A Look Back at 1955: NYIT

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A Look Back at 1955: NYIT's Inaugural Year

August 25, 2015

The Box kicks off its celebration of NYIT's 60th anniversary by reflecting on 1955—the year New York State Board of Regents granted our university's provisional charter. NYIT opened its first campus with nine students at 500 Pacific St. in Brooklyn, N.Y. Today, the once-quiet address is in the epicenter of the borough, only a block away from the Barclays Center, home of the Brooklyn Nets and a popular entertainment venue.

NYIT's inaugural year was an eventful one in pop culture, business, and politics. Three things that occurred in 1955 are:

Grace Kelly and Cary Grant starred in the Hollywood caper To Catch a Thief, directed by Alfred Hitchcock, while the late James Dean became immortalized in the film Rebel Without a Cause (read the original review in The New York Times).

The Ford Thunderbird entered its first model year, selling for just under $3,000 without options, and redefining American manufacturing and the personal luxury car market.

On Dec. 1, 1955, 42-year-old black activist Rosa Parks refused to give up her bus seat to a white man in Montgomery, Alabama. Her action and subsequent arrest would influence politics and the U.S. Civil Rights Movement for years to come.

Some details in this story were previously published in NYIT Magazine, Vol. 4, No. 1. Photos used to illustrate content are in the public domain as per Wikimedia Commons.

Find out how to share your story for The Box's "60 Years in 60 Days" online series.