The Baby Boom Years: 1959 View larger

The Baby Boom Years: 1959

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The definitive collection of 1950s American music, news, fashion, fads and kitsch that continues to influence the world.

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  • “Magic” Johnson
  • “Weird Al” Yankovic
  • Sarah Ferguson
  • John McEnroe


  • Berry Gordy leaves Ford’s assembly line to form Motown, turning a Detroit frame house into a talent factory, the likes of which remain unparalleled in pop music.


  • Tailored daytime and evening suits come into fashion.
  • Silhouettes focus on the waistline.
  • Rounded necklines and bulbous skirts seem more feminine than the sheaths of the previous year.


  • Ingemar Johansson knocks out Floyd Patterson for world heavyweight championship
  • The American Football League is founded.


  • Cuban President Batista resigns and flees. Fidel Castro assumes power.
  • Tibet’s Dalai Lama escapes to India.


  • Shouldn’t they be studying? This zany new craze infected American college campuses in 1959.

a. book burning b. toilet papering c. phone-booth packing d. panty raids

  • It’s one of Cinema’s funniest and most outrageous sex farces! This gender-bending film relates the misadventures of two Chicago jazz musicians, who accidentally witness Al Capone’s 1929 St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. To escape pursuing mobsters they go undercover, donning dresses and makeup and joining an all female touring band. One falls for a male mogul. Name this inimitable comic classic.
  • “Think Small,” which has since been named the number one advertising campaign of the century by Advertising Age Magazine, was launched to sell which car?
  • This curvaceous 11 inch tall plastic doll retailed for $3.00 and was first introduced in ‘59. She quickly became the object of every girl’s desires. Can you name her?


  • Raymond Chandler
  • Billie Holiday
  • Lou Costello
  • Cecil B. DeMille

Billboard Top 10 Pop Hits

  1. Mack The Knife — Bobby Darin
  2. Venus — Frankie Avalon
  3. Lonely Boy — Paul Anka
  4. Stagger Lee — Lloyd Price
  5. Kansas City — Wilbert Harrison
  6. A Big Hunk O’love — Elvis Presley
  7. The Happy Organ —Dave “Baby” Cortez
  8. Charlie Brown — The Coasters
  9. 16 Candles — The Crests
  10. Sleepwalk — Santo and Johnny