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1959

 

 

 

 

  NEWS AT HOME IN 1959
  • Kitchen Debate takes place between Vice President Nixon and Khrushchev
  • The St. Lawrence Seaway opens and allows ocean ships to reach Midwest.

  • The microchip is invented by Jack Kilby and Robert Noyce of the U.S. A host of products using miniaturized electronics will be produced in the next few years.

  • Iraq & USSR sign economic/technical treaty.

  • The space monkeys, Able and Baker, paved the way for humans.

  • NASA picks the Mercury Astronauts.

  • On February 3, Alaska is admitted to statehood. Followed by Hawaii on August 2, 1960. For about a year in between America had a 49 star flag.

  • 1.25 million Americans have now died in car accidents, which is more Americans than have died in war.

  • Confederate Walter Williams is the last veteran of the Civil War to die. Albert Woolson, the last Union soldier of the Civil War died in 1956.

  • Oklahoma repeals their 51 year old Prohibition law leaving Mississippi the only "dry" state in America.

  • The Guggenheim opens in New York City.

  • The Presbyterian church accepts women preachers.

  • There are 36,981 motor vehicle related deaths. While in the air, there were 8 accidents resulting in 125 fatalities.

  • Japanese-Americans who renounced their citizenship in 1942 when they were placed in American prison camps under Executive Order 9066 regain full citizenship. They, however, receive no compensation for the losses they incurred as a result of their relocation.

  • Iran & U.S. sign economic treaty.

  • Alf Dean using a rod & reel hooks a 2,664 lb, 16' 10" white shark.

 

 

NEWS ABROAD IN 1959

  • Anthropologist Louis S.B. Leakey's wife Mary discovers bone and tool fragments in the Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania, Africa. These suggest that Australopithecine Man lived more than 1.75 million years ago. The find greatly increases scientists' estimates of humankind's history.

  • Dalai Lama flees Tibet for India.

  • Cuban President Batista resigns and flees; Castro takes over.

  • Swiss males vote against voting rights for women.

  • 12 nations sign a treaty for scientific peaceful use of Antarctica.

  • Lee Harvey Oswald announces in Moscow that he will never return to US.

  • The Israeli Knesset agrees to sell weapons to West Germany.

  • South Africa decides not to introduce any television. The decision will stand for 16 years.

  • After 13 years as a colony of Britain, Singapore becomes a self-governing republic under Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew.

 

 

COMMERCE IN 1959

  • 31.7% of all advertising dollars are spent on newspaper; 13.7%, on TV.

  • Metrecal is introduced by the 59-year-old Mead Johnson Company of Evansville, Indiana as a weight reducing aid. It will be the forerunner of all other dietary products such as SlimFast.

  • Unemployment is 6.8%.

  • There is a 51.8% business failure rate.

  • In 1999, the "Think Small" campaign from Volkwagon in 1959 results in being chosen the number one ad campaign of the century! Must have worked because VW will sell 120,000 cars in the U.S. in ‘59, which is four times the number sold in 1955.

  • One billionth can of Spam sold.  

  • Jiffy Pop pops its way into the supermarkets!

  • Swimmer Esther Williams gets her own Wheaties box.

  • Aluminum beer cans are introduced by Coors of Golden, Colorado.

  • The average American worker earns $91.53 a week.

  • The Nikon F 35-mm. single-lens reflex camera is introduced by Nippon Kogaku K.K.

  • She's here! BARBIE!    

  • U.S. supermarkets number 32,000 and account for 69 percent of all food store sales although they comprise only 11 percent of food stores.

  • New York's Four Seasons restaurant and The Brasserie open in the new Seagram Building.

  • American will import 430,808 passenger cars.

  • Royal Crown Cola is marketed.

  • Frosty O’s by General Mills hits the store shelves.

  • First appearance of Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice materializes.

  • Haagen-Dazs Ice Cream debutes.

  • U.S. GNP (Gross National Product) is $503.5 billion.

  • Danny's Coffee Shops are renamed Dennys.

  • Pantyhose, which give women the look of stockings without garters, garter-belts, or corsets, are introduced.

  • Maxwell House inaugurates the "Good to the last drop" ad campaign.

  • The BIC ballpoint pen is introduced in America.

 

 

ENTERTAINMENT NEWS OF 1959

  • Pulitzer Prize is awarded to James Agee for Death in the Family.

  • The Sound of Music staring Mary Martin opens on Broadway.

  • Bonanza debuts on TV as does the Twilight Zone.

  • U.S. quiz shows found to be fixed.

  • Groucho, Chico, & Harpo Marxs make their final TV appearance together on G.E.Theater with host Ronald Reagan.

  • Walt Disney's Sleeping Beauty released.

  • On February 3, 1959, a plane crash kills singers Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. Richardson (The Big Bopper.)

  • The Elements of Style, by William Strunk Jr. and E. B. White is published. This book remains the "bible" for writing skills.

  • The second annual Grammy Awards is held!

  • Lady Chatterly's Lover banned by the U.S. Postal Service.

  • On the Air, you'd find 3,287AM radio, 578 FM radio, and 509 TV Stations.

  • Americans will spend $1.2 billion on books in a year in which 14,876 new ones are published.


 

ACADEMY AWARDS OF 1959


 

MOST POPULAR FILMS OF 1959

1. North by Northwest
A hapless New York advertising executive is mistaken for a government agent by a group of foreign spies and is pursued across the country while he looks for a way to survive.
Dir: Alfred Hitchcock; With: Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, James Mason.     

2. Some Like It Hot
When two musicians witness a mob hit, they flee the state in an all-female band disguised as women; but further complications set in.
Dir: Billy Wilder; With: Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon

3. Ben-Hur
When a Jewish prince is betrayed and sent into slavery by a Roman friend, he regains his freedom and goes back for revenge.
Dir: William Wyler; With: Charlton Heston, Jack Hawkins, Stephen Boyd                          

4. Sleeping Beauty
A snubbed malevolent fairy casts a curse on a princess that only a prince can break, with the help of three good fairies.
Dir: Clyde Geronimi; With: Mary Costa, Bill Shirley, Eleanor Audley

5.The 400 Blows
Intensely touching story of a misunderstood young adolescent, who left without attention, delves into a life of petty crime.
Dir: François Truffaut; With: Jean-Pierre Léaud, Albert Rémy, Claire Maurie

6. Anatomy of a Murder
In a murder trial, the defendant says he suffered temporary insanity after the victim raped his wife. What is the truth, and will he win his case?
Dir: Otto Preminger; With: James Stewart, Lee Remick, Ben Gazzara         

7. Rio Bravo
A small-town sheriff in the American West enlists the help of a cripple, a drunk, and a young gunfighter.
Dir: Howard Hawks; With: John Wayne, Dean Martin, Ricky Nelson

8. Plan 9 from Outer Space
Aliens resurrect dead humans as zombies and vampires to stop human kind from creating the Solaranite, a sort of sun-driven bomb.
Dir: Edward D. Wood Jr. With: Gregory Walcott, Tom Keene, Bela Lugosi                          

9. A Summer Place
A self-made businessman rekindles a romance with a former flame while their two teenage children begin a romance of their own with drastic consequences for both couples.
Dir: Delmer Daves; With: Richard Egan, Dorothy McGuire, Sandra Dee                           

10. Journey to the Center of the Earth
An Edinburgh professor and assorted colleagues follow an explorer's trail down an extinct Icelandic volcano to the earth's center.
Dir: Henry Levin; With: James Mason, Pat Boone, Arlene Dahl

 

 

TOP RATED TV SHOWS OF 1959
(OCTOBER 1959 - APRIL 1960)

  • Gunsmoke

  • Wagon Train

  • Have Gun Will Travel

  • The Danny Thomas Show

  • The Red Skelton Show

  • Father Knows Best

  • 77 Sunset Strip

  • The Price Is Right

  • Wanted: Dead Or Alive

  • Perry Mason

  • The Real McCoys

  • The Ed Sullivan Show

  • The Bing Cosby Show

  • The Rifleman

  • The Ford Show

  • The Lawman

  • Dennis The Menace

  • Cheyenne

  • Rawhide

  • Maverick

  • The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp

  • Mr. Lucky

  • Zane Grey Theatre

  • General Electric Theatre

  • The Ann Sothern Show


 

TOP 10 SONGS OF 1959

(Songs listed are from rock and roll and related genres. These songs are ranked based on their intitial and lasting popularity, as well as their influence and impact on the evolution of rock and related genres. Songs are listed strictly in the year that they were originally released in.)
What'd I Say: Ray Charles

  • I Only Have Eyes For You, Flamingos

  • Mack The Knife, Bobby Darin

  • There Goes My Baby, Drifters

  • Shout, Isley Brothers

  • Kansas City, Wilbert Harrison

  • Poison Ivy, Coasters

  • Money, Barrett Strong

  • Love Potion No. 9, Clovers

  • You're So Fine, Falcons


 

HIT PARADE OF 1959
(Table entries are the overall best sellers for the calendar year as tabulated by Cash Box magazine)

  • Mack the Knife, Bobby Darin

  • Battle of New Orleans, Johnny Horton

  • Venus, Frankie Avalon

  • Lonely Boy, Paul Anka

  • There Goes My Baby, The Drifters

  • Personality, Lloyd Price

  • Three Bells, The Browns

  • Put Your Head on My Shoulder, Paul Anka

  • Sleep Walk, Santo and Johnny

  • Come Softly to Me, The Fleetwoods


 

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL OF 1959

1959 MLB AWARDS AND HONORS

 

CY YOUNG AWARD: Early Wynn, Chicago White Sox (AL)

 

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

 

1959 MLB STATISTICAL LEADERS

AMERICAN LEAGUE                          

NATIONAL LEAGUE

  • ERA: Sam Jones, SFG, 2.83                                      

1959 MLB WORLD SERIES: Los Angeles Dodgers over the Chicago White Sox, 4-2
This was the Dodgers' second World Series championship in five years, their first in Los Angeles, and marked the first Championship for a West Coast team. It was also the first ever World Series in which no pitcher for either team pitched a complete game.

The Dodgers became the second team to win a World Series after relocating (the 1957 Milwaukee Braves being the first).

 

1959 MLB ALL STAR GAME

SCORE: National League wins, 5–4


 

IMPORTANT FOOTBALL OF 1959

1959 CHICAGO PREP BOWL:  Lane Tech 19, Fenwick 0

 

1959 NFL STASISTICAL LEADERS

 

1959 NFL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME: The Colts again defeated the Giants in the, 31-16.

 

1959 NFL MVP

  • John Unitas, QB, Baltimo

  • Charley Conerly, QB, NY Giants

 

1959 NFL PRO-BOWL

 

OTHER 1959 NFL NEWS

  • Tim Mara, the co-founder of the Giants, died, February 17.

  • Vince Lombardi signs on to coach Green Bay Packers, a job he would hold until 1968. Lombardi took the losing Packers to winning back-to-back NFL titles in 1961 and 1962, and Superbowls I and II in 1966 and 1967.

  • Lamar Hunt of Dallas announced his intentions to form a second pro football league, the American Football League. The first meeting was held in Chicago and plans were made to begin play in 1960.

  • Giants Stadium is renamed Candlestick Park.

  • NFL Commissioner Bert Bell died of a heart attack suffered at Philadelphia, during the last two minutes of a game between the Eagles and the Steelers. Treasurer Austin Gunsel was named president in the office of the commissioner.


 

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION OF 1959

1959 NBA ALL STAR GAME

  • Score:  West 124, East 108   

  • MVP:  Elgin Baylor, Minneapolis
             & Bob Pettit, St. Louis

 

1959 NBA CHAMPIONSHIP: Boston over St. Louis, 4-3
The teams split the first six games, with Boston winning in blowouts and St. Louis just scraping by. The Celtics easily won Game 7 in Boston as Russell starred with 22 points and 35 rebounds.

The Celtics, with Red Auerbach at the controls, had built a champion piece by piece, beginning with Bob Cousy in 1950, adding Bill Sharman in 1951, Frank Ramsey in 1954, Jim Loscutoff in 1955, and Tom Heinsohn and Bill Russell in 1956.

But after the first championship in 1957, the Celtics didn't stop adding players who put winning above personal achievements. Sam Jones came aboard in 1957, K.C. Jones and Gene Conley in 1958, and Tom Sanders in 1960. Auerbach's legendary eye for talent and demand for team play had set in motion one of sport's greatest dynasties.
 


 

ADDITIONAL SPORTS’ NEWS OF 1959

1959 AUTO RACING

 

1959 BOXING: Ingemar Johansson scored a 3rd round TKO over Floyd Patterson to win the World Heavyweight Championship.

 

1959 WORLD FIGURE SKATING CHAMPIONSHIPS

 

1959 MEN'S GRAND SLAM GOLF

 

1959 WOMEN'S GOLF

 

1959 U.S. TRIPLE CROWN THOROUGHBRED HORSE RACING

 

1959 ICE HOCKEY

 

1959 MEN'S GRAND SLAM TENNIS

 

1959 WOMEN'S GRAND SLAM TENNIS  

 

 

 

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