World Events

  • The Tibetan government is abolished by China’s Zhou Enlai. A puppet ruler replaces the Dalai Lama who granted asylum in India.
  •  Fidel Castro’s new, revolutionary Communist government in Cuba is recognized by the US and the Soviet Union.
  • Alaska and Hawaii  become states this year.
  • NASA selects seven military pilots as the first US astronauts. Two monkeys are first living beings to successfully return to earth from space flight. Explorer 6 sends back first pictures of earth from orbit.
  • The St. Lawrence Seaway, linking the Great Lakes to the Atlantic,  is opened by President Eisenhower and Queen Elizabeth II.
  • Buddy Holly, the musician considered a creator of  rock-and-roll and who influenced many other pop artists, died in the crash of a chartered plane.
  • Frank Lloyd Wright’s eye-catching, cylindrical building, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, opens to the public in NYC.
  • Mattel’s Barbie doll and the Xerox copier are both introduced.
  • “The Twilight Zone” premieres on TV. Academy Awards: “Ben Hur” (US), “Black Orpheus” (France). Prize-winning Books: The Magic Barrel, Bernard Malamud and The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters, Robert Lewis Taylor.

In Salem
Mark Hatfield has been elected as governor, but his High Street residence, purchased the year before, has to be renovated before he can move in. [Meanwhile he and family are living at the Royal Court Apartments on Chemeketa Street.] In the photograph above, the view of his property is from Kearney Street looking toward High Street with Bush’s Pasture Park in the background.
It is a sign of the times that extensive electronic networks and a bomb shelter must be added in the basement. J. Warren Carkin designed a large kitchen and servants’ wing that was added at the rear. The Oregon Centennial of 1959 was celebrated with many social engagements at this house and during the Legislative sessions of the Governor Hatfield’s two terms, the governor’s wife, Antoinette, held weekly open houses. Thousands of residents and visitors attended these events. Both Governor Hatfield and his wife posed for photographs inside the house. All four of the Hatfield children were born here.

When you visit
This house was built c. 1880 for Virgil Pringle (1804-1887) and was occupied by him until his death in 1887 and by his widow, Pherne, until her death in until 1891. His obituary recalls, “Mr. and Mrs. Pringle lived to a ripe old age and died at their home near Salem where shortly before they had celebrated their sixtieth wedding anniversary, surrounded by children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. This was a happy reunion”. The nearby Pringle Creek was named for this Salem pioneer of 1848. Note: Mission Street was the southern border of Salem city limits at the time of his death.
Even after the Mark Hatfield sold the house in 1968, it remained as a private residence. This SCAN neighborhood residence is in the Gaiety Hill/Bush’s Pasture Park Historical District. It is featured on the SHINE Gaiety Hill/Bush’s Pasture Park Walking Tour.

Other events

  • Russell F. Bonesteele is elected mayor. The house associated with Russell and Valerie Bonesteele is at 396 18th Street in the NEN neighborhood. Mr. Bonestelle’s family was in the automobile business. He served on the hospital board and the Salem City Council before his election as mayor.
  • The Thomas Kay Woolen Mill announces it will close. The advent of synthetic fabrics and advances in manufacturing technology left the traditional methods of the Kay Wooden Mill unable to compete. The property has served as a non-profit entity since then. Originally known as Mission Mill Museum, it is now Willamette Heritage Center. Four pioneer structures have been moved onto the property and the institution is preserving the city’s history as well as providing tours of the former mill.
Vice President Nixon and Oregon dignitaries at Centennial Celebration in Salem
  • In February, the Vice President of the United States, Richard Nixon, attends the Oregon Centennial Celebration at the Capitol. From a second floor balcony, the dignitaries listen as the Portland Symphony concert opens the ceremonies. The governor was still living at the Royal Court Apartments that February and the Vice President visited the Hatfields there. In this year, less security is required for our Vice President: the tenants, aware that Mr. Nixon would be visiting, lined the railings of the lobby balcony and applauded when he entered.
  • On June 9, the Capital Journal publishes a 116-page issue, entitled Oregon Centennial. Four special sections feature the 100-year history of the Willamette Valley. It is edited by William Mainwaring, son of the late publisher, Bernard Mainwaring, and is his first “major assignment” since returning from military service.
  • The much-debated use of a bequest by Carroll Moores, is finally resolved with a 12-foot statuary group entitled “Guidance of Youth”. An earlier suggestion that a Renoir nude be purchased with the $34,000 had been met with indignant local protest. Avard Fairbanks of Salt Lake City created a more suitable statue that was accepted by Salem public vote. It presents a pioneer father with a hoe, a pioneer mother properly attired with skirt sweeping the ground and a pioneer youth. This group statue is sited in Bush Park’s southeast corner overlooking a playing field to the east.
Lancaster Area of Salem
State Street as “Four Corners”
  • An aerial photograph of the Four Corners area of Salem (State and Lancaster intersection) taken this year shows a residential suburb of homes on generous lots surrounding this business corner. The street level view shows the small businesses on the unpaved State Street in this unincorporated section of Salem.


Capitol Funeral of Douglas McKay
  • The funeral of former governor Douglas McKay, later US Secretary of the Interior, is held in the Capitol. It had been the intention of the family to hold the funeral in his church, First Presbyterian, but that structure was in the middle of Winter Street, still on its journey to its new location. Governor Hatfield led the procession out of the Capitol.