1957 1958 1959 - 1960 - 1961 1962 1963
1930s 1940s 1950s - 1960s - 1970s 1980s 1990s
Events of 1960
- January 1 - Cameroon gains its independence.
- January 2 - U.S. Senator John F. Kennedy (D-MA) announces his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination.
- January 9–11 - Aswan High Dam construction begins in Egypt.
- January 19 - The Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the United States and Japan is signed in Washington, DC.
- January 21 - A mine collapses at Coalbrook, South Africa, killing 437.
- January 22 - In France, President Charles de Gaulle fires Jacques Massu, commander-in-chief for the French troops in Algeria.
- January 23 - Jacques Piccard and Don Walsh descend into the Marianas Trench in the bathyscaphe Trieste, reaching the depth of 10,916 meters.
- January 24 - A major insurrection occurs in Algiers against French colonial policy.
- January 25 - In Washington, DC, the National Association of Broadcasters reacts to the payola scandal by threatening fines for any disc jockeys who accepted money for playing particular records.
- January 30 - The African National Party is founded in Chad, through the merger of traditionalist parties.
- February 5 - The CERN particle accelerator is inaugurated in Geneva, Switzerland.
- February 9 - Adolph Coors III, chairman of the board of the Coors Brewing Company, is kidnapped and captors demand $500,000. Coors is later found dead and Joseph Corbett, Jr. is indicted.
- February 10 - A conference about the independence of the Belgian Congo begins in Brussels.
- February 11 - The airship ZPG-3W is destroyed in a storm in Massachusetts.
- February 11 - Twelve Indian soldiers die in clashes with Chinese troops at their common border.
- February 13 - France tests its first atomic bomb in the Sahara.
- February 18 - The 1960 Winter Olympics open in Squaw Valley, California.
- February 29 - An earthquake completly destroys Agadir, Morocco.
- March 6 - Vietnam War: The United States announces that 3,500 American soldiers will be sent to Vietnam.
- March 6 - The Canton of Geneva in Switzerland gives women the right to vote.
- March 17 - Northwest Airlines Flight 710 crashes near Tell City, Indiana, killing all 63 on board.
- March 21 - The Sharpeville massacre in South Africa results in more than 69 dead, 300 injured.
- March 22 - Arthur Leonard Schawlow & Charles Hard Townes receive the first patent for a laser.
- March 23 - Nikita Khrushchev meets Charles De Gaulle in Paris.
- April 1 - The United States launches the first weather satellite, TIROS-1.
- April 13 - The United States launches navigation satellite Transit I-b.
- April 16 - Gunman David Pratt attacks South African Prime Minister Henrik Verwoerd in Johannesburg, wounding him seriously.
- April 19 - April Revolution: South Korean students hold a nationwide pro-democracy protest against president Syngman Rhee, eventually leading him to resign.
- April 21 - In Brazil, the country's capital (Federal District) is shifted from Rio de Janeiro to Brasília. The Guanabara State is founded to succeed Rio de Janeiro as the Brazilian Federal District.
- April 27 - Togo gains independence from French-administered U.N. trusteeship.
- May 1 - A Soviet missile shoots down an American Lockheed U2 spy plane; the pilot Francis Gary Powers is captured.
- May 4 - West German refugee minister Theodor Oberländer is fired because of his National Socialist past.
- May 6 - President Dwight Eisenhower signs the Civil Rights Act of 1960 into law.
- May 9 - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announces that it will approve birth control as an additional indication for Searle's Enovid, making it the world's first approved oral contraceptive pill.
- May 10 - The nuclear submarine USS Triton completes the first underwater circumnavigation of the Earth.
- May 11 - In Buenos Aires, 4 Mossad agents abduct fugitive Adolf Eichmann, who was using the alias "Ricardo Klement".
- May 13 - A Swiss/Austrian expedition makes the first ascent of Dhaulagiri, the world's 7th highest mountain.
- May 14 - The Kenyan African National Congress Party is founded in Kenya, when three political parties join forces.
- May 15 - Sputnik 4 is launched into Earth orbit.
- May 16 - Nikita Khrushchev demands an apology from U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower for U-2 spy plane flights over the Soviet Union, thus ending the 1960 Paris summit.
- May 16 - Theodore Maiman operates the first laser.
- May 20 - In Japan, police carry away Socialist members of the Diet; Parliament then approves a security treaty with the United States.
- May 22 - Great Chilean Earthquake: Chile's subduction fault ruptures from Talcahuano to Taitao Peninsula, causing a tsunami and one of the greatest earthquakes on record. Seismographs in Valdivia crash.
- May 23 - Prime Minister of Israel David Ben-Gurion announces that Adolf Eichmann has been captured.
- May 27 - In Turkey, a bloodless military coup d'état removes President Celal Bayar and installs General Cemal Gürsel as head of state.
- June 1 - New Zealand's first television transmission occurs when a switch is flicked in Shortland Street, Auckland.
- June 7 - U.S. Senator John F. Kennedy wins the California Democratic primary.
- June 9 - Typhoon Mary kills 1,000,000 in the Fukien province of China.
- June 15 - Violent demonstrations at Tokyo University result in 182 arrests, 589 injuries.
- June 20 - The Mali Federation between Senegal and the Sudanese Republic (now Mali) gains independence from France.
- June 23 - Japanese prime minister Nobusuke Kishi announces his resignation.
- June 24 - Joseph Kasavubu is elected the first president of independent Congo.
- June 24 - Avro 748 makes its first flight at Woodford, UK.
- June 26 - British Somaliland gains independence from the United Kingdom; 5 days later it unites with the former Italian Somaliland to create the modern Somali Republic.
- June 28 - The University of Novi Sad is founded in Yugoslavia.
- June 30 - Belgian Congo gains independence from Belgium; civil war follows.
- June 30 - Public demonstrations by democratic and left forces, against Italian government support of the post-fascist Italian Social Movement, are heavily suppressed by police.
- July 1 - Ghana becomes a republic and Kwame Nkrumah becomes its first President as Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom ceases to be the head of state.
- July 1 - A Soviet MiG fighter north of Murmansk in the Barents Sea shoots down a 6-man RB-47. Two United States Air Force officers survive and are imprisoned in Moscow's dreaded Lubyanka prison.
- July 1 - Italian Somailand gains its independence from Italy, 5 days after British Somailand.
- July 4 - Following the admission of Hawaii as the 50th U.S. state the previous year, the 50-star flag of the United States debuts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
- July 11 - Moise Tshombe declares the Congolese province of Katanga independent; he receives Belgian help.
- July 13 - U.S. Senator John F. Kennedy is nominated for President at the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles, California.
- July 14 - The United Nations decides to send troops to Katanga to oversee Belgian troop withdrawal.
- July 20 - Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) elects Sirimavo Bandaranaike Prime Minister, the world's first elected female head of government.
- July 21 - Francis Chichester, English navigator and yachtsman, arrives in New York aboard Gypsy Moth II, having made a record solo Atlantic crossing in 40 days.
- July 25–28 - In Chicago, the Republican National Convention nominates U.S. Vice President Richard M. Nixon for President and Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. for Vice President.
- July 27 - The OECD is founded in Paris.
- August 1 - Benin becomes independent from France, under the name Dahomey.
- August 5 - Burkina Faso (Upper Volta) declares independence from France.
- August 6 - Cuban Revolution: In response to a United States embargo against Cuba, Fidel Castro nationalizes American and foreign-owned property in the nation.
- August 6 - In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Albert Kalonji declares the independence of the Autonomous State of South Kasai.
- August 7 - Côte d'Ivoire becomes independent.
- August 11 - Chad becomes independent.
- August 13 - Central African Republic becomes independent.
- August 15 - Congo-Brazzaville becomes independent.
- August 16 - Cyprus gains its independence from the United Kingdom.
- August 17 - Gabon gains independence from France.
- August 17 - The trial of U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers begins in Moscow.
- August 19 - Cold War: In Moscow, downed American U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers is sentenced to 10 years imprisonment by the Soviet Union for espionage.
- August 19 - Sputnik program: The Soviet Union launches Sputnik 5, with the dogs Belka and Strelka (Russian for "Squirrel" and "Little Arrow"), 40 mice, 2 rats and a variety of plants. The spacecraft returns to earth the next day and all animals are recovered safely.
- August 20 - Senegal breaks away from the Mali Federation, declaring independence.
- August 25 - The 1960 Summer Olympics open in Rome.
- August 25 - The USS Seadragon (SSN-584) surfaces at the North Pole, where the crew plays softball.
- August 29 - Hurricane Donna kills 50 in Florida and New England.
- September 1 - Disgruntled railroad workers effectively halt operations of the Pennsylvania Railroad, marking the first shutdown in the company's history (the event lasts 2 days).
- September 2 - The first elections of the Parliament of the Central Tibetan Administration are held. The Tibetan community observes this date as Democracy Day.
- September 5 - 1960 Summer Olympics: Cassius Clay wins the gold medal in boxing.
- September 5 - Congo president Joseph Kasavubu fires Patrice Lumumba's government and places him under house arrest.
- September 8 - In Huntsville, Alabama, U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower formally dedicates the Marshall Space Flight Center (activated by NASA on July 1).
- September 14 - Colonel Joseph Mobutu takes power in Congo in a military coup.
- September 14 - Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela form OPEC.
- September 22 - Mali, sole remaining member of the Mali Federation following the withdrawal of Senegal a month earlier, declares full independence as the Republic of Mali.
- September 26 - The 2 leading U.S. presidential candidates, Richard M. Nixon and John F. Kennedy, participate in the first televised presidential debate.
- October 1 - Nigeria gains independence; Nnamdi Azikiwe is the first native Governor General.
- October 3 - Jânio Quadros is elected president of Brazil for a 5-year term.
- October 5 - White South Africans vote to make the country a republic.
- October 12 - Cold War: Nikita Khrushchev pounds his shoe on a table at a United Nations General Assembly meeting, to protest at the discussion of Soviet Union policy toward Eastern Europe.
- October 12 - Otoya Yamaguchi assassinates Inejiro Asanuma, chairman of the Japanese Socialist Party.
- October 14 - U.S. presidential candidate John F. Kennedy first suggests the idea for the Peace Corps.
- October 24 - A rocket explodes in the Baikonur Space Center during fueling, killing 91.
- October 26 - Robert F. Kennedy calls Coretta Scott King, wife of Dr. Martin Luther King, and secures his release from jail on a traffic violation in Atlanta, Georgia.
- October 29 - In Louisville, Kentucky, Cassius Clay (later Muhammad Ali) wins his first professional fight.
- October 30 - Michael Woodruff performs the first successful kidney transplant in the United Kingdom, at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.
- November 8 - United States presidential election, 1960: In a close race, John F. Kennedy is elected over Richard M. Nixon, becoming (at 43) the youngest man elected President.
- November 14 - Belgium threatens to leave the United Nations over criticism of its Congo policy.
- November 14 - A collision between 2 trains in Pardubice, Czechoslovakia kills 117 people.
- November 15 - The Polaris missile is test-launched.
- November 22 - The United Nations supports the government of Joseph Kasavubu and Joseph Mobutu in the Congo.
- November 28 - Mauritania becomes independent of France.
- December 1 - Patrice Lumumba, deposed premier of the Congo, is arrested by troops of Colonel Joseph Mobutu.
- December 1 - A 5-ton Soviet spacecraft containing animals, insects and plants is launched into orbit; it burns up upon re-entry.
- December 2 - The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev. Geoffrey Francis Fisher, talks with Pope John XXIII for about an hour in the Vatican. It is the first time in more than 500 years that a head of the Anglican Church had visited the Pope in England.
- December 2 - U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower authorizes the use of $1M for the relief and resettlement of Cuban refugees, who have been arriving in Florida at the rate of 1,000 a week.
- December 4 - The admission to the United Nations of Mauritania is vetoed by the USSR.
- December 5 - Pierre Lagaillarde, who led 1958 and 1960 insurrections in Algeria, fails to appear in a Paris court. He has reportedly fled with 4 fellow defendants to Spain en route to Algeria.
- December 5 - Boynton v. Virginia: The U.S. Supreme Court declares segregation in public transit to be illegal.
- December 7 - The United Nations Security Council is called into session by the Soviet Union, to consider Soviet demands that the U.N. seek the immediate release of former Congolese Premier Patrice Lumumba.
- December 9 - French President Charles de Gaulle's visit to Algeria is marked by bloody European and Muslim mob riots by in Algeria's largest cities, resulting in 127 deaths.
- December 12 - The U.S. Supreme Court upholds a Federal Court ruling that Louisiana's segregation laws are unconstitutional.
- December 12 - The Holy Bible in Spanish (the Reina-Valera 1960 Version) is published.
- December 13 - While Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia visits Brazil, his Imperial Bodyguard revolts against his rule, proclaiming the emperor's son, Crown Prince Asfa Wossen, as Emperor.
- December 13 - Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Honduras found the Central American Common Market.
- December 13 - Navy Commander Leroy Heath (Pilot) and Lieutenant Larry Monroe (Bombardier/Navigator) establish a world altitude record of 91,450.8 feet (27,874.2 metres) in an A3J Vigilante carrying a 1,000 kilogram payload, besting the previous record by over 4 miles.
- December 14 - Antoine Gizenga proclaims in Stanleyville, Congo, that he has assumed the premiership.
- December 14 - The OECD is formed in Paris.
- December 15 - King Mahendra of Nepal deposes the government and takes power into his own hands.
- December 16 - U.S. Secretary of State Christian Herter announces that the United States will commit 5 atomic submarines and 80 Polaris missiles to NATO by the end of 1963.
- December 16 - 1960 New York air disaster: United Airlines DC-8 collides with a TWA Lockheed Constellation over Staten Island, New York City. All 128 passengers and crew on both planes are killed, as are 6 persons on the ground.
- December 17 - Troops loyal to Haile Selassie I in Ethiopia suppress the revolt that began December 13, giving power back to their leader upon his return from Brazil. Haile Selassie absolves his son of any guilt.
- December 19 - Fire sweeps through the USS Constellation, the largest U.S. aircraft carrier, while it is under construction at a Brooklyn Navy Yard pier, killing 50 and injuring 150.
- December 20 - Discoverer XIX is launched into polar orbit from Vandenberg Air Force Base, to measure radiation.
- December 27 - France sets off its 3rd nuclear test blast at its atomic proving grounds at Reggane, Algeria.
- June 1 - Paula Hitler, Adolf Hitler's sister (b. 1896)
- June 16 - Francis Parker Yockey, American philosopher and author of Imperium (b. 1917)
- August 1 - Eldon Lee Edwards, 1950s Ku Klux Klan leader (b. 1909)
- September 1 - Francis Townsend, 1930s pension plan advocate (b. 1867)
- November 7 - George Van Horn Moseley, United States Army general and nationalist. (b. 1874)
- November 9 - Ernst Wilhelm Bohle, Foreign Organization head of the NSDAP (b. 1903)
- November 13 - Upton Close - Far East author and radio commentator (b. 1894)
- November 26 - John E. Rankin, segregationist congressman from Mississippi (b. 1882)