|Sir Roger Bannister–breaking the 4-minute barrier in|
1954–and recently in an interview.
As Sir Roger says in an interview for Oxford Today, it was the year after Mt. Everest had been climbed (on May 29, 1953), and Queen Elizabeth II was newly crowned, and Britain was looking for new challenges.
At the time, some doctors feared that the four-minute floor would be defeated only at the cost of the runner's life. The 1954 Pathé news clip looks as thought that could have been the case!