1958 Events & Facts

What Happened in 1958?


  • Efforts at school desegregation in the southern U.S. are met with impassioned resistance
  • U.S. launches its first satellite, Explorer I; NASA established
  • 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


  • Economic slowdown in U.S. causes sharp rise in unemployment


  • Nuclear submarine jm 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
  • The Microchip co-invented by Jack Kilby


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


  • Movies: Gigi, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Me and the Colonel
  • 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
  • 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


  • Stereo recordings become available
  • "Barbie" doll introduced, becoming an instant success
  • Average Cost of a new house $12,750


  • "Hula Hoops" become a national craze
  • Madonna and Michael Jackson were born
  • The Hope Diamond is donated to the Smithsonian Institution


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