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The 1950s Business and the Economy: Chronology

1950:     January 11–March 5 Massive strikes rock the American coal industry.

1950:     February 8–9 The federal government orders motion picture companies to separate the production and distribution aspects of their business.

1950:     June 20 The housing industry reports that housing construction rose 52 percent over the same period in 1949.

1950:     August 25 President Harry S Truman directs the U.S. Army to run the nation's railroads to prevent a threatened strike by railroad unions.

1951:     April 9 The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) sanctions an agreement between American Telephone & Telegraph (AT&T) and Western Union to stay out of each other's business domain.

1951:     May 15 AT&T becomes the first American corporation with one million stockholders.

1952:     April 8 President Truman authorizes the takeover of the nation's $7 billion steel industry, to thwart a walkout by 650,000 steelworkers.

1952:     May–July 25 The steel strike ends, but workers walk out again when the U.S. Supreme Court rules that Truman's takeover was unconstitutional.

1953:      IBM introduces its first computer the 701.

1953:     November 26 Economic growth in the United States continues to rise, increasing by 5 percent ($368 billion) over 1952.

1954:     March 9 General Motors reports $10.2 billion in sales, topping all U.S. companies.

1954:     September–October Consumer credit increases for the sixth straight month, officially ending the recession.

1955:     February 2 The American Federation of Labor (AFL) and Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO), America's two largest labor unions, announce plans to merge.

1955:     May 2–6 American steel companies establish a one-week record for steel production by producing 2.32 million net tons of ingots and casting.

1955:     June 6–13 General Motors and Ford both consent to offer laid-off workers unemployment benefits for up to twenty-six weeks.

1955:     July 30 Congress increases the minimum wage to $1 per hour.

1955:     October 14 The Commerce Department announces that the U.S. annual national income has risen to record levels; the Securities and Exchange Commission reports that U.S. corporate working assets also have risen, to $100.6 billion as of June 30.

1956:     March 20 The AFL-CIO and Westinghouse settle their labor controversy, ending a 156-day-long strike.

1956:     June 30 The 650,000 members of the United Steelworkers of America union walk off their jobs. The strike is settled on July 27.

1956:     November 4 Personal income of Americans rises to a record annual rate of $330.5 billion.

1957:     May 20 The AFL-CIO ousts Teamsters Union president Dave Beck for mishandling union funds.

1957:     October 7 The value of farmland rises 8 percent over the previous year, to a record $112 million.

1957:     October 20 Dallas oilman H. L. Hunt is cited by the New York Times Magazine as the wealthiest American, with a fortune estimated at between $400 million and $700 million.

1957:     December 2 The initial Westinghouse-built atomic power plant opens for business in Shippingport, Pennsylvania.

1958:     March 16 The number of cars produced by the Ford Motor Company reaches the fifty-million mark.

1958:     April 16 The National Highway Act is signed into law, furnishing $1.8 billion in federal spending for super-highway construction.

1958:     July 16 Congress establishes the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), guaranteeing job opportunities for civilians in the burgeoning aerospace industry.

1958:     December 27 Department stores report a $10 million increase in sales over 1957.

1959:     January 19 President Eisenhower endorses the continuation of a 52 percent tax rate on corporate profits.

1959:     May The monthly production output of steel increases to a record 11.6 million tons.

1959:     July 15–December 31 The United Steelworkers of America strike at twenty-eight companies; despite intervention from President Eisenhower, the year ends without a resolution.

1959:     September 29 Forty-seven percent of all Americans over the age of fourteen smoke, much to the delight of a thriving tobacco industry.

1959:     October 1 Consumer credit rises to a record $47.2 billion.

The 1950s Business and the Economy: Chronology

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The 1950s Business and the Economy: Chronology