President Harry S. Truman relieves General Douglas MacArthur of his Far Eastern commands after a series of major defeats. In sports, the first NBA All-Star Game is played in the Boston Garden. Jackie Brenston and His Delta Cats (actually Ike Turner’s Kings of Rhythm) enter a studio in Memphis to record “Rocket 88,” considered by many the first rock ’n’ roll record. Theaters see a string of sci-fi films, including The Man from Planet X, The Thing From Another World and The Day the Earth Stood Still. Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The King and I opens on Broadway and in Hollywood, All About Eve wins Best Picture at the 23rd Academy Awards.
The 1951 Bowman Mickey Mantle rookie card is considered the Hall of Famer’s true rookie card. This example, graded PSA Mint 9, sold for $750,000 at an April 2018 auction.
Alien-invasion movies were all the rage and among the most enduring is the Robert Wise classic The Day the Earth Stood Still. An original six-sheet theater poster for the movie sold for $38,240 at a November 2017 auction.
Nine years before he was elected president, Congressman John F. Kennedy took a seven-week trip to India, Japan, Vietnam and Israel. The special VIP passport issued to him by Secretary of State Dean Acheson sold at auction for $52,500 in November 2015.
J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye was an instant success when released, though its brooding story later landed it on banned-book lists. A first edition, presentation copy, inscribed by Salinger, sold for $27,500 at a March 2018 auction.
This article appears in the Winter 2019-2020 edition of The Intelligent Collector magazine. Click here to subscribe to the print edition.