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BOOMERNET Chronicle: 1959

1959

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U.S. Facts

  • President: Dwight D. Eisenhower (R)
  • Population: 177,820,000
  • Life Expectancy: 69.9 years
  • Unemployment: 5.5%
  • Average Annual Salary: $5,500
  • Minimum Wage: $1.00 per hour
  • Inflation Rate: 2.87%

What Things Cost

  • Automobile: $2,200
  • Gasoline: $0.30 per gallon
  • House: $18,500
  • Bread: $0.20 per loaf
  • Milk: $1.01 per gallon
  • Postage Stamp: $0.04

Major U.S. Events

  • Alaska and Hawaii become the 49th and 50th states
  • Steel Industry Strike last for 116 days
  • At cape Canaveral, Florida, the first successful test firing of Titan intercontinental ballistic missile is accomplished

Major World Events

  • Fidel Castro becomes Premier of Cuba
  • Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev tours the United States, meeting with Eisenhower at Camp David
  • Antarctic Treaty signed - 12 countries including the U.S. and the USSR, sign a landmark treat, which sets aside Antarctica as a scientific preserve & bans military activity on that continent
  • Singapore becomes a self governing crown colony of Great Britain with Lee Kuan Yew as Prime Minister

January-March

  • In Leopoldville 42 people are killed during clashes between the police & participants of a meeting of the Abako party
  • American rock and roll performers Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and The Big Bopper, in a plane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa.
  • The Barbie Doll debuts

April-July

  • St. Lawrence Seaway opens, allowing ocean ships to reach Midwest
  • Convicted Manhattan Project spy Klaus Fuchs is released after only 9 years in prison an allowed to emigrate to Dresden, East Germany
  • At the opening of the American National Exhibition in Moscow, U.S. vice president Richard Nixon and Nikita Khrushchev have a "kitchen debate"

August-December

  • The U.S. launches Explorer VI from the Atlantic Missile Range in Cape Canaveral, Florida, days later it sends back the first picture of Earth from space
  • A combined vaccine for whooping cough, diphtheria, and polio is released

Top Songs

  • The Battle of New Orleansby Johnny Horton/li>
  • Mack The Knife by Bobby Darin
  • Personality by Lloyd Price
  • Venus by Frankie Avalon
  • Lonely Boy by Paul Anka

Other New Songs

  • 16 Candles by The Crests
  • Sea Cruise by Frankie Ford
  • Charlie Brown by The Coasters
  • Kansas City by Wilbert Harrison
  • La Bamba by Richie Valens

Top Movies

  • Ben Hur
  • Some Like It Hot
  • Room at the Top
  • North by Northwest
  • On The Beach

Top Books

  • Exodus Leon Uris
  • Naked Lunch by William Burroughs
  • Goldfinger by Ian Fleming
  • Advise and Consent by Allen Drury
  • Hawaii by James A. Michener

Top TV Shows (1958-59)

  • Gunsmoke
  • Wagon Train
  • Have Gun Will Travel
  • The Rifleman
  • The Danny Thomas Show

Major League Baseball: World Series

  • Los Angeles Dodgers d. Chicago White Sox

Pro Football: Championships

  • NFL: Baltimore Colts d. New York Giants

Ice Hockey: Stanley Cup

  • Montreal Canadiens d. Toronto Maple Leafs

Pro Basketball: Championship

  • Boston Celtics d. Minneapolis Lakers

NCAA Champions

  • Football: Syracuse Orangemen
  • Basketball: California Golden Bears

Other Champions

  • Boxing: Ingemar Johansson wins heavyweight title
  • Golf: Art Wall is PGA player of the year
  • Tennis: Neale Fraser and Alejandro Olmedo win U.S. Open
  • Horse Racing: Tommy Lee wins Kentucky Derby
  • Auto Racing: Rodger Ward wins Indianapolis 500
Inventions, Fads, & Fashion
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