Here’s what’s going on in the world this week in 1959
- The 21st Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union was opened at Sverdlovsky Hall in Moscow as Nikita Khrushchev welcomed 1,500 delegates, including Communist leaders from 70 nations. For the first time, Western reporters were admitted to the conclave, held for the first time since 1956.
- NASA Director T. Keith Glennan disclosed that the first 110 candidates had been selected for the first American in space, and that he believed that man would land on the moon by 1969. Scientist Eugen Sänger of Stuttgart predicted that man might be able to approach the speed of light by 1999, reaching a speed of 670 million miles per hour.
- Dense smog rolled into London, Manchester, and Birmingham at concentrations worse than the first day of the Great Smog of 1952. Unlike 1952, when 3,500 persons died, shifting winds dissipated the yellow cloud after three days.
- The Virginia General Assembly gave up on further attempts to block the integration of state schools, clearing the way for schools in Norfolk to reopen for the first time in more than four months. The district had shut down the schools on September 15 rather than enroll 17 African Americans, while schools in Arlington were integrated after Chief Justice Earl Warren denied a motion to delay the process there.
- American Scientists at NASA announced that data from the Vanguard 1 satellite had shown that the Earth was not completely round, but actually “a little pear-shaped”. The announcement was made at a press conference at the American Physical Society by Dr. J. A. O’Keefe and scientists Ann Eckels and R. K. Squires of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The differences were slight, but Vanguard data showed differences of sea level around the North Pole being 50 feet higher, and that around Antarctica being 50 feet lower than previously believed.
And here’s what was keeping Peggy busy:
Sunday 25th January 1959
I’ve been taking it easy today! Cyril took Jill and Sue out for an hour this afternoon – & got the tea when he came home. Very nice too. Its been a lovely day again – cold but sunny. Heavy frost this morning.
Monday 26th January 1959
Its been the best washing day for ages – its all ironed – except the babe’s thick sheets. We’ve been for a walk this afternoon & saw Olive on the way back. Gillian has been exceptionally good today.
Tuesday 27th January 1959
It has been a glorious spring like day – Gillian slept out this morning this afternoon we’ve had a leisurely walk to Frimley – mainly to feed the horses but they weren’t in the field! Letter from Olly today – very nice too & one from Joan.
Wednesday 28th January 1959
Another fine day – I’ve done tomorrow’s wash, seeing as Cyril will be at home & I’m probably going to the Doc. Mrs Mac took Jill to meet Marion while I washed my hair – I met her in the Green. Have also had a bath!
Thursday 29th January 1959
Cyril day off
Well – I’ve been to the Doc & he’s pretty sure there is another Ward on the way but I have to see him in a fortnight. We’re very pleased! I had to walk all the way back – or at least slide as its thick fog & heavy frost. I’m so tired! I’m glad Cyril is home!
Friday 30th January 1959
Day off for Cyril.
We had a lie in this a.m. – Jill was very good. We didn’t bring her into our own bed until after seven. I’ve been to Camberley again. Bank etc – so we’ve both got some cash in our pockets. Fog cleared this afternoon so I was able to take Jill to the Green.
Saturday 31st January 1959
Gillian slept very well again last night – we’d almost had our early morning tea before she came into our bed. I’ve been to Camberley & was exhausted when I got home! Cyril took the girls up the Green & I took Jill to Frimley this afternoon. Letter from Dad & one from Mother-In-Law.