Historical events from 1 January 1950 to 31 December 1969

Page last modified 11/9/2020


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(+9999) = Day count from end of World War Two in Europe. Easter Sundays derived from https://www.staff.science.uu.nl/~gent0113/easter/easter_text2b.htm


For dates from 1/1/1970 click here



12/1969, UK abolished death penalty for murder.

18/12/1969, Thursday (+8,990) The death penalty for murder was formally abolished in Britain.

15/12/1969, Monday (+8,987) (1) Dubcek was made Czechoslovak Ambassador to Turkey. He was expelled from the Czech Communist party on 26/6/1970.

(2) Swansea received City Status.

10/12/1969, Wednesday (+8,982) A Nobel Prize was added for Economics.

6/12/1969, Saturday (+8,978) A free concert given by the Rolling Stones, at Altamont, California, ended in tragedy when Hell’s Angels stabbed a man to death.


11/1969, Anti-Apartheid demonstrations in UK. First UK colour TV advert. Gadhafi nationalised Libyan banks.

25/11/1969, Tuesday (+8,967) John Lennon returned his MBE to Buckingham Palace, in protest at British involvement in the Biafra civil war in Nigeria.

19/11/1969, Wednesday (+8,961) Second landing on the Moon. See 20/7/1969.

15/11/1969, Saturday (+8,957) (1) The first colour TV advert went on British television – for Birds Eye peas.

(2) Huge anti Vietnam War demonstration in Washington.

14/11/1969, Friday (+8,956) (1) Gadhafi nationalised all foreign banks in Libya.

(2) The US launched Apollo 12, crewed by Charles Conrad, Richard Gordon, and Alan Bean.  Conrad and Bean made the 2nd Moon landing.

13/11/1969, Thursday (+8,955) In London, a woman had quintuplets after fertility drug treatment.

12/11/1969, Wednesday (+8,954) (USA) News of the My Lai massacre (see 16/3/1968) of civilians, by US troops in Vietnam during the Tet Offensive, was finally broken to a news reporter, Sy Hersh. The news helped raise further anti-war sentiment in the USA.

11/11/1969, Tuesday (+8,953) The owners of the Torrey Canyon agreed to pay £1.5 million compensation to Britain and France.

5/11/1969, Wednesday (+8,947) Anti-Apartheid demonstrators invaded the pitch at Twickenham, during a game by the touring South African Springboks.

11/1969, Anti-Apartheid demonstrations in UK. First UK colour TV advert. Gadhafi nationalised Libyan banks.


10/1969, Beijing Metro opened. Concorde first broke sound barrier. Anti-Vietnam War protests. UK 50p coin.

29/10/1959, Wednesday (+8,940) The Arpanet went live.

21/10/1969, Tuesday (+8,932) Willy Brandt was elected Chancellor of West Germany.

15/10/1969, Wednesday (+8,926) The biggest anti-Vietnam-War demonstration to date took place in America. The war so far had cost the USA the lives of 40,000 servicemen, over 8 years.

14/10/1969, Tuesday (+8,925) The 7-sided 50p coin came into circulation in Britain, replacing the 10-shilling note.

10/10/1969, Friday (+8,921) (1) The Hunt Commission on Northern Ireland recommended disarming the police and disbanding the ‘B Specials’.

(2) Concorde 001 broke the sound barrier for the first time during a test flight over Paris.

5/10/1969, Sunday (+8,916) Monty Python was first screened.

1/10/1969, Wednesday (+8,912) The first line of the Beijing Metro, 24 km long, opened. Construction had been approved in 1965.


9/1969, Peace Wall erected in Belfast. ITN colour broadcasts began. Czech purge of reformers. Gadhafi seized power in Libya.

28/9/1969, Sunday (+8,909) Police in Belfast erected a ‘peace wall’ between Protestant and Catholic communities.

27/9/1969, Saturday (+8,908) Purge of reformers in Czechoslovak Government.

25/9/1969, Thursday (+8,906) Heavy rains began in Tunisia. Flooding killed 700 and left 200,000 homeless.

17/9/1969, Wednesday (+8,898) A week of violence between Hindus and Muslims broke out in Gujarat.

16/9/1969, Tuesday (+8,897) President Nixon announced the withdrawal of a further 36,000 troops from Vietnam by mid-December.

12/9/1969, Friday (+8,893) President Nixon continued B52 bombing raids on Vietnam.

3/9/1969, Wednesday (+8,884) Ho Chi Minh, President of North Vietnam during the Vietnam War, died of a heart attack aged 79.

2/9/1969, Tuesday (+8,883) ITV began broadcasting in colour.

1/9/1969, Monday (+8,882) (1) Portsmouth Polytechnic was established, one of the first under the UK’s 1966 White Paper, A Plan for Polytechnics and Other Colleges.

(2) President Ghaddaffi ousted King Idris of Libya in a military coup.

9/1969, Peace Wall erected in Belfast. ITN colour broadcasts began. Czech purge of reformers. . Gadhafi seized power in Libya.


8/1969, Teargas first used in Ulster as The Troubles began. Woodstock US music festival inaugurated.

31/8/1969, Sunday (+8,881) Bob Dylan starred in a pop festival on the Isle of Wight, drawing in 150,000 fans.

29/8/1969, Friday (+8,879) Arab guerrillas hijacked a TWA aircraft en route from Rome to Tel Aviv and forced it to land in Damascus.

19/8/1969, Tuesday (+8,869) The British Army took over security and policing in Northern Ireland.

18/8/1969, Monday (+8,868) Hurricane Camille hit areas of Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama, with 190 mph winds. 200 were killed, and a further 74 in Virginia died through flooding.

17/8/1969, Sunday (+8,867) Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, architect, died.

16/8/1969, Saturday (+8,866)

15/8/1969, Friday (+8,865) The famous American rock festival, Woodstock, began. It was attended by 400,000.

14/8/1969, Thursday (+8,864) British troops moved into Londonderry to stop rioting between Catholics and Protestants. This was known as ‘The Troubles’, and the police were initially welcomed by Catholics, hoping for protection from extremist Protestants. However the Catholics were to come to see the police themselves as oppressors.

10/8/1969, Sunday (+8,860)

9/8/1969, Saturday (+8,859) The Royal Ulster Constabulary used tear gas for the first time in its history. Thus followed nine hours of rioting by the Roman Catholics in Bogside, Londonderry. Eighty police were injured in these riots.

8/8/1969, Friday (+8,858) The French Franc was devalued by 11.1%, and Sterling came under pressure.

4/8/1969, Monday (+8,854)

1/8/1969, Friday (+8,851) The British pre-decimal halfpenny ceased to be legal tender.

8/1969, Teargas first used in Ulster as The Troubles began. Woodstock US music festival inaugurated.


7/1969, Charles made Prince of Wales. First man on the Moon. Open University established. Kennedy car crash.

24/7/1969, Thursday (+8,843) The Apollo 11 astronauts returned successfully to earth, splashing down in the Pacific Ocean.

23/7/1969, Wednesday (+8,842) The Open University was established at Milton Keynes. See 11/1/1973.

22/7/1969, Tuesday (+8,841) (1) Apollo 11 left the Moon.

(2) Spanish dictator General Franco named Juan Carlos, grandson of King Alfonso XIII, as his heir apparent.

21/7/1969, Monday (+8,840)

20/7/1969, Sunday (+8,839) Neil Armstrong became the first man on the Moon. He said, as he emerged from the Eagle lunar module, “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”.  The Eagle had separated from the Apollo 11 spacecraft.   See 7/10/1968 and 19/11/1969. The mission had launched from Cape Canaveral on 16/7/1969, and the astronauts returned to Earth, splashing down in the Pacific, on 24/7/1969.

19/7/1969, Saturday (+8,838) John Fairfax became the first person to row the Atlantic when he arrived at Fort Lauderdale, Florida, after 180 days at sea.

18/7/1969, Friday (+8,837) Senator Edward Kennedy crashed his car into the Chappaquidick River on the east coast of the USA. Kennedy escaped but his companion Mary Jo Kopechne drowned. Kennedy didn’t report the incident for ten hours and was found guilty of leaving the scene of an accident.

16/7/1969, Wednesday (+8,835) The US launched Apollo 11, crewed by Neil Armstrong, Edwin Aldrin, and Michael Collins.

14/7/1969, Monday (+8,833) Outbreak of the ‘Football War’ between El Salvador and Honduras; hostilities lasted until 18/7/1969, and a ceasefire was negotiated on 20/7/1969 by the Organisation of American States. In 1969 wealthy landowners controlled most of the land in El Salvador, which resulted in the migration of many poor El Salvadoran labourers into Honduras, causing social tensions there. In 1969 Honduras decided to distribute land to its own poor, thereby evicting the Salvadoran migrants. El Salvador became concerned that the returning peasants would spark demands for land reform there too, Tensions between the two countries rose during the qualifying matches for the 1970 FIFA World Cup, Salvadoran troops attacked into Honduras. The troops were withdrawn in early August 1969, but a full peace treaty was not signed between the two combatants until 30/10.1980. The border essentially remained where it had been before the war. Both sides suffered around 2,000 casualties each.

5/7/1969, Saturday (+8,824) (1) Tom Mboya, leader of the campaign for Kenyan independence from Britain, was assassinated in Nairobi.

(2) Sir Walter Gropius, architect, founder of the Bauhaus school of design, died.

4//7/1969, Friday (+8,823) Franco offered Gibraltarians Spanish citizenship.

3/7/1969, Thursday (+8,822)

1/7/1969, Tuesday (+8,820) Prince Charles was formally invested as Prince of Wales at Caernarfon Castle. This event was watched by a TV audience of some 200 million worldwide. The Daily Mail cost 5d (2p).

7/1969, Charles made Prince of Wales. First man on the Moon. Open University established. Kennedy car crash.


6/1969, Nixon withdrew troops from Vietnam. Riots after Stonewall gay pub raid in New York. North Sea Oil discovered.

30/6/1969, Monday (+8,819) (1) Spain returned the enclave of Ifni to Morocco; however the towns of Ceuta and Melilla were retained.

(2) The Nigerian Government seized control of all relief for Biafra.

29/6/1969, Sunday (+8,818) Tshombe died of a heart attack, in an Algerian prison.

28/6/1969, Saturday (+8,817) (Homosexuality) A riot began when police raided the Stonewall Inn, a venue frequented by homosexuals, in Greenwich Village, New York City.

24/6/1969, Tuesday (+8,813) The 20 year old Prince Charles tackled the ‘awfully difficult’ question of his future marriage. ‘You have to chose somebody very carefully, I think’ said the Prince.

20/6/1969, Friday (+8,809) High-grade oil was discovered in the North Sea.

17/6/1969, Tuesday (+8,806) Boris Spassky became world chess champion when he beat Tigran Petrosian.

16/6/1969, Monday (+8,805) Earl Alexander of Tunis, British military commander who led the invasion of Italy in WW2, died.

15/6/1969, Sunday (+8,804) Pompidou became President of France, see 28/4/1969.

14/6/1969, Saturday (+8,803) Steffi Graf, tennis champion, was born.

13/6/1969, Friday (+8,802) In the UK, the Divorce Reform Bill received its third reading. It provided for a divorce after 2 years separation with mutual consent, or after five years without this consent.

12/6/1969, Thursday (+8,801) Alexander Deyneka: Ukrainian artist (born 1899), died.

11/6/1969, Wednesday (+8,800) John Llewellyn Lewis, US Trades Union leader (born 2/12/1880 in Lucas, Iowa), died.

10/6/1969, Tuesday (+8.799) James Earl Ray was sentenced to 99 years in Memphis, Tennessee, for the murder of Martin Luther King in April 1968.

9/6/1969, Monday (+8,798) Enoch Powell proposed voluntary repatriation of immigrants, causing a storm of protest.

8/6/1969, Sunday (+8,797) President Nixon announced that 25,000 US troops would be withdrawn from Vietnam by the end of August.

6/1969, Nixon withdrew troops from Vietnam. Riots after Stonewall gay pub raid in New York. North Sea Oil discovered.


5/1969, Ordnance Survey offices Southampton opened. UK voting age lowered from 21 to 18.Thor Heyerdahl set out on raft voyage of Atlantic.

30/5/1969, Friday (+8,788) Rioting over low wages and unemployment broke out in Curacao. Shops were looted and burnt. From 1955 the oil refineries had begun to replace labour with automation, and began to contract out services such as cleaning and construction, and contractors paid lower wages than the refinery had done.

26/5/1969, Monday (+8,784) John Lennon and Yoko Ono began a ‘bed – in’ at a Montreal hotel in aid of world peace. See 8/12/1980.

25/5/1969, Sunday (+8,783) The Norwegian Thor Heyerdahl set sail with seven crew from the Moroccan port of Safi in a reed boat in order to prove that The ancient Egyptians could have reached America, accounting for the Pyramids in central America. He used 12 tons of papyrus reeds, and traditional boat builders from Chad made the vessel. The boat did not sink, and Heyerdahl completed the voyage; in 1948 he successfully completed a voyage from Polynesia to Peru to prove that Pacific Islanders could have settled South America.

24/5/1969, Saturday (+8,782) The Black and White Minstrel Show at London’s Victoria Palace closed after 4,354 performances over seven years. It was the longest running musical show in Britain.

20/5/1969, Tuesday (+8,778)

18/5/1969, Sunday (+8,776) Apollo 10 was launched, crewed by Thomas Stafford, John Young, and Eugene Cernan.

17/5/1969, Saturday (+8,775) Dubliner Tom McLean completed the first solo transatlantic crossing by rowing boat, from Newfoundland to Ireland.

16/5/1969, Friday (+8,774) The Russian spacecraft Venus 5 touched down on Venus.

15/5/1969, Thursday (+8,773) Violence in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, between Malays and Chinese.

14/5/1969, Wednesday (+8,772)

12/5/1969, Monday (+8,770) The voting age in Britain was lowered to 18 from 21. See 2/7/1928, 13/3/1970.

11/5/1969, Sunday (+8,769) The Vietcong launched ground and rocket attacks throughout South Vietnam.

10/5/1969, Saturday (+8,768) In the UK, local elections left Labour in control of only 28 of 342 borough councils in England and Wales.

5/5/1969, Monday (+8,763)

2/5/1969, Friday (+8,760) The Queen Elizabeth II sailed from Southampton on her maiden voyage.

1/5/1969, Thursday (+8,759) Queen Elizabeth II opened the new Ordnance Survey offices in Southampton.

5/1969, Ordnance Survey offices Southampton opened. UK voting age lowered from 21 to 18.Thor Heyerdahl set out on raft voyage of Atlantic.


4/1969, Concorde UK maiden flight. De Gaulle resigned as PM of France.

28/4/1969, Monday (8,756) General De Gaulle, 79 years old, resigned as Prime Minister of France. President Pompidou, who became French President on 15/6/1969, succeeded him.  De Gaulle lost a referendum on changes to French regional institutions.  De Gaulle was resented for high taxation to pay for the French military, whilst health, education, and social services were neglected, leading to French student riots in spring 1968.  De Gaulle retired to Colombey.  See 9/11/1970.

22/4/1969, Tuesday (+8,750) IRA bombs hit the main post office and bus station in Belfast.

18/4/1969, Friday (+8,746) Bernadette Devlin became Britain’s youngest MP for nearly 200 years when she was elected for Mid-Ulster, 6 days before her 22nd birthday.

17/4/1969, Thursday (+8,745) Alexander Dubcek was replaced as First Secretary of the Czech Communist Party.

16/4/1969, Wednesday (+8,744) Desmond Dekker became the first Jamaican artist to top the UK charts with The Israelites.

15/4/1969, Tuesday (+8,743) The Woodstock music festival began in Bethel, New York.

12/4/1969, Saturday (+8,740)

9/4/1969, Wednesday (+8,737) (1) Sikh bus drivers in Wolverhampton won the right to wear turbans.

(2) Concord’s first trial flight from Bristol to Fairford. See 21/1/1976. The French Concorde made its first flight on 2/3/1969. The Concorde project had begun in 1962 between the British and French governments to develop a supersonic aircraft. Sceptics doubted that it was possible to build a passenger aircraft with over 100 seats that travelled as fast as a military fighter. However Concorde halved flight times across the Atlantic.

8/4/1969, Tuesday (+8,736) Arab guerrillas attacked Eilat. In retaliation, Israeli jets attacked Aqaba, Jordan.

6/4/1969, Sunday (+8,734) Easter Sunday.

2/4/1969, Wednesday (+8,730) Jim Morrison, of pop group ‘The Doors’ was arrested in the USA.

1/4/1969, Tuesday (+8,729) France formally left NATO.

4/1969, Concorde UK maiden flight. De Gaulle resigned as PM of France.


3/1969, French Concorde maiden flight. Golda Meir Israeli PM. US bombed Cambodia. East Pakistan wanting separation from West.

31/3/1969, Monday (+8,728) An airline pilots strike grounded all BOAC flights.

29/3/1969, Saturday (+8,726)

28/3/1969, Friday (+8,725) Dwight D Eisenhower, American Army Commander and Republican 34th President 1953 to 1961, died in Washington.

27/3/1969, Thursday (+8,724) Harold Wilson arrived in Nigeria for talks with General Gowon.

25/3/1969, Tuesday (+8,722) Amidst increasing separatist tension in East Pakistan, Ayub resigned, handing power to General Yahya Khan. Khan promised elections for 7/12/1970, and that 162 of the 300 seats in the National Assembly would be reserved for East Bengalis. Given the popularity of the Awami League in East Pakistan, this appeared to invite further problems of governance.

22/3/1969, Saturday (+8,719) Soccer hooligans ran riot on the London Underground, causing thousands of pounds of damage.

20/3/1969, Thursday (+8,717) Beatle John Lennon married Yoko Ono in Gibraltar.

19/3/1969, Wednesday (+8,716) British forces landed on the Caribbean island of Anguilla. The rebel government set up self-appointed President Ronald Webster offered no resistance. Many of the 6,000 islanders welcomed the British invasion force, whose arrival had already been announced by the BBC.

18/3/1969, Tuesday (+8,715) The US began heavily bombing Cambodia, the aim being to cut the Ho Chi Minh trail and thereby disrupt supplies to the Communist Vietcong. The operation was not publicised to the West, because that would have revealed Sihanouk’s complicity in the bombing of his own country. Sihanouk was pro-US because he perceived Pol Pot to be allied to Hanoi. In fact the bombing destabilised Cambodia so that within a year Sihanouk was deposed by his own ministers. The new Cambodian leader, Lon Nol, insisted that all Vietnamese troops leave Cambodian soil to the delight of the US. However Lon Nol was weak and his rule facilitated the advance of Pol Pot’s forces into rural areas, forcing Lon Nol’s troops back into the cities.

15/3/1969, Saturday (+8,712)

12/3/1969, Wednesday (+8,709) Beatle Paul McCartney married Linda Eastman at Marylebone Registry Office, London.

11/3/1969, Tuesday (+8,708) (1) Golda Meir, aged 70, became Prime Minister of Israel after the death of Levi Eshkol. Mrs Meir remained Prime Minister until her resignation in 1974.

(2) The author John Wyndham died.

10/3/1969, Monday (+8,707) James Ray Earl pleaded guilty to the murder of civil rights leader Martin Luther King. He was sentenced to 99 years.

5/3/1969, Wednesday (+8,702) The gangland twins Ronald and Roger Kray, 35, were found guilty of murder at the Old Bailey and given life sentences. The judge said they should not be released for 30 years.

3/3/1969, Monday (+8,700) Apollo 9 was launched, manned by James McDivitt, David Scott, and Russell Schweickart.

2/3/1969, Sunday (+8,699) (1) (Aviation) The French built Concorde made its maiden flight from Toulouse Airport. See 9/1/1969.  It was piloted by Andre Turcat, chief test pilot of Sud Aviation; he got the plane to 300 mph.

(2) (China, Russia) Soviet and Chinese troops clashed on their border. Chinese troops attempted to occupy Damiansky island, one of the Ussuri river islands ceded by China to Tsarist Russia in 1860. China now maintained that the concession had been unfairly extracted and revoked it. Russia drove off the Chinese invasion.

1/3/1969, Saturday (+8,698) In Laos, the Pathet Lao opposition rejected the government’s offer of talks to end the civil war.

3/1969, French Concorde maiden flight. Golda Meir Israeli PM. US bombed Cambodia. East Pakistan wanting separation from West.


2/1969, Yasser Arafat became PLO leader. US President Nixon talked with UK PM Harold Wilson over Rhodesia.

28/2/1969, Friday (+8,697) Dwight D Eisenhower, US statesman, died aged 78.

27/2/1969, Thursday (+8,696)

26/2/1969, Wednesday (+8,695) Levi Eshkol, Prime Minister of Israel, died.

25/2/1969, Tuesday (+8,,694) Mariner 6 was launched from Cape Canaveral, to fly by Mars.

24/2/1969, Monday (+8,693)

23/2/1969, Sunday (+8,692) President Nixon of the USA began a tour of European capitals.

22/2/1969, Saturday (+8,691) President Nixon arrived in Britain for talks with Prime Minister Harold Wilson.

On TV a wheelchair bound detective called Ironside battled San Francisco’s crooks. Films on release included 2001: A Space Odyssey.

18/2/1969, Tuesday (+8,687) At Zurich an Israeli aircraft was attacked by four Arabs, injuring 6 passengers; one Arab was killed.

13/2/1969, Thursday (+8,682) Scientists in Cambridge announced the first successful in-vitro fertilisation of a human being.

12/2/1969, Wednesday (+8,681) Ndabaningi Sithole, leader of the Zimbabwe African National Union, was convicted of incitement to murder Ian Smith.

11/2/1969, Tuesday (+8,680) In the UK, female workers at the Ford car plant won equal pay with male workers.

9/2/1969, Sunday (+8,678) The Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet made its maiden flight. See 21/1/1970.

7/2/1969, Friday (+8,676) Marvin Gaye’s I Heard It Through The Grapevine was released.

5/2/1969, Wednesday (+8,674) The Governor of California, Ronald Reagan, declared a state of ‘extreme emergency’ at the university campus at Berkeley after violent struggles there between students and police. On BBC1 All Gas and Gaiters was a comedy about a young Church of England priest, Derek Nimmo.

3/2/1969, Monday (+8,672) In Cairo, Yasser Arafat became leader of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, the PLO.

2/1969, Yasser Arafat became PLO leader. US President Nixon talked with UK PM Harold Wilson over Rhodesia.


1/1969, Last Beatles performance. Franco imposed martial law in Spain.

30/1/1969, Thursday (+8,668) The Beatles performed together for the last time.

27/1/1969, Monday (+8,665) In Northern Ireland, Protestant leader Ian Paisley was jailed.

24/1/1969, Friday (+8,662) General Franco imposed martial law in Spain.

23/1/1969, Thursday (+8,661) The British Government rejected proposals to cut penalties for smoking cannabis.

21/1/1969, Tuesday (+8,659)

20/1/1969, Monday (+8,658) President Nixon was sworn in as US President.

19/1/1969, Sunday (+8,657) 21-year-old student Jan Palach, set himself on fire in Wenceslas Square, Prague, in protest at the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia.

15/1/1969, Wednesday (+8,653)

10/1/1969, Friday (+8,648) Sweden became the first European country to recognise North Vietnam.

9/1/1969, Thursday (+8,647) (Aviation) Concorde made its first trial flight from Bristol.

6/1/1969, Monday (+8,644)

2/1/1969, Thursday (+8,640) A civil rights march from Belfast to London ended in violence.

1/1/1969, Wednesday (+8,639) Sir Learie Constantine became Britain’s first Black peer.


12/1968, Russia flew a supersonic aircraft. Israeli raid on Lebanon. John Steinbeck died.

31/12/1968, Tuesday (+8,638) (1) Russia’s TU144 flew, becoming the world’s first supersonic aircraft.

(2) The ‘lion’ ceased to be stamped on British eggs.  The practice began on 30/6/1957.

30/12/1968, Monday (+8,637) Trygve Lie, Norwegian ambassador and Secretary-General to the UN, 1946 to 1952, died.

28/12/1968, Saturday (+8,635) Israeli commandos in helicopters raided Beirut Airport, destroying 13 Lebanese aircraft.  This was in retaliation for alleged Lebanese toleration of guerrilla raids into northern Israel.

26/12/1968, Thursday (+8,633) Two Arab gunmen, killing one passenger, attacked an Israeli Boeing 707 in Athens.

22/12/1968, Sunday (+8,629) The captain and crew of the Pueblo were released by the North Koreans at Panmunjom.

21/12/1968, Saturday (+8,628) The first flight of a man around the Moon, when Apollo 8 was launched.  It was crewed by Frank Borman, James Lovell, and William Anders.

20/12/1968, Friday (+8,627) (1) Franco banished Prince Carlos from Spain.

(2) John Steinbeck, American author who wrote The Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice and Men, Nobel Prize Winner in 1962, died in New York City.

16/12/1968, Monday (+8,623) World premiere of the film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

4/12/1968, Wednesday (+8,611) On TV Bill and Ben the Flowerpot Men still entertained children 16 years after their initial appearance. The weak willed pair still lived in fear of the gardener and were mercilessly bullied by Weed.


11/1968, Papandreou, Greek PM, died. UK Race Relations Act and Trades Descriptions Act in force. First meeting of London’s GLC.

30/11/1968, Saturday (+8,607) The Trades Descriptions Act came into force.

29/11/1968, Friday (+8,606) (1) Arab guerrillas attacked a potash plant on the Dead Sea. Israeli jets retaliated by blowing up two bridges in Jordan.

(2) In Britain, Telford new town was designated.

28/11/1968, Thursday (+8,605) Enid Blyton, creator of Noddy and Big Ears, died. She was born on 11/8/1897 in East Dulwich. In the mid 1930s she began writing her stories, which featured Noddy, the Famous Five, and the Secret Seven.

26/11/1968, Tuesday (+8,603) In Britain the Race Relations Act came into force, banning racial discrimination at work.

15/11/1968, Friday (+8,592) Cunard’s flagship liner the Queen Elizabeth docked at Southampton for the last time. Launched in September 1938, she was used during the War as a troopship based in Sydney, Australia. Her first commercial voyage was from Southampton in 1946. She was replaced by the Queen Elizabeth II.

12/11/1968, Tuesday (+8,589) One thousand people attended the first public meeting of the Greater London Council. Ideas discussed included a monorail down Oxford Street by 1972 and an ‘end to the architecture of totalitarianism’. The Milton Keynes Development Corporation announced that the first blueprint for the new city would be available by February 1969. On TV Z Cars patrolled Merseyside whilst Trumpton kept watch at the Fire Station.

5/11/1968, Tuesday (+8,582) (1) Richard Milhous Nixon, born 9/1/1913, won the 37th Presidency of the USA by a narrow majority.  He had stood for election in 1960 but was defeated by John F Kennedy. J F Kennedy was born on 29/5/1917.

(2) The first Black woman was elected to the US House of Representatives.

3/11/1968, Sunday (+8,580) Severe storms and floods in northern Italy killed over 100 people.

1/11/1968, Friday (+8,578) Georgios Papandreou, Prime Minister of Greece, died.

11/1968, Papandreou, Greek PM, died. UK Race Relations Act and Trades Descriptions Act in force. First meeting of London’s GLC.


10/1968, University of Ulster opened. US President Johnson ordered halt to Vietnam bombing. New Euston Station opened. Ian Smith of Rhodesia defiant against majority rule.

31/10/1968, Thursday (+8,577) President Johnson of the USA ordered a total halt to US bombing of North Vietnam.

27/10/1968, Sunday (+8,573) Violent anti-Vietnam war protests outside the US Embassy in Grosvenor Square, London.

16/10/1968, Wednesday (+8,562) (1) In Britain, the Foreign and Commonwealth Offices merged.

(2) The Czechoslovak Government signed, under duress, an agreement that Warsaw Pact troops would remain in the country indefinitely.

14/10/1968, Monday (+8,560) (Railways) The new Euston Station in London was opened by the Queen.  Work had begun in 1963.

13/10/1968, Sunday (+8,559) The Chinese Cultural Revolution ended when President Liu was dismissed from his posts in the Party and the Republic.  The Cultural Revolution (see 3/9/1965), encouraging a return to basic Maoist principles, but also public criticism of all party members, had been too disruptive to China’s government and economy.

12/10/1968, Saturday (+8,558) (1) Equatorial Guinea became independent.

(2) The 19th Olympic Games opened in Mexico City.

11/10/1968, Friday (+8,557) The USA’s Apollo 7 spacecraft was launched flawlessly by its 700 ton Saturn 1B rocket and began 10 days and 21 hours in space.  It was crewed by Walter Schirra, Don Eiselle and Walter Cunningham.

10/10/1968, Thursday (+8,556) Enoch Powell warned that immigration might ‘change the character of England’

9/10/1968, Wednesday (+8,555) Harold Wilson, British PM, met Ian Smith for further talks about Rhodesian independence aboard HMS Fearless moored off Gibraltar.  The talks failed to resolve the situation.

7/10/1968, Monday (+8,553) Rhodesia’s leader Ian Smith announced that there would be no majority rule in Rhodesia in his lifetime. He continued with talks between himself and Prime Minister Harold Wilson; but Mr Smith said that ‘ordinary Africans were incapable of answering the simplest question regarding a constitution’.

Films on release included 2001: A Space Odyssey.

5/10/1968, Saturday (+8,551) Police in Londonderry broke up a Protestant civil rights march using water cannon and batons.

2/10/1968, Wednesday (+8,548) Large demonstration by tens of thousands, mostly students, in Tlatelolco Plaza, Mexico City, against police brutality, political corruption and economic hardship. The army responded with force, shooting at least 300 civilians. This was ten days before the Olympic games began in Mexico City; athletes and visitors could see tanks deployed on the city streets.

1/10/1968, Tuesday (+8,547) The University of Ulster, at Coleraine, opened.

10/1968, University of Ulster opened. US President Johnson ordered halt to Vietnam bombing. New Euston Station opened. Ian Smith of Rhodesia defiant against majority rule.


9/1968, Albania left Warsaw Pact. UK banks to cease Saturday opening. France vetoed UK EEC membership. UK Government censorship of theatre plays ended.

29/9/1968, Sunday (+8,545)

27/9/1968, Friday (+8,543) (1) The French again vetoed UK membership of the EEC.

(2) Antonio Salazar resigned as Prime Minister of Portugal, after holding the office for 36 years and 84 days, the longest term of office of any politician.

(3) The Rock musical Hair with 13 naked actors opened at the Shaftesbury Theatre, London, the day after the Theatres Act lifted censorship of it.

26/9/1968, Thursday (+8,542) (Morals) In the UK, the Theatres Act was passed, ended the role of Lord Chancellor as censor of plays, giving theatres much more freedom in what they could put on.

24/8/1968, Tuesday (+8,540)

19/9/1968, Thursday (+8,535) (1) Death of Chester Carlson, US inventor of the Xerox photocopier.

(2) The TV Times, a weekly magazine for British independent TV, was first published.

18/9/1968, Wednesday (+8,534) (Indonesia, Malaysia) Indonesia claimed sovereignty over most of Sabah. On 19/9/1968 Malaysia withdrew its diplomats from Manila.

17/9/1968, Tuesday (+8,533)

16/9/1968, Monday (+8,532) Britain adopted a two tier postal system, stamps cost 5d or 4d.

15/9/1968, Sunday (+8,531) Severe flooding in south east England, the worst since 1953.

14/9/1968, Saturday (+8,530) (Space exploration) The USSR launched the Zond-5 spacecraft, which carried animals around the Moon.

13/9/1968, Friday (+8,529) (1) British banks announced plans to cease Saturday opening.

(2) Press censorship was re-imposed in Czechoslovakia.

12/9/1968, Thursday (+8,528) Albania was ejected from the Warsaw Pact. Foreign travel from Albania was banned, and many killed in political purges.

9/9/1968, Monday (+8,525)

7/9/1968, Saturday (+8,523) Protests by the New York Radical Women (NYRW) Group disrupted the Miss World competition in New York.                                           

6/9/1968, Friday (+8,522) Swaziland became independent from Britain.

3/9/1968, Tuesday (+8,519) (Brazil) Student riots in Sao Paulo, Brazil, inspired by similar riots in France and Mexico. They were protesting against the military dictatorship that had ruled Brazil since 1964.

9/1968, Albania left Warsaw Pact. UK banks to cease Saturday opening. France vetoed UK EEC membership. UK Government censorship of theatre plays ended.


8/1968, Uprising in Czechoslovakia failed, President Dubcek arrested. He later agreed to Soviet demands.

31/8/1968, Saturday (+8,516) (Earthquake, Iran) A major earthquake in Iran killed over 20,000 people.

30/8/1968, Friday (+8,515) The single Hey Jude was released by The Beatles.

29/8/1968, Thursday (+8,514)

27/8/1968, Tuesday (+8,512) Russian patrols watched the streets of Prague after a failed anti – Communist uprising. Tanks had first entered Czechoslovakia on 20/8/1968. The Soviets overthrow President Dubcek, and 175,000 troops, mostly Russian, occupied the major cities of Czechoslovakia. Prague was put under curfew. 20 people were reported dead and at least 200 injured, many of them students, after the anti-Soviet protests.

26/8/1968, Monday (+8,511) Byron Lawson, Canadian actor, was born.

25/8/1968, Sunday (+8,510) The French exploded their first Hydrogen Bomb.

24/8/1968, Saturday (+8,509) James Toney, US boxer, was born.

23/8/1968, Friday (+8,508) (Computing) Computer Aided Tomography was patented by Godfrey Hounsfield for EMI in London, UK.

22/8/1968, Thursday (+8,507) Soviet tanks entered Prague.

21/8/1968, Wednesday (+8,506) President Dubcek was arrested and taken to Moscow. He returned to Czechoslovakia on 27/8/1968, having agreed to Soviet demands.

20/8/1968, Tuesday (+8,505) Russia sent tanks into Czechoslovakia. Dubcek had said on 18/7/1968 he would not go back on his progressive policies, see 5/4/1968.

19/8/1968, Monday (+8,504) (Science) George Gamow, Russian-US physicist, died in Boulder, Colorado.

18/8/1968, Sunday (+8.,503)

14/8/1968, Wednesday (+8,499) Heavy rain in India caused severe flooding, killing over 1,000.

13/8/1968, Tuesday (+8,498) Tony Jarrett, English sprinter, was born.

12/8/1968, Monday (+8,497) Race riots in Watts, Los Angeles.

11/8/1968, Sunday (+8,496) The last main line passenger steam train ran on British Railways. Called the Fifteen Guinea Special, it ran from Manchester to Carlisle.

8/8/1968, Thursday (+8,493)

4/8/1968, Sunday (+8,489) Israeli aircraft bombed Palestinian bases in Jordan.

3/8/1968, Saturday (+8,488) (1) The last scheduled normal service steam train ran on British Railways. It ran from Preston to Liverpool.

(2) The Countryside Act allowed local authorities to designate National Parks.

1/8/1968, Thursday (+8,486) The Princess Margaret inaugurated the hovercraft service between Dover and Boulogne.

8/1968, Uprising in Czechoslovakia failed, President Dubcek arrested. He later agreed to Soviet demands.


7/1968, USA/USSR nuclear non-proliferation treaty, to deny spread to China.

29/7/1968, Monday (+8,483) (1) The Pope condemned all forms of birth control.

(2) President Dubcek met with Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev in the village of Cierna nad Tisou (on the Czech-USSR border). Brezhnev agreed that Czechoslovakia could follow ‘its own road to Socialism’ and Dubcek promised ‘Socialist solidarity’. The meeting closed on 1/8/1968.

28/7/1968, Sunday (+8,482) (Chemistry) Otto Hahn, German physical chemist, died in Gottingen.

26/7/1967, Friday (+8,480)

24/7/1968, Wednesday (+8,478) A conference of Spanish bishops asserted the right of Spanish workers right to strike and form independent trades unions.

23/7/1968, Tuesday (+8,477) An Israeli Boeing 707, flying from Rome to Tel Aviv, was hijacked and flown to Algeria.

18/7/1968, Thursday (+8,472) Dubcek said he would not go back on his progressive policies, see 20/8/1968.

16/7/1968, Tuesday (+8,470) Other Warsaw Pact leaders, from East Germany, Hungary, Poland and Bulgaria, declared the Czechoslovak reforms unacceptable.

14/7/1968, Sunday (+8,468) Soviet troops failed to leave Czechoslovakia after Warsaw Pact exercises.

9/7/1968, Tuesday (+8,463) Czechoslovakia rejected a demand by Russia for a meeting of Communist Party leaders.

2/7/1968, Tuesday (+8,456) Britain offered famine relief to both Nigeria and Biafra. Biafra refused it whilst the Uk was still supplying arms to Nigeria.

1/7/1968, Monday (+8,455) The USA and the USSR signed the Non-Proliferation treaty regarding nuclear weapons (see 5/8/1963). This bound its signatories not to transfer nuclear weapons or knowledge to non-nuclear countries. This was a recognition that both the USA and the USSR had interests in not assisting China to become nuclear.

7/1968, USA/USSR nuclear non-proliferation treaty, to deny spread to China.


6/1968, De Gaulle victory in French elections. US war deaths in Vietnam. Czech liberalisation.

30/6/1968, Sunday (+8,454) De Gaulle won massive support in French elections.

28/6/1968, Friday (+8,452)

27/6/1968, Thursday (+8,451) The Czechoslovak National Assembly passed laws abolishing censorship and rehabilitating political prisoners.

26/6/1968, Wednesday (+8,.450) Earl Warren announced his resignation as Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court.

25/6/1968, Tuesday (+8,449) Comedian Tony Hancock killed himself in a hotel bathroom in Sydney, Australia.

20/6/1968, Thursday (+8,444) Total US war deaths in Vietnam now exceeded 25,000.

12/6/1968, Wednesday (+8,436) The French Government banned demonstrations and dissolved 11 student organisations,

11/6/1968, Tuesday (+8,435) East Germany began requiring visas for West Germans to cross its territory.

10/6/1968, Monday (+8,434) NHS prescription charges were reintroduced. See 1/2/1965.

8/6/1968, Saturday (+8,432) Bermuda achieved internal self-government.

5/6/1968, Wednesday (+8,429) A Jordanian-Arab called Sirhan Bishara Sirhan shot Robert Kennedy, US Senator (born 1925), in the Hotel Ambassador, Los Angeles. Kennedy, younger brother of President Kennedy, died 25 hours later. Sirhan was arrested. He was protesting against Kennedy’s outspoken support for Israel, on the first anniversary of the Six Day War.

1/6/1968, Saturday (+8,425) Helen Keller, US author, died aged 87.


5/1968, Thalidomide trials began. Legoland opened in Denmark. Ronan Point collapsed in London. Riots in Paris.

31/5/1968, Friday (+8,424) Nigerian – Biafran peace talks in Kampala, Uganda, broke down.

30/5/1968, Thursday (+8,423) French President De Gaulle announced he would not resign, and called a General Election.

27/5/1968, Monday (+8,420) The trial of the executives of the Chemie-Grunenthal company, responsible for the Thalidomide disaster that killed 80,000 babies and maimed 20,000 more, opened in Alsdorf, near Aachen. The trail was expected to last at least three years, but was shut down on 18/12/1970. All defendants were granted immunity from prosecution. The German Government and Grunenthal agreed a compensation scheme that many parents regarded as inadequate. Thalidomide was launched as a wonder cure for morning sickness on 1/10/1957; it was withdrawn on 27/11/1961. It was sold as Distaval in the UK, as Contergan in Germany. It emerged that no tests were done for effects on embryos; the executives claimed nobody in the 1950s realised that drugs taken by the mother could affect the foetus, which claim was untrue even then. Adults who took thalidomide as a sedative in 1959 had suffered serious nerve damage.

25/5/1968, Saturday (+8,418) Riots continued in Paris. Demonstrators erected barricades and students stormed the Bourse and set fire to the interior. In London a demonstration of support for the rioters was made outside the French Embassy; the police moved in and arrests were made, resulting in fines totalling £145 for 17 people. In north London, students at Hornsey College of Art continued a sit in of the main building, demanding ‘a change to the college’s educational system’.

24/5/1968, Friday (+8,417) The Rolling Stones hit, Jumpin’ Jack Flash was released.

22/5/1968, Wednesday (+8,415) Striking French workers now numbered 9 million.

19/5/1968, Sunday (+8,412) (1) Nigerian forces captured Port Harcourt in the civil war against the breakaway region of Biafra.

(2) Two million workers in France were on strike.

17/5/1968, Friday (+8,410) French president Georges Pompidou appealed to ordinary Parisians to help stop the anarchy as student riots continued in Paris. However the Cannes Film Festival collapsed in chaos as striking technicians and directors caused film screenings to be cancelled, and three days later the number of striking French workers had risen to about six million. Three people died in east London when 22 floors of a block of flats collapsed at Ronan Point, Newham, following a gas explosion. Council officials met with solid resistance when they suggested that the 80 families evacuated after the disaster should return to their flats. The director of the Transport studies centre predicted that in the future people would be ‘piped’ in high speed pneumatic trains like oil and gas. TV viewers could watch The Saint, Danger Man, or The Avengers.

16/5/1968, Thursday (+8,409) The Ronan Point block of flats collapsed in London’s East End.  Three died when the 22-storey flats in Butcher’s Road, Plaistow, were brought down by a gas explosion in a flat on the 18th floor. The pre-fabricated ‘system building’ technique used to construct the flats meant that every flat on that corner then collapsed.

15/5/1968, Wednesday (+8,408)

14/5/1968, Tuesday (+8,407) French workers called a one-day strike to support the students. The French Franc plummeted.

13/5/1968, Monday (+8,406) US and North Vietnamese negotiators began peace talks in Paris.

10/5/1968, Friday (+8,403) (1) Student clashes with police continued in Paris, with 30,000 people involved in a day and a night of violence. Students at The Sorbonne were locked out of campus, causing further unrest; the demonstrations were against the Vietnam War.

(2) Peace talks began between the USA and North Vietnam in Paris. The talks failed because North Vietnam wanted the country unified under the Vietcong, whilst the United States wanted North Vietnam to withdraw from the South which would remain an independent state. Eventually the North agreed to Southern independence and the US agreed not to demand the withdrawal of Communist forces from the North. However the North was to invade the South two years later as US forces withdrew from the South.

6/5/1968, Monday (+8,399) (1) An opinion poll suggested 74% of Britons supported Enoch Powell’s views on immigration. Enoch Powell made his famous ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech, see 20/4/1968.

(2) The Vietnam War continued with house to house fighting in Saigon. The Kray Twins were charged with ten offences including two of conspiracy to murder. The Home Secretary James Callaghan told the Ministry of Public Building and Works that he had no power to deport Tariq Ali back to his native Pakistan. Mr Ali was a member of the Vietnam Solidarity campaign in Britain. Ironside  was on TV, and the films 2001: A Space Odyssey and Planet of the Apes were showing.

(3) Spain closed its border with Gibraltar to all but Spaniards.

3/5/1968, Friday (+8,396) (1) French police evicted striking students from campus, sparking large street demonstrations.

(2) Britain’s first heart transplant.

2/5/1968, Thursday (+8,395) Students rioted in Paris.

1/5/1968, Wednesday (+8,394) Legoland Family Park, the Danish toy maker’s answer to Disneyland, opened at Billund in Denmark.

5/1968, Thalidomide trials began. Legoland opened in Denmark. Ronan Point collapsed in London. Riots in Paris.


4/1968, Martin Luther King assassinated. First UK decimal coins. Enoch Powell ‘rivers of blood’ speech. Abortion legalised in Britain,

30/4/1968, Tuesday (+8,393) Frankie Lymon, US pop star, died of a heroin overdose.

27/4/1968, Saturday (+8,390) Abortion was legalised in Britain, as the 1967 Abortion Act became Law. The Liberal MP David Steel had introduced the Abortion Act to Parliament.

23/4/1968, Tuesday (+8,386) First decimal coins, the 5p and 10p coins, appeared in Britain, see 15/2/1971.  On 14/10/1969, 50 pence pieces replaced ten shilling notes; these notes ceased to be legal tender on 21/11/1970.

21/4/1968, Sunday (+8,384) Pierre Trudeau succeeded Lester Pearson as Prime Minister of Canada.

20/4/1968, Saturday (+8,383) Enoch Powell, Conservative MP for south-west Wolverhampton, made his famous ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech about the dangers of immigration at a hotel in Birmingham. See 6/5/1968.

19/4/1968, Friday (+8,382) Josef Smirnovsky, chairman of the Czechoslovak National Assembly, promised freedom of press, assembly and religion.

18/4/1968, Thursday (+8,381) London Bridge was sold for £1million to oil tycoon Robert McCullough.  He had it rebuilt at Lake Havasu in the USA. It was rumoured that he thought he was buying Tower Bridge.

14/4/1968, Sunday (+8,377) Easter Sunday.

9/4/1968, Tuesday (+8,372) In Britain, the Race Relations Bill was published.

8/4/1968, Monday (+8,371) New Czechoslovak government took office, under Oldrich Cernik.

7/4/1968, Sunday (+8,370) US President Johnson ordered a slowdown in the bombing of North Vietnam.

6/4/1968, Saturday (+8,369) In East Germany, 94.5% of voters approved the new socialist constitution.

5/4/1968, Friday (+8,368) In Czechoslovakia, Dubcek began a programme of reform which was to lead to a measure of political democracy and restoration of personal freedoms, see 5/1/1968 and 20/8/1968.

4/4/1968, Thursday (+8,367) Martin Luther King, 39, was assassinated, shot dead by James Earl Ray on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis. He was on a trip to support striking sanitation workers in Memphis. The funeral was attended by Jacqueline Kennedy. White and Black were briefly united in anger, and there were riots in hundreds of towns across America. Martin Luther King had campaigned on civil rights for Black people, and was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1964.

3/4/1968, Wednesday (+8,366) The US and North Vietnam agreed to establish direct contact as a first step towards peace.

2/4/1968, Tuesday (+8,365) Two West German terrorists, Baader and Ensslin, firebombed a Frankfurt department store, in protest against the bombs being dropped by the US on Vietnam.

1/4/1968, Monday (+8,364) Speculation in the gold market; gold was US$ 38 in London.

4/1968, Martin Luther King assassinated. First UK decimal coins. Enoch Powell ‘rivers of blood’ speech. Abortion legalised in Britain,


3/1968, Student riots in Poland. Anti-Vietnam War protests in London. French student protests. Czech liberalisation disturbed the USSR.

27/3/1968, Wednesday (+8,359) (1) The UK foreign secretary said the Falklands will stay British.

(2) Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space in 1961, was killed in a plane crash near Moscow, on a routine training flight.

23/3/1968, Saturday (+8,355) President Dubcek was summoned to an emergency Warsaw Pact meeting to try and stop his liberal policies in Czechoslovakia.

21/3/1968, Thursday (+8.353) (1) In Britain, road deaths fell 23% in the three months after introduction of breath tests. See 8/10/1967.

(2) Students at Nanterre University, Paris, began a sit-in, which soon spread to other French universities.

20/3/1968, Wednesday (+8,352) Six French students were arrested in Paris during an anti-Vietnam War demonstration.

19/3/1968, Tuesday (+8,351)

17/3/1968, Sunday (+8,349) (Britain, USA, Vietnam) Violent anti-Vietnam War demonstrations outside the US Embassy in London. 25,000 Vietnam Solidarity Campaign (VSC) marchers fought with police. The VSC, which wanted a victory for North Vietnam, had been organised by the Trotskyist International Marxist Group, whose members included Pat Jordan, Tariq Ali and David Horowitz.

16/3/1968, Saturday (+8,348) The My Lai massacre; US soldiers massacred 700 Vietnamese civilians in a raid on hamlets in Son My district, where Communist Vietcong rebels were suspected to be hiding out. US forces believed that 250 Vietcong guerrillas were hiding in My Lai and that all civilians would have left for market. As the 30 US troops went in under the command of Lieutenant William Calley they threw grenades and deployed flamethrowers on the thatched roof huts; it was soon clear that only women, children and the elderly were present. There was no counter fire. However a ‘contagion of slaughter’ had set in and the rape and murder continued. Senior US army officials turned a blind eye to the event; only five people were ever court-martialled, with just one, Lieutenant Calley, found guilty. He was sentenced to life imprisonment but served 3 ½ years before release on parole. This event turned many civilians within the US against the Vietnam War. See 12/11/1969 (USA).

15/3/1968, Friday (+8,347)

13/3/1968, Wednesday (+8,345) Dubcek abolished press censorship in Czechoslovakia.

12/3/1968, Tuesday (+8,344) Mauritius, a volcanic island in the Indian Ocean, became independent from the UK, and joined the Commonwealth. It had been a British colony since 1810.

8/3/1968, Friday (+8,340) Student unrest in Poland intensified. On 30/1/1968 a play by Mickiewicz, Dziady (The Forefathers) was shown at the Warsaw National Theatre for the last time; the authorities were concerned that the play provoked anti-Soviet sentiments in its audience. On the occasion of its last showing, Warsaw University students staged a street demonstration. The organisers of the demonstration were arrested; meanwhile the Warsaw branch of the Writers Union, supported by well-known personalities such as Slonimski, Jastrun, Andrzejewksi, Kolakowski and Jasienica protested the decision to close Dziady as Party censorship curtailing creativity. On 8/3/1968 a student protest meeting was brutally broken up by police and paramilitaries. Unrest spread onto the streets of Warsaw and to other Polish universities. The intelligentsia supported the students but the workers, influenced by official propaganda, opposed them. Around 1,200 students were arrested but only a small number were tried and received jail terms. Some were temporarily suspended from their university, Some academics also lost their posts, entire university departments were closed, new academic appointments were made on political grounds not ability, and overall, academic freedom was replaced by repression and suspicion, at least while Gomulka held power in Poland.

3/1968, Student riots in Poland. Anti-Vietnam War protests in London. French student protests. Czech liberalisation disturbed the USSR.


2/1968, UK Government concerned at East African Asian immigration. UK free school milk ended.

23/2/1968, Friday (+8,326) Tom Jones released his song Delilah.

22/2/1968, Thursday (+8,325) The UK Government was concerned at the level of immigration of Asians from East Africa.

21/2/1968, Wednesday (+8,324) Lord Florey, Australian-born British pathologist who made possible the large-scale production of penicillin, died.

20/2/1968, Tuesday (+8,323) In Britain, the provision of free school milk at secondary schools ceased.

16/2/1968, Friday (+8,319) (USA) The first 911 emergency phone service was inaugurated in the USA, at Haleyville, Alabama. It was free; other phone calls cost 10 cents.

4/2/1968, Sunday (+8,307) (Maritime) The world’s largest hovercraft, 165 tonnes, was launched at Cowes.


1/1968, Major North Vietnam offensive against the South. National Westminster Bank formed. North Korea seized USA spy ship; crew were later released. Dubcek became Czech leader.

31/1/1968, Wednesday (+8,303) Nauru became independent from Britain.

30/1/1968, Tuesday (+8,302) The Vietcong launched the great Tet Offensive against South Vietnam, named after the Tet holiday of January 31, when south Vietnamese soldiers would be off-guard. Militarily the Tet offensive was disastrous for the North; they held none of the towns they captured. The last town, Hue, was recaptured by US Marines three weeks after the Tet Offensive began. However the North won the propaganda war, with massive damage inflicted on the South during the Offensive, much of it by US forces whilst evicting the Communists. Martial law was proclaimed in Vietnam. US casualties now amounted to 1,000 per day. Questions were asked why the US and South were suffering so many losses without obvious success in the war.

26/1/1968, Friday (+8,298) The two British banks, the National Provincial and the Westminster, merged to form the National Westminster Bank.

23/1/1968, Tuesday (+8,295) The USS Pueblo, an intelligence ship, and its 89 man crew was seized by the North Koreans in the Sea of Japan.

21/1/1968, Sunday (+8,293) North Korean commandos made an assassination attempt upon President Park of South Korea, getting within 300 metres of the Presidential Palace.

16/1/1968, Tuesday (+8,288) The UK government announced public expenditure cuts of £700 million. This included postponing a rise in the school-leaving age, and re-imposing prescription charges. There would also be a withdrawal of the military from all bases east of Suez, except for Hong Kong.

12/1/1968, Friday (+8,284) Soviet dissidents Yuri Galanskov and Alexander Ginsburg were sentenced in Moscow to hard labour.

11/1/1968, Thursday (+8,283) Emigration from Britain exceeded immigration by 30,000 in the second quarter on 1967. The world’s fifth heart transplant was performed in New York. A new magazine, Student, hit Britain’s newsstands. Its publisher, Richard Branson, hoped the new magazine would become the voice of Britain’s youth.

Children were entertained on TV by The Magic Roundabout and Blue Peter.

10/1/1968, Wednesday (+8,282) (Australia) John Grey Gorton became 20th Prime Minister of Australia.

9/1/1968, Tuesday (+8,281) (Space exploration) The space probe Surveyor VII landed near the lunar crater Tycho.

8/1/1968, Monday (+8,280)

5/1/1968, Friday (+8, 277) Alexander Dubcek became the Czech leader, replacing Novotny.  Czech discontent at oppressive government from Prague and economic exploitation by the USSR led to criticism of the Communist leader of Czechoslovakia, Novotny (see 25/2/1948), at a Workers Union Congress in June 1967, and to student demonstrations in October 1967.  See 5/4/1968.

4/1/1968, Thursday (+8,276) The US now had 486,000 troops in Vietnam.

2/1/1968, Tuesday (+8,274) Christiaan Barnard performed a second heart transplant; the recipient Philip Blaiberg survived 594 days, proving the technique was feasible.

1/1968, Major North Vietnam offensive against the South. National Westminster Bank formed. North Korea seized USA spy ship; crew were later released. Dubcek became Czech leader.


12/1967, Hippy love movement. First heart transplant. De Gaulle vetoed UK EEC membership.

31/12/1967, Sunday (+8,272) Hippies embraced love, flower power, LSD and the Rolling Stones as a cure for the world’s ills.

30/12/1967, Saturday (+8,871) Vincent Massey, Canadian lawyer and diplomat, died aged 80.

29/12/1967, Friday (+8,870) Paul Whiteman, US composer, died aged 77.

21/12/1967, Thursday (+8,262) Mikheil Saakashvili, President of Georgia, was born.

19/12/1967, Tuesday (+8,260) Second French veto by De Gaulle on British membership of the E.E.C. The pound was devalued, and Harold Wilson made his ‘pound in your pocket’ television speech.

13/12/1967, Wednesday (+8,254) King Constantine II fled Greece after an unsuccessful attempt to overthrow the military junta, see 21/4/1967, and 1/6/1973.

11/12/1967, Monday (+8,252) The prototype of the world’s first supersonic airliner, Concorde, was revealed in Toulouse, France. It first flew from Bristol on 9/1/1969.

9/12/1967, Saturday (+8,250) Nicolae Ceausescu became President of Romania.

5/12/1967, Tuesday (+8,246) The Beatles opened their Apple store on Baker Street.

3/12/1967, Sunday (+8,244) Professor Christian Barnard, born 1923, performed the world’s first heart transplant in Cape Town. The recipient, a 53-year old grocer called Waskansky, who received the heart of a 25 year old traffic casualty, died 18 days later of pneumonia. The drugs given to suppress rejection compromised Waskansky’s immune system. A second heart transplant patient (see 2/1/1968) survived much longer.

12/1967, Hippy love movement. First heart transplant. De Gaulle vetoed UK EEC membership.


11/1967, De Gaulle vetoed UK EEC membership, First pulsar star found, South Yemen formed as Britain withdrew from Aden.

30/11/1967, Thursday (+8,241) The British withdraw from Aden, and the Republic of South Yemen was formed.

29/11/1967, Wednesday (+8,240) Roy Jenkins succeeded James Callaghan as Chancellor.

28/11/1967, Tuesday (+8,239) (1) Horseracing was suspended in Britain because of an outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease.

(2) The first pulsar was discovered by radio astronomers at Cambridge, England. The regular radio pulses were initially thought to be signals from intelligent aliens.

27/11/1967, Monday (+8,238) De Gaulle vetoed Britain’s entry into the EEC.

25/11/1967, Saturday (+8,236) Heavy rain in Lisbon, Portugal flooded 350 square miles and killed 475.

23/11/1967, Thursday (+8,234) The UK government was about to ban meat imports from Europe because of the outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease there. TV shows included a debate on The Roman Catholic Church has no place in the 20th Century and The Man from UNCLE.

22/11/1967, Wednesday (+8,233) The UN passed the famous Resolution 242. It promised secure Israeli borders in exchange for an Israeli withdrawal from the occupied territories, and stated the need for a solution to the Palestinian refugee problem. However no timetable was given for achieving these aims.

18/11/1967. Saturday (+8,229) Devaluation of Sterling. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr James Callaghan, announced a 14.3% devaluation, from $2.80 to $2.40 to the pound. He resigned the Chancellorship eleven days later.

10/11/1967, Friday (+8,221) The Moody Blue’s single, Nights in White Satin was released.

9/11/1967, Thursday (+8,220) (Space exploration) US space probe Surveyor VI soft-landed on the Moon.

8/11/1967, Wednesday (+8,219) The first local radio station in the UK, Radio Leicester, went on the air.  It was opened by the Postmaster-General, Edward Short.

5/11/1967, Sunday (+8,216) 49 people were killed at a rail crash at Hither Green, south London.

2/11/1967, Thursday (+8,213) The first Scottish Nationalist Party candidate took their seat at Westminster. In the by-election at Hamilton, Winifred Ewing took the seat for the SNP, a party formed in 1934.

1/11/1967, Wednesday (+8,212) Rolling Stone Magazine started publication, the first Rock’n’Roll periodical in the USA.

11/1967, De Gaulle vetoed UK EEC membership, First pulsar star found, South Yemen formed as Britain withdrew from Aden.


10/1967, Che Guevara killed, Pu Yi, last Chinese Emperor as a child, died. Shah of Iran crowned in Tehran. First UK breathalyser test.

31/10/1967, Tuesday (+8,211) The Expo ’67 exhibition in Montreal closed; it had opened on 27/4/1967.

30/10/1967, Monday (+8,210) Statistics showed that the number of Britain’s drug addicts under 20 rose from 145 in 1965 to 329 in 1966. Captain Scarlet merchandise hit the shops. TV showed Bewitched, Dr Finlays Casebook, The Saint, and Z Cars.

29/10/1967, Sunday (+8,209)

27/10/1967, Friday (+8,207) The UK’s Abortion Act received Royal Assent.

26/10/1967, Thursday (+8,206) The Shah of Iran and his wife were crowned in Tehran.

25/10/1967, Wednesday (+8,205) UK Parliament passed the Abortion Act, decriminalising abortion.

24/10/1967, Tuesday (+8,204) Israeli artillery destroyed a petrol refinery at Port Suez.

21/10/1967, Saturday (+8,201) The Israeli destroyer Eilat was sunk by Egyptian missiles

18/10/1967, Wednesday (+8,198) The Soviet space probe Venera 4 made the first soft landing on Venus.

15/10/1967, Sunday (+8,195) Henry Pu Yi, the last emperor of China from the age of 2, died in Peking aged 61. The Guardian offered its readers ‘the first binary computer kit’ called Digi-Comp 1, for £3 10 shillings. Meanwhile in Tokyo the Nippon Electric Co was offering the world’s first commercial television telephone. TV viewers saw Steptoe and Son, whilst Patrick McGoohan was unable to accept his lot in North Wales as The Prisoner. Ironside the wheelchair bound detective propelled himself around the streets of San Francisco.

9/10/1967, Monday (+8,189) The revolutionary Marxist leader Che Guevara was captured in Bolivia and shot. Bolivian troops killed Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara and six other guerrillas they had cornered in the village of La Higuera near Vallegrande. The Argentine born hero of Latin American revolutionaries, Guevara was a prominent figure in Fidel Castro’s successful Cuban Revolution of the 1950s and 60s. Guevara then decided to join other struggles of ‘liberation’. Guevara came from a middle class family and his travels convinced him that only violent revolution would solve the economic, political, and poverty problems facing many Latin American countries. The French philosopher Jean Paul Satre described him as ‘the most complete human being of our age’.

8/10/1967, Sunday (+8,188) (1) A motorist in Flax Bourton, Somerset became the first person to be breathalysed in Britain. See 21/3/1968.

(2) Clement Atlee, British Prime Minister 1945-51, died aged 84.

7/10/1967, Saturday (+8,187) Norman Angell, English author and politician, died aged 92.

5/10/1967, Thursday (+8,185) The first majority verdict was recorded in a UK court, 10 to 2, at Brighton Quarter Sessions.

10/1967, Che Guevara killed, Pu Yi, last Chinese Emperor as a child, died. Shah of Iran crowned in Tehran. First UK breathalyser test.


9/1968, Sweden switched from left to right driving. Reagan called for US escalation in Vietnam.

30/9/1967, Saturday (+8,180) BBC Radio was reorganised. BBC Radio 1, 2, 3, and 4 began broadcasting, with Tony Blackburn introducing The Breakfast Show. His first record was Flowers In The Rain by The Move.

27/9/1967, Wednesday (+8,177) The liner Queen Mary arrived at Southampton, at the end of her last transatlantic voyage.

20/9/1967, Wednesday (+8,170) The Queen launched the Cunard liner Queen Elizabeth II, at Clydebank, Scotland.

18/9/1967, Monday (+8,168) Sir John Cockroft, British scientist who along with Ernest Walton split the atom, died.

12/9/1967, Tuesday (+8,162) Governor Reagan called for an escalation of the Vietnam War.

10/9/1967, Sunday (+8,160) Gibraltar voted overwhelmingly to stay British. 12,318 voted for Britain, and 44 for Spanish rule. In 2002 the British government was considering sharing sovereignty with Spain but the Gibraltarian governor was to hold an unauthorised referendum, which he believed would show the majority wished to stay British.

8/9/1967, Friday (+8,158) Uganda became a republic, with Milton Obote as the first President.

3/9/1967, Sunday (+8,153) Sweden switched over from driving on the left to driving on the right. All traffic was banned from Sweden’s roads between 1.am. and 6.am. that day. This reduced accidents since neighbouring Norway and Denmark already drove on the right. An earlier referendum, in 1955, had rejected the switchover but the Swedish Government finally approved the change in 1963.

1/9/1967, Friday (+8,151) At a meeting in Khartoum, the Arabs decided to lift the oil embargo that had been imposed on the West since the Six Day War.

9/1968, Sweden switched from left to right driving. Reagan called for US escalation in Vietnam.


8/1967, University of Dundee Charter. ASEAN was formed. Pirate radio outlawed in UK. Race riots in Detroit.

31/8/1967, Thursday (+8,150) Ilya Ehrenburg, Soviet author, died aged 75.

29/8/1967, Tuesday (+8,148)

28/8/1967, Monday (+8,147) Death of Charles Darrow, US inventor of the board game Monopoly.

27/8/1967, Sunday (+8,146) Brian Epstein, who managed The Beatles rise to rock stardom, died in a swimming pool accident.

25/8/1967, Friday (+8,144)

23/8/1967, Wednesday (+8,142) Race riots in Detroit.

22/8/1967, Tuesday (+8,141) Red Guards set fire to the British Embassy in Beijing.

15/8/1967, Tuesday (+8,134) The Marine Broadcasting Act came into force in the UK, outlawing pop pirate radio stations.

9/8/1967, Wednesday (+8,128) Joe Orton, English author and playwright, died aged 34.

8/8/1967, Tuesday (+8,127) ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) was founded. The original members were Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Brunei joined in 1984, Vietnam in 1995, Laos and Myanmar in 1997,  and Cambodia in 1999. East Timor attempted to join, post-independence, but was blocked by Indonesia.

4/8/1967, Friday (+8,123) The Tagus Road Bridge at Lisbon opened.

2/8/1967, Wednesday (+8,121) The second Blackwall road tunnel, London, opened (first tunnel opened 22/5/1897).

1/8/1967, Tuesday (+8,120) (Education-University) The University of Dundee received its Charter. For 70 years before this, it was linked to the University of St Andrews, as University College Dundee, founded 1881.

8/1967, University of Dundee Charter. ASEAN was formed. Pirate radio outlawed in UK. Race riots in Detroit.


7/1967, BBC2 colour broadcasts. Nigeria invaded secessionist Biafra. UK homosexuality decriminalised. UK steel industry nationalised.

30/7/1967, Sunday (+8,118)

29/7/1967, Saturday (+8,117) An earthquake in Caracas, Venezuela killed 240.

28/7/1967, Friday (+8,116) The UK steel industry was nationalised.

27/7/1967, Thursday (+8,115) Robin Scott, the man in charge of the brand new Radio One, announced that should pop music prove to be a passing fad, he would devote the station’s output to ‘sweet music’.

26/7/1967, Wednesday (+8,114)

25/7/1967, Tuesday (+8,113) (1) In the UK, the Sexual Offences Act partially decriminalised homosexuality. Two men could have sex together if they were above the age of 21.

(2) During a State visit to Canada, General Charles de Gaulle of France encouraged French-speaking Quebec citizens to break away; he was rebuked for this breach of etiquette by the Canadian Prime Minister and returned to France.

24/7/1967, Monday (+8,112) Graham Greene, Francis Crick, and The Beatles were among those who signed a full-page advertisement in The Times, saying the law against marijuana was ‘immoral in principle and unworkable in practice’.

23/7/1967, Sunday (+8,111) Riots broke out in Detroit after police raided a ‘blind pig’, an unlicensed bar, in the 12th street area of Detroit. In 5 days of disorder, 43 people were killed and 467 injured. 7,200 were arrested and almost 3,000 buildings burnt or looted. The US Army had to go in with tanks and machine guns. The root cause of the riots was credit discrimination by banks against addresses in districts that were mainly Black.

22/7/1967, Saturday (+8,110) The US poet Carl Sandburg died in North Carolina.

21/7/1967, Friday (+8,109) Majority verdicts were now allowed in UK courts.

18/7/1967, Tuesday (+8,106) British forces were to withdraw from areas east of Suez by the mid-1970s,

15/7/1967, Saturday (+8,103) Israel said it would not comply with the UN request to withdraw from east Jerusalem (4/7/1967) and also would not give up the strategically-important Golan Heights.

14/7/1967, Friday (+8,102) Parliament in the UK voted to legalise abortion. This was after a record 64 hour debate. This was after a record 64 hour debate. The 1967 Abortion Act allowed for the legal termination of pregnancy if two registered doctors believed that continuation of the pregnancy could damage the physical or mental health of the woman, or of members of her family, or where there was substantial risk of the baby being born with physical or mental abnormalities.

10/7/1967, Monday (+8,098)

8/7/1967, Saturday (+8,096) Fatima Jinnah, Pakistani politician, died.

7/7/1967, Friday (+8,095) (1) Nigerian troops invaded the breakaway region of Biafra, see 30/5/1967. The Biafrans had, initially, the main oil reserves and the refinery at Port Harcourt, so were able to secure help and weapons from abroad. However they faced an overwhelmingly larger Federal Nigerian Army. The ruler of Nigeria, Gowon, faced the threat of regional secession and was determined to maintain the unity of his country.

(2) Using Sir Francis Drake’s sword, the Queen knighted Sir Francis Chichester, who had sailed solo around the world in Gypsy Moth IV.

6/7/1967, Thursday (+8,094)

4/7/1967, Tuesday (+8,092) The United Nations asked Israel to withdraw from Arab East Jerusalem.

3/7/1967, Monday (+8,091) In Britain, ITV launched News at Ten.

2/7/1967, Sunday (+8,090)

1/7/1967, Saturday (+8,089) BBC 2 began colour broadcasting in Britain. Wimbledon was covered in colour for the first time.

7/1967, BBC2 colour broadcasts. Nigeria invaded secessionist Biafra. UK homosexuality decriminalised. UK steel industry nationalised.


6/1967, Israel Six Day War. China’s first Hydrogen Bomb, Russia disturbed. Race riots in New Jersey. Anti-Vietnam war protests in London.

30/6/1967, Friday (+8,088) Moise Tshombe, former President of Katanga and former prime minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, was kidnapped to Algeria.

29/6/1967, Thursday (+8,087) The American child psychologist Dr Benjamin Spock led a march of nearly 5,000 people in London in protest against the Vietnam War. Eighteen people were arrested as the march headed towards the US Embassy in Grosvenor Square. The Magic Roundabout continued on TV, as did The Man from UNCLE as he battled with the evil THRUSH organisation.

28/6/1967, Wednesday (+8,086) Israel declared the annexation of East Jerusalem.

27/6/1967, Tuesday (+8,085) Barclay’s Bank, in Enfield, north London, opened Britain’s first cash dispenser.

25/6/1967, Sunday (+8,083) The first worldwide TV show was broadcast; via satellite link it reached 26 countries. The programme, Our World, had an estimated audience of 400 million. It concluded with a live Beatles performance of All You Need is Love.

17/6/1967, Saturday (+8,075) China exploded its first hydrogen bomb. This raised tensions between China and the USSR.

15/6/1967, Thursday (+8,073) (1) Race riots shook New Jersey, USA, following the arrest of a black taxi driver for a traffic offence. The riots lasted for four nights 1,600 people were arrested, 1,100 were injured, and 22 died.

(2) In Britain the Latey Commission reported that the voting age should be lowered to 18. Films included The Further Perils of Laurel and Hardy. The Guardian TV critic complained that ‘with the basically green and white Wimbledon being followed by Late Night Line Up with everyone wearing basically black and white’ people paying nearly £2 a week to rent the colour sets should be getting ‘the occasional dazzle’. Whickers World and Till Death do us Part formed part of the TV schedules.

14/6/1967, Wednesday (+8,072) At a telecommunications conference in London, the Postmaster General predicted shopping by picture television and news reports by computer before the end of the century. He went on to discuss the imminent arrival of household robots. Australian and New Zealand woolgrowers expressed concern over the effects of the mini skirt on wool prices, which were down 6d a pound on the last season. On TV, ‘Games without Frontiers’ was on. It’s a Knockout and The Likely Lads was also on.

12/6/1967, Monday (+8,070)

11/6/1967, Sunday (+8,069) (Medical) Wolfgang Kohler, Russian-German-US psychologist, died in Enfield, New Hampshire, USA.

10/6/1967, Saturday (+8,068) The White House, Washington, received a threat from the USSR over the ‘hotline’ that Russia would get involved in the Israel-Arab conflict to prevent a total Israeli victory. Moscow, ally of Egypt, had moved naval forces from the Black Sea into the Mediterranean and was planning an invasion of Israel from the coast. The world was in danger of a new World War between the USSR and USA, Israel’s ally. Russia’s ultimate failure to intervene caused it to lose some credibility with its other allies such as Cuba. This day Moscow severed diplomatic relations with Israel.

9/6/1967, Friday (+8,067) As Egypt was heavily defeated in the Six Day War, Nasser resigned.

8/6/1967, Thursday (+8,066) The Israeli Air Force, during the Six-Day War, attacked and severely damaged a US research ship, the USS Liberty. Israel maintained that the attack was an accident, the ship having been mistaken for an Egyptian one.

7/6/1967, Wednesday (+8,065) Israeli forces captured Arab East Jerusalem.

6/6/1967, Tuesday (+8,064) Paul Giamatti, US actor, was born.

5/6/1967, Monday (+8,063) 8.00 am local time; The Six Day War began between Israel and Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and Iraq. Israel routed the armies of three Arab nations and occupied an area larger than the entire State of Israel in just six days. The war began after Colonel Nasser, having formed a pact with Syria and Jordan, moved his forces into Sinai and closed the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping. Early on the morning of 5/6/1967 Israel made lightning strikes against Arab airbases, and within 24 hours the Egyptian and other Arab air forces were destroyed. Three Israeli tank divisions moved into the Sinai Desert. The Sinai capital El Arish fell on 6/6/1967 and by then the Egyptian army was in total disarray. By 7/6/1967 King Hussein's Jordanian forces were also routed and most of the West bank, including the Old City of Jerusalem, was in Israeli hands. On 9/6/1967, amid calls for a ceasefire, Israeli forces pressed on to the Suez Canal. Israel also launched an attack on the Golan Heights and by 10/6/12967 had taken these from Syria.

4/6/1967, Sunday (+8,062) British Midland flight G-ALHG crashed in Hopes Carr, Stockport, Manchester, killing 72 passengers and crew.

3/6/1967, Saturday (+8,061)

2/6/1967, Friday (+8,060) Rioting in West Berlin against the visit of the Shah of Iran, in which Benno Ohnesorg was killed by a police officer. His death resulted in the founding of the terrorist group Movement 2 June.

1/6/1967, Thursday (+8,059) Moshe Dayan appointed the Israeli Defence Minister.

6/1967, Israel Six Day War. China’s first Hydrogen Bomb, Russia disturbed. Race riots in New Jersey. Anti-Vietnam war protests in London.


5/1967, Biafra seceded from Nigeria. Iraq and Egypt vowed to obliterate Israel. Stansted chosen for 3rd airport.

31/5/1967, Wednesday (+8,058) The President of Iraq stated, “The existence of Israel is an error that must be rectified. This is our opportunity to wipe out the ignominy that has been with us since 1948. Our goal is clear – to wipe Israel off the map”.

30/5/1967, Tuesday (+8,057) Biafra, 44,000 square miles, seceded from Nigeria under the military commander of the Eastern Ibo region, Odumegwu Ojukwu, starting a civil war. See 7/7/1967, 19/5/1968, and 12/1/1970.  Nigeria at independence in 1960 had a population of around 50 million, consisting mainly of Muslim Hausa and Fulani in the north, Catholic Ibos in the east, and Muslim Yorubas in the west. There was considerable enmity between the Ibos and the Muslims.  In January 1966 a coup by Major-General Johnson Ironsi, an Ibo, replaced the civilian post-independence government, This coup provoked a massacre of Ibos in the northern Muslim regions. At end July 1966 a second coup, by northern Army officers, deposed Ironsi, who was then tortured and murdered. General Yakubu Gowon, a Christian from a minority tribe, now came to power. He tried to reassure the Ibos but hundreds of thousands of them fled to the eastern Ibo region for safety. Gowon planned to institute a 12-region federal structure for Nigeria, but the military Governor of the eastern region, Colonel Chukwuemeka Ojukwu, refused to accept this. Ojukwu was a wealthy Ibo, Oxford-educated, who declared the oil-rich Eastern Region independent on 30/5/1967 as Biafra, hoping for support from the oil multinationals. However Nigerian troops overran Biafra, over an extended time period, making Biafra a byword for mass starvation.

Biafran-controlled territory shrank, by September 1968, to a landlocked enclave 100km by 50 km. Ojukwu hired a Swiss public relations firm, Markpress, to plead his cause to the world. Markpress played the religious factor, painting (to the West) Ojukwu as a Christian under Muslim threat; Gowon countered that many on the Nigerian side, including Gowon himself, were also Christian. From August 1968 aid agencies began sending food aid to the starving Biafrans. France backed the Biafran side and sent military aid via Gabon and Cote D’Ivoire. Britain and Russia both backed the Nigerian side. Mercenaries under Colonel Rolf Steiner arrived to bolster the Biafran forces; this held back the Nogerian forces, however only prolonging the suffering of the Biafran people. Nigeria, unable to overcome Steiner’s men, settled upon bombing raids and blockade. Gowon blocked food aid, arguing it was being used as a cover for arms shipments.

29/5/1967, Monday (+8,056) Geronimo Baqueiro Foster, composer, died aged 69.

28/5/1967, Sunday (+8,055) Sir Francis Chichester arrived in Plymouth after a solo voyage around the world in his yacht, Gypsy Moth IV.  See 27/8/1966.

27/5/1967, Saturday (+8,054) President Nasser, nine days before the Six Day War began, declared, “Our objective will be the destruction of Israel”.

22/5/1967, Monday (+8,049) (Israel) Egypt began to blockade the Straits of Tiran, the only sea access to the Israeli port of Elat.

19/5/1967, Friday (+8,046) (Israel) The UN began to withdraw its peacekeeping forces from the Gaza Strip, at the request of Egypt.

15/5/1967, Monday (+8,042) In the village of Naxalbari, West Bengal, peasants rebelled against landowners. This was the start of the Maoist rebel Naxalite movement in eastern India.

14/5/1967, Sunday (+8,041) Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King was consecrated.

12/5/1967, Friday (+8,039) The British Government chose Stansted as the site for London’s third airport. Protestors won another enquiry, scheduled for February 1968.

5/1967, Biafra seceded from Nigeria. Iraq and Egypt vowed to obliterate Israel. Stansted chosen for 3rd airport.


4/1967, Front seatbelts compulsory in UK. Territorial Army formed. Colorado liberalised abortion.

27/4/1967, Thursday (+8,024) The Expo ’67 exhibition opened in Montreal. It closed on 31/10/1967.

25/4/1967, Tuesday (+8,022) Colorado became the first US State to liberalise its abortion laws. Abortion was now permissible in the case of rape or incest, where the woman’s physical or mental health was in danger, or was likely to result in a child with severe mental or physical issues. The abortion had to be performed in a licenced hospital with the approval of three physicians.

24/4/1967, Monday (+8,021) The first space casualty occurred when Vladimir Komarov was killed as the Russian spacecraft Soyuz I crashed to earth after leaving orbit. It came to earth on the Steppes of Orenburg.

22/4/1967, Saturday (+8,019)

21/4/1967, Friday (+8,018) Colonels in Greece under Papadopolous took power in a military coup; parliamentary democracy was suspended. King Constantine II initially collaborated with the colonels until 13/12/1967  but then unsuccessfully attempted a counter coup.  He later fled to Rome.

20/4/1967, Thursday (+8,017) A Swiss Global Air Britannia airliner was hit by lightning and crashed at Nicosia Airport, Cyprus, killing 126.

19/4/1967, Wednesday (+8,016) Konrad Adenauer, West German Chancellor from 1949 to 1963, died.

15/4/1967, Saturday (+8,012) 100,000 protested against the Vietnam War in New York.

12/4/1967, Wednesday (+8,009) The UK£ reached parity with the US$.

5/4/1967, Wednesday (+8,002) Mischa Elman, Russian-US violinist, died in New York (born 20/1/1891 in Talnoye, Russia).

4/4/1967, Tuesday (+8,001) Martin Luther King denounced the Vietnam War.

3/4/1967, Monday (+8,000)

1/4/1967, Saturday (+7,998) (1) The Territorial and Army Volunteer Reserves formed.

(2) Britain’s first Ombudsman was created, Sir Edmund Compton.

(3) Front seat seatbelts became compulsory on all UK cars registered from this date.

4/1967, Front seatbelts compulsory in UK. Territorial Army formed. Colorado liberalised abortion.


3/1967, North Sea gas produced. Torrey Canyon ran aground. Ghandi re-elected President of India. Hippy rally in New York.

31/3/1967, Friday (+7,997) The Supreme Headquarters of NATO moved from France to Casteau, Belgium.

30/3/1967, Thursday (+7,996) The Torrey Canyon was finally destroyed by RAF bombing.

28/3/1967, Tuesday (+7,994)

27/3/1967, Monday (+7,993) (Chemistry) Jaroslav Heyrovsky, physical chemist, died in Prague.

26/3/1967, Sunday (+7,992) Easter Sunday. 10,000 hippies held a rally in New York's Central Park.

21/3/1967, Tuesday (+7,987)

19/3/1967, Sunday (+7,985) French Somaliland (now Djibouti) rejected independence in a  referendum.

18/3/1967, Saturday (+7,984) The Torrey Canyon ran aground on the Seven Stones reef off Lands End. The 975 foot tanker spilled 117,000 tons of Kuwaiti crude oil that was bound for Milford Haven. Within six days 30,000 tons of oil had escaped producing a 260 square mile slick. Thousands of gallons of detergent were dumped on the slick, but two days later the tanker broke her back during a salvage attempt, releasing a further 30,000 tons of oil. On 28 and 29 March the RAF took emergency action, and tried to burn off the oil. They dumped aviation fuel, high explosive bombs, rockets, and napalm onto the slick. The six hour bombardment was a success but by then the oil had fouled 100 miles of Cornish coastline.

15/3/1967, Wednesday (+7,981)

12/3/1967, Sunday (+7,978) Mrs Ghandi re-elected Prime Minister of India.

11/3/1967, Saturday (+7,977) Geraldine Farrar, US opera singer, died in Ridgefield, Connecticut (born in Melrose, Massachusetts, 28/2/1882).

10/3/1967, Friday (+7.976) The US bombed industrial targets in North Vietnam.

9/3/1967, Thursday (+7,975) Svetlana Alliluyeva, daughter of Joseph Stalin, defected to the West, requesting political asylum at the US Embassy in India.

7/3/1967, Tuesday (+7,973) The first North Sea gas was brought ashore in Britain.

3/1967, North Sea gas produced. Torrey Canyon ran aground. Ghandi re-elected President of India. Hippy rally in New York.


2/1967, Oppenheimer, atom bomb inventor, died. Labour, UK, condemned Vietnam War. UK National Front Party formed.

26/2/1967, Sunday (+7,964) The US stepped up the Vietnam war with an attack on the Vietcong HQ.

22/2/1967, Wednesday (+7,960) Suharto replaced Sukarno as President of Indonesia.

18/2/1967, Saturday (+7,956) Robert Oppenheiner, American scientist who developed the US atom bomb, died in Princeton, New Jersey.

17/2/1967, Friday (+7,955) The Beatles’ hit, Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields Forever single was released.

14/2/1967, Tuesday (+7,952) 100 Labour MPs in Westminster condemned the US bombing of Vietnam. On 26/2/1967 the US stepped up the war by attacking the Vietcong's HQ.

13/2/1967, Monday (+7,951) The Kirkham to Blackpool South (direct) railway closed.

7/2/1967, Tuesday (+7,945) In Britain the Far Right anti-immigration National Front party was formed. It was founded by A.K.Chesterton, cousin of the famous author.


1/1967, Milton Keynes new town inaugurated. Jeremy Thorpe Liberal leader. USSR-China dispute.

29/1/1967, Sunday (+7,936) President Julius Nyerere of Tanzania issued the Arusha Declaration. It set out principles of ‘African Socialism’ which proved to be politically popular but economically disastrous.

27/1/1967, Friday (+7,934) Fire broke out on the spacecraft Apollo I during ground tests at Cape Kennedy. Virgil Grissom, Edward White, and Roger Chaffee were killed. Normally fire-resistant plastics ignited in the pure oxygen used by the astronauts.

26/1/1967, Thursday (+7,933) Red Guards besieged the Soviet Embassy in Beijing, alleging mistreatment of Chinese students in Moscow.

23/1/1967, Monday (+7,930) (Britain) Milton Keynes was inaugurated as a New Town.

18/1/1967, Wednesday (+7,925) Jeremy Thorpe, born on 29/4/1929, became leader of the Liberal Party, replacing Joe Grimond. Thorpe resigned on 10/5/1976.

12/1/1967, Thursday (+7,919) Plans were announced for a new city at Milton Keynes.

8/1/1967, Sunday (+7,915) Rioting in Shanghai, China, as workers went on strike.

4/1/1967, Wednesday (+7,911) Donald Campbell died attempting to break his own water speed record of 276.33 mph on Coniston Water in the Lake District. He had made one run, then turned for another run too soon, and his boat hit its own wake and catapulted out of the water. His boat was called Bluebird K 7.

3/1/1967, Tuesday (+7,910) Jack Ruby, who shot Lee Harvey Oswald, the alleged assassin of President Kennedy, died of natural causes at a Dallas hospital. Mr Ruby was awaiting the retrial of his murder case.

2/1/1967, Monday (+7,909) Groombridge to Three Bridges railway closed. Stopping services withdrawn Ipswich to Norwich via Stowmarket.

1/1967, Milton Keynes new town inaugurated. Jeremy Thorpe Liberal leader. USSR-China dispute.


12/1966, Rhodesia left Commonwealth. UK’s first Christmas postage stamps. Walt Disney died. UK PM Harold Wilson met Ian Smith over Rhodesia.

28/12/1966, Wednesday (+7,904) Westminster Abbey celebrated its 900th anniversary.

23/12/1966, Friday (+7,899) Heimito von Doderer, Austrian novelist (born 5/11/1896 in Vienna) died in Vienna.

22/12/1966, Thursday (+7,898) Rhodesia left the Commonwealth.

15/12/1966, Thursday (+7,891) Walt Disney, US film producer and leader in animation, died.

6/12/1966, Tuesday (+7,882) Ian Smith of Rhodesia refused UK government proposals to end UDI. Rhodesia left the Commonwealth on 22/12/1966.

2/12/1966, Friday (+7,878) British Prime Minister Harold Wilson met Ian Smith on HMS Tiger off Gibraltar, for talks on the independence of Rhodesia.

1/12/1966, Thursday (+7,877) Britain’s Post Offices issued the first Christmas Stamps.


11/1967, First tidal power station. Severe flooding hit Florence. UK discussed joining EEC. Barbados independent.

30/11/1966, Wednesday (+7,876) Barbados proclaimed full independence.

26/11/1966, Saturday (+7,872) Charles De Gaulle in Brittany opened the world’s first tidal power station.  It was in the Rance Estuary, in the Golfe de St Malo. The station, first planned in 1955, cost French Francs 420 million (UK£ 42 million) to build.

11/11/1966, Friday (+7,857) (Space exploration) Final mission of the Gemini series. James A Lovell and Edwin E Aldrin completed 5 hours of extra-vehicular activity.

10/11/1966, Thursday (+7,856) The UK held discussions about entry to the EEC.

9/11/1966, Wednesday (+7,855) Severe flooding hit Florence, ruining many art treasures. The River Arno burst its banks after heavy rain upstream from the city which was situated in a narrow valley, and 100 people died.

8/11/1966, Tuesday (+7,854) Edward Brooke became the USA’s first black senator.


10/1966, Aberfan mine tip disaster. Gas discovered in North Sea. Spain closed Gibraltar frontier. UK passed Endangered Species Act. George Blake, KGB spy, escaped from Wormwood Scrubs.

26/10/1966, Wednesday (+7,841) US President Johnson visited US troops in Vietnam.

23/10/1966, Sunday (+7,838) BP announced the discovery of large gas fields in the North Sea.

22/10/1966, Saturday (+7,837) KGB master spy George Blake escaped from Wormwood Scrubs, using a home-made rope ladder to scale the high perimeter wall,  He had been serving a 42-year sentence for espionage meted out in 1962, one year for each of the lives his treachery was estimated to have cost. On 20/11/1966 he arrived in East Berlin.

21/10/1966, Friday (+7,836) The Aberfan disaster. A coal waste tip collapsed at 9.30am, burying a school in the Welsh Valleys, shortly after the children had arrived for morning assembly. It was a half day and by midday the schools would have been empty again for the half term holiday. 2 million tons of rock and sludge engulfed both the infants and junior schools. Also engulfed were a row of cottages and a farm; 147 people, 116 of them children, were killed. Aberfan was a close-knit community, and now had just five surviving children. The National Coal Board was blamed for siting the colliery waste tip on top of a natural spring; heavy rain had further destabilised the waste heap.

18/10/1966, Tuesday (+7,833) (1) Death of the cosmetic company founder, Elizabeth Arden.

(2) The hanged Timothy Evans won a posthumous Royal Pardon, see 15/7/1953.

15/10/1966, Saturday (+7,830) In the USA, the Endangered Species Preservation Act came into force. Initially, 78 species in danger were listed. By April 1999, some species, such as the bald eagle and the black footed ferret, have come off the critical list but a further 925 species remained listed.

7/10/1966, Friday (+7,822) The USSR expelled all Chinese students.

6/10/1966, Thursday (+7,821) (1) The EEC published an adverse report on the UK economy; the UK was trying to join the EEC.

(2) California made possession of LSD illegal.

5/10/1966, Wednesday (+7,820) Spain closed the frontier with Gibraltar to all but pedestrian traffic.

4/10/1966, Tuesday (+7,819) Lesotho became independent. It had been formerly known as Basutoland, and had been a British Protectorate since 1868.

1/10/1966, Saturday (+7,716)

10/1966, Aberfan mine tip disaster. Gas discovered in North Sea. Spain closed Gibraltar frontier. UK passed Endangered Species Act. George Blake, KGB spy, escaped from Wormwood Scrubs.


9/1966, Botswana independent, Herbicide raid in Vietnam. Britain’s first nuclear submarine. Severn Bridge opened. University of Surrey opened.

30/9/1966, Friday (+7,815) Botswana became independent. It had formerly been called Bechuanaland.  Sir Setese Khama was its first President.

29/9/1966, Thursday (+7,814) Argentina raided the Falkland Islands.

26/9/1966, Monday (+7,811)

23/9/1966, Friday (+7,808) USA planes dropped tons of herbicides on Vietnam turning the demilitarised zone between North and South Vietnam into a barren wasteland.

Mr Joe Kagan, raincoat maker to Mr Harold Wilson, suggested that by the 1980s men would be wearing something like a mini skirt with a toga over it in cold weather. On TV Emergency Ward Ten was on as Patrick Mc Goohan’s Danger Man was about to give way to The Prisoner.

22/9/1966, Thursday (+7,887) (Science) Vladimir Iosofovich, Soviet physicist, died in Moscow.

16/9/1966, Friday (+7,801) Britain’s first Polaris nuclear submarine, the Resolution, was launched by the Queen Mother.

10/9/1966, Saturday (+7,795) (1) Ireland said it would introduce free post-primary education from 1967.

(2) Sir Seretse Khama became President of the new Republic of Ghana.

9/9/1966, Friday (+7,794) (Universities) The University of Surrey, Guildford, was founded.

8/9/1966, Thursday (+7,793) (1) Queen Elizabeth II opened the Severn Bridge. The career of ferryman Enoch Williams, who had carried passengers and cars across the Severn estuary since starting his business on the first day of the General Strike 1926, ended.

(2) Star Trek was first broadcast.

6/9/1966, Tuesday (+7,791) South African Prime Minister Dr Hendrik Voerwoerd, aged 65, was assassinated, stabbed four times in the chest by a White Parliamentary messenger, with a stiletto, because ‘his Government didn’t do enough for Whites’. Voerwoerd had, since 1950, created semi-independent and poverty stricken ‘homelands’ for South Africa’s 73% Black majority, covering just 13% of South African territory; effectively creating a White majority in the remainder of the country.

3/9/1966, Saturday (+7,788) Captain Ridgeway and Sergeant Blyth became the first Britons to row across the Atlantic.  The journey, in English Rose III, took 91 days.

9/1966, Botswana independent, Herbicide raid in Vietnam. Britain’s first nuclear submarine. Severn Bridge opened. University of Surrey opened.


8/1966, Last Beatles live performance. Chairman Mao’s Cultural Revolution.

29/8/1966, Monday (+7,783) The Beatles gave their last live concert performance in Candlestick Park, San Francisco.

27/8/1966, Saturday (+7,781) Francis Chichester left Plymouth on his solo round the world voyage in the yacht Gypsy Moth IV.  He arrived back in Plymouth on 28/5/1967.

23/8/1966, Tuesday (+7,777) The Cotswolds were designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

19/8/1966, Friday (+7,773) Earthquake in eastern Turkey killed 2,000.

18/8/1966, Thursday (+7,772) The Queen Mother opened the Tay Road Bridge.

13/8/1966. Saturday (+7,767) Chairman Mao of China announced a 'cultural revolution'. On 18/8/1966 Mao appeared on the gallery of the Tiananmen Gate in Peking to a crowd of over a million Red Guards. Then the student Red Guards spread out into China to radicalise the towns and countryside.

11/8/1966, Thursday (+7,765) Malaysia and Indonesia ended a 3 year war.

10/8/1966, Wednesday (+7,764) America’s first Moon satellite, Orbiter 1, was launched.

4/8/1966, Thursday (+7,758) John Lennon suggested that The Beatles were ‘more popular than Jesus’. Within days US radio stations had banned their music and there were public bonfires of their records.


7/1966, France wiredrew from NATO. Race riots in USA. Wage freeze in UK. London anti-Vietnam war protests.

31/7/1966, Sunday (+7,754) In the US, there were race riots in Chicago, New York, and Cleveland.

30/7/1966, Saturday (+7,753) England beat West Germany 4 – 2 in extra time (towards the end of normal time England were 2-1 ahead, but Germany secured a last-minute equaliser) to win the World Cup at Wembley Stadium, London.

29/7/1966, Friday (+7,752) General Yakubu Gowon succeeded General Ironsi as ruler of Nigeria, after an army mutiny.

28/7/1966, Thursday (+7,751) Florence Nagle, 70,  became the first woman racecourse trainer.

23/7/1966, Saturday (+7,746)

21/7/1966, Thursday (+7,744) The first Welsh Nationalist MP, Gwynfor Evans, took his seat in Parliament after a by-election.

20/7/1966, Wednesday (+7,743) (1) Harold Wilson imposed a wages freeze in the UK. Inflation was high.

(2) Racial unrest continued in Brooklyn, New York, resulting in the fatal stabbing of an 11 year old boy. There were other racial tensions across the USA.

(3) Reverend Ian Paisley was jailed for breaching the peace at a church assembly in June.

18/7/1966, Monday (+7,741) The US launched the Gemini 10 spacecraft, crewed by John Young and Michael Collins.

16/7/1966, Saturday (+7,739) Race riots in Chicago caused Governor Kerner to call out 3,000 men from the Illinois National Guard who supplemented 900 police facing 5,000 rioters.

The Home Secretary Roy Jenkins decided that the drug LSD-25 should be controlled under the Drugs (Prevention of Misuse) Act, following a rise in use of the drug by young people.

Doctor Who continued to entertain on TV, and scare kids into hiding behind the sofa so the Daleks wouldn’t get them.

14/7/1966, Thursday (+7,737) The Welsh Nationalists won their first by-election, at Carmarthen

5/7/1966, Tuesday (+7,728) Dozens of captured USA airmen in the Vietnam War were paraded through the streets of Hanoi to shouts of ‘death to the American air pirates’.

3/7/1966, Sunday (+7,726) Anti-Vietnam war protests outside the US Embassy, London.

1/7/1966, Friday (+7,724) (1) In the UK, the average wage for teachers was £1,400 per year (152% of average pay). A top league footballer earned £5,200, and a manual worker was on £1,040 a year, 112% of average. A GP earned £2,964, 320% of average. A train driver earned £884, 95% of average pay. Average pay in 1966 was £1,220 for men, and £630 for women. The average annual wage was £926. A pint of beer cost 2 shillings (10p). A two bedroom terraced house in Northampton cost £1,150. A gallon of petrol cost 5s 3d (26p). An off-the-peg Burton’s suit cost £15.

(2) France withdrew its armed forces from NATO.

7/1966, France wiredrew from NATO. Race riots in USA. Wage freeze in UK. London anti-Vietnam war protests.


6/1966, Barclaycard,1st British credit card. East Pakistan wanted greater autonomy. Eamon de Valera re-elected President of Ireland. Gas found off Humber estuary.

29/6/1966, Wednesday (+7,722) Barclaycard, the first British credit card, was introduced.

7/6/1966, Tuesday (+7,700) Demonstrations in East Pakistan, demanding greater autonomy.

6/6/1966, Monday (+7,699) (1) Britain outlawed the Ulster Volunteer Force.

(2) On British TV the first episode of Til Death Us Do Part was showing, with Warren Mitchell as Alf Garnett.

4/6/1966, Saturday (+7,697)

3/6/1966, Friday (+7,696) Gemini 9 was launched, with 2 astronauts on board.

2/6/1966, Thursday (+7,695) (1) Eamon de Valera was re-elected president of Eire, now aged 83.

(2) The US unmanned spacecraft Surveyor made the first soft landing on the Moon.

(3) Philips Petroleum found a large gas field off the Humber estuary.

1/6/1966, Wednesday (+7,694) Folk music fans at the Albert Hall booed Bob Dylan for performing with an electric guitar.


5/1966, Guyana independent, UK Seaman‘s strike. Moors murderers jailed.

26/5/1966, Thursday (+7,688) Guyana became independent, under President Burnham. It was formerly known as British Guyana.

23/5/1966, Monday (+7,685) In Britain, a State of Emergency was declared in response to the Seamen’s strike.

16/5/1966, Monday (+7,678) Post Office Tower, London, opened to the public.

6/5/1966, Friday (+7,668) The Moors murderers Ian Brady, 28, and Myra Hindley, 24, were found guilty of murder at Chester Crown Court and jailed for life.

2/5/1966, Monday (+7,664) The Times carried news headlines on its front  page instead of advertising for the first time.


4/1966. Cross Channel hovercraft service. British Airports Authority formed. Rhodesia oil embargo.

30/4/1966, Saturday (+7,662) A regular hovercraft service began across the English Channel between Calais and Ramsgate.

21/4/1966, Thursday (+7,653) The opening of the UK Parliament was televised for the first time.

19/4/1966, Tuesday (+7,651) (Education, University) Loughborough University of Technology became Britain’s first technological university.

16/4/1966, Saturday (+7,648) General Abdul Rahman Arif succeeded his brother as President of Iraq.

15/4/1966, Friday (+7,647) Time Magazine declared London ‘the city of the decade’, for its fashion, and opportunities for young people.

14/4/1966, Thursday (+7,646) The South Downs was designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

12/4/1966, Tuesday (+7,644)

10/4/1966, Sunday (+7,642) Easter Sunday.

9/4/1966, Saturday (+7,641) The UN authorised Britain to seize by force any oil being shipped to Rhodesia.

8/4/1966, Friday (+7,640)

6/4/1966, Wednesday (+7,638) Increased ferry tolls sparked riots in Hong Kong.

5/4/1966, Tuesday (+7.637) Shell announced the discovery of oil off Great Yarmouth.

4/4/1966, Monday (+7,636) Soviet spacecraft orbited the Moon.

3/4/1966, Sunday (+7,635)

2/4/1966, Saturday (+7,634) Protests in Saigon as demonstrators demanded an end to military rule.

1/4/1966, Friday (+7,633) The newly-created British Airports Authority took responsibility for London’s’ Gatwick and Heathrow Airports.

4/1966. Cross Channel hovercraft service. British Airports Authority formed. Rhodesia oil embargo.


3/1966, Harold Wilson, Labour, won UK elections. UK’s first Asian policeman,

31/3/1966, Thursday (+7,632) General Election in the UK. Labour under Harold Wilson won a landslide victory, gaining a majority of 66. Labour won 363 seats, the Conservatives won 253 seats, and the Liberals won 12.

30/3/1966, Wednesday (+7,631) In South Africa, the National Party won a large majority in elections.

27/3/1966, Sunday (+7,628) The football World Cup, which had been stolen a few days earlier, was discovered in a south London garden by a sniffer dog.

23/3/1966, Wednesday (+7,624) (1) In Rome the first official meeting for 400 years between the heads of the Catholic and Anglican Churches took place, Pope Paul VI met with Dr Michael Ramsey, Archbishop of Canterbury.

(2) In New York, 20,000 people marched down Fifth Avenue demanding an end to the Vietnam War.

17/3/1966, Thursday (+7,618) US astronauts docked in space.

16/3/1966, Wednesday (+7,617) Anti-communist demonstrations in Indonesia.

15/3/1966, Tuesday (+7,616) The US spacecraft Gemini 8 was launched, with Neil Armstrong and David Scott.

14/3/1966, Monday (+7,615) Britain’s first Asian policeman, Muhammad Yusuf, was sworn in to the Coventry force.

13/3/1966, Sunday (+7,614) (Sports) Akira Nogami, wrestler, was born.

12/3/1966, Saturday (+7,613) (Indonesia) General Suharto assumed power in an army coup in Indonesia. He forced Sukarno, held under armed guard in the Presidential Palace, to sign an order giving him executive authority Suharto swiftly moved to annihilate the Communist Party, resulting in a massacre of between 250,000 and 500,000 people.

11/3/1966, Friday (+7,612) De Gaulle announced that France was to withdraw from NATO and that NATO must remove its bases from France by the end of 1966.

10/3/1966, Thursday (+7,611) (Science) Frits Zernike, Dutch physicist, died in Naarden.

9/3/1966, Wednesday (+7,610) Tony Lockett, Australian footballer, was born.

8/3/1966, Tuesday (+7,609) Australia tripled its force in Vietnam to 4,500 troops.

7/3/1966, Monday (+7,608) Joy Tanner, US actress, was born.

6/3/1966, Sunday (+7,607) Food riots in West Bengal, India, spreading to Kolkata and Delhi.

5/3/1966, Saturday (+7,606) The IRA destroyed the Nelson Column in Dublin by a bomb.

4/3/1966, Friday (+7,605) John Lennon asserted that The Beatles were more popular than Jesus Christ. In response, Beatles records were burnt in the US Bible Belt.

3/3/1966, Thursday (+7,604) Fernando Colunga, actor, was born.

2/3/1966, Wednesday (+7,603) Britain protested to Portugal about oil supplies reaching Rhodesia via Mozambique.

1/3/1966, Tuesday (+7,602) The Russian spacecraft Venus III became the first man-made object to land on another planet when it made a hard landing on Venus. It had been launched on 16/11/1965.

3/1966, Harold Wilson, Labour, won UK elections. UK’s first Asian policeman,


2/1966, Nimitz, USA WW2 Commander, died. Freddie Laker cut price airline.

28/2/1966, Monday (+7,601) The Cavern Club, where The Beatles first played, went into liquidation.

27/2/1966, Sunday (+7,600) Donal Logue, Canadian actor, was born

26/2/1966, Saturday (+7,599) The last scheduled steam train left Scunthorpe railway depot. It was a freight train to west Yorkshire. All subsequent scheduled trains were diesel hauled, although some steam services from the Yorkshire area ran to Scunthorpe until Spring 1967.

25/2/1966, Friday (+7,598) Alexis Denisof, US actor, was born.

24/2/1966, Thursday (+7,597) Kwame Nkrumah, President of Ghana since its independence in 1957, was overthrown by an army coup and went into exile in Guinea.

23/2/1966, Wednesday (+7,596) A military junta seized power in Syria.

22/2/1966, Tuesday (+7,595) Rachel Dratch, US actress, was born

21/2/1966, Monday (+7,594) Bronwen Booth, English actress, was born.

20/2/1966, Sunday (+7,593) Chester Nimitz, American General and Pacific Fleet Commander in World War II, died in San Francisco, four days before his 81st birthday.

19/2/1966, Saturday (+7,592) A 26 year old man was gassed as he attempted to cook a dinner for his wife. He had failed to realise that you had to ignite the gas. Lord Silkin’s Bill to legalise abortion ran into difficulties in the House of Lords. The Ministry of Public Works revealed plans to build an underground cafe, ticket office, and sales room, beneath Stonehenge. Statistics in the Ministry of Labour Gazette revealed the weekly average income for a British household as £24 2s 11d.

TV shows included Bewitched and Dixon of Dock Green. Thunderbirds was on at 6pm, and The Morecambe and Wise Show at 9.20 pm.

18/2/1966, Friday (+7,591) Dean Rusk stated that the USA had exhausted all possibilities for bringing peace to Vietnam.

17/2/1966, Thursday (+7,590) The UK protested to South Africa about petrol supplies to Rhodesia.

14/2/1966, Monday (+7,587)

9/2/1966, Wednesday (+7.582) Sophie Tucker, last of the ‘red hot mamas’, died.

8/2/1966, Tuesday (+7,581) (Aviation) Freddie Laker formed a cut-price transatlantic airline.

6/2/1966, Sunday (+7,579)

4/2/1966, Friday (+7,577) A Japanese airliner crashed into Tokyo Bay, killing 133 people.

3/2/1966, Thursday (+7,576) (Space exploration) The Soviet unmanned spacecraft, Luna IX, made the first soft landing on the Moon.

2/2/1966, Wednesday (+7,575)

1/2/1966, Tuesday (+7,574) The silent film comedian Buster Keaton died.

2/1966, Nimitz, USA WW2 Commander, died. Freddie Laker cut price airline.


1/1966, UK Rhodesia trade embargo. Bokassa leader of Central African Republic. Barclaycard to launch, £25 limit.

31/1/1966, Monday (+7,573) Britain banned all trade with Rhodesia.

28/1/1966, Friday (+7,570)

25/1/1966, Tuesday (+7,567) Harold Holt became Prime Minister of Australia, succeeding Robert Menzies.

24/1/1966, Monday (+7,566) An Air India Boeing 707 crashed into Mont Blanc, killing all 117 passengers on board.

22/1/1966, Saturday (+7,564) Martin Luther King moved to a tenement flat in a deprived part of Chicago to draw attention to Black urban poverty.

20/1/1966, Thursday (+7,562) Robert Menzies retired as Prime Minister of Australia.

19/1/1966, Wednesday (+7,561) Indira Ghandi (no relation to Mahatma Gandhi) became prime Minister of India. She succeeded her father Jawaharlal Nehru. She had been leader of the National Congress Party since 1959.

17/1/1966, Monday (+7,555) A US bomber aircraft on exercises was attempting to refuel mid-air over Spain when an error resulted in the fuel boom from the other aircraft clipping the bomber’s wing. The bomber crashed in flames; its crew parachuted to safety. However the bomber was carrying four Hydrogen Bombs. The Bombs were not armed so the electrical sequence necessary to detonate the fission bomb that would have set off the Hydrogen bomb never initiated. In other fortunate events, the parachutes on the bombs failed so they buried themselves deep in the soil, limiting radiation dispersal, and a breeze carried much of the radiation out to sea as flaming bits of aircraft rained down in the area.

11/1/1966, Tuesday (+7,553) Barclays announced plans to go into the credit card business with its Barclaycard, available free to both customers and non customers of the bank. The card would have a limit of £25, and higher amounts could be spent following a telephone check. Hoteliers objected vigorously since promoters make their profit by taking a discount from the amount charged to the card, typically 5% to 10%. Barclays announced that the discount would be 3% to 5%.

8/1/1966, Saturday (+7,550) US launched biggest offensive to date in Vietnam.

1/1/1966, Saturday (+7,543) Bokassa took over as leader of the Central African Republic. In 1977 he organised a lavish coronation ceremony., appointing himself ‘emperor’, which cost US$20million, a quarter of his country’s annual income.

1/1966, UK Rhodesia trade embargo. Bokassa leader of Central African Republic. Barclaycard to launch, £25 limit.


12/1965, Ho Chi Minh rejected South Vietnam peace talks. Marcos President of Philippines. UK introduced national 70mph speed limit.  De Gaulle re-elected French President. Concerns on Black deprivation in California.

31/12/1965, Friday (+7,542) The executives of the European Economic Community, Euratom, and the European Coal and Steel Community were merged into one executive authority.

30/12/1965, Thursday (+7,541) In the Philippines, Ferdinand E Marcos became President.

29/12/1965, Wednesday (+7,540) North Vietnamese leader Ho Chi Minh rejected US peace talks.

28/12/1965, Tuesday (+7,539) (1) A British magistrate who was also a rally driver said he would refuse to sit on the bench when motorists were charged with exceeding the speed limit unless injury or damage was also alleged.

(2) On TV, Phil Silvers starred in Sergeant Bilko.

27/12/1965, Monday (+7,538) The North Sea oilrig Sea Gem collapsed into the sea, killing 13 people.

22/12/1965, Wednesday (+7,533) (Road Traffic)The UK introduced a national 70mph speed limit. See 24/11/1965. This was brought in for an initial experimental period of four months by Transport Minister Tom Fraser. The 70mph limit was made permanent by Fraser’s successor, Barbara Castle, in July 1967.

20/12/1965, Monday (+7,531) (TV broadcasts) The Belmont TV transmitter, Lincolnshire, began operations,

19/12/1965, Sunday (+7,530) De Gaulle was re-elected president of France.

18/12/1965, Saturday (+7,529) Nine African States broke off relations with the UK for not using force against Rhodesia.

17/12/1965, Friday (+7,528) Britain imposed an oil embargo on Rhodesia.

16/12/1965, Thursday (+7,527) Somerset Maugham, author, died this day.

15/12/1965, Wednesday (+7,526) US astronauts achieved the first rendezvous of two vehicles in space. Gemini 6, crewed by Walter P Shirra and Thomas P Stafford, met alongside Gemini 7, crewed by Frank Borman and James A Lovell. The two craft then orbited together, about 3 metres apart, completing two earth orbits at an altitude of 315 kilometres. This exercise was vital in planning the manned lunar programme, where a lunar module would detach from the command ship to land on the Moon, then rejoin the main ship to return to Earth.

7/12/1965, Tuesday (+7,518)

6/12/1965, Monday (+7,517) The Redundancy Payments Act came into force; it was described as a major step in the modernisation of British industry. General De Gaulle failed to win the French presidential Election outright, necessitating a second ballot between him and Monsieur Mitterand. The Governor of California received a report on the necessity of stimulating employment and education among the Black population as a means of avoiding race riots.

5/12/1965, Sunday (+7,516) (Medical) Joseph Erlanger, US physiologist, died in St Louis, Missouri.

4/12/1965, Saturday (+7,515) The US spacecraft Gemini 7 was launched, crewed by Frank Borman and James Lovell.

12/1965, Ho Chi Minh rejected South Vietnam peace talks. Marcos President of Philippines. UK introduced national 70mph speed limit.  De Gaulle re-elected French President. Concerns on Black deprivation in California.


11/1965, UK trialled 70mph motorway speed limit. Ian Smith, Rhodesia, declared UDI. UK outlawed capital punishment,. Major US power outage.

29/11/1965, Monday (+7,510) Mary Whitehouse began her clean up campaign concerning TV broadcasts, by setting up the National Viewers and Listeners Association to tackle ‘bad taste and irresponsibility’.

26/11/1965, Friday (+7,507) (Space exploration) France launched a satellite, A-1 Asterix.

25/11/1965, Thursday (+7,506) In the Congo Republic (Zaire), General Sese Sese Mobuto deposed President Kasavubu.

24/11/1965, Wednesday (+7,505) (Road Traffic)The UK government imposed an experimental 70mph speed limit on the motorways (see 22/12/1965). UK motorways, the first of which was a stretch of the M6 known then as the Preston by-pass, had had no speed limits since their inception in 1958. However early one morning in June 1964 the makers of the AC Cobra sports car decided to take their Le Mans contender out for a spin on the M1 and got it up to 185 mph. This led to questions in Parliament and the 70 mph national speed limit. There were also issues of pile ups on motorways in snow, ice or foggy conditions, and a 30mph limit was considered for motorways in these conditions. The 30mph limit was not implemented but the 70mph limit became permanent in 1967.

20/11/1965, Saturday (+7,501)

16/11/1965, Tuesday (+7,497) The Russians launched Venus III on a voyage to Venus, see 1/3/1966.

15/11/1965, Monday (+7,496) In the USA, Craig Breedlove set a new land speed record of 613 mph at Bonneville salt flats.

11/11/1965, Thursday (+7,492) Rhodesia declared UDI from Britain under Ian Smith, the Prime Minister. The opposition leaders Joshua Nkomo and Robert Mugabe were in jail. The British Prime Minister Harold Wilson imposed trade sanctions and an oil embargo. However South Africa, and the neighbouring Portuguese colonies of Mozambique and Angola, assisted Mr Smith in overcoming sanctions, and large multinationals evaded them anyway. However the end of Portuguese rule in Angola and Mozambique in 1975 undermined Mr Smith’s regime and assisted the transfer to Black majority rule there.

9/11/1965, Tuesday (+7,490) (1) A transmission relay in New York City failed, sparking a domino effect that led to a blackout across New York State, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New England, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, and parts of Pennsylvania and Ontario.

(2) The Act legally abolishing capital punishment in the UK came into force. This Act was largely due to the efforts of Sidney Silverman MP.

8/11/1965, Monday (+7,489) In Canadian elections, the Liberals under Lester B Pearson became the largest Party with 131 seats, but without an overall majority. The Progressive Conservatives secured 97 seats, Others won 37 seats.

11/1965, UK trialled 70mph motorway speed limit. Ian Smith, Rhodesia, declared UDI. UK outlawed capital punishment,. Major US power outage.


10/1965, Moors murderers first charged. Edward Heath said UK would join EEC. Post Office Tower opened.

28/10/1965, Thursday (+7,478) The Moors Murderers, Ian Brady and Myra Hindley, were charged with murdering a 13-year old girl, Lesley Ann Downey, whose body had been found on the moors  on 15/10/1965.

26/10/1965, Tuesday (+7,476) The Beatles went to Buckingham Palace to be presented with their MBE’s.

25/10/1965, Monday (+7,475) Harold Wilson went to Rhodesia for talks with Ian Smith. But see 11/11/1965.

19/10/1965, Tuesday (+7,469) In the USA, the Un-American Activities Committee of the House of Representatives began a public hearing on the Klu Klux Klan.

17/10/1965, Sunday (+7,467) Anti-Vietnam War protests in the UK and USA.

12/10/1965, Tuesday (+7,462) Paul Muller, the Swiss chemist who formulated the insecticide DDT in 1939, died in Basle.

8/10/1965, Friday (+7,458) (1) Edward Heath said he would take Britain into the European Community.

(2) The Prime Minister Harold Wilson made the first telephone call as the £2 million, 620 foot tall, Post Office Tower in London’s Tottenham Court Road opened.

7/10/1965, Thursday (+7,457) Ian Smith met Harold Wilson for talks at 10 Downing Street; the talks failed to avert UDI by Rhodesia on 11/11/1965.

4/10/1965, Monday (+7,454) Pope Paul VI visited New York City; the first Papal visit to America.

1/10/1965, Friday (+7,451) (Indonesia) General Suharto quickly took control of the insurrection and now proclaimed the Communist Party (which Sukarno had relied on as a counterweight to the Army) as guilty for the rebellion. Within a few weeks the extermination of the PKI (Communists) had begun. The PKI had been the largest Communist Party in the world outside Russia and China, with 3 million members.

10/1965, Moors murderers first charged. Edward Heath said UK would join EEC. Post Office Tower opened.


9/1965, Word ‘hippie’ first used. India-Pakistan conflict over Pakistan. China Cultural Revolution began.

30/9/1965, Thursday (+7,450) (1) (Indonesia) A group of middle-ranking Army officers in Indonesia seized power, led by Lieutenant-Colonel Untung of Sukarno’s Presidential Guard. They killed several top Generals and took President Sukarno to an airbase near Jakarta where they proclaimed a Revolutionary Council.

(2) The first episode of Thunderbirds was broadcast in the UK.

29/9/1965, Wednesday (+7,449) The USSR admitted supplying weapons to North Vietnam.

25/9/1965, Friday (+7,444)

22/9/1965, Wednesday (+7,442) India and Pakistan halted fighting in Kashmir.

21/9/1965, Tuesday (+7,441) BP (British Petroleum) became the first company to discover oil in the North Sea.

20/9/1965, Monday (+7,440) (Geology) Arthur Holmes, English geologist, died in London.

18/9/1965, Saturday (+7,438)

15/9/1965, Wednesday (+7,435) Dyan Castillejo-Garcia, professional tennis player, was born.

14/9/1965, Tuesday (+7,434) The comprehensive school in Market Drayton, Shropshire, opened, replacing the town’s old secondary modern and grammar schools.

12/9/1965, Sunday (+7,432)

10/9/1965, Friday (+7,430) (USA) Yale University published a map showing that the Vikings discovered America in the 11th century.

9/9/1965, Thursday (+7,429) (USA) The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development was established

8/9/1965, Wednesday (+7,428) (Chemistry) Hermann Staudinger, German chemist, died in Freiburg am Breisgau.

7/9/1965, Tuesday (+7,427) John Polson, actor, was born.

6/9/1965, Monday (+7,426) India invaded West Pakistan. A three-pronged attack threatened the Pakistani city of Lahore. Pakistan parachuted troops in behind Indian lines. The conflict in Kashmir escalated.

5/9/1965, Sunday (+7,425) The word "hippie" first appeared in print, in an article in the San Francisco Examiner by reporter Michael Fallon, who was writing a series about the Haight-Ashbury neighbourhood. "Five untroubled young 'hippies'," Fallon began, "sprawled on floor mattresses and slouched in an armchair retrieved from a debris box, flipped cigarette ashes at a seatbelt in their Waller Street flat and pondered their next move."

4/9/1965, Saturday (+7,424) Albert Schweitzer, French medical missionary, died aged 90 in Lambarene, Gabon, in the village where he had opened his hospital for natives in 1913.  He was aged 90, and won the Nobel Prize in 1952.

3/9/1965, Friday (+7,423) The Cultural Revolution began in China.  A reassertion of Maoist principles, it began with a speech by Marshal Lin Piao urging pupils in schools and colleges to return to the basics of the Chinese Revolution and to purge liberal and Kruschevian trends in the Chinese Communist Party.  See 13/10/1968.

2/9/1965, Thursday (+7,422) Tahir Yahya was forced to resign as Prime Minister of Iraq. The vacancy was filled four days later by Arif Abd ar-Razzaq, who fled the country on September 17 after only 10 days in office

1/9/1965, Wednesday (+7,421) Pakistani troops crossed into Kashmir over the cease-fire line.

9/1965, Word ‘hippie’ first used. India-Pakistan conflict over Pakistan. China Cultural Revolution began.


8/1965, Singapore independent. Race riots in Watts, Los Angeles. Le Corbusier died.

31/8/1965, Tuesday (+7,420) (Sport) Willie Watson, New Zealand cricketer, was born.

27/8/1965, Friday (+7,416) The Swiss architect Le Corbusier died.

21/8/1965, Saturday (+7,410) The US launched the spacecraft Gemini 5, crewed by Gordon Cooper and Charles Conrad. It orbited the Earth for 8 days before a safe splashdown in the Atlantic.

13/8/1965, Friday (+7,402) Ikeda Hayato, Prime Minister of Japan, died.

12/8/1965, Thursday (+7,401) 19 days after the US learned that North Vietnam had bases around its capital from which to fire surface-to-air missiles, the North Vietnamese revealed that they had mobile missile units that could be taken to any location, shooting down a U.S. Navy A-4 Skyhawk attack jet flying 50 miles southwest of Hanoi. Lieutenant Donald H. Brown of the USS Coral Sea was killed in the crash, becoming the first U.S. Navy flier to be downed by a SAM missile.

11/8/1965, Wednesday (+7,400) Race riots in the Watts area of Los Angeles, USA. A local Black woman, Marquette Fry, was arrested by White police officers on suspicion of drunk-driving and then beaten up. Over the next two nights rioting in the predominantly Black area spread to involve some 130 square kilometres, with cars and shops being looted and burnt. On 13/8/1965 2,000 national Guardsmen arrived to support the thousands of police in enforcing an 8.pm curfew for the next three nights. The riots saw the deaths of 34 people, mostly Black civilians shot by National Guards or police.

10/8/1965, Tuesday (+7,399) The agreement between the United States and the Philippines on U.S. military bases was formally amended, returning exclusive jurisdiction over the Port of Manila and the city of Olongapo to the Philippines, and ceding more than 1,200 km2 of territory back to the Philippine government.

9/8/1965, Monday (+7,398) Singapore seceded from the Federation of Malaysia.  It became an independent Republic within the Commonwealth.

6/8/1965, Friday (+7,395) US Congress passed the Voting Rights Act of 1965, outlawing racial discrimination in voting


2/8/1965, Monday (+7,391) A UK White Paper limited immigration from the Commonwealth.

1/8/1965, Sunday (+7,390) General Lo Jui-ching, the Chief of Joint Staff of the armed forces of the People's Republic of China, declared that the Chinese were ready to fight the United States again, as they had in the Korean War.

8/1965, Singapore independent. Race riots in Watts, Los Angeles. Le Corbusier died.


7/1965, Maldives independent. Edward Heath UK Conservative leader. Last TV cigarette advert in UK.

31/7/1965, Saturday (+7,389) (1) The last advert for cigarettes appeared on British TV.

(2) J K Rowling, British author of the Harry Potter series, was born.

30/7/1965, Friday (+7,388) Coronation Street was the top TV show

29/7/1965, Thursday (+7,387) The governments of Algeria and France signed an agreement which allowed French petroleum companies to retain their concessions for the right to drill for oil in Algeria, but required also that they cooperate with Algeria's government-owned oil and gas consortium.

28/7/1965, Wednesday (+7,386) (1) US President Lyndon Johnson sent a further 50,000 ground troops to Vietnam. The US now had 175,000 troops in Vietnam.

(2) Edward Heath, born 9/7/1916, became leader of the Conservative Party. Sir Alec Douglas Home had resigned as leader on 22/5/1965.  Heath was leader until 1975 when Mrs Thatcher became Party leader (11/2/1975). Heath received 155 votes against 133 for Reginald Maudling and 15 for Enoch Powell. At 49 Heath was the youngest leader of the Conservative Party for a century.

27/7/1965, Tuesday (+7,385) The Maldives Islands became independent, having been a British Protectorate since 1887.

26/7/1965, Monday (+7,384) The Post Office announced that in future UK telephone numbers would not include letters.

23/7/1965, Friday (+7,381)

20/7/1965, Tuesday (+7,378) (Innovation) The McLaren baby buggy was patented by Owen Findlay, Banbury, UK. It replaced much more cumbersome and heavier prams, and its easy folding made it very easy to take on board public transport.

19/7/1965, Monday (+7,377) Syngman Rhee, first President of the Republic of Korea (1948-60) died in Hawaii.

18/7/1965, Sunday (+7,376)

16/7/1965, Friday (+7,374) The seven-mile Mont Blanc road tunnel opened, linking France with Italy. This road tunnel had first been proposed by French engineer Lepiney back in 1870. The tunnel took 6 years to build.

15/7/1965, Thursday (+7,373) Mariner 4 flew by Mars, returning images of the planet’s surface. It revealed that Mars was covered with impact craters, demonstrating a lack of geological activity. A measurement of the changes in radio transmissions as the signals passed through the Martian atmosphere also showed that surface pressure was 94% less than had been predicted, showing that it was mostly carbon dioxide and that the Martian ice caps were actually frozen CO2.

14/7/1965, Wednesday (+7,372) US politician Adlai Ewing Stevenson, born 5/2/1900 in Los Angeles, California, died suddenly.

7/7/1965, Wednesday (+7,365)

7/1965, Maldives independent. Edward Heath UK Conservative leader. Last TV cigarette advert in UK.


6/1965, Unrest in Algeria. India-Pakistan ceasefire. Cyclone hit East Pakistan. UK driving alcohol limit set.

30/6/1965, Wednesday (+7,358) India and Pakistan agreed a ceasefire.

29/6/1965, Tuesday (+7,357) The first US military ground action began in Vietnam.

27/6/1965, Sunday (+7,355)

24/6/1965, Thursday (+7,352) South Vietnam severed relations with France.

23/6/1965, Wednesday (+7,351) The USSR rejected a Vietnam peace initiative proposed by Harold Wilson.

22/6/1965, Tuesday (+7,350) The Treaty on Basic Relations between Japan and the Republic of Korea was signed in Tokyo, almost twenty years after South Korea had been liberated from the Japanese Empire.

21/6/1965, Monday (+7,349) The UK government announced that the Broad Street to Richmond railway service, earmarked for closure by Beeching, would be reprieved.

20/6/1965, Sunday (+7,348) Police in Algiers broke up demonstrations by people who had taken to the streets chanting slogans in support of deposed President Ben Bella.

19/6/1965, Saturday (+7,347) The President of Algeria, Ben Bella, was overthrown in a military coup by his Minister of Defence, Colonel Houari Boumedienne.

18/6/1965, Friday (+7,346) An alcohol limit was to be set for UK drivers.

16/6/1965, Wednesday (+7,344)

13/6/1965, Sunday (+7,341) Martin Buber, Austrian-born Israeli Jewish philosopher, died aged 87.

12/6/1965, Saturday (+7,340) The Beatles were made MBEs in the Queen’s birthday honours.  A number of other holders of the medal returned theirs in disgust.

11/6/1965, Friday (+7,339) President Johnson declared that the promotion of learning the English language should be a major policy in American foreign aid, and directed the Peace Corps, the United States Agency for International Development and other organizations to encourage the such study, in what was viewed as elevating "the status of English as an international language.

10/6/1965, Thursday (+7,338) A British European Airways De Havilland jet airliner flying from Paris to London made the first landing by automatic control.

7/6/1965, Monday (+7,335)

3/6/1965, Thursday (+7,331) Gemini IV was launched, crewed by James McDivitt and Edward White. During the flight, Edward H White  became the first man to walk in space, for 20 minutes.

2/6/1965, Wednesday (+7,330) The second of two cyclones (first one on 11/5/1965) hit eastern Pakistan, killing 45,000 people.

6/1965, Unrest in Algeria. India-Pakistan ceasefire. Cyclone hit East Pakistan. UK driving alcohol limit set.


5/1965, US airstrikes in Vietnam. Britain to adopt metric measurements.

31/5/1965, Monday (+7,328) Major US air strikes in Vietnam saved the South Vietnamese forces from annihilation, reported The Guardian.

Within a day of moving into a semi detached house on a Staffordshire housing estate a Jamaican family was approached by the resident’ association with an offer to buy them out. ‘We are not against coloured people’ said the chairman, ‘but we are concerned about maintaining the value of our house’.

Duty free cigarettes went on sale at Heathrow Airport at £1 for 200. A spokesman for Tetley’s, Britain’s biggest teabag manufacturer, said they would have 25% of the market by 1975.

24/5/1965, Monday (+7,321) Westminster announced that Britain was to switch to metric measurements.

23/5/1965, Sunday (+7,320) David Smith, US sculptor, died aged 59.

21/5/1965, Friday (+7,318) Sir Geoffrey de Havilland, British aircraft designer who was knighted n 1944, died in Stanmore, Middlesex.

12/5/1965, Wednesday (+7,309) West Germany established diplomatic relations with Israel.

3/5/1965, Monday (+7,300) Major earthquake hit San Salvador City, El Salvador.

2/5/1965, Sunday (+7,299) The British satellite, Early Bird, began transmitting TV programmes to 300 million viewers in 24 countries.

1/5/1965, Saturday (+7,298)

5/1965, US airstrikes in Vietnam. Britain to adopt metric measurements.


4/1965, Greater London officially created. US jests shot down in Vietnam. India-Pakistan conflict.

29/4/1965, Thursday (+7,296) Australia began contributing troops to the US war effort in Vietnam.

28/4/1965, Wednesday (+7,295) US forces invaded the Dominican Republic. This country had been in political turmoil since the death of the longstanding dictator Rafael Trujillo in 1961. Free elections in December 1962 brought the mildly left-wing Juan Bosch to power, but he was quickly deposed in a military coup. This right-wing military junta was itself deposed in a further coup led by Colonel Francisco Caama, and Bosch was invited to return from exile and restore democracy. However the US was extremely wary, after Cuba, of any more leftist regimes being established in the Caribbean. On 28/4 US troops occupied the western half of the capital, Santo Domingo, whilst in the east right-wing generals took over the San Isidro air base, which was then opened to US military flights. However the US did not want to undertake a permanent occupation of the Dominican Republic; US troops were replaced by a Pan-American force under Brazilian command, and free elections organised in 1966, won by President Joaquin Balaguer.

26/4/1965, Monday (+7,293)

25/4/1965, Sunday (+7,292) the military regime in the Dominican republic that took power in 9/1963 was overthrown by pro-Bosch military officers.

24/4/1965, Saturday (+7,291) Louise Dresser, actress, died aged 86.

23/4/1965, Friday (+7,290) (1) Heavy US air raids on North Vietnam.

(2) The Pennine Way, 250 miles from Edale in Derbyshire to Kirk Yetholm in Roxburghshire, opened. This was the first long distance footpath in Britain.

17/4/1965, Saturday (+7,284) US students protested against US bombing in Vietnam.

9/4/1965, Friday (+7,276) (India region) Border clashes between India and Pakistan.

8/4/1965, Thursday (+7,275) (European Union) Members of the European Coal and Steel Community, the Economic Community and Euratom signed a treaty providing for the merger of these institutions’ functions into a single Commission and Council of Ministers.

6/4/1965, Tuesday (+7,273) (Space exploration) The US launched Early Bird, a weather satellite,

4/4/1965, Sunday (+7,271) (Vietnam) US jets shot down by North Vietnam.

1/4/1965, Thursday (+7,268) (London) Greater London was created, from the City of London and 32 boroughs.

4/1965, Greater London officially created. US jests shot down in Vietnam. India-Pakistan conflict.


3/1965, US fighting in Vietnam. Martin Luther King peace march in USA.

28/3/1965, Sunday (+7,264) (Earthquakes) Major earthquake in Chile.

25/3/1965, Thursday (+7,261) (Sri Lanka) In elections in Ceylon (Sri Lanka), Mrs Srimavo Bandaranaike lost to Dudley Senanayake.

24/3/1965, Wednesday (+7,260) (Britain) David Steel became Britain’s youngest MP at the age of 26.

23/3/1965, Tuesday (+7,259) (Space exploration) US spacecraft Gemini I was launched, crewed by Virgil Grissom and John Young.

18/3/1965, Thursday (+7,254) (1) The first walk in space, lasting about 10 minutes, was made by Soviet cosmonaut Alexei Leonov, from the spaceship Voskhod 2.

(2) Farouk I, King of Egypt from 1936 to 1952, died in exile in Italy.

15/3/1965, Monday (+7,251) Doctor Martin Luther King led a Freedom March in Selma, Alabama, in defiance of a court ban. State police stopped the procession with tear gas.

14/3/1965, Sunday (+7,250) The Israeli Cabinet formally approved the setting up of diplomatic relations with West Germany.

11/3/1965, Thursday (+7,247)

8/3/1965, Monday (+7,244) (1) The US stepped up military action in Vietnam. 3,500 American Marines, the first combat troops to arrive in Vietnam, landed, welcomed by an enthusiastic crowd. By July 1965 there were 75,000 US troops in Vietnam, by end-1965 184,000, and by early 1968, 510,000.

7/3/1965, Sunday (+7,243) US State Troopers and police attacked some 600 Civil Rights marchers with clubs, whips, and tear gas on the Selma Freedom March from Selma, Alabama, to the State capital, Alabama. 17 marchers were hospitalised and scores more injured.

6/3/1965, Saturday (+7,242) (Britain) Herbert Morrison, UK Labour politician, died aged 77.

5/3/1965, Friday (+7,241) (London) The new Hornsey Central Library, London, was opened by Princess Alexandra.

4/3/1965, Thursday (+7,240)

3/3/1965, Wednesday (+7,239) Bechuanaland (now Botswana) became self-governing, with Seretse Khama as Prime Minister.

2/3/1965, Tuesday (+7,238) (1) (Vietnam) In response to the 6/2/1965 attack at Pleiku, and to another attack a few days later on US soldiers at Qui Nhon, the US launched Operation Rolling Thunder, a saturation bombing campaign against North Vietnam combined with the first deployment of US ground forces against the North Vietnamese.

(2) The Sound of Music went on release in the USA. It was an instant hit.

3/1965, US fighting in Vietnam. Martin Luther King peace march in USA.


2/1965, Malcolm X shot in USA. British Rail major closure plans. Ban on UK cigarette advertising.

25/2/1965, Thursday (+7,233)

24/2/1965, Wednesday (+7,232) The UK Government rejected the Robbins Commission’s recommendation for creating more new universities.

23/2/1965, Tuesday (+7,231) Stan Laurel, English-born American film comedian along with Oliver Hardy, died aged 74.

22/2/1965, Monday (+7,230)

21/2/1965, Sunday (+7,229) American Black leader Malcolm X was shot dead whilst addressing a meeting in New York. He was shot 15 times at point-blank range by three gunmen, and was dead on arrival at hospital. Born on 19/5/1925 in Nebraska, Malcolm X was the son of a Baptist minister, Earl Little, who was a supporter of the Black Nationalist leader Marcus Garvey. Little received death threats and in 1931 his body was found, mutilated. Malcolm dropped out of school and by 1942 was involved in the criminal gangs of Harlem, New York. He was imprisoned for burglary in 1946 and in the same year converted to an Islamic sect led by Elijah Mohammed. Malcolm changed his surname to X because he viewed Little as a slave name. Out on parole in 1952, Malcolm preached for the sect, supporting Black separatism and violence. He made a pilgrimage to Mecca in 1964 and then changed his views to supporting all races. He founded the Organisation of Afro-American Unity and toured many countries before he was assassinated.

18/2/1965, Thursday (+7,226) The Gambia, the smallest country in Africa, became an independent monarchy. It had been a British colony since 1843.

16/2/1965, Tuesday (+7,224) British Rail published plans, based on Beeching’s, to halve the rail network.

15/2/1965, Monday (+7,223) Canada flew the newly-adopted Maple Leaf Flag for the first time.

12/2/1965, Friday (+7,220)

8/2/1965, Monday (+7,216) The British Government, Health Minister Kenneth Robinson, announced a ban on cigarette advertising on TV, to take effect on 31/7/1965.

7/2/1965, Sunday (+7,215) US aircraft bombed North Vietnam. The US hoped that by relying on a sustained air bombing campaign, US casualties would be minimised.

6/2/1965, Saturday (+7,214) (Vietnam) The Vietcong attacked a US barracks at Pleiku, killing 9 US soldiers. In retaliation, President Johnson authorised Operation Flaming Dart, bombing raids on North Vietnam.

5/2/1965, Friday (+7,213) Jeff Harding, Australian boxer, was born.

3/2/1965, Wednesday (+7,211) Spain began a blockade of Gibraltar.

2/2/1965, Tuesday (+7,210) In the UK, PM Harold Wilson announced the cancellation of three expensive defence projects. Two were for aircraft capable of vertical takeoffs and landing, the Armstrong Whitworth AW.681 was a large military transport plane, and the Hawker Siddeley P.1154 was supersonic fighter aircraft. The third, the British Aircraft Corporation TSR-2 was a high-speed attack and reconnaissance jet. Wilson said that the cost of the research and development for the TSR-2 alone had already reached £750 million, more than eight times the original forecast, and that each of the 150 planned TSR-2s would cost £4 million each.

1/2/1965, Monday (+7,209) In the UK, NHS prescription charges were removed. They were re-introduced on 10/6/1968.

2/1965, Malcolm X shot in USA. British Rail major closure plans. Ban on UK cigarette advertising.


1/1965, Winston Churchill died. TS Eliot, poet, died. LB Johnson became US President.

31/1/1965, Sunday (+7,208) The Yugoslavian cargo ship SS Rascisce sank in the Ionian Sea, but all 30 crew were rescued

30/1/1965, Saturday (+7,207) State funeral of Sir Winston Churchill, see 24/1/1965.

29/1/1965, Friday (+7,206) (Malaysia) An attempt by the Pan Malayan Islamic Party to overthrow the Malaysian Government was thwarted.

24/1/1965, Sunday (+7,201)  Sir Winston Churchill died, aged 90, exactly 70 years after his father died. He was buried in Bladon churchyard, within sight of Blenheim Palace, his birthplace. He was born, on 30/11/1874, a descendant of the Duke of Marlborough, in Blenheim Palace. His funeral was on 30/1/1965, when Big Ben was silenced.

20/1/1965, Wednesday (+7,197) (1) LB Johnson was inaugurated as US President.

(2) American disc jockey Alan Freed died in California. He created the phrase ‘Rock’n’Roll’.

19/1/1965, Tuesday (+7,196) The unmanned Gemini 2 was launched on a suborbital test of various spacecraft systems, in preparation for the first US mission to send two astronauts into space.

13/1/1965, Wednesday (+7,190)

8/1/1965, Friday (+7,185) Further Indonesian attacks on Malaysian territory.

7/1/1965, Thursday (+7,184) Indonesia left the United Nations, under President Sukarno.

4/1/1965, Monday (+7,181) (1) The poet and playwright T S Eliot died. He was born on 26/9/1888 in Saint Loius, Missouri. After studying at Harvard University he went to Paris in 1910 to teach French literature and philosophy at the Sorbonne. Later, after the start of World War One, he went to Merton College, Oxford, to read Greek Philosophy. In 1915 he married Vivien Haigh-Wood and in 1919 became a British citizen. His first volume of poetry, Prufrock and other Observations, was published in 1917 followed by Poems in 1919. In 1922 The Waste Land, regarded as his greatest poem, reflected the discontent that followed the trauma of the Great War. In 1948 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature.

2/1/1965, Saturday (+7,179) In Pakistani presidential elections, President Ayub Khan gained a clear majority over Miss Fatimah Jinnah.

1/1965, Winston Churchill died. TS Eliot, poet, died. LB Johnson became US President.


12/1964, UK Commons voted to end capital punishment. Simon Marks (Marks and Spencer’s) died.

30/12/1964, Wednesday (+7,176) 500 were arrested in India on suspicion of spying for China.

21/12/1964, Monday (+7,167) The UK Commons voted to end capital punishment.

15/12/1964, Tuesday (+7,161) (Canada) The Canadian Parliament voted in favour of a single maple leaf design for the Canadian Flag.

14/12/1964, Monday (+7,160) In elections in British Guiana, Cheddi Jagan’s Progressive People’s Party lost its majority. Forbes Burnham of the People’s National Congress became the new Prime Minister.

12/12/1964, Saturday (7,158) Kenya became a republic in the Commonwealth.  Kenyatta continued as head of state, see 12/12/1963.

10/12/1964, Thursday (+7,156) Dorothy Hodgkin became the first British woman to win a Nobel Prize. She researched the structure of proteins such as insulin.

9/12/1964, Wednesday (+7,155) English poet Dame Edith Sitwell died, aged 77.

8/12/1964, Tuesday (+7,154) Simon Marks, successful retailer in conjunction with Thomas Spencer, knighted in 1944, and made a peer in 1961, died in London at his head office.

6/12/1964, Sunday (+7,152) Antonio Segni, Italian Prime Minister resigned for health reasons. He was succeeded on 28/12/1964 by Guiseppe Saragat.

12/1964, UK Commons voted to end capital punishment. Simon Marks (Marks and Spencer’s) died.


11/1964, LB Johnson elected US President. UK forced into IMF loan. Vietnam War.

28/11/1964, Saturday (+7,144) Mariner 4 was launched; 228 days later it passed within 9,700 kilometres of Mars.

23/11/1964, Monday (+7,139) (1) In an attempt to avert a Sterling Crisis, the Bank of England raised rates from 5% to 7%. This was merely seen by the markets as a sign of panic and the next day, a massive sell off of Sterling began.  On 26/10/1964 a temporary 15% charge was placed on imports to the UK to rectify the balance of trade deficit. On 2/12/1964 the UK was forced to draw US$ 1 billion from the IMF. Further IMF funds were drawn during 1965. The import charge was reduced to 10% on 22/2/1965.

(2) The first British commercial radio station, Radio Manx, began broadcasting.

21/11/1964, Saturday (+7,137) The Verrazano Narrows suspension bridge, across the entrance to New York Harbour, opened to traffic.

19/11/1964, Thursday (+7,135) Major offensive by South Vietnam against the North began.

17/11/1964, Tuesday (+7,133) The UK imposed an arms embargo on South Africa because of its apartheid policy.

11/11/1964, Wednesday (+7,127) In the UK, the new Labour Chancellor introduced a mildly deflationary budget. Measures included 6d a gallon more tax on petrol.

10/11/1964, Tuesday (+7,126) Kenya became a one-party State after the Kenya African Democratic Union Party merged with the Kenyan Africa National Union Party.

7/11/1964, Saturday (+7,123)

5/11/1964, Thursday (+7,121) Zhou Enlai, Prime Minister of China, visited the USSR for a summit meeting of Communist States.

4/11/1964, Wednesday (+7,120) Lyndon B Johnson was elected 36th US President.

2/11/1964, Monday (+7,118) (1) King Faisal became King of Saudi Arabia, succeeding his brother.

(2) First showing of the TV serial Crossroads.

11/1964, LB Johnson elected US President. UK forced into IMF loan. Vietnam War.


10/1964, Japan Bullet Train started. Labour (Harold Wilson PM) won UK elections. Khomeini deported from Iran for criticising USA.

29/10/1964, Thursday (+7,114) The name of Tanzania was officially adopted, for the union this day of Tanganyika and Zanzibar.

28/10/1964, Wednesday (+7,113) Rioting in Catholic areas of Belfast after a Republican flag was removed by the police.

27/10/1964, Tuesday (+7,112) (1) Wilson warned Rhodesia that a declaration of UDI would be treason.

(2) In Iran, Ayatollah Khomeini delivered a speech attacking the extent of US involvement in Iran, saying that Iran was virtually a ‘colony of America’. Following this he was deported and took up residence in the Shiite city of Najaf, Iraq.

24/10/1964, Saturday (+7,109) Northern Rhodesia became the independent Republic of Zambia.  Kenneth Kaunda was the first President.  This ended 75 years of British rule.

20/10/1964, Tuesday (+7,105) Herbert Hoover, American Republican and 31st President from 1929 to 1933, died in New York City aged 90.

16/10/1964, Friday (+7,101) China exploded a nuclear weapon at Lop Nor.

15/10/1964, Thursday (+7,100) (1) (Britain) Labour won the UK General Election with a majority of 4. Labour had 317 seats (12,205,814 votes, 44.1%), the Conservatives 304 (12,001,396 votes, 43.4%), and the Liberals 9 (3,092,878 votes, 11.2%). Harold Wilson was the new Prime Minister, succeeding Alec Douglas Home. He inherited a balance of payments deficit of nearly £700 million. James Callaghan became Chancellor of the Exchequer.

(2) Nikita Khrushchev was replaced, in the USSR, as First Secretary of the Communist Party by Leonid Brezhnev and as Prime Minister by Alexei Kosygin.

14/10/1964, Wednesday (+7,099) Martin Luther King received the Nobel Peace Prize.

12/10/1964, Monday (+7,097) Russia launched the first three man space ship.

10/10/1964, Saturday (+7,095) (Olympic Games) The 18th Olympic Games opened in Tokyo.

9/10/1964, Friday (+7,094) (South Africa) A planned tour by the Rolling Stones to South Africa was cancelled due to the British Musician’s Union’s anti-apartheid embargo.

6/10/1964, Tuesday (+7,091) (Broadcasting) The first episode of Stingray aired in UK TV. The puppet caste included Captain Troy, Tempest, Phones, and the green-haired Marina, aboard their atomic-powered submarine.

4/10/1964, Sunday (+7,089) (London Underground) Services on the Moorgate to Finsbury Park line, north London, were cut back to Drayton Park to allow for Victoria Line trains at Finsbury Park, see 1/9/1968.

1/10/1964, Thursday (+7,086) (Railways) The ‘Bullet Train’ was inaugurated between Tokyo and Osaka. It averaged 163 km/hr (101 mph). The Otowayama Tunnel, Japan, 5.045 km long, opened on the Tokyo-Osaka line.

10/1964, Japan Bullet Train started. Labour (Harold Wilson PM) won UK elections. Khomeini deported from Iran for criticising USA.


9/1964, Forth Road Bridge opened. Malta independent from UK. The Sun newspaper first appeared.

28/9/1964, Monday (+7,083) Harpo Marx, the silent one who chased girls and played the harp, died aged 75.

27/9/1964, Sunday (+7,082) The Warren Report was published, stating that Lee Harvey Oswald alone was responsible for the assassination of President Kennedy. Conspiracy theorists were not satisfied.

25/9/1964, Friday (+7,080)

22/9/1964, Tuesday (+7,077) The James Bond film Goldfinger premiered in Leicester  Square, London.

21/9/1964, Monday (+7,076) Malta became independent of Britain, after 164 years of British rule.

18/9/1964, Friday (+7,073)

15/9/1964, Tuesday (+7,070) The Sun was first published.

14/9/1964, Monday (+7,069) The British daily newspaper, The Herald, closed and was replaced by The Sun.

6/9/1964, Sunday (+7,061) Ian Smith arrived in the UK for talks on independence.

4//9/1964, Friday (+7,059) Queen Elizabeth II opened the Forth Road Bridge.  It was 6,156 feet long, with a centre span of 3,300 feet. Construction began 21/11/1958.

3/9/1964, Thursday (+7,058) Britain agreed to support Malaysia against threats from Indonesia.

2/9/1964, Wednesday (+7,057) Indonesian army units landed on Malaysian territory at Labis.

1/9/1964, Tuesday (+7,056)


8/1964, USA to escalate war in Vietnam. Last hanging in Britain. Greek-Turkish tension over Cyprus.

22/8/1964, Saturday (+7,046) BBC2 first broadcast Match of the Day; Arsenal played Liverpool at their Anfield ground, watched by a TV audience of 20,000 in black and white. Over 40,000 actually attended the ground. In 2014 BBC1’s Match of the Day has a TV audience of 3.6 million. In 1964 each of the Football League Clubs made £136 from the TV programme; in 2014 each Club made £3 million from the show.

21/8/1964, Friday (+7,045) In London, three women were found guilty of indecency for wearing ‘topless’ dresses.

20/8/1964, Thursday (+7,044) South Africa was banned from the Olympics because of its apartheid policy.

17/8/1964, Monday (+7,041) Greece withdrew its forces from NATO because of tension with Turkey over Cyprus.

13/8/1964, Thursday (+7,037) The last hangings in Britain took place – the murderers Peter Anthony Allen at Walton Prison, Liverpool, and John Robson Walby at Strangeways Prison, Manchester.

12/8/1964, Wednesday (+7,036) (1) Ian Fleming, British author and creator of James Bond, died aged 56.

(2) Great train robber Charlie Wilson escaped from Winson Green prison, Birmingham. He was recaptured four years later in Canada.

11/8/1964, Tuesday (+7,035) A Christian-sectarian based rebellion in Zambia led by Alice Lenshina ended.

10/8/1964, Monday (+7,034) An emergency casualty station had to be set up in Brighton to deal with a constant stream of hysterical girls overcome during a performance of the Rolling Stones.

9/8/1964, Sunday (+7,033) The United Nations ordered a ceasefire in Cyprus.

8/8/1964, Saturday (+7,032) Turkish planes attacked Cyprus.

7/8/1964, Friday (+7,031) In South Vietnam, General Nguyen Khanh proclaimed a State of Emergency and ousted President Duong Vanh Minh.

2/8/1964, Sunday (+7,026) (1) North Vietnamese torpedo boats attacked the US destroyer Maddox, which was patrolling 16 km off the North Vietnamese coast. One Vietnamese boat was sunk, another badly damaged; the Maddox was undamaged and continued her patrol. On the stormy night of 4-5/8/1964 the radar allegedly spotted five Vietnamese boats in ‘attack formation’; in fact these boats almost certainly did not exist. Either the radar image was misinterpreted, or were fabricated to justify further US actions in Vietnam. US President Johnson got the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution passed through Congress; authorising ‘any necessary measures’ to repel attacks on US forces or US allies, including South Vietnam. This resolution justified a large escalation in US activity in Vietnam from 1965 onwards.

(2) US Congress passed the Civil Rights Act 1964.

8/1964, USA to escalate war in Vietnam. Last hanging in Britain. Greek-Turkish tension over Cyprus.


7/1964, Malawi independent of Britain. Resale Price Maintenance abolished. Race riots in New York.

31/7/1964, Friday (+7,024) NASA succeeded in landing the Ranger 7 probe on the Moon.

27/7/1964, Monday (+7,020) Sir Winston Churchill last appeared in the House of Commons. He died on 24/1/1965.

26/7/1964, Sunday (+7,019) Sugar workers strike in British Guiana was called off.

22/7/1964, Wednesday (+7,015)

18/7/1964, Saturday (+7,011) Race riots in Harlem, New York; start of the ‘ghetto revolts’.

17/7/1964, Friday (+7,010) Donald Campbell set a world land speed record of 403mph. He was driving a car called Bluebird, on the salt flats at Lake Eyre, South Australia.

16/7/1964, Thursday (+7,009) (1) In the UK, the abolition of Resale Price Maintenance on most goods facilitated the subsequent growth of the supermarkets.

(2) The Rolling Stones had their first UK No.1 hit  with It’s All Over Now.

15/7/1964, Wednesday (+7,008) Anastas Mikoyan succeeded Leonid Brezhnev as President of the USSR.

6/7/1964, Monday (+6,999) (1) Malawi, formerly Nyasaland, became independent.  It had been a British Protectorate since 1891. The Scottish explorer David Livingstone named the lake, Lake Nyasa, after being told that was its name by the locals; however nyasa meant ‘mass of waters’. So Lake Nyasa meant ‘lake-lake’. On independence the name Malawi was chosen, from the former 16th century Kingdom of Maravi, believed to have ruled over the Zambesi river as far as Mombasa.

(2)  Magnitude 7.4 earthquake struck Guerrero, Mexico, killing 78.

2/7/1964, Thursday (+6,995) President Johnson of the USA signed the Civil Rights Bill prohibiting racial discrimination.

1/7/1964, Wednesday (+6,994) Roscoe Pound, US legal scholar, died aged 93.

7/1964, Malawi independent of Britain. Resale Price Maintenance abolished. Race riots in New York.


6/1964, PLO formed. Nelson Mandela sentenced to life imprisonment.

30/6/1964, Tuesday (+6,993) UN troops ceased fighting in the Congo.

14/6/1964, Sunday (+6,977) Nelson Mandela was sentenced to life imprisonment and sent to Robben Island, seven miles off Cape Town. There were international protests. See 27/1/1963.

10/6/1964, Wednesday (+6,973) The U.S. Senate voted closure of the Civil Rights Bill after a 75-day filibuster.

9/6/1964, Tuesday (+6,972) British newspaper tycoon Lord Beaverbrook died, aged 85.

7/6/1964, Sunday (+6,970)

5/6/1964, Friday (+6,968) The first British space flight, as the Blue Streak rocket took off from Woomera in Australia.

4/6/1964, Thursday (+6,967) The United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 189, condemning military incursions into Cambodia.

3/6/1964, Wednesday (+6,966) The Rolling Stones began their first US tour.

2/6/1964, Tuesday (+6,965) The PLO was created in Jerusalem.


5/1964,  Pandit Nehru, India, died. Khrushchev and Nasser opened  Aswan Dam.

27/5/1964, Wednesday (+6,959) The Indian statesman 'Pandit' Nehru died, aged 74, having been the first Prime Minister of India since independence in 1947. He was succeeded by Lal Shastri.

22/5/1964, Friday (+6,954) UK troops flown to British Guiana as a state of emergency was proclaimed as unrest grew.

21/5/1964, Thursday (+6,953) (Science) James Franck, German-US physicist, died in Gottingen.

20/5/1964, Wednesday (+6,952)

19/5/1964, Tuesday (+6,951) The US lodged a complaint with Russia over microphones found at its Moscow Embassy.

18/5/1964, Monday (+6,950) Mods and Rockers clashed at UK south coast resorts.

17/5/1964, Sunday (+6,949) Bob Dylan made his first major London appearance, at the Royal Albert Hall.

14/5/1964, Thursday (+6,946) Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev and Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser opened the first stage of the Aswan Dam in Egypt. The Nile had been diverted four years earlier to build the dam, which will create a lake 6 miles wide and 350 miles long, displacing 100,000 people but irrigating a million acres of desert for farmland. Many of Egypt’s historic sites were also flooded, but the buildings were moved to safe locations.

6/5/1964, Wednesday (+6,938) In South Africa the Bantu Laws Amendment Act was passed. This attempted to control the informal settlement of Black Africans on the periphery of urban areas.

3/5/1964, Sunday (+6,935) In the Lebanese general election, Independent candidates won the majority of seats, on a voter turnout of 53.0%.

2/5/1964, Saturday (+6,934) Nancy, Lady Astor, the first woman to sit in the House of Commons in 1919, died aged 84.

5/1964,  Pandit Nehru, India, died. Khrushchev and Nasser opened  Aswan Dam.


4/1964, Great Train Robbers sentenced. BBC 2 began transmission. Ian Smith became PM of Rhodesia.

28/4/1964, Tuesday (+6,930)

27/4/1964, Monday (+6,929) Greville Wynne, British businessman sentenced in Moscow in 1963 for spying, was exchanged at the Berlin border for Gordon Lonsdale, KGB agent sentenced in London for espionage in 1961.

26/4/1964, Sunday (+6,928) Tanganyika and Zanzibar united as Tanzania. Julius Nyerere was the first President.

25/4/1964, Saturday (+6,927) The head of the Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen Harbour was hacked off and stolen. The statue was in honour of the children’s’ author, Hans Christian Anderson.

24/4/1964, Friday (+6,926) Gerhard Domagk, German pathologist (born 30/10/1895 in Brandenburg) died in Burgberg.

Martin Lopez-Zubero, Spanish swimmer, was born

23/4/1964, Thursday (+6,295) Gianandrea Noseda, Italian pianist, was born.

22/4/1964, Wednesday (+6,924) British businesswoman Greville Wynne who had been imprisoned in the USSR for a year on spying charges was exchanged for the Soviet agent Gordon Lonsdale.

21/4/1964, Tuesday (+6,923) BBC2 began transmission. The first programme was Play School.

19/4/1964, Sunday (+6,921)

17/4/1964, Friday (+6,919) The Rolling Stones released their first LP.

16/4/1964, Thursday (+6,918) Twelve members of the Great Train Robbers were sentenced to a total of 307 years in jail.

13/4/1964, Monday (+6,915) Ian Smith became Prime Minister of Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). He succeeded Winston Field, who had resigned.

11/4/1964, Saturday (+6,913) Marshal Humberto Castello Branco became President of Brazil,

9/4/1964, Thursday (+6,911) The first driverless trains ran on the London Underground. They were first trialled on the Central Line between Woodford and Hainault.

5/4/1964, Sunday (+6,907) Douglas MacArthur, American General and commander in the Pacific during World War Two, died in Washington DC aged 84.

4/4/1964, Saturday (-6,906) Archbishop Makarios rejected the 1960 treaty; fighting broke out in Cyprus.

1/4/1964, Wednesday (+6,903) President Goulart of Brazil was overthrown in a military coup. President Johnson of the USA feared a socialist takeover.

4/1964, Great Train Robbers sentenced. BBC 2 began transmission. Ian Smith became PM of Rhodesia.


3/1964, Stansted to be 3rd London Airport. Lava Lamp invented. Unrest in Cyprus. Anti-Muslim violence in India.

30/3/1964, Monday (+6,901) Mods and Rockers clashed on the seafront at Clacton.

29/3/1964, Sunday (+6,900) Easter Sunday.

28/3/1964, Saturday (+6,899) (1) Radio Caroline, Britain’s first private radio broadcasting station, began broadcasting from The Channel outside British waters.

27/3/1964, Friday (+6,898) (1) A UN peace force took over in Cyprus.

(2) (Earthquake, USA) Powerful earthquake, magnitude 9.2, hit Alaska, 139 died.

26/3/1964, Thursday (+6,897)

25/3/1964, Wednesday (+6,896) Unrest in British Guiana as a strike by sugar workers continued (strike ended 26/7/1964).

24/3/1964, Tuesday (+6,895) (Aviation) Stanstead, Essex, was provisionally chosen as the site of London’s third airport.

22/3/1964, Sunday (+6,893) Anti-Muslim violence broke out in India.

20/3/1964, Friday (+6,891) Irish playwright Brendan Behan died.

19/3/1964, Thursday (+6,890) Harold Wilson presented each of The Beatles with a silver heart as joint winners of the Show Business Personality of 1963 award.

18/3/1964, Wednesday (+6,889) (Innovations, Light) The Lava Lamp was patented by David George Smith for Crestworth Ltd, Poole, UK.

17/3/1964, Tuesday (+6,888)

15/3/1964, Sunday (+6,886) Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton married in Montreal.

14/3/1964, Saturday (+6,885) Jack Ruby, aged 52, was found guilty in Dallas of killing Lee Harvey Oswald, alleged assassin of President Kennedy (see 22/11/1963). He was sentenced to death but died of a blood clot on the lung in 1967.

12/3/1964, Thursday (+6,883)

11/3/1964, Wednesday (+6,882) South Africa left the International Labour Organisation

10/3/1964, Tuesday (+6,881) Prince Edward (Edward Antony Richard Louis) was born in Buckingham Palace, the third son of Elizabeth II.

9/3/1964, Monday (+6,882) Fighting in Ktima, Cyprus.

6/3/1964, Friday (+6,877) Constantine II became king of the Hellenes, succeeding his father Paul I.

3/1964, Stansted to be 3rd London Airport. Lava Lamp invented. Unrest in Cyprus. Anti-Muslim violence in India.


2/1964, UK £10 notes issued. Greek-Turkish clashes in Cyprus. Channel Tunnel agreed. Beatles on tour.

21/2/1964, Friday (-6,863) £10 notes were issued for the first time since World War Two.

11/2/1964, Tuesday (+6,853) Fighting broke out at Limassol, Cyprus, between Greeks and Turks.

8/2/1964, Saturday (+6,850) The Beatles began their first US tour.

7/2/1964, Friday (+6,849) 25,000 fans gathered at Kennedy Airport to greet the Beatles on their first visit to America.

6/2/1964, Thursday (+6,848) Britain and France reaffirmed agreement to build a Channel Tunnel.

3/2/1964, Monday (+6,845) China challenged the USSR for leadership of the Communist world.

1/2/1964, Saturday (+6,843) The mayor of Notasulga, Alabama, turned away six black pupils from an all white school.

EMI’s managing director announced that The Beatles were making over £500,000 a month. The Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain called for unauthorised possession of amphetamines to be made an offence.


1/1964, Muslim-Hindu riots in India. Cigarette health warnings first issued in USA. Pope visited Israel.

30/1/1964, Thursday (+6,841) Coup in South Vietnam; General Duong Van Minh was replaced by General Nguyen Kanh. However Minh remained as nominal head of state.

27/1/1964, Monday (+6,,838) France recognised Communist China.

22/1/1964, Wednesday (+6,833) Kenneth Kaunda, leader of the United National Independence Party, became the first President of Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia).

20/1/1964, Monday (+6,831) In the UK, the trial of the Great Train Robbers began.

17/1/1964, Friday (+6,828) The top UK TV programme was Steptoe and Son.

13/1/1964, Monday (+6,824) (1) In Calcutta, 200 died in Muslim-Hindu riots.

(2) The Beatles entered the US Charts at no. 45 with I Wanna Hold Your Hand.

12/1/1964, Sunday (+6,823) (Africa) Zanzibar was proclaimed a republic. The Arab Sultan of Zanzibar was banished from the country, and an African-led government took control.

11/1/1964, Saturday (+6,822) (Medical) Health experts in America published the first warnings that cigarettes could be dangerous for your health.

9/1/1964, Thursday (+6,820)

8/1/1964, Wednesday (+6,819) (USA) In the US, President Johnson proposed a reduction in defence spending.

7/1/1964, Tuesday (+6,818) In a drive to improve trade links with Europe, Cuba ordered 400 British buses.

6/1/1964, Monday (+6,817) Pope Paul VI finished a three-day tour of the Holy Land, the first Pope to visit there since Christianity began. He was also the first Pope to leave Italy for over 150 years. On 5/1/1964 Pope Paul VI met the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople in Jerusalem, the first meeting between the heads of the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches for 500 years.

5/1/1964, Sunday (+6,816) (London Underground) The first automatic ticket barrier on the London Underground was installed, at Stamford Brook station.

4/1/1964, Saturday (+6,815) (Jewish) Michael Brenner, German-Jewish historian, was born.

1/1/1964, Wednesday (+6,812) The first Top of the Pops was broadcast, with Jimmy Savile as its presenter.

1/1964, Muslim-Hindu riots in India. Cigarette health warnings first issued in USA. Pope visited Israel.


12/1963, Greek-Turkish clashes in Cyprus. Kenya independent. UK supergrid tested.

22/12/1963, Sunday (+6.802) Violent clashes between Greeks and Turks in Cyprus; UN Peace Forces intervened.

21/12/1963, Saturday (+6,801) Leeds Rugby Club, the first with undersoil heating, used it during a game with Dewsbury.

15/12/1963, Sunday (+6,795) In the UK, the CEGB's 400 kV Supergrid was first tested when High Marnham Power Station was connected to Monk Fryston substation, near Selby.

12/12/1963, Thursday (+6,792) Kenya became independent, with Kenyatta as President.

11/12/1963, Wednesday (+6,791) In Los Angeles, Frank Sinatra Jr was set free after his father paid kidnappers a US$ 240,000 ransom.

10/12/1963, Tuesday (+6,790) Zanzibar became independent.  It had been a British Protectorate since 1890.

9/12/1963, Monday (+6,789) Royal Jordanian Airlines was established, on decree by King Hussein,

8/12/1963, Sunday (+6,788) Sarit Dhanarajata, Prime Minister of Thailand, died.

1/12/1963, Sunday (+6,781)


11/1963, President Kennedy assassinated. Dartford Tunnel opened. Surtsey, Iceland, erupted.

25/11/1963, Monday (+6,775) State funeral of President Kennedy.

24/11/1963, Sunday (+6,774) Lee Harvey Oswald, assassin of President Kennedy, was himself shot dead by Jack Ruby.

23/11/1963, Saturday (+6,773) The BBC screened the first episode of Dr Who. The doctor was played by William Hartnell.

22/11/1963, Friday (+6,772) John F Kennedy was assassinated, in Dallas, Texas, during the run up to the 1964 USA presidential election. He had become President of the USA in 1960, defeating Richard M Nixon. Lee Harvey Oswald, the man charged with the killing, was shot on 24/11/1963 by club owner Jack Ruby at Dallas Police headquarters. Vice President Lyndon Johnson completed the remainder of his term. See 14/3/1964.

18/11/1963, Monday (+6,768) (1) The Dartford Tunnel was opened. Initial construction works had begun in 1936, when a pilot tunnel was dug (completed 1938). However further works were delayed due to World War Two, and further tunnel works only resumed in 1959.

(2) The push button phone was introduced.

14/11/1963, Thursday (+6,764) The island of Surtsey, off Iceland, was born as an undersea volcano erupted.

2/11/1963, Saturday (+6,752) The first President of Vietnam, Ngo Dinh Diem, was assassinated, along with his brother, in a military coup encouraged by the CIA.

1/11/1963, Friday (+6,751) In South Vietnam, a coup organised by General Duong Van Minh overthrew President Ngo Dinh Diem.

11/1963, President Kennedy assassinated. Dartford Tunnel opened. Surtsey, Iceland, erupted.


10/1963, Harold MacMillan to resign as UK PM.

31/10/1963, Thursday (+6,750) Britain suspended aid to Indonesia.

26/10/1963, Saturday (+6,745) Khrushchev said the USSR would not race the US to get a man on the Moon.

19/10/1963, Saturday (+6,738) Sir Alec Douglas-Home, Conservative, became Prime Minister.  Harold Macmillan resigned as Prime Minister on 18/10/1963. 

11/10/1963, Friday (+6,730) Jean Cocteau, French artist (born 1889) died.

10/10/1963, Thursday (+6,729) Harold Macmillan announced he would resign as Prime Minister, due to ill-health and the Profumo Affair; see 5/6/1963 and 19/10/1963.

9/10/1963, Wednesday (+6,728) Three thousand were killed as the Vaijont Dam burst in the Italian Alps. Despite warnings that the valley sides were being destabilised as the dam filled, work continued until a rock slide hit the site.

1/10/1963, Tuesday (+6,720) Nigeria became a republic within the Commonwealth.


9/1963, Racial school integration blocked in Alabama. Malaysia independent. Channel Tunnel agreed.

26/9/1963, Thursday (+6,715) Lord Denning’s report on the Profumo affair was published. He said there was no breach of security and government ministers were not involved in promiscuous behaviour.

21/9/1963, Saturday (+6,710) Vilian Siroky, Czechoslovak Prime Minister, was dismissed. Jozef Lenart became Prime Minister. Lenart was a pragmatic reformer who succeeded in boosting the Czechoslovak economy. However he became less in favour of political reform and was dismissed when the 1968 Prague Spring began.

20/9/1963, Friday (+6,709) The first pre-natal blood transfusion was performed at the National Women’s hospital in Auckland, New Zealand, by Professor George Green, on a child born to Mrs E McLeod.

19/9/1963, Thursday (+6,708) France and Britain agreed to build a Channel Tunnel.

18/9/1963, Wednesday (+6,707) The UN Special Committee on Apartheid in South Africa called for prohibition of arms and petroleum traffic with South Africa.

17/9/1963, Tuesday (+6,706)

16/9/1963, Monday (+6,705) Malaysia became independent from Britain; a mob of over 100,000 burned down the British Embassy.  The name Malaysia was adopted, from the previous name, Federation of Malaya, when joined by Singapore and Sarawak.

15/9/1963, Sunday (+6,704) During race violence in the US, an African-American church in Birmingham, Alabama, was blown up.

10/9/1963, Tuesday (+6,699) The people of Gibraltar voted overwhelmingly to remain under British rule.

8/9/1963, Sunday (+6,697) A new Constitution in Algeria established Ben Bella as President.

5/9/1963, Thursday (+6,694) Christine Keeler, one of the girls at the centre of the Profumo scandal, was arrested and charged with perjury. She was sentenced to nine months on 6/12/1963. See 5/6/1963.

4/9/1963, Wednesday (+6,693) (1) Desegregation riots in Birmingham, Alabama, USA.

(2) Robert Schuman, French Prime Minister, died.

2/9/1963, Monday (+6,691) George Wallace, Governor of Alabama, halted integration of Black and White students by surrounding Tuskegee High School with state troopers. See 15/5/1972.

1/9/1963, Sunday (+6,690) About 100,000 people in two Japanese cities demonstrated against the presence of American nuclear submarines.

9/1963, Racial school integration blocked in Alabama. Malaysia independent. Channel Tunnel agreed.


8/1963, Great Train Robbery. Hot Line between USA and USSR set up. Martin Luther ‘I have a dream’ speech.

31/8/1963, Saturday (+6,689) The ‘hot line’, linking the Kremlin and the White House, went into operation.

30/8/1963, Friday (+6,688) Guy Burgess, Cambridge spy who worked for the Soviet Union, died.

29/8/1963, Thursday (+6,687) Gulzarilal Nanda replaced Lal Bahadur Shastri as Indian Minister for Home Affairs.

28/8/1963, Wednesday (+6,686) Black civil rights leader Martin Luther King made his famous speech, “I have a dream…” to a rally of 200,000 people in Washington DC, demonstrating for civil rights for Blacks. On 4/9/1963 there were desegregation riots at Birmingham, Alabama.

27/8/1963, Tuesday (+6,685) Du Bois, fighter for Black equality (born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, 23/2/1868), died in Accra, Ghana. He founded the Niagara Movement, an association of Black intellectuals, in 1905, which became part of the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP) in 1909. Du Bois also participated on the conferences that led to the founding of the United Nations, moving to Ghana in 1961.

25/8/1963, Sunday (+6,683)

23/8/1963, Friday (+6,681) The Beatles single She Loves You was released.

22/8/1963, Thursday (+6,680) Lord Nuffield, founder of Morris Motors, died, aged 84.

21/8/1963, Wednesday (+6,679) Martial law was declared in South Vietnam.

8/8/1963, Thursday (+6,666) The Great Train Robbery took place at Sear’s Crossing, Mentmore, near Cheddington, Bletchley, Buckinghamshire. A gang of 15 men stole over £2.5million. Their haul was £2.5 million in banknotes scheduled for destruction.  The robbery was well planned. They used batteries and a light to simulate a red stop signal for the Glasgow to London mail train. When the train stopped they coshed the driver, Jack Mills, decoupled the engine and some of the carriages, and drove them to Bridego bridge further up the line. Here the loot was loaded onto a lorry and taken to a farm nearby, which the police quickly found. Charlie Wilson, the first of the robbers, was arrested and charged later the same month. The train driver was coshed on the head and died six years later, never fully regaining his health.

5/8/1963, Monday (+6,663) President Kennedy signed a Nuclear Test Ban Treaty in Washington. This treaty forbade testing in the atmosphere, outer space, or underwater, and was aimed at preventing other nations than the USA or USSR developing nuclear weapons. However to allow America and Russia to develop their nuclear weapons, underground testing was allowed under this treaty (see 1/7/1968).

3/8/1963, Saturday (+6,661) The Beatles played in The Cavern, Liverpool, for the last time.

1/8/1963, Thursday (+6,659) The minimum age for prison in the UK was raised to 17 by the Criminal Justice Act.

8/1963, Great Train Robbery. Hot Line between USA and USSR set up. Martin Luther ‘I have a dream’ speech.


7/1963, UK slum housing commission. Lord Denning investigated Profumo Affair. Glasgow Clyde Tunnel opened.

31/7/1963, Wednesday (+6,658) In Britain, Mr A N Wedgwood Benn, who had become 2nd Viscount Stansgate, renounced his peerage as he was now allowed to do under the Peerage Act 1963. This made them eligible to become MPs in the House of Commons. He changed his name to Tony Benn in 1972.

30/7/1963, Tuesday (+6,657) The ‘third man’, Kim Philby, turned up in Moscow after escaping arrest in Britain for spying. He had defected to Russia on 23/1/1963.

26/7/1963, Friday (+6,653) Big earthquake hit Skopje, Yugoslavia, killing 1,100. 150,000 were left homeless.

22/7/1963, Monday (+6,649) In Britain, a commission into slum housing was set up.

21/7/1963, Sunday (+6,748) In Britain, Prime Minister Harold MacMillan appointed Lord Denning to investigate the security aspects of the Profumo affair.

8/7/1963, Monday (+6,635) The Fred Bassett cartoon first appeared in The Daily Mail.

3/7/1963, Wednesday (+6,630) The Clyde Road Tunnel, Glasgow, opened; construction began in 1957.

2/7/1963, Tuesday (+6,629) (Astronomy) Seth Barnes Nicholson, US astronomer, died in Los Angeles, California.

1/7/1963, Monday (+6,628) Kim Philby, British spy, was revealed as the ‘third man’.

7/1963, UK slum housing commission. Lord Denning investigated Profumo Affair. Glasgow Clyde Tunnel opened.


6/1963, Profumo call-girl affair. Kennedy Berliner speech. USA-USSR hot line set up.

30/6/1963, Sunday (+6,627) Coronation of Giovanni Batista Montini as Pope Paul VI.

26/6/1963, Wednesday (+6,623) President Kennedy made his famous ‘Ich bin ein Berliner’ speech. He meant to say ‘I am a Berliner’, to indicate US support for the freedom of West Germany. However what he actually said translated as ‘I am a doughnut’.

23/6/1963, Sunday (+6,620) US President Kennedy began a five-day tour of West Germany, including West Berlin. He promised, ‘we shall risk our cities to defend yours’.

21/6/1963, Friday (+6,618) (1) France withdrew its navy from NATO.

(2) Giovanni Battista Montini was elected as Pope Paul VI.

20/6/1963, Thursday (+6,617) The White House and the Kremlin agreed to set up a ‘hot line’.

18/6/1963, Tuesday (+6,615)

17/6/1963, Monday (+6,614) The USSR achieved the first link-up of two spacecraft in space. Valentina Tereshkova (26) aboard the Vostok 6 rocket met with Valery Bykovsky (28) who had been orbiting Earth aboard Vostok 5 for two days. Crowds celebrated in the streets of Moscow.

16/6/1963, Sunday (+6,613) (1) Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman to travel into space. She was born to a peasant family in Maslennikovo, Russia, in 1937, and made her first parachute jump aged 22 with a local aviation club. Her enthusiasm for skydiving brought her to the attention of the soviet space programme, which wanted a woman in space in the early 1960s. Tereshkova was launched into space on 16/6/1993 from Tyaturum aboard Vostok 6, guided by an automatic control system. After just under 3 days in space, and 48 Earth orbits, Vostok 6 re-entered the atmosphere and Tereshkova successfully parachuted to Earth after ejecting at 20,000 feet. She later received the Order of Lenin and Hero of the Soviet Union awards.

(2) Ben Gurion, Israeli Prime Minister, resigned aged 76. He was replaced by Levi Eshkol.

14/6/1963, Friday (+6,611)

12/6/1963, Wednesday (+6,609) Civil Rights lawyer Medgar Evers was murdered by White  segregationists in Mississippi.

11/6/1963, Tuesday (+6,608) George C Wallace, Governor of Alabama, barred the path of two Black students, James A Hood and Vivian J Malone, who were attempting to enrol at the University of Alabama.

10/6/1963, Monday (+6,607) (Women’s Rights) The USA passed the Equal Pay Act, forcing employers to pay the same rate to men and women doing the same-skilled job for the same number of hours.

8/6/1963, Saturday (+6,605)

5/6/1963. Wednesday (+6,602) (Britain) War Minister John Profumo resigned, admitting he misled the Commons about his relationship with a call girl called Christine Keeler, who had links to a Russian diplomat. See 5/9/1963.

4/6/1963, Tuesday (+6,601) (Food) At the World Food Congress, John F Kennedy said “The war against hunger is truly mankind’s war of liberation”.

3/6/1963, Monday (+6,600) (Christian) Pope John XXIII, Angelo Guiseppe Roncalli, died.

1/6/1963, Saturday (+6,598) Jomo Kenyatta became the first Prime Minister of a self-governing Kenya.

6/1963, Profumo call-girl affair. Kennedy Berliner speech. USA-USSR hot line set up.


5/1963, Black Americans gained civil rights. Organisation of African Unity formed.

25/5/1963, Saturday (+6,591) The OAU (Organisation of African Unity) was founded at Addis Ababa.

15/5/1963, Wednesday (+6,581) (Space exploration) US astronaut Gordon Cooper, launched in an Atlas rocket, made 22 orbits of the Earth.

14/5/1963, Tuesday (+6,580) Kuwait was admitted to the United Nations.

11/5/1963, Saturday (+6,577)

10/5/1963, Friday (+6,576) African-Americans were finally allowed to use the shops and public services in Birmingham, Alabama, after the ‘Birmingham Campaign’ led by Martin Luther King.

9/5/1963, Thursday (+6,575) A state of emergency was proclaimed in British Guiana but her governor, at the request of Prime Minister Cheddi Jagan.


4/1963, Black civil rights campaign in USA. Castro visited USSR. Kevlar patented. Kasparov born.

28/4/1963, Sunday (+6,564) Cuban President Fidel Castro visited the USSR.

25/4/1963, Thursday (+6,651) (Chemistry) Kevlar, a very strong substance termed liquid crystalline polymers, that can make bullet-proof vests, was patented by Du Pont, USA.

22/4/1963, Monday (+6,558) A general strike began in British Guiana (Guyana), with rioting and terrorism. The strike lasted until 8/7/1963.

18/4/1963, Thursday (+6,554) The first human nerve transplant was carried out by Dr James Campbell at New York University Medical Centre.

17/4/1963, Wednesday (+6,553) The Royal Navy’s first nuclear powered submarine, Dreadnought, was commissioned.

16/4/1963, Tuesday (+6,552) Jimmy Osmond, US singer, was born.

15/4/1963, Monday (+6,551) In Britain, disorder broke out during the last stages of the Aldermaston March, organised by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND).

14/4/1963, Sunday (+6,550) Easter Sunday.

13/4/1963, Saturday (+6,549) Gary Kasparov, Russian world chess champion, was born.

12/4/1963, Friday (+6,548) Indonesian forces attacked Malaysia.

11/4/1963, Thursday (+6,547) Nigel Pulsford, English guitarist, was born.

10/4/1963, Wednesday (+6,546) The nuclear-powered submarine USS Thresher sank in the Atlantic with the loss of all 129 men on board.

9/4/1963, Tuesday (+6,545) Winston Churchill was given honorary US citizenship.

8/4/1963, Monday (+6,544) General election in Canada was won by the Liberals with 129 seats. The Progressive Conservatives won 95 seats, Others won 41 seats.

7/4/1963, Sunday (+6,543) (Football) Bernard Lama, French Guianese footballer, was born.

6/4/1963, Saturday (+6,542) Anglo-US Polaris weapons agreement signed.

5/4/1963, Friday (+6,541) Bradwell nuclear power station opened in the UK.

2/4/1963, Tuesday (+6,538) A Black Civil Rights campaign began in the USA.

4/1963, Black civil rights campaign in USA. Castro visited USSR. Kevlar patented. Kasparov born.


3/1963, UK Beeching railway report. Beveridge, welfare state, died. Alcatraz Prison, USA, closed.

27/3/1963, Wednesday (+6,532) Beeching published his report, recommending extensive cuts to the UK rail network. He proposed closing a quarter of the rail network, closing 2,128 stations, scrapping 8,000 rail coaches, and axing 67,700 jobs. There would be no rail service north of Inverness, and most branch lines in north and central Wales and the West Country would close.

25/3/1963, Monday (+6,530) The Co-op on Frodingham Road, Scunthorpe, converted from counter service to self service. Now 24 of the 35 Co-ops in the area were self service, and just three remained offering counter service in Scunthorpe itself.

22/3/1963, Friday (+6,527) In the British House of Commons, John Profumo, Secretary of State for War, denied that he had sexual relations with Miss Christine Keeler, an attache of the Soviet Embassy in London.

21/3/1963, Thursday (+6,526) (1) Alcatraz, the notorious prison in San Francisco Bay, was closed. It had been a maximum-security prison since 1934.

(2) Aden joined the South Arabian Federation.

19/3/1963, Tuesday (+6,524)

18/3/1963, Monday (+6,523) In the USA, in Gideon v Wainwright, the Supreme Court required the State to appoint defence counsel if the defendant could not afford a private lawyer.

17/3/1963, Sunday (+6,522) (1) A volcano erupted in Bali, killing 11,000.

(2) The first of the Tristan da Cunha islanders returned home from Britain.

16/3/1963, Saturday (+6,521) Lord Beveridge, founder of the Welfare State, died.

6/3/1963, Wednesday (+6,511) Britain had its first frost-free night since December, after a very cold winter.

3/1963, UK Beeching railway report. Beveridge, welfare state, died. Alcatraz Prison, USA, closed.


2/1963, Malawi independent. Harold Wilson became Labour leader.

27/2/1963, Wednesday (+6,504) Juan Bosch, Dominican Revolutionary Party, winner of the elections of the elections of December 1962 (first free elections there for over 30 years), was inaugurated as President.

19/2/1963, Tuesday (+6,496) The USSR agreed to withdraw troops from Cuba.

14/2/1963, Thursday (+6,491) Harold Wilson became leader of the Labour Party, see 18/1/1963. Other candidates were James Callaghan and George Brown. See 18/1/1963.

9/2/1963, Saturday (+6,486) In Russia, the former head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, and Archbishop of Lvov, was released after 18 years imprisonment, which began when the Ukrainian Catholic Church was forcibly united with the Russian orthodox Church.

8/2/1963, Friday (+6,485) The Beatles were asked to leave the Carlisle Golf Club because they were wearing leather jackets.

6/2/1963, Wednesday (+6,483)

5/2/1963, Tuesday (+6,482) Maarten Schmidt identified red shifts in quasars.

4/2/1963, Monday (+6,481) In the UK, a learner-driver was fined for driving on after the instructor had jumped out of the car for fear of his life.

1/2/1963, Friday (+6,478) Nyasaland became independent, later to be called Malawi.


1/1963, De Gaulle vetoed UK EEC membership. Franco-German friendship pact.

27/1/1963, Sunday (+6,473) Mrs Winnie Mandela was served with an injunction preventing her seeing her imprisoned husband Mandela. See 14/6/1964. Films on release included Cape Fear.

23/1/1963, Wednesday (+6,469) (1) The Volta River Project, Ghana, to dam the Rover Volta, was inaugurated by Dr Nkrumah.

(2) Kim Philby was officially reported as ‘missing’ after failing to meet his wife at a dinner party in Beirut. Formerly a high-ranking British intelligence officer, he had been accused of spying for the USSR in 1955 but had been exonerated by Prime Minister Harold MacMillan. Philby’s accomplices Guy Burgess and Donald McClean had fled to Moscow in 1951; MacMillan insisted there was no ‘third man’.

22/1/1963, Tuesday (+6,468) (1) UK unemployment was it its highest since World War Two, at 814,632. TV showed The Flintstones at the prime slot of 7pm. TV closed down around midnight. On 19/1/1963 snow and ice meant only 9 out of 63 League Cup Football matches were played, and two of those were abandoned.

(2) (France-Germany) German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer (1876-1967) signed a Treaty of Friendship with French President Charles de Gaulle, marking ‘the end of a century of hostility and suspicion between the two nations’.

18/1/1963, Friday (+6,464) Hugh Gaitskell, former UK Labour Party leader from 1955 to 1963, died unexpectedly. See 14/2/1963.

15/1/1963, Tuesday (+6,461) The BBC ended its ban on mentioning politics, royalty, religion, and sex in comedy shows.

14/1/1963, Monday (+6,460) (1) De Gaulle vetoed Britain’s membership of the EEC. He said the UK was too close to the Commonwealth and the USA, and not ‘sufficiently European’.

(2) The secession of Katanga from the Congo ended, see 11/7/1960.  The province was renamed Shaba, and its capital town, formerly Elizabethville, was renamed Lubumbashi. 

11/1/1963, Friday (+6,457) The world’s first disco, called Whisky a Go Go, opened in Los Angeles.

1/1963, De Gaulle vetoed UK EEC membership. Franco-German friendship pact.


12/1962, Very harsh UK winter began. India-Pakistan talks over Kashmir. Unrest in Katanga, Congo.

29/12/1962, Saturday (+6,444) UN troops occupied Elisabethville (now Lubumbashi).

28/12/1962, Friday (+6,443) UN troops engaged in heavy fighting in Katanga Province, Congo Republic.

27/12/1962, Thursday (+6,442) India and Pakistan reopened talks on Kashmir,

26/12/1962, Wednesday (+6,441) The worst winter in Britain since 1740 began with a ‘big freeze’ that lasted well into January 1963  Base rates in Britain were 4%, the Chancellor, Reginald Maudling, announced that rates were to fall. The Beatles, an obscure group from Liverpool, just made no.17 in the charts with their single Love Me Do.

21/12/1962, Friday (+6,436) The US agreed to sell Polaris missiles to the UK.

18/12/1962, Tuesday (+6,433) PM Harold MacMillan of the UK and President Kennedy of the USA concluded the Nassau Agreement, at Nassau, Bahamas.  This allowed the US navy to provide Polaris missiles for the Royal Navy, normally operating under NATO command.  This Anglo-US collaboration was resented by general De Gaulle of France, who saw it as proof that Britain was not sufficiently European.  Within a month De Gaulle had vetoed UK membership of the EEC, see 14/1/1963.

17/12/1962, Monday (+6,432) In the UK, a committee on the reform of the House of Lords recommended that an heir should be allowed to disclaim his peerage.

14/12/1962, Friday (+6,429) Mariner II sent back the first close-up pictures of the planet Venus.

11/12/1962, Tuesday (+6,426) In West Germany, a coalition government of Christian Democrats, Christian Socialist and Free Democrats was formed.

10/12/1962, Monday (+6,425) Crick and Watson received the Nobel prize for their work on DNA.

9/12/1962, Sunday (++6,424) Tanzania became a Republic within the Commonwealth, with Julius Nyerere as first President.

8/12/1962, Saturday (+6,423) Revolt in Brunei suppressed with British help.

7/12/1962, Friday (+6,422) Kirsten Flagstad, Norwegian opera singer, died aged 67.

6/12/1962, Thursday (+6,421)

5/12/1962, Wednesday (+6,420) (1) Britain exploded a thermonuclear device underground in Nevada.

(2) US diplomat Dean Acheson said Britain was 'played out'.

4/12/1962, Tuesday (+6,419) (Italy) Pietro Tomasi Della Torretta, Italian politician and diplomat, died aged 89.

1/12/1962, Saturday (+6,416)

12/1962, Very harsh UK winter began. India-Pakistan talks over Kashmir. Unrest in Katanga, Congo.


11/1962, UK trying to join EEC. USA lifted Cuba blockade. India-China border dispute.

29/11/1962, Thursday (+6,414) (Aviation) France and Britain agreed to develop the ‘Concorde’ airliner.

28/11/1962, Wednesday (+6,413) (Netherlands) Wilhelmina, Queen of The Netherlands from 1890 to 1948, died.

27/11/1962, Tuesday (+6,412) Britain agreed to supply arms to India in case of further Chinese military action.

22/11/1962, Thursday (+6,407)

21/11/1962, Wednesday (+6,406) Ceasefire in the India-China border dispute.

20/11/1962, Tuesday (+6,405) President Kennedy lifted the blockade of Cuba, having verified that Soviet nuclear missiles had been removed.

19/11/1962, Monday (+6,404) The Newfoundland general election was won by the Liberal Party of Newfoundland and Labrador, led by Joey Smallwood.

18/11/1962, Sunday (+6,403) As blizzards and snowstorms hit Britain (see 26/12/1962), the House of Lords expressed concern at Britain’s 7,000 road deaths a year. The Birmingham Corporation revoked a ban on turbaned Sikhs working as bus conductors and drivers. President Kennedy told a press conference that Nikita Khrushchev had told him all Soviet jet bombers would be withdrawn from Cuba within ten days. Bishop Ambrose Reeves encouraged Oxford students to write to their MPs urging them to repeal the laws on homosexuality. The first James Bond film, Dr No, was released.

16/11/1962, Friday (+6,401)

14/11/1962, Wednesday (+6,399) Britain resumed negotiations to join the EEC. Macmillan and De Gaulle talked at Rambouillet on 15-16/12/1962. However De Gaulle was intransigent, fearing the UK would import US influence into Europe. De Gaulle resigned in May 1969.

13/11/1962, Tuesday (+6,398) UK doctors estimated that 40,000 Britons were taking pep pills. America launched its biggest rocket yet, the Saturn booster, in its effort to reach the Moon. Fidel Castro, the Cuban leader, warned the US reconnaissance planes would be shot down if they continued to fly over Cuba. Kenneth Adam, Director of BBC TV, announced that a second channel would be launched in 1964. The new channel would show very little repeated programmes and not have much American material.

7/11/1962, Wednesday (+6,392) In South Africa, Nelson Mandela was jailed for seven years.

5/11/1962, Monday (+6,390) In the US, elections left Democrats in control of both Houses.

2/11/1962, Friday (+6,387) Tangynika elected Nyerere as president.

11/1962, UK trying to join EEC. USA lifted Cuba blockade. India-China border dispute.


10/1962, Cuban missile crisis, USSR backed down. First Black student at Mississippi University.

30/10/1962, Tuesday (+6384)

28/10/1962, Sunday (+6,382) (1) Khrushchev began to dismantle Soviet missile bases in Cuba, so ending the Cuba Missile Crisis; the Soviet Union simply ignored its earlier demand regarding Turkey. President Kennedy was leader of the USA at the time; on Saturday 27/10/1962 he was just about to order US air strikes on the missile bases, when on Sunday the news came that the USSR had agreed to withdraw the missiles. The USSR attempted to leverage the removal of NATO missiles from Turkey but did not achieve this. The USA had to achieve this result, for political, not military, reasons, or else how could USA support be relied upon further from home. In fact the danger from the Cuban missiles was not much greater than if the same intercontinental ballistic missiles had been launched from 5,000 miles away in the USSR. Actually the 40 or so missiles on Cuba would have reached the USA before any USSR-launched missiles, so acting as an early warning for the USA to launch its 1,685 missiles against the USSR. The USA did not know, however, that only a fraction of the USSR-based missiles were operational, so the 40 Cuban missiles did amount to a substantial increase in Soviet firepower against the USA.

(2) The US pledged to send arms to India in its dispute with China.

26/10/1962, Friday (+6,380) The USSR offered to remove nuclear missiles from Cuba if NATO missiles were removed from Turkey; the US rejected this idea. In fact the US had been planning to remove these missiles anyway, seeing them as obsolete; however a removal now might be seen as a victory for the Soviet Union.

24/10/1962, Wednesday (+6,378) The USA began to blockade Cuba over the Cuban Missile Crisis. At 10.15am, 500 miles from the Cuban coastline, two Soviet merchant vessels, the Gargarin and the Komiles, encountered American warships. The Essex had orders to sink the accompanying Soviet submarines should they refuse to surface when challenged.

22/10/1962, Monday (+6,376) (1) Nelson Mandela, leader of the African National Congress, went on trial charged with treason; he pleaded not guilty.

(2) President Kennedy ordered a blockade of Cuba after Soviet missile sites were found there.

20/10/1962, Saturday (+6,374) Chinese troops attacked Indian border positions.

16/10/1962, Tuesday (+6,370) President Kennedy saw aerial photos of Cuba which appeared to show nuclear-armed missiles being installed in Cuba.

11/10/1962, Thursday (+6,365) Hugh Foot resigned as British representative at the UN in protest at the British Government’s support for the regime in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe).

10/10/1962, Wednesday (+6,364) Ceasefire in the Congo civil war.

9/10/1962, Tuesday (+6,363) Uganda became independent, after 62 years of British rule. Milton Obote was the first Prime Minister.  See 25/1/1971.

8/10/1962, Monday (+6,362) Judge Elizabeth Lane became the first female judge to sit in the High Court.

4/10/1962, Thursday (+6,358) The TV Series, The Saint, starring Roger Moore as Simon Templar, first broadcast this day.

1/10/1962, Monday (+6,355) The first Black student attended classes at Mississippi University, and 200 were arrested in subsequent riots. James Howard Meredith arrived at university with a large guard of 170 federal marshals. After White rioting, gunfire erupted in the evening, with two killed and over 50 injured, including a French journalist. Under armed guard for his entire period of study, Meredith obtained his degree. However four years later he was shot dead by an armed White man in ambush, in June 1966 on a civil rights march in Mississippi.

10/1962, Cuban missile crisis, USSR backed down. First Black student at Mississippi University.


9/1962, Silent Spring published. Thalidomide compensation agreed. Kennedy aim to put man on Moon.

29/9/1962, Saturday (+6,353) Canada launched its first satellite, the Alouette.

27/9/1962, Thursday (+6,351) (Environment) Rachel Carson published ‘Silent Spring’. She was very concerned about the issue of pesticides in the environment. By December, half a million copies had been printed, and even US President John F Kennedy was influenced.

26/9/1962, Wednesday (+6,350) Ahmed ben Bella was elected Prime Minister of Algeria.

21/9/1962, Friday (+6,345) The British TV quiz programme University Challenge conducted by Bamber Gascoigne was first transmitted.

15/9/1962, Saturday (+6.339) (Science) William Weber Coblentz, US physicist, died in Washington DC.

14/9/1962, Friday (+6,338) Distillers Company agreed to pay £14 million to the victims of thalidomide.

11/9/1962, Tuesday (+6,335)

9/9/1962, Sunday (+6,333) President Kennedy called for the USA to launch a full speed drive for the Moon and first place in space over Russia, so that space will be an area of peace and not a terrifying theatre of war.

TV showed another episode of Steptoe and Son, and The Morecambe and Wise Show.

8/9/1962, Saturday (+6,332) (India) China-India border dispute escalated. China crossed the 14,000 ft high Tangla Ridge and attacked Indian border posts on 20/10/1962. On 28/10/1962 the USA pledged to send arms to India.

7/9/1962, Friday (+6,231) Isak Dinesen, Danish writer, died (born 17/4/1885).

4/9/1962, Tuesday (+6,328)

3/9/1962, Monday (+6,327) The Trans-Canada highway, 4,800 miles from St John’s Newfoundland to Victoria, British Columbia, was opened.

2/9/1962, Sunday (+6,326) The USSR agreed to supply weapons to Cuba.  This started the Cuban Missile Crisis.

1/9/1962, Saturday (+6,325) Severe earthquake hit Iran, killing 20,000.

9/1962, Silent Spring published. Thalidomide compensation agreed. Kennedy aim to put man on Moon.


8/1962, Soviet missiles spotted in Cuba. De Gaulle failed assassination attempt. Trinidad & Tobago independent.

31/8/1962, Friday (+6,324) Trinidad and Tobago became independent.  It had been a British colony since 1802.

29/8/1962, Wednesday (+6,322) American spy planes took pictures of Soviet technicians constructing missile launch pads in Cuba.

27/8/1962, Monday (+6,320) The US spacecraft Mariner II was launched, on the first interplanetary space mission, to Venus.

22/8/1962, Wednesday (+6,315) President De Gaulle of France escaped an assassination attempt by the OAS, a terrorist organisation of White Algerian settlers opposed to De Gaulle’s policies there.

21/8/1962, Tuesday (+6,314) Savannah, the world’s first nuclear-powered merchant ship, began her maiden voyage.

9/8/1962, Thursday (+6,302) The National Theatre was established in London, with Sir Lawrence Olivier as director.

7/8/1962, Tuesday (+6,300) Egypt agreed terms with the UK for compensating British subjects whose property was seized after the Suez Crisis of 1956.

6/8/1962,  Monday (+6,299) Jamaica became independent, after being a colony of Britain for over 300 years.

5/8/1962, Sunday (+6,298) Marilyn Monroe, US film actress, died in Los Angeles aged 36, of a barbiturates overdose.


7/1962, Algeria voted for independence. First TV satellite launched. Rwanda, Burundi, independent.

30/7/1962, Monday (+6,292)

22/7/1962, Sunday (+6,284) The Mariner 1 spacecraft flew erratically several minutes after launch and had to be destroyed after less than five minutes, at a cost of $4,000,000 for the satellite and $8,000,000 for the rocket. The $12 million dollar loss was later traced to the omission of an overbar in the handwritten text from which the computer programming for the rocket guidance system was drawn.

21/7/1962, Saturday (+6,283) The Rolling Stones made their first appearance at the Marquee Club in London.

20/7/1962, Friday (+6,282) The world’s first regular hovercraft service began, on the Dee estuary between Wallasey and Rhyl.

10/7/1962,  (+6,272) (1) Telstar I, the world’s first television telecommunications satellite, was launched in America. The following day it transmitted a special television inaugural programme to mark the first communications satellite.

(2) The first motorway in Ireland opened, running from Belfast to Lisburn.

7/7/1962, Saturday (+6,269) (Myanmar) The Burmese Army attacked a student demonstration at Rangoon University, killing 130 – see 2/3/1962.

3/7/1962, Tuesday (+6,265) (Algeria) France recognised Algerian independence, after a referendum. The referendum result was 2,605,293 in favour of independence and a tiny 6,732 to stay with France. In many voting districts not a single non-independence vote was cast. Algeria had been under French rule for 132 years. French property was taken over by Algerians.  Ben Bella was the first Prime Minister of Algeria.  De Gaulle had begun peace talks with the FLN on 30/3/1961 and peace was concluded mostly on the FLN’s terms on 18/3/1962.

1/7/1962, Sunday (+6,263) (1) Rwanda and Burundi became independent.  They had formerly been part of the Belgian administration of Ruanda-Urundi.

(2) Referendum on independence in Algeria. The result was decisive; 5,993,754 voted for independence, and 16,748 opposed it. Most Europeans opposed to independence did not vote. Initially both Muslim Algerians and Europeans celebrated, but within a few days there was violence between fundamentalist Muslims and resentful Europeans in Oran.

7/1962, Algeria voted for independence. First TV satellite launched. Rwanda, Burundi, independent.


6/1962, European Space Agency formed. Berkeley nuclear power station started operating.

15/6/1962, Friday (+6,247) Berkeley nuclear power station in Gloucestershire began operating.

14/6/1962, Thursday (+6,246) The European Space Research Organisation was formed in Paris.

10/6/1962, Sunday (+6,242) (Rail Tunnels) The Hokuriku tunnel, 13.87 km long, Japan, opened on the Maibara-Fukui line.

7/6/1962, Thursday (+6,239) William Faulkner, US writer (born 25/9/1897 in New Albany, Mississippi) died in Oxford, Mississippi.

4/6/1962, Monday (+6,236) (Biology) Charles William Beebe, US naturalist, died at Simla Research Station, Trinidad.

3/6/1962, Sunday (+6,235) An Air France Boeing 707, flying from Orly, Paris to Atlanta, Georgia, crashed on take-off, killing 130.

2/6/1962, Saturday (+6,234) Vita Sackville-West, British novelist, died.

1/6/1962, Friday (+6,233) The Soviet Union raised the price of consumer goods by more than 25 percent in order to cover higher operating expenses for the USSR's collective farm program. Butter was up 25%, and pork and beef by 30%. In protest, workers walked off of the job at the Novocherkassk Electric Locomotive Factory and the strike soon turned into an uprising.


5/1961, Eichmann executed in Israel. US sent forces to Laos to prevent Communist takeover.

31/5/1962, Thursday (+6,232) Adolf Eichmann was executed inside Ramleh Prison, Tel Aviv, for his part in the mass killing of millions of Jews during World War Two.

30/5/1962, Wednesday (+6,231) Coventry’s new Cathedral was inaugurated. The original mediaeval building had been destroyed by German bombers in November 1940.

25/5/1962, Friday (+6,226) (Britain) Coventry’s new cathedral, designed by Sir Basil Spence, was consecrated.

18/5/1962, Friday (+6,219) In Canada, the Progressive Conservatives lost their majority in the elections; however John Deifenbaker remained as Prime Minister. The Progressive Conservatives won 116 seats, the Liberals won 100, others 49.

17/5/1962, Thursday (+6,218) Hong Kong built a wall to keep out Chinese migrants.

14/5/1962, Monday (+6,215)

12/5/1962, Saturday (+6,213) (South Africa) The South African General Law Amendment Bill imposed the death penalty for sabotage. A few months later it was made a criminal offence to publish anything said by a Black or White journalist whose works had been banned. In October 1962 those banned from speaking or writing publically could be put under house arrest for 5 years; they could not receive visitors or use the telephone, or communicate with any other banned person. By the end of 1962 18 such orders had been issued.

11/5/1962, Friday (+6,212) President Kennedy ordered US naval, air, and land forces into the Indo China area, to prevent Laos from falling under Communist control. TV showed Emergency Ward Ten.

10/5/1962, Thursday (+6,211)

9/5/1962, Wednesday (+6,210) The Beatles signed a recording contract with EMI’s Parlophone label.

8/5/1962. Tuesday (+6,209) Trolley buses ran for the last time in London.

7/5/1962, Monday (+6,208) Negotiations began in Laos between the three warring parties.

6/5/1962, Sunday (+6,207) In Italy, Antonio Segni was elected President on the 9th ballot.

5/5/1962, Saturday (+6,206) Eleven elderly East Berliners escaped to the West through a tunnel. They had dug the tunnel six feet high so the women wouldn’t have to crawl.

5/1961, Eichmann executed in Israel. US sent forces to Laos to prevent Communist takeover.


4/1962, Ban the Bomb demonstration in London. Bay of Pigs invaders sentenced in Cuba.

26/4/1962, Thursday (+6,197) Britain’s first satellite, Ariel, was launched from Cape Canaveral.

23/4/1962, Monday (+6,194) 150,000 people gathered in Hyde Park, London, for the biggest-ever Ban the Bomb demonstration.

22/4/1962, Sunday (+6,193) Easter Sunday.

17/4/1962, Tuesday (+6,188)

11/4/1962, Wednesday (+6,182) In Jamaica, Alexander Bustamante, Labour, formed a government.,

10/4/1962, Tuesday (+6,181) The Dodger Stadium, major league baseball’s modern showpiece, opened in Los Angeles, USA.

9/4/1962, Monday (+6,180) The Budget dominated much of the day’s TV. Measures included abolition of tax on sugar, coffee, tea, and cocoa. But a 15% Purchase Tax was placed on ice cream, sweets, and soft drinks. A Picasso fetched £80,000, the highest price ever paid for the work of a living artist. Scotland Yard announced that visitors from abroad who illegally parked in meter zones would be given a polite cautionary leaflet instead of the £2 parking ticket.

8/4/1962, Sunday (+6,179) In Cuba, over 1,000 Bay of Pigs invaders were sentenced to 30 years in jail. See 17/4/1961.

2/4/1962, Monday (+6,173) (1) The first push-button panda road crossings were installed.

(2) Prince Charles arrived as a new pupil at Gordonstoun School, near Elgin, Scotland, the school his father Prince Philip attended.

4/1962, Ban the Bomb demonstration in London. Bay of Pigs invaders sentenced in Cuba.


3/1962, Ne Win military coup in Burma.

26/3/1962, Monday (+6,166) The French Army launched an offensive to crush an armed uprising in Algeria. See 3/7/1962.

2/3/1962, Friday (+6,142) (1) (Myanmar) General Ne Win staged a military coup (see 1960). Ne Win now suppressed all democracy, and renamed the country Myanmar in 1989. On 7/7/1962 the Army intervened to halt a student protest at Rangoon University; they dynamited the Student Union building, killing 130 students. All universities across the country were then closed until September 1964. Ne Win established ‘The Burmese Way to Socialism’ Under his regime, mining and other industries were nationalised, as the country’s New Order policy of Buddhist Socialism isolated the nation politically. Free trade was suppressed. Hundreds of political opponents were imprisoned without trial, and Myanmar went from being one of the most prosperous regions of south east Asia in 1960 to one of the 10 poorest nations on Earth by the time Ne Win retired in 1988.

(2) The UK applied to join the European Coal and Steel Community. On 5/3/1962 the UK applied to join the European Atomic Energy Community.

1/3/1962, Thursday (+6,141) Uganda achieved full self-government, with Benedicto Kiwanuka as Prime Minister.


2/1962, IRA ceasefire. USA exchanged spy for Gary Powers. Sunday Times published first colour supplement.

26/2/1962, Monday (+6,138) The IRA announced a ceasefire after a 5-year campaign of violence.

20/2/1962, Tuesday (+6,132) Astronaut John Glenn made three orbits of the Earth in his spacecraft Mercury VI, the first American in orbit. Bad weather on 26/1/1962 at Cape Canaveral had delayed his launch. On 27/1/1962 an unmanned US craft passed within 20,000 miles of the moon.

10/2/1962, Saturday (+6,122) The USA exchanged a Soviet spy for the captured pilot Gary Powers. The exchange took place in the middle of a bridge linking the American and Soviet sectors of Berlin.

4/2/1962, Sunday (+6,116) The Sunday Times became the first paper to issue a colour supplement. The idea was expected to fail.


1/1962, Beatles nearly rejected. Fidel Castro, Cuba, excommunicated. Western Samoa independent.

27/1/1962, Saturday (+6,108) (Space) An unmanned US craft passed within 20,000 miles of the moon.

22/1/1962, Monday (+6,103) The ‘A6 murder’ trial began. It was to be the longest murder trial in British legal history, lasting until 17/2/1962, and ended with the hanging of James Hanratty. He had murdered Michael Gregston in a lay-by on the A6.

21/1/1962, Sunday (+6,102) (week commencing). The threat of a general strike loomed as trade unions made it clear they intended to oppose the government’s wage restraint policy. Smallpox was also a threat as an epidemic hit Britain and other countries insisted visitors from the UK were vaccinated. It was announced that, 20 years after the birth of the atomic Age, the world now possessed 280 atomic bombs, 40 of them in Britain. The Met Office started using centigrade as well as Fahrenheit and ring pull cans came into use. In Paris OAS terrorists opposed to President De Gaulle’s plans for Algeria planted ten plastic explosives bombs. In Communist China it was revealed that only ‘registered addicts ‘ were allowed to buy or smoke cigarettes. The Beatles and Cliff Richard were making the charts. On TV, new, were Steptoe and Son and Z Cars.

18/1/1962, Thursday (+6,099)

15/1/1962, Monday (+6,096) British weather reports started using Centigrade as well as Fahrenheit.

14/1/1962, Sunday (+6,095) The European Economic Community agreed on a Common Agricultural Policy.

9/1/1962, Tuesday (+6,090) A Cuban-Soviet trade treaty was signed.

3/1/1962, Wednesday (+6,084) Pope John XXIII excommunicated Cuban leader Fidel Castro.

1/1/1962, Monday (+6,082) (1) In the UK, the total number of full-time students in the universities and university colleges stood at 93,524, up from 63,063 in 1947-8.

(2) Western Samoa became independent.

(3) The Beatles had their first audition with a record company in London. Their manager, Brian Epstein, was told, guitar groups are out, this group won’t make it, go back to Liverpool.


12/1961, Eichmann sentenced to death. GLC to build tallest flats in UK. India annexed Goa (was Portuguese).

22/12/1961, Friday (+6,072) James Davis became the first US casualty of the war in Vietnam.

19/12/1961, Tuesday (+6,069) India annexed Goa from the Portuguese, after 400 years of Portuguese rule.

16/12/1961, Saturday (+6,066) The USSR agreed to make a loan to Ghana for the construction of the Volta River Project, for generating hydroelectric power.

15/12/1961, Friday (+6,065) Adolf Eichmann, Nazi official responsible for the execution of millions of Jews, was sentenced to death after a four-month trial in Jerusalem.

13/12/1961, Wednesday (+6,063) Grandma Moses, US painter, died aged 101.

9/12/1961, Saturday (+6,059) Tangynika became independent. See 9/12/1962.

8/12/1961, Friday (+6,058) Seamus Robinson, Irish republican leader, died aged 71.

7/12/1961, Thursday (+6,057) The London County Council approved the building of 300-foot high blocks of flats at Hammersmith, the tallest in Britain.

4/12/1961, Monday (+6,054) The birth control pill became available on the National Health Service.


11/1961, Britain began negotiations to join Common Market. USSR de-Stalinisation.

10/11/1961, Friday (+6,030) The USSR renamed Stalingrad as Volgograd.

9/11/1961, Thursday (+6,029) Jill Dando, British journalist and BBC television presenter, was born in Weston-super-Mare (murdered 1999).

8/11/1961, Wednesday (+6,028) Negotiations with Britain began in Brussels to join the Common Market.

7/11/1961, Tuesday (+6,027) Konrad Adenauer was elected Chancellor of Germany for the fourth time.

6/11/1961, Monday (+6,026) The Fenchurch Street (London) lines saw their first electric services (peak hours only). A full electric service began on 18/6/1962.

5/11/1961, Sunday (+6,025)

3/11/1961, Friday (+6,023) The Burmese diplomat U Thant was elected UN Secretary-General.

2/11/1961, Thursday (+6,022) James Thurber, author, died in New York.

1/11/1961, Wednesday (+6,021) (1) The UK, concerned about rising immigration, planned a Commonwealth Immigration Bill to limit their numbers. 21,000 Commonwealth citizens migrated to the UK in 1960 but 100,000 were expected for 1961. Number quotas and/or skills requirements could be imposed. See 2/7/1962.

(2) In the Soviet Union, a ‘de-Stalinisation’ programme resulted in Stalin’s body being removed from the Red Square mausoleum where it had lain next to Lenin since his death in 1953. Even Stalingrad,  with its great significance regarding World War Two, was renamed Volgograd.

11/1961, Britain began negotiations to join Common Market. USSR de-Stalinisation.


10/1961, Private Eye first published.

29/10/1961, Sunday (+6,018) General elections in Greece were won by the National Radical Union. Constantine Karamanlis became Prime Minister.

27/10/1961, Friday (+6,016) Mauritania and Mongolia were admitted to the United Nations.

25/10/1961, Wednesday (+6,014) The satirical magazine Private Eye was published for the first time.

24/10/1961, Tuesday (+6,013) (Russia) Bertrand Russell protested to the Soviet Embassy in London about the resumption of nuclear tests by the Russians. The Russian response that it must be ready for an attack from the USA did not impress him.

18/10/1961, Wednesday (+6,007) A work by Henri Matisse attracted big crowds in the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Only after 116,000 people had seen it over 46 days did someone notice it was hung upside-down.

12/10/1961, Thursday (+6,001) New Zealand voted to abolish the death penalty.

11/10/1961, Wednesday (+6,000) Chico Marx, the piano-playing member of the Marx Brothers comedy team, died.

10/10/1961, Tuesday (+5,999) A volcanic eruption on the southern Atlantic island of Tristan da Cunha forced the evacuation of the entire population to Britain.

9/10/1961, Monday (+5,998) Margaret Thatcher got her first government job, as Parliamentary Secretary.

4/10/1961, Wednesday (+5,993) The Labour Party Conference voted against having Polaris bases in Britain.

1/10/1961, Sunday (+5,990) The British Trust territory of Southern Cameroons joined with French Cameroons to form the Republic of Cameroon.

10/1961, Private Eye first published.


9/1961, Anti-nuclear protests in London. London  Underground closed north of Amersham. OECD founded.

30/9/1961, Saturday (+5,989) The OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) was founded in Paris.

29/9/1961, Friday (+5,988) Syria seceded from the United Arab Republic after anti-Egyptian uprisings.  See 1/2/1958, and 2/9/1971.

28/9/1961, Thursday (+5,987) In Ghana, President Kwame Nkrumah imprisoned leading members of the opposition, claiming a plot to assassinate him.

27/9/1961, Wednesday (+5,986) Hilda Doolittle, US poet (born 10/9/1886 in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania), died in Zurich, Switzerland.

25/9/1961, Monday (+5,984)

21/9/1961, Thursday (+5,980) In Egypt, Nasser confiscated the assets of wealthier Egyptians.

20/9/1961, Wednesday (+5,979) (1) Rhodesian Prime Ministers Ian Smith banned the Black opposition party.

(2) Argentinean Antonio Albertondo completed the first non-stop swim across the English Channel and back. He completed the feat on 21/9 after 43 hours 5 minutes in the water.

19/9/1961, Tuesday (+5,978) Jamaica left the West Indies Federation.

18/9/1961, Monday (+5,977) Dag Hammarskjold, Swedish Secretary General of the United Nations and Nobel Prize Winner, was killed a plane crash near Ndola in Northern Rhodesia.  He had been flying from Leopoldville, Congo.

17/9/1961, Sunday (+5,976) (1) (London) A large ‘Ban the Bomb’ demonstration in London was ended by the police with 830 arrested, including Vanessa Redgrave. 15,000 had attended the demonstration in Trafalgar Square.

(2) The ex-President of Turkey, Menderes, (see 27/5/1960) was executed at the prison on Imrali island, having been accused of breaking the Turkish Constitution.

16/9/1961, Saturday (+5,975)

14/9/1961, Thursday (+5,973) New Zealand introduced compulsory selective military service.

13/9/1961, Wednesday (+5,972) U.N. forces defeated Katangan rebels. See 11/7/1960.

12/9/1961, Tuesday (+5,971) The philosopher Bertrand Russell, aged 89, was arrested and imprisoned for protesting against nuclear weapons.

9/9/1961, Saturday (+5,968) London Metropolitan line services north of Amersham were withdrawn. The last steam passenger services ran on the London Underground.

6/9/1961, Wednesday (+5,965) In London, anti-nuclear protestors attempted to march to the US Embassy in protest at the resumption of nuclear tests by the USA. They were stopped and their leaders, including the 89-year-old Bertrand Russell, were arrested by the police.

5/9/1961, Tuesday (+5,964) The USA announced it would resume underground nuclear tests.

9/1961, Anti-nuclear protests in London. London  Underground closed north of Amersham. OECD founded.


8/1961, Berlin Wall appeared. UK applied to join EEC. Barak Obama was born.

31/8/1961, Thursday (+5,959) (1) After failure of the Geneva Conference, the USSR announced it would resume nuclear weapons testing.

(2) Last Spanish troops withdrew from Morocco.

21/8/1961, Monday (+5,949) Britain released Jomo Kenyatta, who had been imprisoned for his part in the Mau-Mau rebellion, to facilitate Kenyan political negotiations.

20/8/1961, Sunday (+5,948) (Science) Percy Williams Bridgman, US physicist, died in Randolph, New Hampshire, USA.

17/8/1961, Thursday (+5,945) Construction of the Berlin Wall began, see 13/8/1961. The Soviets had hidden building materials close to the site of the wall, so construction was rapid.  2,000 people a day had been leaving the east for West Germany.

13/8/1961, Sunday (+5,941) East German border guards stopped cars passing through the Brandenburg Gate, Berlin.  The border between East and West Berlin was sealed, at first with barbed wire, later by the Berlin Wall, erected on 17/8/1961. On 22/8/1961 a 100 metre no-man’s-land was created either side of the Berlin Wall. The Wall was 96 miles long and 3.6 metres high. It had 302 armed watchtowers and 20 bunkers.  192 persons were killed at the Wall, and another 200 wounded by shooting. The East German Government called the barrier ‘an anti-fascist protection wall’. A second wall was added in June 1962, and a third in 1965, reinforced by a fourth in 1975. The Berlin Wall finally came down on 8/11/1989.

10/8/1961, Thursday (+5,938) Britain first applied for membership of the EEC.

4/8/1961, Friday (+5,932) Barak Hussein Obama, first African-American President (44th) of the USA from 2009, was born.

8/1961, Berlin Wall appeared. UK applied to join EEC. Barak Obama was born.


7/1961, Lady Diana born. Runcorn Bridge opened. Iraqi takeover of Kuwait thwarted.

25/7/1961, Tuesday (+5,922) The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Selwyn Lloyd, introduced a pay freeze for UK workers which was to last 9 months. He was concerned that over the previous 12 months, pay had risen 8% whereas national production had only risen 3%.

22/7/1961, Saturday (+5,919) The UN ordered a ceasefire in Tunisia, after clashes between Tunisians and French.

21/7/1961, Friday (+5,918) Runcorn Bridge, on the River Mersey, opened.  It was then the longest steel arch bridge in the UK.

20/7/1961, Thursday (+5,917) In a move to thwart Iraqi claims on Kuwait, the Arab League admitted Kuwait as a member.

19/7/1961, Wednesday (+5,916) TWA began showing films in the first class lounge of its long-haul flights.

18/7/1961, Tuesday (+5,915) The six Common Market countries issued the Bonn Declaration aimed at political union.

14/7/1961, Friday (+5,911) Boy George was born.

2/7/1961, Sunday (+5,899) (1) The author Ernest Hemingway, born 21/7/1899 in Oak Park, Illinois, committed suicide.

(2) Venezuelan President Romulo Betancourt laid the foundation stone of the new city of Sao Tome de Guyana, describing it as “The future Ruhr of Venezuela”.

1/7/1961. Saturday (+5,898) (1) British troops were stationed in Kuwait in case of an attack by Iraq. In June 1961 Kuwait gained independence from Britain and a week later Iraq called for ‘a return of Kuwait to the Iraqi homeland’. On 30/6/1961 Kuwait requested assistance from the UK, and Royal Marines were sent out. The British troops remained for two years.

(2) Lady Diana Spencer was born, in Park House, Sandringham.

7/1961, Lady Diana born. Runcorn Bridge opened. Iraqi takeover of Kuwait thwarted.


6/1961, Beeching appointed railways chairman. Jung, psychiatrist, died.

30/6/1961, Friday (+5,897) (Innovation) Lee de Forrest, US inventor, died in Hollywood, California.

27/6/1961, Tuesday (+5,894) Dr Ramsey was enthroned as the 100th Archbishop of Canterbury in Canterbury Cathedral.

25/6/1961, Sunday (+5,892) Iraq claimed newly-independent Kuwait as Iraqi, on the grounds that both had been part of the Ottoman Empire and arbitrarily divided by Britain.

19/6/1961, Monday (+5,886) Kuwait became independent.

16/6/1961, Friday (+5,883) Rudolf Nureyev defected from the Soviet Union whilst in Paris, travelling with the Leningrad Kirov Ballet.

9/6/1961, Friday (+5,876) The UN called on Portugal to cease repressive measures in Angola.

6/6/1961, Tuesday (+5,873)  Carl Gustav Jung, Swiss psychologist and associate of Freud, died aged 85.

5/6/1961, Monday (+5,872) The US Supreme Court ruled that the Communist Party must register as a foreign-dominated organisation. On 17/6/1961 the US Communist Party refused to comply with this ruling.

3/6/1961, Saturday (+5,870)

1/6/1961, Thursday (+5,868) (1) Dr Richard Beeching was appointed by the Conservative Minister for Transport as Chairman Designate of the British Railways Board.

(2) Northern Cameroons joined the Federation of Nigeria.


5/1961, Betting shops legalised in UK. Guildford Cathedral consecrated. Amnesty International founded.

31/5/1961, Wednesday (+5,867) The Republic of South Africa was formed, and it left the Commonwealth.

30/5/1961, Tuesday (+5,866) Rafael Trujillo, corrupt and dictatorial President of the Dominican Republic, was assassinated. He had been ruler since he overthrew the benevolent but inefficient rule of President Horacio Velasquez, who acceded in July 1924. After the assassination a brief period of democratic rule under President Juan Bosch from December 1962 to September 1963 was succeeded by a military junta.

29/5/1961, Monday (+5,865) The Western European Union agreed that West Germany would be allowed to build destroyers equipped to fire nuclear weapons.

28/5/1961, Sunday (+5,864) Amnesty International was founded in London.

27/5/1961, Saturday (+5,863)

25/5/1961, Thursday (+5,861) (1) US President Kennedy announced the Apollo space programme.

(2) Klu Klux Klan marchers clashed with civil rights ‘Freedom Riders’ in Montgomery, Alabama.

24/5/1961, Wednesday (+5,860) Cyprus joined the Council of Europe.

20/5/1961, Saturday (+5,856) The Orient Express left Paris on its final journey to Istanbul. The service started in 1883, and was suspended for World War Two. It used to be the peak of luxury travel but air travel had now superseded it.

18/5/1961, Thursday (+5,854) Plans were announced for new UK universities at Canterbury, Colchester, and Coventry.

17/5/1961, Wednesday (+5,853) Guildford Cathedral consecrated.

16/5/1961, Tuesday (+5,852) A 14-nation conference on Laos opened in Geneva. It soon ran into deadlock.

11/5/1961, Thursday (+5,487) US President Kennedy sent 400 Special Forces troops to conduct covert anti-Communist operations in North Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.

9/5/1961, Tuesday (+5,845) Ali Amini, the new Prime Minister of Iran, dissolved Parliament and banned political meetings.

8/5/1961, Monday (+5,844) George Blake, 38, a former British diplomat, was jailed for 42 years for spying for Russia.

5/5/1961, Friday (+5,841) The Americans put Alan Shephard into space for 15 minutes, reaching an altitude of 116 miles before splashing down 303 miles from the launch site. He was the second man and the first American to reach space. However the Russian space flight on 12/4/1961 had lasted 108 minutes and circled the Earth.

2/5/1961, Tuesday (+5,838) Warring factions in Laos agreed to a ceasefire.

1/5/1961, Monday (+5,837) Off-course betting shops became legal in Britain. They were legalised under the Betting and Gaming Act, 1960. 10,000 of them opened within the first 6 months thereafter.

5/1961, Betting shops legalised in UK. Guildford Cathedral consecrated. Amnesty International founded.


4/1961, Eichmann trial opened in Jerusalem. Yuri Gagarin orbited Earth. Cuba Bay of Pigs invasion.

29/4/1961, Saturday (+5,835) The World Wildlife Fund was founded in Switzerland.

27/4/1961, Thursday (+5,833) Sierra Leone became independent, and joined the Commonwealth.

17/4/1961, Monday (+5,823) 1,300 Anti-Castro Cuban exiles, led by Jose Cardona, attempted to invade Cuba from the Bay of Pigs. However on 18 and 19/4/1961 the exiles were pinned down on the beach by Castro’s troops. The USA under President Kennedy backed down following Khrushchev’s declaration that the USSR would defend Cuba against the USA and the 1,200 survivors were left to their fate. They surrendered to Cuban authorities on 20/4/1961.

13/4/1961, Thursday (+5,819) The UN General Assembly condemned apartheid in South Africa.

12/4/1961, Wednesday (+5,818) Yuri Gagarin (1934 – 1968) made the first orbit of the Earth, at an altitude of 300km, in his spaceship Vostok 1. He took off from Tyuratom in Kazakhstan, made a single Earth-orbit, and landed near Engels in the Saratov region.

11/4/1961, Tuesday (+5,817) The trial of the Nazi war criminal, Adolf Eichmann, opened in Jerusalem.

2/4/1961, Sunday (+5,808) Easter Sunday.


3/1961, First women traffic wardens, in Leicester. South Africa to leave Commonwealth.

27/3/1961, Monday (+5,802) The first women traffic wardens began ticketing, in Leicester.

26/3/1961, Sunday (+5,801) In Belgian elections, the Christian Socialists lost their overall majority and formed a coalition government with the Socialists. Theodore Lefevre (Christian Socialist) succeeded Gaston Eyskens (also Christian Socialist) as Prime Minister.

20/3/1961, Monday (+5,795)

15/3/1961, Wednesday (+5,790) South Africa stated it would leave the Commonwealth.

14/3/1961, Tuesday (+5,789) The New English Bible was published.

13/3/1961, Monday (+5,788) In the UK, the old black and white £5 notes ceased to be legal tender.

11/3/1961, Saturday (+5,786)

9/3/1961, Thursday (+5,784) the Dalai Lama appealed to the UN to restore the independence of Tibet.

8/3/1961, Wednesday (+5,783) Death of the conductor Sir Thomas Beecham. Born in 1876 in St Helens, Lancashire, he was the grandson of the founder of the Beecham’s pills business.

6/3/1961, Monday (+5,781) Mini cabs began operating in Britain.

1/3/1961, Wednesday  (+5,776) US President Kennedy formed the Peace Corps, a group of volunteers to work in less-developed countries.


2/1961,  Sunday Telegraph first published.UK-Iceland fishing agreement. Angolan civil war began.

28/2/1961, Tuesday (+5,775) Barry McGuigan, world featherweight boxing champion, was born.

27/2/1961, Monday (+5,774) Britain and Iceland settled their fishing dispute. British ships would no longer fish within 12 miles of the Icelandic coast.

26/2/1961, Sunday (+5,773) King Hassan II became ruler of Morocco on the death of his father, King Mohammad V.

14/2/1961, Tuesday (+5,761) (Chemistry) The synthesis of element Lawrencium was confirmed at University of Berkeley California. It was named after the inventor of the cyclotron, Ernest Lawrence.

8/2/1961, Wednesday (+5,755) The BBC dropped its radio programme Children’s Hour because TV had cut its audiences.

5/2/1961, Sunday (+5,752) The Sunday Telegraph began publishing.

4/2/1961, Saturday (+5,751) The MPLA began its fight against the Angolan Government at Luanda.

2/2/1961, Thursday (+5,749)


1/1961, Contraceptive pill went on sale in UK Algeria voted for independence.

31/1/1961, Tuesday (+5,747) The West Claire Railway, immortalised in songs by Percy French, closed.

30/1/1961, Monday (+5,746) The contraceptive pill went on sale in Britain. It was called Conovid, see 18/10/1960.

25/1/1961, Wednesday (+7,541)

20/1/1961, Friday (+5,736) (1) Queen Elizabeth II met Archbishop Makarios in Cyprus.

19/1/1961, Thursday (+5,735) Michael Ramsey was appointed Archbishop of Canterbury, following the retirement of Archbishop Fisher.

17/1/1961, Tuesday (+5,733) Ex-President Patrice Lumumba of Zaire (deposed 14/9/1960) was executed by rebel Katangese troops.

8/1/1961, Sunday (+5,724) (France, Algeria) France held a national referendum on whether Algeria should be granted independence. The result was in favour of independence.

7/1/1961, Saturday (+5,723) The first episode of The Avengers was broadcast.

6/1/1961, Friday (+5,722) Dag Hammarskjold, UN Secretary General, visited South Africa to discuss apartheid.

5/1/1961, Thursday (+5,721)

3/1/1961, Tuesday (+5,719) (1) The US severed all diplomatic relations with Cuba.

(2) The millionth Morris Minor car came off the assembly lines in Britain.

1/1961, Contraceptive pill went on sale in UK Algeria voted for independence.


12/1960, UK National Service ceased. Farthing ceased to be legal tender.

31/12/1960, Saturday (+5,716) (1) National Service ceased in the UK. The last batch of 18-year olds were called up. Of the 2,049 who received their call-up cards, 50 would join the RAF at Cardington, Bedfordshire, the rest went to Aldershot for 2 weeks basic training and joined the Army.

(2) The farthing ceased to be legal tender in Britain. At a quarter of an old penny there were 960 of them to the pound sterling.

21/12/1960, Wednesday (+5,706) (Saudi Arabia) King Saud took over the Saudi Arabian government.

9/12/1960, Friday (+5,694) (Broadcasting) Coronation Street first televised. The series was expected to last just 13 weeks.

5/12/1960, Monday (+5,690) (Railway Tunnels) The S Elia-Lanculla tunnel, Italy, 5.142 km long, opened on the Reggio-Calabria-Brindisi line.


11/1960, Mauretania independent from France. VTOL aircraft flew. Harold Wilson challenged Gaitskell for Labour leadership.

28/11/1960, Monday (+5,683) (Africa) Mauretania became fully independent from France.

26/11/1960, Saturday (+5,681) (New Zealand) General election in New Zealand was won by the National party, with 46 seats. Labour won 34 seats. Keith Holyoake was appointed Prime Minister.

21/11/1960, Monday (+5,676) (Rail Travel GB) The Chingford branch, London, was electrified.

19/11/1960, Saturday (+5,674) (Aviation) The first VTOL (vertical take off, landing) aircraft made by British Hawker Siddeley, flew for the first time.

10/11/1960, Thursday (+5,665) The initial print run of Lady Chatterley’s Lover, 200,000 copies at 3s 6d each, sold out on the first day.

9/11/1960, Wednesday (+5,664) John Fitzgerald Kennedy (1919-63), Democrat, became President of the USA, with 34,227,096 votes against 34,108,546 votes for Nixon. Aged 43, Kennedy was the first Roman Catholic president and the youngest so far.

8/11/1960, Tuesday (+5,663) (1) Ten Irish soldiers in the UN peacekeeping force in The Congo were killed in an ambush at Niemba. Irish sadness at the event was also coloured by the recognition that this marked Ireland’s emergence from the isolation it had been in since its neutrality in World War Two.

(2) Former Massachusetts Attorney-General Edward Brooke became the first Black Senator in the US. He was born in Washington DC in 1919.

7/11/1960, Monday (+5,662) Missiles first appeared on the Red Square military parade.

5/11/1960, Saturday (+5,660) Mack Sennett, Canadian-born US actor and film director, died aged 80.

3/11/1960, Thursday (-5,658) Hugh Gaitskell successfully fought off a challenge for Labour Party leadership by Harold Wilson.

2/11/1960, Wednesday (+5,657) The publisher of Lady Chatterley’s :Lover was found not guilty on 2/11/1960. On 10/11/1960, the first day of publication, 200,000 copies were sold in Britain.

1/11/1960, Tuesday (+5,656) It was announced that US Polaris missile submarines were to be based in the Firth of Clyde.

11/1960, Mauretania independent from France. VTOL aircraft flew. Harold Wilson challenged Gaitskell for Labour leadership.


10/1960, Nigeria became independent. USA imposed trade embargo on Cuba.

31/10/1960, Monday (+5,655) The second of two cyclones (first one on 10/10/1960) hit eastern Pakistan, killing 10,000.

25/10/1960, Tuesday (+5,649)

21/10/1960, Friday (+5,645) Britain’s first nuclear-powered submarine, Dreadnought, was launched at Barrow in Furness.

20/10/1960, Thursday (+5,644) D H Lawrence’s book Lady Chatterley’s Lover put Penguin Books in the dock at the Old Bailey, under the Obscene Publications Act.

19/10/1960, Wednesday (+5,643) The USA imposed an embargo on shipments to Cuba, banning all exports to Cuba except food and medicine. Cuba had been buying arms from the USSR, and when the USA imposed economic sanctions by refusing to buy Cuban sugar, Castro nationalised USA businesses. Cuba also attempted to 'export Revolution', to the Dominican Republic, Panama, and Nicaragua. However many young US citizens supported Castro.

18/10/1960, Tuesday (+5,642) The first approved contraceptive pill, called Enovid 10, went on sale in the USA. Catholics objected. See 30/1/1961.

17/10/1960, Monday (+5,641) The British daily newspaper News Chronicle ceased publication and was incorporated into the Daily Mail.

9/10/1960, Sunday  (+5,633) The worst storms since 1953 caused severe flooding in southern England.

6/10/1960, Thursday (+5,630) South Africa held a referendum on whether to declare itself a Republic, further cutting ties with Britain. Only Whites were allowed to vote. The result was 52.14% in favour of a Republic and 47.42% against.

5/10/1960, Wednesday (+5,629) The British Labour Party, at its Scarborough Conference, voted overwhelmingly for unilateral nuclear disarmament.

1/10/1960, Saturday (+5,625) Nigeria became independent.

10/1960, Nigeria became independent. USA imposed trade embargo on Cuba.


9/1960, Traffic wardens began parking enforcement in London. Sylvia Pankhurst, suffragette, died.

28/9/1960, Wednesday (+5,622) NATO introduced a unified system of air command.

27/9/1960, Tuesday (+5,621) (1) Death of Estelle Sylvia Pankhurst, suffragette.

(2) Bank Underground Station, London, opened the first travelator, or moving pavement, in Europe.

24/9/1960, Saturday (+5,618) The first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, the USS Enterprise, was launched at Newport, Virginia. She cost US$ 445 million, carried 100 aircraft, had a complement of 440 officers and 4,160 enlisted men, and a flight deck the size of four football pitches.

22/9/1960, Thursday (+5,616) Mali became independent.

15/9/1960, Thursday (+5,609) Traffic wardens began operating in London. 40 began operations in the Westminster area of London; their first ticket was issued to a doctor who had parked outside a hotel as he treated a heart attack victim inside. Plus ca change.

14/9/1960, Wednesday (+5,608) (1) OPEC  was set up by Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.

(2) Successful military coup in Zaire by Colonel Mobutu, against President Lumumba.

13/9/1960, Tuesday (+5,607) In Washington, D.C., charges were filed against a Tennessee bank and 27 individuals said to have used economic pressure to prevent black people from voting.

12/91960, Monday (+5,606) MOTs on motor vehicles introduced in Britain.

11/9/1960, Sunday (+5,605) The first episode of Danger Man, starring Patrick McGoohan, was broadcast on UK TV.

6/9/1960, Tuesday (+5,600) The first English Football league match to be televised was broadcast today.  Blackpool played Bolton Wanderers.

1/9/1960, Thursday (+5,595) Nyerere became Tangynika's first Prime Minister.

9/1960, Traffic wardens began parking enforcement in London. Sylvia Pankhurst, suffragette, died.


8/1960, Cyprus independent under Makarios. Russia successfully sent dogs into space. UK’s first motorway services opened.

31/8/1960, Wednesday (+5,594) East Germany closed the border with West Berlin.

25/8/1960, Thursday (+5,588) The 17th Olympic Games opened in Rome.

23/8/1960, Tuesday (+5,586) Oscar Hammerstein, US theatrical producer, died aged 65.

22/8/1960, Monday (+5,585) (1) Two dogs returned to Earth in a Soviet space craft. The Russian dogs, named Byelka (Squirrel) and Strelka (Arrow) returned on board Sputnik Five, along with 40 mice, two rats, and some plants, as they prepared for a human launch. President John F Kennedy angrily asked US scientists why the first pair of space dogs were called Strelka and Byelka and not Rover and Fido.

(2) Senegal seceded from Mali.

21/8/1960, Sunday (+5,584) David B Steinman, US bridge engineer, died aged 74.

20/8/1960, Saturday (+5,583) (1) Senegal became independent.

(2) Plastic carrier bags were used for the first time, by a Swedish shoe retailer.

19/8/1960, Friday (+5,582) In London, Penguin Books was prosecuted for obscenity over its plans to publish Lady Chatterley’s Lover.

18/8/1960, Thursday (+5,581) The birth control pill, the world’s first oral contraceptive, was launched in America.

17/8/1960, Wednesday (+5,580) Gabon became an independent nation, from France.

16/8/1960, Tuesday (+5,579) Cyprus became independent, with Archbishop Makarios as President.  Fazil Kuchuk, leader of the Turkish Cypriots, was Vice-President, but relations between the two communities were strained. The island’s Greek population, some 80% of the total, wanted union, or enosis, with Greece. See 15/7/1974 and 3/4/1955. Britain retained military bases on the island.

15/8/1960, Monday (+5,578) (1) The Congo (Brazzaville) became independent from France.

(2) Britain’s first motorway service station opened to the public, on the M.1 at Newport Pagnell. Motorist Graham Miller was the first to buy food there. The services had opened in 1959 but only for lorry drivers.

14/8/1960, Sunday (+5,577) Sarah Brightman, English singer, was born in Berkhamstead, Hertfordshire.

13/8/1960, Saturday (+5,576) The Central African Republic became independent.

12/8/1960, Friday (+5,575) The first US communications satellite, Echo 1, was launched.

11/8/1960, Thursday (+5,574) Chad formerly a French colony, became an independent Republic.

9/8/1960, Tuesday (+5,572)

8/8/1960, Monday (+5,571) Coup in Laos; General Souvanna Phoumi became leader/

7/8/1960, Sunday (+5,570) Ivory Coast became independent from France.

6/8/1960, Saturday (+5,569) Castro nationalised all US-owned property in Cuba, in retaliation for US economic sanctions.

5/8/1960, Friday (+5,568) Upper Volta became independent.

4/8/1960, Thursday (+5,567) NASA test pilot Joseph A. Walker became the fastest man in history as he flew an X-15 at a speed of 2,196 miles per hour, breaking a record set in 1956 by Milburn Apt, who had been killed while flying an X-2.

3/8/1960, Wednesday (+5,566) Niger became independent from France.

2/8/1960, Tuesday (+5,565) The Continental League, proposed as a third major league for baseball, came to an end after CL President Branch Rickey and co-founder William Shea concluded a meeting in Chicago with representatives of the National League and American League.

1/8/1960, Monday (+5,564) Benin (Dahomey) became independent from France.

8/1960, Cyprus independent under Makarios. Russia successfully sent dogs into space. UK’s first motorway services opened.


7/1960, Implantable pacemaker patented. Khrushchev denied Monroe Doctrine over Cuba, USA reasserted it.

30/7/1960, Saturday (+5,562)

28/7/1960, Thursday (+5,560) UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold arrived in the Congo in a bid to end the civil war there.

27/7/1960, Wednesday (+5,559) In Britain, Derick Heathcoat Amory retired as Chancellor of the Exchequer. He was replaced by Selwyn Lloyd, former Foreign Secretary. The Earl of Home became the new Foreign Secretary.

24/7/1960, Sunday (+5,556)

22/7/1960, Friday (+5,554) (Medical) The implantable pacemaker was patented by Wilson Greatbach, New York, USA, for Wilson Greatbach Inc.

21/7/1960, Thursday (+5,553) (1) Sirimavo Bandarainake became the world’s first woman Prime Minister, of Ceylon (Sri Lanka). This followed the assassination of her husband, Solomon, the former Prime Minister.

(2) Francis Chichester, 58, arrived in New York on his yacht, Gypsy Moth, having set a record of 40 days for a solo Atlantic crossing.

20/7/1960, Wednesday (+5,552) General election in Ceylon (Sri Lanka) was won by the Sri Lanka Freedom Party. Mrs Sirimavo Bandaranaike, widow of the late Prime Minister assassinated September 1959, became Prime Minister, She was the first woman Prime Minister of a Commonwealth country.

18/7/1960, Monday (+5,550)

16/7/1960, Saturday (+5,548) Albert Kesselring, German Air Commander on all fronts during World War Two, condemned as a war criminal, died.

15/7/1960, Friday (+5,547) In Los Angeles, Kennedy accepted the Democratic Party nomination for President.

13/7/1960, Wednesday (+5,545)

12/7/1960, Tuesday (+5,544) (USA, Russia) President Khrushchev of the USSR asserted that the Monroe Doctrine of 1823 was no longer valid; this would legitimate Soviet interference in the Caribbean. On 14/7/1960 the US confirmed that the Monroe Doctrine was still in operation.

11/7/1960, Monday (+5,543) (1) The communications satellite TELSTAR became operational. Britain could now receive US television shows,

(2) Katanga rebels declared independence from the Congo under Tshombe.  See 13/9/1961.  Belgium sent troops to the Congo.  See 14/1/1963.

9/7/1960, Saturday (+5,541) Belgium began an airlift of 25,711 of its nationals back from the Congo, as that country became independent.

7/7/1960, Thursday (+5,539) Belgium sent troops to the Congo.

6/7/1960, Wednesday (+5,538) Aneurin Bevan, founder of the National Health Service in 1948, Minister of Health 1945-51, died.  He was born on 15/11/1897.

5/7/1960, Tuesday (+5,537)

1/7/1960, Friday (+5,533)  (1) A pint of milk cost 3.3p  1 kg old potatoes cost 2.57p. A GP earned £2,425 per annum, and a coal miner was paid £9 17s 6d a week. The average annual UK salary was £700. A Belling 48T electric cooker cost £51 and a Lavalux washing machine cost £87 3s. A hoover steam-dry iron cost £4 12s 1d. A loaf of bread cost 1 shilling (5p). The average house price in the UK was £2,500. A second class return rail fare London to Glasgow cost £8.40

(2) Ghana became independent (formerly Gold Coast and British Togoland).  Kwame Nkrumah was its first President.

7/1960, Implantable pacemaker patented. Khrushchev denied Monroe Doctrine over Cuba, USA reasserted it.


6/1960, Belgian Congo independent, civil war erupted. Mali, Madagascar, independent.

30/6/1960, Thursday (+5,532) The Belgian Congo became independent, under President Lumumba. Civil war erupted within a week, the mineral-rich region of Katanga seceded, and UN peacekeeping troops arrived as the Belgians left. In August the mineral-rich province of Kasai also seceded. Without these two provinces, Congo would have been one of the poorest countries in Africa. Paramilitary troops from Rhodesia, Europe, and South Africa were ready to defend breakaway Katanga and their mining interests. The UN said it would restore law and order but was not concerned with the secession of Katanga. Lumumba now made the mistake of turning to the USSR for help. Russia sent aid and Kasai was retaken for a while. However other government members decided to rid themselves of the radical Lumumba, and the Chief of Staff, Mobutu, set up a new government; Lumumba was assassinated in January 1961. Tschombe, leader of Katanga, was supported by the Belgian’s decision to pay mining royalties to him, not the Congo government. However the UN leader, Dag Hammarskjold, was determined to crown his first major international peacekeeping exercise with success, and there was now a pro-Western government in the Congo. Hammarskjold’s plane crashed in uncertain circumstances on 17 September 1961 whilst negotiating with Tschombe. There was fighting between Katangan and UN forces in Elisabethville, capital of Katanga, and the UN attitude hardened. The UN ordered the forcible occupation of Katanga, and in January 1963 UN forces fully occupied the breakaway province.

28/6/1960, Tuesday (+5,530)

26/6/1960, Sunday (+5,528) Madagascar became an independent republic.  It had been a French colony since 1896.

25/6/1960, Saturday (+5,527) (Astronomy) Walter Baade, German-US astronomer, died in Gottingen, Germany.

24/6/1960, Friday (Africa) Joseph Kasavubu was elected as the first President of the independent Congo.

23/6/1960, Thursday (+5,525) Castro threatened to seize US-owned property in Cuba, in retaliation for US economic sanctions.

22/6/1960, Wednesday (+5,524) Nan Winton became the first woman to read the national news on BBC television.

21/6/1960, Tuesday (+5,523)

20/6/1960, Monday (+5,522) Mali became independent from France as the federation of Mali, including Senegal.  See 22/8/1960.

19/6/1960, Sunday (+5,521) Jaguar took over the Daimler motor company.

18/6/1960, Saturday (+5,520) Jehovah’s Witnesses released the New World Translation of the Bible.

7/6/1960, Tuesday (+5,509) (1) The first NHS hearing aids were issued.

6/1960, Belgian Congo independent, civil war erupted. Mali, Madagascar, independent.


5/1960, Gary Powers shot down over USSR. EFTA founded. Eichmann captured by Israel. First laser built.

31/5/1960, Tuesday (+5,502) Walter Funk, Nazi government official, died aged 69.

30/5/1960, Monday (+5,501) Boris Pasternak, Russian author of Dr Zhivago, Nobel Prize winner in 1958 (which he declined), died near Moscow.

27/5/1960, Friday (+5,498) (Turkey) President Adnan Menderes (1889-1961) of Turkey was ousted in an army coup.  He founded the Democratic Party in 1945 and became Prime Minister in 1950. Pro-Western, he took Turkey into NATO in 1952. However he was also sympathetic to Islam, and the Turkish army, very secularist, found this intolerable. The Army believed that Menderes posed a threat to the secularisation of Turkey begin by Ataturk in the 1920s. Ultimately, severe inflation from 1954 eroded Menderes’s support in the towns; Menderes relied on rural peasant support.  Menderes was forced to assume dictatorial powers in April 1960, just before his overthrow. See 17/9/1961. In September 1990 Menderes was posthumously ‘rehabilitated’ and given a State Funeral, attended by the Turkish President.

24/5/1960, Tuesday (+5,495) (USA) The USA launched the Midas-2 satellite. Weighing over 2.5 tonnes, its purpose was to test the feasibility of a satellite system to give early warning of any ballistic missile attack on the USA.

23/5/1960, Monday (+5,494) (Jewish) The Israelis announced the capture of the war criminal Adolf Eichmann. Israeli Mossad agents snatched Eichmann on 11/5/1960 as he returned home after work, and he was taken to a secret hiding place outside Buenos Aires. He was living under the name Ricardo Klement. On 21/5/1960 he was disguised in the uniform of an El Al flight attendant and bundled on board a flight to Tel Aviv. Eichmann was found guilty of war crimes by a court in Jerusalem, on 15/12/1961, and hanged on 31/5/1962 at Ramleh Prison, Jerusalem. He remains the only person ever executed by due legal process in Israel, after a trial involving 210 witnesses over 14 weeks. His last words were ‘long live Germany, long live Argentina, long live Austria, I shall not forget them’.

21/5/1960, Saturday (+5,492) Conception, Chile, was hit by an earthquake that killed 1,000 people and damaged 145,000 buildings,

18/5/1960, Wednesday (+5,489) The Queen Mother opened the Kariba dam on the Zambesi River.

16/5/1960, Monday (+5,487) (Light) The first working laser was created by Theodore H Maiman. At first it had no obvious practical applications, but is now indispensable by the military, phone networks, supermarket checkouts and security.

15/5/1960, Sunday (+5,486) (Space exploration) Sputnik IV was launched.

9/5/1960, Monday (+5,480) (Morals) The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)approved a birth control pill. By 1965 some 5 million US women were using the Pill.

3/5/1960, Tuesday (+5,474) (European Union) The European Free Trade Association (EFTA) was founded in Geneva. It had seven members; Norway, Sweden, Denmark, the UK, Switzerland, Austria, and Portugal.

1/5/1960, Sunday (+5,472) (Russia) A US spy plane, the U-2, piloted by Gary Powers, was hit by an SA2 missile and shot down over the USSR near Sverdlovsk. He had been on a flight path from Pehsawar air base, Pakistan, over the USSR to Greenland. On 8/7/1960 Gary Powers was indicted as a spy; he was sentenced to 10 years in prison, but was released after 18 months (on 10/2/1962) in exchange for Soviet agent Rudolf Abel.

5/1960, Gary Powers shot down over USSR. EFTA founded. Eichmann captured by Israel. First laser built.


4/1960, Brasilia inaugurated. Senegal independent. Race riots in Mississippi. Anti-Bomb protest in London.

30/4/1960, Saturday (+5,471) Britain abandoned the Blue Streak missile programme.

27/4/1960, Wednesday (+5,468) (1) Synghman Rhee resigned as President of South Korea.

(2) Togo became independent

25/4/1960, Monday (+5,466) Race riots in Mississippi, ten Blacks were shot dead. Extremist Whites in the State disliked the 1954 US Supreme Court ruling that racially segregated schools were unconstitutional.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

21/4/1960, Thursday (+5,462) Brasilia was inaugurated as the new capital of Brazil. The city was planned by Lucio Costa.

19/4/1960, Tuesday (+5,460) A crowd of between 60,000 and 100,000 protested in Trafalgar Square, London, against the atom bomb.

17/4/1960, Sunday (+5,458) Easter Sunday.

13/4/1960, Wednesday (+5,454) (Space exploration) The USA launched Transit 1b, a weather satellite.

12/4/1960, Tuesday (+5,453) The musician Ray Charles won Best Male Vocalist Grammy award

11/4/1960, Monday (+5,452) The178 acre railway marshalling yard at Margam, south Wales, opened.

10/4/1960, Sunday (+5,451) The US Senate passed the Civil Rights Bill.

9/4/1960, Saturday (+5,450) David Pratt, a 52-year-old White man, fired two shots at South African President Dr Hendrik Verwoerd, wounding him.

4/4/1960, Monday (+5,445) Senegal became independent.

1/4/1960, Friday (+5,442) (1) The US launched the world’s first meteorological satellite, Tiros I. Launched from Cape Canaveral, it only orbited earth for 78 days, but proved that satellites could be useful for surveying global weather conditions. The satellite was 42 inches in diameter, 19 inches high, weighed 270 pounds, and had 9,200 solar cells to power it. It had two television cameras and could store pictures taken whilst out of range of the ground radar station. In total, Tiros I took 22,500 pictures of weather conditions.

(2) Doc Martin boots were first produced under licence in the UK by R Griggs and Co.

4/1960, Brasilia inaugurated. Senegal independent. Race riots in Mississippi. Anti-Bomb protest in London.


3/1960, Sharpeville riots, South Africa. Thames Flood Barrier planned.

30/3/1960, Wednesday (+5,440) State of Emergency in South Africa after the Sharpeville riots.

29/3/1960, Tuesday (+5,439) UK PM Harold MacMillan reached agreement with US leaders on a nuclear test ban treaty to be put to the USSR.

25/3/1960, Friday (+5,435) Following Sharpeville, all non-White political organisations, including the ANC, were banned in South Africa.

21/3/1960, Monday (+5,431) South African police killed 67 Black Africans at Sharpeville, and wounded 186. The demonstrations were against the hated 'Pass Laws'. All over South Africa, Black people deliberately left their passes at home and awaited arrest. Versions of what provoked the shooting at Sharpeville, a township 5 miles north of Vereeniging, varied. According to police, a crowd of 20,000 Blacks were about to storm the police station. Black witnesses said only 5,000 Blacks were present and had gone peacefully to the police station to discuss the Pass Laws. A medical expert testified that 70% of the victims were shot from behind. On 30/3/1960 South Africa declared a State of Emergency following the Sharpeville riots.

15/3/1960, Tuesday (+5,425) Presidential elections in South Korea were won fraudulently by Synghman Rhee, 85; demonstrations across the country forced his resignation on 27/4/1960.

14/3/1960, Monday (+5,424) (1) Plans were announced for a Thames Flood Barrier at London.

(2) Jodrell Bank radio telescope set a record for the furthest communication with a man made object. Radio communications were established with the US satellite Pioneer 5, over 407,000 miles away.

7/3/1960, Monday (+5,417)

3/1960, Sharpeville riots, South Africa. Thames Flood Barrier planned.


2/1960, First Playboy Club opened. France exploded atom bomb in Sahara. UK PM Harold Macmillan called for race equality in South Africa, was spurned.

29/2/1960, Monday (+5,410) Hugh Hefner opened the first Playboy Club in Chicago. Brought up in a strict Methodist home, Hefner started the Playboy Magazine with US$ 10,000 in 1953.

28/2/1960, Sunday (+5,409) Agadir, Morocco, was devastated by an earthquake, killing 12,000.

27/2/1960, Saturday (+5,408) The magazine ‘Playboy’ was banned in Connecticut.

23/2/1960, Tuesday (+5,404)

22/2/1960, Monday (+5,403) Britain and France announced plans to build a supersonic airliner.

21/2/1960, Sunday (+5,402) Castro nationalised all private businesses in Cuba.

20/2/1960, Saturday (+5,401) (Britain) Sir Charles Leonard Woolley, English archaeologist, died in London.

19/2/1960, Friday (+5,400) Prince Andrew (Andrew Albert Christian Edward), third child and second son of Queen Elizabeth II, was born in Buckingham Palace.

18/2/1960, Thursday (+5,399) Seven South American countries established the Latin American Free Trade Association.

17/2/1960, Wednesday (+5,398) (1) The UK Government said it would allow the US to build a missile early warning system to be built at Fylingdales, Yorkshire.

(2) Martin Luther King was arrested in the USA.

16/2/1960, Tuesday (+5,397) USS Triton nuclear submarine began her round the world voyage, the first such vessel to undertake this journey.

15/2/1960, Monday (+5,396) Mikey Craig, rock bassist, was born.

14/2/1960, Sunday (+5,395) Muhammad Ayub Khan was elected President of Pakistan.

13/2/1960, Saturday (+5,394) France exploded its first atom bomb, in the Sahara.

9/2/1960, Tuesday (+5,390) Ernst von Dohnanyi, Hungarian pianist (born in Pozsony, Hungary.27/7/1877) died in New York.

7/2/1960, Sunday (+5,388) Israeli archaeologists announced the discovery of scrolls from the Dead Sea area.

6/2/1960, Saturday (+5,387) (Race Equality) A bomb attack was made on the house of Carlotta Watts, one of five Black children who had been admitted to the Little Rock High School 5 months earlier.

5/2/1960, Friday (+5,386)

3/2/1960, Wednesday (+5,384) UK Prime Minister Harold Macmillan upset his hosts in South Africa when he called for racial equality; Macmillan was concerned that the newly independent ex-colonies of Africa and Asia would align themselves with the USSR, not the former European colonisers.

2/2/1960, Tuesday (+5,383) (Race Equality) Black protestors began a lunch-counter sit-in campaign in the USA. They were protesting against racial segregation at the local Woolworth’s canteen, also at other ‘Whites-only’ restaurants in Sumter, South Carolina. Black citizens also organised ‘Freedom rides’ on buses that were segregated for Whites only.

2/1960, First Playboy Club opened. France exploded atom bomb in Sahara. UK PM Harold Macmillan called for race equality in South Africa, was spurned.


1/1960, USA-Japan anti Communist alliance. Communist Vietcong formed in Vietnam. Anti-French riots in Algeria.

29/1/1960, Friday (+5,379) Race riots in Johannesburg.

24/1/1960, Sunday (+5,374) Revolt against French rule broke out in Algeria, after General de Gaulle dismissed the pieds noir hero General Massau. French settlers felt they lacked protection against FLN terrorists and those who had supported De Gaulle 2 years earlier now demonstrated against him. E Gaulle ordered in paratroops who debated whether to open fire on fellow Frenchmen. The order was never given and by February 1960 the revolt had collapsed and many insurgents arrested.

23/1/1960, Saturday (+5,373) The US Navy submarine Trieste, manned by Dr Piccard and Lieutenant Walsh, reached a record depth of 35,820 feet in the Challenger Deep section of the Marianas Trench, Pacific Ocean.

21/1/1960, Thursday (+5,371) (Vietnam) What became known as the Vietcong was formed in Vietnam. Communists in South Vietnam, opposed to the USA-backed rule of Ngo Dinh Diem, at first received little support from the Communist North Vietnamese government, but this changed after January 1960. The Southern Communists, in co-operation with the North, met outside Saigon to found the National Liberation Front (NLF).  They called for the removal of Diem as a ‘colonial Western puppet’ and the removal of all foreign bases from South Vietnam. Diem and the USA labelled the NLF disparagingly as the ‘Vietcong’, a derogatory abbreviation of the Vietnamese words for Viuetnamese Communists. The name stuck, but lost its negative connotations.

19/1/1960, Tuesday (+5,369) (Japan, USA) President Eisenhower of the USA signed a Treaty of Mutual Co-operation and Security with Japan in Washington. This confirmed Japan as an integral member of the anti-Communist alliance.

9/1/1960, Saturday (+5,359) Work began on the Aswan High Dam, Egypt.

5/1/1960, Tuesday (+5,355) The Swansea to Mumbles railway line was replaced by a bus service, and the tracks lifted.

4/1/1960, Monday (+5,354) The US-Cuba relationship broke up, but the US retained Guantanamo Bay.

1/1/1960, Friday (+5,351) The independent Republic of the Cameroons was proclaimed.

1/1960, USA-Japan anti Communist alliance. Communist Vietcong formed in Vietnam. Anti-French riots in Algeria.


12/1959, Makarios elected Cypriot President.  USSR aid to Syria.

30/12/1959, Wednesday (+5,349) Tracey Ullman, actress, was born.

29/12/1959, Tuesday (+5,348) Durgapur steel works, West Bengal, officially opened.

28/12/1959, Monday (+5,347)

26/12/1959, Saturday (+5,345) (1) The first charity walk was organised, in aid of the World Refugee Fund, by Kenneth Johnson of Letchworth, Hertfordshire. The intended route covered 50 miles from Letchworth to Yatesbury in Wiltshire. 20 men and one woman paid 1 shilling to enter; ten gave up after 13 miles, 3 after 22 miles, 1 after 25 miles, 4 at Princes Risborough, and 3, including Johnson, carried on for 50 miles, giving up at Ewelme, Oxfordshire. About £20 was raised.

(2) Bulgarian National Television was founded. Colour broadcasting began in 1970.

25/12/1959, Friday (+5,346) (Syria, Turkey) The USSR agreed to supply financial and technical aid to Syria.

23/12/1959, Wednesday (+5,342) The Earl of Halifax, politician and Viceroy of India, 1926-31, died.

20/12/1959, Sunday (+5,339) The first atomic ice-breaker, The Lenin, started operating.

15/12/1959, Tuesday (+5,334) (Aviation) JW Rogers, USA, set a new aviation speed record of 1,525.95 mph.

14/12/1959, Monday (+5,333) Makarios was elected President of Cyprus. he assumed office on 16/8/1960. His Turkish rival Fazil Kucuk became Vice-President.

13/12/1959, Sunday (+5,332) The UN decided not to intervene in Algeria.

10/12/1959, Thursday (+5,329) (1) In Britain, the Crowther report recommended raising the school leaving age to 16.

(2) US troops began to leave Iceland.

1/12/1959, Tuesday (+5,320) Twelve countries (Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Chile, France, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, UK, USA, USSR) signed an agreement to preserve Antarctica for peaceful scientific research.

12/1959, Makarios elected Cypriot President.  USSR aid to Syria.


11/1959, M.1.London to Birmingham opened. Dounreay reactor opened in Scotland.

28/11/1959, Saturday (+5,317) The dockyard at Hong Kong closed, after 80 years of operation.

25/11/1959, Wednesday (+5,314) Charles Kennedy, British politician, was born.

19/11/1959, Thursday (+5,308) The Archbishop of Canterbury said adultery should be a criminal offence.

18/11/1959, Wednesday (+5,307) Ulrich Noethen, German actor, was born.

17/11/1959, Tuesday (+5,306) Two Scottish airports, Prestwick and Renfrew, became the first to offer duty-free goods in Britain.

16/11/1959, Monday (+5,305) The Rodgers and Hammerstein musical The Sound of Music opened on Broadway, New York.

15/11/1959, Sunday (+5,304) (Atomic) Charles Thomson Rees Wilson, Scottish physicist who invented the cloud chamber for detecting the tracks of subatomic particles, died in Carlops, Peebleshire.

14/11/1959, Saturday (+5,303) (Atomic) The Dounreay fast breeder reactor in Scotland began operating.

13/11/1959, Friday (+5,302) In South Africa, the South African Progressive party was founded at a conference in Johannesburg.

12/11/1959, Thursday (+5,301) Vincent Irizarry, US actor, was born.

11/11/1959, Wednesday (+5,300) The film Ben Hur premiered in London.

10/11/1959, Tuesday (+5,299) The UN condemned apartheid and racism.

5/11/1959, Thursday (+5,294)

2/11/1959, Monday (+5,291) (1) London to Birmingham motorway opened. The first stretch of the M1 opened on 1/11/1959. Sightseers flocked to look at it.

(2) Rioting in the Belgian Congo left 70 dead.

1/11/1959, Sunday (+5,290) Jet air services began between London, UK, and Sydney, Australia, run by BOAC.

11/1959, M.1.London to Birmingham opened. Dounreay reactor opened in Scotland.


10/1959, Harold Macmillan, Conservative PM, won UK election. South Africa rejected television. UK postcodes first used.

31/10/1959, Saturday (+5,289) The first television broadcasts in Africa began, from Ibadan, Nigeria.

30/10/1959, Friday (+5,288) Michael Fiedler, German footballer, was born.

29/10/1959, Thursday (+8,940) King Sisavang Vong of Laos died, aged 74, after a reign over 50 years. He was succeeded by his son, King Savang.

28/10/1959, Wednesday (+5,286) South Africa rejected the introduction of television.

27/10/1959, Tuesday (+5,285) The Queen’s Speech promised independence for Cyprus and Nigeria.

18/10/1959, Sunday (+5,276) As Chinas stepped up the persecution of the 20 million Christians within its borders, 68-year-old Bishop James E Walsh was arrested. He was imprisoned until 1971.

16/10/1959, Friday (+5,274) George Marshall, US soldier and politician who formulated the Marshall Plan to aid post-War Europe, died in Washington DC.

9/10/1959, Friday (+5,267) Henry Tizard, English inventor, died aged 74.

8/10/1959, Thursday (+5,266) UK general election. The Conservatives under Harold MacMillan and his slogan ‘You’ve never had it so good’ won, and Mrs Thatcher was elected an MP. The Conservatives won 365 seats, labour won 258, and the Liberals got 6. Macmillan remained Prime Minister.

7/10/1959, Wednesday (+5,265) The first photographs of the far side of the Moon were transmitted by the Russian spacecraft Lunik III.

3/10/1959, Saturday (+5,261) The postcode system for sorting mail was first used in Britain, in Norwich.

10/1959, Harold Macmillan, Conservative PM, won UK election. South Africa rejected television. UK postcodes first used.


9/1959, Croydon Airport closed. UN refused to admit Communist China.

30/9/1959, Wednesday (+5,258) (Aviation) London’s Croydon Airport closed. The last flight was to Rotterdam.

26/9/1959, Saturday (+5,254) Typhoon Vera hit Japan, killing 4,464 on Honshu.

25/9/1959, Friday (+5,253) Solomon Bandaranaike, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka from 1956, was shot by a Buddhist monk in Colombo; he died the following day.

22/9/1959, Tuesday (+5,250) The United Nations refused to admit Communist China.

20/9/1959, Sunday (+5,248) The last fly-past of Hurricane aircraft over London to commemorate the Battle of Britain.

16/9/1959, Wednesday (+5,244) Charles de Gaulle, French President, offered Algeria a referendum on independence.

14/9/1959, Monday (+5,242) The first man-made object landed on the Moon; the Russian space probe Lunik II, near the Mare Serenitatis.


8/1959, Arkansas race segregation riots. Mini car launched. Epstein, sculptor, died. Hawaii became 50th US State.

24/8/1959, Monday (+5,221) House of Fraser beat Debenhams in a takeover battle for Harrods.

21/8/1959, Friday (+5,218) Hawaii became the 50th State of the USA.

19/8/1959, Wednesday (+5,216) Sir Jacob Epstein, sculptor, died in London, England (born 10/11/1880 in New York City).

18/8/1959, Tuesday (+5,215) The British Motor Corporation’s Mini car was launched. At £500 including Purchase Tax, it was short on luxuries, but affordable with a nippy engine and its small size made it was convenient for town driving.

17/8/1959, Monday (+5,214) (Earthquake, USA) Hebgen Lake earthquake, Yellowstone National Park, USA, 7.2 magnitude; 28 died in landslides.

16/8/1959, Sunday (+5,213)

13/8/1959, Thursday (+5,210) Work began on the Verrazano Narrows cable suspension bridge in New York City.

12/8/1959, Wednesday (+5,209) Parents and children rioted in Arkansas over racial segregation in schools.

4/8/1959, Tuesday (+5,201) Barclays Bank became the first to use computers for its branch accounts.


7/1959, Hovercraft first crossed the Channel. Nasser, Egypt, to ‘exterminate’ Israel. UK postcodes first used.

28/7/1959, Tuesday (+5,194) Postcodes were introduced to Britain by the Postmaster General, along with new postal sorting machines. They were used first in the Norwich area on 3/10/1959.

26/7/1959, Sunday (+5,192) President Nasser of Egypt announced in a speech in Alexandria “I announce from here, on behalf of the United Arab Republic people, that this time we will exterminate Israel”.

25/7/1959, Saturday (+5,191) The hovercraft, SRN 1, made its first crossing of the English Channel from Dover to Calais in a little over 2 hours.

23/7/1959, Thursday (+5,189) Donald Campbell broke the world water speed record on Ullswater when he  reached 202.32mph in Bluebird.

21/7/1959, Tuesday (+5,187) The first nuclear merchant ship, USS Savannah, was launched at Camden, New Jersey, in the USA.  She was launched by Mrs Mamie Eisenhower.

5/7/1959, Sunday (+5,171) Ghana began a boycott of all South African products.

1/7/1959, Wednesday (+5,167) A teacher got £900 a year, a nurse was paid £540. At Oxendales in Manchester, a Mastra V.35 camera cost £13 14s 11d (£13.75) and a one-bar electric fire cost £2 6s 3d (£2.31). The average UK house price was £2,500.


6/1959, Black rioting in Durban, South Africa. First hovercraft trialled. De Valera PM of Ireland. Cuba nationalised US sugar mills.

26/6/1959, Friday (+5,162) Queen Elizabeth II and US President Eisenhower opened the St Lawrence Seaway, linking the Great Lakes to the Atlantic.

25/6/1959, Thursday (+5,161) Eamon de Valera took up office as President of Ireland.

21/6/1959, Sunday (+5,157)

18/6/1959, Thursday (+5,154) There was serious rioting in Durban when police moved in on Black settlements. The police were destroying illicit stills discovered during an operation to resettle some 100,000 Black people. Rioting continued throughout June, and 4 Black people died. Property damage was estimated at £250,000. More deaths occurred in September 1959 when police opened fire on rioters.

17/6/1959, Wednesday (+5,153) De Valera became Prime Minister of Eire.

14/6/1959, Sunday (+5,150) The US agreed to provide Greece with nuclear information and supply ballistic missiles.

11/6/1959, Thursday (+5,147) The first experimental hovercraft capable of carrying a man was launched at Cowes, Isle of Wight.

9/6/1959, Tuesday (+5,145) The USA launches its first ballistic missile submarine, the George Washington.

4/6/1959, Thursday (+5,140) Cuba nationalised USA sugar mils in its territory.

3/6/1959, Wednesday (+5,139) Singapore achieved self-government. Lee Kuan Yew was Prime Minister.

2/6/1959, Tuesday (+5,138)

6/1959, Black rioting in Durban, South Africa. First hovercraft trialled. De Valera PM of Ireland. Cuba nationalised US sugar mills.


5/1959, Iceland-UK clash over fishing. Cancer fears over cigarettes. De Gaulle formed French Government.

30/5/1959, Saturday (+5,135) (1) Auckland’s Harbour Bridge on New Zealand’s North Island officially opened.

(2) The first hovercraft flight took place at Cowes, Isle of Wight. The Suffolk boat builder, Christopher Cockerell, had announced its invention in 1958.

29/5/1959, Friday (+5,134) Charles de Gaulle formed a ‘Government of National Safety’ in France.

28/5/1959, Thursday (+5,133) The Mermaid Theatre opened in the City of London.

27/5/1959, Wednesday (+5,132) Sales of filter tipped cigarettes helped tobacco manufacturers maintain sales after recent reports linking smoking to cancer.

26/5/1959, Tuesday (+5,131)

25/5/1959, Monday (+5,130) The US Supreme Court ruled that Alabama’s ban on boxing matches between Black and White contestants was unconstitutional.

24/5/1959, Sunday (+5,129) (1) John Foster Dulles (born 1888), US Secretary of State until his resignation due to ill-health in April 1959, died from cancer. He was chief spokesperson for US President Woodrow Wilson at the Paris Peace Conference, 1919. He believed in a robust ‘brinkmanship’ approach to Soviet threats, reinforcing NATO and creating SEATO. He did not get on with UK prime Minister Anthony Eden, disagreeing in particular with the UK’s policy over Suez. He opposed the Anglo-French invasion of Egypt in late 1956, and sometimes failed to anticipate Arab nationalist reactions to external intervention.

(2) Empire day was renamed Commonwealth Day.

17/5/1959, Sunday (+5,122)

7/5/1959, Thursday (+5,112) An agreement was reached enabling Britain to buy components of atomic weapons, as opposed to actual nuclear warheads, from the USA.

6/5/1959, Wednesday (+5,111) The UK protested to Iceland about violence in the Cod War. Icelandic gunboats had fired live ammunition at British trawlers. Iceland said they were just warning shots, but one only missed a trawler by three metres.

2/5/1959, Saturday (+5,107) The first nuclear power station in Scotland, at Chapelcross, began operations.

5/1959, Iceland-UK clash over fishing. Cancer fears over cigarettes. De Gaulle formed French Government.


4/1959, London’s first heliport opened.

23/4/1959, Thursday (+5,098) Britain’s first heliport opened, on the River Thames in London.

19/4/1959, Sunday (+5,094) The Dalai Lama arrived in India.


3/1959, Makarios returned to Cyprus. Tibet anger over Chinese immigration; Dalai Lama escaped to India. UK major roadbuilding programme.

31/3/1959, Tuesday (+5,075) The Dalai Lama escaped to India. Tibet lost its independence to China in 1951.

29/3/1959, Sunday (+5,073) Easter Sunday. Barthelemy Boganda, Prime Minister of the Central African Republic, was born.

28/3/1959, Saturday (+5,072) (1) China dissolved the government of Tibet.

(2) Two monkeys returned alive to earth after being sent into space by the USA.

27/3/1959, Friday (+5,071) Soviet fighter aircraft buzzed US aircraft in the air corridor connecting West Berlin to West Germany.

26/3/1959, Thursday (+5,070) Jersey Zoological Park opened.

17/3/1959, Tuesday (+5,061) The UK Government announced plans for a major expansion of the road network.

16/3/1959, Monday (+5,060) The USSR lent money to Iraq.

13/3/1959, Friday (+5,057)

10/3/1959, Tuesday (+5,054) Thousands of Tibetans protested in the streets of Lhasa over the influx of Chinese settlers, which had begun when Chinese troops entered eastern Tibet in October 1950.

9/3/1959, Monday (+5,053) A doll named Barbara Millicent Roberts, or Barbie for short, was exhibited at the New York Toy Fair, wearing a black and white swimming costume.

3/3/1959, Tuesday (+5,047) In Nyasaland (Malawi) Hastings Banda and other leaders of the Nyasaland African Congress were arrested.

1/3/1959, Sunday (+5,045) Archbishop Makarios returned to Cyprus, after almost three years exile.

3/1959, Makarios returned to Cyprus. Tibet anger over Chinese immigration; Dalai Lama escaped to India. UK major roadbuilding programme.


2/1959, Swiss rejected votes for women. Microchip patented. Fidel Castro became Cuban leader.

26/2/1959, Thursday (+5,042) State of Emergency in Southern Rhodesia.

23/2/1959, Monday (+5,039) The European Court of Human Rights sat for the first time.

22/2/1959, Sunday (+5,038) As part of the Cyprus Agreement, Britain released all EOKA prisoners in Cyprus.

21/2/1959, Saturday (+5,037) Harold MacMillan, British Prime Minister, and Selwyn Lloyd, Foreign Secretary, visited the USSR.

20/2/1959, Friday (+5,036) Disturbances in the British territory of Nyasaland (now Malawi).

19/2/1959, Thursday (+5,035) (Greece-Turkey) Greece and Turkey agreed on plans for the independence of Cyprus.

18/2/1959, Wednesday (+5,034) (Arts) Erich Zeisl, US composer, born 18/5/1905, died.

17/2/1959, Tuesday (+5,033) (Space exploration) The Earth satellite Vanguard 2 was launched by the USA, to take photos of the Earth.

16/2/1959, Monday (+5,032) (Cuba) Fidel Castro became Prime Minister of Cuba after overthrowing the regime of Fulgencio Batista. At age 32, he was the youngest ever leader of Cuba. See 1/1/1959.

15/2/1959, Sunday (+5,031) Archbishop Makarios arrived in London for talks on Cyprus with Macmillan.

13/2/1959, Friday (+5,029) The first Barbie Doll went on sale, priced at US$3 (£2), in a zebra-stripe swimsuit. She was created by Ruth Handler, whose daughter was called Barbara.

9/2/1959, Monday (+5,025) The UK supplied arms to Indonesia.

7/2/1959, Saturday (+5,023) (South Africa) Daniel Francois Malan, Prime Minister of South Africa 1948-54 and creator of apartheid, died at Stellenbosch, Cape Province, South Africa, aged 84.

6/2/1959, Friday (+5,022) (Computing) The microchip was patented for Jack Kilby for Texas Instruments in Dallas, Texas.

3/2/1959, Tuesday (+5,019) Buddy Holly, US musician, was killed in an air crash in Iowa.

1/2/1959, Sunday (+5,017) Swiss referendum turned down votes for women.  But see 7/2/1971.

2/1959, Swiss rejected votes for women. Microchip patented. Fidel Castro became Cuban leader.


1/1959, Two thirds of UK homes had a TV. Batista of Cuba overthrown. Alaska became 49th US State.

30/1/1959, Friday (+5,015) Britain’s first drive-in bank opened.

22/1/1959, Thursday (+5,007) Two thirds of British home snow had a television. The Rank Organisation, on 17/9/1959, said cinema attendance in Britain fell from 1.396 million in 1950 to 1.101 million in 1956 and was still in decline.

21/1/1959, Wednesday (+5,006) Cecil B de Mille, Hollywood film producer, died.

17/1/1959, Saturday (+5,002) Senegal and French Sudan united to form Mali.

12/1/1959, Monday (+4,997) A US$ 400 million contract for the Mercury US space programme was awarded to the McDonnell Aircraft Corporation of St Louis.

8/1/1959, Thursday (+4,993) (1) Fidel Castro entered Havana in triumph, see 2/12/1956.

(2) Charles de Gaulle was installed as first President of the 5th Republic.  See 21/12/1958.

7/1/1959, Wednesday (+4,992) (Food) Jean-Michel Lorain, French chef, was born.

6/1/1959, Tuesday (+4,991) More rioting in the Belgian Congo; the root cause was poverty and unemployment. Belgium agreed to make reforms.

5/1/1959, Monday (+4,990) The Chepstow to Monmouth and Ross on Wye railway closed.

4/1/1959, Sunday (+4,989) Rioting in the Belgian Congo.

3/1/1959, Saturday (+4,988) Alaska became the 49th state of the USA. It is the USA’s largest state.

2/1/1959, Friday (+4,987) The Russians launched Lunik 1, the first rocket to pass near the Moon, from Tyuratam.

1/1/1959, Thursday (+4,986) The Right-wing President Fulgencio Batista of Cuba was overthrown and fled to the Dominican Republic. Fidel Castro, aged 32, proclaimed a new Government. See 16/2/1959. Castro executed his opponents and legalised the Communist Party.

1/1959, Two thirds of UK homes had a TV. Batista of Cuba overthrown. Alaska became 49th US State.


12/1958, Thalidomide fears began. De Gaulle elected French President. First UK motorway opened at Preston. First UK STD exchange.

31/12/1958, Wednesday (+4,985) (1) President Sukharno proclaimed a state of Emergency in Sumatra.

(2) There were fears that a drug prescribed for morning sickness, thalidomide, might be causing birth defects.

30/12/1958, Tuesday (+4,984)

21/12/1958, Sunday (+4,975) De Gaulle was elected the first President of the Fifth Republic, with 78% of the vote.  He now had the strong Presidency he had desired in 1945 (see 13/11/1945).  See 29/5/1958.

15/12/1958, Monday (+4,969) The last steam locomotive was made at Crewe. This was the 7,331st locomotive made at Crewe.

14/12/1958, Sunday (+4,968) The Antarctic ‘pole of inaccessibility’, the point furthest from all coasts, was reached by a Soviet tractor traverse.

10/12/1958, Wednesday (+4,964) The first domestic jet airliner service within the US began, operated by National Airlines between New York and Miami.

8/12/1958, Monday (+4,962) The last of the four nuclear reactors at Calder Hall began operating.

5/12/1958, Friday (+4,959) (1) The first STD telephone exchange in the UK opened.  It was in Bristol, and was inaugurated by Queen Elizabeth II calling up the Lord Provost of Edinburgh.

(2) The UK’s first stretch of motorway, 6 ½ miles of the M6 at Preston, was opened by Prime Minister Harold Macmillan. It took two years to build at a cost of £3,750,000.

3/12/1958, Wednesday (+4,957) Indonesia nationalised Dutch businesses.

12/1958, Thalidomide fears began. De Gaulle elected French President. First UK motorway opened at Preston. First UK STD exchange.


11/1958, British troops left Jordan. Forth Suspension bridge, Scotland, begun.

21/11/1958, Friday (+4,945) Work began on the Forth Road Suspension Bridge, then the longest suspension bridge in the UK. It was completed in 1964.

4/11/1958, Tuesday (+4,928) In the USA, Democrats won the mid-term elections, gaining 62 seats in the Senate (Republicans 34 seats). The Democrats gained 281 seats in the  House of Representatives (Republicans 153 seats).

2/11/1958, Sunday (+4,926) Last British troops left Jordan.


10/1958, First pacemaker implanted.

31/10/1958, Friday (+4,924) Ake Senning, Swedish doctor, in Stockholm implanted the first internal heart pacemaker.

28/10/1958, Tuesday (+4,921) (1) Cardinal Roncalli, aged 81, was elected Pope John XXIII, succeeding Pope Pius XII. Pope Pius XII died on 9/10/1958.

(2) In Britain, the State Opening of Parliament was televised for the first time.

27/10/1958, Monday (+4,920) The first edition of the BBC programme Blue Peter was broadcast.

26/10/1958, Sunday (+4,919) Two new air services began this day. The New York to London route was operated by BOAC, and the New York to Paris route was operated by Pan Am.

23/10/1958, Thursday (+4,916)

21/10/1958, Tuesday (+4,914) Women took seats in the UK House of Lords for the first time.

20/10.1958, Monday (+4,913) Military coup in Thailand,

19/10/1958, Sunday (+4,912) The 1958 World Fair closed in Brussels. It attracted 40 million visitors, the main centrepiece being The Atomuim, which remains today.

18/10/1958, Saturday (+4,911) Two Americans, Shirley Sanders and Robert Kardell, married in a church in Hollywood, the first couple to be matched by computer.

14/10/1958, Tuesday (+4,907) Madagascar became independent.

11/10/1958, Saturday (+4,904) The BBC sports programme Grandstand was first transmitted.  It was the idea of Paul Fox.

9/10/1958, Thursday (+4,902) Pope Pius XII (Eugenio Pacelli) died at Castel Gandolfo, the Papal summer residence, 27 kilometres south-east of Rome, aged 82. In Belfast, Protestants objected when the City Hall flag was flown at half-mast.

7/10/1958, Tuesday (+4,900) Following unrest in Pakistan, President Iskander Mirza proclaimed martial law and suspended the Constitution.

5/10/1958, Sunday (+4,898) In France the Fifth Republic was formed.

4/10/1958, Saturday (+4,897) BOAC, now British Airways, began the first transatlantic jet air service, with two de Havilland Comet IV jets. Flight time was a record 6 hours 11 minutes.

3/10/1958, Friday (+4,896) The wife of a British soldier was shot in the back whilst shopping in Famagusta, Cyprus. After this British soldiers rounded up 650 Greek Cypriots and beat up 250 of them.

2/10/1958, Thursday (+4,895) (1) Marie Stopes, promoter of birth control, died (born 1880).

(2) Guinea was proclaimed an independent republic.

10/1958, First pacemaker implanted.


9/1958, Iceland-UK fishing dispute. Franco-German discussions. Castro began fighting Batista in Cuba. Race riots in Notting Hill, London. First Chinese TV station. Apartheid strengthened in South Africa.

17/9/1958, Wednesday (+4,880) Fidel Castro began an offensive against the Batista regime in Cuba.

14/9/1958, Sunday (+4,877) Konrad Adenauer, Chancellor of West Germany, visited French Prime Minister De Gaulle at his home in Colombey les deux Eglises to discuss Franco-German relations.

12/9/1958, Friday (+4,875) The Governor of Arkansas closed all High Schools in Little Rock.

8/9/1958, Monday (+4,871) Race riots in Notting Hill, London. White youths attacked five Black people, leading to 150 arrests and gang fights involving up to 2,000 people.

7/9/1958, Sunday (+4,870) Nikita Kruschev stated that any attack by the US on China would be regarded as an attack on the USSR.

5/9/1958, Friday (+4,868)

3/9/1958, Wednesday (+4,866) Hendrik Verwoerd became Prime Minister of South Africa.

2/9/1958, Tuesday (+4,865) (1) South African President Hendrik Verwoerd promised to strengthen Apartheid.

(2) The first television station in China opened in Beijing.

1/9/1958, Monday (+4,864) British trawlers defied the Icelandic 12-mile fishing limit, which came into force this day.


8/1958, Midland Bank began issuing personal loans. First car speed radar traps in UK. Egypt approved Aswan Dam project.

31/8/1958, Sunday (+4,863) Fighting between Black and White youths in Notting Hill, London.

30/8/1958, Saturday (+4,862) The police clashed with 500 ‘Teddy Boys’ in Nottingham.

29/8/1958, Friday (+4,861) Michael Jackson, pop star, was born in Gary, Indiana.

28/8/1958, Thursday (+4,860) Ernest O Lawrence, US nuclear scientist, died aged 57.

27/8/1958, Wednesday (+4,859)

26/8/1958, Tuesday (+4,858) Ralph Vaughan Williams, English composer, died aged 85.

25/8/1958, Monday (+4,857) Midland Bank was the first bank to announce it would offer personal loans, from September 1958.

24/8/1958, Sunday (+4,856) J G Strijdom, Prime Minister of South Africa, died 65. He was succeeded by Hendrik Verwoerd on 3/9/1958.

23/8/1958, Saturday (+4,855) The Egyptian Government approved the Aswan Dam project.

19/8/1958, Tuesday (+4,851) The first motorist in Britain was caught speeding by a radar speed trap. They were fined £3.

17/8/1958, Sunday (+4,849) Britain announced plans to resume Atom Bomb testing on Christmas Island.

16/8/1958, Saturday (+4,848) Madonna, US singer, was born.

12/8/1958, Tuesday (+4,844)

10/8/1958, Sunday (+4,842) (Russia) Khrushchev opened what was then the largest hydroelectric project in the world, on the Volga near Kuibyshev. The dam contributed to a fall in the level of the Caspian Sea.

9/8/1958, Saturday (+4,841) The USA reaffirmed its refusal to recognise Red China.

8/8/1958, Friday (-4,840) Columbia Records signed up a 17-year-old singer called Cliff Richard.

7/8/1958, Thursday (+4,839) The Litter Act came into force in Britain.

5/8/1958, Tuesday (+4,837) The nuclear-powered submarine Nautilus completed its voyage beneath the ice of the North Pole.  William Anderson commanded it. Launched in January 1954, she left Pearl Harbour on 23/7/1958 and sailed through the Bering Strait, passing the North Pole on 3/8/1958, emerging near Greenland on 5/8/1958. The Nautilus was decommissioned in 1980 to become a floating museum.

1/8/1958, Friday (+4,833) King Hussein dissolved the federation of Jordan with Iraq.

8/1958, Midland Bank began issuing personal loans. First car speed radar traps in UK. Egypt approved Aswan Dam project.


7/1958, London’s first parking meters. Last debutantes presented to Queen Elizabeth.

31/7/1958, Thursday (+4,832) Kham tribesmen in eastern Tibet rebelled against Chinese rule.

30/7/1958, Wednesday (+4,831) A left-wing coup overthrew the Iraqi monarchy. The West feared a Middle Eastern domino effect.

29/7/1958, Tuesday (+4,830) NASA, the National Aeronautical and Space Administration, was founded.

26/7/1958, Saturday (+4,827) Queen Elizabeth II created her eldest son Prince Charles as Prince of Wales.

24/7/1958, Thursday (-4,825) The first life peerages were awarded in Britain, under the Life Peerages Act.

17/7/1958, Thursday (+4,826) British troops landed at Mafrak, 50 miles north of the Jordanian capital Amman, in order to protect the monarchy in that country. King Abdullah of Jordan was, like the assassinated King Faisal of Iraq (14/7/1958) a Hashemite, and there was resistance also in Jordan, like Iraq, from Bedouins who saw the Hashemite rulers as colonial impositions. Further British troops arrived by sea at Aqaba. China and the USSR protested. King Abdullah attempted to appease his Arab neighbours by removing the British troops. Nevertheless King Abdullah’s plane was attacked by Syrian fighters whilst he was on route to a holiday in Europe, and he was ordered to land at Damascus. King Abdullah ignored this order and returned to Amman. Bad relations between Syria and Jordan continued.

15/7/1958, Tuesday (+4,824) US troops landed near Beirut to protect US lives and property during rioting.

14/7/1958, Monday (+4,815) King Faisal of Iraq was assassinated in a military coup led by General Kasseem, and a Republic was declared.

10/7/1958, Thursday (+4,811) London’s first parking meters were installed, in Mayfair. 625 were put in. The charge was 6d for 1 hour, 1 s for 2 hours, an excess payment of 10 s for the next 2 hours or part thereof, and a £2 penalty for exceeding 4 hours.

3/7/1958, Thursday (+4,804) The last debutantes were presented to the Queen. British high society mourned the passing of this tradition; the Queen had decided this had no place in modern society.  Presentation at Court had been reserved for the daughters of the aristocracy and those prominent in society.  Those who made their curtsies to the Queen were sponsored and chaperoned by those who had been presented themselves earlier.  But some socially ambitious parents had fallen on hard times to finance the fees and expenses of qualified chaperones.  Prince Philip was reported to have suggested the move.

1/7/1958, Tuesday (+4,802) A farm worker earned £7 10s (£7.50) per week and a train driver got £11 2s 6d (£11.13) a week. The Rolls Royce ‘Phantom V cost £8,905, and a Mars Bar cost 6d (2.5p).

7/1958, London’s first parking meters. Last debutantes presented to Queen Elizabeth.


6/1958, Imre Nagy executed after Hungarian Revolution failed. Iceland extended fishing limits. Gatwick Airport opened. Yellow lines on UK roads.

24/6/1958, Tuesday (+4,795)

17/6/1958, Tuesday (+4,788) Ex-Hungarian Prime Minister Imre Nagy was executed after a secret trial, two years after the suppressed Hungarian Revolution.

16/6/1958, Monday (+4,787) Yellow lines indicating no waiting were painted along British roads.

14/6/1958, Saturday (+4,785) France announced it was withdrawing its troops from Morocco.

9/6/1958. Monday (+4,780) Gatwick Airport was opened by Queen Elizabeth II. (see 6/6/1936). The new facilities cost £7 million.