A patent application (No. 3,064,167) for the planar process was filed by Jean Hoerni under the name "method of protecting exposed p-n junctions at the surface of silicon transistors by oxide masking technique". The process, which protected the transistor from contamination, made mass production of the transistors feasible, and has been called "after the invention of the junction transistor, the most important invention of microelectronics".
Jerry Unser, Jr. was fatally injured while practicing for the Indianapolis 500. Unser's car struck a retaining wall at 133 mph and burst into flame, and he died 15 days later from his burns. As a result, Indy racing officials required all drivers to wear fire-resistant suits in practice and in competition.
Four white men in Tallahassee, Florida, kidnapped and raped a black woman near the campus of Florida A & M University, beginning a case that attracted nationwide attention. Ultimately, an all-white jury convicted the four men, and on June 22, the Judge W. May Walker sentenced them to life in prison.
A body was found in the shallow waters of a slough (wetland) of the Columbia River near Camas, Washington, and soon confirmed to be that of 10-year old Susan Martin, one of five members of a Portland, Oregon, family that had vanished almost five months earlier. On December 7, 1958, Ken and Barbara Martin, and their three daughters, had left home to buy a Christmas tree, and never returned. The mystery garnered national attention. The next day, the body of 12 year old Virginia Martin was found at the Bonneville Dam. No trace of the other three victims was ever located, nor was their car, a red and white station wagon. More than fifty years later, the mystery remained unsolved.
The first Grammy Awards were bestowed by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, in a ceremony held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills. The Music from Peter Gunn, by Henry Mancini, was album of the year, and Doenico Modugno's Volare was song of the year. The Champs' Tequila won the award for best rhythm & blues performance. "Grammy" is an abbreviation for the Gramophone Award.
On a day in which a white man was exonerated from charges of rape of a black woman, and a black man convicted of rape of a white woman, Robert Williams of the NAACP declared in Monroe, North Carolina, "We must meet violence with violence," 
In a rare appearance before Congress, former U.S. President Harry S. Truman testified in favor of a repeal of the two-terms amendment. "You don't have to be very smart to know that an officeholder who is not eligible for re-election loses a lot of influence." 
The United States signed an agreement with West Germany, to share classified information about American nuclear weapons and to train German personnel in the operation of those weapons.
After three of the six members of the school board of Little Rock, Arkansas, walked out, the remaining three, all segregationists, ordered the firing of 44 teachers who had supported integration, and reassigned School Superintendent Terrell E. Powell to a school principal's job.
South Vietnam's President Ngo Dinh Diem promulgated "Law 10/59" to combat opposition by the communist Viet Cong. Under Article I, the death penalty could be invoked for murder and for other crimes, including theft of farm implements, and under Article III, a person found guilty of belonging to "an organization designed to help to prepare or perpetrate" such crimes could be executed. Death was by beheading, and traveling military tribunals brought guillotines along to carry out sentences.
The Armed Forces Special Weapons Project, which oversaw the American nuclear arsenal, was reorganized as DASA, the Defense Atomic Support Agency. Later renamed the Defense Nuclear Agency (1971) and then the Defense Special Weapons Agency (1996), the former DASA is now part of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency.
The largest crowd ever to attend a Major League Baseball game up that time —93,103—turned out for an exhibition between the NL Dodgers and the AL Yankees (who won 6–2), at Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, for Roy Campanella Night, to honor the Dodgers catcher who had been paralyzed in a car crash the year before. The record stood for nearly half a century, until March 29, 2008, in another exhibition game at the L.A. Coliseum, when 115,300 came out for a charity game between the Dodgers and the Red Sox (who won 7–4). In a game that did count, Stan Musial of the Cardinals hit his 400th home run in a 4–3 win over the visiting Cubs.
Two burglars broke into the apartment of socialite Mary G. Roebling at the Hotel Hildebrecht in Trenton, New Jersey, loaded nearly one million dollars worth of gems and furs into a cardboard box and rode down the hotel elevator for their getaway—where New York City police were waiting for them. The police had been following the pair and their driver since February 2, after being tipped off.
The Egyptian tour boatDandara sank in the Nile River near Qalyub, drowning 150 of the 300 people on board. The overloaded boat, ferrying agricultural engineers and their families to a picnic, was only six yards from shore when a sudden leak caused it to founder in water 50 feet deep, and then capsized. Most of the victims were women and children, trapped below decks. The skipper of the ship was arrested for negligence.
An F-84 jet fighter crashed into a backyard at Northville, Michigan, injuring two children, after the pilot had ejected.
At 3:29 p.m., Capital Airlines Flight 983 from Buffalo to Atlanta skidded off the runway while making a stop in Charleston, West Virginia and slid down a 200 foot embankment with 44 people on board, although all but 2 survived. Less than an hour later, Capital Airlines Flight 75, a turboprop flying from New York to Atlanta, disintegrated at an altitude of 5,000 feet after encountering severe turbulence, crashing near Chase, Maryland at 4:16 p.m., killing all 31 people on board. It was believed to be the first time that two planes from the same airline had crashed on the same day.
The deadline, for Communist Pathet Lao troops to lay down their weapons or join the ranks of the Royal Army of Laos, expired at noon. One battalion at Xieng Ngeun surrendered peacefully, while the other escaped and continued to fight. Pathet Lao leader Prince Souphanouvong was placed under house arrest two days later, but would become the President of Laos in 1975 after the Communists triumphed over the royal government.
Generals Richard G. Stilwell and Edward G. Lansdale delivered what was later described as "one of the most influential military documents of the past half century" to President Eisenhower. The report "Training Under the Mutual Security Program (With Emphasis on Development of Leaders)" proposed using the American military to further "political stability, economic growth, and social change" in developing nations.
Cristo-Rei was dedicated on an overlook over Lisbon, Portugal. It was inspired by the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and inaugurated on May 17, 1959. The base of the monument, by architect António Lino, is in the form of a gate, standing 75 m (246 ft) tall. At the top is a statue of Christ the Redeemer, designed by sculptor Francisco Franco de Sousa, 28 m (92 ft)-tall.
Cuba's Agrarian Reform Law took effect, seizing all foreign owned land and redistributing it to Cuban families.
The first Arabic-language commercial television station began broadcasting, as CLT (Compagnie Libanaise de Television) went on the air in Beirut, Lebanon. Broadcasting on Channel 9, the network is now part of Télé Liban.
Hours after his divorce from Elaine Davis became final, Mickey Rooney married his fifth wife, Barbara Ann Thomson. The New York Daily News headline read "Half-Pint Takes a Fifth".
In the largest effort to that time against organized crime, narcotics agents in nine American states arrested 27 persons who had participated in the November 14, 1957, Apalachin Meeting, following their indictment on federal charges of obstruction of justice. Twenty of the persons rounded up were later convicted.
Died: Dr. Dudley Allen Buck, 32, inventor of the cryotron and member of the National Security Agency Scientific Advisory Board; from pneumonia.; and Dr. Louis N. Ridenour, 47, nuclear physicist, vice president Lockheed Missile Systems and chairman of the National Security Agency Scientific Advisory Board, of a brain hemorrhage.
Brig. Gen. Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe, Wiesbaden, Germany, was nominated for a temporary promotion to Major General, making him the first African-American to be so nominated. His promotion to two-star rank became effective on June 30 and lasted until May 16, 1960, making him the highest ranking Negro officer in the United States military. A permanent promotion followed in 1962, and Davis attained lieutenant general rank in 1965, retiring in 1998 as the first African-American 4-star general. Davis's father, Benjamin O. Davis, Sr., had been the first African-American General, attaining the rank of brigadier general in 1940.
The Anglo-Soviet Long Term Trade Agreement was signed, marking the first significant agreement between the U.S.S.R. and a Western nation since World War II, was signed. The five-year trade pact was renewed in 1964 and 1969.
Mass murderer Charles Starkweather was granted a temporary reprieve 98 minutes before his 6:00 a.m. scheduled execution. Federal judge Richard Robinson of Omaha had been woken up at 1:45 to hear the motion, and signed the stay at 4:23 so that Starkweather, who had killed 11 people the year before, could have more time to perfect an appeal. The 20-year old killer lived for one more month before going to the electric chair at 12:02 a.m. on June 25, 1959.
Harvey Haddix of the Pittsburgh Pirates did what no other baseball player had ever accomplished by pitching a perfect game – no hits, no runs, no errors—for 12 innings in Milwaukee, but Milwaukee Braves pitcher Lew Burdette was also hurling a shutout, and the score remained 0–0 going into the 13th inning. Felix Mantilla reached first base and the Braves went on to win 1–0. Haddix, who almost sat out the game because he was recovering from the flu, said later that he knew he had been pitching a no-hitter, but did not realize he had had a perfect game going until later.
The 1964 Summer Olympic Games were awarded to Tokyo, receiving 34 of the 58 votes cast at the IOC meeting in Munich. Runner up was Detroit with 10 votes, followed by Vienna and Brussels.
Nikita Khrushchev's ultimatum for action on Berlin expired. The Soviet premier had notified the Western powers on November 27, 1958, that if occupying armies were not withdrawn from West Berlin within six months, access through East Germany to the city would be closed off. The Geneva talks that began on May 11 halted action on the ultimatum. The late U.S. Secretary of StateJohn Foster Dulles, who had said in 1958, "We are not afraid of May 27, 1959", was buried on that date, and the participants in the Geneva talks, including Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko, attended the ceremonies at Arlington.
Two female monkeys became the first animals launched by NASA into outer space and returned safely to Earth. Able, a 7 pound rhesus, and Baker, a 1 pound spider monkey, were placed in the nose cone of a Jupiter rocket and sent 300 miles aloft from Cape Canaveral, and recovered, unharmed, in the Caribbean Sea 1,100 miles away.
A passenger train in Indonesia derailed and fell into a ravine, killing 85 people and injuring 47. Sabotage was suspected in the crash in the Tasikmalaja area of West Java.
In what an AP report described as "history's first international conference in the clouds", Christian Herter (U.S.), Andrei Gromyko (U.S.S.R.), Selwyn Lloyd (U.K.) and Maurice Couve de Murville (France) continued their negotiations concerning Berlin while flying over the Atlantic Ocean. The four foreign ministers were returning to Geneva following the funeral of John Foster Dulles.
An invasion of Nicaragua was made when two planes with rebel soldiers, under the direction of Nicaraguan-exile Enrique Lacayo Farfan, landed and fought with government troops. The rebellion was put down by June 12.
After the calling off of the 1955 Anglo-Iraqi Agreement, the last British troops in Iraq left peacefully.
Memorial Day Weekend closed at midnight, and was counted as a two-day holiday weekend for the last time, with May 30 falling on a Saturday. The accidental death toll broke the record for a 54-hour weekend. The 310 traffic fatalities recorded by the National Safety Council from 6 pm Friday to Midnight Sunday far exceeded the 1953 record of 241. There were 150 more accidental deaths, including 101 drownings, for a total of 460 dead in 54 hours. When May 30 fell on a Saturday again in 1964, Memorial Day weekend was counted as a three-day period starting on Thursday evening.
^Glenda Alice Rabby, The Pain and the Promise: The Struggle for Civil Rights in Tallahassee, Florida (University of Georgia Press, 1999), pp77–80
^"Body Is Linked To Family", Bridgeport Telegram, May 4, 1959, p1
^"Oregon", Collier's Encyclopedia 1960 Yearbook, p460; "Family of 5 Disappears In Tree Hunt", Charleston Daily Mail December 10, 1958, p26; "Candy Lane's Santa Disappears With His Family", Syracuse Herald-American, December 21, 1959, p4
^"Family Gone Year Today", Tri-City Herald (Pasco, Washington), December 7, 1959, p1; "3 In Family Feared Lost In Columbia", Tri-City Herald, December 17, 1967, p1