February 1960

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February 11, 1960: The crew of Lady Be Good located after 16 years
February 3, 1960: France's President De Gaulle authorized to rule by decree
February 8, 1960: The Hollywood Walk of Fame dedicated
February 29, 1960: Comic strip The Family Circus, by Bil Keane, debuts

The following events occurred in February 1960:

February 1, 1960 (Monday)

  • In Greensboro, North Carolina, four black students from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University began a sit-in at the Woolworth's department store, at a lunch counter that, like many in the South, would not serve African-American customers except for take-out orders. After their classes, the four young men (Joseph McNeil, David Richmond, Franklin McCain and Ezell Blair, Jr.) entered Woolworth's, made some purchases, and at 4:30, took seats at the counter and politely placed orders for desserts and coffee. When the waitress told them they couldn't be served, they stayed until closing time. The next morning, at least 20 students came to Woolworth's and began taking up seats as they became available. By Wednesday, the sit-ins were national news, and the next week, spread to other cities. By summer, most chain stores ended their whites-only policy.
  • [1]

February 2, 1960 (Tuesday)

February 3, 1960 (Wednesday)

  • Before a session of the Parliament of South Africa in Cape Town, Britain's Prime Minister Harold Macmillan made the "Wind of Change" speech, telling the all-white assembly that "The wind of change is blowing through this continent, and whether we like it or not, this growth of national consciousness is a political fact. We must all accept it as a fact, and our national policies must take account of it." [3]
  • The Senate of France voted 226–39 to allow President Charles De Gaulle to rule by decree in order to dismantle the power of French settlers in Algeria. The National Assembly had approved the measure the day before, 441–75. "We almost saw a collapse of the state last week", Prime Minister Michel Debre told the Senators, in urging passage of the measure.[4]
  • U.S. President Eisenhower announced at a news conference that the United States should be able to make nuclear weapons available to its allies. Eisenhower urged that the Atomic Energy Act be amended in order to permit the U.S. to transfer weapons to the arsenals of other nations.[5]
  • Born: Joachim Löw, coach of German National Team in soccer football, in Schönau im Schwarzwald; and Kerry Von Erich, American professional wrestler, in Niagara Falls, New York (d. 1993)
  • Died: Fred Buscaglione, 38 Italian singer and actor, in an auto accident

February 4, 1960 (Thursday)

  • After a brief interview, France's President De Gaulle fired Jacques Soustelle from the post of Deputy Prime Minister for Algeria. Soustelle, the highest ranking French government official in the overseas Department, was the first of the European Algerians to be dismissed as part of De Gaulle's rule by decree.[6]
  • The Soviet Union's support of Cuba as a Communist ally was forged as Soviet Deputy Premier Anastas Mikoyan was welcomed in Havana by Fidel Castro.[7]
  • Jordan offered citizenship to any Palestinian (defined as a person who "used to have the Palestinian Nationality before May 1948, excluding Jews") living abroad.[8]

February 5, 1960 (Friday)

  • All 59 persons on board a Lloyd Aéreo Bolviano DC-4 were killed when the plane crashed shortly after takeoff from Cochabamba, Bolivia.[9]
  • Amon Ndoffou II, King of Sanwi, one of the leaders of the Anyi people of Côte d'Ivoire (Côte d'Ivoire), declared an independent kingdom, six months before the colony was scheduled to become independent from France. Ivorian troops arrested the King and his Prime Minister, Ehoumou Bile, and ended the secession attempt without bloodshed.[10]
  • The CERN particle accelerator was inaugurated in Geneva, Switzerland.

February 6, 1960 (Saturday)

  • In the first elections in Burma since a 1958 military coup, former Prime Minister U Nu's party captured 150 of the 250 contested seats. He took office on April 4.[11]
  • Died: Jesse Belvin, 27, African-American singer/songwriter, in an auto accident, four hours after performing a concert with Sam Cooke and Jackie Wilson.

February 7, 1960 (Sunday)

  • Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kennedy was introduced by Frank Sinatra to Judith Campbell Exner.[12] JFK and Exner had their first sexual encounter on March 7 at Room 1651 of the Plaza Hotel in New York.[13]
  • Twenty-five people were killed and 50 more injured in a railroad derailment near Sewell, Chile. The train was transporting employees of the Braden Copper Mining Company, and their families, on a Sunday outing.[14]
  • Laurence Slattery and Lesley Wasley, both volunteers, permitted a team of Australian doctors at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney to administer curare to stop their breathing, in order to demonstrate the effectiveness of various forms of artificial respiration. Among the findings were that a drowning victim's head should be placed upright, rather than to the side, to aid breathing.[15]
  • Born: James Spader, American TV actor, in Boston.
  • Died: Igor Kurchatov, 57, Soviet nuclear physicist; and Gilbert Vernam, 69, American cryptographer

February 8, 1960 (Monday)

February 9, 1960 (Tuesday)

February 10, 1960 (Wednesday)

February 11, 1960 (Thursday)

  • The bodies of five crewmembers of the B-24 Liberator Lady Be Good were located by exploration worker James Backhaus, in the Libyan desert, 16 years after the airplane had vanished on April 4, 1943, during the Second World War. The men had walked 85 miles in hopes of finding help, before running out of water.[21]
Gen. Trudeau
  • Jack Paar quit his job as host of The Tonight Show on NBC, a day after the network had censored a joke in his monologue. Paar later returned, but in 1962, the show was turned over to Johnny Carson.[22]
  • Lt.Gen. Arthur G. Trudeau, Chief of Research for the United States Army, inadvertently revealed classified information during a press conference, when he disclosed that an atomic explosion could neutralize a hydrogen bomb through the principle of neutron flux. General Trudeau said that it would be better to have "a small explosion a hundred miles over Hartford, Connecticut, than a large explosion in New York City." [23]

February 12, 1960 (Friday)

February 13, 1960 (Saturday)

February 14, 1960 (Sunday)

  • Field Marshal Muhammad Ayub Khan of Pakistan was confirmed as its President through a limited referendum that he had called as a test of his theory of "basic democracy". The 80,000 village councilmen who had been elected locally were called upon to vote "yes" or "no" on Ayub's continuance in office, and 75,283 of them voted in the affirmative.[28]
  • The United Kingdom signed a new treaty of protection with the Maldives, which had been a British protectorate since 1887. The Indian Ocean island group was granted independence in 1965.[29]
  • Born: Jim Kelly, American pro quarterback (Buffalo Bills, Houston Gamblers), in Pittsburgh

February 15, 1960 (Monday)

  • War threatened to break out between Israel and the Egypt (at that time partners with Syria in the United Arab Republic), after the UAR's President Nasser received inaccurate information that Israeli troops were massing at Israel's border with Syria. Nasser then sent a major portion of the Egyptian army to Israel's border with Egypt, and Israel then began Operation Rottem. The two sides halted war preparations after discovering the misunderstanding, and both sides stood down on March 1.[30]
  • Died: Cho Pyong-ok, 65, the leading opposition candidate in South Korea's upcoming presidential election, died while receiving medical treatment in the United States. With no opponent, President Syngman Rhee was re-elected for a fourth term as South Korea's president.[31]

February 16, 1960 (Tuesday)

  • The nuclear submarine USS Triton submerged upon departure from New London, Connecticut, and, with 184 people on board, began an underwater trip around the world that ended 83 days later on May 10. The Triton was forced to broach its sail above the surface on March 5 in order to transfer a seriously ill sailor to another ship, then spent the rest of the circumnavigation entirely undersea.[32]
  • Born: Al Perez, Venezuelan-Spanish hotelier

February 17, 1960 (Wednesday)

February 18, 1960 (Thursday)

  • The 1960 Winter Olympics were opened in Squaw Valley, California, by U.S. Vice-President Richard M. Nixon, despite severe winter weather that kept away most of the spectators. The Games attracted 740 athletes from 30 nations.[34]
  • Pilot Charles Hayes and two passengers were killed when their twin engine plane crashed near the St. Gertrude School in the Indian Hill, Ohio, a suburb of Cincinnati. Hayes was credited posthumously with applying a final thrust to the engines to avoid crashing into the school.[35]

February 19, 1960 (Friday)

  • The Chinese space program began its first step "in a long march toward outer space", with the launch of the liquid-propelled T-7 rocket. The missile, made entirely within the People's Republic, only reached an altitude of five miles, but was a successful sub-orbital flight. China first put a satellite into space in 1970, and put a man into orbit in 2003.[36]
  • Physician Barbara Moulton resigned in protest from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, writing a letter to Commissioner George P. Larrick that included the accusation that the FDA had "failed utterly in its solemn task of enforcing those sections of the law dealing with the safety and misbranding of drugs" [37]
  • The proposed eight team Continental League announced a definite opening day to begin play as baseball's third major league. CL founder Branch Rickey and Toronto owner Jack Kent Cooke said that on April 18, 1961, the teams in Denver, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston and Atlanta would host the teams from Minneapolis-St. Paul, New York, Toronto and Buffalo.[38]
  • Born: Prince Andrew, Duke of York, third child of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II.
  • Died: Hans Christian Hansen, 53, Prime Minister of Denmark since 1955,

February 20, 1960 (Saturday)

  • Following a month-long conference in Brussels, Belgium, the date of June 30 was set for granting independence to its African colony of the Belgian Congo. Under an agreement between the Belgian government and Congolese leaders, elections would be held on May 16 for provincial legislatures and a 137-member national Chamber of Representatives, and the provinces would then select a Senate.[11]
  • Died:Leonard Woolley, 79, British archaeologist and excavator of Ur ruins

February 21, 1960 (Sunday)

February 22, 1960 (Monday)

  • An explosion at the Karl Marx coal mine in Zwickau, East Germany, killed 49 miners.[11]
  • Theme From A Summer Place, by Percy Faith's orchestra, hit No. 1 and stayed there for nine weeks, making it the most popular song of 1960.
  • In Richard Condon's 1974 bestselling mystery, Winter Kills, February 22, 1960, is the date of the assassination of fictional U.S. President "Tim Kegan" in a Philadelphia motorcade, in a novel based loosely upon John F. Kennedy's 1963 murder.

February 23, 1960 (Tuesday)

  • Born: In Tokyo, the Emperor Hirohito became a grandfather for the first time, and a son was born to Crown Prince Akihito and Princess Machiko. Crown Prince of Japan since 1989, in Tokyo, Naruhito is in line to become the 126th Emperor of Japan.
  • Demolition began at Brooklyn's Ebbets Field, home of baseball's Dodgers until their move to Los Angeles in 1958. A crowd of 200 fans and former Brooklyn players watched as Lucy Monroe sang the National Anthem at Ebbets for the last time, and a band played Auld Lang Syne. The wrecking ball, painted white and painted to resemble a giant baseball, began its work with the destruction of the visitors' dugout.[41]

February 24, 1960 (Wednesday)

  • The first American intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) was given its first test. Launched from Cape Canaveral, the Titan missile traveled 5,000 miles and ejected a data capsule before crashing into the South Atlantic.[11]
  • Final approval was given by Pakistan's President Ayub Khan for the construction of a new capital city on the site of the villages of Saidpur and Nurpur. The new city would be called Islamabad.[42]
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the prescription use of the tranquilizer chlordiazepoxide, developed by Hoffmann-La Roche and marketed under the tradename Librium.[43]
  • Argentina called off its search for an "unidentified submerged object" in Golfo Nuevo. Since January 30, when a sonar picked up evidence of a trapped foreign submarine, the Argentine Navy had been searching the gulf. At one point, it appeared that there were two subs below the surface, but after more than three weeks, the Buenos Aires government concluded that if there had been a foreign sub, it had escaped.[44]
  • Four people were killed and five others injured by a pipeline worker turned sniper. Dan Raymond, who lived near Ohiopyle, Pennsylvania, shot two county workers who were spreading cinders, then fired from his home at other vehicles until police killed him nine hours later.[45]
  • Born: Alex Masterley, fictional protagonist of the British comic strip Alex.

February 25, 1960 (Thursday)

  • After having fled to Syria, Saddam Hussein was sentenced to death in absentia by a court in Iraq, for his role in conspiring to kill Prime Minister Abdul Karim Qassim.[46] Saddam returned to Iraq after Qassim's assassination in 1963, and did not face a death sentence again until his execution on December 30, 2006.
  • Lillian Hellman's play Toys in the Attic began a 464 performance run on Broadway.[47]
  • In Rio de Janeiro, a U.S. Navy R6D collided with a Brazilian Real Aéreas airliner, killing 61 people on both airplanes. There were only 3 survivors, all on the American plane, which had been transporting a U.S. Navy band to perform during President Eisenhower's visit to Brazil.[48]

February 26, 1960 (Friday)

February 27, 1960 (Saturday)

  • 1960 Winter Olympics: Hjallis Andersen's world record for the men's 10,000 meter speed skating event (16:32.6) had stood since 1952, and was bested by five different skaters on the same day. Kjell Bäckman of Sweden set a new world's record of 16:14.2. Minutes later, Knut Johannesen of Norway broke Bäckman's record with a time of 15:46.6, more than 45 seconds faster than the 1952 mark. A few minutes after that, Viktor Kosichikin of the USSR came within 2.7 seconds of beating Johannesen, winning the silver medal.[51]
  • Born: Andrés Gómez, Ecuadorian tennis player, winner, French Open, 1990; in Guayaquil
  • Died: Adriano Olivetti, 58, Italian entrepreneur who built the Olivetti company into a leading manufacturer of office machines

February 28, 1960 (Sunday)

  • 1960 Winter Olympics: A tip from a Soviet player helped the United States ice hockey team win the gold medal. Exhausted from a 3–2 victory over the Soviet Union's team the day before, the Americans were losing to Czechoslovakia, 4–3, with one period left. Nikolai Sologubov suggested whiffs of bottled oxygen for quick energy, and the U.S. responded with six goals, winning 9–4.[52]
  • Born: Dorothy Stratten, Canadian Playboy magazine model who was murdered in 1980; in Vancouver
  • Died: Dr. Tom Douglas Spies, 57, nutritionist who reduced cases of pellagra

February 29, 1960 (Monday)

  • At 11:47 p.m., the city of Agadir in Morocco was shaken for 15 seconds by an earthquake measuring 5.7 on the Richter scale, followed by another tremor an hour later. At least 12,000 people were killed in the collapse of unreinforced stone buildings.[53]
  • The Family Circus made its debut. Initially syndicated by the Des Moines Register and Tribune, the comic panel was created by Bil Keane, whose TV-themed Channel Chuckles was already a newspaper feature.[54] On the first day's strip, the three children had placed a sled on top of their sleeping father, and "Billy"'s line was "Guess what it's doing out." [55]
  • St. Louis radio station KMOX revolutionized radio with the debut of a live call-in program called At Your Service.
  • Born: Richard Ramirez, American serial killer known as "The Night Stalker", in El Paso; and Cheb Khaled, Algerian musician nicknamed "King of Raï", in Oran
  • Died: Melvin Purvis, 56, former FBI agent who had killed John Dillinger; by self-inflicted gunshot wound; and Walter Yust, 65, editor-in-chief of Encyclopædia Britannica since 1938


  1. "The Five-and-Ten Bastille", by Lerone Bennett, Jr., Ebony Magazine, May 1980, pp. 111–122
  2. Norris McWhirter, Guinness Sports Record Book, 1978 (Bantam Books, 1979), p9
  3. Elizabeth Hallam and Andrew Prescott, editors, The British Inheritance: A Treasury of Historic Documents (University of California Press, 1999), p140; text of speech
  4. "De Gaulle Gets Power to Rule by Decree", Oakland Tribune, February 3, 1960, p1
  5. "Ike Blasts Generals on Defense Challenge", Oakland Tribune, February 3, 1960, p1
  6. "De Gaulle Kicks Out Soustelle", Oakland Tribune, February 4, 1960, p1
  7. Thomas M. Leonard, Fidel Castro: A Biography (Greenwood Press, 2004), p55
  8. Martin Sicker, The Middle East in the Twentieth Century (Praeger, 2001), p188
  9. "Airliner Crashes in Bolivia – 59 Killed", Oakland Tribune, February 5, 1960, p1
  10. "Anyi", in Encyclopedia of the Stateless Nations: Ethnic and National Groups Around the World by James Minahan (Greenwood Press, 2002), pp149–150
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 The World Almanac and book of facts 1961 (New York World-Telegram, 1960), pp157–161
  12. Michael John Sullivan, Presidential Passions: The Love Affairs of America's Presidents (Shapolsky Publishers, 1992)
  13. David Pietrusza, 1960-- LBJ vs. JFK vs. Nixon: The Epic Campaign That Forged Three Presidencies (Sterling Publishing Company, 2008) p153
  14. "25 Killed When Train Jumps Rails", Spokane Spokesman-Review, February 8, 1960, p1
  15. "Medics 'Kill' 2 Men, Then Revive Them", Oakland Tribune, February 7, 1960, p1
  16. "Price of Fame in Hollywood? $15,000", AP June 30, 2006, by Sandy Cohen
  17. "Elizabeth Acts to Alter Family Name", Oakland Tribune, February 8, 1960, p1
  18. "Millionaire Brewer Feared Kidnaped", Oakland Tribune, February 10, 1960, p2
  19. Douglas County (CO) History Archive
  20. "Sultan Crowned", Oakland Tribune, February 10, 1960, p2
  21. "Bodies of War Plane Crew Discovered in African Desert", Oakland Tribune, February 13, 1960, p1
  22. "Jack Paar Quits Show 'For Good' Over Censorship", Oakland Tribune, February 12, 1960, p1
  23. "A-Blast to 'Neutralize' H-Attack", Oakland Tribune, February 12, 1960, p1
  24. Nina Mjagkij, Organizing Black America: An Encyclopedia of African American Associations (Taylor and Francis, 2001), p160
  25. Mark Vail, The Hammond Organ: Beauty in the B (Hal Leonard Corporation, 2002), p58
  26. "FRENCH TRIGGER A-BOMB; DE GAULLE HAILS EVENT", Tucson Daily Citizen, February 13, 1960, p1
  27. "Russ, Cuba Sign Sugar, Loan Pact", Oakland Tribune, February 13, 1960, p1
  28. Rafiq Dossani and Henry S. Rowen, Prospects for Peace in South Asia (Stanford University Press, 2005), p55
  29. Jerry Dupont, The Common Law Abroad: Constitutional and Legal Legacy of the British Empire (F.B. Rothman Publications, 2001), pp659–660
  30. Hemda Ben-Yehuda and Shmuel Sandler, The Arab-Israeli Conflict Transformed: Fifty Years of Interstate and Ethnic Crises (State University of New York Press, 2002), p185
  31. Andrew C. Nahm and James Hoarein, Historical Dictionary of the Republic of Korea (Scarecrow Press 2004), pp21–22
  32. Norman Polmar and K.J. Moore, Cold War Submarines: The Design and Construction of U.S. and Soviet Submarines (Brassey's, 2004) p68
  33. "U.S., Britain Plan Super Radar Site", The Stars and Stripes, February 18, 1960, p1
  34. "Snow Snarls Olympics Start, Stalls Nixon's Games Arrival", Oakland Tribune, February 18, 1960, p
  35. "Pilot Dies But Keeps Plane From Crashing Into School", Oakland Tribune, February 18, 1960, p1
  36. "Launching success bases on previous trials", China Daily, October 16, 2003
  37. Roberta Ann Johnson, Whistleblowing: When it Works and Why (Rienner, 2003) pp 79–80
  38. "Houston Holding Up New League", Oakland Tribune, February 19, 1960, p48
  39. Carnegie Hall website
  40. Afrika Heute, (Deutsche Afrika-Gesellschaft, 1960), p94
  41. Michael D'Antonio, Forever Blue: The True Story of Walter O'Malley, Baseball's Most Controversial Owner, and the Dodgers of Brooklyn and Los Angeles (Riverhead Books, 2009), p285
  42. Ian Talbot, Pakistan: A Modern History (St. Martin's Press, 1998), p163
  43. Andrea Tone, The Age of Anxiety: A History of America's Turbulent Affair with Tranquilizers (Basic Books, 2009), pp133–134; http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,894726,00.html
  44. "Argentina Ends Sub Hunt", San Antonio Light, February 25, 1960, p4
  45. "Why Sniper Killed 4 Is Mystery", Press-Telegram (Long Beach, California), February 25, 1960, p2; TIME Magazine, March 7, 1960
  46. Robin Moore, Hunting Down Saddam: The Inside Story of the Search and Capture (St. Martin's Press, 2004), pp3–4
  47. Bernard F. Dick, Hellman in Hollywood (Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1982), pp119–120
  48. "Nearly 100 Die in 3 Plane Crashes", Oakland Tribune, February 26, 1960, p1
  49. "Accident Synopsis » 02261960". Accident Database. AirDisaster.Com. Retrieved 3 Oct 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  50. "Princess Meg Will Wed Photographer"
  51. David Wallechinsky, The Complete Book of the Olympics (Penguin Books, 1984), p595
  52. "Tip From Russian Leads to American Victory: U.S. Hockey Team Takes Title", Charleston Gazette, February 29, 1960, p23
  53. Darren Humphrys, Frommer's Morocco (Wiley, 2008), p360
  54. Toonpedia.com; a promotional ad from the syndicate noted "A New Comic Feature Begins Monday", e.g., The Charleston (WV) Gazette, February 28, 1960, p6
  55. Charleston (WV) Gazette, February 29, 1960, p3