Harry Truman was the vice president to Franklin Delano Roosevelt after the death of Franklin Roosevelt Truman became the 33rd president. a month after becoming president he dropped the atomic bomb on Japan and ended WW2 and Truman while in office was dealing with trying to end communism. i think Billy Joel included Truman because he ended WW2.
On May 12, the United States detonated a hydrogen bomb on an island in the Pacific. The hydrogen bomb is many times more powerful than an atomic bomb. The Russian development of an A–bomb convinced the US to proceed with development of the H–bomb. the hydrogen bomb requires a atomic bomb to detonate.i think Billy Joel included the h-bomb because it was a huge advancement in weaponry and technology
Joseph Stalin was the dictator of the Soviet Union. He was a harsh leader who had millions of his people executed or sent to labor camps in Siberia. On his way to political power, he changed his name to Stalin, which means "steel" in Russian. I think Billy Joel put this in this song because Joseph Stalin was the dictator for such a long time.
Arturo Toscanini was a world-famous conductor, considered to have been one of the greatest classical conductors of all time. On April 4, 1954, while conducting a radio broadcast of the NBC Symphony at Carnegie Hall in New York, Toscanini suffered a memory lapse during the performance. That was the last time he conducted live in public. He died at the age of 89 in 1957.
Actor Fess Parker starred in the highly popular TV series Davy Crockett. The novelty song The Ballad of Davy Crockett became the number-one song in 1955. Coonskin caps—like Davy Crockett wore—also became popular among young boys.
In the late 1950s, the U.S. military created what they called the M-29 Davy Crockett weapons system. This was a tactical nuclear recoilless gun, intended to fire at enemy troops in the case of war with the Soviet Union. They probably gave it that name as a result of the television series.
Nine African-American students enrolled at Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. Governor Faubus ordered the Arkansas National Guard to surround Central High School to keep the nine students from entering the school, because he believed black and whites should be segregated, despite Federal laws on integration. President Dwight D. Eisenhower ordered the 101st Airborne Division into Little Rock to insure the safety of the students. The crisis gained world-wide attention. I think billy Joel put this in his song because this was a major point in america because this was the first time a school integrated African American student.
Charles Starkweather was a serial killer who made the news 1958 because of his gruesome murders. Starkweather and his girlfriend, Caril Fugate, went on a killing spree of 11 to 15 people over a span of a month and a half. They were captured and he was executed in 1959. i think Billy Joel put this in his song because this was such a major event at the time in the world.
Fidel Castro had been a wealthy lawyer, advocating social justice and protesting the influence of the United States in Cuba. He became involved in political activism and led the revolution to overthrow Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista in 1959. He was then sworn in as the Prime Minister of Cuba. Moving toward Communism, he alienated the United States.
Castro was also known for his long-winded speeches.
Singer Chubby Checker came out with the song The Twist, which started a national dance sensation. Soon, not only teens but also adults where doing the twist. The dance was responsible for popularizing "fast dancing" or rock-and-roll among adults. Chubby Checker's name was a spin-off of the name of the popular rock singer Fats Domino.
British Beatle mania
British rock group the Beatles took over the music scene, with numerous hit records on the Top-40 charts. i think billy Joel put the beatles in the song because there music was such a phenomenon at the time and they had so many hits.
Birth Control became an issue with the advent of the birth control pill. Later, abortion was legalized.
A potent form of the highly addictive drug cocaine called "crack" or "rock" had been rapidly spreading in the United States, especially in troubled neighborhoods. there was a surge of crack use in the US between 1984 and 1990. Billy Joel put this in his song because in the 80's and 90's crack was such an epidemic.