For everyone who turns 50 this year - like me! - here are some interesting facts about OUR YEAR.
Alaska and Hawaii become the 49th and 50th states.
Mattel launches the Barbi doll.
Fidel Castro takes charge of Cuba.
James Michener's Hawaii is published.
NASA introduces the original seven Mercury astronauts.
In the Congo, the first known human death from HIV.
First Annual Grammy Awards. Frank Sinatra wins "Best Album" Award for Come Dance With Me.
Motown Records is started by Berry Gordy, Jr.
Sound of Music debuts on Broadway.
Dalai Lama flees from Tibet.
Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and the Big Bopper are killed in Iowa.
Top movies included: Some Like It Hot, Ben Hur (11 Academy Awards), North By Northwest, Sleeping Beauty.
Bonanza premieres on NBC, the first television show completely in color.
Huckleberry Hound show premieres.
First Boeing 707 transatlantic flight.
William Burroughs publishes The Naked Lunch.
Xerox introduces the first commercial copy machine.
Frank Lloyd Wright dies.
Texas Instrument announces the invention of the integrated circuit - the microchip.
First weather station placed in orbit.
Parker Brothers introduce the game Risk.
Bozo the Clown premieres.
Busch Gardens opens in Florida.
George Reeves (TV's Superman) commits suicide.
Average price for a gallon of gas: $0.25
Cost of a new car: $2200.00
#1 Song of the Year: Mack the Knife by Bobby Darin.
In Kansas Herb and Bonnie Clutter and their 2 children were murdered by Dick Hickock and Perry Smith. The event was the basis for the 1966 Truman Capote novel In Cold Blood, and a 1967 film.
Pillow Talk starring Rock Hudson and Doris Day is a big hit.
Miles Davis records Kind of Blue with John Coltrane, Cannonball Adderly, Philley Joe Jones, Paul Chambers and Bill Evans.
Sweet Bird of Youth by Tennessee Williams opens on Broadway.
The first two American soldiers are killed in Vietnam.
The Twilight Zone premieres on CBS.
A Separate Peace by John Knowles is published.
Eveready introduces the first alkaline battery.
Pantyhose is introduced.
Dr. Zhivago by Boris Pasternek is published.
Cecile B. Demille, Lou Costello and Raymond Chandler die.
West Side Story closes on Broadway.
Billie Holiday dies.
Americans purchase 100 million Hula Hoops.
Rocky and his Friends premieres. Cartoons will never be the same.
Chubby Checker introduces "The Twist" on The Dick Clark Saturday Night Show.
The Manchurian Candidate by Richard Condon is published.
SOME FAMOUS PEOPLE BORN IN 1959
Mark Martin (NASCAR Driver)
David Hyde Pierce
Robert Smith (The Cure)
Brian Williams (NBC)
Nicole Simpson Brown (O.J.'s ex-wife)
Emma Thompson (still hot!)
"Weird Al" Yankovic
Neal Stephenson (writer)
Kim Delaney (actress - still very hot!)