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Out of the Morgue, Aug. 23, 2018
A week of firsts in 1958
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Fireboats spray water as a welcome to the U.S. Navy’s nuclear submarine USS Nautilus while she moves past the New York skyline on Aug. 25, 1958. (AP Photo/John Rooney)

Each week we’ll take a step back into the history of Great Bend through the eyes of reporters past. We’ll reacquaint you with what went into creating the Great Bend of today, and do our best to update you on what “the rest of the story” turned out to be.

First in food

Pop culture’s roots reach back several decades. What might seem inconsequential today may end up influencing the future in big ways. 

Entrepreneur Momofuku Ando would agree. It was this week in 1958, for instance, that he marketed his first package of precooked instant noodles, Chikin Ramen by Nissin Foods, which decades later college students continue to turn to for cheap eats in the lean weeks. 

“It took 48 years of my life for me to come up with the idea of instant noodles. Each and every event in the past is connected to the present by invisible threads.”

– Momofuku Ando

In 2015, Goggle paid tribute to Ando on his 105th birthday. You can learn more here

Firsts in music

It was also this week that Cliff Richard and the Drifters released their single, “Move It,” (listen here) which would later be credited as the first British Rock n Roll song, according to the entry for Aug. 29, 1958 at

That same day, legendary guitarist George Harrison joined the Liverpool band The Quarrymen. (According to Beatles historians in books and several websites we visited including , he did fill in with the band prior to then. He was younger than the rest of the guys, so he had to prove himself.) He and band mates John Lennon and Paul McCartney would later join with Ringo Starr to become The Beatles. 

But none of it was noteworthy when it happened. 

One event that did make the news this week in 1958 was when Marie Ashton, a British pianist, played the piano 133 hours. This set a female record, but it wasn’t her first attempt. You can watch a clip of her 1954 attempt here.  

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An AP photo from a 1958 issue of the Great Bend Tribune.

First transatlantic trip lasting less than a week, and first trip under the North Pole

Now for the not-so-insignificant. It was this week that the nuclear powered submarine, Nautilus, entered Hudson Bay after a record breaking transatlantic trip that was completed in a mere 6 days, 11 hours, and 55 minutes. 

“That cut almost two days off the old record set by her sister sub, Skate,” it was reported by the Associated Press in the Great Bend Tribune.  

Worries ran high internationally about possible radiation leaking along its path, or the possibility that an atomic explosion might result in the event it would collide with an obstacle. 

“The mighty underwater boat made her dress cruise along three miles of Manhattan’s shore to give New Yorkers a better look at her.”

It was raining, but the rain didn’t dampen spirits. Fire trucks sprayed arcs of water as the sub sailed up the Hudson and returned again to dockside ceremonies in Brooklyn. 

Another notable accomplishment heavily reported was the fact the sub had “crossed under the North Pole icecap to history.” This happened earlier in the month before the sub left England. 

According to the blog site MysteryUpdated, “The Navy has since broken many of Nautilus’ objective records with newer subs, but nobody can take away the title of first-ever.”

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Tribune file photos Aug. 29, 1958 — “New students, new school” As the doors of Lincoln school opened for the first time Friday morning, these children were among the enrollees in the new school. They are, left, Kathy Blake, a kindergarten pupil; her sister, Debbie Blake, Terry Leigan, Denise Allen, Doug Skinner, and George Rifford Jr., all six years old and in the first grade. “
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Aug. 26, 1958 — “Ending the season on a pleasant note, Carol Leinmiller, 16-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Andrew G. Leinmiller, reminds local swimmers that the municipal pool will be closed after Sunday.”

New sign

It was reported this week in the Tribune that a new sign would soon be erected east of Ellinwood. 

“A sign to advertise the city will be erected, facing east, on the long curve along the highway east of town. The slogan to be written on the 20 x 8 foot sign will be, “Ellinwood, It’s Wonderful.” Materials and labor to erect the sign are being donated by residents of the city.” This was the first notice about the sign. 

“Ellinwood, Home of the Eagles” appears on the east side of Ellinwood now. 

Citizenship celebrated

It was reported Aug. 26 that Mrs. T. L. Nicholson, a Great Bend woman, received her United States citizenship papers that week in Federal District Court, Wichita. So, this week, she celebrated her first day as an American citizen.

“Mrs. Nicholson, who is originally from Germany, came to this country five years ago. She and her husband, who uses the name Chuck Nichols on his job as a KVGB radio announcer, have two sons, Michael and Gary.

Then, as now, the naturalization process was long and involved. 

“Mrs. Nicholson took her examination to be admitted as a citizen last spring. The procedure Tuesday completed her naturalization.”