1960: Year in review

* "Eyewitness: Remember 1960" (CBS News program): @
* "1960: Year of Upheaval" (News of the Day newsreel): @
* Audio and transcripts from UPI: @
* Article from George Mason University's History News Network: @


Wednesday, December 28, 1960: 'Where the Boys Are'

Fort Lauderdale, Florida, becomes a premier spring break destination for college students after the release of the movie "Where the Boys Are." Its stars include Dolores Hart, Yvette Mimieux, George Hamilton and Jim Hutton. The theme song, performed by Connie Francis (also making her screen debut) is a worldwide hit.

* Movie summary (from TCM.com): @
* Watch movie trailer: @
* Listen to theme song: @
* "The Innocent Birth of the Spring Baccahanal" (2006 article from New York times; click on "multimedia"): @


Tuesday, December 27, 1960: The Beatles in Litherland

In what is now considered a milestone moment for the band, the Beatles play at Litherland Town Hall in north Liverpool, England. The group (except for Stuart Sutcliffe) had recently returned from Hamburg, Germany. Chas Newby played bass on this night. Why a milestone moment? They were a much better band after their Hamburg stint, and accounts from that night indicate a rapidly growing excitement about their sound and performances.

* Summary from www.beatlesbible.com: @
* From "The Beatles" (book by Hunter Davies): @


Monday, December 26, 1960: Operation Pedro Pan begins

Operation Pedro Pan was a program under which children were sent from Cuba to the United States, where they would receive education and care. It was operated by the Catholic Welfare Bureau of Miami and financed in part by the U.S. government. More than 14,000 children made the journey between December 1960 and October 1962, when the Cuban Missile Crisis brought an end to commercial flights between the two countries.

* pedropan.org: @
* Miami Herald site (stories and database): @
* "Operation Pedro Pan: The Untold Exodus of 14,048 Cuban Children" (book): @
* "Escape from Havana: An American Story" (CNBC video): @


Friday, December 16, 1960: Plane crash in New York

A United Airlines DC-8 and a TWA Super Constellation collide over New York City. 127 of the 128 people on the flights are killed; 6 people on the ground die. United passenger Steven Baltz, 11, survives but dies the next day.

* More about Steven Baltz: @
* Story about nurse who tended to Baltz (New York Times, 2002): @
* Flight paths: @
* Accident descriptions (from Aviation Safety Network): @ and @
* Front page of The New York Times (December 17): @
* "Death in the Air" (Time magazine, December 26): @
* New York Times stories marking 50th anniversary: @


Thursday, December 15, 1960: Dalton Trumbo

The movie "Exodus" premieres, with Dalton Trumbo listed as screenwriter. Director Otto Preminger's decision to hire and credit Trumbo helped end the era of the Hollywood Blacklist, when film professionals were denied work because of their suspected ties to Communism. Trumbo was among the "Hollywood Ten," who refused to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee; he served 10 months in federal prison as a result. (Photo is of Trumbo, left, and screenwriter John Howard Lawson heading to prison.)

* "Hollywood Blacklist" (from "Encyclopedia of the American Left"): @
* "The Inquisition in Hollywood: Politics in the Film Community 1930-1960" (book): @
* "Congressional Committees and Unfriendly Witnesses": @
* "The Hollywood Ten" (short film): @
* More about "Exodus" (from Turner Classic Movies): @
* New York Times review of "Exodus" (December 16): @

Thursday, December 15, 1960: Teflon

The first Teflon-coated non-stick cookware, called "T-Fal" in the United States, goes on sale at Macy's department store in New York. It quickly sells out. (The ad at left is from France; it says "never sticks.")

* Summary: @
* Short history (from www.t-falusa.com): @
* "Making Teflon Stick" (Invention & Technology magazine, 2000): @
* "A Brief History of Fluoropolymers" (DuPont publication): @
* "DuPont's Teflon Cover-Up" (from environmentalchemistry.com): @


Wednesday, December 14, 1960: Space/UFO report

The Brookings Institution in Washington releases a report (prepared for NASA) titled "Proposed Studies on the Implications of Peaceful Space Activities for Human Affairs."

The report includes a section titled "The Implications of a Discovery of Extraterrestrial Life." It states, "The knowledge that life existed in other parts of the universe might lead a greater unity of men on earth, based on the oneness of man or on the age-old assumption that any stranger is threatening." Yet it also cautions that "Anthropological files contain many examples of societies, sure of their place in the universe, which have disintegrated when they have had to associate with previously unfamiliar societies espousing different ideas and different life ways..."

* Report: @
* New York Times article (December 15): @
* Brookings Institution website: @


Wednesday, December 7, 1960: Challenge to school prayer

"Madalyn Murray (later O'Hair) filed suit in the Superior Court of Baltimore, Maryland, asking the Court to rule that required Bible reading and recitation of the Lord's Prayer in the city's public schools are unconstitutional." (From the book "The Atheist: Madalyn Murray O'Hair.") In 1963, the U.S. Supreme Court would rule in her favor; her case had been consolidated with Abington School District v. Schempp on appeal to the high court.

* Short biography (from PBS's "God in America" series): @
* More from "The Atheist: Madalyn Murray O'Hair": @
* More about Abington case: @
* American Atheists website: @


Tuesday, December 6, 1960: 'Little Boy' and 'Fat Man'

The U.S. government allows publication of photos of the types of atomic bombs that were dropped on Japan in 1945. The photo at far left is similar to "Little Boy," the nickname given the bomb dropped on Hiroshima; "Fat Man" was the Nagasaki bomb. Why the 15-year delay? "The executive branch of government ... have held that use of the photos might have an adverse effect on international relations, especially in Japan, where the bombs were used," reported the Associated Press.

* Los Angeles Mirror front page (Dec. 6): @
* Time magazine article (Dec. 19, 1960): @
* The Manhattan Project (from U.S. Department of Energy): @
* The Manhattan Project (from atomicarchive.com): @

Tuesday, December 6, 1960: Arctic National Wildlife Range

Nearly 9 million acres in northeastern Alaska are set aside as protected areas "for the purpose of preserving wildlife, wilderness and recreational values." In 1980 the designated area was doubled in size and renamed the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

* Refuge website: @
* Text of Public Land Order creating range: @
* Panoramic photos: @
* "Potential Impacts of Proposed Oil and Gas Development": @
* Izembek National Wildlife Range (also established on this date): @


Monday, December 5, 1960: Boynton v. Virginia

The U.S. Supreme Court rules that racial segregation in bus terminals and related facilities associated with interstate travel (waiting rooms, restaurants, etc.) is illegal under the Interstate Commerce Act. The 7-2 ruling sets the stage for the "Freedom Rides" through the South the next year. (Future Supreme Court judge Thurgood Marshall argues the case for the plaintiffs; Justice Hugo Black, a former member of the Ku Klux Klan, writes the majority opinion.)

* Summary of case: @
* Text of decision: @
* Listen to oral arguments: @
* Excerpt from "Freedom's Main Line: The Journey of Reconciliation and the Freedom Rides": @


Saturday, December 3, 1960: 'Camelot'

The musical opens on Broadway, with Richard Burton as King Arthur, Julie Andrews as Queen Guenevere and Robert Goulet as Sir Lancelot. This telling of the Arthurian legend was adapted from T.H. White's book "The Once and Future King." The original cast album was a huge success as well; its most memorable song was "If Ever I Would Leave You," sung by Goulet.

* Show summary: @
* Lyrics: @
* Entry from "The Oxford Companion to the American Musical": @
* Listen to "If Ever I Would Leave You": @

Saturday, December 3, 1960: 'Goodness Gracious Me!'

The comedy duet by Peter Sellers and Sophia Loren peaks at No. 4 on the British popular music charts. It was recorded for the movie "The Millionairess," but was not used. The song was produced by George Martin, who in two years' time would begin producing The Beatles' records.

* Listen to the song: @
* Singles chart for December 3: @
* Summary of "The Millionairess: @

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