Demopolis High School
Class of 1954
The Class of 1954 held their 50th year reunion on April 2-3, 2004. To reach a 50 year milestone in doing anything is quite an accomplishment. We salute the Class of 1954 with these pictures and hope that they bring back memories for everyone. Because there was not a school annual for 1954, we have captured pictures from a previous year.
Class of 1954 Sophomore Year
Toby Koch & Susan Culpepper
There Was A Lot Going On In 1954!
The population of the U.S. is now 163,025,854. In 1954, women can expect to reach the age of 73 years while men can expect to live to an average of more than 66 years. The median salary is $3,200. and a loaf of bread costs 22 cents. A pound of butter goes for 79 cents, a dozen eggs, 57 cents and a quart of milk costs 24 cents.
The launch of the nuclear powered submarine, Nautilus, signals a whole new way of patrolling the World's oceans. The Boeing Aircraft Company conducts its first test flight, on July 15, of the new Model 707 jet liner. This gigantic plane capable of flying high, long and far with a huge payload changes commercial aviation for good.
The Academy Award for best picture in 1954 goes to Elia Kazan's 'On The Waterfront'. It features a star studded cast including Marlon Brando, Karl Malden and Lee J. Cobb. Alfred Hitchcock and Grace Kelly are having a good year. Two of Hitchcock's movies, 'Dial M for Murder' and 'Rear Window' are released this year. Both feature Grace Kelly.
'The Glenn Miller Story' with James Stewart and June Allyson, 'Young at Heart' with Doris Day and Frank Sinatra, 'Seven Brides for Seven Brothers with Howard Keel and Jane Powell and a cream puff comedy 'Doctor in the House' with Dirk Bogarde and Kenneth More are some of the feel-good movies of the year.
On January 14, New York Yankees baseball star Joe DiMaggio is married to Hollywood bombshell, Marilyn Monroe. It is feared that a clash between the two egos will not make for a lasting union. In February, the first mass trials of the newly developed Salk vaccine begins in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Although the threat of the disease is very real, an element of hucksterism is creeping into the program.
On May 13, President Eisenhower signs into law the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Act. It marks the start of a joint project with Canada to make inland ports like Duluth, Minnesota accessible to ocean going vessels using the St. Lawrence River.
On the 17th the U.S. Supreme Court issues a landmark decision, the "Brown versus Board of Education of Topeka" ruling. Handed down by Chief Justice Earl Warren, it states that "Separated educational facilities are inherently unequal.". The decision overturns the "Separate but Equal" ruling in the matter of "Plessy vs. Ferguson" dating back to 1896.
On July 4, Marilyn Sheppard is found murdered by her husband, Sam. The events surrounding the case lead to a long running television show, "The Fugitive". Also in July on the 12th, President Eisenhower first touches on his plan to construct a nation wide Interstate Highway system. It is presented as necessary to the Nation's defense.
In South Bend, Indiana the writing is on the wall for workers at the Studebaker auto plant. On August 10 they agree to take pay cuts of from $12. to $20. weekly in an attempt to help the faltering automaker. The plan buys the company a little more time as does its merger with Packard. Ten years later it will all be proven in vain when the company closes for good.
On November 30, Elizabeth Hodges was napping on her couch in Sylacauga, Alabama, when an eight-and-a-half pound rock crashed through her roof, hit her arm, and left a nasty bruise. The rock, it turns out, had come straight from outer space and was probably part of the annual Leonids meteor showers, which occur about this time every year.
1954 was not just the year for this class to make a monumental accomplishment. July 5, 1954 is the date credited with true Rock 'n Roll being born. It was on this date that Bill Haley's "Rock Around The Clock" made it to the top of the charts. That little group from Chester, Pennsylvania started something that would change the world. The background music on this page is Rock Around the Clock. If you would like to hear Bill Haley's recording of Rock Around the Clock then click [here]. It will take a few minutes to download unless you have a high speed connection.
Top Ten Songs From 1954
|Sh-Boom - Crew-Cuts|
|Little Things Mean A Lot - Kitty Kallen|
|Oh! My Papa - Eddie Fisher|
|Wanted - Perry Como|
|Mr. Sandman - Chordettes|
|Make Love To Me - Jo Stafford|
|Hey There - Rosemary Clooney|
|Secret Love - Doris Day|
|This Ole House - Rosemary Clooney|
|I Need You Now - Eddie Fisher|