December 1960

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December 19, 1960: Fire on the USS Constellation kills 50
December 15, 1960: Wedding date of Belgium's King Baudouin to Doña Fabiola
File:QH-50C DD-692 1969.jpg
December 7, 1960: Drone helicopter QH-50C succeeds

The following events occurred in December 1960:

December 1, 1960 (Thursday)

  • Patrice Lumumba, deposed premier of the Congo, was arrested by the Congolese Army while on his way to Stanleyville to meet his supporters.[1] Lumumba would be moved around the country and then shot to death on January 17, 1961.[2]
  • Sputnik 6, a 5-ton Soviet satellite, was launched into orbit with two dogs, Pchelka ("Little Bee") and Mushka ("Little Fly"), plus mice, insects and plants. The next day, the capsule was reported to have burned up on re-entry into the atmosphere at too steep an angle.[3] According to later reports, a self-destruct system had been built to destroy the satellite if it did not re-enter at the correct time, in order to prevent it from landing outside of the Soviet Union.[4]

December 2, 1960 (Friday)

December 3, 1960 (Saturday)

December 4, 1960 (Sunday)

December 5, 1960 (Monday)

December 6, 1960 (Tuesday)

December 7, 1960 (Wednesday)

  • The United Nations Security Council was called into session by the Soviet Union, to consider Soviet demands that the U.N. seek the immediate release of former Congolese Premier Patrice Lumumba.[11]
  • The QH-50 DASH (Drone Anti-Submarine Helicopter), a drone that could be guided by remote control, made its first successful unmanned landing, descending upon the USS Hazelwood.[12]
  • At the request of the government of Dade County, Florida, the U.S. government opened the first federal Cuban Refugee Center, located in Miami, with a staff of 14. By the end of 1961, the center had 300 employees.[13]
  • Died: Clara Haskil, 65, Romanian classical pianist

December 8, 1960 (Thursday)

December 9, 1960 (Friday)

  • The first episode of the long-running ITV drama Coronation Street aired. It was originally planned to be a 16-part drama but became such a success that it is still running five times or more per week.[15]
  • French President Charles de Gaulle's visit to French Algeria was marked by bloody European and Muslim mob riots by in Algeria's largest cities, resulting in 127 deaths.[16]
Hyperion (1930-1960)
  • Died: Hyperion, 30, British thoroughbred racehorse

December 10, 1960 (Saturday)

  • The first underwater park within the United States, the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, was formally dedicated. The park covers 178 square miles (460 km2) and protects coral reefs, seagrass, and mangroves inside its boundaries.[17]
  • Born: Kenneth Branagh, Northern Irish actor and film director, in Belfast

December 11, 1960 (Sunday)

  • Richard Paul Pavlick, a 73-year-old postal clerk from Maine, loaded his car with dynamite and then parked outside the Kennedy family estate in Palm Beach, Florida, and prepared to kill President-elect John F. Kennedy, waiting for Kennedy to depart for Sunday mass. Pavlick changed his mind after seeing that Kennedy was accompanied by his wife and two small children.[18] Pavlick was arrested four days later by Palm Beach city police.[19]

December 12, 1960 (Monday)

  • The most commonly used Spanish-language version of the Holy Bible, the 1960 revision of the Reina-Valera, was released. The original version had been published in 1569. A more recent, but not as popular, revision was released in 1995.[20]

December 13, 1960 (Tuesday)

December 14, 1960 (Wednesday)

  • The first "Tied Test" in the history of Test cricket took place at the end of the match in Brisbane between the West Indies and Australia. At the end of the First Innings on December 10, Australia had a 505-453 lead. In the Second Innings, however, the West Indies had outscored Australia 284 to 232. When Australia's last batter, Lindsay Kline, came up for the 7th and final ball, the score had closed to 737 to 737. Kline hit the ball bowled by Wes Hall, and Ian Meckiff dashed toward the wicket for what would have been the winning run, but Joe Solomon fielded the ball and hit the stumps for the last out. "Until today," Percy Beames wrote in Melbourne's newspaper The Age, "there had not been a tie in Test cricket." [25]
  • The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) was created by the signing of an international convention by 18 European nations and the United States and Canada.[26]
  • By a vote of 89–0, the UN General Assembly Resolution 1514, the "Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples" was adopted by the U.N. member nations. The United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, France, and five other nations abstained.[27]
  • In Stanleyville, Congo, Antoine Gizenga proclaimed himself to be the successor to Patrice Lumumba. For four months, Gizenga's forces controlled the Orientale and Kivu provinces, but on April 17, he surrendered in return for a post as a vice premier in the central government.[28]
  • United States presidential election, 1960: The five member electoral board of Illinois, with a majority of Republican members, unanimously certified the results of the November 6 popular balloting, and awarded Democrat John F. Kennedy the state's 27 electoral votes. The board had considered Republican charges of voter fraud in Cook County and denied a request for a further election recount. Before the award of the Illinois block, Kennedy had 273, three more than the necessary 270 needed to win.[29]

December 15, 1960 (Thursday)

December 16, 1960 (Friday)

  • 1960 New York air disaster: United Airlines Flight 826, with 77 passengers, and TWA Flight 226, with 51, collided 5,000 feet (1,500 m) over Staten Island at 10:37 in the morning. The United DC-8 jet crashed in Brooklyn at the intersection of 7th Avenue and Sterling Place. Stephen Baltz, 11, was pulled conscious from the wreckage, but died the next day. In addition to the 128 passengers and crew on both planes, eight more people on the ground were killed.[32]

December 17, 1960 (Saturday)

  • 1960 Munich Convair 340 crash: At 2:10 in the afternoon, a U.S. Air Force plane crashed into a crowded street in Munich, West Germany, killing 32 persons on the ground, and all 20 persons on board the airplane. The plane, whose 13 passengers were American college students returning home, lost power after takeoff and clipped the steeple at the St. Paul's Church, then crashed into a streetcar on Martin Greif Straße, near Bayerstraße.[33]
  • Died: Abebe Aregai, 57, Prime Minister of Ethiopia, killed by machine-gun fire as the army storm the Genetta Leul palace where he was being held hostage by rebels.

December 18, 1960 (Sunday)

December 19, 1960 (Monday)

December 20, 1960 (Tuesday)

Viet Cong flag

December 21, 1960 (Wednesday)

  • Eileen Derbyshire, 30, first played the role of Emily Bishop on the British soap opera Coronation Street. She has portrayed the character for more than fifty years.
  • Major Richard Baer, commandant of the Auschwitz concentration camp, was arrested after 15 years on the run. Baer had been posing as "Karl Neuman", a gardener on the estate of Otto Von Bismarck, since 1945.[39]

December 22, 1960 (Thursday)

December 23, 1960 (Friday)

  • After the news came out that Israel was building a nuclear reactor (with assistance from France), Egypt's President Gamal Abdel Nasser warned in a nationwide speech that the United Arab Republic would go to war "if we become sure that Israel is building an atom bomb". Nasser added "We shall take every step in order to preserve our country and to destroy our enemy." [42] Nasser later pledged to send Egypts army to destroy the Dimona Nuclear Centre.[43]
  • Born: Miyuki Miyabe, Japanese author, in Tokyo

December 24, 1960 (Saturday)

  • The Boston Celtics set an NBA record for most rebounds by a team, in a 150–106 win over the visiting Detroit Pistons. Only 2,046 people turned out to Boston Garden to watch the Christmas Eve game.[44]
  • Born: Carol Vorderman, English television presenter, in Bedford

December 25, 1960 (Sunday)

  • An earthquake occurred at Cape Otway,Victoria, Australia, magnitude 5.3, waking residents on Christmas morning at 2:42 am. Earthquakes of this size are fairly common in Victoria.

December 26, 1960 (Monday)

December 27, 1960 (Tuesday)

  • After being forced to leave West Germany, The Beatles made a triumphant return to Liverpool, playing at the ballroom at the Litherland town hall. Author Hunter Davies, who wrote the authorized biography of the band, commented that "If it is possible to say that any date was the watershed, this was it. All their development, all their new sounds and new songs, suddenly hit Liverpool that evening. From then on, as far as a devoted fanatical following was concerned, they never looked back."[46]

December 28, 1960 (Wednesday)

  • Rebels in the Congo attacked a train that was transporting 300 passengers from Elisabethville to their homes in Katanga Province, many of them schoolchildren and their mothers. Although the train was guarded by UN soldiers from Sweden, it was besieged by hundreds of Baluba tribesmen at Luena, then again at Bukima. At least 20 passengers were killed, and others raped and kidnapped.[47]
  • Yakov Zarobyan became first secretary of the Communist Party of Armenia.
  • Born: Dev Benegal, Indian film director, in New Delhi.

December 29, 1960 (Thursday)

  • A former U.S. Defense Department employee was arrested by the FBI after taking almost 200 classified documents from the Weapons Systems Evaluation Group division at the Pentagon.[48] Arthur Rogers Roddey, a mathematician who had top secret clearance, was sentenced to eight years in prison on March 22, 1961.[49]
  • Born: David Boon, Australian cricketer, in Launceston, Tasmania; Dave Pelzer, American author, in Daly City, California

December 30, 1960 (Friday)

  • The Third Test match of the series between India and Pakistan began at Eden Gardens, Calcutta.[50]
  • Born: Katoucha Niane, French model, in Conakry, Guinea (drowned 2008)
  • Died: Angelo Donati, 75, Italian banker, philanthropist and diplomat

December 31, 1960 (Saturday)

  • After 12 years, compulsory national service came to an end in the United Kingdom.[51] After the National Service Act 1948 took effect, men aged 17 to 21 could be drafted into the armed forces for an 18-month tour, followed by four years reserved duty.
  • Born: John Allen Muhammad, American spree killer ("Beltway sniper"), in Baton Rouge, Louisiana (executed 2009)


  1. "Congo Ex-Premier Nabbed in Escape", Oakland Tribune, December 2, 1960, p1
  2. Ludo de Witte, The Assassination of Lumumba (Verso, 2002) p54
  3. "Red Sputnik Burns Up", Arizona Republic (Phoenix), 12.03.60
  4. Rex Hall and David Shayler, The rocket men: Vostok & Voskhod, the first Soviet manned spaceflights (Springer, 2001) pp128–129
  5. "Pope John XXIII Receives Archbishop of Canterbury", Oakland Tribune, December 2, 1960, p1; Edward Carpenter and Adrian Hastings, Cantuar: the archbishops in their office (Continuum International, 1997) pp501–502
  6. Ethan Mordden, Open a New Window: The Broadway Musical in the 1960s (Palgrave Macmillan, 2002) pp26–27
  7. "Africans Demand U.N. Admit Nation", Daytona Beach Morning News, December 19, 1960, p5
  8. UN website UN website
  10. "Arctic Refuge's 50th Anniversary", U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  11. "Appeal of Soviet to Aid Lumumba Up in U.N. Today", New York Times, December 7, 1960, p1
  12. "The DASH Weapon System",
  13. Roger Daniels, Guarding the golden door: American immigration policy and immigrants since 1882 (Macmillan, 2005) p195
  14. NDSU History
  15. "40 Years on the Street", by William Gallagher, BBC News, December 8, 2000
  16. "Screaming Algerian Mob Blasted by Tanks", Pasadena Star-News, December 10, 1960, p1; "Troops in Algiers Kill 61 in Rioting", New York Times, December 12, 1960, p1
  17. Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary site
  18. "JFK: the assassin who failed", by Philip Kerr, New Statesman, November 27, 2000
  19. "Man Accused of Plotting to Assassinate Kennedy", Spartanburg (SC) Herald-Journal, December 17, 1960, p1
  20. Calvin George, The History of the Reina-Valera 1960 Spanish Bible (Literatura Bautista, 2004) p35
  21. "Texas Recount is Denied; 24 Kennedy Electors OK'd", San Antonio Express, December 13, 1960, p1
  22. Saheed A. Adejumobi, The History of Ethiopia (Greenwood Press, 2006) p102
  23. SICA History
  24. (70,310 feet in 1957) by over 4 miles (6 km).
  25. "TEST ENDS IN TIE ON SECOND-LAST BALL", The Age (Melbourne), December 15, 1960, p24
  26. OECD website
  28. John E. Jessup, An Encyclopedic Dictionary of Conflict and Conflict Resolution, 1945–1996 (Greenwood Publishing Group, 1998) p239
  29. "Kennedy Illinois Win OK'd", San Mateo (CA) Times, December 14, 1960, p1
  30. U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights
  31. "Baudoin Weds in 2 Ceremonies", New York Times, December 16, 1960, p1
  32. "On This Day in History", Brooklyn Daily Eagle online
  33. "U.S. Plane Falls in Munich; 50 Die", Reading (Pa.) Eagle, December 17, 1960, p1;
  34. National Museum, New Delhi History
  35. "Blazing Ship Traps Dozens", Pasadena Star-News, December 19, 1960, p1; "Carrier Death Toll 46", December 20, 1960, p1
  36. "Electors Certify Kennedy Victory", New York Times, December 20, 1960, p1
  37. Amos J. Peaslee and Dorothy Peaslee Xydis, eds., International Governmental Organizations: Constitutional Documents, Volume 1 (Brill Archive, 1974) p1162
  38. James DeFronzo, Revolutions and Revolutionary Movements (3d. Ed., Westview Press, 2007) pp165–166
  39. "Nazi Death Camp Chief Captured", Pasadena Star-News, December 21, 1960, p1
  40. "Soyuz Chronology",
  41. "Kennedy Resigns His Senate Seat", New York Times, December 23, 1960, p1
  42. "Nasser Threatens Israel on A-Bomb", New York Times, December 24, 1960, p1
  43. Maria Rost Rublee, Nonproliferation Norms: Why States Choose Nuclear Restraint (University of Georgia Press, 2009) p109
  44. NBA Regular Season Records,
  45. "EAGLES WIN NFL TITLE: Clock Stops Packers in 17 to 13 Tilt", Milwaukee Sentinel, December 27, 1960, p1
  46. Hunter Davies, The Beatles (1968, W. W. Norton & Company, 1996) p92
  47. "Rebel Tribesmen in Congo Massacre 20 Aboard Train", San Antonio Express, December 29, 1960, p1
  48. "200 Secret Papers Stolen From Pentagon", San Antonio Express, December 30, 1960, p1
  49. "Ex-Pentagon Aide Sentenced to 8 Years for Document Theft", New York Times, March 23, 1961, p1
  50. [1]
  51. "The last recruits report for their National Service duty",, July 12, 2008