The decade of the 1960’s started off relatively quiet but would become known as a decade of change and turbulent times. The decade was marked by the space race, space walks and moon landings; it was a time of civil rights demonstrations, church bombings and race riots. There was a British invasion and the Beatles shot to fame. It was the time of the Viet Nam war; there were peace demonstrations, draft protests, sit ins, college riots and Weathermen bombings. There were happenings, hippies, long hair, bell bottoms and of course, the Woodstock concert. It was a decade of too many assassinations; by the end of the 10 year period America would be changed forever.
People survived the decade without cable TV, satellite communications, the Internet, GPS devices, PC’s, laptops, CD’s, cell phones, hand held media devices, VCR’s, DVD’s, digital cameras and host of other gadgets.
Here is a brief look at some people and events from the year 1960.
Ike was America’s lame duck president.
Congressman Sam Rayburn (Democrat) from Texas was the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
The annual unemployment rate for 1960 was 5.5%.
The 1960 census showed there were 178,464,236 people living in the United States.
On May 1, 1960 the Soviet Union shot down an American U2 spy plane capturing pilot Gary Francis Powers.
On May 6, 1960 President Eisenhower signed the Civil Rights Act of 1960.
On June 30, 1960 the Belgian Congo became an independent state named the Republic of the Congo.
On October 12, 1960 Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev pounded the podium with his shoe will making a speech at the United Nations in New York.
On November 8, 1960 Senator John F. Kennedy (D-MA) narrowly defeated Vice-President Richard M. Nixon in the US Presidential election.
On February 18, 1960 the Winter Olympics opened in Squaw Valley, California.
The Pittsburg Pirates were the 1960 World Series Champions defeating the New York Yankees in 4 out of 7 games.
On June 20, 1960 Floyd Patterson regained the Heavy Weight Boxing Championship title defeating Swede, Ingemar Johansson. Patterson scored a 5th round knock out to take back the title.
On August 25, 1960 the Summer Olympic Games opened in Rome.
On September 5, 1960 American pugilist Cassius Clay won the Olympic Gold Medal in the light heavyweight boxing competition.
Arts and Entertainment
The 32nd Academy Awards were hosted by Bob Hope on April 4, 1960. The Best Picture Award for 1959 went to, “Ben-Hur”.
In 1960 the prime time Emmy for comedy went to, “The Art Carney Special”. In the drama category the prime time Emmy went to, “Playhouse 90” (fourth time in a row). The Emmy for best variety show was awarded to “The Gary Moore Show”.
The Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1960 went to “Advise and Consent”, by Allen Drury.
In 1960 famed Associated Content from Yahoo author Joan Haines was born.
On February 13, 1960 France tested their first atomic bomb in the Sahara Desert.
On April 21, 1960 Brazil moved the capital of the country from Rio De Janeiro to Brasilia.
On May 11, 1960 Israeli agents abducted Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann in Buenos Aires.
On May 15, 1960 the Soviet Union launched the Sputnik 4 satellite.
On December 19, 1960 the aircraft carrier USS Constellation caught fire in the Brooklyn Navy yard. The carrier was still under construction; 50 workers were killed and many more injured.
US Census Bureau
Bureau of Labor Statistics