7.28.2010

Thursday-Friday, July 28-29, 1960: Project Apollo

In conjunction with the NASA-Industry Program Plans Conference in Washington, NASA announces Project Apollo, its goals for manned spaceflight. The new project, intended to build upon the ongoing Project Mercury, envisions putting men on the moon sometime after 1970 (click on chart to englarge). However, President Eisenhower is reluctant to sign off on the program, citing its multi-billion-dollar price tag.

* Chronology through July 1960: @
* The Project Apollo Archive: @
* Kennedy Space Center website: @
* Why the name Apollo was chosen: @


7.25.2010

Monday-Thursday, July 25-28, 1960: Republican National Convention

Vice President Richard Nixon is the all-but-certain nominee as the Republicans gather in Chicago, though Arizona Sen. Barry Goldwater and (presumably) New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller remain in the running. Attention turns toward the platform, the direction of the party and a running mate. Meanwhile, the accomplishments and popularity of outgoing President Dwight D. Eisenhower are a running theme of the convention.

* Platform and direction of party: Largely the work of Rockefeller, the so-called "Compact of Fifth Avenue" was hammered out during a meeting between the Nixon and Rockefeller camps at the governor's Fifth Avenue apartment on July 22-23. Nixon signed off on the platform to ensure Rockefeller's support and to placate the more liberal factions of the party. His actions outraged the GOP's more conservative elements, particularly Goldwater, whose "Conscience of a Conservative" (published that March) had brought him to prominence, as it forcefully stated the direction in which he wanted to move the party. The Chicago Tribune thundered in an editorial, "Grant Surrenders to Lee."
-- Platform summary and significance: @ and @. Text: @
-- Text of "Conscience of a Conservative": @

* July 25: Convention gets under way at the International Amphitheatre. A civil rights rally, 5,000 strong and led in part by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., takes place outside the building. (As the Democrats had done two weeks prior, the GOP would address civil rights at length in its platform.)
-- Transcript of NBC interview with King: @

* July 26: Eisenhower addresses the convention. Rockefeller officially withdraws his candidacy, releasing his pledged delegates and urging their support of Nixon.
-- Text of Eisenhower speech: @

* July 27: Party platform is approved. Nixon's and Goldwater's names are placed in nomination. Goldwater withdraws his candidacy, saying in his speech, "Let's grow up, conservatives ... let's -- if we want to take this party back and I think we can someday -- let's get to work." Nixon claims the nomination, with 1,321 delegates to 10 for Goldwater. (The photo above is Nixon's reaction to his first-ballot victory.)

* July 28: Nixon selects Henry Cabot Lodge, the United States' ambassador to the United Nations, for the vice presidential slot. (Rockefeller had turned down Nixon's offer.) Nixon addresses the convention.


* Convention summary from Chicago Historical Society: @
* Videos of convention highlights: @ and @
* Videos of speeches (includes Goldwater, Lodge and former President Herbert Hoover): @ (Audio and text of Nixon's acceptance speech: @)
* Telegram from NBC to Nixon and Kennedy (and their replies) regarding prime-time debates: @


Monday, July 25, 1960: Greensboro sit-in (update)

The lunch counter at the F.W. Woolworth in Greensboro, North Carolina, is integrated as four black Woolworth's employees sit down and eat. The store had been the launching pad for the sit-in movement that had spread throughout the South. (See February 1.) By the end of the summer, an estimated 70,000 people had taken part in sit-ins, with 3,000 arrests.

* More about Geneva Tisdale, one of the four Woolworth's employees: @ and @
* Civil Rights Greensboro website: @
* Instructions from Students Executive Committee for Justice on how to conduct protests: @ (scroll down to "Greensboro Four Letter")
* List of sit-in cities: @
* More about sit-ins in Nashville, Tennessee: @ and @ and @

7.21.2010

Thursday, July 21, 1960: First female prime minister

Sirimavo Ratwatte Dias Bandaranaike takes office as prime minister of Ceylon (present-day Sri Lanka), making her the world's first female head of government. She rose to power as the widow of prime minister Solomon West Ridgeway Dias Bandaranaike (assassinated the year before by a Buddhist monk), taking over the leadership of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party. "There will be need for a new word. Presumably, we shall have to call her a Stateswoman. This is the suffragette's dream come true," wrote London's Evening News.

* Obituary after her death in 2000: @
* More about Sri Lanka: @ and @ and @

7.20.2010

Wednesday, July 20, 1960: Underwater missile

Sitting about 30 miles off Cape Canaveral, Florida, the USS George Washington fires a Polaris A1 nuclear missile. It was the first successful launch of a ballistic missile by a submerged submarine. The launch was a key progression in the ongoing arms race between the United States and the Soviet Union. The Polaris' 1,200-mile range meant that the U.S. could strike nearly any land target from the safety of international waters.

* More about Polaris missile system: @ and @
* Polaris timeline: @
* More about USS George Washington: @ and @
* Newsreel: @


7.15.2010

Monday-Friday, July 11-15, 1960: Democratic National Convention

* July 5: Lyndon Baines Johnson, the Senate majority leader from Texas, announces he will seek the Democratic nomination for president. Johnson had not campaigned during the primaries; he had hoped to prevail at the convention as a compromise candidate. Also waiting in the wings are Sen. Stuart Symington of Missouri as well as Adlai Stevenson, the party's nominee in 1952 and 1956. The reason for all the maneuvering: While Sen. John F. Kennedy heads into the convention as the front-runner, he has just 600 of the 761 delegates needed to secure the nomination.
-- More about Johnson's candidacy: @

* July 10: To a mixture of cheers and boos, Kennedy speaks at an NAACP rally before the convention; also speaking is the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. The two men had met for the first time the month before, discussing civil rights, which would be a key element of the Democratic platform.
-- King's account of first meeting: @

* July 11: Convention opens at the Los Angeles Sports Arena.
-- Preview from NBC (July 9): @

* July 12: Party platform approved.
-- Significance and summary: @
-- Text: @

* July 13: Kennedy wins the nomination on the first ballot, collecting 806 delgates to Johnson's 409. Symington and Stevenson fall far short. The next day's Boston Globe would carry the headline "JACK, IN WALK".
-- Account from Time magazine on the jockeying for delegates: @
-- Account from Life magazine: @
-- Excerpt from book "The First Modern Campaign: Kennedy, Nixon, and the Election of 1960": @
-- New York Times story: @
-- Telegram from Harpo Marx congratulating Kennedy: @
(Thanks to Larry Harnisch of the Los Angeles Times for the front-page image. Click here for The Daily Mirror, the Times' blog on L.A. history.)

* July 14: Kennedy asks Johnson to join the ticket as the vice presidential nominee. Johnson accepts. The circumstances surrounding the somewhat surprising offer are debated to this day.
-- Short summary from PBS: @
-- Account from Kennedy aide Kenneth O'Donnell: @
-- Account from Philip Graham, confidant of both Kennedy and Johnson: @
-- New York Times story: @

* July 15: In front of 80,000 people at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Kennedy formally accepts the nomination (also known as the "New Frontier" speech).
-- Text, audio and video: @


* Videos of convention highlights: @ and @
* Panoramic photo of scene inside convention hall: @
* The convention was the basis for Norman Mailer's "Superman Comes to the Supermarket," which would be published in the November issue of Esquire magazine: @


7.14.2010

Thursday, July 14, 1960: Jane Goodall

A novice researcher with no formal college training, Jane Goodall arrives by boat on the shores of Lake Tanganyika in modern-day Tanzania and begins her pioneering studies of chimpanzee behavior. The world would learn of her work three years later when "My Life Among Wild Chimpanzees" is published in National Geographic magazine.

* Timeline of Goodall's life: @
* Jane Goodall Institute website: @
* Interviews: @ and @ (video) and @ (audio)
* More about Gombe National Park: @
* National Geographic site: @


7.12.2010

Tuesday, July 12, 1960: Etch A Sketch

The Ohio Art Company's factory in Bryan, Ohio, begins producing the mechanical drawing toy, developed in the late '50s by French electrician André Cassagnes. (Arthur Grandjean is sometimes mistakenly cited as the inventor; click here for the full story; scroll down to "Real History verified by the Ohio Art Company.") Thanks to extensive advertising, the toy's popularity would soar as the holiday season nears; Ohio Art's factory works until noon on Christmas Eve.

* "Inside an Etch A Sketch" (from www.howstuffworks.com): @
* "How an Etch A Sketch works" (from www.todayifoundout.com): @
* Short history and timeline (from Toledo Blade newspaper): @ and @
* Patents: @ and @

7.11.2010

Monday, July 11, 1960: 'To Kill a Mockingbird'

"When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow."

So begins "To Kill a Mockingbird," a novel by Harper Lee published on this date by J.B. Lippincott Co. Simply put, one of the most admired works in all American literature. The story of race and justice in a small Southern town in 1936, its themes are so universal and its story and characters so accessible that it resonates with readers young and old. At the same time, it has been banned or challenged innumerable times by schools and libraries (for reasons ranging from racial slurs to profanity to references to rape). Unnerved by the enormous attention after the book's publication (along with its winning a Pulitzer Prize and adaptation into a celebrated movie), Lee turned toward a quiet, guarded life in her hometown of Monroeville, Alabama. To date it is the only book she has ever published.

* More about Harper Lee: @
* Original New York Times review: @
* Listen to actress Sissy Spacek reading the opening pages: @
* Book quiz: @
* Book covers through the years and from around the world: @
* Story of a Virginia county's banning of the book; click on letter to read Lee's response: @


7.09.2010

Saturday, July 9, 1960*: U-2 incident: Powers indicted

U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers, whose downing by the Soviet Union sparked a fresh round of tensions between the superpowers, is formally indicted for crimes against the state, specifically spying. (See entries of May 1, 5, 7, 11, 16 and 26.) The indictment recounts Powers' career, mission, capture and interrogation, and refers several times to American aggression. (Example: "Thus, the United States officially proclaimed in peace time a policy which can only be followed when countries are at war.") Powers' trial is scheduled for August 17.

Note: On July 1, a second incident had taken place when a U.S. reconnaissance flight with six men aboard was shot down over the Barents Sea. The two survivors were captured and imprisoned until their release in January 1961. More on that incident: @

* Most websites list the indictment date as July 8. The 9th is used here based on Powers' autobiography, "Operation Overflight: A Memoir of the U-2 Incident" as well as the CIA link below.

To see the full indictment, go to www.foia.cia.gov and then search for GARY POWERS TEXT ON INDICTMENT-SOVIET GOV'T ORDERED U-2 SHOT DOWN


Saturday, July 9, 1960: CPR

While there is no date or moment that cardiopulmonary resuscitation was "invented," the awareness, application and study of the procedure increases with the publication of "Closed-Chest Cardiac Massage" in the July 9 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association. The paper adds to the work previously done by others, including Dr. Peter Safar, known as "The Father of Modern Resuscitation."

* Text of "Closed-Chest Cardiac Massage": @
* Significance of "Closed-Chest Cardiac Massage": @ and @
* More about Dr. Safar: @ (biography) and @ (1958 JAMA paper)
* More about CPR: @ and @ (short history)



7.08.2010

Friday, July 8, 1960: Cuban Sugar Kings

The Cuban Sugar Kings, a minor-league baseball team affiliated with the Cincinnati Reds, are dropped from the International League. (Fidel Castro, an avid baseball fan, had regularly attended Sugar Kings games.) The decision comes as the United States is bringing increased economic and political pressure to bear on the Cuban government. The team moves to Jersey City, New Jersey. Related events:

* May-June, 1959: The first Agrarian Reform Law goes into effect in Cuba, under which the country takes over large land holdings (including acreage owned or controlled by U.S. sugar companies).
* June 26, 1959: Gunfire erupts during game between Sugar Kings and Rochester Red Wings. A Rochester coach and a Cuban player are hit. Account of game: @
* September-October, 1959: The Sugar Kings win the minor-league championship. Account of series against Minneapolis Millers: @
* Feb. 13, 1960: Soviet Union agrees to buy 5 million tons of Cuban sugar over 5 years.
* July 6: U.S. reduces its 1960 purchase of Cuban sugar by 95 percent, or 700,000 tons (after Cuba had seized U.S.-owned oil refineries; see June 29-July 1). Eisenhower signing statement: @ July 7 newsreel: @
* July 8: Soviet Union says it will buy the 700,000 tons.
* July 23: China announces a sugar deal with Cuba, the two countries' first commercial treaty.


7.07.2010

Undated: 'Poisoning Pigeons in the Park'

Song satirist Tom Lehrer records and releases a studio version of "Poisoning Pigeons in the Park." On the flip side is "The Masochism Tango." Lehrer, a Harvard-educated mathematician, had already achieved a measure of fame with his darkly comic looks at nuclear war ("We Will All Go Together When We Go"), racism in the South ("I Wanna Go Back to Dixie") and dismemberment ("I Hold Your Hand in Mine)."

* Lehrer performing "Pigeons": @
* Lehrer performing "Masochism Tango": @
* "Pigeons" lyrics: @
* "Tango" lyrics: @
* Short biography: @
* Lehrer discographies: @ and @
* More Lehrer links: @
* "Curbing the Pigeon Conundrum" (New York City report): @



7.05.2010

Undated: X-ray flowers

Albert G. Richards, a professor of dental radiography at the University of Michigan, turns his X-ray equipment toward flowers, beginning with a daffodil. He goes on to make images of thousands of flowers, earning widespread acclaim, museum showings and a place on the cover of Smithsonian magazine in 1986.

* Richards' website: @
* Other websites and images: @ and @
* More about floral radiography: @


7.04.2010

Monday, July 4, 1960: 50-star American flag

The American flag officially gets its 50th star with the addition of Hawaii, which had become a state on August 21, 1959. The flag is raised for the first time at 12:01 a.m. at the Fort McHenry National Monument in Baltimore, Maryland.

* More about designer of 50-star flag: @ and @
* Flag timeline: @
* U.S. Flag Code: @


7.02.2010

Saturday, July 2, 1960: Riot at Newport Jazz Festival

The streets outside the Newport Jazz Festival turn violent when thousands of young people (mostly white college boys) are unable to get in the sold-out festival. The state police and the National Guard are called in. Tear gas and high-pressure fire hoses are used on the crowd, which launches can, bottle and rock attacks of its own. More than 100 people are injured, some 200 rioters are arrested, and the town cancels the rest of the jazz peformances, though a blues program goes on as scheduled. (At left are pages from the magazine Photo Life; click to enlarge.) There would be no festival at all in 1961.

* The day's events: @
* Account from the book "Freedom Is, Freedom Ain't: Jazz and the Making of the Sixties": @
* More about the blues program: @
* "In the Evening by the Moonlight," from "Nina Simone at Newport" (recorded June 30): @
* About Muddy Waters' "At Newport 1960" (recorded July 3): @
* About The Nashville All-Stars' "After the Riot at Newport" (recorded July 4): @
* Festival website: @


7.01.2010

Friday, July 1, 1960: Marshall Space Flight Center

The George C. Marshall Space Flight Center is established as the missile and rocket operations of the U.S. Army (specifically, the Army Ballistic Missile Agency and the Army Ordnance Missile Command) are transferred to the civilian National Aeronautics and Space Administration, or NASA. The center, just outside Huntsville, Alabama, is on the grounds of the Redstone Arsenal, set up during World War II as a weaponry plant. Its first director was Dr. Wernher von Braun (left), a German-born rocket engineer who, along with dozens of other German scientists, began working for the United States after WWII. In the years to follow, Marshall would be at the forefront of the U.S. spaceflight effort.

* MSFC summary (from Encylopedia of Alabama): @
* MSFC History Office website: @
* More about Redstone Arsenal (from globalsecurity.org): @
* "Redstone Arsenal Through the Years" (video): @
* More about Wernher von Braun: @ and @

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