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Undated Highlights:
Convenience store chain, 7-Eleven, celebrates its 500th store opening

February 1 - Black sit-in at Greensboro, N.C., diner receives national attention.

April 1 - Tiros 1, the first successful weather satellite, is launched by the United States. Two
television cameras in the satellite returned views of clouds above the Earth. Tiros 1 was only
operational for 78 days, but proved that satellites could be a useful tools for surveying weather
conditions from space.

April 20 - for the first time since coming home from military service in Germany, Elvis Presley
returns to Hollywood, California to film G.I. Blues

May 1 - American U-2 spy plane, piloted by Francis Gary Powers, shot down over Russia.

May 9 - The Food and Drug Administration approves sale of the birth control pill.

May 10 - The world's first nuclear submarine USS Nautilus completes the first under water
circumnavigation of the earth.

May 15 - Sputnik 4 is launched into Earth orbit.

July 1 - A Soviet MiG fighter north of Murmansk in the Barents Sea shot down a six-man RB-47
crew. Two young United States Air Force officers survived and were imprisoned in Moscow's
dreaded Lubyanka prison.

July 4 - With the admission of Hawaii as the 50th U.S. state on August 21, 1959, the 50-star
flag of the United States debuts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

August 6 - Cuba nationalizes American and foreign-owned property in the nation and the United
States responded by placing an embargo on Cuba, which is still in place after more than 40 years.

August 19 - Sputnik program: The Soviet Union launches Sputnik 5 with the dogs Belka and
Strelka (Russian for "Squirrel" and "Little Arrow"), 40 mice, 2 rats and a variety of plants. The
spacecraft will return to earth the next day and all animals will be recovered safely.

September 8 - In Huntsville, Alabama, US President Dwight D. Eisenhower formally dedicates
the Marshall Space Flight Center (NASA had already activated the facility on July 1).

September 26 - American Presidential Candidates John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon
debate live on television. The candidates behavior during the debate most likely altered the
outcome of the election. In addition to being the first Presidential debates to be broadcast on
television, the debates also marked the first time "split screen" images were used by a

October 14 - US presidential candidate John F. Kennedy first suggests the idea for the Peace

October 29 - In Louisville, Kentucky, Cassius Clay (who later took the name Muhammad Ali)
wins his first professional fight.

November 8 - U.S. presidential election, 1960: In a closely-fought race, John F. Kennedy is
elected over  Richard M. Nixon, becoming the youngest man elected to that office.

December 1 - A 5-ton Soviet space ship containing animals, insects and plants was launched
into orbit. The spacecraft burned up upon re-entry.

December 2 - U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower authorized the use of $1M for the relief and
resettlement of Cuban refugees in Florida. Cuban refugees were arriving in Florida at the rate
of 1,000 a week.

December 8 - Echo I, the first communications satellite, is launched.

December 20 - Discoverer XIX was launched into polar orbit from Vandenberg Air Force Base, to
measure radiation.

Memorable Movies: Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho terrifies movie-goers and becomes one of the
year's most successful films, as well as one of the most memorable psychological thrillers; The
Alamo; G.I. Blues.

What we watched on Television: The Andy Griffith Show, The Flintstones, My Three Sons, The
Twilight Zone. The Ed Sullivan Show begins it's 12th season and continues to run for another 11
years. Ninety percent of U.S. homes have a television set.

Passings: Clark Gable, November 16.

Births: James Spader, actor (Pretty in Pink, Stargate, The Practice, Boston Legal), February 7;
Marina Sirtis, actress (Star Trek: The Next Generation as Counselor Deanna Troi), March 29;
Brad Garrett, actor (Everybody Loves Raymond), April 14; John Billingsley, actor (Star Trek:
Enterprise as Dr. Phlox), May 20; David Duchovny, actor (The X-Files), August 7; Cal Ripken,
Jr., baseball, August 24; John F. Kennedy, Jr., lawyer and journalist (d. 1999), November 25;
John Allen Muhammad, convicted Beltway sniper, December 31.


This page was last updated on 03/23/2011.


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