October 1960

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The following events occurred in October 1960:

October 12, 1960: Soviet leader Khrushchev uses his shoe as a gavel
October 2, 1960: Antibiotic resistant MRSA discovered

October 1, 1960 (Saturday)

Nigerian flag
  • Nigeria, formerly a British African colony, became an independent nation of 35,000,000 people, with the new flag hoisted in Lagos at 12:01 a.m.[1] Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa became the first Prime Minister, and Nnamdi Azikiwe the Governor General, of the Federation of Nigeria. In 1963, Nigeria would become a republic, with Balewa as its first President.
  • The Lerner and Loewe musical Camelot, with Julie Andrews, Richard Burton and Robert Goulet, opened at the O'Keefe Centre in Toronto, where it was given a test run and found to be too long, running well past midnight. After several numbers were cut, Camelot made its Broadway debut on December 3.[2]
  • Argentina launched its third television network, El Trece, as Canal 13 began broadcasting.

October 2, 1960 (Sunday)

  • Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, the antibiotic-resistant form of bacteria known as MRSA, was first isolated.[3] Dr. M. Patricia Jevons, of the Staphylococcus Reference Laboratory in Colindale, London, found the resistant form in six of 5,440 strains supplied from hospitals in southeastern England. On October 2, "Patient A" had an infection following a nephrectomy, and on the same ward, "Nurse B" had an infected skin lesion. Her findings were published in the British Medical Journal as correspondence on January 14, 1961.[4]
  • Died: Claro M. Recto, 70, Filipino statesman, of a heart attack

October 3, 1960 (Monday)

October 4, 1960 (Tuesday)

  • Eastern Air Lines Flight 375 crashed moments after takeoff from Boston, after a bird strike. The Lockheed Electra turboprop encountered a flock of starlings, which were sucked into, and stopped, three of its four engines. The plane plunged into Winthrop Bay, killing 62 of the 72 people on board.[8] FAA investigators theorized in April, 1962, that the unique sound of the Electra's engines was similar to that made by crickets, which starlings sought for food.[9]
  • Courier 1B, the world's first "active repeater" communications satellite (designed to handle high-volume transmissions), was launched from Cape Canaveral. However, it failed after 17 days.[10]
  • In Kingsport, Tennessee, an explosion at the aniline plant at Eastman Chemical Company, killed fifteen employees and injured more than 200.[11][12]

October 5, 1960 (Wednesday)

October 6, 1960 (Thursday)

October 7, 1960 (Friday)

October 8, 1960 (Saturday)

October 9, 1960 (Sunday)

October 10, 1960 (Monday)

  • The first Soviet Molniya rocket, bearing the first Earth probe of the planet Mars, was launched. However, control was lost five minutes into the flight. Another probe, launched four days later, failed as well.[24]
  • Comedians George Carlin, 23, and Jack Burns, 27, made their national television debut, appearing as the team Burns and Carlin, on The Tonight Show.[25]
  • Born: Antonio Banderas, Spanish actor and singer, in Malaga

October 11, 1960 (Tuesday)

  • At a UN meeting, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev warned that his country was manufacturing rockets on a large scale for potential use against the US.[26]
  • Senator Thomas J. Dodd called on Dr. Linus Pauling to name the scientists who helped him circulate a petition calling for a ban on nuclear weapons. Pauling declined to do so.

October 12, 1960 (Wednesday)

  • In a famous protest, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev removed his right shoe during a debate at the U.N. General Assembly, and pounded it on the table during a discussion of Soviet Union policy toward Eastern Europe. Khrushchev was angered by a remark by Philippine delegate Lorenzo Sumulong.[27]
  • In a protest that would soon become famous, Baltimore housewife Mrs. Madalyn Murray withdrew her 14-year-old son, William J. Murray, from Woodbourne Junior High School rather than to continue participation in a daily Bible reading.[28] Since 1905, the city school district had required Bible reading or prayer to open each school day. Mrs. Murray, later Madalyn Murray O'Hair, founded the American Atheists and continued challenging the separation of church and state. William would convert to Christianity in 1980.[29]
  • A bomb explosion in Times Square subway station, New York City, injured 33 people. It was the third such bombing attack in eleven days.[30]
  • Born: Alexei Kudrin, Finance Minister of Russia since 2000, in Dobele, Latvia
  • Died: Inejiro Asanuma, 61, the Chairman of the Japanese Socialist Party, was assassinated by 17-year-old Otoya Yamaguchi, who stabbed the leader repeatedly with a wakizashi, a footlong sword.[31]

October 13, 1960 (Thursday)

  • The Pittsburgh Pirates won the 1960 World Series in Game 7, on a home run hit by Bill Mazeroski for a 10–9 victory over the New York Yankees. It was the first time in the history of the Series that a homer had won the championship.[32]
  • The third of the Kennedy-Nixon debates took place with the candidates separated by several thousand miles. Kennedy (in New York) and Nixon (in Los Angeles) were shown on television in a split screen. In order to avoid perspiring, Nixon arranged for air conditioning in the Hollywood studio.[11][11]
  • Three black mice were launched in an American rocket to an altitude of 700 miles, and recovered alive when the nose cone was recovered, becoming the first living creatures to survive a trip of that distance into outer space.[11]
  • Died: Anthony Zarba, of Somerville, Massachusetts, became the first American to be executed in Cuba. Zarba and seven Cubans were shot by a firing squad in Santiago de Cuba after being convicted of an attempt to overthrow the Castro regime. Two other American members of the 27-man mercenary force, Allan D. Thompson, 36, of Queen City, Texas, and Robert O. Fuller, 25, of Miami, were shot on October 16.[11]

October 14, 1960 (Friday)

The Metre Bar, retired after 71 years

October 15, 1960 (Saturday)

October 16, 1960 (Sunday)

  • In the fiercest fighting in Algeria in two years, 277 Muslim Algerian fighters and 40 French soldiers were killed during weekend battles.[40]
  • Born: Guy LeBlanc, Canadian musician, in Moncton, New Brunswick
  • Died: Arch McDonald, 59, American sports broadcaster

October 17, 1960 (Monday)

October 18, 1960 (Tuesday)

  • Two American tourists, missing since a visit to the Soviet Union in August, were released unharmed and sent to Austria. Mark Kaminsky, 32, and Harvey Bennett, 26, had secretly been jailed in the Ukraine and tried by a military court for espionage. After pleading guilty, both men were deported.[44]
  • Born: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Belgian martial artist and action film star, in Sint-Agatha-Berchem

October 19, 1960 (Wednesday)

  • The United States announced an embargo on all American exports to Cuba, except for medicines and food.[45] The embargo was tightened in 1962 and again in 1964 to restrict medical supplies and food.[46]
  • Riots took place in Caracas, the capital of Venezuela, following the arrest of three left-wing leaders.[47]
  • In Atlanta, Rev. Martin Luther King was arrested, along with 280 students, for taking part in a lunch counter sit-in at a Rich's department store. Charged with a parole violation from an earlier traffic violation, King was sentenced to four months of hard labor at the Reidsville State Prison, but released three days later after an appeal by Robert F. Kennedy, brother of Democratic presidential nominee John F. Kennedy, to Georgia Governor Ernest Vandiver.[48]
  • Casey Stengel, who had recently guided the New York Yankees to the American League pennant, was fired by the team because he was 70 years old. Stengel would soon be hired by the New York Mets as their first-ever manager.[49]

October 20, 1960 (Thursday)

  • The price of gold rose sharply on the market in London, jumping by $3.00 per ounce after rises of 1 12, 8, and 26 12 cents in the first three days of the week.[50] The price, which had been fixed by the United States at $35.20 per ounce since 1935, climbed past $40.00 on fears that the United States would devalue the dollar and that other nations' currencies would lose value as well. To avert a worldwide economic crisis, the United States Treasury increased its supply of gold to the Bank of England, and eight nations agreed not to buy gold for more than the fixed price.[51]

October 21, 1960 (Friday)

October 22, 1960 (Saturday)

  • The passenger ship Alcoa Corsair collided with the freighter Lorenzo Marcello near Buras, Louisiana, killing nine people and injuring 25.[11]
  • Henry Cabot Lodge, the Republican vice presidential nominee, predicted that the Cold War could last until 1985.[54]

October 23, 1960 (Sunday)

  • A woman in Milwaukee splashed Democratic candidate John F. Kennedy with whiskey while he was riding in an open convertible, then tossed the drinking glass into the car. According to an AP report, "Kennedy wiped his face, picked up the tumbler, said calmly 'here's your glass' and handed it back." No arrests were made.[55] Kennedy would later be shot and killed while riding in an open convertible in Dallas.
  • Born: Randy Pausch, American computer scientist (died of cancer 2008)

October 24, 1960 (Monday)

October 25, 1960 (Tuesday)

The electronic Accutron
  • The first fully electronic wristwatch, the Accutron 214, was unveiled by the Bulova Watch Company, along with the tiny watch battery to power it.[59] Promoting the watch as the "First instrument of the space age you can wear and use!", Bulova added "It doesn't even tick ... it hums!"[60] The watch itself went on sale in jewelry stores on November 24, 1960[61]
  • Two petroleum barges collided with a pillar of the Severn Railway Bridge in heavy fog, collapsing the bridge and killing five people.
  • A gas explosion at the Metropolitan Department Store in Windsor, Ontario, killed eleven persons and injured 25 others.[11][62]
  • The Kuala Lumpur British Royal Air Force base was officially handed over to the Malayan Air Force.

October 26, 1960 (Wednesday)

  • José María Lemus, President of El Salvador, was overthrown in a bloodless coup, and replaced by a junta composed of three military men and three civilians. Col. Miguel Angel Castillo was joined by Col. César Yáñez Urias, Maj. Rubén Alonso Rosales, Dr. Fabio Castillo, and lawyers René Fortin Magaña and Ricardo Falla Cáceres.[63]
  • Baseball's American League voted to allow the Washington Senators to move to Minneapolis-St. Paul (as the Minnesota Twins) and to expand from eight teams to ten for the first time in the AL's 59-year history. A new team was placed in Washington (also called the Senators), and another on the west coast (as the Los Angeles Angels, now the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim).[64]

October 27, 1960 (Thursday)

  • Madalyn Murray O'Hair (at the time, Madalyn Murray) and her son William, first attracted national attention, as her protest against Bible reading in the Baltimore public schools continued. She told the Associated Press that she was "prepared to fight the case to the Supreme Court".[65] In 1963, the United States Supreme Court would agree with her that religious services in public school were unconstitutional.
  • With less than two weeks left in the U.S. presidential campaign, eggs and tomatoes were thrown at Republican candidate Richard Nixon at various campaign stops in Michigan. At Muskegon, an egg struck Nixon's coat and hit a Secret Service man, while other items were thrown at Grand Rapids and at Jackson.[66]
  • The Food for Peace program was created by unanimous vote of the U.N. General Assembly, providing for nations with food surpluses to supply "the largest practicable quantities" to nations in need, "at low cost, payable in local currencies" [11]

October 28, 1960 (Friday)

October 29, 1960 (Saturday)

October 30, 1960 (Sunday)

  • Michael Woodruff performed the first successful kidney transplantation in the United Kingdom, at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. Transplants had been performed in the United States and in France since 1954.
  • Nine days before Election Day in the United States, Vice-President and Republican candidate Richard Nixon outraged President Dwight Eisenhower, at a White House luncheon, by pointedly refusing the President's offer to make campaign speeches in the final week. Eisenhower told RNC Chairman Len Hall, "Goddamnit, he looks like a loser to me." [71]
  • Born: Diego Maradona, Argentinian footballer, in Buenos Aires
  • Died: Harry H. Goode, 51, American computer engineer; Alfred Hill, 90, Australian conductor and composer; and Sewell Avery, 86, American businessman[72]

October 31, 1960 (Monday)


  1. "Nigerian Flag In Place of Union Jack", Glasgow Herald, October 1, 1960, p7
  2. Thespec.com
  3. "Activism Marks First World MRSA Day", MRSA Survivors Network
  4. "'Celbenin' – resistant Staphylococci", by M. Patricia Jevons, Br Med J. 1961 January 14; 1(5219): 124–125
  5. The Museum of Broadcast Communications
  6. José Maria Bello, A History of Modern Brazil, 1889–1964 (Stanford University Press, 1966) p341
  7. "'Oldest in Office' Record for Ike", Oakland Tribune, October 3, 1960, p1
  8. AviationSafety.net accident description
  9. "How Crickets Cause Air Crash", Miami News, April 30, 1962, p1
  10. "Courier 1A, 1B, 1C" by Gunter Krebs; "U.S. Shoots 'Magic Brain' Into Orbit", Oakland Tribune, October 4, 1960, p1
  11. 11.00 11.01 11.02 11.03 11.04 11.05 11.06 11.07 11.08 11.09 11.10 11.11 "Chronology October 1960", The World Almanac and book of facts, 1961 (New York World-Telegram, 1960), pp182–185
  12. Margaret Ripley Wolfe, Kingsport, Tennessee: A Planned American City (University Press of Kentucky, 1987) pp171–74
  13. J. C. Gordon Brown, Blazes Along a Diplomatic Trail: A Memoir of Four Posts in the Canadian Foreign Service (Trafford Publishing, 2000) p300
  14. "Australian Dictionary of Biography"
  15. Britannica Archive; "U.S. Protests Cuban Plane 'Buzzed' Sub", Oakland Tribune, October 8, 1960, p1
  16. "Nixon, Kennedy In Hot Exchange", Oakland Tribune, October 8, 1960, p1
  17. Neil A. Hamilton, The 1970s (Infobase Publishing, 2006) p215
  18. "U.N. Bars Red China For 10th Straight Year – Vote Margin Narrowest In History", Oakland Tribune, October 8, 1960, p1
  19. Australian Antarctic Data Center
  20. National Park Service
  21. "List of National Historic Landmarks by State" (July 2015), National Historic Landmarks Program
  22. "Zanzibar's Sultan Dies; Ruled 48 Years", Chicago Tribune, October 10, 1960, pIV-1
  23. "Titans Player Dies After Texas Game", New York Times, October 10, 1960, p1
  24. "International Mars Missions Span Four Decades of Successes, Failures" by Cliff Lethbridge, Space.com
  25. BestComedyOnline.com
  26. This Day in the 1960s
  27. "Khrushchev Bangs His Shoe on Desk", New York Times; "Shoe-Waver, Name-Caller Khrush Disrupts Assembly", Wisconsin State Journal (Madison, WI); "Nikita Waves Shoe In Air; Calls UN Delegate 'Jerk'", Waco (TX) News-Tribune, October 13, 1960, p1; This Day in the 1960s
  28. "Civil Liberties Union Appeals In Bible Case", The Salisbury (MD) Times, November 1, 1960, p5
  29. Bryan F. LeBeau, The Atheist: Madalyn Murray O'Hair (New York University Press, 2003) p40
  30. "27 Injured by Times Square Subway Bomb", Oakland Tribune, October 12, 1960, p1;
  31. "Youth Kills Pro-Red Japanese Leader", Oakland Tribune, October 12, 1960, p1; video
  32. "Bucs Are the Champs: Maz's Homer in 9th Wins, 10-0", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, October 13, 1960, p1
  33. National Institute of Standards and Technology
  34. "JFK at the Union: The unknown story of the Peace Corps speech" by James Tobin, Michigan Today
  35. "Ike Welcomes Heads of New U.N. Nations", Oakland Tribune, October 14, 1960, p1
  36. "Today Climax To Long Toil", Sydney Morning Herald, October 14, 1960, p13
  37. "Football League Is Sued by Rival", New York Times, October 15, 1960, p20
  38. [erierr.railfan.net/eriepres.html Erie Railroad presidents]
  39. Thomas M. Leonard, ed., Encyclopedia of the Developing World (Volume 3, Taylor & Francis, 2006) p1590
  40. "300 Die in Fierce Algeria Battle", Oakland Tribune, October 18, 1960, p1
  41. "3,000 Killed by 150 m.p.h. Winds, Giant Tidal Wave", Oakland Tribune, October 18, 1960, p1
  42. Jeune Afrique website
  43. "Houston and N.Y. to Join National League" Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, October 18, 1960, p20
  44. "'Not Just Tourists', Yanks Say", San Antonio Light, October 18, 1960, p1
  45. Peterson Institute for International Economics
  46. Peter Schwab, Cuba: Confronting the U.S. Embargo (St. Martin's Press, 1999) p54
  47. Britannica Archive
  48. Stanford Encyclopedia; "Dr. King Released Pending His Appeal", New York Times, October 28, 1960, p1
  49. "Yanks Fire Casey Stengel", Oakland Tribune, October 19, 1960, p1
  50. "'Fantastic' Rise In London Gold Prices", Sydney Morning Herald, October 21, 1960
  51. "The Bank of England in its International Setting, 1918–1972", by P.L. Cottrell, in The Bank of England: Money, Power and Influence 1694–1994 (Clarendon Press, 1995) p132
  52. "Queen Launches Dreadnought", The Glasgow Herald, October 22, 1960, p4
  53. Flightline
  54. This Day in the 1960s
  55. "JFK Splashed", San Antonio Light, October 24, 1960, p3
  56. "Soviet article reports 1960 launch blast", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, April 17, 1989, p3
  57. "Chief of Rockets Killed in Soviet; Moscow Reports Death of Nedelin in Plane Crash", New York Times, October 26, 1960, p2
  58. "Action Protests Export Embargo" Associated Press October 25, 1960
  59. "Watch to Run Year on Tiny Cell Introduced", Los Angeles Times, October 26, 1960, p12; American Heritage.com
  60. Ad in LIFE Magazine, November 28, 1960, p47
  61. collector's website
  62. "Store Blast Kills Six, Injures 50", Oakland Tribune, October 25, 1960, p1
  63. "El Salvador Chief Flees Army Coup", The Spokesman Review (Spokane, WA), October 27, 1960, p38; "El Salvador: Preventive Coup", TIME Magazine, November 7, 1960
  64. Leonard Koppett and David Koppett, Koppett's Concise History of Major League Baseball (Carroll & Graf Publishers, 2004) p278
  65. "Atheist Takes Son Out of Public School", Oakland Tribune, October 27, 1960, p9
  66. "Nixon Egged and Heckled in Michigan", Milwaukee Journal, October 28, 1960, p1
  67. "Bonn Deputy Held as Spy for Czechs; Bundestag Aide Had Access to State and NATO Secrets – Seized in Parliament", New York Times, October 30, 1960, p 13; Allen W. Dulles, The Craft of Intelligence (Lyons Press, 2006) p 108
  68. Britannica "Nobel Committee Skips Peace Prize", Oakland Tribune, October 28, 1960, p1
  69. "24 Killed as Cal Poly Grid Plane Crashes", Oakland Tribune, October 30, 1960, p1
  70. Stephen Brunt, Facing Ali: The Opposition Weighs In (Lyons Press, 2002) p15
  71. Tom Wicker, Dwight D. Eisenhower (New York Times Books, 2002) pp119–120
  72. Sewell Avery