"1958" it was a very good year

"Let the good times roll"

  As every decade is marked by crazy trends or timeless fashion statements the fifties were no exception.  Regarded by many as the “fabulous fifties” the decade paved the way for a new era of fashion and entertainment.  Duck tails, crinoline's and more...


1958 - Take a trip back in time

Soda Fountains

If you wanted a cold, refreshing drink or ice cream back in the 50s, soda fountains were the new answer. Put a jukebox, dance floor and soda fountain in a room with teenagers, and call it a party!


Poodle Skirts

One of the most memorable and fashionable trends of the 50s era, the poodle skirt was a bright, colorful, long, swingy skirt that hit just below the knees. The fabric used was mostly felt fabric, appliquéd with the image of a small poodle (hence the name “poodle skirt”). Both feminine and fashionable, these skirts were a definite eye catcher.
 

Sock Hops

High school dances of the 50s were typically informal, school-chaperoned events. The teens would remove their shoes and dance in their socks to protect the gymnasium floor. Combined with rock ‘n’ roll, the liberating feeling of removing shoes while dancing inspirited teens to shake,  jitterbug, rattle and roll giving way to a whole new style of dancing. The famous TV dance show “American Bandstand” featured brisk teenaged dancers showing off their moves.


The Conical Bra

No era went without some form of sex appeal. The conical bra was strangely the hit of the 50s. Also known as the bullet bra or torpedo, the cone-shaped bra obviously caught many eyes!


Sideburns

Elvis Presley and James Dean among others, had a pair of the hottest sideburns, about one and a half inches below the ears. The whole sleek look with the leather jackets wasn’t complete without some gnarly burns.


Drive-In Theaters

Even though the first drive-in theater opened in 1933, it wasn’t until 1950 that the new concept became a smash among the young and old, as well as lovers and families.


Hulu Hoop


Who hasn’t played with a hula hoop before? Yes, hula hoops date all the way back to the 50s. Being one of the biggest fads of that decade, the hula hoop gracefully stood the test of time.


Letter Sweaters

What better way to show off that you’re dating a jock than to wear his letterman jacket and sweater. Girls of the 50s made this trend their secret weapon to broadcast their prize-catch.


3D Movies

Arch Oboler’s “Bwana Devil” stirred up the 3D craze of the 50s. It premiered in 1952 and people were provided with glasses that allowed experiencing the whole 3D effect. Sixty years later, 3D movies still get rave reviews.  It is no doubt that some of the fifties trends still live till today, and others are brought back to life every now and then. “Fabulous” is, indeed, a well-deserved label.


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  • The U.S. Supreme Court meets in a special term.  They rule unanimously on September 20, that schools in Little Rock, Ark begin integration according to schedule.
  • The first U.S. satellite (Explorer I) is launched January 31.
  • The Soviet Union puts Sputnik III into orbit with a total payload of 7,000 lbs and called it a "flying laboratory".
  • Economic recession grips the nation with nearly one third of our major industrial centers classified as having "substantial" unemployment.
  • The median U.S. family income is $5,087 and half of the families income is below the median.
  • Ten years earlier, a family size Chevrolet cost $1,255 and in 1958 had climbed to $2,081.
  • A gallon of gasoline was 30 cents per gallon.
  • Levi's cost $3.75 for one pair.
  • The Tallahassee Democrat was 05 cents for the daily copy.
  • Mutt & Jeff's hot dogs were 25 cents, french-fries 10 cents and a coke was 10 cents.  We ate lunch for less than 50 cents.
  • Monticello fresh boiled peanuts were 10 cents per bag.
  • The first U.S. Atomic power station for peaceful purposes was dedicated May 26.
  • IHOP opened it's first restaurant in Los Angeles.
  • Stereo records are introduced and becomes the standard displacing monaural.
  • The U.S. launches it's first communications satellite.
  • Aluminum cans first produced by Kaiser Aluminum.
  • Bobby Fischer, fourteen years old wins US Chess Championship.
  • Nikita Khrushchev becomes Premier of the Soviet Union.
  • President Eisenhower signs the Alaska Statehood Act into US law.
  • Iraqi revolution - The monarchy is overthrown by Arab Nationalists.
  • "Have Gun, Will Travel" debuts on radio.
  • Paul Anka, age 15, begins a rise to stardom with "Diana".
  • Richie Valens records three hits..."Come On, Let's Go," "Donna," and "La Bamba".
  • "Splish Splash" by Bobby Darin was a big hit.
  • Chuck Berry tops the charts with "Sweet Little Sixteen" and "Reelin' and Rockin'".
  • Paul Vance's "Catch a Falling Star" was a big hit.
  • Sugar Ray Robinson wins the middleweight boxing title for a record fifth time.
  • Arnold Palmer wins his first Masters Tournament in August.
  • Americans buy 100 million hula-hoops.



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Mutt & Jeff's Drive Inn

Everyone who attended Leon High School in 1958 remembers hanging out at Mutt & Jeff's Drive Inn.  Their slaw dogs, cherry coke and french fries were the best in town.