1960 Annual History Facts

1960 Annual History Facts

  • Politics: College students in Greensboro, North Carolina, organized the first popularized sit-in for Civil Rights at a Woolworth’s lunch counter.
  • The Top Song was The Theme From “A Summer Place” by Percy Faith
  • The Big Movies included Swiss Family Robinson, The Alamo and G.I. Blues
  • The price of a Cord of Firewood, delivered in 1960: $32.00
    Price of a Kenmore washing machine: $158.00
  • The World Population was ~ 3,030,000,000
  • The “Hookman,” an escaped lunatic or criminal, sneaking up on couples in a car, the urban legend began in the late 1940s but entered the Pop Culture mainstream after being referenced in a Dear Abby advice column.
  • And… The Twist, by Chubby Checker, was the biggest dance hit ever. It was the first designed to be performed with or without a partner.

World Series Champions

Pittsburgh Pirates

NFL Champions

Philadelphia Eagles

AFL Champions

Houston Oilers

National Basketball Association Champions

Boston Celtics

NHL Stanley Cup Champions

Montreal Canadiens

US Open Golf

Arnold Palmer

US Open Tennis (Men Ladies)

Neale Fraser/Darlene R. Hard

Wimbledon (Men/Women)

Neale Fraser/Maria Bueno

NCAA Football Champions

Minnesota & Mississippi

NCAA Basketball Champions

Ohio State

Bowl Games

Orange Bowl: January 1, 1960 – Georgia over Missouri
Rose Bowl: January 1, 1960 – Washington over Wisconsin
Sugar Bowl: January 1, 1960 – Ole Miss over LSU

Kentucky Derby

Venetian Way

Westminster Kennel Best in Show Dog

Chik T’Sun of Caversham

Time Magazine’s Men of the Year

United States Scientists, Represented by George Beadle, Charles Draper, John Enders, Donald A. Glaser, Joshua Lederberg, Willard Libby, Linus Pauling, Edward Purcell, Isidor Rabi, Emilio Segrè, William Shockley, Edward Teller, Charles Townes, James Van Allen, and Robert Woodward

Miss America

Lynda Mead (Natchez, MS)

Miss USA

Linda Bement (Utah)

Fashion Icons and Movie Stars

Brigitte Bardot, ‘Wilhelmina’ Cooper, Doris Day, Mamie Van Doren, Anita Ekberg, Anne Francis, Annette Funicello, Audrey Hepburn, Anna Karina, Janet Leigh, Julie London, Sophia Loren, Jayne Mansfield, Marilyn Monroe, Julie Newmar, Kim Novak, Donna Reed, Elizabeth Taylor, Tuesday Weld, Jane Wyatt

“The Quotes”

“Smile! You’re on Candid Camera!”
– Candid Camera

“A boy’s best friend is his mother.”
– Anthony Perkins, as Norman Bates in Psycho

1960 Pop Culture History

An Ethiopian Olympic runner, Abebe Bikila, couldn’t find a comfortable pair of shoes, so he ran the 1960 Olympic Marathon in Rome barefoot, finished first, and set a new World Record.

African-American track star Wilma Rudolph survived infantile paralysis & required a leg brace til 9. By 12, she suffered scarlet fever, whooping cough & measles. She went on to win 3 Olympic Gold medals & was considered the “Fastest woman on Earth.”

Constantine II, the last king of Greece, won an Olympic gold medal in sailing in the 1960 Olympics in Rome

When zip codes were first introduced in 1960, the US Postal Service used a mascot named Mr. Zip to help people into the transition. He appeared in several commercials and was a successful marketing tool for the new postal plan.

Most root beers are artificially flavored because the FDA banned sassafra oil as a carcinogen in 1960.

The world record for the highest skydive is 102,800 ft., set in 1960. The man who accomplished it broke the sound barrier on his way down. The trip Joseph Kittinger took was about 15 minutes from the upper atmosphere to Earth.

In 1960, Slinky inventor Richard James left his wife and their six children to join a cult down in Bolivia. His wife, Betty, took over and turned the failing company completely around. In 2001, Betty was inducted into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame.

JFK wrote a letter about America’s growing softness and lack of physical fitness being a menace to its security – ‘The Soft American’.

The 1960’s film Where The Boys Are was where the idea of spring breaks in school and college originated from. Prior to that was more of a college swim team thing in Florida.

September 1965, Playboy’s playmate, Patti Reynolds of the month was only 17. She also had a photo dated 1960 in the same issue.

USAF Captain Joseph Kittinger set three records on August 16th – highest parachute jump (102,800 feet), the longest parachute free fall (4 minutes 36 seconds), and the first person to exceed the speed of sound without an aircraft or space vehicle (714 mph during free fall).

Because Bing Crosby pirated baseball games, he possessed the only complete video copy of the 1960 World Series.

There are three dots on every Domino’s Pizza box because when founder Tom Monaghan started his chain, he planned on adding a dot with each new store. Looking back, 8,000+ stores later, it was a good idea to stop with the 3 dots, forming a simple domino.

The term paparazzi originated with Italian director Federico Fellini’s La dolce vita. One of the minor characters in the film was a photographer named Paparazzo. Fellini took Paparazzo’s name from the Italian word for a noisy mosquito.

Until 1960, the Meter was defined as the length of a specific platinum-iridium bar at 0° Celsius. Near-identical bars (with their offset from the main bar) were distributed to countries of the world.

In 1960, David Threlfall put 10 GBP on odds of 1,000 to 1 that a man would walk on the surface of the moon before the end of the decade. At that time the bookies thought he was a complete idiot. Nine years later David came to collect his 10,000 Pounds.

The last time Ohio voted for a presidential candidate that lost the election was in 1960.

When the Coordinated Universal Time [UTC] was created in 1960, the English speakers wanted to obviously abbreviate it as ‘CUT’, while the French wanted ‘TUC’, as they called it ‘Temps Universel Coordonné’. As a result, UTC was reached as a compromise, since it is incorrect in both languages.

In 1960, the richest per capita city in America, according to the US Census Bureau, was Detroit.

1960 was the first year the census was mailed out. Before that, census takers went to homes and determined people’s races by looking at them.

Arnold Palmer drank iced tea with lemonade at home, and in 1960 at the US Open at the Cherry Hills Country Club, he ordered the drink at the bar. A woman sitting nearby overheard him, and ordered “that Palmer drink”, thus giving the beverage its name.

Kirk Douglas and Stanley Kubrick fought so much on the set of 1960’s Spartacus that they had to attend therapy with each other

Psycho was the first movie in the USA to show a flushing toilet, which was a “cause of concern for the censors”. The blood from the famous shower scene in the 1960 horror film was actually chocolate sauce, because it showed up better on black-and-white film, and had more realistic density than stage blood.

A mysterious character on The Andy Griffith Show (1960-68) named “Mr. Schwump” (Shcwamp)would occasionally appear, often sitting on a park bench. The other characters would acknowledge him with “Hello, Mr. Schwump,” but he would only nod silently. The actor who played him has yet to be identified.

The Los Angeles Lakers are named as such because until 1960, they played in Minneapolis, Minnesota – “Land of 10,000 lakes”.

RIP, Scandals, Sad and Odd News

Chuck Berry got in some legal trouble when he took a 14-year-old girl from Arizona to Missouri to work at his Bandstand club. Her work didn’t require clothes.

JFK was elected President of the United States with much help from the votes of dead Americans in Cook County, Illinois, and Texas.

Racecar driver Alan Stacey died in 1960 when he crashed after being hit in the face by a bird at 120 MPH.

In November 1960, several witnesses saw a phantom army on a road near Otterburn, Northumberland, the site of a 1388 battle between the Kingdom of Scotland and the Kingdom of England. (Scotland won)

From 1960 to 1977, the nuclear trigger code given to the President of the US was 00000000.

During Mao’s China in 1958, thousands of sparrows were killed to try and alleviate a ‘pest’ problem they posed. In 1960, a huge amount of locusts appeared in China and ate all the crops because their natural predator had been destroyed. An estimated 20 million Chinese people died due to this.

Japanese Socialist Party chairman Inejiro Asanuma was assassinated during a televised debate, with a Samurai sword.

Israeli agents staked out a house in Argentina, suspecting Hitler henchman Adolph Eichmann and his family had relocated there. After watching him come and go for weeks, agents got their proof when he came home with a bouquet on March 21, Eichmann’s 25th wedding anniversary.

Oliver Cromwell was disinterred in 1661 for a “posthumous execution.” His decapitated head was passed between collectors and museum owners until finally being re-buried in 1960.

Russian and American Air Defense unites saw the mysterious BLACK KNIGHT Satellite. At 15 tons, it was bigger than any country could have sent then. It ‘disappeared’ after about three weeks.

The main villains of Psycho (1960), The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974), and The Silence of the Lambs (1991) were all loosely based on the same person: Wisconsin serial killer Ed Gein.

Operation Acoustic Kitty: a 1960s CIA operation to implant a listening device in a cat to spy on the Soviets. In the first test, the cat was released in Washington, DC., and promptly run over by a taxi.

In 1940, less than half the adult US population belonged to a church. In 1960, over 65 percent of adults were official communicants.

President JFK was a huge James Bond fan. He first met the author of the series, Ian Fleming, at a dinner party in 1960. They allegedly bounced around ideas about how to get rid of Fidel Castro.

During the Great Chilean Earthquake of 1960, two men ritually sacrificed a 5-year-old boy to calm the sea and earth. They were released after two years in prison, with the judge ruling they “acted without free will, driven by an irresistible natural force of ancestral tradition.”

Firsts and the Biggest Christmas Gifts

Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss, Game of Life, Etch-A-Sketch, Barbie, Chatty Cathie, Mattel’s Lie Detector Game, Mr. Machine, Play-Doh Fun Factory

Help! Magazine (1960-1965)

AARP Bulletin began publication

Golf Magazine began publication

The Habits

Reading To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Reading Advise and Consent by Allen Drury
Watching Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho in theaters

United States 1960 Census

Total US Population: 179,323,175
1. New York, New York – 7,781,984
2. Chicago, Illinois – 3,550,404
3. Los Angeles, California – 2,479,015
4. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – 2,002,512
5. Detroit, Michigan – 1,670,144
6. Baltimore, Maryland – 939,024
7. Houston, Texas – 938,219
8. Cleveland, Ohio – 876,050
9. Washington, District of Columbia – 783,956
10. St. Louis, Missouri – 750,026

1960/61 Biggest Television Shows

(according to Nielsen TV Research)
1. Gunsmoke (CBS)
2. Wagon Train (NBC)
3. Have Gun Will Travel (CBS)
4. The Andy Griffith Show (CBS)
5. The Real McCoys (ABC)
6. Rawhide (CBS)
7. Candid Camera (CBS)
8. The Untouchables (ABC)
9. The Price is Right (CBS)
10. The Jack Benny Show (CBS)

Popular Music Artists

The Biggest Pop Artists of 1960 include
Bill Black’s Combo, Bobby Darin, Bobby Rydell, Brenda Lee, Brook Benton, Chubby Checker, Dinah Washington, The Drifters, Elvis Presley, Connie Francis, Elvis Presley, The Everly Brothers, Fats Domino, Frankie Avalon, Freddy Cannon, Jack Scott, Jackie Wilson, Jim Reeves, Jimmy Jones, Johnny Preston, Marty Robbins, Pat Boone, Paul Anka, Percy Faith, Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, The Shirelles, Dinah Washington

(Data is compiled from charts, including Billboard’s Pop, Rock, Airplay, R&B/Dance, and Singles Charts. The Hot 100 is the primary chart used for this list.)

Number One Hits of 1960

December 28, 1959 – January 3, 1960: Frankie Avalon – Why

January 4, 1960 – January 17, 1960: Marty Robbins – El Paso

January 18, 1960 – February 7, 1960: Johnny Preston – Running Bear

February 8, 1960 – February 21, 1960: Mark Dinning – Teen Angel

February 22, 1960 – April 24, 1960: Percy Faith – Theme from ‘A Summer Place’

April 25, 1960 – May 22, 1960: Elvis Presley – Stuck on You

May 23, 1960 – June 26, 1960: The Everly Brothers – Cathy’s Clown

June 27, 1960 – July 10, 1960: Connie Francis – Everybody’s Somebody’s Fool

July 11, 1960 – July 17, 1960: Hollywood Argyles – Alley-Oop

July 18, 1960 – August 7, 1960: Brenda Lee – I’m Sorry

August 8, 1960 – August 14, 1960: Brian Hyland – Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini

August 15, 1960 – September 18, 1960: Elvis Presley – It’s Now or Never

September 19, 1960 – September 25, 1960: Chubby Checker – The Twist

September 26, 1960 – October 9, 1960: Connie Francis – My Heart Has a Mind of Its Own

October 10, 1960 – October 16, 1960: Larry Verne – Mr. Custer

October 17, 1960 – October 23, 1960: The Drifters – Save the Last Dance for Me

October 24, 1960 – November 13, 1960: Brenda Lee – I Want to Be Wanted

November 14, 1960 – November 20, 1960: Ray Charles – Georgia on My Mind

November 21, 1960 – November 27, 1960: Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs – Stay

November 28, 1960 – January 8, 1961: Elvis Presley – Are You Lonesome Tonight?

Popular Movies

The Apartment, Black Sunday (The Mask of Satan), Breathless, Butterfield 8, Darby O’Gill and the Little People, Elmer Gantry, Inherit the Wind, La Dolce Vita, Les Bonnes Femmes, The Magnificent Seven, Never on Sunday, Peeping Tom, Psycho, Sons and Lovers, Sparticus, The Sundowners, Swiss Family Robinson, The Time Machine, Two Women, The Virgin Spring
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