Timeline of the 1960s

A summary of the main events of Intertel’s lifetime

Senator John F Kennedy announces he will run for President of the USA

2 January 1960

USA break off diplomatic relations with Cuba

3 January 1960

Construction of the Aswan Dam in Egypt begins

9 January 1960

British PM Harold Macmillan makes his first ‘Wind of Change’ speech

10 January 1960

British PM Harold Macmillan makes his first ‘Wind of Change’ speech

The Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security is signed by Japan and the USA

19 January 1960

Rebellion against French presence in Algeria begins

24 January 1960

Sit-ins begin in segregated lunch counters in the USA

1 February 1960

Harold Macmillan makes his ‘Wind of Change’ speech again, this time to the South African parliament

3 February 1960

France tests an atomic bomb in the Algerian desert

13 February 1960

The photo of Che Guevara, seen since on millions of t-shirts, is taken by Alberto Korda

5 March 1960

3,500 American soldiers to be sent to Vietnam

6 March 1960

The Australian Broadcasting Commission’s television station in Adelaide begins broadcasting

11 March 1960

A ceasefire is declared in Algeria

18 March 1960

Nikita Khrushchev and Charles de Gaulle meet for talks

23 March 1960

Census day in the US. Population is 179,323,175

1 April 1960

April Revolution against President Syngman Rhee of South Korea begins

19 April 1960

Brasilia replaces Rio de Janeiro as capital of Brazil

21 April 1960

The USSR shoots down a US spy plane and captures Gary Powers, its pilot

1 May 1960

The European Free Trade Association is founded

3 May 1960

The Civil Rights Act 1960 becomes law in the US

6 May 1960

The Australian Broadcasting Commission’s television station in Perth begins broadcasting

7 May 1960

The Kenya African National Union is founded

14 May 1960

Military coup in Turkey

27 May 1960

Television begins in New Zealand

1 June 1960

The Australian Broadcasting Commission’s television station in Hobart begins broadcasting

4 June 1960

Ghana becomes a republic

1 July 1960

Cuba nationalises all foreign-owned assets

6 August 1960

Cyprus becomes independent from the UK

16 August 1960

President Adolfo López Mateos of Mexico nationalises the electricity system

21 September 1960

Kennedy and Nixon hold a televised debate

26 September 1960

Jânio Quadros elected president of Brazil

3 October 1960

Whites in South Africa vote to become a republic

5 October 1960

Nigeria joins the United Nations

7 October 1960

‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover’ is not obscene: UK court

2 November 1960

John F Kennedy elected president of the USA

8 November 1960

Church of England archbishop Geoffrey Fisher holds talks with Pope John XXIII

2 December 1960

Charles de Gaulle visits Algeria; riots break out, killing 127

9 December 1960

Military coup in Ethiopia

13 December 1960

Counter-coup in Ethiopia restores Haile Selassie to the throne

17 December 1960

John F Kennedy becomes 35th president of the USA

20 January 1961

The US Peace Corps are established

1 March 1961

JFK proposes an anti-Communist ‘Alliance for Progress’ with Latin America

13 March 1961

“Two Faces of Japan” (Rediffusion) airs on NET

2 April 1961

Failed coup in Portugal

13 April 1961

Cuban exiles supported by the US invade the Bay of Pigs

17 April 1961

The Bay of Pigs invasion is defeated

20 April 1961

‘Freedom Riders’ begin to challenge illegal segregation on US interstate buses

4 May 1961

The FCC chairman, Newton Minow, calls US commercial TV ‘a vast wasteland’

9 May 1961

Military coup in South Korea

16 May 1961

Race riots in Alabama

21 May 1961

JFK promises to put a man on the moon, and bring him home safely, before the decade is out

25 May 1961

South Africa becomes a republic and leaves the Commonwealth

31 May 1961

Huge earthquake in Ethiopia

1 June 1961

“The Quiet War” (Rediffusion) airs on NET

4 June 1961

JFK and Khrushchev hold talks in Vienna

4 June 1961

“The Heartbeat of France” (Rediffusion) airs on NET

16 July 1961

The UK begins talks on membership of the EEC; it will be turned down

10 August 1961

East Germany begins building a wall between East and West Berlin

13 August 1961

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s affiliate TV station in Pembroke begins broadcasting

19 August 1961

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s affiliate TV station in Prince George begins broadcasting

20 August 1961

João Goulart becomes president of Brazil

25 August 1961

Eritrea begins armed struggle for independence from Ethiopia

1 September 1961

UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld killed in a plane crash

18 September 1961

UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld killed in a plane crash

“Dawn Over the Mountains” (NHK) airs on NET

25 September 1961

Military coup in Syria, ending the union with Egypt

28 September 1961

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s television station in Edmonton begins broadcasting

1 October 1961

Riots in Paris over a curfew on Algerians in the city

17 October 1961

Mauritania and Mongolia join the United Nations

27 October 1961

US and USSR tanks face each other across Checkpoint Charlie in divided Berlin

27 October 1961

18,000 US ‘military advisors’ sent to South Vietnam

18 November 1961

“Postscript to Empire” airs on NET

20 November 1961

U Thant becomes Secretary-General of the United Nations

30 November 1961

Telefís Éireann comes on air

31 December 1961

Pope John XXIII excommunicates Cuba’s Fidel Castro

3 January 1962

“Don’t Label Me” (CBC) airs on NET

6 January 1962

The USSR and Cuba sign a trade pact

9 January 1962

Albania switches allegiance from the USSR to the People’s Republic of China

13 January 1962

Cuba is suspended from the Organization of American States

22 January 1962

The USA begins an embargo on Cuba

3 February 1962

Military coup in Burma

2 March 1962

“Forty Million Shoes” (CBC) airs on NET

19 March 1962

Commonwealth Immigration Bill drastically reduces non-white immigration into the UK

18 April 1962

Educational Television Facilities Act begins federal funding for NET

1 May 1962

“Living with a Giant” (Rediffusion) airs on NET

14 May 1962

JFK makes a televised announcement in support of Civil Rights for African-Americans

11 June 1962

Algeria becomes independent of France

5 July 1962

The satellite ‘Telstar’ is launched

10 July 1962

Nelson Mandela arrested in South Africa

5 August 1962

Nelson Mandela arrested in South Africa

“America Abroad” (Rediffusion) airs on NET

6 August 1962

Singapore referendum supports joining nearby states to form Malaysia

1 September 1962

The USSR and Cuba sign an arms deal

2 September 1962

James Meredith becomes the first African-American to register at the University of Mississippi. He needs a guard of Federal Marshals.

1 October 1962

“The Unfinished Revolution” airs on NET

1 October 1962

Uganda becomes independent from the UK

9 October 1962

Cuba: US spy planes discover USSR nuclear missiles on the island

14 October 1962

A border war begins between India and China

20 October 1962

Cuba: JFK makes a televised address revealing the presence of Soviet missiles on the island

22 October 1962

Cuba: the US Navy confronts a USSR cargo vessel sailing to Cuba. The Soviet ship changes course

24 October 1962

Cuba: the USSR announces it will remove the nuclear missiles from the island

28 October 1962

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s affiliate TV station in Terrace begins broadcasting

1 November 1962

The United Nations condemns South Africa’s apartheid policy

6 November 1962

Cuba: the USA ends the blockade of the island

20 November 1962

Ceasefire in the the China-India border war

21 November 1962

Senator Mike Mansfield returns to the US after visiting Vietnam. He is pessimistic about US involvement

2 December 1962

Tanganyika becomes independent from the UK

9 December 1962

The Australian Broadcasting Commission’s television station in Canberra begins broadcasting

18 December 1962

North Vietnam wins substantial victory in the Battle of Ap Bac

2 January 1963

Racist George Wallace becomes governor of Alabama

14 January 1963

“Tahiti–Pacific Cocktail” (ABC) airs on NET

21 January 1963

Harvey Ganntt joins Clemson University in South Carolina, the last college to officially desegregate

28 January 1963

Trading with and travelling to Cuba made illegal for US citizens

8 February 1963

Women win the right to vote in Iran

27 February 1963

Sit-ins begin in Birmingham, AL, against segregation

3 April 1963

“The Turkish Question” airs on NET

8 April 1963

Birmingham, AL, police respond to segregation protests with police dogs and fire hoses

2 May 1963

The Catholic government of South Vietnam begins persecuting Buddhists

8 May 1963

Kuwait joins the United Nations

14 May 1963

Government forces spray Buddhist protestors with chloroacetone, to the shock of the US government

3 June 1963

Pope John XXIII dies

3 June 1963

The Equal Pay Act becomes law in the United States

10 June 1963

The “red telephone” (actually a teleprinter) direct line from the White House to the Kremlin is authorised

20 June 1963

Giovanni Battista Montini becomes Pope Paul VI

21 June 1963

“Ich bin ein Berliner”

26 June 1963

“Ich bin ein Berliner”

“Twelve Flags South” (ABC) airs on NET

22 July 1963

Huge earthquake in Yugoslavia

26 July 1963

US/USSR/UK Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty is signed

5 August 1963

James Meredith graduates from the University of Mississippi

18 August 1963

Buddhist sites across South Vietnam smashed by government forces, again to US government shock

21 August 1963

“I Have a Dream”

28 August 1963

“I Have a Dream”

The Federation of Malaysia comes into being

16 September 1963

Nigeria becomes a republic

2 October 1963

Military coup in Honduras

3 October 1963

Harold Macmillan resigns as prime minister of the UK

18 October 1963

Sir Alec Douglas-Home becomes prime minister of the UK

19 October 1963

US-backed coup in South Vietnam; president Ngô Đình Diệm murdered

2 November 1963

Coup leader Dương Văn Minh becomes head of state in South Vietnam

6 November 1963

Malcolm X makes his “Message to the Grass Roots” speech in Detroit, MI

10 November 1963

Malcolm X makes his “Message to the Grass Roots” speech in Detroit, MI

President John F Kennedy murdered in Dallas, TX. Lyndon B Johnson succeeds him

22 November 1963

Alleged assassin of JFK, Lee Harvey Oswald, murdered on live television by Jack Ruby

24 November 1963

Zanzibar becomes independent from the UK

10 December 1963

Kenya becomes independent from the UK

12 December 1963

“Ten Million Strong” (ABC) airs on NET

16 December 1963

Civil war begins between Greek and Turkish Cypriots

21 December 1963

New US president Lyndon B Johnson announces his “War on Poverty”

8 January 1964

Nationalist coup in Zanzibar

12 January 1964

Amendment XXIV to the US constitution bans states from using poll taxes to discriminate against African-American voters

23 January 1964

Military coup in South Vietnam. Nguyễn Khánh becomes the new leader

30 January 1964

African-American and Puerto Rican children begin a schools boycott in New York over de facto segregation

3 February 1964

Cuba cuts supplies of clean water to the US naval base on the island at Guantanamo Bay

6 February 1964

Dương Văn Minh returns as leader of South Vietnam

8 February 1964

Military coup in Brazil

31 March 1964

Associated-Rediffusion becomes Rediffusion Television (trading as Rediffusion, London)

6 April 1964

Associated-Rediffusion becomes Rediffusion Television (trading as Rediffusion, London)

“A King’s Revolution” (Rediffusion) airs on NET

6 April 1964

Failed military coup in Laos

19 April 1964

Tanzania is formed from the merger of Tanganyika and Zanzibar

26 April 1964

Viet Cong sink the USNS Card in Saigon harbour

2 May 1964

“Algeria: What Price Freedom?” (CBC) airs on NET

4 May 1964

12 men publicly burn their draft cards in New York, the first known such protest against the Vietnam War

12 May 1964

Jawaharlal Nehru, prime minister of India since independence, dies aged 74

27 May 1964

Nelson Mandela sentenced to life imprisonment in South Africa

12 June 1964

“Room Down Under” airs on NET

15 June 1964

Civil Rights Act officially abolishes segregation in the US

2 July 1964

“The New Italian” airs on NET

6 July 1964

Nguyễn Khánh returns as leader of South Vietnam

16 July 1964

Race riots in Harlem, New York

18 July 1964

Race riots in Singapore

21 July 1964

Total number of US military forces in South Vietnam is 21,000

27 July 1964

Congress expands the Vietnam War into North Vietnam

7 August 1964

“Africa: The Hidden Frontiers” (Rediffusion) airs on NET

24 August 1964

Malta becomes independent from the UK

21 September 1964

War of independence against Portugal begins in Mozambique

25 September 1964

Race riots in Philadelphia, PA

28 September 1964

Bullet trains begin operation in Japan, from Tokyo to Osaka

1 October 1964

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s television station in Newfoundland begins broadcasting

1 October 1964

Opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics

10 October 1964

Martin Luther King awarded the Nobel Peace Prize

14 October 1964

Labour Party wins UK general election; Harold Wilson becomes prime minister

15 October 1964

Labour Party wins UK general election; Harold Wilson becomes prime minister

Party coup in the Kremlin deposes Nikita Khrushchev; Leonid Brezhnev becomes leader

15 October 1964

Party coup in the Kremlin deposes Nikita Khrushchev; Leonid Brezhnev becomes leader

People’s Republic of China detonates a nuclear bomb, becoming the 5th acknowledged nuclear power in the world

16 October 1964

“Crisis in Canada” airs on NET

18 October 1964

Zambia becomes independent from the UK

24 October 1964

Phan Khắc Sửu becomes head of state in South Vietnam

26 October 1964

Lyndon B Johnson heavily defeats Barry Goldwater in the US presidential election

3 November 1964

Lyndon B Johnson heavily defeats Barry Goldwater in the US presidential election

Military coup in Bolivia

3 November 1964

“Stronger Since the War” (ABC) airs on NET

18 November 1964

“America: The Dollar Poor” (Rediffusion) airs on NET

23 December 1964

LBJ announces his “Great Society” plans

4 January 1965

“America: the Edge of Abundance” (Rediffusion) airs on NET

20 January 1965

“Three Men” (CBC) airs on NET

17 February 1965

The Gambia becomes independent from the UK

18 February 1965

Malcolm X murdered in New York

21 February 1965

US begins carpet bombing of North Vietnam

2 March 1965

“Early Bird” satellite is launched

6 April 1965

Mass anti-Vietnam War demonstration in Washington DC

17 April 1965

“Every 10th Man: A Study of Homosexuality” (CBC) airs on NET

21 April 1965

“South America: Votes or Violence” (Rediffusion) airs on NET

21 April 1965

Civil war begins in the Dominican Republic

24 April 1965

US deploys troops to the Dominican Republic

28 April 1965

“To Live Till You Die” airs on NET

19 May 1965

Australian troops begin arriving in South Vietnam

2 June 1965

“This Question of Color” airs on NET

16 June 1965

Military coup in Algeria; Ahmed Ben Bella deposed

19 June 1965

“Children of Revolution” (Rediffusion) airs on NET

21 July 1965

The Maldives become independent from the UK

26 July 1965

Medicare and Medicaid created in the US

30 July 1965

Voting Rights Act prohibits prevention of African-Americans from voting

6 August 1965

Singapore expelled from the Federation of Malaysia

9 August 1965

“The Cathode Colours Them Human” (CBC) airs on NET

18 August 1965

Burning of US draft cards now carries a $1,000 penalty and up to 5 years in prison

31 August 1965

India and Pakistan go to war

2 September 1965

Fidel Castro allows Cubans to emigrate to the US

28 September 1965

First draft card burner arrested in New York

15 October 1965

“The House on the Beach” (Rediffusion) airs on NET

20 October 1965

Unilateral Declaration of Independence from the UK by white minority rulers of Rhodesia

11 November 1965

“The Union Man” (ABC) airs on NET

17 November 1965

Military coup in Congo-Kinshasa

24 November 1965

The Pentagon requests troop numbers in South Vietnam to be increased to 400,000

27 November 1965

Charles de Gaulle re-elected president of France

5 December 1965

The Race Relations Act becomes law in Great Britain

8 December 1965

“Men for Others” (CBC) airs on NET

15 December 1965

UK and US oil embargo against Rhodesia begins

17 December 1965

Military coup in the Central African Republic

1 January 1966

Military coup in Upper Volta

4 January 1966

Tashkent Declaration ends India/Pakistan war

10 January 1966

Lal Bahadur Shastri, prime minister of India, dies suddenly

11 January 1966

Robert C Weaver becomes Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, the first African-American in the US cabinet

13 January 1966

Military coup in Nigeria

15 January 1966

Second military coup in Nigeria

17 January 1966

There are now 190,000 US troops in South Vietnam

18 January 1966

Food riots in Hungary

20 January 1966

Civil war in Chad

22 January 1966

Indira Gandhi becomes prime minister of India

24 January 1966

Indira Gandhi becomes prime minister of India

Harold Holt becomes prime minister of Australia, replacing Robert Menzies

26 January 1966

Harold Holt becomes prime minister of Australia, replacing Robert Menzies

All UK trade with Rhodesia ends

31 January 1966

Military coup in Syria

24 February 1966

Military coup in Ghana

24 February 1966

UK government announces plans to decimalise their currency in 1971

1 March 1966

A Buddhist uprising begins in South Vietnam

10 March 1966

“Men in Black” (Rediffusion) airs on NET

23 March 1966

General election in the UK; Harold Wilson’s Labour party returned with a majority increased from 2 to 96

31 March 1966

“The Difference Between Us” airs on NET

20 April 1966

First ever Vatican-USSR meeting as Andrei Gromyko visits Pope Paul VI

27 April 1966

There are now 250,000 US troops in South Vietnam

29 April 1966

The Cultural Revolution begins in the People’s Republic of China

16 May 1966

“Homosexuality in Men and Women” (Rediffusion) airs on NET

19 May 1966

Guyana becomes independent from the UK

26 May 1966

Charles de Gaulle begins a state visit to the USSR

20 June 1966

“Someone Must Govern Us” airs on NET

22 June 1966

Military coup in Argentina

28 June 1966

US bombing is extended to Hanoi, capital of North Vietnam

29 June 1966

Violent anti-Vietnam War demonstration in London

3 July 1966

Malawi becomes a republic

6 July 1966

Race riots in Cleveland, OH

18 July 1966

“The Culture Explosion” (CBC) airs on NET

20 July 1966

“One in Every Hundred” (Rediffusion) airs on NET

20 July 1966

Military coup in Nigeria

29 July 1966

With few colonies left, the UK Colonial Office is folded into the Commonwealth Relations Office

1 August 1966

Work begins on two skyscrapers in New York, to be known as the World Trade Center

5 August 1966

Indonesia and Malaysia announce a formal end to their long-running war

11 August 1966

Huge earthquake in eastern Turkey

19 August 1966

War between South African troops and South West African rebels breaks out

26 August 1966

Prime minister Hendrik Verwoerd of South Africa is murdered

6 September 1966

Botswana becomes independent from the UK

30 September 1966

Lesotho becomes independent from the UK

4 October 1966

Edward Brooke becomes the first African-American to be elected to the US Senate since the civil war

8 November 1966

Barbados becomes independent from the UK

30 November 1966

“The Lion and the Eagle” (Rediffusion) airs on NET

5 December 1966

“After the Miracle” (ABC) airs on NET

20 February 1967

Civil war begins in Cambodia

11 March 1967

“Sense of Captivity” (CBC) airs on NET

13 March 1967

Military coup in Sierra Leone

21 March 1967

“The Mounting Millions” airs on NET

10 April 1967

Massive anti-war demonstrations across the US

15 April 1967

Military coup in Greece

21 April 1967

Military coup in Greece

“Germany and Its Shadow” airs on NET

24 April 1967

Boxer Mohammad Ali is drafted. He refuses to go to Vietnam

28 April 1967

The UK and Ireland apply to join the European Economic Community

11 May 1967

Biafra, a province of Nigeria, declares independence

30 May 1967

Stockport Air Crash kills 72 Arrowsmith Holidays customers and British Midland crew

4 June 1967

The Six-Day War begins in the middle east

5 June 1967

The United Nations mediates a ceasefire to end the Six-Day War in the middle east

10 June 1967

The USSR breaks off diplomatic relations with Israel

10 June 1967

The Supreme Court makes interracial marriage legal throughout the USA

12 June 1967

The Independent Television Authority announces that Rediffusion must merge operations with ABC to keep the London weekdays ITV contract

12 June 1967

“The Banquet of Life” airs on CBC Television

18 June 1967

“Our World”, the largest-ever international television exchange, is broadcast

25 June 1967

The various organisations that make up the EEC merge to form the European Communities (EC)

1 July 1967

Colour television is introduced in the UK on BBC-2

1 July 1967

Colour television is introduced in the UK on BBC-2

Race riots in Newark, NJ

12 July 1967

Race riots in Detroit

23 July 1967

“Thailand” (NDR) airs on NET

24 July 1967

The Sexual Offences Act 1967 partially decriminalises male homosexuality in England and Wales

27 July 1967

Race riots in Milwaukee, WI

30 July 1967

Race riots in Washington DC

1 August 1967

Thurgood Marshall becomes a US Supreme Court justice, the first African-American to hold such a position

30 August 1967

Nguyễn Văn Thiệu becomes president of South Vietnam

3 September 1967

“Spring in Ethiopia” (Rediffusion) airs on NET

4 September 1967

“Farewell to Arabia” is pre-empted on NET and does not air

18 September 1967

Che Guevara is killed in Bolivia

9 October 1967

Massive anti-war demonstrations in the US

21 October 1967

Charles de Gaulle vetoes UK application to join the European Communities

27 October 1967

“Report from Cuba” (KQED) airs on NET

30 October 1967

“Russia: The Unfinished Revolution” (WGBH) airs on NET

6 November 1967

The Public Broadcasting Act is signed by LBJ, creating the Corporation for Public Broadcasting

7 November 1967

LBJ states that the US is winning the Vietnam War: “We are inflicting greater losses than we’re taking… We are making progress.”

17 November 1967

The US population is estimated to have reached 200,000,000

20 November 1967

US Secretary of Defence Robert McNamara resigns

29 November 1967

The first heart transplant is carried out; patient Louis Washkansky lives for 18 days

3 December 1967

“The Way it is” airs on NET

4 December 1967

Nicolae Ceaușescu becomes leader of Romania

9 December 1967

Constantine II of Greece flees the country

13 December 1967

Harold Holt, prime minister of Australia, disappears whilst swimming in the sea. His body is never found

17 December 1967

“April is the End of Summer” (ABC) airs on NET

18 December 1967

Alexander Dubček becomes leader of Czechoslovakia

5 January 1968

Alexander Dubček becomes leader of Czechoslovakia

John Gorton becomes prime minister of Australia

10 January 1968

Huge earthquake in Sicily

15 January 1968

“Inside the Foreign Office” (Rediffusion) airs on NET

29 January 1968

The Tet Offensive, an invasion of South Vietnam by the North, begins

30 January 1968

‘Mister Rogers’ Neighbourhood’ debuts on NET

19 February 1968

‘Mister Rogers’ Neighbourhood’ debuts on NET

Student riots in Poland

8 March 1968

Mauritius becomes independent of the UK

12 March 1968

My Lai massacre: mass killing of Vietnamese civilians by US troops

16 March 1968

“The Other Side of Paradise” (ABC) airs on NET

25 March 1968

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting is incorporated; it will be the major funder of NET

27 March 1968

President Lyndon B Johnson will not be a candidate in November

31 March 1968

Dr Martin Luther King Jr murdered in Memphis, TN

4 April 1968

Race riots across the US

4 April 1968

Pierre Trudeau becomes prime minister of Canada

20 April 1968

Student riots in Paris

13 May 1968

Robert F Kennedy murdered in Los Angeles, CA

5 June 1968

“The Volunteers” (Rediffusion) airs on NET

24 June 1968

Rediffusion Television’s last day as an ITV contractor

29 July 1968

“Audubon” (CBC) airs on NET

23 December 1968

“American Samoa – Paradise Lost?” airs on NET

3 February 1969

“The Sixth Paul” (Rediffusion) airs on NET

10 February 1969

“A Matter of Time” (CBC, 1967) airs on NET

4 August 1969

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