An Almanac of Victories, Disasters, Heroes and Hurrahs
Events, jolting and stirring, historic and whimsical, have come thick and fast since LIFE began publication. On this and the following pages is a remarkable kaleidoscope of images that have defined and illuminated the past five decades. The chart reflects a time of global war and international harmony, devastating poverty and unprecedented prosperity, inspired silliness and profound creativity. These pictures of the champions and the villains, the news and the trends come straight from the pages of LIFE.
Each year is observed from seven viewpoints: the big headline; the box office champ or critical success from show business and best selling books to athletes and politicians; the outstanding scientific breakthrough or creative innovation; the twosome that endeared itself to the nation; the disaster natural or man-made; the individuals who sparked the imagination of their day, sometimes for a single accomplishment, sometimes for a life's work; and, finally, the style that emerged as the most fetching or the fad that was as irresistible as it was ephemeral. Read down for a capsule look at a single year, across for a scan of the particular category. Either way , the chart is a colorful synopsis of a vibrant, hard-charging half century.
Mother Teresa wins Nobel Peace prize for work with sick and poor in India.