1958 was a landmark year for technology and culture.
The year started off with the Soviet Union’s Sputnik 1, the world’s first artificial satellite, falling out of orbit in January. As one satellite came down, another went up. Also in January, the United States successfully launched Explorer 1 into Earth’s orbit. It was the first successful satellite launch for the United States.
1958 was also the year that the U.S. established the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). NASA would go on to lead the world in space exploration, culminating in the famous Apollo missions that placed human beings on the Moon. In another major technological achievement, the USS Nautilus, the world’s first nuclear-powered submarine, was the first vessel to reach the North Pole while submerged.
There were some major cultural events that transpired this year as well. On July 12, the Beatles (called the Quarrymen at the time) had their first recording session. They recorded a cover of Buddy Holly’s “That’ll Be the Day” and “In Spite of All the Danger” by Paul McCartney and George Harrison.
As historic as the Beatles’ first recording session was, another cultural phenomenon surpasses it. In the shadow of the Cold War, Harvey Lavan “Van” Cliburn, Jr., of Texas, won the inaugural quadrennial International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition in Moscow at the age of twenty-three. Van Cliburn played so well that the Soviet audience gave him a standing ovation that lasted for several minutes and he returned home to the United States as a hero, eventually having a major piano competition named for him. The Van Cliburn International Competition is held every four years in Fort Worth, Texas. For the rest of his life, Van Cliburn was an ambassador of good will between the Soviet and American people, proving a little light and hope in an otherwise tension-filled period of history.
Which were the most popular movies released this year ?
Which were the top hits of 1958 ?
Top #10 songs in the USA
- The Teddy Bears - To Know Him, Is To Love Him
- Domenico Modugno - Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu (Volare)
- Danny & The Juniors - At The Hop
- The Everly Brothers - All I Have To Do Is Dream
- The Kingston Trio - Tom Dooley
- The Champs - Tequila
- Tommy Edwards - It's All In The Game
- The Everly Brothers - Bird Dog
- The Elegants - Little Star
- David Seville - Witch Doctor
Top #10 songs in the UK
- Connie Francis - Who's Sorry Now
- The Kalin Twins - When
- Vic Damone - On The Street Where You Live
- Michael Holliday - The Story Of My Life
- Lord Rockingham's XI - Hoots Mon
- Marvin Rainwater - Whole Lotta Woman
- Connie Francis - Stupid Cupid / Carolina Moon
- Perry Como - Magic Moments
- The Everly Brothers - All I Have To Do Is Dream / Claudette
- Max Bygraves - Tulips From Amsterdam / You Need Hands
Which were the most popular books released in 1958 ?
Which were the top popular names given to babies born in 1958 in the USA ?
Top #10 male names
Top #10 female names
What happened in each day of 1958
Click on the dates below to find out what the world looked like in each day of 1958