20 6 th. Decade
Century c 20
Jan 1 President Sukarno swings a
hoe at a ground-breaking ceremony launching an eight-year development
program to achieve "Indonesian socialism." He hopes that in
eight years the income of Indonesians will have risen 11.6 percent.
Jan 3 President Eisenhower announces that a limit of
endurance has been reached and has caused the US to sever relations
Jan 6 Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev speaks of a
mighty upsurge of anti-imperialist, national-liberation revolutions and
says that "Communists fully and unreservedly support such just wars."
Jan 8 A referendum in France results in seventy-five percent
favoring the granting of independence to Algeria.
Jan 17 In his final State of the Union address, Eisenhower
expresses concern over military spending and an arms race, warning of
the increasing power of a military-industrial complex.
Jan 17 The Belgian Minister for African Affairs has ordered
the Congo to send Prime Minister Lumumba, a prisoner, to Katanga
Province. In Katanga Province, Lumumba is beaten and taken by convoy
into "the bush," where he is killed by a firing squad commanded by a
Jan 20 John F. Kennedy is inaugurated President of the United
Jan 23 A B-52 bomber breaks up in mid-air over
North Carolina. Two hydrogen bombs, each 260 times more powerful than
the Hiroshima atom bomb, fall to earth. According to a meticulous
report in 2013 drawing from the Freedom of Information Act, trigger
mechanisms engaged, and only one low-voltage switch prevented untold
carnage and lethal carnage deposited over Washington, Baltimore,
Philadelphia and as far north as New York city.
Jan 25 A military coup in El Salvador ousts the
military junta that had been ruling for the past three months. The new
junta accuses the old junta of "leftist excesses."
Feb 6 Kennedy's Secretary of State, Dean Rusk, announces that
the US is ready to cooperate with other American states in ending
tyranny in the Western Hemisphere whether that tyranny is of the Left
Feb 17 President Kennedy discusses with his advisors the
invasion of Cuba planned during the Eisenhower administration. He
considers claiming that the purpose of the invasion is to destroy
fighter aircraft and rockets in Cuba because they are a danger to US
Mar 1 President Kennedy wants to counter notions of the "Ugly
American" and so-called "Yankee imperialism." By executive order he
creates the Peace Corps.
Mar 1 Britain is granting internal self-government to its
colony in Uganda. Uganda's first elections are held.
Mar 3 Hassan II succeeds his father as King of Morocco. He
proclaims his role as Commander of the Faithful and continues to rule
Morocco as a theocracy.
Mar 4 Prime Minister Hendrik F. Verwoerd of South
Africa says his government will not tolerate any effort by other
members of the Commonwealth to force a change of his country's racial
Mar 18 A ceasefire is established in Algeria.
Mar 20 During a Charter Day ceremony, Clark Kerr, President
of the University of California, raises the issue of the speaker ban
created by the university's conservative Board of Regents. He says,
"The university is not engaged in making ideas safe for student. It is
engaged in making students safe for ideas." The ban had excluded Henry
Wallace from speaking at UCLA in 1947 and a British member of
parliament, Harold Laski, als from speaking at UCLA. And in May this
year Malcolm X will not be allowed to speak on the Berkeley campus on
the grounds that he is a religious leader.
Apr 5 The Dutch are still in control over what had been
called Dutch New Guinea - the western half of New Guinea. They have
been preparing people there for full independence. A locally elected
council takes office. The Dutch are looking forward to the continued
presence of Dutch commercial interests there.
Apr 12 Yuri Gagarin of the Soviet Union becomes the first
human in space.
Apr 13 An English-language radio broadcast in Moscow
announces that an invasion of Cuba will happen within a week.
Apr 15 Pursuing what he calls a guided democracy, President
Sukarno signs regulations permitting only eight political parties, one
of which is Indonesia's Communist Party.
Apr 17 The invasion of Cuba begins. Cuban exiles are deployed
in swamp land at the Bay of Pigs and they are easily surrounded.
Secretary of State Dean Rusk announces that "there is not and will not
be any intervention there by United States forces."
Apr 18 The CIA chief, Richard Bissell, tells President
Kennedy that the invasion force is trapped and encircled. He asks
Kennedy to send in US forces. Kennedy replies that he still wants
Apr 20 The CIA's belief that grateful Cubans would join the
invaders against Castro has not happened. Castro announces the
invasion's total defeat. Sixty-eight of the invasion force are dead and
the remaining 1,209 are captured.
Apr 21 A Soviet army newspaper announces that the Soviet
rocket that has put Yuri Gagarin into space could be used for military
Apr 22 In Algeria, French military officers begin a coup
against France's government.
Apr 26 Conscript soldiers have responded to a radio broadcast
by President de Gaulle and have refused to follow the coup leaders. The
coup is a failure.
Apr 30 In the United States, exiles from the Dominican
Republic announce their appeal to the US government for "effective
help" against the dictatorship of Trujillo.
May 1-31 In the California State Legislature complaints are
made about leftist professors and free speech at University of
California at Berkeley. State Senator Hugh Burns announces imminent
publication of his committee's report on Communist activity on the
Berkeley campus. "Most kitchens have their cockroaches," Burns says,
"and most universities have their Communists."
May 4 "Freedom Riders," blacks and whites, leave Washington
DC for a bus tour of the South. The trip is organized by the Congress
of Racial Equality (CORE) for the purpose of testing the Supreme
Court's decision on segregation of interstate transportation. In South
Carolina, John Lewis (a future Congressman), and another rider are
beaten, and another rider is arrested for using a white restroom. The
event is widely broadcast across the nation.
May 5 The US sends its first astronaut, Alan Shepard, into
May 14 At Anniston, Alabama, the Ku Klux Klan has been given permission
to attack the Freedom Riders without fear of arrest. The bus arrives
and is attacked by an angry crowd, with no police around. The bus moves
on to Birmingham. There riders are beaten severely while police stand
by. The leader of CORE, James Farmer, ends the tour and has the riders
flown to the original destination: New Orleans.
May 14 Howard K. Smith, veteran journalist from World War II days,
witnessed the Klan beatings. A television documentary that follows will
lead to Smith leaving CBS. The Head of CBS News, William Paley, will
object to Smith's lack of objectivity. Smith will reply: "They [CBS]
said it was against the rules to take sides on a controversial issue. I
said, I wish you had told me that during World War II, when I took
sides against Hitler."
May 16 In South Korea people are tired of political chaos.
Many welcome a military coup led by Major General Park Chung-hee.
May 20 Some have decided to continue the "Freedom Rides."
Attorney General Robert Kennedy has asked that Alabama state police
protect the Freedom Riders. When the Freedom Riders enter Montgomery,
Alabama, the police disappear. A crowd of about 300 attack the riders
with baseball bats, pipes and sticks. One rider is covered with
kerosene and set afire. Robert Kennedy sends federal marshals to the
May 21 In Montgomery, a crowd begins throwing stones through
the windows of a church where Martin Luther King is to speak. Armed
federal marshals with tear gas move against the crowd, joined by baton
wielding local police. In his speech, King calls for a massive campaign
to end segregation in Alabama.
May 23 Alabama's Governor John Patterson blames the violence
against Freedom Riders on the Freedom Riders. He accuses them of
intenteding "to inflame local people" and "to provoke violent
May 23 The US State Department accuses the Trujillo regime of
persecuting Roman Catholic officials.
May 25 The Kennedy administration, wanting a "cooling-off
period," has asked civil rights leaders for a moratorium on Freedom
Rides. The Freedom Rides continue, into Mississippi. Attorney General
Kennedy has won an agreement from the Governor of Mississippi that the
Freedom Riders will not be beaten - merely arrested.
May 25 President Kennedy tells his fellow Americans that he
aims to have the US be the first to put a man on the moon.
May 29 The Kennedy administration announces that it has
directed the Interstate Commerce Commission to ban segregation in all
facilities under its jurisdiction. "Freedom Rides" are spreading to
train stations and airports across the South. Students from across the
US are buying bus tickets to the South and crowding Mississippi's jails.
May 30 In the Dominican Republic, after thirty-one years in
power, on a lonely road to meet one of his mistresses, the dictator
Trujillo is killed by officers of his private army.
May 31 South Africa leaves the Commonwealth of Nations,
becoming completely independent.
Jun 1 In the Dominican Republic, nominal power resides with
the vice president, Joaquín Balaguer. Real power is with the military.
The search for the assassins of Trujillo is underway.
Jun 3 Spain's dictator, Francisco Franco, condemns the
capitalism and the "liberalism" of other Western nations. He calls
Spain's style of rule the "wave of the future."
Jun 4 In Vienna, President Kennedy meets with Khrushchev.
Khrushchev concludes that Kennedy will be unwilling to negotiate
meaningful concessions in the arms race. Khrushchev is concerned with
the US having more nuclear missiles than the Soviet Union and that some
US missiles are based in Turkey, near the Soviet Union's border.
Jun 13 The Soviet Union supports Sukarno's claim that Dutch
New Guinea is a part of Indonesia.
Jun 17 Rudolf Nureyev, in France with the Kirov Ballet,
Jun 19 Kuwait gains independence from Britain.
Jun 26 President Kennedy arrives in Berlin and makes his "ich
bin ein Berliner" speech. He says "And there are some who say in Europe
and elsewhere we can work with the Communists. Let them come to Berlin."
Jun 27 Iraq's ruler, Kassem, believes that Kuwait belongs to Iraq.
Kuwait has requested protection from Britain, and Britain sends troops.
Jul 2 President Kennedy's favorite author, Ernest Hemingway,
has recently received electroshock treatment that he believes has
damaged his memory. At 61 and suffering ill-health, he
Jul 4 President Kennedy responds to a letter from Khrushchev:
"I wish to thank you personally and on behalf of the American people
for your greetings on the occasion of the 185th Anniversary of the
Independence of the United States ... I am confident that given a
sincere desire to achieve a peaceful settlement of the issues which
still disturb the world's tranquility we can, in our time, reach that
peaceful goal which all peoples so ardently desire."
Jul 8 Premier Khrushchev announces that he has ordered the
suspension of projected reductions in the Soviet armed forces. It is to
be said that he is challenged by the charge from within governing
circles that he is too weak regarding threats from the capitalist
Jul 10 East Germany announces that after it signs a peace
treaty with the Soviet Union it will assume full control over Allied
land and air access to Berlin.
Jul 12 West Germany's chancellor, Konrad Adenauer,
proclaims Western rights regarding access to Berlin.
Jul 26 President Kennedy requests an increase in military
spending. The Soviet Union accuses Kennedy of exploiting the Berlin
dispute as a pretext for accelerating the arms race.
Jul 27 Governor Nelson Rockefeller of New York, a leading
Republican, calls for public support of President Kennedy's military
build-up. He says that Americans must "refuse to be bluffed, bullied or
Aug 1 In the past 24 hours, 1,322 have fled into West Berlin.
Aug 2 East German police confiscate identity cards from among
the 50,000 residents of East Berlin who cross into West Berlin each day
Aug 7 Khrushchev warns that Soviet divisions might mass on
West Europe's frontiers as a defense measure. He calls for an
international conference on Berlin.
Aug 13 East Germany begins constructing the Berlin Wall.
Soldiers stand in front of the construction, on East German territory,
with orders to shoot anyone who attempts to defect.
Aug 15 The United States, Britain and France formally protest
against the closing of the border between East and West Berlin.
Aug 16 The Soviet Union warns Japan that the presence of
United States military bases there makes it subject to an attack should
Aug 19 The East Germany newspaper, Leipziger Volkszeitung,
claims that people criticizing the closing of the border were being
"brought to reason by the hard fists of the workers."
Aug 21 In Kenya, the British release Jomo Kenyatta from
Aug 24 In the US Congress it is said that Prime Minister
Jawaharlal Nehru's support for the Soviet stand regarding Berlin has
damaged relations between the US and India.
Aug 24 The Kennedy administration issues a "solemn warning"
that interference with Allied access to West Berlin will be considered
"an aggressive act" for which the Soviet government will bear full
Sep 1 Turkey's former prime minister, Menderes, is hanged publicly.
Sep 5 In Ghana, opposition to President Kwame Nkrumah erupts
into strikes and demonstrations. Nkrumah orders strike leaders and
opposition politicians arrested.
Sep 12 According to information received from physicians who
work in East Berlin hospitals, the suicide rate has risen sharply.
Sep 12 In the Dominican Republic, tanks line streets
following a day of disorders.
Sep 28 In Syria, nationalization of industries has enhanced
opposition to Nasser's United Arab Republic. The military seizes power
and proclaims Syria's independence. Egypt keeps the UAR name and Nasser
chooses not to resist the break.
Oct 11 In Vietnam, Viet Cong attacks have increased, and
Diem's regime wants military aid but not US combat troops. In
Washington D.C. the National Security Council (NSC) meets. An estimate
by the Joint Chiefs of Staff is presented, claiming that
40,000 US troops would be required to "clean up the Viet Cong threat"
and another 128,000 men would be needed to oppose North Vietnam's
intervention. Secretary of Defense McNamara says that "it is really now
or never if we are to arrest the gains being made by the Viet Cong."
Oct 12 Khrushchev calls for the disengagement of armed forces
in Central Europe and a ban on supplying nuclear weapons to either East
and West Germany.
Oct 17 In Paris, police attack a demonstration against a
curfew that applies only to Muslims. The official death toll is 3.
Human rights groups claim 240 dead.
Oct 19 British protection of Kuwait passes to the Arab League
(headquartered in Egypt). British troops leave.
Oct 20 The Dominican police use semi-automatic rifles, water
hoses and tear gas against demonstrators.
Oct 27 Mongolia and Mauritania join the United Nations.
Oct 31 The 22nd Congress of the Soviet Union's Communist Party ends.
Chairman Khrushchev has announced his plan to move the country to a
communist society within twenty years and to surpass the United States
in per capita production.
Nov 1 In the United States, the federal order by the
Interstate Commerce Commission banning segregation at all interstate
public facilities officially comes into effect. Desegregationists
decide to test the train terminal in Albany, Georgia.
Nov 1 Kennedy has sent an advisor, retired General Maxwell
Taylor, to Vietnam. Taylor concludes that "If Vietnam goes, it will be
exceedingly difficult to hold Southeast Asia," His "eyes only" report
to Kennedy is that Communist guerrillas are ""well on the way to
success in Vietnam." He recommends more US support for Diem's regime.
Appendices to the Taylor Report, written by others, speak of Diem's
troops, the ARVN, lacking aggressiveness and that it would be a mistake
for the US to make an irrevocable commitment to defeat the Communists
in South Vietnam. It claims that foreign (US) troops cannot win battles
at the village level, where the war must be fought, and that primary
responsibility for saving Vietnam is with the Saigon regime.
Nov 2 The US Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara, has
relieved General Edwin Walker of his duties in Germany. Walker resigns
from the army. He was accused of having distributed John Birch Society
literature and of having described Harry Truman, Eleanor Roosevelt and
Dean Acheson as "definitely pink."
Nov 2 China warns the United States against sending troops to
Nov 7 Albania's Communist leader, Enver Hoxha, celebrates the
44th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution. He praises
international solidarity but attacks "Soviet leaders" for considering
Albanian Communists "anti-Marxist," "dogmatist," and
"sectarian." He describes the soviet leaders and the
Yugoslavs as "revisionists."
Nov 11 A McNamara-Rusk memorandum to the US Ambassador to
Vietnam, Frederick E. Nolting, mentions an increase in US military
involvement and instructs Nolting to tell President Diem that "We would
expect to share in the decision-making process in the political,
economic and military fields as they affect the security situation."
Nov 15 Two of Trujillo's sons return to the Dominican
Republic and attempt to seize power.
Nov 19 US Secretary of State Rusk warns that the United
States is considering "further measures" to make sure the Trujillo
family does not "reassert dictatorial domination." US warships with
4000 Marines appear off the coast of the Dominican Republic. A jet
fighter flies overhead. Members of the Trujillo family flee the
country, to live thereafter on savings from Swiss banks.
Dec 2 Fidel Castro declares that he is a Marxist-Leninist and
that Cuba will adopt Communism.
Dec 9 Tanganyika becomes independent of Britain and a member
of the Commonwealth of Nations.
Dec 10 The Soviet Union severs diplomatic relations with
Dec 11 Two US helicopter companies (33 H-2IC helicopters and
400 men) arrive in Vietnam to strengthen Saigon's faltering military
efforts, giving Saigon an advantage in airpower and transport.
Dec 16 In Albany, Georgia, a movement to desegregate the city
has resulted in the arrest of hundreds, including Martin Luther King,
accused of parading without a permit, disturbing the peace, and
obstructing the sidewalk. Albany's sheriff, Pritchard, has ordered his
officers to be as non-violent as possible and to prevent brutality. His
strategy is to avoid federal intervention, and it works. People have
been denied their constitutional rights of free speech and assembly,
but there will be no federal intervention. Albany holds out against the
slightest accommodation with desegregation.
Dec 17 Nehru's patience with Portugal has run out. He sends
Indian troops into Goa to end its status as a Portuguese colony.
Jan 1 Western Samoa becomes independent from New Zealand.
Jab 3 Pope John XXIII excommunicates Fidel Castro.
Jan 12 Indonesia's Army confirms that it has begun operations
in Dutch New Guinea (West Irian).
Jan 18 The US tries to help the Saigon regime by spraying
foliage with pesticide to reveal the whereabouts of Vietcong guerrillas.
Jan 20 In Malaya it is announced that men with four wives
will receive no tax relief.
Jan 23 The British spy Kim Philby defects to the Soviet Union.
Feb 7 Employing the Trading with the Enemy Act of 1917,
President Kennedy bans trade with Cuba except for food and medicines.
Feb 10 In Berlin, former U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers is
exchanged for the Soviet spy, Rudolf Abel.
Feb 20 Lt. Colonel John Glenn becomes the first US citizen to
orbit the earth.
Mar 1 The Joint Chiefs of Staff and Deputy Defense Sec.
Roswell Gilpatric have approved a plan to "lure or provoke Castro, or
an uncontrollable subordinate, into an overt hostile reaction against
Mar 2 In Burma General Ne Win ends democracy with a military
coup. He announces the pursuit of the "Burmese way to socialism" and
the creation of a military Revolutionary Council to be based on
Mar 10 The New York Times reports that Japan is sending
skilled men and investment funds to most of the nations of Asia.
March 15 In a session of the United Nations Security Council
the Soviet Union's representative asserts that the United States "is
openly preparing within its own armed forces units of mercenaries to
engage in a new intervention against Cuba."
Mar 17 The Soviet Union asks the United States to remove its
military personnel from South Vietnam.
Mar 18 After seven and a half years of war, negotiations have
produced a declared armistice in Algeria - the Évian Accords. Algerians
are permitted to continue freely circulating between their
country and France for work. Europeans in Algeria remain French
citizens, with guaranteed freedom of religion and property rights, but
thousands are bitter toward de Gaulle and begin leaving Algeria for
Mar 22 FBI Director, J. Edgar Hoover, talks with President
Kennedy about telephone calls between the President and Judith Exner,
calls Exner had made to Kennedy from the home of mobster Sam Giancana.
Kennedy ends phone conversations with Exner.
Mar 23 President Kennedy expands the ban against all imports
from Cuba to include all goods made from or containing Cuban materials
even if made in other countries.
Mar 25 Republican political strategists launch a campaign to
label Democratic Party liberals in Congress as advocates of
Apr 15 The Kennedy administration is afraid that opposition
to Indonesia's demands concerning Dutch New Guinea might push Indonesia
toward Communism. It urges the Dutch to negotiate a transfer of power
in New Guinea to Indonesia.
Apr 16 Walter Cronkite succeeds Douglas Edwards at "The CBS
Apr 16 Senator Barry Goldwater accuses the Kennedy
Administration of attempting to "socialize the business of this
Apr 30 In the United States, Under Secretary of State George
W. Ball predicts that the war against the Communists in South Vietnam
will be a "long, slow, arduous" struggle of a type that is
not "congenial to the American temperament." Ball is older than Kennedy
and his "whiz kids" and is not awed by them. And he has had a closer
association with the French and understands their struggle in Vietnam
May 2 The Organisation Armée Secrète (OAS) continues its
opposition to Algerian independence by a terrorist bomb attack in
Algeria, which kills 110 and injures 147.
May 14 In Yugoslavia, President Tito's old comrade in arms
and would be successor, Milovan Djilas, in recent years a
dissident but still describing himself as a Communist, has his prison
term extended for having sneaked his book Conversations with Stalin to
May 23 In France, the founder of the OAS, a former general,
Raoul Salan, is sentenced to life imprisonment.
May 24 In Lima, Peru, an unpopular ruling in a soccer match
leads to a riot and panic that leaves 300 dead and over 500 injured.
May 30 Premier Cyrille Adoula of the Congo and President
Moise Tshombe of Katanga Province announced an agreement on integrating
the Katanga gendarmerie into the Congolese Army under the auspices of
the United Nations.
May 31 The Israelis hang Adolf Eichmann.
Jun 1 Lee Harvey Oswald, his Russian wife and daughter, leave
the Soviet Union for the United States.
Jun 25 The US Supreme Court decides a landmark case, Engel v.
Vitale. Religious activity for children (including prayer) in public
schools is judged to be in violation of the Establishment Clause in the
First Amendment to the Constitution. Some devout Christians begin a
campaign of threats, hate and harrassment against the families that
intitiated the lawsuit.
Jun 30 The last of the French Foreign Legion leaves Algeria.
Jul 1 Rwanda and Burundi gain independence from
Jul 1 In Algeria 99 percent vote in favor of independence.
Jul 17 The last atomic bomb is tested above ground in Nevada.
Jul 21 President Moise Tshombe of Katanga denounces UN
Secretary General U Thant describing him and his government as "a bunch
Jul 31 Algeria becomes officially independent from France.
Aug 3 "Battle-hardened" Australian "jungle fighters" arrive
in South Vietnam to teach anti-guerrilla tactics.
Aug 5 Actress Marilyn Monroe is found dead, apparently from
an overdose of sleeping pills.
Aug 5 In South Africa, Nelson Mandela has been in hiding and
politically active for seventeen months. He is found, arrested and
charged with incitement to rebellion.
Aug 6 Jamaica becomes independent of Britain.
Aug 15 Indonesian and Dutch negotiators have agreed on
Indonesia control over Dutch New Guinea beginning in May, 1963. The
agreement stipulates that within six years the Papuans will be free to
decide between Indonesian control and independence. Papuans were
expecting the independence that the Dutch had promised them, and they
Aug 20 Pakistan has been asked by the United Nations to
provide a military force to keep order in Dutch New Guinea.
Aug 22 Members of the OAS attempt to assassinate President de
Gaulle - to be portrayed in the book and film Day of the Jackal.
Aug 24 From a speedboat, Cuban refugees fire weapons at a
Aug 24 The Fourth Asian Games start in Jakarta. Despite rules
of the Asian Games Federation, Indonesia's government has refused visas
for the Israeli and Taiwanese delegations, the government succumbing to
pressure from Arab countries and the People's Republic of China.
Aug 31 The islands of Trinidad and Tobago become independent
of Britain and together form a republic.
Sep 2 The Soviet Union believes that the US intends to attack
Cuba. It agrees with Cuba to send arms to deter an attack.
Sep 3 The Fourth Asian Games end with Indonesians booing
India's athletes, its flag and national anthem.
Sep 16 Britain is planning independence for the remainder of
its empire in Southeast Asia. It creates Malaysia by combining Malaya,
Singapore, Sarawak and North Borneo.
Sep 19 Yemen's monarch, Imam Ahmad, dies at the age of 71.
Sep 21 Border fighting erupts again between China and India.
Sep 26 In the US Congress, anger rises against the Soviet
Union's plans to build a fishing port in Cuba.
Sep 26 In Yemen, the 35-year-old heir of Imam Ahmad is
assassinated in his palace by a military faction, which proclaims a
Sep 27 Rachel Carson's book Silent Spring is published. In
June excerpts were published in New Yorker magazine. She is a marine
biologist, a scientist who cites evidence for her claims. A storm of
protest and hyperbole rises from chemical companies, including
Monsanto, and a few scientists friendly with the chemical industry.
This gives her book more publicity. The environmentalist movement is
Sep 28 The new regime in Yemen executes ten former
Sep 29 Egypt (the United Arab Republic) recognizes the
Republic of Yemen.
Sep 30 Khrushchev invites Kennedy to visit the Soviet Union.
Oct 1 Escorted by Federal Marshals, James Meredith becomes
the first black to register at the University of Mississippi.
Oct. 7 According to Egyptian radio, Yemeni troops and planes
are fighting a "pitched battle" against Saudi Arabian forces on Yemen's
Oct 8 Algeria becomes a member of the United Nations.
Oct 9 Uganda becomes independent of Britain and chooses to be
a member of the Commonwealth.
Oct 10 The New York Times correspondent, David Halberstam,
reports that In a Vietnamese village, Communist guerrillas have thrown
a party for local people and served food, tea and weapons.
Oct 11 Pope John XXIII convenes the first ecumenical council
in 92 years, called Vatican II.
Oct 14 The Soviet Union's long-range missiles are
ineffective. There has been no missile-gap. Khrushchev has effective
"medium range" missiles and has decided to put them in Cuba.
A U-2 flight over Cuba takes photos of Soviet nuclear weapons being
Oct 16 President Kennedy is informed of the missiles in Cuba.
Oct 19 The Cuban Missile Crisis begins. Air Force chief of
staff General Curtis LeMay argues that the blocking Cuba and political
talks without accompanying military action will lead to war, that the
Soviet Union will not move against West Berlin if we act in Cuba but
will so move if we fail to act. He concludes, "I just don't see any
other solution except direct military intervention right now."
Oct 22 Senate leaders have called for air strikes against
Cuba. Kennedy has decided on an arms blockade. A broadcast from Moscow
says that unusual activity in Washington indicates that the United
States "once again [is] raising its armed fist over Cuba." Kennedy
tells the public that "Within the past week, unmistakable evidence has
established the fact that a series of offensive missile sites is now in
preparation on that imprisoned island." In the Soviet Union and Cuba
there is objection to the missile sites being described as offensive.
Oct 23 Khrushchev's quick response to the appeal by British
philosopher Bertrand Russell is welcomed by the British government as a
sign that the Soviet Union will back away from a showdown over Cuba.
Oct 24 Soviet ships on their way to Cuba receive radio orders
to hold their position. Talking with his advisors, Kennedy says that if
the US invades Cuba within the next ten days, some of the missiles in
Cuba will likely be fired at US targets. He asks about evacuating
people from cities a few days before the invasion. He is told that
cities provide the best protection against radiation. Talking alone
with his brother Robert, Kennedy entertains the idea that Khrushchev is
trying to influence the Congressional Elections just a couple of weeks
Oct 25 The US aircraft carrier Essex hails the Soviet tanker
Bucharest. The tanker's hatches are too small to accommodate missiles
and the ship claims that it is now carrying cargo quarantined by the US
The Essex allows the Bucharest to proceed to Cuba, but it is shadowed
by a US destroyer.
Oct 26 Castro cables Khrushchev, urging a nuclear strike against the US
in the event of an invasion of Cuba. Khrushchev sends a note to Kennedy
offering to withdraw missiles from Cuba if the US closes its military
bases in Turkey.
Oct 27 A SAM missile shoots down a U-2 aircraft over Cuba.
The US pilot is killed. Kennedy decides against ordering an attack on
the missile site but agrees to strike at all SAM missile sites if any
more US airplanes are attacked. Discussing Khrushchev's proposal
concerning Turkey, Kennedy complains that "last year we tried to get
the missiles out of there because they were not militarily useful."
General Taylor reports that the Joint Chiefs of Staff want an air
strike against Cuba no later than the morning of the 29th unless there
is irrefutable evidence that the missiles are being dismantled.
Oct 28 Kennedy promises Khrushchev not to invade Cuba and
Khrushchev agrees to the removal of Soviet missiles in Cuba.
Oct 29 Many in the world are happy to be alive.
Oct 30 Khrushchev writes to Castro: "Had we, yielding to the
sentiments prevailing among the people, allowed ourselves to be carried
away by certain passionate sectors of the population and refused to
come to a reasonable agreement with the US government, then a war could
have broken out, in the course of which millions of people would have
died and the survivors would have pinned the blame on the leaders for
not having taken all the necessary measures to prevent that war of
Nov 1 As promised, the Soviet Union begins dismantling their
missiles in Cuba.
Nov 4 Halberstam reports that Communist guerrillas consider
the mountainous territory north of Saigon as their own and that the
Saigon regime's military officers tend to agree.
Nov 4 The kingdoms of Jordan and Saudi Arabia are supporting
the royalist forces in Yemen. Egypt is assisting Yemen's republican
Nov 5 Saudi Arabia breaks diplomatic relations with Egypt.
Nov 6 The U.N. General Assembly calls for member states to
end military and economic ties with South Africa.
Nov 9 A fifth Saudi Arabian prince has joined his brothers in
exile in Egypt. They have renounced their titles and have pledged to
work for a "free Saudi Arabia."
Nov 11 Royalist forces in Yemen claim to have killed 250
Nov 20 Fifty US helicopters carry Saigon troops on an
operation against what has been regarded as a Communist sanctuary.
Nov 21 China agrees to a cease-fire on the India-China
border. At the U.N. the Soviet Union agrees to withdraw bomber aircraft
from Cuba. Kennedy ends the arms quarantine against Cuba.
Dec 2 On a trip to Vietnam at President Kennedy's request,
Senator Mike Mansfield of Montana reports that US money poured into
Vietnam in the last seven years has accomplished nothing. He blames the
Diem regime for its failure to share power and win support from the
South Vietnamese people. Mansfield's view surprises and irritates
Dec 8 In Britain's colony Brunei an army backed by Indonesia
rebels. The Sultan of Brunei escapes. The army seizes oil fields and
takes European hostages. In the evening, British and Gurkha troops
arrive from Singapore.
Dec 9 Tanganyika becomes independent of British rule and a
republic within the Commonwealth.
Dec 16 In Brunei, the British claim to occupy all major rebel
Dec 19 The United States recognizes the Republic of Yemen.
Dec 21 Juan Bosch, a 53-year-old novelist and political
science professor, is elected president of the Dominican Republic by a
Dec 24 Cuba exchanges 1,113 participants in the Bay of Pigs
invasion for $53 million worth of food.
Dec 30 UN troops take over the last of the rebel positions in
Katanga Province. Moise Tshombe, moves to South Rhodesia.
Jan 11 In his inaugural speech as governor of Alabama, George
Wallace proclaims "segregation now, segregation tomorrow, and
Feb 8 Iraq's ruler, General Kassem, is overthrown in a coup
led by members of his military and the Ba'ath party. After a quick
trial he is shot. Kassem had suppressed the Communist Party in Iraq,
and now the killing of Communists, other leftist intellectuals and
trade unionists begins. Saddam Hussein, a junior member and former hit
man for the Ba'ath Party, returns to Iraq.
Feb 8 President Kennedy makes travel to Cuba and financial
and commercials transactions with Cuba illegal for US citizens.
Feb 27 The leftist former professor, Juan Bosch, takes office
as President of the Dominican Republic.
Mar 22 In Britain a leading Conservative Party leader and
Minister of War, John Profumo, denies to the House of Commons that back
in 1961 he had been involved with Christine Keeler, who is known to
have been involved with a Soviet attaché.
Mar 31 The last of the streetcars disappear in Los Angeles.
Apr 1 In Dallas, at his second job since returning from the
Soviet Union, Lee Harvey Oswald has been rude with his fellow
workers and inefficient at his job - as a photoprint trainee. A
supervisor finds him on his lunch break reading the Soviet Union's
satirical magazine Krokodil - available in the United States as part of
a cultural exchange agreement between the US and the Soviet union.
Oswald is fired.
Apr 8 US advisors complain that Diem's forces in the Mekong
Delta are hampering the war effort by their reluctance to take
Apr 10 In Dallas, Oswald fires his rifle into the home of the
former general and outspoken anti-Communist, Edwin Walker, barely
missing Walker. Oswald returns home with his rifle, undetected.
Apr 20 President Sukarno of Indonesia endorses Beijing's
foreign policies in exchange for Beijing's support for Sukarno's
opposition to the formation of the new state of Malaysia.
May 1 The UN hands control over what had been Dutch New
Guinea to Indonesia.
May 8 In Vietnam, Buddha's birthday is being celebrated.
President Diem, a Roman Catholic, has a law against Buddhists
displaying their flag. The Buddhists are aware of Papal flags having
been flown, and they line streets defiantly flying their flag. Diem
sends troops in armored vehicles against them. Nine Buddhists are
killed. Diem accuses the Buddhists of sympathizing with the
May 11 In a television interview, Fidel Castro, recently
returned from red carpet treatment in the Soviet Union, says that the
United States has "taken some steps in the way of peace" in its
relations with Cuba and that these might be the basis of better
May 22 In Greece, a popular member of parliament, Grigoris
Lambrakis, is intentionally run down by a truck.
May 27 Lambrakis dies. Unrest follows, with the government castigated
as a moral accomplice in the death of Lambrakis.
Jun 5 John Profumo confesses that he misled the House of
Commons back in March. He resigns.
Jun 10 In a speech at American University in West Virginia,
President Kennedy says, "Some say that it is useless to speak of peace
or world law or world disarmament - and that it will be useless until
the leaders of the Soviet Union adopt a more enlightened attitude. I
hope they do. I believe we can help them do it ... I am not referring
to the absolute, infinite concepts of universal peace and goodwill of
which some fantasies and fanatics dream ... No government or social
system is so evil that its people must be considered as lacking in
virtue ... Among the many traits the peoples of our two countries have
in common, none is stronger than our mutual abhorrence of war."
Jun 12 The Field Director of the NAACP in Mississippi, Medgar
Evers, is shot and killed in front of his home.
Jun 11 At a busy intersection in Saigon, a Buddhist
Monk sets himself on fire - a scene televised across the
world. President Diem's sister in law, Madam Nhu, acting
first lady of Diem's regime, says she would "clap hands at seeing
another monk barbecue show."
Jun 11 In Alabama, federal troops force Governor George
Wallace to allow black students to enter the University of Alabama.
Jun 16 The Soviet Union sends the first woman, Valentina
Tereshkova, into space.
Jun 17 The US Supreme Court rules 8-1 to strike down rules requiring
the recitation of the Lord's Prayer or reading of Biblical verses in
Jun 20 The United States and Soviet Union agree to a communications hot
line between the two powers and sign a treaty limiting nuclear testing.
Jun 21 In California, the Board of Regents who govern the state's
university system abolishes the speaker ban by a vote of 15 to 2 with
one abstention. One of those opposed, Regent Jerd F. Sullivan Jr,
expresses his opposition: " ... to allow an agent of the Communist
Party to peddle his wares to students of an impressionable age is just
as wrong, in my estimation as it would be to allow Satan himself to use
the pulpit of one of our best cathedrals for the purpose of trying to
proselyte new members... Communism ... is a foreign ideology; a
subversive conspiracy dedicated to the overthrow of our form of
government, by force if necessary. Their sales ability has been well
demonstrated by the strides they have made in many parts of the world.
Therefore, if we as a country feel that our ideology is superior, why
leave our youth open to the narcotic influence of that salesmanship."
July 19 Since May, Lee Harvey Oswald has been working at the
Reilly Coffee Company. He is fired from this third job since having
returned from the Soviet Union.
Aug 3 Madam Nhu accuses Buddhist leaders of treason, murder
and describes them as "so-called holy men who use Communist tactics."
Aug 4 In Vietnam another Buddhist priest burns himself to
Aug 9 Buddhist leaders, fearing more suicide demonstrations,
prohibit suicide by fire.
Aug 11 US intelligence becomes aware of "deep and smoldering"
resentment against Diem in his army.
Aug 12 President Betancourt of Venezuela wants the former
dictator Perez Jiminez back in Venezuela to face charges of embezzling
13 million dollars. After careful legal study the Kennedy
administration extradites him.
Aug 12 In Vietnam an 18-year-old Buddhist girl maims herself
in protest against Diem's religious policies.
Aug 13 A 17-year-old Buddhist student priest burns himself to
Aug 15 A Buddhist nun, in her twenties, burns herself to
Aug 16 A 71-year-old Buddhist monk burns himself to death in
the city of Hue.
Aug. 17 Forty-seven faculty members at the University of Hue
resign to protest the Government's discharge of the Roman Catholic
rector of the university and what they call government "indifference"
toward settling a 14-week-old religious crisis.
Aug 18 At the Xa Loi pagoda in Saigon, about 15,000
Buddhists, most of them young people, sit-in and commit to a hunger
Aug 21 Hundreds of heavily armed policemen and soldiers,
firing pistols and using tear-gas bombs and hand grenades, swarm into
the Xa Loi pagoda.
Aug 22 The US State Department criticizes Diem's government for
violating its assurances that a reconciliation with Buddhists was being
Aug 23 In Vietnam, David Halberstam of the New York Times
reports growing anti-American feeling and student unrest.
Aug 25 In response to student unrest, Diem's regime announces
the closure of all public and private secondary schools and Saigon's
Aug 28 At the Lincoln Memorial, Martin Luther King makes his
"I have a dream" speech.
Sep 6 Senator Barry Goldwater urges postponing the Nuclear
Test Ban Treaty.
Sep 16 Malaya, Singapore, Sarawak and North Borneo are united
into the Federation of Malaysia.
Sep 21 The government of Indonesia announces the takeover of
all British Companies.
Sep 23 During an interview by Walter Cronkite, President
Kennedy says that South Vietnam's Government cannot win its war against
the Communists unless it recovers popular support. He also expresses a
domino theory: that "if we withdrew from Vietnam, the Communists would
control Vietnam. Pretty soon, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Malaya, would
Sep 25 The US Senate, by a vote of 80 to 19, ratifies the
treaty outlawing nuclear tests - in the atmosphere, in space and in the
waters of the earth. President Kennedy sets out on an
eleven-state tour to plead for support for his domestic program.
Sep 26 President Sukarno says that the new federation of
Malaysia was created "to corner Indonesia" and that Indonesia will need
to "fight and destroy" it.
Sep 26 In the Dominican Republic, some are opposed to the
reforms of Juan Bosch. In a pre-dawn military coup, the government of
Juan Bosch is overthrown. Coup leaders describe Bosch's government as
having been "corrupt and pro Communist."
Sep 27 The United States halts all economic aid to the Dominican
Republic and suspends diplomatic relations.
Sep 27 Lee Harvey Oswald has taken a bus to Mexico City where
he visits the Cuban consulate, hoping to move to Cuba, which he
believes has a socialism superior to that of the Soviet Union.
Sep 27 Madam Nhu announces that a number of Junior officers
are plotting against her brother-in-law's government.
Oct 2 President Kennedy sends a message to Ambassador Lodge
in Vietnam, declaring that "no initiative should now be taken to give
any encouragement to a coup" against Diem but that Lodge should
"identify and build contacts with possible leadership as and when it
Oct 5 The rebel generals, led by Duong Van "Big" Minh, have
asked for assurance that US aid to South Vietnam will continue after
Diem's removal from office and assurance that the US will not interfere
with their coup. President Kennedy gives his approval and the CIA
passes it on to the rebel generals.
Oct 7 President Kennedy ratifies a limited nuclear test ban
treaty with Britain and the Soviet Union. Nuclear testing is outlawed
in the atmosphere, underwater and in outer space.
Oct 9 Madam Nhu's father, Tran Van Chuong, who recently
resigned as South Vietnamese Ambassador to the United States, has
joined those opposed to the Diem regime. He calls for a selective cut
in American aid to his country.
Oct 11 The US has 16,300 members of the military in Vietnam,
increased from 800 by President Kennedy. Kennedy issues an order for
the withdrawal from Vietnam of 1,000 military personnel by the end of
1963. According to Kennedy's Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara, to
be stated in the early 21st century, Kennedy is considering pulling US
troops out of Vietnam after the 1964 election.
Oct 14 Madam Nhu accuses Washington of going soft on
Communism and of basing its policies toward Vietnam on domestic
Oct 15 Oswald is back from Mexico after having been denied a
visa by Cuba. He has acquired a job at the Texas School Book Depository
at $1.25 per hour filling customer orders for books.
Oct 16 In South Korea the leader of the ruling junta, Major
General Park Chung-hee, is elected President.
Oct 18 In Britain the government of Harold Macmillan has lost
credibility because of the Profumo affair, and Macmillan is suffering
ill-health. He resigns.
Oct 24 This is U.N. Day, and the U.N. Ambassador, Adlai
Stevenson, is in Dallas Texas, where he is jeered, pushed, hit by a
sign and spat upon.
Oct 25 Ambassador Lodge reports a coup is
"imminent." The White House tells Lodge to postpone the coup.
Lodge says that the coup can be stopped only by betraying the
conspirators to Diem.
Nov 1 The Diem regime is overthrown. Diem and his younger
brother, Madam Nhu's husband, are said to have committed suicide. In
fact they were assassinated. People in Saigon bedeck army tanks with
flowers and parade joyously through the streets.
Nov 2 Madam Nhu accuses the United States of having stabbed
the Diem government in the back.
Nov 4 In elections in Greece, former Premier George
Papandreou and his Center Union party win over former Premier
Constantine Caramanlis and his rightist National Radical Union.
Nov 6 In Greece, King Paul gives Papandreou a mandate to form a new
Nov 12 The Kennedy administration has hopes for better
relations with Cuba and is arranging a meeting with Castro's regime, a
meeting Kennedy does not want leaked to the press.
Nov 14 In Greece hundreds of political prisoners are freed.
Nov 16 In the United States the touch-tone telephone is
Nov 20 In the United States a handbill is being prepared for
distribution during President Kennedy's visit to Dallas. It blames
Kennedy for betraying the Constitution, for " turning the sovereignty
of the US over to the communist controlled United Nations," for
endangering the security of the US with "deals" with the Soviet Union,
for being "lax in enforcing Communist Registration laws", giving
"support and encouragement to the Communist inspired racial riots, and
having "consistently appointed Anti-Christians to Federal office."
Nov 22 In Dallas, President Kennedy rides in an open
limousine on a route of public knowledge. It passes in front of the
building where Oswald works. Oswald takes his rifle to work with him
and shoots the President. Vice President Johnson becomes President.
Nov 24 Jack Ruby, owner of a girly bar and friend of Dallas
policemen, kills Oswald.
Nov 24 After walking in the procession from the White House
behind the Kennedy cortege, President Johnson meets with Secretary of
State Rusk, Secretary of Defense McNamara, CIA Director McCone and
Ambassador Lodge. He expresses doubts that getting rid of Diem was the
right course. He declares that he will not "lose Vietnam." He tells
Lodge to tell Duong Van Minh and the other generals who made up the
ruling Military Revolutionary Council that bickering among them must
Nov 29 President Johnson appoints Chief Justice Earl Warren
as head of a commission to investigate the Kennedy assassination.
Nov 30 In Cyprus, quarrels have erupted between Greeks and
the Turkish minority. President Makarios hopes for better cooperation
between the two communities and proposes thirteen amendments to the
Constitution for consideration by leaders of the Turkish Cypriot
Dec 1 In the US, Malcolm X, a spokesperson for Elijah
Muhammad of the Nation of Islam, describes the assassination of Kennedy
as "the chickens coming home to roost." This irritates Elijah
Muhammad, who suspends Malcolm's right to speak for the movement for 90
Dec 20 In a seventeen-day accord, East Germany allows West
Berliners one-day to visit relatives in East Berlin.
Dec 21 In Cyprus, proposed constitutional amendments would eliminate
most of the special rights of Turkish Cypriots in exchange for greater
integration between the two communities, with some guarantees for
Turkish rights. Among Turkish Cypriots, rioting erupts.
Jan 8 President Johnson declares "War on Poverty."
Jan 9 US high school students in the Panama Canal Zone
violate an order banning the flying of any flag. A scuffle between US
and Panamanian students ensues and escalates. Anti-US rioting erupts in
the zone. Twenty-one Panamanians and four US soldiers are killed.
Jan 10 Panama severs relations with the US and demands
revision of the Canal Treaty.
Jan 17 A loose confederation of fourteen Arab countries - the
Arab League - meets in Egypt and creates the Palestine Liberation
Organization (PLO). Its charter claims that Israel is an illegal state
and pledges "the elimination of Zionism in Palestine."
Jan 30 In a bloodless coup, General Nguyen Khanh takes over
as Saigon's ruler. He had been a military officer with the French,
fighting for French colonialism against his countrymen's desire for
Feb 1 President Johnson says that he sees no chance of
negotiating peace for Southeast Asia as proposed by President de Gaulle.
Feb 7 The Beatles land in New York, making their debut in the
United States. Their record, I Want to Hold Your Hand" is a best seller.
Feb 10 The US House of Representatives votes on and passes
the Civil Rights Act that had been sent to Congress by President
Kennedy in June 1963.
Feb 26 Saigon's forces (ARVN) surround the Viet Cong and keep
their distance, hitting the Viet Cong instead with air strikes and
artillery. The Viet Cong slips away. General Khanh is displeased and
sacks five of his division commanders.
Mar 8 Malcolm X has broken with Elijah Mohammad's Nation of
Islam. He believes in the separation of races and announces that he is
forming a Black Nationalist Party.
Mar 13 In Queens, New York, residents fail to respond to the
cries of Kitty Genovese, 28, as she is being stabbed to death.
Mar -- This month's issue of Playboy publishes an interview
with Ayn Rand, who says, "I consider the Birch Society futile, because
they are not for capitalism but merely against communism ... I gather
they believe that the disastrous state of today's world is caused by a
communist conspiracy. This is childishly naive and superficial. No
country can be destroyed by a mere conspiracy, it can be destroyed only
Apr 3 The US and Panama agree to resume diplomatic relations
Apr 4 In Brazil, landowners and industrialists have been
unhappy with reformist President Joao Goulart. He is driven from power
in a bloodless military coup, ending reforms called for by the Alliance
for Progress and starting 21 years of dictatorship. US. Ambassador
Lincoln Gordon will admit US encouragement to the plotters and that
during the coup the US Navy stood off the coast. Aid will flow to the
new government of Brazil that was denied to Goulart's government.
Apr 19 Malcolm X is in Mecca meeting devout Muslims of
different races. He has softened, believing that racial barriers can be
overcome and that Islam is the religion that can do it.
May 2 Four hundred to 1,000 students march through Times
Square, New York, and another 700 in San Francisco, in the first major
student demonstration against the Vietnam War. Smaller marches also
occur in Boston, Seattle, and in Madison, Wisconsin.
May 14 In Egypt, Nikita Khrushchev joins President Nasser in
setting off charges, diverting the Nile River from the site of the
Aswan High Dam project.
May 22 President Johnson speaks to a graduating class and
presents his idea for a "Great Society."
May 25 The Supreme Court rules that closing schools to avoid
desegregation is unconstitutional.
May 27 The US has 16,000 military people in Vietnam, and so
far 266 of its forces there have been killed. In a taped conversation,
President Lyndon Johnson says to his national security advisor,
McGeorge Bundy: "I don't think it's worth fighting for, and I don't
think we can get out ... What in the hell is Vietnam worth to me? What
is Laos worth to me? What is it worth to this country?"
Jun 2 Governor Nelson Rockefeller has been considered the
front runner among Republicans for the presidency. In the California
primary he has been attacking Goldwater as too dangerous, and Goldwater
has attacked Rockefeller's morality. Social conservatives have been
offended by Rockefeller's divorce and remarriage in 1963. Republican
voters choose Goldwater by a margin of less than 3 percent, ensuring
Goldwater's nomination at the upcoming Republican convention.
Jun 3 In Seoul, Korea, an estimated 10,000 student
demonstrators over-power the police. President Park Chung Hee declares
Jun 5 In Seoul, student demonstrations continue, and
demonstrations erupt in eleven other cities. The students, it is said,
are impatient and frustrated concerning the country's economic misery.
President Chung Hee Park accepts the resignation of his right-hand man,
Kim Chong Pil, to placate student opinion.
Jun 12 President Chung Hee Park's ruling Democratic
Republican party and opposition politicians agree to form a 24-man
committee to solve problems resulting from student demonstrations.
Jun 12 In South Africa, Nelson Mandela and seven others are
sentenced to life imprisonment and sent to Robben Island prison.
Jun 15 The last of France's military leaves Algeria.
Jun 19 The Senate votes on and passes the Civil Rights Act.
Senator Goldwater is one of only six Republican senators who votes
against the bill.
Jun 20 General Westmoreland succeeds General Paul Harkins as
head of the US forces in Vietnam.
Jun 21 A summer of civil rights activities are underway in
the South. Three civil rights workers, Michael Schwerner, Andrew
Goodman and James Chaney are murdered near Philadelphia, Mississippi,
by law enforcement officials. The governor of Mississippi, Paul
Johnson, offers little help and dismisses fears that the three have
been murdered. He says, "Maybe they went to Cuba," suggesting the
Communist tie that was commonly used to discredit the civil rights
movement in the South. Johnson is moderate for a white Mississippian
regarding race, but conformism involved in appealing to voters led him
in a 1963 to criticize advocacy of civil rights for blacks and to
indentify the NAACP as standing for: "Niggers, alligators, apes, coons,
and possums." (Time, August 16, 1963)
Jun 25 The Vatican condemns use of the contraceptive pill for
Jul 2 President Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act into Law.
Jul 6 Malawi declares its independence from Britain.
Jul 13 In San Francisco, the Republican Convention's party
platform reads: "Humanity is tormented once again by an age-old issue -
is man to live in dignity and freedom under God or be enslaved -- are
men in government to serve, or are they to master their fellow men?"
The platform accuses the Johnson Administration of seeking
"accommodation with Communism without adequate safeguards and
compensating gains for freedom." It describes the Democrats of having
"collaborated with Indonesian imperialism by helping it to acquire
territory belonging to the Netherlands and control over the Papuan
people." And it states that "This Administration has refused
to take practical free enterprise measures to help the poor."
Jul 14 At the podium at the Republican convention, Governor
Nelson Rockefeller of New York is booed extensively when he denounces
Jul 16 Senator Barry Goldwater wins the nomination for
president on the first ballot.
Jul 18 In Harlem, New York, six days of rioting begins.
According to the New York Times, thousands of blacks "race through the
center of Harlem shouting at policemen and white people, pulling fire
alarms, breaking windows and looting stores." Whites had moved out of
Harlem by 1950 and by 1960 middle class blacks had followed.
Jul 19 In Harlem, Jesse Gray, leader of a rent strike, calls
for "100 skilled black revolutionaries who are ready to die" to correct
"the police brutality situation in Harlem."
Jul 21 Five days of race riots erupt in Singapore. It begins
with Malays commemorating the Prophet Mohammad's birthday with a
march. A few marchers respond in anger to a policeman
ordering some to return to the ranks of the marchers. Marchers attack
Chinese passersby and spectators. Retaliations against
Jul 27 From the US, 5,000 more military "advisers" are sent
to South Vietnam, bringing their total in Vietnam to 21,000.
Aug 1 The Republic of the Congo, formerly the Belgian Congo,
changes its name to the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Aug 2 North Vietnamese torpedo boats retaliate against ships
involved in attacks on a radio transmitter on the island of Hon Ngu off
the coast of North Vietnam, in the Tonkin Gulf. The torpedo boats
approach the US destroyer Maddox, which sinks two of the torpedo boats
and damages a third.
Aug 4 On the USS Maddox, in the dark of night, an "overeager
sonar man," to be described as such by the ship's captain, mistakenly
believes that his ship is under attack again. For two hours the Maddox
and another destroyer, the USS Turner Joy, fire at imaginary targets.
Air support from two US aircraft carriers are sent on a retaliatory
mission against targets on Vietnam's coast. President Johnson speaks to
the American public about "deliberate attacks on US naval vessels" and
his retaliation and adds that "we must and shall honor our commitments."
Aug 6 In a meeting with US legislators, Defense Secretary
McNamara gives a distorted description of US naval activities
in the Tonkin Gulf.
Aug 7 US congressmen and senators vote in favor of the Tonkin
Gulf Resolution, giving President Johnson powers in lieu of a
declaration of war. The vote in the House of Representatives is 416 to
0, in the Senate 88 to 2.
Aug 11 Since the rioting in Harlem, trouble has been expected
in Paterson, New Jersey. According to one report "carousing teenagers
in the slum Fourth Ward began pelting passing police cars with bottles
and rocks. Soon hundreds of Negroes were racing through the streets,
smashing windows and hurling debris at police."
Aug 12 Twenty miles south of Paterson, in Elizabeth, New
Jersey, rioting erupts. People pitch Molotov cocktails into three
taverns, and soon, a report says, "hundreds of Negroes were flinging
bottles and bricks from rooftops and street corners."
Aug 21 In Saigon, students and Buddhist militants begin a
series of escalating protests against the General Khanh's regime.
General Khan brings in others to share power. People unhappy with the
US backed regime are encouraged, and mob violence
Aug 22 At the Democratic Party's convention, Fannie
Lou Hammer, representing the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party,
challenges the all-white Mississippi delegation. Johnson hurridly calls
a press conference to tell reporters things they already know, to get
the television cameras off Ms Hamer, and this succeeds, but the
networks will rebroadcast her speech repeatedly, with Hamer in an
electrifying speech, asking that her delegation be seated to represent
MIssissippi. Johnson calls Hamer an "ignorant woman." He needs to
compromise with southern whites in order to get civil rights and other
legislation passed. Humphrey and labor leader Walther Reuther help sway
the Democrats to side with Johnson. There will be no seating of the
Mississippi Freedom delegation.
Aug 28-30 In predominately black neighborhoods on the north
side of Philadelphia, well-publicized allegations of police brutality
have created unrest. Two policemen, one white, one black, try to remove
a black woman from her car after she refuses to cooperate with them.
Rumors spread that a pregnant black woman has been beaten to death by
white cops. Three days of rioting follow, with mobs looting and burning
mostly white-owned stores. 341 are injured and 774 arrested.
Sep 1 "Freedom Summer" in Mississippi is drawing to a close.
White Mississippians fear what will happen if civil rights including
the right to vote are extended to blacks. They remain opposed to the
freedom schools that have advanced literacy and delighted blacks. There
have been 35 shootings incidents, 6 murders of activists, 80 beatings
and 65 houses and chuches burned.
Sep 4 At the University of California at Berkeley, students
have returned from summer vacation, some of them from civil rights
activities in the South. US Senator William Knowland's newspaper, the
Oakland Tribune, is picketed by a civil rights group that organizes on
Sep 14 On the Berkeley campus, Dean Katherine Towle bans
posters, easels and tables on campus and reminds student groups of
prohibitions against collecting funds or using university facilities in
planning or implementing off-campus political and social action.
Sep 17 Some twenty student activist organizations form a
coalition to oppose the regulations announced by Dean Towle. The "Free
Speech Movement" is born.
Sep 21 Malta becomes independent from Britain.
Sep 27 The Warren Commission Report is released. It concludes
that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in the assassination of President
Oct 1 Campaigning for the presidency in Hammond, Indiana,
Senator Goldwater promises his audience that he will liberate Eastern
Europe, and he tells them that only victory can end Communism.
Oct 1 A Congress of Racial Equality (CORE)
volunteer, Jack Weinberg, sitting at a table on the Berkeley campus, is
put into a police car by campus police. A crowd growing to about 3,000
surround the police car. Mario Savio, fresh from civil rights
activities in the South, climbs on top the police car after
respectfully removing his shoes, and he makes a speech.
Oct 2 Approximately 450 policemen rescue the police car, book
and then release Jack Weinberg. Student activists take up a collection
to repair the police car's dented roof.
Oct 13 Nikita Khrushchev returns from a vacation and finds
that members of the Presidium (formerly the Politburo) have called a
special meeting. Its members vote to send him into retirement.
Khrushchev will be given a pension and watched closely by the KGB. His
successor as Premier will be Alexei Kosygin and as Communist Party
First Secretary will be Leonid Brezhnev.
Oct 13 The Soviet Union has spectacular success launching a
three-man spacecraft that returns after 24 hours. N
Oct 15 President Johnson says if he is elected he will take
important new steps to reduce world tensions.
Oct 16 China explodes an atomic bomb in Sinkiang province.
Oct 16 In his first major campaign speech on civil rights,
Goldwater declares that "forced integration is just as wrong as forced
Oct 16 Former Vice President Richard M. Nixon says that a
Johnson administration would be "a sitting duck" for the ruthless and
tough-minded leaders who have replaced Nikita Khrushchev.
Oct. 20 Goldwater describes Johnson's foreign policy as a
"policy of drift, deception and defeat."
Oct 21 Campaigning for re-election in Akron, Ohio, President
Johnson says "[We] are not about to send American boys nine to ten
thousand miles away from home to do what Asian boys ought to be doing
Oct 22 Jean Paul Sartre, French philosopher and novelist,
declines the Nobel Prize for Literature.
Oct 23 The Republic National Chairman, Dean Burch, says that
a private Republican poll shows that Senator Goldwater leads President
Johnson in electoral votes, 261 to 258.
Oct 24 Goldwater repudiates his campaign film, "Choice,"
which contends that social "rot" is undermining American society.
Oct 27 A speech by Ronald Reagan is broadcast on television for the
Goldwater campaign. Reagan tells of switching from Democrat to "another
course." He complains about tax burdens and he asks whether a "little
intellectual elite in a far-distant capital can plan our lives for us
better than we can plan them ourselves." The speech enhances his
standing in the Republican Party.
Nov 1 A pre-dawn mortar assault by the Viet Cong at the Vien
Hoa air base, 12 miles north of Saigon, kills five Americans, two South
Vietnamese and wounds nearly one hundred others. President Johnson
dismisses recommendations for a retaliatory air strike against North
Nov. 1 Senator Barry Goldwater says that the attack on
Bienhoa airbase shows that the United States is involved in an
undeclared war. He adds that it is "high time" for the president to
speak frankly about it to the people.
Nov 2 A radio program titled "Goldwater's New World," creates
a minor panic among listeners in the Netherlands.
Nov 3 It is election day. Goldwater carries only Arizona and
five segregated states of the deep South, from Louisiana east
to South Carolina, excluding Florida. Johnson is re-elected with 61
percent of the vote. The Democrats win both the Senate and the House of
Representatives. Robert Kennedy wins the race for US Senator from New
Nov 4 Lenny Bruce, stand up comic, is arrested in New York
City for using "bad language" in one of his routines.
Nov 9 In Britain, the House Commons abolishes the death
penalty for murder.
Nov 18 Martin Luther King has accused FBI agents in Georgia
of failing to act on complaints filed by blacks. FBI Director J. Edgar
Hoover retaliates, describing King as "the most notorious liar in the
Nov 24 In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Belgian
paratroopers liberate around 1,600 Europeans who had been taken hostage
by a rebel army in early August.
Nov 29 In the US, the Catholic Church changes its liturgy,
including the use of English rather than Latin.
Dec 2-3 The chancellor at U.C. Berkeley has refused to drop
plans to discipline "Free Speech Movement" leaders. More than 500
students stage an overnight sit-in takeover of the campus
administration building. California's governor, Pat Brown, a liberal
Democrat, gives a deputy Alameda district attorney permission to bring
in off-campus police: sheriff's deputies and officers from the Highway
Patrol. Removing the students is a job made harder by the students
refusing to cooperate and made easier by dragging them down flights of
stairs, bumpety bumpety bump, to waiting police vans. Students on their
way to class that next morning are appalled by the site of fellow
students being manhandled, and liberal faculty members are also
Dec 18 The University of California Regents affirm that
university rules should follow the US Supreme Court decisions on free
Dec 20-21 Another military coup occurs in Saigon, led by
Nguyen Cao Ky and Nguyen Van Thieu, which keeps General Khanh as part
of the new government. US Ambassador Taylor reacts with anger, summons
the young officers to the US embassy and tells them he is "tired of
coups." General Khanh retaliates, saying that the US is reverting to
"colonialism" in its treatment of South Vietnam.
Jan 2 Martin Luther King Jr. begins a drive to register black
voters in the US South.
Jan 3 A new chancellor is appointed for the University of
California at Berkeley. It is announced that political activity will be
allowed on campus. Students are to be allowed to hold rallies and speak
from the steps of the administration building, Sproul Hall.
Jan 4 In his State of the Union address, President
Johnson proclaims his Great Society. Also he announces plans to promote
birth control abroad, using "our knowledge to help deal with the
explosion in world population and the growing scarcity in world
Jan 14 The prime ministers of Northern Ireland and the
Republic of Ireland meet for the first time in 43 years, a sign of
Jan 16 A federal grand jury in Mississippi indicts 18 men for
violating the civil rights of Schwerner, Goodman and Chaney, murdered
in Mississippi in 1964.
Jan 20 In Spain, Generalissimo Francisco Franco meets with
Jews to discuss legitimizing their communities.
Feb 6 A Viet Cong raid on a base in Pleiku, South Vietnam,
kills 8 Americans. This is done by Vietnamese believingthat they are
continuing a fight that began with French colonialism and that they are
fighting murderous foreign intruders and a minority of Vietnamese who
supported the French.
Feb 8 President Johnson orders more bombing in North Vietnam.
Feb 15 Canada acquires a new flag.
Feb 21 In New York, Malcolm X is assassinated in front of 400 people.
His assassins will be described as members of Elijah Muhammad's Nation
Martin Luther King Jr. (President Johnson in the background)
Mar 7 Selma, Alabama, is a city of 29,500 people - 14,400
whites and 15,100 blacks. Its voting rolls are 99 percent white and 1
percent black. With clubs and tear gas, state troopers attack a march
for voting rights led by
Martin Luther King. It is broadcast on
Mar 8 In Vietnam, 3,500 US Marines arrive - the first ground
force units from a foreign power since the war between the Vietnamese
and the French.
Mar 9 From California to Washington D.C., people demonstrate
against the police action in Selma. Michigan's Governor
George Romney leads a protest parade of 10,000. Demonstrators block
rush-hour traffic in downtown Chicago's Loop. In Selma a second attempt
to march is stopped. Later, three of the marchers on their way from a
restaurant to a black church pass through one of the poorer white
neighborhoods. A white Unitarian-Universalist minister, James Reeb, is
clubbed to the ground and goes into a coma during a delayed journey to
a hospital in nearby Birmingham.
Mar 9 In the National Review, Russell Kirk writes that if
applied in South Africa, one-man/one-vote "would bring anarchy and the
collapse of civilization." He describes whites as having "rescued South
Africa", and "Bantu political domination would be domination by witch
doctors (still numerous and powerful) and reckless demagogues."
Mar 11 James Reeb dies. President Johnson sends flowers and a jet plane
to return Mrs. Reeb to Boston. More demonstrations erupt
across the country.
Mar 12 President Johnson instructs his aides to draft a
voting rights bill.
Mar 13 In Selma, civil rights demonstrators, including
ministers and nuns, try to break through a police blockade. In the
White House President Johnson meets with and scolds Alabama's slightly
contrite governor, George Wallace. "The Negro," says Johnson, "is going
to win his right to participate in his own government." He tell
Wallace: "Consider history's verdict. You ought to be thinking of where
you will stand in 1995, not 1965."
Mar 14 In Selma, local lawmen arrest four men suspected of
connection with Reeb's death.
Mar 16 In Montgomery, Alabama, police attack 600 SNCC
Mar 17 President Johnson's voting rights proposal reaches
Mar 18 A federal judge rules that Martin Luther King and the
SCLC have a right to march, as originally intended, from Selma to the
state capitol, Montgomery, to petition state government.
Mar 21 Martin Luther King leads 3,200 marchers from Selma to
Mar 21-23 Police in Casablanca, Morocco, attack students and
workers campaigning against King Hassan II. The number killed is to be
estimated at 1,500, according to the BBC more than thirty years later.
Mar 24-25 At the University of Michigan the first teach-in is
held against the US war in Vietnam.
Mar 25 In Alabama, Klansmen shoot to death Viola Liuzzo, of
Michigan, as she is driving marchers from Montgomery back to Selma.
Mar 26 President Johnson appears on television and announces
the arrest of four Klansmen suspects in Liuzzo's death.
Apr 7 In a speech at John Hopkins University, President
Johnson says that we fight in Vietnam "to live in a world where every
country can shape its own destiny." He describes "the first reality" in
Vietnam as North Vietnam having "attacked the independent nation of
Apr 28 Civil war has erupted between the followers of deposed
President Juan Bosch and the military junta that ousted him. President
Johnson sends 42,000 Marines to protect US citizens and prevent an
alleged Communist takeover.
May 12 West Germany and Israel establish diplomatic relations.
May 13 Several Arab nations break diplomatic ties with West
May 15 Professors from across the country stage a national
teach-in in Washington DC. Television networks and major newspapers
cover the event, and radio stations broadcast the proceedings to 122
May 21-23 On the U.C. Berkeley campus, the Vietnam Day
Committee runs an anti-war teach-in. Speakers include Dr. Benjamin
Spock; socialist leader Norman Thomas; novelist Norman Mailer;
the journalist I.F. Stone and Professor Staughton Lynd of
Yale. Bertrand Russell sends a taped message.
Jun 7 King Hassan II suspends Morocco's constitution and assumes all
legislative and executive powers. He has sufficient backing from his
military to accomplish this.
Jun 18 Nguyen Cao Ky takes power in South Vietnam as Prime
Minister. Nguyen Van Thieu is the official chief of state. It's the
10th government in Saigon, South Vietnam, in 20 months. Much of Vietnam
and the world sees the United States as the stable power ruling in
Vietnam. The Johnson administration is looking forward to the regimes
in Saigon beinf truly independent and Vietnamese, but the
administration is already claiming it is,
and it's fooling mostly
Americans who want to believe their government.
Jun 19 In Algeria, President Ben Bella's old friend in the
military, Houari Boumedienne, has grown disappointed with Ben Bella's
dogmatism and authoritarianism. He leads a bloodless coup, ousting Ben
Bella from power.
Jun 22 Japan and South Korea renew ties with a Treaty of
Basic Relations, signed in Tokyo.
Jul 2 President Johnson announces that he has
ordered an increase in US military forces in Vietnam to 125,000. To
accomplish this, the monthly draft call is raised from 17,000 to 35,000.
Jul 30 President Johnson signs the Social Security Act into
law, establishing Medicare and Medicaid.
Aug 1 In Britain, advertising cigarettes on television is
Aug 5 In Vietnam, newsman Morley Safer covers US Marines
setting afire Vietnamese homes in the village of Cam Ne. His story is
broadcast on CBS Evening News. Johnson is angry and believes that Safer
must be a Communist. He orders a security check, and, when learning
that Safer is Canadian, he says, "Well, I knew he wasn't an American."
Aug 6 Chiang Kai-shek's plan to take back the mainland has
been launched. Mainland forces sink two of his naval vessels assigned
to transport troops on a recon mission. Two hundred of his troops are
Aug 6 President Johnson signs the Voting Rights Act into law.
Aug 9 Singapore separates from the Federation of Malaysia,
becoming a sovereign nation. Lee Kuan Yew is its prime minister.
Aug 11-17 In the community of Watts in Los Angeles a riot
begins following a policeman pulling over a driver he suspects is
intoxicated. Police send in squads to protect their fellow police, who
act with ferocity. On the third day of the riots in Watts, 1,500
National Guardsmen arrive. The number is insufficient, so 13,000 more
arrive. During the seven days of rioting, 34 people are killed, 1,100
people injured, 4,000 people arrested, and there is an estimated $100
million worth of damage.
Aug 20 In Haneville, Alabama, an Episcopal seminarian,
Jonathan Daniels, on his way with some teenage blacks to buy a soda at
a store known to sell to blacks, is met at the door by a deputy sheriff
with a shotgun who aims his gun and threatens to "blow their brains
out." Daniels steps in front of the others and is shot to death. An all
white jury will acquit the deputy of the charge against him:
Sep 28 Fidel Castro announces that anyone can leave for the
Oct 1 In Indonesia, Sukarno's military has fragmented into left-wing
and right-wing camps, one camp close to Indonesia's Communist Party,
the other anti-Communist. Acting on a report that a coup is to be
launched against President Sukarno, a group of leftist soldiers stage a
pre-emptive coup. They kill three anti-communist generals, and a fourth
escapes. Sukarno has not been warned of the move to support him and
Oct 6 Sukarno meets with his cabinet and issues a statement
denouncing the coup. Alongside Sukarno and guaranteeing his safety is
Major-General Suharto, Indonesia's future dictator. The head of
Indonesia's Communist Party is flying in an army plane to various
places, meeting with party leaders and instructing them to let the
military settle things among themselves. He tells them that to avoid
creating suspicion they should not organize demonstrations or go
Oct 15 An anti-Communist Jakarta newspaper has accused
Chinese intelligence agents of having plotted and financed the leftist
coup. Ethnic Chinese in Indonesia are being attacked. More than 5,000
members of Moslem organizations demonstrate, shouting "Crush the
Communists" and "Hang Aidit."
Oct 15 Anti-war marches take in various locations around the
country. In Berkeley, a march intending to pass into Oakland to an army
base leaves campus, fills Telegraph Avenue from curb to curb and
stretches one mile from Ashby Avenue back to the campus. It is stopped
at the Oakland border by a line of Oakland police.
Oct 16 In Berkeley a second march takes place. The Oakland
police let members of a motorcycle gang, the Hell's Angels, through
their line. The march leaders order the marchers to sit down. A Hell's
Angel shouts "Go back to Russia you f***ng communists." One kicks a
marcher. The Berkeley police club the Hell's Angels back to Oakland.
They club and arrest the Hell's Angel leader, Sonny Barger.
Oct 24 Muslim vigilante groups are massacring anyone believed
to be a Communist. This includes people who belong to labor unions.
President Sukarno complains that left-wing organizations are the
"victims of false slander." He orders the army to "shoot to kill" to
stop the massacres, but he is ignored.
Oct 29 In Paris, an internationally celebrated Moroccan
leftist in exile, Mehdi Ben Barka, disappears, never to be seen again.
Oct 30 A counter-demonstration by supporters of President
Johnson's war in Vietnam takes place in Washington DC. They are
estimated at 25,000 and are led by five Congressional Medal of Honor
recipients. Rather than entertain the possibility that the war is a
mistake, they appear to be associating support for Johnson's war with
patriotism and love of country.
Oct 31 The John Birch Society has an article published in the
Palm Beach Post that asks, "What's Wrong with the Civil Rights
Movement?" It claims that nothing is wrong except that "the American
Negro" is better off than negroes elsewhere thanks to whites, and it
claims that the Civil Rights Movement "has been deliberately and almost
wholly created by the Communists, patiently building up to this present
stage for more than forty years."
Nov 6 Cuba and the United States agree on an American airlift
of 3,000 to 4,000 emigrants from Cuba to the United States each month.
Nov 11 Britain has declared that it will not grant
independence for its colony of Southern Rhodesia until majority rule is
created there. The majority of the people there are black. The leader
of the white government there, Ian Smith, declares independence.
Nov 22 In Indonesia, vigilantes with enemy-lists continue
invading villages across Indonesia. Ethnic Chinese continue to be
associated with Communism and are targeted. The army has captured Aidit
and he is executed. Soon the US ambassador to Indonesia, Andrew
Gilchrist, will total the slaughter victims at 400,000. Sweden's
ambassador will describe this as a "very serious under-estimate."
Nov 24 In a bloodless coup in the Republic of the Congo,
Lieutenant-General Mobutu seizes power from Joseph Kasavubu and
declares himself president.
Nov 26 Mobutu cancels elections set for next spring, saying
he will rule as president for the coming five years.
Dec 17 The British government begins an oil embargo against
Rhodesia. The United States joins the effort.
Dec 21 Soviet scientists condemn Trofim Lysenko, the
Stalinist biologist, for pseudo science.
Dec 30 Ferdinand Marcos has won an election and takes office
as President of the Philippines.
Jan 1 In the Central African Republic a military coup ousts
its first president, David Dacko, who had established a one-party state
and enjoyed the support of France. Dacko is replaced by Colonel
Jean-Bédel Bokassa and imprisoned.
Jan 2 According to the New York Times, President Johnson's
greatest personal disappointment for the year just ended is the failure
of the United States to convince Hanoi and Beijing of the sincerity of
its desire for peace in Vietnam.
Jan 4 Upper Volta (Burkina Faso) has been a single-party
state since independence in 1960. In response to student, labor, civil
service unrest and a general strike, a military coup ousts its first
president, Maurice Yaméogo. In agreement with demonstrators, General
Sangoué Lamizana takes power as head of a "provisional military
Jan 7 In Hanoi, a high level delegation from the Soviet Union expresses
unity with North Vietnam and its wishes for an early Communist triumph
over the United States forces in the South.
Jan 8 In Vietnam, the US launches its largest operation yet -
Operation Crimp - with 8,000 troops and tanks. The purpose is to clear
away the Viet Cong and capture their base near the district of Chu Chi,
just north of Saigon. The area is razed and no Viet Cong base found.
Jan 9 In Nigeria, ethnic and regional differences mixed with
unhappiness over recent elections has created unrest. There is rioting,
looting and the burning alive of political rivals.
Jan 10 In the US, a duly elected young black, Julian Bond, is
denied his seat in Georgia's legislature because of his opposition to
the war in Vietnam.
Jan 10 In the Soviet Union, the Pakistani-Indian peace
negotiations to resolve the Kashmir dispute has ended in an agreement.
Pakistan and India sign a treaty. Signing for India is Prime Minister
Jan 11 Prime Minister Shastri of India dies of a heart attack.
Jan 11 A journalist, Clyde Petit, has interviewed a couple hundred US
servicemen in Vietnam. He passes along a statement from an officer that
reads: "If there is a god, and he is very kind to us, and given a
million men and five years and a miracle in making the South Vietnamese
people like us, we stand an outside chance of a stalemate."
Jan 15 The Federal Prime Minister of Nigeria is kidnapped and two of
the country's regional prime ministers are killed in a military coup.
Jan 16 Major-General Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi announces that he
has accepted an invitation by the Council of Ministers to head a
provisional federal military government for the purpose of maintaining
law and order.
Jan 22 Ghana's President-for-Life, Kwame Nkrumah, officially opens his
great dam on the Volta River.
Jan 24 In India, Indira Gandhi is sworn in as prime minister.
Jan 31 Responding to its displeasure with Ian Smith in
Southern Rhodesia, Britain ceases all trade with what Smith calls
Feb 6 Fidel Castro faults China for trying to spread
hostility toward the Soviet Union among Cuban soldiers.
Feb 23 In Syria a group of army officers take power in Syria.
The coup leaders describe their move as a "rectification" of Ba'ath
Feb 24 Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana is visiting China. Nkrumah is
allowing only a single political party. In Ghana, the army and police
overthrow of his rule. It is an internally driven operation -- with
support from the United States, via the CIA. The new regime cites
Nkrumah's abuse of individual rights and liberties, corruption,
dictatorial practices and the country's deteriorating Marxist-oriented
Mar 2 Kwame Nkrumah arrives in Guinea and is granted political asylum.
John Lennon, 1966
Mar 4 John Lennon is annoyed and says, "We [Beatles] are more
popular than Jesus." Some believe he is bragging and move to boycott
Mar 11 In Indonesia, Sukarno signs an order that transfers his
presidential powers to General Suharto, while keeping his title as
Mar 22 General Motors President James M. Roche appears before a US
Senate subcommittee and apologizes to consumer advocate Ralph Nader for
the company's campaign of intimidation and harassment against him.
Mar 27 In South Vietnam, 20,000 Buddhists march in demonstrations
against Saigon regime policies.
Mar 29 A Gallop poll for the past week has 54 percent approving
President Johnson's handling of the Vietnam war and 31 percent opposed.
Apr 21 US Senator J William Fulbright, Chairman of the Foreign
Relations Committee, is critical of President Johnson's efforts in
Vietnam. He makes his "Arrogance of Power" speech at John Hopkins
University and says
that "Unlike the Republic of South Korea, South
Vietnam has an army which [is] without notable success and a weak,
dictatorial government which does not command the loyalty of the South
Apr 21 President Sukarno admonished his ministers not to view
him "as a puppet."
Apr 29 US troops in Vietnam total 250,000.
May 4 Fiat signs a contract with the Soviet government to
build a car factory in the Soviet Union.
May 6 The California Senate releases a report that describes
the U.C. Berkeley campus as a haven for Communists.
May 12 In California, Ronald Reagan is running for republican
nomination for governor. He has been listening to people complaining
about wasteful government programs and "welfare chiselers," rising
taxes, government regulation, arrogant bureaucrats and the unruly
students at Berkeley. Reagan calls for the dismissal of those who
contributed to the "degradation" of the university. He demands a
legislative investigation of Communism and sexual misconduct at UC
Berkeley, and he blames turmoil on the Berkeley campus on "a small
group of beatniks, radicals, and filthy speech advocates."
May 13 In Berkeley, students are hard at work studying. It is
spring and sometime around now I pass a little house a couple blocks
from campus where a party has spilled onto the front lawn. Berkeley is
still a friendly place and with few outsiders to detract from it being
a student community, where people trust each other. I'm welcomed to the
party where people are dancing, eating cheese and sipping wine. Maybe
it was a birthday party. But the friendliness is about to change. Pot
smoking is just beginning. Front doors have not yet closed. People are
talking to each other at parties. Telegraph Avenue is still
overwhelming filled with students going to and from campus. Outsiders
have not yet flocked to Berkeley in significant numbers in response to
media news and Berkeley's notoriety. People along Telegraph Avenue are
still open, friendly and easy to meet. There is a sense of community.
But this is about to change.
May 16 In China, an angry Mao Zedong has emerged from a
semi-retirement and is still a venerated figure. He charges that a
"bureaucratic class" is oppressing the workers and peasants. He has
seen what he believes are counter revolutionary expressions in art. His
wife, Jiang Qing, has spoken of "poisonous weeds." Mao delivers a
report to the Communist Party's Central Committee charging that
"representatives of the bourgeoisie" have infiltrated the Communist
Party at all levels. "Persons like Khrushchev, for example," says Mao
"are still nestling beside us."
May 21-27 This week the American Council on Education names U.C.
Berkeley the "best-balanced distinguished university in the country."
Harvard is named as second.
May 24 The Nigerian government forbids all political activity
in the country, a prohibition to last until 1969.
May 26 Guyana achieves independence from the United Kingdom.
Jun 1 Mao sides with a student rebellion at Beijing University. His
wife, Jiang Qing, distributes armbands to the students and declares
that they are a new vanguard of the revolution.
Jun 2 In the Republic of the Congo, four former cabinet
ministers have been accused of plotting to assassinate President
Mobutu. They are executed.
Jun 6 Civil rights activist James Meredith is shot while on
his "March against Fear" from Memphis Tennessee, heading to Jackson,
Mississippi. The march will continue, joined by an angry young activist
Stokely Carmichael, Martin Luther King Jr. and many others.
Jun 13 The US Supreme Court, in Miranda v Arizona, rules that
police must inform criminal suspects of their right to consult with an
attorney and of their right against self-incrimination prior to
questioning by police.
Jun 14 The Vatican abolishes the Index Librorum Prohibitorum (index of
June 18 In China, a decree postpones university entrance
exams for six months in order to refashion the education system. Middle
schools and universities throughout the country are closed as students
devote their time to Red Guard activities.
Jun 19 The Senate Internal Security subcommittee charges that
Communists have played a key role in organizing campus demonstrations
against the war in Vietnam.
Jun 28 In Argentina, Peronist gains in local elections and
worker unrest concern the military. Another of Argentina's military
coups deposes president Arturo Umberto Illia. The new military junta
appoints General Juan Carlos Ongania as its leader.
June 29 US planes begin bombing Hanoi and Haiphong.
Jun-Jul ? Jacqueline Kennedy beats the chest of a friend from the days
of the Kennedy administration, Robert S. McNamara, still Secretary of
Defense, and asks him to "do something to stop the slaughter" in
Jul 4 North Vietnam declares general mobilization.
Jul 14 Richard Speck murders eight student nurses in their
Jul 18-23 Days of violence in Cleveland's predominately black
neighborhoods include arson destroying several blocks of homes and
businesses. There are 275 arrests. Four people are killed and 30
critically injured. The Ohio National Guard reestablishes order.
Jul 28 Stokely Carmichael delivers a "black power" speech - a
lecture to other blacks. Previously an integrationist allied with Dr.
King's movement, Carmichael has turned separatist. He attacks whites
helping the civil rights movement as "nothing but treacherous enemies."
He says that what the "white press" has been calling riots are
"rebellions not riots."
Jul 28 President Johnson announces that to meet" mounting aggression"
in Vietnam he is increasing "our fighting strength from 75,000 to
125,000 men almost immediately." In month ago a Gallup poll showed
disapproval of his handling of the war at 44 percent and approval at
only 38 percent. Now his approval rating will leap back into the lead
with 43 percent against 38 percent disapproving.
Jul 29 A power struggle continues in Nigeria. Another
military coup, by northern officers, puts Lieutentant-General Yakubu
Gowon in power. Thousands of the Igbo tribe flee from massacres in the
north. The previous coup leader, Major-General Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi,
an Igbo, and his host, Lietuenant-Colonel Adekunle Fajuyi, are
stripped, flogged, beaten and then machine-gunned to death.
Aug 1 At the University of Texas at Austin, a sniper, Charles
Whitman, kills thirteen.
Aug 1 Mao Zedong supports the Red Guards in a speech to the
11th plenum of the eighth CCP Congress.
Aug 5 Martin Luther King Jr. leads a march into Cicero,
Illinois, where whites live next to a black community to their south
and fear integration. The march finds hostility from bystanders, and
King is struck by a rock.
Aug 5 In Beijing, Bian Zhongyun, principal of a Girls' Middle School,
is beaten to death by "Red Guard" students.
Aug 6 University students in West Germany begin to take
interest in political activism.
Aug 6 In Bolivia, the popular Rene Barrientos takes office as
president. He is helped by his fluency in Quechua and his oratory. He
describes himself as a staunch Christian and appears to some as a
revolutionary and to others as a law-and-order conservative.
Aug 9 In Lansing, Michigan, 200 or 300 black youths have
rampaged for the second night. Governor George Romney denounces
advocates of "black power" and threatens action.
Aug15 Syrian and Israeli troops clash for three hours on
their border at the Sea of Galilee, otherwise known as Lake Genesaret.
Aug 21 Seven men are sentenced to death in Egypt for anti-Nasser
Aug 30 Following riots in French Somaliland, France promises
the colony independence.
Aug 31 In China, Red Guards are traveling around the country,
using free transportation and accusing local authorities of bourgeois
transgressions. The Red Guards have begun a campaign to destroy "old
ideals, old culture, old customs and old habits." Street names are to
be changed, books burned and temples razed.
Sep 3 In China, Lin Biao rides the Maoist bandwagon and urges
students to criticize those party officials who have been influenced by
the ideas of Nikita Khrushchev.
Sep 6 In Cape Town, South Africa, Prime Minister Verwoerd is
stabbed to death by Dimitri Tsafendas, who will be certified insane.
Tsafendas, whose father was Greek and mother black, was classified as
white but is said to have been shunned because of his dark skin.
Sep 9 In his campaign for Governor of California, Ronald
Reagan lashes out at appeasement of campus malcontents by the
California university system president, Clark Kerr, and appeasement by
his opponent, Governor Pat Brown. He calls for keeping the university
"isolated from political influence."
Sep 30 Botswana acquires independence from British rule.
Oct 27 Southwest Africa, a League of Nations mandate territory taken
from the Germans after World War I, is ruled by South Africa. The
United Nations calls on South Africa to withdraw from the territory.
Nov 7 The Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko opens a six-week tour in the
Nov 7 At Harvard University, Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara
receives courteous treatment until he is set upon by around 800
organized by the Harvard chapter of the Students for a Democratic
Society. Twenty-five of them get under his car to prevent his get away.
The crowd jeers, screams and calls him a fascist and a murderer.
Nov 7 In California the campaign for governor ends. Reagan has heard
Governor Pat Brown ridicule him for being an actor. Reagan has been
campaigning against students who want to rebel rather than just study,
against high taxes, wasteful welfare spending, air and water pollution
and Governor Brown believing in "throwing money" at problems.
Nov 8 Ronald Reagan is elected Governor of California. In
Massachusetts, Edward Brooke becomes the first African American elected
to the United States Senate since Reconstruction.
Nov 13 The American Civil Liberties Union appeals to the
nation's college and university presidents to block efforts by the
House Committee on Un-American Activities to obtain membership lists of
campus organizations critical of American policy in Vietnam.
Dec 7 The Caribbean Island of Barbados achieves complete
independence from Britain.
Dec 16 The U.N. Security Council approves an oil embargo
Dec 31 There are now 385,000 US troops in Vietnam. There, 5,008 US
military personnel died in action 1966, an average of more than 13 per
day. Another 1,045 died from "non-hostile" occurrences.
Jan 13 In Togo, Lieutenant-General Gnassingbe Eyadema seizes power in
bloodless coup. Political parties are dissolved. Eyadema will rule as
"president" unchallenged until he dies in 2005.
Jan 14 In San Francisco's Golden Gate Park approximately
30,000 take part in a "be-in." Among the participants are Allen
Ginsberg, credited with creating the term "flower power," and Timothy
Leary, fired Harvard professor and LSD guru, who calls on people to
"Turn on, Tune in and Drop out."
Jan 16 California's governor, Ronald Reagan, meets with FBI
agents for information on Berkeley campus radicals.
Jan 20 Governor Reagan and the state's Board of Regents fire
Clark Kerr, president of California's university system. Reagan thinks
Kerr has been too soft on student protesters.
Jan 20 Evangelist Billy Graham describes some of the
Crusaders for Christ at the Berkeley campus as "a bit zealous" but says
he prefers that to "cold, frigid" efforts.
Jan 27 A fire erupts during a launch pad test, killing US
astronauts Gus Grissom, Edward Higgins White and Roger Chaffee.
Jan 27 The US, Soviet Union and Britain sign an Outer Space
Treaty. The treaty prohibits use of space, the moon or other celestial
bodies as a military base or for any purpose not peaceful.
Feb 7 In Britain, the British National Front is founded. Its
purpose is to oppose immigration, multiculturalism and to replace
internationalism, including the United Nations and NATO, with bilateral
Feb 15 In Vietnam, thirteen US helicopters are shot down in
Feb 18 China sends three divisions to Tibet.
Feb 24 The Soviet Union forbids its East European satellites
to form diplomatic relations with West Germany.
Feb 27 The Caribbean Island of Dominica acquires independence
from Britain and remains within the Commonwealth.
Mar 1 China's Red Guards have been having disputes over which
of them best represents Chairman Mao's thinking. Now they are returning
Mar 6 President Johnson announces his plan for a lottery for
conscription into the military: "the draft."
Mar 9 While in India, Stalin's daughter, Svetlana
Alliuyeva, defects to the US through its embassy.
Mar 12 Indonesia's State Assembly removes all
powers from Sukarno and names General Suharto acting president.
Mar 13 Soul singers Otis Redding and Sam & Dave
arrive in London to begin their 4-week tour of Europe to rave
audiences. The Beatles send their private limos to pick them up. Their
use of the word "soul" say Sam & Dave, who helped popularize
the word, is not about race, it is about freedom.
Gerald R. Ford, a hawk regarding Vietnam
Colonel Papadopoulos, dictator
Mar 21-23 In Sierra Leone four days have passed since its
first parliamentary elections since independence. The head of the army,
Brigadier-General David Lansana, seizes power. Multi-party democracy in
Sierra Leone ends. Two days later, senior military officers overthrow
Lansana and create a "National Reformation Council." Democracy is not
Mar 22 Regarding Vietnam, Republican House Minority Leader,
Gerald R Ford, alongside Republican Senator Dirksen, says that
President Johnson "does not have sufficient resolution."
Mar 29 France launches its first nuclear submarine.
Apr 4 Martin Luther King Jr. denounces the war in Vietnam. An
angry President Johnson will call him "that goddam nigger preacher."
Apr 5 Grayline bus service begins tours of the Haight-Ashbury
district of San Francisco, its tourist riders to stare at so-called
hippies who live there.
Apr 14 In San Francisco thousands protest President Johnson's
policy in Vietnam by marching from the Ferry building to Kezar Stadium
which they fill to capacity. A Vietnam veteran, David Duncan, gives the
gathering's keynote speech.
Apr 17 Long hair has been growing in popularity among Greek youth, and
rightist military leaders dislike it. The Rolling Stones perform in
Athens and receive a tumultuous welcome, but they feel bad vibrations
from the police and are happy to return to their departing
Apr 21 Ultra-conservative generals in Greece fear results of the
elections scheduled for May. A coup led by Colonel George Papapoulos
takes power. Papadopoulos is to appoint himself prime minister and
regent to the crown. Moderate and leftist politicians will be arrested.
Long hair and Western music will be banned along with the music of
composer Mikis Theodorakis of "Zorba" fame.
Apr 25 Britain grants internal self-government to Swaziland.
Apr 28 Boxing champion Muhammad Ali has refused induction into the Army
and is stripped of his boxing title.
Apr 28 General William Westmoreland tells the US Congress
that the United States will "prevail in Vietnam." His analysis of the
war is that the stuggle in Vietnam did not have origins within Vietnam
- as with French colonialism. Westmoreland sees the problem as South
Vietnam (a creation rising from French colonialism) as having been
"marked as a target for the Communist stratagem called 'War of National
Liberation.'" He says he sees "no evidence that this is an internal
May 1 In Nicaragua, Anastasio Somoza Debayle, a member of the family
that has ruled since 1937, becomes president. He remains director of
the National Guard, giving him absolute political and military control.
May 8 Boxer Muhammad Ali is indicted for refusing induction
into the US Army.
May 8 Twenty-six Black Panthers, led by Bobby Seale, visit
California's state legislature concerning gun legislation. They are
openly armed, arrested and charged with disturbing the
May 16 Egyptians have been interested in erasing the disgrace
of their defeat by Israeli forces back in 1956. Egypt's president,
Gamal Abdul Nasser, sends his tanks forward on Egyptian territory in
the Sinai desert, closer to Israel. He asks the United
Nations to withdraw its peacekeeping forces from the Sinai.
King Hussein of Jordan and Nasser of Egypt sign a war treaty
The Lebanese newspaper, al-Jarida, foresees a Nasser victory
May 24 The UN forces have left the Sinai. Egypt has erected a
blockade at the Strait of Tiran against Israel's access to shipping in
the Red Sea. Egypt moves 9,000 men, 200 tanks and guns to positions at
the edge of the
Gaza Strip, near Rafah. A speech by Nasser gives his
military officers confidence in victory.
May 25 The Israeli military chief of staff, Yitzhak Rabin,
suffers a nervous breakdown from which he will soon recover.
May 26 Israel's foreign minister, Abba Eban, leaves
Washington after a one-day visit. President Johnson is friendly toward
Eban and complains of his need of Congressional approval if he is to
help Israel with the weaponry that it wants. In recent days Johnson has
been bombarded by telegrams from Jews requesting help for Israel, but
he is upset over widespread hostility among Jews in the US toward his
policies regarding Vietnam, and he is angry with Israel for its failure
to publicly support the US in Vietnam and to press Israel's friends in
the US to back his policies in Vietnam. "Israel gets more than it's
willing to give," he comments, "It's a one way street."
May 27 Nasser postpones his military attack planned for the 28th. He is
afraid of US intervention and does not know whether he will
have military support from the Soviet Union. Nasser's pilots are
disappointed. One of them complains that they should "trust that Allah
will aid us."
May 30 Jordan signs a pact with Egypt, stipulating that Jordan's forces
are to be placed under Egyptian military command. Iraq joins the pact.
Jun 2 Students in West Germany have been protesting every
week. Today Benno Ohnesorg, protesting with others a visit by the Shah
of Iran, is shot dead by overzealous police. Protesting youth acquire a
Jun 2 Rioting and looting erupt in the Roxbury section of
Boston. Nearly 100 are arrested.
Jun 2 Nasser's strategy is now to let Israel strike first. He
claims that he cannot risk alienating world opinion by attacking first.
He assures his military commanders that they could manage a first
strike from Israel and says that it will come by June 5 at the latest.
Jun 5 Egypt's air force is on alert and expecting air attacks
at dawn. When the attack doesn't come the pilots relax and have
breakfast, away from their planes. Israeli aircraft, employing the
tactical element called "the unexpected," show up at nine in the
morning, having avoided Egyptian radar by approaching from an
unexpected direction. Within 100 minutes Egypt no longer has an
airforce. Egypt's 13 airbases, 23 radar stations, anti-aircraft sites
and 107 aircraft are destroyed. The Israelis lose nine planes. In the
United States, Secretary of State Dean Rusk is relieved that the
Israelis have not been driven to the beaches, but he is angry with them
for having struck first.
Jun 9 Israel turns around an attack by Egypt's ally, Syria.
Israel attacks the Syrians on the Golan Heights - high ground from
which the Syrians had been shelling Israel.
Jun 10 Egypt has launched its tanks against Israel, but, with
Israel ruling the skies and Egyptian troops suffering poor
communications, Egypt's ground war fails.
Jun 11 In Egypt the fiction has arisen that British and American
intervention is the cause of the poor performance of Egypt's military.
From Cairo, a radio broadcast of "Voice of the Arabs" tells the
Egyptian people that the United States is "the hostile force behind
Israel ... the enemy of all peoples, the killer of life, the shedder of
blood that is preventing you from liquidating Israel." The Soviet Union
plays to Arab sentiment. It verbally attacks the US and severs
relations with Israel.
Janis Joplin in her happier time
Jun 12 The US Supreme Court declares all state laws
prohibiting interracial marriage unconstitutional.
Jun 16-17 The Monterey International Pop Festival opens in California
and is attended by over 200,000. Featured are Janis Joplin, the
Jefferson Airplane, the Greatful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, the Who, Otis
Redding and many others.
Jun 17 Communist China has successfully tested a hydrogen bomb.
Jun 19 On television, Paul McCartney of the Beatles repeats
his admission that he has taken LSD.
Jun 21 Summer begins. A song is in the air called California
Dreaming. "If you are going to San Francisco be sure to wear some
flowers in your hair." The lyrics also speak of "a love-in there."
School is out. Tens of thousands of young people are headed to San
Francisco for what will be called a "summer of love."
Jun 26 A "race riot" begins on the east side of Buffalo, New
York, where fourteen people are shot. The Buffalo riots will last five
Jun 28 The California State legislature passes a law, the Mulford Act,
prohibiting the carrying of firearms in any public place, effectively
outlawing Black Panther safety patrols in Oakland.
Jul 4 Britain's parliament decriminalizes homosexuality.
Jul 4 In the United States the Freedom of Information Act
becomes official. To withhold information, government agencies must
show its need to be classified.
Jul 6 The Biafra region of Nigeria claims succession. Civil
war erupts that is to last two years and claim approximately 600,000
Jul 13 Black "rioting" begins in Newark, New Jersey.
Jul 15 Black "rioting" erupts in Detroit.
Jul 17 Black "rioting" erupts in Cairo, Illinois.
Jul 20 Black "rioting" erupts in Memphis, Tennessee.
Jul 26 The Black power celebrity, H. Rap Brown, is arrested
for inciting a riot in Maryland.
Jul 27 President Johnson appoints the Kerner Commission to
assess the causes of the violence. The report will be released in early
1968. It will conclude that the rioting of 1967 was the result of black
frustration over a lack of economic opportunity.
Jul 30 A week of looting and burning in Detroit is quelled by
the arrival of 4,700 paratroops dispatched by President Lyndon Johnson.
Jul 30 Four people are killed during a "race riot" in
Jul 30 General William Westmoreland claims both that he is
winning the war in Vietnam and needs more troops.
Aug 1 Blacks riot in Washington D.C.
Aug 1 Israel acts on a threat made to Jordan at the beginning
of the Six-Day War. Because Jordan did not stay out of the war, Israel
takes control of the entire city of Jerusalem.
Aug 3 President Johnson announces plans to send 45,000 more
troops to Vietnam.
Aug 7 China agrees to give North Vietnam aid in the form of a grant.
Aug 7 In East Jerusalem a general strike by Arabs protests
Movie Bonnie and Clyde opens.
Aug 13 In US theaters the movie Bonnie and Clyde opens.
Sep 4 During an interview for television, Michigan's
governor, George Romney, says he was brainwashed by US officials during
his 1965 visit to Vietnam. It is to be seen as the end of his chances
for the Republican presidential nomination for 1968.
Sep 23 The Soviet Union has been under moral pressure from
North Vietnam to help their struggle for national liberation. It signs
an agreement with Hanoi to send more aid.
Oct Former US Vice President, Richard Nixon, writes an
article for Foreign Affairs magazine and says "Taking the long view, we
simply cannot afford to leave China forever outside the family of
Oct 2 Thurgood Marshall becomes the first black justice of
the US Supreme Court.
Oct 6 The "summer of love" in San Francisco has turned into a
nightmare. The "Diggers," recognized by their activism as leaders of
"hippie" community in San Francisco, parade with a coffin in the
Haight-Ashbury district to mark the "Death of Hip."
Haight-Ashbury cultural radicals have been moving north into rural
Mendocino County, where until recently young men with long hair had
been beaten up. Mendocino County is about to be transformed.
Oct 9 In Bolivia, Che Guevara and fellow guerrillas have
failed to win over rural farmers. Guevara and three comrades are
captured and executed.
Oct 17 In New York the musical Hair premiers Off-Broadway.
Oct 17 President Johnson's draft has mobilized those who are
threatened by it. In Oakland, California, young men subject to the
draft join anti-war protesters from the Berkeley campus and overturn
cars, block intersections and temporarily close down the Oakland city
center. Anti-war demonstrations also take place outside draft boards in
Oct 17 The US Army sends one of its battalions into a trap,
killing sixty-one of them. This is not supposed to be happening, and
the army will describe it to news people as a victory. (See They
Marched into Sunlight by David Maraness.)
Oct 18 At the university in Madison, Wisconsin, hundreds of
students protest recruiting by Dow Chemical, the maker of napalm and
Agent Orange. Madison police turn violent. Dozens of students are
beaten bloody and 19 police officers are treated for minor injuries at
local hospitals. The violence by police politicize thousands of
previously apathetic students.
Oct 20 In Meridian, Mississippi, seven men are convicted of
violating the civil rights of the three civil rights workers murdered
John S. McCain III
Oct 26 John McCain bails from his damaged plane and falls
into Hanoi’s Truc Bach Lake. He is viewed as a heinous criminal,
beaten, bayoneted in the foot and groin and taken away for imprisonment
and more primitivity and torture.
Oct 26 The Government eliminates draft deferments for those
who violate draft laws, including the burning draft cards or
interfering with military recruitment for the war.
Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi
Oct 26 In Iran, his imperial majesty, the King of Kings, the
Shadow of God and Light of the Aryans, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, has
his official coronation.
Oct 27 Richard Nixon claims that the US must pursue the war
in Vietnam to a "successful" conclusion or risk a Third World War.
Oct 28 While going for food at four in the morning, Huey
Newton is pulled over and hassled by sarcastic Oakland policemen. A
shootout results in the death of one of the officers, John Frey. Newton
is taken to the police station, spit at and threatened with "an
Nov 2 President Johnson holds a secret meeting with a group
of the nation's most prestigious leaders ("the Wise Men") and asks them
to suggest ways to unite the American people behind the war effort.
They conclude that the American people should be given more optimistic
reports on the progress of the war.
Nov 7 President Johnson signs the Public Broadcasting Act,
establishing the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
Nov 9 A five-choice Vietnam war referendum at University of
California showed today 55 per cent of the students casting ballots
favored immediate withdrawal of US troops.
Nov 13 In Oakland, a county grand jury indicts Huey Newton on
charges of first-degree murder, attempted murder and kidnapping.
Nov 13 In Cleveland, Ohio, Carl Stokes is elected mayor - the
first African-American mayor of a major US city.
Nov 17 President Johnson tells the nation that in Vietnam "we
are making progress." He says, "We are inflicting greater losses than
Nov 21 President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the air quality act, allotting
$428 million for the fight against pollution.
Nov 21 General Westmoreland tells news reporters: "I am
absolutely certain that whereas in 1965 the enemy was winning, today he
is certainly losing."
Nov 30 South Yemen becomes independent from Britain.
Dec 5 In the city of New York, 1,000 antiwar protesters try
to close a draft center, resulting in the arrest of 585, including
Allen Ginsberg and Dr. Benjamin Spock.
Dec 8-10 From Moscow, Leonid Brezhnev flies to Prague,
invited by the Czech Communist Party's first secretary and the
country's president, Antonin Novotny, who wants Brezhnev's help in
resolving a political crisis. Brezhnev is dismayed by the extent of
dislike for Novotny among his fellow Communists. It is your business
(eto vasha dyelo) he tells the Czechs and flies back home.
Dec 10 Otis Redding joins the many music stars who die in
airplanes. He and six others die when their plane crashes into Lake
Monona in Wisconsin.
Dec 31 Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, Paul Krassner, Dick
Gregory and friends pronounce themselves "Yippies" members of the Youth
International Party. These are young men who know about street theater
attracting media attention. Rubin believes that pot smoking is going to
end the war in Vietnam.
Dec 31 Some 474,300 US soldiers are now in Vietnam.
Major targets of the Tet Offensive
US Marines at Khe Sanh
Warrant Officer Hugh Thompson,
from Atlanta, Georgia
The Mỹ Lai Massacre
Alexander Dubcek in 1968
Jan 5 In Czechoslovakia, the Communist Party's Central
Committee votes out Antonin Novotny as First Secretary and replaces him
with Alexander Dubcek. Novotny remains the country's president, but it
is the beginning of what will be known as the Prague Spring - a
reference to the blossoming of reform.
Jan 31 General Giap of North Vietnam launches the Tet Offensive, with
minimum and maximum goals of success. The Viet Cong emerges from hiding
to do most of the fighting. The offensive involves simultaneous attacks
in the larger cities and against major US military bases.
Feb 1 US forces launch a counter-attack against Giap's
offensive. The Viet Cong suffers heavy losses.
Feb 2 President Johnson describes the Tet Offensive "a
complete failure." The offensive is to continue for two more months.
Feb 4 Addressing his Atlanta congregation about the US in
Vietnam, Martin Luther King Jr. says, "And we are criminals in that
war. We've committed more war crimes almost than any nation in the
world, and I'm going to continue to say it. And we won't stop it
because of our pride and our arrogance as a nation. But God has a way
of even putting nations in their place." King predicts this response
from the Almighty: "And if you don't stop your reckless course, I'll
rise up and break the backbone of your power."
Feb 8 Communist forces kill 21 US Marines at Khe Sanh.
Feb 24 US Marines occupy the Imperial Palace in the heart of
the city of Hue. The Marines lose 142 killed and 857 wounded. The US
Army's loss is 74 killed and 507 wounded. Saigon's forces lose 384
killed and 1,830 wounded. Communist forces dead are estimated at over
Feb 27 Television news anchorman Walter Cronkite has just returned from
Saigon and tells his viewers that "the bloody experience of Vietnam is
to end in a stalemate."
Feb 28 In the US, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,
at the behest of General Westmoreland, asks President Johnson for an
additional 206,000 soldiers and mobilization of reserve units.
Mar 1 President Johnson's popularity drops below 30 percent
and endorsement for war policies falls to 26 percent.
Mar 8-11 In Warsaw, Poland, university students are
protesting against policies of the Communist regime. The government
arrests ten students and sentences them to prison on charges of
hooliganism and insulting the police. Tens of thousands of Poles clash
with policemen in front of Communist party headquarters and at the
statue of the national poet, Adam Mickiewicz.
Mar 12 In Poland three government officials are fired and
Jewish Zionists and some other Jews are accused of having organized the
Mar 12 President Johnson barely wins the New Hampshire
Democratic primary against a critic of the war, Senator Eugene McCarthy.
Mar 15 In Czechoslovakia, those who have been censoring
printed materials ask permission to end their censorship.
Mar 15 Student defiance of the Communist regime in Poland
enters its second week. A boycott of classes spreads from the city of
Krakow to Warsaw.
Mar 16 Robert F. Kennedy, now a US Senator from New York,
announces his candidacy for the presidency. Polls indicate Kennedy is
more popular than the President.
Mar 16 A US Army company enters the hamlet of My Lai and
finding no Viet Cong soldiers they vent their frustration on people in
the hamlet, killing everyone in sight - an estimated 300. A helicopter
lands, and pilot Hugh Thompson, door-gunner Lawrence Colburn and crew
chief Glenn Andreotta put themselves in the line of fire between the
troops and fleeing civilians and begin evacuating the wounded civilians.
Mar 18 The US Congress repeals the requirement for gold as
the backing of US currency.
Mar 18 In Paris, youths set off bombs in the offices of Chase
Manhattan Bank, the Bank of America and Trans World Airlines. They
believe these companies are involved in the war in Vietnam.
Mar 19 Wladyslaw Gomulka, the Polish Communist party leader,
seeks to moderate the anti-Zionist campaign that has spread across the
country in the past week.
Mar 22 Antonin Novotny resigns as President of Czechoslovakia.
Mar 22 In Paris, police arrest five young persons concerning
the recent bombings. A group of about 150 gather at the University of
Paris to protest the arrests, and they begin what they call the
Movement of March 22.
Mar 25-26 In Washington D.C. the wise men gather again,
including Clark Clifford, former Secretary of State Dean Acheson and
General Omar Bradley. Their non-unanimous recommendation is withdrawal
Mar 26 Communist East Germany's leading ideologist, Kurt
Hager, denounces Czechoslovakia's Communist Party reformers.
Mar 28 A report of the My Lai incident by the participating
Army company leaders describes 69 Viet Cong killed and mentions no
Mar 31 President Johnson announces: "I shall not seek, and I
will not accept, the nomination of my party for another term as your
Mar 31 In Poland the government closes eight departments at
Warsaw University, expels 34 students and suspends 11.
Apr 1 Alexander Dubcek affirms his determination to make
Communism in Czechoslovakia democratic.
Apr 4 In Memphis, Tennessee, in the motel where he and his
associates were staying, Martin Luther King Jr. is assassinated by a
Apr 11 President Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1968.
The act prohibits housing discrimination on the basis of race, color,
religion, national origin, physical handicap or family status.
Apr 23-30 In New York City, protesting the war in Vietnam,
students at Columbia University take over administration buildings and
shut down the university.
May 4 At the University of Paris - the Sorbonne - police are
called in to end student rioting. 500 are arrested.
May 6 In the Latin Quarter in Paris pitched battles are
fought between radicals and police.
May 11 Thousands of students fight again in the streets in
the Latin Quarter. They erect more the 60 barricades.
May 13 French labor unions, students and teachers begin a
24-hour general strike. Labor unions turn their factory yards into
fairgrounds in support of the student uprising. The celebrated
intellectual Jean Paul Sartre and 121 other intellectuals sign a
statement asserting "the right to disobedience," and Sartre speaks
approvingly of student barricades.
May 15 Two thousand workers occupy the aircraft construction
plant of Sud-Aviation at Nantes, and they are holding the plant manager
and his principal aides prisoner.
May 17 Gold prices soar in London to $41.37 per ounce.
May 19 Military maneuvers by Warsaw Pact forces along the
Czechoslovak border is making Czechs nervous. I have passed from East
Berlin to Prague, and in Prague I walk in a demonstration which has
banners reading "it is our business" (eto nasha dyelo) - a message
meant for the Russians. Demonstrators who learn I am an American
complain about being depicted in the US as anti-Communist.
May 20 In France millions more workers occupy factories,
mines and offices.
May 21 In Prague I hope to get permission from a sitting
group of hard-looking Polish officials who don't want to let student
trouble makers pass into their country. I don't dare tell them I'm from
Berkeley. Instead I tell them I'm a fisherman from California. Maybe it
is my visa for the Soviet Union that gets me permission to enter
May 23 In southwestern France, dissident farmers have formed
command squads to disrupt highway traffic to protest
government agriculture policies.
May 23 In Belgium, students occupy the Free University of
Brussels and say they will remain until their demands are met for
changes in curriculum, teaching methods, examinations and the structure
of the university.
Paris most violent and widespread battle
May 25 In Paris, a student demonstration that started
peacefully the day before turns into the most violent and widespread
battle with the police since the student revolt began more than two
May 26 France's striking workers gain a 35 per cent increase
in minimum wages.
May 26 The American writer, Eric Hoffer writes of nations
such as Turkey, Russia, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Algeria and Indonesia
having driven out "thousands, even millions of people." He wonders
about Arabs displaced by Israel's warring having created eternal
refugees and complains that "everyone insists that Israel must take
back ervery single Arab." Hoffer appears to dislike what he describes
as Arnold Toynbee calling "the displacement of the Arabs an atrocity
greater than any committed by the Nazis."
May 27 In Warsaw I've been staying with students in a large
university dormitory. Sudents who fill a small room tell me how unhappy
they are with the Communist regime in power. Two Cubans among them walk
with me around Warsaw and tell me how much they like Castro and fault
the Polish students for not appreciating socialism. The Polish student
who brought me in to stay at the dormitory as his guest is questioned
by a government agent.
May 28 Paris has been hosting peace talks between Washington
and Hanoi. The US has reduced its bombing in North Vietnam to encourage
Hanoi to end its struggle. A frustrated President Johnson
calls on the negotiations "to move from fantasy and propaganda to the
realistic and constructive work of bringing peace."
May 29 Hanoi's spokesman at the peace talks accuses Johnson
of using "hypocritical, false, lying words" in charging Hanoi with
obstructing the talks.
May 30 President de Gaulle dissolves France's National
Assembly and warns France that if necessary he will take measures to
prevent a Communist "dictatorship." France's middle class
rallies. In Paris, hundreds of thousands march in support of de Gaulle.
May 30 Gen. William C. Westmoreland reports to President
Johnson that the forces of the enemy in Vietnam are "deteriorating in
strength and quality."
Jun 3 I am in Moscow. My ballpoint pen has stopped working. I
walk around the city looking for a shop that sells ballpoint pens. I
find none. I try to buy a pen from a couple of secretaries, with no
luck. At the train depot, while waiting to depart for Siberia, I find a
ballpoint pen cartridge with other items for sale under glass. I buy it
and on the trip east will write with just a cartridge.
Jun 5 Robert Kennedy wins the California primary and appears
to be on his way to becoming the Democratic Party's nominee for
Jun 6 On the Trans-Siberian railway, a Russian passenger
politely approaches and tells me that Robert Kennedy has been shot and
Jun 10 General Chreighton Abrams replaces William
Westmoreland as US military commander in Vietnam. Westmoreland pursed a
strategy of "search and destroy" to defeat an elusive enemy. Abrams is
open to the idea that force can be counterproductive and he will look
more also to winning hearts and minds.
Jun 23 In parliamentary elections in France the relatively
conservative Gaullist party triumphs, increasing its seats in
parliament from 200 to 297. With its allies the Gaullist party will
hold 385 of the 487 seats in the Assembly. The Socialists drop from 118
seats to 57. Communist Party seats decrease from 73 to 34.
Aug 8 Richard Nixon is chosen as the Republican Party's
presidential candidate. He promises "an honorable end to the war in
Aug 1 In Japan, the many nearby family-owned shops make the country
charming for me and a consumer's paradise compared to the Soviet Union.
Aug 20-21 Warsaw Pact forces with tanks and aircraft enter
Czechoslovakia. Alexander Dubcek urges people not to resist.
Dubcek and other reformers are taken to Moscow on a Soviet military
Aug 22-30 In Chicago, police riot against antiwar
demonstrators, and the Democratic National Convention nominates
Johnson's vice president, Hubert Humphrey, as its candidate for
Aug 27 In Moscow, comrade Brezhnev has scolded Alexander Dubcek
concerning what he considers unfair,"rightist" criticisms in
Czechoslovak publications. Now, Dubcek and others are returned to
Prague and Dubcek retains his position as the First Secretary of
Czechoslovakia's Communists Party.
Sep 9 Arthur Ashe defeats Tom Okker of the Netherlands to win
the US Open.
Sep 27 Antonio Salazar, 79, conservative dictator of Portugal since
1932, has suffered a stroke and is replaced by another authoritarian
conservative, Marcello Caetano.
Sep 29 In Greece, the military junta, in power since April,
1967, maintains press censorship and martial law. The junta
leader, Papadopoulos, warns those he has released from prison that he
hopes that they "will not make another false step and force me to put
them away again." His regime holds a referendum on its new
constitution, claiming that it is a step democracy. The yes vote is
tallied at 95.2 percent.
Sep 30 The 900th US aircraft is shot down over North Vietnam
Student unrest has plagued Mexico City
Oct 2 Student unrest has plagued Mexico City since summer.
Discontented students want those responsible for police brutality
dismissed from government, and they want to exploit world attention on
the city from the coming Olympic games. The government of Luis
Echeverría uses the army and police, tanks and armored cars to crush
the student demonstration. Ammunition is fired at the demonstrators,
which also strikes people who are not a part of the demonstration. The
government will describe 4 dead and 20 wounded. Most sources will
report between 200 and 300 deaths. A study will conclude that the
demonstrators were unarmed. In 2006 Echeverría will be charged with
genocide and placed under house arrest.
Oct 11 In Panama a military coup overthrows the
democratically-elected government of President Arnulfo Arias.
Oct 12-27 The Olympic Games are held in Mexico City. On the victory
stand, during the playing of the US national anthem, sprinters Tommie
Smith (center) and John Carlos raise their fists to show support for
black power and unity and both are suspended from the US Olympic team.
Oct 31 Citing progress in the Paris peace talks, President
Johnson announces that he has ordered a complete cessation of "all air,
naval and artillery bombardment of North Vietnam" effective November 1.
Nov 2 Presidential candidate Nixon is afraid that President
Johnson is plotting a peace deal with North Vietnam will help the
Democratic Party's candidate Hubert Humphrey win the election. Nixon
promises Saigon's President Nguyen Van Thieu a better deal for South
Vietnam under a Nixon presidency and urges him to reject any peace
settlement that Johnson is pursuing with his bombing halt. Johnson will
be furious and call it treason. It's not an exaggeration: The Logan Act
of 1799 forbids citizens, including presidential candidates, from
interfering with negotiations between the United States and foreign
Nov 5 The left-of-center in the United States has fragmented.
The AFL-CIO is deeply into Cold War rhetoric, hardline regarding
dealing with communism, including supporting President Johnson's war in
Vietnam. There are those for patience and working for peace with the
Soviet Union and critical of Johnson's policies regarding Vietnam. And
there are those blue-collar workers who dislike the civil rights
movement and are supporting George Wallace. The Democratic Party
suffers from the fragmentation. In today's presidential election,
Richard Nixon wins the presidency with 43.4 percent of the vote. Hubert
Humphrey, the Democrat, takes 42.7 percent. George Wallace, with Curtis
Lemay as his running mate, receives 13.5 percent of the popular vote
and wins in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia.
Dec 3 Elvis Presley's singing career has been in decline. His last
single was in 1962. His movie box office has also been in decline, and
there are fears that he is considered not cool. Presley likes Nixon,
perhaps irrelevant as today he stages a comeback on a NBC television
show. Presley will visit with Nixon in 1970 and give him a hug and a
Colt 45 semi-automatic pistol.
Jan 18 -19 Yippies and others hold a counter-inaugural
parade, and at midnight they hold mock swearing-in ceremony. The
character representing the president wears a pig mask, followed by a
play assassination. They have an inaugural ball, with a poetry reading,
a light show and rock bands. Many in the United States, including
liberals, ignore it or dismiss it as an infantile disorder. A writer
for New York's hippest newspaper, the Village Voice, describes the
"bash" as "more depressing, deluded, exploitative, and trapped in the
past than any straight event I attended during my time in Washington."
Jan 20 Richard Nixon enters the presidency convinced "that a
clear-cut victory in Vietnam [is] no longer possible." ( Kissinger,
Diplomacy, 1994, p. 676.) In his inaugural address Nixon proclaims that
Americans "cannot learn from one another until we stop shouting at one
another." And he says, "the greatest honor history can bestow is the
title of peacemaker. This honor now beckons America."
Jan 25 In Paris, peace talks resume, attended by
representatives from the US, the Saigon regime, North Vietnam and the
Viet Cong. President Nixon favors a negotiated settlement of the war,
believing that a unilateral US withdrawal would be a disaster. He wants
the war to end but without the appearance of a US capitulation.
Jan 27 In Baghdad, nine Jews are executed for spying. Baghdad
Radio invites Iraqis to "come and enjoy the feast." An estimated
500,000 men, women and children parade and dance past the hanging
bodies and chant "Death to Israel" and "Death to all traitors."
Jan 28 A "Third World" strike has been dwindling on the US
Berkeley campus. Governor Reagan arranges to have police intervene to
protect students from disruption.
Jan 29 Near Santa Barbara an offshore oil well begins what in
the coming eleven days will be the release of 200,000 gallons of oil
that will spread over 800 square miles of ocean and 35 miles of
coastline. The people of this affluent part of California are outraged.
At U.C. Berkeley, Frank Bardacke lectures the National
Guard. For more on Bardacke, Google his name.
Feb 4 Al-Fatah leader Yasser Arafat takes over as chairman of
the Palestine Liberation Organization.
Feb 5 Turmoil has increased as off-campus anarchists have
attacked a police line and the police have retaliated in forays that
strike at students merely walking off campus. War between students and
the police has erupted. Governor Reagan declares "a state of extreme
emergency" on the Berkeley campus and surrounding area.
Feb 25 In Vietnam, Navy Lt. Bob Kerry takes part in a raid on
the village of Thanh Phong. More than a dozen women, children and old
men are killed. Kerry is to receive a Bronze Star for the raid and
would later express regret over his actions.
Feb 27 Governor Reagan orders the National Guard to control
the Berkeley campus.
Mr. and Mrs. Lennon
Mar 15 Violence erupts between China and the Soviet
Union over a disputed island on the Ussuri River.
Mar 17 Moscow calls China a threat to world peace.
Mar 17 Golda Meir becomes Israel's fourth prime minister.
Mar 20 John Lennon, Beatle, marries Yoko Ono, artist.
Mar 18 US B52s begin carpet bombing in Eastern Cambodia,
ordered by President Nixon, who wants to destroy sanctuaries for the
North Vietnamese that could make remaining US forces vulnerable to
withdrawals of US forces begin.
Mar 21 The FBI is targeting the Black Panther Party in its program of
investigating and disrupting dissident political organizations within
the United States - a program labeled COINTELPRO. Alex Rackley, a
24-year-old member of the New York chapter of the Black Panthers, was
suspected of being an informant and taken to the Panther headquarters
in New Haven, Connecticut. There he was tortured and held for two days.
21 he is fatally shot and his body dumped in the Coginchaug
Mar 28 Former President Eisenhower dies of heart failure.
Mar 29 In Stockholm, Czechoslovakia beats the Soviet Union in
ice-hockey. Celebrations in Prague turn into demonstrations against the
Soviet Union. Czechs attack Soviet occupation troops and ransack the
Soviet airline office.
Apr 7 A legal search for betting paraphernalia in the home of
Robert Eli Stanley has turned up a movie and projector. Stanley has
been prosecuted for possessing obscene material. In Stanley v Georgia,
the Supreme Court unanimously strikes down laws prohibiting private
possession of obscene materials on the grounds of a constitutional
right to privacy.
Apr 8 The first artificial heart is implanted into a human.
Apr 9 At Harvard University, Students for a Democratic
Society (SDS) occupy University Hall and are evicted by police.
Thirty-seven are injured and 200 arrested.
Apr 17 In Paris, North Vietnam's representative rejects the
US proposal for mutual troop withdrawals.
Apr 17 The "Prague Spring" has ended. Communist Party
chairman Alexander Dubcek is forced to resign as First Secretary of
Czechoslovakia's Communist Party. Soon he will be made ambassador to
Apr 19 On this Saturday at Cornell University, armed black
students forcibly eject parents and university employees from Willard
Straight Hall and occupy the hall. Their complaint: the university
lacks "a program relevant to black students."
Apr 21 Cornell's faculty votes 726 to 281 for the application
of campus rules that would punish those blacks who broke the rules. A
spokesman for the blacks, Tom Jones, speaks of a showdown with the
university and announces on a local radio station that seven faculty
members and administrators will be "dealt with."
April 24 Leading faculty members at Cornell accuse the
university administration of "selling out to terrorists." Some
professors refuse to teach until they have written assurance from the
university president, James A. Perkins, that the campus is disarmed.
Mao and Lin Biao
Liu Shaoqi, "traitor and scab"
Apr 24 In China, the three-week long Communist Party Congress
ends. It is the second such congress since 1949. Sixty percent of
former Party members have been replaced. Lin Biao has been named Mao's
successor, and he has denounced his old comrade Liu Shaoqi, who is in
prison. He describes Liu Shaoqi as a "traitor and a scab."
Apr 24 More bombing by B-52's occurs in eastern Cambodia.
May 1 The Soviet Union celebrates without the display
military power of previous May Day celebrations.
May 10-20 The US launches an offensive in South Vietnam
against Hill 937 (Hamburger Hill). The hill is bombed into a wasteland.
When finally occupying the hill, the 101st Airborne Division finds that
the North Vietnamese have withdrawn. Seventy US soldiers have died and
372 have been wounded.
May 15 At dawn, a chain-link fence is quickly erected around
a one-third acre of university-owned property called People's Park -
ordered by the university's Board of Regents. Rioting begins as a crowd
of about 3,000, many of them non-students, march from a noon rally on
campus intent on "taking back" the park. Governor Reagan is involved
with the Regents regarding Berkeley and calls for a tough response
against trouble. The Country Sheriffs carry shot guns. A few "street
people" on roof troops throw stones down onto the police. By the end of
the day one young man on a roof-top, James Rector, has been shot and is
near death. Another is blinded. At least 128 persons are treated in
local hospitals for head trauma from clubbing, shotgun wounds and other
injuries inflicted by law enforcement. Hundreds have been taken to a
nearby prison at Santa Rita. Anti-police warfare results in minor
injuries for nineteen policemen. None is hospitalized.
May 21 James Rector has died of his wounds. People gather on campus
listening to speakers regarding Rector. It is considered an illegal
assembly and National Guard troops with drawn bayonets force the crowd
to disperse. Rioting erupts. Helicopters fly over the campus dropping
CS gas. Gas carries into Cowell Hospital on the edge of the campus and
over most of the rest of campus. Classes are closed and the campus
vacated. Some who are late in leaving run through clouds of gas and
past club wielding police with gas masks. The entire city of Berkeley
is put under military control, including a curfew. Downtown Berkeley is
lined with rows of barbed wire. City Councilman Ron Dellums, a Democrat
and future chairman of the Congressional Armed Services Committee,
rises as a spokesperson for the outraged.
May 30 Berkeley citizens, numbering approximated 30,000 (out
of a total of 100,000), have secured a Berkeley city permit and march
without incident past barricaded People's Park to protest recent
events. Young girls slide flowers down the muzzles of bayoneted
National Guard rifles, and a small airplane flies overhead trailing a
banner that reads, "Let a thousand parks bloom."
May 31 John Lennon and Yoko Ono record "Give Peace a Chance."
Jun 1 A black professor at Cornell University, Thomas Sowell,
accuses the university of "paternalism" toward black students and
quits, joining a few other disgusted professors.
Jun 5-6 In Connecticut, in two successive nights in two
square miles of Hartford's north end, hundreds of black youths hurl
stones, break store windows and loot. The police establish a curfew and
the rioting ends.
Jun 8 President Nixon begins his "Vietnamization" plan. He
tells President Thieu of South Vietnam that 25,000 US troops will leave
Vietnam by August.
Jun 11 China complains of Soviet troops crossing into its territory, in
Sinkiang province, killing a herder, kidnapping another and
concentrating armored troops on the border.
Jul 4 Linda Kasabian has left her home in New Hampshire,
looking for God. She joins a group living on a ranch in the Los Angeles
area. She describes the leader of the group, Charles Manson, as a
beautiful person. Another young woman on the ranch, Susan Atkins, who
enjoys getting high with the others, believes Manson is Jesus
Charles Manson, jail photo
Charles Manson, publicity photo
Henry Kissinger National Security Advisor
Jul 9 US Ambassador to Indonesia, Frank Galbraith, notes that
possibly 85 to 90 percent of the population in West Papua (Irian) "are
in sympathy with the Free Papua cause." He observes that recent
Indonesian military operations in West Papua has "stimulated fears and
rumors of intended genocide."
Jul 18 A car driven by Senator Edward Kennedy runs off a bridge on
Chappaquiddick Island and submerges in water. His passenger,
28-year-old Mary Jo Kopechne, drowns.
Jul 20 Mankind, represented by astronaut Neil Armstrong,
steps onto the moon.
Jul 25 Stokely Carmichael, black power advocate and former
prime minister of the Black Panther Party, meets Black Panther Eldridge
Cleaver in exile in Algiers. He says that his differences with other
Black Panther Party leaders is
Jul 28 President Nixon and Henry Kissinger visit Indonesia.
Kissinger characterizes President Suharto as "moderate." He
has advised President Nixon that it would be best that they "not raise
this issue" of West Papua and that "we should avoid any US
identification" with what Indonesia is doing there."
Aug 8 Charles Manson wants to bring about a race war by
having members of his group kill wealthy people and cast suspicion on
blacks. He believes that in their music the Beatles have been warning
of a coming holocaust, which he calls Helter Skelter. Manson's first
target is the house where Terry Melcher once lived. Melcher failed to
help Manson in his music career. Manson sends some followers to the
house, with Susan Atkins assuming an aggressive role. Among the five
people his followers kill is the pregnant wife of movie producer Roman
Polanski: Sharon Tate.
Aug 10 Manson's second Helter Skelter operation kills Leno
and Rosemary LaBianca.
Aug 15-18 What begins as a profit venture becomes a free
concert, to be known as Woodstock, in upstate New York.
Sep 1 King Idris of Libya is in Turkey for medical treatment.
Military officers led by Captain Muammar al-Gaddafi take power. Gaddafi
is a socialist and will proclaim Libya to be ruled by the people. He
will accept a ceremonial rank of colonel and assume no formal office.
He will take the title "Brotherly Leader and Guide of the Revolution."
Sep 2 The president of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh,
Sep 10 Security Advisor, Henry Kissinger, sends President
Nixon a memo stating that if Vietnamization takes too long, public
restlessness might increase. The note expresses concern about Hanoi
continuing its course of "waiting us out."
Sep 11 President Nixon wants to encourage the North
Vietnamese to settle the war to his liking. He resumes bombing in North
Oct 4 In West Hollywood, Diane Linkletter jumps from her
sixth-story home to her death. Her famous father, Art Linkletter, will
blame drugs and Timothy Leary. Drugs but no LSD will be found in her
Oct 8 In the US, small faction within the Students for a
Democratic Society have split off from the others. They believe that a
war should begin immediately against the capitalist system. The are
called the "Weathermen," from a Bod Dylan song about "which way the
wind blows." In Chicago they gather to begin "bringing the war home."
Only 300 of the 10,000 they expected show up. They rampage through
downtown Chicago, smashing windows. They also blow up a statue
dedicated to police casualties in the 1886 Haymarket Riot. Six of them
are shot and seventy arrested.
Oct 9-10 In Chicago two smaller violent confrontations occur.
The capitalist system has withstood the shock. The "Days of Rage" are
over. The Weathermen go into hiding and are determined to continue
Oct 15 President Abdirashid Ali Shermarke of Somalia is
assassinated by a policeman.
Oct 21 In Somalia, a Soviet Union oriented Marxist general,
Mohamed Siad Barre, takes power in a military coup. He throws the
former prime minister in prison. He is to start a large-scale public
works programs, begin an urban and rural literacy campaign and is to
rule dictatorially until 1991.
Oct 21 Jack Kerouac, author of "On the Road" has recently
described himself not a beatnik but as a Catholic. He has painted a
portrait of the Pope. On this day he dies from alcoholism - internal
bleeding from cirrhosis of the liver. He was 47.
Nov 3 In a televised speech, President Nixon describes the
"Nixon Doctrine." He states that the US henceforth expects its Asian
allies to take care of their own military defense. He opposes
withdrawal of US forces, sayling: '"Our defeat and humiliation in South
Vietnam without question would promote recklessness in the councils of
those great powers who have not yet abandoned their goals of world
conquest. This would spark violence wherever our commitments help
maintain the peace--in the Middle East, in Berlin, eventually even in
the Western Hemisphere."
Nov 6 A black-power movement is said to be spreading through
the English-speaking Caribbean, putting pressure on political leaders
in former British colonies as well as in the US Virgin Islands.
Nov 6 In jail for auto theft, Susan Atkins begins bragging
about the Tate murders. The law is about to learn what was behind the
Nov 12 The US Army admits that a massacre of civilians took
place at My Lai and announces that an investigation of the incident is
Nov 12 In the Soviet Union, Alexander Solzhenitsyn is
expelled from the Writers' Union.
Nov 13 The nation remains divided concerning the US fighting
and dying in Vietnam. Regarding President Nixon's speech on Nov 3, Vice
President Spiro T. Agnew speaks of a "small and unelected elite" of
television producers, "their minds... made up in advance," having
attempted to undermine the President's plea for national unity, as if
the president could get national unity by pleaing for it if only the
"Eastern Liberal Elite" didn't intervene. </p>
Nov 15 In Washington D.C. a quarter of a million people stage
a peaceful protest against the Vietnam War.
Nov 20 The Nixon administration announces a halt to
residential use of the pesticide DDT.
Nov 20 A group of 80 American Indian college students occupy
Alcatraz Island in the name of all tribes.
Dec 6 A free concert "Woodstock of the West" is attempted at
Altamont Speedway, about 50 miles east of Oakland and Berkeley. The
Rolling Stones and some other big names are featured. The Hell's Angels
are hired for security. Fans are beaten. A Hell's Angel
stomps and stabs Meredith Hunter to death.
Dec 16 The British House of Commons votes 343 to 185 to
abolish the death penalty.
Dec 26 Timothy Leary is sentenced to 10 years in prison for
possession of marijuana.
Jan 2 Regarding Nixon administration policy toward Africa,
including South Africa's apartheid, Henry Kissinger sends President
Nixon a memorandum recommending adoption of a National Security Council
(NSC) option, the so-called "tar baby" option, which states: "The
whites are here to stay and the only way that constructive changes can
come about is through them. There is no hope for the blacks to gain the
political rights they seek through violence, which will only lead to
chaos and increased opportunities for the communists." The NSC option
favors "more substantial economic assistance ... to draw the two groups
[whites and blacks] together and exert some influence on both for
Jan 26 In Britain, rock star Mick Jagger is fined £200 for
possession of marijuana.
Feb 2 England's Bertrand Russell, described by some as the
20th century's greatest philosopher, dies at the age of 97.
Mar 1 The United States declares commercial whale hunting
Mar 5 A three-story townhouse in Greenwich Village in New
York City blows up, killing three Weathermen (a terroirs
group) who were making a bomb.
All that can be found of one of the three, Diana Oughton, is the tip of
one of her fingers. A Pulitzer prize-winning book will be written
titled Diana: The Making of a Terrorist.
Mar 5 Forty-three nations have ratified the nuclear
non-proliferation treaty and the treaty goes into effect. It
acknowledges five nuclear-weapons states. Other signatory states agree
not to acquire or produce nuclear weapons or nuclear explosive devices.
The treaty was proposed by Ireland.
Mar 13 While Cambodia's popular head of state, Norodom
Sihanouk, is abroad, conservative forces order North Vietnamese troops
to leave Cambodia.
Mar 17 The US Army charges 14 officers with suppression of
facts regarding the My Lai massacre.
Mar 18 Norodom Sihanouk is still abroad. A vote in Cambodia's
National Assembly removes him from power. He is replaced by
General Lon Nol, who is pro-US and anti-Vietnamese. Cambodian
conservatives look forward to economic advancement through association
with the United States and Japan.
Mar 29 In Cambodia, North Vietnamese and Viet Cong forces
launch an offensive against Cambodia's army.
Apr 1 President Nixon signs a bill banning cigarette
advertising on radio and television, to take effect on January 1, 1971. Ohio Governor James Rhodes
Apr 1 The US Army charges Captain Ernest Medina with war
crimes at My Lai.
Apr 12 In Mississippi a black one-armed farmer, Rainey Pool,
is beaten and tortured by a mob and his body thrown off a bridge into
the Sunflower River.
Apr 30 President Nixon announces on television a joint
US-Saigon offensive into Cambodia. The goal: to drive North Vietnamese
forces from Cambodia.
May 1 Protests erupt on campuses across the United States.
May 3 In a press conference, the Republican governor of Ohio,
James A. Rhodes, calls anti-war protesters "the worst type of people we
harbor in America, worse than the brown shirts and the communist
element." Governor Rhodes orders the National Guard to quell the
demonstration at Kent State University.
May 4 At Kent State University, national guardsmen order a
noontime rally of some 2,000 students to disperse. The guardsmen fire
tear gas and charge the crowd. A number of guardsmen fire their rifles
at the students for 13 seconds, killing four and wounding from 9 to 11
May 5 In response to the Kent State shootings, over 900
colleges and universities shut down. So too do some high schools and
elementary schools. The Kent State campus is to remain closed for six
May 8 Division in the US about the war is at a new emotional
high. On Wall Street in New York City, construction workers break up an
May 14 At Jackson State College in Mississippi, around
100 protestors set small fires and overturn vehicles. Police
fire into the demonstration, killing two.
May 20 Around 100,000 people demonstrate in the Wall Street
district in support of the war.
May 31 The federal government shuts off power and stops fresh
water supplies on its property, Alcatraz Island, still occupied by
American Indians. Hundreds of Indians flock to the island to protest
the government's plan to turn the island into a park.
Jun 20 President Nasser of Egypt, King Hussein of Jordan, and
other Arab leaders have flown to Libya to take part in celebrations
regarding the US having turned its military air transport base near
Tripoli over to the Libyans.
Jun 30 President Nixon announces the withdrawal of US troops
from Cambodia but warns that if necessary he will continue to bomb
Vietnamese troops and supply lines there. He expresses hope that Hanoi
will now agree to serious negotiations.
Jul 1 More than 5,000 soldiers from South Vietnam - those
allied with the United States - remain in Cambodia, occupying areas
with large populations. Looting and pillaging of Cambodian towns by
South Vietnamese troops is reported in the New York Times as having
"become a serious problem."
Jul 6 California passes the nation's first "no fault" divorce
Aug 1 After three days of disturbances involving blacks and
Puerto Ricans, a state of emergency is declared in Hartford,
Connecticut. A curfew is established from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. A
Puerto Rican man is shot and differences arise as to who is responsible.
Aug 2 In Hartford, police arrest seven men at the Black
Panther Party headquarters. The seven are said to be suspected of
Aug 24 A bomb planted by "anti-war extremists" explodes at
the University of Wisconsin's Army Math Research Center, killing
33-year-old researcher Robert Fassnacht.
Sep 4 With 36.3 percent of the vote, a socialist candidate,
Salvador Allende Gossens, wins the presidential election in Chile.
Sep 6-14 The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine
hijack five airliners. One is an Israeli airliner, and security on
board thwarts the highjacking. The four other airliners are forced to
fly to an airfield near Amman, Jordan. The fifth airliner is flown to
Cairo, the passengers are taken off the plane and the plane is blown
up. In Jordan, the highjackers bargain for the release of Palestinian
prisoners. asser Arafat Jimi Hendrix
Sep 9 US Marines launch a ten-day search for North Vietnamese
troops near Da Nang.
Sep 12 With help from his wife Rosemary and the Weathermen,
Timothy Leary walks away from a minimum security prison where he has
been serving time for marijuana possession.
Sep 15 At a meeting in the oval office, President Nixon says
he wants to prevent president-elect of Chile, Salvador Allende, from
Sep 16 In Jordan war erupts. It is called Black September.
The Palestinian Liberation Army, led by Yassar Arafat, attempts to
seize power. Syria sends a force with around 200 tanks to help Arafat's
Sep 18 Jimi Hendrix, British rock star guitarist, age 27,
dies in London of a drug overdose.
Sep 22 The League of Arab states meets in order to end the
fighting between King Hussein and Palestinians in Jordan. Hussein
accuses Arafat of conspiring to overthrow him, and Arafat pounds the
table and screams obscenities. He accuses Hussein of being an agent of
imperialism and of conspiring with the USA and Israel against the
Palestinians. The Libyan leader, General Moammar al-Gaddafi, accuses
Hussein of being a lunatic.
King Faisal of Saudi Arabia, disheartened
by the vulgar recriminations and incoherent ranting, declares them all
to be mentally unbalanced.
Sep 28 An ailing and tired President Nasser of Egypt dies of
a heart attack at the age of 52. Janis Joplin
Oct 1 With Nasser's funeral procession through Cairo's
streets, millions are weeping, and mourners attempt to bear Nasser's
coffin themselves. Soldiers use their rifle butts and batons to repel
the crowd. People are crushed to death. Authorities end the procession
by transferring the coffin to a military vehicle and rushing it to the
place of burial.
Oct 4 Janis Joplin, rock star, dies at the age of 27. The
cause of death: whisky and heroin overdose. In the US an age of pushing
sensation and thrill to its limits is coming to an end.
Oct 8 Soviet author Alexander Solzhenitsyn is named winner of
the Nobel Prize for literature.
Oct 10 Quebec Provincial Labor Minister, Pierre Laporte, and
the British trade commissioner, James Cross, are kidnapped by the Front
de Liberation du Quebec.
Oct 10 Fiji becomes independent of British rule.
Oct 12 President Nixon announces the pullout of 40,000 more
American troops in Vietnam by Christmas.
Oct 14 Moscow accuses Nobel judges of anti-Soviet motives in
giving the Nobel Prize to Solzhenitsyn. Salvador Allende
Oct 18 The body of Pierre Laporte is found in the trunk of a
car. He has been strangled to death.
Oct 23 The commander-in-chief of the Chilean Army, General
René Schneider, is assassinated. He was opposed to military involvement
in politics and stood in the way of CIA plans to have Salvador Allende
overthrown by military force.
Oct 31 China describes Japan's "white paper" on defense as
intending unrestricted expansion of Japanese armaments, acquisition of
nuclear weapons and a preparation for "unleashing a new war of
Nov 3 Salvador Allende is inaugurated President of Chile.
Nov 3 In California, Ronald Reagan wins a second term as
governor. His Democratic Party opponent was Jesse Unruh, whom he
described as a tax-and-spend liberal.
Nov 4 Andre Sakharov, Russian nuclear physicist, forms his
Human Rights Committee.
Nov 9 Charles De Gaulle dies at age of 79.
Nov 20 In the UN General Assembly, an Algerian resolution to
unseat the regime in Taiwan, which claims to represent China, and
replace it with representation by the People's Republic of China, wins
Nov 21 Fifty-six US commandos, supported by 26 aircraft,
attempt to rescue POWs at the Son Tay camp north of Hanoi. The
prisoners have been moved to another camp and the commandos return
Nov 24 The Viet Cong has changed its name from the
Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam
to the Government of the Republic of South Vietnam. Yukio Mishima
Nov 25 In Japan, novelist Yukio Mishima invades the military
headquarters in Tokyo, fails to persuade the military to join him in
renouncing the US imposed constitution and commits hara-kiri.
Nov 26 The Nixon administration has been holding to a wait
and see attitude regarding Chile's new president, Allende. Allende has
taken over two businesses controlled by American companies and on this
day he announces to Communist Party leaders his plans for large-scale
nationalization of basic industries.
Nov 27 Alexander Solzhenitsyn, whose books are not published
in the Soviet Union, says he has decided not to ask for official
permission to go to Stockholm to accept the 1970 Nobel Prize for
Dec 2 President Nixon creates the Environmental Protection
Agency, which takes over functions previously performed by the
Department of Interior.
Dec. 7 In Poland, Chancellor Willy Brandt of West Germany
signs a treaty opening normal relations with Poland. Poland is expected
to allow "tens of thousands" of ethnic Germans still living in Poland
to emigrate to West Germany.
Dec 18 In Poland, five days of unrest come to an end, said to
have been caused by shortages and rising prices. The Polish government
describes six people as having been killed by government forces in the
city of Gdansk.
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