1959 events in history

Jan 1 Fulgencio Batista, dictator of Cuba, is overthrown by Fidel Castro's forces during the Cuban Revolution
Jan 2 Luna 1, the first spacecraft to reach the vicinity of the Moon and to orbit the Sun, is launched by the Soviet Union
Jan 3 Separatists in the Maldives declare the establishment of the United Suvadive Republic
Jan 3 Alaska is admitted as the 49th U.S. state
Jan 4 Luna 1 becomes the first spacecraft to reach the vicinity of the Moon
Jan 7 The United States recognizes the new Cuban government of Fidel Castro
Jan 12 The Caves of Nerja are rediscovered in Spain
Jan 20 The first flight of the Vickers Vanguard
Jan 22 Knox Mine disaster: Water breaches the River Slope Mine near Pittston, Pennsylvania in Port Griffith; 12 miners are killed
Jan 30 MS Hans Hedtoft, said to be the safest ship afloat and "unsinkable" like the RMS Titanic, strikes an iceberg on her maiden voyage and sinks, killing all 95 aboard
Feb 2 Dyatlov Pass incident
Feb 3 Deaths of rock and roll musicians Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J. P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson, in a plane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa
Feb 6 Jack Kilby of Texas Instruments files the first patent for an integrated circuit
Feb 6 At Cape Canaveral, Florida, the first successful test firing of a Titan intercontinental ballistic missile is accomplished
Feb 9 The R-7 Semyorka, the first intercontinental ballistic missile, becomes operational at Plesetsk, USSR
Feb 11 The Federation of Arab Emirates of the South, which will later become South Yemen, is created as a protectorate of the United Kingdom
Feb 16 Fidel Castro becomes Premier of Cuba after dictator Fulgencio Batista was overthrown on January 1
Feb 17 Project Vanguard: Vanguard 2 – The first weather satellite is launched to measure cloud-cover distribution
Feb 19 The United Kingdom grants Cyprus independence, which is then formally proclaimed on August 16, 1960
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 22 Lee Petty wins the first Daytona 500
Feb 28 Discoverer 1, an American spy satellite that is the first object intended to achieve a polar orbit, is launched. It failed to achieve orbit
Mar 9 The Barbie doll makes its debut at the American International Toy Fair in New York
Mar 10 Tibetan uprising: Fearing an abduction attempt by China, 300,000 Tibetans surround the Dalai Lama's palace to prevent his removal
Mar 17 Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, flees Tibet for India
Mar 18 President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs a bill into law allowing for Hawaiian statehood, which would become official on August 21
Mar 24 The Party of the African Federation is launched by Léopold Sédar Senghor and Modibo Keïta
Mar 28 The State Council of the People's Republic of China dissolves the Government of Tibet
Mar 31 The 14th Dalai Lama, crosses the border into India and is granted political asylum
Apr 1 Iakovos is enthroned as Greek Orthodox Archbishop of America
Apr 8 A team of computer manufacturers, users, and university people led by Grace Hopper meets to discuss the creation of a new programming language that would be called COBOL
Apr 8 The Organization of American States drafts an agreement to create the Inter-American Development Bank
Apr 9 Project Mercury: NASA announces the selection of the United States' first seven astronauts, whom the news media quickly dub the "Mercury Seven"
Apr 10 Akihito, future Emperor of Japan, marries Michiko
Apr 25 The St. Lawrence Seaway, linking the North American Great Lakes and the Atlantic Ocean, officially opens to shipping
May 4 The 1st Grammy Awards are held
May 18 Launch of the National Liberation Committee of Côte d'Ivoire in Conakry, Guinea
May 19 The North Vietnamese Army establishes Group 559, whose responsibility is to determine how to maintain supply lines to South Vietnam; the resulting route is the Ho Chi Minh trail
May 30 The Auckland Harbour Bridge, crossing the Waitemata Harbour in Auckland, New Zealand, is officially opened by Governor-General Charles Lyttelton, 10th Viscount Cobham
Jun 3 Singapore was declared a self-governing state even though it was still a part of the British Empire
Jun 5 The first government of the State of Singapore is sworn in
Jun 8 The USS Barbero and United States Postal Service attempt the delivery of mail via Missile Mail
Jun 9 The USS George Washington is launched. It is the first submarine to carry ballistic missiles
Jun 14 A group of Dominican exiles depart from Cuba and land in the Dominican Republic with the intent of overthrowing the totalitarian government of Rafael Trujillo. All but four are killed or executed
Jun 14 Disneyland Monorail System, the first daily operating monorail system in the Western Hemisphere, opens to the public in Anaheim, California
Jun 20 A rare June hurricane strikes Canada's Gulf of St. Lawrence killing 35
Jun 23 A fire in a resort hotel in Stalheim (Norway) kills 34 people
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 resumes a scientific career
Jun 26 The Saint Lawrence Seaway opens, opening North America's Great Lakes to ocean-going ships
Jul 1 Specific values for the international yard, avoirdupois pound and derived units (e.g. inch, mile and ounce) are adopted after agreement between the U.S.A., the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth countries