The '60s at 50


Tuesday, November 30, 1965: 'Unsafe at Any Speed' published

From the dust jacket:

     You have been told many times that thousands of people are killed each year by automobiles and millions more injured by them. But when you read this book you will know for the first time that the main causes of these deaths and injuries are automobiles that are unnecessarily dangerous.
     UNSAFE AT ANY SPEED is the full story of how and why cars kill, and why the automobile manufacturers have failed to make cars safe, even though the knowledge and technical skill to do so have been in their hands for years. The documented history of the industry's intransigence is here, along with the detailed background of the campaign to convince us all that only a changed driver can prevent the ravages of the traffic toll.
     It is the thesis of this book that it is easier to redesign automobiles to make them safe than to revise the nature of the people who drive them. In proof of this point, Ralph Nader has done the first thoroughgoing study not only of the major producers of automobiles, but also of the men and women who make up the safety propaganda establishment, the staffs of the peculiarly constituted standards groups (and the inadequate standards they set), and the scientists who what the automotive engineers and stylists could do if their full capabilities were used.

* "Writer Declares Auto Safety Takes Back Seat" (New York Times, December 1965): @
* Preface of book (Automobile in American Life and Society): @
* Excerpt: "The Sporty Corvair" (American Journal of Public Health): @
* "The Corvair In Action!" (Promotional film, 1960): @
* Excerpt: "The Stylists" ("The Industrial Design Reader," 2003): @
* "Ralph Nader and the Consumer Movement" (Digital History): @
* "Safety Crusaders" ("America on the Move," National Museum of American History): @
* "G.M. & Ralph Nader" (The Pop History Dig): @
* "Head-Cracking Assault on the Problem of Car Safety" (Life magazine, May 8, 1966): @
* "The Anxieties of Affluence: Critiques of American Consumer Culture, 1939-1979" (Daniel Horowitz, 2005): @ 
* "Car Safety Wars: One Hundred Years of Technology, Politics, and Death" (Michael R. Lemov, 2015): @
* "Unsafe at Any Speed -- Fiftieth Anniversary" (The Nader Page): @
* Center for Auto Safety: @
* American Museum of Tort Law: @
* "The Ralph Nader Reader" (2000): @


Saturday, November 20, 1965: Mount Hermon vs. Deerfield

Photo by Robert Van Vleet. Caption, as published in the (Pocatello) Idaho State Journal:

HEATED COMPETITION -- Spectators attending the football game at Hermon, Mass., between Mount Hermon School and Deerfield Academy teams were at a loss as to what action to watch -- firemen struggling to contain the fire burning through the roof of the Mount Hermon science building or the football team trying to stop Deerfield. Deerfield and the fire won and Mount Hermon lost the building -- the second major fire on the campus in recent weeks -- and a two-year football winning streak.

* "Fire Raged, They Played On, and the Photo Still Beguiles" (New York Times, May 5, 2015): @
* "Despite burning building, the game continued: CMU prof recalls scene of famous photo 50 years later" (Mt. Pleasant Morning Sun, June 21, 2015): @
* "Playing With Fire" (NFL films, 2015): @ 


November 1965: 'Flower power'

Written by poet-activist Allen Ginsberg and published in the Berkeley Barb on November 19, 1965. Ginsberg was talking about tactics that might be used during an antiwar demonstration scheduled for November 20 in Berkeley and Oakland, California. Ginsberg did not use the term "flower power" in this piece; the counterculture catchphrase, along with "flower child," would come into wider use in 1967.

* "10,000 Marchers Protest Policy" (Associated Press, November 20): @
* Summary from "1965: The Most Revolutionary Year in Music" (Andrew Grant Jackson, 2015): @
* Berkeley Barb archives: @ 
* Allen Ginsberg Project: @


Wednesday, November 17, 1965: 'Stagflation'

A term coined in the late 1960s to describe the state of the economy at that time, that is, rising prices (inflation) accompanied by insufficient economic expansion (stagnation) and consequently increasing unemployment.
     -- From "Dictionary of Business and Economics" (Christine Ammer, Dean S. Ammer, 1986): @

The term was believed to have been coined by MP Iain Macleod during a debate on November 17, 1965 in Britain's House of Commons:
     We now have the biggest gap between productivity and earnings of any time in modern economic history. ... We now have the worst of both worlds -- not just inflation on the one side or stagnation on the other, but both of them together. We have a sort of "stagflation" situation and history in modern terms is indeed being made.
     -- From Hansard: @

* Entry from Investopedia: @
* "Theories of Stagflation" (Axel Leijonhufvud, UCLA, 1980): @
* "The Rise and Decline of Nations: Economic Growth, Stagflation, and Social Rigidities" (Mancur Olson, 1982): @
* "Monetary Policy and Stagflation in the UK" (Edward Nelson and Kalin Niklov, Bank of England, 2002): @ 


Sunday, November 14, 1965: Battle of Ia Drang Valley

The Battle of Ia Drang Valley was the first major battle between regular U.S. and People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN) troops. The two-part battle occurred at landing zones X-Ray and Albany in Ia Drang Valley, Central Highlands of South Vietnam. Despite heavy casualties on both sides, both claimed the battle was a victory. The battle was considered essential as it set the blueprint for tactics for both sides. American troops continued to reply on air mobility and artillery fire, while the Viet Cong learned that by quickly engaging their combat forces close to the enemy, they could neutralize American advantages.
     -- Summary from
     -- Photo by Peter Arnett for The Associated Press. Caption: U.S. cavalrymen carry a fellow soldier to an evacuation zone after he was seriously wounded in a North Vietnamese ambush in South Vietnam's Ia Drang Valley, mid-November 1965. A battalion of the U.S. 1st Air Cavalry Division was ambushed while marching from the jungle clearing where the Ia Drang Valley fighting started Nov. 14, 1965. 

Postscript: November 30
* Memorandum from Secretary of Defense McNamara to President Johnson: @
* "The Battle of Ia Drang Valley" is broadcast on CBS. Summary: @. Video: @

* "Heavy Fighting Near Cambodia" (Peter Arnett, AP, November 15, 1965): @
* Summary from "Atlas of American Military History" (2003): @
* Summary from "The Vietnam War" (Andrew Weist, 2009): @
* Summary from "Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War" (2011): @
* Summary from @
* "After Action Report, Ia Drang Valley Operation, 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry, 14-16 November 1965" (Donovan Research Library, Fort Benning, Georgia): @
* "The Battle at LZ Albany" (Infantry Online, U.S. Army): @
* "Rescue at LZ Albany" (, 2006): @
* "Fight at Ia Drang" (U.S. Army Center of Military History): @
* "Ia Drang -- The Battle That Convinced Ho Chi Minh He Could Win" (Joseph Galloway,, 2010): @
* "Death in the Ia Drang Valley" (Jack P. Smith, Saturday Evening Post, January 28, 1967): @ 
* "Battle at Ia Drang" (video, National Geographic): @
* "Vietnam at 50: 1965" (Stars and Stripes): @
* (companion site to the 1992 book "We Were Soldiers Once ... and Young"): @
* Other resources (Lehigh University Digital Library): @ 


Undated: 'Nanny state'

The government regarded as overprotective or as interfering unduly with personal choice.
     -- Definition from "Concise Oxford English Dictionary: Luxury Edition" (2011): @

* Several sources say the term originated in 1965; however, journalist and commentator Dorothy Thompson used the term in a June 1952 newspaper column (link: @):

     But the empires have also filled the role of headmaster, or Nanny-governess. (It is an amusing notion that comes to me that, with the retreat of empire, Britons are turning Britain itself into a Nanny-state, perhaps out of long habit in persuading or coercing natives to do what is good for them.)

* The cartoon above was drawn by Leslie Illingworth for the September 21, 1949, edition of Punch magazine. (Archive of Illingworth's cartoons for Punch: @)

* In 1965, British politician Iain Macleod (also credited with coining the word "stagflation") used the term in his columns for The Spectator magazine.
     This new victory for the Nanny State represents the wrong approach. ("Bud Ban," February 12, 1965: @)
     In my occasional appearances as a poor man's Peter Simple I fire salvos in the direction of what I call the Nanny State. ("70 m.p.h.", December 3, 1965: @)

* A similar term, "grandmotherly government," dates to the 1870s. 

* "Public Health vs. The Nanny State?" (The Independent Institute, 2000): @
* "The Conservative Nanny State: How the Wealthy Use the Government to Stay Rich and Get Richer" (Dean Baker, 2006): @
* Entry from "Creative Compounding in English: The Semantics of Metaphorical and Metonymical Noun-Noun Combinations" (Reka Benczes, 2006): @
* "Against Autonomy: Justifying Coercive Paternalism" (Sarah Conly, 2012): @
* "Debating the Nanny State" (The Hill, 2015): @
* "Who's Afraid of the Nanny State? Introduction to a Symposium" (Sydney Law School Research Paper, 2015): @
* "Government Paternalism: Nanny State or Helpful Friend?" (Julian Le Grand and Bill New, 2015): @ 


Tuesday-Wednesday, November 9-10, 1965: Great Northeast Blackout

The nation's worst power failure plunged an estimated 30 million persons into darkness tonight in the huge metropolitan areas of the Northeast and President Johnson ordered an immediate investigation.
     -- Associated Press, November 9: @

Lights flashed on in New York city early Wednesday and transportation systems slowly began to move, signaling the end of a massive and frightening electric power blackout that brought hardship, cold and fear to 30 million persons. But New York city remained crippled because hundreds of thousands of workers could not get to their jobs. The city was still partly paralyzed. Little was normal.
     -- Milwaukee Journal, November 10: @

The enormous scope of the nation's most stunning technological breakdown became starkly clear today, but the cause of the 10-hour blackout remained itself a dark mystery.
     -- Associated Press, November 10: @

     -- Photo by Bob Gomel; published in Life magazine, November 19, 1965: @

* Blackout History Project (George Mason University): @
* NBC television coverage: @
* WABC radio broadcasts, November 9-10: @
* New York Times front page, November 10: @
* "Week of Wonders -- November 14, 1965" ( @ 
* "Report to the President by the Federal Power Commission on the Power Failure in the Northeastern United States and the Province of Ontario on November 9-10, 1965" (December 6, 1965): @
* "From Here to Maternity" (, 2007): @
* "When the Lights Went Out: A History of Blackouts in America" (David E. Nye, 2010): @
* Photos by Rene Burri: @


Saturday, November 6, 1965: 'Restoring the Quality of Our Environment'

Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring" brought public attention to the pesticide menace contaminating the environment, but this only dealt with one portion of the problems Americans started referring to as "pollution." Evidence of this growing national concern was the appointment of an Environmental Pollution Panel by the President's Science Advisory Committee. In 1965 the panel produced a report that chronicled the concerns that dominated environmental policy and legislation for the reminder of the 20th century. ... The panel explained that air, water and land pollution threatens the "health, longevity, livelihood, recreation, cleanliness and happiness of citizens" who cannot escape their influence. ... Consistent with Carson's explanation of the dangers of DDT, the panel made an ecological argument for the necessity of federal environmental management.
     -- "Social History of the United States" (2009): @

In a comprehensive report titled "Restoring the Quality of Our Environment," the PSAC Environmental Pollution Panel (President's Science Advisory Committee, 1965) considered pollution in its broadest contest and made more than a hundred specific recommendations. The philosophy of the panel was based on the assumption that pollution is a by-product of a technological society and that pollution problems will grow with increases in population and improved living standards unless drastic counter-measures to reduce it are taken. The panel offered some sweeping recommendations that placed problems of pollution in a new perspective.
     -- "Land Use and Wildlife Resources" (National Academy of Sciences, 1970): @

A tax on polluters was suggested today by a Presidential advisory group as one way to fight environmental pollution. Environment pollution is a new term that includes such matters as excessive noise and junkyards as well as dirty water and fouled air. The "polluters' tax" was one of more than 100 recommendations made by 14 physicians, scientists and engineers of the President's Science Advisory Committee. The panel advanced in its report a philosophy of "individual rights to quality of living." "There should be no right to pollute," it said. 
     -- New York Times: @

* Full text of report (Hathi Trust Digital Library): @
* President Johnson statement (American Presidency Project): @
* Climate Central: @
* "Top 5 Climate Change Websites" (Carbon Literacy Project): @
* "The Discovery of Global Warming" (American Institute of Physics): @
* "Advancing the Science of Climate Change" (National Research Council, 2010): @
* "The Oxford Handbook of Climate Change and Society" (2011): @


Tuesday, November 2, 1965: Norman Morrison

     A pacifist sacrificed himself in flames in front of the Pentagon. His widow said he gave his life "protesting our government's deep military involvement" in Viet Nam.
     Norman R. Morrison, a Baltimore Quaker, clutched his year-old daughter Emily in one arm late Tuesday as he began to burn. Screams of "drop the baby" from onlookers may have saved her life, for she fell uninjured to the ground.
     Morrison, 31, drenched himself in kerosene and kindled himself as a human torch in full view of hundreds of Defense Department workers and military men.
     -- Story from Associated Press: @
     -- Photo from Associated Press. Original caption: Mrs. Anne Morrison carries her 18-month-old daughter, Emily, from Fort Myer, Va., U.S. Army Dispensary, November 2, 1965, returning to her home in Baltimore, Md. Earlier in the evening her husband, Norman Morrison, a Quaker, with the baby Emily in his arms doused his clothes with a flammable fluid and set himself afire outside the Pentagon. Morrison dropped the baby before he was engulfed and she was not injured, but Morrison was dead on arrival at the dispensary. Mrs. Morrison issued a statement that her husband was protesting U.S. military involvement in Vietnam.

* Summary from "Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War" (2011): @
* "The Fiery Pangs of Conscience" (Loudon Wainwright, Life magazine, November 12, 1965; page 34): @
* "The Sacrifice of Norman Morrison" (Alice Steinbach, Baltimore Sun, July 1995): @
* "In Retrospect: The Tragedy and Lessons of Vietnam" (Robert S. McNamara, 1995): @
* "The Living and the Dead: Robert McNamara and Five Lives of a Lost War" (Paul Hendrickson, 1996): @
* Excerpt from "Patriots: The Vietnam War Remembered from All Sides" (Christian G. Appy, 2003): @ 
* "Held in the Light: Norman Morrison's Sacrifice for Peace and His Family's Journey of Healing" (Anne Morrison Welsh, 2008): @ 


Thursday, October 28, 1965: Nostra Aetate

Pope Paul and the Vatican ecumenical council Thursday decreed massive changes for the entire structure of Roman Catholicism. They proclaimed a new and unbiased friendship for Jews and other non-Christians. ... The new decrees oblige Catholics to do unprejudiced thinking and dealing with Jews and others outside Christianity after 2,000 years of turbulent history. ... The documents: Insist that the entire Jewish people cannot be charged with Christ's Crucifixion or depicted as accursed by God; pay respect to Islam and other non-Christian religions and reject any kind of discrimination.
     -- Associated Press: @

* "Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions: Nostra Aetate" (Pope Paul VI,  1965): @
* Summary from Berkley Center for Religion, Peace & World Affairs: @
* "Nostra Aetate: What Is It?" (Anti-Defamation League): @
* "Guidelines and Suggestions for Implementing the Conciliar Declaration 'Nostra Aetate' " Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews, 1974): @
* "Notes on the correct way to present the Jews and Judaism in preaching and catechesis in the Roman Catholic Church" (Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews): @
* " 'Nostra Aetate,' Forty Years After Vatican II; Present & Future Perspectives" (Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews, 2005): @
* Related resources (Council of Centers on Jewish-Christian Relations): @
* Related resources (, Xavier University): @
* "No Religion Is An Island: The Nostra Aetate Dialogues" (1998): @
* "Nostra Aetate: Origins, Promulgation, Impact on Jewish-Catholic Relations" (2007): @ 
* "Stepping Stones to Other Religions: A Christian Theology of Inter-religious Dialogue" (Dermot A. Lane, 2011): @
* "Interreligious Friendship After Nostra Aetate" (2015): @


Friday, October 15, 1965: David Miller burns his draft card

Tuesday, August 31
President Johnson signed into law Tuesday legislation to prohibit the destruction of draft cards. The measure is an outgrowth of student protests against U.S. policy in Viet Nam. The bill, introduced by Rep. L. Mendel Rivers, D-S.C., was rushed through Congress following reports persons had burned or ripped up their draft cards in protest against the Viet Nam War. The new law makes any person found guilty of destroying the wallet-size Selective Service cards subject to a $10,000 fine or a five-year prison term. Alteration and forgery of drafts cards already is a federal offense, punishable by fines of up to $10,000 and jail terms of up to five years.
     -- United Press International; full text of law (Government Printing Office): @

Friday, October 15
At an anti-war rally in New York, David Miller burns his draft card. Miller would be arrested three days later, becoming the first person charged under the new law. (After a lengthy court battle, he would serve 22 months in federal prison starting in June 1968.)
     -- Photo from Corbis Images

* "Memoirs of a Draft-Card Burner" (Miller, 2002): @
* "Draft Card Burner Arrested by F.B.I." (October 18, 1965): @
* "A Serious To-Do About a Silly Law" (Loudon Wainwright, Life magazine, March 4, 1966): @
* "Card Burner Raps Penalty" (Associated Press, March 15, 1966): @
* United States v. Miller (decided October 13, 1966; from Casetext): @
* "Appeal Rejected by High Court" (UPI, February 13, 1967): @
* "Draft Card Burner Nears 'High Noon' " (Washington Post, July 1967): @
* United States v. O'Brien (decided May 27, 1968; from FindLaw): @
* "Reflections of a Draft Card Burner" (Newspaper Enterprise Association, March 1972): @
* "Confronting the War Machine: Draft Resistance During the Vietnam War" (Michael S. Foley, 2003): @
* Entry from "Encyclopedia of American Civil Liberties" (2006): @
* "America's Army: Making the All-Volunteer Force" (Beth L. Bailey, 2009): @ 
* Entry from "Civil Disobedience: An Encyclopedic History of Dissidence in the United States" (2015): @


Thursday, October 14, 1965: Programma 101

Desktop computer or programmable calculator? To this day it's a point of contention about Olivetti's Programma 101 (list price $3,200), introduced at the New York World's Fair. The New York Times split the difference in its reporting the next day: 

Two new entries have gone to the post in the race for the desk-calculator dollar. ... The new Olivetti machine, the Programma 101, is closer in nature to a computer than the new Victor device. Like a computer it can automatically run programs calling for a series of arithmetic operations. It can also store or remember these programs internally as well as externally, and through these programs can make simple logical decisions. ... The Olivetti device displays its calculations on a paper printout. Its numerous functions allow it to be used for both business and scientific purposes.

* "The incredible story of the first PC, from 1965" ( @
* Entry from @
* Entry from @
* Entry from The Old Calculator Web Museum: @
* "The invention of the personal computer: a fascinating story ever told" (website of Pier Giorgio Perotto, Olivetti engineer and architect of the Programma 101; use Google translate): @ 
* Operating manual (ClassicCmp): @
* Advertisement (video from Archivio Nazionale del Cinema d'Impresa): @
* 101 Project: @


Monday, October 11, 1965: Vinland Map

Yale University scholars sliced the frosting off Christopher Columbus' birthday cake Sunday. They've found an ancient map which they say proves that Leif Ericson and other Vikings had explored North America long before Columbus set sail. The map was drawn about 1440 A.D., half a century before Columbus' voyage -- probably by a monk in Basel, Switzerland, using source materials dating back at least to the 13th century, the Yale University Library announced. Greenland is drawn very accurately on the parchment map, and to the west is "Vinland." ... A handwritten notation reads "Discovered by Bjarni and Leif." 
     The map, measuring 11 by 16 inches, will go on display at the Yale library on Tuesday, Columbus Day. Today (October 11) Yale University Press is publishing a book, "The Vinland Map and the Tartar Relation," including reproductions of the map and a manuscript with which it was found.
     -- Associated Press, October 11: @

* "When America Was Called Vinlandia" (Life magazine, October 22, 1965): @
* "Vinland Re-Read" (Paul Saenger, Newberry Library, 1998): @
* "Map Linked to Vikings a Fake, Study Says" (New York Times, February 28, 2000): @
* "Scientists Determine Age of New World Map" (Brookhaven National Laboratory, 2002): @
* "Determination of the Radiocarbon Age of Parchment of the Vinland Map" (Donahue, Olin and Harbottle, Radiocarbon, 2002): @
* "Maps, Myths, and Men: The Story of the Vinland Map" (Kirsten A. Seaver, 2004): @
* "The Viking Deception" ("Nova," PBS, 2005): @ 
* "The Vinland Map -- Some 'Finer Points' of the Debate" (J. Huston McCulloch, Ohio State University, 2005): @
* "Secrets: A Viking Map?" (Smithsonian Channel, 2013): @
* "The Vinland Map" (McCrone Research Institute): @
* "Medieval or Modern?" (Institute for Dynamic Educational Advancement): @ 


Friday, October 8, 1965: LBJ surgery

President Johnson's gall bladder operation was performed without complications today, and three hours later he was reported "doing well." ... The surgical team did find and remove a kidney stone in the ureter as well as removing the faulty gall bladder. The ureter is a passage through which urine is voided.
     -- From Associated Press: @ 

Johnson returned to the White House on October 21. The day before, at Bethesda Naval Hospital, he showed the press his surgical scar. The image would be the basis of a famous cartoon by David Levine, with the scar in the shape of Vietnam (The New York Review of Books, May 12, 1966). Mad magazine would take a similar approach in its January 1968 issue: @

* "Statement by the President That He Would Undergo Surgery" (October 5; American Presidency Project): @ 
* October 8 entry from LBJ Presidential Library: @
* " 'Two Operations for the Price of One' " (Life magazine, October 29): @ 


1965: Pillsbury Doughboy

Leo Burnett creative director Rudy Perz was sitting at his kitchen table in the mid-1960s when he dreamed up the idea of a plump, dough figure that would pop out of a tube of refrigerated rolls. Since then, Pillsbury has used Poppin' Fresh in more than 600 commercials for more than 50 of its products.
     -- Summary from Advertising Age: @
     -- Image from Life magazine ad, June 10, 1966

Note: The exact date of when the first ad ran (print or TV) is unclear. In an email, Leo Burnett Worldwide says the agency won the company's refrigerated dough account in March 1965, with the idea for the Doughboy conceived in the fall of 1965, making it more likely that the character did not appear until 1966.

* "The creation of Poppin' Fresh" (General Mills): @
* Entry from "Food and Drink in American History: A 'Full Course' Encyclopedia" (edited by Andrew F. Smith, 2013): @
* Pillsbury Doughboy Collectibles: @
* Early TV ad: @
* Obituaries for Rudolph Perz, who died in 2015: @ (Advertising Age) @ (New York Times) and @ (Washington Post) 
* Top 10 icons of 20th century (Advertising Age): @
* "Memorable advertising icons" (CBS News): @

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