951. Women sailors in the Navy went through the same training as men at the Parachute Materials School at Naval Air Station Lakehurst in New Jersey. These … Continue reading Spotlight on Veterans: Navy Women in Parachute Rigger Training
It has been 54 years since the U.S. Embassy in Havana closed its doors. Upon ending diplomatic relations with our neighboring island nation, President Eisenhower announced, “It is my hope and my conviction that it is in the not too distant future that it will be possible for the historic friendship between us once again … Continue reading Re-establishing Diplomatic Relations with Cuba (Historic Photos)
For the release of a new short film about Austria's Lipizzan horses, Universal-International, the maker of Universal News, staged a special publicity event at a drive-in movie theater. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3IvnUi61dQA From the release sheet: "HORSE NIGHT" AT THE DRIVE-IN, CALIFORNIA - "Horse night" at the drive-in. An enterprising theatre manager sets up oats and rye on … Continue reading This Week in Universal News: A Drive-In Movie for Horses, 1954.
Long considered an essential accessory, this week's featured Universal News story shows us the latest in hat fashions for the 1956-1957 winter season. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kC3vcEbjMU From the release sheet: HAT FASHIONS In New York, creations of the country's foremost milliners for the November to January season are previewed. Ranging from chic miniature pillboxes to resplendent toques and … Continue reading This Week in Universal News: Winter Hat Fashions for 1956.
This week's story features a demonstration of the "often-forecast" videophone. Today, numerous devices and programs enable video calling, but the videophone as a separate appliance never quite took off. One reason why 1955 was not the year for the video phone is the price tag: According to the Universal news story, the videophone cost $5000.00, or about $43,000.00 in today's dollars. … Continue reading This Week in Universal News: Video Phone Demonstration, 1955
On July 25, 1909, Louis Bleriot became the first man to fly over the English Channel. In 1959, the flight was commemorated with the first crossing by hovercraft. Taking a hovercraft between England and France was a reality for commercial passengers between 1968 and 2000, when a commercial hovercraft service offered transportation across the English Channel. … Continue reading This Week in Universal News: A Hovercraft Crosses the English Channel, 1959
The launch of Sputnik and the space race led to an era of optimism which influenced pop-culture in America and overseas. We imagined where we might live, the clothes we might wear and the cars we might drive. Words and phrases such as astro and space age entered our vocabulary as a way to describe … Continue reading Looking to the Future: Space Culture on Film
Let’s suppose you have a child, and that child loves puppet shows. You might decide to introduce your child to The Muppets Take Manhattan or the Thunderbirds television series. Or, you could introduce them to something much darker: a 1952 United States Information Agency (USIA) production titled Tomas and the Huks. Marionettes were fairly popular … Continue reading With Strings Attached: Rice, Murder, and Awkward Communist Puppets