Search Individual media Reference department
Quotations department Media department Reference department
< previous | next >
1957 Chronokey Chronomedia index
Numbers after entries link to the list of references.


links and notes
  Cultural highlights | Predictions made this year  
January 6  In his third (and final) appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show on CBS Television, Elvis Presley is shown from the waist up only.  
January 19  Second Australian commercial television station, GTV-9, officially opens in Melbourne. > 1959
January 21  First major use of videotape recording, for the second inauguration of President Dwight D Eisenhower. Ampex VTR machines become available for purchase, costing around $45,000.  
•  NBC uses videotape for first time in broadcasts. To begin with, video recordings can only be played back with the same magnetic recording heads that they are recorded by. Video heads are thus stored with the recordings ready for playback. All early recordings are backed up by film recordings.  
February  In its first issue of the month, BBC programme listings magazine Radio Times reverses the order of sections, bringing television ahead of radio.  
February 13  UK's Postmaster-General, now Ernest Marples, is authorised by the Treasury to pay the BBC a percentage of the net revenue collected from broadcast receiving licences rather than to retain a fixed amount each year as hitherto. For the period from 1 April to 31 March 1960 the BBC will receive 87½ per cent.  
February 16  UK's Postmaster-General abolishes the so-called 'toddlers' truce', the break in television broadcasting at 18:00-19:00 each day that was intended to allow parents to get their younger children to bed.  
February 18  Implementing recent authorisation, UK television broadcasting hours are revised and the evening closedown period at 18:00-19:00 is abolished (the so-called 'toddlers' truce', allowing parents time to get children off to bed with no televisual distraction), except on Sundays. Programmes may also continue after 23:00. On Sundays the 16:15-19:25 break remains, as does the rule about no programmes before 14:00.  
February 26  British Commonwealth International Newsfilm Agency is formed by the BBC, Rank Organisation, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) and Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC) to produce and distribute news film for broadcasters and others.  
February  In the UK, the ITV network vetoes commercials for haemorrhoid treatments and allows adverts for toilet paper only after 21:30. Associated-Rediffusion further stipulates that toilet rolls can only be shown in the wrapping.  
March 13  BBC Overseas Service begins transmissions in the Hausa language.  
March  British viewers, now estimated to number 19.5m adults, spend nearly 40 per cent of each evening watching television. Where two services are available, two-thirds of the time is spent watching ITV.  
March  San Francisco International Film Festival established.  
April 1  BBC Television's Panorama current affairs strand broadcasts a report on the spaghetti harvest in southern Switzerland.  
April  ABC network in US begins use of Ampex machines for broadcasts.  
May 2  Radio [Television] Brunei begins radio transmissions. Nightly programmes (20:00-20:45) can be heard for a five-mile radius around the capital.  
May 13  Independent television in UK begins trial schools broadcasts, ahead of the planned BBC experiment. Associated Rediffusion donates 100 television sets to London schools. One programme a day is transmitted; 85 schools in London and the Midlands are said to be watching > September 22
May 23  FCC decides it has power to authorise subscription television services in US if it is in the public interest but does not decide whether this would still be classified as ‘broadcasting’. > October 17
May 27  US release of That’ll Be the Day by The Crickets (led by Buddy Holly), which was recorded on February 24/25.

 
May 28  Sir Arthur fforde, headmaster of Rugby School (1948-1957), is appointed to succeed Sir Alexander Cadogan as chairman of the BBC board of governors with effect from 1 December.  
May  ABC Television in UK announces purchase of television rights in 25 films produced by Alexander Korda.  
June 25  Norwegian parliament votes to begin a national television service; regular experimental programme service comes into operation until official launch.  
June 27  BBC Overseas Service begins radio transmissions in Swahili.  
late June/early July  Buddy Holly and The Crickets record several classics including Peggy Sue, Listen to Me and Oh Boy!  
July 18  BBC Overseas Service begins radio transmissions in the Somali language.  
July 22  Independent Television Authority (ITA) awards the ITV franchise for the South of England to a consortium formed by the Rank Organisation, Associated Newspapers and the Amalgamated Press. From a transmitter at Chillerton Down on the Isle of Wight, it will reach an area from Weymouth to Brighton and inland to Newbury.  
July 25  Prime Minister Harold Macmillan announces that the '14-day rule' about television discussion of pending parliamentary debates will be suspended indefinitely.  
July  First Asian Broadcasters’ Conference held in Tokyo.  
August 1  Excise duty of £1 is added to the UK television licence fee, making a total of £4. • TV licence fee
> 1963
August 31  Central Scotland area Independent Television begins from Black Hill transmitter. The Programme company is Scottish Television.  
September 7  NBC introduces the animated version of its 'peacock' television logo at the start of Your Hit Parade.  
September 7 and 14  Elvis Presley has three records in the UK top 10: All Shook Up (4,5), Teddy Bear (7,10), Paralysed (10,9).  
September 8  Pope Pius XII promulgates his encyclical Miranda Prorsus (On The Communications Field: Motion Pictures, Radio, Television). 'They should serve the spread of truth so that the bonds between peoples will be made closer, so that men will have better mutual understanding and will assist one another in time of crisis, and, finally so that there will be genuine cooperation between public authority and individual citizens.'  
September 20  Buddy Holly’s first hit single—Peggy Sue and Everyday—is released in the US, giving him simultaneous success both as a solo artist and with his group, The Crickets.  
September 22  Following its earlier experiment, Associated Rediffusion begins a regular television service for English secondary schools in ITV regions, broadcast daily for 30 minutes at 14:45.  
September 24  BBC Television for Schools begins, based at Alexandra Palace. Programmes are transmitted at 14:00-14:30 daily.  
September 30  Network Three is introduced as a new radio service by BBC, catering for hobbies and enthusiasms and broadcast for 60-90 minutes on six days a week before the start of Third Programme transmissions, the hours for which are reduced to 20:00-23:00 (17:00-23:00 on Sundays). More serious music is included on the Home Service, to which some Light Programme output is also moved. The Light Programme begins at 07:00 rather than 09:00, the extra time devoted to light and popular music. The changes are to make economies in radio broadcasting to pay for the expansion of television.  
October 1  BBC introduces new radio broadcasting schedules. The Third Programme hours are cut by 40 per cent.  
October 4  Sputnik 1Sputnik 1, the first artificial earth-orbiting satellite, is launched from Baikonur, Kazakhstan. It orbits the Earth every 96.2 minutes at a speed of 18,000 mph, emitting a beeping telemetry beacon signal. Hear the signal (opens in new window)

1958 January 4
October 11  Jodrell Bank radio telescope is opened in Cheshire, England by Manchester University, the largest such instrument in the world.  
October 14  First opening of the Canadian parliament by a reigning monarch is televised by CBC.  
October 17  Federal Communications Commission (FCC) states its intention of allowing subscription television experiments on certain conditions. > 1960
October 26  First broadcast of Vatican Radio.  
October  Throughout the month, Elvis Presley has four singles in the UK top 20: All Shook Up, Paralysed, Teddy Bear and Let’s Have a Party.  
October  RCA and Ampex demonstrate prototype colour quadruplex videotape recorders after announcement of a joint patent exchange covering video recording in monochrome and colour.  
October  Olympic Kinematograph Laboratories in School Road, Acton, London is acquired by Rank Laboratories.  
October  National Film Theatre opens on London’s South Bank, replacing the Festival of Britain’s Telekinema.  
November 3  Sputnik 2, the second artificial earth-orbiting satellite, is launched by the Soviet Union, carrying the dog Laika. 1958 April 14
November 7  Sir Ivone Kirkpatrick succeeds Sir Kenneth Clark as chairman of UK’s Independent Television Authority.  
November 13  Gordon Gould (1920-2005), a doctoral research student at Columbia University, New York (and former worker on the Manhattan Project), completes a design for a light-emitting version of the microwave emitting maser, to which he gives the name laser (Light Amplication by the Stimulated Emission of Radiation). He conceived the basic idea in a flash of inspiration four nights earlier. Gould was awarded the patent that he had neglected to apply for through a misunderstanding, in 1987.  
November 16  Elvis Presley still has four records simultaneously in the UK top 20, three of them new since October: Let’s Have a Party (2), Lawdy Miss Clawdy/Tryin’ to Get to You (12), Santa Bring Back My Baby to Me (16), Teddy Bear (19).  
November 21  First London Film Festival opens at the National Film Theatre.  
November  Television service starts in Portugal.  
November  Experimental television transmissions by BBC from Alexandra Palace on 625-line Band V UHF.  
November  Experimental FM radio broadcasting on the VHF band started by NHK in the Tokyo area.  
December 6  First US attempt to launch a space satellite fails as the launcher blows up on the launch pad at Cape Canaveral, Florida.  
December  Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) adopts the Westrex format for stereophonic LP discs, rejecting the Decca alternative.  
December 25  Queen's Christmas message 1957The Queen’s Christmas Message is seen on British television for the first time. 'My own family often gather round to watch television, as they are at this moment, and that is how I imagine you now.'
[Picture source: BBC]
< 1952
• MGM’s Cinema 65 film production format is used for the biblical epic Ben-Hur.  
• MGM closes its animation production unit, ostensibly because of the challenge of television, but this is the first year ever in which the company makes a loss. Two MGM animation producers, William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, set up their own studio.  
• Around 85 per cent of all North American cinemas are now equipped to show CinemaScope. All major studios use the format except Paramount, which uses its own VistaVision.  
• Rank Organisation establishes a US subsidiary, Rank Film Distributors of America. > 1959
• Federation of British Filmmakers is founded as an alternative to the British Film Producers’ Association. > 1967
• ITV's audience is now 4m. [0063] < 1955
• BBC Natural History Unit is formed at its Bristol studios.  
• Cinematograph Films Act puts the Eady levy on UK cinema admissions on a statutory basis and specifies its beneficiaries: makers of British films, the Children’s Film Foundation, the National Film Finance Corporation.  
• Former RKO studios are sold by General Tire and Rubber to up-and-coming Desilu company which produces I Love Lucy.  
• First TV commercial on videotape is recorded.  
• Compagnie Luxembourgeoise de Tιlιdiffusion (CLT) builds an eight-storey block for television production.  
• By now, television household penetration has reached 26 per cent in Melbourne and 12 per cent in Sydney.  
• Television service starts in Romania. Television service start dates
• Since the first US educational television station opened in 1953 on FCC-reserved channel, only 20 have opened to date.  
• First regular UK television audience measurement contract is awarded to TAM (Television Audience Measurement) for five years, using metered sets. > 1968
• Some 82 per cent of all US households have television sets and 98 per cent have radios.  
• Video recording team at Toshiba develops a prototype helical scan machine, model VTR-0.  
• Bob and Betsy Magness open their second cable television relay business, service 7,000 homes in Plainview, Texas.  
• Radio service starts in Mali.  
• Own radio service starts in the Faroe Islands.  
• UK popular newspaper circulations continue to rise: Daily Mirror is up to 4.659m, Daily Express 4.18m.  
< previous | next >

Page updated 11 June 2009
© David Fisher