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1958

Jan 1  In Caracas, Venezuela, a revolt against the Jimenez dictatorship is crushed.

Jan 3  Military officers and others suspected of having been "enemies of peace" during the recent revolt in Venezuela have been imprisoned. 

Jan 9  Five Roman Catholic priests are among those held by the police. Relations between the Church and the Jimenez regime are strained. 

Jan 13  A petition to take action immediately against nuclear testing, signed by 9,235 scientists in 43 countries, is accepted by the UN Secretary General, Dag Hammarskjold.

Jan 15  For three days students have been demonstrating against the Jimenez regime and the national security police have fired into a demonstration wounding two teen-age boys. 

Jan 21  A scheduled general strike paralyzes Venezuela.

Jan 23  Military men take power in cooperation with civilians and a promise of return to democracy. Perez Jimenez and friends flee in an airplane to Miami, Florida.

Jan 24  Scientists have put two atoms together to form one heavier atom – the first man made nuclear fusion.

Feb 1  Syria and Egypt combine into the United Arab Republic. The Saud family fears Nasser, who had taken part in deposing a king and was friendly with the Soviet Union.

Feb 11  In the United States, Ruth Carol Taylor is the first black hired as a flight attendant.

Feb 14  King Hussein in Jordan is afraid of Nasser and the United Arab Republic. Jordan joins in federation with King Hussein's cousin in Iraq, King Faisal II. 

Feb 20  A rocket explodes on a launching pad at Cape Canaveral.

Feb 20  Ramfis Trujillo, adopted son of the Dominican dictator, is a student attending the US Army war college at Ft. Levenworth Texas. He is in California with yacht, crew and on-board soldiers, partying and spending thousands of dollars on Hollywood's Kim Novak and Zsa Zsa Gabor. Congressmen are upset and complain about US aid money to the Dominican Republic being squandered. There is talk of a Congressional investigation.

March  This month at the observatory atop Hawaii's Mauna Loa, the scientist Charles David Keeling starts regular measurements of levels of carbon dioxide CO2 in the atmosphere. The measurements will extend to different points around the globe and will be continual in the 21st century.

Mar 24  King Saud has been spending too much money. Inflation is rampant. His brother Faisal acquires executive powers in foreign and internal affairs. 

Mar 26  The US Army launches Explorer III.

Mar 27  Nikita Khrushchev becomes leader of the Soviet government (premier) in addition to First Secretary of the Soviet Union's Communist Party.

Mar 31  The Soviet Union declares a halt on all atomic tests and asks other nations to do the same.

May 8  In France the use of torture in Algeria and military conscription have made the war in Algeria unpopular. For three weeks France's parliament has been unable to form a government. President René Coty appeals to a centrist, Pierre Pfimlin, to form a government, and Pfimlin announces his intention of negotiate an end to the war in Algeria. 

May 8  Vice President Nixon, with his wife Pat, are on an eight-nation tour in Latin America. In Lima, Peru, he is shoved, booed and spat upon by anti-American protesters. In the New York Times the hostility is described as "Communist inspired."

May 13  In Caracas, Nixon's limousine is battered by rocks. Nixon is learning the extent to which dictators and US friendship with them are unpopular in Latin America.

May 13  In Algiers, European settlers riot against the possibility of a negotiated settlement. They seize government buildings and form an ad hoc government they call the Committee of Public Safety. They are supported by the French general in command in Algiers, Jacques Massu. 

May 14  President Dwight Eisenhower has ordered forces to US Caribbean bases.

May 15  The Soviet Union launches Sputnik 3, the first space laboratory.

May 18  In eastern Indonesia, Sukarno is fighting rebellious military officers backed by Secretary of State Dulles and his brother Allen, head of the CIA. An aircraft crewed by Americans and piloted by Alan Pope, from a US airbase in the Philippines, is shot down near Ambon.

May 19  France's parliament has passed a bill granting emergency powers to the Interior Ministry. General Massu is threatening to assault Paris with his parachutist troops. He has proclaimed support for the nationalist hero in retirement, Charles de Gaulle. De Gaulle announces that he is ready to "take on the powers of the Republic" but that he is not about to start a new career as a dictator. 

May 23  Mao Zedong announces his second five-year plan, called the "Great Leap Forward," a plan for developing agriculture and industry.

May 24  In Cuba, the dictator Batista sends a force of 10,000 against Fidel Castro's rebellion – without helicopter gunships. Helicopter gunships are not yet being produced.  

May 24  General Massu extends his rebellion. His paratroopers seize Corsica. De Gaulle refuses to condemn the invasion.

May 25  In southeastern Tunisia, French airplanes bomb and strafe Tunisians fighting incursions by French troops. Meanwhile, France's government imposes press censorship in response to Massu's rebellion in Corsica.

May 26  President Bourguiba of Tunisia says he has requested direct US and British intervention regarding Tunisia. Morocco insists that French troops withdraw from the eastern part of the country bordering Algeria.

May 29  In France there is widespread support for de Gaulle rescuing France from political chaos. President Coty calls on de Gaulle to accept the position of premier (prime minister).

Jun 1  De Gaulle becomes premier and, in keeping with his demands, parliament gives him emergency powers for six months, during which a new constitution is to be created.

Jun 6  De Gaulle goes to Algiers. He says that Algeria will always be French.

Jul 10  An earthquake in Alaska triggers the largest tsunami on record. The wave washes 500 meters up a mountain. 

Jun 5  Greek Cypriots, led by Archbishop Makarios, have been urging independence from Britain. Turkish Cypriots are demanding Cyprus be partitioned between the Greek and Turkish populations. Makarios meets with Nasser, who supports him.

Jun 16  In Hungary, Imre Nagy is hanged.

Jun 18  In Japan, tradition is broken by Prince Akito choosing his own bride.

Jul 6  In Lebanon, gerrymandering, alleged electoral fraud and the dismissal of pro-Arab ministers have angered Muslims. They rebel against the government of President Camille Chamoun – a Marionite Christian. Muslims have been urging union with Nasser's United Arab Republic.

Jul 14  In Iraq, a military coup by General Abdel Karim al-Kassem (Qassim) is followed by Iraq's royal family being ordered into their courtyard and to face the wall. Soldiers then slaughter them with rifle fire.

Jul 15  US and British officials contend that the United Arab Republic is intervening in Lebanon. President Eisenhower orders 5,000 US Marines to Lebanon at the request of Lebanon's president, Chamoun.

July 16  The United Arab Republic describes the US landing as "another Suez" and claims that it will cause the US to lose friends in "all of the Middle East."

Jul 20  King Hussein of Jordan breaks diplomatic relations with the United Arab Republic. The Federation of Iraq and Jordan is in effect ended. 

Jul 24  Jack Kilby of Texas Instruments develops an idea for an integrated circuit on a piece of silicon.

Jul 27  Eisenhower signs the Alaska Statehood Act.

Jul 31  Lebanon's parliament elects General Fuad Chehab (Shihab) to succeed President Chamoun. Although a Christian, Chehab is popular with many Muslims, and there is hope for reconciliation between Christians and Muslims.

Aug 1  In wake of the now failed rebellion that the Dulles brothers were backing in Indonesia, the US gives $20 million in assistance to Indonesia's military establishment, seeing it as the only anti-Communist force in that country.

Aug 3  An atomic powered submarine, the USS Nautilus, crosses the North Pole underwater.

Aug 7  Nasser meets King Saud to end their six-month feud.

Aug 23  Quemoi and Ma-tsu (Mazu) islands, next to China's mainland, are being used by Chiang Kai-shek as a jumping off point for harassing mainland China. The area is claimed by Beijing. Chiang's presence there is protected by the United States. Chiang's airplanes have been clashing with Beijing's Mig aircraft. Mainland artillery bombards Chiang's forces on Quemoi and Matsu.

Aug 25  The shelling of Quemoi and Ma-tsu continues. China's newspapers accuse US airplanes and warships of "provocations" along their country's coastline. Chinese leaders resent the failure of the Soviet Union to support China during this crisis.

Aug 30  At carnival in West London, police try to arrest a black pickpocket. Black youths attack the police and white youths attack blacks – the Notting Hill Race Riot.

Sep 22   Sherman Adams, assistant to President Eisenhower, resigns amid charges of improperly using his influence to help an industrialist.

Sep 28  De Gaulle has been in office four months. A referendum for the new constitution obtains 79.2 percent approval.

Oct 2  The former French colony of Guinea in West Africa proclaims its independence from France.

Oct 4  The first trans-Atlantic passenger jetliner service begins, from London to New York.

Oct 5  France's new constitution establishes an end to its Fourth Republic and the beginning of the Fifth Republic.

Oct 9   Pope Pius XII dies.

Oct 11  A moon probe rocket, Pioneer 1, is launched. It falls back short of the moon and burns up in the atmosphere.

Oct 25  Lebanon's president has created a "Salvation Cabinet" composed of leaders of the principal warring groups. US troops withdraw.

Oct 28  John XXIII is elected Pope.

Oct 29  Boris Pasternak, author of Dr. Zhivago, refuses the Nobel prize for literature.

Nov 4  John F. Kennedy and Barry Goldwater are re-elected to the Senate. During his campaign, Goldwater distanced himself from Eisenhower by calling Eisenhower's plans for health care for the aged ''socialized medicine,'' and he described the Eisenhower administration as a ''dime-store New Deal." The Democrats increase their majorities in the House and Senate. 

Dec 9  In Indianapolis, Indiana, the John Birch Society is founded by twelve "patriotic and public spirited" men led by a retired candy manufacturer, Robert Welch, Jr.  Welch sees collectivism as the main threat to Western Civilization, and liberals he sees as "secret communist traitors." 

Dec 21  Charles de Gaulle is elected to a seven-year term as the first president of the Fifth Republic of France.  

Dec 31  Batista flees as rebels under Fidel Castro advance toward Havana.

Dec 31  China now has 26,000 communes, in which 98 percent of its rural population lives.

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Copyright © 2006-2015 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.