20th Century: 1958

William Higinbotham created the first video game named Tennis for Two. It is an early video game which was exhibited at Brookhaven National Laboratory’s annual public exhibition and considered by some definitions to be the earliest video game ever made. It was on display for three days when originally displayed and returned the next year with a bigger oscilloscope screen and the ability to adjust gravity.

The game simulates a game of tennis on an oscilloscope attached to a Donner Model 30 analog computer. Players used custom made aluminum controllers with knobs to angle their shots, and a button in order to hit a ball back and forth. Unlike other early tennis-like simulations such as Pong, the ball is affected by gravity and uses a side view. The ball can hit the net or go out of bounds.

Tennis for Two – Oct 15, 1958

The Russian satellite Sputnik burns up as it reentered Earth’s atmosphere on January 4, 1958.

On Jan. 31, 1958 Explorer 1, the first satellite with an onboard telemetry system, is launched by the United States into orbit aboard a Juno rocket and returns data from space.

The first integrated circuit was first developed by Robert Noyce of Fairchild Semiconductor and Jack Kilby of Texas Instruments. The first IC was demonstrated on September 12, 1958.

On Oct. 7, 1958, NASA Administrator T. Keith Glennan publicly announces NASA’s manned spaceflight program along with the formation of the Space Task Group, a panel of scientists and engineers from space-policy organizations absorbed by NASA. The announcement came just six days after NASA was founded. This new agency is also in response to Sputnik.

President Eisenhower’s Christmas address is the first voice transmission from a satellite.

The first broadcast of Blue Peter, Quatermass and the Pit, The Donna Reed Show, Moonlight Mask, and The Huckleberry Hound Show. The quiz show scandals wipe out the $64,000 Question and Twenty-One.

Top Film of 1958:

Copyright © 1958 Loew, Incorporated / Public domain

Top Song of 1958:

 

 

 

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