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Timeline of events

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Between Sept. 26 and Oct. 17, 1960, presidential candidates John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon had their historic TV debates. Kennedy won, say those who watched the debates. Nope, Nixon did, say those who analyzed them later.


On Feb. 1, students protest segregation with lunch counter sit-in in Charlotte, N.C.

The United States admits to spying on the Soviet Union after a U-2 airplane piloted by Francis Gary Powersis shot down May 5.

On May 9, the Food and Drug Administration approves the sale of birth control pills.

Between Sept. 26 and Oct. 17, presidential candidates John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon have their historic TV debates. Kennedy won, say those who watched the debate. Nope, Nixon did, say those who analyzed the debates later.

In November, Kennedy is elected president.


Nobel Prize-winning author Ernest Hemingway commits suicide.

On March 1, President Kennedy creates the Peace Corps.

On April 17, exiled Cuban rebels, trained and supplied by the United States, botch Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba.

Between May 15 and May 20, "Freedom Riders,'' testing the resolve of the segregationist South, are beaten up in Anniston and Birmingham, Ala.

Beginning Aug. 13, the Berlin Wall goes up, giving concrete form to Winston Churchill's 1946 figurative warning about an "iron curtain'' spreading across Europe.

On Oct 2, Roger Maris hits his record-breaking 62nd home run.

On Dec. 11, the first U.S. military units of "advisers'' arrive in Vietnam — about 4,000 troops.


Construction begins on the first Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne building.

Democrat upstart Birch Bayh upsets incumbent Republican Homer Capehart to become one of Indiana's two U.S. senators.

The Second Vatican Council opens in Rome.

Rachel Carson's book on the dangers of pesticides, "Silent Spring,'' is published, with enormous and long-lasting impact.

On Feb. 10, a massive fire guts the Wolf & Dessauer store on Washington Boulevard.

On June 25, the Supreme Court rules prayer in public schools a violation of the First Amendment.

On July 18, Telstar, the first privately owned satellite, is launched and begins relaying TV programs across the Atlantic.

In late October the United States and USSR stare each other down over Soviet missiles in Cuba. The other side blinks.


The Indiana General Assembly approves the state's first sales tax.

Pope John Paul XXIII dies.

On Jan. 14, George Wallace is sworn in as governor of Alabama. "Segregation now, segregation tomorrow and segregation forever,'' he promises.

On March 20, Andy Warhol debuts in the first "Pop Art'' exhibition in New York.

On June 12, Mississippi civil rights leader Medgar Evers is shot in the back and killed.

On Aug. 3, a 24-hour "hot line'' is established between Washington and Moscow.

On Nov. 22, President John F. Kennedy is assassinated. Lee Harvey Oswald is quickly arrested and is himself killed – with TV cameras rolling – by Jack Ruby. Lyndon B. Johnson is sworn in as president.


Urban renewal projects reshape the Fort Wayne landscape.
Cassius Clay beats Sonny Liston for world heavyweight boxing title.

The Beatles invade America, earning eight gold records in a single year.

On July 2, President Johnson signs the most comprehensive civil rights act in American history.

In July and August, race riots hit major American cities.

On Aug. 2, the United States announces that a U.S. destroyer has been attacked by the North Vietnamese in the Gulf of Tonkin.

On Oct. 14, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. receives the Nobel Peace Prize.

On Nov. 3, President Johnson wins a full term of the presidency in a landslide, trouncing Barry Goldwater.


Glenbrook Square opens.

Fort Wayne Children's Zoo opens.

President Johnson signs Medicare into law, ushering in the Great Society.

On Feb. 21, leading black nationalist Malcolm X is shot and killed.

On March 7, blacks marching in Montgomery, Ala., are attacked by 200 state police using tear gas, nightsticks and whips.

On April 11 – Palm Sunday – tornadoes rip through Indiana.

On June 28, U.S. forces begin their first full-scale combat operation in Vietnam.

From Aug. 11 to 16, riots in the Watts section of Los Angeles result in 34 killed, 3,900 arrested, 200 businesses destroyed, and a 500-square-block area burned and looted.

On Nov. 9-10, the "great blackout'' leaves more than 30 million people from Pennsylvania to southern Canada without electricity.


Gertrude Baniszewski and four teen-agers are convicted in Indianapolis of the torture slaying of a young girl, Sylvia Likens.

An explosion at the Phelps Dodge gas plant in Fort Wayne kills five and causes $5 million in damage.

Roman Catholics are freed from meatless Fridays (except during Lent).

Miniskirts come into fashion.

The nation becomes aware of widespread use of mind-altering drugs, especially marijuana and LSD.

On April 19, Bill Russell is named to lead the Boston Celtics, becoming the first black coach of a professional team.

In June, the United States escalates the war in Vietnam by bombing Hanoi.

On Aug. 1, Charles Whitman sits atop the University of Texas clock tower for 80 minutes, shooting passersby. He shoots 44 and kills 14 before being killed.


Southtown Mall opens.

Israel wins the Six-Day War with its Arab neighbors.

Dr. Christiaan N. Barnard performs the world's first heart transplant in South Africa.

U.S. space flights are temporarily suspended when three astronauts die in a fire on a launch pad.
On April 28, Muhammad Ali, the former Cassius Clay, is arrested for refusing induction into the armed services. He is stripped of his boxing title.

In the summer, tens of thousands of young people converge on San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district for the "Summer of Love.''

From July 12 to 17, 26 die in the Newark, N.J., riot. From July 23 to 30, 43 die in the Detroit riot. Throughout the summer, riots or disturbances take place in 127 cities.

On Oct. 2, Thurgood Marshall is sworn in as the first black Supreme Court justice.


New Allen County Public Library is dedicated.

Figure skater Peggy Fleming wins the only U.S. gold medal at the Winter Olympics.

American troop strength in Vietnam reaches its peak of 550,000.

On Jan. 23, the U.S. intelligence ship Pueblo is captured by North Koreans.
On Jan. 30, North Vietnam begins Tet offensive against all major cities in South Vietnam, now considered the turning point for American support of the war.

On March 16, U.S. soldiers kill 500 people in the Vietnamese village of My Lai.

On March 31, President Johnson announces he will not seek another term.

On April 4, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. is assassinated in Memphis, Tenn.

On June 5, Sen. Robert Kennedy is assassinated in Los Angeles.

From Aug. 25 to 29, turmoil in the streets of Chicago detracts from the Democratic convention, and is seen by 50 million to 80 million people on TV, possibly costing Hubert Humphrey the election.


Richard Wilkerson, longtime head of the Fort Wayne Urban League, dies.

Richard Nixon is sworn in as the nation's 37th president.

Charles Manson and some of his followers are indicted for the murders of actress Sharon Tate and four others.

In July, the first Three Rivers Festival is celebrated.

On July 18, Sen. Edward Kennedy drives his car off a bridge on Chappaquiddick Island, leaving Mary Jo Kopechne dead.

On July 20, American astronaut Neil Armstrong becomes the first person to walk on the moon.

From Aug. 16 to 20, about half a million people converge on a farm near Woodstock, N.Y., for a little sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll.

In early September, the Fort Wayne Ministerial Alliance backs a boycott of several city schools. Ensuing negotiations with the school board brings the agreement that later closes Central High School and begins the desegregation process.

In October, Louis B. Russell of Indianapolis, with the heart of a 17-year-old boy, becomes famous as the world's longest-surviving transplant patient.