A WILD GUESS
I still have to check the U. S. NAVAL AVIATION SAFETY BULLETIN, but I
really don't think it would account for the spread of "Murphy's Law" in
1954-1956. The spread should have started about June 1954, when that
Collier's came out. But I couldn't find a good, nationally popular print
If I had to guess, I would say that television did it. If I had to
guess the program, it would be WHAT'S MY LINE?.
My guess is that sometime in 1954 or 1955, Col. John Stapp was booked on
WHAT'S MY LINE?. Perhaps he stumped the panel about who he was and what he
did. At the end of the show, he explained all that. One panelist asked
about the dangers of Stapp's job and what would have happened if things went
wrong, and then, before millions of television viewers, came Murphy!
Instant, nationwide dissemination. An Americanism is born!
Back to the Museum of Television and Radio!
Where's Kitty Carlisle Hart when you need her??