Home Decades 1960s 1965


26 October. The Beatles receive MBEs at Buckingham Palace.


01 – Stanley Matthews is the first-ever professional footballer to be knighted.

01 – The first hydrofoil service begins in Sydney Harbour in Australia.

02 – Indonesia withdraws from the United Nations.

04 – Poet and author T S Eliot dies.

04President Johnson, in his State of The Union message, outlines his program to make America “The Great Society”.

07 – The Kray twins – Ronald and Reginald – are remanded in custody for running a protection racket and charged with “demanding money with menaces in the County of London between 1 October 1964 and 6 January 1965”.

08 – Singer Adam Faith cancels concerts in Johannesburg, South Africa, after being refused permission to play to multi-racial audiences.

12 – The bodies of two teenage girls are found in sandhills at Wanda Beach, Cronulla, Sydney.

16 – 30 people are killed when a US Air Force jet crashes into houses in Wichita, Kansas.

20 – US Disc Jockey Alan Freed dies in poverty at Palm Springs, Florida, aged 43.

24 – Former British PM Winston Churchill dies at his London home at Hyde Park Gate with his wife, Lady Clementine Churchill and other members of the family at his bedside. He was 90. He suffered a stroke 15 days ago and gradually slipped into a deep sleep from which he never awakened.

27 – Australian police are given powers to arrest without a warrant in Queensland as a result of an ongoing strike at Mt Isa Mines.

28The Who make their first appearance on the British TV show Ready Steady Go! before an audience packed with Mods.

30 – Silent crowds line the streets of London to watch the gun carriage bearing Sir Winston Churchill‘s coffin leave Westminster Hall as Big Ben strikes 09:45. Following a full state funeral and a service at St Paul’s Cathedral, his body is buried in a village churchyard near his family’s ancestral home at Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire.


01Civil rights leader Dr Martin Luther King and 300 supporters are arrested in Selma, Alabama, for parading without a permit. They were protesting at the slow pace of electoral reforms intended to give them the vote.

07BeatlesGeorge Harrison undergoes a tonsillectomy at London’s University College Hospital.

07American aircraft begin bombing targets in North Vietnam after attacks by the North Vietnamese on American areas in the South.

08 – Cigarette advertising is banned from British television.

11 – Ringo Starr marries childhood sweetheart Maureen Cox in London.


15Nat King Cole dies of cancer.

16 – A second report from the British Railways Board chairman, Dr Richard Beeching, outlines transport needs for the next quarter of a century. This report (Development of the Major Railway Trunk Routes) outlines his plans to save £50-£100m by closing down selected, superfluous lines on the “bloated” railway network.

18 – Gambia becomes an independent state and the last of Britain’s West African colonies to gain independence. It was the first African nation conquered by the British and will become the 21st member of the Commonwealth and the 116th member of the United Nations.

20 – The US spacecraft Ranger 8 relays 7,000 pictures of the moon before crashing, on target, into the Sea of Tranquility.

21 – 39-year-old black leader Malcolm X is shot to death by members of rival black Muslim group the Nation of Islam while giving a speech at the Audubon Ballroom just outside Harlem in New York City.

22The Beatles begin filming their second film, titled Eight Arms To Hold You (eventually released as Help!).

22 – Prince Philip opens the Royal Mint in Canberra, Australia.

23 – Stan Laurel, the thin and wistful half of comedy duo Laurel and Hardy, dies at 74.

23 – Royal Australian Mint opened in Canberra by the Duke of Edinburgh.


01 – A golden eagle called ‘Goldie’ escapes from Regent’s Park Zoo in London and enjoys 12 days of freedom – mostly in the park, though he is spotted in Tottenham Court Road, Euston and Camden Town – before deputy head keeper Joe McCorry lures him with a dead rabbit tied to a rope near one of the eagle’s favourite haunts, the wildfowl sanctuary.

02 – Australian Swimming Union bans Dawn Fraser from competitive swimming for ten years after an incident at the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games where Fraser allegedly stole a flag from the palace of the Japanese Emperor.

04 – David Attenborough is made Head of BBC2

07 – Civil Rights ‘Freedom Marchers’ on a march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, are met at the southern end of the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma by Sheriff Jim Clark, accompanied by a mounted posse and the Alabama State Troopers. Bullwhips, clubs and tear gas are used to break up the march and over 50 people are severely injured in front of TV news cameras in a day that becomes known as “Bloody Sunday”.

An officer accosts an unconscious Amelia Boynton Robinson on Bloody Sunday in Selma.

07 – Qantas Boeing jet City of Townsville completes first non-stop Pacific flight from San Francisco to Sydney.

08LBJ sends the first ground combat troops to Vietnam, raising US military personnel to 27,000.

09 – Trial of the Kray twins begins in London.

10 – First National Service lottery is drawn in Australia to select young men for military service.

18The Rolling Stones urinate against a garage wall in England and are arrested for insulting behaviour.

18 – Russian cosmonaut Alexei Leonov somersaults into space from his craft Voskhod 2 on the very first spacewalk, or EVA (Extravehicular activity). Leonov spends 12 minutes and 9 seconds outside his spacecraft. 

19Nicolae Ceausescu becomes First Secretary of the Romanian Communist Party.

21 – A 54-mile Civil Rights march from Selma to Montgomery begins with nearly 8,000 marchers led by Martin Luther King. LBJ federalizes the Alabama National Guard to escort the march and protect the participants from hostile rednecks.

23 – US astronauts Virgil Grissom and John W Young make three revolutions of the Earth in Gemini 3. This is the first US two-man space crew.

24 – Millions of American television viewers watch a 15-minute live broadcast from the Ranger 9 as the space probe falls from 1,468 miles (2,363 km) towards the Moon’s surface and crashes headlong into the pock-marked crater Alphonsus. Ranger 9 is the last of the moon probes sent on so-called kamikaze missions in which they are deliberately aimed at the Moon’s surface to take as many images as possible before being destroyed on impact.

25 – 25,000 Civil Rights marchers converge on the State Capitol Building in Montgomery, Alabama, where the Reverend Martin Luther King delivers his “How Long, Not Long” speech.

25 – Following the culmination of the successful Civil Rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, 39-year-old Viola Liuzzo, a white housewife and civil rights activist from Detroit, is driving back from shuttling fellow activists to the Montgomery airport when she is assassinated by Ku Klux Klan members Collie Wilkins, William Eaton, Eugene Thomas, and Gary Thomas Rowe (who is actually an undercover informant working for the FBI).

25 – British singer Tracie Young is born.

27 – Jay Trump wins the Grand National.

28 – An earthquake in Chile kills over 400 people.

31 – The conflict in Vietnam continues to escalate alarmingly as President Johnson sends 3,500 US Marines into Da Nang to help protect the sprawling air base against guerrilla attack. These two battalions of troops are the first fighting soldiers America has committed to the war. All the others have been officially classed as “advisers” to the South Vietnamese forces.


01 – Helena Rubinstein, cosmetics manufacturer, dies aged 93

04North Vietnamese aircraft shoot down US jets.

05 – US actor Robert Downey Jr is born in New York.

06Early Bird, the world’s first commercial communications satellite, is launched from Cape Canaveral. It is first used to broadcast television on 2 May.

06 – The Kray twins are cleared at the Old Bailey of running a protection racket.

06 – Julie Andrews wins best actress of the year Oscar for her lead role in Mary Poppins. The film wins five Oscars, while My Fair Lady wins eight, including best film of the year.

09The Rolling Stones make their first live appearance on Ready, Steady, Go!

09 – Indian and Pakistani troops clash on the Kutch-Sind border.

11 – Jack Nicklaus wins the US Masters golf tournament with a record score of 271.

19Reggie Kray marries in a celebrity wedding. Judy Garland and Barbara Windsor send messages.

23 – The Pennine Way is opened. The trail runs for 268 miles from Edale, in the northern Derbyshire Peak District, north through the Yorkshire Dales and the Northumberland National Park and ends at Kirk Yetholm, just inside the Scottish border.

23 – First Soviet communications satellite, Molnya-1, is launched.

29 – Australian PM Menzies announces Australia will send troops to Vietnam.

29 – French President de Gaulle condemns foreign involvement in Vietnam.

30 – US Marines sent to the Dominican Republic to protect US citizens after a military junta seizes power.


01 – Liverpool wins their first FA Cup, defeating Leeds United 2-1 after extra time.

02 – World’s first commercial communications satellite, Early Bird, begins transmission, linking USA, Canada, UK and Europe.

04 – First Australian Army battalion leaves for Vietnam.

07 – Ian Smith’s pro-white Rhodesian Front Party is overwhelmingly elected to power in Southern Rhodesia. Mr Smith’s party takes all 50 parliamentary seats reserved for whites and now has more than the two-thirds majority necessary to change Rhodesia’s constitution.

11 – Australian Labor party loses NSW for the first time in 24 years.

12 – West Germany establishes diplomatic links with Israel. Ten Arab states break off relations in protest.

12 – Soviet attempt to land Lunar V on the moon fails.

12 – Over 10,000 people are killed in East Pakistan in a violent cyclone.

19 – West Ham win the European Cupwinners’ Cup beating TSV Munich 2-0.

24 – The British government announces that Britain is to switch to the metric system.


01 – Governor Nelson Rockefeller abolishes the death penalty in the state of New York.

03 – Major Edward White becomes the first American to walk in space. He spends 14 minutes outside the Gemini 4 spacecraft. White is so excited by his spacewalk that he has to be persuaded back into Gemini by his partner, Major James McDivitt, who stayed inside the capsule.

09 – Frenchman Michel Jazy sets a new record by running a mile in 3 minutes 53.6 seconds at Rennes.

18 – The British government announces it will introduce a blood alcohol limit for drivers in January 1966. Anyone found to be driving when over the set limit will be penalised, hoping it will deter drivers from drink driving and make roads safer.

19 – Algerian President Ahmed Ben Bella is deposed in a bloodless coup. Col. Houari Boumédienne takes over.

28President Johnson announces that to increase troop levels in Vietnam, the military draft will soon be doubled from 17,000 to 35,000 a month.

30 – John Riding’s boat, Sjo Ag (Sea Egg), becomes the smallest boat to cross the Atlantic. It is only twelve feet long and took 67 days to complete the crossing.


01 – Medicare, senior citizens’ government medical assistance program, begins in Australia.

08 – Ronald Biggs – one of the gang who carried out the Great Train Robbery in 1963 – escapes from Wandsworth prison by scaling a 30ft wall with three other prisoners.

09First Australians killed in Vietnam. Private Bill Nalder, aged 18, is Australia’s first fatality.

15Mariner 4 sends back the first detailed photographs of Mars, showing surface craters but no artificial ‘canals’. The atmosphere is mostly carbon dioxide.

16 – Mont Blanc tunnel linking France and Italy opens.

19 – Korean statesman Syngman Rhee, the first president of South Korea, dies in exile in the US state of Hawaii at 90.

20 – In Britain, the House of Lords unexpectedly approve a Bill to abolish hanging by a majority of 100.

22Sir Alec Douglas-Home resigns as British Tory leader.

24 – Former World Light-Heavyweight boxing champion Freddie Mills (43) is found dead in a car in Soho, London. A friend of the notorious Kray twins, he has been shot in the head, like so many associates of Ronnie and Reggie.

25Bob Dylan appears at a folk-rock festival in Newport, Rhode Island and performs with an electric guitar for the first time. Purists in the audience boo him off stage.

26 – Pam Burridge, Australian surfing champion, is born.

27Edward Heath becomes the new British Conservative Party leader, succeeding Sir Alec Douglas-Home.

28LBJ announces the deployment of another 50,000 troops in Vietnam. The US is on the offensive. Monthly draft calls will increase from 17,000 to 35,000 – the highest level since the Korean War.


01Marianne Faithfull appears at the Morecambe Winter Gardens.

02 – Australian Labor Party drops White Australia policy.

02 – Thousands of British campers on holiday in the south of France are forced to abandon their tents when forest fires threaten to engulf them. At least 7,000 people, mostly holidaymakers, spend a sleepless night on the beach as fires sweep the hills between the Provence resorts of Hyeres and St Tropez.

06The Small Faces‘ debut single, Whatcha Gonna Do About It? is released by Decca.

09 – Singapore gains independence from Malaysia.

11 – Riots break out in the Watts area of Los Angeles in protest of continuing police brutality against the black population. Rioting will only end after six days, 36 deaths and $200 million worth of property damage.

13Jefferson Airplane make their debut at San Francisco’s Matrix Club – a club owned by Marty Balin, the band’s co-founder.

13Bob Dylan‘s Like A Rolling Stone is rush-released in the UK. As it is six minutes long, a special abbreviated edition has to be produced for DJ’s.

15The Beatles play at New York’s Shea Stadium to 56,000 screaming fans – at that time, the biggest crowd ever to attend a rock concert. The group are paid a record $160,000 for the single gig.

15 – At least 28 people die, and hundreds are injured in a weekend of rioting in Los Angeles. Armed National Guards are deployed on the city streets, where many of the shops and businesses now lie in smouldering ruins. The trouble began in the Watts area of the city four nights ago when a black man was stopped on suspicion of drunken driving.

18 – Catherine Deneuve and English photographer David Bailey are married in London.

21/29Gemini V with Gordon Cooper and Charles Conrad Jr aboard makes 120 orbits of the Earth before splashing down safely in the Atlantic Ocean.

27The Beatles meet Elvis Presley for the first and only time.

30Gene Vincent appears at Blackpool South Pier.

31 – It becomes illegal for Americans to burn draft cards.


01 – Pakistani troops cross into Kashmir over the cease-fire line.

03 – American actor Charlie Sheen is born Carlos Estevez in New York.

04 – Dr Albert Schweitzer, the missionary doctor who spent his life in Gabon, Africa, dies.

04The Who visit Battersea Dog’s Home in London to buy a guard dog but return to find their van full of musical equipment has been stolen.

06 – Indian troops invade West Pakistan, crossing the border at three points in an attack that appears to be aimed mainly at the city of Lahore. Authorities in Delhi say their action is intended to prevent a direct attack by Pakistani forces against India.

08 – The Severn Bridge opens, linking Aust and Beachley.

09 – Roma Mitchell becomes Australia’s first woman judge.

13 – Zak Starkey, son of Beatle Ringo Starr, is born.

13 – Pakistanis bomb Bombay.

18 – In Australia, St George wins their 10th straight rugby league grand final with a 12-8 win over South Sydney.

20 – US House of Representatives approves the use of force to resist communism.

20 – United Nations orders India and Pakistan to stop fighting.

24 – The island of Mauritius becomes independent within the Commonwealth.

25 – Essendon wins the VFL Grand Final in Australia, defeating St Kilda 14.21 (105) to 9.16 (70).

30 – The first episode of Thunderbirds is aired on British television.


04 – Pope Paul VI sets foot in New York, where he is to address the UN. He is the first pope to visit America.

06 – London’s tallest building (at the time), the Post Office Tower, is opened by prime minister Harold Wilson. The tower stands 620 feet tall and has a revolving restaurant on top. The lift travels at 12 mph – the fastest lift in Europe.

04 – The British Broadcasting Corporation announces plans to introduce a new service for Asian immigrants starting next week. The programme – titled Making Yourself at Home – will go out every Sunday on radio on the BBC’s Home Service and on television on BBC1.

08 – Australian PM Menzies is made Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports.

15 – Pope Paul VI decrees all Jews cannot be held to blame for Christ’s death.

19 – During a House of Unamerican Activities Committee investigation into the Ku Klux Klan, Imperial Wizard Robert Shelton refuses on constitutional grounds to produce records or answer questions.

26 – The Beatles receive MBEs (Members of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) from the Queen at Buckingham Palace. John Lennon will return his MBE in 1969, citing, among other things, “our support of America in Vietnam”.

27 – 36 die as an airliner crashes on landing at Heathrow Airport in London.

28 – In England, Ian Brady and Myra Hindley are charged with the “Moors Murders”. The body of 10-year-old Lesly Ann Downey was found on Saddleworth Moor in the Pennines 13 days ago.

28 – The top of the new Gateway Arch is secured in St. Louis,  Missouri.

30 – English model Jean Shrimpton attends Derby Day in Melbourne, Australia, with her dress 6½ inches above the knee and introduces the miniskirt to Australia.

30 – US planes bomb a friendly village in Vietnam by mistake, killing 48 and injuring 55.

31 – Anabella Lwin (Bow Wow Wow) is born.


01 – In Japan, the high-speed train begins a scheduled service from Tokyo to Osaka,
travelling 321 miles in 3 hours 10 minutes.

01 – Seven people die as hurricane-force winds batter Britain.

02 – Light Fingers wins the Melbourne Cup.

04 – White Rhodesia breaks with Britain. Britain declares Prime Minister Ian Smith’s Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) is illegal and imposes economic sanctions. The United Nations Security Council condemns Mr Smith’s regime in Rhodesia.

07 – Four miners are killed in an underground fire at Bulli colliery in NSW, Australia.

09 – A power failure at Niagra Falls blacks out New York City, parts of eight states of northeast USA and two provinces of southeast Canada. About 30 million people find themselves in the dark.

09 – A new Act abolishes the Death Penalty in Britain.

15 – Walt and Roy Disney announce plans for a new theme park in Florida, Walt Disney World. A plot of 43 square miles has been purchased for $5 Million dollars. Construction begins in 1969, with the first phase opened in 1971.

20 – A week-long battle in Vietnam‘s Ia Drang Valley leaves 240 US soldiers dead and 470 wounded.

22Bob Dylan marries former model Sara Lowndes.

22Cassius Clay beats Floyd Patterson in Las Vegas to keep his world boxing crown.

25 – In the Congo Republic, General Mobutu imposes five years of army rule.

26 – France launches its first satellite from the Sahara desert.

27 – 25,000 anti-war demonstrators march on Washington DC.

27Ken Kesey hosts his first ‘Acid Test’ at San Francisco’s Longshoreman’s Hall.


03 – An all-white jury in the southern US state of Alabama convicts three Ku Klux Klansmen over the murder of white civil rights activist Viola Liuzzo. The mother of five from Detroit was shot and killed while driving following a protest march from Selma to the state capital Montgomery on 25 March. Collie Leroy Wilkins, Eugene Thomas and William Eaton are convicted in a federal court on conspiracy to violate the constitutional rights of 39-year-old Mrs Liuzzo. They are each given the maximum 10-year sentence. The men could not be convicted on a murder charge because homicide is not within federal jurisdiction.

04Gemini 7 orbits the Earth 206 times with astronauts Frank Borman and James Lovell aboard in 330 hours 35 minutes 17 seconds, convincing the US it is possible to reach the moon.

05General de Gaulle narrowly beats his socialist rival François Mitterrand on the second ballot in the French presidential elections.

08 – The new Race Relations Act comes into force in Britain today making racial discrimination unlawful in public places. The new act forbids discrimination on the “grounds of colour, race, or ethnic or national origins” in public places and covers both British residents and overseas visitors.

09 – Nikolai Podgorny replaces Anastas Mikoyan as president of the USSR.

10 – XP Ford Falcon named Wheels Car of the Year. It is the first Australian-made car to receive this honour.

15 – NASA successfully launches Gemini 6 with astronauts Walter Schirra and Thomas Stafford aboard. It completes 16 orbits of the Earth and meets Gemini 7 in orbit.

15 – Sydney-Newcastle Expressway opens in Australia.

16 – British novelist Somerset Maugham dies. Maugham had also served as a spy during World War I.

17 – Ronnie Scott opens his jazz club in Frith Street, London.

18 – Nine African states break off diplomatic relations with Britain for not using force against Rhodesia.

24 – US temporarily suspends bombing runs in North Vietnam.

27 – Britain’s first off-shore drilling platform, the BP oil rig Sea Gem capsizes and sinks in the North Sea. 13 people perish, and five are injured.

30 – Ferdinand Marcos becomes sixth President of the Philippines.

Also this year . . .

  • Electronic phone exchange gives customers extra services
  • Colour news film arrives
  • Kodak offers Super 8 film for home movies
  • One millionth Mini car is produced in the UK
  • US losses in Vietnam since 1961 now exceed 1,300 dead and 6,100 wounded