5.31.2010

Undated: 'The I Hate to Cook Book'

With its biting humor, easy-to-follow recipes and occasional social commentary, Peg Bracken's "The I Hate to Cook Book" becomes a surprise hit. Its appeal to the not-quite-perfect little homemaker is evident in this recipe for Skid Road Stroganoff: "Start cooking those noodles, first dropping a bouillon into the noodle water. Brown the garlic, onion and crumbled beef in the oil. Add the flour, salt, paprika and mushrooms, stir, and let it cook five minutes while you light a cigarette and stare sullenly at the sink." Chapter titles include "Potluck Suppers, or how to bring the water for the lemonade" and "Last-Minute Suppers, or this is the story of your life."

* Tributes from New York Times and Atlanta Journal-Constitution: @ and @
* Recipe for Skid Road Stroganoff: @


Undated: Vinland

Springtime finds Norwegian explorer-author Helge Ingstad and his wife, Anne Stine Ingstad, at the northwestern tip of Newfoundland, Canada, where they are searching for evidence that Norse Vikings had lived in what was called "Vinland." At L'Anse aux Meadows ("Jellyfish Cove"), a local fishermen shows them what look to be house foundations. Subsequent excavations reveal this to be the earliest known European settlement in the New World, predating Christopher Columbus by some 500 years.

* More about Vinland: @
* Smithsonian's "Vikings" website: @
* "The Vinland Mystery" (documentary): @
* L'Anse aux Meadows Historic Site: @
* Map of Viking voyages: @


5.27.2010

Friday-Sunday, May 27-29, 1960: Daughters of Bilitis

The first national lesbian conference is held in San Francisco. It's organized by the Daughters of Bilitis (DOB), an organization formed in 1955 and taking its name from a character in a series of poems by France's Pierre Louys. "The Ladder" is the name of the DOB's magazine.

* More on the DOB: @
* "The Songs of Bilitis," complete text by Pierre Louys: @
* "Different Daughters: A History of the Daughters of Bilitis and the Rise of the Lesbian Rights Movement" (book): @
* "Lesbians in the Twentieth Century" (from course in Lesbian History at the University of Michigan): @
* "Beebo Brinker" and lesbian pulp fiction: @ and @


5.26.2010

Thursday, May 26, 1960: The Great Seal bug


During a United Nations debate over the U-2 incident and U.S. spy operations, Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. (the U.S. ambassador to the U.N.) displays a wooden carving of the Great Seal of the United States. It contains a listening device planted there by the Soviet Union, which had given the carving to the U.S. Embassy in Moscow in 1946. After the revelation, the U.N. Security Council votes 7-2 against censuring the United States for the U-2 incident.
* Summary (from www.history.com): @
* Summary (from www.spybusters.com): @
* Transcript of U.N. session: @ 
* "U.N. Spy Debate: Reds ' Bugged' American Embassy Lodge Claims" (newsreel): @
* Front page of Los Angeles Mirror: @


5.24.2010

Tuesday, May 24, 1960: Radiation experiments on humans

Physicians at Cincinnati General Hospital, part of the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, carry out experiments on at least 100 terminally ill cancer patients by subjecting them to varying doses of full-body irradiation. Among the purposes of the experiments was to see how much radiation a soldier could withstand before becoming incapictated. The work, first funded by the Defense Atomic Support Agency of the Department of Defense, would continue until 1971; many patients would die shortly after exposure. (The experiments began in the spring of 1960; I used May 24 as the date because it appears to be the date when the first subject who died was first subjected to radiation.)

* More about experiments (from website of Department of Energy's Office of Health, Safety and Security): @ and @
* Text of April 1994 congressional hearings: @
* Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments: @
* "Report on Search for Human Radiation Experiment Records" (From DoD website): @
* 2007 obituary of lead researcher Dr. Eugene Saenger (pictured above): @
* About the book "The Treatment: The Story of Those Who Died in the Cincinnati Radiation Tests": @ and @
* Excerpts from the book: @ and @


Tuesday, May 24, 1960: Pan Am's Worldport

Pan American World Airways opens Terminal 3 at New York's Idlewild Airport. The futuristic-looking building is variously described as an umbrella (Time magazine), a parasol and a mushroom (New York Times) and a flying saucer. It was designed to keep passengers dry as they go from the terminal to the airplane (in the days before boarding bridges). Pan Am would rename it the Worldport in 1971.

* Pan Am history websites: @ and @
* Maps: @
* Pictures: @

Undated: I adore you like tomato sauce

With its smorgasbord of languages and ethnic rhythms, Bob Azzam's "Mustapha" is a hit in Europe. "Chefs abandon souffl├ęs to hear it," says Time magazine.

* Time article (May 30, 1960): @
* Other versions: @
* Translated lyrics: @




5.22.2010

Sunday, May 22, 1960: The Great Chilean Earthquake

The most powerful earthquake ever recorded, magnitude 9.5, struck the south-central coast of Chile. Its force was such that 15 hours later tsunami waves devastated Hilo, Hawaii, and two days later the Puyuhue volcano, about 125 miles from the epicenter, erupted. The death toll was relatively small (estimates range from 2,000 to 6,000), owing to the low population density and the prevalence of earthquake-resistant structures.

* Summary and links from U.S. Geological Survey: @
* Impacted areas: @
* Commemorative website (translated from Spanish): @
* Travel time of tsunami waves (in hours): @


5.20.2010

Undated: Origin of the word 'cyborg'

The term was coined by two scientists presenting a paper at the Symposium on Psychophysiological Aspects of Spaceflight, held in May 1960 at Brooks Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. The original term, combining the words CYBernetic and ORGanism, refers to mechanical or electronic devices aiding or controlling the human body's processes as a way for people to better survive in space. (In current usage, someone with a pacemaker might be considered a cyborg).

* The original paper: @
* Cyborg website: @
* Blogs about cyborgs: @ and @
* Radio segment on word's origins (go to "Happy Birthday Cyborg"): @
* "50 Posts About Cyborgs": @
* Course syllabus for "Cyborg Society" at the University of California at Santa Cruz: @


5.19.2010

Thursday, May 19, 1960: Payola

Following congressional hearings the year before, eight disc jockeys (included the famous Alan Freed, left, credited with inventing the term "rock and roll") were arrested and charged with accepting money and gifts from record labels to play certain songs on their radio stations. The term "payola" is a combination of the words "pay" and "Victrola."

* More about the payola scandal: @ and @
* Alan Freed website: @
* More about Alan Freed: @
* Federal Communications Commission's payola rules (enacted in 1960): @ and @


5.18.2010

Wednesday, May 18, 1960: The end of 'Playhouse 90'


The last original episode of "Playhouse 90" airs on CBS. It began in 1956 as 90 minutes of live drama, but by 1960 was being pre-recorded, yet it often remained more theater than television. Its notable productions included "Requiem for a Heavyweight" (the series' second show, left, written by Rod Serling), "The Miracle Worker," "The Days of Wine and Roses" and "Judgment at Nuremberg."

* Summary from Museum of Broadcast Communications (cached link): @
* Review of last episode: @
* More about Rod Serling: @ (cached link) and @ and @
* Watch "The Plot to Kill Stalin": @ (Part 1) and @ (Part 2)


5.16.2010

Monday, May 16, 1960: The first working laser

Thomas Maiman (left), working at Hughes Research Laboratory in Malibu, California, succeeds in "firing" a device that produces a very narrow, very powerful beam of light. The breakthrough takes place amid a "laser race," as scientists elsewhere were working along similar lines at the time. Laser stands for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation.

* Short summary: @
* How a laser works: @
* American Institute of Physics online exhibit: @
* History of Bell Labs' work: @
* 50 facts about lasers: @


Monday, May 16, 1960: Paris summit falls apart

The mood of the meeting among the leaders of the United States, Soviet Union, USSR, Britain and France almost immediately turns hostile as Soviet leader Khrushchev, left, demands the U.S. apologize for the U-2 incident (see May 1, 5, 7, 11). Not only does U.S. President Eisenhower refuse to do so, he accuses Khrushchev of trying to sabotage the entire summit, which was to have taken up the issues of disarmament, East-West tensions and Berlin and the fate of Germany. Khrushchev withdraws his invitation for Eisenhower to visit the USSR.

* Short summary: @
* Newsreels: @ and @
* Khrushchev and Eisenhower statements, May 16: @
* Report from a CIA intelligence officer: @


5.13.2010

Friday, May 13, 1960: San Francisco sit-in

Hearings scheduled by the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) are disrupted by hundreds of protesters (many of them students) who occupy hallways inside San Francisco City Hall. Police push the crowd down a flight of stairs; several are injured and dozens are arrested. The hearings are suspended the next day after 3,500 people gather outside the building.

* More from Free Speech Movement archives: @
* More from protesters: @
* Live coverage from KPFA: @

5.11.2010

Wednesday, May 11, 1960: U-2 incident: Eisenhower defends U.S. actions

At the beginning of a news conference, President Eisenhower reads a prepared statement in which he says "we must have knowledge of military forces and preparations around the world, especially those capable of massive surprise attack," then goes on to call the U.S. spy missions "a distasteful but vital necessity." The next day, Eisenhower privately decides to suspend U-2 flights, but does not tell the Soviets nor the U.S. public; he hopes to announce it at the upcoming Paris summit, to be attended by the leaders of the United States, the Soviet Union, England and France.

* State Department statement, May 9: @
* Telegram from Soviet Union to U.S., May 10: @ and @
* Telegram from U.S. to Soviet Union, May 11: @
* Eisenhower's remarks, May 11: @ and @


Wednesday, May 11, 1960: Israel abducts Adolf Eichmann

Adolf Eichmann, "the architect of the Holocaust," is captured by Israeli agents in Argentina, where he had been living since 1950. He was smuggled out of the country on May 21, and his capture was announced to the Israeli people on May 23. (His trial would begin in April 1961.) During World War II, Eichmann helped oversee the Nazi campaign to wipe out the Jewish population of Europe.

* More about Eichmann: @ and @
* More about the capture: @
* CIA files on Eichmann: @


5.10.2010

Tuesday, May 10, 1960: Around the world, underwater

The USS Triton, a new nuclear-powered submarine, completes the first submerged circumnavigation of the Earth. She had put to sea on February 15. The sub followed the 1519-1522 route of Portugese explorer Ferdinand Magellan.

* More about the Triton: @
* Website of former crew member: @
* Map of route: @
* Newsreel: @


Tuesday, May 10, 1960: Kennedy wins West Virginia

Sen. John F. Kennedy (236,510 votes, 60.8%) defeats Sen. Hubert H. Humphrey (152,187, 39.2%) in West Virginia's Democratic presidential primary, putting to rest the notion that a Roman Catholic candidate was unelectable in Protestant strongholds of the United States. It is the latest in a series of primary victories for Kennedy over Humphrey, who gives up his candidacy. Reports of vote-buying were (and are) widespread. Kennedy himself would frequently tell variations of this joke on the campaign trail: "I have just received the following wire from my generous daddy -- 'Dear Jack: Don't buy a single vote more than is necessary. I'll be damned if I'm going to pay for a landslide.' "
* "Winning West Virginia" (from JFK Library): @
* Entries from The West Virginia Encyclopedia: @ and @
* "How the 1960 West Virginia Election Made History" (Washington Post, 2010): @

* "1960: LBJ Vs. JFK Vs. Nixon" (See Chapter Ten, "Committing a sin against God" (David Pietrusza, 2008): @

* "The Making of the President 1960" (See Chapter Four, "The Art of the Primary: Wisconsin and West Virginia" (Theodore H. White, 1961): @
* West Virginia Archives & History website: @
* West Virginia Wesleyan College website: @
* Sound clips from West Virginia Public Radio: @ 

5.09.2010

Monday, May 9, 1960: The Pill

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it would approve as safe for birth control an oral contraceptive for women. (Formal approval would follow on June 23.) Made by G.D. Searle & Co., the drug -- marketed as Enovid -- was a synthetic combination of hormones that suppresses the release of eggs from a woman's ovaries.

* Short summary: @
* Birth control timeline: @
* Time magazine coverage from 2010: @
* Photo gallery from Life magazine: @
* 1957 interview with birth control pioneer Margaret Sanger: @
* "The Case for Birth Control," 1924 article by Sanger: @
* How the Pill changed the way the FDA operates: @


5.07.2010

Saturday, May 7, 1960: U-2 incident: The evidence


Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, left, announces to the Supreme Soviet and the world that downed U.S. pilot Francis Gary Powers is, in fact, alive, and says his country has Powers and the wreckage of his spy plane to prove it. "Comrades, I must tell you a secret," Khrushchev said. "When I was making my report, I deliberately did not say that the pilot was alive and in good health and that we have got part of the plane. We did so deliberately, because had we told everything at once, the Americans would have invented another version." The U.S. then admits the spy mission, while at the same time trying to shield President Eisenhower's involvement: "... Insofar as the authorities in Washington are concerned there was no authorization for any such flight as described by Mr. Khrushchev. Nevertheless it appears that in endeavoring to obtain information now concealed behind the Iron Curtain a flight over Soviet territory was probably undertaken by an unarmed civilian U-2 plane."

* State Department statement, May 7: @
* "Operation Overflight" (Gary Francis Powers memoir): @


5.06.2010

Friday, May 6, 1960: Bob Newhart


The comedy record "The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart" is released. Newhart's deadpan humor, halting delivery and mock telephone coversations are a hit; the record would become the best-selling album in America and would win Album of the Year at the next year's Grammys. (Newhart would be named Best New Artist.) In 2006 the album was added to the National Recording Registry, a select list of "sound recordings that are culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."
* Listen to "Abe Lincoln vs. Madison Avenue": @
* Appreciation of album: @
* Segment from NPR: @
* National Recording Registry: @


5.05.2010

Thursday, May 5, 1960: U-2 incident: Accusal and denial

In a speech to the Supreme Soviet, Nikita Khrushchev announces that a U.S. spyplane had been shot down on May 1. Khrushchev makes no mention of the pilot's fate; the U.S. assumes he was killed. In response, the U.S. issues a longer version of its initial cover story. Also, a U-2 plane is repainted with NASA markings and displayed the next day.

* NASA press release on missing plane, May 5: @
* State Department press release, May 6: @
* Repainted U-2 plane, photo and description: @ and @


5.03.2010

Tuesday, May 3, 1960: 'The Fantasticks'

The musical opens at the Sullivan Street Playhouse in New York, the first of what would turn into a record 17,162 performances. Its signature song is "Try to Remember."

* Official website: @
* Synopsis: @
* Assorted facts: @
* Listen to "Try to Remember": @

Tuesday, May 3, 1960: Anne Frank

The Anne Frank House opens in Amsterdam, Netherlands, in the home where the Jewish teenager and her family hid from German occupation forces from July 6, 1942, to August 4, 1944. "The Diary of a Young Girl" was published in 1947.

* Anne Frank House website: @
* Anne Frank Center (New York): @
* Only existing footage of Anne Frank: @

5.01.2010

Sunday, May 1, 1960: U-2 incident


Francis Gary Powers, piloting a U-2 spy plane for the CIA, is shot down over Soviet airspace while taking pictures of missile sites. Powers survives after bailing out and is captured. Tensions quickly escalate between the United States and the Soviet Union as details of the mission come to light.

* More about the U-2 program (from Federation of American Scientists): @
* "The CIA and the U-2 Program, 1954-1974" (from www.cia.gov): @
* "May-July 1960: The U-2 Airplane Incident" (from U.S. State Department): @
* "The U-2 Program: A Russian Officer Remembers": @
* Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev's son writes about the downing (from American Heritage): @
* Initial cover story devised by U.S., May 2 (from Eisenhower Presidential Library & Museum): @


Sunday, May 1, 1960: Silver Dollar City opens

The 1880s-themed park near Branson, Missouri, was built above Marvel Cave. 125,000 people visited in its first year.

* Official website and history: @ and @
* Timeline from fan website: @
* More about Marvel Cave: @


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