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The Year 1958
MAJOR EVENTS:
  • Efforts at school desegregation in the southern U.S. are met with impassioned resistance
  • Vice President Richard Nixon's goodwill tour of South America sparks open protests and rioting
  • Egypt and Sudan form the United Arab Republic
  • U.S. Marines intervene in Lebanon to bolster government
  • The U.S. launches its first satellite, Explorer I, into earth orbit
  • Roy Campanella of the Brooklyn Dodgers, major league's first black catcher and three-time most valuable player, is paralyzed from the neck down in a car crash
  • Nikita Khrushchev ousts Bulganin and assumes leadership of the Soviet Union
  • National Airlines inaugurates the first regular domestic jet service with flights between New York City and Miami
  • Van Cliburn becomes the first American to win the prestigious International Tchaikowsky Piano Competition in Moscow
  • NASA is established to direct nonmilitary space activities
  • Pope John XXII succeeds Pope Pius XII following his death at the age of 82
  • The Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) is established to control civilian and military air traffic


  • BUSINESS & ECONOMY:
  • Economic slowdown in U.S. causes sharp rise in unemployment


  • SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY:
  • Nuclear submarine U.S.S.Nautilus makes the first underwater crossing of the North Pole
  • U.S. launches satellites that detect the Van Allen radiation belts around the earth, and determine that the earth is not perfectly round
  • Experimental nuclear power plant goes into operation


  • SPORTS:
  • World Series: New York Yankees over Milwaukee, 4-3
  • Arnold Palmer wins his first Masters golf tournament


  • ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT:
  • Movies: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Me and the Colonel; Best Picture: Gigi; Best Actress: Susan Hayward in I Want to Live; Best Actor: David Niven in Separate Tables
  • Songs: Catch a Falling Star, Chipmunk Song, Volare, The Purple People Eater, At the Hop
  • TV Shows: You Asked for It, Wagon Train, To Tell the Truth, The Rifleman, Donna Reed Show, Have Gun Will Travel, The Gary Moore Show, Peter Gunn, 77 Sunset Strip
  • Books: A Raisin in the Sun, Lorraine Hansberry; Exodus, Leon Uris; Dr. Zhivago, Boris Pasternak; Masters of Deceit, J. Edgar Hoover; Breakfast at Tiffany's, Truman Capote; The Affluent Society, John K. Gailbraith
  • The "Cha Cha" becomes a dance craze
  • New York's Guggenheim Museum, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, opens


  • EVERYDAY LIFE:
  • Stereo recordings become available
  • "Barbie" doll introduced, becoming an instant success
  • New Products Introduced: Sweet 'n Low, American Express credit card, BIC pen, Wham-O's, Hula Hoop, the first Pizza Hut


  • FUN FACTS:
  • "Hula Hoops" become a national craze