Life in 1959 ~ part 1

I have been sorry that I hadn't saved the daily paper from the days that our sons were born. I wonder now why I haven't. I have saved papers from other important world events and have often wondered ...

what the paper might have been like the day I was born.

My answer came this last year when I turned 51.

My friend Linda found this Life magazine in a antique store in Washington state and managed to keep from giving it to me until my birthday.

I would have never guessed that the magazine had exactly published on the date of my birth and I've found it fascinating to see what the scoop was back then.

I must confess. . .

the advertisements have been just as fascinating as the articles themselves. (you can click on the pictures to enlarge them to read the ads)

Yesterday ... I looked through the magazine again and took pictures of the pages and thought that I might post some of them from time to time.

One thing I know for certain . .

is that my parents did not buy this magazine on the day I was born.

I doubt that they ever bought an issue from any year but I can't really say for sure.

$.25 seems like it might have been a bargain but I know that even that amount would have been spent on feeding their four hungry boys that came before me.

The other reason I know for certain that my parents would not have supported a publication such as this is that it had enough alcohol and tobacco advertisements to make them surely decide that it was not appropriate material for their impressionable children.

The front cover would have discouraged them yet further from investing in a magazine that touted men and women joyously strutting about in skin tight leggings wearing boots and dancing about with their tambourines as though they had nothing better to spend their time doing.

No . . .I know that my parents would have frowned on such a worldly magazine on their coffee table . . .

and then I thought. .

how things have changed since 1959.

All for now . . .


  1. I have several old Life magazines from the mid 50' was such a diiferent time. You may also like the following has quite a bit of information about birth dates. I enjoyed it!

  2. What a fun gift! I should try and remember this thought if we get blessed with grandkids. Change will always happen yet there is nothing new under the sun....hmmmm. Sometimes I wonder if we're like the frogs thrown in the pot with cold water and the heat is turned up and we are unaware until it's too much that really is not good for us we just take in....hmmmm, sorry...deep thoughts for a Monday morning. I LOVED Gwen Verdon...her gravely voice, her spunk.

  3. What fun to have that magazine from the date you were born. We never had a magazine or newspaper in our house growing up. Later in my life my mother did have Better Homes and Garden for the recipes. The only books we had were the Bible and The Encyclopedia Britannica that my parents got hoodwinked into buying from a door to door salesman. Now I need to go have a grapefruit!

  4. My dad always had 'Time' magazine when I was growing up. What an original gift from your friend!

  5. I smiled as I read all the reasons why your parents would not have bought this magazine...and could indentify totally! Like Ellen...the books in our home were the World Book encyclopedia and the Bible. The one and only magazine was the Reader's Digest...which we all devoured from cover to cover.

    What a neat birthday gift...and keepsake!

  6. Wow..a magazine from the same day you were born..that's a keeper!
    I sure don't remember magazines in our house either..we did get the local weekly paper.

  7. What a neat Linda to find it. My parents would not have bought it either. I remember my older brother bringing home a record with a girl in a low cut mexican style blouse who had enough to share... after some debate...a brown bag was pasted to the cover and my brother got to keep the record. I can still hear the brass band playing on the record player. Funny what we remember. Yes...times have changes. Good thoughts here for the day. Kathy (MGCC)

  8. A Life magazine published near the date of one's birth is always a great gift. I have the issue from my birth and B.'s as well; they can be found on line.

    Come to think of it, it would be a great project to find issues published near my parent's birthdate, and similar magazines from my grandparent's etc. It would help demonstrate the popular culture of each era to later generations.

    My opinion of your parents, which already was very, very high, just got even higher. Just say no to images that celebrate that which we find offensive.

    In deference to their memory, Lovella, try to restrain yourself. DO NOT don tights and boots and start high kicking around the grandchildren now that you have that magazine in hand.

    You could scar your grands for life, and possibly seriously injure yourself as well. Go bake something or sew something instead.

  9. Jill . .advice noted and taken to heart .. . I'll go put on something proper . .right now.
    If only I could remember where I put that apron ..I must have left it under my dress up clothes.

  10. How neat that Gwen Verdon was on the cover. She passed away about 10 years ago, I think. She was such a gifted actress/dancer...and I loved listening to her voice.

    I thought it was interesting, too, that the seller never bothered removing the mailing label.

    And that's just the cover! Lots more interesting little things inside!

  11. Your post and the comments were a fun read this morning. It is interesting how times have chagned, but maybe not as much as our thinking has. I laughed at the paper bag taped over the record. My dad did not allow me to keep a cerain record called Tiny Bubbles. He obviously read more into it that I did.
    I do like that grapefruit spoon!

  12. Well one thing hasn't changed...grapefruit is still touted as a wonder fruit. And maybe it is!

    I loved the's always fun to take trips into the past like this. Gwen Verdon...somehow she never made it into my memory banks...I don't recall her at all. I thought that was Shirley McClain when I saw the photo.

    You've got me curious to find something for my own ancient birthdate!

  13. You know, my grandmother has stacks of those things stored upstairs in my garage. I should go see if there's one just for me. Guess that lets you know that there's a difference between your family and mine. Ha! I bet that it has been a fun look back all the same and it truly is shocking to consider all the changes.

  14. It's my first visit to your blog, having found it through a link at Pondside. I have to tell you not to be disappointed that you didn't save all those magazines and newspapers. My mother saved all the historic issues when anything major happened. Now the large box of them resides in my closet. They're fun to look at very occasionally, but otherwise quite in the way!

  15. The old magazines are indeed interesting archives! I don't remember any magazines but we did have the bright orange Child Craft books. My dad read me poems every night before I went to sleep.

  16. What an amazing gift.. Very creative and thoughtful. I love how they strut around in their tights. That fad has come back in a big way, once again...I enjoyed strutting with my daughter and her tights this weekend.
    Of course, they have the right legs.
    It's so true what you said, about our parents purchasing these kind of magazines...We had magazines about Herd Health, and the daily paper, not to forget the MB Herald!

  17. What a great post. Things certainly have changed since then. We're all about ipods and DVD's and such. Oh there's still the odd one out there shaking their tambourine, but we look at them as though they are fishy. Or they just want our money for their musical service.

    I grew up with National Geographic magazines in reams! Educational and not too suggestive for the little eyes.

    Anyway, loved the magazine idea. Is it just me or did life seem simpler back then?


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