What was life like the last time Iowa won a national championship?

The world looked much different the last time the Iowa Hawkeyes won it all.
2024 CFP National Championship - Michigan v Washington
2024 CFP National Championship - Michigan v Washington / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages

On January 1, 1959, the Iowa Hawkeyes defeated the California Golden Bears in the 45th Rose Bowl by a score of 38-12. Iowa finished with an 8-1-1 record and the No. 2 ranking in the final AP poll behind LSU, who finished 11-0.

While LSU was named national champions by the AP and Coaches Poll, Iowa earned a share of the national championship thanks to the Football Writers Association of America, which the NCAA recognizes.

65 years have passed and the Hawkeyes have yet to climb to the top of the college football mountain again, though they've certainly gotten close. It's an understatement to say the world is completely different now.

Back then, Dwight D. Eisenhower was the United States President, getting his second term started with Richard Nixon as his VP.

By the way, the United States were only 48 states. Alaska didn't put the 49th star on the flag until the 3rd of January, while Hawai'i would join the union in August.

Back then, the Los Angeles Dodgers only had one World Series Championship, winning their second in the coming season.

Super Bowls weren't even a thing yet. Instead, the Baltimore Colts beat the New York Giants in a rematch of the previous season's "Greatest Game Ever Played". As a matter of fact, the NFL's current commissioner, Roger Goodell, was born just a few months earlier.

Other notable people born in 1959 include Nicole Brown Simpson, Jim Nantz, Kevin Nash, Brian Williams, Mike Pence, The Ultimate Warrior, Magic Johnson, Nancy Grace, Sam Raimi, and Weird Al Yankovich.

Speaking of things that didn't exist yet, the first Barbie doll hit the shelves in March as little girls across the country rejoiced. On the other hand, their Disney princesses took a hiatus from movie screens between Sleeping Beauty and 1989's The Little Mermaid.

While the Barbie doll was great, Popular Mechanics says the most influential product introduced in 1959 was the integrated circuit, which downsized the first computers from room swallowing shelves of tubes and capacitors to one tiny chip.

Pacemakers, Kevlar, and cordless tools weren't available until the 1960s either.

As for things that did exist that people enjoyed, McDonald's was hitting its stride, opening its 100th restaurant. Marilyn Monroe was as popular as ever. Meanwhile, television shows like Bonanza, The Price is Right and Twilight Zone debuted.

Now for likely the most painful portion of the article, the cost of items in 1959. According to Hobby Lark, beef was 39 cents per pound, bread was 29 cents, and milk was $1.01. Oh, and gas was 31 cents per gallon.

Yes, the world looks much different. Thankfully, with an expanded college football playoff, the chances to win a second national championship isn't quite as difficult as it once was. Though, expansion of the Big Ten doesn't exactly help either.

Regardless, here's hoping it doesn't take another 65 years for Iowa to win it all.

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