1958 1959 1960


  • Poet Allen Ginzberg does LSD for the first time.
  • Haitian dictator Francois 'Papa Doc' Duvalier establishes the Tonton Macoutes.
  • Nikita Khruschev tours the U.S., including Iowa.
  • Ma Yinchu, non-party delegate to the National People's Congress and author of "New Population Thoery" is attacked by the Chinese government as a "rightist" for opposing its pro-natalist policy. China's population reaches 672.07 million.
  • Haiti is invaded by 30 Cubans and 1 Algerian. Five of the Cubans survive the attempt and are repatriated to Cuba after a prisoner parade in Port-a-Prince.


  • January 1: Cuban President Fulgencio Batista flees Cuba. Around 2 a.m. Batista, his family, and closest associates, board a plane at Camp Columbia. Revolutionary forces take control of Havana.
  • Rebel leader Fidel Castro arrives in Havana and takes control of the Cuban government.
  • January 2: Che Guevara and Camilo Cienfuegos arrive in Havana.
  • January 3: Alaska is the 49th state admitted to the Union.
  • January 28: Randi Rhodes is born.
  • February: Democratic Action's Romulo Betancourt takes power in Venezuela.
  • February 9: Che Guevara is declared a Cuban citizen.
  • March 29: The aircraft of charismatic figure Central African Republican Prime Minister Barthelemy Boganda crashes in Boda district, killing all aboard. Sabotage by expat French businss types and French Secret Service is suspected.
  • April 14: British Labour MP Howard Stoate is born.
  • May 17: Murder of Kelso Cochrane in Kensal New Town.
  • may 17: Revolutionary government of Cuba enacts Law of Agricultural Reform, land reform limiting private landholdings to 1000 acrs.
  • July 24: The Kitchen Debate takes place in Moscow between Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev and Vice President Richard Nixon.
  • August 17: Mao Zedong's rhetorical pro-natalism runs wild: "[Our] views on population should change. In the past I said that [we] could mqanage with 800 million. Now I think that one billion plus would be no cause for alarm." Source: MacFarquhar et al., Secret Speeches, "Talks at Beiheide Conference," p. 403.
  • August 21: Hawaii joins the United States as the 50th state. Republican President Dwight W. Eisenhower signs the official declaration. Statehood for Hawaii had been discussed as early as 1849.
  • August 31: Attempted parcel bomb assassination of Cambodian King Norodom Sihanouk by Ngo Dinh Nhu, South Vietnamese intelligence director and brother of Ngo Dinh Diem.
  • October 1: Twilight Zone television series first airs.
  • October 7: Che Guevara is appointed Minister of the Department of Industry of the National Institute of Agrarian Reform (INRA).
  • November 25: Future British Liberal-Democratic Party leader Charles Kennedy is born in Inverness, Scotland.
  • November 26: Che Guevara is appointed President of the National Bank of Cuba.
  • December 29: British Labour MP Mark Todd is born.

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