Newstalgia Pop Chronicles - Golden Hubcaps a documentary on the growing menace of hubcap stealing in Southern California in 1956, a very big problem - further evidence Teenage America of the 1950's was doomed.
November 6, 2010

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1956 Teenage America - Hotrods, tonsil hockey and . . .(gasp) stealing hubcaps!!


Further evidence the youth in America have been in a perpetual state of going straight to hell ever since the first one landed on Plymouth Rock with a cracking voice and case of acne.

In 1956 the big crime wave was all about stealing hubcaps, and kids as young as 11 were doing it. Naturally, the hotbed of this festering inferno of hooliganism was Southern California. And KNX, the CBS Radio outlet in Los Angeles was all over it. With 1940's football great Tom Harmon narrating this sordid tale of misspent youth and the dangers of falling in with the wrong crowd.

Luckily for everyone, radio and technology changed by the 1950's and the big thing in broadcasting was "on-the-spot" coverage of events, that sort of "you are there" aspect of the documentary. Before then, it was all recreated in the studio with written scripts, sound effects and actors, making it an almost unbearable experience.

So this half hour expose' from April, 1956 on the plague of hubcap stealing is pretty interesting, rather quaint and charming by todays standards (compared to our own worries today of drive by's and turf wars). Even though hubcap stealing is still a problem, it doesn't have the moral implications it had in 1956.

It was all part of growing up in the 1950's.

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