Home Decades 1960s 1967


4 January. Donald Campbell dies when his jet-powered Bluebird crashes on Coniston Water.


01 – In Britain, Alf Ramsey is knighted and Bobby Moore gets an OBE in the New Years Honours.

01 – 48-hour ceasefire ends in Vietnam with B-52s attacking the DMZ.

01 – All Night Rave at The Roundhouse in London, featuring The Who, The Move, The Pink Floyd. “Psychedelicamania — come and watch the pretty lights,” says the poster.

02Ronald Reagan is sworn in as Governor of California.

03Jack Ruby, killer of Lee Harvey Oswald, dies of a blood clot in the lung.

03The Beach Boys‘ Carl Wilson refuses to comply with a draft notice enlisting him into the armed forces. A five-year legal battle ensues with Wilson eventually being acquitted of draft evasion.

04 – Donald Campbell dies when his jet-powered Bluebird leaps into the air and plunges into Coniston Water in Lancashire during an attempt to break the world water speed record (pictured above). Campbell was within a fraction of a second of beating his own record of 276.33 mph when the disaster occurred.

09 – Open rebellion against Mao breaks out in China.

10 – Anti-segregationist Lester Maddox sworn in as Governor of Georgia.

14 – The Human Be-In, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco — ‘The Gathering of the Tribes’. Allen Ginsberg, Jefferson Airplane, the Grateful Dead, The Sir Douglas Quintet, Timothy Leary and 20,000 hippies converge on the park to “celebrate life”.

16 – Mrs George Wallace becomes Alabama’s first woman governor.

18 – Albert DeSalvo – the man who claims to be the Boston Strangler – is sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty of assault and armed robbery against four women in Connecticut. DeSalvo says he murdered 13 single women in the Boston area between June 1962 and January 1964, creating a climate of fear in the city. But the 35-year-old has not been charged with any of the murders because of a lack of evidence.

18 – Jeremy Thorpe becomes leader of the British Liberal Party on the resignation of Jo Grimond.

22The Stones outrage the showbiz establishment by refusing to appear on the revolving stage after playing Sunday Night At The London Palladium.

27 – Maltese Premier Olivier tells Britain to “get out”.

27 – Lone British yachtsman Francis Chichester is awarded a knighthood.

27- Three American astronauts die in a fire that sweeps through their spacecraft during a launch pad rehearsal. Col. Virgil “Gus” Grissom, Col. Edward White II and Lt. Cmdr. Roger B Chaffee are in their Apollo 1 spacecraft going through a simulation of the launch which was to have put them into Earth orbit next month (pictured below).

27 – A space demilitarisation treaty, forbidding the orbiting of nuclear weapons and territorial claims on celestial bodies, is signed by the US and USSR.


03 – Convicted murderer Ronald Ryan, 41, becomes the last person to be hanged in Australia when the hangman slips the noose over his head at Melbourne’s notorious Pentridge prison on an unbearably hot summer morning. The hanging caused outrage across the nation and ultimately ended capital punishment in Australia.

03 – Visionary British record producer Joe Meek shoots his landlady then turns the gun on himself. His suicide occurs on the 8th anniversary of Buddy Holly‘s death (3 Feb 1959) which is no coincidence given Meek’s fascination with Holly.

08Gough Whitlam is new Australian Labor Party leader.

11 – Red Army takes over Peking.

12 – Police raid Rolling Stones‘ Keith Richards’ house in Sussex and arrest Richards, Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithfull.

17The Beatles release Strawberry Fields Forever/Penny Lane.

18 – Robert Oppenheimer, father of the Atom Bomb, dies.

24 – Army officers seize power in Sierra Leone.

25 – ‘Boston Strangler‘ is recaptured after escaping from a mental hospital.


01 – Prince Philip visits Australia.

09 – Brian Jones of The Rolling Stones enters hospital with respiratory problems.

10 – US steps up Vietnam bombing raids.

12Indira Gandhi re-elected as Indian PM.

18 – A Liberian supertanker, the Torrey Canyon, runs aground on Seven Stones Reef between Land’s End and the Scilly Isles and spews oil all over beaches on the south coast of England.

30 – The RAF drops 62,000lbs of bombs, 5,200 gallons of petrol, 11 rockets and large quantities of napalm on the stricken giant tanker Torrey Canyon off the Cornish coast in an attempt to halt a giant oil spill. 30,000 tonnes of oil spread over 270 square miles after the tanker breaks in half during salvage attempts.


04 – The Australian government says it will not ban the contraceptive pill (which may cause thrombosis) as the risk is “very slight”.

06Pink Floyd make their debut on Top Of The Pops, playing Arnold Layne. ” The Pink Floyd does not know what people mean by psychedelic pop and are not trying to cause hallucinatory effects on their audience,” says EMI’s press release.

08Sandie Shaw becomes the first UK performer to win the Eurovision Song Contest, with Puppet on a String.

15 – More than 200,000 protest in New York and San Francisco against the Vietnam War.

17 – President Liu Shao-chi of China is accused of leading a coup against Mao in February.

19 – Kathrine Switzer becomes the first woman to officially run in the Boston Marathon. Switzer enters by using her initials ‘K. V. Switzer’. Race organisers are livid when they discover a woman is competing in the race and race official Jock Semple tries to rip her number off and physically prevent her from running (pictured below), but her boyfriend, who is running alongside her, intervenes and she is able to continue and complete the race in 4 hours and 20 minutes.

21 – Stalin’s daughter, Svetlana Alliluyeva Stalin, defects to the West and arrives in the US to “seek self-expression”.

24 – Soviet cosmonaut Colonel Vladimir Komarov, aged 40, is killed when his Soyuz 1 spacecraft crashes to Earth from a height of four miles after coming out of orbit.

27 – Expo 67 opens in Montreal, Canada (pictured below).


29Pink Floyd, The Pretty Things, Arthur Brown, The Move and The Soft Machine are the grooviest of the 30 or so bands playing at Alexandra Palace in London as part of ‘The 14-hour Technicolour Dream’ – a British reply to Ken Kesey‘s acid tests.

30 – Political troubles in Greece culminate in an Army coup d’état. King Constantine is placed under house arrest.

30Muhammad Ali, previously Cassius Clay, has been stripped of his world heavyweight title by all the US boxing associations for formally refusing to be inducted into military service. “I ain’t got no quarrel with them Viet Congs” he said.


elviswed_1601 – Elvis Presley marries Priscilla Beaulieu in Las Vegas (pictured at right).

05 – General Westmoreland, Commander of US Forces, assures Congress that the US “will prevail over the Communist aggressor in Vietnam”.

10 – Compulsory alcohol breath testing introduced in UK.

10 – Keith Richard and Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones appear before Chichester magistrates charged with drug offences following a raid on Mr Richards’s mansion on 12 February. They plead not guilty and now will await a jury trial.

10Rolling Stones‘ guitarist Brian Jones is arrested on drugs charges after police raid his Kensington apartment.

12 – The British Government gives the green light to plans to convert Stansted into London’s third airport.

13 – 70,000 people attend a pro-Vietnam War parade in New York City.

21 – The state of Mississippi abandons Prohibition – the last state of the USA to do so – and becomes officially ‘wet’.

25 – Celtic becomes the first British club to win soccer’s European Cup.

25John Lennon takes possession of a ‘psychedelic’ Rolls-Royce. Rolls-Royce voice their objections to the car’s colour scheme.

27 – Australia gives Aborigines the vote.

28 – British yachtsman Sir Francis Chichester, 65, arrives in Plymouth to complete his epic solo round-the-world voyage. He crosses the finishing line at 20:58 – nine months and one day after setting off from the historic port.

28 – Actress Dyan Cannon is granted a divorce from Cary Grant on the grounds of “brutal and inhuman treatment”. Miss Cannon alleges that Grant used to lock her up and beat her, and on two occasions forced her to take LSD. The couple married in 1965.

29 – Five dollar note goes into circulation in Australia.

30 – Ibo leader Colonel Ojukwu declares the independence of Nigeria’s Eastern Region as the Republic of Biafra. Three years of civil war will ensue.

30 – The King of Jordan and President Abdel Nasser of Egypt sign a joint defence agreement to unite against their common enemy, Israel.


01The BeatlesSgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band LP is released.

02 – The US Supreme Court rules that state laws forbidding interracial marriage are unconstitutional.

05 – Pre-emptive Israeli airstrikes on Egypt cripple the Egyptian air force and spark the Six-Day War. Fighting breaks out on the Israel-Egypt border but quickly spreads to involve other neighbouring Arab states with ground and air troops becoming embroiled in battle.

07 – Israeli forces capture Jerusalem and other areas in Egypt and Jordan.

10 – Israel triumphs in the Six-Day War with Arab neighbours. Israel has captured extensive territory from Egypt, Jordan and Syria, including all of Jerusalem, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights.

10 – Crown Princess Margrethe of Denmark marries Count Henri de Monpezat.

11 – US actor Spencer Tracy (67) dies at his Hollywood home shortly after completing work on his last film, Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner.

12 – The USSR launches Venera 4 to reach Venus.

13 – The USSR demands an immediate UN vote on a resolution condemning Israel’s aggression in the Six-Day War and the withdrawal of Israeli troops from Arab territories.

14 – NASA launches Mariner 5 to reach Venus.

16Monterey International Pop Festival in USA.

17 – China announces explosion of its first hydrogen bomb.

22 – The trial of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards opens at Chichester Court. Jagger is charged with possession of amphetamines. Richards with allowing his house to be used for the smoking of cannabis resin.

23LBJ and Soviet premier Alexei Kosygin confer in abortive peace talks.

25 – 26 countries and 400 million people witness The Beatles and friends perform All You Need Is Love broadcast from the Abbey Road studios in London in the first worldwide live satellite link-up, produced for Our World.

29 – Actress Jayne Mansfield (34) dies in New Orleans, decapitated in a road crash on her way to do her act at a nightclub. Her lawyer and chauffeur also died when they ran into the back of a truck which stopped suddenly.


01 – The UK’s first regular colour transmissions begin on BBC2.

01The Times runs an editorial (‘Who Breaks A Butterfly On A Wheel?’) denouncing Jagger’s sentence.

03News At Ten begins, British television’s first regular half-hour news programme.

07 – Nigeria invades Biafra.

08 – Actress Vivien Leigh – forever Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With The Wind – dies of tuberculosis in London. Aged 53.

09 – Sheila Scott lands at Cape Town breaking the women’s solo flight record set by Amy Johnson in 1936.

13 – British cyclist Tommy Simpson (pictured below) dies after collapsing during a mountain stage of the Tour de France in intense heat on the ascent of Mont Ventoux, a barren mountain rising over 6,000 ft near Carpentras. A doctor tries to give him artificial respiration and he is flown by ambulance helicopter to Avignon hospital, but soon after 6.30 pm, it is announced that Simpson, 29, has died.

18 – Australia introduces Postcodes.

24 – Rioting breaks out when police are called to a noisy party at a “Blind Pig” or illegal drinking shop in Detroit, to welcome a black soldier home from Vietnam. Before the rioting is brought under control, at least 38 people have been shot, most of them black rioters and looters shot by police, aided by 7,000 National Guardsmen (pictured below).

24President de Gaulle calls for ‘Free Quebec’ in a speech in Montreal.

27 – Royal assent is given to the Sexual Offences Act (legalising homosexual acts between consenting adults).

27 – As paratroops from the 101st and 84th Airborne Divisions restore order in the riot-torn streets of Detroit, President Lyndon Johnson announces the appointment of a high-level commission to look into the causes of the recent urban rioting in American cities. Outbreaks have occurred in New York City’s Spanish Harlem, Rochester (NY), Birmingham, Alabama, and New Britain, Connecticut.


01 – As rioting sweeps through black ghettos for the third year running, FBI chief J Edgar Hoover concludes that “outside agitators” are responsible.

01 – Canadian PM Lester Pearson dismisses de Gaulle‘s challenge on Quebec.

02 – £8 million Dartford Tunnel under River Thames in London opens.

03 – Inquiry into the Welsh Aberfan disaster blames the Coal Board.

03 – Liza Minnelli begins a nightclub season in Sydney, Australia.

09 – Author Joe Orton is killed in his flat in Islington by his ‘companion’ Kenneth Halliwell.

09 – Rebel forces seize control of Biafra, a province of Nigeria.

09 – Marc Bolan’s Tyrannosaurus Rex play their first gig.

12LBJ authorises a new list of bombing targets in North Vietnam.

15 – Belgian artist Rene-Francois-Ghislain Magritte dies (b. 1898).

15 – The British Marine Offences Bill is passed banning Pirate Radio stations.

17Muhammad Ali marries an orthodox Muslim and reaffirms his commitment to Islam.

17 – Stokeley Carmichael, broadcasting from Cuba, calls for American blacks to arm for “violent revolution”.

20 – Three gunmen attack the US embassy in London with automatic rifles.

24 – Two penguins from Chessington Zoo in England are taken on a day trip to a Streatham ice-rink to cool off as temperatures in the London area reach nearly 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees Celsius).

25 – George Lincoln Rockwell (49), the founder and leader of the US Nazi Party, is shot dead by a sniper at a shopping centre just yards from his home in Arlington, Virginia (pictured below). Minutes after the shooting a “captain” in Rockwell’s Nazi party, John Patler (29) is arrested and charged with his murder.


26The Beatles and entourage travel to Bangor, Wales, to study meditation with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

27Brian Epstein, the former Liverpool record store owner who discovered and managed The Beatles, is found dead at his house in London’s Belgravia – apparently from an overdose of sleeping pills. The Beatles break off their retreat in Wales to return immediately to London. John Lennon, visibly shocked, says “I do not know where we would have been without Brian”.

29 – Ex-child film star Shirley Temple Black announces she is standing for Congress.


03 – Sweden changes from driving on the left side of the road to the right.

10 – Gibraltar votes overwhelmingly to remain British: 12,138 votes for British rule and 44 for Spanish rule.

11 – Harry Connick Junior is born.

12 – Ronald Reagan calls for escalation of the Vietnam War (hopefully not as a result of the birth of Harry Connick Junior!).

20 – The Queen launches the new £29 million Cunard liner, Queen Elizabeth II, at Clydebank near Glasgow.

30BBC Radio One, Britain’s long-awaited national pop network, begins broadcasting. The first single played on the station is Flowers In The Rain by The Move.


02 – Thurgood Marshall is sworn in as the first black Supreme Court justice.

03 – US musician Woody Guthrie dies in Creedmoor State Hospital, Queens, New York, aged 55. He has been hospitalised with Huntington’s chorea since 1961.

05 – Arriving at Southampton, Mama Cass Elliot is arrested and charged with stealing two blankets and a hotel key after a stay in London the previous February. Elliot is strip-searched and held in custody, before appearing at West London Magistrates Court. The case was dismissed.

06 – As sightseeing coach tours turn Haight Ashbury into a commercial parody, San Franciscan longhairs stage ‘the funeral of the hippie‘.

06Pink Floyd play the Miss Teenage Brighton Contest at Brighton’s Top Rank Suite. They are paid £300 for two half-hour shows.

08 – Clement Attlee, Labour prime minister of Britain immediately after WWII, dies.

09 – Cuban revolutionary hero (and Fidel Castro‘s right-hand man in the Cuban revolution) Ernesto “Che” Guevara is captured and executed in Bolivia.

09 – The first issue of Rolling Stone is published.

11 – As part of a libel settlement, Birmingham-based pop group The Move make a public apology to Prime Minister Harold Wilson for a postcard promoting the group’s new record Flowers in the Rain which features a cartoon caricature of the Labour Prime Minister in the nude.

16Joan Baez and over 40 other anti-draft protesters are arrested following an attempt to block the entrance to an armed forces induction centre in Oakland, California. The protest is part of a national ‘Stop The Draft’ week, and Baez is jailed for 10 days for her part in the proceedings.

17 – Hair, described as a Love-Rock Tribal Musical, opens at the Public Theatre in New York’s East Village. There is no nudity in this original production and many songs that will make the show a worldwide success are missing.

18 – The Soviet Venera 4 capsule sinks slowly through the thick atmosphere of Venus using a special parachute. It is the first probe to return direct measurements from another planet’s atmosphere and reveals that surface temperature climb as high as 280°C and that the atmosphere is almost entirely carbon dioxide and there is no magnetic field.

18 – How I Won The War, Richard Lester’s black comedy movie starring John Lennon as Private Gripweed, opens at London’s Pavilion. A National Front member throws a stink bomb during the screening.

20 – Australia breaks with British currency.

21 – Israeli destroyer Eilat is sunk by Egyptian missiles.

21/22 – Anti-war protesters clash with police outside the Pentagon. 647 are arrested (including writer Norman Mailer).

24 – Israeli artillery destroys a petrol refinery at Port Suez.

25 – British Parliament passes Abortion Bill.

26 – The Shah of Iran and his Queen are crowned in Teheran.

27 – Royal assent is given to the Abortion Act and the Dangerous Drugs Act.

29 – The international exhibition Expo 67 closes in Montreal.

30 – In a London court, Brian Jones pleads guilty to possessing cannabis but not guilty to possessing cocaine and methedrine. He is remanded to Wormwood Scrubs.


05 – The 19:43 Hastings to Charing Cross train derails at Hither Green in south-east London while travelling at 70 miles per hour (110 km/h). 49 people are killed and 78 injured. Amongst the survivors are Bee Gees singer Robin Gibb and his wife-to-be, Molly Hullis.

08 – Britain’s first local radio station, Radio Leicester, goes on the air.

18Harold Wilson devalues the pound by 14.3 per cent.

18 – A ban on the movement of farm animals is imposed across the whole of England and Wales in an attempt to curb the spread of the foot-and-mouth epidemic. The number of animals slaughtered in the epidemic has reached a record high of 134,000.

21 – Despite the growing protests in the United States against the war in Vietnam, American warplanes return to the attack on North Vietnam with increased ferocity. B-52 heavy bombers based in Thailand bomb a large military supply depot three miles from the centre of Hanoi and carrier-based aircraft strike a shipyard at Haiphong.

24 – U Thant, UN Secretary-General, says that Greece and Turkey are “on the brink of war” over Cyprus.

27General de Gaulle says he is not prepared at present to negotiate the entry of Great Britain into the Common Market.

28 – All horse racing in Britain is cancelled indefinitely to help prevent the spread of foot-and-mouth disease.

29 – First Australian satellite launched at Woomera.

30 – The Federation of South Arabia becomes the independent People’s Republic of South Yemen.


01 – The Isaac Newton Telescope, the largest in Western Europe, is inaugurated at the Royal Greenwich Observatory in London.

03 – The first human heart transplant is successfully carried out in Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town, by a team of 30 doctors and nurses led by Christiaan N Barnard, Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery, who gives a new heart to Louis Washkansky, a 53-year-old grocer suffering grave heart failure.

04 – Britain announces a ban on meat from countries with foot and mouth disease.

05Allen Ginsberg and Dr Spock are among 264 arrested during a ‘Stop The Draft’ week in New York.

05 – US troops in Vietnam now number 475,000, with over 14,000 dead.

07The Beatles open their Apple Boutique in London’s Baker Street.

09Nicolae Ceausescu becomes premier of Rumania.

10 – Soul star Otis Redding dies when his plane crashes into Lake Monona in Madison, Wisconsin.

11 – The prototype of the supersonic airliner Concorde is shown for the first time in Toulouse, France.

12 Rolling Stones guitarist Brian Jones has a nine-month jail sentence – for possession of cannabis and permitting his home to be used by others smoking cannabis – overturned at the Court of Appeal in London. He is ordered instead to pay a £1,000 fine and has been put on probation for three years.

17 – Australian PM Harold Holt, disappears at sea while swimming (b. 1908).

17 – Alec Rose arrives at Melbourne, Australia, in his ketch Lively Lady after a five-month solo voyage from Portsmouth.

18 – USSR hails British “Third Man” spy Kim Philby a hero.

19 – John McEwen sworn in as acting Australian Prime Minister.

20 – McEwen says he won’t serve under McMahon.

21 – Heart transplant recipient Louis Washnasky dies as a result of lung complications.

22Holt memorial service held in Melbourne, Australia.

22 – Wimbledon tennis champion Boris Becker is born.

25Paul McCartney announces his engagement to Jane Asher.

26The BeatlesMagical Mystery Tour premiers on the BBC to disappointing reviews. Even devoted Beatles fans are confused by the seemingly plotless film.

30Ho Chi Minh sends a new year greeting from Hanoi to US anti-war protesters.

Also this year . . .

  • ‘Red Handed’ wins Melbourne Cup in Australia.
  • At 645 feet high, Lake Point Tower, Chicago, becomes the world’s tallest reinforced concrete apartment block.