THE SIXTIES
A Chronology of Events
Editor: Piero Scaruffi

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    1960:
  • Almost all of African gains independence in the 1960's
  • Famine caused by the failure of Mao's "collectivization" program kills 20 million Chinese
  • Sharpeville massacre in South Africa
  • Gregory Pincus invents the birth control pill
  • The bathyscaphe Trieste descends to the deepest spot in the oceans
  • First laser (Theodore Maiman)
    1961:
  • Soviet troops build a wall to isolate West Berlin and discourage people from fleeing Eastern Germany
  • Yuri Gagarin becomes the first astronaut
  • First stereo radio broadcasting
    1962:
  • American intervention in Vietnam to counter Soviet help to the Vietcong
  • First telecommunication satellite, the Telstar
    1963
  • Assassination of John Kennedy
  • US-backed South Vietnam persecutes buddhist monks
  • Greatest train robbery of all times on the Glasgow-London train
  • Valium is introduced
  • the Organization of African Unity (OAU) is created
    1964:
  • Cable TV is deployed in U.S. cities
  • Student protests in Berkeley spread around the States, free-speech movement
  • Breznev head of the Soviet Union
  • Smoking is proved to be dangerous
  • First commercial mainframe computer by IBM
  • The CIA fabricates the Gulf of Tonkin incident as a pretext for direct US intervention in Vietnam
    1965:
  • War between India and Pakistan
  • Gordon Moore's law: processing power of computers will double every 18 months
  • Ferdinand Marcos becomes dictator of the Philippines
    1966:
  • Cultural Revolution in China: directed by Mao, millions of students enroll as "Red Guards" attack party authorities and teachers, and their fanaticism brings anarchy and destruction
    1967:
  • First heart transplant (in South Africa, by dr. Christian Barnard)
  • Cassius Clay imprisoned for refusing to serve in Vietnam
  • Summer of Love in San Francisco
    1968:
  • Martin Luther King assassinated
  • Tommie Smith protests the American anthem at the Olympic games
  • Breznev states his doctrine of limited sovereignity
  • Czech revolution: spring of Prague (Dubcek)
  • American soldiers massacre more than 500 civilians at My Lai
  • Student riots in Western Europe (led by Cohen Bendit in France, Dutschke in Germany, Toni Negri in Italy)
  • 520,000 US troops in Vietnam - The US uses chemical weapons - Between 1965 and 1968 the US dropped 7 million tons of bombs, twice World War II - 130,000 civilian casualties a month
  • My Lai massacre by US marines led by William Calley
  • Vietnam is the first televised war although what the world sees is only the US propaganda
    1969:
  • The IRA starts a campaign of terrorism in Northern Ireland that will kill more than 2.000 people
  • Qaddafi dictator of Lybia
  • First commercial VCR (Sony)
  • The Unix operating system is born
  • The computer network ArpaNET is born in the U.S. (it will be renamed Internet in 1985)
  • Armstrong becomes the first man to set foot on the Moon
  • US president Richard Nixon approves carpet bombing and land invasion of Cambodia

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