Home Decades 1960s 1969

1969

Investiture of Prince Charles at Caernarvon Castle. 1 July 1969.

January

01 – West Indies cricketer and politician Sir Learie Constantine becomes Britain’s first black life peer.

01 – Ohio State beats Southern California, 27 – 16, in the Rose Bowl to become US national collegiate football champions.

02 – Australian media magnate, Rupert Murdoch, defeats a £34 million offer from Robert Maxwell’s Pergamon Press to win control of the News of the World newspaper group, his first Fleet Street newspaper.

03 – Religious and political factions clash in Londonderry after a 72-mile march from Belfast. The opposition to the civil rights march by the left-wing People’s Democracy Group is led by Reverend Ian Paisley, founder and leader of the Free Presbyterian Church.

03 – Police at Newark Airport, New Jersey, confiscate 30,000 copies of John Lennon and Yoko Ono‘s Two Virgins album because the cover is considered obscene.

04 – 111 people are injured when Protestants attack Catholic civil rights marchers in Northern Ireland.

06 – The US Presidential salary is doubled from $100,000 to $200,000 per year. It will stay the same for 30 years, at which point it is doubled again.

07 – Governor of California Ronald Reagan asks the state legislature to “drive criminal anarchists and latter-day fascists” off university campuses.

08 – Australia win the third Test against the West Indies by 10 wickets.

09 – The word’s first supersonic airliner, Concorde, is given its first trial flight at Bristol.

10 – The 141-year-old American newspaper The Saturday Evening Post is published for the last time.

10 – Sweden is the first western European country to recognise the government of Communist North Vietnam.

11 – British author Richmal Crompton (born 1890) dies.

12 – London police battle with 4,000 demonstrators who try to take over Rhodesia House and South Africa House.

12 – Judy Garland marries a young hairdresser named Mickey Deans. Garland will die from a sleeping pill overdose within five months.

12 – AFL New York Jets defeat NFL Baltimore Colts, 16 – 7, in Superbowl upset.

13 – Cannons from Captain James Cook’s ship, the HMS Endeavour, are recovered from the reef off Cookstown, Queensland (Australia).

14 – Fire and explosions kill 27 and injure 85 on the American aircraft carrier, USS Enterprise.

14 – Sir Matt Busby, 59, announces his retirement as Manchester United manager.

16 – Czech student Jan Palach sets fire to himself in protest at the Soviet occupation of his country. He dies a martyr on 26 January.

16 – Soviet space capsules Soyuz 4 and Soyuz 5 link in orbit and remain joined for four hours. Two astronauts transfer from one to the other after one hour’s walk in space.

16 – Ten paintings, including a Rembrandt, are defaced at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

17Led Zeppelin released their eponymous debut album in the USA.

18 – South Vietnamese and National Liberation Front delegations join the Paris peace talks.

18 – 38 people are killed in a United Airlines jet crash over the Pacific Ocean off Los Angeles.

18 – Boxer Lionel Rose is named Australian Of The Year, the first time the honour has been given to an Aboriginal. Rose has won 32 of his 34 professional bouts and was also voted Fighter Of The Year by the World Boxing Council.

20Richard Nixon is inaugurated as the 37th US President.

24 – Ford unveils a new sports saloon, the Capri.

24 – The London School of Economics (LSE) closes following violent protests by students who are angry at the installation of steel security gates. Police arrested 25 demonstrators who broke through seven sets of steel protective gates at the university in the Aldwych, central London, with crowbars, pickaxes and sledgehammers.

26 – Police wielding truncheons and firing tear gas break up a march by hundreds of demonstrators in central Prague. The crowd is gathered at the foot of the Wenceslas Statue to pay tribute to Jan Palach, the student who burned himself to death in protest at the Soviet occupation of Czechoslovakia.

25 – NASA unveils its moon landing craft for the first time.

27 – 14 men, most of them Jewish, are publicly hanged in Iraq on charges of spying for Israel.

27 – Protestant leader Ian Paisley is jailed for three months for unlawful assembly in Northern Ireland.

27 – Students protesting against the closure of the London School of Economics seize control of the University of London Union building, in Malet Street, central London, saying they want to establish an LSE in exile until their own college is reopened.

30 – The Beatles make their last ever live appearance together – putting on a free lunchtime concert on the roof of their Apple Corps HQ at 30 Savile Row, in London. Police are called in to stop the noise when neighbours complain, and the event is filmed and incorporated into the Let It Be movie released in 1970.

31 – Indian mystic Meher Baba, an influence on the lives of Pete Townshend, Ronnie Laine, Melanie and other rock stars, dies at the age of 74. He had not uttered a word for over 40 years.


February

02 – Actor Boris Karloff (born William Henry Pratt) dies at his home in Midhurst, Sussex, at the age of 81.

03Yasser Arafat is elected the new leader of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO).

05 – A state of ‘extreme emergency’ is declared as student protest mounts at the University of California’s Berkeley campus.

07 – Up to 300 die in Nigeria when a bomb rips through a market in Biafra.

07 – In Australia, the Southern Aurora express train crashes into a goods train killing nine people.

08 – The Saturday Evening Post ceases publication after 148 years.

09 – The Boeing 747 “Jumbo Jet” – the world’s biggest commercial aircraft – makes its maiden flight.

10 – Fourteen die and 68 are hurt as New York digs its way out of the biggest snowstorm in seven years.

11 – 1,600 women workers at the Ford plant in Dagenham, Essex, win equal pay.

13 – Scientists in Cambridge (England) announce the first successful in vitro fertilisation of a human embryo.

13 – A bomb planted by the Front de Libération du Québec (FLQ) rips through the Montreal Stock Exchange causing massive destruction and seriously injuring 27 people.

14 – US Mafia boss Vito Genovese dies from a heart attack while serving a 15-year prison sentence for drug smuggling.

14 – Marty Feldman is named TV personality of 1968.

15 – In Vietnam, the US calls a truce for Tet, the lunar new year.

18 – An Israeli airliner is attacked by Arab terrorists at Zurich airport. Six passengers are injured, one Arab is killed.

18 Lulu (20) and Maurice Gibb (19) of the Bee Gees marry at St James’ Church in Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire.

20 – Lloyd’s of London announces it will admit women from January 1970.

23 – King Saud of Arabia dies. He hasn’t been the reigning monarch since 1964 when he was deposed and replaced by his brother Faisal.

23 – Ex-Test cricketer, the Rev. David Sheppard, is appointed Bishop of Woolwich.

23 – BBC2 begins a new series called Civilisation, presented by Sir Kenneth Clark.

24 – The unmanned Mariner 6 is launched in the US on a voyage to Mars.

28 – Sirhan Sirhan, on trial for the murder of Bobby Kennedy, is refused a request to be executed.


March

01 – New York Yankees slugger Mickey Mantle retires from baseball.

01The Doors‘ singer Jim Morrison is arrested at Dinner Key Auditorium in Miami, Florida, for exposing himself on stage.

02 – Sino-Soviet clash on frozen Ussuri river border.

02 – The Anglo-French Concorde makes its maiden flight from Toulouse, France.

03 – Apollo 9 blasts off with three astronauts to test the lunar module which will eventually be used in a moon landing.

05 – In West Germany, Dr Gustav Heinemann becomes president in succession to Dr Lubke.

05Creem magazine is launched in the US.

06Apollo 9 astronaut Russell Schweickart stands in space for 40 minutes on the platform of the lunar module, takes pictures and makes tests.

06 – London’s East-End gang leaders Ronnie and Reggie Kray are sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Jack McVitie after a 39-day trial at the Old Bailey. Ronald Kray and John Barrie are also convicted of murdering George Cornell.

07 – Two of three Apollo 9 astronauts fly the lunar module around the main spacecraft and then link up again.

10 – James Earl Ray pleads guilty to the murder of Martin Luther King and is sentenced to 99 years imprisonment.

12Paul McCartney (26) and Linda Eastman (27) are married in a civil ceremony at Marylebone Registry Office, London.

12George Harrison and his wife Patti are arrested after police find 120 joints at their London home.

13 – Apollo 9 splashes down safely (pictured) after the first test of the lunar module moon landing equipment.

1969.apollo9splashdown

13 – Brisbane becomes the first Australian city to receive natural gas with the opening of a pipeline from Roma.

15 – Doctors at Walter Reed Hospital disclose that Dwight D Eisenhower is suffering from congestive heart failure.

16 – A Venezuelan airliner plunges into a Maracaibo suburb, killing at least 150 and injuring 100.

17 – Israel elects Golda Meir as Prime Minister. Mrs Meir was opposed by Agudat Israel, a religious party whose adherents insist Jewish men should not look at “strange women”.

19 – British paratroopers and Royal Marines seize the tiny Caribbean island (and former colony) of Anguilla to prevent rule by “an armed minority”. Many of the 6,000 population are on the streets to welcome the troops ashore.

20John Lennon and Yoko Ono are married at the British Embassy in Gibraltar.

24 – Newly-wed John Lennon and Yoko Ono stage their world-famous `Bed-in’ for Peace in suite 902 and lounge 904 of the Amsterdam Hilton, enacted live in front of journalists from the international press.

25 – President Ayub Khan of Pakistan resigns, and army chief General Yahya Khan takes over, proclaiming martial law.

27 – NASA launches Mariner 7 to approach Mars.

28General Dwight D Eisenhower, former Commander of US Forces in WWII and 34th President of the United States, dies at the age of 78.

30 – A court in Boston, USA, decides not to ban lesbian movie The Killing Of Sister George after respected film critic Julie Crist testifies that it is among the year’s top ten movies and is definitely not pornographic.

31George Harrison and his wife are fined $1,500 for possession of marijuana.

31 – All BOAC flights are grounded as pilots strike over pay and productivity.


April

01 – France formally withdraws from NATO’s command structure.

03 – US deaths in Vietnam now stand at 33,641 – passing the Korean War total.

04The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour is cancelled by CBS after a two-year run, largely due to the show’s anti-establishment humour.

06 – 30 people are arrested at Bathurst in Australia as thousands indulge in a wild weekend at the car and motorcycle races there.

07 – 25 paintings worth £300,000 are stolen from the home of Tate Gallery trustee Sir Roland Penrose.

08 – The world’s first recipient of a totally artificial heart dies only four days after the ground-breaking life-saving operation.

09 – Sikh bus workers in Wolverhampton win a two-year battle to wear their turbans at work. Conductors and drivers who are practising Sikhs will also be allowed to have long beards.

13 – A Spanish historian declares that Columbus, discoverer of America, was a Basque pirate.

13 – Trams run for the last time in Brisbane, Australia.

20 – The British government sends 1,000 troops to Belfast as the bus station and nine post offices are fire-bombed.

22Bernadette Devlin, a diminutive 21-year-old Irish woman just elected to Parliament, holds the House of Commons spellbound with her maiden speech deploring the oppression of both Roman Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland. A few days later, 500 more British troops are sent into the province.

22 – The first human eye transplant is carried out, in Houston.

23 – Sirhan Sirhan is sentenced to death for the murder of Robert F Kennedy.

28 – At 11 minutes past midnight, at his country home, Charles de Gaulle formally announces that he will step down as president of France.

29 – Terence O’Neill resigns as Prime Minister in Belfast.


May

02 -Over 1,000 Czechs are detained in two days of arrest.

05 – Front de Libération du Québec (FLQ) members Jean-Pierre Charette and Alain Alard, who had previously fled from Canada to the US, hijack a National Airlines Boeing 727 in New York, and divert it to Cuba.

06Ian Paisley is freed in Belfast under a wide-ranging amnesty announced today.

09 – Pope Paul VI orders 200 saints to be deleted from the church’s calendar. St Catharine, St Christopher and a number of other popular saints get the sack. St Nicholas and St George are made ‘optional saints’.

10The Turtles and The Temptations perform at the White House in Washington DC. Rumour has it that two of The Turtles snort cocaine off Abraham Lincoln’s desk.

13President Nixon calls for a draft lottery to be introduced for the first time since World War II. The idea is that men aged between 18 and 26 are called up for military service based on randomly drawn birth dates. In the first lottery draw on December 1, the ‘lucky’ winning birthday is September 14.

14Nixon proposes an eight-point plan for peace in Vietnam.

15 – Police use shotguns and tear gas during a battle with 2,000 student demonstrators at Berkeley. The National Guard (acting on Ronald Reagan‘s orders) drop CS gas from helicopters. The battle is over the use of parkland.

15 – In Britain, the van carrying Fairport Convention home from a gig crashes, killing drummer Martin Lamble and Richard Thompson’s girlfriend Jeannie Franklin, a clothes designer. Jack Bruce dedicates his first solo album, Songs For A Tailor, to her.

16 – Soviet spacecraft Venus 5 lands on the surface of Venus.

18Apollo 10 is launched with three astronauts on board as a rehearsal to the moon landing scheduled for July. The lunar module descends to within ten miles of the moon’s surface before returning to Earth on May 26.

18 – Graham Hill wins the Monaco Grand Prix for a record fifth time.

19 – The US Supreme Court overturns the conviction – and 30-year jail sentence – of drug guru Dr Timothy Leary, arrested in 1965 for carrying a tiny amount of marijuana while on a visit to Mexico. He stays free, pending the appeal, which he wins and voids two federal anti-marijuana laws in the process.

22 – Two of the Apollo 10 astronauts approach within 9.4 miles of the surface of the moon in the lunar landing craft. Colonel Thomas Stafford and Commander Eugene Cernan are carrying out a rehearsal for a planned Moon landing this summer.

24Apollo 10 astronauts rocket out of lunar orbit and head back to earth after 31 trips around the moon.

25 – A military junta seizes power in Sudan.

1969transarctic26 – Apollo 10 splashes down safely in the South Pacific and NASA gives the OK to plans for a summer landing on the moon.

28Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithfull are arrested in London for possession of Marijuana.

30 – The British Trans-Arctic Expedition completes the first surface crossing of the frozen Arctic Ocean; 3,620 miles in 464 days (pictured).


June

03 – 73 die as the Australian aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne cuts US destroyer Frank E Evans in half during an accidental collision in the South China Sea.

06 – New York Jets quarterback Joe Namath announces his retirement from pro football in a dispute over his restaurant ownership.

07Blind Faith debut with a free concert in Hyde Park.

08President Nixon announces that 25,000 US troops will be withdrawn from Vietnam by the end of August.

08 – Brian Jones, a founding member of The Rolling Stones, leaves the band claiming he can “no longer see eye to eye” with the rest of the band. His departure is, in fact, by mutual agreement with the other Stones.

09Enoch Powell suggests an immigrant repatriation scheme during a speech at Wolverhampton.

16 – Nigeria bans Red Cross night flights carrying food and medicines to Biafra.

17 – The USA concludes that the Soviets are not, in fact, trying to gain first-strike nuclear capability.

20Georges Pompidou replaces Charles de Gaulle as French president.

20 – A referendum in Rhodesia overwhelmingly approves Ian Smith‘s plan for a republic with a segregation-style constitution.

22 – Judy Garland (born Frances Gumm) dies in London of an overdose of sleeping pills, aged 47.

24 – Sir Humphrey Gibbs resigns as Governor of Rhodesia.

28 – Stonewall riot in New York City marks the beginning of the gay rights movement. The riot follows the raiding of the Stonewall Bar, a gay establishment in New York’s Greenwich Village by police.

29 – Former Congo Premier and Katangan President Moise Tshombe dies in jail in Algeria.

30 – The Nigerian Federal Government bans Red Cross night flights of food aid to Biafra, a breakaway state at war with federal Nigeria.


July

01 – Prince Charles is invested as Prince of Wales at Caernarvon Castle.

01 – Sessions begin in EMI’s Abbey Road studios in London which will result in the album Abbey Road, the final studio work by The Beatles. Paul McCartney is the only Beatle present on this first day, working on the track You Never Give Me Your Money.

02 – Demolition workers in London find the paintings stolen from Sir Roland Penrose on 7 April.

03 – Ex-Rolling Stones guitarist Brian Jones is found dead in his swimming pool at Cotchford Farm, Hartfield, Sussex (UK). A verdict of death by misadventure is recorded by the coroner, Dr Angus Sommerville.

04Vietnam protesters storm US Consulate in Australia.

04 – Franco offers Gibraltarians Spanish nationality.

05The Rolling Stones give a free concert in Hyde Park, London.

05 – Tom Mboya, minister of economic affairs of Kenya, is shot to death on a Nairobi street.

08 – US embarks on a policy of “Vietnamization” of the war and a gradual withdrawal of US troops. 814 troops of the 9th infantry leave for home.

08 – Bonny the space monkey – the 11th primate to be involved in NASA rocket missions – dies after emergency splashdown. He is the last US monkey sent into space for 14 years until test runs in the space shuttle era.

08 – Mick Jagger arrives in Sydney, Australia, to begin filming Ned Kelly

09 – The US Department of Agriculture suspends use of the widely used pesticide DDT pending the results of a study. Though miraculously effective against malaria-carrying mosquitos, it is eventually discovered that DDT is absorbed and stored in human bodies for many years. A complete ban comes into effect in 1972.

13 – The USSR launches the automatic Luna 15 which crashes into the Sea of Crises on the moon. This coincides with the Apollo 11 mission but does not interfere with it.

16 – The Apollo 11 rocket launches successfully from Cape Kennedy in Florida, at the start of the first mission to land a man on the Moon. Onboard are three astronauts, Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin.

18 – Mary Jo Kopechne is drowned in a car accident involving Senator Edward Kennedy at Chappaquiddick Island, Massachusetts. Kennedy flees the scene of the accident and reports it to the police the next day.

18- The undeclared war between Honduras and El Salvador that erupted four days ago over a disputed soccer match and took the lives of 1,000 people may be drawing to a close after both governments accept a four-point peace plan drafted by the Organisation of American States.

20 – At 10:56 pm Eastern Daylight Time, the American astronaut Neil Armstrong, commander of Apollo 11, watched by millions of television viewers around the world, steps off the ladder of the lunar module Eagle on to the surface of the moon. “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” he says.

20Senator Edward Kennedy appears in court for failing to report an accident in which a woman passenger in his car, Mary Jo Kopechne, drowned. Miss Kopechne, aged 27, was found in the back seat of the Senator’s car which lay submerged in the water alongside a bridge on Chappaquiddick Island in New England.

21Apollo 11 astronauts blast off for home after 21 hours and 37 minutes on the moon.

22Aretha Franklin is arrested on charges of disorderly conduct after a disturbance in a Detroit parking lot.

23 – Prince Juan Carlos is selected to succeed as head of state in Spain on the retirement of General Franco.

24 – Apollo 11 splashes down safely in the Pacific Ocean and the three astronauts begin  21 days in quarantine at an American military base.

24 – British lecturer Gerald Brooke returns to London after four years in a Soviet jail after Harold Wilson agrees to release Soviet agents Peter and Helen Kroger in exchange.

30Senator Edward Kennedy announces he is dropping plans to run for President in 1972.

31Mariner 6 flies by Mars taking photographs and approaching to within 2,000 miles of the planet.

31 – Pope Paul VI visits Uganda; the first time a Pope has visited Africa.


August

02Nixon arrives in Bucharest on the first visit by a US President to a Communist country in nearly 25 years.

ulster196905The Beatles make their first use of a synthesizer when George Harrison overdubs Moog sounds onto Because.

08 – Sectarian violence flares in Belfast (pictured at right). Troops are called in and their presence becomes necessary in Northern Ireland on a full-time basis from then on.

08 – Handley Page, the oldest aircraft manufacturer in Britain, calls in the receiver.

09 – Sharon Tate, the actress wife of film director Roman Polanski, is brutally murdered, along with four other people, at the couple’s mansion in exclusive Beverly Hills. Several of the bodies are viciously mutilated and the word “Pig” is smeared in blood across the front door. One senior police official says “You just have to take a look at the murder scene to know that one man alone couldn’t do this” (pictured below).

sharontate5

09 – Duke and Duchess of Kent visit Australia.

10 – Two more murders take place in Los Angeles, near the home of Sharon Tate.

12 – Protestant-Catholic unrest breaks out in Northern Ireland. The British government takes responsibility for security in Ulster.

13 – Soviet troops cross the border into Xinjiang province, China.

14 – The British Government sends 300 troops from the 1st Battalion, Prince of Wales’s Own Regiment of Yorkshire into Northern Ireland in what it says is a “limited operation” to restore law and order.

15Woodstock Festival begins at Bethel in New York state. Organisers had promised locals that 50,000 guests would attend. 400,000 people turn up.

16 – British troops begin to patrol streets of Belfast in Falls Road and Ardoyne areas.

17 – Dr Philip Blaiberg dies in Cape Town a record 19 months after receiving a heart transplant.

18 – Over 400 lives are lost when Hurricane Camille devastates parts of Virginia, Louisiana, and Mississippi. It is the most severe hurricane to hit the US since 1935.

18Mick Jagger is accidentally shot in the hand on the set of Ned Kelly in Australia.

18Marianne Faithfull attempts suicide in Australia during filming of Ned Kelly by swallowing 150 tablets of the barbiturate sodium amytal.

21 – Tanks enter the city of Prague after protests mark the anniversary of the Soviet invasion.

21 – Australian Warrant Officer Rayene Stewart Simpson is awarded the VC for two acts of bravery in Vietnam.

21 – Conscientious objector John Zarb is released from Pentridge prison in Melbourne (Australia) after being imprisoned for 10 months.

22 – The voting age in New Zealand is lowered from 21 to 20.

24 – Lionel Rose loses his world bantamweight title to Mexican Rubin Olivares on a fifth-round KO.

28 – A daughter, Mary, is born to Linda and Paul McCartney.

29 – Arab guerrillas hijack a TWA aircraft in flight from Rome to Tel Aviv and force it to land at Damascus.

31 – US boxer Rocky Marciano (born Rocco Francis Marchegiano), the only heavyweight champion to retire undefeated, dies in a plane crash at the age of 46.

31 – In his first concert after the three years of semi-retirement that followed his near-fatal motorcycle crash, Bob Dylan plays for 150,000 ecstatic fans at the second Isle of Wight Festival of Music. Backed by The Band, Dylan sings such favourites as Tambourine Man and Subterranean Homesick Blues in a two-hour set.


September

01 – Army officers led by Captain Moamer al Gaddafi throw out 70-year-old King Idris and take power in a bloodless coup, declaring Libya a republic.

03 – North Vietnamese statesman, Ho Chi Minh, dies of a heart attack, aged 79.

04 – The Viet Cong call a three-day truce in Vietnam in memory of Ho Chi Minh.

04 – US Ambassador to Brazil, Charles Burke Elbrick, is kidnapped by terrorists in Rio de Janeiro.

04Kate Bush begins secondary education at St Joseph’s Convent Grammar School, Abbey Wood, London.

05 – Lieutenant William Calley is charged with the massacre of civilians at My Lai, a South Vietnamese village. More than 450 villagers were killed in the attack by a US infantry unit, which took place in March 1968.

05 – ITV makes its first colour television transmissions in the UK.

05 – Dweezil Zappa (son of Frank Zappa) is born.

07 – US Ambassador Elbrick is set free in exchange for the release of 15 political prisoners in Brazil.

07Jackie Stewart wins the Italian Grand Prix to secure the world motor racing championship.

08 – Australian Warrant Officer Keith Payne is awarded the VC for devotion to duty in Vietnam.

12President Nixon orders the resumption of B-52 bombing raids on North Vietnam after they were suspended for 36 hours.

14 – The tanker SS Manhattan becomes the first commercial ship to navigate the Northwest Passage.

16President Nixon announces the withdrawal of another 35,000 troops from Vietnam.

17 – The Queen, the Prince of Wales and other members of the Royal Family attend the premier of the film The Battle of Britain at The Dominion in London.

21 – Police raid a mansion at 144 Piccadilly, Hyde Park Corner on the junction with Park Lane and evict squatters who have occupied the building for the last six days. It takes just three minutes for the police to storm the 100-room building after crossing a makeshift drawbridge through a ground-floor window to get in.

Police evict squatters at 144 Piccadilly in London.

24 – Ton Duc Thang becomes president of North Vietnam.

28 – Warring factions in Belfast wake to find themselves separated by a six-foot-high barbed wire “peace wall”. Royal Engineers, supported in places by the Royal Ulster Constabulary, are building the huge barricade between the Protestant stronghold near the Shankhill Road and the predominantly Catholic area of the Falls Road.


October

01Concorde breaks the sound barrier for the first time, causing its soon-to-be-familiar sonic boom.

01 – Olof Palme is elected Swedish Premier.

01OZ magazine ceases publication in Australia.

03 – Greek government restores civil liberties.

05 – New television comedy Monty Python’s Flying Circus is first broadcast in Britain at 11:00 PM.

09 – The Czech government bans individuals from travelling to the West.

10 – The British Government accepts the recommendations of the Hunt committee on policing in Northern Ireland which include the abolition of the Ulster Special Constabulary, known as the ‘B Specials’ and seen by many as a Protestant army.

11 – Fresh rioting breaks out in Belfast.

11Muddy Waters is injured in a car crash outside Chicago. Three others are killed.

11 – The USSR launches Soyuz 6. The spacecraft makes a group flight with Soyuz 7 and Soyuz 8 during which cosmonaut Valery Kubasov performs welding and smelting experiments in space.

12 – The USSR launches Soyuz 7 which takes part in a group flight with Soyuz 6 and Soyuz 8.

12 – In Belfast, parachute troops are flown in after rioting causes the deaths of a policeman and two civilians.

13 – The USSR launches Soyuz 8 which takes part in a group flight with Soyuz 6 and Soyuz 7.

14 – New decimal 50 pence coin is introduced in Britain and the old ten-shilling note is withdrawn.

15 – Vietnam Moratorium Day is observed by millions across the US. Massive anti-war protests take place in Washington DC. Vice-President Spiro Agnew calls protest leaders “an effete corps of impudent snobs”.

16 – Leonard Chess, co-founder of Chess Records, dies of a heart attack at the age of 52.

16 – The New York Mets win their first World Series.

18 – Paul Kantner of Jefferson Airplane is arrested in Honolulu for possession of marijuana. He later claims he has been set up, although police say they found him crawling around the bushes outside his house with a joint hanging out of his mouth.

18 – The US government bans the use of cyclamates as artificial sweeteners. Cyclamates are at this time used in more than 250 foods and soft drinks and it is a major blow to the diet food industry. In 1996, sodium cyclamate will be cleared for use in the UK despite research evidence that suggests it can cause atrophy of the testicles in monkeys.

21 – American author Jack Kerouac dies.

21 – Social Democrat Willy Brandt is elected as chancellor of West Germany.

21Edward Heath appoints Margaret Thatcher as shadow Education spokesman.

22Paul McCartney denies rumours that he is dead.

24 – Richard Burton pays Cartier £500,000 for a 69-carat diamond for Elizabeth Taylor.

25 – Gorton’s Liberals just scrape home in Australia.

27Elton John and Bernie Taupin write their first hit, Your Song, on the roof of Mills Music, 20 Denmark Street, in London’s Tin Pan Alley.

28 – US Supreme Court orders the immediate desegregation of schools.

31 – An American marine hijacks a TWA Boeing 707 in California and forces it to fly to Rome.


November

01 – Lebanese government and PLO agree a cease-fire following recent clashes.

03President Nixon announces that North Vietnam has rejected his secret US peace proposals.

05Black Panther leader Bobby Seale is given four years in jail for contempt of court in Chicago.

07 – 64 die in a mine explosion in South Africa.

10 – Sir David Rose, the Governor-General of Guyana since 1966, is killed by falling scaffolding.

11 – Pro-war demonstrators, called “the great silent majority” by Nixon, march on Veterans’ Day.

11The Doors‘ singer Jim Morrison is forcibly removed from a Continental Airlines flight at Phoenix, Arizona, and arrested for causing a disturbance while intoxicated.

12 – Julie Andrews marries director Blake Edwards.

14Apollo 12 launches to carry out the second American manned landing on the moon.

14 – Single-file “march against death” brings 250,000 to Washington DC. 100,000 march in San Francisco against the Vietnam War.

14 – Gaddafi nationalises all foreign banks in Libya.

15The Star Club in Hamburg, an early training ground for The Beatles, closes due to rising costs.

15Janis Joplin is arrested in Tampa, Florida, for using “vulgar and indecent language” onstage.

15 – Colour television transmissions in the UK are extended to BBC1 and ITV.

17 – US and USSR begin strategic arms limitation talks (SALT) in Helsinki. A nuclear non-proliferation treaty is ratified on Nov 24.

18 – US diplomat and financier Joseph Patrick Kennedy (father of John, Robert, and Edward) dies.

19Apollo 12 astronauts – Charles Conrad and Al Bean – walk on the moon and set up a research station. The duo spends nearly eight hours on the surface of the moon over two days.

24 – US Army announces Lt Calley will face court-martial for the murder of 109 Vietnamese during the “My Lai massacre”.

25 – US agrees to destroy all stocks of germ warfare weapons.

25John Lennon returns his MBE to Buckingham Palace in protest at UK involvement in the Nigerian-Biafran war, Vietnam, and his latest single, Cold Turkey, slipping down the charts.

26Cream play their final gig, at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

29 – The standard gauge railway line from Sydney to Perth (Australia) is completed.


December

02 – Cindy Birdsong of The Supremes is kidnapped from her Hollywood home by maintenance man Charles Meaker, but the singer manages to escape by leaping from his moving car on the Long Beach Freeway, where she is rescued by passing police officers.

03The Temptation Of Eve, a painting by 16th Century German artist Hans Baldung, is sold at Sotheby’s in London for £224,000 ($290,000). it had previously been valued at £20 ($25).

04 – Police in Chicago shoot dead two members of the Black Panthers.

06 – Audience member Meredith Hunter, 18, is beaten to death by Hells Angels who are providing security at a free Rolling Stones concert at Altamont Raceway in Livermore, California.

10Jimi Hendrix tells a jury in Toronto, Canada, that he has “outgrown drugs” and is cleared of drug possession charges.

12 – 16 people are killed and 58 wounded after a bomb explodes at Banca dell’ Agricoltura (National Agricultural Bank), in Piazza Fontana, Milan, Italy. Up to 14 people are also injured in simultaneous blasts at a bank and memorial in the capital, Rome. Another bomb is later discovered by police near Milan’s La Scala opera house.

13 – The US Supreme Court orders four southern states to end segregation completely by February 1970.

17Tiny Tim marries his beloved, Miss Vicki Budinger (17), live on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show.

18 – The death penalty for murder is abolished in Britain.

24 – Four members of a so-called hippie commune are arrested and charged with the first-degree murder of actress Sharon Tate, supermarket tycoon Leno LaBianca and five others. The commune, which calls itself “The Family” is led by Charles Manson, aged 35, a veteran convict who preyed on the young drifters of Los Angeles, wooing them from the streets and taking them to a hideout in the desert, 20 miles from the city.


Also this year . . .

  • ‘Highland Wedding’ wins the Grand National
  • Manchester City beat Leicester City 1-0 to win the FA Cup Final
  • ‘Blakeney’ wins the Derby at Epsom
  • ‘Rain Lover’ becomes the first horse since ‘Archer’ to win successive Melbourne Cups

Quote of the year

“This is the greatest week in the history of the world since the Creation”
Richard Nixon greeting the returned Apollo 11 astronauts.