January 1, 1959Fulgencio Batista, dictator of Cuba, is overthrown by Fidel Castro's forces during the Cuban Revolution.
The Cuban Revolution was an armed revolt by Fidel Castro's 26th of July Movement against the regime of Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista between 1953 and 1959. Batista was finally ousted on 1 January 1959, and was replaced by a revolutionary government led by Castro. This government later reformed along communist lines, becoming the present Communist Party of Cuba in October 1965.
, Cuban Revolution
January 2, 1959Luna 1, the first spacecraft to reach the vicinity of the Moon and to orbit the Sun, is launched by the U.S.S.R.
Luna 1 (E-1 series), first known as First Cosmic Ship, then known as Mechta (Dream) was the first spacecraft to reach the vicinity of the Moon and the first of the Luna program of Soviet automatic interplanetary stations successfully launched in the direction of the Moon.
, Luna 1
January 3, 1959
Alaska is admitted as the 49th U.S. State.
Seal of Alaska
Alaska is the largest state in the United States by area. It is situated in the northwest extremity of the North American continent, with Canada to the east, the Arctic Ocean to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south, with Russia further west across the Bering Strait. Approximately half of Alaska's 710,231 residents (as per the 2010 United States Census) live within the Anchorage metropolitan area. Alaska is the least densely populated state of the U.S.
, United States
February 22, 1959
Lee Petty wins the first Daytona 500.
Lee Petty's Dodge Coronet
The Daytona 500 is a 500 miles (804.7 km)-long NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race held annually at the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. It is one of four restrictor plate races on the Cup schedule.
, Lee Petty
March 9, 1959The Barbie doll makes its debut at the American International Toy Fair in New York.
Barbie is a fashion doll manufactured by the American toy-company Mattel, Inc. and launched in March 1959. American businesswoman Ruth Handler is credited with the creation of the doll using a German doll called Bild Lilli as her inspiration. Barbie is the figurehead of a brand of Mattel dolls and accessories, including other family members and collectible dolls. Barbie has been an important part of the toy fashion doll market for fifty years, and has been the subject of numerous controversies and lawsuits, often involving parody of the doll and her lifestyle.
December 1, 1959Opening date for signature of the Antarctic Treaty, which sets aside Antarctica as a scientific preserve and bans military activity on the continent.
The Antarctic Treaty and related agreements, collectively called the Antarctic Treaty System or ATS, regulate international relations with respect to Antarctica, Earth's only continent without a native human population. For the purposes of the treaty system, Antarctica is defined as all of the land and ice shelves south of 60°S latitude. The treaty, entering into force in 1961 and currently has 48 signatory nations, sets aside Antarctica as a scientific preserve, establishes freedom of scientific investigation and bans military activity on that continent. The treaty was the first arms control agreement established during the Cold War. The Antarctic Treaty Secretariat headquarters have been located in Buenos Aires, Argentina, since September 2004.
, Cold War
July 10, 1959
Sandy West was an American musician, singer, songwriter, and drummer. She was hailed by fans and critics alike to be a groundbreaking musician, as a drummer. She was one of the founding members of The Runaways, the very first teenage, all-girl hard rock band in the 1970s.