As always, Alex Shrugged's opinions are his own. Other people's work are their own. I include them here for the sake of completeness and to provide a second method of access to the material for the TSP history segment.
* The Year that Changed Everything -- Contributed by Alex Shrugged
* Khrushchev Comes a Callin' -- Contributed by Alex Shrugged
* Spying for "Science" -- Contributed by Southpaw Ben
* Notable Births -- See below.
* This Year in Film -- See below.
* This Year in Music -- See below.
* In Other News -- See below.
The Year that Changed EverythingContributed by Alex Shrugged (at the suggestion of a TSP listener)
- "1959 was the year when the shockwaves of the new ripped the seams of daily life, when humanity stepped into the cosmos and also commandeered the conception of human life, [...] when the world as we now know it began to take form."
- -- Frank Kaplan, from his book "1959: The Year that Changed Everything" 
Khrushchev Comes a Callin'Contributed by Alex Shrugged
People are fleeing the German worker's paradise (otherwise known as the GDR or East Germany) to the West. After World War 2, Germany was divided into East and West, but that left Berlin in the East under Soviet domination... uh... I mean under the people's protection, so Berlin was split separately. Now West Berlin remains an oasis of freedom, compared to the East. It's like holding a prayer vigil for self-denial while the church next door is having a BBQ cookout and sing-a-long. The Soviet Union tried staving them out, but the Berlin Air Lift put the kibosh on that plan. Now Nikita Khrushchev, leader of the Soviet Union, demands that Berlin be made a free city meaning his tanks will insure the freedom of the government to confiscate all their stuff. President Eisenhower does what any red-blooded American champion of freedom would do. He goes golfing at Augusta National. (He is flipping off the Soviets while working behind the scenes.) West Berlin votes "Nyet" on Khrushchev's "freedom city" BS (bad suggestion), so Khrushchev changes tactics. He wants to visit the United States. Eisenhower thinks this is a great idea. (Sure, Wilbur.) With everyone crossing their fingers, the man who threatened to bury the West, comes a callin'. They meet at Camp David privately to clear the air. Eisenhower leaves Khrushchev enough room to back off and he does.... for now.    
Spying for "Science"Contributed by Southpaw Ben Under the name "Discoverer", the Corona 4 spy satellite was the first spy satellite that is known to have been launched. By spy satellite, it meant that it contained a camera on board. The rocket it used to go to space was based on the PGM-17 Thor rocket, which was an intermediate range ballistic missile that would be in use until 1963. The Discover 4 mission was ultimately a failure, as a malfunction resulted in it not reaching orbit, and the Discoverer program would be plagued with problems until over a year later when the Discoverer 13 became the obeject to be successfully recovered after being sent to orbit, but Discoverer 14 was the first to have it's film successfully recovered. This program was only publicly admitted in 1992 with its picture being declassified in 1995 by an executive order by President Bill Clinton. 
- Sarah, Duchess of York: Known affectionately as "Fergie", the former wife of Prince Andrew. 
- Mike Pence: VP of the United States. 
- David Koresh (died 1993, age 33): Leader of the Branch Davidians of Waco, Texas when the ATF raided their compound. 
- Brian Williams: NBC News reader, fired after he said his helicopter was hit by an RPG when it wasn't. (That's called lying, Brian.--alexshrugged) 
- -- In Sports: Magic Johnson, John McEnroe and Coach Mike McCarthy. 
- -- In Comedy: Tom Arnold and "Weird Al" Yankovic. 
- -- In Music: Simon Cowell and Marie Osmond. 
- -- Jason Alexander: Pretty Woman, and TV's Seinfeld. 
- -- Linda Blair: The possessed girl in The Exorcist. 
This Year in Film
- Ben Hur: Starring Charlton Heston, it is the story of a rich man, brought low and then redeemed by Jesus. (Great chariot race.--alexshrugged) 
- Journey to the Center of the Earth: Starring James Mason and Pat Boone. (Still good.--alexshrugged) 
- On the Beach: In the aftermath of a nuclear attack those few who survive must... blah, blah, blah. (An important film but a major downer.--alexshrugged) 
This Year in Music
- Venus: Frankie Avalon. "Hey, Venus / Oh, Venus / Make my wish come true..." 
- The Ballad of Mack the Knife: Bobby Darin. "Oh, the shark has pretty teeth, dear, And he shows them pearly white..." 
- (We're Gonna) Rock Around the Clock (Tonight): Bill Haley & His Comets. 
In Other News
- Barbie the fashion doll is released by Mattel: At this time dolls are babies, so an adult-aged doll is a big change. 
- The 1st plain paper copier is released by Xerox: Xerox will soon become a verb just as Jello became a noun.