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60 Year Anniversary: A Look at Life in 1954

This year, we are celebrating a pretty big milestone here at Auto Europe: It was 60 years ago that our company was founded. Looking back on our 60 year anniversary, we feel deep pride over the millions of clients we have helped save time and money on rental car travel. We broke new ground that year by providing travelers with the freedom to explore the incredible sights, sounds and tastes of Europe with competitively priced rental cars, but we must admit that other exciting things were also happening during that important time. Here’s a little more about the year we got our start:

In music, Dean Martin brought the romance of Italy to American audiences with his billboard hit That’s Amore, while Elvis performed his first commercial recording session. Jazz legends Luis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald and Miles Davis were still riding in the heights of their careers. Meanwhile, Les Paul commissioned the invention of the first eight track recording system, which brought forth the complex musical recordings to which we are now accustomed. The term ‘rock’n roll’ was used for the first time in the very same year!

1950's Celebrities and Photographers

Glamor and greatness in the 1950’s

Marilyn Monroe and Joe Dimaggio were wed early in 1954, only to divorce notoriously on October of the same year. The tabloid-style celebrity coverage of today is not dissimilar to the exhaustive press coverage the couple received during their brief nuptials. A whole nation got to experience both the romance and the heartbreak of the two appealing personalities.

Earnest Hemingway won the Nobel Prize for literature, two years following the publication of his last significant work, The Old Man and the Sea. The eloquent simplicity of the writers work will ensure readership for generations to come. As a travel fanatic, I am particularly fond of his journalistic coverage of the running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain! Other noteworthy literary achievements of the year include the publication of the first two Lord of the Rings books. In those books, Tolkien boldly asserted that “Not all those who wander are lost,” a line which any committed traveler will take deeply to heart.

Science fiction was a burgeoning film genre at this time, with gorgeous examples including, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Creature from the Black Lagoon. Perhaps a statement on the dire consequences of atomic experimentation from the country that experienced it, firsthand, the first Godzilla movie was premiered in a newly rebuilt Tokyo and preceded to rock American audiences with its innovative special effects. Those who were not shaken by the sci-fi offerings of the time may still have been riveted by Alfred Hitchcock’s deeply psychological thrillers. In 1954, Hitchcock released Dial M for Murder and Rear Window, both of which have aged wonderfully and receive much critical acclaim.

Right as the economic boom that followed the end of the Second World War increased people’s ability and desires to see the world, markets and technologies emerged to cater to this demand. In 1954, Boeing came out with a prototype for what would eventually become the 707 jet airliner, which would dominate the friendly skies through the 60’s and 70’s. At the same time, a Hyatt was built adjacent to the Los Angeles Airport (LAX), the first of a long-held and helpful trend of hotels right on airport grounds. You can check out our deals on convenient hotel bookings right on our web site!

Old Mercedes

Graceful and classic: The Mercedes 300SL

Switzerland held the fifth FIFA World Cup that year, an impressive multinational soccer tournament, which was ultimately won by West Germany in a close match against Hungary. 60,000 people were in attendance for that final match.

Mercedes released the iconic 300SL, a slick little coup with distinctive gull-wing doors. Aerodynamic and light, it had faced off against Ferraris and Jaguars on the racing circuit and established speed records. It was the first vehicle with fuel-injection available to consumers. Gasoline for such a vehicle would have cost approximately $0.29 per gallon. To this day, Auto Europe offers gorgeous luxury sports cars in destinations glamorous enough to match them.

Two wonderful things occurred in politics in 1954. The Supreme Court ruled unanimously in the famed case, Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, that school segregation is unconstitutional, marking a huge step forward in the area of civil rights. The same year saw the end of the McCarthy hearings, a devastating effort to find spies and subversives, which had ultimately ruined many promising lives.

TV and Dinner

Television technology and pre-made meals developed together.

Emergent technologies arrived with the promise of providing longer and simpler lives. Scientific advancement saw great strides in the areas of medical science, computer science and atomic technologies. Meanwhile, in more novel areas, the color TV arrived and shook viewer’s imaginations, in an astounding full-color 12” model, which sold for around $1,000. Not coincidentally, the same year saw the emergence of pre-made Swanson TV dinners, as well as the final episode of the 21-year run of the radio serial, The Lone Ranger.

While the world was quite different in 1954, many things remain the same. People still feel the primal call to explore the world, and Auto Europe is committed to helping them find the best parts of it! We now provide service to more than 8,000 convenient locations throughout the world, and looking to the future, we are keeping our eyes on the forefront of green travel and automobile innovation. Meanwhile, we have also seen huge strides in the way that travel planning is done, and we have been delighted to make it possible for our customers to quickly and easily make their reservations with our time-saving three-step online booking engine, or our palm-sized travel app. We’re here to help at any time, 24/7, online, or at our toll-free number 1-888-223-5555 for your travel needs of today and the years to come.

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One Response to 60 Year Anniversary: A Look at Life in 1954

  1. Diana says:

    Using these facts to make a poster for my mom’s 60th birthday party. Thanks!

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