1951 Events & Facts

What Happened in 1951?


  • North Korean offensive pushes beyond the 38th parallel; truce negotiations fail
  • Congress passes 22nd Amendment, limiting a President to two terms
  • Stalin claims the Soviet Union has the atomic bomb
  • Julius and Ethel Rosenberg convicted of passing U.S. nuclear secrets to the Soviet Union; both are sentenced to death
  • General Douglas MacArthur relieved of command in Korea
  • Sen. Estes Kefauver begins investigation of gambling and organized crime


  • Businessman J.S. Coxey leads unemployment protest in Washington


  • Mass production of penicillin and streptomycin reaches records
  • Electricity generated from nuclear power for the first time


  • World Series: New York Yankees over New York Giants, 4-2
  • Joe DiMaggio announces his retirement from baseball


  • Movies: The African Queen, An American in Paris, Strangers on a Train, A Streetcar Named Desire
  • Songs: Hello Young Lovers, Getting to Know You, Cry, Kisses Sweeter than Wine, In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening
  • TV Shows: I Love Lucy, Adventures of Ellery Queen, Captain Video, What’s My Line
  • Books: A Man Called Peter, Catherine Marshall; Lie Down in Darkness, William Styron; Desirée, Annemarie Selinko; From Here to Eternity, James Jones; The Caine Mutiny, Herman Woulk; The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger
  • Color television introduced; first color broadcast transmitted from CBS in New York
  • The King and I opens on Broadway
  • Robert Frost and Carl Sandberg both publish collections of poetry titled Complete Poems


  • In response to the growing popularity of television, movie theatres experiment with a variety of attractions, including wide-screen projection and 3-D effects
  • Cost of a gallon of gas was 19 cents


  • Sting, Sally Ride and Robin Williams were born


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