1952 – “The Liberace Show” is first broadcast

Liberace was one of the first of a new breed of entertainer in post war America. He saw that television would displace radio as the dominant medium, and that his own act, with its intensely visual aspects, would be well-suited to it. But his initial efforts to find success on the box did less well than he had hoped – guest spots on variety shows didn’t seem to help that much.

On July 1, 1952, he screened a fifteen minute first episode of “The Liberace Show”, which soon went on to become a syndicated series – and to net Liberace a small fortune (he got as much as 80% of the residuals in some markets). Soon, Władziu Valentino Liberace was a household name – or at least, his surname was, and he became one of the best known entertainers of his era, a legend in his own time.

Referenced in:
We Didn’t Start The Fire — Billy Joel

1952 – Eisenhower announces his candidacy for President of the USA

Eisenhower didn’t originally want to run for President. He’d been repeatedly urged to by Harry Truman over the previous years, but Harry wanted Ike to be a Democrat, and Ike’s family were dyed-in-the-wool Republicans. At one point, he retorted to Truman that if he was going to run, it would be as a Republican, not a Democrat.

When word of that got out, Henry Cabot Lodge entered Eisenhower’s name on the ballot for the New Hampshire Primary without Ike’s knowledge. Garnering considerable popular support and a number of endorsements in newspaper editorials, Ike did no campaigning, saying only that if he won, he would contest the election. Eisenhower easily emerged victorious, winning 50% of the votes on March 11, 1952. The next day, he announced that he would indeed run, and come November, he was elected the 34th President of the United States.

Referenced in:
Dr Jeep — Sisters of Mercy

1952 – Einsteinium is first created

Einsteinium is a completely artifical element (atomic number 99) with a very short half-life (a about 1 and a third years). It was first discovered in the fallout from the detonation of the world’s first hydrogen bomb, code Ivy Mike, detonated at Enewetak Atoll on November 1, 1952.

As a trans-uranic element, it is extremely radioactive. It has no known applications other using it to develop other extremely radioactive trans-uranic elements with even higher atomic numbers – so far, it has been employed successfully in the creation of mendelevium (atomic number 101) and unsuccessfully in the attempted creation of ununennium (atomic number 119).

Referenced in:

The Fez — The Dead Milkmen

1952 – The first full test of a Hydrogen bomb is made

The bomb was code-named “Ivy Mike”. It was the first test of the Teller-Ulam bomb design, which produced yield estimated in the range of 10.4–12 Megatons (450 times as powerful as the Nagasaki bomb) when it was detonated on Elugelab Island in the Enwetak Atoll, in the Ralik chain of the Marshall Islands.

It was the first successful Hydrogen Bomb test by either side, the first fusion bomb, and the acquisition of this technology by the United States marked an escalation in the arms race of the Cold War – a little over nine months later, the Soviet Union would detonate a fusion bomb of its own.

Referenced in:

We Didn’t Start The Fire — Billy Joel

1952 – Rocky Marciano becomes world Heavyweight Champion

Rocky Marciano had been a professional boxer for only a little over four years when he defeated Jersey Joe Walcott in Philadelphia. The 29 year old boxer defeated Walcott in a round 13 knockout, after a slow start that saw him behind on points for most of the bout.

Marciano would hold the World Heavyweight Champion title for three and a half years, successfully defending it six times before he retired from professional boxing on April 27, 1956. (Floyd Patterson would be the next holder of the title.)

Referenced in:

We Didn’t Start The Fire — Billy Joel

He was also, in name only, the inspiration behind a certain series of Sylvester Stallone movies

1952 – Eva Peron dies of cancer

Maria Eva Duarte was born in Argentina in 1919. In 1934, she moved to the capital Buenos Aires, where she acheived fame on the stage, on radio and in film as an actress.

In 1945 she married Colonel Juan Peron, who was elected President of Argentina the following year. She became a very important figure in the government of Argentina, running the Ministries of Labor and Health, founding and running the charitable Eva Perón Foundation, championing women’s suffrage in Argentina (which was granted in 1947), and encouraging women to be involved in politics thereafter.

She was nominated to run for the office Vice-President of Argentina in 1951, but her failing health (among other reasons) led her to decline the nomination. Eva died in 1952, and was buried with full state honours. She remains a powerfully inspirational figure in Argentina and elsewhere, albeit a sometimes controversial one.

Referenced in:

Montage – chorus of “Evita”