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A timeline of events in 1959-1960 - History

A timeline of events in 1959-1960 - History

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World History 1959-1960

EFTA Founded, Singapore Independent, Uprising in Tibet, Degaulle Vote for Algeria, St. Lawrence Seaway, Alaska Admitted to Union, Hawaii Admitted to Union, Kitchen Debate, Castro Seizes Power in Cuba, X- 15 Makes First Flight, Failed Summit in Paris, Sino Soviets Split, Syngman Rhee Resigns, Newly Independent Countries, U-2 Downed, Polaris Missile, USS Enterprise Launched, Planes Collide, Khrushchev

1959 EFTA Founded Great Britain, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Switzerland, Austria and Portugal established the "European Free Trade Association" as a counterpart to the Common Market.
1959 Singapore Independent Singapore became an independent state on June 3, 1959.
1959 Uprising in Tibet Fighting broke out between Communist Chinese troops and the local population, who were rebelling against Communist rule. The Communists put down the rebellion, dissolved the Tibetan local government and forced the Dalai Lama into exile.
1959 Degaulle Agrees to Vote on Algerian Independence French casualties continued to mount in Algeria. France's position that Algeria was part of their country was under attack throuhout the world. Thus, French President DeGaulle bowed to what seemed the inevitable and agreed to a referendum in Algeria on independence.
1959 St. Lawrence Seaway The St. Lawrence Seaway was opened on June 26. The Seaway, which was a joint Canadian-American project, allowed ships to travel to the Great Lakes, thereby opening American and Canadian lake ports to sea transportation.
1959 Alaska Admitted to the Union On January 3, 1959, Alaska became the 49th state admitted to the Union.
1959 Hawaii Admitted to the Union On August 21, Hawaii, the "Aloha State," joined the Union.
1959 Kitchen Debate During a visit to the Soviet Union by US Vice President Nixon, he and Soviet Premier Khrushchev engaged in a so called "kitchen debate" on the merits of Communism and Capitalism. The debate took place at the opening of the American National Exposition in Moscow.
1959 Castro Seizes Power in Cuba On January 1st, Fidel Castro marched into Havana after Cuban dictator Batista had fled. Castro, who had led the successful revolution against Batista, was widely welcomed-- even by the U.S. Castro soon signed a friendship treaty with the Soviet Union. He also confiscated large agrarian holdings. As far as the United States was concerned, these two actions transformed Castro from a freedom fighter into a Communist.
1959 X- 15 Makes First Flight The "X-15 Rocket" Aircraft made its first flight from a B-52 Bomber in 1959. The plane set many speed records, obtaining a top speed of Mach 6. The X-15 was used to test many concepts later used in the space program.


1960 Failed Summit in Paris The summit at Paris took place in the shadow of the Russian downing of an American U-2 fighter over the Soviet Union. The Soviets, led by Khrushchev, used the summit as a means of scoring a propoganda victory over the US. The summit, thus, accomplished nothing but to raise the level of rhetoric on both sides.
1960 Sino Soviets Split An ideological split developed between the communist Chinese and the communist government of the Soviet Union. The ideological roots of the dispute lay in the more pragramatic approach to world affairs that Premier Khrushchev was taking. In addition, the long-simmering border disputes between the parties began to effect their relations.
1960 Syngman Rhee Resigns Syngman Rhee was re-elected for a fourth term as President of South Korea in March 1960. Demonstrations broke out protesting that the elections had been rigged. On April 19, police fired on demonstrators, killing 127 people. On April 27, Rhee resigned.
1960 Niger, Mauritania, Mali, French Congo, Chad, and Madagascar all became Independent.
1960 Nigeria becomes Independent On October 1, Nigeria became independent. Its first governor general was Nnamdi Azikiwe. A, year later Northern Cameroon voted for union with Nigeria.
1960 Belgian Congo Independent On June 30, an independent Republic of the Congo was created, with Joseph Kasavubu as President and Patrice Lumumba as Premier. A civil war broke out when Moise Tshombe declared the Kantaga Province independent. The Congo government appealed to the U.N. for aid, and troops were dispatched. Kasavubu tried dismissing Lumumba, who had asked for assistance from the Soviet bloc. When Lumumba refused to be relieved, Col. Joseph Mobutu, commander of the Congo military, took over the government. Lumumba was captured and killed. The secession in Kantaga finally came to an end in 1964, when government forces took Albertville.
1960 U-2 Downed A U-2 spy plane, piloted by Francis Gary Powers, was shot down by the Soviet Union. The downing resulted in the complete failure of the four-part summit meeting held in Paris on May 17, when President Eisenhower refused Khruschev's demand for an apology for past aggression against the USSR.
1960 Polaris Missile Fired The United States Navy test-fired a Polaris Missile from a submarine. The successful firing of the Polaris allowed the United States to base a substantial portion of its nuclear deterrent forces on submarines, where they were safe from a successful first strike by Soviet forces.
1960 USS Enterprise Launched The USS Enterprise was the first aircraft carrier to be powered by nuclear reactors. The nuclear reactors freed the Enterprise from the need for refueling.
1960 Planes Collide On December 16, two airliners collided over the skies of Brooklyn, NY. The two planes involved were a United DC-8 and a TWA Super Constellation. There was only one survivor. The DC-8 was scheduled to land at Idlewild, while the Super Constellation was going to land at La Guardia. This crash, and a previous crash over the Grand Canyon, spurred the government to overhaul the national air traffic control system.

A team drawn from several computer manufacturers and the Pentagon develop COBOL—an acronym for Common Business-Oriented Language. Many of its specifications borrow heavily from the earlier FLOW-MATIC language. Designed for business use, early COBOL efforts aimed for easy readability of computer programs and as much machine independence as possible. Designers hoped a COBOL program would run on any computer for which a compiler existed with only minimal modifications.

Howard Bromberg, an impatient member of the committee in charge of creating COBOL, had this tombstone made out of fear that the language had no future. However, COBOL survives to this day. A study in 1997 estimated that over 200 billion lines of COBOL code was still in existence, accounting for 80% of all business software code.

1950 s

1950 - May 10: After three more years of debate, Congress passes and President Harry S. Truman signs Public Law 81-507, creating the National Science Foundation. The act provides for a National Science Board (NSB) of 24 part time members and a director as chief executive officer, all appointed by the president. The first NSB meeting is held December 12.

National Science Board Members, July 1951 (Left to right):
First Row: Dr. John W. Davis, Dr. Sophie B. Aberle, Dr. Detlev W. Bronk, Dr. James B. Conant, Dr. Alan T. Waterman, Dr. Gerty T. Cori, The Rev. Patrick H. Yancey
Standing Row: Dr. Marston Morse, Dr. E.C. Stakman, Dr. Chester I. Barnard, Dr. Paul M. Gross, Dr. Frederick A. Middlebush, Dr. Joseph C. Morris, Dr. James A. Reyniers, Dr. O.W. Hyman, Dr. Lee A. DuBridge, Dr. Robert F. Loeb, Dr. Robert P. Barnes, Dr. George D. Humphrey, Dr. A.A. Potter, Mr. Charles Dollard.

Credit: NSF Collection. Download the high-resolution JPG version of the image. (1.38 MB)

1951 - March: Alan T. Waterman, chief scientist at the Office of Naval Research, is nominated by President Truman to become the first director of the NSF. (Waterman Biography) He is provided with an initial appropriation of $225,000.

1952 - February 1: The National Science Board approves the first 28 research grants to be awarded by NSF. The first grant, for $10,300, goes to the Institute for Cancer Research. A total of 97 research grants are awarded in the first year. Among the recipients is Max Delbruck (Nobel Prize, 1969).

1952 - April: The first predoctoral and postdoctoral fellowships are awarded. Among the recipients are sociobiologist Edward O. Wilson (Pulitzer Prize, 1979 and 1991) and physicist Burton Richter (Nobel Prize, 1976). (The National Science Foundation Class of 1952)

1953 - May: NSF co-sponsors a conference on strengthening college physics teaching on the undergraduate level. NSF is encouraged to expand research opportunities for college faculty and to encourage undergraduate research, which it will do in the ensuing years.

1954 - July-August: An experimental summer program for high school mathematics teachers is held in Seattle, Wash. This marks the beginning of NSF continuing support of educational activities aimed at the kindergarten through high school teaching communities.

1955: NSF receives its first appropriation for support of the International Geophysical Year (IGY). At the request of the National Research Council, NSF is responsible for obtaining and administering government funding for American participation in the worldwide scientific research program. (Science in the Cold War: The Legacy of the International Geophysical Year -- not available online)

The first planning grants are given for the establishment of national radio and optical astronomical observatories.

1956: Construction begins on the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank, W.Va. The observatory will be completed in 1962.

The 300-foot transit radio telescope at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank, W.Va. Completed in September 1962, it was the largest movable radio telescope in the world at that time.

Credit: NSF Collection. Download the high-resolution JPG version of the image. (188 KB)

The first NSF grants are awarded to support computation centers and research in numerical analysis. Three years later, a separate budget is created for grants to enable academic institutions to acquire major computer equipment.

1957 - January 22: The South Pole station is officially dedicated. The United States has six scientific stations established in Antarctica, with funding supplied by NSF.

1957 - July 1: The IGY officially begins.

1957 - August 1: The Social Science Research Program is established. NSF supports anthropology, economics, sociology, and history and philosophy of science.

1957 - October 4: The Soviet Union launches Sputnik I, the first man-made satellite, into orbit. This triggers a national self-appraisal of scientific research and education in the United States. Congress responds by more than doubling the NSF appropriation to $134 million for the twelve months beginning July 1, 1958. Funding for education more than triples.

1958 - July 11: NSF is given the responsibility of establishing a research program for weather modification.

1958 - August 4: The United States Antarctic Research Program (USAP) is established at NSF, with responsibility for coordinating and managing the American scientific program in Antarctica.

1958 - December 31: The IGY officially ends.

1959 - March 13: President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs Executive Order 10807, giving NSF the greatly increased responsibility of making scientific information more easily available to scientists. NSF's Office of Science Information is established to carry out the new duties.

1959 - August 25: President Eisenhower signs Public Law 86-209, establishing the National Medal of Science.

Historical Events in 1959

    Rohan Kanhai completes 256 v India at Calcutta 45th Rose Bowl: #2 Iowa beats #16 California, 38-12 25th Sugar Bowl: #1 LSU beats #12 Clemson, 7-0 25th Orange Bowl: #5 Oklahoma beats #9 Syracuse, 21-6 USSR launches Mechta (Luna 1) for 1st lunar fly-by, 1st solar orbit Alaska admitted as 49th US state Luna 1 (Mechta) becomes 1st craft to leave Earth's gravity "Bozo the Clown" live children's show premieres on TV

Event of Interest

Jan 5 Buddy Holly releases his last record "It Doesn't Matter" he was killed in a plane crash 29 days later

Event of Interest

Jan 7 US recognizes Fidel Castro's Cuban government

Event of Interest

Jan 7 American gangster Meyer Lansky flees Cuba for the Bahamas due to the Cuban Revolution and rise of Fidel Castro

Event of Interest

Jan 8 Charles de Gaulle inaugurated as president of France's 5th Republic

Television Premiere

Jan 9 "Rawhide" with Clint Eastwood premieres on CBS TV

Event of Interest

Jan 12 American record company Motown is founded by Berry Gordy Jr. as Tamla Records

    French President Charles de Gaulle grants amnesty to 130 Algerians sentenced to death King Boudouin promises Belgian Congo independence "Say, Darling" closes at ANTA Theater NYC after 332 performances

Event of Interest

Jan 20 Dmitri Shostakovich's Moscow-Tsjerjomoesjki premieres in Moscow

NBA All-Star Game

Jan 23 9th NBA All-Star Game, Olympia Stadium, Detroit, Mi: West beats East, 124-108 MVPs: Elgin Baylor, Minneapolis Lakers, F Bob Pettit, St. Louis Hawks, C first co-winners of MVP award

    "Party with Comden & Green" closes at John Golden NYC after 38 performances Dmitri Shostakovich's comedy "Cheryomushk" premieres in Moscow WHCT TV channel 18 in Hartford, CT (IND) begins broadcasting 1st transcontinental commercial jet flight (American) (LA to NY for $301)

Event of Interest

Jan 25 Pope John XXIII proclaims 2nd Vatican council

    Italy government of Fanfani resigns KOKH TV channel 25 in Oklahoma City, OK (IND/PBS) begins broadcasting

Music Premiere

Treaty of Interest

Jan 31 Joe Cronin signs 7 year pact to become head of AL

    Swiss men vote against voting rights for women Texas Instruments requests patent of IC (Integrated Circuit) Heiss sisters go 1-2 in US women's Figure Skating C'ships defending champion Carol wins from Nancy David Jenkins wins his third straight men's title WVUE TV channel 8 in New Orleans, LA (ABC) begins broadcasting Outfielder Zack Wheat, a Brooklyn Robins favourite of the 1910s and 1920s, is elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame Wheat hit .317 over 19-year career, and batted .300 or better 14 times

Golf Tournament

Feb 1 Senior PGA Championship Men's Golf, PGA National GC: Willie Goggin, using a borrowed set of woods, wins by 1 stroke ahead of Leland Gibson, Paul Runyan and Denny Shute

Contract of Interest

Feb 2 Vince Lombardi signs a 5 year contract to coach NFL Green Bay Packers

    American Airlines Electra crashes in NY's East River, killing 65 "The Day the Music Died" plane crash kills musicians Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, J. P. Richardson and pilot near Clear Lake, Iowa Israel begins exporting copper ore

Event of Interest

Feb 7 Dorothy Rigney sells White Sox to Bill Veeck for a reported $27M

    Dutch Princess Wilhelmina publishes "Lonely, but not alone" Tornado in St Louis kills 19 & injures 265 Vinoo Mankad ends his final Test Cricket (v WI at Delhi) The Lincoln Memorial design on the U.S. penny goes into circulation. It replaces the "sheaves of wheat" design Miro Cardon, premier of Cuba, resigns $3.6 million heroin seizure in NYC

Event of Interest

    Fidel Castro becomes the 16th Prime Minister of Cuba after overthrowing Fulgencio Batista Leonard Spigelgass' "Majority of One" premieres in NYC 1st weather satellite launched, Vanguard 2, 9.8 kg Britain, Turkey & Greece sign agreement granting Cyprus independence Gabon adopts its constitution

Event of Interest

Feb 20 Jimi Hendrix (16), rock and roll guitarist, plays his first gig in the Temple De Hirsch synagogue basement, Seattle. He is fired from the band after the 1st set due to "wild" playing

Event of Interest

Feb 20 The Avro Arrow program to design and manufacture supersonic jet fighters in Canada is cancelled by the Diefenbaker government amid much political debate.

    Inaugural Daytona 500: Lee Petty and Johnny Beauchamp cross finish line side by side Beauchamp declared unofficial winner ruling overturned after 3 days by NASCAR founder Bill France Sr KVIE TV channel 6 in Sacramento-Stockton, CA (PBS) begins broadcasting Chicago Cards trade running back Ollie Matson to LA Rams for 9 players

NBA Record

Feb 27 Boston Celtic Bob Cousy sets NBA record with 28 assists Boston Celtics score 173 points against Minneapolis Lakers

    "Goldilocks" closes at Lunt Fontanne Theater NYC after 161 performances Ice Dance Championship at Colorado Springs USA won by Denny & Jones of Great Britain Ice Pairs Championship at Colorado Springs won by Barbara Wagner and Robert Paul of Canada, their 3rd title Ladies Figure Skating Championship in Colorado Springs won by Carol Heiss USA Launch of Discoverer 1 (WTR)-1st polar orbit Men's World Figure Skating Championship in Colorado Springs won by David Jenkins USA NFL trade, Chicago Cards trade Ollie Matson to LA Rams for 9 players Archbishop Makarios returns to Cyprus after 3 years Ceremony to mark the start of construction of the Sydney Opera House at Bennelong Point, Sydney 1st US probe to enter solar orbit, Pioneer 4, launched British government arrests Hastings Banda of Nyasaland, ends emergency crisis San Francisco Giants rename their stadium Candlestick Park US Pioneer IV misses Moon & becomes 2nd (US 1st) artificial planet

Golden Globes

Emmy Awards

Mar 6 11th Emmy Awards: Playhouse 90, Jack Benny Show, Raymond Burr win

    Farthest radio signal heard (Pioneer IV, 400,000 miles) "Bells Are Ringing" closes at Shubert Theater NYC after 925 performances 1st aviator to fly a million miles (1.61 M km) in a jet (MC Garlow) West Indies all out 76 v Pakistan at Dacca, Fazal Mahmood 6-34 6th ACC Men's Basketball Tournament: NC State beats North Carolina, 80-56 Groucho, Chico & Harpo Marx's final TV appearance together KUAT TV channel 6 in Tucson, AZ (PBS) begins broadcasting Pro-Egyptian coup fails in Mosul Iraq The Coasters' single "Charlie Brown" peaks at #2 on the Billboard Top 100 "Juno" opens at Winter Garden Theater NYC for 16 performances 1st known radar contact is made with Venus Barbie makes her debut at the American Toy Fair in New York. Over a billion have been sold worldwide since. Dorothy Comiskey Rigney, sells 54% of White Sox to Bill Veeck

Event of Interest

Mar 10 Tennessee Williams' "Sweet Bird of Youth" premieres in NYC

    Tibetan uprising against Chinese occupation force in Lhasa, Tibet "Raisin in the Sun", 1st Broadway play by a black woman, opens 4th Eurovision Song Contest: Teddy Scholten for Netherlands wins singing "Een beetje" in Cannes

NBA Record

Mar 18 Boston Celtic's Bill Sharman begins record of 56 straight free-throws

Event of Interest

Mar 18 US President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs Hawaii statehood bill

    "1st Impressions" opens at Alvin Theater NYC for 84 performances "Juno" closes at Winter Garden Theater NYC after 16 performances

Event of Interest

Mar 21 21st NCAA Men's Basketball Championship: California beats West Virginia, 71-70 WV future Hall of Fame point guard Jerry West is named MOP

    113th Grand National: Michael Scudamore wins aboard 8/1 second favourite Oxo only 4 of 32 starters finish the race Iraq withdraws from the Baghdad Pact The Party of the African Federation (PFA) is launched by Léopold Sédar Senghor and Modibo Keita. Bill White traded to St Louis for pitchers Sam Jones & Don Choate French President De Gaulle acknowledges Oder-Neisse boundary Test debut for Pakistani cricketer Mushtaq Mohammad v West Indies, aged 15 years 11 days after Tibet uprising, China dissolves Tibet's government & installs Panchen Lama

Film Release

Mar 29 "Some Like It Hot", directed by Billy Wilder and starring Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, and Jack Lemmon, is released in NYC

Event of Interest

Mar 30 Dalai Lama flees China and is granted political asylum in India

    Mali Federation founded, consisting of Senegal & French Sudan (dissolved 1960) France beats Wales, 11-3 at Stade Colombes to win the Five Nations Rugby Championship outright for the first time 23rd US Masters Tournament, Augusta National GC: Art Wall Jr wins by 1 stroke from Cary Middlecoff for his only PGA Tour major victory 31st Academy Awards: "Gigi", Susan Hayward & David Niven win Oklahoma ends prohibition, after 51 years Radar 1st bounced off Sun, Stanford Calif Baltimore Orioles pull their 2nd triple play (3-6-3 vs Washington Senators) Bill Sharman hits a NBA record 56 consecutive foul shot NASA names 1st 7 astronauts for Project Mercury 13th NBA Championship: Boston Celtics sweep Minnesota Lakers in 4 games, first of Boston Celtics record 8 straight titles Chicago White Sox second baseman Nellie Fox gets a MLB Opening Day record tying 5 hits in 7 at-bats in a 14-inning, 9–7 win in Detroit Yip Harburg, Fred Saidy, and Harold Arlen's musical "Jamaica", starring Lena Horne, closes at Imperial Theater NYC after 558 performances Dodger pitcher Don Drysdale hits his 2nd Opening Day HR Dutch Prince Bernhard visits Lockheed factory 13th Tony Awards: J B & Redhead win France Observator reports torture practice by French army in Algeria

Event of Interest

Apr 15 US Secretary of State John Foster Dulles resigns

    "Party with Comden & Green" opens at John Golden NYC for 44 performances Datu Abdul Rozak inaugurated as premier of Malaysia federation Phils' Dave Philley gets a major league record 9th straight pinch hit Stanley Cup Final, Montreal Forum, Montreal, Quebec: Montreal Canadiens' 4th straight title beat Toronto Maple Leafs, 5-3 for a 4-1 series win Uprising in La Paz Bolivia, fails 63rd Boston Marathon won by Eino Oksanen of Finland in 2:22:42 Alf Dean using a rod & reel hooks a 2,664lb, 16' 10" great white shark off the coast of Ceduna, Australia

Baseball Record

Apr 22 Yankee Whitey Ford strikes out 15, beating Senators, 1-0 in 14 innings

    Chicago White Sox beat KC Athletics 20-6, in 1 inning Sox score 11 runs on 1 hit, 10 walks, & 3 errors "Destry Rides Again" opens at Imperial Theater NYC for 472 performances 1st heliport in Britain opens in London Netherland Dance Theater opens (Rudi of Dantzig & Cut Flier) WICD TV channel 15 in Champaign, IL (NBC/ABC) begins broadcasting

Event of Interest

Apr 27 Mao Zedong resigns as Chairman of the PRC after the disastrous failure of the Great Leap Forward

    The last Canadian missionary leaves the People's Republic of China. KLOE TV channel 10 in Goodland, KS (CBS) begins broadcasting KPLR TV channel 11 in Saint Louis, MO (IND) begins broadcasting 6th National Film Awards (India): "Sagar Sangamey" wins the Golden Lotus

Boxing Title Fight

May 1 Floyd Patterson scores 11th round KO of Englishman Brian London in Indianapolis his 4th World Heavyweight Boxing title defence

    West Germany introduces 5 day work week 85th Kentucky Derby: Bill Shoemaker aboard Tomy Lee wins in 2:02.2 Tiger's Charlie Maxwell hits 4 consecutive HRs in a doubleheader

Grammy Awards

May 4 First Grammy Awards: Perry Como & Ella Fitzgerald win

    Pulitzer Prize awarded to Archibald Macleish (JB) "The 400 Blows", French film directed by François Truffaut, starring Jean-Pierre Léaud, is released Iceland gunboats shoot at British fishing vessels

Event of Interest

May 7 "Roy Campanella Night" Largest baseball crowd at 93,103 at the LA Coliseum see Yankees beat Dodgers 6-2 in exhibition game

    3-deck Nile excursion steamer springs a leak panicking passengers who capsized ship. 200 drown just yards from shore

Event of Interest

May 9 Dorothy Rigney, husband John, and Hank Greenberg resign from White Sox

    Soviet forces arrive in Afghanistan Giants Jim Hearn allows 2 runs against Pirates, game is suspended, Hearn is released & charged with loss 2 months after his retirement "Kookie, Kookie Lend Me Your Comb" by Byrnes & Connie Stevens hits #4

Music Premiere

May 11 Mary Rodgers & Marshall Barer's musical "Once Upon A Mattress", starring Carol Burnett and directed by George Abbott, opens at Phoenix Theatre, NYC runs for 244 performances

Event of Interest

May 11 New York Yankees catcher Yogi Berra's errorless streak of 148 games ends

Event of Interest

May 12 "Nervous Set" opens at Henry Miller's Theater NYC for 23 performances


1956 The first completely enclosed shopping mall, Southdale Shopping Center opens in Edina, Minnesota.

1956 Fritz Hofmann died (born 1866). German chemist who first synthesized rubber (German patent No. 250690, Sept 12, 1909).

1956 Chen Kenichi was born. Chinese chef (born in Japan) best known for his role on the TV series 'Iron Chef'. He is the only Iron Chef to have held his position throughout the life of the show.

1956 Louis Bromfield died. American conservationist and author. 'The Green Bay Tree' (1924), 'Early Autumn' (1926), 'The Farm' (1933), 'The Rains Came' (1937). His Malabar Farm in Ohio is now a state park. Elected to the Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame. His innovative work continues to influence agricultural methodologies around the world.

1956 Anthony Bourdain was born. American celebrity chef, author and culinary traveler. Host of 'Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations' on the Travel Channel.

1956 Alain Ducasse was born in France. One of the world's most successful and respected chefs and restaurateurs, with 24 restaurants (three with 3 Michilin stars) and 3 hotels.

1956 Caesar Cardini died. Chef and restaurateur in the U.S. and Mexico, he is credited with creating the Caesar Salad at his restaurant in Tijuana, Mexico in the 1920s.

1956 'Heartbreak Hotel' by Elvis Presley is number 1 on the music charts.

1956 Elvis Presley sings 'Heartbreak Hotel' on the 'Milton Berle Show.' An estimated 25% of the American population tuned in to hear him.

1956 On the 'I Love Lucy' show, Lucy stomped grapes in Rome, and wrestled with another female grape stomper. An inspiration for future 'food wrestling' entrepreneurs. Actually, this is one of the funniest sitcom episodes ever made.

1956 Ant Farms. At a Fourth of July family picnic, Milton Levine came up with the idea for the Ant Farm. I wonder if he had dreams of fencing them in so they would not bother him at picnics?

1956 Curnonsky (Maurice Edmond Sailland) died. At the age of 84, he leaned too far out of his window and fell to his death. French writer, novelist, biographer, and gastronome. He was known as the "Prince of Gastronomes," a title he was awarded in a public referendum in 1927, and a title no one else has ever been given.

1956 Marion trailing blackberry introduced the most important blackberry cultivar in the world.

1956 'My Friend Flicka' premiers on CBS TV. The series about a boy and his horse is set on the Goose Bar Ranch in Montana.

1956 Singer Parry Donahue of The Waitresses (a New Wave band) was born.

1956 The Soil Bank Program is authorized

1956 Bela Lugosi (Béla Ferenc Dezso Blaskó) died. Best known for his role as the blood drinking vampire in the 1931 film 'Dracula'

1956 Del Monte Pineapple Grapefruit Drink was introduced.

1956 Clarence Birdseye died in New York. In 1924, Clarence Birdseye, with the financial backing of Wetmore Hodges, William Gamage, Basset Jones, I.L. Rice and J.J. Barry, organized the General Seafood Corporation. The birth of the frozen food industry.

1956 Ice cubes, anyone? The U.S. Navy icebreaker, USS Glacier, sighted the largest iceberg ever recorded. At 208 miles long and 60 miles wide it was about the size of Belgium!. The iceberg had broken from the Ross Ice Shelf in the Antarctic.

1956 80% of U.S. households have a refrigerator, but only 8% of British households do.

1956 Budweiser Brewery introduces Busch beer.

1956 Four U.S. chefs win the Culinary Olympics in Frankfurt, Germany Paul Laesecke, Otto Spielbachler, Paul Leuppe, and Paul Debes.

1956 The largest clam ever recorded was found in Okinawa in 1956, it weighed 750 pounds.

1956 First reference in print to the drink Bloody Mary appeared in 'Punch'

1957 Burger King introduced the Whopper burger.

1957 The Frisbee was invented (patented in 1958). The pie tins of the Frisbee Pie Company of Connecticut were the inspiration for the creation of the Frisbee. A Wham-O employee supposedly saw drivers for the pie company showing Yale students how to throw the pie tins.

1957 Three B-52's made the first nonstop, around the world flight by jet planes, taking off from Castle Air Force Base in California. The trip took 45 hours and 19 minutes. I am curious as to what they ate while on this flight. If anyone has any information, please email me.

1957 The song 'Tequila' by the Champs was recorded.

1957 The styrofoam cooler was invented.

1957 The Banana Boat Song (Day-O) by Harry Belafonte is number one on the charts.

1957 William Cadbury, chocolatier died at age 89.

1957 Actress Kelly McGillis was born. McGillis has a restaurant in Key West, Florida called Kelly's Place.

1957 Last game of the greatest baseball team in history. On September 4, the last game is played at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn as the Dodgers prepare to move to LA. On February 23 of 1960, they tear the stadium down. Days that will live in infamy! I guess you can tell I was born in Brooklyn.

1957 Velcro was patented by George de Mestral of Switzerland.

1957 Humane Slaughter Act passed to govern livestock handling procedures in meat packing plants.

1957 Better Homes & Gardens prints its first microwave-cooking article.

1957 Margarine sales exceed butter sales for the first time.

1957 General Foods Corp. introduces TANG breakfast beverage crystals.

1957 Dairy Queen Hamburgers and Hot Dogs are first added to the Dairy Queen menu at some outlets in Georgia.

1957 The Space Age begins. The Soviet Union launched Sputnik I into orbit - the first artificial satellite, it orbited the Earth about every 96 minutes. It burned up as it fell from orbit on January 4, 1958.

1957 William C. Coleman died (born May 21, 1870). Inventor and founder of the Coleman Company, manufacturer of camping equipment.

1957 Craig Claiborne was named food editor of The New York Times.

1957 Idaho became the largest producer of potatoes, overtaking Maine.

1957 Poultry Inspection Act authorized compulsory Federal inspection of poultry sold in interstate commerce.

1957 Kentucky Fried Chicken begins selling chicken in buckets.

1957 Ainsley Harriott was born. British celebrity chef. TV cooking shows include ‘Ready Steady Cook’, ‘Can't Cook Won't Cook’, ‘Ainsley's Barbeque Bible’, ‘Gourmet Express’.

1958 The Boston Herald printed a letter from Olga Owens Huckins attacking the pesticide DDT as dangerous. She also wrote to her friend Rachel Carson, which prompted Carson to write 'Silent Spring.' The public outcry that followed the book's publication forced the banning of DDT.

1958 Samuel Hopkins Adams died. American author and journalist. His series of articles in 1905 about patent medicines ('The Great American Fraud') for Collier's Weekly, led to the passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906.

1958 'The Chipmunk Song' by The Chipmunks, Alvin, Simon and Theodore (David Seville) was #1 on the music charts.

1958 James Drummond Dole died (born sept 27, 1877). The 'Pineapple King' he founded Hawaiian Pineapple Company in 1901, renamed Dole Pineapple Co., later Dole Food Co.

1958 The first IHOP (International House of Pancakes) opened on July 7 at 4301 Riverside Drive in Toluca Lake, Los Angeles, California.

1958 Sputnik I fell to Earth (see also 1957).

1958 The agreements establishing the European Economic Community (EEC or Common Market) went into effect.

1958 The CBS TV program 'General Electric Theater' aired an episode titled 'A Turkey for the President.' It starred Nancy Davis (Reagan) with husband Ronald Reagan, future 40th president of the U.S. (1981-1989).

1958 Ant Farms go on sale. Milton Levine had the idea at a July 4th picnic. I wonder if he had dreams of fencing them in so they would not bother him at picnics?

1958 'Sugartime' by the McGuire Sister topped the charts.
1958 'Tequila' by The Champs is #1 on the charts
1958 Shep Wooley recorded "The Purple Eater", it reaches #1 on the charts.
1958 'The Chipmunk Song' becomes the only Christmas song in U.S. in history to be Number #1 on Christmas Day.

1958 Continuous method of making jelly with fruit-juice concentrates developed, instead of using single-strength juice.

1958 Velcro was trademarked.

1958 The first parking meters are installed in England.

1958 The first potato flake manufacturing plant opened in Grand Forks, North Dakota.

1958 The Frisbee was patented. The pie tins of the Frisbee Pie Company of Connecticut were the inspiration for the creation of the Frisbee. A Wham-O employee supposedly saw drivers for the pie company showing Yale students how to throw the pie tins.

1958 A National Airlines Boeing 707 with 111 passengers flew from New York to Miami. It was the first domestic passenger jet flight. ** I am trying to locate information on what food was served on this flight. If anyone has information, please email me [email protected]

1958 Friskees introduced the first dry cat food

1958 Rice-A-Roni goes on sale. Produced by Vince DeDomenico from an Armenian family recipe.

1958 Cocoa Puffs cereal is introduced by General Mills it contains 43% sugar.

1958 Cocoa Krispies is introduced by Kellogg’s - it's 45.9% sugar.

1958 There are 4,063 drive in movie screens nationwide.

1958 The Jolly Green Giant appears on TV with less than stellar results! In his first incarnation he looks like a monster which scares kids. So they lightened him up and added 'Ho, ho, ho' and the lilting 'Good things from the garden' song.

1958 Sweet n' Low was introduced as an artificial sweetener (granulated saccharin, dextrose, cream of tartar and calcium silicate). It received U.S. trademark patent no. 1,000,000.

1958 Frank Carney, 18 years old, reads about the pizza fad with college students. He borrows $600 from his mother and opens the first Pizza Hut in Wichita, Kansas.

1958 McDonald's sold its 100 millionth hamburger.

1958 Jif peanut butter was introduced (creamy).

1958 Royal Crown Cola begins test marketing Diet Rite Cola, the first diet cola. It goes national in 1962.

1959 Duncan Hines died on March 15 (born March 26, 1880). A traveling salesman, he published a list of his favorite restaurants and dishes 'Adventures in Good Eating' in 1935. The book was a big hit and in 1938 he wrote 'Lodging for a Night' and also wrote a newspaper column and became a favorite American restaurant and lodging critic. In the 1950s he licensed the Duncan Hines name for ice cream, cake mixes and other products.

1959 Charles Lavelle Broley died on May 4 (born Dec 7, 1879). A Canadian banker and ornithologist, he was one of the first to implicate DDT in the declining hatching success of bald eagles, and the environmental dangers of pesticides.

1959 The Barbie doll debuted at the American International Toy Fair in New York City.

1959 The last Edsel rolled off the assembly line at Ford Motor Company.

1959 U.S. agricultural exports were about $3.53 billion a year during the 1950s (22% of total exports).

1959 The Aluminum Specialty Company of Manitowoc, Wisconsin introduced the aluminum Christmas Tree.

1959 Average commercial fertilizer use on U.S. farms during the 1950s was about 22.3 million tons per year.

1959 Danny's Coffee Shops are renamed Denny’s.

1959 In 1959 there were about 15,000 'delis' in New York City.

1959 Maxwell House inaugurates the 'Good to the last drop' ad campaign.

1959 Bic Pens are introduced in the U.S. Europe has had them since 1952.

1959 At the first Grammy Awards, 'Tequila' by the Champs won best Best Rhythm & Blues Performance for 1958.

1959 Oklahoma repeals its 51 year old Prohibition law leaving Mississippi the only 'dry' state in America.

1959 Food for Peace Program inaugurated.

1959 The heavy, fudge-like Chocolate Velvet Cake was created by pastry chef Albert Kumin of the Four Seasons restaurant.

1959 There are 32,000 supermarkets in the U.S. and account for 69 percent of all food store sales.

1959 The 7 oz. seamless, recyclable aluminum beer can is introduced by Coors of Golden, Colorado.

1959 The one billionth can of Spam was sold.

1959 Mechanical tomato harvester developed.

1959 McDonald's opens its 100th restaurant in Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin.

1959 New York's Four Seasons restaurant and The Brasserie open in the new Seagram Building.

1959 The day the music died. February 3, 1959. Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. Richardson (The Big Bopper) are killed in a plane crash near Mason City, Iowa.

1959 Rap singer 'Ice T' was born (Tracy Morrow).

1959 The Coasters song 'Charlie Brown' is banned by the BBC because it refers to 'throwin' spitballs.' The ban only lasted 2 weeks.

1959 The St. Lawrence Seaway opened. It connects the Great Lakes with the Atlantic Ocean. Its completion opened the heart of Americas industrial and agricultural areas to ocean going vessels for shipping.

1959 Icelandic gunboats fired on British trawlers during their 'Cod War' over fishing rights.

1959 Mary Leakey, wife of Louis Leakey, discovered a human skull in Tanganyika (Tanzania). It is about 1.8 million years old.

1959 Kitchen Debate. Then vice president Richard M. Nixon argued with Soviet Leader Nikita Khruschev while Khruschev was touring the United States. They were touring a kitchen at the time, and the discussion became known as the Kitchen Debate.

1959 Congress passes legislation authorizing the Secretary of Agriculture to run a Food Stamp program through 1962. However the Eisenhower Administration never uses the authority.

1959 The TV show 'Bonanza' premiers. The frontier adventures of the Cartwright family, father and 3 sons and Chinese cook Hop Sing, on the 'Ponderosa' ranch near Lake Tahoe, Nevada.

1959 Soviet Premier Nikita Krushchev is told he cannot visit Disneyland. Krushchev was indignant. The reason given was security concerns. Can you picture Krushchev cavorting with Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse?

1959 Emeril Lagasse was born in Fall River, Massachusetts. American celebrity chef, restaurateur (13 restaurants), cookbook author and cooking show host ('Emeril Live', 'Essence of Emeril', etc).

1959 Polish born New York businessman Reuben Mattus created a premium ice cream. He gave it the Danish sounding name, Haagan Dazs, and put a map of Scandinavia on the carton.

1959 Mike Ilitch opened the first 'Little Caesars Pizza'

1959 Hawaii officially became the 50th state of the U.S.. (Voters in the Hawaii Territory had ratified a state constitution in 1950).

1959 Charles 'Charlie' Trotter was born. Famed American chef and restaurateur. His eponymous Chicago restaurant (opened in 1987) was recognized as one of the finest in the world. He was also host of the PBS cooking show 'Kitchen Sessions with Charlie Trotter' and the author of 14 cookbooks.

1960 Wilbur Hardee opened the first Hardee's restaurant in Greenville, North Carolina on Sept 3. It had no tables, and only a few items on the menu, but the drive-thru restaurant was an immediate success. The main attraction was a 15-cent fresh-ground, lean beef burger made to order on a custom-built charcoal broiler.

1960 Mario Batali was born. American chef, author, restaurateur.

1960 OPEC, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, was formed.

1960 Alfred Hitchcock's classic thriller 'Psycho' premiered on June 16. It was the first film to show a toilet flushing. (Janet Leigh's character flushed a torn up piece of paper).

1960 The population of the U.S. is now 179,323,175. Farmers are 8.3% of the labor force. There are about 3,711,000 farms, averaging about 303 acres.

1960 There are about 45 million television sets in the U.S. About 90% of homes had at least one TV set.

1960 More than 95% of U.S. corn acreage is planted with hybrid seed.

1960 Dr. Asselbergs developed the process for making instant mashed potato flakes, the basic process that is still used today.

1960 The 'I Hate to Cook Book' by Ruth Eleanor 'Peg' Bracken was published.

1960 Walter D. Teague died on Dec 5 (born Dec 18, 1883). A pioneering industrial designer, he designed Steuben glassware, cameras for Kodak and Polaroid and Texaco gas stations.

1960 Frozen bagels were introduced.

1960 Instant sweet potatoes developed.

1960 Four 'colored' students from the Agricultural and Technical College in Greensboro, North Carolina sat down at the lunch counter in Woolworth's and ordered coffee. They were refused service, but made history.

1960 The first Playboy Club opened in Chicago at 116 E. Walton Street, in downtown Chicago.

1960 Agnes Arber died. Arber was a British botanist, who wrote 'Herbals: Their Origin and Evolution' (1912) and 'The Gramineae: A Study of Cereal, Bamboo and Grass' (1934).

1960 Tiros I, the first weather observation satellite was launched from Cape Kennedy.

1960 Little Debbie Oatmeal Cream Pies were introduced for 49 cents.

1960 'How America Eats' by Clementine Paddleford was published.

1960 Georges Claude died. A French engineer, he invented the neon light, commonly used for signs.

1960 Chubby Checker's 'The Twist' was released. It reached #1 on the charts.

1960 The National Agricultural Center & Hall of Fame established.

1960 The last episode of 'The Howdy Doody Show' airs on NBC. Remember the ‘Peanut Gallery’?

1960 Dr. Irving Cooper received a wine bottle opener for Christmas. It injected carbon dioxide gas into the bottle to force the cork out. He noticed the gas was extremely cold coming out from the needle-like device. This gave him the idea to develop a brain surgery technique using liquid nitrogen to freeze tiny areas of brain cells or tumors.

1960 Ray Charles recorded 'One Mint Julep.'

1960 Chicago's last packing house closed.

1960 'A Taste of Honey' opened at the Lyceum Theatre in New York City.

1960 The Hawaiian Pineapple Company was renamed Dole Corp.

1960 The non-dairy coffee creamer, 'Coffee Rich' was introduced.

1960 Aluminum cans were first used commercially for food and beverages.

1960 The Four Seasons hotel chain was founded.

1960 Domino's Pizza was founded.

1960 Granny Smith apples were first imported from New Zealand and sold in the U.S.

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Women and African American History: 1492-1699

• Columbus discovered America, from the perspective of Europeans. Queen Isabella of Spain declared all indigenous peoples her subjects, in the lands claimed by Columbus for Spain, preventing the Spanish conquerors from enslaving the Native Americans. The Spanish thus looked elsewhere for the labor they needed to take advantage of the New World's economic opportunities.

• Spain permitted enslaved African to be sent to the Americas

• first enslaved African arrived in Hispaniola

• Isabel de Olvero, part of the Juan Guerra de Pesa Expedition, helped to colonize what has since become New Mexico

• (August 20) 20 captive men and women from Africa arrived on a ship and were sold in the first North American auction of enslaved people -- by British and international custom, Africans could be held in servitude for life, though White Christian indentured servants could only be held for a limited term

• Anthony Johnson, son of an African mother, arrived in Virginia. He lived with his wife, Mary Johnson, in Accomack on Virginia's Eastern Shore, the first free Negroes in Virginia (Anthony taking his last name from his original enslaver). Anthony and Mary Johnson eventually founded the first free Black community in North America, and themselves held servants "for life."

• Virginia census lists 23 "Negroes" including some women ten have no names listed and the rest only first names, likely indicating lifetime servitude -- none of the women are listed as married

• Virginia census lists twelve Black men and eleven Black women most have no names and do not have the dates of arrival that most White servants in the census have listed -- only one of the Black men and women has a full name listed

• Massachusetts legalized enslavement, specifying that a child inherited its status from the mother, rather than the father, reversing English common law

Rep. John Lewis: Timeline of events in a remarkable life

Civil rights icon John Lewis dies at age 80

In 2019, the longtime Democratic congressman and civil rights icon announced he was undergoing treatment for advanced pancreatic cancer.

Born in rural Alabama during the dark days of Jim Crow segregation, Rep. John Lewis rose from poverty to become a leader of the civil rights movement and later was elected to Congress. Here is a timeline of some major events in Lewis’ life.

Feb. 21, 1940: Born the son of Black sharecroppers near Troy, Alabama.

Fall 1959: Long interested in civil rights and inspired by the work of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Lewis participates in a series of workshops on nonviolent confrontation while attending college in Nashville, Tennessee. He goes on to participate in sit-ins, mass meetings and the landmark “Freedom Rides” of 1961 that tested racial segregation in the South.

January 1963: Serving as chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, Lewis arrives in Selma, Alabama, to help register Black people to vote. Eight months later and just days after helping Martin Luther King Jr. organize the March on Washington, Lewis is arrested for the first of more than 40 times, for civil rights activities in Selma.

March 7, 1965: Lewis is beaten by an Alabama state trooper while attempting to lead an estimated 600 voting rights marchers out of Selma on the way to Montgomery in an violent confrontation now known as Bloody Sunday. He spends two days in a hospital.

March 21-25, 1965: Lewis joins thousands of others during the Selma-to-Montgomery voting rights march.

John Lewis, far right, is seen with ​​​​Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., fourth from left, and a crowd of several thousand others, marching to the courthouse in Montgomery, Ala., March 17, 1965. From left are an unidentified woman, the Rev. Ralph Abernathy, James Foreman, King, Jesse Douglas Sr., and Lewis. (Associated Press)

1971: Lewis takes over as executive director of the Voter Education Project, a program of the Southern Regional Council.

April 5, 1977: Lewis, making his first bid for Congress in metro Atlanta, loses to a popular white politician in a runoff. Later that year he is appointed by President Jimmy Carter to direct ACTION, a federal volunteer agency.

Oct. 6, 1981: Lewis wins his first political office with his election as a member of the Atlanta City Council, where he serves until 1986.

Nov. 4, 1986: Lewis is elected to Congress representing Georgia’s 5th District, which includes much of Atlanta. He was re-elected 16 times, most recently without opposition in 2018. Only once did he receive less than 70% of the vote.

2001: Lewis receives the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award for Lifetime Achievement, one of a multitude of honors, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, presented by President Barack Obama in 2011.

President Barack Obama presents a 2010 Presidential Medal of Freedom to U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Feb. 15, 2011. (Associated Press)

April 27, 2009: Lewis and four others are arrested in Washington during a demonstration at the embassy of Sudan, where they were protesting the expulsion of aid workers amid a humanitarian crisis.

March 8, 2015: Lewis joins Obama, former President George W. Bush and thousands of others in Selma at the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday.

June 22, 2016: Lewis leads a Democratic sit-in on the House floor to protest inaction on gun control measures.

Dec. 29, 2019: Lewis announces he has been diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer.


F ashion is rarely contained neatly in one decade, and the popular look that dominated womenswear in the 1950s actually emerged in the late 1940s. When Christian Dior’s “New Look” appeared in February 1947, it became an instant success and the nipped-in waist and full-skirted silhouette remained the leading style until the mid-1950s. As the decade progressed, the dominant silhouette became progressively straighter and slimmer, and as fashion began to look to the new “teenager” for inspiration, the elegance and formality of the early part of the decade began to lessen.

As the 1950s began, the initial resistance to the extravagance of the New Look had died down and the silhouette was entrenched in both women’s daywear and eveningwear. Dior himself continued to produce designs that followed the feminine line even while incorporating new elements, like the structural collar seen in figure 1. While this shape remained popular until at least 1954, in his Fashion Sourcebooks: The 1950s, John Peacock describes how this figure evolved throughout the decade:

“from the comparatively early days of the ‘New Look,’ when the square shoulders and masculine details of the 1940s still lingered, through the ultra-feminine and luxurious styles of the mid-1950s – clothes with gently softened shoulderlines, tiny corseted waists, roundly padded hips and long, swirling skirts only eleven inches above the ground” (7).

Even as the silhouette evolved, its core style was seen in evening gowns, day dresses, and separates. A Givenchy dress from 1953 shows how the shape was restyled throughout the decade while remaining true to the nipped-in waist and full skirt (Fig. 3). The pea motif, along with the bright patterned dresses in Better Living magazine (Fig. 2), demonstrates a playfulness that emerged in pattern while the Charles James “Clover Leaf” dress (Fig. 4) and Balenciaga evening dress (Fig. 5) show the experimentation in construction that took place in the fifties.

Fig. 1 - Christian Dior (French, 1905–1957). New-York, 1950-51. Wool. New York: Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2009.300.299. Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009 Gift of Jeanne Eddy, 1961. Source: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Fig. 2 - Better Living. There's News in Print, 1952. Classic Film. Source: Flickr

Fig. 3 - Hubert de Givenchy (French, 1927–2018). Dress, 1953. Linen. New York: Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2009.300.913a, b. Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009 Gift of Lauren Bacall, 1967. Source: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Fig. 4 - Charles James (American, 1906–1978). Clover Leaf, 1953. Silk, silk/rayon. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, C.I.53.73. Gift of Elizabeth Fairall, 1953. Source: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Fig. 5 - Cristobal Balenciaga (Spanish, 1895–1972). Evening dress, 1951. Silk. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1993.393.1. Gift of Gina Gerardo, 1993. Source: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

However, while the look was ubiquitous, it was not the only look that rose to prominence in the fifties. In fact, fashion curator Daniel Milford-Cottam writes in Fashion in the 1950s:

“One particularly striking aspect of the decade was the emergence of stylish options. Two ladies could walk down the street in different outfits, yet appear equally modish, be their skirts full and narrow, or one in a form-fitting sheath and the other in a loose sack dress.” (13)

He continues to explain that the idea of choice rather than following one specific style was relatively new in the 1950s. As the decade continued, these choices became varied as new designers such as Cristobal Balenciaga, Charles James, and Hubert de Givenchy introduced different silhouettes. In Costume and Fashion: A Concise History, James Laver writes, “As the decade progressed, clothing became less structured and straighter in cut” (258). Introduced by Chanel, Dior, and Balenciaga around the same time, the straight-cut suit, in contrast to the New Look, emphasized a woman’s natural shape with the jacket hanging at the widest point of the hips, as seen in figure 6. In the latter half of the decade, sheaths – like the Givenchy suit in figure 8 – and high-waisted chemise dresses, introduced by Balenciaga in 1957, became popular. The Balenciaga suit worn by model Suzy Parker (Fig. 7) shows the swing outline that he favored.

While designers such as Dior, Balenciaga, and Charles James created beautiful couture pieces, the craze for sportswear continued. Claire McCardell, the American designer who rose to prominence in the 1940s, continued to produce her popular wrap-over dresses and also introduced pedal-pushers with matching tops (Laver 258). While overall, fashion in the 1950s prided elegance, young women turned to McCardell and other sportswear and less formal designs, like the sundress and swimsuit in figure 10. Perhaps one of the most enduring images of everyday fashion in the fifties is the “poodle skirt.” Credited to Juli Lynne Charlot from California, these simple felt skirts were cut in a circle and could have any sort of embellishment, not just a poodle (Milford-Cottam 20). They were paired with tight-knitted twinsets and while much more casual than the haute couture coming out of Paris, these skirts still followed the line of the New Look with a defined waist and full skirt as seen in figure 9.

Fig. 6 - Gabrielle Chanel (French, 1883–1971). Suit, ca. 1957. Wool. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1976.370.2a–c. Gift of Mrs. Stephane Groueff, 1976. Source: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Fig. 7 - Louise Dahl-Wolfe (American, 1895-1989). Suzy Parker in Cristóbal Balenciaga, 1953. Kristine. Source: Flickr

Fig. 8 - Hubert de Givenchy (French, 1927–2018). Ensemble, 1958. Wool. New York: Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2009.300.842a, b. Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009 Gift of Mrs. William Randolph Hearst, Jr., 1960. Source: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Fig. 9 - Photographer unknown. Ladies of Vinyl, ca. 1950s. Source: Pinterest

Fig. 10 - Carolyn Schnurer (American, 1908–1998). The Hakama dress, 1952. Cotton. New York: Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2009.300.3141. Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009 Gift of Carolyn Schnurer, 1952. Source: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Fig. 11 - Cristobal Balenciaga (Spanish, 1895–1972). Cristóbal Balenciaga, 1957. Kristine. Source: Flickr

Fig. 12 - Gabrielle Chanel (French, 1883–1971). Shoes, ca. 1959. Leather, metal. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2004.333.23a, b. Gift of Bradford Dillman, 2004. Source: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Though it became increasingly acceptable for women to wear slacks for some occasions, overall the fashion mood in the fifties leaned towards femininity and formality. This was especially true in eveningwear as the cocktail dress was introduced to the public. Worn to the new cocktail party, these dresses lay in-between daywear and evening gowns, falling at the length of a day dress but embellished like eveningwear (Fig. 11). For formal eveningwear, even as sheaths and form-fitting dresses became popular, the full-skirted dress remained the mode throughout the decade, like the highly embellished evening gown by Dior in figure 13. The relatively new strapless bodice was especially popular as the pared-down bodice balanced out the wide skirts.

No matter what time of day, throughout the decade, it was exceedingly important that a woman be impeccably turned out. This meant perfectly groomed hair, spotless makeup, and sets of matching accessories. This was encouraged through the glamorous fashion photography of the day (Fig. 14). Fashion historian Gerda Buxbaum writes in Icons of Fashion: The 20 th Century, “The long years of deprivation during World War II brought forth a yearning for luxury and fashionable things, and women made a special effort to dress appropriately for every occasion it was considered imperative that one’s accessories matched perfectly” (69). Whether she was wearing a twinset and slacks, a poodle skirt, a sheath dress, or one of Dior’s New Look styles, a woman did her best to ensure that she looked pulled together through her accessories and overall styling. Those infamous black-toed Chanel shoes (Fig.12) appeared at the end of this decade, after all.

Fig. 13 - Christian Dior (French, 1905–1957). May, Spring/Summer 1953. Silk. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, C.I.60.21.1a, b. Gift of Mrs. David Kluger, 1960. Source: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Fig. 14 - Irving Penn (American, 1917–2009). Balenciaga Mantle Coat (Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn), Paris, 1950, printed 1988. Platinum-palladium print 66.2 x 55.9 cm (26 1/16 x 22 in). New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, L.2018.62.8. Promised Gift of The Irving Penn Foundation. Source: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The History of Pop Music

During the 1950's rock and roll dominated the first half of the decade, with previous influences from the 1940's. Major music labels mirrored the popularity of certain genres increasing the access to them and allowing them to become more popular. Big voiced singers set the tone for the development of the popular music during the 50's. Rock and roll was said to have been born on April 12, 1954, when Bill Haley and the Comets recorded "Rock Around the Clock."

The 1960's

The technology used by the pop music industry developed beyond recognition during this decade.
As pop music developed the television industry embraced the well- known artists of the time and gave them the audience a connection with them. From the 60s British artists became front runners in the popular music industry.
Artists such as The Beatles included the key characteristics of pop during the 1960's:
-main instruments were guitar, drums and vocals.
-prominent drum beat

The 1970's

Soft Rock became a very popular genre, as well as big ballads from artists such as Elton John. Euro pop began to become more popular during this decade. Most importantly this decade saw the rise of disco music, which became one of the biggest genres of the decade. The Bee Gees were the leaders of the disco era with Saturday night fever

The 1980's

Artists such as Madonna and Michael Jackson were by far the most famous singers of this time. Michael Jackson’s thriller was the most widely sold track of the 80's, selling 110 million copies. Both of their music was based around dance. Including certain influences from Motown for Michael Jackson and electronic from Madonna

The 1990's

1990’s pop music was typically categorized by hearty ballads, dance music. The development of teen pop and dance pop bands such as the spice girls broke into the American music industry which then also influenced bigger named artists such as Christina Aguilera and Destiny’s Child. One of the spice girls most famous songs is spice up your life with a Latin and salsa influence

The 2000's

Teen pop continued to be extremely popular into the 2000’s, but soon plummeted due to the rise in popularity of R&B and hip hop. Styles from the 1980’s pop scene have influenced artists’ music more recently in the charts of the noughties. More recently Pop Ballad artists such as Adele have dominated the later noughties.

Timeline: US-Cuba relations

1898: US defeats Spain, which gives up all claims to Cuba and cedes it to the US.

1902: Cuba becomes independent with Tomas Estrada Palma as its president. But the Platt Amendment keeps the island under US protection and gives the US the right to intervene in Cuban affairs.

1906-09: Estrada resigns and the US occupies Cuba following a rebellion led by Jose Miguel Gomez.

1909: Jose Miguel Gomez becomes president following elections supervised by the US, but is soon tarred by corruption.

1912: US forces return to Cuba to help put down black protests against discrimination.

1933: Gerardo Machado is overthrown in a coup led by Sergeant Fulgencio Batista.

1934: The US abandons its right to intervene in Cuba's internal affairs, revises Cuba's sugar quota and changes tariffs to favour Cuba.

1953: Fidel Castro leads an unsuccessful revolt against the Batista regime.

1956: Castro lands in eastern Cuba from Mexico and takes to the Sierra Maestra mountains where, aided by Ernesto "Che" Guevara, he wages a guerrilla war.

1958: The US withdraws military aid to Batista.

1959: Castro leads a 9,000-strong guerrilla army into Havana, forcing Batista to flee. Castro becomes prime minister.

April 1959: Castro meets US Vice President Richard Nixon on an unofficial visit to Washington. Nixon afterwards wrote that the US had no choice but to try to "orient" the leftist leader in the "right direction".

1960: All US businesses in Cuba are nationalised without compensation US breaks off diplomatic relations with Havana and imposes a trade embargo in response to Castro's reforms.

1961: US backs an abortive invasion by Cuban exiles at the Bay of Pigs Castro proclaims Cuba a communist state and begins to ally it with the USSR.

1961: The CIA begins to make plans to assassinate Castro as part of Operation Mongoose. At least five plans to kill the Cuban leader were drawn up between 1961 and 1963.

1962: Cuban missile crisis ignites when, fearing a US invasion, Castro agrees to allow the USSR to deploy nuclear missiles on the island. The US released photos of Soviet nuclear missile silos in Cuba - triggering a crisis which took the two superpowers to the brink of nuclear war.

It was subsequently resolved when the USSR agreed to remove the missiles in return for the withdrawal of US nuclear missiles from Turkey.

1980: Around 125,000 Cubans, many of them released convicts, flee to the US, when Castro temporarily lifted restrictions.

1993: The US tightens its embargo on Cuba, which introduces some market reforms in order to stem the deterioration of its economy. These include the legalisation of the US dollar, the transformation of many state farms into semi-autonomous co-operatives, and the legalisation of limited individual private enterprise.

1994: Cuba signs an agreement with the US according to which the US agrees to admit 20,000 Cubans a year in return for Cuba halting the exodus of refugees.

1996: US trade embargo made permanent in response to Cuba's shooting down of two US aircraft operated by Miami-based Cuban exiles.

1998: The US eases restrictions on the sending of money to relatives by Cuban Americans.

Nov 1999: Cuban child Elian Gonzalez is picked up off the Florida coast after the boat in which his mother, stepfather and others had tried to escape to the US capsized. A huge campaign by Miami-based Cuban exiles begins with the aim of preventing Elian from rejoining his father in Cuba and of making him stay with relatives in Miami.

June 2000: Elian allowed to rejoin his father in Cuba after prolonged court battles.

June 2001: Five Cubans convicted in Miami and given long sentences for spying for the Cuban government. The case of the Cuban Five becomes rallying cry for the Havana government.

Nov 2001: US exports food to Cuba for the first time in more than 40 years after a request from the Cuban government to help it cope with the aftermath of Hurricane Michelle.

Jan 2002: Prisoners taken during US-led action in Afghanistan are flown into Guantanamo Bay for interrogation as al-Qaeda suspects.

May 2002: US Under Secretary of State John Bolton accuses Cuba of trying to develop biological weapons, adding the country to Washington's list of "axis of evil" countries.

May 2002: Former US President Jimmy Carter makes landmark goodwill visit which includes tour of scientific centres, in response to US allegations about biological weapons. Carter is first former or serving US president to visit Cuba since 1959 revolution.

Oct 2003: US President George Bush announces fresh measures designed to hasten the end of communist rule in Cuba, including tightening a travel embargo to the island, cracking down on illegal cash transfers, and a more robust information campaign aimed at Cuba. A new body, the Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba, is created.

Feb 2006: A propaganda war breaks out in Havana as President Castro unveils a monument which blocks the view of illuminated messages - some of them about human rights - displayed on the US mission building.

Aug 2006: US President George W Bush - in his first comments after President Castro undergoes surgery and hands over power to his brother Raul - urges Cubans to work for democratic change.

Dec 2006: The largest delegation from the US Congress to visit Cuba since the 1959 revolution goes to Havana. Jeff Flake, a Republican congressman heading the 10-member bipartisan delegation, said he wanted to launch a "new era in US-Cuba relations", but the group is denied a meeting with Raul Castro.

July 2007: Acting leader Raul Castro again indicates he may be open to a warming of relations with the US. He offers to engage in talks, but only after the 2008 US presidential election.

Feb 2008: Raul Castro officially takes over as president. Washington calls for free and fair elections, and says its trade embargo will remain.

4 Nov 2008: Barack Obama is elected US president.

Dec 2008: New poll suggests a majority of Cuban-Americans living in Miami want an end to the US embargo against Cuba.

April 2009: President Obama lifts restrictions on family travel and remittances to Cuba.

Dec 2009: US citizen Alan Gross detained in Cuba accused of spying for Washington.

Nov 2010: American Ballet Theater visits Cuba for first time in 50 years, the latest in number of cultural exchanges.

Oct 2011: Convicted Cuban agent Rene Gonzalez is freed as scheduled from a Florida jail. Gonzalez is part of a group known as the Cuban Five, who were given long terms in 2001 in the US after being convicted of spying. Havana has repeatedly called for the men to be freed.

Dec 2011: The US again calls for the release of Alan Gross, an American who is serving 15 years in a Cuban jail for taking internet equipment into the country. Cuba's refusal to free him has frozen relations for months.

Sep 2012: Cuba suggests it is ready to negotiate with Washington on finding a solution to the Gross case.

Watch the video: Evolution of Music - Pentatonix (May 2022).