01 – West Indies cricketer and politician Sir Learie Constantine becomes Britain’s first black life peer.
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 the Reverend Ian Paisley, founder and leader of the Free Presbyterian Church.
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.
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 has married again. Her new husband is a young hairdresser named Mickey Deans. Garland will die from a sleeping pill overdose within five months.
13 – Cannons from Captain James Cook’s ship, the HMS Endeavour, are recovered from the reef off Cookstown, Queensland (Australia).
14 – Sir Matt Busby 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.
17 – Led Zeppelin released their eponymous debut album in the USA.
18 – South Vietnamese and National Liberation Front delegations join the Paris peace talks.
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.
20 – Richard Nixon is inaugurated as the 37th US President.
24 – Ford unveils a new sports saloon, the Capri.
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.
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.
02 – Actor Boris Karloff (born William Henry Pratt) dies at his home in Midhurst, Sussex, at the age of 81.
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.
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.
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.
01 – The 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.
05 – In West Germany, Dr Gustav Heinemann becomes president in succession to Dr Lubke.
05 – Creem magazine is launched in the US.
06 – London’s East-End gang leaders Ronnie and Reggie Kray are sentenced to life imprisonment for murder after a 39-day trial at the Old Bailey.
10 – James Earl Ray is jailed for 99 years for the murder of Martin Luther King.
12 – Paul McCartney and Linda Eastman are married at Marylebone Registry Office, London.
12 – George Harrison and his wife Patti are arrested after police find 120 joints at their London home.
13 – Apollo 9 splashes down safely after the first test of the lunar module (pictured).
13 – Brisbane becomes the first Australian city to receive natural gas with the opening of a pipeline from Roma.
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 invade the tiny Caribbean island of Anguilla. Many of the 6,000 population are on the streets to welcome the troops ashore.
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.
28 – General 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.
31 – George 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.
01 – France formally withdraws from NATO’s command structure.
04 – The 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.
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.
22 – Bernadette 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.
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.
02 -Over 1,000 Czechs are detained in two days of arrest.
06 – Ian 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’.
13 – President 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.
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.
18 – Apollo 10 is launched with three astronauts on board as a forerunner 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.
25 – A military junta seizes power in Sudan.
26 – Apollo 10 splashes down safely.
30 – The British Trans-Arctic Expedition completes the first surface crossing of the frozen Arctic Ocean; 3,620 miles in 464 days (pictured).
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.
07 – Blind Faith debut with a free concert in Hyde Park.
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.
09 – Enoch 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.
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 beginning of 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.
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).
04 – Vietnam protesters storm US Consulate in Australia.
04 – Franco offers Gibraltarians Spanish nationality.
05 – The Rolling Stones give a free concert in Hyde Park, London.
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 – Apollo 11 mission launched at Cape Kennedy. Lunar module carrying Neil Armstrong and “Buzz” Aldrin lands on the moon on July 20.
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 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.
20 – Senator 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 water alongside a bridge on Chappaquiddick Island in New England.
22 – Aretha 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.
24 – Jailed Briton Gerald Brooke is exchanged for two Soviet spies.
30 – Senator Edward Kennedy announces he is dropping plans to run for President in 1972.
31 – Mariner 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.
02 – Nixon arrives in Bucharest on the first visit by a US President to a Communist country in nearly 25 years.
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).
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.
15 – Woodstock 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.
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.
01 – Army officers led by Captain Moamer al Gaddafi throw out 70-year-old King Idris and take power, declaring Libya a republic.
03 – North Vietnamese statesman, Ho Chi Minh, dies of a heart attack, aged 79.
04 – US Ambassador to Brazil, Charles Burke Elbrick, is kidnapped by terrorists in Rio de Janeiro.
04 – Kate 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.
07 – Jackie 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.
12 – President Nixon orders the resumption of B-52 bombing raids on North Vietnam after they were suspended for 36 hours.
16 – President 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.
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.
01 – Concorde breaks the sound barrier for the first time, causing its soon-to-be-familiar sonic boom.
01 – Olof Palme is elected Swedish Premier.
01 – OZ 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 11:00PM.
09 – The Czech government bans individuals from travelling to the West.
11 – Fresh rioting breaks out in Belfast.
11 – Muddy 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.
24 – Richard Burton pays Cartier £500,000 for a 69-carat diamond for Elizabeth Taylor.
25 – Gorton’s Liberals just scrape home in Australia.
27 – Elton 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.
31 – An American marine hijacks a TWA Boeing 707 in California and forces it to fly to Rome.
01 – Lebanese government and PLO agree a cease-fire following recent clashes.
03 – President Nixon announces that North Vietnam has rejected his secret US peace proposals.
05 – Black 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.
11 – The 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.
14 – Americans make a second moon landing when Apollo 12 takes Charles Conrad and Al Bean to the moon. The duo spend nearly eight hours on the surface of the moon over two days.
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.
15 – Janis Joplin is arrested in Tampa, Florida, for using “vulgar and indecent language” onstage.
17 – US and USSR begin strategic arms limitation talks (SALT) in Helsinki. A nuclear non-proliferation treaty is ratified on Nov 24.
19 – Apollo 12 astronauts walk on the moon and set up a research station.
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.
25 – John 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.
26 – Cream play their final gig, at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
29 – The standard gauge railway line from Sydney to Perth (Australia) is completed.
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.
03 – The 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.
10 – Jimi Hendrix tells a jury in Toronto, Canada, that he has “outgrown drugs” and is cleared of drug possession charges.
13 – The US Supreme Court orders four southern states to end segregation completely by February 1970.
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.