• Ronald Reagan re-elected SAG president.
  • Knox Manning, voice actor and narrator in film and radio elected AFRA national president.
  • TV jurisdiction: SAG and AFTRA’s parent organization, the Associated Actors and Artistes of America adopts resolution vesting ALL TV jurisdiction in its "trusteeship" the Television Authority (TVA)
  • Korean War begins as Communist North Korean forces invade South Korea
  • Blacklisting: Red Channels: The Report of Communist Influence in Radio And Television is published in June
  • Communism: McCarran Act passed, requiring Communists, and Communist-front organizations to register with the US Attorney General
  • Communism: Richard Nixon becomes senator, defeating former actress Helen Gahagan Douglas, accusing her of pro-Communist leanings. He calls her "The Pink Lady." She calls him "Tricky Dick"
  • At NLRB hearings in LA, SAG claims right to motion picture TV jurisdiction, stating "...motion picture actors are motion picture actors whether they appear in films for theatres or films for television, and the Guild is the only logical bargaining agent for motion picture actors, no matter where their films may be exhibited."


  • Ronald Reagan re-elected SAG president
  • Knox Manning re-elected AFRA national president
  • HUAC: House Committee on Un-American Activities hearings, chaired by Georgia congressman John S. Wood, a Democrat who succeeded the disgraced J. Parnell Thomas in 1949,  held in Washington, DC
  • HUAC/Blacklisting: Gale Sondergaard (wife of "Hollywood Ten" member Herbert Biberman, and first winner of a "Best Supporting Actress" Academy Award) writes SAG Board of Directors requesting support before appearing in front of HUAC on March 21 in Washington, D.C. Larry Parks and Howard DaSilva will appear the same day.
  • HUAC/Blacklisting: SAG board member Anne Revere appears before HUAC April 17, resigns Board seat next month
  • First commercial color TV program debuts on June 25, from CBS Studio 57 in New York
  • Contracts/sound recordings: AFRA negotiates the first Phonograph Recording Code for singers with the major recording labels.
  • Alliance of Television Film producers founded (in 1964, will merge with Association of Motion Picture Producers to become the Association of Film and TV Producers).


  • Walter Pidgeon, MGM film star, elected SAG President, succeeding Ronald Reagan, who returns as a member of the board of directors.
  • Alan Bunce, radio and TV actor and co-star of domestic television comedy Ethel and Albert, elected final AFRA national president
  • Alan Bunce becomes first AFTRA national president after merger of AFRA with the live TV component of the Television Authority.
  • Residuals: Monogram Studios makes agreement with SAG to pay residuals on 70 feature films made since August 1, 1948, licensed for TV – members told “Guild Sets Precedent in Television.”
  • SAG signs its first contracts for filmed TV programs.  Residual/reuse payments for small number of reruns included.
  • Music Corporation of America (MCA), a talent agency, granted blanket waiver by SAG to also produce filmed TV programs in Hollywood, to stimulate work for members.
  • TV jurisdiction/NLRB: SAG defeats Television Authority in final NLRB election over the jurisdiction of motion pictures filmed for TV
  • AFRA becomes AFTRA: In September, SAG jurisdiction over filmed TV is acknowledged & ratified by the Associated Actors and Artistes of America, which declares: "Jurisdiction is hereby confirmed in SAG over all actors (including singers, announcers, stunt men, and airplane pilots) employed in the motion picture field including, without limitation, all motion pictures produced for use over television; also over all extras employed in such motion picture field in the state of New York." AFRA (American Federation of Radio Artists) merges with Television Authority, gaining live television jurisdiction, becoming AFTRA:  American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.
  • “No discrimination” clause enters AFTRA 1952-54 Network Code for television: “The Producer agrees not to discriminate against any person because of race, sex, creed, color or national origin.”
  • Firsts/Strikes: SAG goes on strike for first time over filmed television commercials, lasting Dec.1, 1952 to February 18, 1953


  • Walter Pidgeon re-elected SAG president
  • Alan Bunce re-elected AFTRA national president
  • HUAC/Blacklisting/The Salt of the Earth: Silver City, New Mexico schoolteacher June Kuhlmann, writes SAG president Walter Pidgeon that a motion picture (The Salt of the Earth) is being made locally with “Local 890 Mine & Mill unions supervision” and that “such a movie cannot be good American propaganda.” SAG public relations director responds and asks her for more details.
  • HUAC/Blacklisting/The Salt of the Earth: Newspaper columnist Victor Reisel reports Salt of the Earth story nationally after being given details by SAG public relations director Buck Harris.
  • HUAC/Blacklisting/The Salt of the Earth: Hollywood AFL film Council calls on federal government to investigate Salt of the Earth filming
  • Communism/Russia: Soviet Union’s dictator, Joseph Stalin, dies in March
  • Communism: SAG appoints "Anti-Communist Discipline Committee"
  • Communism/Blacklisting: On March 20, AFTRA adopts rule that any AFTRA member refusing to cooperate with HUAC is subject to disciplinary proceedings
  • Taft-Hartley: SAG protests six year-old Taft-Hartley law, which "has permitted and is continuing to permit thousands of persons who are not professional actors, and who have no intention of trying to make a livelihood in motion picture work, to deprive professional actors of sorely needed jobs."
  • Communism/Cold War: Charged as guilty of selling atomic secrets to the Soviet Union, Ethel & Julius Rosenberg executed for espionage/treason to the United States
  • Communism: 96% of Guild members vote to approve requiring anti-communist affidavit/loyalty oath of all actors joining the Guild reading: "I am not now and will not become a member of the Communist Party nor of any other organization that seeks to overthrow the government of the United States by force and violence"
  • SAG’s first dues increase since 1935 implemented.


  • Walter Pidgeon re-elected SAG president
  • Frank Nelson, primarily comic character TV and voice actor elected AFTRA national president, succeeding Alan Bunce.
  • AFTRA wins Health and Retirement benefits, fought for for years by George Heller which will take effect in 1956 and 1958, respectively.
  • Screen Writers Guild merges with TV writers guild and radio writers guild to form Writers Guild of America


  • Walter Pidgeon re-elected SAG president
  • Frank Nelson re-elected AFTRA national president.
  • Screen Extras Guild votes to expel any member who refuses to testify before HUAC
  • Strike: SAG declares second strike (against TV producers) for increased TV show residuals Aug. 5-15, 1955. Executive Secretary Jack Dales tells Guild membership: "The producers, so far as we were able to judge, are led, surprisingly enough, in their thinking and in the stand they have taken not by the majors but by the Television Alliance-a young, aggressive, confident-I would say overconfident-group of producers. They have adamantly refused throughout the six weeks of negotiations to consider any formula, any formula at all which would require the paying of one cent on the second run of the film. It isn't a question of amount, they have said they cannot and will not buy any such formula. We quite aggressively refuse to budge from our position that some payment on the first rerun of television films is a must in these negotiations."
  • AFTRA National Executive Secretary George Heller dies of stomach cancer, age 49.


  • Walter Pidgeon re-elected SAG president
  • Frank Nelson re-elected AFTRA national president
  • AFTRA’s health benefits go into effect January 1.
  • HUAC/Blacklisting: HUAC investigates what it describes as "so-called blacklisting" in radio, TV and film. Gale Sondergaard testifies again
  • Mergers – AFL-CIO: AFL(American Federation of Labor) and CIO (Congress of Industrial Organizations) merge, creating the AFL-CIO


  • Leon Ames, film and TV character actor and a co-founder of SAG in 1933, elected its president, succeeding Walter Pidgeon
  • Bud Collyer, former AFRA nat’l president 1948-50, elected AFTRA national president succeeding Frank Nelson.
  • Residuals: SAG makes deal for feature film-to-TV residuals with C & C Television Corporation and Associated Artists Corporation, covering payments for "82 RKO Pictures and 12 Warner Bros. pictures produced after August, 1948 and released to television."
  • Diversity: SAG president-elect Leon Ames and Board member William Walker represent the Guild at movie industry luncheon conference at Beverly Hills Hotel with NAACP officials (Rev. Maurice A. Dawkins, Roy Wilkins) and Association of Motion Picture Producers (Charles Boren and B.B. Kahane) to clear up "misinterpretation of role of NAACP regarding Negro roles."

1958 – Screen Actors Guild’s 25th anniversary year

  • Howard Keel, singing star of movie musicals, elected SAG  president, succeeding Leon Ames
  • Bud Collyer re-elected AFTRA national president
  • AFTRA retirement fund begins paying first pension benefits after January 1.
  • AFTRA and SAG jurisdictional dispute: NLRB arbitrates dispute between SAG and AFTRA over videotaped commercials
  • Guild demands producers' records of TV re-runs and syndication; urges testing of subscription TV
  • Residuals: AFTRA negotiates foreign residual payments for members


  • Former SAG president Ronald Reagan (1947-1952), who has been back on the board of directors since the end of 1952, elected SAG President, succeeding Howard Keel.
  • Virginia Payne, radio drama star, elected first female AFTRA national president, succeeding Bud Collyer, becomes first female president of any national entertainment union.
  • Residuals: SAG TV residuals increase 33% over 1958
  • Governance/firsts: : SAG Board representation becomes national, as Board of Directors is increased from 39 seats to 52, allowing branch representation (New York, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, San Francisco) for first time

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