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May 1960

May 1960Description : The following events occurred in May 1960: Page:m204

May 1960>>

The following events occurred in May 1960:

May 7, 1960: Premier Khrushchev provides proof that an American spy plane and its pilot were captured on Soviet territory
May 1, 1960: USAF Pilot Gary Francis Powers (right) shot down while flying U-2 over USSR

May 1, 1960 (Sunday)

  • U-2 Incident: An American U-2 spy plane, piloted by Francis Gary Powers, entered Soviet airspace ten minutes after takeoff from a U.S. base in Pakistan, at Peshawar. At 9:53 am (0653 GMT), his plane was struck by shrapnel from an exploding Soviet SA-2 missile while he was at 70,500 feet (21,488 m). Powers parachuted and chose not to commit suicide, and landed near Sverdlovsk, where he was captured alive.
  • Maharashtra and Gujarat were formed as the 14th and 15th States of India, when the Bombay State was split along linguistic lines.

May 2, 1960 (Monday)

  • Caryl Chessman, 38, American criminal, was executed at 10:03 a.m. in the gas chamber at California's San Quentin Prison after ten years on Death Row. In San Francisco, defense attorneys had asked to present an argument, and U.S. Judge Louis E. Goodman had decided to issue a stay of execution as Chessman was being strapped into his chair, and instructed his secretary to call the prison, but the secretary had copied only four of the five digits of the telephone number, after which the call took a full minute to go through. Goodman blamed the defense attorneys for waiting until the last minute to seek a stay, commenting that "One of them, at least, should have been here earlier." Chessman, an accomplished author on death row for rape rather murder, had won eight prior stays of execution, and his death was protested worldwide.
  • WLS-AM of Chicago became the first large radio station in the Midwest to switch over to a rock 'n roll format.

May 3, 1960 (Tuesday)

  • At 2:00 pm EDT, all regular television and radio broadcasting in the United States halted as the airwaves were taken over by CONELRAD (later the Emergency Broadcasting System), and sirens sounded across the nation, and all people outside were directed to go to the nearest fallout shelter. It was all part of "Operation Alert 1960" and regular programming was restored after 30 minutes. At New York's City Hall Park, a crowd of 500 demonstrators refused police orders to seek shelter, in protest over the nuclear arms race.
  • The European Free Trade Association, founded by Britain, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Switzerland, Austria and Portugal came into being, five months after the Stockholm treaty signed on January 4.
  • The Fantasticks, the most popular musical of all time, was staged for the first time. The opening night, at the (off-Broadway) Sullivan Street Playhouse in New York, was the first of a record 17,162 for the show. The last performance there was on January 13, 2002.
  • Outfielder Jim Lemon of the Washington Senators became the first Major League Baseball player to wear a batting helmet with earflaps. Helmets had been required in both leagues since 1958.

May 4, 1960 (Wednesday)

  • The United States signed an agreement to sell 17,000,000 metric tons of surplus grain to India over a four-year period, in exchange for $1,276,000,000.
  • Lucille Ball was granted a divorce from Desi Arnaz by a court in Santa Monica, California.
  • Born: Werner Faymann, Chancellor of Austria, in Vienna

May 5, 1960 (Thursday)

  • Soviet Premier Nikita S. Khrushchev announced to that nation's parliament that an American military plane had been downed in Soviet territory on May 1.

May 6, 1960 (Friday)

  • Ramon Mercader, a/k/a Jacques Monard, the man who had killed Leon Trotsky with an axe on August 20, 1940, was released from the penitentiary in Juarez, Mexico, after which he emigrated to the Soviet Union.
  • President Dwight Eisenhower signed the Civil Rights Act of 1960 into law. The bill had passed the House 288–95, after being amended and passed by the Senate 71–18.
  • The town of Wilburton, Oklahoma, was destroyed by tornadoes that swept through Oklahoma and Arkansas, killing 27 people and hurting 250.
  • Princess Margaret of the United Kingdom, the sister of Queen Elizabeth II, married Antony Armstrong-Jones in a royal wedding at Westminster Abbey.

May 7, 1960 (Saturday)

Ex-President Voroshilov
President Brezhnev
  • Leonid Brezhnev took on the ceremonial job of President of the Presidium of the Soviet Union, as Kliment Voroshilov's request for retirement was granted. Nikita Khrushchev continued as General Secretary of the Soviet Communist Party and as Prime Minister, positions that would be taken by Brezhnev in 1964.
  • Khrushchev surprised the world by announcing that U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers, of Pound, Virginia, had been captured "alive and well" near Sverdlovsk, along with film taken of military bases, and Soviet currency. U.S. officials expressed "amazement" at charges that Powers had been on a spy mission.
  • In the 1960 FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium, Wolverhampton Wanderers defeated Blackburn Rovers 3–0
  • The World Chess Championship 1960 ended in victory for Mikhail Tal.

May 8, 1960 (Sunday)

  • A Nationalist Chinese Sabrejet crashed into a village in Taiwan, killing the pilot and 10 people on the ground.
  • Cuba and the Soviet Union formally re-established diplomatic relations, which had been ended in 1952. The United States severed its diplomatic ties with Cuba five months later, on January 3, 1961.
  • Born: Franco Baresi, Italian football defender, in Travagliato
  • Died: J. H. C. Whitehead, 55, British mathematician, in Princeton, New Jersey

May 9, 1960 (Monday)

  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a birth control pill for the first time, as it cleared the prescirption of Enovid, manufactured by G. D. Searle & Company, for use as an oral contraceptive.
  • U.S. Attorney General William P. Rogers invoked the new Civil Rights Act of 1960 to force the turnover of voters' registration records in four Southern "cipher counties", so called because there were no African-American registered voters, despite a large population. The counties affected were Wilcox County, Alabama, Webster County, Georgia, McCormick County, South Carolina and East Carroll Parish, Louisiana
  • Born: Tony Gwynn, MLB star outfielder, in Los Angeles (d. 2014)

May 10, 1960 (Tuesday)

  • The submarine U.S.S. Triton completed its circumnavigation of the globe, after an 84-day voyage that followed the route of Ferdinand Magellan's expedition of 1519–1522.
  • John F. Kennedy defeated Hubert Humphrey in the West Virginia primary election, winning the predominantly Protestant state and dispelling doubts about whether Americans would support a Roman Catholic nominee. The win was Senator Kennedy's seventh in the primaries. At 1:08 a.m. the next day, Humphrey conceded defeat, and then said "I am no longer a candidate for the Democratic Presidential nomination", leaving Senator Kennedy unopposed.
  • Nashville became the first major city in the United States to desegregate its lunch counters.
  • Born: Bono, Irish rock singer, in Dublin, as Paul David Hewson; and Merlene Ottey, Jamaican women's 200 m champion, in Hanover, Jamaica
  • Died: Yury Olesha, 61, Russian novelist

May 11, 1960 (Wednesday)

  • In Buenos Aires, four Mossad agents abducted fugitive Nazi Adolf Eichmann a/k/a "Ricardo Klement", shortly after he got off of a bus near his home at 8:10 p.m. Eichmann, mastermind of the Jewish Holocaust in Germany, would be held captive for ten days until he could be flown to Israel.
  • At a press conference, President Eisenhower of the United States accepted full responsibility for the U-2 incident, and said that spying on the Soviet Union was justified. "No one wants another Pearl Harbor", he said, adding "In most of the world, no large-scale attack could be prepared in secret, but in the Soviet Union there is a fetish of secrecy, and concealment."
  • The passenger liner SS France was launched at Saint-Nazaire by Madame Yvonne de Gaulle, wife of the French president.
  • Died: John D. Rockefeller, Jr., 86, American philanthropist who gave away $475,000,000 of his inheritance during his lifetime.

May 12, 1960 (Thursday)

  • Soviet Premier Khrushchev said in a statement that if the United States made further overflights of the U.S.S.R., "this might lead to war" and then added that further aggression would be met "with atom bombs in the first few minutes".
  • By order of U.S. Defense Secretary Thomas S. Gates, the Defense Communications Agency was established.
  • The capsizing of a boat, on the Krishna River in India's Andhara Pradesh state, drowned at least 60 people.
  • Died: Prince Aly Khan, 48, Pakistan's "playboy turned diplomat", died of massive head injuries after his Lancia sports car collided with a sedan in the Parisian suburb of Suresnes, France. The other driver, Herve Bichaton, was reportedly on the wrong side of the road.

May 13, 1960 (Friday)

  • Black Friday (1960) – A group of 200 students, mostly white, assembled inside the San Francisco City Hall to protest against the House Un-American Activities Committee. Taking a cue from African-American protesters, they staged a sit-in. The city police dispersed the crowd with fire hoses and clubs, but the students' defiance was dramatic. Between 1,500 and 2,000 persons picketed the last session of the Committee's hearings, and another 3,500 predominantly anti-Committee spectators massed outside the building. As one author notes, "No one had previously dared confront HUAC so brazenly; most Americans were terrified of even coming into contact with the committee."
  • A six-member team of Swiss, Austrian and Bhutanese climbers, were the first to reach the top of Dhaulagiri, at 8,167 m (26,794 ft), the world's seventh highest mountain.
  • The first launch of the 91-foot-tall (28 m) Delta rocket failed, when the third stage did not ignite, but was followed by 15 consecutive successful launches.

May 14, 1960 (Saturday)

  • U.S. President Eisenhower flew to Paris for the scheduled Four Power Summit, after President DeGaulle of France verified that Soviet Premier Khrushchev still wanted to convene the meeting. The talks broke off shortly after DeGaulle called them to order two days later.

May 15, 1960 (Sunday)

  • While in Paris with President Eisenhower on the first day of a summit with Soviet Premier Khrushchev, U.S. Secretary of Defense Thomas S. Gates, Jr. ordered a test of the American military alert system. Declassified documents would later show that Gates's order at 0033 UTC for "a high state of command readiness" was misunderstood, and that within half an hour, the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff placed troops worldwide at DEFCON 3 status. The American public learned of the alert when Lowry Air Force Base asked police to locate key personnel, and the police asked Denver radio station KOA (AM) and KOA-TV to assist. The message that followed- "All fighter pilots F-101 and fighter pilots F-102... Doe Three Alert, Hotcake One and Hotcake Six, scramble at Lowry immediately." was heard by thousands of Denver listeners.
  • The Soviet Union launched Sputnik IV, a five-ton mockup of a manned spaceship, as a prelude to putting human beings into outer space. The satellite was "manned" by a heavy life-size dummy, luckily; the retrorockets fired in the wrong direction, sending the ship into a higher orbit rather than returning it to Earth. The satellite would re-enter Earth's atmosphere on September 5, 1962, with a 20-pound fragment landing at the intersection of North 8th Street and Park Street in Manitowoc, Wisconsin.
  • The new Convair 880 made its first passenger flight, for Delta Air Lines.

May 16, 1960 (Monday)

  • At Hughes Research Laboratory in Malibu, California, physicist Theodore Maiman focused a high-powered flash lamp on a silver-coated ruby rod, and created the first working laser.
  • Shortly after the Four Power Summit in Paris was opened by France's President DeGaulle at 11:00 a.m., Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev demanded the right to speak, and then delivered an angry tirade, which ended with a cancellation of the invitation for President Eisenhower to visit the U.S.S.R. beginning June 10. The summit ended at 2:00 pm, and Khrushchev did not show up for further meetings. Eisenhower, Khrushchev and Britain's Prime Minister Macmillan left France three days later.

May 17, 1960 (Tuesday)

  • "Radio Swan", secretly funded and operated by the American CIA, began broadcasting anti-Communist propaganda to Cuba, from a transmitter on Swan Island off of the coast of the Honduras.
  • Died: Joseph Taborsky, 36, who had robbed and murdered six people over a six-week period, was executed in Connecticut in the electric chair.

May 18, 1960 (Wednesday)

  • The 132nd and last original broadcast of the landmark American TV series Playhouse 90, was shown on CBS, with the telecast of "In the Presence of Mine Enemies".
  • Born: Jari Kurri, Finnish ice hockey player, in Helsinki; Yannick Noah, French tennis player, in Sedan

May 19, 1960 (Thursday)

  • The largest anti-nuclear rally held in the United States, up to that time, took place at Madison Square Garden in New York, as 17,000 people attended to hear speeches by Eleanor Roosevelt, Norman Thomas, Alf Landon, Walter Reuther and others demanding worldwide disarmament.
  • The first polling organization in the Soviet Union, the "Public Opinion Institute", was announced by the Party newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda. From 1960 to 1967, Komsomol took surveys on such topics as "How has your standard of living changed?"

May 20, 1960 (Friday)

  • In Japan, the lower house of the Diet of Japan voted at 12:17 a.m. to ratify the new security treaty with the United States, but only after police removed Socialist members who had blockaded Speaker Ichiro Kiyosein in his office. Petitions against the unpopular treaty had gathered 1,900,000 names.

May 21, 1960 (Saturday)

  • PFC Buzo Minagawa of Japan, was captured in a jungle at Guam, where he had been sent in 1944 as part of the 3219th artillery during World War II. Through interpreters, Minagawa said that he still couldn't believe that Japan had lost the war. His companion, Masashi Ito, was found two days later on May 23, and both men were welcomed home on May 28.
  • An El Al flight took off from Buenos Aires at 12:05 a.m., with kidnapped Nazi fugitive Adolf Eichmann safely on board, to face trial for the Holocaust in Israel.
  • Born: Jeffrey Dahmer, American serial killer, in Milwaukee (d. 1994)

May 22, 1960 (Sunday)

  • Great Chilean earthquake: At 3:11 pm local time (1911 UTC) the largest earthquake of the 20th century struck near Valdivia. Based on seismographic data, the tremor was later calculated to be at 9.5 on the Richter scale. The quake killed 1,655 people immediately in Chile, and its aftershocks killed another 4,000 people. Two million were left homeless, and the shock sent tsunamis that killed people as far away as Japan.
  • Adolf Eichmann arrived in Israel at 7:35 a.m., roughly 24 hours after he had been spirited out of Argentina.
  • Born: Hideaki Anno, Japanese film director, in Ube

May 23, 1960 (Monday)

  • Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion of Israel surprised the Knesset at 4:00 p.m., with the announcement that, "Israeli Security Services captured one of the greatest Nazi criminals, Adolf Eichmann... Eichmann is already in detention in Israel, and will soon be put on trial here."
  • At 1:05 a.m., a tsunami from the Chilean earthquake rolled into the bay of Hilo, Hawaii, killing 61 people and injuring 282 more.
  • A merger of the Unitarian and Universalist churches was endorsed at meetings held in Boston by delegates from the American Unitarian Association (725 to 143) and the Universalist Church of America (365 to 65), to create the Unitarian Universalist Association

May 24, 1960 (Tuesday)

  • Tsunamis from the Chilean earthquake, 8,000 miles away, struck the coast of Japan at Hokkaido, Sanriku and Kii, killing 119 people and washing away 2,800 homes.
  • The United States launched the Midas II satellite, the first designed to detect missile launches. "Midas" was an acronym for Missile Defense Alarm System.
  • Thirty-eight hours after the 1960 Valdivia earthquake in Chile, the volcano Cordón Caulle began a rhyodacitic fissure eruption.
  • Born: Kristin Scott Thomas, English actress, in Redruth

May 25, 1960 (Wednesday)

  • Four new earthquakes struck Chile, killing an additional 5,000 people.
  • Fifteen days of voting, for a 137-member Chamber of Deputies, concluded in the Belgian Congo, as the nation prepared for independence. Patrice Lumumba's National Congolese Movement won a plurality of seats, with 36.

May 26, 1960 (Thursday)

  • At the United Nations in New York, U.S. Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. displayed a hand-carved replica of the Great Seal of the United States that had been presented by the Soviets as a gift to the American ambassador in Moscow, and the listening device that had been discovered inside "right under the beak of the eagle".

May 27, 1960 (Friday)

  • In Turkey, the army staged a coup d'état, led by General Cemal Gürsel, and arrested President Celal Bayar and Prime Minister Adnan Menderes. General Gürsel assumed both offices and replaced the legislature with 37 officers who formed the Milli Birlik Komitesi (Committee of National Unity). Menderes, Foreign Minister Fatin Rustu Zorlu and Finance Minister Hasan Polatkan were later hanged, while Bayar was released after three years imprisonment.
  • Ireland's Grand Canal, connecting Dublin to Limerick, was closed after 156 years.
  • Dayton J. Lalonde completed a solo voyage from Los Angeles to Sydney after having been at sea on his sailboat, the Craig.
  • King Hassan II of Morocco dismissed Prime Minister Abdallah Ibrahim and Ibrahim's ministers, then took on the additional job of Prime Minister of Morocco

May 28, 1960 (Saturday)

  • The American Society for Cell Biology was organized.
  • The musical Greenwillow closed at the Alvin Theater in New York City after only 95 performances.
  • The town of Ventura, Iowa, was incorporated.
  • Died: Ramón Gay, 42, Mexican film actor.

May 29, 1960 (Sunday)

  • Syngman Rhee, formerly the President of South Korea, departed that nation for exile in Honolulu, where he would die five years later.
  • The interrogation of Adolf Eichmann began.
  • The Monaco Grand Prix was won by Stirling Moss.

May 30, 1960 (Monday)

  • The 1960 Indianapolis 500 was won by Jim Rathmann. Prior to the race, temporary seating collapsed, killing two people and injuring 70.
  • Died: Boris Pasternak, 70, Russian author

May 31, 1960 (Tuesday)

  • Jane Goodall began her study of chimpanzees in the wild, arriving at Lolui Island in Kenya after her original plans, to go to the Gombe Reserve, were thwarted by a political dispute.
  • The President's Joint Commission on Mental Illness and Health in the US reported that 25% of Americans suffer from mental illness at some point in their lives.
  • The Malayan Banking Berhad was incorporated.
  • Born: Hervé Gaymard, French politician
  • Died: Walther Funk, 70, former Nazi official
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