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Chapter Two

Chapter Two

What Happened In 1951?

  1. The United States government began nuclear bomb testing at a test site in Nevada.
  2. The first direct-dial coast-to-coast telephone call was made.
  3. The popular television show "I Love Lucy" premiered on CBS.
  4. Development of Birth Control Pill.
  5. The popular film "The Day the Earth Stood Still" debuted.
  6. The Disney film adaptation of Alice in Wonderland debuted in theaters.
  7. The first commercial computer, UNIVAC, was installed and operated at the U.S. Census Bureau.
  8. Experimental Breeder Reactor-I (EBR-I) began operating in Idaho.
  9. The Festival of Britain opened at the Royal Festival Hall.
  10. First Color Television Pictures were broadcast from the Empire State Building.

Cost of Living

Some interesting facts about the cost of living the year I was born make me feel old! It doesn't matter that I am, by the way. It's just amazing how much the cost of living has increased during my lifetime.

In the late ’40s, the National School Lunch Act required school lunches to include 1/2 to 2 pints of whole milk, causing the price of milk to leap. In the home kitchen, processed foods became more popular. For example, cake mix was introduced in 1950.

Back in 1951, spending $1 would be more like spending $12.68 today.

  • A loaf of bread cost $.14 in 1951.
  • A gallon of milk was about $.83 (that seems high).
  • A cup of coffee:
  • Eggs were about 60¢ per dozen (about $6.40 in today's dollars).
  • Ground beef was about $.63 per pound. I remember buying it for $.79/pound (on sale) when we married; the average price was about $.99/pound.
  • Sirloin Steak was $.77/pound.
  • A first-class stamp was only $.03.
  • A new Ford car could be bought for $1339-$2262.
  • A gallon of gas was $.20/gallon! Wow!!!
  • Six bottles of Coca Cola were $.36!
  • Average income was about $3,216/year.

A New Home in 1951

Mortgage Ads in the 50s with monthly payment of $47.92


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