Leon High School
Class of 1959
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January 1959 Headlines
Jan 1 - Castro leads Cuba to victory as Fulgencio Batista flees to Dominican Republic
Jan 2 - USSR launches Mechta (Luna 1) for 1st lunar fly-by, 1st solar orbit
Jan 2 - Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista flees
Jan 3 - Alaska admitted as 49th US state
Jan 4 - Luna 1 (Mechta) becomes 1st craft to leave Earth's gravity
Jan 5 - "Bozo the Clown" live children's show premieres on TV
Jan 5 - Buddy Holly releases his last record "It Doesn't Matter"
Jan 7 - US recognizes Fidel Castro's Cuban government
Jan 8 - Charles de Gaulle inaugurated as President of France's 5th Republic
Jan 9 - "Rawhide" with Clint Eastwood premieres on CBS TV
Jan 22 - USAF concludes less than 1% of UFO's are unknown objects
Jan 25 - 1st transcontinental commercial jet flight (American) (Los Angeles to New York for $301)
Jan 25 - Pope John XXIII proclaims 2nd Vatican council
Jan 28 - Soviet Union wins 62-37 for 1st international basketball loss by US
Jan 29 - Walt Disney's "Sleeping Beauty" released
COUNTDOWN TO GRADUATION - JAN-JUN 1959
1959 - Our Music
Firstly, you're probably wondering what that video of Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs singing Wooly Bully is doing up there. Well, I've alway really liked that song. I went looking for it to put on this page. To my surprise, I learned that it wasn't popular until 1965! Being a stubborn old man, I decided to put it here anyway. After it completes, you can look in the miniatures to play their version of Little Red Riding Hood, another of my favorite Oldies. And be sure you don't miss that version of Wooly Bully sung by Alfred and the Chipmunks! BTW, I always thought it was Wooly Booly and I've seen it spelled that way, but listening to the words, I decided it must be Bully instead of Booly.
So, enough about Sham. What I wanted to bring up here was how we enjoyed our music in 1959. For me, it was almost exclusively on the radio in my car. For those who wanted "music on demand" and could afford it, there were those great 45 RPM records. Wouldn't it be great if someone invented a way to play records in our cars?
Had to add a couple more lines to balance with the 2009 entry - I looked up 8-track tapes and it seems they didn't come along until about 1964. I think my 1968 Olds was the first time I had one.
2009 - Our Music
First, a little more about Sam. I was surprised to read about him in Wikipedia. Did you know that he was part of a variety of bands between 1961 and 1972, won a Grammy Award in 1972, and "Today, Sam is a motivational speaker, poet and still makes occasional concert appearances." How about that?
Music on Demand - Boy, we've sure got that now! Between CDs, DVDs, Ipods, cellphones, and who knows what else, they who want it can have it anytime/anywhere that they desire. I was really surprised to find that Sam the Sham video on YouTube. I guess if I was to do a search, I could probably find any song I wanted. This was the first time I'd actually seen how the Pharaohs looked - back in 1959, you were lucky to see a band on TV, but only then if they were really popular.
And, did you notice what I've learned since doing Dec 1958 Countdown entry? I learned how to put a YouTube video right on my website! Wow! That's a biggie for me. I'm sure you'll be seeing more videos on my websites in the future. Next step is to learn how to make my own and put them on YouTube.
1959 - Our Cars
I'm not positive, but I think it was in my Senior year that I traded my 1951 Studebaker for a 1956 Ford. See below for photos of each. And if you enlarge the Ford, you may note that red plate hanging from the rear bumper. Earlier in this countdown, I showed that and explained that it was our Coasters Car Club plate. Not so! I recently had a conversation with John Hankin and he reminded me that we dropped the Coasters name (to avoid confusion with the singing group - see Feb 9 headline above) and came up with a new name Dixie Dragons. That's what's on the plate! Click any photo below to enlarge it.
Also during our Dixie Dragon phase, I helped a little on John Hankin's hot rod, a 1932 Chevrolet 5-window coupe (I hope I've got that right). I talked about it back in the June 1957 Countdown entry, but I think it was in our Senior year that we really got it started. It looked like the red coupe on the right when completed, and did quite well at the dragstrips.
2009 - Our Cars
So what does an old retired guy with a lot of free time do? He builds a webpage with all of his vehicles on it, of course! It takes you from my motorscooter to our Mitsubishi - actually, the latter is Joyce's, but I think my name is on the title, too :) Click the motorscooter-mitsubishi on the left to view that page.
Those who know me probably know that my first car, that 1951 Studebaker will always be my "first love." Recently, I saw an auction on TV where they auctioned off a 1951 Stude for $106,000! Click it to see some more views of it on my America Views - Classic Cars pages.
And, lest I forget, a little more about Hankin and his hotrod. I talked to John a week or so aga, and learned that after he completed it, he raced it in Panama City, Dothan, Thomasville, and a bunch of other tracks in the area. In fact, it sounds like he might make it into the Drag Racing Hall of Fame! How about that!
1959 - Spring Holidays
When recalling spring 1959, the main thing that comes to mind is Spring Holidays. I'm not sure what other high schools did, or if college students went to exotic place for spring holidays, but I and those I knew went to Panacea, Alligator Point, and St. George's Island. Lots of memories of good times down there. haha ... I've started 3 tales of good times here, then erased them when I decided they might be "inappropriate." Suffice to say .. lots of great memories.
I've thought about three spring holiday stories that I could tell, but just checked back in earlier Countdown entries, and I've already told them all. The Spring Holidays 1957 story about my Studebaker breaking down in the middle of nowhere at about 3 AM on a Sunday morning with a car full of friends was told in the Jan-Mar-57 entry. Click the '57 Chevy below to read that one again. In that same entry, I recalled the midnight requisitioning that almost got John Hankin and I arrested.
The Spring Holidays 1958 story (read it by clicking on Wilson's Cottages below) was, I think, actually a Spring Holidays 1959 story since it involved my 1956 Ford. If you read the story there, you'll note it ends by saying that I don't recall much after I got sick by the Panacea bridge. I think what happened then was Don Updegraff drove my Ford to the jail and my brother got to ride in the police car. After that, it seems like we were somehow able to rejoin the holiday festivities, but who knows. I plan to ask Don about that the next time I see him.
Don had a neat old car then, also. I think it was a 1949 Dodge and I recall it has some kind of "fluid drive" that allowed you to shift gears or, optionally, leave it in 3rd gear and it operated like an automatic transmission.
2009 - Spring Break
Notice how I called it Spring Holidays on the left and Spring Break over here. I checked back on the Class of 59 CD on the Memorabilia page and we did call it Spring Holidays in 1959. Now, it's Spring Break and it's gotten much bigger. I was watching a special on the Travel Channel recently on the Top Ten Spring Break Destinations. What a surprise! They talked about Daytona being #6, I think Padre Island was #3, Cancun was #2, but guess where #1 is? PANAMA CITY, FLORIDA! How about that? Sounds like it's grown a bunch since our high school days. They talked about being able to accommodate hundreds of thousands of students and the fact that they have the largest club in the country (or world?) there, with 14 dance floors! Wow!
Speaking of John and Don, I hope to see them both at the reunion. John lives in Appalachicola, only about an hour from Tallahassee, and has already made his reservations to stay at the Wakulla Lodge. I just emailed Don to see if he's planning to attend. I really hope he (and all you others) try to attend. I wouldn't be surprised if this wasn't our last big reunion. Between illnesses and deaths among our classmates, our numbers are getting thinner very quickly. I've heard from a few already that can't attend due to medical problems. So, if you've got the time, are healthy enough, and can afford the trip, come on to Tallahassee in May! I'll bet you'll have some fun and will see someone that you've missed since high school.
1959 - May Day Celebration
After Spring Holidays, one of the biggies our senior year was the election of the May Queen and her court, and the celebration that went with it. I've included a couple of photos below, repeats of those that I put on the memorabilia page a while back. I decided to put them here also, since this was a big deal in our senior year. I'm not really sure why May Day was so important, but it certainly was and gave us all a chance to dress up and gather under those monster Magnolia trees in Ft. Myers park.
2009 - Celebrations?
I've not paid much attention to high school activities in about 40 years or so. Do they still do that May Day thing at Leon High these days? I always thought of that as sort of a celebration of the Old South, where the ladies dressed up on those beautiful gowns and we all gathered under the Magnolias. Are Leon High students still into the Old South traditions? I'd doubt it, but maybe will find out at the reunion breakfast at the high school.
I look forward to that gathering at the school for several reasons. The major I guess is that I haven't been back into the school since June 1959, so look forward to seeing how it will feel. Will I feel an irresistable urge to race to the lunch room? Will I expect everyone in the auditorium to remain seated while us Seniors march out? Will I see any of the old teachers and be reminded of my high school transgressions? Will I forget which floor I'm on and accidentally walk into the girls room? Wow! Did that once and saw nothing but crinolines and heard a bunch of screams ... haha ... got my butt out of there right away!
1959 - The Most Important Classes
If you'd asked me in 1959 which were the most important classes, I'd probably have said the math and science. Classes like history, geography, social studies (or Core, as I recall it being called), and even Phys Ed were (to me) just classes that we took to sort of give us a well-rounded education. I didn't know what I'd do in my future, but I was good in Math, so that's where I figured my vocation would somehow be.
Of much less importance were the language and typing classes. Languages were just to let us know that the whole world didn't speak English. I was sure I'd never find a use for the Latin that I spent two years in, and probably not for the Spanish I took either. Typing was just a "filler" that we took to make an easy grade with little strain.
2009 - The Most Important Classes
True enough, the math that led me to computers was a very important base for my life-long career as a software engineer. HOWEVER, two classes that have proven to be much more important than I thought were typing and languages. If I hadn't had typing, doing what I'm doing now would have been almost impossible. Could you imagine how much time this single webpage would have taken if I wasn't a fairly proficient typist? hah! Would be out of the question. And languages, even that Latin, have come in handy more than once, due to the influx of romance language people (Spanish, French, Italian) that I've encountered here and abroad over the years. You just never know what's important or what the future will bring!
1959 - Graduation
As we see in the program below, our graduation was on Friday evening, June Fifth, Nineteen Hundred and Ninety-nine at Eight Fifteen O'Clock. Click the schedule shown below for a closer view of the Program, plus the Class Officers, Class Sponsors, Honor Students, and Class Roll (Abstein through Dawkins). Click the Commencement Exercises cover for a closer view of it, plus Class Roll (Dehaney through Yost).
Do you remember marching down on stage and receiving your diploma? hmmm ... I don't. I wasn't drunk that night, was I? I know I was later, and got into a bunch of trouble early in the evening when I offered to give a young lady in the Junior class a ride home, then got my brother's Ford convertible stuck in the sand on a little country road near Four Points (I was just taking a short cut :), then had to explain all that to my steady girl friend when she and Dick and his date came out there to get me out of the sand ... wow ... that was some graduation night.
Trivia: Bob Dylan grew up in Duluth, Minnesota the same time that I lived there, and he graduated June 5th, 1959, according to the headlines above. Did I know him? Well, I don't think so, but who knows ... I could have :) If you don't know who Bob Dylan was ... well .. nevermind ...
2009 - Reunion
Our 50th Reunion! Wow! Who'd have thought we'd make it this far? And who'd have thought I'd have a telephone in my pocket, a TV set that I can hang on the wall, and be typing all this chatter onto a webpage that anyone in the WORLD can see within 10 seconds after I publish it? Double-Wow!
What memories will you be recalling as you drive out to Wakulla Springs on Saturday night? Something that happened at Blue Sink? - hmmm ... many things happened there over the years. The time we spent at Cherokee Sink? .. many good times there. Racing out the Wakulla Road at midnight at over 120 mph? Did that one night in Bobby Spotzwood's new 1957 Chevrolet convertible - racing some guys in a 1956 Chevrolet from Thomasville. I don't recall who won, but I recall it was a wild night. Or, when you get to the Springs, maybe you'll recall jumping off that highest platform (or, in my case, looking down and deciding not to :)
Below, a few photos of the above-mentioned.
Click any to get a closer view.
I found that Blue Sink photo in my 1950s photo album!
1959 - Significant Events
Well, I guess one person's "significant" is another person's "trivial", but in my humble opinion the following are significant events during the months of January through June, 1959 --- Jan 1 - Castro leads Cuba to victory, Jan 3 - Alaska admitted as 49th US state, Feb 2 - Buddy Holly's last performance (not listed, but the plane crash that killed him, Richie Valens, and the Big Bopper was on 2/3/59 - to me, that's the biggie!), Mar 17 - Dalai Lama flees Tibet for India (and he's still not back), Apr 9 - NASA names 1st 7 astronauts for Project Mercury (sort of a precursor to my career, that started with Apollo), May 10 - Soviet forces arrive in Afghánistán (that's amazing!), May 20 - Japanese-Americans regain their citizenship (it took 13 years!), and Jun 27 - "West Side Story" closes (I didn't know it was that long ago - and they're still talking about it).
I consider some of these significant because they were events that had a profound effect on the future and some because I'm really surprised that they happened in 1959.
2009 - 50th Anniversaries
So, who besides the class of 1959 is having an anniversary this year? Well, I started noticing a few months back, so took some notes. Some were actually 1957-1958, but hey ... that's close:
NASA (10/1/58), Castor regime (1/1/59), Alaskan statehood (1/3/59), Barbie (2/13/59), Daytona 500 (2/22/59), Hawaiian statehood (8/21/59), St. Lawrence Seaway (4/25/59), Grammy Awards (5/4/59), Air Force academy (first graduation) (6/3/59), WAAY Channel 31 Huntsville, Alabama (8/1/59) (I lived there off and on for about 20 years), Guggenheim Museum (10/21/59), Datsun (Nissan) comes to America (1959 Los Angeles auto show), Burger King Whopper (actually introduced in 1957, but they were still celebrating the 50th last year), BC Comic strip (started 1958, ended 2007 when Johnny Hart died - not quite 50 years), and European Community (founded in 1957 and absorbed by European Union in 2009 if the Treaty of Lisbon comes into force).
1959 - final entry
So, how do I end this? I found a photo of me on our patio on Chocksacka Nene back in 1957 and was going to take a current one on our current patio, but decided that was too hoaky. I don't have any great photos of us in our cap and gowns, or even of any of the wild post-grad events ... best I've got is one of our old school as it was then.
Can you believe I've been doing these Countdown entries since June 1955? Guess some might think I ought to get a life, but I'll probably reread these in future years over and over again. When I spend all this time and effort, I'm doing it for all who might enjoy it, of whom I'm probably the prime "enjoyer" :)
I hope I've stimulated a few tears or at least some fond memories with my ramblings. I think that our graduation was a major event for all of us and we each have our own special memories of that and the years that led up to it. If anyone has anything to add, send it on and I'll add it in here.
2009 - final entry
Well, I didn't include a hoaky photo of me lounging by our pool, but I did do some related writing that might be just as hoaky. Check out my blog entry My First 10 Years of "Real" Retirement and see if any of that rings your bell. If you haven't read my latest Newsletter (I'm sure I sent you a copy :) , do it! I talk a little about the reunion, ramble on about the phases of our lives, and include some things I've found that you may think are either interesting or useful.
Again, I'm not sure how to end this, so I included a "now" photo of the old school that I stole from my Then and Now Tour page.
I hope to see all who read this at the 50th reunion and, if you can't make it, rest assured that we'll all be talking about you behind your back :) 'Cause we're aliens and that's what we do!
1959 - Wish You Were Here
In 1959, if you took a neat vacation, you'd send postcards back to friends and they'd look longingly at the beautiful vacation spot illustrated on the card. For many of us, that was about the only way we'd see a photo of some of these exotic locations (like Miami, Yellowstone Park, Grand Canyon, or wherever). We'd keep them for years and sometimes even frame them if they were special enough.
I mentioned postcards back in the Dec 1958 Countdown entry, with a link to the Penny Postcards website with cards from around the USA. I just recently bumped into a bunch of Florida postcards, with several for those who were fortunate enough to visit the capital in Tallahassee! Click either one below to go see a bunch more.
2009 - Anywhere You Want To Be
In 2009, you can "visit" anywhere in the world (and some places off-world) by going on the internet, watching the Travel Channel or one of many others showing exotic locations, or through photos and videos that friends email home when they're traveling. To me, one of the neatest ways to see a place is on one of the "webcams." Want to watch Old Faithful erupt? Check their webcam. Want to see what's happening on Panama City Beach during Spring Break? Check their webcam. Even neater (IMHO) is if you can get on one of the webcams! I once intentionally went to the Elbo Room, a famous bar on Ft. Lauderdale Beach, so friends at home could see me on their webcam. I went, but later learned that nobody saw me :(
1959 - Pancakes and Potato Salad
I was just thinking the other day about a couple of real special treats in 1959 - Pancakes and Potato Salad! Not at the same time, but separately. Not often, but every now and then, my mom would make pancakes for breakfast. It was fairly easy, because they had pancake mix, so we didn't have to get out the flour, etc. Even then, she had to break some eggs, pour in milk, add cooking oil, heat the griddle, then cook up a stack for us. If it was a really special day, she'd even fix sausage to go with it. Great!
Another treat was mom's Potato Salad! We didn't get it often, usually if we were going to a church gathering where each family brought something, or a picnic, or some special family get-together. Then, she'd have to peel potatos and boil them, boil eggs and peel them, chop the potatos, slice the eggs, mix in mayonnaise, relish, and whatever other goodies, then put it in the refrigerator to cool before it was really ready to eat. It was such a major operation that she'd usually fix a huge bowl, and we'd have enough to eat on for several days, but I never got tired of that Potato Salad!
It's strange that when I think about my high school years, I naturally recall the cars, running the paper routes, my friends, and some of our adventures. But, also near the top of the list, are some of those great things we ate back then. Don't even let me get started about Thompson Hamburgers! :) I haven't had a burger that good, before or since!
2009 - Pancakes and Potato Salad
One of my most critical discoveries in recent history was when I noticed that they sell Potato Salad in 2-pound containers at Publix! They have several varieties, including New York Style and some others, but the Southern Style tastes ALMOST as good as what momma used to make! I buy one just about every week and that's a part of my lunches most days. Who would've ever thought that a great treat like Potato Salad would be so easy to get?
HOWEVER, just about a month ago, I made another earth-shaking discovery! So important that I emailed several friends about it and they've reported back that they too find it to be fantastic! I was wandering through Walmart one day and I saw Jimmy Dean Pancakes and Sausage ON A STICK! I loved his sausage, but I wondered how the pancakes would be ... they are fantastic! 60 seconds in a microwave and you're ready to go!
When I think back to how much trouble my mom went to cooking things like this, I wonder if maybe some of these food inventions aren't as (or more) important to me that some things like computers and cellphones and the internet .... naaaah ... I guess the technology means a little more to me. :)
1959 - Communication
Do you remember how we communicated in 1959? If you wanted to talk to a friend, you could try to whisper to them in class, pass them a note, stop them in the hallway between classes, or find them after school. If you missed them at school, you could get on your phone (if the party line wasn't busy) and call until you found someone at home to answer the phone. If there was a busy signal, you at least knew they (or someone on their party line) were home, so you could try back later. If all else failed, you'd drive to their house and hope to find them at home. Or, you could write them a letter :)
All in all, communicating in 1959 wasn't easy. No matter what method you used, it was a hit and miss situation, and we were accustomed to failing and trying again. We were also very patient, waiting for party lines, phones that rang forever and weren't answered, or busy signals.
What would we have thought in 1959 if someone told us they could put a phone in our pocket so we could be reached anytime, night or day? Would I want my parents to be able to phone me anytime? ... I don't think so! I think I kind of liked the slower pace of things then. If you made a mistake, you had time to think about your story on the way home and you had time to explain it to your parents before someone else contacted them. You could bring a note from your parents to school and nobody would phone your parents to verify, because they'd be too hard to get hold of.
2009 - Communication
Communication in 2009 compared to 1959 is like night and day. If you want to talk to a friend, you can email, call them on your cellphone, send a text message. If you phone and they don't answer, there's alway voice mail. They probably have call waiting, so can interrupt their current call to talk to you, if they want to. And, of course, you can write a letter :(
All in all, I think communicating in 2009 is way too easy. I don't think I'd want to be a teenager today. My parents would probably have one of the GPS locators stuck on my car, and I'd be in trouble all the time.
Even as recently as ten years ago, if you'd told me how dependent I'd be on my cellphone, I'd have thought you were nuts. Would you believe that I forgot my cellphone when I went to the grocery store one day, and I felt lost wihout it. What if I got a flat tire? Do they still have payphones? haha ... I don't even know, and probably couldn't find one. Good news is that I could probably borrow a cellphone from anyone around, and make whatever calls I needed. But, when I got into the store, how could I call Joyce to ask her which kind of coffee to buy? I don't think I ever get through a Walmart or grocery store visit anymore without calling Joyce at least once.
TO SHUT SAM UP, CLICK THE PAUSE BUTTON ----->>
You'll read more below about
Sam the Sham
and the Pharaohs
Way down below after the headlines and calendars
February 1959 Headlines
Feb 1 - Swiss males vote against voting rights for women
Feb 1 - Texas Instruments requests patent of IC (Integrated Circuit)
Feb 2 - Buddy Holly's last performance
Feb 2 - Vince Lombardi signs a 5 year contract to coach the Green Bay Packers
Feb 6 - Fidel Castro is interviewed by Edward R Murrow
Feb 6 - US 1st successful Titan intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM)
Feb 7 - Cessna lands in Las Vegas after 65 days without landing (refuels in air)
Feb 9 - Coasters's "Charlie Brown" peaks at #2
Feb 13 - Barbie doll goes on sale
Feb 14 - $3.6 million heroin seizure in New York NY
Feb 16 - Fidel Castro named himself Cuba's premier after overthrowing Batista
Feb 17 - 1st weather satellite launched, Vanguard 2, 9.8 kg
Feb 19 - USAF rocket-powered rail sled attains Mach 4.1 (4970 kph), New Mexico
Feb 22 - 1st Daytona 500 auto race-Lee Petty wins (135.521 MPH)
Feb 28 - Launch of Discoverer 1 (WTR)-1st polar orbit
Feb 28 - Ladies Figure Skating Championship in Colorado Springs won by Carol Heiss USA
Feb 28 - Men's Figure Skating Championship in Colorado Springs won by David Jenkins USA
March 1959 Headlines
Mar 3 - 1st US probe to enter solar orbit, Pioneer 4, is launched
Mar 3 - San Francisco Giants rename their stadium Candlestick Park
Mar 4 - US Pioneer IV misses Moon & becomes 2nd (US 1st) artificial planet
Mar 5 - Iran & US sign economic & military treaty
Mar 6 - 11th Emmy Awards: Playhouse 90, Jack Benny Show, Raymond Burr
Mar 6 - Farthest radio signal heard (Pioneer IV, 400,000 miles)
Mar 7 - 1st aviator to fly a million miles (1.61 Mkm) in a jet (MC Garlow)
Mar 8 - Groucho, Chico & Harpo's final TV appearance together
Mar 8 - Pro-Egyptian coup fails in Mosul Iraq
Mar 9 - 1st known radar contact is made with Venus
Mar 10 - Uprising against Chinese occupation force in Lhasa Tibet
Mar 11 - "Raisin in the Sun", 1st Broadway play by a black woman, opens
Mar 12 - US House joins Senate approving Hawaii statehood
Mar 15 - Robert Foster sets record by staying underwater 13 minutes 42.5 seconds
Mar 16 - Iraq & USSR sign economic/technical treaty
Mar 17 - Australia & USSR restore diplomatic relations
Mar 17 - Dalai Lama flees Tibet for India
Mar 18 - President Dwight D Eisenhower signs Hawaii statehood bill
Mar 24 - Iraq withdraws from the Baghdad Pact
Mar 25 - French President De Gaulle acknowledges Oder-Neisse boundary
Mar 28 - 11 days after Tibet uprising, China dissolves Tibet's government & installs Panchen Lama
Mar 29 - "Some Like it Hot" with Marilyn Monroe & Jack Lemmon premieres
Mar 31 - Dalai Lama fled China & was granted political asylum in India
April 1959 Headlines
Apr 4 - Fed of Mali, consisting of Senegal & French Sudan (dissolved 1960)
Apr 6 - 31st Academy Awards - "Gigi," Susan Hayward & David Niven win
Apr 7 - Oklahoma ends prohibition, after 51 years
Apr 7 - Radar 1st bounced off sun, Stanford Calif
Apr 9 - Boston Celtics win 8th consecutive NBA championship (record)
Apr 9 - NASA names 1st 7 astronauts for Project Mercury
Apr 10 - Japan's Crown Prince Akihito marries commoner Michiko Shoda
Apr 11 - Dodger pitcher Don Drysdale hits his 2nd Opening Day HR
Apr 12 - 13th Tony Awards: J B & Redhead win
Apr 12 - France Observator reports torture practice by French army in Algeria
Apr 13 - USAF launches Discover II into polar orbit
Apr 13 - Vatican edict forbids Roman Catholics for voting for communists
Apr 15 - Fidel Castro begins US goodwill tour
Apr 15 - US Sect of States John Foster Dulles resigns
Apr 16 - NY Yankees unveil their 1st message scoreboard
Apr 21 - 1211-kg great white shark becomes largest fish ever caught on a rod
Apr 21 - Alf Dean using a rod & reel hooks a 2,664lb, 16' 10" white shark
Apr 23 - 1st heliport in Britain opens in London
Apr 25 - St Lawrence Seaway linking Atlantic, Great Lakes opens to shipping
Apr 26 - Cuba invades Panama
Apr 27 - "Today" show goes abroad the 1st time (Paris France)
May 1959 Headlines
May 1 - Floyd Patterson KOs Brian London in 11 for heavyweight boxing title
May 1 - West Germany introduces 5 day work week
May 2 - 85th Kentucky Derby: Bill Shoemaker aboard Tomy Lee wins in 2:02.2
May 4 - 1st Grammy Awards: Perry Como & Ella Fitzgerald win
May 10 - Soviet forces arrive in Afghánistán
May 11 - "Kookie, Kookie Lend Me Your Comb" by Byrnes & Connie Stevens hits #4
May 11 - Elvis Presley's 1st entry on UK charts with "Heartbreak Hotel"
May 11 - Yankee catcher Yogi Berra's errorless streak of 148 games ends
May 12 - Liz Taylor's 4th marriage (Eddie Fisher)
May 13 - Kraft Music Hall with Milton Berle, last airs on NBC-TV
May 17 - Sam Snead sets PGA record for 36 holes at 122
May 20 - Ford wins battle with Chrysler to call its new car "Falcon"
May 20 - Japanese-Americans regain their citizenship
May 20 - Yanks sink to last place, 1st time since May 25, 1940
May 21 - "Gypsy" opens at Broadway Theater NYC for 702 performances
May 22 - Benjamin O Davis Jr becomes 1st black general-major in USAF
May 23 - Presbyterian church accepts women preachers
May 24 - 1st house with built-in bomb shelter exhibited (Pleasant Hills PA)
May 24 - Empire Day renamed Commonwealth Day in England
May 25 - Khrushchev visits Angola
May 25 - Supreme Court rules that Louisiana prohibiting black-white boxing is unconstitutional
May 30 - Iraq terminates military assistance pact with US due to neutrality
May 30 - World's 1st hovercraft (SR-N1) tested at Cowes England
June 1959 Headlines
Jun 3 - Eisenhower routes Canadian premier Diefenbaker message off the Moon
Jun 3 - 1st US Air Force Academy graduation
Jun 5 - Bob Dylan graduates Hibbing HS in Minn
Jun 8 - X-15 makes 1st unpowered flight, from a B-52 at 11,500 m
Jun 9 - 1st ballistic missile sub launched (George Washington-Groton, Ct)
Jun 11 - Postmaster General bans D.H. Lawrence's book, Lady Chatterley's Lover
Jun 13 - "Sammy Kaye Show," last airs on ABC-TV
Jun 13 - 91st Belmont: Bill Shoemaker aboard Sword Dancer wins in 2:28.6
Jun 18 - 1st telecast transmitted from England to US
Jun 22 - Most Phillies strike out in a game (16 by Sandy Koufax)
Jun 22 - "Along Came Jones" by Coasters peaks at #9
Jun 22 - "Class" by Chubby Checker peaks at #38
Jun 26 - Ingemar Johansson of Sweden defeats Floyd Patterson as boxing champ
Jun 26 - Queen Elizabeth & Pres Eisenhower open the St Lawrence Seaway
Jun 27 - "West Side Story" closes at Winter Garden Theater NYC after 734 perfs
Jun 27 - Players vote Henry Aaron unanimously for the All-Star Game
Jun 28 - Phils Wally Post is only outfielder to throw out 2 runners in an inning twice (Losing to Giants 6-0)
Jun 30 - During a game in Wrigley Field, 2 balls were in play at same time
Countdown to Graduation - Series Finale
Well, unless something really strange happens or I get a wild urge to write more, this is the final entry of the series of articles that I started when we graduated from Cobb Junior High School in June 1955. In this final entry taking us up to our graduation at Campbell Stadium on Friday evening, June Fifth, Nineteen Hundred and Fifty-nine at Eight-fifteen O'clock (quoting our Commencement Exercises Program included below), I've tried to include reminiscences of the time as well as photos where available.
For this entry, I've decided to break "tradition" and include both a reflection of an event or condition in 1959, then contrast it with something related from 2009. It's quite long, so if you don't have a comfortable chair and a cup of coffee, soda, beer, or whatever, you'd better go find one before you start. You'll find a goodly number of links included that take you off on side-trails that we hope you find interesting.
Here's a 1949 Dodge, but I don't think Don's looked like this. Guess I'll ask him if/when I see him.
In case you missed the webcam during Spring Break, here's a photo from their webcam.
Click to ENLARGE.
1960 Woolworth menu
Click the menu to enlarge it, so you can read all those great prices.