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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 were sent from ‘Luna 3’, and 12 countries signed 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.

DateEvent
1st January 1959Cultivars of plants named after this date must be named in a modern language, not in Latin.
3rd January 1959Alaska is admitted as the 49th U.S. state.
29th January 1959Walt Disney releases “Sleeping Beauty“.
3rd February 1959Buddy Holly, American rock singer (b. 1936) is killed in a plane crash.
16th February 1959Fidel Castro becomes Premier of Cuba.
9th March 1959The Barbie doll, created by U.S. business woman Ruth Handler, debuts at the American International Toy Fair.
May 1959The first Ten Tors hike is held in Dartmoor.
May 1959Import tariffs are lifted in the United Kingdom.
24th May 1959British Empire Day is renamed Commonwealth Day.
25th July 1959The ‘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.
21st August 1959Hawaii is admitted as the 50th U.S. state.
14th September 1959‘Luna 2’ becomes the first man-made object to crash on the Moon.
7th October 1959Luna 3’ , the U.S.S.R. probe, sends back the first ever photographs of the far side of the Moon.
12th October 1959 A large-scale diamond robbery takes place in London.
14th October 1959Errol Flynn, Australian actor (b. 1909) dies from a large heart attack.
2nd November 1959The first section of the M1 motorway opens between the present junctions five and eighteen.
18th November 1959MGM's widescreen, multimillion 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” becomes the first film to equal this tally.
1st December 1959Twelve 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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A Newspaper From

Shown as an example of papers printed at this time (click to enlarge).