The 1950s
1950: Ernie Kovacs
Trenton's own comic genius goes from Trentonian columnist, to the host of a Philly cooking show, all the way to national TV stardom.

1951: Levittown
William Levitt starts work on a 15,000-home project in Bucks County, Pa. that is branded ticky-tacky, but catches on with young couples who find the place good to raise kids.

1952: Prison riots
Crowded conditions at Trenton prison lead to a siege and hostage drama in which the lives of guards and civilian employees hang in the balance.

1953: Oppie's fall
J. Robert Oppenheimer, the atomic bomb builder who now lives in Princeton, is branded a security risk by the federal government at the height of the McCarthy era.

1954: The governor was a thief
After his death, it comes out that ex-Gov. Harold Hoffman had skimmed off $300,000 in public funds during his administration.

1955: The worst flood
The Delaware River runs higher than ever before, drowning dozens of Trenton streets and taking out two bridges.

1956: St. Mary's fire
The pastor and a housekeeper are killed when an early morning blaze rips through St. Mary's, the first in a string of mysterious church arsons.

1957: 'Case study' in decline
Trenton officials rail at a study by college students predicting that, by 1980, the Jersey capital will be a wasteland of vacant houses.

1958: Bullets fly in Chambersburg

A young man troubled by religious mania and obsessed with space travel goes on a shooting spree at the St. Joachim's convent.

1959: Trenton State tragedy
Nine students and a professor die when their bus coming back from a Broadway field trip collided with a truck on rain-slicked Route 1.
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