28 December 1958

“Greatest Game Ever Played”: The Baltimore Colts defeat the New York Giants in the first ever National Football League sudden death

This game is often considered one of the greatest in the history of American football.

The game took place on December 28, 1958, at Yankee Stadium in New York City. It was the first NFL playoff game to go into sudden-death overtime. The Colts, led by quarterback Johnny Unitas, faced off against the Giants, led by quarterback Charlie Conerly. The teams were tied 17-17 at the end of regulation.

In overtime, the Colts drove down the field, and with a 23-yard field goal by kicker Steve Myhra, they secured a 23-17 victory over the Giants. This thrilling and closely contested matchup captured the attention of the nation and is credited with helping to popularize professional football in the United States.

The game is often considered a turning point in the history of the NFL, as it showcased the excitement and drama of the sport to a wide audience. It played a significant role in boosting the popularity of professional football and contributed to the NFL’s rise as a major American sports league.

18 December 1958

Project SCORE, the world’s first communications satellite, is launched.

Launched on December 18, 1958, Project SCORE was a joint effort between the United States Army Signal Research and Development Laboratory (SRDL) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). It marked an important milestone in the history of satellite communications.

Project SCORE carried a tape recorder that could record and play back voice messages. The satellite was equipped with an American Flag and a Christmas message, and it transmitted President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s pre-recorded Christmas message to the world. The satellite’s broadcast could be received on Earth using simple VHF receivers.

While Project SCORE wasn’t the first artificial satellite in orbit (that honor goes to the Soviet Union’s Sputnik 1, launched in 1957), it demonstrated the potential of satellites for global communication. The success of Project SCORE paved the way for future developments in satellite communication, leading to the establishment of a global satellite communication infrastructure.

26 October 1958

Pan American Airways makes the first commercial flight of the Boeing 707 from New York City to Paris.

The Boeing 707 is a historic and iconic jet airliner that played a significant role in shaping the commercial aviation industry. It was the first commercially successful jet airliner and had a profound impact on air travel worldwide.

Development and Introduction:
The Boeing 707, also known as the “Dash 80,” was developed by Boeing in the late 1950s. It was a response to the growing demand for faster and more efficient air travel.

First Commercial Jet Airliner:
The Boeing 707 made its first flight on July 15, 1954, and it entered commercial service in October 1958 with Pan American World Airways (Pan Am). It was the first jet airliner to be widely used for passenger travel.

Technological Advancements:
The 707 was notable for its advanced jet engines, which provided greater speed and efficiency compared to earlier piston-engine airliners. It featured four turbojet engines, a swept-wing design, and a pressurized cabin, allowing for smoother, more comfortable flights at higher altitudes.

Range and Capacity:
The Boeing 707 came in several versions, with varying passenger capacities and ranges. It could carry between 140 and 189 passengers and had a range of 3,300 to 6,160 miles (5,310 to 9,920 kilometers), depending on the model.

Impact on Air Travel:
The Boeing 707 revolutionized air travel by making it faster, more reliable, and more comfortable. It significantly reduced travel times on long-haul routes and contributed to the growth of the global aviation industry.

Military Variants:
The Boeing 707 also had military variants, such as the E-3 Sentry (AWACS) and the E-6 Mercury, used for airborne early warning and command and control purposes by the United States Air Force and Navy, respectively.

Commercial Success:
The Boeing 707 was a commercial success and played a crucial role in establishing Boeing as a leading aircraft manufacturer in the commercial aviation industry. It became the basis for subsequent Boeing jetliner models, such as the Boeing 727, 737, 747, 757, 767, and 777.

While the Boeing 707 is no longer in commercial service, its legacy lives on through its contribution to the development of modern air travel. Many of its design principles and technologies continue to influence the design of contemporary jet airliners.

Retired and Museums:
Most Boeing 707s have been retired from commercial service, but some are preserved in aviation museums around the world. These museums showcase the historical significance of this groundbreaking aircraft.

3 August 1958

The world’s first nuclear submarine, the USS Nautilus, becomes the first vessel to complete a submerged transit of the geographical North Pole.

The USS Nautilus was the world’s first nuclear-powered submarine and a significant milestone in naval history. It was the first vessel to complete a submerged transit across the North Pole, making it one of the most celebrated submarines of all time.

Construction: The construction of USS Nautilus began in 1952, and it was commissioned by the United States Navy on September 30, 1954.

Nuclear Power: The Nautilus was powered by the S2W reactor, a pressurized water nuclear reactor that generated steam to drive its propulsion turbines. This revolutionary propulsion system allowed the submarine to remain submerged for extended periods without the need to surface frequently for refueling.

Submerged Transit of the North Pole: On August 3, 1958, the USS Nautilus made history by completing the first submerged transit beneath the Arctic ice cap, crossing the North Pole and emerging in the Atlantic Ocean. This accomplishment showcased the potential of nuclear-powered submarines and marked a significant milestone in naval warfare and exploration.

Versatility: The Nautilus was not only a groundbreaking vessel for its nuclear propulsion but also demonstrated its versatility by serving in various roles throughout its active duty. It was used for reconnaissance, intelligence gathering, scientific research, and carrying out special missions during its operational years.

Decommissioning: After nearly 25 years of service, the USS Nautilus was decommissioned on March 3, 1980. Following its decommissioning, the submarine was designated a National Historic Landmark and became part of the Submarine Force Library and Museum in Groton, Connecticut.

Legacy: The USS Nautilus’ successful implementation of nuclear propulsion paved the way for an entire fleet of nuclear-powered submarines, which revolutionized naval warfare and strategic capabilities. It set the stage for further advancements in submarine technology and extended the range and capabilities of submarines worldwide.

The USS Nautilus remains a symbol of innovation and exploration in the history of naval submarines, and its legacy continues to be celebrated and remembered by naval enthusiasts and historians.