Leon High School
Tallahassee, Florida

Class of 1959
To view other months/years of the countdown, click here to go back to the Countdown 1958 Page.
Below are calendars and  headlines, followed by memories of the quarter.
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October 1958 Headlines
(courtesy of http://dmarie.com/timecap/)

Oct 1 - Britain transfers Christmas Island (south of Java) to Australia   Oct 1 - Inauguration of NASA  
Oct 1 - Vanguard Project transferred from military to NASA  
Oct 2 - Guinea (French Guinea) gains independence from France
Oct 4 - 5th French republic established  
Oct 4 - Transatlantic coml jet passenger service began (BOAC)  
Oct 5 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site  
Oct 5 - USSR performs nuclear test at Novaya Zemlya USSR  
Oct 6 - US nuclear sub USS Seawolfe remains record 60 days under pole Oct 7 - Potter Stewart appointed to US Supreme Court  
Oct 7 - US manned space-flight project renamed Project Mercury  
Oct 8 - Dr Ake Senning installs 1st pacemaker (Stockholm)  
Oct 9 - Israeli navy inaugrates it's 1st submarine  
Oct 9 - NY Yankees beat Braves 4 games to 3 in 55th World Series - NY Yankees appear in 9 & win 7 of last 10 World Series  
Oct 11 - 2nd US Moon probe, Pioneer 1, reaches 113,810 km, falls back   Oct 15 - Tunisia drops diplomatic relations with Egypt  
Oct 21 - 1st women in English House of Lords  
Oct 23 - De Gaulle offers Algerians defiance "peace of the brave"  
Oct 23 - Soviet novelist Boris Pasternak, wins Nobel Prize for Literature   Oct 24 - USSR lends Egypt 400 million rubles to build Aswan Dam  
Oct 26 - PanAm flies the 1st transatlantic jet trip-NY to Paris  
Oct 28 - Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli, elected Pope with name John XXIII  
Oct 29 - Boris Pasternak refuses Nobel prize for literature  
Oct 29 - Dr F Mason Sones is 1st doctor to perform a coronary angiogram

This wasn't real exciting, but it's the best I could come up with. I've also written "Closing Out 2008 - How Time Do Fly!" in my RV-Blog, "PART-TIME RVING IN 2008"  in my Travel Log, and a DEC 2008 NEWSLETTER. I'll finish the links to those here, as soon as I get them completed (DONE!). Also, if you'd like to see a more complete version of 1958 in brief, check out the infoplease.com summary of World Events, U.S. Events, Economics, Sports, Entertainment, Science, and Deaths.

In December 1958, we were all looking forward to 1959, when we'd graduate and START LIVING! Little did we know what lay in store for us. Now we're looking forward to May 2009, when we can all get together and talk about what was in store for us!
Top 10 Hits of Oct 1958
(courtesy of
UK Top Ten:

1 Connie Francis     Stupid Cupid / Carolina Moon   
2 Cliff Richard     Move It   
3 Elvis Presley     King Creole   
4 Marino Marini Quartet     Come Prima   
5 Dean Martin     Volare (Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu)   
6 Everly Brothers     Bird Dog   
7 Poni-Tails     Born Too Late   
8 Johnny Mathis     A Certain Smile   
9 Kalin Twins     When   
10 Tommy Edwards     It's All In The Game
November 1958 Headlines
(courtesy of http://dmarie.com/timecap/)

Nov 4 - Belgian govt of Eyskens, resigns  
Nov 4 - Democrats win US congressional election  
Nov 6 - Belgium govt of Eyskens & Lilar forms  
Nov 13 - NYC Mayor Robert Wagner announces plans to begin a new baseball called the Continental League  
Nov 18 - Indians minority stockholders sell their stock to William Delay   Nov 18 - 1st true reservoir in Jerusalem opens  
Nov 19 - First 2 F-27 Fokker's Friendships delivered on Aer Lingus  
Nov 24 - Mali becomes an autonomous state within French Community  
Nov 25 - Senegal becomes an autonomous state in the French Community   Nov 27 - USSR abrogates Allied war-time agreements on control of Germany  
Nov 28 - Chad becomes an autonomous republic within the French community  
Nov 28 - US reports 1st full-range firing of an ICBM  
Nov 30 - 1st guided missile destroyer launched, Dewey, Bath, Me
Six Months to Graduation - Wow!

Well, I  wish I had some great memories to talk about here, but nothing earth-shaking comes to mind. Looking through the headlines above, about the only things that jump out are the start of NASA and the Mercury Project in October, several countries declaring independence, and Batista fleeing Cuba in December. Nothing spectacular in the musical list, except that I was surprised to see Conway Twitty in the UK Top Ten list.

Since I have nothing really interesting to say, I've decided to go find some nostalgic videos and factoids that might be entertaining. I hope you enjoy the following.
Top 10 Hits of Nov 1958
(courtesy of
UK Top Ten:

1 Tommy Edwards     It's All In The Game   
2 Lord Rockingham's XI     Hoots Mon   
3 Everly Brothers     Bird Dog   
4 Marino Marini Quartet     Come Prima   
5 Johnny Mathis     A Certain Smile   
6 Conway Twitty     It's Only Make Believe   
7 Malcolm Vaughan     More Than Ever (Come Prima)   
8 Connie Francis     Stupid Cupid / Carolina Moon   
9 Cliff Richard     Move It   
10 Tommy Dorsey Orchestra Starring Warren Covington    
                              Tea For Two Cha-Cha
Notice that the exam took FIVE HOURS to complete.
Gives the saying 'he only had an 8th grade education' a whole new meaning, doesn't it?!
Also shows you how poor our education system has become! and, NO! I don't have the answers.
December 1958 Headlines
(courtesy of http://dmarie.com/timecap/)

Dec 1 - Our Lady of Angels School burns, killing 92 students & 3 nuns (Chicago)  
Dec 1 - Central African Rep made autonomous member of Fr Comm (Natl Day)  
Dec 2 - Benelux treaty signed by Belgium, Netherlands & Luxembourg   Dec 2 - 24th Heisman Trophy Award: Pete Dawkins, Army (HB)  
Dec 3 - Indonesian parliament accepts nationalisation of Dutch businesses
Dec 4 - Dahomey (Benin), Ivory Coast become autonomous within French Community  
Dec 4 - Finnish government of Fagerholm, resigns  
Dec 6 - US lunar probe Pioneer 3 reaches 107,269 km, falls back  
Dec 10 - 1st domestic (New York-Miami) passenger jet flight-National 707 flew 111  
Dec 11 - Upper Volta (now Bourkina Fasso) gains autonomy from France   Dec 11 - 4th (last) Dutch government of Drees falls  
Dec 18 - 1st test project of Signal Communications by Orbiting Relay Equipment  
Dec 18 - 1st voice from space: recorded Christmas message by Eisenhower
Dec 18 - Niger gains autonomy within French Community (National Day)   Dec 21 - Charles De Gaulle wins 7 year term as 1st President of 5th Republic of France  
Dec 22 - "Chipmunk Song" reaches #1  
Dec 25 - Alan Freed's Christmas Rock & Roll Spectacular opens  
Dec 29 - TV soap "Young Dr Malone" debuts  
Dec 29 - Balt Colts beat NY Giants 23-17 in NFL championship game  
Dec 31 - Cubans dictator Batista flees  
Dec 31 - International Geophyscial Year ends  
Dec 31 - Willie Shoemaker 1st jockey to win national riding championship four times  
Dec 31 - 47th Davis Cup: USA beats Australia in Brisbane (3-2)
What it took to get an 8th grade education
in 1895...
Remember when grandparents and great-grandparents stated that they only had an 8th grade education? Well, check this out. Could any of us have passed the 8th grade in 1895?

Below is the eighth-grade final exam from 1895 in Salina , Kansas , USA . It was taken from the original document on file at the Smokey Valley Genealogical Society and Library in Salina , and reprinted by the Salina Journal.

Top 10 Hits of Dec 1958
(courtesy of
UK Top Ten:

1 Conway Twitty     It's Only Make Believe   
2 Lord Rockingham's XI     Hoots Mon   
3 Lonnie Donegan     Tom Dooley   
4 Tommy Dorsey Orchestra Starring Warren Covington
                                       Tea For Two Cha-Cha   
5 Tommy Edwards     It's All In The Game   
6 Kingston Trio      Tom Dooley   
7 Perry Como     Love Makes The World Go Round   
8 Cliff Richard     High Class Baby   
9 Jane Morgan     The Day The Rains Came   
10 Malcolm Vaughan     More Than Ever (Come Prima)
8th Grade Final Exam: Salina, KS - 1895
Grammar (Time, one hour)
1. Give nine rules for the use of capital letters.
2. Name the parts of speech and define those that have no modifications.
3. Define verse, stanza and paragraph
4. What are the principal parts of a verb? Give principal parts of 'lie,''play,' and 'run.'
5. Define case; illustrate each case.
6 What is punctuation? Give rules for principal marks of punctuation.
7 - 10. Write a composition of about 150 words and show therein that you understand the practical use of the rules of grammar.

Arithmetic (Time,1 hour 15 minutes)
1. Name and define the Fundamental Rules of Arithmetic.
2. A wagon box is 2 ft. Deep, 10 feet long, and 3 ft. Wide. How many bushels of wheat will it hold?
3. If a load of wheat weighs 3,942 lbs., what is it worth at 50cts/bushel, deducting 1,050 lbs. For tare?
4. District No 33 has a valuation of $35,000. What is the necessary levy to carry on a school seven months at $50 per month, and have $104 for incidentals?
5. Find the cost of 6,720 lbs. Coal at $6.00 per ton.
6. Find the interest of $512.60 for 8 months and 18 days at 7 percent.
7. What is the cost of 40 boards 12 inches wide and 16 ft. Long at $20 per metre?
8. Find bank discount on $300 for 90 days (no grace) at 10 percent.
9. What is the cost of a square farm at $15 per acre, the distance of which is 640 rods?
10. Write a Bank Check, a Promissory Note, and a Receipt

U.S. History (Time, 45 minutes)
1. Give the epochs into which U.S. History is divided
2. Give an account of the discovery of America by Columbus
3. Relate the causes and results of the Revolutionary War.
4. Show the territorial growth of the United States
5. Tell what ygou can of the history of Kansas
6. Describe three of the most prominent b attles of the Rebellion.
7. Who were the following: Morse, Whitney, Fulton , Bell , Lincoln , Penn, and Howe?
8. Name event s connected with the following dates: 1607, 1620, 1800, 1849, 1865.

Orthography (Time, one hour)
[Do we even know what this is??]
1. What is meant by the following: alphabet, phonetic, orthography, etymology, syllabication
2. What are elementary sounds? How classified?
3. What are the following, and give examples of each: trigraph, subvocals, diphthong, cognate letters, linguals
4. Give four substitutes for caret 'u.' (HUH?)
5. Give two rules for spelling words with final 'e.' Name two exceptions under each rule.
6. Give two uses of silent letters in spelling. Illustrate each.
7. Define the following prefixes and use in connection with a word: bi, dis-mis, pre, semi, post, non, inter, mono, sup.
8. Mark diacritically and divide into syllables the following, and name the sign that indicates the sound: card, ball, mercy, sir, odd, cell, rise, blood, fare, last.
9. Use the following correctly in sentences: cite, site, sight, fane, fain, feign, vane , vain, vein, raze, raise, rays.
10. Write 10 words frequently mispronounced and indicate pronunciation by use of diacritical marks and by syllabication.

Geography (Time, one hour)
1 What is climate? Upon what does climate depend?
2. How do you account for the extremes of climate in Kansas ?
3. Of what use are rivers? Of what use is the ocean?
4. Describe the mountains of North America
5. Name and describe the following: Monrovia , Odessa , Denver , Manitoba , Hecla , Yukon , St. Helena, Juan Fernandez, Aspinwall and Orinoco .
6. Name and locate the principal trade centers of the U.S.
7. Name all the republics of Europe and give the capital of each.
8. Why is the Atlantic Coast colder than the Pacific in the same latitude?
9. Describe the process by which the water of the ocean returns to the sources of rivers.
10. Describe the movements of the earth. Give the inclination of the earth.
Some 1958 Videos

I did a little searching around and found several YouTube videos on 1958 topics. Click on the graphic below to check out Perry Como's version of It's Beginnng to Look a Lot Like Christmas, as sung on his 1958 TV show. Or, if you want to watch a full hour of the Bob Hope Christmas Show from the deck of the flagship of the 7th Fleet in the South China Sea, click his graphic below. When you go to view those videos, you'll find a long list of related videos in case you've got a bunch of time to spend on that.
Click graphic to hear Perry sing
Click graphic to hear Bob tell jokes
More Nostalgia

Well, I thought I had this wrapped up and was looking at my notes for a year-end RV newsletter, when I happened upon a note I'd made about an old postcard website. It's called Penny Postcards - A USGenWeb Archives Web Site (click to visit the site). It lists all the states in the USA, and then has old postcards for each state. I perused the Florida collection and picked out some that were from Northern Florida to include below. Check it out! It's neat!
Away Down the Suwanee River [1908]
Saw Fish, length 14 feet, 6 inches, weight 660 pounds, Caught by Rod and Line on Florida Coast
Paper Mill, Southern Kraft Corporation, Panama City
Loading Compressed Bales of Cotton into the hold of a Vessel for export, Pensacola
Looking Up Palafax Street, Pensacola
Waterfront, Carrabelle
Tobacco Growing, Gadsden County, near Quincy
Episcopal Church, Tallahassee