Events in History in 1959

  • Jan 1 Chad becomes autonomous republic in French Community

Historic Event

Jan 1 Cuban Dictator Fulgencio Batista flees Cuba for the Dominican Republic

  • Jan 1 Rohan Kanhai completes 256 v India at Calcutta

Lunar 1 (Mechta)

Jan 2 USSR launches the Luna 1 spacecraft (Mechta), the 1st to leave Earth's gravity, reach the vicinity of the Moon and to be placed in heliocentric orbit

  • Jan 3 Alaska admitted as 49th US state
  • Jan 4 USSR's Luna 1 (Mechta) becomes the 1st spacecraft to leave Earth's gravity
  • Jan 5 "Bozo the Clown" live children's show premieres on TV

Historic Event

Jan 7 American gangster Meyer Lansky flees Cuba for the Bahamas due to the Cuban Revolution and rise of Fidel Castro

Historic Event

Jan 7 US recognizes Fidel Castro's Cuban government

Historic Event

Jan 8 Charles de Gaulle inaugurated as president of France's 5th Republic

  • Jan 9 Dam across Tera River in Northwestern Spain collapses after heavy winter rains, killing 135
  • Jan 9 Pat O'Connor beats Dick Hutton in St Louis, to become NWA champ
  • Jan 11 Bollingen Prize for poetry awarded to Theodore Roethke
  • Jan 12 Rediscovery of the Caves of Nerja in Malaga, Spain
  • Jan 13 French President Charles de Gaulle grants amnesty to 130 Algerians sentenced to death
  • Jan 13 King Boudouin promises Belgian Congo independence
  • Jan 22 USAF concludes that less than 1% of UFOs are unknown objects
  • Jan 25 1st transcontinental commercial jet flight (American) (LA to NY for $301)

Historic Event

Jan 25 Pope John XXIII proclaims 2nd Vatican council

  • Jan 26 Italy government of Fanfani resigns
  • Jan 29 Smog pollution with readings higher than the 1952 'Great Smog of London' hits London, with many suffering chest and lung-related illnesses
  • Jan 30 Australia 1-200 1st day 4th Test v England, Adelaide Oval
  • Jan 30 Danish ocean liner MS Hans Hedtoft sinks on maiden voyage after striking an iceberg off the coast of Greenland;, 95 die
  • Feb 1 Heiss sisters go 1-2 in US women's Figure Skating C'ships; defending champion Carol wins from Nancy; David Jenkins wins his third straight men's title
  • Feb 1 Swiss men vote against voting rights for women
  • Feb 1 Texas Instruments requests patent of IC (Integrated Circuit)
  • Feb 3 American Airlines Electra crashes in NY's East River, killing 65
  • Feb 4 Israel begins exporting copper ore
  • Feb 6 1st successful test-fire of Titan ICBM
  • Feb 6 Fidel Castro is interviewed by Edward R Murrow
  • Feb 7 American pilots Bob Timm and John Cook break recently set airplane flight endurance record, exceeding 1550 hours (64 days, 22 hours, and 19 minutes), landing "The Hacienda", their modified Cessna 172 where they started, in Las Vegas, Nevada [1]
  • Feb 7 Fidel Castro proclaims new Cuban constitution
  • Feb 10 Dutch Princess Wilhelmina publishes "Lonely, but not alone"
  • Feb 10 Tornado in St Louis kills 19 & injures 265
  • Feb 12 The Lincoln Memorial design on the U.S. penny goes into circulation. It replaces the "sheaves of wheat" design
  • Feb 13 Miro Cardon, premier of Cuba, resigns
  • Feb 14 $3.6 million heroin seizure in NYC

Historic Event

Feb 15 Antonio Segni forms Italian government

  • Feb 16 Fidel Castro becomes the 16th Prime Minister of Cuba after overthrowing Fulgencio Batista
  • Feb 16 Leonard Spigelgass' "Majority of One" premieres in NYC
  • Feb 17 1st weather satellite launched, Vanguard 2, 9.8 kg
  • Feb 19 Britain, Turkey & Greece sign agreement granting Cyprus independence
  • Feb 19 Gabon adopts its constitution
  • Feb 19 USAF rocket-powered rail sled attains Mach 4.1 (4970 kph), NM

Historic Event

Feb 20 The Avro Arrow program to design and manufacture supersonic jet fighters in Canada is cancelled by the Diefenbaker government amid much political debate.

  • Feb 28 Ice Pairs Championship at Colorado Springs won by Barbara Wagner and Robert Paul of Canada, their 3rd title
  • Feb 28 Ladies Figure Skating Championship in Colorado Springs won by Carol Heiss USA
  • Feb 28 Launch of Discoverer 1 (WTR)-1st polar orbit
  • Feb 28 Men's World Figure Skating Championship in Colorado Springs won by David Jenkins USA
  • Mar 1 Archbishop Makarios returns to Cyprus after 3 years
  • Mar 3 1st US probe to enter solar orbit, Pioneer 4, launched
  • Mar 3 British government arrests Hastings Banda of Nyasaland, ends emergency crisis
  • Mar 3 The Mesrop Mashtots Institute of Ancient Manuscripts opens in Yerevan, Armenia, with a collection of over 23,000 manuscripts [1]
  • Mar 4 US Pioneer IV misses Moon & becomes 2nd (US 1st) artificial planet
  • Mar 5 Iran & US sign economic & military treaty
  • Mar 6 Farthest radio signal heard (Pioneer IV, 400,000 miles)
  • Mar 7 1st aviator to fly a million miles (1.61 M km) in a jet (MC Garlow)
  • Mar 8 Groucho, Chico & Harpo Marx's final TV appearance together
  • Mar 8 Pro-Egyptian coup fails in Mosul Iraq
  • Mar 9 1st known radar contact is made with Venus
  • Mar 9 Barbie makes her debut at the American Toy Fair in New York. Over a billion have been sold worldwide since.

Historic Event

Mar 10 Tennessee Williams' "Sweet Bird of Youth" premieres in NYC

  • Mar 10 Tibetan uprising against Chinese occupation force in Lhasa, Tibet
  • Mar 12 Dutch Liberal Party wins 2nd parliamentary elections
  • Mar 12 US House joins Senate approving Hawaii statehood
  • Mar 15 Robert Foster sets record by staying underwater 13 m 42.5 s
  • Mar 16 Iraq & USSR sign economic and technical treaty
  • Mar 17 Australia & USSR restore diplomatic relations

Historic Event

Mar 18 US President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs Hawaii statehood bill

  • Mar 24 Iraq withdraws from the Baghdad Pact

Historic Event

Mar 24 The Party of the African Federation (PFA) is launched by Léopold Sédar Senghor and Modibo Keita.

  • Mar 25 French President De Gaulle acknowledges Oder-Neisse boundary
  • Mar 28 11 days after Tibet uprising, China dissolves Tibet's government & installs Panchen Lama

Historic Event

Mar 30 Dalai Lama flees China and is granted political asylum in India

  • Apr 4 Mali Federation founded, consisting of Senegal & French Sudan (dissolved 1960)
  • Apr 7 Oklahoma ends prohibition, after 51 years
  • Apr 7 Radar 1st bounced off Sun, Stanford Calif
  • Apr 9 NASA names 1st 7 astronauts for Project Mercury
  • Apr 11 Dutch Prince Bernhard visits Lockheed factory
  • Apr 12 13th Tony Awards: J B & Redhead win
  • Apr 12 France Observator reports torture practice by French army in Algeria
  • Apr 13 USAF launches Discoverer II into polar orbit
  • Apr 13 Vanguard SLV-5 launched for Earth orbit (failed)
  • Apr 13 Vatican edict forbids Roman Catholics from voting for communists
  • Apr 14 (Robert) Taft Memorial Bell Tower dedicated in Washington, D.C.
  • Apr 15 Fidel Castro begins US goodwill tour

Historic Event

Apr 15 US Secretary of State John Foster Dulles resigns

  • Apr 16 Datu Abdul Rozak inaugurated as premier of Malaysia federation
  • Apr 19 Uprising in La Paz Bolivia, fails
  • Apr 21 Alf Dean using a rod & reel hooks a 2,664lb, 16' 10" great white shark off the coast of Ceduna, Australia
  • Apr 23 1st heliport in Britain opens in London
  • Apr 25 St Lawrence Seaway linking Atlantic and the Great Lakes opens to shipping
  • Apr 27 "Today" show goes abroard 1st time (Paris France)

Historic Event

Apr 27 Mao Zedong resigns as Chairman of the PRC after the disastrous failure of the Great Leap Forward

  • Apr 27 The last Canadian missionary leaves the People's Republic of China.
  • May 1 West Germany introduces 5 day work week
  • May 3 Tiger's Charlie Maxwell hits 4 consecutive HRs in a doubleheader

Historic Event

May 4 Pulitzer Prize awarded to Archibald MacLeish (J.B.)

  • May 6 Iceland gunboats shoot at British fishing vessels
  • May 8 3-deck Nile River excursion steamer springs a leak panicking passengers who capsized ship; 200 drown just yards from shore

Historic Event

May 8 Little Caesars Pizza is founded by Mike Ilitch and his wife Marian Ilitch in Garden City, Michigan

  • May 10 Giants Jim Hearn allows 2 runs against Pirates, game is suspended, Hearn is released & charged with loss 2 months after his retirement
  • May 10 Soviet forces arrive in Afghanistan

Sanctuary of Christ the King

May 17 Sanctuary of Christ the King inaugurated, a 28 meter (92 ft) high monument and shrine overlooking Lisbon, Portugal by sculptor Francisco Franco de Sousa

  • May 19 Jan de Quay becomes premier of Netherlands
  • May 19 The USS Triton, the first submarine with two nuclear reactors, is completed
  • May 20 Ford wins battle with Chrysler to call its new car "Falcon"
  • May 20 Japanese-Americans regain their citizenship

Historic Event

May 20 Shah of Persia Mohammad Reza Pahlavi visits Netherlands

  • May 21 Cleveland Metroparks Zoo Children's Petting Farm opens (Cleveland, Ohio)
  • May 22 Benjamin O Davis Jr becomes 1st black major general in US Air Force
  • May 24 1st house with built-in bomb shelter exhibited (Pleasant Hills, Pennsylvania)
  • May 24 Empire Day renamed Commonwealth Day in Great Britain

Historic Event

May 25 Russian premier Nikita Khrushchev visits Angola

  • May 26 Harvey Haddix pitches 12 perfect innings, loses in 13th
  • May 28 Congressional Committee of Astronautics meets Project 7 astronauts
  • May 28 Monkeys Able & Baker zoom 300 miles (500 km) into space on Jupiter missile, become 1st animals retrieved from a space mission
  • May 29 Charles de Gaulle forms French government
  • May 29 Saunders-Roe SR.N1, the first practical hovercraft, performs its first engine run
  • May 30 Iraq withdraws from the Baghdad Pact (Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Turkey, and the United Kingdom)
  • May 30 President Luis Somoza Debayle ends emergency crisis in Nicaragua
  • May 30 President Stroessner disbands Paraguay's parliament
  • May 30 The Auckland Harbour Bridge is officially opened in Auckland, New Zealand.
  • Jun 1 Constitution of Tunisia promulgated (National Day)

Historic Event

Jun 2 Allen Ginsberg writes his poem "Lysergic Acid", San Francisco

  • Jun 3 1st US Air Force Academy graduation in Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • Jun 3 Singapore adopts constitution
  • Jun 3 US President Eisenhower routes Canadian premier Diefenbaker a message off the Moon
  • Jun 5 Bob Dylan graduates from Hibbing High School in Minnesota

Historic Event

Jun 5 The first independent government of the State of Singapore is sworn in with Lee Kuan Yew as Prime Minister

  • Jun 7 KLX-AM in Oakland California changes call letters to KEWB (now KNEW)
  • Jun 8 1st official "missile mail" lands (Jacksonville, Florida)
  • Jun 8 X-15 makes 1st unpowered flight, from a B-52 at 11,500 m
  • Jun 9 1st ballistic missile sub launched (George Washington-Groton, Ct)
  • Jun 10 Rocky Colovito hits 4 consecutive HRs in 1 game
  • Jun 11 Postmaster General bans D H Lawrence's book, Lady Chatterley's Lover (overruled by US Court of Appeals in Mar 1960)
  • Jun 11 Saunders-Roe SR.N1, the first practical hovercraft, performs its first public flight
  • Jun 15 Galapagos Islands are made Ecuador's first national park, banning the capture of species [1]
  • Jun 16 South African Apartheid government efforts to remove Black people from Cato Manor close to the Durban city center to newly established black township Kwa Mashu, on outskirts met with violent resistance

Election of Interest

Jun 17 Eamon de Valera elected President of Ireland

  • Jun 18 1st telecast transmitted from England to US
  • Jun 18 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
  • Jun 19 Senate rejects Ike's appointment of Lewis Strauss for Secetary of Commerce
  • Jun 22 Eddie Lubanski bowls 2 consecutive perfect games
  • Jun 22 Shunryu Suzuki completes his historical Japan to SF voyage
  • Jun 22 Vanguard SLV-6 launched for Earth orbit (failed)
  • Jun 23 A fire in a resort hotel in Stalheim, Norway kills 34 people

Historic Event

Jun 23 Convicted Manhattan Project spy Klaus Fuchs is released after only nine years in prison and allowed to emigrate to Dresden, East Germany (where he resumed a scientific careerhistory of ultrasounds

  • Jun 26 Queen Elizabeth & President Eisenhower open St Lawrence Seaway
  • Jun 27 Players vote Henry Aaron unanimously for the All-Star Game
  • Jun 28 Meldrim trestle disaster; freight train derails over Ogeechee River in Georgia causing IPG tanks to explode killing 23
  • Jun 29 Pope John XXIII publishes his 1st encyclical "On truth, unity, & peace, in charity"
  • Jun 30 During a game in Wrigley Field, 2 balls are in play at same time
  • Jul 1 Heinrich Lubke elected President of West Germany
  • Jul 1 Israeli Knesset agrees to weapon sales to West Germany
  • Jul 1 The Party of the African Federation (PFA) holds its constitutive conference.
  • Jul 1 World Refugee Year begins
  • Jul 3 1st exhibition of Karen, the bongo antelope, at Cleveland Zoo opens (Cleveland, Ohio)
  • Jul 4 America's new 49-star flag honoring Alaska statehood unfurled
  • Jul 4 Cayman Islands separated from Jamaica, made a crown colony
  • Jul 4 Island Records founded in Jamaica

Historic Event

Jul 5 Ben-Gurion's Israeli government resigns

  • Jul 5 Indonesia restores constitution
  • Jul 5 Jack Gelber's "Connection" premieres in NYC
  • Jul 6 Saar becomes part of German Federal Republic
  • Jul 14 USS Long Beach, first nuclear powered cruiser launched at Quincy, Massachusetts
  • Jul 15 The US steel strike of 1959 begins, leading to significant importation of foreign steel for the first time in United States history.
  • Jul 17 2,000 ft long by 1,300 foot wide section of ridge falls into Madis

Scientific Discovery

Jul 17 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

  • Jul 17 River Canyon extending man-made Lake Hebgen by 5 miles. (Montana)
  • Jul 17 Tibet abolishes serfdom
  • Jul 21 1st nuclear powered merchant ship, NS Savannah, named, Camden NJ
  • Jul 22 Natural gas found at Slochteren, Groningen, Netherlands

Historic Event

Jul 23 US Vice President Richard Nixon begins visit to the USSR

  • Jul 25 SR-N1 hovercraft crosses the English Channel from Calais to Dover in just over 2 hours.
  • Jul 27 Abbas Ali Baig scores 112 for India v England on debut
  • Jul 28 Hawaii's 1st US election sends 1st Asian-Americans to Congress
  • Jul 28 United Kingdom starts using postal codes
  • Jul 29 First United States Congress elections in Hawaii as a state of the Union
  • Aug 1 Pope John XXIII publishes encyclical Sacerdotii nostri primordia
  • Aug 3 50 killed in uprising in Guinea-Bissau
  • Aug 5 42.4 cm rainfall in Decatur Co, Iowa (state record)
  • 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 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
  • 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
  • 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

  • Sep 2 US President Eisenhower arrives in Paris
  • Sep 5 Wash Senator Jim Lemon is 7th to get 6 RBIs in an inning (3rd)
  • Sep 8 The Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) is established.