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The following events occurred in March 1958:

March 27, 1958: Soviet Communist Party boss Nikita Khrushchev consolidates power, replaces Nikolai Bulganin as head of government

March 1, 1958 (Saturday)Edit

  • At least 300 people died when the Turkish passenger ship Üsküdar capsized and sank in the Gulf of İzmit. The ship was carrying 370 paid passengers and a crew of 20 when it overturned during a sudden gale. About three-fourths of the passengers were high school and junior college students who went to school in Izmit and who would ride the noon ferry on Saturdays in order to spend the weekend at their family's homes in Gölcük on the other side of the Gulf.[1] The ferry operator disclosed later in the day that in addition to the 370 passengers who had bought tickets, there were between 100 and 150 additional persons who had come aboard using transit passes bought earlier; the capacity of the Üsküdar was limited to 350 people.[2]
  • In Uruguay, the nine-member Consejo Nacional that served as the executive branch for the South American nation, held its annual meeting to select one of its members as the President of Uruguay. Carlos Fischer, the former Minister of Agriculture, was picked to succeed Arturo Lezama and would serve until March 1, 1959.[3]
  • In Japan, All Nippon Airways (ANA) was created by the merger of FarEastern Airways of Japan and Nippon Helicopter Transport.[4]
  • Died: Giacomo Balla, 86, Italian Futurist painter

March 2, 1958 (Sunday)Edit

The expedition's south to north route over Antarctica

March 3, 1958 (Monday)Edit

  • Richard A. Mack, one of the five commissioners on the Federal Communications Commission that regulated all broadcasting in the United States, was forced to resign after having been accused of accepting money to award a television station license to a friend in Miami. [8] The charges had come to light in testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Legislative Oversight Committee. Mack was indicted by a federal grand jury, along with bribe payer Thurman A. Whiteside, on September 25. [9] Charges against Mack would eventually be dropped because of his declining health.
  • General Nuri al-Said agreed to return to his previous position as Prime Minister of Iraq after Prime Minister Abdul-Wahab Mirjan was asked by King Faisal II to resign. General Said had resigned in June because of illness.[10] He and the King would both be assassinated in a coup d'etat on July 15.
  • The U.S. Supreme Court ruled, 8 to 1, that the U.S. Army did not have the authority to give a less than honorable discharge, premised solely on subversive activities that took place before their induction, to a person who had been drafted into the military. [11] The Court also declined to review a decision by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals that had found that Prince Edward County, Virginia had failed to follow the 1954 decision in Brown v. Board of Education and that the county was failing to make a "prompt and reasonable start" to end racial segregation of schools. After the Brown decision, Prince Edward County's supervisors had voted not to operate any public schools and to let education be handled by private schools funded by pledges and tuition. The Attorney General of Virginia had filed a petition for review on behalf of the county.[12]
  • Seven coal miners were killed in the Netherlands at the state-owned Staatsmijn Maurits coal mine near Geleen.
  • Born: Miranda Richardson, English film actress, Golden Globe and BAFTA winner; in Southport, Lancashire
  • Died: Wilhelm Zaisser, 65, former East German official who served as that nation's first director of its secret police agency, the Stasi (Staatssicherheitsdienst or State Security Service). Zaisser also fought in the Spanish Civil War under the nom-de-guerre "General Gomez". He was removed from his position by the ruling Communist party, the SED, in 1953 on charges of failing to use sufficient force to prevent the uprising by East German workers, and later dropped from the party on charges of "forming a faction... with a defeatist line directed against the unity of the Party." [13]

March 4, 1958 (Tuesday)Edit

  • A ceasefire agreement between the Greek Cypriot paramilitary organization EOKA, and the British government that administered Cyprus at the time, was broken with new attacks by EOKA against colonial buildings.
  • Born: Patricia Heaton, American comedian, TV actress and 3-time Emmy Award winner known as the star of The Middle and supporting actress on Everybody Loves Raymond; in Bay Village, Ohio

March 5, 1958 (Wednesday)Edit

  • Luhansk, a city in the Ukrainian SSR that had been renamed Voroshilovgrad in 1935 in honor of Defense Minister Kliment Voroshilov, was restored to its original name after a decree by Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev that cities could not be named after living persons. At the time, Voroshilov was the Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet and the nominal head of state of the U.S.S.R.; upon Voroshilov's death in 1969, the name of Luhansk would be changed again to Voroshilovgrad and then back to Luhansk in 1990.
  • Explorer 2 was launched from Cape Canaveral, at 1:27 p.m. local time (18:27 UTC), with a payload of an 80-inch (2,000 mm) cylinder, similar to that of Explorer 1, launched six seeks earlier. Contact with the Explorer 2 was lost a few minutes after liftoff,[14] and the U.S. Army's team announced the next day that the second Explorer had failed to reach orbit after the final stage of the Jupiter rocket failed to ignite at an altitude of 200 miles (320 km). The satellite burned up on re-entry to the atmosphere over the Caribbean Sea.[15]
  • Born:

March 6, 1958 (Thursday)Edit

  • North Korea released the 26 passengers and crew who had been on a Korean National Airlines plane hijacked on February 16. On the same day, anti-aircraft artillery from the north side of the Korean Demilitarized Zone shot down a U.S. Air Force F-86 Sabrejet that had strayed into North Korean airspace during a training mission.[16]
  • U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower gave approval to Operation Argus, a series of low-yield, high-atmosphere nuclear weapons tests and missile tests to test the Christofilos effect, the theory of nuclear physicist Nicholas Christofilos that the explosion of nuclear weapons in the Earth's magnetic field would create large electrical currents that could destroy the electronic systems of enemy missiles. The Argus tests, which would be secretly conducted over the South Atlantic Ocean starting on August 27, 1958, and continuing to September 9, demonstrated that the disruption created by the Christofilos effect could disable the electronics of radar systems and satellites, but was not strong enough to damage missiles.

March 7, 1958 (Friday)Edit

  • Catholic University of Argentina (Universidad Católica Argentina or UCA) was founded as a private university. Sixty years after its founding, it would have an enrollment of 18,000 students on six campuses.
  • "The Sharpshooter", a pilot for a TV series, was telecast as the week's offering on Zane Grey Theatre on CBS.[17] The telecast, which featured Chuck Connors and Johnny Crawford as a father and son moving to a new town, was popular enough to be picked up in the fall on the ABC network as the series The Rifleman.
  • Born: Rik Mayall, English comedian and TV actor; in Matching Tye, Essex (died of heart attack, 2014)

March 8, 1958 (Saturday)Edit

March 9, 1958 (Sunday)Edit

March 10, 1958 (Monday)Edit

  • The Sacred Congregation of the Council of the Vatican announced the excommunication from the Roman Catholic Church of three priests in Hungary who had become members of the Communist-dominated Parliament of Hungary, in violations of a decree against participation in politics made the previous July. Richard Horvath, Nicholas Beresztoczy and Janos Mate were barred from administering the sacraments to Catholic worshipers.[22]
  • Reports were made on recoverable crewed satellite configurations being considered by NACA. One involved a blunt, high-drag, zero-lift vehicle that would depend on a parachute landing for final deceleration. Another was a winged vehicle that would glide to a landing after reentering the atmosphere. The third proposal involved features of each of the above. Besides the configuration studies, significant reports were completed relative to motion and heating, stabilization, and attitude control.[23]
  • A working conference in support of the Air Force "Man in Space Soonest" (MISS) began at the Air Force Ballistic Missile Division in Los Angeles, California, and would conclude on March 12. General Bernard Schriever, opening the conference, stated that events were moving faster than expected. By this statement he meant that Roy Johnson, the new head of the Advanced Research Projects Agency, had asked the Air Force to report to him on its approach to putting a man in space soonest. Johnson indicated that the Air Force would be assigned the task, and the purpose of the conference was to produce a rough-draft proposal. At that time the Air Force concept consisted of three stages: a high-drag, no-lift, blunt-shaped spacecraft to get man in space soonest, with landing to be accomplished by a parachute; a more sophisticated approach by possibly employing a lifting vehicle or one with a modified drag; and a long-range program that might end in a space station or a trip to the moon.[23]
  • Born:

March 11, 1958 (Tuesday)Edit

An Mk-6 atomic bomb
  • A U.S. B-47 bomber accidentally dropped an unarmed Mk-6 atomic bomb on a farm at Mars Bluff, South Carolina, five miles (8 km) east of the city of Florence. Although there was no danger of a nuclear explosion, the conventional TNT explosives within the bomb were inadvertently detonated on impact, hurting six people. The United Press news service commented that "It was the first time an atomic bomb was known to have been dropped in the United States outside nuclear testing grounds." [24] The explosion demolished the home of the farm owner, Walter Gregg, and injured him, his wife and three children, and a niece. The blast left a crater 75 feet (23 m) in diameter and 35 feet (11 m) deep in his yard. The Strategic Air Command issued a statement afterward that "Mechanical malfunction of the plane's bomb lock caused the four-jet B-47 to let go of the bomb."[24]
  • Died: Ole Kirk Christiansen, 66, Danish toymaker who founded The Lego Group in 1932 as a maker of wooden toys and later moved to acrylonitrile butadiene styrene plastic toys that would become his company's billion-dollar product

March 12, 1958 (Wednesday)Edit

  • The Army of Indonesia began a nationwide offensive on the island of Sumatra against the rebel Revolutionary Government (PRRI) rebellion, starting with a defeat of the PRRI in a battle at Pekanbaru to prevent the destruction of the Caltex oil fields and refinery.[25]
  • In Cuba, the regime of President Fulgencio Batista announced the suspension of constitutional rights across the entire nation, with censorship of all media in order "to adopt special measures to maintain public order", according to a statement from Batista's office. He asked Prime Minister Emilio Núñez Portuondo, who had taken office only six days earlier, to resign along with the entire cabinet of members, and replaced him with Gonzalo Güell.[26] The action came one day after constitutional guarantees had been restored in the Oriente Province, where Fidel Castro's guerrilla operation was most active.[27]
  • The 26th of July Movement, Fidel Castro's guerrilla organization, issued the "Manifiesto Del Movimiento 26 De Julio Al Pueblo",[28] its manifesto of a declaration of a "total war on tyranny". Castro called on Cubans to boycott the upcoming November 3 presidential and legislative elections and threatened that people who participated ran the risk of being killed.
  • The NACA staff completed a program outline for conducting the crewed satellite program. At that time, NACA was already actively engaged in research and study of several phases. For example, in the basic studies category effort had been expended on the study of orbits and orbit control, space physical characteristics, configuration studies, propulsion system research, human factors, structures and materials, satellite instrumentation, range requirements, and noise and vibration during reentry and exit. In addition, NACA outlined the complete program covering full-scale studies of mockups, simulators, and detail designs; full-scale vertical and orbiting flights involving uncrewed, animal, and crewed flights and recovery; and exploitation of the program to increase the payloads. As to the design concepts for such a program, NACA believed that the Atlas launch vehicle was adequate to meet launch-vehicle requirements for crewed orbital flights; that retrograde and vernier controllable thrust could be used for orbital control; that heat-sink or lighter material could be used against reentry heating; that guidance should be ground programed with provisions for the pilot to make final adjustments; that recovery should be accomplished at sea with parachutes used for letdown; that a network of radar stations should be established to furnish continuous tracking; and that launchings be made from Cape Canaveral. It was estimated that with a simple ballistic shape accelerations would be within tolerable limits for the pilot. Temperature control, oxygen supply, noise, and vibration were considered engineering development problems, which could be solved without any special breakthroughs.[23]
  • Maurice Stokes, the 1956 NBA Rookie of the Year and a forward for the Cincinnati Royals (now the Sacramento Kings), suffered a brain injury when he was knocked down during a 96-89 win over the Minneapolis Lakers. After being revived, he returned to play, finishing with 24 points.[29] Three days later, Stokes suffered a seizure after a playoff game and was left permanently paralyzed.

March 13, 1958 (Thursday)Edit

  • A group of 7,000 members of the police force of Paris began a demonstration in the courtyard of the police headquarters. On encouragement from an extremist member of parliament, Jean-Marie Le Pen, about 2,000 of the police attempted to enter the Palais Bourbon, where the French National Assembly held its sessions.[30] The next day, a new chief of police, Maurice Papon, was named to restore order to replace Prefect Andre Lahillonne.[31]
  • John Aiken of Arlington, Massachusetts, played his first and only National Hockey League game, after being called out of the stands at the Boston Garden where he was a spectator. Under NHL rules at the time, each team had an employee whose job was to tend goal during practices, with the added duty of coming in as an "emergency goalie" during regular games if the goaltender for either team was injured. In the second period, Montreal Canadiens' goaltender Jacques Plante suffered a skull fracture and Aiken was ordered to substitute. Entering when the Boston Bruins were leading 1 to 0, Aiken made 12 saves but six goals got past him and Boston won, 7 to 3.[32]

March 14, 1958 (Friday)Edit

  • The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) introduced the concept of recognition as a "gold record" for any U.S. music recording that had achieved at least $1,000,000 in retail sales [33] and certified the 45 rpm recording by Perry Como of "Catch a Falling Star" as the first RIAA-measured gold record. While record labels had previously presented gold or silver record awards to their own artists as far back as 1937, the RIAA applied the award to all U.S.-based recording companies.
  • The United States imposed an embargo on sales of weapons to the government of Cuba's dictator Fulgencio Batista, contributing significantly to the deterioration of the Cuban resistance to the rebellion led by Fidel Castro.
  • Former U.S. President Harry S. Truman called a press conference to respond to recent criticism of him by the city council of the Japanese city of Hiroshima, which had been struck by a U.S. atomic bomb on Truman's authorization on August 6, 1945. Truman read aloud a letter he had sent the day before to Hiroshima's mayor, Tsukasa Nitoguri and said "Your courteous letter... was greatly appreciated. The feeling of the people of your city is easily understood, and I am not in any way offended by the resolution which their City Council passed. However, it becomes necessary for me to remind the City Council, and perhaps you also, of some historical events. He went on to say "As the executive who ordered the dropping of the bomb, I think the sacrifice of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was urgent and necessary for the prospective welfare of both Japan and the Allies. The need for such a fateful decision, of course, never would have arise had we not been shot in the back by Japan at Pear Harbor in December, 1941."[34]
  • Born:

March 15, 1958 (Saturday)Edit

March 16, 1958 (Sunday)Edit

  • Elections were held in the South American nation of Colombia for both houses of the Congress, the 148-member Cámara de Representantes and the 80-member Senado, the first free election since 1949 and the first under the National Front agreement of June 24, 1956, which allocated the seats equally among the two legal political parties, the Liberals and the Conservatives. The multi-candidate primary elections were contested for the available allocated seats, and the outcome of the voting for the Conservatives would affect the choice for the next president, who was to be a Conservative under the 1956 agreement.[40] Right-wing Conservative Party candidates won the majority of the seats allotted to the Party but their leader, former President Laureano Gomez, declined to be selected as president and opposed the moderate Conservative candidate, Guillermo Leon Valencia, who would have been accepted by the Liberals, was not favored by the majority of the Conservative Party.[41] On March 31, Gómez endorsed a Liberal, Alberto Lleras as an acceptable replacement on condition that the 1962 President would be a Conservative.[42]
  • The quadrennial legislative election in the Soviet Union was conducted to vote yes or no on the slate of unopposed candidates that had been pre-approved by the Communist Party for the Supreme Soviet, with 738 for the Soviet of the Union and 640 for the Soviet of Nationalities.[43] Out of almost 134 million votes, about 581,000 or 0.4% were no votes. Citizens could also vote yes by submitting an unmarked ballot.[44]
  • In Italy, the rebuilt Ponte Santa Trinita over the Arno River was rededicated in Florence, almost 14 years after the original 16th century bridge had been destroyed by retreating German troops during World War II. A reporter for The New York Times noted, "Often referred to as the world's most beautiful bridge, it has been reconstructed 'where it was and how it was,'" with the lobbying and fundraising efforts led by U.S. art historian Bernard Berenson.[45]
  • Born:

March 17, 1958 (Monday)Edit

  • Italy's President Giovanni Gronchi dissolved the Italian Senate and the Chamber of Deputies and scheduled parliamentary elections for May 25 and May 26.[46]
The Vanguard 1 satellite being loaded into the nosecone
  • The United States launched the Vanguard 1 satellite into orbit, its second successful orbital launch and the first for the U.S. Navy.[47] The three-stage Saturn rocket lifted off from Cape Canaveral at 7:15 a.m. local time (1215 UTC) and entered an elliptical orbit ranging between 2,513 miles (4,044 km) and 407 miles (655 km) above the Earth, higher than the two satellites in orbit from the Soviet Union or the U.S. Explorer 1.[48] Vanguard 1 was also the smallest of the first four satellites, measuring 6.4 inches (160 mm) in diameter, comparable to a grapefruit and weighing 3.25 pounds (1.47 kg).[49]
  • The NACA Special Committee on Space Technology held its second meeting at the Ames Aeronautical Laboratory, and preliminary reports were presented by the committee working groups on objectives and vehicular programs. The committee as a whole was briefed on the work that had been accomplished by the former NACA Committee on Aerodynamics over the past 6 years. It was stated that between 1952 and 1956, approximately 10 percent of NACA's research efforts were applicable directly or indirectly to astronautics. In 1957, the percentage of spaceflight research rose to 23; and at the time of the meeting, 30 percent of the aerodynamic effort and 20 percent of propulsion research was applicable to astronautics problems. The committee also heard special papers on research being conducted in fluid mechanics, satellite studies, spacecraft design proposals, boost-glide and hypersonic vehicle studies, and missiles.[23]
  • The Convention on the Inter-Governmental Maritime Consultative Organization entered into force, creating the International Maritime Organization (IMCO) as a specialized agency of the United Nations.

March 18, 1958 (Tuesday)Edit

  • With the Palais Bourbon guarded by troops, France's National Assembly voted for the eleventh time to express confidence in the four-month old government of Prime Minister Felix Gaillard on the issue of constitutional reform. In what was seen as an effort to avoid worsening the ongoing political crisis created by the siege of the parliamentary building five days earlier, Assembly voted 282 to 196 in favor of continuing the Gaillard government.[50]
  • An NACA report was published entitled, "Preliminary Studies of Manned Satellites, Wingless Configuration, Non-Lifting," by Maxime A. Faget, Benjamine Garland, and James J. Buglia. Later this document became the basic working paper for the Project Mercury development program and was reissued as NASA Technical Note D-1254, March 1962.[23]
  • An "NACA Conference on High-Speed Aerodynamics" began at the Ames Aeronautical Laboratory, Moffett Field, California, to acquaint the military services and industrial contractors interested in aerospace projects with the results of recent research conducted by the NACA laboratories on the subject of space flight. The conference, which would conclude on March 20, was attended by more than 500 representatives from the NACA, industry, the military services, and other appropriate government agencies. Some 46 technical papers were presented by NACA personnel, and included specific proposals for human spaceflight vehicle projects. One of these was presented by Maxime A. Faget. Other papers within the category of crewed orbital satellites included: "Preliminary Studies of Manned Satellites, Wingless Configuration, Lifting Body" by Thomas J. Wong and others; "Preliminary Studies of Manned Satellites, Winged Configurations" by John V. Becker; "Preliminary Aerodynamic Data Pertinent to Manned Satellite Reentry Configurations" by Jim A. Penland and William O. Armstrong; and "Structural Design Considerations for Boost-Glide and Orbital Reentry Vehicles" by William A. Brooks and others.[23]
  • Born: Andriy Valentynov (pen name for Andriy Shmalko), Ukrainian historian, archaeologist and science fiction author; in Kharkiv, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union

March 19, 1958 (Wednesday)Edit

March 20, 1958 (Thursday)Edit

March 21, 1958 (Friday)Edit

  • The existence of a new strain of the bacterium staphylococcus aureus, that was resistant to penicillin and other known antibiotics, was announced by the U.S. Public Health Service.[57] A new antibiotic, methicillin, would be discovered in 1960 as effective against the new strain, but would later be matched by another strain, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or MRSA.
  • A fire in the Egyptian town of Damat Kutur killed at least 16 people and seriously injuring another 11 after starting in a small hut with a straw roof and then being spread by pigeons who had been on the hut's roof. "Flying in agony," a United Press report noted, "the birds acted as flying torches, setting fire to the straw roofs of hundreds of other huts."[58]
  • Bulldozers and helicopters were able to end a 36-hour crisis at a small restaurant on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, where more than 800 travelers trapped by a blizzard were crowded in a restaurant that had a capacity for only 100. A traffic jam of over 1,000 cars, buses and trucks, caused by a 42 inches (1,100 mm) snowfall on Wednesday night, had stalled on a 14-mile stretch of the highway and had made their way to the only shelter available, a Howard Johnson's restaurant.[59]
  • Born:
  • Died: Cyril M. Kornbluth, 34, American science fiction author, died of a heart attack while in the New York City subway.[60]

March 22, 1958 (Saturday)Edit

  • An attempt by the French National Assembly to make reforms, to replace the French Fourth Republic with a system with a stronger executive branch, failed by one vote to get the three-fifths majority required for immediate amending the national constitution. Needing 309 of the 514 votes in the Assembly, the measure had a 308 to 206 result, and would require submission to a referendum if approved by the Council of the Republic.[61]
Todd & Taylor five months earlier
  • Mike Todd, a successful film and theatrical producer, was killed in the crash of his Lodestar twin-engine airplane, along with his biographer and screenwriter Art Cohn, 48, pilot Bill Verner and co-pilot Tom Barclay.[62] The overloaded plane was flying Todd back home to Hollywood after his promotional visit to Albuquerque, New Mexico when it suffered an engine failure and crashed near Grants. Todd was the husband of actress Elizabeth Taylor and ex-husband of Joan Blondell.
  • Former U.S. President Harry S. Truman served briefly as conductor for the Kansas City Philharmonic orchestra as part of a benefit concert for the organization, guiding the musicians in their performance of John Philip Sousa's famous march, The Stars and Stripes Forever.[63]
  • Police in the French village of Mont-d'Origny arrested U.S. Army Private Wayne Powers, a 37-year-old native of Chillicothe, Missouri, who had deserted his unit in Verdun in November, 1944. For more than 13 years, Powers lived with Yvette Beleuse, and the two had five children. The police turned Powers over to U.S. military authorities at Verdun, where he was court-martialed and sentenced to ten years imprisonment. Tens of thousands of French citizens wrote to the U.S. Army and the U.S. Embassy in Paris and asked for clemency, and his sentence was later commuted to six months at hard labor. He would be released on October 9, 1958, after serving his sentence. [64]
  • Died: Claire McCardell, 52, American fashion designer known for her practical, comfortable designs [65]

March 23, 1958 (Sunday)Edit

March 24, 1958 (Monday)Edit

  • Saudi Arabia's King Saud, who had reigned over the Middle Eastern nation since 1953, transferred most of his absolute power to his younger brother, Crown Prince Faisal.[69]
  • In the U.S., nine of the 24 people on Braniff Airways Flight 971 were killed when it crashed shortly after taking off from Miami on a flight to Panama.[70] The four-engine Douglas DC-7C propeller-driven airplane experienced an engine fire and returned to the Miami Airport for an emergency landing, but the burning wing ripped loose and the plane crashed into the Everglades and burned in a marsh more than 4 miles (6.4 km) from the runway. An investigation later blamed the crash on "The failure of the captain to maintain altitude during an emergency return to the airport due to his undue preoccupation with an engine fire following takeoff." [71] The loss of the airplane's wing (which fell 50 yards (46 m) from the cabin) proved to be fortunate. Survivors told investigators that "all aboard might have been killed had not a flaming wing section ripped loose from the plane and had not Everglades marshes helped absorb the shock of impact."[72]
Presley and others being sworn in at Fort Chaffee

March 25, 1958 (Tuesday)Edit

  • The first, and only parliamentary elections for the West Indies Federation, the 10-member union of islands in the Caribbean Sea. Of the 45 seats of the Federation's House of Representatives , the West Indies Federal Labour Party, led by Grantley Adams of Barbados and Norman Manley of Jamaica, won a majority with 25 seats.[75]
  • Canada's supersonic Avro Arrow jet interceptor made its maiden flight. The aircraft was never put into production and the project cancelled 11 months later on February 20, 1959.
  • Cuba's Congress voted to approve the declaration by President Batista of "a state of national emergency" and granted him full power to respond to the insurgency by 26th of July Movement leader Fidel Castro.
  • In the largest non-nuclear explosion in the Soviet Union, an underground blast was made that was so powerful the U.S. Senate Disarmament Subcommittee Chairman Hubert H. Humphrey said later that it had been detected more than 5,000 miles (8,000 km) away and that "if caused by chemicals, would probably have required 100 freight carloads of explosives." [76] Senator Humphrey revealed the news shortly after Moscow Radio had predicted on April 6 that the Soviet Union would use small atomic weapons to build immense tunnels "in the near future".[77]
  • In a split decision, Sugar Ray Robinson won the world middleweight boxing championship for the fifth time in his career, defeating title holder Carmen Basilio, who had beaten Robinson in September.[78][79]
  • Died: Tom Brown (trombonist), 69, American dixieland bandleader and trombonist

March 26, 1958 (Wednesday)Edit

March 27, 1958 (Thursday)Edit

Bulganin [84]
Khrushchev [84]
  • Nikolai Bulganin was removed from his position as Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Soviet Union, without explanation, and replaced as the head of the Soviet government by the Soviet Communist Party's First Secretary (and de facto leader of the U.S.S.R.), Nikita Khrushchev.[85] The first clue of Premier Bulganin's fall from grace came two days earlier, when he was not included in the group of Soviet officials who hosted United Nations Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold and not mentioned at all in a Radio Moscow report of six persons present at the Kremlin dinner.[86] On June 19, 1957, the "Anti-Party Group" within the Communist Party Politburo had attempted to remove Khrushchev as the First Secretary and had secured a 7 to 4 vote in favor of placing Premier Bulganin in the position.[87] Khrushchev had taken the matter to the full Central Committee, which reversed the Politburo decision, and the three members of the Anti-Party effort (Georgy Malenkov, Vyacheslav Molotov and Lazar Kaganovich) were quickly removed. "Since it would have been awkward to dismiss Khrushchev's own prime minister" in 1957, an author would later note, "Bulganin temporarily remained at his post as window dressing," [87] until the next meeting of the Supreme Soviet could vote to accept Bulganin's resignation. Bulganin was given a position as chairman of Gosbank, the government's central bank.[88]
  • The government of France issued an order banning the controversial book La Question, a book by Henri Alleg that revealed torture techniques used by the French Army during the ongoing Algerian War.[89][90] Released on February 18 by Éditions de Minuit, La Question had sold 60,000 copies before the government seized the remaining 7,000 and banned its sale on national security grounds. The basis for invoking the censorship law was "attempted demoralization of the Army with intent to harm the defense of the nation". Within two weeks, a publishing house in Switzerland, Éditions de la Cité, would print another run of copies.

March 28, 1958 (Friday)Edit

  • Jeremiah Reeves, an African-American man who was sentenced to death after being convicted for a rape of a white woman, committed when he was 17 years old, was executed in the electric chair at Kilby Prison in Montgomery, Alabama, less than five hours after Alabama Governor Jim Folsom announced that a plea for clemency would not be granted.[91] For more than five years, beginning after Reeves's arrest in 1952, the NAACP had hired attorneys to defend Reeves and had taken his case up to the U.S. Supreme Court. Although put on trial for one rape after his arrest on November 10, 1952,[92] Reeves had been initially indicted for crimes against six women in Montgomery, one for robbery, three for assault with intent to rape and two for rape.[93] On December 6, 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court set aside his conviction and remanded the matter for another trial.[94] Reeves was convicted again on June 2, 1955 [95] and sentenced to death a second time.[96] On January 13, 1958, the U.S. Supreme Court voted, 8 to 1, to deny a second appeal.[97] Dr. Martin Luther King would write later in his memoir that the Reeves case illustrated the unequal treatment of black and white men in the meting out of sentences: "It was the severity of Jeremiah Reeves's penalty that aroused the Negro community, not the question of his guilt or innocence. But not only are we here to repent for the sin committed against Jeremiah Reeves, but we are also here to repent for the constant miscarriage of justice that we confront every day in our courts. The death of Jeremiah Reeves is only the precipitating factor for our protest, not the causal factor. The causal factor lies deep down in the dark and dreary past of our oppression. The death of Jeremiah Reeves is but one incident, yes a tragic incident, in the long and desolate night of our court injustice."
  • Born:
  • Died:
    • W. C. Handy, 84, American blues music composer and musician known as "the Father of the Blues" for making the genre popular.[98]
    • Chuck Klein, 53, American baseball outfielder, 1932 National League MVP and batting champion and Baseball Hall of Fame enshrinee, died of a cerebral hemorrhage.[99]
    • Charles H. Strub, 73, American dentist, entrepreneur and sportsman who successfully lobbied California to bring horse racing and parimutuel betting to California and opened the Santa Anita Park.

March 29, 1958 (Saturday)Edit

  • Representatives of Brazil and Bolivia signed the Roboré Agreement in an attempt to resolve their boundary dispute over islands in the Amazon River between the two, including the Isla Suárez, an island claimed by both sides and located in a tributary of the Amazon, the Mamoré River.
  • The Soviet Union's Ministry of Education created a university in Khabarovsk in the Russian SFSR, initially called the Khabarovsk Automobile Highway Institute for engineering.[100] The institution would become the Khabarovsk Polytechnical Institute in 1962 and, after the breakup of the Soviet Union, the Khabarovsk State University of Technology (in 1992) and, as of 2005, the Pacific National University with 21,000 students.
  • England's Grand National steeplechase race was held at Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool and won by Irish thoroughbred Mr. What, ridden by Arthur Freeman.

March 30, 1958 (Sunday)Edit

  • The pilot of National Airlines Flight 508 narrowly averted a head-on collision with a two-engine plane at 8,000 feet (2,400 m) during his approach to New York at the end of a flight from Palm Beach, Florida. With 58 people on board, the pilot of the Douglas DC-6, Jack A. Guthrie, was over New Jersey and still 70 miles (110 km) from New York when he saw the smaller plane flying directly toward him. Guthrie made a steep dive, causing 11 persons to require medical treatment, but was able to land safely at New York International Airport at "Idlewild", and later renamed for the late President John F. Kennedy and referred to now as "JFK Airport".[101]
  • Ukrainian-born French ballet master Serge Lifar fought a duel with swords against Chilean-born French ballet producer George de Cuevas over changes made in by Cuevas to Lifar's ballet, Suite en blanc. Only 50 members of the press were told of the time and place for the duel, which ended with Lifar receiving a cut to his forearm in what W. Granger Blair of The New York Times described as "what may well have been the most delicate encounter in the history of French dueling."[102]
  • Born:
  • Died: Javier Pereira, Colombian citizen who claimed that he was 168 years old [103]

March 31, 1958 (Monday)Edit

Canada's Prime Minister Diefenbaker
  • Nationwide voting for the House of Commons of Canada took place less than eight months after the previous vote that had given the Progressive Conservative Party (PC) a plurality in the 265-member body. The PC, led by Prime Minister John Diefenbaker went from a 112 to 105 lead over Lester B. Pearson's Liberal Party to a 208 to 48 lead, an increase of more than 85%.[104]
  • The Supreme Soviet, legislature of the Soviet Union, approved a decision to halt nuclear testing, conditional on other nuclear powers doing the same.[105] A worldwide moratorium by the three nuclear powers (the U.S., the USSR and the UK) would begin in November and last for three years.[106]
  • The ocean liner MS Skaubryn caught fire and sank in the Indian Ocean while 300 miles (480 km) off of the cost of Africa. All but one of the more than 1,300 passengers and crew on the I. M. Skaugen Line ship were rescued after evacuating to lifeboats. They were reached first by a Polish Ocean Lines cargo ship, MS Małgorzata Fornalska which then was able to transfer the persons on board to SS City of Sydney, a larger freighter of the British Ellerman Line.[107] MS Skaubryn was less than halfway through its West Germany to Australia voyage from Bremerhaven to Sydney.
  • Austrian Airlines, a subsidiary of Lufthansa and the national airline of Austria, began operations with a flight from Vienna to the Swiss city of Zurich, in a leased Vickers Viscount airplane.
  • Ian Fleming's Dr. No, the sixth in his James Bond series, was first published.[108] On October 5, 1962, the book would be the first Bond novel to be adapted to film, starring Sean Connery as Bond.


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  2. ^ "Toll in Turkish Sinking Up to 220; Final Count Between 400 and 450 Feared", The New York Times, March 3, 1958, p. 3
  3. ^ "Uruguay Elects President", The New York Times, March 2, 1958, p. 6
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  5. ^ "Fuchs Completes 2,100-Mile Journey Across Antarctic on the 99th Day", The New York Times, March 2, 1958, p. 1
  6. ^ "Karamanlis Resigns as Premier; Calls for an Election in Greece", The New York Times, March 3, 1958, p. 3
  7. ^ "Greek King Sets Up Caretaker Regime", The New York Times, March 4, 1958, p.7
  8. ^ "Mack Quits F.C.C.; President Calls His Action 'Wise'", by Jay Walz, The New York Times, March 4, 1958, p.1
  9. ^ "Mack Is Indicted With Whiteside in Miami TV Case; Ex-F.C.C. Aide and Lawyer Accused — Harris Defends Lawrence and Smathers Indicted on Conspiracy Charges", The New York Times, September 26, 1958, p. 1
  10. ^ "Nuri As-Said Gets Iraq Premiership", The New York Times, March 4, 1958, p. 3
  11. ^ "High Court Curbs Army Discharges in Security Cases; Bars Pre-Induction Activities as Basis for Less Than Honorable Severance", by Anthony Lewis, The New York Times, March 4, 1958, p.1
  12. ^ "Integration Delay Denied For Virginia's Test County", The New York Times, March 4, 1958, p.1
  13. ^ "Wilhelm Zaisser Is Dead at 65; East German State Security Minister Lost Office After Workers' Riot in 1953", The New York Times, March 7, 1958, p. 23
  14. ^ Finney, John W. (March 6, 1958). "2d U.S. Explorer Fired, Vanishes; Orbiting in Doubt— Early Signals Die— Official Says Evidence Shows Malfunction in the Missile". The New York Times. p. 1.
  15. ^ "Second Explorer Failed to Orbit; Rocket Is Blamed— Army Says Final Stage Did Not Fire, Causing Satellite to Plunge Earthward". The New York Times. March 7, 1958. p. 1.
  16. ^ "North Koreans Down U. S. Jet; Free 26 From Hijacked Airliner". The New York Times. March 7, 1958. p. 1.
  17. ^ "Zane Grey Theatre: The Sharpshooter", imdb.com
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  20. ^ "Kanmon Undersea Tunnel Opened", Japan Report March 5, 1958, p. 8
  21. ^ "Japanese Tunnel Open— Vehicle and Pedestrian Tube Links Two Main Islands", The New York Times, March 10, 1958, p. 8
  22. ^ Cortesi, Arnaldo (March 11, 1958). "Vatican Punishes Three in Hungary; Clerics Excommunicated for Cooperating With Reds — Have Parliament Seats". The New York Times. p. 1.
  23. ^ a b c d e f This article incorporates text from a publication in the public domain: Grimwood, James M. "Part 1 (B) Major Events Leading to Project Mercury January 1958 through October 1, 1958". Project Mercury - A Chronology. NASA Special Publication-4001. NASA. Retrieved 29 January 2023.
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  26. ^ "Batista's Regime Suspends Rights; Cabinet Resigns". The New York Times. March 13, 1958. p. 1.
  27. ^ Phillips, R. Hart (March 12, 1958). "Rights Restored in Cuba Province— 45-Day Suspension Expires in Oriente, the Center of Revolutionary Activity". The New York Times. p. 16.
  28. ^ Castro/M-26-7 Total War On Tyranny Manifesto 1958 (English Translation)
  29. ^ "Royals Defeat Lakers, Gain Second-Place Tie". Cincinnati Enquirer. March 13, 1958. p. 36.
  30. ^ "Police Tie Up Paris; Protest 'War' Duty", by Henry GinigerThe New York Times, March 14, 1958, p. 1
  31. ^ "Paris Police Chief Ousted After Tumult in the Ranks", by Henry Giniger, The New York Times, March 15, 1958, p. 1
  32. ^ "Bruins Win, 7-3; 2 Players Hurt— Goalie Plante, Toppazzini Out; Johnny Aiken in Net", by Tom Fitzgerald, Boston Daily Globe, March 14, 1958, p. 30
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  35. ^ "Princess Grace Bears an Heir and Monaco Rejoices", The New York Times, March 15, 1958, p. 1
  36. ^ "Royals Bow In Playoff Opener; Detroit Cops, 100-83, As Frigid First Half Sinks Cincinnatians", by Jim Schottelkotte, Cincinnati (O.) Enquirer, March 16, 1958, p. 65
  37. ^ "Stokes Ill", Cincinnati (O.) Enquirer, March 16, 1958, p. 65
  38. ^ "Stokes Is Feared Victim Of Encephalitis Malady", Cincinnati (O.) Enquirer, March 17, 1958, p. 1
  39. ^ "Maurice Stokes Is Dead At Age 36", St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 6, 1970, p. 3C
  40. ^ "Colombians Cast Vital Vote Today— Balloting for Congress Will Test Plan for 12-Year Truce in Politics", The New York Times, March 16, 1958, p. 10
  41. ^ "Rule of Colombia Snagged by Vote", by Tad Szulc, The New York Times, March 18, 1958, p. 11
  42. ^ "Lleras Proposed as Bogota Chief— Conservative Leader Backs Liberal Head as Joint Presidential Nominee", The New York Times, April 1, 1958, p. 5
  43. ^ "U.S. Team Watches as 130,000,000 Vote in Soviet", by Max Frankel, The New York Times, March 17, 1958, p. 1
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  45. ^ "Florentines Open Rebuilt 1570 Span— Reconstruction of Beautiful Bridge a Triumph for Berenson, Now 92", The New York Times, March 17, 1958, p. 5
  46. ^ "Italy's President Ends Legislature". The New York Times. March 18, 1958. p. 5.
  47. ^ "Navy Puts Vanguard in Orbit; 2d U.S. Satellite Up 2,513 Miles; Expected to Last 5 to 10 Years". The New York Times. March 18, 1958. p. 1.
  48. ^ Witkin, Richard (March 18, 1958). "Signals Received; Sphere Carries Solar Batteries— Part of Rocket Trails It". The New York Times. p. 1.
  49. ^ "New Satellite Is Regarded as a Test Sphere and Is Expected to Yield Little Data". The New York Times. March 18, 1958. p. 15.
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  51. ^ "24 Killed in Broadway Loft Fire; 15 Injured, Some Leap to Street; Trapped Victims Panic in Smoke", by Bayard Webster, The New York Times, March 20, 1958, p. 1
  52. ^ "Inauguran Esta Noche el Canal 12 de Television en Colores" ("Channel 12 Inaugurates Color Television Tonight") Diario de la Marina (Havana), March 19, 1958, p A12
  53. ^ "Schuman Heads New European Unit", The New York Times, March 20, 1958, p. 5
  54. ^ "The Screen: An Enchanted Evening— 'South Pacific' Has Criterion Premiere", by Bosley Crowther, The New York Times, March 20, 1958, p. 33
  55. ^ "Unionists to Keep Rule in Belfast— 25 of Their Candidates in Northern Ireland Won't Be Opposed at Polls", The New York Times, March 9, 1958, p. 4
  56. ^ "Pro-British Win in North Ireland; Union Government Elected for 9th Successive Time— Labor Gets 4 Seats", by Leonard Ingalls, The New York Times, March 21, 1958, p. 1
  57. ^ "New Germ Strain Takes Heavy Toll— U. S. Studies Virulent Form of Staphylococcus That Resists Antibiotics", The New York Times, March 22, 1958, p. 19
  58. ^ "Pigeons Spread a Fire In Egypt That Kills 16", The New York Times, March 23, 1958, p. 17
  59. ^ "800 in Pennsylvania Stranded 36 Hours In a Turnpike Cafe", The New York Times, March 22, 1958, p. 1
  60. ^ "Cyril M. Kornbluth Dead at 35; Wrote Science. Fiction Stories", The New York Times, March 22, 1958, p. 17
  61. ^ "Charter Reform Gets Paris Vote; Assembly Approves a Bill to Strengthen Executive — Referendum Needed", The New York Times, March 22, 1958, p. 2
  62. ^ "Mike Todd and 3 Aides Die In New Mexico Air Crash; Producer on Way Here to a Dinner— Art Cohn, Writer, Also Killed", The New York Times, March 23, 1958, p. 1
  63. ^ "Truman Conducts for Benefit as Jack Benny Fiddles", The New York Times, March 23, 1958, p. 1
  64. ^ "U. S. Private, Jailed for 1944 Desertion, Is Freed to Return to His French Family", The New York Times, October 10, 1958, p. 14
  65. ^ "Clarie McCardell, Designer, Is Dead", The New York Times, March 23, 1958, p. 1
  66. ^ "Kentucky, Xavier Triumphs Hailed; N.C.A.A., N.I.T Basketball Champions Reached Peaks After Mediocre Seasons", by Louis Effbat, The New York Times, March 24, 1958, p. 33
  67. ^ "Yugoslavia Set for March Vote— Single Parliamentary Slate Has Approval of Red-Led Popular Front Group", The New York Times, March 12, 1958, p. 9
  68. ^ "Yugoslavs Elect New Parliament; 10 Million Vote in Late Snow for 301 Candidates— All bu Six Unopposed", by Elie Abel, The New York Times, March 24, 1958, p. 3
  69. ^ "Saud Hands Vital Powers To Brother Prince Faisal; Relinquishes Control of Foreign, Internal and Economic Policy", by Osgood Caruthers, The New York Times, March 25, 1958, p. 1
  70. ^ "10 Dead, 14 Injured In Miami Air Crash", The New York Times, March 25, 1958, p. 1
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  73. ^ "King of Rock 'n' Roll Becomes Pvt. Presley", The New York Times, March 25, 1958, p. 29
  74. ^ "Herbert Fields, Librettist, Dead— Author of Broadway and Film Hits, Including 'Annie Get Your Gun,' Was 60", The New York Times, March 25, 1958, p. 33
  75. ^ "Manley's Backers Win in Caribbean", The New York Times, March 27, 1958, p. 8
  76. ^ "Soviet Explosion Beneath Ground Detected in U.S.; Humphrey Reports Blast of an Unknown Nature Was Recorded in Nevada", The New York Times, April 13, 1958, p. 1
  77. ^ "Soviet Tunneling by Atom Forseen— Moscow Radio Says Nuclear Blasts May Be Used Soon in Tube-Digging Projects", The New York Times, April 7, 1958, p. 6
  78. ^ "Ray Robinson Wins Title for Fifth Time", The New York Times, March 26, 1958, p. 1
  79. ^ "Robinson Outpoints Basilio and Wins World Middleweight Title Fifth Time", by Joseph C. Nichols, The New York Times, March 26, 1958, p. 45
  80. ^ "3d Satellite Fired into Orbit; Short Life Seen— But Angle Is Wrong", by Richard Witkin, The New York Times, March 27, 1958, p. 1
  81. ^ "Longer Life Seen for Explorer III— Calculations Now Indicate It May Remain in Orbit for 4 to 6 Months", The New York Times, March 28, 1958, p. 9
  82. ^ "'River Kwai' and Guinness Win Film 'Oscars'; Miss Woodward Top Actress— Lean Is Best Director", by Thomas M. Pryor, The New York Times, March 27, 1958, p. 39
  83. ^ "Iraq Gives Women the Right to Vote", The New York Times, March 27, 1958, p. 2
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  91. ^ "Convicted Rapist Dies In Kilby Electric Chair; Reeves Calm As 5-Year Wait Ends", Montgomery (AL) Advertiser, March 28, 1958, p. 1
  92. ^ "High school boy held as he admits beating Montgomery woman", Birmingham (AL) News, November 11, 1952, p. 4
  93. ^ "Negro Youth Admits Five Attacks Here— Reeves Is Charged With Six Crimes; Grand Jury Called", by James Lanham, Montgomery (AL) Advertiser, November 13, 1952, p. 1
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  98. ^ "W.C. Handy, Composer, Is Dead; Author of 'St. Louis Blues,' 84— Son of Ex-Slaves Made Popular a Form of Music Like a 'Darky's Sorrow Song' -Started With 'Memphis Blues' in 1910", The New York Times, March 29, 1958, p. 17
  99. ^ "Chuck Klein Dies; Baseball Star, 52— Most Valuable' in National League in '32 Hit 300 Home Runs in 17-Year Career", The New York Times, March 29, 1958, p. 17
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  101. ^ "58 in Airliner Safe As It Dives to Avert Mid-Air Collision", The New York Times, March 31, 1958, p. 1
  102. ^ "Marquis, in Duel, Pinks Lifar's Arm", by W. Granger Blair, The New York Times, March 31, 1958, p. 1
  103. ^ "Javier Pereira, Colombian Indian, Dies; Believed 168, Called World's Oldest Man", The New York Times, April 1, 1958, p. 31
  104. ^ "Diefenbaker Easy Winner Over Pearson in Canada", by Raymond Daniell, The New York Times, April 1, 1958, p. 1
  105. ^ "Soviet Announces Atom-Test Halt with Condition; U.S. Wants Check— Warning Is Given; Moscow Says It Will Resume Explosions if Example Is Ignored", The New York Times, April 1, 1958, p. 1
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  107. ^ "1,300 Saved as Norse Ship Sinks in Indian Ocean", The New York Times, April 1, 1958, p. 9
  108. ^ "Concluding Ian Fleming's Latest Thriller – Doctor No", The Daily Express (London) April 1, 1958, p.10