What Else Happened in 1959?
In the news…
*Jan. 3 – Alaska is admitted as the 49th US state.
*Jan. 8 – Charles De Gaulle is inaugurated as the first president of the Fifth Republic of France.
*Feb. 3 – A chartered plane transporting Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, and the Big Bopper goes down in an Iowa snowstorm, killing all aboard.
*Feb. 16 – Fidel Castro becomes Premier of Cuba.
*Mar. 9 – The Barbie doll debuts.
*Mar. 17 – Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, flees Tibet and travels to India.
*Apr. 9 – NASA announces its selection of seven military pilots to become the first US astronauts (M. Scott Carpenter, L. Gordon Cooper, John H. Glenn, Jr., Virgil I. “Gus” Grissom, Walter M. Schirra, Alan B. Shepard, Donald K. “Deke” Slayton).
*Jul. 8 – MSGT Charles Ovnand and Maj. Dale R. Buis become the first Americans killed in action in Vietnam.
*Jul. 24 – The “kitchen debate” between Nixon and Khrushchev.
*Aug. 14 – Explorer VI sends the first picture of Earth from space.
*Aug. 21 – Hawaii is admitted as the 50th US state.
*Sep. 13 – The Russian probe Luna 2 becomes the first man-made object to reach the Moon.
*Oct. 2 – “The Twilight Zone” premieres on CBS.
*Jan. 17 – Susanna Hoffs, singer for The Bangles.
*Jan. 22 – Linda Blair, cool actress and horror icon.
*Jan. 27 – Keith Olbermann, sportscaster, newsman, and extremely cool guy.
He is the Edward R. Murrow of our time. Keith is the MAN!!!
*Jan. 28 – Randi Rhodes, awesome radio talk show host. I love Randi.
*Feb. 16 – John McEnroe, cool tennis player.
*Feb. 22 – Kyle MacLachlan, cool actor. Check out Blue Velvet, Dune, and Twin Peaks. He was a pretty good Ray Manzarek in the Doors movie, too.
*Apr. 15 – Emma Thompson, very cool actress.
*Mar. 11 – Nina Hartley, porn icon.
*Mar. 16 – Flavor Flav, rapper with Public Enemy.
*Mar. 18 – Luc Besson, brilliant French filmmaker. Check out La Femme Nikita, Leon the Professional, and The Fifth Element.
*Mar. 22 – Matthew Modine, cool actor. Check out Full Metal Jacket.
*Mar. 29 – Perry Farrell, singer for Jane’s Addiction and Porno for Pyros.
*Apr. 21 – Robert Smith, alt-rock icon, singer for The Cure, and all-around cool guy.
*May 5 – Ian McCulloch, singer for Echo & the Bunnymen.
*May 22 – Morrissey, singer for The Smiths and one of the greatest songwriters of the 20th century. I don’t think I would have survived high school without his songs. Moz Rules!!!
*May 29 – Adrian Paul, cool actor. He played Duncan MacLeod on the Highlander TV series.
*Jun. 6 – Colin Quinn, SNL alum and really funny guy.
*Jun. 12 – Scott Thompson, extremely funny guy. One of The Kids in the Hall.
*Jun. 12 – John Linnell, one half of They Might Be Giants.
*Jun. 26 – Mark McKinney, one of The Kids in the Hall.
*Jun. 30 – Vincent D’Onofrio, extremely cool and hugely talented actor. Check out Full Metal Jacket and Law & Order: Criminal Intent.
*Jul. 26 – Kevin Spacey, very talented actor. Check out American Beauty and The Usual Suspects.
*Aug. 10 – Rosanna Arquette, very cool and sexy actress.
*Aug. 9 – Kurtis Blow, rap pioneer.
*Oct. 15 – Todd Solondz, great filmmaker. Check out Happiness.
*Oct. 23 – “Weird Al” Yankovic, great rock parodist.
*Oct. 23 – Sam Raimi, great filmmaker. Check out the Evil Dead movies and A Simple Plan.
*Dec. 30 – Tracey Ullman, great British comedian.
*Dec. 31 – Val Kilmer, cool actor. Check out The Doors and Tombstone.
*Dec. 31 – Paul Westerberg, singer for the Replacements.
*Jan. 21 – Carl “Alfalfa” Switzer, one of The Little Rascals.
*Jan. 29 – Cecil B. DeMille, legendary filmmaker.
*Feb. 3 – Buddy Holly, great rock pioneer.
*Mar. 3 – Lou Costello, great comedian. One half of the Abbott & Costello comedy team.
*Mar. 26 – Raymond Chandler, great writer of crime fiction. Created Philip Marlowe. Check out “The Big Sleep.”
*Apr. 9 – Frank Lloyd Wright, highly influential architect.
*Jun. 16 – George Reeves, actor most well known for playing Superman.
*Jul. 17 – Billie Holiday, brilliant jazz vocalist. One of the greatest singers of all time.
*Aug. 6 – Preston Sturges, great director of comedies. Check out Sullivan’s Travels.
*Oct. 14 – Errol Flynn, great actor and legendary movie star. Check out The Adventures of Robin Hood.
*Oct. 16 – George Marshall, General of the Army and highly influential Secretary of State. Responsible for the Marshall Plan that helped rebuild Europe after World War II. Winner of the 1953 Nobel Peace Prize.
*Nov. 21 – Max Baer, great boxer. Heavyweight Champion of the World in 1934 and 1935.
In the world of movies…
The Top Grossing Films of 1959
10. Rio Bravo
9. Sleeping Beauty
8. (tie) Anatomy of a Murder & North by Northwest
7. The Nun’s Story
6. Imitation of Life
5. Pillow Talk
4. Some Like It Hot
3. The Shaggy Dog
2. Auntie Mame
Oscar Winners of 1959
Best Picture – Ben-Hur
Best Actor – Charlton Heston (Ben-Hur)
Best Actress – Simone Signoret (Room at the Top)
Best Supp. Actor – Hugh Griffith (Ben-Hur)
Best Supp. Actress – Shelley Winters (The Diary of Anne Frank)
Best Director – William Wyler (Ben-Hur)
Other Films released in 1959
The 400 Blows
Darby O’Gill and the Little People
Hiroshima Mon Amour
The Immoral Mr. Teas (the first successful Russ Meyer movie)
On the Beach
Plan 9 from Outer Space
Suddenly, Last Summer
In the world of television…
Shows premiering in 1959
Dennis the Menace
The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis
Rocky & His Friends
The Twilight Zone
Shows ending in 1959
Dragnet (it’ll be back in a few years though)
The Mickey Mouse Club
Your Hit Parade
Most Watched Shows of 1959
10. Perry Mason
9. Wanted: Dead Or Alive
8. The Price Is Right
7. 77 Sunset Strip
6. Father Knows Best
5. The Red Skelton Show
4. The Danny Thomas Show
3. Have Gun Will Travel
2. Wagon Train
Emmy Winners of 1959
Best Drama – Playhouse 90 (CBS)
Best Actor in a Series – Robert Stack (The Untouchables)
Best Actress in a Series – Jane Wyatt (Father Knows Best)
In the world of books…
Great Books published in 1959
Psycho – Robert Bloch
Naked Lunch – William S. Burroughs
The Manchurian Candidate – Richard Condon
Advise and Consent – Allen Drury
Goldfinger – Ian Fleming
The Tin Drum – Gunter Grass
Starship Troopers – Robert A. Heinlein
The Haunting of Hill House – Shirley Jackson
Hawaii – James A. Michener
The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz – Mordecai Richler
Goodbye, Columbus – Philip Roth
In the world of comics…
Marvel Comics first publishes Tales of Suspense and Tales to Astonish.
DC Comics publishes Batman #121 in February, featuring the first appearance of Mr. Freeze, a major Batman villain.
DC Comics publishes Our Army at War #81 in April, featuring the first appearance of Sgt. Rock.
DC Comics publishes Action Comics #252 in May, featuring the first appearance of Supergirl.
DC Comics publishes Flash #106 in May, featuring the first appearance of Gorilla Grodd, a major Flash villain.
DC Comics publishes Showcase #22 in October, featuring the first appearance of Hal Jordan, the Silver Age Green Lantern.
DC Comics publishes Flash #110 in December, featuring the first appearance of Wally West, Kid Flash. After the death of Barry Allen, he will graduate to the role of Flash.
In the world of sports…
*World Series – The Los Angeles Dodgers won 4 games to 2 over the Chicago White Sox.
*NBA Finals – The Boston Celtics won 4 games to 0 over the Minneapolis Lakers.
*Boxing – On Jun. 26, in New York City, Ingemar Johansson scored a 3rd round TKO over Floyd Patterson to win the World Heavyweight Championship.
*NFL Championship – The Baltimore Colts won 31-16 over the New York Giants.
*College Football champions – The Syracuse Orangemen.
*Stanley Cup – The Montreal Canadiens won 4 games to 1 over the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Comments and opinions are encouraged and appreciated.
Thursday, January 04, 2007
What Else Happened in 1959?