Prevailing wisdom seems to have it that the 1950s were dull, that this was a decade when the nation gazed down the long fairway of indifference and apathy. It was reputedly a peaceful, carefree time, years of numbing boredom between a terrible war and a social revolution. This is a canard, circulated most freely by those who weren't around in the '50s. Take it from someone who was very much there that these were years of constant change, of social turmoil, of excitement and wonder.
I give you the year 1954, one under consideration here for reasons only too apparent. And what a year it was, both in and out of sports. I know it was a year I'll never forget, and, later, I hope to explain why. Perhaps it was the same for you. So suppose we look at a few of the events and people of a time that for some of us seems like only yesterday.
THE FOUR-MINUTE MILE. Maybe the thrill has gone from those once magic words. This is the metric age in track, after all, and hardly anyone seems to run mile races anymore. Ah, but in 1954, the four-minute mile was the Holy Grail of running. It wasn't so much a goal as a barrier, as in the sound barrier, something to be broken through, presumably at great physical peril. And yet most experts of the time agreed that the problem of breaking through the barrier was more psychological than physical. Many runners had come close to it, but they all were eventually repulsed, as if held back by powers unseen and demonic. They all were, that is, until the drizzly afternoon of May 6, 1954, at the Iffley Road track, in Oxford, England. That was the day the clock was beaten.
November 15, 1989
The four-minute mile did not seem a realistic goal until the early 1930s when first Jules Ladoumègue of France (4:09.2) and then Jack Lovelock of New Zealand (4:07.6) ran it in under 4:10. Then, in 1934, Glenn Cunningham, the splendid middle-distance runner from Kansas, ran a 4:06.8. Britain's Sydney Wooderson lowered the record to 4:06.4 three years later, and, in the early 1940s, the great Swedish runners Arne Andersson and Gunder (the Wonder) H‚Äö√†√∂¬¨√ügg, alternated at lowering the record virtually every year until, in 1945, H‚Äö√†√∂¬¨√ügg ran a tantalizing 4:01.4. The four-minute mile had at last become a probability.
And yet H‚Äö√†√∂¬¨√ügg's record stood for another nine years. There were runners consistently approaching it, among them Australia's John Landy, who had run a 4:02.1, and another miler from Kansas, Wes Santee, who had done 4:02.4. But H‚Äö√†√∂¬¨√ügg's personal choice to break the barrier was a 25-year-old British medical student, Roger Bannister, who had done a paced 4:02. H‚Äö√†√∂¬¨√ügg said in March of '54 that Bannister had the courage and the brains to turn the trick.
But Bannister was apprehensive on the morning of May 6 in Oxford. It had been raining and there was a 15-mph crosswind. Bannister told his trainer, Franz Stampfl, that maybe he shouldn't run at all. Stampfl, who had been working with Bannister since November, was sure the time was ripe, and he argued that the foul weather might actually spur him on to greater exertions. There followed a conversation between these two gentlemen that ranged from psychology to philosophy to supernatural experience. Bannister finally agreed to run.
Stampfl had a plan. Bannister's teammates on the British Amateur Athletic Association team, Chris Brasher and Chris Chataway, were to take turns pacing Bannister, Brasher leading him through the first half mile, Chataway picking him up from there for as long as he could hold out. As if in league with the scheme, the skies cleared five minutes before the race. Brasher immediately took the lead, pulling Bannister to a swift 57.5 quarter mile. At 660 yards, Stampfl shouted to Bannister, "Relax!" Bannister reached the half mile in 1:58.2, on pace for a breakthrough. Chataway then took his turn as the rabbit and held on until Bannister, into his finishing kick now, swept by him with 300 yards to go. Head rolled back, face contorted in pain, Bannister broke through the tape and collapsed in exhaustion.
There was an anxious pause, broken only by the anticipatory mumbling of 1,200 spectators, and then the announcement came: "A time, which is a new meeting and track record and which, subject to ratification, will be a new English native, a British national, a British allcomers, European, British Empire and world's record. The time was three...." The rest was lost in pandemonium. Bannister had done it! He had run the mile in 3:59.4.
He had also opened the way for previously frustrated competitors everywhere. Six weeks later, Landy ran a 3:58 flat in Turku, Finland, and in August, Landy and Bannister ran the "Mile of the Century" at the British Empire Games in Vancouver, B.C., with Bannister winning in 3:58.8. The four-minute mile had become old hat. Bannister ran one more event and then retired to a career in medicine, his niche in sports history forever assured.
NEWS OF THE DAY. On May 17, in a unanimous decision read by Chief Justice Earl Warren, the U.S. Supreme Court rules that racial segregation in public schools is unconstitutional. The decision will force 21 states—17 where school segregation has been legal and four that have condoned it—to conform to federal law. It effectively launches the civil rights movement.
•Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin, whose name is already synonymous with demagoguery, gets his comeuppance from every corner. Edward R. Murrow exposes McCarthy's bullying and boorish Red-baiting in a devastating documentary for the TV program See It Now. Cartoonist Walt Kelly, in his enormously popular Pogo comic strip, mocks McCarthy as "Simple J. Malarkey." Boston lawyer Joseph Welch shames and embarrasses him during the otherwise aimless Army versus McCarthy Senate subcommittee hearings after McCarthy accuses Welch's law partner, Fred Fisher, of "serving the Communist cause." "Until this moment, Senator, I think I never really gauged your cruelty or your recklessness," an indignant Welch responds. "Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last?"
•The first nuclear-powered submarine, Nautilus, is launched Jan. 21 by Rear Admiral Hyman Rickover.
•Swanson introduces the first TV dinner.
•In an off-year election, the Democrats chide President Eisenhower for spending too much time on the golf course. Vice-President Nixon rises to his defense: "If the President spent as much time playing golf as Truman spent playing poker, he could beat Ben Hogan."
SLAMMIN' SAM AND THE HACKER. On April 9, Billy Joe Patton, a 31-year-old North Carolinian, became the first amateur in the 18-year history of the Masters to lead after the first two rounds, and he hung in there almost to the end, sinking a hole in one on the 190-yard 6th on the final day. But at the finish, those noble veterans, Sam Snead and Ben Hogan, both 41 at the time, were the only players left. They finished in a dead heat after regulation play. Snead won by a stroke in the 18-hole playoff. It was Slammin' Sam's third Masters title, and he entered the U.S. Open at Baltusrol in New Jersey convinced that his time, in what was for him a forever elusive tournament, had finally come. He was wrong.
Snead, in trouble from the start, watched helplessly as Hogan, 23-year-old Gene Littler and an old pro from St. Louis, Ed Furgol, passed him by. Furgol, 37, played with a true handicap. He had broken his left arm in a childhood accident, and the break never mended properly, the arm eventually withering. But Furgol persevered, using a bent-arm swing that made him look like a weekend hacker, which he definitely was not.
Littler went into the last day two strokes ahead of Hogan and Furgol. But Hogan dropped off the pace, and it looked as if Furgol would slip as well when, on the last hole, he hooked his drive deep into the rough where trees blocked his path to the green. Furgol, who had a one-stroke lead over Littler at the time, showed no signs of panic. Improvising brilliantly, he curled a long iron shot onto the next fairway. He reached the apron of the 18th green in three, chipped up smartly and sank a tricky downhill putt for par. Littler reached the final green in three and needed birdie 4 to tie Furgol, but he missed an eight-foot putt and lost by a stroke.
THE DOMESTIC FRONT. Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe are married in January, divorced in October. The marriage of "poor little rich girl" Barbara Hutton to Dominican diplomat and international playboy Porfirio Rubirosa lasts 73 days. He takes up with Zsa Zsa Gabor, who divorces actor George Sanders, her third husband. Asbestos heir Tommy Manville is separated from his ninth wife, one Anita Roddy-Eden Manville. Actress Ava Gardner splits with Frank Sinatra and, as Frankie grieves, takes up with bullfighter Dominguin. Bobo Rockefeller wins a $5.5 million divorce settlement from Winthrop Rockefeller and is romanced by Nevada hotelman Charlie Mapes. Eddie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, the cute couple of the year, are engaged.
TEE-VEE. I Love Lucy, Dragnet, The Life of Riley, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, What's My Line, You Bet Your Life, This Is Your Life, Mr. Peepers, Tonight, Arthur Godfrey and His Friends, That's My Boy, Omnibus, Studio One. In his book, Treadmill to Oblivion, published this year, radio comedian Fred Allen writes that anyone caught watching one of the new television game shows should be locked in his own house by federal authorities. Then, writes Allen, "with all the morons in America trapped, the rest of the population could go about its business."
I HEAR AMERICA SINGING. A hipper, harder-swinging Sinatra emerges from the bony body of the former kid crooner, and 27-year-old Tony Bennett is in full throat. But the charts are dominated by such bland pop singers as Kitty Kallen, Rosemary Clooney, Perry Como, Eddie Fisher, Joni James, the Ames Brothers, the Four Aces and Patti Page. Doris Day hits the Top 10 with Secret Love.
In teenage land, an ominous beat is heard. In the spring, a former disc jockey named Bill Haley records with his Comets a manic number entitled Rock Around the Clock. And on July 5, That's All Right is recorded by somebody named Presley.
BIG DROB AND LITTLE MO. He was one of the most unusual and entertaining tennis champions of his time. Jaroslav Drobny was a defector from Czechoslovakia who became a citizen of both Egypt and Great Britain. In 1948, a year before his defection, he had played on the Czech ice hockey team in the Winter Olympic Games in St. Moritz. At 32, he was considered somewhat past his prime and certainly over his head in the Wimbledon finals against the 19-year-old Australian sensation, Ken Rosewall.
In a marathon match, however, Drobny defeated Rosewall 13-11, 4-6, 6-2, 9-7. "That's it," Drobny said afterward. "From here on in, it will just be fun. I don't think I'll ever win again." And he never did.
At the age of 19, 1954 Wimbledon champion Maureen Connolly, affectionately called Little Mo, was the undisputed queen of women's tennis. Even before beating Louise Brough 6-2, 7-5 in the finals, she was already a two-time Wimbledon and three-time U.S. Open champion. In 1953, she became the first woman player to win the Grand Slam—U.S., Wimbledon, Australian and French championships. And tennis was not her only sport. She was also an enthusiastic and accomplished equestrienne. In 1954 she was riding her horse, Colonel Merryboy, on a sunny July day near her home in Southern California, when the animal was startled by a passing truck. Little Mo was wedged between the horse and the truck. Her left leg was crushed. She never played competitive tennis again, and she never fully recovered her health. She died of cancer in 1969 at the age of 34, on the eve of Wimbledon.
CARS. They're called Bugs, and you see them everywhere. In fact, Volkswagen becomes the fourth-largest automaker in the world this year. And foreign sports cars are the rage among the upwardly mobile. Hoping to get in on this apparent boom, Ford introduces a sports cars of its own, the Thunderbird, but soon ruins it by making it bigger. Bigness is the obsession of U.S. automakers. "Lower, longer, wider" is the prevailing theme, even though it is obvious, particularly in the burgeoning suburbs, that small cars are becoming the rage.
BROADWAY. Pajama Game, The Teahouse of the August Moon, The Solid Gold Cadillac, The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial, Fanny, Peter Pan (with Mary Martin), The Boy Friend, The Confidential Clerk (by T.S. Eliot).
FLICKS. At 30, Marlon Brando scores with both The Wild One and On the Waterfront, for which he will win the Academy Award. TIME says that he is the "supreme portrayer of morose juvenility." Other hits of the year: Three Coins in the Fountain, Dial M for Murder, The High and the Mighty, Rear Window, A Star Is Born (with Judy Garland singing her heart out), The Country Girl (Academy Award for Grace Kelly).
BOOKS. The Long Goodbye, Raymond Chandler; Casino Royale, Ian Fleming; The Return of Jeeves, EG. Wodehouse; Sweet Thursday, John Steinbeck; A Fable, William Faulkner; The Blackboard Jungle, Evan Hunter; No Time for Sergeants, Mac Hyman; The Bridge Over the River Kwai, Pierre Boulle; Lucky Jim, Kingsley Amis; The Doors of Perception, Aldous Huxley.
THE ROCK AND A HARD PLACE. In the ring, they were polar opposites, one a master boxer, the other a brawling slugger. Outside of it, they had much in common, for both were gentlemen, quiet and unassuming, even humble—strange birds when compared with the tedious braggarts who people the ring today. Each had beaten Joe Louis in the great champion's declining years, and each had said he was sorry he had to do it. They came from a tradition that deplored gloating over a fallen foe, particularly over one of such distinction.
Rocky Marciano and Ezzard Charles met twice in 1954, the fights exactly three months apart, on June 17 and Sept. 17. Marciano, the reigning heavyweight champion, won both bouts, and each fight was remarkable in its savagery. In the first fight, Charles, the former champ, held off Marciano's tauromachian assaults for the first seven rounds, slicing a mean cut over the Rock's left eye. Then, in the eighth, Marciano connected with a vicious right uppercut that caught Charles in the throat. The punch took his breath away, and from then on, he had trouble breathing. But he refused to go down under a relentless pounding, and he was standing at the bell ending Round 15, a noteworthy achievement in itself, since Marciano had knocked out 10 straight opponents before him.
Marciano won the decision, but Charles, considered by boxing fans up to that point to be something of a dispassionate mechanic, had won new respect for his bravery under fire. In the rematch, Charles took the fight to the champion, splitting his nose down the middle like an apple. But Marciano's ponderous blows soon sapped the challenger's strength, and Charles dropped in the eighth, the Rock's 41st KO in 47 fights.
Marciano knocked out two more contenders in '55, British heavyweight Don Cockell and light heavyweight champion Archie Moore, and then retired undefeated at the comparatively young age of 32. He also died young, in the crash of a small plane in 1969, the day before his 46th birthday. Charles fought another four years after Marciano, finishing as the winner in 96 of his 122 bouts. He died at 53, in 1975, of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Lou Gehrig's disease.
MEDICAL BULLETINS. Between 500,000 and a million youngsters are inoculated in the summer with a new polio vaccine developed at the University of Pittsburgh by the 39-year-old Dr. Jonas Salk.
•At the June convention of the American Medical Association in San Francisco, Edward Hammond, a statistician for the American Cancer Society, offers evidence that the incidence of lung cancer in smokers is three to nine times higher than for nonsmokers. But cigarette advertising ("LSMFT—Lucky Strike Means Fine Tobacco," "Pall Malls are made longer—to travel the smoke further") continues unabated.
•Pierre Mendès-France, the new French premier, suggests that his countrymen cut back on their wine consumption and drink milk instead. His proposal is greeted by howls of protest and derision.
SPORTS NOTES. Determine wins the Kentucky Derby, but the world of thoroughbred racing is saddened by the retirement of Native Dancer, the big gray, who lost only one race, the Kentucky Derby of 1953.
•Babe Didrikson Zaharias, who had a cancer operation in '53, wins the U.S. Women's Open golf tournament for the third time.
•Face masks on football helmets come into widespread use.
•The Detroit Red Wings win the Stanley Cup for the third time in five years, defeating the Montreal Canadiens four games to three.
•La Salle beats Bradley to win the NCAA basketball championship.
•Obscure incident in Louisville: On the corner of York and Fourth, a skinny 12-year-old has his new bicycle stolen. "If I catch the kid that took my bike, I'll whip him good," he tells a patrolman. The officer, who happens to be the supervisor of boxing for the Louisville Department of Recreation in his off-duty hours, invites the boy to come by the gym he operates. The young man's name: Cassius Marcellus Clay.
•The NBA adopts the 24-second clock just as George Mikan, the league's first superstar, announces the first of his two retirements. In the championship finals, the Minneapolis Lakers defeat the Syracuse Nationals four games to three.
•Frank Selvy of Furman scores a record 100 points in a 149-95 win over Newberry College.
DEATHS. Artist Henri Matisse, 84; actor Sydney Green-street, 74; editor Walter Howey, 72, the model for Walter Burns in the Hecht-MacArthur play The Front Page; William (Pudge) Heffelfinger, 86, Yale lineman who made Walter Camp's first All-America team in 1889; sportswriter Grantland Rice, 73, the Four Horsemen poet; gangster George (Machine Gun) Kelly, 59, at Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary; football coach Glenn Scobey (Pop) Warner, developer of both the single- and double-wing formations; Nobel Prize physicist Enrico Fermi, 53, atom pioneer; Jacques Brandenberger, 81, inventor of cellophane.
THE GRIDIRON. When he learned that three of his star players had been arrested for brawling and that another had been accused of rape, Michigan State football coach Duffy Daugherty responded philosophically: "Otherwise, our squad's behavior is as good as any in the country."
In the second quarter of the Cotton Bowl game of Jan. 1, 1954, Rice was leading Alabama 7-6 when Owls halfback Dickie Moegle broke loose on what appeared to be a certain touchdown run. Then, from out of nowhere, 'Bama fullback Tommy Lewis dragged him down. "From out of nowhere," in this instance, is not mere exaggeration, for when Moegle started his run, Lewis was out of the game, sitting on the Crimson Tide bench. What mad thoughts must have coursed through his mind as he saw the game and the season slipping away from his team! So he jumped off the bench and made the tackle as Moegle sped by. Rice was awarded a 95-yard touchdown, and the Owls went on to win the game, 28-6.
"I kept telling myself I didn't do it, but I knew I did," Lewis said afterward. "I guess I'm too full of Alabama."
Coach Frank Leahy resigned from Notre Dame because of illness after 11 years, 87 wins and five national championships at South Bend. He was replaced by 25-year-old Terry Brennan, a former running back for the Irish.
The co-national champions, according to the polls, were UCLA, coached by Henry (Red) Sanders, and Ohio State, under 41-year-old Woody Hayes.
The Cleveland Browns and Detroit Lions met for the third straight year in the NFL title game. The Browns avenged two previous defeats in a 56-10 laugher.
THE NEWS IN BRIEF. Ernest Hemingway, 54, suffers these injuries in two separate January plane crashes in Africa: three compressed vertebrae, ruptured kidney and liver, collapsed intestine, brain concussion, scalp burns, partial blindness. His suffering is assuaged in October when he is awarded the Nobel Prize for literature, primarily for his 1952 novel, The Old Man and the Sea.
•There's a war on in Vietnam, and the French lose it at Dien Bien Phu on May 8.
•Aristotle Socrates Onassis, a 48-year-old Greek shipping tycoon, converts a 325-foot frigate into his personal yacht and christens her Christina.
•An H-bomb test by the U.S. on March 1 in the Marshall Islands surprises even the Atomic Energy Commission when the explosion turns out to be three times stronger than expected. It is the biggest explosion set off by man, and it in turn sets off Ban the Bomb demonstrations throughout the world.
•The sudden proliferation of so-called "horror comics" provokes a congressional investigation.
•The Motion Picture Association of America lifts its censorship of the phrase go to hell in film dialogue.
•Boeing introduces its 128-foot-long 707, the country's first commercial jet passenger plane.
•The well-dressed American businessman wears a charcoal-gray flannel suit with pink shirt and regimental-striped tie.
•Kids everywhere begin wearing Davy Crockett coon-skin caps.
•Christian Dior inflicts on mankind "the flat look." It is deplored on two continents.
BASEBALL NOTES. The Red Sox lose both Mel Parnell, with a broken pitching arm, and Ted Williams, with a fractured collarbone, before the season is a full month old. Williams makes it back for a May doubleheader with the Tigers and goes 8 for 9, with a double and two homers.
•In a May 2 doubleheader against the Giants, Stan (the Man) Musial hits five home runs, a twin-bill record. And on July 31, the Braves' Joe Adcock hits four homers off four Dodger pitchers to become only the fifth player in major league history to hit four in a nine-inning game.
•The Orioles play their first season in Baltimore after moving from St. Louis, where they had been the Browns; the Braves play their second season in Milwaukee after moving in '53 from Boston. Then, after the season, industrialist Arnold Johnson buys the Athletics from Connie Mack's family in Philadelphia for $3.5 million and announces that he will move the team to Kansas City.
WILLIE. The Cleveland Indians were heavy favorites over the New York Giants in the World Series. The Indians won 111 games in '54 and had baseball's most imposing starting rotation in Early Wynn, Bob Lemon, Mike Garcia, Bob Feller and Art Houtteman. In the bullpen, manager Al Lopez had rookie sensations Ray Narleski and Don Mossi. Bobby Avila won the batting championship (.341), and Larry Doby led the league with 32 homers and 126 RBIs. Al Rosen (24 homers) and early-season acquisition Vic Wertz (15 homers) gave the Indians added sock.
The Giants had benefited from a preseason trade of pure genius. They sent 1951 hero Bobby Thomson to the Braves for a 23-year-old lefthander, Johnny Antonelli, who had been no better than 12-12 in '53. But Thomson broke his ankle in spring training and played in only 43 games all season. Antonelli won 21 for the Giants and led the league with a 2.30 ERA. Willie Mays led the National League in hitting with a .345 average and belted 41 homers. But it was Mays's glove that would do the Indians in—Mays's glove and pinch-hitter Dusty Rhodes's bat.
The first game was enough to demoralize the Indians. In the eighth inning, with two men on and the score 2-2, Wertz hit a mighty drive to dead centerfield in the cavernous old Polo Grounds off Giants lefty Don Liddle. Mays gave what appeared at first to be futile chase, running, it seemed, forever as the ball headed for deep center. But he reached up and caught it with his back to the infield, some 460 feet from home plate.
The Indians did not score, and in the 10th inning, Rhodes hit a ball about 200 feet shorter than Wertz's but down the short Polo Grounds foul line in right for a three-run homer that won the game. A ball that would have been a homer in any other ballpark was caught by a miracle man, and a ball that would have been caught in any other ballpark became the game-winning homer. The Indians never recovered and lost in four straight.
Mays's catch is now part of baseball legend. For me, your tour guide through 1954, it had a significance well beyond that.
MR. WONDERMENT. Willie caught that ball on Sept. 29, the very day I was released from the U.S. Army after two years of service as a reluctant draftee. I had fought the Korean War from behind a typewriter in West Germany, and now I was a free man at last. In short order, I got a job and found an apartment on San Francisco's Telegraph Hill. The job, as a public relations man for the Southern Pacific Company railroad, was not exactly what I had in mind, and I would soon leave it for newspaper work, but at the time, it didn't matter. The important thing was that I was out there on my own. And at 23, oh, how I thrived on it.
I would finish my nine-to-five stint writing unreadable releases about locomotives and then—most likely humming Little Things Mean a Lot—start a meandering stroll to my new home atop the hill. I would first stop at Paoli's bar a few blocks away from the office for a drink and a generous sampling of the free hors d'oeuvres served there. An enterprising youth such as I could pop back enough of those appetizers to render any thought of dinner irrelevant.
Properly gorged, I would resume my odyssey, stepping briskly up Kearny Street, the wind and the fog invigorating me. I would smile at the pretty girls who seemed then to be everywhere and nod politely at ordinary passersby. I was glad to be part of this passing parade, and my heart was as full as my stomach. I would turn left on Columbus Avenue, pass in front of Vesuvio's, the forerunner of the beatnik bars that were proliferating in San Francisco's North Beach neighborhood. Then it was up Grant Avenue to the top of the hill and the tiny, underfurnished, overpriced apartment I shared with an old Cal fraternity brother, Bob Vance.
Something wonderful and strange was happening on Grant Avenue then. The beats had arrived, and the street was suddenly alive with poets, musicians and artists. Jazz seemed to issue from every window. Was that Charlie Parker? Of course. And Diz? And the new guy, Miles?
The sounds mingled with the scent of pasta and wine that wafted out of all the little Italian restaurants on the street, holes-in-the-wall where a customer could eat all he wanted for less than a dollar. Maybe later, when the Paoli's hors d'oeuvres had been finally digested, Vance and I would take a couple of girls to one of these joints for dinner. Who cared how late we stayed?
Late at night, I would fall asleep to the reassuring moans of the foghorns on the bay. Tomorrow, I knew, would be rich with possibility.
It doesn't seem all that long ago. I rather think it never will.
IN SI'S WORDS
MILE OF THE CENTURY
The art of running the mile consists, in essence, of reaching the threshold of unconsciousness at the instant of breasting the tape. It is not an easy process, even in a set-piece race against time, for the body rebels against such agonizing usage and must be disciplined by the spirit and the mind. It is infinitely more difficult in the amphitheater of competition, for then the runner must remain alert and cunning despite the fogs of fatigue and pain; his instinctive calculation of pace must encompass maneuver for position, and he must harbor strength to answer the moves of other men before expending his last reserves in the war of the home stretch.
Few events in sport offer so ultimate a test of human courage and human will and human ability to dare and endure for the simple sake of struggle—classically run, it is a heart-stirring, throat-tightening spectacle. But the world of track has never seen anything quite to equal the "Mile of the Century" which England's Dr. Roger Gilbert Bannister—the tall, pale-skinned explorer of human exhaustion who first crashed the four-minute barrier—won here last Saturday from Australia's world-record holder, John Michael Landy. It will probably not see the like again for a long, long time....
At the Country Club of Detroit—the final match of the 54th annual United States Amateur championship...there was Arnold Palmer, 24, a compact five foot eleven, seven months out of the Coast Guard, the son of the professional at the Latrobe Golf Club in Latrobe, Pa., an industrial town 40 miles from Pittsburgh. Palmer had learned to drive the club's tractor when he was seven, grown up with golf, attended Wake Forest College before and after his three-year hitch in the Coast Guard, and earlier this summer had won his first important tournament, the All-American at Tam O'Shanter.
—SI, SEPT. 6
"I propose to anybody. I say it to a hatcheck girl. I say it to anybody...sort of as a form of introduction."
—THE OFT-MARRIED TOMMY MANVILLE