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1958 Fun Facts, Trivia and History

1958 Fun Facts, Trivia and History

Quick Facts from 1958:

  • World Changing Event: President Dwight Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act, creating NASA.
  • The Top Song was At The Hop by Danny & The Juniors
  • Influencial Songs include: Tequila by The Champs, Tom Dooley by The Kingston Trio and Rebel Rouser by Duane Eddy
  • The Movies to Watch include South Pacific, High School Confidential, St. Louis Blues, Attack of the 50 Foot Woman, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The Defiant Ones, The Fly, Auntie Mame, The Blob and Vertigo
  • The Most Famous Person in America was probably Elizabeth Taylor
  • Notable books include: Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe and Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
  • Bank of America launched the first credit card wit hextended credit, in September, 1958.
  • Price of a postage stamp in 1958: 4 cents
    Price of a used ’57 Ford Fairlaine: $1,995.00
  • The Bald Guy was: Yul Brynner
  • The Story Behind the Song: Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska is the story of 20 year old Charles Starkweather and his 13 year old girlfriend Caril Ann Fugate, who murdered 11 people over an eight-day period in 1958.

Top Ten Baby Names of 1958:
Mary, Susan, Linda, Karen, Patricia, Michael, David, James, Robert, John

The Hotties and Fashion Icons:
Carroll Baker, Brigitte Bardot, Claudia Cardinale, Doris Day, Diana Dors, Anita Ekberg, Annette Funicello, Ava Gardner, Audrey Hepburn, Gina Lollobrigida, Sophia Loren, Jayne Mansfield, Marilyn Monroe, Julie Newmar, Kim Novak, Elizabeth Taylor, Mamie Van Doren

Sex Symbols and Hollywood Hunks:
Paul Newman, Elvis Presley

“The Quotes:”
“What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight – it’s the size of the fight in the dog. ”
– President Dwight D Eisenhower

“Look, Ma, no cavities!”
– Crest toothpaste ad

“Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death!”
– Rosalind Russell, in ‘Auntie Mame’

Time Magazine’s Man of the Year:
Charles de Gaulle

Miss America:
Marilyn Van Derbur (Denver, CO)

Miss USA:
Eurlyne Howell (Louisiana)

The Scandals:
DJ Alan Freed, inventor of the term “Rock and Roll” was accused of being paid to promote specific shows on his popular radio and live shows. His career ended with his street cred in the PAYOLA scandal.

Jerry Lee Lewis married his 13 year old 2nd cousin.

Lana Turner’s daughter, Cheryl, saw her mother being beaten by boyfriend Johnny Stompanato, and killed him with a kitchen knife. Some people think that Lana actually did the self-defensive killing.

Pop Culture History:
The American Express card was introduced in 1958.

Kitchens were smelling a lot cleaner thanks to the introduction of Mr. Clean in 1958. In 1998 People Magazine called Mr. Clean “one of the sexiest men alive.”

Commercial domestic jet airline service opened between New York and Miami.

Music producer Phil Spector’s high-school band’s (The Teddy Bears) first record, “To Know Him is to Love Him” rose to number one on the charts.

Led by the retired Boston candy manufacturer Robert H.W. Welch Jr., a group of anticommunist activists founded an organization called the John Birch Society that was dedicated to finding and destroying all traces of communism in the United States. The group got their name from John Birch, an intelligence officer killed in China during the Cold War.

1st appearances & 1958’s Most Popular Christmas gifts, toys and presents:
LEGOs, Skateboards, Beat the Clock Game , Crayola Crayons ’64 box’ with built-in sharpener*, Concentration TV Game home version, Hula Hoop (U.S.)
*Crayola crayons first came out in 1903

Best Film Oscar Winner:
The Bridge Over River Kwai (presented in 1958)

Popular and Notable Books From 1958:
A Fly Went By by Mike McClintock and Fritz Siebel
Anatomy of a Murder by Robert Traver
Around the World with Auntie Mame by Patrick Dennis
By Love Posssed by James Gould Cozzens
The Cat in the Hat Comes Back by Dr. Seuss
Dr. No by Ian Fleming
Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
Eloise at Christmastime by Kay Thompson
The Enemy Camp by Jerome Weidman
From the Terrace by John O’Hara
Ice Palace by Edna Ferber
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
Night by Elie Wiesel
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
Victorine by Frances Parkinson Keyes
The Winthrop Woman by Anya Seton
Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories by Dr. Seuss

1958 Most Popular TV shows:
1. Gunsmoke (CBS)
2. Wagon Train (NBC)
3. Have Gun Will Travel (CBS)
4. The Rifleman (ABC)
5. The Danny Thomas Show (CBS)
6. Maverick (ABC)
7. Tales of Wells Fargo (NBC)
8. The Real McCoys (ABC)
9. I’ve Got a Secret (CBS)
10. The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp (ABC)

1958 Billboard Number One Songs
December 30, 1957 – January 10, 1958:
April Love – Pat Boone

January 11 – February 14:
At The Hop – Danny and the Juniors

February 15 – March 21:
Don’t (I Beg of You) – Elvis Presley

March 22 – April 25:
Tequila – The Champs

April 26 – May 2:
Twilight Time – The Platters

May 3 – May 16:
Witch Doctor – David Seville

May 17 – June 13:
All I Have To Do Is Dream – The Everly Brothers

June 14 – July 25:
Purple People Eater – Sheb Wooley

July 26 – August 8:
Hard Headed Woman – Elvis Presley

August 9 – August 22:
Poor Little Fool – Ricky Nelson

August 23 – August 29:
Volare – Domenico Modugno

August 30 – September 5:
Little Star – The Elegants

September 6 – October 3:
Volare – Domenico Modugno

October 4 – November 14:
It’s All In The Game – Tommy Edwards

November 15 – November 21:
It’s Only Make Believe – Conway Twitty

November 22 – November 28:
Tom Dooley – Kingston Trio

November 29 – December 5:
It’s Only Make Believe – Conway Twitty

December 6 – December 26:
To Know Him is To Love Him – Teddy Bears

December 27, 1958 – January 18, 1959:
Chipmunk Song – David Seville & The Chipmunks

World Series Champions: New York Yankees
NFL Champions: Baltimore Colts
NBA Champions: St. Louis Hawks
Stanley Cup Champs: Montreal Canadiens
U.S. Open Golf Tommy Bolt
U.S. Tennis: (Men/Ladies) Ashley J. Cooper/Althea Gibson
Wimbledon (Men/Women): Ashley Cooper/Althea Gibson
NCAA Football Champions: Iowa & LSU
NCAA Basketball Champions: Kentucky
Kentucky Derby: Tim Tam
World Cup (Soccer): Brazil

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