First British atom bomb test.
US military occupation of Japan ends.
US test first Hydrogen bomb.
Agatha Christie's play, The Mousetrap, opens in London, England. It will eventually become the longest continuously running play in history.
Soviet leader Joseph Stalin dies.
Korean War ends.
Watson and Crick publish the structure of DNA.
Academy Awards televised for the first time.
Kenyan nationalist leader, Jomo Kenyatta, is sentenced to 7 years in prison by British authorities.
Cambodia and Laos independent from France.
US Supreme Court rules against racial segregation in schools.
Marilyn Monroe marries Joe DiMaggio.
French army defeated by Vietnamese by Dien Bien Phu.
Vietnam independent from France. Vietnam split at 17th Parallel into Communist North, and non-Communist South.
Laos independent from France.
West Germany wins soccer World Cup..........a fluke, with a Swiss referee.
First commercial nuclear power station goes online at Obninsk, Russia.
1 Conference in Indonesia.
West Germany joins NATO.
Warsaw Pact formed by Communist states in Eastern Europe and USSR.
29 African and Asian states meet at the Bandung Conference in Indonesia.
First McDonald's restaurant opens.
RCA offers a $35,000 contract to Elvis Presley.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. leads the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
Suez Crisis : Israel, Britain and France attack Egypt.
Soviets invade Hungary to crush anti-communist revolution.
First Eurovision Song Contest.
Tunisia becomes independent from France.
Beginning of rock and roll music.
Elvis Presley enters the charts for the first time with Heartbreak Hotel.
Soviet Union launches Sputnik 1 - first artificial satellite.
FORTRAN, the first high-level computer-programming language, introduced.
Nine black students are barred from entering a formerly all white school (Central High School) in Little Rock, Arkansas. President Eisenhower uses troops to secure their entry.
Treaty of Rome establishes European Economic Community.
Federation of Malaya (now Malaysia) independent from UK.
Beginning of African decolonization: Ghana independent from the UK.
Britain tests its first hydrogen bomb.
International Atomic Energy Agency established.
United States launches Explorer I (first US satellite).
USA creates National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Brazil wins soccer World Cup.
US nuclear submarine, Nautilus, travels to North Pole.
Bobby Fischer, aged 14, wins the United States Chess Championship.
A revolution in Iraq overthrows the monarchy.
Central African Republic, Guinea becomes independent from France.
Cuban revolution. Fidel Castro becomes Prime Minister of Cuba.
Xerox manufactures the Xerox 914, the first plain paper copier.
Soviet Union's Luna 2 is first spacecraft to impact moon.
Soviet Union's Luna 3 takes first pictures of the far side of the moon.
Soviet leader, Nikita Khruschev, visits USA.
Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper are killed in a plane crash.
First Barbie Doll produced.
Alaska and Hawaii admitted to the Union as U.S. states.
Tibetans rebel against Chinese genocide; Dalai Lama escapes to India. Chinese murder 300,000 Tibetans.
American U-2 spy plane shot down over Soviet Union.
Elvis Presley discharged from US Army.
The capital of Brazil becomes the new purpose-built city, Brasilia.
Sharpeville Massacre: Africans protesting against the Apartheid "Pass Laws" are shot in South Africa at Sharpeville.
France tests its first atomic bomb.
FDA approves sale of birth control pill in the USA.
Independent Somalia formed from ex-British and ex-Italian protectorates.
Cyprus, Nigeria independent from UK.
Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso (Upper Volta), Benin, Niger, Gabon, Republic of Congo and Chad become independent from France.
Islamabad declared the capital of Pakistan.
Echo I, the first communications satellite is launched.
First successful kidney transplant performed.
Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba fails.
Soviet cosmonaut, Yuri Gagarin is the first human in space.
US President John F. Kennedy announces US goal of reaching the moon before the end of the decade.
Sealing of East German border and building of Berlin Wall.
South Africa forced to leave British Commonwealth in disgrace, and becomes a Republic.
Formation of the World Wildlife Fund.
Tanganyika independent from Britain.
Cuban Missile Crisis - world stands on brink nuclear war.
Algeria independent from France.
Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago independent from UK.
Brazil wins soccer World Cup.
Adolf Eichmann (captured by Mossad agents in 1960) is sentenced to death and hanged in Israel for his part in the Holocaust.
Telstar, the world's first active communications satellite, is launched.
Nelson Mandela jailed in South Africa.
Johnny Carson debuts as host of The Tonight Show.
A quarter of million people participate in the civil rights March on Washington DC. Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. makes his "I have a dream" speech.
USA and USSR establish "hotline" connection.
Organisation of African Unity established.
President Kennedy visits Berlin: "Ich bin ein Berliner".
President Kennedy assassinated in Dallas, Texas.
Nuclear Test Ban treaty.
The Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, the largest radio telescope ever constructed, officially opens.
First episode of Doctor Who appears on the BBC.
Kenya, Zanzibar independent from Britain.
Olympic games in Toyko broadcast worldwide by satellite.
Gulf Of Tonkin incident between United States and North Vietnam.
US Surgeon General warns against cigarette smoking.
China tests its first atomic bomb......how did we let it happen ?
The Beatles arrive on their first visit to the USA.
First Ford Mustang produced.
Nelson Mandela is sentenced to life imprisonment.
Zambia, Malta independent from UK.
Major earthquake ("Good Friday Earthquake") hits Alaska.
Vietnam war escalation begins, 150,000 US troops deployed to Vietnam.
United States invades the Dominican Republic.
US black nationalist leader, Malcolm X, is assassinated in Harlem.
Canada adopts the red and white maple leaf flag.
Rhodesia makes Unilateral Declaration of Independence from Great Britain, in order to preserve white minority rule.
Chinese leader, Mao Tse Tung launches Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (1966-1976).
England win the soccer World Cup : they think it's all over: auf wiedersehen :))))))))
Barbados, Botswana independent from UK.
Israel defeats Arabs in Six Day War.
The USS Liberty, a US Navy ship, is accidently bombed by Israeli jets.
First ever Super Bowl
Dr Christiaan Bernard performs first heart transplant, Cape Town, South Africa.
Biafra (1967-1970) declares independence from Nigeria, and is blockaded leading to massive starvation.
Earth Day is celebrated for the first time.
A military coup overthrows the government of Greece.
Sesame Street is first broadcast.
South Yemen independent from UK.
American Samoa adopts a new constitution, and becomes self-governing.
Soviet forces invade Czechoslovakia ending Prague Spring liberalization.
Student riots in Paris and other European cities.
Communists launch Tet offensive in Vietnam, a turning-point in America's position.
Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. assassinated.
Robert Kennedy assassinated.
Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty established.
Equatorial Guinea independent from Spain.
Colonel Gaddafi becomes Libyan leader.
Neil Armstrong is first man to walk on moon.
First trial flights of Concorde, the Anglo-french supersonic airliner.
Charles de Gaulle resigns as President of France.
The ocean liner, QE2, sails on her maiden voyage.
Stonewall riots in New York: start of the modern Gay Rights movement.
Biafra surrenders, ending the Nigerian civil war.
Pro-US coup in Cambodia. Lon Nol becomes leader.
United States invades Cambodia to attack Communist base areas.
The Beatles disband.
John Lennon and Yoko Ono marry.
Venera 7 (USSR) is first probe to return data from the surface of another planet (Venus).
China launches its first satellite, Dong Fang Hong I.
Brazil wins soccer World Cup.
Fiji becomes independent from UK.
Anwar Sadat becomes President of Egypt.
Intel introduces the 4004, the first microprocessor.
Britain adopts decimal currency.
Indo-Pakistan war. East Pakistan becomes the separate state of Bangladesh.
Concert for Bangladesh.
First (and last) British launched satellite, "Prospero", launched from Woomera, Australia.
Idi Amin overthrows Ugandan President, Milton Obote.
Bahrain independent from UK.
Inoue Daisuke invents the the Karaoke machine.
Libertarian Party of the United States formed.
United States launches Christmas bombing campaign against Hanoi, North Vietnam.
Last US ground units leave Vietnam.
FBI director, J. Edgar Hoover dies.
"Pong" introduces the video game craze.
SALT I treaty limiting nuclear arms signed by United States and USSR.
USA and USSR sign ABM Treaty, limiting anti-ballistic missiles.
Black September terrorist attack at Munich Olympics, 11 Israeli athletes killed.
US President Nixon, visits the People's Republic of China : a dark moment in history.........by a dark man.
Goodyear Blimp flies for the first time.
Ceylon becomes a republic, and renames itself Sri Lanka.
Bobby Fischer beats Boris Spassky to become World Chess Champion.
Israel defeats Arabs in Yom Kippur War.
United States and North Vietnam sign peace agreement (Paris Peace Treaty).
Oil price doubled by Persian Gulf states.
General Pinochet overthrows the elected Allende government in Chile in a violent coup.
British TV networks introduce first teletext system.
World Trade Center in New York City, is dedicated.
Burglars are caught breaking into Democratic Party headquarters at the Watergate Complex.
Skylab is launched.
Juan Peron returned to power in Argentina.
The Syndey Opera House opens.
The Six Million Dollar Man makes its TV debut.
UK, Ireland and Denmark join the European Union.
Papua New Guinea gains self-government from Australia.
Bahamas independent from UK.
India conducts its first nuclear test.
Richard Nixon resigns as US President.
Turkey invades Cyprus. NATO allies Greece and Turkey, on the brink of war.
Emperor Haile Selassie deposed in Ethopia.
West Germany wins soccer World Cup.
India conducts its first atomic bomb test.
UPC (Universal Product Code) barcodes introduced.
Rumble in the Jungle: Boxers, Muhammad Ali and George Foreman, fight in Zaire.
Niue becomes independent from New Zealand.
Altair 8800 microcomputer kit goes on sale.
Civil war begins in Lebanon .
North Vietnamese take Saigon ending Vietnam war.
Khmer Rouge occupy the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penn, ending the Cambodian civil war.
Apollo-Soyuz test flight (US and Soviet spaceships dock).
Death of Spanish dictator, Franco. Juan Carlos is declared King of Spain.
Portuguese colonies Angola and Mozambique independent.
East Timor declares independence from Portugal. but is invaded by Indonesia.
Surinam becomes independent from the Netherlands.
Altair introduce Altair MITS 8800, first personal computer.
British voters, decide in a referendum to remain part of the European Economic Community.
Indian Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, declares a State of Emergency.
The Thriller in Manila: Boxers, Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier, fight in Manila, the Philippines.
Papua New Guinea independent from Australia.
Concorde : first supersonic airliner (BRITISH and french) makes first commercial flights.
Viking 1 and 2 probes land on Mars and beam back photographs.
US bicentennial (200 years since independence).
British Pound falls below US $2 for the first time ; things have changed since then.
Chinese leader, Mao Tse Tung, dies.
Israeli commandos free the passengers and crew of a hijacked French airliner, at Entebbe, Uganda.
Apple Inc. (originally as Apple Computer, Inc.) founded.
Gary Gilmore becomes first person executed in United States since 1967.
Last execution by guillotine in France.
Star Wars hits the cinemas.
Collision between two Boeing jumbo jets at Los Rodeos airport, Tenerife, in the worst air disaster in history.
British Airways introduces a regular supersonic Concorde service between London and New York City.
Elvis Presley dies.
Egyptian President, Anwar Sadat, visits Israel.
Astronomers discover rings around the planet Uranus.
Silver Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.
Apple introduces the Apple II computer.
A power-cut blacks out New York City. Widespread looting and vandalism occur.
Camp David Peace Treaty between Israel and Egypt.
First test-tube baby, Louise Brown, born in Britain.
Charon, the moon of Pluto is discovered.
Mass murder/suicide of members of Jim Jones' religious cult in Guyana.
Space Invaders video game developed by Taito in Japan.
Argentina wins soccer World Cup.
Dominica independent from UK.
Shah overthrown in Iranian revolution.
Ayatollah Khomeini returns to Iran after 15 years in exile.
US embassy in Iran seized by "students", and embassy staff held hostage.
Saddam Hussein becomes President of Iraq.
Margaret Thatcher becomes Britain's first woman Prime Minister.
Three Mile Island nuclear accident - a partial meltdown of a reactor occurs in the worst civilian nuclear accident in US history, at Midtown, a suburb of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
USSR and USA sign the SALT II treaty, limiting nuclear arms.
Soviets forces invade Afghanistan.
Voyager I discovers faint ring system around Jupiter.
Visicalc, first spreadsheet software introduced.
Former US space station, Skylab, re-enters the Earth's atmosphere and debris is scattered in the Indian Ocean and Western Australia.
Ugandan dictator, Idi Admin, deposed.
Debut of the Garfield comic strip.
Muhammad Ali announces his retirement from boxing (although he will later, briefly, return).
Sony introduces the Walkman.
Sandinista rebels enter Managua, winning the civil war in Nicaragua.
Rhodesia becomes Zimbabwe.
First European Ariane rocket is launched.
Period covered by the brilliant "Memories Never Die" website ends........:)))))
SECTION 4 : Memorable people of the 1950s/60s/70s
He always said "I am The Greatest" :
This is a truly impossible task; but worth "having a go" ( as , in the final analysis, it is not too different than trying to name the greatest films, songs or food !!)
I am going to give my opinions and I invite viewers to email with your own suggestions and comments :( firstname.lastname@example.org ) .
There are certain special factors which make this section more impossible than other lists of "bests" or "favourites".
Firstly, many of the greatest people of our era are likely to have never been known or recognised by any but a few: from local heroes who died saving children in a burning building all the way across the spectrum to teams of scientists and technicians who made so many huge breakthroughs of all kinds ( I don't know who invented the "microchip"-----I don't even know why they couldn't make it taste as good as the real ones:))))
The world does not even know who many of them are : I certainly don't.
Secondly, some people just "represent" an idea or a great break-through (for example, Neil Armstrong or Yuri Gagarin "represent" others who took part in the same field of achievement) : it is difficult to single out individuals.
Third, who has the nerve to devise a list which contains people who seem so absurdly different from each other : for example, in our era,.........can you have a writer such as T.S Elliot alongside Robert Ludlum ; or John Wayne alongside Laurence Olivier ? It does seem a bit absurd. In fact, the very thought of John Wayne being considered at all might sound absurd : but throughout our era every person in the world probably knew of him , and he brought joy to countless hundreds of millions. Interesting subject isn't it ?
There are all the other problems associated with any "normal" such lists in terms of the subjective/objective factor.
OK..............let me make a fool of myself : and then feel free to write in with your own views ( I'll hide all emails which call me an idiot :))))))))))). I wish some of the "giants" of the 20th Century had been alive during our "Memories Never Die" decades, from Ghandi to Edison.
But, from the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, here is my humble offering........
1. The Dalai Lama
2. Nelson Mandella
3. Pope John Paul II
4. Martin Luther King
5. Winston Churchill ( and President Roosevelt if he had lived into our decades).
6. Albert Einstein
7. Mikhail Gorbachev
8. Mother Teresa
9. Crick & Watson (and on a different science topic--medicine: Jonas Salk)
10. Bill Gates
11. OH, OK ----------The Beatles and Elvis :)))