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Cost of Living 1959How Much things cost in 1959
Yearly Inflation Rate USA 1.01%
Yearly Inflation Rate UK 0.9%
Average Cost of new house $12,400.00 Average Yearly Wages $5,010.00 Cost of a gallon of Gas 25 cents Average Cost of a new car $2,200.00 Movie Ticket $1.00 Loaf of Bread 20 cents Kodak Movie camera $67.50 Ladies Stockings $1.00
Below are some Prices for UK guides in Pounds Sterling
Average House Price 2,410 Austin 7 ( Mini ) 500
| Part of our 1950s Toys Selection of 250 Fifties Toys |
| From Fifties Fashion Section |
| From Our Fifties Furniture Page |
| From Our Fifties Electrical |
What Events Happened in 1959U.S.
- The Guggenheim Museum designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in New York City is completed
- Fidel Castro comes to power in Cuba after Revolution with the first communist state in the west
1. 1952 -Former Cuban President Fulgencio Batista leads a military coup and takes power
2. 1953 - A group of rebels led by Fidel Castro attack the Moncada Barracks, the attack fails and Batista suspends many constitutional rights in retaliation
3. 1954 - Batista is elected virtually unopposed as the opposition either boycotts the election or is intimidated into dropping out of the race
4. 1955 - Fidel Castro and all other political prisoners are released from prison by Batista due to political pressures
5. 1955 - Fidel & Raul Castro flee to Mexico and meet revolutionary Che Guevara. They begin plans for a revolution to overthrow Batista
6. 1956 - Fidel Castro and a number of revolutionaries sail to Cuba from Mexico
7. 1957 - Castro and the few original revolutionaries that were left after several casualties gather support while hiding out in the Sierra Maestra mountains. They are able to launch a few successful attacks against the Cuban army
8. 1958 - Castro's rebels are successful at holding back the Cuban army despite being outnumbered and suffering losses
9. 1958 - The United States of America imposes an arms embargo on Cuba
10. 1958 - Guevara's guerilla troops attack and capture Santa Clara and Cienfuego's guerilla army is victorious in the Battle of Yaguajay
11. January 1959 - Batista flees from Cuba
12. January 1959 - Castro and the victorious revolutionaries arrive in Havana
13. 1959 - Manuel Urrutia Lleo becomes Cuba's new president and Jose Miro Cardona becomes Prime Minister
14. February 1959 - Fidel Castro becomes Prime Minister of Cuba and Miro goes into exile
15. 1959 - Castro forces Urrutia out of office and appoints Osvaldo Dorticos as president and Castro is now known as the Premier of Cuba
Castro then aligns himself with Soviet Russia after being rebuffed by the United States
- Mattel's Barbie Doll is Launched
1. 1913 - Tibet declares independence
2. 1935 - 14th reincarnation of the Dalai Lama is born
3. 1949 - Mao Zedong founds The People's Republic of China
4. 1950 - The Dalai Lama becomes Tibet's head of state at 15 years old
5. 1950 - China forces Tibetan leaders to sign a treaty that allows China to set up military headquarters in Lhasa but also gives Tibet autonomy and religious freedom, called the "Seventeen Point Agreement"
6. 1954 - The Dalai Lama participates in talks with Mao Zedong in Beijing, but China does not honor the Seventeen Point Agreement
7. 1959 - Tibetans revolt against the Chinese in Lhasa, but the uprising is suppressed
8. 1959 - The Dalai Lama and tens of thousands of Tibetans flee to India
The Dalai Lama is still in exile but has continued to try to work for peace between Tibet and China
- Alaska becomes the 49th State of the United States
- Hawaii Statehood
1. 1893 - American sugar growers and business men stage a coup to overthrow Queen Lili'uokalani and create the Republic of Hawaii
2. 1898 - The Republic of Hawaii becomes a United States territory
3. 1941 - Pearl Harbor is attacked by Japan and Hawaii becomes essential to the Pacific war effort
4. 1947 - Delegate Joseph Farrington from Hawaii introduces H.R. 49 to help Hawaii become a state
5. 1950 - The Hawaii Constitution documents are approved
6. 1954 - A petition for Hawaii's statehood with 116,000 signatures is taken to the United States Congress
7. 1955 - The Hawaii-Alaska join statehood bill is not approved by the US Congress
8. 1957 - John Burns becomes Hawaii's territorial delegate to Congress and is highly influential in Hawaii's acceptance as a state
9. 1959 - US President Eisenhower signs the Hawaii Admission Act into law and Hawaii becomes the 50th state in the United States of America
10. 1959 - William F. Quinn is elected as the state's first governor
- The new Labor Reform Act passed to control union powers.
- The St. Lawrence Seaway, a joint US/Canadian venture, is completed linking the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean
1. 1895 - The 1st joint US-Canadian Deep Waterways Commission is formed to study the possibility of a seaway
2. 1932 - The 4th Welland Canal is completed, marking the first step in the process to complete a modern seaway
3. 1932 - Canada and the United States sign the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Deep Waterway Treaty
4. 1949 - A 2nd joint US-Canadian Deep Waterways Commission is formed to further study the feasibility of a waterway due to increased public interest
5. 1951 - The St. Lawrence Seaway Authority Act and the International Rapids Power Development Act let Canadians navigate the Canadian side of the river
6. 1951 - The United States begins working on the Wiley-Dondero Canal to bypass the International Rapids
7. 1954 - The US and Canada both pass acts that allow for the development of the St. Lawrence Seaway
8. 1954 - Canada and the United States reach an agreement on construction plans, Canada pays $336.5 million of the $470.3 million costs
9. September 1954 - Construction of the St. Lawrence Seaway officially begins
10. 1958 - Construction deadlines are met with the Iroquois, Snell, and Eisenhower Locks
11. 1959 - The St. Lawrence Seaway is officially completed and opened on June 26th and links the Great Lakes to the rest of the world
12. April 1959 - The D'Iberville icebreaker starts the first through-transit of the Seaway
The building of the Seaway forced many communities to resettle as they were destroyed by flooding during construction. It has also caused serious harm to the ecology of the Great Lakes as non-native animals and plant-life (like Zebra Mussels) have been introduced from foreign ships.
The Soviet Union crashes the Luna 2 spacecraft into the Moon, making it the first man-made object to reach the Moon's surface. The Luna 2 (Lunik 2) was launched on September 12th, 1959 and after over thirty hours of flight it crashed into the surface of the Moon on September 14th.
The spacecraft carried Soviet pennants and several scientific instruments like a Geiger-counter to measure radiation and a magnetometer to measure magnetic fields. It ceased operation after impacting the Moon in the Palus Putredinus region.
This was one of the first major events in the space race between the United States and Soviet Union. The United States did not successfully land a spacecraft on the Moon under the Ranger 4 in 1962.
The iconic religious epic and award-winning film “Ben-Hur” premieres on the 18th of November, 1959. The film starred legendary actor Charlton Heston and was directed by William Wyler. At the time of its production, the movie had the largest budget of any movie ever made with an estimated $15.9 million spent. It also had some of the largest sets ever created at the time. The film was a remake of a silent film from the 1920s and was also adapted from a novel by Lew Wallace. Ben-Hur was a huge financial and critical success as the film won eleven Academy Awards.
- The Austin Seven ( Mini ) from the British Motor Corporation goes on sale for £500 August 30th
The iconic science fiction television series “The Twilight Zone” airs for the first time on October 2nd, 1959 on the CBS television network. The Twilight Zone was created and hosted by the talented screenwriter Rod Serling. The Twilight Zone still ranks as one of the most unique and best written television shows in TV history. It ran for five seasons until 1964 and had a total of 156 episodes. Of those 156 episodes, 92 were written by Serling himself and many of them contain some of the most memorable television moments. The show consisted of sci-fi and supernatural mysteries in an anthology setting and featured many then unknown actors who would later become famous, like Ron Howard, Dennis Hopper, Robert Redofrd and William Shatner.
- Hudson and Nash join on January 14th to become AMC (American Motors Association )
- Archbishop Makarios is elected president of the Independent Cyprus Republic
- The United Kingdom grants Cyprus its independence.
- Flood in Taiwan leaves 2,000 dead.
- US Unemployment reaches 1.4 million
- NASA introduces America's first astronauts to the world including John H. Glenn Jr, and Alan Shepard Jr.
NASA introduces the first group of astronauts, known as the Mercury Seven, during April of 1959. The astronauts were Alan Shepard, John Glenn, Walter Schirra, Donald Slayton, Virgil “Gus” Grissom, L. Gordon Cooper, and M. Scott Carpenter. The group consisted of military aviators, 3 from the Navy, 3 from the Air Force, and 1 from the Marine Corps. The astronauts took part in the United States’ first human space flight program, Project Mercury. Many of the men would also go on to take part in future NASA projects such as the Gemini program and the Apollo program. Some notable achievements by the Mercury Seven included Alan Shepard becoming the first American in space and John Glenn becoming the first American to orbit the Earth.
- Typhoon Vera with winds over 160 mph strikes Japanese island of Honshu, killing nearly 5,000 people.
- Direct Dial Payphones Introduced In The UK
- Southend Pier Pavilion is destroyed by fire
- An International agreement is signed to preserve Antartica
- Richard Nixon and Nikita Khrushchev argue about advantages of communism and capitalism in a Kitchen known as the ( Kitchen Debate ) on July 24th
- The first known human with HIV dies in Congo.
- Ecuador President declares martial law following riots in the countries capitol.
- The US Grammy Music Awards Started
- The last musical from Rodgers and Hammerstein "The Sound of Music" opens on broadway
- 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 tragedy is later termed "The Day the Music Died," popularized in Don McLean's song, "American Pie."
- The Film Ben-Hur premieres in New York City
- Some Like It Hot
- Anatomy of a Murder
- North by Northwest
- Sleeping Beauty
- Doris Day
- Frank Sinatra
- Connie Francis
- Jim Reeves
- Cliff Richard
- Ella Fitzgerald
Popular TV Programmes
- Bonanza premieres on NBC, the first weekly television series broadcast completely in color
- Juke Box Jury premieres on BBC Television
- Dixon of Dock Green (UK)
- The Huckleberry Hound Show
Check out our TV Shows From The 50s whenever possible we have included a trailer to jog your memory. Series trailers and more information are found on the decade they started.
Born This YearJason Alexander September 23rd
Fred Couples October 3rd
Simon Cowell October 7th
Hugh Laurie June 11th
- Boeing 707 Jet Airliner comes into service cutting 8 hrs from transatlantic Flight
- USSR Luna 2 crashes onto the Moon as the first man-made object and Luna 3 sends back first photos of the far side of Earth's Moon
- First Pictures Of Earth From Space Taken By Explorer 6
- IBM shipped the transistor-based IBM 1401 mainframe.
- Full size hovercraft, the SR-N1 by Sir Christopher Cockerell tested for the first time on June 11th at Cowes on the Isle of Wight
- Xerox launches the first commercial copier
- US Launches first Weather Station in Space
- First Section of M1 Motorway from London to Birmingham Opens
- De Beers manufactures a synthetic Diamond
- QANTAS introduces the Boeing 707 on its Sydney-San Francisco route, the first transpacific service flown by jet.
Inventions Invented by Inventors and Country ( or attributed to First Use )
Microchip USA by Jack Kilby
Etch A Sketch France by Arthur Grandjean
Computer Modem USA
Lunar Probe Russia Lunik I passed the Moon;
Lunar Probe Russia Lunik II crashed on the Moon;
Lunar Probe Russia Lunik III photographed the far side of the Moon
Major World Political LeadersAustralia Prime Minister Sir Robert Menzies Brazil President Juscelino Kubitschek Canada Prime Minister John Diefenbaker
China Chairman of the People's Republic of China Liu Shaoqi
France President René Coty Till 8 January
France President Charles de Gaulle From 8 January
Germany Chancellor Konrad Adenauer
India Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru
Italy Prime Minister Amintore Fanfani Till 15 February
Italy Prime Minister Antonio Segni From 15 February
Japan Prime Minister Nobusuke Kishi Mexico President Adolfo López Mateos Russia / Soviet Union
First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Nikita Khrushchev South Africa Prime Minister Hendrik Frensch Verwoerd United States President Dwight D. Eisenhower United Kingdom Prime Minister Harold Macmillan
British General Election 1959 Harold Macmillan ( Conservative )defeats Hugh Gaitskell ( Labour ) and Jo Grimond ( Liberal )