The Year was 1959.

President Dwight D Eisenhower (R) 1953-1961

The great depression was now a distant memory but it had shaped the people who were raised in it and brought in a new era of DIY and self help home and garden ideas, the likes of which had never been seen before.

Fidel Castro had just come into power in Cuba after a bloody revolution. The  Dalai Lama was forced to flee Tibet.

Barbie Dolls were a new item and Alaska had been brought into statehood, along with Hawaii, bringing the count up to 50 states.

The newly created NASA introduces America’s first astronauts to the world including John H. Glenn Jr, and Alan Shepard Jr, US Launches first Weather Station in Space.

Alaska and Hawaii became states in 1959.

United States — President – Dwight D. Eisenhower

The US population was about 177,000,000 and our life expectancy  in 1957 was about 69.5 years.

The murder rate was just 4 murders per 100,000 people and crime was much lower.

The Median Household Income was about 5600 dollars for the average laborer.

Groceries were  much lower in price and usually much fresher. Bacon was 60 cents a pound and eggs 28 for a dozen. A gallon of milk cost about $1.03 and a loaf of bread was approximately 20 cents.

Postage – Sending a letter across the country would cost you  $.03 in postage.

Gasoline – A gallon of gas cost about 25 cents.

Cars – The top selling car was the Chevy and it sold for 2200 dollars or a bit more, depending on your options.

The starting price for Chevrolet Corvettes was $3,875 in 1959

The Top News for 1959:

  • The unemployment in the US reached about 1.4 million people.
  • The first human with HIV died of the disease.
  • The chartered plane transporting musicians Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, and the Big Bopper goes down in an Iowa snowstorm, killing all four occupants on board.
  • The USSR’s Luna 2 space craft crashed into the moon.

Products Introduced in 1959

  • 9Lives cat food
  • Jiffy Pop popcorn
  • Jolly Cola
  • Little People toys
  • Molson Canadia beer
  • Princess telephones
  • Surf laundry detergent
  • Xerox 914 is the first successfully marketed plain paper copier

1959 Music, Television and Movies

The Top 5 Songs of 1959

1. The Battle Of New Orleans – Johnny Horton (Columbia)

2. Mack The Knife – Bobby Darin (Atco)

3. Personality – Lloyd Price (ABC-Paramount)

4. Venus – Frankie Avalon (Chancellor)

5. Lonely Boy – Paul Anka (ABC-Paramount)

1959 Television

The Twilight Zone premiered becoming one of the most watched shows in history and featuring many people who would one day become very famous.
This is the pilot introduction with show background by Rod Serling followed by the episode “Where is Everybody”

1959 Movies
Best Picture: Ben Hur

Anatomy Of A Murder

Some Like It Hot

and who doesn’t want to forget…

Plan 9 From Outer Space, aka Grave Robbers From Outer Space