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1956 1957 1958 - 1959 - 1960 1961 1962
| Decades: |
1920s 1930s 1940s - 1950s - 1960s 1970s 1980s
Events of 1959
- January 1 - Fulgencio Batista flees Havana when the forces of Fidel Castro advance.
- January 2 - Castro's troops approach Havana.
- January 3
- January 4
- January 6 - Fidel Castro arrives in Havana.
- January 7 - The United States recognizes the new Cuban government of Fidel Castro.
- January 8 - Charles De Gaulle is inaugurated as the first president of the French Fifth Republic.
- January 12 - The Caves of Nerja are discovered in Spain.
- January 13 - Cuban communists execute 71 supporters of Fulgencio Batista.
- January 22 - Knox Mine Disaster: Water breaches the River Slope Mine in Port Griffith, Pennsylvania; 12 miners are killed.
- February 6 - At Cape Canaveral, Florida, the first successful test firing of a Titan intercontinental ballistic missile is accomplished.
- February 9 - Yugoslavia and Spain set trade relations (not diplomatic ones)
- February 13 - TAT-2 cable goes into operation.
- February 16
- February 17 - The United States launches the Vanguard II weather satellite.
- February 19 - The United Kingdom decides to grant Cyprus its independence.
- February 20 - The Canadian Government cancels the CF-105 Arrow project.
- March 10 - A Tibetan uprising against 10 years of Chinese occupation erupts in Lhasa.
- March 17 - Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, flees Tibet and travels to India.
- March 18 - American President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs a bill allowing for Hawaiian statehood.
- March 19 - Two other islands join Addu in the United Suvadive Republic (abolished September 1963), in the Maldives Islands.
- April 9 - NASA announces its selection of 7 military pilots to become the first U.S. 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 - Import tariffs are lifted in the United Kingdom.
- May 18 - The National Liberation Committee of Côte d'Ivoire is launched in Conakry, Guinea.
- May 24 - British Empire Day is renamed Commonwealth Day.
- June 3 - Singapore becomes a self-governing crown colony of 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 are re-elected to the Legislative Assembly.
- June 9 - The USS George Washington is launched as the first submarine to carry ballistic missiles.
- June 14 - A 3-front revolutionary invasion by air and sea takes place in the Dominican Republic, consisting of exiles aided by Fidel Castro, whose purpose is to overthrow dictator Rafael Leonidas Trujillo.
- June 23
- June 26 - Queen Elizabeth II and U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower open the Saint Lawrence Seaway.
- July - The medical research group studying Minamata disease comes to the conclusion that mercury is the cause.
- July 1 - The opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway by Canada and the United States, officiated by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II
- 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 8 - Charles Ovnand and Dale R. Buis become the first Americans killed in action in Vietnam.
- July 15 - A strike occurs against the U.S. steel industry.
- July 17 - The first skull of Australopithecus is discovered by Louis Leakey and his wife Mary Leakey in the Olduvai Gorge of Tanzania.
- July 17 - Born in Uruguay the football player Wilson García.
- July 24 - At the opening of the American National Exhibition in Moscow, U.S. Vice President Richard Nixon and USSR Premier Nikita Khrushchev have a "kitchen debate."
- July 25 - The SR-N1 hovercraft crosses the English Channel from Calais to Dover in just over 2 hours, on the 50th anniversary of Louis Bleriot's first crossing by heavier-than-air craft.
- August 4 - Martial law is declared in Laos.
- August 7 - Explorer program: The United States launches Explorer 6 from the Atlantic Missile Range in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
- August 7 - United States The Roseburg Oregon Blast kills 14 and causes $12 million worth of damage.
- August 8 - A flood in Taiwan kills 2,000.
- August 14 - Explorer 6 sends the first picture of Earth from space.
- August 15 - Cyprus gains independence.
- August 17 - The Hebgen Lake Earthquake in southwest Montana kills 28.
- August 21 - Hawaii is admitted as the 50th U.S. state.
- August 24 - Cyprus joins the United Nations.
- September 13 - Luna 2 becomes the first man-made object to crash on the Moon.[September 17]] - The first Navy Navigation Satellite System Transit 1A is launched but fails to reach orbit.
- September 23 - The M/S Princess of Tasmania (Australia’s first passenger RO/RO diesel ferry) makes its maiden voyage across the Bass Strait.
- September 25 - Ceylon's prime minister S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike is assassinated.
- September 26 - Typhoon Vera hits central Honshū, killing an estimated 5,098, injuring another 38,921, and leaving 1,533,000. Most of the victims and damage are centered in the Nagoya area.
- October 7 - The U.S.S.R. probe Luna 3 sends back the first ever photos of the far side of the Moon.
- October 12
- October 13 - The United States launches Explorer 7.
- October 21 - In New York City, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (designed by Frank Lloyd Wright) opens to the public.
- October 31
- November 2 - The first section of the M1 motorway opens between the present junctions 5 and 18.
- November 8 - Leeds City Tramways closes down.
- December 1 - Cold War - Antarctic Treaty: 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 (the first arms control agreement established during the Cold War).
- December 2 - Malpasset Dam in southern France collapses and water flows over the town of Frejus, killing 412.
- December 14 - Makarios III is selected the first president of Cyprus.