2.28.2010

Monday, February 29, 1960: 'The Family Circus' debuts

The comic strip -- featuring four children, three parents, two parents and one grandparent -- is, 50 years later, the most widely syndicated cartoon panel in the world. The cartoon usually centers on family life; the one at left is more of its time. (Click on it for a larger view.)

* Official website: @
* More from King Features Syndicate: @


Monday, February 29, 1960: Playboy Club

Hugh Hefner opens the first Playboy Club (with Bunnies) in Chicago. The model for the Bunny suit (thought to have the ideal Bunny shape) was Suzy Leigh, 5-foot-2 with measurements of 37-23-32.

* History of first club, from Chicago Bar Project: @
* Shel Silverstein's illustrated history of Playboy: @
* Website for former Bunnies and club workers: @


2.23.2010

Tuesday, February 23, 1960: Goodbye to Ebbets Field

Demolition of Ebbets Field begins. It had been the home of the Brooklyn Dodgers before the team moved to Los Angeles before the 1958 season. It was here in 1947 that Jackie Robinson made his debut as the first black major-leaguer.

* Website devoted to Ebbets Field: @
* Official Jackie Robinson website: @
* Video of demolition day: @


2.18.2010

Thursday, February 18 - Sunday, February 28, 1960: Winter Olympics

The Games open in tiny Squaw Valley, California, near Lake Tahoe. They are the first Winter Olympics to be televised in the United States, and would be the springboard for "instant replay," after judges ask CBS if they could review a videotape (they were checking to see whether a skier had missed a gate or not).

* Squaw Valley page on Olympic.org: @
* How Squaw Valley got the games: @


2.13.2010

Saturday, February 13, 1960: France joins the nuclear club

France becomes the world's fourth nuclear power -- along with the United States, the Soviet Union and Great Britain -- when it explodes a atomic bomb in the skies above the Sahara Desert in Algeria (even as the Algerian war for independence was going on). The test was code-named "Gerboise Bleue," or "blue jerboa," a jerboa being a type of desert rat. France's president, Charles de Gaulle, said afterward, "Hurrah for France! Since this morning, she is stronger and prouder."

* Drawing of test site: @
* Short clip of the explosion: @
* Newspaper front page: @



2.08.2010

Monday, February 8, 1960: Sidewalk of the stars

Construction begins on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It honors achievements in five categories: movies, TV, music, radio and theater.

* Hollywood Star project of Los Angeles Times: @
* Website of Hollywood Chamber of Commerce / Walk of Fame: @


2.03.2010

Wednesday, February 3, 1960: 'Wind of change' coming to Africa

Speaking to South Africa's parliament in Cape Town, British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan announces his country's intention to grant independence to British colonies in Africa. He also explicitly criticizes South Africa's apartheid system, marking a change in British policy.

* Short analysis of speech: @
* Audio of entire speech: @
* Key passage here:


2.01.2010

Monday, February 1, 1960: Greensboro sit-in

Four black students from North Carolina A&T University sit down at a Woolworth's lunch counter -- a whites-only lunch counter. They are refused service but are allowed to stay at the counter. The manager closes the store early. This photo is from the next day's attempts at integration at the Greensboro Woolworth's, as a larger group gathered but were also refused service. Sit-ins quickly spread across the South.

* International Civil Rights Center & Museum, Greensboro: @
* Greensboro News & Record website: @
* Exhibit at National Museum of American History: @
* Veterans of the civil rights movement website: @
* Front page of Greensboro Record (February 2): @
* "Negro Sitdowns Stir Fear of Wider Unrest in South" (New York Times, February 15): @
* "February One: The story of the Greensboro Four" (PBS documentary): @

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