Link to An American Adventure Chapters 12 through 16
The 1950s represent the true beginning of the modern Communication Age, as millions upon millions of Americans, with newfound upward mobility and a peacetime economic boom subscribe to telephone service for the first time. With the uptick in usage, there is also an urgent need for upgraded infrastructure to handle the ever-increasing consumption of electricity. Construction companies who can quickly shift gears and successfully master new lines of enterprise to help meet that demand will benefit handsomely. Henkels & McCoy, with its influx of new talent, young executives and a growing workforce is one such company. The 1950s also mark the Golden Age of Television, as millions of Americans purchase the new, more affordable television sets. Henkels & McCoy is instrumental in the birth and proliferation of Cable TV, as events will soon prove.
Henkels & McCoy performs crucial work for the 1950 Boy Scout Jamboree in Valley Forge State (now National) Park in Pennsylvania by helping to build a temporary "city" of tents. Attended by more than 50,000 Scouts and addressed by President Harry S. Truman and by General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the seven-day event represents a significant milestone in our history. H&M lays 10 miles of water pipe, runs 20 miles of electric line, installs floodlighting, builds 4,000 latrines and 1,400 showers, and erects over 700 tents. Afterward, the site is restored to its pristine, pre-Jamboree state. In addition, because the construction was performed so efficiently, each attending Scout was refunded $14.50 from the original $40 entrance fee...
In 1950 Paul Henkels opens an office in Erie, Pennsylvania to serve the independent telephone industry. H&M installs bituminous paving at the new VA hospital in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. and completes a two-year project installing new mercury vapor street lighting for the City of Philadelphia in the downtown area. It is the nation's first such major installation and a feather in our cap... We install floodlighting with six 100-feet poles at Erie Stadium... Our work with independent phone companies for clients such as Pennsylvania Telephone Corporation, Home Telephone Company of Ridgway, Jamestown Telephone, and Sussex Telephone Company includes cable splicing, station installation and conduit and manhole installs... We also install a surveillance radar tower for the Civil Aeronautics Administration at the growing Philadelphia Airport.
Several million dollars are taken from an armored car in Boston during the Great Brinks Robbery.
President Truman details plans to develop the hydrogen bomb.
Albert Einstein cautions the great powers of the world that nuclear war could lead to mutual destruction.
Stakes are raised in the Cold War as the USSR announces that it possesses atomic weapons. The once unbelievable -- and previously unthinkable -- now becomes a deadly possibility. Restraint and courage on both sides of the front line must be exercised to prevent nuclear war from becoming a world-killing certainty.
President Truman removes General Douglas MacArthur (left) as head of US Far East Command.
President Truman authorizes $15 million in economic and military aid to the French, who are fighting to retain control of French Indochina, including present day Vietnam. As part of the aid package, Truman also sends 35 military advisers.
Communist North Korean troops invade South Korea.
President Truman orders US troops to aid in the defense of South Korea.
June 30-July 6
Boy Scout Jamboree, Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. See above notes.
Initial battle between US and northern Korean forces takes place.
Scientists use atomic energy to make electricity without using boiling water or dynamos.
Arrests of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg (right) announced. The husband and wife are accused of supplying atomic secrets to the Communists.
Florence Chadwick swims across the English Channel in less than 14 hours.
Peanuts comic strip makes its debut in newspapers.
The first license to broadcast TV in color is granted to CBS.
Assassination attempt on President Truman at the Blair House by Puerto Rican nationalists.
US pilot shoots down two North Korean planes in what is regarded as the first ever jet dogfight.
Shirley Temple retires from the entertainment business.
President Truman raises the possibility of using atomic weapons in Korea.