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1958 Fun Facts and Trivia

Gregory DeVictor is a trivia enthusiast who loves to write articles on American nostalgia.

This article teaches you fun facts and trivia from the year 1958.

This article teaches you fun facts and trivia from the year 1958.

Why Was the Year 1958 so Special?

What are some fun facts, trivia, and historical events from the year 1958? What were the top news stories in the U.S. and around the world? What happened in the business and financial sectors, in science, technology, sports, the entertainment industry, and in everyday life? What about famous birthdays, marriages, and deaths that year?

  1. In the mid-1950s, the Federal Reserve raised interest rates in an effort to curb inflation. From August 1957 to April 1958, the United States slipped into a recession because of the Fed’s tight monetary policy. The GDP fell by 3.7%, unemployment peaked at 7.4%, and corporate profits fell by 25%.
  2. Because of the recession and increasing competition from Japanese carmakers, the Detroit auto industry had its worst year in 1958 since World War II. To give you an idea, General Motors manufactured 1,505,910 Chevrolets in 1957, but only 1,143,460 in 1958. Likewise, Ford Motor Company assembled 1,676,449 Fords in 1957, but only 987,945 a year later. Finally, Chrysler Corporation built 726,009 Plymouth cars in 1957, but only 443,799 in 1958.
  3. President Eisenhower signed a bill that allowed Alaska to become the 49th and largest state.
  4. The first American satellite, Explorer 1, was launched. NASA.gov remarks that “Explorer 1 became the first successfully launched satellite by the United States when it was sent to space on January 31, 1958. A quick response to the Soviet Union's launch of Sputnik 1, Explorer 1's success marked the beginning of the U.S. Space Age.”
  5. In the midterm elections, Senate Democrats gained 13 seats—the largest transfer from one party to another in Senate history.
  6. The Supreme Court ordered the all-white Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas to integrate.
  7. Pan Am began daily transatlantic jet service from New York to Paris.
  8. For the first time in history, more passengers crossed the Atlantic in airplanes than in ships.
  9. A nor'easter that struck the Mid-Atlantic dumped 50 inches of snow on Morgantown, Pennsylvania.
  10. The first two-way, moving sidewalk at an airport went into service at Love Field, Dallas’ new municipal airport.
  11. The European Economic Community (EEC), also known as the Common Market, went into operation.
  12. Dr. Ake Senning, a Swedish cardiac surgeon, implanted the first pacemaker.
  13. Nikita Khrushchev became the Soviet premier as well as the first secretary of the Ukrainian Communist Party.
  14. At the 30th Academy Awards, The Bridge on the River Quai won seven Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor.
  15. The original soundtrack to the film South Pacific reached #1 and topped the U.S. charts for 31 more weeks.
  16. Pope Pius XII designated Saint Clare of Assisi as the "patron saint" of television.
  17. McDonald’s sold their 100 millionth hamburger, and the first IHOP (International House of Pancakes) restaurant opened for business in Los Angeles.
  18. The Baltimore Colts were the NFL champs, the New York Yankees won the World Series, and the Montreal Canadiens clinched the Stanley Cup.
  19. Consumer products that were launched in 1958 included Cocoa Krispies, Cocoa Puffs, Friskies dry cat food, Jif creamy peanut butter, Mr. Clean, Pledge cleaning products, Rice-A-Roni, and Sweet'N Low.
  20. In the year 1958, Madonna, Michael Jackson, Mark Cuban, Ellen DeGeneres, and Prince were all born.
  21. Hula hoops became a national craze.
  22. There were 4,063 drive-in movie screens in the United States.
  23. Pizza Hut, Budget Rent a Car, Thrifty Car Rental, and Trader Joe’s were all founded.
  24. Jack Kilby—an electrical engineer who worked for Texas Instruments—invented the integrated circuit, also known as the microchip.
  25. Jolitta Schlehuber of McPherson, Kansas won the 31st Scripps National Spelling Bee with the word “syllepsis.”

Here are the five most popular TV shows from 1958-59:

  1. Gunsmoke (CBS)
  2. Wagon Train (NBC)
  3. Have Gun Will Travel (CBS)
  4. The Rifleman (ABC)
  5. The Danny Thomas Show (CBS)

Here are ten cool food trends for the year:

  1. Baked beans
  2. Chicken a la King
  3. Chiffon cake
  4. Green bean casseroles
  5. Jell-O salads
  6. Olive loaves
  7. Spaghetti with meat sauce
  8. Strawberry shortcake
  9. Swanson TV dinners
  10. Tuna noodle casseroles

This article teaches you fun facts, trivia, and historical events from the year 1958. Find out about popular TV shows, movies, music, books, foods, sports facts, famous birthdays, and other cool pop culture trends to get the right mix of questions and answers for your 1950s-themed trivia game.

In 1958, General Motors was America’s largest corporation.

In 1958, General Motors was America’s largest corporation.

Table of Contents

For easier reading and referencing, I have divided this article into the following categories:

  1. Grocery Prices in the Year 1958
  2. What Was the U.S. Economy Like in 1958?
  3. History Facts From the USA and World
  4. Sports Trivia
  5. Miscellaneous Fun Facts, Trivia, and Pop Culture Trends
  6. Nobel Prize Winners
  7. Best-Selling Books
  8. Most Popular Television Shows From 1958-59
  9. Favorite Radio Programs
  10. Highest-Grossing Films
  11. 10 Best Horror Movies of 1958
  12. Biggest Pop Music Artists
  13. Number One Songs for the Year
  14. Food and Beverage Trivia
  15. Famous Birthdays
  16. Weddings and Divorces
  17. Famous People Who Died
  18. U.S. Automobile Production Figures for the Year
  19. America’s Largest Corporations
  20. American Companies and Brands Established During 1958
In 1958, the first IHOP (International House of Pancakes) restaurant opened in Los Angeles.

In 1958, the first IHOP (International House of Pancakes) restaurant opened in Los Angeles.

1. Grocery Prices in the Year 1958

These grocery facts have been made available courtesy of the Morris County Public Library in Whippany, NJ.

  1. Bacon: 75 cents for a one-pound package
  2. Baked beans (B&M): 49 cents for two 18-ounce jars
  3. Beef (chuck steak): 49 cents a pound
  4. Beef (Swiss steak): 75 cents a pound
  5. Bisquick: 43 cents for a 40-ounce box
  6. Blueberries: 29 cents per pint
  7. Bologna: 53 cents for a one-pound package
  8. Broccoli: 29 cents a bunch
  9. Bread (Jane Parker): 25 cents for a 16-ounce loaf
  10. Cake (Jane Parker, orange chiffon): 49-59 cents apiece
  11. Cake mix (Betty Crocker, marble): 31 cents for a 20-ounce box
  12. Candy (M&M’s): 25 cents for a six-ounce cello bag
  13. Cereal (Kellogg's brand, variety pack): 35 cents for a 10-pack
  14. Cheese (Kraft, Velveeta): 27 cents for an eight-ounce package
  15. Chef Boyardee canned spaghetti and meatballs: 19 cents for a 15½ ounce can
  16. Coffee (Eight O’Clock): 73 cents for a one-pound bag
  17. Corned beef: 59 cents a pound
  18. Eggs: 55 cents a dozen
  19. Fish (frozen cod fillet): 39 cents for a one-pound package
  20. Fish (Chicken of the Sea, canned tuna): 35 cents for a seven-ounce can
  21. French fries (frozen): 29 cents for two one-pound packages
  22. Fritos corn chips: 19 cents for a four-ounce bag
  23. Ice cream: 79 cents for a half-gallon carton
  24. Junket rennet powder: 37 cents for three packages
  25. Juice (Dole, pineapple): 27 cents for two twenty-seven ounce cans
  26. Ketchup (Pride of the Farm): 15 cents for a 14-ounce bottle
  27. Lemons: Six for 25 cents
  28. Milk: $1.01 a gallon
  29. Onions: Five cents a pound
  30. Oranges (Sunkist): 49 cents for a five-pound bag
  31. Pie (Jane Parker, cherry): 49 cents each
  32. Pie crust (Betty Crocker): 36 cents for two 10-ounce boxes
  33. Rice (Carolina, white): 53 cents for a three-pound bag
  34. Rice (Uncle Ben’s): 19 cents for a 14-ounce box
  35. Soda (Coca-Cola): 33 cents for six six-ounce bottles
  36. Sugar: Five pounds for 49 cents
  37. Watermelon: Three cents a pound
  38. TV dinner (Swanson, chicken or pot roast): 59 cents for an 11-ounce package
  39. Waffles (frozen): Two five-ounce packages for 25 cents
  40. Yogurt (Dannon): Two eight-ounce cups for 35 cents
In 1958, Gunsmoke was America's most popular TV show.

In 1958, Gunsmoke was America's most popular TV show.

2. What Was the U.S. Economy Like in 1958?

  1. In the mid-1950s, the Federal Reserve raised interest rates in an effort to curb inflation. From August 1957 to April 1958, the United States slipped into a recession because of the Fed’s tight monetary policy. The GDP fell by 3.7%, unemployment peaked at 7.4%, and corporate profits fell by 25%.
  2. Because of the recession and increasing competition from Japanese carmakers, the Detroit auto industry had its worst year in 1958 since World War II. To give you an idea, General Motors manufactured 1,505,910 Chevrolets in 1957, but only 1,143,460 in 1958. Likewise, Ford Motor Company assembled 1,676,449 Fords in 1957, but only 987,945 a year later. Finally, Chrysler Corporation built 726,009 Plymouth cars in 1957, but only 443,799 in 1958.
  3. Besides inflation, what other factor(s) led to the 1957-58 recession? GlobalSecurity.org reports that government purchases of goods and services before the recession had decreased “because the Eisenhower Administration and many in Congress wanted a large actual budget surplus.”
  4. But that’s not all. According to CNBC.com, “a global recession (which also happened to coincide with the 1957 Asian flu pandemic that killed 1.1 million people worldwide) further hurt the U.S. economy as the country’s exports declined by more than $4 billion.”
  5. What helped the U.S. economy to recover from the recession? CNBC.com reports that “The Dwight Eisenhower Administration acted aggressively to spur an economic rebound, including increasing government spending on construction projects and putting more money into the nation’s interstate system after previously passing the landmark Federal Aid Highway Act in 1956.”
  6. Unemployment was 6.2% in December, a full percentage point above the rate in December 1957.
  7. The 1958 inflation rate was 2.85%, down from 3.31% a year earlier. The BLS explains that “Purchasing power decreased by 2.85% in 1958 compared to 1957. On average, you would have to spend 2.85% more money in 1958 than in 1957 for the same item. In other words, $1 in 1958 is equivalent in purchasing power to about $1.03 in 1957.”
  8. San Francisco (3.69%) experienced the highest rate of inflation between 1957 and 1958. Other metropolitan areas with high inflation rates during the same period were Boston (3.21%), Chicago (3.03%), and New York (3.00%).
  9. Conversely, Detroit (1.38%) had the lowest rate of inflation between 1957 and 1958. Other cities with low inflation rates at the same time were Houston (1.74%), Philadelphia (1.97%), and Seattle (2.29%).
  10. In 1958, the average household income in the U.S. was $4,650.
  11. A gallon of milk cost $1.01, eggs were 55 cents a dozen, and bread was 25 cents for a 16-ounce loaf. Swiss steak was 75 cents a pound, blueberries were 29 cents a pint, and Bisquick cost 43 cents for a 40-ounce box.
  12. The average cost of a new home was $10,450, and the average monthly rent was $92.00, up from $90.00 a year earlier.
  13. The price for a gallon of regular gas averaged 25 cents.
  14. A first-class stamp cost four cents. (On August 1, 1958, the price of a first-class stamp increased from three to four cents.)
  15. The federal minimum wage was $1.00.
  16. On April 21, the prime rate was 3.5%.
  17. On the last day of trading for 1958, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 583.65, a gain of 147.96 points over 1957.
  18. The price of gold averaged $35.25 per ounce.
  19. A ride on the New York subway cost 15 cents.
  20. The price of a Broadway ticket was $8.05.
  21. The cost of a baseball playoff ticket cost $2.10 for the bleachers and $10.50 for an upper-stand box seat.
  22. A movie ticket averaged 68 cents.
  23. Tuition at Harvard was $1,250.
  24. In 1958, round-trip airfare from New York to London cost $453.
  25. A daily newspaper was seven cents.
In 1958, the Baltimore Colts were the NFL champs.

In 1958, the Baltimore Colts were the NFL champs.

3. History Facts From the USA and World

  1. In 1958, Dwight D. Eisenhower was president of the United States, and Richard M. Nixon was the vice-president.
  2. On January 1, the European Economic Community (EEC), also known as the Common Market, went into operation. Its members were Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and West Germany.
  3. On January 4, the Soviet spacecraft Sputnik 1—which was launched on October 4, 1958—burned into the atmosphere.
  4. On January 13, the Daily Worker, a newspaper that was published in New York City by the American Communist Party, stopped publishing after 34 years.
  5. On January 15, Willie O’Ree became the first black player in the NHL. He played as a winger for the Boston Bruins.
  6. On January 30, the first two-way, moving sidewalk at an airport went into service at Love Field, Dallas’ new municipal airport.
  7. On February 4, the MLB Hall of Fame did not elect anyone for the first time since 1950.
  8. On February 11, Ruth Carol Taylor became the first African-American flight attendant in the United States.
  9. On March 2, Sir Vivian Fuchs “made history when he successfully completed the first crossing of the Antarctic via the South Pole” in 100 days.
  10. On March 18-21, a nor'easter that struck the Mid-Atlantic dumped 50 inches of snow on Morgantown, Pennsylvania.
  11. On March 19, Britain's first planetarium opened in London.
  12. On March 24, Elvis Presley joined the United States Army in Memphis, Tennessee.
  13. On March 27, Nikita Khrushchev became the Soviet premier as well as the first secretary of the Ukrainian Communist Party. History.com points out that Khrushchev “became the first leader since Joseph Stalin to simultaneously hold the USSR’s two top offices.”
  14. On April 17, the World’s Fair opened in Brussels, Belgium.
  15. On April 18, U.S. Federal District Court Judge Bolitha Laws “dismissed an indictment for treason that had been lodged during World War II against Ezra Pound, one of the 20th century’s most venerated poets. Laws ordered his immediate release from St. Elizabeth's Hospital for the criminally insane in Washington, D.C., where Pound had spent nearly the last 13 years.”
  16. On May 13, Stan Musial became the eighth MLB player to get 3,000 hits.
  17. On May 24, United Press (UP) and the International News Service (INS) merged to become United Press International (UPI).
  18. On May 26, Union Square, a 2.6-acre public plaza in San Francisco, became a state historical landmark.
  19. On July 7, President Eisenhower signed a bill that allowed Alaska to become the 49th and largest state.
  20. On July 29, President Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958 into law. The bill “‘provided for research into the problems of flight within and outside the earth's atmosphere,’" and also “established the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).”
  21. On August 1, the price of a first-class stamp increased from three to four cents. (The price had been three cents for 26 years.)
  22. On August 19, high school history teacher Clara Luper and the NAACP Youth Council began sit-ins to desegregate the lunch counter at Katz’s Drugstore in Oklahoma City.
  23. On September 2, President Eisenhower signed the National Defense Education Act (NDEA) into law. Senate.gov points out that the NDEA “made substantial funds available for low-cost student loans, boosting public and private colleges and universities.”
  24. On September 12, the U.S. Supreme Court ordered the all-white Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas to integrate.
  25. On October 8, Dr. Ake Senning, a Swedish cardiac surgeon, implanted the first pacemaker in Stockholm.
  26. On October 14, the District of Columbia Bar Association voted to accept African Americans as members.
  27. On October 26, Pan Am began daily transatlantic jet service from New York to Paris.
  28. On November 4, a midterm revolution took place in the U.S. Senate. According to Senate.gov, “Senate Democrats beat all predictions, gaining 13 seats—the largest transfer from one party to another in Senate history. With the admission of Alaska in January 1959, the party balance stood at 64 Democrats to 34 Republicans.”
  29. On December 1, a fire at the Our Lady of Angels School in Chicago killed 92 students and three nuns.
  30. On December 10, the University of Pittsburgh agreed to buy Forbes Field from the Pirates.
In 1958, the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company (A&P) was a leading American grocery store chain.

In 1958, the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company (A&P) was a leading American grocery store chain.

4. Sports Trivia

Generally suitable for all age groups, sports questions are a welcome addition to any trivia quiz.

  1. Indianapolis 500: Jimmy Bryan
  2. Kentucky Derby: Tim Tam
  3. NBA Champions: St. Louis Hawks
  4. NCAA Basketball Champions: Kentucky
  5. NCAA Football Champs: Iowa & LSU
  6. NFL Champions: Baltimore Colts
  7. Orange Bowl: Oklahoma over Duke
  8. Rose Bowl: Ohio State over Oregon
  9. Stanley Cup Champs: Montreal Canadiens
  10. Sugar Bowl: Ole Miss over Texas
  11. U.S. Open Golf: Tommy Bolt
  12. U.S. Open Tennis: Ashley J. Cooper/Althea Gibson
  13. Wimbledon (men/women): Ashley Cooper/Althea Gibson
  14. World Cup Soccer: Brazil
  15. World Series Champions: New York Yankees
In 1958, South Pacific was the highest-grossing film.

In 1958, South Pacific was the highest-grossing film.

5. Miscellaneous Fun Facts, Trivia, and Pop Culture Trends

  1. In 1958, popular baby names were Michael, David, Robert, John, James, Mary, Linda, Susan, Patricia, and Karen.
  2. The average life expectancy at birth in the U.S. was 66.6 years.
  3. The most popular holiday gifts and accessories included western cowboy gear (shoes, gloves, spurs, belts, hats, and lassos), pink appliances, home movie equipment, nylon Christmas trees, transistor radios, wagons, typewriters, exercise equipment, "geriatric" pills for those over 35, extravagant robes, and electric monorails.
  4. Fashion icons for the year were Brigitte Bardot, Doris Day, Annette Funicello, June Ferguson, Audrey Hepburn, Sophia Loren, Jayne Mansfield, Marilyn Monroe, Julie Newmar, Kim Novak, Donna Reed, Elizabeth Taylor, Lana Turner, Tuesday Weld, and Jane Wyatt.
  5. Marilyn Van Derbur (Colorado) won the Miss America crown.
  6. Eurlyne Howell (Louisiana) became Miss USA.
  7. Time magazine’s “Man of the Year” was Charles de Gualle, the former President of France.
  8. Cars that were introduced in 1958 included the AMC Ambassador, Chevrolet Biscayne, Chevrolet Impala, Edsel Bermuda, Edsel Citation, Edsel Corsair, Edsel Pacer, Edsel Roundup, Edsel Villager, Ford Thunderbird (second generation), Ford Galaxie, Packard Hawk, Plymouth Cabana, Rambler American, and Studebaker Scotsman.
  9. The 30th Academy Awards on March 26 honored the best films of 1957. Here were some of the winners: The Bridge on the River Quai won an Oscar for Best Picture, and David Lean (The Bridge on the River Quai) won an Oscar for Best Director. Likewise, Alec Guinness (The Bridge on the River Quai) won an Oscar for Best Actor, and Joanne Woodward (The Three Faces of Eve) won an Oscar for Best Actress.
  10. At the 10th Primetime Emmy Awards, the Phil Silvers Show (CBS) won an Emmy for Best Comedy Series, and Playhouse 90 (CBS) won an Emmy for Best Dramatic Anthology Series. Likewise, Gunsmoke (CBS) won an Emmy for Best Dramatic Series with Continuing Characters, and The Seven Lively Arts (CBS) won an Emmy for Best New Program Series of the Year.
  11. The first IHOP (International House of Pancakes) restaurant opened in Los Angeles.
  12. McDonald’s sold their 100 millionth hamburger.
  13. There were 4,063 drive-in movie screens in the United States.
  14. The first parking meters were installed in England.
  15. Rice-A-Roni went on sale. It was created by Vince DeDomenico from an Armenian family recipe.
  16. Friskees introduced the first dry cat food.
  17. Cocoa Puffs cereal was launched by General Mills. (It was 43% sugar.)
  18. Cocoa Krispies cereal was introduced by Kellogg’s. (It was 45.9% sugar.)
  19. The artificial sweetener Sweet'N Low was created.
  20. Jif creamy peanut butter first appeared on grocery store shelves.
  21. Royal Crown Cola began test marketing Diet Rite Cola—the first diet cola.
  22. On January 3, the final episode of the daytime game show, Strike It Rich, was broadcast on CBS.
  23. On January 31, Jackpot Bowling premiered on NBC, with MLB manager and player Leo Durocher as the host.
  24. On February 16, the last episode of the game show, Beat the Clock, aired on CBS.
  25. On February 17, the daily comic strip B.C. debuted.
  26. On May 9, Vertigo, a psychological thriller directed by Alfred Hitchcock, was released.
  27. On May 15, Gigi—a film that was based on a story by the French author Colette—premiered in New York.
  28. On May 19, the original soundtrack to the film South Pacific reached #1 and topped the U.S. charts for 31 more weeks.
  29. On July 3, the Andy Williams Show debuted on ABC.
  30. On August 18, Lolita, a novel by Vladimir Nabokov, was published.
  31. On August 18, Betsy Palmer joined NBC’s Today Show.
  32. On August 25, the game show Concentration premiered on NBC.
  33. On September 5, Doctor Zhivago—a novel by Soviet novelist and poet Boris Pasternak—was published in the U.S.
  34. On September 15, the final episode of the George Burns and Gracie Allen Show aired on CBS.
  35. On September 24, the Donna Reed Show debuted on ABC.
  36. On September 29, the final episode of the anthology drama, Studio One, was broadcast on CBS.
  37. On October 10, the detective drama, 77 Sunset Strip, premiered on ABC.
  38. On November 2, the final episode of the primetime game show, The $64,000 Question, was broadcast on CBS.
  39. On December 29, the soap Young Doctor Malone debuted on CBS.
In 1958, Jif peanut butter appeared on grocery store shelves for the first time.

In 1958, Jif peanut butter appeared on grocery store shelves for the first time.

6. Nobel Prize Winners

Beth Rowen tells us that winning a Nobel Prize is a life-changing honor. Whether the laureate is an internationally known figure (such as Mother Teresa) or a scientist from obscurity (like Richard R. Ernst), the award brings worldwide recognition that highlights one's life work and provides the funds to continue the mission.

This Nobel Prize information from 1958 has been made available courtesy of NobelPrize.com.

  • Chemistry: Frederick Sanger
  • Literature: Boris Pasternak
  • Peace: Dominique Pire
  • Physics: Ilya Frank, Igor Tamm, and Pavel Cherenkov
  • Physiology or medicine: George Beadle, Joshua Lederberg, and Edward Tatum

7. Best-Selling Books

This book trivia from 1958 has been made available courtesy of PublishersWeekly.com.

Fiction books:

1. Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak

2. Anatomy of a Murder by Robert Traver

3. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

4. Around the World with Auntie Mame by Patrick Dennis

5. From the Terrace by John O'Hara

6. Eloise at Christmastime by Kay Thompson

7. Ice Palace by Edna Ferber

8. The Winthrop Woman by Anya Seton

9. The Enemy Camp by Jerome Weidman

10. Victorine by Frances Parkinson Keyes

Nonfiction books:

1. Kids Say the Darndest Things! by Art Linkletter

2. Twixt Twelve and Twenty by Pat Boone

3. Only in America by Harry Golden

4. Masters of Deceit by J. Edgar Hoover

5. Please Don't Eat the Daisies by Jean Kerr

6. Better Homes and Gardens Salad Book by the BH&G Editors

7. The New Testament in Modern English, translated by J.P. Phillips

8. Aku-Aku: The Story of Easter Island by Thor Heyerdahl

9. Dear Abby by Abigail Van Buren

10. Inside Russia Today by John Gunther

8. Most Popular Television Shows From 1958-59

Encyclopedia.com tells us that “Television was introduced to Americans in 1939 and began to gain a foothold after World War II (1939–45). In the 1950s, the sale of TV sets and the boom in programming made TV America's favorite source of entertainment. Consider the numbers: in 1946, 7,000 TV sets were sold; in 1948, 172,000 sets were sold; and in 1950, 5 million sets were sold. In 1950, just under 20 percent of American homes contained a TV set. Ten years later, nearly 90 percent of homes contained a TV—and some even had color TVs.”

This TV trivia from 1958 has been made available courtesy of Nielsen TV Research.

  1. Gunsmoke (CBS)
  2. Wagon Train (NBC)
  3. Have Gun Will Travel (CBS)
  4. The Rifleman (ABC)
  5. The Danny Thomas Show (CBS)
  6. Maverick (ABC)
  7. Tales of Wells Fargo (NBC)
  8. The Real McCoys (ABC)
  9. I've Got a Secret (CBS)
  10. The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp (ABC)
In 1958, the Montreal Canadiens won the Stanley Cup.

In 1958, the Montreal Canadiens won the Stanley Cup.

9. Favorite Radio Programs

Encyclopedia.com tells us that “Television changed the American entertainment landscape. In towns where TV was introduced, movie attendance and book sales dropped off dramatically. Radio, which had been America's favorite form of at-home amusement, declined in importance in the 1950s. Variety, comedy, and dramatic shows left the airwaves for TV. Radio increasingly focused on news, talk shows, and sports broadcasting.”

Here are some of the most popular radio programs from 1958:

  1. Don McNeill’s Breakfast Club
  2. Ma Perkins
  3. Midwestern Hayride
  4. Milkman’s Matinee
  5. Monitor
  6. Moon River
  7. Pop Chronicles
  8. Ranger Bill
  9. Suspense (radio drama)
  10. The Eternal Light
  11. The Romance of Helen Trent
  12. The Standard School Broadcast
  13. Unshackled!
  14. Young Doctor Malone
  15. Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar

10. Highest-Grossing Films

This movie trivia has been made available courtesy of The-Numbers.com.

  1. South Pacific
  2. Auntie Mame
  3. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
  4. The Big Country
  5. The Inn of the Sixth Happiness
  6. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
  7. Indiscreet
  8. Separate Tables
  9. Gigi
  10. I Want To Live!
  11. Marjorie Morningstar
  12. The Bravados
  13. Vertigo

11. 10 Best Horror Movies of 1958

This film trivia has been made available courtesy of IMDB.com.

  1. Horror of Dracula
  2. Lake of the Dead
  3. The Fly
  4. The Revenge of Frankenstein
  5. I Bury the Living
  6. Fiend Without a Face
  7. The Blob
  8. Corridors of Blood
  9. I Married a Monster From Outer Space
  10. It! The Terror from Beyond Space
In 1958, Don McNeill’s Breakfast Club was one of the most popular radio programs.

In 1958, Don McNeill’s Breakfast Club was one of the most popular radio programs.

12. Biggest Pop Music Artists

Popular music artists from 1958 included Buddy Holly, The Chipmunks with David Seville, Chuck Berry, The Coasters, The Diamonds, The Drifters, Elvis Presley, The Everly Brothers, Fats Domino, Frank Sinatra, Frankie Avalon, Jackie Wilson, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Johnny Mathis, Pat Boone, Ricky Nelson, and Sam Cooke.

13. Number One Songs for the Year

This music trivia from 1958 has been made available courtesy of Pop-Culture.us.

  1. December 28, 1957 - January 10, 1958: Pat Boone - April Love
  2. January 11 - February 14: Danny & the Juniors - At The Hop
  3. February 15 - March 21: Elvis Presley - Don't / I Beg Of You
  4. March 22 - April 25: The Champs - Tequila
  5. April 26 - May 2: The Platters - Twilight Time
  6. May 3 - May 16: David Seville - Witch Doctor
  7. May 17 - June 13: The Everly Brothers - All I Have To Do Is Dream
  8. June 14 - July 25: Sheb Wooley - The Purple People Eater
  9. July 26 - August 3: Elvis Presley - Hard Headed Woman
  10. August 4 - August 17: Ricky Nelson - Poor Little Fool
  11. August 18 - August 24: Domenico Modugno - Volare (Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu)
  12. August 25 - September 28: The Elegants - Little Star
  13. September 29 - November 9: Tommy Edwards - It's All in the Game
  14. November 10 - November 16: Conway Twitty - It's Only Make Believe
  15. November 17 - November 30: The Kingston Trio - Tom Dooley
  16. December 1 - December 21: The Teddy Bears - To Know Him Is to Love Him
  17. December 22, 1958 - January 18, 1959: The Chipmunks with David Seville - The Chipmunk Song
In 1958, apple pie was a real crowd-pleaser.

In 1958, apple pie was a real crowd-pleaser.

14. Food and Beverage Trivia

GoodHousekeeping.com tells us that “Like fashion, food falls in and out of style. Back when kids of the '50s and '60s were growing up, family dinners meant these dishes were front and center at every family get-together, holiday meal, or cocktail party your parents threw. Many of these recipes evolved from the appeal of new ‘convenience’ foods ranging from canned soups to boxed cake mixes.”

Courtesy of TheDailyMeal.com, here are some foods and beverages that were popular in 1958:

  1. Apple pie
  2. Baked beans
  3. Baked ham
  4. Braised pork chops
  5. Broiled hamburgers
  6. Broiled steak
  7. Chicken a la King
  8. Chicken Tetrazzini: TheDailyMeal tells us that “Named after opera singer Luisa Tetrazzini, Tetrazzini is a dish made with poultry or seafood (usually chicken or turkey) and mushrooms in a creamy sauce flavored with wine or sherry, served over pasta.”
  9. Chiffon cake
  10. Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and RC Cola
  11. Creamed chipped beef on toast
  12. Deviled ham
  13. Dinty Moore beef stew
  14. Fried chicken
  15. Green bean casseroles
  16. Ice cream
  17. Jell-O salads
  18. Mary Kitchen hash
  19. Olive loaves
  20. Relish trays
  21. Roast beef
  22. Snowballs: TheDailyMeal.com describes this dessert as “a scoop of vanilla ice cream rolled in shredded coconut and usually drizzled with chocolate sauce.”
  23. Spaghetti with meat sauce
  24. Strawberry shortcake
  25. Stuffed celery
  26. Swanson TV dinners
  27. Tuna noodle casseroles
In 1958, fried chicken was all the rage.

In 1958, fried chicken was all the rage.

15. Famous Birthdays

Here are some of the famous people who were born in 1958:

  1. Alec Baldwin: TV actor
  2. Andrea Bocelli: Opera singer
  3. Angela Bassett: Movie actress
  4. Anita Baker: R&B singer
  5. Diana Williams: Journalist
  6. Drew Carey: Game show host
  7. Ellen DeGeneres: TV show host
  8. Gary Oldman: Movie actor
  9. Ice T: Actor
  10. Jacqueline Walters: Doctor
  11. Jamie Lee Curtis: Movie actress
  12. Kevin Bacon: Movie actor
  13. Madonna: Pop singer
  14. Mark Cuban: Entrepreneur
  15. Michael Jackson (1958-2009): Pop singer
  16. Michelle Pfeiffer: Movie actress
  17. Oscar Nunez: TV actor
  18. Peter Capaldi: TV actor
  19. Prince: R&B singer
  20. Tim Burton: Director

16. Weddings and Divorces

These trivia facts have been made available courtesy of OnThisDay.com.

Marriages:

  1. On January 1, singer, actor, and TV host Sammy Davis Jr. married Loray White.
  2. On January 29, actor Paul Newman wed actress Joanne Woodward.
  3. On April 14, film director Stanley Kubrick married actress Christiane Harlan.
  4. On June 4, blues musician B.B. King wed Sue Hall.
  5. On June 8, semiconductor industry pioneer Andrew Grove married Eva Kastan.
  6. On July 19, NFL coach Don Shula wed Dorothy Bartish.
  7. On August 9, actor Robert Redford married Lola Van Wagenen.
  8. On August 15, singer Buddy Holly wed receptionist Maria Santiago.
  9. On September 22, film director Sydney Pollack married actress Claire Bradley Griswold.
  10. On December 21, actress Ingrid Bergman wed producer Lars Schmidt.

Divorce:

On March 11, actress Agnes Moorehead divorced actor and film director Robert Gist.

17. Famous People Who Died

This information has been made available courtesy of OnThisDay.com.

  1. January 8: Mary Colter (an American architect and designer)
  2. January 9: Willis Rodney Whitney (the founder of the General Electric research laboratory)
  3. February 3: Henry Kuttner (a science fiction writer who authored Dark World and As You Were)
  4. March 22: Michael “Mike” Todd (a film producer whose credits include Around the World in 80 Days)
  5. March 28: W.C. Handy (an American musician and “Father of the Blues”)
  6. April 16: Rosalind Franklin (an English chemist and molecular biologist)
  7. May 19: Ronald Colman (an English actor who played in Lost Horizon, The Prisoner of Zenda, and Phantom Shot)
  8. June 11: Clarence DeMar (an American marathon runner who won the Boston Marathon seven times)
  9. July 17: Henri Farman (a British aviator who broke several aviation records)
  10. July 25: Harry Warner (an American movie pioneer)
  11. August 14: Agnes Presley (the mother of Elvis Presley)
  12. October 9: Pius XII (the 260th Roman Catholic pope)
  13. November 25: Charles Kettering (an American inventor and engineer who held 186 patents)
  14. December 8: Tris Speaker (an American baseball player)
  15. December 13: Tim Moore (an American actor who played in Amos ‘n’ Andy)
In 1958, Pizza Hut—a restaurant chain and international franchise that operates 18,703 restaurants worldwide—was founded in Wichita, Kansas.

In 1958, Pizza Hut—a restaurant chain and international franchise that operates 18,703 restaurants worldwide—was founded in Wichita, Kansas.

18. U.S. Automobile Production Figures for the Year

  1. Chevrolet: 1,142,460
  2. Ford: 987,945
  3. Plymouth: 443,799
  4. Oldsmobile: 294,374
  5. Buick: 241,892
  6. Pontiac: 217,303
  7. Rambler: 162,182
  8. Dodge: 137,861
  9. Mercury: 133,271
  10. Cadillac: 121,778
  11. Chrysler: 63,681
  12. Edsel: 63,110
  13. DeSoto: 49,445
  14. Studebaker: 44,759
  15. Lincoln: 17,134
  16. Imperial: 16,133
  17. Metropolitan: 13,128
  18. Continental: 12,550
  19. Packard: 2,622

19. America’s Largest Corporations

Money.CNN tells us that “Since 1955, when the first FORTUNE 500 was created, more than 1,800 companies have appeared on the list. Many of these companies have changed names over this period, owing to mergers, acquisitions, and bankruptcies. Other companies have gone private, or simply changed their names.”

Here is the 1958 FORTUNE 500:

  1. General Motors
  2. Exxon Mobil
  3. Ford Motor
  4. U.S. Steel
  5. General Electric
  6. Chrysler
  7. Mobil
  8. Gulf Oil
  9. Bethlehem Steel
  10. Esmark
  11. AT&T
  12. Texaco
  13. Amoco
  14. CBS
  15. Dupont
  16. Armour
  17. Shell Oil
  18. ChevronTexaco
  19. Boeing
  20. General Dynamics (an aerospace and defense company)

20. American Companies and Brands Established During 1958

  1. Ames: A department store chain
  2. Budget Rent a Car: A car rental company
  3. Cost Plus World Market: A chain of specialty/import retail stores “selling home furniture, decor, curtains, rugs, gifts, apparel, coffee, wine, craft beer, as well as several international food products.”
  4. Fay’s Drug: A chain of drug stores
  5. Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation: An aircraft company
  6. Hush Puppies: An American brand of “contemporary, casual footwear for men, women, and children.”
  7. Midway Games: A video game developer
  8. Music World Corporation: A music production and publishing company
  9. Pizza Hut: A restaurant chain and international franchise that operates 18,703 restaurants worldwide.
  10. Thrifty Car Rental: A car rental company
  11. Trader Joe’s: A chain of grocery stores that operates over 500 stores in 42 states and Washington, DC.
  12. Warner Music Group: One of the “big three” recording companies as well as "the third largest in the global music industry"
In 1958, a 40-ounce box of Bisquick cost 43 cents.

In 1958, a 40-ounce box of Bisquick cost 43 cents.

References:

In 1958, the Frisbee received a patent.

In 1958, the Frisbee received a patent.

© 2020 Gregory DeVictor

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