At the invitation of Dr. John F. Heard, Director of the David Dunlap Observatory, the 103rd Meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) was held at the University of Toronto, August 30th - September 3rd, 1959. The AAS had not met in Toronto since 1935, the year the Dunlap Observatory was completed. The meeting was the biggest in the AAS's history being attended by approximately two hundred astronomers together with their families and guests. The proceedings of the meeting were reported in the Journal of the RASC in December of that year. Helen Sawyer Hogg reported on the meeting in her weekly Toronto Star column on August 22nd and September 5th.
The Henry Norris Russell Lectureship is awarded each year by the AAS in recognition of a lifetime of excellence in astronomical research. The Russell Lecture in 1959 was given by Dr. Gerard P. Kuiper, Director of the Yerkes Observatory. Speaking on the subject of "Planets and Satellites", Kuiper outlined highlights of recent researches and viewpoints about the solar system in an evening lecture at the Royal Ontario Museum on September 1st. The timing of the lecture was auspicious, coming two weeks before the Soviet probe Luna 2 became the first satellite to reach the Moon's surface on September 13th.
Those who attended the scientific sessions were very appreciative of the refreshments which were provided during the intermissions by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. Many members of the Toronto and neighbouring centres attended the Russell Lecture.