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.
Discover how USA looked like in 1958
Have a look at the old newspapers from 1958 and get them!
Which were the most popular movies released this year ?
Directed by: Richard Brooks
Starring: Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Newman, Burl Ives, Jack Carson
Country: United States
Directed by: William Wyler
Starring: Gregory Peck, Jean Simmons, Carroll Baker, Charlton Heston
Directed by: Stanley Kramer
Starring: Tony Curtis, Sidney Poitier, Theodore Bikel, Charles McGraw
Directed by: Bimal Roy
Starring: Dilip Kumar, Vyjayanthimala, Johnny Walker, Pran
Which were the top hits of 1958 ?
Which were the most popular books released in 1958 ?
By: Art Linkletter
Almost 50 years since its first printing, this famous collection of children's wisdom and witticisms is now back in print in a facsimile edition to entertain a whole new generation.
By: Robert Traver
First published by St. Martin's in 1958, Robert Traver's Anatomy of a Murder immediately became the number-one bestseller in America, and was subsequently turned into the successful and now classic Otto Preminger film.
By: Jean Kerr
Please Don't Eat the Daisies has sold millions of copies since its original publication in 1957. It became a film in 1960 starring David Niven and Doris Day, and a television
By: John Gunther
1957 1958 Edition. Dust Jacket rough. Book very good, edges show wear from age.
Which were the top popular names given to babies born in 1958 in the USA ?
Click on the dates below to find out what the world looked like in each day of 1958