1952

Posted by Ellen

Between 1950 and 1953, Philadelphians demonstrated repeatedly in many neighborhoods, seeking stop signs, traffic lights, and one-way traffic patterns in hopes of making the city's narrow streets safer for pedestrians, especially children.

In June 1952, these women and children blocked off Sansom Street at 32nd Street, to draw attention to a block where seven children had been hit by cars in a single month. Police broke up the demonstration and arrested three of the women.

At some point between then and now, city officials made almost all the streets in and around center city one-way and installed stop signs or red lights at virtually ever corner.

Pedestrian safety is no longer a major political issue. Parking, on the other hand. . . .

Posted by Ellen

In 1952, shortly after starrin' and dancin' in Singin' in the Rain and An American in Paris, Gene Kelly posed for a Look magazine photoshoot by jumping over film cans labeled with the titles of all the movies he'd made.

Although he remained active in show business for four more decades, this moment in 1952 may have been something close to the peak of Kelly's career. The screen genre that made him a star–the movie musical with lots of big dance numbers–was already in decline, losing out to television. Kelly had signed a long-term contract with MGM, a studio that was cutting way back on its investment in musicals and wasn't keeping him particularly busy, even though it was also refusing to lend him out for opportunities such as Guys and Dolls.

For what it's worth, the whole "Good Morning" shtick of this blog comes from Singin' in the Rain, in particular from the song and dance that happens when we've talked the whole night through and it's just too late to say good night.