Here’s what was going on in the world these two weeks in 1960
- A fire at a movie theatre in the Kurdish village of Amuda, Syria, killed 152 children who had been watching an “educational film”. Some sources claimed that the fire had been set by Syrian security forces.
- African-American singer and actor Sammy Davis, Jr. married white Swedish actress May Britt at a time when interracial marriage was uncommon, and, in some states, illegal. The resulting fallout would effectively end Britt’s film career.
- Four 6-year old black girls, “first of their race to attend white public schools in New Orleans since the days of the Reconstruction”, were enrolled at two elementary schools in the area. Ruby Bridges, protected by U.S. Marshals, was the lone African-American child to enroll at the William Frantz Elementary School, and her first day was depicted by artist Norman Rockwell in a famous painting, The Problem We All Live With. The other three students enrolled at McDonough Elementary.
- The submarine USS George Washington, armed with 16 nuclear Polaris nuclear missiles, sailed from the harbour of Charleston, South Carolina, following an undisclosed route. President Eisenhower praised history’s first mobile nuclear missile base, noting that the Polaris firing submarines “possess a power and relative invulnerability which will make suicidal any attempt by an aggressor to attack the free world by surprise”.
- American film star Clark Gable died of a heart attack, aged 59, a few days after completing his last film, The Misfits
- British television and radio presenter, Jonathan Ross was born in London.
- The Hawker Siddeley P.1127, the first V/STOL (vertical/short take-off and landing) military jet aircraft made its first untethered flight. Test pilot Bill Bedford lifted, hovered, and landed the jet at the Royal Aircraft Establishment ground at Thurleigh, Bedfordshire. The production version of the P.1127 was the Harrier.
- United Nations troops clashed with the Congolese Army, for the first time since the Congo crisis had begun. Soldiers were ordered by Colonel Joseph Mobutu to seize a diplomat at Ghana’s embassy in Leopoldville. A force of 150 U.N. troops from Tunisia, supplementing Ghanaian embassy guards, fought for three hours in defending the embassy before the government troops withdrew.
- The USS Ethan Allen, at 410 feet in length the largest Polaris submarine in the U.S. Navy fleet, was launched from the yards at Groton, Connecticut. Not yet equipped with missiles, the submarine would be able to fire nuclear weapons a distance of 1,500 miles. On May 6, 1962, the Ethan Allen would make the only submarine launch of a live nuclear warhead, conducting an atmospheric hydrogen bomb test at a site 1,000 miles away.
And here’s what was keeping Peggy busy:
Sunday 13th November 1960
Dick & Phyllis to tea.
Not a bad morning – but it went very cold about 3pm. I took Philip & Gillian out first – Cyril followed on & took Gillian to collect Dick & Phyllis – we’ve had a very pleasant afternoon & evening. They left just before 10pm – children very good all day.
Monday 14th November 1960
I’m appalled at the thought of Christmas being so near – & nothing yet done! Shall have to start on the puddings this week – & the cake next. It’s been a very fine day – dried most of the wash.
Tuesday 15th November 1960
Miserable day – me I mean – the weather was lovely this morning but I’m in the dumps! Cyril has a cold & he’s in the dumps too! – he went to bed at 630 last night. Gillian got so muddy this morning I had to strip her.
Wednesday 16th November 1960
Another fine day – we’ve been to the clinic – only to get some advice about Gillian’s sore “tinky-winky”. Philip cried bitterly when we left him outside. Letter from Mur – but none yet for Cyril from the other fellows Insurance ?Coy.
Thursday 17th November 1960
Its been a filthy day & we haven’t been out at all. Cyril has been to Woolwich & had lunch with Mum & Doris. Philip has had the miseries most of the afternoon. Edna & Denis have another daughter Valerie Anne – born on ?12th.
Friday 18th November 1960
I’ve started – made the puddings this morning – at least started them with Gillian’s help!! It rained all morning but cleared up & we’ve been to the village this afternoon – and collected the key of the garage. Children have been very good.
Saturday 19th November 1960
Oxshott Xmas fair
It was a lovely morning – Cyril went into Leatherhead & when he came home I went to the Christmas Fair – it was such a crush – Jack Warner opened it. I only stayed half an hour and didn’t spend any money – everything was too expensive – we went again this afternoon for a short while – so that Gillian could see Father Christmas.
Have made the Xmas puds.
Sunday 20th November 1960
Another dirty day – we haven’t been out. Cyril seems to have developed another cold without having shaken off the first! Philip played up this evening & just wouldn’t settle. I had to nurse him to sleep.
Monday 21st November 1960
A miserable wet Monday – but I’ve dried & ironed all the washing. Philip didn’t sleep long this morning – & was very tired tonight. Not too tired to have another yelling session though. Only walked as far as Browns this afternoon. Letter from Joan.
Tuesday 22nd November 1960
I’ve been having an awful pain in my right leg – Cyril says its sciatica! I thought that was a complaint you had in your very old age!!! Cyril has gone to Moorfields tonight for a further eye examination. I do hope all is well for him.
Wednesday 23rd November 1960
Fine afternoon after a wet morning. We’ve been out to the Clinic. Cyril was given a clean bill of health at the Eye Hospital last night. He was home before 7.30.
BOTH SLEPT ALL NIGHT!!!
Thursday 24th November 1960
A filthy day. Gillian wet the bed last night so I’ve had a sheet wash! Philip not very happy – we’ve been out for a short walk in the puddles!! No letters.
Up 5 times in the night!
Friday 25th November 1960
In an effort to raise some cash for Christmas I’ve surrendered my small policy today – it wasn’t worth keeping anyway!! But don’t know if I’ll get the cash for Xmas as the collection says it takes a month! Pouring most of the day. Up 4 times in the night.
Saturday 26th November 1960
I’m feeling miserable again today & everything seems to be getting me down – its the continual sameness of every day. I suppose “All work & no play”. Cyril has put in a dozen bush rose in the front & I’ve made the Christmas cake. Took the children for a short walk.