The Johnson County High School Class of 56 held its annual reunion Saturday, September 12 in the First United Methodist Church fellowship hall in Mountain City. It was the 59th year since graduation.
Nineteen-Fifty-Six was a very good year. The duo of Conrad Ward and Bobby Long had a very interesting program with a number of songs of the 50s era. Next up were Kerry Gentry and his wife, Sandra. They too put on a program consisting of songs of the 50s. Both programs were delightful in that they brought back memories of a more carefree time. The Levi Retirees provided the food and it was delicious.
Thinking back on the year of our graduation, I began to wonder what were some of the important events that took place in the year 1956. I did a little research and came up with information I had forgotten or never knew.
Elvis Presley was popular then after signing with RCA in 1955. It was in 1956 that Presley made his movie debut. He was cast in a supporting role in the movie, Love Me Tender. The title song was widely played. Presley also was featured on television several times in 1956. It was also the year that Presley recorded Dont Be Cruel, and Hound Dog. Nineteen-fifty-six also saw the advent of television news when the Huntley-Brinkley Report began. It was a 30-minute news broadcast.
It was the year that Abigail Van Burens column Dear Abby, began appearing in newspapers. The late Buddy Holly recorded, Blue Days Black Night, in Nashville. Holly, who was killed in a plane crash in 1958, was very influential in the Rock And Roll era. On March 14, the first commercial Videotape Recorder was shown.
Dwight D. Eisenhower was president in 1956. He served two terms (1953-1961). One of the most momentous happenings was President Eisenhowers signing of the Federal Aid Highway Act. The act authorized spending $33,500,000,000 over the next 13 years for highway construction. This was the beginning of the Federal Highway systems Interstate Highways that makes driving so much easier.
It was in 1956 that the transistor was invented that made possible the miniaturization of many electronic devices. Scientists William B. Shockley, Walter H. Brattain and John Bardeen received the Nobel Prize for that bit of work. President Eisenhower handily won re-election by a wide margin over Democrat candidate Adlai Stevenson.
In sports, New York Yankees Don Larsen pitched the first perfect game since 1922 and the only no-hitter in a World Series game.
So you see, a lot of important events happened during 1956. The graduating of the Class of 56 was one.