1960 was an eventful year, a year of so many ups and downs. I would later begin to think that my life was an echo of what was occurring in the United States. It seemed that when the USA was good, so was my life, and when there were problems in the USA, my problems were similar. I had a very tumultuous year in 1960, as did the USA.
A major event in 1960 was when Francis Gary Powers was shot down over Russia in his CIA U-2 spy plane on May 1, 1960. He was unable to destroy his plane after being shot down, parachuted into the hands of the KGB, and in August 1960, was convicted of espionage and sentenced to ten years in a Soviet prison. The Soviets recovered the spy plane intact.
1960 was also the year the Israeli's captured Adolf Eichmann in Argentina and returned him to Israel where he stood trial for Nazi crimes. The Berlin Wall was under construction during 1960. The Soviet Union was ahead in the space race and Echo I, the first communications satellite was launched. President Eisenhower sent 900 military advisers into Viet Nam.
In the autumn of 1960 the Rome Olympics had recently ended and a young boxer by the name of Cassius Clay had won the gold medal in the heavy weight division of boxing. Wilma Rudolph, a former polio patient, was declared "Fastest woman in the World" and won three Olympic Gold Medals in track and field. Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball divorced, and there was a new song and dance by Chubby Checker called The Twist that was the current rage. The hot new television show was The Flintstones, which debuted in late September. Psycho was the movie that had been a huge hit during the summer. No one was allowed to enter the theater after the movie had begun and no one was supposed to reveal the plot to anyone who hadn't seen the movie. I never wanted to take a shower again after seeing Psycho. In November Clark Gable had a heart attack and died and on December 1, Sandra Dee and Bobby Darin were married.
The first birth control pills were approved and went on sale for fifty cents a pill. Hugh Hefner opened the first Playboy Club in Chicago.
The Civil Rights Bill was passed in April of 1960, President Eisenhower signed the bill in May, 1960 and Dr. Martin Luther King was arrested in Atlanta on October 19th. There was also an embargo on Cuba that began in October, 1960.
But the news that was the most interesting to me was the election. I was 18, which wasn't old enough to vote in 1960. Twenty-One was the legal voting age at that time. I watched the Kennedy Nixon debates on television. The Presidential election was held in November and John F. Kennedy would defeat Richard M. Nixon. It was very controversial that a Catholic would become President of the United States. There were many rumbles about the Pope having too much influence in our country.
The end of 1960 was a quiet time for me. I spent most of my time at home or babysitting for neighbors. I kept in contact with all of my friends back in California and dreamed of returning to the state I loved some day.