On May 22, 1957, stamp collectors headed to the post office to pick up the latest commemorative issue. The American Steel Industry was honored on its centennial with a beautiful blue image of an eagle soaring behind a crucible’s molten pour of the metal. The caption read, “America and Steel Growing Together”. The postage rate in 1957: 3¢.
On May 21, 1957, President Dwight D. Eisenhower delivered a radio and television address defending the inclusion of Mutual Security programs in the national budget. Military and economic aid to foreign nations was critical to US security, Eisenhower argued. Nations which were insufficiently able to defend themselves militarily against International Communism, or where poverty destabilized existing governments, leaving them vulnerable to communist takeovers, deserved our support. Eisenhower cited past foreign aid to Greece, Turkey, Iran, Guatemala, Jordan, and Vietnam as resulting in progress toward world peace and freedom.
“In this whole program, we do not seek to buy friends.
We do not seek to make satellites.
We do seek to help other peoples to become strong and stay free – and learn, through living in freedom, how to conquer poverty, how to know the blessings of peace and progress.
This purpose – I repeat – serves our own national interest.
It also reflects our own national character. We are stirred not only by calculations of self-interest but also by decent regard for the needs and the hopes of all our fellowmen. I am proud of this fact, as you are. None of us would wish it to by otherwise.
This is not mere sentimentality. This is the very nature of America – realistically understood and applied.
If ever we were to lose our sense of brotherhood, of kinship with all free men, we would have entered upon our nation’s period of decline. Without vision – without a quick sense of justice and compassion – no people can claim greatness.”
On May 20, 1957, American fighter pilot Milton Torres was ordered to fire on a massive UFO that had been detected by a Royal Air Force station on the southeastern tip of England, according to a typed manuscript by Torres currently held in Britain’s National Archives. The object initially moved erratically over the North Sea, but then picked up speed and disappeared from his radar screen, Torres stated. A mysterious man in civilian clothes cautioned Torres after the event, who advised him that “this would be considered highly classified and that I should not discuss it with anybody”.
On May 19, 1957, a F5 tornado roared through the Kansas City suburb of Ruskin Heights. Over the next two days, 57 tornadoes were reported from Colorado to the Mississippi Valley, killing 59 people, 44 from Ruskin Heights alone.
On May 17, 1957, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke in front of the Lincoln Memorial at the March on Washington. The occasion was the third anniversary of the Brown vs. Board of Education ruling by the Supreme Court. Dr. King commemorated that action and called for legislation to ensure African-Americans the right to register and vote. Fully eight years later, the Voting Rights Act became the law of the land.
“The denial of this sacred right [to vote] is a tragic betrayal of the highest mandates of our democratic traditions and it is democracy turned upside down. So long as I do not firmly and irrevocably possess the right to vote I do not possess myself. I cannot make up my mind – it is made up for me. I cannot live as a democratic citizen, observing the laws I have helped to enact – I can only submit to the edict of others.”
Martin Luther King, Jr
On May 15, 1957, Britain exploded a “nuclear device” at high altitude over Christmas Island. This first in a series of tests was part of a thermo-nuclear weapons program started in December, 1954. The program goal was to develop a megaton hydrogen bomb.