From Academic Kids
1956 1957 1958 - 1959 - 1960 1961 1962
| Decades: |
1920s 1930s 1940s - 1950s - 1960s 1970s 1980s
| Centuries: |
19th century - 20th century - 21st century
- January 1 - Cultivars of plants named after this date must be named in a modern language, not in Latin.
- January 1 - Cuba: Fulgencio Batista flees Havana when forces of Fidel Castro advance
- January 2 - CBS Radio cuts four soap operas: Backstage Wife Our Gal Sunday, Road of Life, and This is Nora Drake.
- January 2 - Castro's troops enter Havana
- January 3 - Alaska is admitted as the 49th U.S. state.
- January 4 - In Léopoldville 42 people are killed during clashes between the police and participants of a meeting of the Abako party.
- January 7 - The United States recognizes the new Cuban government of Fidel Castro
- January 22 - Knox Mine Disaster - water breaches River Slope mine in Port Griffith, Pennsylvania - 12 miners dead
- February 1 - A referendum in Switzerland turns down female suffrage
- February 3 - The plane transporting Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, and the Big Bopper goes down in an Iowa snowstorm, killing everyone on board. The tragedy is later termed "The Day the Music Died," popularized in Don McLean's song, "American Pie".
- February 6 - At Cape Canaveral, Florida, the first successful test firing of a Titan intercontinental ballistic missile is accomplished
- February 16 - Fidel Castro becomes Premier of Cuba
- February 18 - Jesus Sosa Blanco, murderer of 108 people, executed in Cuba
- February 18 - Women in Nepal vote for the first time
- February 19 - The United Kingdom grants Cyprus its independence
- February 22 - Lee Petty wins the first Daytona 500
- March 1 - USS Tuscaloosa, USS New Orleans, USS Tennessee and USS West Virginia struck from the Naval Vessel Register
- March 1 – Archbishop Makarios returns to Cyprus from exile
- March 1 - Japanese cities Uji, Kyoto and Muroto, Kochi are founded
- March 8 - Last television appearance of The Marx Brothers, in The Incredible Jewel Robbery
- March 9 - The Barbie doll debuts
- March 17 - Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, flees Tibet and travels to India
- March 18 - American President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs bill allowing for Hawaiian statehood
- April 9 - NASA announces its selection of seven military pilots to become the first US astronauts (see Mercury Seven).
- April 25 - The St. Lawrence Seaway linking the North American Great Lakes and the Atlantic Ocean officially opens to shipping
- May - First Ten Tors event held in Dartmoor
- May 27 - Sweet Green Grass Books D.A. Johnson writer illustrator
- June 3 - Singapore becomes a self governing crown colony of Great Britain with Lee Kuan Yew as Prime Minister
- June 5 - A new government of the State of Singapore is sworn in by Sir William Goode. Two former Ministers were re-elected to the Legislative Assembly.
- June 8 - The first (and only) delivery of Missile Mail
- June 9 - The USS George Washington is launched as the first submarine to carry ballistic missiles
- June 14 - A three-front revolutionary invasion by air and sea takes place in the Dominican Republic consisting of exiles aided by Fidel Castro whose purpose was to overthrow dictator Rafael Leonidas Trujillo. Within a few days all but four are captured and executed. Trujillo is killed less than two years later by men partly inspired by the deaths of the 1959 martyrs.
- June 23 - Sean Lemass becomes the third Taoiseach of Ireland.
- June 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 career).
- July 2 - Royal wedding in Belgium: Prince Albert marries the Italian princess Paola Ruffo di Calabria.
- July 4 - With the admission of Alaska as the 49th U.S. state earlier in the year, the 49-star flag of the United States debuts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- July 7 - 14:28 UT Venus occulted the star Regulus. The rare event which will next occur on October 1, 2044 was used for determining the diameter of Venus and the structure of Venus' atmosphere.
- July 24 - At the opening of the American National Exhibition in Moscow, US vice-president Richard Nixon and Nikita Khrushchev have a "kitchen debate".
- August 7 - Explorer program: The United States launches Explorer 6 from the Atlantic Missile Range in Cape Canaveral, Florida
- August 15 - Cyprus gains independence
- August 16 - Explorer VI sends back the first picture of Earth from space
- August 21 - Hawaii is admitted as the 50th U.S. state.
- September 13 - Luna 2 crashes onto the Moon as the first man-made object
- September 15 - Russian probe Luna 2 sends back first photos of the far side of Earth's Moon
- September 25 - Ceylon's prime minister SWRD Bandaranaike assassinated
- October 21 - Mau Mau leader Dedan Kimathi is arrested in Nyeri, Kenya
- October 21 - In New York City, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum opens to the public. It was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.
- October 31 - Riots in the Belgian Congo
- November 1 - Ice Hockey: After being struck in the face with a hockey puck, Montreal Canadiens goalie, Jacques Plante offered to return to play on the condition that he can wear his protective face mask. It was the first time such equipment was used in a regular NHL game.
- November 2 - Quiz show scandals: "Twenty-One" game show contestant Charles Van Doren admits to a Congressional committee that he had been given questions and answers in advance
- November 15 - The Clutter Family murdered at their farm outside Holcomb, Kansas
- November 19 - Ford Motor Company announces the discontinuation of the unpopular Edsel
- December 1 - Cold War: Antarctic Treaty signed - 12 countries, including the United States and the Soviet Union, sign a landmark treaty, which sets aside Antarctica as a scientific preserve and bans military activity on that continent (this was the first arms control agreement established during the Cold War)
- The neutrino is first experimentally detected, by Cowan and Reines.
- TAT-2 cable goes into operation.
- Workers World Party is founded by Sam Marcy.
- The first skull of Australopithecus is discovered by Louis Leakey and his wife Mary Leakey in the Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania.
Year in topic
- 1959 in film
- 1959 in literature
- 1959 in music
- February 3 - News of the early-morning plane crash that killed Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and The Big Bopper becomes widely known. This date becomes known as "The Day The Music Died".
- An expressway is built through the Bronx in New York City; this causes the mass exodus of middle-class residents, making the Bronx into a progressively poorer ghetto over the years and is often cited as a major cause of the rise of hip hop in the 1970s.
- First ever Benidorm Song Festival.
- 1959 in rail transport
- 1959 in science
- 1959 in sports
- 1959 in television
- January 2 - Kirti Azad, Indian cricketer
- January 6 - Kathy Sledge, singer
- January 16 - Sade, singer
- January 17 - Susanna Hoffs, singer (The Bangles)
- January 24 - Nastassja Kinski, actress
- January 27 - Keith Olbermann, news correspondent, sportscaster
- February 4 - Lawrence Taylor, American football star
- February 11 - Corinne Shigemoto, US judo coach
- February 14 - Renee Fleming, Canadian soprano
- February 16 - John McEnroe, tennis player
- February 22 - Kyle MacLachlan, actor
- February 26 - Rolando Blackman, basketball star
- March 6 - Tom Arnold, actor, comedian
- March 8 - Aidan Quinn, actor
- March 9 Rodney A. Grant, Native American actor
- March 15 - Harold Baines, former Major League Baseball player
- March 16 - Flavor Flav, rap musician
- March 17 - Danny Ainge, basketball player, coach, baseball player
- March 18 - Luc Besson, producer, writer, director
- March 22 - Matthew Modine, actor (Full Metal Jacket, Memphis Belle, Any Given Sunday)
- March 29 - Perry Farrell, musician ("Jane's Addiction", "Porno for Pyros")
- April 3 - David Hyde Pierce, actor (Frasier)
- April 21 - Robert Smith, British musician, singer/songwriter, guitarist with The Cure
- April 22 - Ryan Stiles, actor (The Drew Carey Show, Whose Line is it Anyway?)
- May 3 - Uma Bharati, first woman chief minister of Madhya Pradesh
- May 15 - Andrew Eldritch, British rock artist of The Sisters of Mercy
- May 20 - Israel Kamakawiwo'ole, Hawaiian singer (d. 1997)
- Bronson Pinchot, actor
- May 22 - Steven Morrissey, singer
- May 27 - D.A. Johnson writer illustrator children's books
- May 29 - Adrian Paul, actor best known for his role in the television series Highlander
- June 26 - Mark McKinney, actor (The Saddest Music in the World), comedian (The Kids in the Hall, Saturday Night Live)
- June 27 - Clint Boon, musician best known for playing keyboards in the band Inspiral Carpets
- June 30 - Vincent D'Onofrio, actor (Full Metal Jacket, Ed Wood, Law & Order: Criminal Intent)
- July 3 - Julie Burchill, UK journalist
- July 6 - Richard Dacoury, French Basketball player
- July 7 - Ben Linder, American engineer murdered in Nicaragua (d. 1987)
- July 11 - Suzanne Vega, singer (Bad Wisdom)
- July 16 - Gary Anderson, American football player
- July 26 - Kevin Spacey, actor
- July 29 - Sanjay Dutt, actor
- Ruud Janssen, artist
- August 3 - Koichi Tanaka, Japanese scientist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry
- August 10 - Rosanna Arquette, actress
- August 14 - Magic Johnson, basketball legend
- August 21 - Jim McMahon, American football quarterback
- August 29 - Stephen Wolfram, scientist
- August 30 - Mark 'Jacko' Jackson, Australian footballer and actor
- September 4 - Kevin Harrington, actor (Neighbours)
- September 11 - Bert Anciaux, Belgian politician
- September 21 - Dave Coulier, actor
- October 3 - Fred Couples, American golfer
- Greg Proops, comedian
- October 15 - Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York
- October 23 - "Weird Al" Yankovic, singer and parodist
- October 25 - Nancy Cartwright, voice actress
- October 27 - Rick Carlisle, basketball coach
- November 10 - Linda Cohn, sports anchor
- November 14 - Paul McGann, British actor
- November 23 - Dominique Dunne, actress (d. 1982)
- November 25 - Charles Kennedy, Scottish politician
- December 21 - Florence Griffith Joyner, American athelete (d. 1998)
- December 27 - Gerina Dunwich, author
- January 21 - Cecil B. DeMille, American film director
- January 22 - Mike Hawthorn, racing champion
- February 3 - Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, and The Big Bopper, singers (plane crash)
- February 3 - Vincent Astor, American philanthropist
- February 11 - Marshall Teague, race car driver (b. 1922)
- February 14 - Baby Dodds, American jazz musician (b. 1898)
- February 28 - Maxwell Anderson, playwright and film writer
- March 3 - Lou Costello, American actor, comedian
- March 4 - Maxey Long, American athlete
- March 26 - Raymond Chandler, American novelist
- March 29 - Barthélemy Boganda, first President of the Central African Republic
- April 9 - Frank Lloyd Wright, American architect (b. 1867)
- May 14 - Sidney Bechet, American jazz musician (b. 1897)
- May 24 - John Foster Dulles, United States Secretary of State (b. 1888)
- June 9 - Adolf Otto Reinhold Windaus, German chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1876)
- July 11 - Charlie Parker, English cricketer (b. 1882)
- July 15 - Ernest Bloch, Swiss composer (b. 1880)
- July 15 - Billie Holiday, American singer
- August 5 - Edgar Guest, English poet (b. 1881)
- August 6 - Preston Sturges, American film director and writer
- August 11 - Mario Lanza, American tenor (b. 1921)
- August 15 - Blind Willie McTell, American singer
- August 28 - Bohuslav Martinu, Romanian composer
- September 13 - Gilbert Adrian, Hollywood fashion designer
- October 14 - Errol Flynn, American actor
- October 16 - George C. Marshall, American general, United States Secretary of State, United States Secretary of Defense, Nobel Peace Prize recipient, and director of the American Red Cross (b.1880)
- October 18 - Boughera El Ouafi, Algerian athlete
- November 17 - Heitor Villa-Lobos, Brazilian composer
- Physics - Emilio Gino Segrè, - Owen Chamberlain
- Chemistry - Jaroslav Heyrovský
- Medicine - Severo Ochoa, Arthur Kornberg
- Literature - Salvatore Quasimodo
- Peace - Philip John Noel-Bakeraf:1959
ast:1959 bg:1959 be:1959 ca:1959 cs:1959 cy:1959 da:1959 de:1959 et:1959 el:1959 es:1959 eo:1959 eu:1959 fr:1959 fy:1959 gl:1959 ko:1959년 hr:1959 io:1959 id:1959 ie:1959 is:1959 it:1959 he:1959 la:1959 lt:1959 lb:1959 hu:1959 nl:1959 ja:1959年 no:1959 nn:1959 pl:1959 pt:1959 ro:1959 ru:1959 simple:1959 sk:1959 sl:1959 sr:1959 fi:1959 sv:1959 tt:1959 tr:1959 uk:1959 wa:1959 zh:1959年