Cuban President Batista resigns and flees (Jan. 1). Fidel Castro assumes power (Feb. 16).
Tibet's Dalai Lama escapes to India (Mar. 31).
Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev tours the United States, meeting with Eisenhower at Camp David.
Britain recognizes the independence of Cyprus.
Population: 2.997 billion
Nobel Peace Prize:
Philip John Noel-Baker (UK)
Alaska (Jan. 3) and Hawaii (Aug. 21) become the 49th and 50th states.
St. Lawrence Seaway opens, allowing ocean ships to reach Midwest (April 25).
President: Dwight D. Eisenhower
Vice President: Richard M. Nixon
Life expectancy: 69.9 years
Homicide Rate (per 100,000): 4.6
US GDP (1998 dollars): $507.2 billion
Federal spending: $92.10 billion
Federal debt: $287.5 billion
Consumer Price Index: 29.1
Cost of a first-class stamp: $0.04
LA Dodgers d. Chicago White Sox (4-2)
Boston d. Minneapolis Lakers (4-0)
Montreal d. Toronto (4-1)
Women: Maria Bueno d. D. Hard (6-4 6-3)
Men: Alex Olmedo d. R. Laver (6-4 6-3 6-4)
Kentucky Derby Champion
NCAA Basketball Championship
California d. West Virginia (71-70)
NCAA Football Champions
- The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences sponsors the first Grammy Award ceremony for music recorded in 1958.
- Frank Sinatra wins his first Grammy Award -- Best Album for Come Dance with Me.
- Rumors of cheating on quiz shows erupt into a national scandal.
- Some Like It Hot, North by Northwest, Ben-Hur, Anatomy of a Murder, Room at the Top
- William Burroughs, Naked Lunch
- D. H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover
- Robert Lowell, Life Studies
- Norman Mailer, Advertisements for Myself
- James A. Michener, Hawaii
- Grace Paley, The Little Disturbances of Man
- Boris Pasternak, Doctor Zhivago
- Philip Roth, Goodbye Columbus and Five Short Stories
Fiction: The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters, Robert Lewis Taylor
Music: Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, John La Montaine
Drama: J. B. Archibald MacLeish
Oscars awarded in 1959
Academy Award, Best Picture: Gigi, Arthur Freed, producer (MGM)
Nobel Prize for Literature: Salvatore Quasimodo (Italy)
1959 Emmy Awards
1959 Tony Awards
Grammys awarded in 1959
Record of the Year: "Nel Blu Dipinto di Blu" (Volare), Domenico Modugno
Album of the Year: The Music From Peter Gunn, Henry Mancini (RCA)
Song of the Year: "Nel Blu Dipinto di Blu," Domenico Modugno, songwriter
Miss America: Mary Ann Mobley (MS)
Jack S. Kilby of Texas Instruments (US) supervises the development of the first integrated circuit. Background:
The US Navy launches the Vanguard satellite.
The Lunik II probe (USSR) reaches the moon; Lunik III photographs the dark side of the moon for the first time. Background:
Nobel Prizes in Science
Chemistry: Jaroslav Heyrovsky (Czechoslovakia), for development of polarography, an electrochemical method of analysis
Physics: Emilio Segre and Owen Chamberlain (both US), for demonstrating the existence of the anti-proton
Physiology or Medicine: Severo Ochoa and Arthur Kornberg (both US), for discoveries related to compounds within chromosomes that play a vital role in heredity
- Lou Costello
- Cecil B. De Mille
- Mel Ott
- Frank Lloyd Wright
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49th & 50th States