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CFPL Timeline - 1958

“A year of great significance to the world in general and to Western Ontario in particular has just passed into history. It was a year that could be given many names: economically, it was the “year of the hidden recession… and the hidden recovery.” Politically, it was the “year of the landslide”… and in the fields of science and medicine it was a year of triumph and disaster... Through the eyes of CFPL-TV News, this is history revisited. This was 1958!!”

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National and International News Stories of 1958:

  • The North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD) agreement is signed between the United States and Canada.

  • The Avro CF-105 Arrow, a delta-wing interceptor aircraft, designed and built by Avro Canada in Malton, Ontario flies for the first time. It is Canada’s first supersonic fighter plane and many believe it can become the fastest plane in the world and help solidify, for Canada, a place at the forefront of the aviation industry.

  • The most severe disaster in North American mining history occurs when part of a shaft collapses in a coal mine in Springhill, Nova Scotia. There are 174 miners working the mine at the time. Of those, 71 are killed and 100 are trapped, but eventually rescued. It is the third such disaster in the Springhill coalfield. Following this disaster the mining operations are closed and will never re-open.

  • Chinese leader Chairman Mao Zedong begins the “Great Leap Forward” an initiative to bring the nation quickly into the forefront of economic development. His goal is for China to become a leading industrial power, and to accomplish this he pushes for the construction of steel plants across the country.

  • A visiting Australian mentions to Californians Richard Knerr and Arthur "Spud" Melin that in Australia, bamboo hoops are used for exercises in gym class. Knerr and Melvin, founders of the Wham-O Manufacturing Company, run with the idea and soon the Hula Hoop is becoming an international phenomenon.

  • NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration is formed to counteract the perception that there is a technology gap between the Soviets and the United States, and to lead the Americans into space.

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Story Citations:

Film footage

This Was 1958 – Year End Show 1958 (excerpts)
black and white 16mm motion picture film, silent and sound
Reference Code: F 4396-2-1-5
Archives of Ontario


This Was 1958 – Year End Show 1958 (excerpts)
news script
Reference Code: F 4396-2-2
Archives of Ontario