3.31.2010

Undated: Don't try this at home

"The Golden Book of Chemistry Experiments" was first published in 1960. It was later said to have been pulled from many library shelves -- many of the experiments were considered too dangerous, especially for kids. (It includes directions on making chlorine gas.)

* To download PDF of entire book: @



3.29.2010

Tuesday, March 29, 1960: 'Heed Their Rising Voices'

A full-page ad appears in The New York Times as part of an effort to raise funds for the legal defense of civil rights leader the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., who was facing a perjury charge in Alabama. (After the ad appeared, Montgomery city commissioner L.B. Sullivan would sue the Times for libel, and the case would be settled four years later as the U.S. Supreme Court established the "actual malice" standard.)

* Text of ad: @
* Image of ad: @
* Definition of "actual malice": @
* Summary of the events and New York Times Co. v. Sullivan : @

3.25.2010

Friday, March 25, 1960: Oliver Cromwell's head

In a secret ceremony inside the antechapel at Sidney Sussex College (part of England's University of Cambridge), the head of Oliver Cromwell is given a final resting place as it is reburied, 302 years after his death. Cromwell had helped lead the overthrow and execution of King Charles I and took the title of Lord Protector as he governed the short-lived republic. Though some historical and scientific claims vary, the general consensus is that when Cromwell died in 1658, he was buried in Westminster Abbey. After Charles II restored the monarchy in 1660, Cromwell's body was disinterred, hanged and dismembered, with the head displayed on a spike to symbolize his treason. Through the years the head was sold and resold until it was finally returned to the college Cromwell had attended.

* More about Cromwell's remains: @
* Cromwell biographies: @ (BBC) and @ (Cambridge University Library)
* Charles I biography (British monarchy website): @
* Cromwell Museum: @
* The Cromwell Association: @
* Video summary: @

3.21.2010

Monday, March 21, 1960: The Sharpeville massacre

Police in Sharpeville, South Africa (a township south of Johannesburg) open fire on a crowd protesting the country's pass laws, under which black people were required to carry identification with them at all times. Failure to do so could mean arrest and jail. The pass books also were used to restrict where blacks could go. 69 people were killed and at least 180 were wounded at Sharpeville; many of them were shot in the back as they ran from the gunfire. South Africa and its apartheid policies were quickly condemned around the world.

* More about Sharpeville: @
* More about pass laws: @ and @
* Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg: @
* Artists on the massacre: @


3.17.2010

Thursday, March 17, 1960: The queen of currency

Queen Elizabeth's image appears on a British banknote for the first time, a one-pound note issued by the Bank of England.

* Stories: @ and @
* Photo slideshow: @
* Short timeline of the Bank of England: @


Thursday, March 17, 1960: U.S. vs. Castro

President Eisenhower authorizes the CIA to begin working with and training Cuban exiles as part of a covert effort to undermine and overthrow the government of Fidel Castro, whose guerrilla forces had seized power on New Year's Day, 1959. (The Soviet Union and Cuba had forged closer ties since Castro's takeover.) At left is Castro with Vice President Nixon during Castro's visit to Washington in April 1959.

* Text of "A Program of Covert Action Against the Castro Regime": @
* Map of the Cuban Revolution: @



3.15.2010

Tuesday, March 15, 1960: Kitt Peak

The national observatory -- an hour southwest of Tucson, Arizona -- is dedicated. The space race with the Soviets had propelled the search for a facility that would be available to the entire astronomy community.

* Kitt Peak website: @
* Virtual tour: @
* Descriptions of telescopes: @
* Night sky camera: @


Tuesday, March 15, 1960: Nation's first underwater park

President Eisenhower establishes the Key Largo Coral Reef Preserve in the waters off Florida.

* Proclamation: @
* History of park: @
* History of "Christ of the Abyss" statue: @


3.12.2010

Saturday, March 12, 1960: 'Are Electric Cars Coming Back?'

That was the title of an article in The Saturday Evening Post about the possibilities -- and challenges -- of electric cars. "An electric is the ideal economical urban-suburban family second car for shopping, child-fetching, going to a nearby job," the article says.

* Full text of article: @
* Timeline: @
* Short history: @
* Electric Auto Association website: @




3.05.2010

Saturday, March 5, 1960: Guerrillero Heroico

One of the best-known images of its time, and even today -- a picture of Che Guevara, the minister of industry with the Cuban government -- was taken at a memorial service for people killed in a ship explosion.

* The photo before cropping: @
* From an exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London: @ and @
* Pictures from around the world: @
* Photos and graphics from the book "Che's Afterlife: The Legacy of an Image": @


Saturday, March 5, 1960: Elvis out of the Army

Sergeant Elvis Presley is officially discharged from active duty after serving nearly two years in the U.S. Army. In a month's time he would record an album ("Elvis is Back") and a television special (as a special guest on "The Frank Sinatra Timex Show").

* Timeline: @
* How rock 'n' roll changed in his absence: @
* "Reconsider Baby" (from "Elvis is Back!", with Boots Randolph on sax):




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