September 1960

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September 26, 1960: Candidates Kennedy and Nixon meet in first "Presidential Debate"

File:1962 My Three Sons.jpg

September 24, 1960: Atomic-powered USS Enterprise launched
September 24, 1960: Howdy Doody broadcasts final show
September 4, 1960: OPEC Founded
File:Howdydoody finale.jpg
Clarabell: "Goodbye, kids."

The following events occurred in September 1960.

September 1, 1960 (Thursday)

September 2, 1960 (Friday)

  • 1960 Summer Olympics: Wilma Rudolph, who had overcome childhood polio, won the women's 100 meter dash with a time of 11.0 seconds. Although faster than the world record of 11.3, Rudolph's mark was not official because the wind had been blowing faster than 2.0 m/s. Rudolph earned three golds, including the 200 m dash and the 4 × 100 m relay. In the long jump competition, Ralph Boston of the United States broke the Olympic record that had been set in 1936 by Jesse Owens. Boston was 4 inches short of the world record of 26 feet 11 34 inches (8.21 m) that he had set on August 12.[4][4]
  • Near Grafenwöhr, West Germany, 16 American soldiers were killed and 26 injured when an 8-inch howitzer shell crashed into them during a morning roll call. The shell had been overloaded with charge and went 4 12 miles beyond its target.[5]
  • Born: Eric Dickerson, NFL running back, in Sealy, Texas; Doug Polen, American motorcyclist (world champion 1993) in Detroit

September 3, 1960 (Saturday)

  • In the bloodiest day of fighting since the Congo became independent of Belgium, more than 300 people were killed and 700 wounded as Congolese troops invaded the "Mining State" that had been declared by Albert Kalonji in the Kasai Province. The cities of Mwene Ditu and Laputa had been retaken by government troops loyal to Patrice Lumumba, while Kasai rebels were marching to defend the major city of Bakwanga (now Mbuji-Mayi).[6]

September 4, 1960 (Sunday)

September 5, 1960 (Monday)

  • In the Congo, President Joseph Kasavubu announced on Radio Leopoldville that he had fired Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba. An hour later, Lumumba announced on the same station that he intended to stay, and then fired Kasavubu. Congo's Army Chief of Staff Joseph Mobutu sent troops to place Lumumba under house arrest while contemplating the future of Kasavubu's regime.[8]
  • 1960 Summer Olympics: Cassius Clay of the United States (later Muhammad Ali), defeated Zbigniew Pietrzykowski of Poland to win the gold medal in the light heavyweight boxing competition. Franco De Piccoli of Italy was the heavyweight boxing medalist.[4]
  • Died: Earl K. Long, 65, former Governor of Louisiana, died nine days after being elected to Congress. Long had gone to the hospital after polls closed on August 27.[9]

September 6, 1960 (Tuesday)

  • William H. Martin and Bernon F. Mitchell, two National Security Agency cryptologists who had been missing since June 24, were introduced as defectors to the Soviet Union at a press conference in Moscow's House of Journalists.[10]
  • 1960 Summer Olympics: At the men's 400 metre dash, the Olympic record of 45.9 seconds was broken by the first four finishers. Otis Davis of the US and Carl Kaufmann of Germany were both credited with a new world record of 44.9 (with Davis winning gold by 0.02 seconds), Malcolm Spence of South Africa at 45.5, and Milkha Singh of India at 45.6.[4]
  • Died: György Piller, 61, Hungarian world champion fencer

September 7, 1960 (Wednesday)

September 8, 1960 (Thursday)

September 9, 1960 (Friday)

September 10, 1960 (Saturday)

September 11, 1960 (Sunday)

  • For the ninth day in succession, Hurricane Donna had maximum sustained winds of at least 115 mph (185 km/h).
  • US senators James Eastland and Thomas Dodd accused the State Department of complicity in Fidel Castro's invasion of Cuba.[18]
  • The 1960 Summer Olympics closed in Rome.
  • The government of Laos declared a national emergency.
  • The Act of Bogotá was adopted by an 18–1 vote at the Inter-American Conference on Economic Aid.[11]

September 12, 1960 (Monday)

  • Against the advice of his campaign staff, presidential candidate John F. Kennedy had accepted an invitation to speak to Protestant ministers in Houston on the question of whether a Roman Catholic President could operate independently of the Vatican. In a famous address, Kennedy won over his audience, commenting, "I am not the Catholic candidate for President. I am the Democratic Party's candidate for president who happens also to be a Catholic." The next day, the Houston ministers described the address as "the most complete, unequivocal and reassuring statement which could be expected of any person in his position,".[19] Kennedy's opponent, Richard M. Nixon, a Quaker, commented that he could conceive of no circumstances which might ever require either himself or Kennedy to have a conflict between religion and the presidency.[20]

September 13, 1960 (Tuesday)

  • In Washington, D.C., charges were filed against a Tennessee bank and 27 individuals said to have used economic pressure to prevent black people from voting.
  • Lee Harvey Oswald's honorable discharge from the United States Marines, granted on September 11, 1959, was revised to an "undesirable discharge" (rather than a bad conduct discharge or a dishonorable discharge, which require a court martial), based on bringing "discredit to the Marine Corps through adverse newspaper publicity" since defecting to the Soviet Union.[21]

September 14, 1960 (Wednesday)

September 15, 1960 (Thursday)

  • Cuba nationalized its signature industry, seizing 16 cigar factories, 14 cigarette factories and 20 tobacco warehouses. Those manufacturers who could depart got a new start in other nations, and the famed "fine Cuban cigars" were replaced by Dominican, Nicaraguan, Honduran and other cigars.[24]
  • Died: Héctor Castro, 55, disabled Uruguayan footballer who overcame the loss of an arm to help Uruguay win its first World Cup in 1930.

September 16, 1960 (Friday)

  • Joseph Kasavubu, President of the Republic of the Congo expelled two Communist ambassadors from the country.[25]
  • Two dogs, Pal'ma and Malek, were launched into space aboard an R-2 rocket by the USSR.[26]
  • Amos Alonzo Stagg retired from coaching football after a career that had started in 1890, commenting that "For the past 70 years I have been a coach. At the age of 98 years, it seems a good time to stop." After two years at Springfield College, Stagg became the first head coach of the University of Chicago football team and remained there for 41 seasons. Forced to leave at age 70, he then guided College of the Pacific for 13 years. At age 85, he became an assistant to his son, the head coach at Susquehanna College, and then volunteered as an assistant at Stockton College in California.[27]

September 17, 1960 (Saturday)

September 18, 1960 (Sunday)

September 19, 1960 (Monday)

  • Nikita Khrushchev and other Communist Bloc leaders arrived in the United States on the Soviet ocean liner Baltika, which docked at New York City at 9:20 a.m.[30] Accompanied by János Kádár of Hungary, Todor Zhivkov of Bulgaria, Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej of Romania, Khrushchev stepped off the ship to a mixture of cheers and boos, and then was driven to the Soviet consulate. Khrushchev and other leaders had arrived for the opening session of the United Nations General Assembly, and could travel to New York at any time under the terms of the United Nations Treaty. Though the United States government could not bar Khrushchev, it asked television networks to minimize coverage of the Khrushchev's visit,[31] and restricted him from traveling outside of Manhattan and Long Island.
  • World Airways Flight 830 crashed three minutes after takeoff from Agana, Guam, killing 80 of the 94 persons on board. The DC-6B had been chartered by the United States Air Force to take military personnel and their dependents from Clark Air Force Base (in the Philippines) back to the United States, and had crashed into the side of Mt. Barrigada The crash was the first in the 12-year history of World Airways.[32]
  • Pakistan and India signed the Indus Waters Treaty, agreeing to share the waters of the Indus River and its tributaries.[33]

September 20, 1960 (Tuesday)

  • The opening of the new term of the United Nations General Assembly brought an unprecedented number of the world's leaders to New York City. The first ever meeting between Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev and Cuba's Fidel Castro took place, not in Moscow or Havana, but at the Hotel Theresa in Harlem, where Castro and his entourage were staying during their visit.[34] Fifteen new members were admitted to the U.N., with the newly independent African nations of Dahomey, Upper Volta, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Republic of the Congo (Leopoldville), Republic of the Congo (Brazzaville), Côte d'Ivoire, Gabon, Madagascar, Niger, Somalia, Togo, Mali and Senegal, bringing that body's membership to 98.
  • Died: Ida Rubinstein, 74, Russian ballerina, in Vence, France

September 21, 1960 (Wednesday)

September 22, 1960 (Thursday)

September 23, 1960 (Friday)

  • In an address at the United Nations, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev surprised the gathered world leaders by calling for the Secretary-General to be replaced by a "troika", a three-member panel drawn from the Western nations, the Communist nations, and the non-aligned (Third World) nations. The proposal was never seriously considered.[38]

September 24, 1960 (Saturday)

  • USS Enterprise, the first atomic-powered aircraft carrier in history, and the largest ship ever built up to that time, was launched at Newport News, Virginia, after being christened by Mrs. William B. Franke, wife of the U.S. Secretary of the Navy.[39]
  • The Howdy Doody Show presented its 2,343rd and final episode, after a run that started on NBC on December 17, 1947. After the marionette Howdy Doody, and host Buffalo Bob Smith, gave their farewells, Clarabell the Clown— who had used pantomime and honking horns to communicate, but had never spoken— surprised his audience by saying, "Goodbye, kids." [40]
  • The Dallas Cowboys played their first NFL game, losing 35–28 to the team they would face in three Super Bowls (1976, 1979 and 1996), the Pittsburgh Steelers.[41]
  • Died: Mátyás Seiber, 55, Hungarian composer, in an automobile accident in South Africa

September 25, 1960 (Sunday)

September 26, 1960 (Monday)

  • The two leading U.S. presidential candidates, Republican Richard M. Nixon and Democrat John F. Kennedy, participated in the first televised presidential debate, which took place in Chicago at the television studios of WBBM-TV. The one-hour-long event began at 8:30 pm local time.[44] The first debate demonstrated the power of a television image in influencing voter choices, with Kennedy appearing tan and charismatic, while Nixon, due in part to a poor makeup (and a recent hospitalzation), looked unkempt and tense. A special act of Congress was passed in order to allow the American television and radio networks to broadcast the debate without having to provide equal time to other presidential candidates.[45]

September 27, 1960 (Tuesday)

  • Mexico nationalized its electric industry, with the Comision Federal de Electricidad (CFE) buying out the three existing private companies.[46]
  • Died: Sylvia Pankhurst, 78, English suffragette leader

September 28, 1960 (Wednesday)

  • Ted Williams of the Boston Red Sox retired from major league baseball, playing in Boston against the Baltimore Orioles. In his very last at bat, Williams closed his career with his 521st home run and a 5–4 win.[47]
  • In Cuba, Fidel Castro created the "CDRs"—"Comites para la Defensa de la Revolucion" ("Committees for the Defense of the Revolution")—with volunteers reporting to the government about any counterrevolutionary behavior by their neighbors'. Officially, there were more than 100,000 CDRs and 88% of the adult Cuban population were members in 1996.[48]
  • Born: Jennifer Rush, singer (The Power of Love), (as Heidi Stern) in Queens, New York
  • Died: Elivera Doud, 92, mother of First Lady Mamie Eisenhower and mother-in-law of U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower

September 29, 1960 (Thursday)

  • At the United Nations General Assembly, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev angrily interrupted British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan. Ever the gentleman, Macmillan calmly waited for Khrushchev to finish the harangue in Russian, smiled and commented, "I should like that to be translated", then finished his address.[49]
  • My Three Sons made its television debut, with Fred MacMurray as the widowed father of the Douglas family. The series from 1960 to 1965 on ABC and from 1965 to 1972 on CBS.[50]
  • Died: Mahmoud Harbi, 39, French Somalia (Djibouti) nationalist, in a plane crash

September 30, 1960 (Friday)

  • At 8:30 pm EST, American television viewers were invited to meet The Flintstones, "a modern Stone Age family", with the premiere of the cartoon as a prime time series on ABC.[51]
  • Born: Blanche Lincoln, American politician, in Helena, Arkansas.
  • Died: James Squillante, 42, a New York mobster who controlled garbage collection, was last seen alive by a witness. Squillante had vanished from public view on September 23, and was presumed to have been murdered by a rival.


  1. "Blackout on Broadway to Honor Hammerstein", The New York Times, p. 52, September 1, 1960
  2. "London Honors Hammerstein", The New York Times, p. 14, August 26, 1960
  3. This Day in the 1960s
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 David Wallechinsky, The Complete Book of the Olympics (Penguin Books, 1984)
  5. "Wild Shell Kills 15 in Army Camp", Oakland Tribune, September 2, 1960, p1
  6. "Congo Fight Bloody", Sunday Express and News (San Antonio), September 4, 1960, p1
  7. "Thousands Flee Hurricane Donna", Spokane Spokesman-Review, September 5, 1960, p1; "Two Windy Girls on the Warpath" LIFE Magazine, September 26, 1960, p29
  8. Kevin C. Dunn, Imagining the Congo: The International Relations of Identity (Palgrave 2003), pp64–65; "CONGO: Dag's Problem Child", TIME Magazine, September 19, 1960
  9. Michael L. Kurtz and Morgan D. Peoples, Earl K. Long: The Saga of Uncle Earl and Louisiana Politics (Louisiana State University Press, 1990) pp255–256
  10. Christopher Andrew and Vasili Mitrokhin, The Sword and the Shield: The Mitrokhin Archive and the Secret History of the KGB (Basic Books, 1999), p179
  11. 11.0 11.1 "Chronology September 1960", The World Almanac and book of facts, 1961 (New York World-Telegram, 1960), pp182–185
  12. Rock Brynner and Trent Stephens, Dark Remedy: The Impact of Thalidomide and Its Revival As a Vital Medicine (Basic Books, 2001) p41
  13. Ed Gruver, The American Football League: A Year-by-Year History, 1960–1969; (McFarland & Co., 1997) p50
  14. Robert Kammerer and Candace Pearce, Images of America: Greenville (Arcadia Publishing, 2001), p114
  15. "Mantle's New Record Home Run Uncovered", Baseball Digest (November 1985) p9
  16. David Dreier, Baseball: How It Works (Coughlan Publishing, 2010) p44
  17. Anne Cooper-Chen, Mass Communication in Japan (Iowa State University Press 1997) p11
  18. This Day in the 1960s
  19. American Rhetoric: Top 100 Speeches; Kathleen Hall Jamieson, Packaging the Presidency: A History and Criticism of Presidential Campaign Advertising (Oxford University Press, 1996) pp129–131
  20. "Jack Gives Church–State Vow; Nixon Accepts His Statement", Long Beach (CA) Press-Telegram, September 13, 1960, p1
  21. The Warren Commission Report (1964), p689
  22. OPEC website; Daniel Yergin, The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money & Power (Simon & Schuster, 2008) p504
  23. Robert B. Edgerton, The Troubled Heart of Africa: A History of the Congo (St. Martin's Press, 2002), p194
  24. "The Exodus", by David Savona, (Nov/Dec '02)
  25. This Day in the 1960s
  26. Chronology of Human Space Exploration
  27. "Stagg Quits As Football Coach at 98", Chicago Tribune, September 17, 1960, p2-1
  28. Pro Football Hall of Fame
  29. "Erlander Victor in Swedish Poll", New York Times, September 19, 1960, p1
  30. "Nikita Bounces Into New York", Winnipeg Free Press, September 19, 1960, p1
  31. This Day in the 1960s
  32. "77 Killed in Guam Crash", St. Petersburg (FL) Times, September 19, 1960, p1
  33. *The Indus Waters Treaty: A History. Henry L. Stimson Center.
  34. "K Rushes to Talk at Castro's—First Meeting of Red Chiefs"; "Historic U.N. Session Opens", Pasadena Star-News, September 20, 1960, p1
  35. "The Development of Prosthetic Heart Valves—Lessons in Form and Function" by Elliot L. Chaikof, M.D., Ph.D., New England Journal of Medicine, October 4, 2007, p1368; Edwards Lifesciences
  36. Embassy of Mali in the United States
  37. David Wallechinsky and Irving Wallace, The People's Almanac (Doubleday, 1975) p610
  38. Thomas M. Franck, Nation Against Nation: What Happened to the U.N. Dream and What the U.S. Can Do About It (Oxford University Press, 1985) p97
  39. "Nuclear Powered Aircraft Carrier Launched", Reading (PA) Eagle, September 25, 1960, p1
  40. Horace Newcomb, ed., Encyclopedia of Television (Vol. 1), (CRC Press, 2004) pp1141–42
  41. "Pro Football Roundup", Tri-City Herald (Kennewick WA), September 26, 1960, p7
  42. "Santa Rosa Geysers Recharge Project:GEO-98-001", California Energy Commission (October 2002), p37
  43. "Yanks, Pirates Clinch Pennants", Tri-City Herald (Kennewick WA), September 26, 1960, p7
  44. "Great Debate Scheduled For Tonight", Oakland Tribune, September 26, 1960, p1; ; "Nixon, Kennedy Meet Face to Face on TV", Los Angeles Times, September 27, 1960, p1
  45. transcript, "The History of Televised Presidential Debates", Museum of Broadcast Communications; Kurt Lang and Gladys Engel Lang, Television and Politics (U.S.A. Transaction Publishers, 2002) pp108–111
  46. Lee Stacy, Mexico and the United States (Marshall Cavendish, 2003) p216; "49th Anniversary of the Nationalization of the electricity industry in Mexico"
  47. "Opposing Pitcher Recalls Ted Williams' Final Homer" by Dan Shaughnessy, Baseball Digest (March 1993), p82
  48. "Watching Neighbors: The Cuban Model of Social Control", by Josep M. Colomer, Cuban Studies (Vol. 31), (University of Pittsburgh Press), pp118, 135
  49. "Nikita Beats On Desk, Screams As Macmillan Speaks In U.N.", Oakland Tribune, September 29, 1960, p1
  50. James S. Olson, Historical Dictionary of the 1970s (Greenwood Press, 1999) p258; My Three Sons tribute page
  51. Museum of Broadcast Communications