On This Day

What Happened in August 1959

Historical Events

Catholic Encyclical

Aug 1 Pope John XXIII publishes encyclical Sacerdotii nostri primordia

  • Aug 1 WAAY TV channel 31 in Huntsville, AL (ABC/NBC) begins broadcasting
  • Aug 2 PGA Championship Men's Golf, Minneapolis GC: Bob Rosburg wins by 1 stroke from Jerry Barber and Doug Sanders
  • Aug 2 Milwaukee Braves outfielder Bill Bruton hits 3 triples in 11-5 win v St. Louis Cardinals; 2 of them bases loaded, first time in 20th Century

Baseball Record

Aug 2 Future Hall of Fame 1st baseman Willie McCovey hits 1st of his 521 MLB home runs in SF Giants 5-3 win v Pittsburgh Pirates

  • Aug 3 27th All Star Baseball Game: AL wins 5-3 at Memorial Coliseum, LA
  • Aug 3 50 killed in uprising in Guinea-Bissau
  • Aug 3 AL beats NL 5-3 in Game 2 of All Star Baseball doubleheader (to boost player pension fund) at LA Memorial Coliseum
  • Aug 4 "Billy Barnes Revue" opens at John Golden Theater NYC for 87 performances
  • Aug 5 42.4 cm rainfall in Decatur Co, Iowa (state record)
  • Aug 5 Chicago Cardinals (NFL) beat Toronto Argonauts (CFL), 55-26 in a pre-season exhibition at CNE Stadium in Toronto
  • Aug 7 Explorer 6 transmits 1st TV photo of Earth from space
  • Aug 12 1st ship firing of a Polaris missile, Observation Island
  • Aug 12 Progressive Party under John Steytler forms in South Africa
  • Aug 13 US Military satellite Discoverer 5 launches into polar orbit
  • Aug 14 26th NFL Chicago All-Star Game: Baltimore 29, All-Stars 0 (70,000)
  • Aug 14 First (American Football League) meeting is held in Chicago; charter memberships handed to Dallas, NY, Houston, Denver, LA and Minneapolis-Saint Paul; 'AFL' named following week
  • Aug 16 LPGA Western Open Women's Golf, Ranier G&CC: Betsy Rawls wins her second WO by 6 strokes from JoAnne Gunderson and Patty Berg
  • Aug 16 USSR introduces installment buying
  • Aug 17 7.1 quake strikes Yellowstone National Park
  • Aug 17 USSR & Iraq signs contract for building Iraqi nuclear reactor

Sports History

Aug 18 Branch Rickey resigns as Pirates' CEO to be President of Continental League

  • Aug 19 Honolulu seeks a franchise in Continental League
  • Aug 19 Satellite Discoverer 6 launched into polar orbit
  • Aug 20 Belgium shortens military conscription to 12 months
  • Aug 21 Hawaii becomes the 50th US state

Baseball Record

Aug 22 Cincinnati Reds future Baseball Hall of Fame outfielder Frank Robinson hits 3 consecutive HRs (6 RBIs) in 11-4 win over St. Louis Cardinals at Crosley Field

  • Aug 22 American Football League officially named at a meeting in Dallas, Texas; charter members Dallas, NY, Houston, Denver, LA and Minneapolis-Saint Paul

Venice Film Festival

Aug 23 20th Venice Film Festival: "The Great War" directed by Mario Monicelli and "General della Rovere" directed by Roberto Rossellini jointly awarded Golden Lion

  • Aug 24 England complete 5-0 series drubbing of India
  • Aug 24 Hiram L Fong sworn in as 1st Chinese-American senator while Daniel K Inouye sworn in as 1st Japanese-American Rep (Both from Hawaii)

Morris Mini-Minor

Aug 26 British Motor Corporation introduces the Morris Mini-Minor, designed by Alec Issigonis, it was only 10 ft long but seated 4 passengers

  • Aug 31 48th Davis Cup: Australia beats USA in New York (3-2)

Baseball Record

Aug 31 Sandy Koufax breaks Dizzy Dean's NL mark of 18 strikeouts in a game


Famous Birthdays

  • Aug 1 Joe Elliott, English heavy metal vocalist (Def Leppard - "Hysteria"; "Rock of Ages"), born in Sheffield, South Yorkshire
  • Aug 1 Otomo Yoshihide, Japanese musician (Ground Zero), born in Yokohama, Japan
  • Aug 2 Britt Helfer, American actress (Lily-Loving, Alley Cat), born in Clearfield, Utah
  • Aug 2 Victoria Jackson, comedian and actress (Casual Sex, Saturday Night Live), born in Miami, Florida
  • Aug 3 Martin Atkins, English drummer (Nine Inch Nails), born in Coventry
  • Aug 3 Koichi Tanaka, Japanese scientist (Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 2002), born in Toyama, Japan
  • Aug 4 John Gormley, Irish politician, Leader of the Green Party, Mayor of Dublin (1994-95), born in Dublin, Ireland
  • Aug 4 Laurence Anholt, British children's author, born in London, England
  • Aug 4 Kim Reynolds, American politician, 1st female Governor of Iowa (2017-), born in St. Charles, Iowa
  • Aug 5 Pete Burns, English singer (Dead or Alive - "Spin Me Round"), born in Bebington (d. 2016)
  • Aug 6 Grant Aleksander, actor (Guiding Light, All My Children), born in Baltimore, Maryland
  • Aug 6 Joyce Sims, American R&B singer-songwriter ("All and All"; "Come into My Life"), born in Rochester, New York
  • Aug 7 Ali Shah, Zimbabwean cricketer (Zimbabwe all-rounder in two Tests 1992), born in Salisbury, Rhodesia
  • Aug 8 Ronald Weigel, German race walker (Olympic silver 20k, 50k 1988; bronze 50k 1992; World C'ship gold 50k 1983), born in Hildburghausen, Germany
  • Aug 9 Diane Williams, American country singer (Girls Next Door - "Slow Boat to China"), born at Hahn Air Force Base, near Kirchberg Germany
  • Aug 9 Kurtis Blow [Walker], American rapper (Krushgroove - "The Breaks"), born in NYC, New York
  • Aug 9 Michael Kors, American fashion designer and Project Runway judge, born in Long Island, New York
  • Aug 10 Mark Price, bass/vocals (All About Eve, Tin Huey-Contents Dislodged)

Rosanna Arquette

Aug 10 Rosanna Arquette, actress (Desperately Seeking Susan, After Hours), born in NYC, New York

  • Aug 10 Florent Vollant, Innu-Canadian musician (Kashtin), born in Labrador, Newfoundland
  • Aug 11 Yoshiaki Murakami, Japanese investor
  • Aug 11 Gustavo Cerati, Argentinian musician (Soda Stereo)
  • Aug 11 Martin Smolka, Czech contemporary classical composer (Observing the Heavens; Annunciation), born in Prague, Czechoslovakia
  • Aug 12 Lynette Woodard, (Olympic gold 1984, Harlem Globetrotter), born in Wichita, Kansas
  • Aug 13 Bruce French, English cricketer (England wicketkeeper in 16 Tests 1986-88), born in Market Warsop, Nottinghamshire, England
  • Aug 13 (Dante) "Danny" Bonaduce, American actor, fictional bassist (Partridge Family - "Danny"), and radio personality, born in Broomall, Pennsylvania
  • Aug 13 Mark Nevin, British folk-rock guitarist (Fairground Attraction - "Find My Love"; "Perfect"), born in Ebbw Vale, Wales
  • Aug 13 Tom Niedenfuer, American baseball player (Los Angeles Dodgers), born in St. Louis Park, Minnesota
  • Aug 13 Mickey Bradley, Irish punk rock bassist (The Undertones - "My Perfect Cousin"), and radio host, born in Derry, Northern Ireland

Magic Johnson

Aug 14 Earvin "Magic" Johnson, American Basketball Hall of Fame point guard, executive (5-time NBA champion, 3-time NBA Finals MVP, Olympic gold 1992), born in Lansing, Michigan

  • Aug 14 Frank Brickowski, American NBA player (Seattle Supersonics), born in Bayville, New York
  • Aug 14 Marcia Gay Harden, American actress, born in La Jolla, California
  • Aug 15 Scott D Altman, American Naval officer and astronaut (sk: STS 90), born in Lincoln, Illinois
  • Aug 16 Marc Sergeant, Belgian cyclist
  • Aug 17 David Koresh, American cult leader (Branch Davidians sect), born in Houston, Texas (d. 1993)
  • Aug 17 Jonathan Franzen, American author (The Corrections), born in Western Springs, Illinois
  • Aug 18 Tom Prichard, American wrestler, born in Pasadena, Texas
  • Aug 19 Ricky Pierce, American NBA guard/forward (Indiana Pacers, Milwaukee Bucks), born in Dallas, Texas
  • Aug 19 Steve Grimmett, British heavy metal singer (Grim Reaper), born in Swindon, England
  • Aug 19 Susan Cummings, Monegasque-born American heiress and convicted murderer, born in Monte Carlo, Monaco
  • Aug 21 Anne Hobbs, English tennis star, born in Nottingham, England
  • Aug 21 Bud Schultz, American tennis star, born in Meriden, Connecticut
  • Aug 21 Jim McMahon, NFL quarterback (Chicago Bears, San Diego Chargers, Philadelphia Eagles)
  • Aug 22 Denise Curry, American basketball forward (Olympic gold 1984; World C'ship gold 1979, 83), born in Fort Benton, Montana
  • Aug 22 Juan Croucier, Cuban-born American heavy metal rocker (Ratt - "Round & Round"), born in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba
  • Aug 22 Pia Gjellerup, Danish Social Democrat politician, born in Frederiksberg, Denmark
  • Aug 24 Adrian Kuiper, South African cricketer (South African all-rounder), born in Johannesburg, Transvaal, South Africa
  • Aug 24 Michel Valke, Dutch soccer player (Sparta, Dordrecht '90), born in Zwijndrecht, Netherlands
  • Aug 26 Kathryn P Hire, American Lt Commander USN/astronaut (sk: STS 90), born in Mobile, Alabama
  • Aug 27 Gerhard Berger, formula-1 racer (Italian Grand Prix-1988)
  • Aug 27 Juan Fernando Cobo, Colombian artist
  • Aug 27 Leila de Lima, Filipino lawyer, Senator, Chair of the Philippine Senate Electoral Reforms and People's Participation Committee, born in Iriga, Philippines
  • Aug 29 Tony Johnson, New Zealand rugby commentator and presenter (Newstalk ZB; TV3; SKY Television), born in Picton, New Zealand
  • Aug 29 Chris Hadfield, Canadian astronaut (STS 74, sk: 99), born in Sarnia, Ontario
  • Aug 29 (Sadenia) "Eddi" Reader, Scottish singer-songwriter (Fairground Attraction - "Find My Love"), born in Glasgow, Scotland
  • Aug 29 Ernesto Rodrigues, Portuguese violinist and composer, born in Lisbon, Portugal
  • Aug 29 Akkineni Nagarjuna, Indian Telugu actor and producer (Ninne Pelladata), born in Madras, India
  • Aug 29 Timothy Perry Shriver, Chairman of Special Olympics and member of the Kennedy Family, born in Boston, Massachusetts
  • Aug 29 Rebecca De Mornay, American actress (Hand that Rocks Cradle), born in Santa Rosa, California
  • Aug 30 Mark Jackson, Australian rules footballer and actor, born in Melbourne, Australia
  • Aug 31 Rachel Dennison, actress (Doralee Rhodes-9 to 5), born in Knoxville, Tennessee
  • Aug 31 Tony DeFranco, Canadian pop singer (The DeFranco Family - "Heartbeat - It's a Lovebeat"), born in Port Colborne, Ontario

Famous Weddings

Carole King

Aug 30 American songwriter Carole King (17) weds American lyricist Gerry Goffin (20); divorce in 1969

Famous Deaths

  • Aug 1 Jean Behra, French Formula One driver, dies in a car race at 38
  • Aug 2 Prospero Bisquertt, Chilean composer, dies at 78
  • Aug 5 Edgar Albert Guest, American poet and newspaperman, dies at 77
  • Aug 6 Preston Sturges [Edmund Biden], American director and screenwriter (Sullivan's Travels), dies at 60
  • Aug 7 Armas Launis, Finnish composer, dies at 75
  • Aug 9 Emil František Burian, Czech author and composer, dies at 55
  • Aug 12 Mike O'Neill, Irish-American baseball player, dies at 81 (b. 1877)
  • Aug 13 Henri Garat [Garascu], French actor (Congress Dances), and singer ("Les dieux s'amusent"), dies at 57
  • Aug 15 "Blind" Willie McTell [McTier], American blues and ragtime singer and guitarist, dies at 61
  • Aug 16 Pedro Humberto Allende Saron, Chilean composer (Tonados), dies at 74
  • Aug 16 William Halsey Jr., US vice-admiral (WW II Pacific), dies at 76
  • Aug 16 Wanda Landowska, Polish-French harpsichordist (Musique Ancienne), dies at 80
  • Aug 19 Jacob Epstein, American-English sculptor (Adam, Jacob & the Angel), dies at 78
  • Aug 20 Alfred Kubin, Austrian writer and illustrator, dies at 82
  • Aug 28 Bohuslav Martinů, Czech composer (Hry o Marti), dies at 68
  • Aug 31 Charles Delaney, American actor (Air Police, Lonesome Trail), dies at 67