S: By Estefania Nie
FC: 1959 Research
1: From the song "We Didn't Start the Fire" by Billy Joel, this book gives information about the singer Buddy Holly, the movie "Ben Hur", the space monket, Ham, the Mafia, the hula hoops, Fidel Castro and the car, Edsel.
2: Buddy Holly | Buddy Holly was an American singer composer and electric guitarist. He had develop an energetic style that combined country with strong rock’ n’ roll. His group name was the Crickets and was the main reason why the Beatles were formed. The Beatles had taken their name as tribute to the Crickets. They gained fame by 1957 and had seven hit singles. He became one of the first major performers of rock music. His real name was Charles Harding Holly and had influenced many Americans and British rock performers. Unfortunately he died in a plane crash in 1959 by the age of 22 with other famous singers, The Big Bopper and Richie Valens. It was included in Billy Joe’s song because it was a great shock to everybody due to the fact that he was so famous by creating a new genre to music and had to die in such a young age. His death was even marked in a song, “American Pie”, in the 1980’s: “the day the music died.”
3: Buddy Holly's band, The Crickets
4: "Ben Hur" | “Ben Hur” was a movie that at that time, 1959, was the most expensive movie ever made. It was recreated at the Cinetta studios in Rome set around the Christ time. The main character was acted by Charlton Hesston, a famous person who had won the Oscar for best acting. The movie’s Budget was 14.5 million dollars which was really spectacular and fascinating. This movie was very complicated and took a huge amount of time for it to be completed. It is said that this movie was a supreme test of stamina for Charlton Hesston. This movie is about the tale of a Jewish prince who was betrayed and sent into slavery by his Roman friend. He later on got back his freedom and went for revenge. The reason Billy Joe included this movie in his song is because it was the most expensive movie at that time.
5: Charlton Hesston, the main character of the movie
7: In 1959, the U.S. had blasted a chimpanzee in a mercury capsule up to space for 18 minutes. The chimpanzee itself was called Ham, and he was trained to operate the controls of the spaceship, becoming not only the passenger, but also the pilot. Ham had been 150 miles into space for about 18minutes which then landed in the Atlantic Ocean which then was rescued by a recovery ship. As soon as he came out of the capsule he was rewarded with an apple for his successful operation. Experts from the space program were waiting for him to “debrief” him from his mission. Ham was important in this century because he was the first living thing that was sent up to space and came back down alive. Not only that, but he was also a prelude for humans so they could also go up to space since they were originally evolved from chimpanzees. | Space Monkey
9: Mafia is a secret criminal society that started in Sicily as early as the 13th century. The Mafia was one of the most powerful gangs that moved to the USA. Its original purpose was to provide food and supplies for men displaced by the French army during the WWII. In 1958, the FBI started to take attention to the Mafia and created a file named, “The Mafia Monograph”. It tells the whole history of how the Mafia was exported to the USA. Later on it became very popular known as the “Mafia Bible”. This bible was used by organizations like the FBI and other US law Enforcement agencies in campaigns against organized crimes. The origins of Mafia is kind of vague due to the fact that it was never actually an united organization | Mafia
10: Hula hoop is a bamboo ring that was made in Australia and used for gym classes around the 1950’s. By 1957 it became the main entertainment even outside school by Knevr and Melin. They started to introduce them to kids and cocktail parties. Each hula hoop needed a 50cent material and was sold for $1.98. Hula hoops were so famous at that time that it was even given to the Prime Minister of Japan, Kiahi, as his 62nd birthday present. It was a product that didn’t last long, but it was still famous enough that famous people would show their skills with the hoop in TV. This entertainment toy was included in Billy Joe’s song, because it was the first entertainment that both kids and adults could enjoy without feeling ashamed. | Hula Hoops
13: Love You | Fidel Castro | Fidel Castro was a democrat that was born in June 12, 1916 in Cananea, Mexico. Regime Castro was determined to overthrow Batista, so he went on a fund-raising tour. First he went to the USA and then to Mexico. When he was in Mexico, he met with the Argentine revolutionary, Ernesto Che Gevara. He had a Cuban group of 82 men and had started an attack on the north coast of Oriente Province on December 2, 1956, unfortunately only 12 them survived. The 12 of them went to the Sierra Maestra Mountains and from there they undertook a guerilla war against Batista’s government. With the help of the propaganda, they got over 800 men for their campaign and by January 1 of 1959, Castro led his victorious army into Havana after Batista had run away from the country. Castro’s new government was quickly recognized by the USA, but it didn’t last long. Unfortunately, the relations with the USA became strained as American-owned properties were nationalized and an agreement was made to buy oil from the USSR. Before 1960, all diplomatic relationships between Cuba and the USA broke off and a state of “Cold War” became existent between both countries.
14: Edsel is a no-go | During 1956, Ford Motor Company had a gap in their range of medium-sized cards. This meant that they were going down in business and lost a lot of customers. They had to think of a new design fast, a car that was unique and would be like nothing else. Finally they came up with the new car design, Edsel. This car was named after Henry Ford’s son, Edsel. Its design was distinguishable from any angle and the promotional build-up of the car would be like nothing else. After the enormous promotional campaign, some 2.5 million Americans poured into Edsel dealership on “E-Day”, September 4th, 1957. It was very apparent that only a few cars were actually sold, the public expectations were much higher than the car could live up to. The sales showed clearly why the disappointment, this expectation led to forecast sales of around 200,000 whereas in reality the sales were only 68,045 for the first year. All this was very depressing for the company. By the end of 1959, its sales shrank to 47,396. From then on the Ford Motor Company decided to concentrate only on smaller cars, which were increasingly popular at that time. The company had announced this on November 19th, 1959.
15: I love you
17: 1. What was Buddy Holly famous for? 2. Where was "Ben Hur" recreated at? 3. For how long did Ham stayed in space? 4. Where and when did the Mafia started? 5. To whom was the hula hoop given as a birthday present? 6. Who did Fidel Castro meet in Mexico in 1959? 7. Who was Edsel named after?
18: Research Bibliography
19: McLeese, Don. The World Book Encyclopedia H Volume 9. Chicago: World Book, Inc., 2006. Print. Legrand, Catherine. Chronicle of the Cinema. London: Dorling Kindersley Publishing, Inc., 1995. Print. Adams, Simons, et al. Junior Chronicle of the 20th Century. United States: DK Publishing, Inc., 1997. Print. Abadinsky, Howard. The World Book M Volume 13. Chicago: World Book, Inc., 2006. Print. IMDb. Amazon, 2010. Web. 25 Mar. 2010.
20: Picture Bibliography
21: “We Didn’t Start the Fire” http://espaciomusica.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/09/billy_joel_we_didnt_start.jpg Buddy Holly
22: Check Your Answers!
23: 1. He was famous because he develop energetic style that combined country and rock’ n’ roll. 2. It was recreated at the Cinetta studios in Rome. 3. Ham stayed in space for about 18 minutes. 4. Mafia started in Sicily as early as the 13th century. 5. It was given to the Prime Minister of Japan, Kiahi, as his 62nd birthday present. 6. He met with the Argentine revolutionary, Ernesto Che Gevara. 7. This car was named after Henry Ford’s son, Edsel