An excerpt from a guest post I made at With Love for Books to celebrate the release last month of Son of a Preacher Man.
Back when I first started blogging, somewhere around 2012, I created a series of posts called “The 5 Best…” The 5 Best What, you ask? It could be the 5 Best of anything: books, songs that tell stories, holiday movies, flavors of ice cream, etc.
I don’t blog as often anymore, but I still love those 5 Best Lists, so I thought I’d revive them for this new release.
In Son of a Preacher Man, set in the US South, 1959 is a significant year because during that summer, Billy Ray Davenport and Lizzie Quinlan find each other. If we in the states remember anything about 1959 today, it’s often some tragedy like the airplane crash that killed musicians Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper, and Ritchie Valens in an Iowa snowstorm. Or some political event like Fidel Castro ascending to power in Cuba.
Other things happened that year, however. Maybe they weren’t serious events, but they made the world just a bit better or more interesting.
And so, I give you, the 5 Best (or at least Very Good) things that happened in 1959 (besides Billy Ray meeting Lizzie, of course!)
1. Alaska and Hawaii were granted statehood in the US – Alaska was first in January followed by Hawaii in August. They were the last two states added to the United States of America.
2. The Sound of Music, Rogers & Hammerstein’s musical about the Von Trapp Family, premiered on Broadway. It was made into a film, starring the fabulous Julie Andrews, in 1965.
3. The Boeing 707 Jet Airliner came into service, cutting 8 hours off the time of a transatlantic flight.
4. The Guggenheim Museum, which collects, preserves and interprets contemporary and modern art and was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, opened in New York City. And finally…
5. Hugh Laurie, actor famous for the “House” TV series, as well as an inspired portrayal of Mr. Palmer in Ang Lee’s “Sense and Sensibility”, was born on June 11th.
If you remember 1959, what were some of the best things for you from that year? If you weren’t around then (I wasn’t), did your parents or grandparents tell you anything interesting from that time?