A selection of student activist news from fifty years ago this month, courtesy of the archives of the New York Times.

March 1, 1959: High school students in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil begin a strike against increases in private school tuition. By five days later of all the city’s students are participating in the strike. Meanwhile, two hundred students at England’s Cambridge University march in opposition to the appearance of an “ugly” new building on their campus.

March 2, 1959: Crowds in La Paz burn an American flag and stone the US embassy in response to reports that an American diplomat has called for the country of Bolivia to be broken up. One student is shot and killed by police in the demonstrations.

March 3, 1959: Nearly two hundred students are arrested in Bogota, Colombia during the course of mass protests against increases in bus fares.

March 4, 1959: Professors and college administrators attending the National Conference on Higher Education in Chicago pass a resolution calling for the repeal of a law that requires college students to sign an oath of loyalty to the United States before receiving federal financial aid. 

March 5, 1959: Police in Goiania, Brazil kill one student and injure 160 more when they break up a demonstration against tuition hikes. Students riot in protest of the violence the following day, setting fire to two buildings.

March 7, 1959: Tens of thousands of Catholic students march in Vienna, Austria to protest plans to stage a communist World Youth Festival in that city in July.

March 14, 1959: A three-day conference of campus newspaper editors, sponsored by the United States National Student Association, opens in New York City. More than one hundred student editors from around the United States are in attendance at the conference, which will become an annual event.

March 16, 1959: Forty Yale undergraduates are arrested and the entire undergraduate student body is placed on probation after two snowball fights, one at the New Haven St. Patrick’s Day parade, turned into riots.

March 18, 1959: The twenty-one black students in Virginia’s Warren County High School enter their second month as the school’s only attendees. The federal government ordered the school opened on an integrated basis in February, and since then none of the school’s one thousand white students have attended class. 

March 27, 1959: Marching bands from two black high schools drop out of a ceremony honoring Richmond, Virginia’s minor league baseball team to protest segregated seating at the event.

March 28, 1959: Six hundred students stage a rally against nuclear weapons in New York City’s Bryant Park. Speakers include AJ Muste, Bayard Rustin, and Norman Thomas. Seventy-five of the students march overnight to the rally site from outside the city; some are detained by police en route.

March 30, 1959: Fifteen thousand anti-nuclear protesters march in London, England, demanding that Britain unilaterally give up its atomic weapons and that the United States close its British military bases. The march includes a substantial student contingent.