What Happened in 1959

Significant Events

  • Jan 4 Luna 1 (Mechta) becomes 1st craft to leave Earth's gravity
  • Feb 16 Fidel Castro becomes the 16th Prime Minister of Cuba after overthrowing Fulgencio Batista
  • Mar 30 Dalai Lama flees China and is granted political asylum in India
  • Aug 21 Hawaii becomes the 50th US state
  • Aug 26 British Motor Corporation introduced the Morris Mini-Minor, designed by Alec Issigonis it was only 10 ft long but seated 4 passengers
  • Sep 12 Luna 2 launched by USSR; 1st spacecraft to impact on the Moon
More Historical Events

1959 in Film & TV

  • Jan 9 "Rawhide" with Clint Eastwood premieres on CBS TV
  • Mar 29 "Some Like It Hot", directed by Billy Wilder and starring Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, and Jack Lemmon, is released in NYC
  • Jul 17 "North by Northwest" directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint premieres in Los Angeles
  • Jul 18 "The Nun's Story" based on the novel by Kathryn Hulme, starring Audrey Hepburn premieres in Los Angeles
  • Jul 22 Ed Wood's cult classic "Plan 9 From Outer Space", called one of the worse films ever, premieres

1959 in Music

  • Feb 3 "The Day the Music Died" plane crash kills musicians Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, J. P. Richardson and pilot near Clear Lake Iowa.
  • May 4 First Grammy Awards: Perry Como & Ella Fitzgerald win
  • Jul 31 Cliff Richard and the Shadows have their 1st British No. 1 single with "Living' Doll" (biggest British single of 1959)
  • Nov 16 "Sound of Music" musical by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II first opens at Lunt Fontanne Theater, NYC, for 1443 performances

1959 in Sport

  • Apr 9 13th NBA Championship: Boston Celtics sweep Minnesota Lakers in 4 games, first of Boston Celtics record 8 straight titles

Did You Know?

Far side of Moon seen for the 1st time, courtesy of USSR's Luna 3 space probe

On October 7, 1959


World Leaders in 1959

Famous People in 1959

Would You Believe?

Governor of Louisiana Earl K. Long is committed to a state mental hospital; he responds by having the hospital's director fired and replaced with a crony who proceeds to proclaim him perfectly sane

On June 18, 1959

Famous Weddings

  • Jan 26 President of Cuba Raúl Castro (27) weds revolutionary Vilma Espín (28) in Santiago de Cuba
  • Apr 1 American sci-fi writer "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" Philip K Dick marries 3rd wife Anne Williams Rubinstein
  • Apr 10 Japan's Crown Prince Akihito marries commoner Michiko Shoda
  • May 8 Actress Raquel Welch (18) weds high school sweetheart James Welch
  • May 12 Actress Elizabeth Taylor's (27) marries for the 4th time to entertainer Eddie Fisher (30)

Famous Divorces

  • Jul 2 MLB baseball player Ernie Banks (28) divorces Mollye Louise after 6 years of marriage
More Weddings & Divorces