The 60s Official Site


The Headline News and Key Facts of 1960


On the National Scene

The Soviets shoot down a U.S. U-2 spy plane and capture the pilot, Capt. Gary Powers. The U.S. is thus forced to admit to spying on the Soviet Union. In response, Premier Khrushchev cancels a Paris summit meeting with President Eisenhower.

Kruschev at the United Nations Pounds Shoe.

In February, U.S. blacks begin "sit-in" demonstrations at Greensboro, N.C., lunch counters. The city desegregates eating places in July. 

Israelis Kidnap Adolph Eichman from Argentina to Jerusalem to stand trial.

John F. Kennedy after defeating Hubert Humphrey in the Democratic primaries, wins the closet presidential election of the century over Vice President Richard Nixon. At at time when 88 percent of American families have television sets, it is the televised debates that help provide Kennedy's margin of victory.

Two White Schools in New Orleans are the first to Integrate.



Chubby Checker introduces The Twist at the Peppermint Lounge in New York.

A Japanese company introduces the first felt-tip pen.

Xerox introduces the first production paper copier machine

Before 1960 95% of soft drinks sold in the U.S. are furnished in reusable bottles, but in 1960 aluminum cans are used for the first time.

2,000 computers are delivered in the U.S.

Thomas S. Monaghan, borrows $500 to buy a pizza parlor in Detroit, and renames it "Domino's."

Peaceful sit-in demonstrators seek to integrate southern lunch counters.

Motown Records makes its first splash with "Shop Around" a #1 R&B hit by The Miracles.

Roy Orbison has his first major hit with "Only The Lonely" and helps to alter rock songwriting of the 60's to focus on more introspective issues.

The Ventures hit instrumental "Walk - Don't Run" leads to the creation of surf-rock which brings the electric guitar back into prominence.

Elvis Presley is discharged from the Army and immediately scores a series of hit singles and albums upon his return with a slightly less menacing, more mature persona.


The Pittsburgh Pirates defeat the Yankees 4 games to 3 to win the 1960 World Series with Bill Mazeroski's seventh game dramatic home run.

The Philadelphia Eagles defeat the Green Bay Packers for the NFL championship.

Floyd Patterson defeats Ingemar Johansson to regain the heavyweight championship. 

Movies and Television

Alfred Hitchcock's move Psycho is the year's most talked about film.

Other popular films were Swiss Family Robinson, Spartacus, Exodus, and Suddenly Last Summer.

The Academy award for Best Picture goes to The Apartment.

Gunsmoke remains the most popular program ahead of Wagon Train, Have Gun Will Travel, The Andy Griffith Show, and The Real McCoys.

The Flintstones is television' first prime-time cartoon series.

Howdy Doody Show ends after 13 years.

Click Here for Billboard's Top Ten Songs of the Day in 1960.

The FlinstonesWagon TrainThe Real McCoysGunsmokeHave Gun Will Travel



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