We Didn't Start the Fire lyrics
- Harry Truman:
1948: Harry Truman wins the 1948 United States presidential election following a partial term after the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt.
- Doris Day:
1948: Doris Day debuts in film in Romance on the High Seas, featuring the popular song "It's Magic".
- Red China:
1949: "Red China" is established by the Communist Party of China, which wins the Chinese Civil War.
- Johnny Ray:
1949: The rock and roll progenitor Johnny Ray signs his first recording contract with Okeh Records.
- Walter Winchell:
1949: Walter Winchell, an influential radio and newspaper journalist, begins to denounce communism as the main threat facing America.
- South Pacific:
1949: The award-winning musical South Pacific opens on Broadway.
- Joe DiMaggio:
1949: Joe DiMaggio signs a record-breaking $100,000 contract with the New York Yankees.
- Joe McCarthy:
1950: Joe McCarthy, a U.S. Senator, gains national attention and begins his anti-communism crusade with his Lincoln Day speech.
- Richard Nixon:
1950: Richard Nixon is first elected to the United States Senate.
1950: Studebaker, a popular automobile company, begins its financial downfall.
1950: Television becomes widespread throughout Europe and North America.
- North Korea, South Korea:
1950: North Korea invades South Korea, beginning the Korean War.
- Marilyn Monroe:
1950: Marilyn Monroe appears in five films, including The Asphalt Jungle and All About Eve.
1951: The Rosenbergs, married couple Ethel and Julius, are convicted of espionage.
1951: The United States is developing the hydrogen bomb as a nuclear weapon.
- Sugar Ray:
1951: Sugar Ray Robinson, a champion boxer, defeats Jake LaMotta in the "St. Valentine's Day Massacre".
Panmunjom, a border village in Korea, is the location of truce talks between the parties of the Korean War.
1951: Marlon Brando is nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in A Streetcar Named Desire.
- The Catcher In The Rye:
The Catcher in the Rye, a controversial novel by J. D. Salinger, is published.
- The King And I:
1951: The King and I, the musical by Rodgers and Hammerstein, opens on Broadway.
1952: Dwight D. Eisenhower is the landslide winner of the 1952 United States presidential election.
1952: The vaccine for polio is successfully developed by Jonas Salk.
- England's got a new queen:
1952: Princess Elizabeth succeeds to the throne as Queen Elizabeth II and is crowned the following year.
1952: Liberace first broadcasts The Liberace Show.
1952: Rocky Marciano defeats Jersey Joe Walcott, becoming the world heavyweight boxing champion.
- Santayana goodbye:
1952: George Santayana, philosopher, essayist, poet and novelist, dies.
- Joseph Stalin:
1953: Joseph Stalin, leader of the Soviet Union, dies.
1953: Georgy Malenkov succeeds Stalin for six months.
1953: Gamal Abdel Nasser acts as the true power behind the new Egyptian nation as Muhammad Naguib's minister of the interior.
1953::Sergei Prokofiev, a popular Russian composer, dies.
1953: Roy Campanella, a baseball catcher for the Brooklyn Dodgers, receives the National League's Most Valuable Player award for the second time.
1953: Winthrop Rockefeller had a highly publicized divorce in 1953, but Nelson Rockefeller and John D. Rockefeller III also made headlines that year. Billy Joel himself has stated that Nelson Rockefeller was meant, in particular for his fame as governor of New York state. However, Nelson was governor from 1959 to 1973, whereas all other items in this verse happened in 1953.
- Communist Bloc:
1953: The East German uprising of 1953 is crushed by the Volkspolizei and the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany.
1954: Arturo Toscanini is at the height of his fame as a conductor, performing regularly with the NBC Symphony Orchestra on U.S. national radio.
1954: Dacron is an early artificial fiber made from the same plastic as polyester.
- Dien Bien Phu falls:
1954: The fall of Dien Bien Phu, a French/Vietnamese camp, to Việt Minh forces leads to the creation of North Vietnam and South Vietnam as separate states.
- Rock Around the Clock:
1954: "Rock Around the Clock" is a hit single released by Bill Haley & His Comets.
1955: Albert Einstein dies at the age of 76.
- James Dean:
1955: James Dean achieves success with East of Eden and Rebel Without a Cause, but dies in a car accident at the age of 24.
- Brooklyn's got a winning team:
1955: The Brooklyn Dodgers win their first and only World Series before their move to Los Angeles.
- Peter Pan:
1955: Peter Pan, recently featured in a Disney animated feature, is also the subject of a stage musical starring Mary Martin, broadcast on NBC live and in colour.
- Davy Crockett:
1955: Davy Crockett, a Disney television miniseries about the legendary frontiersman Davy Crockett, was a huge hit and inspired a short-lived "coonskin cap" craze.
- Elvis Presley:
1955: Elvis Presley signs with RCA Records on November 21, beginning his pop career, going on to earn a reputation as the "King of Rock and Roll".
1955: Disneyland opens as Walt Disney's first theme park.
1956: Brigitte Bardot stars in And God Created Woman, the film that establishes her international reputation as a French "sex kitten".
1956: Alabama is the site of the Montgomery bus boycott, one of the pivotal events in the civil rights movement.
1956: Nikita Khrushchev makes his famous Secret Speech denouncing Stalin's "cult of personality".
1956: Budapest is the site of the Hungarian Revolution.
- Peyton Place:
1956: Peyton Place, the best-selling socially scandalous novel by Grace Metalious, is published.
- Princess Grace:
1956: Princess Grace Kelly appears in her last film High Society and marries Prince Rainier III of Monaco.
- trouble in the Suez:
1956: The Suez Crisis deepens as Egypt nationalizes the Suez Canal.
- Little Rock:
1957: Little Rock, Arkansas, is the site of a standoff between Governor Orval Faubus and President Eisenhower over the Little Rock Nine attending a previously whites-only high school.
1957: Boris Pasternak, the Russian author, publishes his novel Doctor Zhivago.
- Mickey Mantle:
1957: Mickey Mantle is in the middle of his career as a famous New York Yankees outfielder and American League All-Star for the sixth year in a row.
1957: Jack Kerouac publishes his novel On the Road, a defining work of the Beat Generation.
- Zhou Enlai:
1957: Zhou Enlai, Premier of the People's Republic of China, survives an assassination attempt.
1957: Sputnik becomes the first artificial satellite, launched by the Soviet Union, marking the start of the space race.
- Bridge On The River Kwai:
1957: The Bridge on the River Kwai is released, and receives seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture.
1958: Lebanon is engulfed in a political and religious crisis that eventually involves U.S. intervention.
- California baseball:
1958: California baseball begins as the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants move to California.
- Charles de Gaulle:
1958: Charles de Gaulle is elected first president of the French Fifth Republic following the Algerian Crisis.
- Starkweather Homicide:
1958: Charles Starkweather killed eleven people, mostly in Lincoln, Nebraska.
- Children of Thalidomide:
1958: Many pregnant women taking the drug Thalidomide had children born with congenital birth defects.
- Buddy Holly:
1959: Buddy Holly dies in a plane crash with Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper. Joel prefaces the lyric with a Holly signature vocal hiccup: "Uh-huh, uh-huh."
- Ben Hur:
1959: Ben-Hur, starring Charlton Heston, wins eleven Academy Awards, including Best Picture.
- Space Monkey:
1959: A rhesus macaque and a squirrel monkey become the first two animals to be launched by NASA into space and survive.
1059: Mafia leaders are convicted in the Apalachin meeting trial, confirming it as a nationwide conspiracy.
1959: Fidel Castro comes to power after a revolution in Cuba.
- Hula Hoops:
1959: Hula hoops sales reach 100 million as the latest toy fad.
- Edsel is a no-go:
1959: Production of this much-advertised car marque ends after only three years due to poor sales.
1960: A U-2 spy plane flown by American CIA pilot Francis Gary Powers was shot down over the Soviet Union, causing the U-2 Crisis of 1960. It does not refer to the band U2 which were formed in 1976.
1960: Payola, illegal payments for radio broadcasting of songs, are publicised by Dick Clark's testimony before Congress and Alan Freed's public disgrace.
1960: John F. Kennedy, a U.S. senator from Massachusetts, beats Vice President Richard Nixon in the 1960 U.S. presidential election.
- Syngman Rhee:
1960: Syngman Rhee is rescued by the CIA after being forced to resign as leader of South Korea.
1960: Psycho, an Alfred Hitchcock thriller, becomes a landmark in graphic violence and cinema sensationalism. The screeching violins heard at this point in the song are a trademark of the film's soundtrack.
- Chubby Checker:
1960: Chubby Checker popularises the dance The Twist with his cover of the song of the same name.
- Belgians in the Congo:
1960: The Republic of the Congo (Léopoldville) was declared independent of Belgium.
1961: Ernest Hemingway dies by suicide after a long battle with depression.
1961: Adolf Eichmann, a "most wanted" Nazi war criminal, is convicted in Israel for crimes against humanity during World War II.
- Stranger in a Strange Land:
1951: Stranger in a Strange Land, written by Robert A. Heinlein, is a breakthrough best-seller with themes of sexual freedom and liberation.
- Bay of Pigs invasion:
1961: The Bay of Pigs Invasion, an attempt by United States-trained Cuban exiles to invade Cuba and overthrow Fidel Castro, fails.
1951: Bob Dylan (then known as Robert Zimmerman) is signed to Columbia Records after a New York Times review by critic Robert Shelton.
1961: Berlin's separation into West Berlin and East Berlin is cemented when the Berlin Wall is erected.
- Lawrence of Arabia:
1962: Lawrence of Arabia, an Academy Award-winning film starring Peter O'Toole, premiered.
- British Beatle mania:
1962: The Beatles become the world's most famous rock band.
- John Glenn:
1962: John Glenn flew the first American-crewed orbital mission termed "Friendship 7".
- Ole Miss:
1962: Southern segregationists rioted over the enrollment of black student James Meredith at the University of Mississippi.
- Liston beats Patterson:
1962: Sonny Liston knocks out rarely defeated Floyd Patterson in the first round of the world heavyweight boxing championship.
- Pope Paul:
1963: Pope Paul VI becomes pope when Cardinal Giovanni Montini is elected to the title.
- Malcolm X:
1963: Malcolm X incites controversy, including his statement that "the chickens have come home to roost" about John F. Kennedy's assassination.
- British Politician sex:
1963: British Secretary of State for War John Profumo has a scandalous sexual relationship with showgirl Christine Keeler.
- J.F.K. blown away:
1963: President John F. Kennedy is assassinated in Dallas, Texas.
- Birth control:
1965: Griswold v. Connecticut challenges a Connecticut law prohibiting contraceptives.
- Ho Chi Minh:
1965: In opposition to North Vietnamese president Ho Chi Minh, the United States deploys troops in South Vietnam.
- Richard Nixon:
1968: After losing to Kennedy in 1960, former Vice President Nixon is elected president in 1968.
1969: Woodstock music festival attracts 400,000, as a touchstone of the counterculture of the 1960s.
1969: Apollo 11 involves the first human landing on the Moon.
1972-1974: The Republican burglary of the Democratic National Committee's headquarters at the Watergate office complex leads to the resignation of President Nixon.
- punk rock:
1972-1975: Raucous bands such as The Ramones and the Sex Pistols are founded.
1977: Menachem Begin becomes Prime Minister of Israel and negotiates the Camp David Accords with Egypt's president.
1977: The ongoing Israeli–Palestinian conflict escalates as Israelis establish settlements in the West Bank.
- Terror on the airline:
1977: Numerous aircraft hijackings take place, including an Air France flight diverted to Uganda, where the plane was stormed in Operation Entebbe.
1976: Ronald Reagan, former governor of California, begins his US presidential campaign in 1976, and is elected in 1980.
- Ayatollah's in Iran:
1979: The Iranian Revolution replaces secular Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi with Islamic rule by Ayatollahs led by former exile Ruhollah Khomeini.
- Russians in Afghanistan:
1979: The Soviet Union deploys its army into Afghanistan, beginning a decade-long war.
- Wheel of Fortune:
1981-1982: Wheel of Fortune, an American television game show, debuted in 1975, hires Pat Sajak and Vanna White before becoming widely popular in syndication.
- Sally Ride:
1983: Sally Ride becomes the first American woman in space by flying aboard Challenger on the STS-7 shuttle mission.
- heavy metal suicide:
1983: Heavy metal songs such as "Suicide Solution" and "Better By You, Better Than Me" are blamed by the families of fans who committed suicide.
- homeless Vets:
1983: Veterans of the Vietnam War, including many disabled in the service, are becoming homeless and impoverished.
- Foreign debts:
1983: Persistent trade and budget deficits lead to numerous countries defaulting on their debts.
1983: AIDS, the immunodeficiency disease caused by HIV, emerges as a pandemic.
1984: Crack cocaine became a widely used form of the drug in impoverished inner cities.
- Bernie Goetz:
1984: Bernie Goetz shoots four young black men who were trying to mug him on a New York City subway train, and is acquitted of charges.
- Hypodermics on the shores:
1988: Medical waste was found washed up on the beaches of Long Island, New Jersey, and Connecticut after being illegally dumped at sea.
- China's under martial law,:
1989: China declares martial law, resulting in the use of military forces against protesting students to end the Tiananmen Square protests.
- Rock and Roller cola wars:
1989: Soft drink giants Coke and Pepsi each run marketing campaigns using rock and roll and popular music stars.
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|2.||Some songs about history|