On This Day

What Happened on July 17, 1959

Historical Events


Film release premierFilm Premier

"North by Northwest" directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint premieres in Los Angeles

  • 2,000 ft long by 1,300 foot wide section of ridge falls into Madis

InventionScientific Discovery

Paleoanthropologist Mary Leakey discovers partial skull of a new species of early human ancestor, Zinjanthropus boisei or 'Zinj' (now called Paranthropus boisei) lived in Africa almost 2 million years ago

Paleoanthropologist Mary Leakey
Paleoanthropologist
Mary Leakey
  • River Canyon extending man-made Lake Hebgen by 5 miles. (Montana)
  • Tibet abolishes serfdom

Famous Birthdays

  • Janet Lynn Kavandi, American scientist and NASA astronaut (sk:STS 91), born in Carthage, Missouri

Famous Deaths


Person of interestBillie Holiday

Billie Holiday [Eleanora Fagan], American jazz singer (Lady Sings the Blues), dies of cirrhosis of the liver at 44

Jazz Musician Billie Holiday
Jazz Musician
Billie Holiday
  • Eugene Meyer, American businessman and newspaper publisher (b. 1875)
  • Henri Pourrat, French writer (Le chasseur de la nuit), dies at 72
1959 Highlights

About July 17, 1959

Day of the Week: Friday
How Long Ago? 61 years, 4 months and 8 days
Leap Year: No

Generation Baby Boomer
Chinese Zodiac: Pig
Star Sign: Cancer