1959 Newspaper Headlines
Newspaper articles from 1959 tell tales of adversity, innovation, and discovery. Memorable 1959 events include the tragic death of Buddy Holly in a plane crash, the first ever photographs of the far side of the moon sent from ‘Luna 3’, and 12 countries signing the Antarctic Treaty, which marked Antarctica as a scientific reserve and banned military activity.
It was a great year in cinematic history too! Walt Disney released ‘Sleeping Beauty’, and MGM’s Ben Hur is a huge hit. An authentic 1959 newspaper is a fantastic way to gain deeper insight into this year in history, and to understand the mentality of those living at the time.
January 1, 1959
Cultivars of plants named after this date must be named in a modern language, not in Latin.
January 3, 1959
Alaska is admitted as the 49th U.S. state.
January 29, 1959
Walt Disney releases Sleeping Beauty.
February 3, 1959
Buddy Holly, American rock singer (b. 1936) is killed in a plane crash.
February 6, 1969
The first successful test firing of a Titan intercontinental ballistic missile is accomplished at Cape Canaveral, Florida.
February 16, 1959
Fidel Castro becomes Premier of Cuba.
March 9, 1959
The Barbie doll, created by U.S. business woman Ruth Handler, debuts at the American International Toy Fair.
July 8, 1959
Charles Ovnand and Dale R. Buis become the first Americans killed in action in Vietnam.
July 25, 1959
The ‘SR-N1’ hovercraft crosses the English Channel in just over two hours. The flight occurs on the 50th anniversary of Louis Bleriot’s first crossing of the Channel by the heavier-than-air craft.
August 7, 1959
The Roseburg Oregon Blast kills 14 and causes $12 million worth of damage.
August 21, 1959
Hawaii is admitted as the 50th U.S. state.
September 14, 1959
‘Luna 2’ becomes the first man-made object to crash on the Moon.
October 7, 1959
Luna 3’ , the U.S.S.R. probe, sends back the first ever photographs of the far side of the Moon.
November 18, 1959
MGM’s widescreen, multi-million dollar version of Ben-Hur is released, becoming the studio’s greatest hit up to that time. It is highly acclaimed by critics and eventually wins eleven Academy Awards – a record held until 1998, when 1997’s Titanic became the first film to equal this tally.
December 1, 1959
Twelve countries – including the United States and the Soviet Union – sign the landmark Antarctic Treaty, which sets aside Antarctica as a scientific preserve and bans military activity on that continent. This is the first arms control agreement established during the Cold War.
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