This Day In History
Saturday, May 26, 2018
On This Day

1958

Events

January 28, 1958

The Lego company patents...
The Lego company patents the design of its Lego bricks, still compatible with bricks produced today. In 1958, the modern brick design was developed but it took another five years to find the right material for it, ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) polymer. The modern Lego brick was patented at 1:58 P.M. on 28 January 1958; bricks from that year are still compatible with current bricks.
Lego

January 31, 1958

The first successful launch...
The first successful launch of an American satellite into orbit. Explorer 1 was launched on January 31, 1958 at 22:48 Eastern Time (equal to February 1, 03:48 UTC because the time change goes past midnight) atop the first Juno booster from LC-26 at the Cape Canaveral Missile Annex, Florida. It was the first spacecraft to detect the Van Allen radiation belt, returning data until its batteries were exhausted after nearly four months. It remained in orbit until 1970, and has been followed by more than 90 scientific spacecraft in the Explorer series.
Explorer program, space

January 31, 1958

James Van Allen discovers...
James Van Allen discovers the Van Allen radiation belt. The Van Allen radiation belt is a torus of energetic charged particles (plasma) around Earth, which is held in place by Earth's magnetic field. It is believed that most of the particles that form the belts come from solar wind, and other particles by cosmic rays. It is named after its discoverer, James Van Allen, and is located in the inner region of the Earth's magnetosphere. It is split into two distinct belts, with energetic electrons forming the outer belt and a combination of protons and electrons forming the inner belts. In addition, the radiation belts contain lesser amounts of other nuclei, such as alpha particles. The belts pose a hazard to satellites, which must protect their sensitive components with adequate shielding if their orbit spends significant time in the radiation belts.
Van Allen, radiation

March 17, 1958

The United States launches...
The United States launches the Vanguard 1 satellite. Vanguard 1 was the fourth artificial Earth satellite launched and the first satellite to be solar powered. Although communication with it was lost in 1964, it remains the oldest manmade satellite still in orbit. It was designed to test the launch capabilities of a three-stage launch vehicle as a part of Project Vanguard, and the effects of the environment on a satellite and its systems in Earth orbit. It also was used to obtain geodetic measurements through orbit analysis.
Vanguard 1, satellite, space

March 25, 1958

Canada
Canada's Avro Arrow makes its first flight. The Avro Canada CF-105 Arrow was a delta-winged interceptor aircraft, designed and built by Avro Aircraft Limited (Canada) in Malton, Ontario, Canada, as the culmination of a design study that began in 1953. Considered to be both an advanced technical and aerodynamic achievement for the Canadian aviation industry, the CF-105 held the promise of Mach 2 speeds at altitudes exceeding 50,000 ft (15,000 m), and was intended to serve as the Royal Canadian Air Force's (RCAF) primary interceptor in the 1960s and beyond.
Avro Canada CF-105 Arrow, first flight, Interceptor aircraft

May 13, 1958

The trade mark <i>Velcro</i>...
The trade mark Velcro is registered. Velcro is a company that produces the first commercially marketed fabric hook-and-loop fastener, invented in 1948 by the Swiss electrical engineer George de Mestral. De Mestral patented Velcro in 1955, subsequently refining and developing its practical manufacture until its commercial introduction in the late 1950s.
Velcro

December 9, 1958

The John Birch Society...
The John Birch Society is founded in the United States. The John Birch Society is an American political advocacy group that supports anti-communism, limited government, a Constitutional Republic and personal freedom. It has been described as radical right-wing.
John Birch Society

December 18, 1958

Project SCORE, the world's first communications satellite, is launched. Project SCORE (Signal Communications by Orbiting Relay Equipment) was the world’s first communications satellite. Launched aboard an Atlas rocket on December 18, 1958, SCORE provided a first test of a communications relay system in space, as well as the first successful use of the Atlas as a launch vehicle. It captured world attention by broadcasting a Christmas message via short wave frequency from U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower through an on-board tape recorder.
Project SCORE, space





Births

March 10, 1958
Sharon Stone

Sharon Vonne Stone is an American actress, film producer, and former fashion model. She achieved international recognition for her role in the erotic thriller Basic Instinct. She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress and won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture Drama for her performance in Casino.
October 16, 1958
Tim Robbins

Timothy Francis "Tim" Robbins is an American actor, screenwriter, director, producer, activist and musician. He is the former longtime partner of actress Susan Sarandon. He is known for his roles as Nuke in Bull Durham, Andy Dufresne in The Shawshank Redemption, and as Dave Boyle in Mystic River, for which he won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

Deaths

July 17, 1958
Henri Farman

Henri Farman was a French pilot, aviator and aircraft designer and manufacturer with his brother Maurice Farman. His family was British and he took French nationality in 1937.
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