* In January, Fidel Castro takes over Cuba.
* In February, Texas Instruments seeks a patent for the integrated circuit, a.k.a. the microchip.
* Alaska and Hawaii gain statehood this year. The U.S. and Russia rush their space programs forward. G.D. Searle seeks approval for use of Enovid as a contraceptive -- "the pill." The first Barbie doll is unveiled at a New York toy show. "The Sound of Music" opens on Broadway.
* New film releases "Ben-Hur," "Some Like It Hot" and "North by Northwest" do boffo box office. François Truffaut releases "The 400 Blows."
* Bobby Darin is on the pop-music charts with "Mack the Knife" and "Dream Lover," as is Frank Sinatra with "High Hopes." Chubby Checker introduces "The Twist." Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson die in a plane crash. Miles Davis records "Kind of Blue." John Coltrane records "Giant Steps." Dave Brubeck records "Take Five."