Saturday, January 8, 2011

the 60s - the most exciting decade

on 12 april 1961, yuri gagarin became the first man to travel in space, orbiting the earth in the russian spaceship vostok 1. major gagarin became a worldwide celebrity after his 108 minute space flight. less than a year later, american astronaut john glenn made three orbits during his space voyage. then in june 1963, russian cosmonaut valentina tereshkova became the first woman to orbit the earth.

1962 saw the first appearance on the screen of the suave and multi-talented james bond. the film was a huge success. sean connery went on to star in four more james bond movies in the 60s: from russia with love (1962); goldfinger (1964); thunderball (1965); and you only live twice (1967).

in 1963, the world followed avidly the newspapers accounts of the profumo affair. the key figures were christine keeler (above picture) and john profumo, the british secretary of state for war. the scandal led to the downfall of the government of the day.

on 22 november 1963, the world was shocked by the news of the assassination of the 35th president of the united states of america, president john f kennedy. his brother robert kennedy suffered the same fate in 1968, shortly after winning the primary in his presidential campaign.

on 25 february 1964, 'the greatest' muhammad ali defeated sonny liston in a world heavyweight title fight held in miami. he was then known as cassius clay. ali described his fighting style in these words: float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. his two other well-known opponents were joe frazier and george foreman.

beatlemania swept the world in 1964. john, paul, george and ringo were mobbed everywhere they went. during their 1964 world tour, the beatles performed in hong kong but not in singapore. they did make a 55-minute stopover at paya lebar airport on 2 july 1964 en-route to london after their australia and new zealand tour.

in 1965, the united states of america sent more troops to vietnam despite mounting discontent at home. by 1968, the number of us troops in vietnam had ballooned to more than half a million.

in 1966, at the age of 73, chairman mao zedong swam in the yangtze river. at that time, he was engaged in a power struggle with lin piao and deng xiaoping. to show that he was still strong enough to lead his people, he performed this feat.

the end of the 60s saw the fulfillment of one of mankind's longest dream - to set foot on the moon. on 20 july 1969, one fifth of the world's population watched as buzz aldrin followed in neil armstrong's "giant leap" footsteps on the moon's sea of tranquility.

looking back, the 60s was indeed an exciting era. other momentous events and happenings of that decade include the march for jobs and freedom led by martin luther king jr, the hippies 'with flowers in their hair' strolling down the roads of san fancisco, the bay of pigs invasion and the woodstock festival. others may remember the death of marilyn monroe, elvis presley's marriage to priscilla beaulieu and twiggy's impact on the fashion scene.

all the above pictures came from a book i bought myself for christmas. the title of the book is 'the sixties in pictures'.


Lam Chun See said...

The sixties was also an exciting decade for us here in Spore. Merger followed by separation, announcement of British Withdawal, racial riots, NS, arrival of television, arrival of HDB flats, birth of junior colleges etc. etc. .... no wonder guys like us have so many things to blog about

yg said...

chun see, yes, i agree with you that the 60s was also a turning point in our country's history. once in a while, we should also look at things that happened in other countries which directly or indirectly affected us.

Dogcom said...

Haha B&W television was exciting. Not every family own one. A group of us would congregate at one of our neighbor's house every day to watch TV.

yg said...

frankie, we too could not afford a tv set when it first appeared here, so we would stand outside our neighbour's house to watch programmes like bonanza and, in later years, hawaii 5 o.