A 3-front revolutionary invasion by air and sea takes place in the
Dominican Republic, consisting of exiles aided by
Fidel Castro and the
Venezuelan government, whose objective is to overthrow dictator
Rafael Trujillo. Within a few days most are captured and executed. Only four are released by the government. Trujillo is killed less than two years later by men partly inspired by the deaths of the 1959 revolutionaries.
June 30 – Twenty-one students are killed and more than a hundred injured when an American North American
F-100 Super Sabre jet crashes into Miamori Elementary School on the island of
Okinawa. The pilot ejected before the plane struck the school.
Typhoon Vera hits central
Honshū, Japan, killing an estimated 5,098, injuring another 38,921, and leaving 1,533,000 homeless. Most of the victims and damage are centered in the
The first official large unit action of the
Vietnam War takes place, when two companies of the
ARVN 23d Division are ambushed by a well-organized
Vietcong force of several hundred, identified as the "2d Liberation Battalion".
November 18 –
MGM's widescreen, multimillion-dollar,
Technicolor version of Ben-Hur, starring
Charlton Heston, is released and becomes the studio's greatest hit up to that time. It is critically acclaimed and eventually wins 11
Academy Awards – a record held until
1998, when 1997's Titanic becomes the first film to equal the record. To the present day, the 1959 Ben-Hur remains the last MGM film to win a Best Picture Oscar, though Doctor Zhivago, another MGM film, was nominated in 1965.