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The Petrov Affair
Vladimir Petrov was a colonel in the Soviet secret police. He and his wife, Evdokia, were stationed in the Canberra embassy. In April 1954, Vladimir Petrov (without telling his wife) accepted asylum in Australia in exchange for documents providing evidence of Soviet espionage.
Soviet secret service agents were sent to Australia to escort Evdokia back to Russia but Australian ASIO agents removed her from the plane at a refuelling stop in Darwin.
Shortly before the 1954 election, Prime Minister Menzies claimed that the Petrov documents provided evidence of an extensive spy ring including staff members of the leader of the Opposition Labor Party, Dr Evatt. The Labor Party unexpectedly lost the election and Evatt accused Menzies of arranging the whole affair for political purposes. This led to a split in the Labor Party which was largely responsible for keeping it out of power until 1972.
The Petrov documents were made public in 1984. There had been no major Soviet spy ring.

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Sydney in 1954

The Music of 1954

Australian Radio in 1954

Television in 1954

Television was not introduced into Australia until 1956. However, shows that later became popular in Australia were already being broadcast elsewhere. These included:
The Lone Ranger 1949-61 cast
Dragnet 1951-58 & 1967-69 cast  
I Love Lucy 1951-55 cast  
The Cisco Kid
(First TV series made in colour)
Victory at Sea 1952    
Our Miss Brooks 1952-57 cast  
The Nelsons 1952-66 cast  
The Adventures of Superman 1953-55 cast  
The Loretta Young Show 1953-60    
Father Knows Best 1954-63 cast  
Lassie 1954-72    

Movies in 1954

Title Cast Academy Awards Buy
The Dam Busters directed by Michael Anderson Richard Todd
Michael Redgrave
Ursula Jeans
Basil Sydney
Dial M for Murder directed by Alfred Hitchcock Grace Kelly
Ray Milland
Robert Cummings
John Williams
Anthony Dawson
Leo Britt
Doctor in the House directed by Ralph Thomas Dirk Bogarde
Muriel Pavlow
Kenneth More
Donald Sinden
Kay Kendall
James Robertson Justice
The Glenn Miller Story directed by Anthony Mann James Stewart
June Allyson
Charles Drake
George Tobias
Harry Morgan
Frances Langford
Best Sound
The Living Desert directed by James Algar   Best Documentary
Rear Window directed by Alfred Hitchcock James Stewart
Grace Kelly
Thelma Ritter
Raymond Burr
Click here to purchase
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers directed by Stanley Donen Howard Keel
Jane Powell
Best Score
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Seven Samurai directed by Akira Kurosawa Toshiro Mifune
Takashi Shimura
Yoshio Inaba
Yoshio Tsuchiya
Click here to purchase
On the Waterfront directed by Elia Kazan Marlon Brando
Eva Marie Saint
Rod Steiger
Karl Malden
Lee J. Cobb
Martin Balsam
Best Picture
Best Actor
Best Supporting Actress
Best Director
Best Art & Set Direction
Best Cinematography
Best Editing
Best Screenplay
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20,000 Leagues under the Sea directed by Richard Fleisvher Kirk Douglas
James Mason
Paul Lukas
Peter Lorre
Robert J. Wilke
Carleton Young
Best Art & Set Direction
Best Special Effects
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Young at Heart directed by Gordon Douglas Frank Sinatra
Doris Day
Gig Young
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Books of 1954

Lord of the Rings
Title Author Buy
Lucky Jim Kingsley Amis Click here to purchase
Under the Rings Iris Murdoch  
Lord of the Flies William Golding Click here to purchase
Under Milk Wood   Dylan Thomas Click here to purchase
The Story of O Pauline Reage Click here to purchase
The Lord of the Rings JJR Tolkein Click here to purchase
The Blackboard Jungle Evan Hunter Click here to purchase
Casino Royale (a James Bond book) Ian Fleming Click here to purchase
Live & Let Die (a James Bond book)  Ian Fleming Click here to purchase

1954 Memorabilia now available (at eBay):

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