1958 News and Interesting History Tidbits

Check Out News Stories and Interesting Tidbits of History from 50 Years ago in 1958



What Happened 50 years ago in 1958 Including Prices

Recession starts to bite in America with 7.0% ( 5.2 million ) people unemployed

The average wages per year is $4.600.00

The average cost of a new home $12,750.00

A Gallon of Gas cost 25 cents

Toyota and Datsun Cars go on sale in The US

The First US Passenger Jets come into service with the Boeing 707

Elvis Presley is inducted into the Army.

US Nuclear Submarine " Nautilus " passes under Ice Cap at North Pole

The Wham-O company introduces the Hula Hoop

Alaska becomes the 49th State

The Microchip ( the magic chip that makes all our PC's work ) first developed in US by Intel

The Munich air disaster in which 7 Manchester United Players died

Popular Singers in 1958 included
Elvis Presley singing Jailhouse Rock, Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Jerry Lee Lewis singing Great Balls Of Fire

Popular Films Included
The Bridge on the River Kwai and Vertigo

Some of The Cars You May Have Bought 50 years ago
Austin Healey Bug Eyed Sprite ( $1,795 )
Chrysler New Yorker ( $4,347 )
Ford Edsel Corsiar ( $3,346 )
Oldsmobile, Super 88 ( $2,958 )
Studebaker Starlight President ( $2695 )

Some of The Other Everyday items you may have bought 50 years ago
Chromecraft 7 piece Dinette Set $149.99
Ronson Electric Shaver $12.88
Philco Black and White TV 20 inches $229.95
Bananas 27 cents for 2 pounds
Campbells Tomato Soup 10 cents
Sirloin Steak 55 cents per pound
Pork Roast 42 cents per pound

A new home in Long Beach California with 3 bedroom 2 bathrooms , built in kitchen , ceramic tiles , breakfast bar and brick fireplace on large lots From $17,700







Arthur Miller
The playwright Arthur Miller has been cleared of contempt of court by the Court of Appeals for refusing to provide the names of alleged Communist writers with whom he had attended meetings with in New York in 1947 to the House of Un-American Activities Committee.






NASA Created
NASA ( National Aeronautics and Space Administration ) is created by the National Aeronautics and Space Act to make sure America will win the space race and 11 years and billions of dollars later, Neil Armstrong stepped out of the lunar module Eagle and onto the moon's surface on July 20, 1969.







Fidel Castro
Rebel guerrillas, led by Fidel Castro, are involved in heavy fighting around the town of Santa Clara, Cuba on 30th December, the capital of the province of Las Villas.

Two days later, Castro and his guerrillas had taken control and President Batista fled the country to the Dominican Republic






Hula Hoop
The Hula Hoop started in Australia as an exercise ring ( made of Bamboo ), a small American toy company Wham-O saw the hoop and made it in plastic and introduced it in 1958 renamed it the Hula-Hoop and it became an instant success with children and parents making it the success of the year .The Hula-Hoop, first marketed by Wham-O in 1958, is not patented by the company's co-founder, Arthur "Spud" Melin until 1963







Elvis Presley inducted in US Army
Elvis Presley is inducted as US Army as a private #53310761 and completed basic training at Fort Hood, Texas, before being posted to Friedberg, Germany with the 3rd Armored Division. It was while in the army he studied Karate which he continued to study after his term in the army finished as a sergeant on March 2, 1960.







Food Shortage
A shortage of food was occurring at this time, and it was not getting any better. This lack of sufficient food supplies started to take place in Shantung, China and has spread as far as the Southern coast.

It is estimated 30 million died during the Great Chinese Famine officially referred to as the Three Years of Natural Disasters of 1958–61 in China, but now accepted by the Chinese Government as a combination of Natural Disasters and poor planning following the Great Leap Forward which moved many peasant farmers off the land into Iron and steel production, the famine was also caused by changes in farming practices and a series of droughts and floods including the great the Yellow River flood which is considered the 7th deadliest natural disaster in the 20th century .







Rivers and Harbors Flood Control Bill
Following deadly floods caused by Hurricanes Connie and Diane in August 1955 President Eisenhower signs the Rivers and Harbors Flood Control Bill, allocating funds for improvement of flood-control and water-storage systems including specific provisions for hurricane flood protection.






Nautilus Gets To North Pole
The US Nuclear Submarine Nautilus is the first undersea vessel to reach the Geographic North Pole






Packard Cars End Production
Production of the luxury Packard automobiles is ended shortly after Packard is merged with Studebaker.






Iraq Becomes A Republic
A military coup in Iraq overthrows the monarchy making Iraq a republic. The Crown Prince Abdul Illah and Nuri es Said, prime minister of the Iraq-Jordan Federation, had been assassinated by the rebels.









New Prince Born In Monaco
Former film star Grace Kelly who is now married to Prince Rainier and is now known as Princess Grace gives birth to her second child a boy Albert Alexandre Louis Pierre. He will take automatic precedence over his one-year-old sister, Princess Caroline to become the next King.








Alaska Statehood Act
The Alaska Statehood Act is signed by President Dwight Eisenhower. This will make Alaska the 49th State In January of the following year.






Gatwick Airport Re-Opens
After having been closed for 2 years the new Gatwick Airports which is London's second airport opens after major re-development. The work has included adding a railway station. Gatwick Airport is now one of the world's top 10 busiest international airports.








The Broadway musical "My Fair Lady"
Following it's success on Broadway the musical "My Fair Lady" opens for its first night in London's West End at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, with Rex Harrison as Professor Higgins, and Julie Andrews playing Eliza Doolittle. Tickets for the show cost just over £1, the first month is sold out before opening night.








Satellite Maps
The US Military hinted that it will be possible with satellites orbiting the earth to pinpoint any place on the earth and make a detailed drawing including unfriendly countries











Brazil Wins 1958 World Cup
Brazil Wins the 1958 World Cup defeating Sweden 5-2 in Sweden







School Bus Crash Big Sandy River Kentucky
A school bus plunges into the Big Sandy River in Kentucky drowning 24 children and the driver.







General Charles de Gaulle Elected
Following a long political crisis over the revolt in Algeria, Charles de Gaulle is called out of retirement to head a new emergency government as a virtual dictator for a 6 month period to bring the country back together. General Charles de Gaulle is elected President of France with a large majority.









First US Commercial Jet Flight
The first domestic passenger jet powered aircraft flight took place in the United States as a National Airlines Boeing 707 flew 111 passengers from New York City to Miami.







School Fire Chicago
A fire at Our Lady of Angels School grade school in Chicago grade leaves 90 children dead due to poor fire prevention including no sprinklers and no fire drills .







Manchester United Football Team Disaster
A British European Airways flight crashes just after takeoff from Munich Airport. Eight players from the Manchester United soccer team together with 15 others died in the crash.









Introduction of The T-Bird
A four-passenger Thunderbird was made by the Ford Company, and it was introduced in 1958. This new version was called the “Square Bird”, and was considered to be a model of car that turned the Thunderbird from a sports car into a luxury car. This version of the Thunderbird is often even today referred to as the T-Bird. It is known as the epitome of 1950s culture, and has appeared in movies such as Grease and in music videos (i.e. Beach Boys “I get Around”).







Transatlantic Jet Service
The first Trans Atlantic passenger jetliner service begins by BOAC with flights between London and New York on the new Comet Jet Airliner.







Bobby Fischer
Robert James Fischer, a 14 year old boy from New York received the title of U.S. Chess Champion. This was considered a miracle that had happen-as he was as young as he was. Young Mr. Fischer was native to Brooklyn, New York. The contest took place in Downtown Manhattan.









Nelson E. Rockefeller
Republican Nelson E. Rockefeller has won in New York unseating Democratic Governor Averell Harriman with more than half a million voted to spare. This was the millionaires first attempt at public office .







Colorado Snowstorm 1958
Three feet of snow fall near Colorado Springs. This snowfall was one of the earliest that this region ever experienced. Another foot of snow had fallen in the Central area of Colorado as well. As a result of these storms, numerous drivers were stranded, and a large region of the state was nearly shut down.










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