Perched on the cusp of the 1960s, the year 1959 saw the US living under the presidency of Dwight D. Eisenhower. The leaders of the world presided over a worldwide population of roughly 3 billion.
The most popular name for little boys was Michael. On the other hand, if you had a girl, you were far more likely to choose the name Mary. Included amongst those bundles of joy were the world’s greatest linebacker, Lawrence Taylor; rapper and star, Flavor Flav, former Prime Minster of Canada, Stephen Harper; English actor, Hugh Laurie; and comedian, Weird Al Yankovic. While we may have gained Dr. House, we lost Cecil DeMille, Buddy Holly, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Lou Costello.
The most common book club selections happened to be Knowles’ A Separate Peace, Heinlein’s Star Ship Troopers, and Buroughs’ Naked Lunch. In the cinemas of the world, Ben-Hur, Some Like it Hot, and Sleeping Beauty saw a sharp rise in popularity. Read on to find out how this year helped set the foundation for the American flag, the modern work week, and forever changed our view of the world.
These twelve-months saw the sale of the first Barbie Doll, the launch of the first weather satellite, the first showing of The Twilight Zone, and the first colored picture of Earth as seen from outer space. In addition, the inventors of the world gave us our first look at both the pacemaker and the microchip.
Cuba witnessed a change in leadership as rebel Fidel Castro’s forces chased off ex-dictator Batista. France saw the beginnings of the 5th republic with the inauguration of Charles de Gaulle. While Cyprus was finally granted its independence, Singapore swore in its first prime minister. A huge step was taken towards world peace in 1959. Even if he may have been irritated to be denied access to Disneyland, Russia’s President, Nikita Khruschev agreed to reopen diplomatic relationships with the US. Meanwhile, with the addition of Hawaii and Alaska, the number of US states swelled from 48 to the current 50. Lastly, determining working norms for some time to come, West Germany became the first country to introduce a five-day work week.
If you’re smiling listening to Rebecca Black’s Friday as you get ready to leave the office, you should consider slinging some thanks at the year that made it all possible: 1959.
Discover how Hong Kong looked like in 1959
Have a look at the old newspapers from 1959 and get them!
Which were the most popular movies released this year ?
Directed by: Grigoriy Chukhray
Starring: Vladimir Ivashov, Zhanna Prokhorenko, Antonina Maksimova, Nikolay Kryuchkov
Country: United States
Directed by: William Wyler
Starring: Charlton Heston, Jack Hawkins, Stephen Boyd, Haya Harareet
Directed by: Bernhard Wicki
Starring: Folker Bohnet, Fritz Wepper, Michael Hinz, Frank Glaubrecht
Directed by: Otto Preminger
Starring: James Stewart, Lee Remick, Ben Gazzara, Arthur O'Connell
Which were the top hits of 1959 ?
Which were the most popular books released in 1959 ?
By: William J. Lederer and Eugene Burdick
The multi-million-copy bestseller that coined the phrase for tragic American blunders abroad. In the episode that lends the book its title, the "ugly American" is Homer Atkins, a plain and plain-spoken man, who has been sent by the U.S.
By: Taylor Caldwell
The world-famous novel about the triumphant story of St. Luke. Man of science, and Gospel writer. Today St. Luke is known as the author of the third Gospel of the New Testament, but two thousand years ago he was Lucanus, ...
By: Pat Boone
By: Harry Lewis Golden
Book by Golden, Harry Lewis
Which were the top popular names given to babies born in 1959 in the USA ?
Click on the dates below to find out what the world looked like in each day of 1959