The '60s at 50


Friday, January 27, 1967: Apollo 1

A flash fire occurred in command module 012 during a launch pad test of the Apollo/Saturn space vehicle being prepared for the first piloted flight, the AS-204 mission. Three astronauts, Lt. Col. Virgil I. Grissom, a veteran of Mercury and Gemini missions; Lt. Col. Edward H. White, the astronaut who had performed the first United States extravehicular activity during the Gemini program; and Roger B. Chaffee, an astronaut preparing for his space flight, died.
     -- Summary, photo by NASA: @

* "Report of Apollo 2014 Review Board" (NASA, April 1967): @
* "Apollo 204 Accident" (report of the Committee on Aeronautical and Space Sciences, U.S. Senate, January 1968): @
* "3 Apollo Astronauts Die In Fire; Grissom, White, Chaffee Caught in Capsule During A Test on Pad" (New York Times): @
* "Three Apollo Spacemen Die As Blaze Sweeps Moonship" (Associated Press): @
* Life magazine, February 3, 1967: @
* Life, February 10: @
* "Apollo 1: The Fatal Fire" ( @
* "Apollo 1: The Fire That Shocked NASA" (Scientific American): @
* Summary (Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum): @
* "Space Tragedy: Astronauts Die in Apollo Fire" (Universal Newsreel): @
* ABC News report: @ 


January 1967: 'The Peter Principle'

"The Peter Principle" first appeared as an article in Esquire magazine in January 1967; two years later, Laurence J. Peter and Raymond Hull turned the material into a best-selling book.

The most memorable tenet -- "in a hierarchy, every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence" -- was supplemented by Peter's Corollary ("in time, every post tends to be occupied by an employee who is incompetent to carry out its duties") and, lastly, "Work is accomplished by those employees who have not yet reached their level of incompetence."

* Esquire, January 1967 (online subscription required): @
* "The Peter Principle: Why Things Always Go Wrong" (1969 book): @
* "How the Peter Principle Works" ( @
* Peter obituary (New York Times, January 1990): @
* "Laurence Peter" (The Economist, January 2009): @
* "Lawrence J. Peter & Raymond Hull" (Literary Landmarks, Vancouver Public Libary; includes links to short biographies of Peter and Hull): @
* "Overcoming the Peter Principle" (Andrea Ovans, Harvard Business Review, December 2014): @ 


Saturday, January 14, 1967: 'Human Be-In'

SAN FRANCISCO -- Anybody who was nobody was there.
     And if there were any anybodys, nobody knew.
     It was the city's biggest social event of the season but it failed to make the society pages.
     It was a happening.
     It took place Saturday at the polo field in Golden Gate Park. They were all there -- the hippy denizens of the Haight-Asbury District and outlying regions, the activists from Berkeley, the Hells Angles, students, beatniks, toddlers. Thirteen thousand of them under a sunny sky.
     And about 2,000 spectators, some of them bemused, some completely dumbfounded. The police also sent a delegation, mainly to ticket dozens of illegally parked cars.
     Word of the event began circulating earlier this month in the Haight-Asbury, home for many of the city's far-out types. It was billed as a "human Be-In" and a "Gathering of the Tribes," a get-together for political activists and hippies. The public was also invited and asked to bring "costumes, blankets, bells, flags, symbols, drums, beads, feathers and flowers."
     -- Story by United Press International
     -- Photo by Ted Streshinsky

* "Reliving the Human Be-In 50 Years Later" (San Francisco Chronicle, January 2017): @
* Summary from California Historical Society: @
* Description from Peter Coyote: @
* "Human Be-In in San Francisco 1967" (The Allen Ginsberg Project, July 2011): @
* "The Human Be-In" (Helen Perry, 1970): @
* "The Beginning is the Human Be-In" (Berkeley Barb, January 6, 1967): @
* "What Happened at the Hippening" (Berkeley Barb, January 20, 1967): @
* Footage: @ and @
* Photos by Larry Kennan: @
* Poster (Oakland Museum of California): @ 


Thursday, January 12, 1967: Cryogenics

Phoenix, Arizona -- The body of an elderly California professor who died of cancer will arrive here this week for storage in a steel capsule at 220 degrees below zero centigrade for an experiment in bringing persons back from the dead, it was learned today.
     Identity of the professor was not disclosed, but the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner said friends reported he was Dr. James Bedford, 73, of Glendale, who died last Thursday.
     The Cryonics Society of California is conducting the experiment. When a cure for cancer is found, the body of the professor will be thawed and an attempt made to revive him, the experimenters said.
     -- United Press International, January 19, 1967. Full story: @
     -- Photo: Robert F. Nelson, left, president of the Cryonics Society of California, and physician-biophysicist Dr. Dante Branol demonstrate the cryogenic freezing process in 1967. Photo by J.R. Eyerman.

* "The cold way to new life" (Life magazine, January 27, 1967): @
* "The First Suspension" (Alcor Life Extension Foundation, 1991): @
* "Inside the Immortality Business" (Josh Dean, 2013): @
* "Freezing People Is (Not) Easy: My Adventures in Cryonics" (Bob Nelson, 2014): @
* "Into the Deep Freeze: What Kind of Person Chooses to Get Cryonically Preserved?" (California magazine, 2015): @
* "50 years frozen: The world's first cryonically preserved human's disturbing journey to immortality" (Quartz, 2017): @
* "Cool dude James Bedford has been cryonically frozen for 50 years" (CNET, 2017): @
* Cryonics Institute: @
* Earlier post on "The Prospect of Immortality" (1964): @


Sunday, November 20, 1966: Women's right to vote in Switzerland

     Switzerland, the last civilized country to withhold the vote from its women, will continue to do so, its male voters decided Sunday. A total of 201,145 male voters in Zurich County (Canton) voted in a referendum considered crucial for the cause of women's rights in Switzerland.
     They rejected a constitutional amendment giving the county's women equal voting rights, 93,372 in favor and 107,773 opposed. The farm vote turned the tide since the Zurich results showed 46,374 yes votes to 37,602 nos.
     Supporters of female suffrage throughout Switzerland had hoped the Canton of Zurich, the Alpine Republic's most populous and economically important, would approve the amendment and pave the way for a similar vote eventually on the federal level.
     Most political groups with the exception of the Farmer's Party had appealed for a "yes" vote, but the conservatism of rural areas and industrial regions turned the tide against female suffrage.

-- Story by United Press International
-- Photo by Swiss Broadcasting Service: @. Caption: "In 1966 women in Basel gave Helvetia, the embodiment of Switzerland, a placard saying "I cannot vote"
-- Note: Women would not get the right to vote until February 7, 1971: @

* "Women's Place at Polls? Swiss Men Answer 'No' " (New York Times): @
* "Switzerland's Long Way to Women's Right To Vote" (History of Switzerland): @
* "Swiss Suffragettes were still fighting for the right to vote in 1971" (The Independent, 2015): @
* "Women and the Vote: A World History" (Jad Adams, 2014): @ 


Tuesday, November 8, 1966: U.S. elections

Alabama: Lurleen Wallace
     A triumphant Lurleen Wallace reigned unchallenged as Alabama's first woman governor-elect today while her husband took a fresh look at the 1968 presidential campaign. A landslide of straight-ticket Democratic votes touched off by Gov. George Wallace's previously proven popularity swept his wife into office as his successor and crushed the strongest Republican threat in Alabama in almost a century. -- Associated Press: @
* Summary (Encyclopedia of Alabama): @
* Summary (Alabama Department of Archives and History): @

Alabama: Jim Clark
     Wilson Baker, a veteran law enforcement officer who disagreed with the mass arrest of Negroes in Selma during the Civil Rights struggle in 1965, has finally won his race for sheriff. Baker defeated the present sheriff, James G. Clark, in Tuesday's election despite a write-in campaign which brought Clark thousands of votes. -- Associated Press: @

Alabama: Lowndes County Freedom Organization
     White incumbents in Lowndes County turned back the challenge of seven "black power candidates yesterday. ... Interest was centered on Hayneville and Lowndes County, where Stokely Carmichael first launched his "black power" drive under the emblem of the "black panther." -- Associated Press
*  Image from "The Story of the Development of an Independent Political Movement on the County Level" (Jack Minnis, 1967): @

Alabama: Lucius Amerson
     Lucius D. Amerson, a barrel-chested, soft-spoken, determined young man, was elected sheriff of Macon County this week. When he takes office in January, Amerson, a Democrat, will be Alabama's first Negro sheriff in the 20th century. -- The Southern Courier: @
* CBS News report, 1966: @
* "A New Look in Southern Sheriffs" (Ebony, May 1967): @
* "Sheriff Made History Simply by Doing His Job" (Washington Post, August 2008): @

California: Ronald Reagan
     Political newcomer Ronald Reagan today won California's governorship in a landslide that made him a national GOP political force. But he promptly denied even "favorite son" presidential hopes in 1968. -- United Press International: @
* Results ( @
* "The Making Of A Governor" (KRON documentary, 1966): @
* "Reagan's 1966 Gubernatorial Campaign Turns 50: California, Conservatism, and Donald Trump" (Ryan Reft, KCET, 2016): @

Georgia: Lester Maddox
     Republican Howard H. (Bo) Callaway held a slim and uncertain lead over Democrat Lester Maddox in the Georgia governor's race as the probability mounted that neither conservative candidate will gain a required majority. The combination of a strong write-in vote for moderate Ellis Arnall, an expected late rural surge for segregationist Maddox and even the few uncounted absentee ballots apparently will throw the election into the legislature and probably the courts. -- Associated Press: @
     Note: Per state law, the election went to the General Assembly, which selected Maddox as governor on January 10, 1967. -- Digital Library of Georgia: @ 
* "Gubernatorial Election of 1966" (New Georgia Encyclopedia): @
* "1966 Election for Governor of Georgia" (Our Georgia History): @

Maryland: Spiro Agnew
     Republican Spiro T. Agnew was elected Tuesday to be governor of Maryland -- surmounting a three to one Democratic majority and the power of a slogan ("Your home is your castle; protect it") that appealed to the white backlash element. -- Associated Press: @
* Biography (U.S. Senate): @

Massachusetts: Edward Brooke
     Republican Edward W. Brooke, a Negro, was elected to the U.S. Senate Tuesday. The victory, he said, "gave the world the answer that we've been waiting for." Brooke, who becomes the first Negro senator since Reconstruction, predicted throughout his campaign that there would be no white backlash. And Massachusetts voters -- 98 percent white -- made good his word, giving Brooke a solid majority giving Brooke a solid majority over Democratic former Gov. Endicott Peabody. -- United Press International: @
* Biography (U.S. House of Representatives): @

Tennessee: Howard Baker
     Howard Baker Jr., a political novice from Knoxville, soundly thrashed veteran Gov. Frank Clement to become Tennessee's first elected Republican senator. Baker built an irresistable lead as he rolled from the hills of East Tennessee, a traditional GOP stronghold, and coasted to the banks of the Mississippi to hand Clement his second defeat in a political career which spanned 14 years and three terms as governor. -- United Press International
* Biography (University of Tennessee): @

Texas: George Bush
     Houston oilman George Bush and Pampa rancher Bob Price won Congressional seats Tuesday to put Texas Republicans in the best shape since the 1964 "Lyndon Landslide," despite a sweep by Democrats of the state's other 23 seats. Bush, considered by some more liberal than his Democratic opponent, narrowly defeated the former Harris County district attorney, Frank Briscoe. Briscoe conceded, attributing the results "in part to a great wave of anti-Administration feeling." -- United Press International
* Biography (White House): @ 


October 1966: Founding of Black Panther Party for Self-Defense

The Black Panther Party was created October 15, 1966, in Oakland, California, by Merritt Junior College students Huey P. Newton (right in undated photo above) and Bobby Seale. The BPP offered a revolutionary alternative to traditional civil rights tactics, strategies, and goals, inspired by the revolutionary nationalist theory of Malcolm X, the BPP spiritual and intellectual father. Newton and Seal intended to extend his legacy to its next logical step -- revolution.
     -- From "Encyclopedia of African American History" (2010): @

Saturday, October 15
* Platform text (The Sixties Project, University of Virginia): @
     -- Note: The book "Black Against Empire: The History and Politics of the Black Panther Party" (Joshua Bloom and Waldo E. Martin Jr., 2013) calls into question this date: @

Saturday, October 29
     BERKELEY, Calif. (UPI) -- "Black power" advocate Stokely Carmichael bitterly condemned America as a racist nation Saturday before a cheering throng of 12,000 on the University of California campus.
     He scorned the United States' role in Viet Nam and urged the white students and young Negroes in the audience to say "hell no" to their draft boards.
     Carmichael flew here to participate in the all-day campus "black power" meeting after defying his own draft board in New York to take him into the Army. The crowd in the outdoor Greek theater were mostly white students, but there were many Negroes, some from off-campus.

* Text/audio of Carmichael speech (American Rhetoric): @
* "Stokely Carmichael, 'Black Power' " (Kalen M.A. Churcher, Niagra University, 2009): @

* Chronology and audio/video (UC Berkeley Library): @
* Summary from @
* Summary from Amistad Digital Resource: @
* "On the Ideology of the Black Panther Party" (Eldridge Cleaver): @
* "In Defense of 'Black Power' " (David Danzig, Commentary magazine, September 1, 1966): @
* Negro Digest (October 1966): @
* Negro Digest (November 1966): @
* Negro Digest (December 1966): @
* Website of Bobby Seale: @
* Related publications (Michigan State University): @
* More resources ( @
* More resources (Freedom Archives): @
* More resources (SNCC Legacy Project): @
* Earlier post on Lowndes County Freedom Organization (December 1965): @ 


Friday, October 7, 1966: Study of UFOs

The Air Force announced today the University of Colorado has been chosen to undertake independent investigations of reports on unidentified flying objects. Air Force Secretary Harold Brown said the university is being awarded a research agreement of about $300,000 "to analyze phenomena associated with UFO sightings."
     The university, located at Boulder, Colo., will also make recommendations on the Air Force's methods of investigation and evaluating flying saucer reports, a program now known as Project Blue Book, dating back to 1948.
     * "University of Colorado Will Investigate UFOs" (Associated Press): @
     * Image from (Michigan sightings, 1966): @

* April 5, 1966, hearing by Armed Services Committee, U.S. House of Representatives: @
* "Facts About Unidentified Flying Objects" (Science Policy Research Division, Library of Congress, May 5, 1966): @
* "Unidentified Flying Objects Research Guide" (Naval History and Heritage Command): @
* "The CIA's role in the Study of UFOs, 1947-1990" (CIA): @
* "Congressional Hearings on UFOs" ( @
* "Ford Press Releases -- UFO, 1966" (Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library & Museum): @
* Journal of UFO History (November-December 2004): @
* "The 1966 UFO Chronology" (National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena): @
* "Ann Arbor vs. the flying saucers" (Michigan Today, 2014): @
* "The Great Michigan UFO Chase of 1966" ( @
* "Unidentified Flying Objects -- Project Blue Book" (National Archives): @
* Project Blue Book Archive: @ 


1966: The beginnings of 'tan, rested and ready'

April 1962: 'Sun tanned and rested'
     * "What Republicans Must Do To Regain The Negro Vote" (Ebony): @

October 1966: 'Tanned, fit, relaxed' 
     * "Nixon on the Stump -- An Old Timer at 53" (pictured above; New York Times, October 3, 1966): @
     * Excerpt from "Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America" (Rick Perlstein, 2008): @

October 1968: 'Rested and ready'
     "A chief of staff, Robert Haldeman, hoards the time and energy of the candidate so that Nixon always looks rested and ready." (Life): @

January 1970: 'Tanned, rested and ready' 
     "Now, on the eve of his 57th birthday, Richard Nixon was tanned, rested and ready to leave California's sun for the snow and subfreezing temperature of Washington." (Newsweek): @ 

July 1987: 'Tan, rested and ready' 
     * "Nixon, North Hot Sellers" (Spokane Spokesman-Review, July 11, 1987): @ 
     * "After Nixon and Reagan, Young Republicans Face '88 with Uncertainty" (New York Times, July 11): @ 

     * Other uses of "tanned, rested and ready" (from @


A note to readers

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, like the Miami News before it (as well as other papers) is no longer available on Through the years several blog posts have included links to Milwaukee/Miami stories. If you come across one, drop me a line and I will try to re-source it. Thanks.


Monday, September 12, 1966: 'The Monkees'

     Imagine the Marx Brothers as a long-haired rock and roll group, who make a movie called "A Hard Day's Night" to be shown on the "Hullabaloo" TV series. That, friends, is the briefest way to describe The Monkees!
     Filmed at the pell-mell pace of teenage existence, photographed with some offbeat movie-making techniques, the program stars a group of three Americans and one English boy who never saw each other before the series.
     The plot? The freewheeling description by NBC puts it this way: "The Monkees quartet play dates, but are more often 'at liberty,' where they must conquer such foes as automation, unemployment, longhair music, landlords, rival musicians, strict parents and fickle girlfriends."
     -- Summary from TV Week, September 1966
     -- Image from TV Guide (via

* Official website: @
* www.monkeeslivealmanac: @
* @
* Album reviews ( @
* TV series ( @
* " 'The Monkees' broke the fourth wall of 1960s TV" ( @ 


Tuesday, September 6, 1966: 'Star Trek'

The science-fiction series' first televised episode, "The Man Trap," premieres on Canada's CTV, two days before its American debut on NBC.
     -- Image from TV Guide, September 10-16, 1966

* Summary (from Memory Alpha): @
* Summary (from @
* Summary (from @
* Script (from @
* Full episode (from @
* "TV: Spies, Space and the Stagestruck" (from The New York Times, September 16, 1966): @
* "Original 'Star Trek' Reviewers Just Didn't Get It" (from, 2014): @ 


September 1966: 'Turn on, tune in, drop out'

     Though he had used the phrase earlier, Timothy Leary's mantra of enlightenment through psychedelic drugs (especially LSD) and unconventional lifestyles starts to become a well-known phrase in September.
      Above is Leary's definition of the phrase, from the September 20, 1966 edition of The New York Times: @
     Note: "The Dictionary of Modern Proverbs" also lists a usage from the April 15-May 1 edition of The East Village Other newspaper: @


* "Turn On/Tune In/Drop Out" (Berkeley Barb, June 24): @ 

* Leary interview with Playboy magazine: @
* Cover of Datebook magazine: @
* "Leary Seeks LSD Faith, Needs Court Authorization" (Associated Press, September 20): @
* "Dr. Leary's Formula: Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out" (The Village Voice, September 29): @

* "The Politics, Ethics and Meaning of Marijuana" (Leary in The Marijuana Papers," 1966): @
* "Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out" (spoken-word album by Leary, 1966): @
* Listen to album: @
* Listen to 1967 version of album: @
* "Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out" (1967 film by Jerry Abrams): @
* "Legend of a Mind: Timothy Leary & LSD" (Pop History Dig): @ 


August 1966: The Beatles

     The album was released on August 5 in Britain and August 8 in the United States.
* Summary from @
* Summary from The Beatles Bible: @
* "UK Album Release" (The Beatles Bible): @
* "U.S. Album Release" (The Beatles Bible): @
* "The Beatles: U.S. vs. UK Album Guide" (Ultimate Classic Rock): @
* Album review (Kevin Courrier, Critics At Large): @
* Album review (Scott Plagenhoef, Pitchfork): @
* "Classic Album Dissection" ("Sound Opinions," 2006): @
* "The Kinks vs. The Beatles: Ray Davies Thought 'Revolver' was Garbage" ( @
* "How I drew a pop art masterpiece for the Beatles" (The Guardian, 2016): @
* " 'Revolver': How the Beatles Reimagined Rock 'n' Roll" (Robert Rodriguez, 2012): @

"We're more popular than Jesus now"
* Post from March 4, 1966, when the story was originally published in the London Evening Standard: @

Candlestick Park, San Francisco
     The band's August 29 show marked their last live performance until their rooftop concert in London on January 30, 1969.
* Summary from The Beatles Bible: @
* "The Beatles at Candlestick in 1966: An oral history from the fans" (San Francisco Chronicle, 2014): @
* "Listen to cassette recording of The Beatles' final concert at Candlestick Park" (Consequence of Sound): @ 


Monday, August 1, 1966: University of Texas Tower shooting

A puff of smoke is visible at the University of Texas Tower during the sniper attack on August 1, 1966, by Charles Whitman. (Texas Student Publications photo by Richard Kidd; courtesy of the Barker Texas History Center)

Charlotte Darehshori, then a secretary in the office of the dean of graduate studies, crouching behind the base of a flagpole in a grassy area just south of the Tower. She was trapped nearly 1 1/2 hours by the sniper fire. The photograph was one of the first transmitted from the Tower sniping incident and was one of the most widely published photographs from the incident. (Staff photo by Tom Lankes, American-Statesman)
     -- Photos from Austin American-Statesman archives: @

A crazed student went on an 80-minute campus rampage with an armful of weapons Monday in the worst mass killing in U.S. history. He killed 15 persons, including his mother and his wife, and gunned down 30 others before a shaken off-duty policeman shot him dead atop the 27-story University of Texas tower.
     -- United Press International: @

* Stories from Austin American-Statesman: @
* Summary (Finding Dulcinea): @
* Short biography of Charles Whitman (Texas State Historical Association): @
* Resources (Austin History Center): @
* "Texas Sniper Kills 15, Wounds 31, Then Slain" (Associated Press, published August 2, 1966): @
* "Campus Sniper Slays 13, Wounds 30" (UPI, August 2, 1966): @ 
* "Death Spree Carefully Planned, Executed" (UPI, August 3, 1966): @
* Life magazine (August 12, 1966): @
* "A Sniper in the Tower: The Charles Whitman Murders" (Gary M. Lavergne, 1997): @
* "University of Texas reopens tower's deck" (Associated Press, September 15, 1999): @
* "Sniper 66" (2006 documentary by Whitney Milam) first of 5 parts: @ (other 4 parts also available on YouTube)
* "96 Minutes" (Pamela Colloff, Texas Monthly, 2006): @
* A Buried Memory is Preserved: The Unborn Victim of a Texas Sniper's Shot in 1966" (Reeve Hamilton, New York Times, 2014): @
* Fifty years after the first campus massacre, a question lingers: Who killed the killer?" (Molly Hennessy-Fiske, Los Angeles Times, 2016): @
* "Tower" (2016 documentary): @

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