In this time of doo-wop music and the first era of rock and roll, Hollywood, California, dedicated its Walk of Fame at Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street. The event occurred on November 23, 1960, and this ever-growing monument to the entertainment industry remains a top tourist destination (locals like it, too) and a brilliant marketing tool. The Walk includes actors of films and TV, directors, producers, recording artists and musicians, radio celebrities, and fictional characters. The five-pointed stars are rimmed with brass inlaid into a charcoal-colored terrazzo background.
Once upon a time in 1953, the story goes, E. M. Stuart, the volunteer president of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce came up with the idea of the Walk to promote Tinseltown’s celebrities. (Some attribute the inspiration to the foot and handprints in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theater and the painted stars with names in them on the ceiling of the dining room of the Hollywood Hotel.) The Chamber formed a committee, and by 1955 (government can move slowly) a general concept emerged. By 1957, after much deliberation and bickering, 1,558 honorees were approved. Construction began in 1958 and on August 15, 1958, the Chamber and City unveiled a demonstration of eight stars. They were Joanne Woodard, Olive Bordon, Ronald Colman, Louise Fazenda, Preston Foster, Burt Lancaster, Edward Sedwick, and Ernest Torrance. Construction halted due to lawsuits; people were unhappy about those who were either included or excluded (lawsuits can move slowly). The first star actually finished was for director/producer Stanley Kramer. Examples of his work include High Noon, The Defiant Ones, On The Beach, and Inherit the Wind. And so on that day in November, the Walk of Fame was dedicated alongside the festivities of the Hollywood Christmas Parade.